Around the World

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

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

Aviation in Seattle: Renton Plane Spotting Guide

Renton Municipal Airport, home of the 737.

Renton Municipal Airport, home of the Boeing 737

In the past, we have featured plane spotting guides for Paine Field and also other airports like Anchorage or Tokyo Haneda. With numerous airports in the Seattle area, including SeaTac and Boeing Field, there is sometimes a forgotten, but quite important, airport for plane spotters which provides a continuous stream of aircraft to spot. I am speaking of Renton Municipal Airport, the home of Boeing’s narrow-body aircraft plant.

The Southern Threshold of Renton's runway.

The southern threshold of Renton’s runway

The Renton Airport traces its history back to World War II.  Originally built on reclaimed land from Lake Washington, the airport was built by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support Amphibious Aircraft being built by Boeing on Lake Washington.  The PBB Sea Ranger project was cancelled after the prototype was built, so Boeing ended up using the facility to produce the B-29 Superfortress.  By the end of the war, a total of 1,119 were built.

After the war, the City of Renton purchased the airport back from the DoD for $1 and the facility laid dormant for a few years.  In 1948, the KC-97 Stratofreighter project brought the airport back to life and thus began a long and productive history of aircraft to flow out of the Boeing factory doors.  The first Dash 80 aircraft, famous for the barrel roll over Lake Washington, rolled out in May 1954.  Renton was the home of every single 707 built.

The 727 & 757 were all built there as well.  However, Renton is famous these days for being the home of the 737, where production stands at a massive 42 aircraft per month. Continue reading Aviation in Seattle: Renton Plane Spotting Guide

Will 757s Stop Flying Soon? Airbus Launches New A321neoLR

gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first NEO flight - Photo: Airbus

People gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first “neo” flight – Photo: Airbus

Recently, Leeham News broke news to the world that Airbus is offering a new variant of the A321neo.  This aircraft, dubbed the A321neoLR (rolls right off the tongue, right?) is set to extend the range of the aircraft an additional 400-500 nautical miles (nm) over the standard A321neo (now slated to be around the 4,000 nm mark).  Airbus has confirmed the aircraft, according to Leeham, and they say that it will have a 100 nm range advantage over the 757-200W, the variant used primarily for trans-Atlantic flights.

Is this new aircraft the death knell finally for the 757?

Alaska Airlines first Boeing 737-900ER (N402AS) is seen at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Image from Alaska Airlines.

The 737-900ER is a popular choice as a longer-range aircraft to replace older 757s, but is it the right fit?  Photo: Alaska Airlines

We have looked multiple times at the differences between the 757 & the A321.  The two aircraft have always gone back and forth as apparent direct competitors and even the new 737-900ER, which seem to be extremely popular with airlines like Delta, Alaska or the Lion Air Group from Indonesia, can’t seem to replace the 757.

What keeps Boeing from producing a new aircraft to properly replace the 757?

Continue reading Will 757s Stop Flying Soon? Airbus Launches New A321neoLR

A Unique AvGeek Wedding – Inside the First 747

The right cuff-links for the occasion - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

The right cuff-links for the occasion – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

When I moved to the USA in May of 2012, I packed up my entire life, left everything and everyone behind in Australia, and began a new life in Seattle. Pretty soon I was meeting up with all kinds of people, especially AvGeeks but even I didn’t think that less than two and a half years later I would be getting married.

It wasn’t just any wedding though, it was probably the most unique AvGeek wedding. How so? Well, my wife and I were married inside the very first 747 – the City of Everett locate at the Museum of Flight.

That's me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, the first Boeing 747 - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDLMultimedia.com

That’s me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

Yeah, you read that right, the first 747.  Truth be told, I couldn’t believe at first that the Museum of Flight would let us use the first 747 (also known as RA001) like that. But we were extremely excited. Right now, you are probably thinking about my wife, “She let you do that?”. Well, the truth of the situation is that it was Heidi’s idea.

After trying to find intimate venues for a small wedding at low-to-zero cost, we just couldn’t find any. Parks in Seattle all require a permit to get married. These can cost anywhere from $200-400. Pass!

We spoke with our friends at the Future of Flight in Everett about perhaps getting married there; however, Heidi’s family are all based south of Seattle, so this would be a long way to go for them (unfortunately, my family was not able to make it over for the wedding).

I knew that the Museum of Flight had just finished refurbishing RA001 so I joked that we should just get married under it. My wife, being ever the smart one in our relationship, made a good point that it rains a lot in October – what would we do if it rained that day? Her idea was we get married inside. This excited her more than me, and I’m the AvGeek!

Continue reading A Unique AvGeek Wedding – Inside the First 747

China Airlines Receives their First Boeing 777-300ER

A Ribbon Cutting at Everett wouldn't be complete without some Dragons right?

A ribbon cutting at Everett wouldn’t be complete without some dragons, right?

On a sunny Everett friday morning, press, dignitaries, and staff all gathered on the ramp outside the Everett Delivery Center.  In front of us was a brand-new Boeing 777-300ER, a giant red ribbon, and two dragons.  China Airlines is the newest carrier to receive this twin-jet, and since this was their first of the type, a large ceremony was called for.

The first 777-300ER for China Airlines

The first 777-300ER for China Airlines – Photo Kris Hull | Hull AeroImages

China Airlines has been a Boeing customer for over half of a century.  Their first Boeing aircraft was the 727, which entered them into the era of flying internationally within southeast Asia.  Then, in 1970, they added the Boeing 707, which allowed them to begin transpacific flights to San Francisco.

Soon enough, they were expanding and other North American destinations were added.  The airline grew, taking on 747s and, after the years passed, they had a fleet of 13 747-400s flying around the world.

In fact, they were the final customer of the 747-400 in its passenger form, taking delivery of that aircraft (B-18215) on the 26th of April, 2005.  Fast-forward nine years later, and the airline is taking their newest Boeing aircraft, the 777-300ER.

Continue reading China Airlines Receives their First Boeing 777-300ER