“I love those five-engine Super McBoeings,” a Facebook fan of Lufthansa Cargo commented on this image with a digital wink. Indeed, the MD-11F and Triple Seven seemed to merge into a single aircraft: a five-engine machine with a length of 125 metres, ready for a booming takeoff at Frankfurt Airport.
This unusual shot is just one of many that photographer Bob Leinders captured in late June for Luft hansa Cargo’s 2015 calendar. Cargo fans voted on the final selection of pictures on Facebook, according to the cockpit command: “You have control!”. The images competed against each other in twelve “battles” with users voting for their favourites. The winning pics will appear in an exclusive calendar, which Lufthansa Cargo wants to send to select customers for the New Year. At the end of the voting the winning picture had garnered almost 600 “likes”, beating its competitor by a wide margin.
This was cause for further irony: “Tailgating! He should lose his licence!” Admittedly, never before have two aircraft been photographed so close together in the history of Lufthansa Cargo. In one photo Charlie Echo and Foxtrot Charlie stand together “nose to nose”, in another with their tails stretched to the skies only a few metres apart. In some, their paths cross at a 90-degree angle – like a random meeting – almost touching wing tips in greeting. Of course, safety came first during the entire choreography: a pilot and a mechanic monitored all the manoeuvers and positions of this aircraft dance.