The Boeing 727's first flight - Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 727’s first flight – Photo: Boeing

The last flight of the first Boeing 727 is going to happen soon. This is no longer a dream, but a reality. The first 727 has been in the process of being restored for many years and this is a beyond-exciting moment! It likely will fly the first week of March, traveling the short distance from Paine Field (in Everett, north of Seattle) to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field (in Seattle’s south side). 

The first Boeing 727 being worked on and prepped for final flight

The first Boeing 727 being worked on and prepped for final flight

We recently had the opportunity to chat with the man who will be Captain for the final flight, Tim Powell.  He is a great guy, an amazing pilot,  and an AvGeek. We wanted to learn more about why he was chosen, what excites him about the flight, how he likes still flying the 727, and if he has any concerns about the upcoming flight.

Qantas Airbus A330-200 aircraft now feature the upgraded business class cabin – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Qantas Airbus A330-200 aircraft now feature the upgraded business class cabin – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Over the last 18 months, Qantas has been progressively upgrading their business class product on their Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new business suites bring the product in line with the ever-increasing trend of direct aisle access for all business class passengers, as well lie flat beds — a first for Qantas on the domestic market. The upgraded A330-200 cabins are configured with 28 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration that can remain in the recline position during takeoff and landing.

It has been quite some time since I last had the opportunity to fly domestically in business class with Qantas, and with my annual trip to Australia, I thought I would burn some Qantas frequent flyer points to check out their new business suites on the popular Sydney-Melbourne route, a very short 95-minute flight.

This is the only, surviving, Lavochkin La-250. On display at the Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

This is the only surviving Lavochkin La-250. It’s on display at the Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Central Air Force Museum of the VVS at Monino is the most endangered museum you will ever find. I am not sure what I can accomplish with this article, but I feel the world of AvGeek-dom needs to be warned. Since the collapse of the USSR, the Central Aviation Museum of the Russian Air Force at the Monino Officer’s Academy has been severely underfunded. Worse so since the officer’s academy closed in 2010. Well, not technically closed. It has been moved to an area closer to Chkalovsky Air Base, merged with the old Zhukovsky school, and become the Zhukovsky-Gagarin Air Force Academy.

Either way, the VVS has now said that they want to close the museum and move it to the mega museum complex way out of Moscow at Kubinka Air Force base. They want to close down Monino in July, and this cannot happen! Why? Well….

Mockup of how the Meridians will appear on the MAX 8 aircraft. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Mockup of how Southwest’s new seats will appear on the 737 MAX 8 aircraft – Image: Southwest Airlines

I recently flew Southwest Airlines for the first time in a while. I love the airline, I love what they have done for domestic air travel in the US, and I love so many of the people who work there. But I do also LUV having a seat assignment — which you cannot get with Southwest. I feel there is much added stress having to check-in early, making sure you are in the right place in line at the gate, and the worst of all: not knowing where you will sit. However, I have spoken to so many huge fans of Southwest, that actually like the process (mainly my dad and JL).
If you have flown Southwest Airlines before, you probably know the drill. When you check in, beginning 24-hours before the flight, you will be given a letter (A, B, or C) followed by a number between 1 and 60. A1 boards first, followed by the rest of the A group in numerical order.  The process is repeated for the B and C groups. While the first fifteen seats are generally reserved for premium fare classes, frequent fliers, and paid upgrades, most positions are assigned in order of check-in time. End up in the C group, you will likely get a center seat (easy to remember – C for Center).