Home > Science & Technology, Strange, Things I Like... > Is that an airplane in Russell Square?

Is that an airplane in Russell Square?

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was using Google Maps to look for a pub in the Bloomsbury area of Central London, when I came across what appears to be an airplane parked in Russell Square, not far from the British Library (that’s the rather beautiful turquoise cushion shaped building at the bottom)

Aerial 1

If you assume the plane (which I think is an Airbus A330) is somewhere between 5000 and 10000 ft (i.e less than 2 miles) above the ground, it gives you some idea of not only how high the actual satellites are that take all of the Google Maps aerial photos, but also some sense of how unbelievably powerful the cameras and lenses must be to capture such staggering levels of detail at that height…

A scary thought…

Aerial 2

There is a whole page of conjecture about this image here if you fancy knowing more… but the chatter on the internet seems to suggest that this kind of thing happens quite frequently on Google Maps, especially in and around airports.

Google usually make an effort to remove such strangeness however, so if you’re reading this post much after December 2012, you may be out of luck if you follow this link and try and find the plane for yourself…

  1. January 2, 2013 at 15:21

    Well spotted by whoever saw it! Shared ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. SteveWhite2008
    January 16, 2013 at 10:25

    Maybe it had hover facility & thought there was enough space there to land?

  3. January 16, 2013 at 10:47

    Or maybe it was one of those new 787’s with its special ability to land in odd places at very short notice…

  4. Michelle Kinsey
    January 9, 2014 at 00:33

    It’s still there now, just saw it myself, googled it to find out why there was a plane there and found your post lol ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. January 9, 2014 at 09:59

    Hi Michelle
    Maybe Google havn’t noticed it yet, or are deliberately keeping it to promote blog posts and discussions like this one..
    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment

  6. Gargoyle
    October 22, 2014 at 09:30

    Pity it’s been removed. But:
    Never fear
    Looky here
    Out in Shere

    I was using MapMyRide (which also uses Google Earth) to plan a painful weekend team bike ride in the Surrey Hills and found this little beauty:


    • October 22, 2014 at 11:03

      Howdy Gargoyle
      Outstanding, a rainbow plane…
      I’ve screen grabbed and posted it for posterity on my Odds & Ends pull down at the top..
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

  7. November 16, 2014 at 22:29

    It’s not the British Library, it’s the British Museum. I was there that day and THOUGHT the plane was flying a bit low – just imagined it was the Greeks come to get back the Elgin Marbles.
    Biddy at the Brit Mus.

    • Tim
      November 17, 2014 at 10:07

      It’s the original British Library of Marx & Lenin fame but inside the British Museum.

  8. Zaf mal
    August 29, 2016 at 22:55

    There is a very clear plane over William Girling reservoir in Chingford. For a while I actually thought there was a plane docked there !!

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