Archive for the 'B747' Category

United Airlines Low Approach at Frankfurt

Following last weekend’s lucky but scary Lufthansa landing in strong crosswind, here’s another interesting video, again from Germany, but this time from the busy Frankfurt International Airport, where a retiring United Airlines captain was given the chance to make a low approach and a fly-by on his last flight as a commercial airliner captain, who even “waves goodbye” with his Jumbo Jet. It’s really nice from the ATC (Air Traffic Control) to allow such an event, it was probably one of the least busy periods of the day.

If any of you were on that flight, please share your experiences with the readers of this blog!

[Andreas and Thomas, thanks for the link!]

by balint01

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Qantas B747 Emergency Over Bangkok

Qantas B747On 7 Jauary 2008 a Qantas B747 lost electric power and had to land using its backup power system. Landing was successful and no passengers were injured. Today the B747-400 aircraft that lost electrical power on descent into Bangkok on 7 January was now back in normal operation.

Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said the pilots had handled this unusual situation in line with their training. Mr Borghetti said the incident was triggered by water entering the generator control unit, which
caused loss of power. The aircraft had automatically reverted to standby power.
“The aircraft was subjected to stringent inspections and testing in Bangkok before being cleared to fly,” he said.“As is normal practice, we are conducting our own investigation as well as working with Boeing, the ATSB and CASA, on their investigations.

“As a precaution, Qantas has inspected its entire B747-400 fleet and all of these aircraft have been cleared to fly.” Mr Borghetti said that Boeing, in line with normal practice, would notify all airlines operating B747-
400s of what had occurred.

Source: Qantas

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

Boeing 747 Keeps Up With Airbus 380

Now that the first A380 took off, real competition started in the huge plane segment of the market. While Airbus developed the supersize A380, Boeing was working in parallel on Dreamliner and some facelift on the good old Jumbo jet, the Boeing 747. The Boeing company has completed firm configuration of the new Jumbo – B747-8 Intercontinental. This milestone marks the completion of the major trade studies needed to finalize the airplane’s performance and interior features.

The 747-8 program, which includes the 747-8 Intercontinental and the 747-8 Freighter, was launched in November 2005 by Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines. Lufthansa was the first airline to order the 747-8 Intercontinental in December 2006 and it is expected to be delivered in 2010.

Cargolux B747-8 ILufthansa B747-8 I

“We have designed the 747-8 Intercontinental to be the ideal airplane for serving the 400- to 500-seat market between the 777 and the A380,” said Michael Teal, deputy chief project engineer for the 747 program. “The airplane will provide airlines significantly lower operating costs, as well as improved economics and environmental performance compared to the 747-400. It also will feature a new interior that will increase passenger appeal and create a strong and very favorable first impression.”

Many of the trade studies for the 747-8 Intercontinental focused on the airplane’s interior. The airplane will incorporate interior features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture that will give passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The enhanced interior architecture is accentuated by new lighting technology that creates a perception of airy brightness and provides smooth lighting transitions to offer a more restful environment.

The 747-8 also will integrate features from the 777, including windows that equal those on the 777 (15.3 inches/38.8 centimeters tall and 10.76 inches/27.3 centimeters wide), and are larger than those on the 747-400.

B747-8 I interiorB747-8 I interiorB747-8 I interior

“The 747 family’s unique interior and structural design have provided passengers with memorable flying experiences for decades,” said Doug Ackerman, engineering interior team leader for the 747-8. “With the newly applied 787 features, passengers will know they are on a brand new airplane the moment they step on board, and enjoy a more relaxing flying experience.”

As for the airplane’s performance, the 747-8 Intercontinental will be stretched 5.6m (18.3ft) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration and approximately 14,815-km (8,000-nmi) in range. It will provide nearly equivalent trip costs to those on the 747-400 and 10 percent lower seat-mile costs, plus 28 percent greater cargo volume. The 747-8 Intercontinental also will be 16 percent more fuel efficient and 30 percent quieter than its predecessor.

With firm configuration complete, Boeing and its suppliers can begin detailed design of parts, assemblies and other systems for the 747-8 Intercontinental. The detailed designs will then be released to Boeing suppliers and factories to begin production of the airplane.

B747-8 I interior - BBJ B747-8 I interior - BBJ

The new Jumbo is also available as a Business Jet. Above you can see some interior pictures.

By Szafi

The Scandalous Road of A380

On 25 October 2007 the first scheduled flight operated by an Airbus A380 takes off from Singapore to Sydney. Tickets for the first flight were sold on e-Bay for USD 1,25 million. The total profit of the first flight will go to charity. Singapore Airlines is a very caring, proud new owner. They took part in the developments from day one. CEO Chew Choon Seng said at the delivery ceremony: “From today there is a new queen of the skies in air travel.”

The Supersize Queen

The Superjumbo is a record from many aspects. The following numbers present how outstanding this giant plane is. It is 73 m long (as a comparison the width of a soccer field is 73 m). Its wingspan is 80 m and its height is 24 m. The operating empty weight is 277 tons, while maximum take off wieght is 560 tons. Usable cabin space: 630 sq m. In the cockpit there are no more rod controls, normal PC joysticks are used isntead. The big lady requires more space on the ground, too. The early studies thought that the A380 will ruin all runways and taxiways, but the first tests show it harms concrete and asphalt less than Boeing 747 as A380 has 22 wheels, while Jumbo has 4 less. It seems that any airport can accept the A380, but still it needs more space on tha apron and during maneuvering in front of the terminal buildings. Bridges designed for double decker planes are also necessary for simultaneous passenger boarding. Naturally the huge engines make bigger turbulance than other frequently used passenger aircrafts, so more space is needed for taking off or landing after an A380.

