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Miles flown for stories
2014: 269,302
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

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.

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