Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 93,970
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,015,570

Flight Review: Taking Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 Delivery Flight to Doha

Qatar's first Airbus A350 at Toulouse, ready to fly to Doha - Photo: Chris Sloan | AirwaysNews

Qatar’s first Airbus A350 at Toulouse, ready to fly to Doha – Photo: Chris Sloan | AirwaysNews

This story was written by Chris Sloan and originally published on AirwaysNews

At 9:28 PM LT on Tuesday, December 23, Qatar’s first A350 XWB landed in Doha–under the cover of darkness–with approximately 70 Qatar employees, VIP’s and media on-board the delivery flight from Toulouse, France.

On Monday, Airbus handed over the first A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways, and shortly after taking delivery of the aircraft, several executives and more than a hundred members of the media flew on a short demonstration flight over the Mediterranean.

The Qatar A350 Bar. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDL Multimedia

The Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 bar – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia

The delivery flight to Doha would be operated as a normal commercial scheduled flight, but just with fewer people then typical. Business Class was full while approximately ten passengers–who were all employees of Qatar–would have the two economy cabins to themselves.

A Business Class Seat on the A350. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDL Multimedia.

A Business Class seat on the Airbus A350 – Photo:  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia

As much as I was anticipating experiencing the Airbus A350 XWB in a true commercial flight, I was equally as curious in putting Qatar’s renowned SkyTrax 5-star rated Business Class, marketed and self-proclaimed as “World’s Best Business Class,” to the test. Burning questions include: Would it live up to all the hype and marketing expectations? Is it truly a First Class product at a Business Class price? Is the Airbus A350XWB cabin truly an “eXtra Wide Body” experience in the same league as its 787 competitor from Everett?

Continue reading Flight Review: Taking Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 Delivery Flight to Doha on AirwaysNews.com

Boeing’s Everett Plant: A History Of The World’s Wide-body Mecca (Part One)

Boeing's Everett Factory. Image: Airchive.com

Boeing’s Everett Factory. Image: Chris Sloan / Airchive.com

Written by Chris Sloan and originally published at Airchive.com on October 9, 2013

Editor’s note: Welcome to part one of our multi-part epoch on the fascinating history of the Boeing Everett plant. We will be rolling the series out over the next month, so sit back, grab a glass of your favorite beverage, and enjoy the read.

Nestled 22 miles north of Seattle in a woodsy suburb of Everett, Washington is Boeing’s sprawling modern miracle of an airliner factory; a place so massive, so technologically sophisticated, and so vital to the world’s aviation industry, it’s hard to wrap your head around it much less write an article about it. What began as the birthplace of the world’s first wide-body airliner, the iconic Boeing 747, is, as of the end of July 2013, the site where a little over 50% of the world’s wide-body aircraft have ever been produced. Indeed, out of 6,746 aircraft produced by Airbus, Lockheed, Douglas, Ilyushin, and Boeing combined; a staggering 3,715 have been produced at Boeing’s Everett plant.

Continue reading Boeing’s Everett Plant: A History Of The World’s Wide-body Mecca (Part One)

Boeing Relocates “Sim City” from Seattle to Miami

The Miami based Thales 787 simulators are already operating around the clock according to Boeing. Image: Chris Sloan / Airchive.com

The Miami-based Thales 787 simulators are already operating around the clock, according to Boeing.                                       Photo: Chris Sloan / Airchive.com

Reported and Photographed from Miami by: Chris Sloan, Airchive.com Editor-in-Chief

Miami is now Boeing’s “Sim City,” but Airchive’s home base has been an aviation hub dating back to the early days of the industry. Hallowed names like Pan Am, National, Eastern, Glenn Curtis, Rich International, and Air Florida have played pivotal roles in the world’s aviation industry from South Florida.  OK, maybe that last name is a bit of a stretch.

Today, Miami boasts America’s second-busiest international airport and number one international cargo airport – MIA, American Airlines’ bustling Latin American hub, and the UPS hub of the Americas. Perhaps the most iconic name in aviation, Boeing joined South Florida’s famed aviation industry in 1997 when they established a joint-venture with Flight Safety, FlightSafety Boeing Training International.