Airbus A380 nose by Hervé Goussé (from a380delivery.com)

Flying Wonderland

The huge milady is definately luxurious. The new Singapore Airlines fleet member will carry 471 people on board (the plane itself can be seated up to 800, but the standard 3 cabin – economy, business, first – configuration can have 550 seats). The 399 economy seats will feature and a 23 cm widescreen for 100 movies, 180 TV programmes, 700 cd and 22 radio stations to choose from. The 60 business seats on the upper deck will be laid-out in a 1-2-1 formation, with each seat being 86 cm wide. The business seats convert to a fully-flat bed. The First Class Suites look something similar to old classy train cabins rather than airplane seats. They are cabins and not seats with a full size mattress, a wide screen on the wall and they can easily be transformed from a bedroom to a mini restaurant, where first class passengers can invite their first class mates for dinner. First class cabins can be paired up and opened to a bigger suite with a double bed.

A380 Interior as planned by Emirates (Business Class)

It is not just Singapore Airlines that wants to give special services to its high yield passengers. Emirates that has just reseated it 777 fleet with first class cabins resembling the spirit of the old Orient-Express. They are expected to present similar luxury on board their new A380s. They will probably create more social scenes as well, such as a bar or a fitness room at least that is what Virgin Atlantic plans to do, so they must keep themselves competitive. 🙂 Qantas also plans a bar and even their business class seats will have built-in massage function. Lufthansa has just presented the first part of their new First Class concept by opening a new First Class lounge at Frankfurt and Munich.

The long and winding road

Airbus started planning the development of a Megaliner – as they called it at that time. Their goal was to break the dominance of Boeing in the giant planes segment with its very successful 747. Other competitors also tried to enter the market, but they all failed. It was clearly visible that this segment is too small for more than 2 models, therefore Airbus and Boeing joined efforts and wrote a feasibility study of a common plane together. The common development never started, so following the decision of Airbus’ Supervisory Board on 19 december 2000, a EUR 8.8 bllion project was started. The number 8 in the A380 is a symbol of the double deck and in many Far-Eastern cultures it is a lucky number (and as mentioned above, Singapore Airlines took part from the first day). The number was not that lucky in this case though as the project missed its deadline by 1,5 years and overdrafted its budget by EUR 2.2 billion. The first delay was announced in June 2005 blaming the enormous amount (530 km) of cables needed for each oaircraft. The next delay came in June 2006 followed by a 26% drop in the value of Airbus and the owner company EADS shares. At this point there were serious consequences and the CEO of EADS and Airbus and the A380 programme manager had to leave their companies. It was the new CEO who announced the biggest delay in October 2006 and successfully estimating the first delivery to happen a year later. In connection with the delays, a new scandal came into the sight of both the media and the French parliament. It appeared that before the June 2006 delay announcement, EADS and Airbus high level managers sold their shares. They are accused with internal trading and now a legal procedure is on against them.

What is next?

Seventeen airlines have ordered the A380, including an order from aircraft lessor ILFC. Total orders for the A380 stand at 190, of which 165 were firm as of 30 September 2007. Airbus expects to sell a total of 750 aircraft, and estimated break-even at 420 units, increased from 270 due to the delays and the falling exchange rate of the US dollar. In April 2007, Airbus CEO Louis Gallois said that break-even had risen further, but declined to give the new figure. Industry analysts anticipate between 400 and 880 sales by 2025. As of 2006, the list price of an A380 is US$ 296 to 316 million, depending on equipment installed.

CEO’s celebrating the delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines

It is still unprojectable whether the business model of such a huge tin lady will be successful or not. It can be operated profitably by airlines taht have many long haul flights with huge number of passengers on these routes. The number of such airlines is limited and due to travel seasons it is not sure that even on these routes they can always fill this huge bird. Anyway we keep our fingers crossed, because when seeing such scientific development, we can always see our own evolution.

By Szafi and Balint01

Two Planes Collided At London Heathrow Airport

Yesterday evening two planes collided on the runway during preparation for taking off. Nobody was injured, although passengers panicked and about 20 fire engines were called to the scene, which understandably strengthened their bad feelings. The two planes involved were a Boeing 747 operated by British Airways on its way to Singapore and an Airbus A340 heading for the Maldives, operated by Sri Lankan Airlines.

According to witnesses one of the engines of the BA Jumbo fell onto the ground after the other aircraft’s wing hit it. In the picture of AP news agency it is not visible, but it is clear that the 747’s winglet was torn down and cut in half by the Airbus.

Collision at London Heathrow

Passengers were safely evacuated and they were offered compensation. The reasons are not known yet, investigations started and we will hopefully learn about the result very soon. Unfortunately Heathrow is one of the most crowded airports of the world and as AirlineWorld reported it earlier, the new terminal will not be open for passengers earlier than next March. BAA is often criticized for the delays at Heathrow Airport as more than one third of the airlines leave Heathrow more than 15 minutes late.

We will give you updates about the investigation as soon as results will be available. Please make sure you add Airline World blog to your favorites and your RSS reader.

By Szafi

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