The 737-800, ready to be pulled
Earlier this week, I was invited by Alaska Airlines to watch the Alaska Plane Pull for Strong Against Cancer at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The two competing teams were led by Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks and Alaska’s ’œChief Football Officer,’ and actor and comedian Joel McHale, who grew up on Mercer Island (right outside of Seattle) and is known for his role in the series ’œCommunity’ and as host of E!’s ’œThe Soup.”
Each celebrity captain had 18 team members, comprised of employees from Alaska’s maintenance and engineering departments, as well as members of the community who were the lucky winners of Alaska’s Facebook contest.
Who could pull a 92,000-pound 737-800 25 feet in the least amount of time? I was there to find out!
NL93012, the Collings Foundation B-17G dubbed “nine-o-nine” taxiing at Boeing Field – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
This weekend only (June 26th-28th) if you want to see some warbirds, head down to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, put down a few bucks, and enjoy!
What, exactly, does the Collings Foundation offer? A little bit of what you see above, and then more of what you see below…
NX224J, known as Witchcraft, is the only flying B-24J out there – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Their most famous aircraft is the only remaining Boeing B-24J “Witchcraft.” You can fly in it for $450; that’s cheaper than a B-29 Superfortress! They also have the only fully dual-control TP-51C Mustang (dubbed “Betty Jane” in their employ). Though the rates to fly on that are a bit more expensive, and best acquired by contacting the Foundation directly.
On top of that, they are bringing their Boeing B-17G “Nine-O-Nine”, and a B-25 “Tondelayo.” You can fly on the B-25 for the reasonable price of $400. If you don’t feel like flying, you can still make a small donation to have a look around any of their visiting aircraft.
One of the AGF15 groups on the 747-8 factory floor – Photo: Boeing
It has been a while since we celebrated Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2015 back in February, but I am still feeling the excitement. What an amazing two-day AvGeek event that was held here, in Seattle, WA on February 21 and 22.
This year, all 250 “Full” tickets sold out in less than 30 seconds. Less than 30% of the guests were from Washington state and the rest came from around the world. We had AvGeeks from Austria, Denmark, the UK, Dubai, India and, of course, our friends up north from Canada. It was a blast!
Paine Field is beyond beautiful – Photo: AvGeek Joe
For those of you not familiar with Aviation Geek Fest Seattle, it is a two-day event, where attendees get to have amazing aviation experiences with VIP access. This was our sixth time doing this, and I think the best one yet.
Boeing Field in 2005
King County International Airport, or Boeing Field (BFI) as it is commonly known, is the largest business and general aviation airport in the Seattle area. If you are flying your Gulfstream or Challenger in to Seattle, this is the place you are likely going to be landing.
The line up of brand new Boeing 737s at BFI – Photo: Bernie Leighton
There are a few scheduled services in and out of this airport, which include Kenmore Air Express and cargo flights with UPS & DHL (FedEx is based at SeaTac). The major traffic at this airport comes from general aviation, business jets via the Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), and Boeing test flights.
Because of this diversity, BFI is a great place to go aircraft spotting.
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
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.