American’s new Airbus A321 in flight – Photo: Eric Dunetz
A while back, I viewed a tweet about an Air Traffic Control (ATC) conversation in New York, where JFK ATC got a little bit confused about an aircraft type. American Airlines (AA) Flight 32 was incorrectly called a “heavy” aircraft, likely because for so long that flight was operated by a Boeing 767-200. Ever since AA debuted their new Airbus A321 on the LAX-JFK route, this flight no longer needs to use the “heavy” designation, but that didn’t stop the ATC staff from using old habits. It made me question, at what point does an aircraft become “heavy”?
When aircraft are approaching or departing an airport, they must use special designations to help avoid the wake turbulence from other aircraft. Larger aircraft, like a 767 or an A340, need more space behind them to prevent the wake vortices generated by the larger wing span from impacting other aircraft. The bigger the aircraft, the longer the distance.
The dangers are real, as all over the world a number of incidents have occurred that can be attributed to a wake vortex. From the crash of an XB-70 in the 60′s to some involving more modern aircraft in the last 10 years (including an A380 in Sydney).
Continue reading What Makes a Heavy, Heavy?
A hybrid Qatar Airways/Airbus livery is painted onto the latest test A350XWB – Photo: Airbus
In Toulouse, France this past week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made a visit to inspect the Airbus A350XWB manufacturing line ahead of the first delivery of the type to the airline later this year. As Al Baker inspected the A350 line, along with senior Qatar & Airbus management, Airbus revealed a special livery for their latest aircraft (MSN004).
MSN004 was painted in a hybrid Airbus & Qatar Airlines launch customer livery. Part Qatar Airways at the front, and the standard Airbus livery in the rear, the most noticeable features are the striking Oryx logos, not only on the aircraft body but also on the unique A350 winglets.
The aircraft will soon join the Airbus test fleet, where it will will be used for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification, and training for the first customer pilots & maintenance teams.
Continue reading Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 – Photo: David Parker Brown
2013 is now well in our rear view mirrors as we speed along the runway of another year and it is time to look back. We have covered what we did during 2013 on AirlineReporter but what about looking at what our two favorite aircraft manufacturers did? 2013 were big years for both Boeing & Airbus on many levels, so let’s take a look at more detail of exactly what happened in the order & delivery world:
In 2013, the big air shows in Paris & Dubai flooded the order books of both manufacturers. Airbus and Boeing both had record-breaking years with 1,619 & 1,531 gross orders, respectively. The winner in this situation is obviously Airbus by a good margin; the types of orders look consistent too:
Continue reading 2013 – Boeing vs. Airbus…. Who Won?
Delta unveils special “Spirit of Seattle” livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle – Photo: Delta
There has been a lot of talk over the last few months about Delta Air Lines. They have been doing many good and smart changes, a few not so good things, and some crazy things that makes me wonder what the heck is going on. I wanted to take a look at the last few month (and maybe a bit beyond) to try and figure out what Delta has been up to.
If you wind the clock back a few months, what Delta was up to seemed to make a bit more sense than they do now. Expanding their west coast presence was a good thing. Turning the Los Angeles to San Francisco route into the equivalent of the Delta Shuttle on the west coast was smart. Adding more services to Seattle to turn it in to a new focus city is good as well, but also a little crazy. Why crazy? Well, Delta is partners with Alaska Airlines and it seems the two of them have decided to publicly show their competitive side, while still trying to be “friendly” towards frequent fliers.
Continue reading What is Delta Air Lines Up To? The Good, Bad & Ugly
My travel map for the USA… Could I tick an extra state off that list? – Image: TravBuddy.com
Each year I set some travel goals for myself; that way throughout all the craziness that may happen during the year, I have a guideline of the things I want to see or do. OshKosh was on my list, as well as my trip home to Australia back in April. I was able to complete those and needed some additional challenges.
I realized fairly late in the year, after returning from New Zealand, that I had left a goal off my list. Being new to living in the USA, I want to see more of this country that I now call home. I had set a goal to add at least one more state to my list of those visited (I was sitting at 42 and I decided that I wanted to make it to at least 43 by the new year).
My colleagues at Airline Reporter found out about this and thought they would have a bit of fun with it. I could check off a state, but I had to do it for less than $100 and make a whole weekend out of it. I accepted the challenge.
Continue reading My Challenge to Only Spend $100 for a Weekend in Kansas City