Archive for April, 2008

Special Iron Maiden Livery

It has been quite a while since we last wrote about Bruce Dickinson and his big jet. As you learn from that article, celebs often fly themselves as pilots. Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden for example is an official pilot for a UK based small charter airline called Astraeus.

Now the famous rock band Iron Maiden is again up for something fresh and new. They are on their new “Somewhre back in time” tour. Well, this is nothing special so far, is it?

The big thing is that now fans can join the band on board their tour jet – with Mr Brucwe Dickinson himself as first officer on it, fly with them to the scene of the next concert, stay at a hotel and fly back together with them the next day. The funky thing is that the whole package costs only £349 – £399 depending on the scene.

B757 with special Iron Maiden livery

Costs also include:

Captain Bruce Dickinson– Exclusive themed Bruce Air ED FORCE ONE goodie bag
– Personally signed photo of Bruce in Ed Force One
– Standing ticket to the Iron Maiden concert
– Bus transfers at destination to venue and to and from hotel where trip includes hotel.

The aircraft itself has a special Iron Maiden livery with the skull known from the album cover on the tail of the Boeing 757. You can book your flight on the special charter with Captain Bruce Dickinson on now. You can read more on Iron Maiden’s official website.


By Szafi

Emirates Looking for A380 Crew

According to ATW News, Emirates has initiated the next phase in welcoming the Airbus A380 superjumbo into its fleet in August: hiring flight crew!

Here is a video of the Emirates livery A380 flying above Dubai:

The Aviation College of Emirates will begin accepting A380 personnel to its crew training program in early June. Emirates will have 489 seats in its A380, and plans to operate it with 24 cabin staff onboard a normal flight meaning that there is one flight attendant for every 20 passegengers. Just as a comparison, a regular narrow-body Airbus A320 or Boeing B737 flies with around 4-5 flight attendants per 150 passengers meaning that there is one flight attendant for every 30-35 passengers only. It is interesting that they plan to have a little more than about six complete crews for every aircraft. There will be 158 employees trained for the first four A380s scheduled to arrive in 2008 and they will be selected from current Boeing 777 and Airbus A330/A340 staff, Senior VP-Service Delivery Terry Daly told ATWOnline in Dubai. This also shows just how complicated of a process it is to introduce a new aircraft to an airline’s fleet.

In average, 90 new flight attendants join Emirates each week and the carrier currently employs 9,200 cabin staff from 116 countries. “Four years ago, the number of cabin crew was around 4,000. By 2012-13 we will have a total of 18,000,” Daly said. The carrier is sending recruiters throughout its worldwide network to hire more staff. He said just 5% of applicants eventually are hired.

by balint01

Successful Jump With Leonardo’s Parachute

Da Vinci\'s parachute500 years ago renessaince genius Leonardo da Vinci designed the parachute. Now, 5 centuries later a Swiss amateur parachuter built it and made a successful jump with it.

The Swiss jumper, Mr Vietti-Teppa was not the first person, who tried it. A British parachuter, Adrian Nicholas jumped with it in 2000, but had to use a modern backup parachute to complete the jump.

Leonardo’s parachute is made of 4 equilateral triangles and shapes a pyramid. The specification was written in a document originateing from 1485.

The only problem it has – says the Swissman – that it is impossible to maneuver with it. You just come down at the whim of the wind.

(Photo: AFP)
By Szafi

1 Killed, 10 Injured in German Air Show

A small turboprop plane hit the crowd of spectators at an air show in Germany, Kindel Airfield near Eisenach on 26 April. The small plane failed to take off and it ran into the crowd of onlookers.

1 person, a 45-year-old woman was killed and 10 suffered serious injuries including the 35-year-old pilot. Other seven were lightly injured, including 2 children.

The plane also hit a children’s carousel, which luckily did not operate at the time of the accident.

The aircraft involved was a Zlin Z-37 Cmelak, a Czech built single-seater plane which had been used by authorities in former East Germany as a cropduster.

By Szafi

Friday Fun – Red Bull Helicopter

The 2008 Red Bull Air Race Series have just gone underway last Sunday with the season-opener in Abu Dhabi, and in recent years, the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter has visited most of the races as well. So watch out for this customized Eurocopter BO-105 CBS 4 Twin engine helicopter that has a Rigid Rotor system (fixed rotor) why it can do aerobatics. We hope it will be present on the Budapest Race as well, following last year’s amazing and really breathtaking show. If you attend any of the races this year, try to keep your head up all the time even in between the rounds of the actual Race, to see this helicopter piloted by Chuck Aaron.

one from Budapest in 2006:

And the last one including Chuck’s comments live while doing the loops:

You can find a lot more videos on YouTube if you like these just search for the Red Bull Helicopter and enjoy your Friday!

by balint01

Are You A Passenger Or A Criminal?

Cavity search, biometric data, pat-down, body screening. What is next? A regular passenger is checked more often than an average criminal in jail. Is it really necessary?

As CNN reported yesterday (April 16), two majos US airports – Los Angeles LAX and New York JFK – will start to use body screening machines. The machines had been tested in Phoenix, Arizona and apparently it proved to be useful as more passenegrs chose to go through the body screener than having a pat-down.

When I read this part of the article, I was really surprised. I am not pleased by a pat-down, still I would prefer it to a body screening machine, where all bits of my body could be seen for a complete stranger. May be it just my “feminist aggression” that says: no, I have the right to decide who can see my body.

Then I kept on reading and I understood it:

Travelers will continuously and randomly be selected to go through the machine. While signs will inform them of the pat-down option, screeners will not announce that choice. But passengers electing not to go through the millimeter wave machine will be given the option of the pat-down.

You have the right, you just won’t be informed about it. Now that is nice, isn’t it? Bad news for passengers departing from the US is that TSA is planning to buy 30 more machines. Once a business is blossoming…

Body screeningI understand it, that they just want to protect us, regular travellers from being blown up on a passenger jet and I agree that airline safety is first priority for them, but is it really necessary? Is there anything on earth that this wil show on a human body and those beeping gates do not filter out? Is it still about safety?

Basically it has become a nightmare to fly in or out of the US. Hours of queues at the immigration when travelling in including fingerprint and eye check and now body screening when travelling out. Why is it much more simple in the EU?

(photo by USA Today)
By Szafi

BA Executives Were Fired For Terminal 5 Chaos

As Airline World reported earlier, huge chaos followed the grand opening of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. At that time probably the whole world thought it was going to be some temporary inconvenience and after a few days everything would turn out right. But it has not happened. 3 weeks after Terminal 5 was opened for British Airways’ passengers exclusively, still baggages get lost due to technical problems.

Heathrow Terminal 5Although it is still not quite clear who is to blame for that as the planning went on in cooperation with British Airport Authorities, British Airways CEO Willie Walsh had some tough moments in the past few weeks in front of tv cameras and microphones of reporters. (The toughest meeting with the shareholders of BA is yet to come for him….) Again a lot of people expected him to resign. Instead he released two high-level executives: operations director Gareth Kirkwood and customer service director David Noyes.

The next big step will be the long haul flights to depart from Terminal 5. Originally this move was planned for April 30, then a delay for June was announced, but yesterday (April 15) Mr Walsh said it was more probably to happen only in October.

By Szafi

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