Amazing: Emirates Burj Khalifa Stunt With A380 Fly-By

Amazing: Emirates Burj Khalifa Stunt With A380 Fly-By

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Emirates recently repeated a stunt that went viral several months back, except this one is even more impressive. I first wrote about this a few days ago, and now Emirates has shared a behind the scenes video that sheds light on how exactly this was pulled off.

Stuntwoman climbs Burj Khalifa as A380 flies by

In August 2021, an Emirates marketing video went viral, which depicted a woman in an Emirates uniform standing on top of the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) holding signs. At first I thought the ad was lame, because I assumed this was a green screen stunt. Holding signs in front of a green screen isn’t exactly impressive.

But when it came out that this was in fact real, my jaw dropped to the floor. You can see the initial stunt below.

Given how viral the first video went, Emirates decided to repeat it. The same stuntwoman, Nicole Smith-Ludvik, once again climbed to the top of the Burj Khalifa, in an even more impressive stunt. Not only was she holding up signs, but she was doing it as an Airbus A380 flew by. And it wasn’t just any old Airbus A380, but rather it was an Airbus A380 in the Dubai Expo 2020 livery (specifically A6-EEU) featuring a picture of her on the side. AMAZING.

The whole ad is intended to promote Expo 2020, and Smith-Ludvik is seen holding up the following signs:

  • “I’m still here!”
  • “Wow! I can see Dubai Expo”
  • “Finally, here come my friends”
  • “Fly the iconic Emirates A380”
  • “To the world’s greatest show”

How is this stunt possible?

When Emirates did this stunt the first time around, a behind the scenes video was released explaining how Smith-Ludvik got to the top of a 2,720-foot building, and the precautions that were taken. Here’s how it worked last time:

  • The crew took the elevator to the 160th floor of the Burj Khalifa, and then spent an hour climbing a (mostly narrow) staircase to get to the very top of the building
  • Someone went up there with Smith-Ludvik to help her get situated, presumably including carrying the signs
  • While up there, Smith Ludvik was “harnessed,” as there was a pole behind her, and her uniform “clipped” into that

Now a behind the scenes video has been released about the latest stunt, which answers some questions that many of us probably had:

  • This latest video was recorded on October 14, 2021, so this was released around three months after the fact
  • The Emirates A380 had to fly past the Burj Khalifa 11 times in order to capture the perfect shot for the ad
  • The plane was flying at a speed of 145 knots (which is very slow)
  • The plane was roughly half a mile from the Burj Khalifa (and at the same altitude), so it looking closer is an optical illusion

The plane spent a total of 3hr12min in the air on October 14, and as you can see in the below Flightradar24 map, it had quite a route…

I think most of our questions about this impressive stunt have been answered. I guess the only thing I’m still curious about is how close you’d need to be to an A380 at the altitude of this stunt to get some gusts or wake from the plane? I guess the answer is less than half a mile, though I’m curious what the margin was here.

Bottom line

Emirates has repeated its unbelievable Burj Khalifa stunt, whereby a stuntwoman stood on top of the world’s tallest building. While there’s perhaps not as much of a shock factor this time (since it was done before), the added feature here is that an A380 flew by while this happened.

What do you make of this Emirates A380 Burj Khalifa stunt?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Hal2000 Guest

    Just goes to show you what Emirates Airlines will do to get a rise out of people and add money to their over flowing coffers as though they need it. Reminds me of a United Airlines promo " FLY UNITED" where two ducks are locked together in blissful pleasure! LMAO !!!

  2. Paul Guest

    Except for an emirates pilot called Michael who tried to get of with my wife in bali

  3. Craig Pattenden Guest

    What a brilliant airline Emirates are,I'm flying with them in April

  4. Shamemm Guest

    Simply Amazing....Again Dubai has shown it's greatness to advertising on the top of the world.

  5. Syed Zafar abbas Guest

    The best in the Bests EMIRATES

    1. Rajah Guest

      Surely there are many other sane stunts to get your message across.

  6. Steven E Guest

    A fantastic ad once again - congratulations

  7. MALVINA Guest

    BRAVO EMIRATES. THE BEST OF THE BEST IN EVERY PERSPECTIVE

  8. JJCarlisle Guest

    Live it,.Love it! That's the Emirates message. Experience the best, smile wide and enjoy the ride! Rock on Emirates. This marketing Professor enthralled and so are my students!
    Prof. C
    NCC
    Nashua NH

  9. Steven J Fuller Guest

    No. That's a very calm wind for 2,700 ft. up. And where is the cameraman standing?

    1. Bagoly Guest

      In the video the helicopter (presumably where the camera is) is clearly visible.

  10. Phil M Guest

    The plane is not flying close. They are using a long zoom lens, which compresses the depth, and makes it appear close. That being said, lining up the shot is pretty difficult, and making sure the plane flies in exactly the right spot is not an easy task, I imagine, so it's still impressive.

  11. CAROLYNNE Guest

    I hope the stunt woman is tremendously wealthy now, but something tells me not since this is the second time she did this

  12. DMNYC Guest

    That looks to be an accurate distance, given the helicopter from which they are filming also seems quite far.

    With a long lens, when zoomed in as much as they are, the field of vision behind the subject gets condensed and things look much closer.

  13. Airfarer Member

    This is simply expraordinary. Brought a tear to my eye.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbL9QdWWJzo

    Just wow.

  14. Daniel Guest

    Hopefully it didn’t almost crash upon takeoff. Lucky, hopefully you will cover the most recent Emirates safety issue that happened this week.

  15. Asim Guest

    A6-EOT is another one. Just flew it on EK205 on 1/13. Flightradar24 has a few pics of it in EXPO 2020 livery.

  16. PeterCS Guest

    at 0:46 you can see the door of the landing gear, and EU is written on it. I assume that the plane is A6-EEU.

    You're better in looking up flight routes than me so I save that excitement for you :)

  17. Guest Guest

    Here's a video of the flyby
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3LpcMUmYLU

  18. Ksa63 Guest

    Fly Better would be something the lilots shlukd strive for after the recent events on EK.

  19. Sam Guest

    We sure that just isnt that plane on its way to IAD?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sam -- You win the internet for today. I'm going back to sleep.

    2. Lukas Guest

      I don't get it, elaborate please.

    3. Sam Guest

      https://onemileatatime.com/news/emirates-terrifying-boeing-777-flight-washington/

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sam Guest

We sure that just isnt that plane on its way to IAD?

4
Daniel Guest

Hopefully it didn’t almost crash upon takeoff. Lucky, hopefully you will cover the most recent Emirates safety issue that happened this week.

1
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Sam -- You win the internet for today. I'm going back to sleep.

1
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