A pilot feeling particularly festive traced a virtual Christmas tree over Germany on a test flight with an Airbus A380.

Airbus spokesman Heiko Stolzke told news agency dpa that the nearly five-and-a-half-hour flight the previous day was "a standard internal Airbus test flight before the delivery of a new aircraft".

The flight took off and landed back at the company's plant in Hamburg, Germany, and the idea of drawing the pattern of a Christmas tree came from the pilot and engineers on the flight.

Air traffic control co-operated to make it happen safely.

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The plane turned several corners and loops during its flight to produce a pattern in the shape of a tree complete with little baubles.