Browsing Tag: Future

Three videos that teach you Wi-Fi do's and don'ts

Three videos that teach you Wi-Fi do's and don'ts

A while back I was able to fly to Baltimore and be a part of AirTran’s wifi unveiling. I was excited to see the new technology first hand, but was disappointed when my AirTran flight back to Seattle didn’t have WiFi. Well, now there is no more wondering! 100% of AirTran’s planes now have WiFi. The beauty of all aircraft on a single airline having WiFi, is you no longer have to wonder. You know by flying on AirTran or Virgin American you will be able to enjoy WiFi.

To assist with folks getting use to having the internet in close proximity of other people, AirTran has created a website to teach you about Internetiquette (awesome word). It has three funny videos and an online brochure. Bonus points for anyone who can take a picture while looking at these on an AirTran flight!

The days when the airline would help you light up.

The days when the airline would help you light up.

The Gadling is reporting that entrepreneur Alexander Schoppmann is hoping to start a smoking-only airline. Schoppmann is currently looking for capital to start Smintair (which stands for Smoker’s International Airways).

The new airline is not looking to cater to the average working Joe, but to people with some extra cash. The airline will only have First and Business class. The airline is planning to have two Boeing 747’s flying from Europe to Japan. The concept is to have no seats on the upper deck and for it to be a lounge. New ventilation systems would be installed on the aircraft allowing for better fresh air recirculation on the smoke-filled flights. Schoppmann is hoping to have the airline up and running by next summer.

Can this concept work?  Maybe. There is a much larger smoking population in Germany and Japan than in the US. Also, with the economic crunch a lot of companies are cutting out their business jets and this might provide a cheaper alternative. It would be like an exclusive country club in the air and probably big business deals could take place in mid-flight. It will be interesting to see if Smintair will ever take off — other sites were reporting the first flight was supposed to be December 2007, so we will have to wait and see!

Image: theage.com.au
Showing the Alaska RNP read outs. Image from AlaskaAir.com

Showing the Alaska RNP read outs. Image from AlaskaAir.com

Alaska Airlines is working on ways to save a few million gallons of fuel per year. The fuel savings will not only trickle down to a passenger’s pocketbook, but it would also cut down on environmental and noise pollutions.

Throughout the summer Alaska has been testing next-generation flight procedures at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) that have been dubbed “Greener Skies.”

The new procedure breaks away from the traditional “stair-step” method of descending into an airport. With current protocol, the control tower will assign altitudes airliners will cruise at. The pilot will descend to the new altitude, increase power to maintain the altitude, and wait for the next step. The new process takes advantage of Required Navigation Performance (RNP). With RNP the decent is a smooth, linear, and controlled approach without the need to level off. Alaska says the new system could save 2.1 million gallons of fuel and 22,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year.

Elliott Pesut, Twitterer for Alaska Airlines, pointed out to me that Alaska is the only major U.S. air carrier with a completely RNP-equipped fleet and fully trained crews. I am sure Alaska won’t be the last. Southwest Airlines recently announced their entire fleet of Boeing 737-700’s have the new technology and are in process of training their flight crews. Alaska is working to gain FAA approval to start using it by next year.

It is great to see an airline taking the leadership role of bringing this technology to the forefront and motivating others to follow suit. I hope that all aircraft at SEA will use the technology and it will spread to all airports and aircraft in the US.

A preview of what is to come.

A preview of what is to come.

The cabin of the Boeing 737 has slowly evolved over the years, but Boeing feels it is time for a large upgrade. Starting in 2010, Boeing will upgrade their 737 interiors with what they are calling “Boeing Sky Interiors.”

Heavily based off the research for the Boeing 787 interior, the new 737 interiors will “give a better connection to the flying experience.” Passengers stepping into the new 737 will notice the soft blue lighting on the ceilings and larger window reveals, giving the sense of a larger cabin.

Along with the aesthetic benefits, the new layout employs several practical changes. The overhead bins will have more storage space and they are pivot hinged (much like the Boeing 777), allowing more head room and open space when closed. The reading light and call buttons have been redesigned to create less confusion and less unintentional calls, which will make the flight attendants happy.

The new Boeing 737 will also feature performance upgrades. Boeing is hoping to increase fuel consumption by 2% via a combination of airframe and engine improvements. 2% might not sound like much when you think about your personal automobile, but when a Boeing 737-900ER can hold over 7,800 gallons of fuel, 2% can make a huge difference.

Source & Image: Boeing.com