The flight deck of N321GG, Gogo’s 737 testbed – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter
I’m still grinning from ear to ear. Sitting in the flight deck of a jet duringÂ landing is pretty much THE AvGeek holy grail. It’s hard to do – FAA Part 121 regulations, which nearly all airlines operate under, prohibit non-crewmembers onÂ the flight deck during flight. But every so often, you can find a plane that operates under different rules. As it turns out, our friends over at Gogo operate a 737 test bed which just so happens to fall under those rules.
Entering N321GG from door 1L – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter
About a month ago, AirlineReporter and Gogo teamed up to hold a huge contest for a few of ourÂ readers to win a flight on Gogo’s 737, N321GG, from Chicago to Austin, where the annual South by Southwest (SxSW) festival would be going down. I’m sure more than a fewÂ of you reading this story were disappointed not to get the ‘congratulations, you’ve won’ email.Â After receiving more than 10,000 entries, we randomly selected two winners. Our first winner, Meghan, is a flight attendant for a major US airline and a major AvGeek to boot. Our second winner, Shams, is a San Francisco-based tech consultant, and is looking forward to attend his first Aviation Geek FestÂ this April in Seattle.Â
Gogo’s 737-500 N321GG, a.k.a. the “Jimmy Ray” – Come fly with us!
UPDATE: Entry for the contest ended on Wednesday, February 17th. Stay tuned for the announcement of winners and to follow along with us onÂ the big flight!
This is big. Really big. The biggest giveaway we have offeredÂ at AirlineReporter. How would you like to fly on Gogo’s own private Boeing 737-500 (named “Jimmy Ray”) on March 13th? Oh heck yes you would!
Gogo uses the plane to test their awesome technology (many of you have probably seen/used their in-flight WiFi). It is decked out in a VIP configuration and two of our readersÂ can see for themselvesÂ by winning a free trip from Chicago to Austin — where SXSW will be going down.
Our Johnny Nguyen got to fly on the plane a while back and I loved watching his experience — I wanted to fly on it too. Join me, JL Johnson, and Dave DelagarzaÂ on this very special SXSW party flight.Â Keep reading to learn more and enter our contest!
Gogo’s 737-500, N321GG a.k.a. the “Jimmy Ray”
Ok, I’ll admit that this flight review will be on an aircraft that 99.99% of the public won’t ever get the chance to fly, and I do feel badly about that… butÂ it’s simply too cool for school to be on a private 737, more so because this particular 737 (a -500 model, reg. no. N321GG) currently has the fastest publicly-available inflight Wi-Fi Internet system in the world.
Gogo invited AirlineReporter and other media outlets to take flight on the “Jimmy Ray” to test out their new 2Ku system, which was debuted for the first time outside the company. While other tech-oriented companionsÂ were obsessed with reloading Speedtest and hammering the system with live streams, content streams, live feeds, and downloads, I was busy poking around the cabin features and amenities. Yea… I am an AvGeek.