Leaving on a ‘Ladybird’

I quickly snapped this shot of a four-engined Jumbo Jet as it passed a few thousand feet overhead whilst I was on Oldham Edge, a usual rallying point for aircraft wishing to land at Manchester Airport 15 miles in the distance. Using an old Sirius 500mm mirror lens with a set aperture of f/8 – a member of the refraction lens family renowned for their inability to render a sharp image, even in the old days of 35mm film cameras – I was pleasantly surprised by the result of this quick ‘point-and-shoot’ shot after some post-production sharpening.

As I messed around adjusting the picture, I spotted the plane’s number on its fuselage – G-VAST – and so after browsing the internet for just a short time, I have discovered the following facts about this particular aircraft:

  • The plane is a BOEING 747-400 Series and is named ‘Ladybird‘;
  • It was manufactured in 1997 and put into flying service the same year;
  • Virgin Atlantic have thirteen B747-400 aircraft in their fleet;
  • The aircraft is powered by four GE CF6-80C engines;
  • The seating configuration is 44 (upper deck), 32 (central deck) and 310 (lower deck);
  • It carries more than 57,000 gallons of fuel and has a range of 7000 nautical miles.

Anyway, that’s as far as my aviation expertise goes, so hope this information has been of interest to anyone reading!


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