Is this it?
Click for large version
Photo © Peter Unmuth
IF IT IS.....
What you're looking at is the A340 belonging to the Qatar Emiri Flight...and it's not the first visit to Hopkins for this jet.
I live in Florida now, but lived in CLE three years ago when this aircraft came sliding out of a grey winter sky one afternoon. From my vantage point at the bus turnaround parking lot along Brookpark Rd. I at first thought I was being treated to the spectacle of a rare (now nigh impossible) 707 visit. But as the ship rolled to a taxi pace I realized it was a larger newer A340.
My first hint that it wasn't just any old jetliner was the amount of Cleveland Police motorcycle and patrol car units guarding otherwise unimpressive intersections. At a red light I rolled down the window and took a shot at inquiring what was up with one of Cleveland's finest, but his only response was "who wants to know?", so I thought I'd leave it at that.
The aircraft's VIPs are bound for the Cleveland Clinic and its' world-class cardio-care facilities. I believe it's the Emir himself, flying in on a jet with a specially equipped operating room aboard in case his health turns ugly in flight.
You might be interested to know that this Airbus most likely flew in with the Emir...and his personal herd of goats! There's actually a special pen for them on the roof of the hospital where they provide His Excellency with only the finest fresh goat's milk.
And finally, the visit three years ago was a major operation...the Emir was in residence for several months, during which the flower shop down the street made something like $350,000 off of supplying arrainged-to-order fresh flowers every day. A LOT OF THEM.
Best wishes to His Excellency.....and looks like you guys have yourself a big ol' Airbus to keep the CO 73's company.