Tag Archives: 747

Random Aviation Photo

25 May

Back in November 2007, I took a trip to Chicago O’Hare to take an up-close-and-personal tour of the O’Hare Modernization Project, which included the construction of the Runway 9L/27R.  s part of that, I got to go into areas usually not open to the public.  In the shot below, we were over near the old cargo area, which was going to be moved to accommodate the new runway.  Enjoy!

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 cargo jet at Chicago O’Hare. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

Top Five Interesting Stories Of The Week

5 Mar
  1. All the true airline geeks (including me) were excited over a major aviation event this past weekend — the final steps to a complete merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines.  In this phase, the airline now has a single reservation system, a single check-in and one frequent flyer program — MileagePlus. But there’s always some problems when you’re merging two systems, including “late flight departures and arrivals, missed connections, problems at check-in kiosks, long lines and extended wait times to reach reservations agents as United agents tried to master the new system,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
  2. I’m a fool for anything written about my favorite aircraft — the Boeing 747.  So I thoroughly enjoyed a blog post by my former Aviation Week colleague Guy Norris, who gave us a sneak peek of the inside of a VIP 747 delivered to a Middle East customer in the Things With Wings blog.
  3. Back in late 1999, I took a trip to Israel for the delivery of the first ATR-72 to Arkia Israel Airlines. I was in New York City for a family event, so I flew on TWA to Tel Aviv. I could do several blog posts about that particular flight, but one of the things I remember is the flight attendants rolling down the aisles selling TWA-branded items — and being quite aggressive about it. Which is what I thought about when I read this New York Times article on the new revenue sources airlines are now chasing, including insurance, branded items and TV commercials.
  4. With Terrafugia Inc, about to debut its flying car at the New York Auto show next month, I read this Lifehacker blog post on the first true flying car.  The AVE Mizar was a Ford Pinto merged with a Cessna Skymaster plane. The wings were detachable, and that was the plane’s downfall.
  5. Back in the spring of 2005 when I was working for Delta Air Lines, I had to go out to Salt Lake City for a business meeting. One of my co-workers took me to the home of a flight attendant who had turned his basement into a Delta/Pan Am museum, complete with a reconstructed first class cabin, uniforms, travel posters and a huge pile of memorabilia. One thing he had was the wine-in-a-can Delta served passengers in the 1970s. So I thoroughly enjoyed a  post from Mary Kirby of the APEX Editor’s blog on Delta’s selections of wine in a box.

With the big switchover this weekend, the Continental Airlines name is no more.  So I’ll end this post with a classic commercial from the 1970s that featured a young Farrah Fawcett in the “We Really Move Our Tails For You” tag line. Enjoy!

My (Travel/Aviation) Interest In Pinterest

21 Feb

I went to Austin, Texas, last month for a data journalism geek unconference.  The first night we had dinner at Stubbs BBQ, and my dinner companion was Lauren Young, owner of Little Lamb web design (she’s currently redesigning this site).  She started talking about how much fun she was having with Pinterest.  For the uninitiated, check out this article in the Wall Street Journal profiling the website.

I love using Pinterest to show off many things, but my favorites are my aviation and travel boards.  The first board I created was one with pictures of my beloved Boeing 747, which has 101 followers.  My next board was Cool Aircraft Liveries, which has photos of some of the best aircraft paint jobs of the present and past, with 97 followers. I work across the street from Frederick Municipal Airport, so I created Seen At Frederick Airport (FDK).

I am a BIG fan of art deco airline/travel posters, and have them hanging in my home and office. My Art Deco Travel Posters has 92 followers.  I created a board made up entirely of the graphics I use for my Strange But True Aviation News column. And then I have boards entitled Lord, I Was Born A Ramblin’ (wo)Man and Places I REALLY Want To See, with 94 followers each.

Tomorrow’s post will be on 10 folks you should be following on Pinterest.  Not on Pinterest yet? Drop me an email at AuntBenet AT Gmail DOT com and I’ll get you an invite.  Enjoy!

