Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 25,266
2014: 363,407
Total: 946,866

The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental to Replace Air Force One

The 747-8 will be the new replacement to carry around the US President - Image: Jon Ostrower

The 747-8 will be the Air Force One replacement to carry around the U.S. President – Image: Jon Ostrower

The United States Air Force (USAF) announced the long-awaited decision of what aircraft will serve as the replacement for the presidential transport, known as Air Force One (when the President is on-board).  The choice has taken longer than most expected and the answer seemed quite obvious.

The USAF announced that the Boeing 747-8 will be the sole choice as the base aircraft for replacement of the current aircraft, the VC-25A (a modified 747-200).
Continue reading The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental to Replace Air Force One

The “Battle in Seattle” Now Involves Delta, Alaska, Football, & Planes

A Delta Aircraft getting ready to be boarded by Seattle Seahawks as they head to Phoenix for the Superbowl - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A Delta plane getting boarded by the Seahawks as they head to Phoenix for the Super Bowl

Sunday morning in Seattle, people should be drinking their morning coffee, reading a paper (or this site, obviously) or going for a morning run. But when the Seahawks are headed for the Super Bowl, the city takes on a different vibe. Streets are lined with people along the drive from the team’s offices and training facility at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) in Renton, to SeaTac for their journey to Phoenix.

The airport was surrounded by fans, family, and friends of airport staff who were plane-side to wave farewell. But their departure leads to a bigger, more important, question for AvGeeks: who, and what, were they flying?

Continue reading The “Battle in Seattle” Now Involves Delta, Alaska, Football, & Planes

Boeing vs Airbus: How Did They Do in 2014?

Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 with a KLM Boeing 747-400 in the background in Amsterdam.

Delta Air Lines Airbus A330, with a KLM Boeing 747-400 in the background, in Amsterdam – Photo: David Parker Brown

At the start of last year, we looked at the results of the 2013 deliveries between Airbus and Boeing.  With all the interest in that article, I couldn’t leave it alone for 2014, right?  So let’s take a look at how the two big airliner companies did, in what is really the biggest aviation competition around?

2014 was a big year for both Boeing and Airbus.  Last year we saw the first delivery of the A350XWB for Airbus, while Boeing also had delivery of the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand (followed closely by ANA).

On the narrowbody front, the A320NEO had its first flight (don’t those engines look like someone strapped giant engines onto the wing and went “it will work, trust me”) and the 737 MAX makes it one step closer to rolling out of the Renton factory.  There were plenty of orders made to both airliners, but what we really want to know is, who produced and sold the most aircraft?

Continue reading Boeing vs Airbus: How Did They Do in 2014?

First Boeing 767-2C Takes Flight – First Step Towards the KC-46A

People line up beside the runway at the ever popular "Windsock" at Paine Field on a Rainy Sunday morning.  The 767-2C is just about to begin its maiden flight.

People line up at the ever-popular “Windsock” at Paine Field – the 767-2C is just about to begin its maiden flight

9:40 am on a wet and grey Sunday morning in Seattle saw the first flight of an aircraft with a tumultuous history.  This wasn’t a 787 or the A350, this was a Boeing aircraft that has not had much in the way of press in recent times. However, in the past that was a different story.

The first 767-2C, the prototype that will lead to the beginning of the KC-46 program took to the air for the first time.  With it, over 12 years of history will see the USAF’s new tanker project finally start to fly.

The first 767-2C exits the runway in Everett due to a malfunction in the telemetry control.  It was able to get back to the planned flight departure a few minutes later.

The first 767-2C exits the runway in Everett due to a malfunction in the telemetry control. It was able to get back to the planned flight departure a few minutes later.

 The first flight of the 767-2C is not technically a KC-46 Pegasus tanker, but the first of four aircraft destined for the testing of this unique aircraft.  A hybrid aircraft of sorts,- made up of the fuselage of a 767-200, the wings of a -300ER, and then throw in the cockpit of Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 787, and you have this almost frankensteinish aircraft that will perform, what some think of as, the most unnatural of airborne feets, refueling other aircraft mid-flight.

Boeing’s history, not only with tankers but with this program alone, could fill page after page.  Let’s try and condense it down, shall we?

Continue reading First Boeing 767-2C Takes Flight – First Step Towards the KC-46A

Arizona’s AvGeek Heaven, Part 2 – AMARG aka “The Boneyard”

Row after row of KC-135s at AMARG

In my previous piece we talked about how great the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson was, and how much of an AvGeek dream it is to walk around.  However Pima isn’t the only reason AvGeek’s want to come to Tucson; they also come for the Boneyard.

The Boneyard, or the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group (AMARG) as it is officially known, belongs to the United States Air Force and is part of Davis Monthan Air Force Base (although technically next door).  Most of the aircraft at AMARG have come from the armed forces of the United States.  The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all send their equipment here once it has reached the end of its service life.  Some countries, such as Norway, send their military aircraft to AMARG for what this facility does best – storing military aircraft.  Before we talk about how you can visit AMARG, we need to talk first about what they do.

Continue reading Arizona’s AvGeek Heaven, Part 2 – AMARG aka “The Boneyard”