Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 290,939
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,212,540


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Photo Tour of an Airbus Beluga A300-600ST

The Airbus Beluga 1 sits in the morning sun

Airbus Beluga 1 sits in the morning sun

Living in Seattle, I get to see the Boeing Dreamlifter quite often. It is an odd-looking plane with an attitude that I just love. I had never been able to see its counterpart, the Airbus Beluga, and when I heard it was going to be attending Hamburg Airport Days, I was excited to get my first look.

When entering the event, I looked around and couldn’t find it, but I was assured that the plane was there — somewhere. I figured that it is not exactly the type of aircraft that can easily hide.

Sure enough, as I turned a corner… there it was. One big, bold, and beautiful plane. Not like supermodel beautiful, but a sort of beauty that… well, only an AvGeek could love.

The view from the main cargo deck, into the crown at Hamburg

The view from the main cargo deck, into the crown at Hamburg

As I walked around and took photos, I was asked by my Lufthansa hosts if I had any questions. “Yes, can I tour the inside?” Being the gracious folks that they were, they said that they would see what they could do. Knowing that it might be challenging to find an Airbus representative and arrange a media tour at the last minute, I kept my expectations in check. Of course I was hoping for the best.

Shortly after, I was told that we could tour the plane, but it had to be quick (like five minutes-quick). I was asked if I was still interested, all I could do was grow a big grin and say, “heck yes, let’s do it!”

Continue reading Photo Tour of an Airbus Beluga A300-600ST

Flying on the Lufthansa Junkers JU-52 in Hamburg

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One of the pilots cleans the windshield of this three-engined beauty

When I got the invite to head to Hamburg for a few days to check out Lufthansa Technik, I was interested. When I saw that part of the trip involved flying on a Junkers Ju-52 that was built in 1936… I was sold.

The Lufthansa Ju-52 sits at Hamburg Airport.

The Lufthansa Ju-52 sits at Hamburg Airport

Over the years, I have been able to fly on many airliners, but most were built in my lifetime. I haven’t had the privilege on flying on any real classic aircraft like this, and given that it is a three-engined, well-maintained beast, I just couldn’t help but be giddy.

Continue reading Flying on the Lufthansa Junkers JU-52 in Hamburg

Riding on the Upper Deck of an EVA Air Boeing 747 – In Economy Class

My EVA Air Boeing 747-400 in Seattle, after I landed

My EVA Air 747-400 in Seattle, after I landed

Typically, flying on the upper deck of a Boeing 747 is an exclusive affair. When the jumbo jet was first introduced, the upper section was a lounge for premium passengers. More recently, most airlines put premium seats up top. This means that most don’t have the ability to experience the upper deck. Unless you have the means, a job willing to pay, the miles to upgrade, or some extra luck, you’re relegated to the main deck.

However, there have been a few airlines that have configured their 747s with economy on the upper deck. Today, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and EVA Air are the only ones to offer the option. With many airlines constantly upgrading their fleet, and the 747-400 thus being phased out, the ability to fly economy up top on the “Queen of the Skies” will soon be a thing of the past.

The upper deck of my Boeing 747-400

The upper deck of my Boeing 747-400

I recently had a flight home from Taipei (TPE) to Seattle (SEA) on EVA Air, and the airline kindly put me in business class (pretty much standard procedure when flying on press-related trips). At first, it didn’t fully make sense to them when I asked if I could give up my business class seat in the nose of the 747 for an economy seat on the upper deck. But that is exactly what I worked hard for; I was never as excited to fly in economy.

Continue reading Riding on the Upper Deck of an EVA Air Boeing 747 – In Economy Class

ANA Shows Off Two New Star Wars Themed Liveries

All three ANA Star Wars liveries - Photo: ANA

All three ANA Star Wars liveries – Photo: ANA

YES — AvGeek and Star Wars goodness together!

ANA has just announced that they will be putting two new Star Wars themed liveries to their fleet, which will jin the previously announced R2-D2 ANA Jet on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The first will feature BB-8, a brand new droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be on a Boeing 777-300ER.

Special Star Wars BB-8 and R2-D2 combo livery on a Boeing 767-300 - Image: ANA

Special Star Wars BB-8 and R2-D2 combo livery on a Boeing 767-300 – Image: ANA

The second will be a combination livery of BB-8 down one side and R2-D2 on the other of a Boeing 767-300. If you want to see more images, we have plenty to share…

Continue reading ANA Shows Off Two New Star Wars Themed Liveries