Monday, December 03, 2012

is it a bird? no. is it a plane? yes; yes it is

Here's a thing you might like to try: take a trip - cyberspatially I mean - along the M4, via the magic of Google Maps, and turn off at junction 10 onto the A329(M) (and thence the A329 and A322). Then head down through Bracknell and past the prestigious portals of The Berkshire golf club towards Bagshot and the M3. Wait a minute, you'll think to yourself, as I did, what's that in the bottom right corner of the picture there, half a mile or so north of Bagshot railway station?

Let's zoom in a bit. Crikey, it's the world's biggest plane parked in a field. Or possibly an up-to-date aeroplane-shaped version of one of those chalk hill figures typically found further west in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire.

Of course what it actually is is a regular aeroplane that just happened to be on a flight path that took it under the Googlecopter at the precise moment that it took its picture of that particular area. Have a look at it on Google Maps here - zoom in on the tail and you'll see it's orange, which would suggest an easyJet plane, but the blue engine nacelles and the suspicion of a logo by the front side windows suggests maybe it isn't. Since Heathrow is probably less than 20 miles away to the north-east it seems more than likely it took off from there, and I don't think easyJet operate out of Heathrow, so I don't know. Nor do I know what sort of plane it is; maybe someone can help me out.

It turns out that this sort of anomaly isn't all that uncommon - here's one in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in South Carolina, one in Chicago, one in Florida, one in Germany and one in Russell Square, London. That last one is from this list, and you'll notice there's another entry in that list which says British Airways Boeing 777 In Flight Over Bagshot, which on the one hand is slightly galling as it means I haven't got a scoop, but on the other hand is good as it identifies the plane and airline, assuming we trust the link, and there isn't very much context at that link to back it up, though this link seems to confirm the identification. The Boeing 777 ticks some basic boxes like having the right number of engines, though; the orange tail must be one of those crazy commemorative ones.

Don't bother actually going to Bagshot to have a look at it, though, as I expect it's gone by now.

1 comment:

The Black Rabbit said...

I actually drive past this every day on the way to my actual work and in fact you're actually wrong.

It IS actually an actual model of an actual plane, on a gurt big (500 foot or so) actual stick in the ground.

The actual Gary Rhodes