Sitting on the BIAP tarmac, well off to the side is an all white Airbus A300 B4 with the letters 'DHL' hastily painted over yet still visible through the layers of dust. The only lettering untouched is the infamous tail number N1452, identifying this aircraft as the DHL Airbus that was struck by an insurgent surface to air missile shortly after taking off from the Baghdad Airport in November of 2003.
The Airbus sits in the baking sun and dust; it’s undercarriage home to dozens of pigeons as evidenced by the carpet of droppings covering the concrete below the wheel wells. Both engines have been removed and all signs of damage from the missile have been apparently repaired. The tires of the famous aircraft are well flat indicating that it has not moved for quite some time. The cockpit windows are caked with thick dust and offer no relief to the curious. Today the Airbus is little better than a huge shade tree for those that are out on the Baghdad tarmac for other reasons, trying to avoid the 130+ degree heat. It was fun, nonetheless to explore a piece of recent aviation history.