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Miles flown for stories
2014: 243,450
2013: 330,818

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The Marines Visit Seattle

A MV-22B Osprey on Approach to Boeing Field

A MV-22B Osprey on approach to Boeing Field

Summer in Seattle means lots of things to locals in the Pacific Northwest.  Long days with the sun setting at 10pm, with Mt. Rainier standing out tall and proud in the skyline.  Blue skies, sun, and outdoor fun, but most of all it means one thing for AvGeeks:  Jet noise!

During the first weekend of August in Seattle is Seafair, and the main attraction has always been the Blue Angels (it also coincides with Fleet Week).  However, this year, things were a little bit different over the skies and on the ground in Seattle.  The United States Marine Corps (USMC) came to town.  They were not going to let the US Navy have all the fun, and this year, it was time to bring Marine Week to Seattle.

The United States Marine Corp takes over the Museum of Flight for Marine Week - Photo: Jennifer Nagle

The United States Marine Corps takes over the Museum of Flight for Marine Week – Photo: Jennifer Nagle

This year the USMC decided to bring Marine Week to Seattle to showcase and honor not only the Marine Corps as a whole, but also how much of a role the Corps has to the local area.  People in Seattle could meet the Marines themselves, learn about what they do, why they do it, and then get to see how they do it.  The biggest part of the weekend would be the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) demonstration over the skies of Lake Washington.

Continue reading The Marines Visit Seattle

Why are Airlines Continually Ordering Larger Aircraft?

United recently switched their remaining 787-8s for 787-10s. This, however is a -9 Photo - Bernie Leighton

United recently swapped their remaining 787-8 orders for 787-10s. This, however is a -9 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Boeing sees a market for 36,770 new aircraft between 2014 and 2033; only 2,490 of them are in the “regional” category. They are also clear to not differentiate the single-aisle market by size, but other than in the “Very Large Aircraft” category (think 747 and A380), their forecast for total aircraft demand is very bullish.

With United Airlines converting seven of its eight remaining 787-8 orders to the largest Dreamliner, the 787-10, it is a situation reminiscent of Air Berlin, pending approval, switching their 787-8s to larger 787-9s.

Many airlines are trading 737-700s for larger 737-800s as they come off lease. Southwest, however, is more than happy to have them.  Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Many airlines are trading 737-700s for larger 737-800s as they come off lease. Southwest, however, is more than happy to have the smaller birds – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

This is not a trend I expect to stop. Right now, the 787-8 comprises 47% of the total order book. That is, of course, significantly higher than the 249 767-200s ordered in the 767 family (or ~20% of the total 767 passenger fleet produced).

The 737-7MAX  has garnered the fewest orders of  the family (55). On the Airbus side of the spectrum, the A350-800’s future hangs in a precarious balance. The A319NEO has only garnered a total order for 45 frames. The smaller the next-generation aircraft, the smaller the backlog. Or at least, that is what the evidence shows.

The reason, as always, comes down to the most important question an airline has to answer: “what makes the most profit?”

Continue reading Why are Airlines Continually Ordering Larger Aircraft?

Aviation Geek Fest 2015 Dates Set

AGF15

We heard the feedback from many of you! Aviation Geek Fest 2015 will NOT be over the Valentine’s Day weekend (also Presidents Day weekend). AGF15 will be held on February 21st and 22nd, 2015 in Seattle.

I know you want more details, but at this time, that is all that we have. In the next few months, we will be working hard with the Future of Flight, Museum of Flight, and Boeing to come up some great AvGeek adventures. There will be some things that look familiar and hopefully some new things as well.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for the AGF15 email list. Any updates will be sent via that list and posted on AirlineReporter.

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I - Photo: The Boeing Company

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I – Photo: The Boeing Company

I know, I know, you all want details, but we just don’t have them yet — but soon. If you have ideas in what you want to see for Aviation Geek Fest 2015, then feel free to leave them in the comments, but no promises.

