In an exciting turn of events, A Qantas A380 made a surprise diversion to Sheffield International from London Heathrow due to poor weather conditions yesterday. This surprise visit was a helpful test however, as Qantas plans to open a route to the airport from Sydney (via Dubai) once the brand-new main pier is completed in 2014. For now, the A380 had to park at one of the few stands at the current terminal, and because it was so unexpected only a single air-stair was available to offload the gigantic aircraft. Fortunately, this process was completed only slightly slower than usual as the Aussies aboard were more than desperate to get outside for fresh air after their long flight.
By the early morning, the Qantas incident had long since passed, and operations had returned to normal; The weekly Aeroflot MD-11 cargo service as well as the 3x weekly early-morning Air France CRJ700 flight were both in the process of loading ready for departure.
However, Today was not a normal day; This was the day Sheffield International Airport completed stage 1 of its ambitious new expansion – The building of four wide-body stands on the eastern side of the airport, which will eventually form part of a new international terminal. To celebrate what will one day become a new hub for the North, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thomson all agreed to be the first users of the stands, with various wide- and narrow-bodied aircraft – Including the massive A380 and 747. Unfortunately, while the stands are now complete, delays in production due to “faulty mechanisms” have meant that the brand-new ground equipment is not ready yet, and so the stands will not be used regularly until it arrives within the next week; As well as this, nobody could enter or exit the special visitors as there were no available air-stairs.
Once the photo shoot was complete, each aircraft was pushed back in turn and returned home – Apart from the Thomson 737, which was taken to the current terminal in order to prepare for a flight to Sharm El-Sheikh. Here it also joined a Wizz Air A320 from Budapest and a BA E190 returning to London City (or RLSI if that’s OK with Jetboy!)
That’s right, I’ve finally got to a point where I’m really, really happy with my mini-diorama and now it’s time to move on to something more medium-sized. For those of you interested, here is the full version of the mini-foil: http://i.imgur.com/e3EAyy6.jpg
You can also get a .psd version for Photoshop at http://www.mediafire.com/download/3yd8ue7jgw0vwhw/Foil%20v2.psd