Often I am asked what some of my favorite aviation experiences has been. No question, being able to fly in a Boeing 737-700 Business Jet from Boeing Field (BFI) to Anchorage (ANC) was one of those moments.
I have previously shared in the trip in great detail on a previous story, but I haven’t yet shared my video. Although the back of the plane is quite something, I was more interested in being able to sit in the flight deck during takeoff and again during landing. I have never had that experience before in a large jet and what else can I say other than… it was amazing.
Yes, my trip was almost a year ago, but I got held up with the video – at least I get to spread the BBJ love! My only regret is not wearing the top hat in the flight deck – maybe next time.
Time to take a VIP tour of one of TAM’s Boeing 777-300ERs at Paine Field. Photo: David Parker Brown
Recently, I was invited to take a special tour of one of TAM Airlines’ brand-spanking new Boeing 777s that was parked at Paine Field. The plane was so new that Boeing was still prepping it for delivery. How could I refuse?
The aircraft I toured (PT-MUJ) and was TAM’s fourth 777-300ER, which was delivered on August 29th, 2013. The airline has ordered a total of nine of the type.
The 777 is the first aircraft that TAM has equipped with their new First Class product, and I was excited to check it out.
Why settle only for an image of an Airbus A380 cockpit? Click to get a full 360 view.
The Airbus A380 is one amazing machine. It is the largest airliner flying today and has a full length top deck. Also impressive if the A380’s cockpit. But why be happy with only a single image? Check out this pretty sweet 360degree view of the A380’s spacious flight deck.
Be sure to notice the A380 in Airbus livery outside and the cockpit screen displaying the tail-cam (notice you can zoom in quite well on the 360 view).
There has been so much excitement about seeing the first Boeing 787 take off and even the second. Now it is time for the third Dreamliner to get some attention. This morning I was invited to see the third Boeing 787 Dreamliner up close and personal. Besides Boeing staff and a few guest airlines, this was the first time outsiders have been allowed to see what’s so special on the inside. Boeing has never invited media on a test plane like this before and they made it clear that this was a still a testbed and wasn’t the final product.
Passengers are able to tint the windows using the button below them. This is a middle level tint.
It was exciting walking up the stairs of the third Dreamliner. The first thing I noticed when walking in was space. Yes, many of the seats were missing, but it seemed tall and roomy. I was quick to move over to the windows and try the electronic dimmers. Instead of shades, you are able to push a button and dim the window from clear to very dark. This is something that will likely entertain children (and aviation nerds) for a few hours on a flight. Getting up to see the flight deck was awesome. The display screens were much larger than I thought and the heads up display was an exciting addition. They even had a 787 Dreamliner emblem on the ceiling, which was a nice touch.
Notice how little room the overhead bins take. The white lighting can be programmed with different color options.
This Boeing 787 test plane only had a few economy seats for us to preview, no Business or First class ones. Boeing will provide a catalog of seats for airlines to choose from. Airlines must choose out of the Boeing catalog for economy seats, but do not for Business Class.
Most of the plane was lit in white, although the front had a nice blue glow to it. Boeing will suggest to airlines that they have the lights on blue when passengers load, since studies show it gives the feeling of space . They also suggest airlines go brighter for meal services, since food looks better when well lit (not sure if peanuts do though).
In the front and rear of the aircraft are crew bunk areas. The bunk areas are located above in the ceiling and have some narrow stairs to get access. They make me think of summer camp, but they at least provide an area away from the passengers where the crew can rest.
It was amazing being able to get so close to this Dreamliner. She looked great in her Boeing "light" livery.
One surprisingly neat part of the Boeing 787 was the lavatories. If you wave your hand in front of the sensor, they will flush and the seat will close. They also have a very spacious feel with the ability to customize the lighting.
The Dreamliner is an amazing aircraft. Even non-aviation nerds should feel a stark difference flying on this aircraft versus others. I think most people were impressed even with this pre-production model. I can’t wait to see her fully decked out.