Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 269,302
2013: 330,818

United Takes Delivery of the 8,000th 737

United Latest 737-900ER taxiing at Boeing Field

United’s latest 737-900ER, taxiing at Boeing Field

On Wednesday April 16th, United took delivery of its latest 737, but this one was special.

A 737-900ER was delivered from Boeing Field, marking a special occasion for not only Boeing but also United.  The aircraft was the 8,000th 737 to roll out of the Renton factory, and became one of over 550 of the type to be delivered to United since its inception.

Continue reading United Takes Delivery of the 8,000th 737

The Joys of Taking Aerial Photography from a Helicopter

Helirow

A row of Robinson R-22s at Boeing Field

From my previous articles, I think it’s apparent to both fans and occasional readers that I’m relatively obsessive when it comes to matters of aviation photography.

Helicopter spotting is not new; far from it. Friends of mine are pioneers of helicopter-borne aviation photography, but I had never really considered it to be viable in the Pacific Northwest.

Turns out that I was wrong – very, very, wrong.

Continue reading The Joys of Taking Aerial Photography from a Helicopter

Taking a Special American Airlines 777-300ER Delivery Flight

Employees of American stand around a Boeing 777-300ER in new AA livery.

Employees of American stand around a Boeing 777-300ER in new AA livery.

A while back, I was invited to fly on a 777-300ER (77W) delivery flight for American Airlines. In a previous story, I talked about all of the events leading up to the delivery ceremony and flight and now I will continue with sharing my experience.

I was pulling a very long night after the dinner event, working on photos and the writing up the first part of my story. I was up late when I got a tip about a second American Airlines 77W that arrived at Boeing Field in the cover of darkness from Dallas. This was surely not usual and I began researching and found that the aircraft N719AN was flown up, but why?

Continue reading Taking a Special American Airlines 777-300ER Delivery Flight

Boeing Initiates 787 Dreamliner Test Flights

Boeing fifth 787 test aircraft, ZA005, lifts off from Boeing Field. Image from Boeing.

Boeing fifth 787 test aircraft, ZA005, lifts off from Boeing Field. Image from Boeing.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been grounded around the world since January 16th and many have put in countless hours to try and get the aircraft airborn once again.

Hope was raised when the FAA gave Boeing authorization to fly a 787 Dreamliner from Fortworth, TX back to Paine Field on Feburary 7th. That flight was only a one-time authorization. Today, the FAA had given Boeing authorization to take their fifth test aircraft, ZA005, on a flight over the state of Washington (and looks like a sliver into Oregon).

The aircarft lifted off from Boeing Field (BFI) at 12:32pm local time. ZA005 had no passengers and only 13 Boeing flight pilots and test personnel. After the 2 hour and 19 minute flight, ZA005 landed safetly back at BFI and the crew reported that the, “flight was uneventful.”

Map from FlightAware.com showing ZA005's flight path over Washington State.

Map from FlightAware.com showing ZA005’s flight path over Washington State.

Over the durration of the flight, the crew were closely watching the main and APU batteries, which was in the center of the Dreamliner’s current woes. Boeing stated that the results are a part of an overarching investigation and at this time are not able to share any additional issues.

PHOTO: ZA005 landing back at Boeing Field

Boeing hopes to resume test flights next week to continue finding the issues plaguing their new 787.

ZA005 lifts off from BFI for a test flight. No passengers onboard. Image from Boeing.

ZA005 lifts off from BFI for a test flight. No passengers onboard. Image from Boeing.

On Thursday, All Nippon Airways (ANA) stated that the 787 grounding has affected more than 100,000 of their passengers and resulted in over 1200 cancelled flights.

San Jose Airport (SJC), which saw ANA Boeing 787 service for only a short period, before the fleet was grouned, announced via Twitter that the airline has cancelled service until at least March 30th.

According to the New York Times, Japan Airlines expects the grounding to cost them $7.5million through March and that they plan to seek compinsation from Boeing. Many other airlines have also made similar claims of expecting compisation from Boeing.

Sure, annoyed passengers, lost revenue and additional delays are one thing, but the airline that might be hit the hardest is LOT Polish Airlines where the new 787 Dreamliner means so much for their future. A great article from the Wall Street Journal talks about how the 787 continued issues could spell disaster for LOT.

This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.

David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

@AirlineReporter | Flickr | YouTube

Delivering Qatar Airway’s First Boeing 787 Dreamliner – PART 3

The wing is astounding on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

The wing is astounding on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

This is the final installment of a multi-part (PART 1 & PART 2) series was written by AirlineReporter.com correspondent Mal Muir on the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery flight (note: Qatar Airways covered Malcolm’s trip to Doha to cover this story).

