Archive for the 'photos' Category

Special oneworld Airplane Liveries

Following the path laid out by the Star Alliance, oneworld has started to allow their members to paint aircraft in special, airline alliance livery.

The first two, Japan Airlines Boeing 777’s (a -200 and a -300) were joined by a LAN Argentina Airbus (LV-BFO) just recently, when LAN Argentina celebrated its one year membership in the alliance.

By clicking on the thumbnails below, you will be taken to airliners.net where these images are from:

Special LAN livery - c by Baires Aviation Photography  JAL special livery - c by Weimeng  JAL special livery - c by Seno Fumiaki

I’m looking for seeing more oneworld themed special aircraft paintings at American Airlines (with their shiny aluminium design), British Airways or Malev Hungarian Airlines for example.

by balint01

Air Asia Airbus in Williams F1 Livery

AirAsia WilliamsF1 livery Airbus A320 - by F1live.com

AirAsia is a sponsor of the Williams F1 team, and has recently extended the 3 year contract. As the 2008 Formula-1 championship was kicked off a week ago in Melbourne, Australia, the second round is arriving to Kuala Lumpur for the coming weekend. To mark the Malaysian Grand Prix and the sponsorship with Williams, AirAsia has painted one of its Airbus A320’s into a special, Williams F1 livery.

The aircraft, whose livery is an exact look-alike of the AT&T Williams racing car, with Williams’ traditional racing colours of blue and white, whilst the ‘nose’ of the aircraft is designed to look like Nico Rosberg’s racing helmet. At the belly of the aircraft you can also find painted Bridgestone tyres in the front and in the aft part as well. The aircraft (new registration number: 9M-AFW) was named ‘Sir Frank Williams’ in tribute to Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams.

Nico Rosberg said: “It has been incredible to see the AT&T Williams livery on AirAsia’s plane. I’m delighted that the design of my helmet, which I have been racing with all my life, has been used to create a lasting tribute to the team’s partnership with Air Asia.” Kazuki Nakajima has added: “I am very impressed at how well the Williams Toyota FW30’s design has translated to the SFW30 Airbus. I think we would all like to thank AirAsia for this great venture and we are proud to be associated with the Airline of the Year 2007. This is indeed a source of inspiration to both of us going into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.”

A high resolution picture of the plane on airliners.net by Rajesh Changela:

Link to airliners.net for the Large photo

by balint01

White Plane at Bratislava

According to news from Slovakia, the plane on the picture below has been sitting on the apron at Bratislava international airport for quite some time (for weeks according to one of the commercial TV stations in Slovakia and published by the Hungarian News Agency – MTI as well). As we can see on this picture, the plane has no livery painted, only a US registration number, even that painted with hard-to-see grey color on the white aircraft body. Just by doing a little research on the internet and looking for this registration number in search engines, we can see the following “unfolding story” of the aircraft itself:

  • the plane used to be operated by Continental Airlines until around late 2005,
  • 2006 January, it began appearing at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany, with still blue tail, but without the Continental logo, it also showed up at least once in Luxembourg (according to Airframes.org it was delivered to Vision Air on 2006-01-09)
  • 2006 February and March, more spotting in Frankfurt,
  • 2006 May already saw the aircraft with a white tail, showing up in Budapest, Hungary, some pictures providing such information that it was to fly to Washington with a stop in Iceland,
  • 2006 September, it is spotted in Budapest, Hungary again,
  • 2007 July already sees the aircraft flying out of Bratislava – where it is still stationed in March 2008, according to the reports spreading today around the internet.

Here is the public information about ownership and history of the aircraft, which first flew in 1985. It’s interesting that one article on the internet mentions this same plane flying together with another, which is claimed to be inolved in CIA operations.

White Boeing 737 in Bratislava (from airliners.net)

Photo: Andras Kisgergely. More photos from this photographer here. 

The above mentioned reports spreading in the news try to find the reason, why this plane may be sitting on the apron at the International Airport of the Slovakian capital, which is a member of the European Union since 2004. According to the Slovakian press, the plane hasn’t flown in the last few weeks, but the engine is started up everyday as a check-up. They also claim that only one person (whose citizenship is supposedly US) has access to this aircraft. If it’s true that they run the engine everyday for a few minutes, it proves the theory suggested by the reports that this is a back-up plane for some sort of operations. What kind of operations require such a back-up plane to be always ready to fly? The same reports also suggest that it may be supporting secret CIA missions and operations, where the CIA still transports whatever and whoever they wish through European Air Space, what more, uses a European Union airport as a supporting base.

We as an airline blog do not wish to be involved in the guessing of what this airplane does and why it is where it is, we’ll leave this for the regular media. For us it was just interesting to hear that there’s an “unregistered” plane at Bratislava – which as you can see above is not “unregistered”, it has an official owner and is registered in the Unites States of America and has a public history of flying around different airports.

by balint01

Inside The A380 Cockpit

Here we go. For those who will never have the chance to get into the cockpit of an A380 here is the great opportunity for a virtual walkaraound in the pilots’ cabin of an A380.

Many thanks to our friends for this great link! Click on the image below:

A380 cockpit

By Szafi

Mriya, The Supersize Cargo Plane

On 19 Jan 2008 Budapest had a very special visitor, the most giant airplane, the AN 225 aka Mriya. Its name means Dream in Ukrainian and as the history of the plane shows, it has always remained the dream project of the Antonov Factory. The super cargo plane came to Budapest for some instruments used to forecast earthquakes.

With its maximum take-off weight (640 tons) at the moment this is the heaviest plane of the world. It can deliver 250 tons of useful cargo weight, which is 100 tons more than the most modern giant plane, the A380. After its maiden flight 21 Dec 1988, it set more records in the history of aviation.

