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Home > Flying the Plane > Is it possible to do a barrel roll on an Airbus A380?
Is it possible to do a barrel roll on an Airbus A380?
Flying - Flying the Plane
Saturday, 23 February 2013 13:24

Boeing 707 doing a barrel roll
Hi Captain,

Is it possible to carry out a 1G barrel roll in a modern airliner such as the Airbus A380 which is restricted to, I believe, 67 degrees max bank angle.

Can the systems be overridden to do this?

Clive Anstey

Hi Clive,

This question has been asked before but from a different angle – could a commercial airliner actually fly inverted or upside down?

It was posed in relation to the inverted flight seen in the movie “Flight 2012

In Flight 2012, even though stoned out of his mind, the captain did skilfully manoeuvre his plane in an uncontrolled dive and put his plane in an unorthodox flight to save the day.

Yes, it is possible to fly inverted momentarily in certain planes but not on a modern airliner as there are mechanism that protect it against such a manoeuvre in a normal flight.

On the Airbus, it is not possible to bank beyond 67 degrees left or right and so it is impossible to bring the plane into an inverted position.

However, there are a few some military jets or aerobatic propeller planes that can fly for an extended period upside down, especially on air shows.

But, when a plane is not in ‘normal law’ (usually after some mechanical failure) the normal bank protection is lost. It is then possible to roll a commercial plane inverted temporarily. To date, no plane has ever done that intentionally in an actual commercial flight yet except in a simulator.

Could an Airbus A380 carry out a barrel roll?

In my opinion, I believe it is possible to fly a barrel roll (a temporary inverted flight) provided the “normal law’’ is intentionally removed by switching off some flight control computers.

A Boeing 707 once did a barrel roll in a demonstration flight (see video above)

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim 

Testing the Airbus A380

Pouring a drink in a 1G barrel roll


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Comments (5)

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It's been done in the Concorde:

I actually saw a video a while back of the 747-8 being repeatedly subjected to negative g's as part of it's flight testing but can't seem to find it now. The engineers and test equipment were all belted down, but their jackets, sweaters ect weren't and went flying. I think they were only doing this for a few seconds at a time though.
John , 22 May, 2013
its been done in what looks to be a virgin atlantic 747
show in this video what looks like a a virgin atlantic pilot in a 747 does one before landing.

When he does do it, its pretty reckless as it was done prior to landing and over a roadway, if he had stalled, it would have been disasterous for ground and air people
devildog , 19 Jan, 2014
Real or CGI?
Hi Captain, Although this attached video looks so real, Some say it is fake, can you confirm one way or another?? Thanks for your input!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgKkvh1JRYQ
Diana , 22 Jan, 2014
Real or CGI?
It is a fake!
Captain Lim , 24 Jan, 2014
amateur pilot
What is Direct Law on Airbus..does this enable a barrell roll
jonathan clark , 05 Feb, 2015

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