Best Of: Top 10 Favorite Airline Commercials

28 Dec

Editor’s note: kids, Aunt Benet is taking the week off to enjoy the holidays with the family. So please enjoy these best ofs this week.  Happy Holidays!!

I know I usually do top aviation stories of the week, but I’m on travel, so I’m switching it up a bit.  The announcement that Frontier Airlines is rolling out a new advertising campaign — complete with television commercials — made me remember how much I love a good carrier campaign.

I’ve always been a fan of good airline commercials.  I like ones that make me laugh, that give me a sense of place and that show the wonderment of air travel.  Below are links to 10 of my favorites, in no particular order.  Which ones do you like? What did I miss?

Click HERE to see the commercials!

Top Five Most Interesting Aviation Stories Of The Week

21 Nov

So I managed to finish my first week on the new job. LOVED it!!  Now, onto the week’s aviation news.

  1. Ted Reed of The Street.com wrote two interesting airline pieces last week.  In the first piece, he writes about how the lack of a deal between American Airlines and its pilots could cause the Dallas-based carrier to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the last of the legacy carriers who have avoided this fate.  In his second piece, Reed notes that Phoenix-based US Airways has two goals for 2012: cut its presence at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and upgrade its aging fleet.
  2. Plans for a supersonic business jet have been floating around for decades.  The latest player to enter the market, U.K.-based HyperMach used last week’s Dubai Air Show to tell Aviation International News that its 20-seat SonicStar will be able to fly at speeds up to Mach 4.0, allowing to fly from New York to Dubai in only 2 hours 20 minutes.
  3. Regular readers know I am  a fan — and student — of all things dealing with first and business class travel, as witnessed by the Facebook group I created: I Love Sitting In 1st/Biz Class (my Dec. 15 blog post about the group is here).  So I’m passing along Jaunted’s review of Delta Air Lines’ Economy Comfort product.  My view? I’d pay extra for the room.
  4. My 6-year-old daughter has become addicted to video Skype.  She loves chatting with her grandparents and her aunt.  So I’m betting she’d love being able to check in for her flight via Skype, which you can now do at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  5. Trust me, I am NOT a regular reader of Perez Hilton.  But I could not resist when I saw his hysterical rant about Spirit Airlines pop up on my Google Alerts.  He rambles on about all the fees charged by Spirit.  You won’t see me flying on that airline — ever — but I admire their business model.  They charge ultra low fares, but charge fees up the ying yang.  Don’t like the fees? Don’t fly the airline.

I’m a bit behind on my Airplane Geeks episodes, but I thoroughly enjoyed Episode 171, which featured former Air Force pilot Mark Jones. He had some great stories about training at Edwards AFB. At one time, my dad was deputy base commander there, and my sister worked on the flight line, so I was reliving all that when Mark was chatting.

And finally, I am a sucker for aviation/airline commercials.  When they come on, I stop and watch in rapt fascination.  Recently I saw one featuring the folks who build GE Aviation engines, where they got the chance to fly to Boeing Field Seattle to see their product hung on the 787 Dreamliner and actually fly on the 747, my favorite plane.  And yes, I got a tear in my eye as they watched the fruits of their labor in total awe.  Enjoy!

Top 5 Interesting Aviation Stories For The Week

7 Nov

First, an apology. For some reason, Friday’s Strange But True Aviation News didn’t post (despite me writing it) thanks to some glitch I’m still trying to figure out.  I’ll work out the kinks, and we’ll have it on Friday.  Now, onto the news!

