Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 228,152
2013: 330,818

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Aviation Geek Fest 2015 Dates Set

AGF15

We heard the feedback from many of you! Aviation Geek Fest 2015 will NOT be over the Valentine’s Day weekend (also Presidents Day weekend). AGF15 will be held on February 21st and 22nd, 2015 in Seattle.

I know you want more details, but at this time, that is all that we have. In the next few months, we will be working hard with the Future of Flight, Museum of Flight, and Boeing to come up some great AvGeek adventures. There will be some things that look familiar and hopefully some new things as well.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for the AGF15 email list. Any updates will be sent via that list and posted on AirlineReporter.

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I - Photo: The Boeing Company

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I – Photo: The Boeing Company

I know, I know, you all want details, but we just don’t have them yet — but soon. If you have ideas in what you want to see for Aviation Geek Fest 2015, then feel free to leave them in the comments, but no promises.

Likely tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, as they have been in previous years. They sold out in about 3 minutes last year — they are in high demand.

What is Aviation Geek Fest? Oh man… hold on to your boots — it is a two-day aviation adventure of epic proportions. See what we have done in the past:

Thanks everyone for your amazing support with this event and we cannot wait to see you in February!

Flying High at Ground Level – Checking out Alaska Airlines’ New Flight Simulator

The HUD on Alaska Airline's newest flight simulator

The HUD on Alaska Airlines’ newest flight simulator. Notice Mount Rainier off in the distance on the left.

When Alaska Airlines recently reached out to me, asking if I would like some time in their brand-spanking-new Boeing 737-800 flight simulator, I didn’t know if I should reply with just “yes,” or “hell yes.” (I actually think I went for the latter).

The simulator was so new that it hasn’t been added to Alaska’s training schedule (that will start next week). That was a huge benefit, because it allowed me to experience the simulator for over an hour. I have had the opportunity to be in six other simulators, but typically they are in high demand, so the max time in one is about 15-20 minutes. I was excited to give this one a full-on ride.

Taxiing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. The attention to detail was amazing.

Taxiing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. The attention to detail was amazing.

Captain Burton, our instructor Dave, PR guru Halley and I had a great time (I felt special that I was given the Captain’s seat). We flew by downtown Seattle, made a difficult approach into Juneau, completed a foggy aborted landing, and more. The only thing Captain Burton wouldn’t let us do is a barrel roll — that’s okay, but I had to ask.

To learn more and follow along with my simulator adventure, check out the full story (with more photos and video) on Alaska Airlines’ new blog. When you are done there, you can also check out more photos of the simulator and Alaska’s flight operations center on our Flickr.

Continue Reading Flying High at Ground Level – Checking out Alaska’s New Flight Simulator

Interview: Flying on the World’s Most Interesting Aircraft

The flight deck on the Air Koryo IL-62.

The flight deck on the Air Koryo IL-62 – Photo: Bernie Leighton

Some people might think our own Bernie Leighton, AirlineReporter Managing Correspondent, is crazy. He has had the opportunity to fly around the world on some old and unique airplanes others might be afraid to step foot on. But Bernie throws caution to the wind and looks to fly on planes that make many AvGeeks jealous. The specialty aircraft he has flown and reported on, via AirlineReporter, include:

Biman DC-10 ready for boarding - Photo: Bernie Leighton

Biman DC-10 ready for boarding – Photo: Bernie Leighton

And that is not to mention the “normal” airplanes he flies on too, like the 747, Q400 and G650. Since he has experienced so many different types of aircraft, I wanted to interview him and have him share his ideas. Here is our interview:

Continue reading Interview: Flying on the World’s Most Interesting Aircraft

The Unique Boeing 737-700C Gets Some Love

Composite image of an Air Algerie Boeing 737-700C - Image: Boeing

Composite image of an Air Algerie Boeing 737-700C – Image: Boeing

The Boeing 737-700C is an interesting aircraft. What makes it unique is its ability to convert from passengers to cargo depending on how the airline wants to use it. If you have heavy passenger flow during the summer, but more cargo during the winter, being able to convert between the two is quite helpful.

What also makes the 737-700C unique is that, like the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), it has strengthened wings, different than the standard passenger 737-700. When in passenger configuration, the plane can hold 120-140 seats and fly 3,205nm. In an all-cargo set up, it can haul 40,000 pounds and fly 2,880nm.

The model was launched back in September 1997, when the US Naval Reserve ordered two and called them the C-40A Clipper. This was a big deal, since there had not been a convertible version of the 737 built from the Next Generation-version of the 737 at the time.

The US Navy currently operates 12 C-40As to move personnel and supplies around the world. Think of it as an airliner for the military.

Continue reading The Unique Boeing 737-700C Gets Some Love

Catching Up with the New Eastern Air Lines

A model at Farnborough showing the EAL livery on the MRJ90 - Photo: Jon Ostrower

A model at Farnborough showing the Eastern livery on the MRJ90 – Photo: Jon Ostrower

Whenever there is news that a startup airline is going to launch with a classic name-sake, I get a little excited. When press releases started coming in saying that Eastern Air Lines was going to start up again, I was happy, but of course skeptical.

Even back in May when they signed an initial order with Boeing and placed deposits for 10 737-800NG and 10 737 MAX 8 aircraft, I was unsure about the viability of the airline.

Then, last week at the Farnborough Airshow, they announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for 20 Mitsubishi MRJ90 aircraft, with purchase rights to an additional 20. Now, I am starting to pay a bit more attention.

Continue reading Catching Up with the New Eastern Air Lines