A shot of the cargo ramp at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi international airport, FedEx Express’ main hub in India.
If you observe the photo correctly, there is something unusual about this photo. Don’t fully scroll down. Try to see only the photo and see if you can spot the feature? The answer is below the photograph.
The line-up consists one each of the wide-body freighter aircraft operated to India by FedEx Express. In the foreground is the Boeing 777F, followed by the Airbus A310-300F, and the venerable tri-engined McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) MD-11F, the favourite aircraft of Bangalore Aviation regular and prolific spotter, M. Azizul Islam of London. (See his over 6,300 photos here).
Many people ask why do we spotters go to such lengths to take photographs of planes? Its simple. Apart from their beauty, behind every plane, there is a story, there is a history.
The Boeing 777 freighter in the picture N850FD has a very interesting story.
In keeping with FedEx Express’ tradition of naming aircraft after the children of its employees, the aircraft is named Saad, after Saad Zia, the seven-month-old son of New Jersey based staffer Kashif Zia. This very aircraft, N850FD, is featured by FedEx in its media centre to highlight this tradition.
N850FD also has another notable achievement. It was delivered by Boeing to FedEx Express on September 25, 2009. In February 2010 this aircraft was given a special livery (see video of the decal application) and was temporarily called “Panda Express” to commemorate its carriage of two giant Pandas non-stop from Washington DC Dulles airport in the United States, back to Chengdu in China.
The plane returned back to its normal livery in September 2010.