  1. Guy Norris of Aviation Week blogged about an uncontained engine failure on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 flying from Detroit to Tokyo. His Things with Wings post contains some dramatic pictures of the engine after the failure.
  2. I really enjoyed this CNN story — Nerve-racking ‘go-arounds’ routine for pilots — for two reasons.  One, it’s a great primer on what happens when a plane has to do a go-around.  Two, it was written by Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder, and quotes my friend Mark Rogers.
  3. Speaking of Mark, I thought of him when I read this story — O’Hare Worker Hurt in Baggage Incident — on the NBC Chicago website.  The story is about how an industrial battery packed in checked luggage on a United Airlines flight from Lafayette, La., that stopped at Chicago O’Hare where the accident happened. Mark has done a lot of work on this particular issue.
  4. When Airbus announced back in December 2000 that it was launching the A380 double-decker jumbo jet, I remember hearing all kinds of possibilities for the plane, from bowling alleys (not yet) to showers (see Emirates).  The Airbus website says the jumbo jet can “seat 525 passengers in a comfortable three-class configuration, and up to  853 in a single-class configuration.” Transero isn’t quite at 853 seats, but says it will put in 700 seats on its recently ordered A380s, reports Reuters.
  5. We’ve all done it (unless we fly Southwest Airlines) — start flocking toward the jetway when the gate agent announces boarding for a flight. We wait anxiously as they call the premium passengers, folks needed assistance, families with small children and travelers seated in exit rows.  Then we make the mad dash onto the plane to get that valuable overhead bin space.  The New York Times has an article about what airlines are doing to tame the boarding process.  I, for one, am happy to pay a fee that allows me to board early in the process.

In other news, I’m now doing freelance work for Aviation International News, so please go over and check out what I’m doing.  Again, I’m still trying to catch up on my Airplane Geek podcast episodes, and I really enjoyed Episode 170 – GE Aviation Looks to the Future.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a question. JetBlue recently got a rare PR black eye after stranding passengers for seven hours on a plane parked at Hartford, Conn.’s Bradley International Airport. Below is a 1:18-minute video from COO Rob Maruster on the incident. Was it enough or should the airline have done more? See my poll, below.

Random Aviation Photo

3 Nov

Back in July, I got to spend the day at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to help United Airlines celebrate with Tom Stuker, who flew his 10 millionth Mileage Plus mile.  You can read my Aviation Week Things With Wings blog post on the event here.

One of the gifts given to Stuker by United was his name on a Boeing 747.  Up until then, I had been a real critic of what I called the new United Continental “Frankenlivery.”  But once I saw it on the 747, I changed my mind.  Enjoy!

Top 10 Favorite Airline Commercials

23 Sep

I know I usually do top aviation stories of the week, but I’m on travel, so I’m switching it up a bit.  The announcement that Frontier Airlines is rolling out a new advertising campaign — complete with television commercials — made me remember how much I love a good carrier campaign.

I’ve always been a fan of good airline commercials.  I like ones that make me laugh, that give me a sense of place and that show the wonderment of air travel.  Below are links to 10 of my favorites, in no particular order.  Which ones do you like? What did I miss?

1.  Frontier Airlines “Still the One”: a classic, with the carrier’s  animal tails singing the lyrics to “You’re Still The One.”

2.  AirTran – Babysitters: grandparents get their own surprise when they make a visit to see their twin baby grandchildren.

3.  United Airlines – “The Dragon”: I know this one got a lot of flack when it was unveiled, but I was mesmerized by the juxtaposition of the man, the dragons and his son (yes, I did a semester of film school ;) )

4. Eastern Airlines – Disney:  This is a charmer from back in the day when Eastern was the official airline of Walt Disney World.  The quality is a bit fuzzy, but it’s still a great commercial!

4. Southwest Airlines – Bags Fly Free On Stomachs: this commercial was funny then, but funnier now that Southwest has bought AirTran.

5.  Delta Air Lines – Keep Climbing: Lift: again, this was another one that got a bad rap, but I loved it for several reasons.  One, I love how it looked in black and white. Two, I loved that they used actual employees. And three, it showcased by beloved Boeing 747.

6.  Western Airlines – The only way to fly: this 10-second gem features the iconic airline bird.

7. PSA – Our Smiles Aren’t Just Painted On: I’m from California, and I was a great fan of this originally intra-state carrier. They were known for having smiles painted on the front of the plane. If you’re lucky, you may see the PSA heritage plane in the US Airways fleet.

8.  Piedmont Airlines – McLean Stevenson, Fishing Hole: the former M*A*S*H star was tapped in the 1980s to do commercials for the carrier.