In 2002, Boeing bought out their partner. They join Airbus’ Americas Training Center and the Pan Am Flight Academy (just purchased this week by Japan’s ANA) in the little Miami suburb of Virginia Gardens, now home to one of the largest concentrations of flight simulators and commercial aviation training of any city in the world.

Continue reading Boeing Relocates “Sim City” from Seattle to Miami

Inside Boeing’s 737 Renton Factory As They “Take It To The MAX”

COPA Boeing 737 in the Renton Factory. Image by Chris Sloan.

COPA Boeing 737 in the Renton Factory. Image by Chris Sloan.

This story was written by Chris Sloan and originally was published on Airchive.com. This is the next of a multi-part series talking about the Boeing 737 factory in Renton. Read the first part: A Historical Look at Boeing’s 737 Factory in Renton and second part: Inside Boeing’s 737 Renton Factory and the Successful Next Gen.

The Boeing 737 Goes Into “MAX” Overdrive

The Boeing 737 NextGen order book continued to bulge, growing virtually unabated even through the deep worldwide economic slowdown / crisis of 2008-12. Ironically, this era of financial strife and sharply escalating fuel costs, as well as the growth of emerging markets, helped 737 and A320 sales go from strength to strength. Boeing however didn’t stand on it its laurels or did it?

Boeing claims with the introduction of its latest performance improvement package “PIP”, today’s NGs are 6-7 more efficient then when they were first introduced in the late 1990s. Boeing’s Tinseth points out that “The (737) program has taken off with record sales. It’s simple. We make it better every time. We were first in its class with ETOPS 180, glass cockpits, Sky Interiors, and high bypass engines. We lower the operating costs through such new technologies as blended winglets, heads up display, carbon brakes, and more fuel-efficient engines. We enhance customer appeal with the new Sky Interior. This is an airplane that appeals to the heart of the market: emerging and developing economies and it is very successful with the LCC business model”. These new LCC airlines in emerging markets include Lion Air, Air Asia, and Gol! An unintended benefit of the weak economy, particularly in the U.S., is the poor financial results led to an elderly, fuel-in-efficient, maintenance intensive fleet which created an advantage and some say a bubble for airframe manufacturers, particularly in this sweet smart of the market. “The significant driver in the US is the demand to replace older and less efficient aircraft”, said Tinseth.

Continue reading Inside Boeing’s 737 Renton Factory As They “Take It To The MAX”

Inside Boeing’s 737 Renton Factory and the Successful Next Gen

On December 2, 1996: The first 737NG, a 737-700, rolls out of the Renton factory to all splashy event. On December 17, 1997 Boeing delivered the first Next-Generation 737-700 to launch customer Southwest Airlines. The 737-700 is the 2nd best selling 737NG behind the -800 but the -900 has picked up momentum. Image courtesy: Boeing

On December 2, 1996: The first 737NG, a 737-700, rolls out of the Renton factory to all splashy event. Image courtesy: Boeing

This story was written by Chris Sloan and originally was published on Airchive.com. This is the next of a multi-part series talking about the Boeing 737 factory in Renton. Read the first part: A Historical Look at Boeing’s 737 Factory in Renton.

Success Breeds Competition: The Airbus A320 ups the ante and Boeing is forced to answer

In 1988, the first serious competitor to the 737 monopoly, the Airbus A320 entered service. With even more advanced systems like fly-by-wire flight controls, new higher powered and fuel efficient engines, a wider cabin, the first major use of composite materials in a narrow body airliner, and somewhat larger capacity on a direct model comparison basis, the A320 family quickly became a force to be reckoned with. In addition, Airbus offered aggressive pricing and quicker delivery windows. Having only recently launched the 2nd generation 737s, Boeing didn’t respond to the European framer’s challenge for another 5 years.

In 1993, Boeing finally answered with the Boeing 737 Next Generation. First flying in 1997, it first entered service in 1998 as a 737-700 (comparable in size to the 737-300) for launch customer Southwest. While retaining commonality with the 2nd generation 737s, the NextGens included a redesigned wing, and eventually winglets, that increased total fuel capacity by 30% and range to over 3,000 miles. Quieter, more powerful and more fuel-efficient engines in the form of CFM56-7Bs came online as well.

Continue reading Inside Boeing’s 737 Renton Factory and the Successful Next Gen