Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 flying over the Farnborough Airshow.
Malaysia Airlines recently took delivery of their first Airbus A380 and brought its second to the Farnborough Airshow to show it off.
Invited guests were allowed to take a tour of the interior and everyone with-in sight of the airport was able to see the A380 perform in the sky.
Like other A380’s, the cockpit is huge.
If the livery doesn’t look familiar to you, that is because the airline decided to give all their A380’s a special livery. The livery was a surprise (or a last minute decision), since the aircraft first flew with the standard livery on the tail. When seeing the design in photos, I wasn’t so sure what to think about it, but it really pops in person.
The main problem is the outside color scheme doesn’t match the inside. While the outside uses different shades of blue, the interior uses reds, which is a bit of a mind boggle when first boarding, but I am sure most people won’t even notice.
First Class is found on the lower deck.
The airline decided to put their eight First Class seats, which are laid out in a 1-2-1 formation, on the main deck, at the front. First Class are mini-suites that contain a lay-flat bed, 89″ pitch, 23″ screen, power at the seat and a personal closet. To create a sense of height (literally), there are not overhead bins in First Class.
I have to say that the product seemed quite impressive, but I was not a fan of the materials and colors. A bit too much red and brown for my taste, but it could be cultural. I think I could probably get over the coloring and enjoy the product.
A Business Class seats in sleeping and eating positions.
Business Class is found on the front part of the upper deck and is in a 2-2-2 configuration. The 66 full flat seats have a 74″ pitch, a 17″ screen and a power supply.
This Business Class is a pretty standard product out in the industry today — which is not a bad thing. There seemed to be plenty of storage (especially those seats up stairs with the side-bins) and the color I liked.
Each Economy seat has a pretty large screen and a iTouch remote.
Economy is set up in a 2-4-2 on the upper deck and 3-4-3 on the main deck. They offer 32″ of pitch, seat power, and a 10.6″ screen.
If you are going to be flying in economy, trying getting a seat on the upper deck. Not only do you get to feel special for being on the upper deck, but if you score a window seat, you will be rewarded with extra arm room and a cubby between your seat and the wall.
Flight crew have 12 bunks, three high, located at the rear of the upper deck.
One thing you will not find in the First Class cabin or the entire upper deck are baby bassinets. That is because Malaysia Airlines will only allow babies to fly in the economy section on the main deck.
Pilot rest area behind the cockpit.
Behind the cockpit, there are three small rooms. Two are rest areas for the pilots and one is their private lavatory. The cockpit is located between the A380’s two decks, so it takes a few steps to get in.
The actual cockpit itself is huge. We had about six people in it with no problem what-so-ever. You could really throw a party up there, but it is probably best to just stick with flying.
The Airbus A380 shows its moves at the airshow.
It was all well and fun checking out the inside of the A380, but the real impressive part was seeing this beast in the air, doing aggressive maneuvers during Farnborough. I am sure A380 pilots do not get to experience flying the world’s largest airliners like that very often. What a great treat for them and for those of us on the ground.
ADDITIONAL MALAYSIA AIRLINES AIRBUS A380 PHOTOS (even more on Flickr):
The new Advance Technology Winglet that will go on the Boeing 737 MAX.
There are tons of eye candy here at the Farnborough Airshow and I will be sharing more of it soon. For now, I wanted to show off the new Advanced Technology Winglet for the Boeing 737 MAX in the flesh. The thing is huge and looks quite impressive in person.
The new winglet is 9′ 7″ tall and extends about 4′ out from the wing. This is done on purpose, since it increases the effective span of the wing. The new winglet increases the lift of the 737, without adding weight,making it more efficient.
With four additional feet on each side of the 737, this could cause some issues with manufacturing at the Boeing Renton plant, where the NG’s are currently made. Boeing tells me that this is not currently a concern, since they plan to build the MAX on an additional line and will have room for the additional size of the winglet.
As I stated previously, I am not a big fan of the boring name for the winglet, but I am a fan on how it looks. And really, an airline isn’t going to be choosing the new 737 MAX for the look or name of the winglet, but more for the 1.5% increase of fuel efficiency.
Words of Note: For those of you fans who read Jon Ostrower’s Flight Blogger site, the “Photo of Note” statement might look familiar. I have always loved his usage of that statement. Now that he doesn’t use it anymore after moving to the Wall Street Journal, I received permission to use the terminology — thanks Jon!
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner, in Qatar Airways livery, arrives to London this week. Image from Boeing.
I am very excited, because I will be heading to London this weekend to attend the Farnborough Airshow for the first time. Each year, Paris and Farnborough take turns hosting this amazing airshow and I hope to share the experience with you folks.
It is normally during this airshow that Boeing and Airbus announce orders for additional aircraft. Although the A320neo and 737 MAX will be popular, I am really hoping for some 747-8 Intercontinental and Airbus A350 order announcements.
You better believe, I will be sharing what is going down via my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also hope to get a few blogs up next week as well. And yes, I actually plan to take a day to check out London (oddly, I have never been), although it might be difficult to get me away from the airplanes.
Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy.
Per usual, getting there will be half of the fun. I will be taking Air New Zealand’s flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR). I will be reviewing their premium products and flying over there in Premium Economy and on the way back flying in Business Premier.
Right now, they are one of their 777-300s scheduled to do the route tomorrow, which offers the newest product. I hope it stays that way because the 777-200 still has the older Premium Economy, which is not bad, but I much more prefer the 2-2-2 layout to the new product versus the 3-3-3 on the -200.
Previously, I had the opportunity to fly from Paine Field to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 777-300ER in Business Premier, but since it was a special media flight, I wasn’t able to get the whole experience — plus the flight was very short. I am looking forward to trying both products on the long haul and check out their new safety video in person.