Those of us in the Seattle AvGeek scene are all too familiar with Honeywell Aerospace Flight Test’s Convair 580 (reg N580HW) based at Paine Field (PAE) [where Boeing makes their 747, 767, 777 (for now) & most 787 aircraft]. The aircraft is serial number 2, it was built in 1952. It is not every day that you have the opportunity to see a 61-year-old aircraft in operational service, let alone fly on one. This was my lucky day.
At the time, I was not sure if I would be getting a flight on the Convair of their Sabreliner (N670H). Shortly after my arrival, I was told that we would all be hopping aboard N580HW — I was thrilled, but also at the same time kind of jealous of the Sabre crew!
A smattering of airline pajamas… how many is to many? – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
With so much talk in the past of pajamas in first and business classes, another story on pajamas was due, right? You’re not sick of it all yet, are you? If you do not remember the previous stories, feel free to take a look:
Why is looking at pajamas something important? I feel they are a link to the past of almost all airlines having high-end service and they are an aspect of an airline’s premium cabin that often get overlooked. There are a few more that I have been able to check out, and I wanted to share my thoughts.
Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner – love that wing! - Image: Air Canada
Air Canada has just released details of a new cabin design for their soon-to-be-received Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The first three aircraft will be delivered to Air Canada in the spring of 2014. The first AC route to receive the 787 will be Toronto (YYZ) to Tel Aviv (TLV), starting in July 2014, and you can book it now. The Dreamliners will also fly on select domestic Canada and international flights on a “preview” basis as they come into the fleet, which we’ve seen with other new 787 operators.
Not unlike AC’s new 777-300s, the Dreamliners will have three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. The 787-8s will have a total of 251 seats (comparable to LOT Polish’s 787s, seating 252, which we featured earlier this year). Air Canada describes the 787′s cabin color palette of slate grey and neutral tones, accented with “Canadian red” and “celeste blue”, as being contemporary and sophisticated.
The 787′s Business Class isn’t like J-class in the new 777 or older AC planes. The new 787-8 configuration is a “reverse herringbone”, with four-across seating in a 1-2-1 setup, for a total of 20 lie-flat seats. AC’s older wide-bodies have a “herringbone” Business Class, where the seats face towards the aisle. Instead, the outer pods in the 787 will face the windows, and be angled towards each other in the middle of the cabin. I’m looking forward to seeing this setup; it isn’t easy to look out the window in the current J-class, and it’s challenging to chat with a partner when you’re both in the opposite-facing middle seats. The 787′s window seats might be a bit quieter, too, because your head won’t be up against the outer wall of the fuselage.
Hot damn – over 21,000 miles in less than four days is quite the adventure, but I signed up for it with smile. To cover the world’s two longest flights, I recently traveled from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN) to Newark (EWR) and back home again to Seattle. Lots of miles, lots of time in the air, and lots of good fun.
Although I was looking forward to a big high-end adventure, it all started with a bus ride to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, followed by an economy flight on Alaska Airlines to LAX. I felt that with each step towards Singapore I was going a bit more upscale.
Checking in at LAX – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter.com
Getting down to LAX was easy and uneventful. I took an early flight to make sure that I had plenty of time to check out the new international terminal at LAX, but I always forget that the ticket counters do not open so early. Luckily, there were some food options that allowed me to eat before I was able to check in (have to say that the food quality at the Daily Grill was quite disappointing this trip).
I checked in and was escorted by the airline to the new Star Alliance Lounge for a tour. I was hoping to also have the time for a full tour of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal, but with the lounge and Airbus A340-500 tour, I wasn’t able to – next time.
On Sunday of this week, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos made some pretty outrageous claims about the future of his company. Specifically, he said his goal is for Amazon Prime customers to receive parcels within half an hour of purchase.
Okay, so what? Ordinarily us Airline Reporters don’t really cover matters of delivery. We’re happy to talk about FedEx, UPS, and other cargo carriers that bring goods to integration centers and then, eventually, to customers. This, right here, is the future of delivery. Point-to-point, airborne, and unmanned.
The quadrocopter is not a new concept in the door-to-door delivery world. University students have toyed with the idea for such things as pizza delivery. This is the first attempt that I would call serious.