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Posts tagged flight

About a month ago I had the opportunity to be on the tarmac at IAH for the delivery of United’s new Boeing 787. I took a bunch of photos and have just really started going through them. As I edit them, I’ll add them to this post.

The United Boeing 787 Arrives in Houston

United Boeing 787

Update

A United spokesperson has now confirmed that the remaining 787 deliveries have been delayed and they will be adjusting the schedules as a result. In a bit of good news, they will allow free changes/refunds for these special flights. If you have a 787 flight booked and are affected by the schedule changes you should receive a communication from United. If you do not, give their reservations number a call.

The current status of United’s 787 is that it is still undergoing FAA certification. A few domestic flights were to start in early November but there have been reports and rumors of issues. A few tweets from the AirlineRoute account seem to suggest that some of the November schedule is going to change. United is to receive their second 787 some time next week. If that schedule holds, then some domestic routes will still be operated by the 787. If you’ve booked one of these flights just to fly the 787, check the your reservations after this weekend’s schedule changes take place.

The United Boeing 787 Arrives in Houston

 

 

 

In February the City of Houston and a group of Turkish representatives announced new service between Houston and Istanbul on Turkish Airlines.

If you follow airline announcements you know how quickly such rumors turn into pipe dreams or disappear completely. In the cast of the Istanbul-Houston route, I have been very skeptical, especially with fuel prices being what they are, but, this investor announcement from Turkish makes me a little more confident the service will actually launch. The page is in Turkish but here’s a poorly translated version:

Incorporation; aircraft availability and depending on the permissions in 2012, Istanbul-Houston-Istanbul and the Istanbul-Constanta-Istanbul route open, Mogadishu-Istanbul-Khartoum-Khartoum-Istanbul flights and Istanbul in Istanbul, Turkey-Djibouti-Djibouti-Mogadishu; Istanbul-Nakhchivan-Istanbul flights to Istanbul, the Istanbul-Ganja, Nakhchivan, it was decided to perform.

So, based on aircraft availability and the ability to obtain government permission, the Istanbul-Houston flights will start this year, possibly as early as this summer. I am really looking forward to this service starting! Turkish Airlines offers a great connection point to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia from their Istanbul hub and as a plus, Istanbul looks like a city I would have no problem having a stopover in. This announcement does not mean that flights are guaranteed to start between the two cities, but it adds a little credibility to the rumors and speculation.

I love airline/airplane videos so when I came across these HD videos on NYC Aviation I couldn’t help but re-post them here. Both videos are great because they give a glimpse into an area that passengers rarely see. We take for granted that there is a workload being handled by the pilots behind that cockpit door.

In the videos you see how turbulence effects landings, other traffic in the area while cruising (notice the A380 in the one video?), and how the autopilot is adjusted during flight.

The first video is of an Airbus aircraft operated by Avianca, the flag carrier of Colombia.

The second video is a Boeing 737 operated by what appears to be Ryanair, the low-cost airline based in Dublin, Ireland.

If you the videos do not appear for you, you can watch the Ryanair video here and the Avianca one here. Both links lead directly to YouTube.

The airport is packed. This fact surprises me, I was expecting a quiet evening in a regional airport. Come to find out, Friday is London City Airport’s busiest day. Squeezing past the crowds I make my way to the departures area to look out the window. This is the airport of the regional airplane. Bombardier Q400s, BAe Avro RJ85s, and Fokker 50s sit on the tarmac waiting to take businessmen and women from Canary Wharf to places like Paris-Orly, Amsterdam, Zurich, and for me, Munich.

Boarding is called and I make my way across the tarmac to my waiting crane-tailed bird. The doors close and the pilot taxis to the runway. We hold, waiting for another aircraft to land. It howls by us and exits the runway as we enter. A jerk as the brakes are set. The engines roar to life and the pilot holds position while maximum thrust is achieved. Suddenly the plane leaps forward and we are off. 45 seconds later and we are in the air at an unbelievable angle. I look out the window to see London out the left side of the plane.

I can say I did all of this for the image above but I would be lying. I did a lot of it just to experience that take-off and it was well worth it.

A lot of people think I’m nuts. Maybe I am. Or maybe I’m crazy like a fox. My weekend was spent flying between Spokane, Washington and Seattle, Washington. Doesn’t sound crazy right? What’s crazy is that what should have been an hour flight on a lawnmower with wings was really a bunch of flights taking me from Spokane to Denver to San Francisco and finally to Seattle. Yeah, I guess I am crazy. That is, until I tell you it cost me $44 before taxes. See, crazy like a fox. The route looked something like below.

All told, I flew around 7,000 miles and rounded out my mileage balance on Continental Airlines. Why? A good friend and I stumbled across the fare a while back and decided it was too good of a deal to pass up. At first I bought a few of them, but ended up only keeping one, figuring I didn’t really have the time or energy to do a bunch of these back to back. The only hiccup in the whole trip was on our positioning flight to Spokane from San Francisco. The plane had a maintenance issue and was delayed, getting us into Spokane a little later than we had originally planned.

Continental ERJ Landing at IAH

What did I do on the flights? Watched some television shows I had stored on my iPhone, caught up on a bunch of reading, wrote a little, and talked to other passengers. Flying is relaxing to me, so I actually got a little bit of rest as well. It was a fun trip that transited a lot of airports and got me the miles I wanted at a price point that is very, very reasonable. I guess I am better at “mileage running” than the guy in this video.

This video has been on the internet for a while but it still intrigues me, maybe because the guy has a love of travel similar to myself. He setup his camera to take a picture every minute or so and then compiled it into a video. The best part is, he flew Denver to Singapore for a weekend. Right up my alley.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/7410637[/vimeo]

Next time I find some crazy routing or have a couple of long flights, I’m going to see if I can compile something like this.