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It hasn't been a good month for travelers with a fear of flying.
First there were the threats to planes flying into Russia for the Olympics, followed by the hijacking an Ethiopian Airlines flight, and this weekend the airborne thriller Non-Stop is hitting theaters.
ET 702 / Hijackings / Boeing / 747-8 / Airplane News / Airplanes / Toilets / Pilots / → All Tags
Above: the cockpit lavatory of the Boeing 747-8i
We mention it now because the 747-8 is the only Boeing commercial aircraft with a built-in feature which would've prevented a hijacking situation like what happened with Ethiopian flight 702 earlier today. That feature: a restroom and rest area just for the cockpit, located behind the armored flight deck door, which means both pilot and co-pilot never have to leave the secure area to use the restroom.
At the debut of the 747-8 Intercontinental in June 2012, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein noted the advantages of having this lavatory and crew rest quarters inside the cockpit, as it increases security and minimizes flight crew absence from the flight deck. [Update: The restroom within the flight deck is actually an option on all 747s, and some older 747-400s have it (such as in the case of Qantas' 744 fleet), but the 747-8i is the first aircraft where it's been the popular option].
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The weekend after the Super Bowl is usually a little bit of a let down. There’s no parties, nothing on television, and you realize that it’s going to be a good chunk of time before the sun returns to welcome spring. That’s why we suggest drinking away the blues, and there’s no better way to do that than during the Hops and Props Craft Beer Festival on Long Island. They bring a great beer festival right into the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and what you get combines our love for a good beverage with our fascination of flying things.
The museum—and festival—does its thing in Garden City, and the fun is scheduled to start on February 8. There’s just one session on Saturday, and things will run between 7pm and 10pm. However, if you’re looking for a little more time with the planes and pilsners there’s a VIP session that will get you access to everything beginning at 6pm. Tickets are a little more than most beer festivals, as regular admission will set you back $65 if ordered ahead of time online—and $75 if obtained at the door. Just be assured that your admission does included unlimited samples in a two-ounce sampling glass, and of course you can bring home the glass as a souvenir.
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It seems like just the other day that Delta’s final DC-9 flight took to the skies, and now the plane has already found a place to spend its retirement years. For those that are sad without DC-9s zipping across the sky here at home, you can now pay your old pal a visit at the aviation museum over in Charlotte.
One of Delta’s DC-9s is now a resident at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and it will be doing its best to make friends with the other airplanes that call the place home. Another famous resident is the US Airways' Airbus that did the impossible during the “Miracle on the Hudson” incident.
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Remember when McDonalds Happy Meals actually had some great toys inside? Heck, some series were even considered “collectible.” Those days disappeared with the arrival of plastic Bratz figurines and Furbies, but quality surprise toys can still be found, across the ocean, inside chocolate Kinder “Surprise" Eggs.
Every so often, Kinder released a special “traveller edition” pack of its most popular treat, the hollow eggs made of milk and white chocolate. A tiny plastic capsule inside the shell always contains some cute little knickknack, and right now those surprises are Airbus A330 aircraft models.
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It’s time to bust out the credit card digits, as the final DC-10 flight—this one is the real deal—is now scheduled and up for sale. Biman Bangladesh Airlines will be taking the ol’ bird up into the skies for its last voyage, as the plane and people travel from Dhaka to Birmingham with a little bit of a stopover in Kuwait. As you may recall from a few weeks back Birmingham—the one in the UK—will be the final resting place for the plane, as it’s going to do the retirement thing at an aviation museum.
For those that want to be part what they’re calling the DC-10 Farewell Tour it’s going to cost you, as the last flight will set you back between roughly $850 and $1000 depending on where you want to seat—they’re charging more for those next to the windows. February 20 is the date for the last commercial flight, but after that there’s a few scenic flights scheduled that might be a little more affordable.
We realize that Santa is hanging out in the islands, relaxing after a busy holiday season, so we’re not exactly ready to send off a letter fir Christmas 2013 just yet. However, we do already know what we want, and it’s one of these snazzy devices from the minds of the folks over at PowerUp.
The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane is exactly what it sounds like. It’s basically a toy airplane for both big kids and little kids that you can control with your mobile device. They’re raising money for their (awesome) idea on Kickstarter, and we’re far from the only ones that want one. Apparently they’ve raised nearly $915,000 and that is way, way more than the $50,000 that they initially set as a goal.
Flight Attendants / Airline News / Nok Air / Thailand Travel / Airplanes / Airline Calendars / Playboy / Sex Travel / → All Tags
Nok, a budget airline based in Bangkok, called up Playboy Thailand and collaborated with the men's publication to choose the "10 Hottest Bunnies" to star alongside Nok's colorful fleet of Boeing 737s (and ATR 72s) for a 2014 calendar. There's no word on the cost of the calendar, but it's safe to assume that passengers may buy them onboard Nok's flights.
Last week another Airbus A350 XWB—that’s a mouthful—rolled off the assembly line, as the airplane manufacturer moves forward with the latest and greatest from its most recent line of jets.
This is airplane number three, and it’s designed for all the testing required before a plane like this can take to the skies packed with passengers. The folks over at Airbus refer to this one as MSN2, and what makes it a little more unique and design forward from its plane siblings is its paint-job. This one has a special livery to reflect the carbon-fiber composite materials that are utilized as part of the construction of the new bird.
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Just last month we were talking about the DC-10 making its last scheduled flight, and now this week there’s something similar happening with the DC-9.
Delta inherited a bunch of that type of plane during their merger with Northwest, and ever since the DC-9 has been busy doing its thing with the Delta logo and colors along its fuselage. Well now it’s time for things to come to an end, as Delta is sending the plane into the skies one last time.
The final flight of the DC-9 from a domestic carrier is now scheduled for January 6, as Delta looks to mark the end of an era. There’s still a few of these planes scattered across the globe, but when Delta stops flying them that will pretty much close the book on the story and life of these aircraft.
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Six hours is an incredibly long time to be sitting on a domestic flight. To a frequent flyer, that stretch from New York to LA or SF means lost hours of work and sleep. To an infrequent traveler, it's an interminable wait only made bearable by the promise of eventually getting off the thing.
Why does transcontinental travel suck so hard? The problem: old airplanes, with old seats and old technology. The solution: new airplanes, with new seats and new technology. Please welcome American Airlines' fresh and fighting Airbus A321s to the skies.
For travelers who've experienced American's current transcontinental service onboard the achy-breaky old 767-200s, the new A321s will be a revelation. No doubt; we fully expect passengers to board these aircraft and think "hallelujah, this is going to be a great flight," no matter the class.
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Ahh, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, currently the most advanced passenger aircraft to take to the skies. Although it's now over two years since the first airline (ANA) received the keys, there's still plenty of flyers out there waiting for their chance to experience a Dreamliner.
In addition to new features like improved fuel efficiency, increased passenger comfort, fancier lighting, gentler pressurization, and bigger overhead bins, we're pretty enthralled by the windows!