Likely tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis, as they have been in previous years. They sold out in about 3 minutes last year — they are in high demand.

What is Aviation Geek Fest? Oh man… hold on to your boots — it is a two-day aviation adventure of epic proportions. See what we have done in the past:

Thanks everyone for your amazing support with this event and we cannot wait to see you in February!

Planespotter’s Bucket List: A Day at Maho Beach, St. Martin (SXM)

Air Caraibes Airbus A330 about over the bay, about to land - Photo: Bernie Leighton

Air Caraibes Airbus A330 over the bay, about to land – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

My fiancee and I, chatting earlier this year while I was at my computer:

“Hey sweetie, did you realize our honeymoon cruise stops for a day at St. Martin?”

“Um, I think so, yea…”

“Did you know that is where they have the beach with the planes that just about land on your head?”

“Like the videos and pictures you showed me? Wow! That’s awesome! Sounds like we should spend that day there at that beach, you think?”

“Oh man, I am SO marrying the right woman!”

The author standing directly below a Boeing 737 about to land - Photo: Julian Cordle

The author standing directly below a Boeing 737 about to land – Photo: Julian Cordle

When I tell people I’m into aviation, my (now) wife likes to describe me to others as “like the super-excited train guy, but with planes”. Tongue-in-cheek, of course. In any case, once we made plans to visit world-famous Maho Beach on St. Martin, she listened to me tell her many times “I can’t believe I get to actually BE THERE” while I was browsing the many stunning photos online.

Continue reading Planespotter’s Bucket List: A Day at Maho Beach, St. Martin (SXM)

Flying to the Movies with Air Hollywood

At the front of the first narrowbody set is the flight deck from the movie "Airplane!" - Photo: Ben Granucci | NYCAviation

At the front of the first narrowbody set is the flight deck from the movie “Airplane!” – Photo: Ben Granucci | NYCAviation

Story written by Ben Granucci and appears on NYCAviation.com

In 1998, Talaat Captan was a writer and movie producer shooting scenes in an airport for the movie Ground Control, starring Kiefer Sutherland. After experiencing great difficulty coordinating the logistics involved with filming in an active airport, Mr. Captan knew that there had to be a better way. A self described aviation enthusiast himself, he founded Air Hollywood shortly after filming wrapped. The goal of Air Hollywood is to have a studio where all types of aviation scenes can be produced in a film-friendly environment. We recently visited the Air Hollywood studios and got to see all that they had to offer.

Right this way, please!
Right this way, please!

We started with a tour of their collection of full aircraft sets. Air Hollywood has several complete aircraft interiors that can be quickly and easily reconfigured to not only provide a wide variety of interior looks, but also permit filming from any angle necessary. Instead of replicating particular types of aircraft exactly, they have three more generic interiors. As we entered the building, we stepped into a scenery piece that was built to look like a jet bridge. Just like you would board an airliner, we walked down the ramp and turned a corner to see what looked to be the entrance door of a aircraft.

Once upon a time, this was the business end of a 727. Today it is being rebuilt into a fully functional movie set complete with switches that click and lights that glow - Photo: Ben Granucci | NYCAviation.com

Once upon a time, this was the business end of a 727. Today it is being rebuilt into a fully functional movie set complete with switches that click and lights that glow – Photo: Ben Granucci | NYCAviation.com

 

However this was not an aircraft at all, but rather the studio’s widebody set. With a shell made of wood and an interior made of aircraft cabin panels, this piece of scenery was somewhere between a Boeing 767 and an Airbus A330 in width. In the condition that we toured it, it was equipped with a small business class cabin and a slightly larger economy class cabin.

All components of the cabin can be removed and replaced in a matter of minutes versus the several hours that a real aircraft would require. The entire aircraft interior, including the seats, were all purchased used. Mr. Captan explained to us that new components are cost prohibitive. For example, one first class seat alone can cost upwards of $30,000 when purchased as new, while the used cost is a fraction of that.

Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Airliners in Movies – Air Hollywood on NYCAviation.com