Mriya was originally planned to support the Buran orbiter program by transporting the orbiter when needed. As the Soviet Union was over, the orbiter program was stopped and no more AN 225s were needed. Therefore this is the only airworthy Mriya in the world.

Specification

General characteristics

* Crew: 6
* Payload: 250,000 kg (550,000 lb)
* Door dimensions: 440 x 640 cm (14.4 x 21.0 ft)
* Length: 84 m (275.6 ft)
* Wingspan: 88.40 m (290 ft 2 in)
* Height: 18.1 m (59.3 ft)
* Wing area: 905.0 m² (9,743.7 ft²)
* Empty weight: 175,000 kg (385,800 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 600,000 kg (1,322,773 lb)
* Powerplant: 6× ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229 kN (51,600 lbf) each
* Takeoff run: 3,500 m (11,500 ft) with maximum payload

Performance

* Maximum speed: 850 km/h (460 knots, 530 mph)
* Cruise speed: 750 km/h (400 knots, 465 mph)
* Range:

o With maximum fuel: 14,000 km (8,700 mi)

o With maximum payload: 4,000 km (2,500 mi)

* Service ceiling 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
* Wing loading: 662.9 kg/m² (135.5 lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 0.234
Check out the nice pictures taken by a friend of ours, Viktor Laszlo.

MriyaMriyaMriyaMriyaMriyaMriyaMriyaMriya

By Szafi

Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” - a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! :)

By Szafi and balint01

Special Aircraft Paintings

Hungarian beauty queen, giant salmon, flying panda, Mickey Mouse, Santa hit by a plane. What do they have in common? They were all used by airlines for marketing purposes, thus as aircraft paintings they all made our blue sky more colorful. Following the success of our earlier post about Sexy Stewardess Uniforms, we collected the most extravagant aircraft paintings.

The outfit of the aircrafts is one of the most important image tool of all airlines. Although there have been some airlines that sold the aircraft’s body for commercial purposes, still aircraft paintings are used for image strengthening. Here are the best aircraft paintings.

Sky Europe – Zsuzsa Laky

Sky Europe - Zsuzsa LakyZsuzsa Laky was Miss Hungary and Miss Europe in 2003. Slovakian-based Sky Europe had a hub in Budapest (Hungary) as well, so they contracted her to promote Hungary as a destination. Her full body shape picture covered the side of a B737-700. Zsuzsa’s face was also used in 2003 and 2004 by the Hungarian Tourism Board on billboards all over Europe to promote Hungary.

Alaska Airlines – Salmon-Thirty-Salmon

Alaska Airlines Salmon-Thirty-SalmonAlaska Airlines is the biggest air cargo company delivering sea fishbetween Alaska and the mainland US and Alaska and Europe. To emphasize their role in sea food transportation, they painted a giant salmon on one of their aircrafts. The name of the aircraft is a word game. Instead of Seven-Thirty-Seven they called it Salmon-Thirty-Salmon. Nice idea. :)

Alaska Airlines – Make a wish

Alaska Airlines Make a wishThe giant salmon was not the only special livery at Alaska Airlines. Together with the “Make-a-wish” foundation they decorated an aircraft with Genie from the Disney movie Aladdin. Alaska Airlines supported the foundation by taking children to places they wished to travel. On the first flight of the plane featuring Genie six children travelled from Seattle to Disneyland in California.

All Nippon Airways – Fly! Panda

Fly Panda 1To celebrate 35 years of freindly relationship between China and Japan and the 20th anniversary of the Tokyo – Beijing flight, All Nippon Airways chose the character of a Panda to be painted on their aircraft. It is not just the outift of the aircraft, the interior and the uniform of the staff is also themed of the kind, black-and-white bear.

JAL – Dream Express

JAL - Dream StoryIt was not just Alaska Airlines cooperating with Disney. JAL also painted 5 + 1 of its aircrafts “Disneyish”. The family members were the following: “Friends” with white background, “Sweet” with pink background, “Family” with blue background, 2 planes named “Tokyo Disney Sea” with blueish water-like background and the extra 6th plane with the nose of Mickey Mouse called “Dream story” and its livery is based on the story of an elementary school girl.

Lufthansa – Football World Championship

Lufthansa WCFor Germany 2006 was a historical year. After its reunion the Football (soccer) World Championship was the biggest sport event, when they could finally show thw world they are a nation, they are good hosts and their team is again good at football. They started preparations a year before the event. One of the first visual promotion of the championship was that Lufthansa painted the nose of its Airbus aircrafts looking like a soccer ball.

Air Asia – Manchester United

Air Asia Manchester United LiveryAir Asia is a low cost airline in the Far-East, where Manchester United football (soccer) club is very popular. The marketing managers of Air Asia found it a good opportunity to aim at this target group by painting one of their aircrafts Manchester United-like. The aircraft was called the Red Devil Airbus and it featured the key players and the trainer of the famous British soccer club. The players painted on the plane were: Sir Alex Ferguson, Park Ji Sing, Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Smith, Rio Ferdinand.

Christmas

Santa hit by a planeChristmas – as all holidays – is one of the highest seasons in air travel. Airlines naturally prepare a lot for the holiday season. We can see Santa Claus livery on planes many times, especially on Finnair flights as Finnland is the official home of Santa. This is my favorite Santa painting, although I never managed to find out the airline itself.

And here is a collection of paintings not mentioned in the article.

Fly Panda 2

ANA - Snoopy

Concorde Pepsi

Itali Airlines Clouds

Dream Express Family

Sky Airlines Adam and Eve

By Szafi

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