With the flight now well and truly underway, most of the passengers on board were sleeping, but I remained not able to sleep. This is not because of the 787 Dreamliner; I have a history of not being able to sleep on aircraft. This meant that I had plenty of time to explore the plane, get in some work, have a chance to relax, and still fit in a few movies.

Having the on board Wi-Fi meant that I was able handle all of those emails I had been avoiding. For those on a business trip, Wi-Fi allows you to stay connected to the office and remain productive (maybe that is not always a good thing).  It also works out if you are a Twitter fanatic, so  you do not feel disconnected from the Twitterverse.

What is better than being on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner? Being able to tell all your friends via the internet while flying at 30,000 feet. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

What is better than being on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner? Being able to tell all your friends via the internet while flying at 30,000 feet. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

The extra-large windows were a godsend for those in the back during the flight. As we passed over Iceland they managed to get 2.5 hours of uninterrupted viewing of the Northern Lights.  Unfortunately those of us up the front totally missed out since our windows were blacked out — I guess there are some benefits to flying economy.

When there was no outside light-show,  I was able to check out the economy section during flight and tested out the Recaro seats.  The Seats in the Economy Cabin were comfortable enough and would be fine for the medium length flights this Aircraft was fitted out for.  With a leather cover on the neck rest, they felt luxurious while not being to hard or uncomfortable, as some leather cushions can be.  I was also able to see the Social Media Command center set up as Qatar Airways was live tweeting their way across the globe.

The business cabin is prepared to start our way into Doha after a long journey. Photo: Mal Muri / AirlineReporter.com.

The business cabin is prepared to start our way into Doha after a long journey. Photo: Mal Muri / AirlineReporter.com.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any face time with the CEO, Akbar Al Baker, who was on board our flight. He was able to take advantage of the comfy seats and slept most of his way to Doha. I have it say it was surreal seeing  the CEO of the airline in the Business Class PJ’s.

As we crossed over Eastern Europe, heading towards Turkey and the Middle East, passengers started to wake up and the cabin crew started serving breakfast with freshly made espresso (not that I hadn’t stopped eating — I had a midnight snack as well).

Flying over Doha -- about to land. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

Flying over Doha — about to land. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

As we approached Doha, we prepared for our arrival. The flight was long, but many of us did not want the flight to end. Even though I got no sleep on the 14 hour flight, I felt oddly ready to go. It could have been the adrenaline and excitement, but could also have to do with the Dreamliner itself. The 787 has a new climate control system on board where the cabin is pressurized and humidified at a lower altitude, which allows you to feel more refreshed. I wasn’t fully able to appreciate the difference until my Boeing 777 flight home a few days later (I will be sharing a 787 vs 777 story later).

We started our descent into Doha and as the airport came into view, it was truly a sight to behold.  The blue waters of the Gulf, the yellow of the desert and just the small buildings and everything dotting the landscape.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen before — and I have seen quite a bit.

Welcome to Doha. Image: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

Welcome to Doha. Image: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

After we touched down at Doha International Airport we taxied towards the ministerial lounge (currently used for heads of state when they depart and the Amir of Qatar). The taxi ways and other areas of the airport were just full of Qatar Airways and other airport staff, all wanting to welcome the Dreamliner.

Even though we did not get a traditional water cannon salute on arrival, this was still a big deal with over 2 busloads of media waiting for us on arrival with big TV screens to show the aircraft landing.  As we disembarked and headed into the lounge area another press conference was underway by the CEO of the airline and the local representative for Boeing.

It was a long, yet fun journey to get to Doha. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

It was a long, yet fun journey to get to Doha. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.

Once the press conference was over, the local media were given access to the aircraft while those of us on the flight, were bussed over to the arrivals terminal so that we could clear immigration, customs and get over to our hotel for the evening to get some sleep (at least for those of us who can not sleep well on planes).

The 787 flight was a once in a lifetime experience. It showcased that you can merge cutting edge technologies both in the on board experience and in the hardware of the aircraft itself to bring a truly magnificent piece of aircraft into the sky. I had a few days to explore Doha before my flight home and I look forward to share the rest of my adventures with Qatar Airways in the upcoming weeks.

ALL THE QATAR AIRWAYS BOEING 787 DELIVERY PHOTOS:

This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.

@BigMalX | BigMal’s World | Photos