Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 271,099
2013: 330,818

John Travolta Comes to Seattle to Celebrate Qantas’ Retro 737 Livery

The Qantas' retro livery on their new Boeing 737

The Qantas’ retro livery on their new Boeing 737

I always love being invited to celebrate a new delivery for an airline, but I wasn’t sure how Qantas might make a 737 delivery special. There have been over 8,000 of the aircraft type delivered and Qantas is already operating 74 737s.

Of course, the big deal about this 737-800 (VH-XZP) is that it is in a retro livery. A livery that flew on the airline from 1974-1981. That is a good start.

John Travolta showed up and celebrated with Qantas

John Travolta showed up and celebrated with Qantas

However, because of all the mindful AvGeeks out there, photos of the new livery have been on the internet for a week. How was Qantas going to make this celebration really stand out?

They were able to use this opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo being used as their logo and this month is also their 94th birthday. All great things, but I think overall there were two things that really made this event work: a shiny disco ball and John Travolta.

Continue reading John Travolta Comes to Seattle to Celebrate Qantas’ Retro 737 Livery

Gone Gliding – Part Two

Soaring NV's gliders at Minden-Tahoe Airport - the LS4, two Duo Discus, two ASK-21s Photo: Soaring NV

Soaring NV’s gliders at Minden-Tahoe Airport – the LS4, two Duo Discus, two ASK-21s
Photo: Soaring NV

I’ve been waiting for you!

I’m glad that you decided to come along with me for a flight in Soaring NV’s LS4 glider. I promised you a ride in Gone Gliding, Part One, didn’t I? Yes, the LS4 is just a single-seater, so we’ll use a “mind-meld” for you to enjoy the flight. Let’s hop into a golf cart with Spencer, who’ll be our ground crew, and head over to the glider staging area near the threshold of Runway 30, here at Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV).

While Spencer drives us over, he’ll be making radio calls on his handheld to update air and ground traffic with our progress along the taxiways and across the runways. MEV doesn’t have a control tower, and it’s important that we communicate as we go. So I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to, before you arrived.

The LS4 waits for us in the staging area near the threshold of Runway 30.  I only left the canopy up long enough to quickly take this photo on a no-wind day - a strong breeze could smack it down and damage it.

The LS4 waits for us in the staging area near the threshold of Runway 30. I only left the canopy up long enough to quickly take this photo on a no-wind day – a strong breeze could smack it down and damage it.

I’ve checked the weather, and had a good look at the soaring forecast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes a daily forecast for the Reno area that gives glider pilots an idea of the lift, temperatures, and winds aloft for the day. It’s a beautiful afternoon in the Carson Valley, warm, with just a few puffy cumulus clouds out there around 14,000 feet above sea level (ASL). I’ve also talked with a couple of pilots who’ve just landed, and they told me that there’s some booming thermals just a couple of miles east of the airport. Great!

Spencer towed the glider over from the ramp earlier today, and I’ve done the pre-flight. That included a walk-around inspection and a full test of the flight controls and connections. I’ve also made sure that the oxygen cylinder in the glider is full, the battery is properly connected, and adjusted the seatback, because it can only be moved before you get in the cockpit. The seat bottom doesn’t move, but the rudder pedals are adjustable, and I’ve moved them into position. The last pilot must have been a lot taller than me. Spencer hooked up the GPS logger, which will keep track of our position, speeds, and altitudes of our flight. Once we’re back on the ground, we’ll transfer the data to a computer, and review the flight. Continue reading Gone Gliding – Part Two

Canada’s Homegrown Astronaut: Chris Hadfield

Col. Chris Hadfield describes life onboard the International Space Station to a packed house at the Future of Flight. Photo: Kris Hull

Col. Chris Hadfield describes life onboard the International Space Station to a packed house at the Future of Flight – Photo: Kris Hull

Colonel Chris Hadfield (RCAF ret.) is probably one of the most easily recognizable astronauts today. His popularity was spurred to rock star-like status in 2012 while he was training for his final spaceflight, a five-month stay on the International Space Station. Recently, Col. Hadfield made a stop in Everett, WA, to promote his newest book, You are Here – Around the World in 92 Minutes, and AirlineReporter had a few minutes to sit down and talk with this amazing man about his missions, his infamous tweets, and his books.

Chris Hadfield, Canada's most famous astronaut! portrait. Photo: NASA

Chris Hadfield, Canada’s most famous astronaut! Photo: NASA

In the last fifteen to twenty years, no astronaut has risen to the popularity that Chris Hadfield has. As one of the few Canadian astronauts, he has had the honor of flying into space three times: twice on the Space Shuttle, and once on a Soyuz. On his last mission, he assumed command of the International Space Station, only the second non-American or Russian to hold that honor. He was the only Canadian to visit the Russian space station Mir  and was the first Canadian to walk in space.

When asked about his two space walks, and what it was like to exit that hatch for the first time, he said “It’s very visually powerful. It is overwhelmingly visually powerful outside. You have the Earth going by underneath you at five miles a second, and all of the colors that exist, the textures, are just amazing. When you look the other way, it is the complete blackness of the universe going on forever. And you are in the middle of all of this, hanging onto a silver and white man-made structure, holding on with one hand. The onslaught coming in through your eyes is amazing. Your eyes is the only sense that tells you were you are. It is an overwhelming experience. When I go back and watch the video of the first time I exited the hatch, I can see that I just stopped for several seconds and just took it all in. We over use the words awesome and incredible, but walking in space is both of these things.”

Continue reading Canada’s Homegrown Astronaut: Chris Hadfield

Museum of Flight Receives a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Number 3 (aka ZA003) at the Museum of Flight - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Boeing 787 Dreamliner number 3 (aka ZA003) at the Museum of Flight

Saturday, November 8th at the Museum of flight will forever be known as Dreamliner Day.  This Seattle aviation museum is known for many examples of aircraft built in the Seattle area, such as the first 747, the prototype 737, and the only remaining Boeing 80A.  But now the Museum has it’s own Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first museum in the world to have such an aircraft.

Continue reading Museum of Flight Receives a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Giving Thanks to the Veterans

vets

All of us at AirlineReporter would like to thank the Veterans who have served our country and those who are still serving. We know there are quite a few of you that read our site and we are always grateful. To celebrate this day, we wanted to share some of our veteran/military-related stories: