Aerial shot of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo by Bernie Leighton.

Aerial shot of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001)   Photo: Bernie Leighton/

Did you just read a story about Bombardier’s first CSeries first flight potentially happening on Monday, only to find out the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s first flight could be as early as Tuesday, September 17th? Why yes you did. Boeing announced this week that their first 787-9 could possibly have its maiden flight at Paine Field early next week.

Yes AvGeeks, this is going to be a good week for all of us!

Bombardier CSeries FTV1 on the ramp at Mirabel Airport (YMX)   Photo: Bombardier Aero

Bombardier CSeries FTV1 on the ramp at Mirabel Airport (YMX) Photo: Bombardier Aero

UPDATE:  September 15th, 7:30 PM ET

Bombardier has just confirmed that the first flight of CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) will happen tomorrow morning, Monday, September 16th. Winds are expected to be light and the sky mostly clear. Remember to follow me @airchive – I’ll be live-tweeting the event starting at 8:00 AM ET. Bombardier has set up a webcast of the first flight HERE, with pre-flight activities starting at 9:30 AM ET.

PREVIOUS UPDATE: September 14th

Late on Friday, Bombardier announced that the first flight of CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) is expected to take place this Monday, September 16th. Of course, the test flight team will be looking for optimal weather and aircraft readiness before making the decision to fly. The timing for the flight is expected to be set sometime on Sunday.

I’ll be at Mirabel on Monday to cover this exciting event for our friends at and I’ll be live tweeting on @airchive, so follow along there!

Little Ford, A Vintage Tri Motor, takes to the Sky at OshKosh - Photo: Mal Muir |

Little Ford, a vintage Tri-Motor, takes to the sky at Oshkosh – Photo: Mal Muir |

During my recent visit to Oshkosh, I managed to secure a ticket to fly in the oldest aircraft I have ever stepped onboard.  On a grey and cool Tuesday morning at Oshkosh, I hiked from the main gate over to the Warbird Alley flight line to line up for a scenic flight onboard “Little Ford”, a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor (Model 4-AT-E).

Little Ford (NC8407) was built in 1929 and was frame #146 from the Ford Aircraft factory.  Sold to Eastern Air Transport (later Eastern Airlines), it served for three years before heading over the Straits of Florida to operate for Cubana on its new Santiago de Cuba to Havana route.  Before returning back to the U.S., it served as presidential transport for the Dominican Republic as well.  During the 1950’s, the aircraft was upgraded with higher-horsepower engines, becoming the most powerful 4-AT ever flown.


Gogo's Test Plane - Photo: Gogo

Gogo’s Test Plane – Photo: Gogo

Gogo announced today significant new technology upgrades that will boost the speed and enhance the reliability of their in-flight wifi service.  These upgrades will be rolled out first with Virgin America (VX) in 2014, who also happened to be the first customer to introduce Gogo service fleet-wide, and the first to implement the enhanced ATG-4 high-speed service.

The essence of the new technology is a refined antenna that utilizes a “GTO” protocol (or “Ground-to-Orbit”).  This system will build upon Gogo’s existing ground-based antennas to utilize multiple satellites for enhanced speed and reliability.  Gogo claims upwards of 60 Mbps speeds to planes running their service.  That’s up to 20x faster than what you can expect on most planes equipped with Gogo right now.

Another benefit of the new antenna is that it can communicate with multiple satellites at once, which increases stability.  If one connection fails, another can pick up the slack.  This will hopefully prevent what happened on my last Gogo-equipped flight; a 20-minute loss of coverage in the middle of writing an story.