American’s new Airbus A321 in flight – Photo: Eric Dunetz
A while back, I viewed a tweet about an Air Traffic Control (ATC) conversation in New York, where JFK ATC got a little bit confused about an aircraft type. American Airlines (AA) Flight 32 was incorrectly called a “heavy” aircraft, likely because for so long that flight was operated by a Boeing 767-200. Ever since AA debuted their new Airbus A321 on the LAX-JFK route, this flight no longer needs to use the “heavy” designation, but that didn’t stop the ATC staff from using old habits. It made me question, at what point does an aircraft become “heavy”?
When aircraft are approaching or departing an airport, they must use special designations to help avoid the wake turbulence from other aircraft. Larger aircraft, like a 767 or an A340, need more space behind them to prevent the wake vortices generated by the larger wing span from impacting other aircraft. The bigger the aircraft, the longer the distance.
The dangers are real, as all over the world a number of incidents have occurred that can be attributed to a wake vortex. From the crash of an XB-70 in the 60′s to some involving more modern aircraft in the last 10 years (including an A380 in Sydney).
Continue reading What Makes a Heavy, Heavy?
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 – Photo: David Parker Brown
2013 is now well in our rear view mirrors as we speed along the runway of another year and it is time to look back. We have covered what we did during 2013 on AirlineReporter but what about looking at what our two favorite aircraft manufacturers did? 2013 were big years for both Boeing & Airbus on many levels, so let’s take a look at more detail of exactly what happened in the order & delivery world:
In 2013, the big air shows in Paris & Dubai flooded the order books of both manufacturers. Airbus and Boeing both had record-breaking years with 1,619 & 1,531 gross orders, respectively. The winner in this situation is obviously Airbus by a good margin; the types of orders look consistent too:
Continue reading 2013 – Boeing vs. Airbus…. Who Won?
Side view of SilkAir’s first Boeing 737-8SA – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
February 21, 1989 was an important day for Singapore Airlines. On that day, their regional affiliate Tradewinds Airlines took off using MD-87s for previously unserved Southeast Asian destinations like Bandar Seri Begawan.
Tradewinds continued until 1992 when it was renamed SilkAir. If you have not noticed, it is almost February 21, 2014. In other words, we are quickly approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of SilkAir. On top of that, this is also the Chinese Lunar New Year period. There is a lot to celebrate at SilkAir. Most of all, the delivery of their first Boeing 737-8SA.
A Chinese Lion Dance to bring in the new year and celebrate a new era of SilkAir – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
SilkAir is celebrating a lot of firsts with delivery of 9V-MGA (internally referred to as “my great aircraft”). Their first 737 NextGen, their largest aircraft order (54 frames), and their fastest year-on-year fleet growth (they are accepting eight frames this year).
Continue reading SilkAir Welcomes the Boeing 737-800 into its Fleet
One of Qatar’s two 0neworld 777s viewed from the window of a QR A320 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
A few days before departing for Warsaw, I had a stark realization – I actually had no reason to be in Poland other than a milage run. Polish Christmas is not what we are familiar with here in North America. Indeed, the idea of potentially-radioactive Belorussian carp as my main feast for such a joyous occasion caused me some dismay. I admit, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Poland (including two great military and aviation museums) – just not on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Both days, the entire country – including the trains – more or less grinds to a halt.
Now, I could have spent a couple of days in a hotel in downtown Warsaw, and maybe gone shopping before my return home. But practicality is not, and never will be, how I solve problems. My original goal was to fly on Biman’s DC-10 from Kuala Lumpur back to Dacca, but I couldn’t make the times work. After a call with my usual travel agent (who has come to understand that I have a flare for the weird), I discovered that I could, within the window of my original British Airways fare to and from Poland go on a day trip to Singapore! I also had another goal – could I do it for a similar cost to a week of peak rate hotel time at a luxury hotel in Warsaw? Thanks to Polish currency (3 Zloty =1 USD) I could, and what an itinerary I booked!
We at AirlineReporter have always been fans of Qatar Airways; it was high time I found out what the fuss was about, starting with their Airbus narrow-body fleet. To say the least, I was excited. I had heard nothing but great things about Qatar’s business class from our other staff members. I am, probably, the harshest and most pedantic critic on the AirlineReporter staff. If you are already bored of the article, I can summarize my experience with QR in one word. AMAZING! If you are interested in why, please do continue.
Continue reading Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore
The Spirit of 12s Boeing 747-8 Freighter taking off at Paine Field – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
The Spirit of the 12s Boeing 747-8F has been pretty popular, especially by tracing a 12 using their flight path. Tomorrow, Saturday the 1st from 11am to 1pm, it will be on the ground next to the The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour where you take photos and cheer on the Seahawks.
There will be a special Seahawks rally that starts at noon (arriving by 11:30am is suggested) and then fans will be able to file past the specially-painted 747-8F and take photos. Admission to the rally and taking photos are free. If you like the Seahawks and you like airplanes, this might be your thing.
A special flight path for a special plane – Image: FlightAware.com