9. British Airways – The Good Life: as much grief as the airline got over the opening of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, this commercial of the terminal as an aquarium won rave reviews.

10.  Pan Am – Introduction to Jet Service: as an homage to the launch of the television show “Pan Am” on ABC this Sunday, I thought I’d include this classic 3:55-minute commercial.

Top Five Aviation Stories Of The Week: The Boeing 747 Edition

2 Sep

 

Korean Air Boeing 747 at the gate at Washington Dulles International Airport Photo by Benet J. Wilson

I’m back from vacation and still sifting through the destruction of Hurricane Irene.  There was no damage at the homestead, but as of noon today, the power is still out.  I want to thank Wingate by Wyndam and Courtyard Marriott for the FREE WiFi!!  I saw so much news on my favorite aircraft of all time — the Boeing 747 –I decided to highlight them here.

    1. My Aviation Week colleague Guy Norris wrote this week about the first delivery race between my 747-8 and the 787.
    2. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the first 747-8 will be delivered to launch customer Cargolux on Sept. 19.  Oh, to be at that delivery…
    3. Norris also blogged about the details of Cargolux’s delivery at Aviation Week’s Things With Wings.
    4. Workers at

GE Aviation’s Evendale, Ohio,

      plant got an up-close and personal look at the 747-8, which uses

GEnx-2B

    engines, when the aircraft made a recent appearance.

  1. Australia’s Qantas plans to spend $250 million on its fleet of 747s so they match the interiors of the carrier’s Airbus A380s, reports The Age.  The new interiors will have 58 business, 36 premium economy and 270 economy seats.

Back in 1996, I got to cover the Singapore Air Show. I ended up flying on United, and as part of the trip, we had a stopover at  Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak Airport.  For those not in the know, this airport was literally dropped in the middle of the city, making for some harrowing — and fun — landings.  Below is a great YouTube video from Airboyd.TV with a cockpit view of the landing.  Enjoy!!

 

Top Five Aviation Stories Of The Week

19 Aug

Brett Snyder, Henry Harteveldt and me at Henry's birthday party

Oh, it’s just another day in this paradise that we call aviation.  I’m honored — and pained — that my frenemy, Brett Snyder (AKA @CrankyFlier) has just named my little blog as one of his Top 10 Airline Blogs.  Brett is like the annoying little brother I never wanted.  I hope he doesn’t think I’ll start being nice to him just because he threw me some major link love!  I kid, of course.  Let’s get on with this week’s stories, shall we?

  1. My Aviation Week colleague Guy Norris wrote two good stories on the progress of Boeing’s 787:  Boeing Confirms Completion Of 787 Testing and Tests Ending For Rolls-Powered 787.
  2. It was the title on this “Today Show” travel story that got me: Airport security: You ain’t seen nothing yet.  After getting over my shudders, the story goes into what we might see in airport security 10 years after 9/11.
  3. The Overhead Bin column on MSNBC Travel shows some love to iPhone AND Android apps designed for business travelers.  I loved the trick to extend the iPhone’s battery life, a persistent problem for me.
  4. Like many aviation geeks, the topic of Amelia Earhart always fascinates (despite the recent horrible movie). My Twitter follower @CravenTravels hipped me to a Kickstart project by Rich Martini, who is looking for money to fund his documentary of what “really” happened to Earhart.
  5. This story on Jaunted (and passed along by @LaurieHosken combines two of my favorite things: aircraft and the very occasional adult beverage.  The post profiles five airport bars made from actual old airplanes.  My favorite, of course is the Jumbo Bar at Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport, Sweden — because it’s made from a Boeing 747!

Speaking of Brett, I must throw him some love for five years of blogging over at Cranky Flier.  He has turned that blog into one of the most influential on the planet (as determined by the Guardian, no less) and is a must-read for me.   I’m still a bit behind on my Airplane Geek podcast episodes, but I really enjoyed Episode 159 with guest @PatFlannigan of the Aviation Chatter blog.

We’ll end the week with some YouTube video showing classic footage of my favorite aircraft of all time — the Boeing 747.  Enjoy!!

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