Anyone see something strange in this picture?

I took the following picture on Sept. 30, 2010, in Paris, France, at 16.47LT. Can you see something strange?

If you open it you will notice what seems to be a small aircraft above the Paris Opéra: that is actually an Emirates A380 just departed from Charles De Gaulle-Roissy airport. Below you will find one of the pictures I took a few seconds earlier, as soon as I spotted the plane and identified it as a “380” and a close-up of the wide body.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I cannot wait to see an A 380 or to visit Paris — you are fortunate on both counts :)

    Thanks, too, for the photo — classic museum architecture in the foreground and the 380 in the background, a pleasant composition.

    Joe May
    Travel for Aircraft

  2. The skies are crowded with interesting types,
    often barely visible to the naked eye.

    In june, I scrambled with the kids to Brussels-Zaventem airport, to see the Lufthansa A380 land on its one-time-only visit there.
    We managed to catch it on film, albeit somewhat chaotically (

    It was only later, by contemplating sites like and, that I realized the big Emirates bird passed right overhead our house, twice a day, en route between London and Dubai.
    So on a clear day, after checking online, I got outside in my back yard, – and sure enough there it was, easily recognisable by its bulky appearance and massive belly-logo.

    Bye from Mechelen (B), and all the best with your well documented blog.

    • Hahaha,
      thank you for your nice report and for the “animated” video!
      Yes, sometimes we are overflown by very interesting birds. The larger ones can be clearly recognised, while smaller one are barely visible. I remember, during Allied Force operations in Kosovo, that French Mirage IVs and US U2s from Istres overflew Rome on their way to the Balkans but I was never able to catch them since they were flying too high. The Emirates A380 over Paris was clearly visible as it was still climbing from CDG. If I had my 400mm with me, I would be able to get a nearer view of it, but the 18-55mm zoom did a nice job too giving me the chance to get the Opéra in a single shot.
      Thank you for reading and contributing,
      all the best,

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