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When it comes right down to it, all aircraft are works of art. One particular masterpiece of recent is the super-jumbo A380, with its double-decker curves and four-engine strength. British Airways is particularly enthralled with their sparkling new A380s and thus created a piece of video art in homage to it.
The British carrier has swapped canvas for fuselage to celebrate their newest non-stop route between London-Heathrow and Singapore with a stunning video that's right out of the cool 4D trend of late. You knowwhen a projection on a building gives the illusion of it coming alive right before your very eyes.
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If you only do one thing today, let it be entering KLM's ingenious contest to travel to Amsterdam and have a sleepover inside their recently retired MD-11 airplane.
From now through November 20, KLM is asking all fans of the three-holer aircraft to book it for an overnight stay, as they've cleared out all the typical airplane seats in favor of cozy apartment-style furnishings.
The "Airplane Apartment" sports a master bedroom with king-size bed, a second bedroom with two beds, kitchen, living area, 8 bathrooms, WiFi, a cockpit, and 116 windows. There'll be one winner for each of the three nights, and each winner may bring up to three friends/family along for a total occupancy of 4 people in the Airplane Apartment. But wait, there's more! Winners will also receive international roundtrip flights on KLM to reach Amsterdam, and a 500 EUR Airbnb gift card.
“This isn’t rocket science,” said just about everyone who has ever waited an interminably long time to board a plane.
It’s not. Astrophysics on the other hand, might help.
At least if you trust Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University, who thinks that he has come up with the #flawless, fastest way to get airplane passengers boarded. “Wired” magazine just detailed Steffen’s system, which he developed several years ago — though it continues to fall on deaf ears. Steffen says that while the traditional back-to-front order of operations makes sense on its face, it fails to account for the fact that bottlenecks will still occur as passengers try to hoist their bags into overheads at the same time.
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Thank you, local news station, for bringing us a truly inspiring tale of American ingenuity.
Because having a woodshop in your garage is totally #BasicBitch, suburban Michigan man Andy Millin spent 11 years of his life building his own operational airplane, not in a hangar but inside his house. Millin, who wasn’t even a pilot at the time (read that again, let it sink in) built everything from scratch, wings to fuselage to engine, according to WWMT Newschannel 3, which recently profiled Millin’s tale. But wait, there’s more.
"Homebuilt" planes are actually more common than you'd expect, but the special bit of Millin's construction is that he and his buddy/partner-in-insanity built an addition to his house, which served as their hangar/workshop. Today that space has been converted to a master bedroom, a condition of Millin’s crafty wife, who inadvertently inspired this whole plan when she booked her husband a birthday ride on a B-17 back in 1995.
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ORD would be the last of the top 5 busiest U.S. airports to upgrade facilities for the double-decker airplane, and this is great news not only for travelers, but for a few airlines who have already pinned Chicago on their route map.
The massive airplane will head on over to Terminal 5, and the 34 airlines who call it home in Chicago have agreed to open up their wallets and cough up the $1 million for the preliminary designs for the airport upgrades. This comes after O'Hare's newest runway, (10C and 28C) along with nearby taxi route, was rated to accommodate the heavy aircraft.
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How you doing? That’s what we’d like to say to American Airlines’ brand new Boeing 787. It just rolled out of the hangar complete with the airline’s new livery on the new plane, and we have to say that it looks pretty darn snazzy.
Right now the only place you can check it out is over in Everett, Washington, but if all goes according to plan it’ll be in the hands of the pilots and people over at American Airlines before the end of the year.
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Above: the Delta DC-3
2014 has been a huge, huuuuuge year for airline anniversaries, and at the top of the list is Delta's 85th Anniversary of passenger service, which they celebrated with a reopening of their aviation museum at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Why a re-opening? Well, as it goes with museums, sometimes exhibits need polishing and the Delta Flight Museum had originally opened back in 1995. It's so much more than spit-shining some cases, however; an entire new aircraft was waiting to be added to the permanent collection.
Now visitors can finally get up close with the Boeing 767 "Spirit of Delta," which was actually purchased by donations totaling $30 million from Delta employees. This plane almost single-handedly allowed Delta to weather the tough economic times of the early 1980s and begin modernizing their fleet. She flew for 23 years and is now half time capsule, half museum-within-in-a-museum, and completely open for visitors to tour.
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Boy this whole Ebola outbreak thing has been a real boon for travel journalism, eh? Nary a day goes by without an airport getting locked down because some nurse has a fever, or a plane getting emptied because some idiot makes a joke about feeling sick, or a state getting quarantined because some politician was psychologically scarred by watching Outbreak on a date in the '90s. We can't remember the last time there were so many stories about airports and airplanes and travel politics. It's really just a delight.
Seriously though, the only thing less fun than having Ebola is watching global commercial aviation try to scramble to deal with Ebola. People are not always very bright.
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Just one more day until the little (and not so little) ghosts and goblins come out to play for Halloween and, if you haven't gotten your costume ready to roll this year, you'd better get on it.
Obviously it takes a little more than a trip to Target and some wacky makeup to dress up an airplane, so special airplane paint jobs tooling around tarmacs really make a big splash at this time of the year:
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This isn't just any 787, either. Virgin Atlantic is the first European airline to welcome the longer, cooler 787-9 to their fleet, and they do so on their own 30th birthday as an airline, hence the aircraft's name, "Birthday Girl" G-VNEW.
Inside are 198 Economy, 35 Premium Economy, and 31 Upper Class seats, plus a new "Wander Wall" concept in Premium Economy. This is essentially a snack-and-chat station, since the bar is reserved for Upper Class only. Speaking of that barit's been redesigned to fit within the 787-9, but you'll still be able to pop on a barstool and order a Virgin Redhead somewhere 38,000' above the Atlantic Ocean. Instagram it instantly, thanks to long-haul in-flight WiFi onboard.
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"It's too bright! Close the window, please." - your annoying seatmate
Despite recent reports that "windowless planes" are the wave of the future, air travelers have a love-hate relationship with airplane windows and turning the whole fuselage into a portal to view the sky around you just will not fly (pardon the pun).
You can thank British firm CPI (Centre for Progress Innovation) for the concept and, while it's a fun daydream, there is no way a plane with screens in place of windows will be happening in our lifetime. Here's why:
A few early-stage concepts for what the future of airplane design might look like within the next decade has been making the rounds through the media recently. Three companies in particular, Paris-based Technicon Design, England's Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), and Boston's Spike Aerospace, have emerged at the forefront of the research, and they clearly agree on one thing: Airplanes of the future won't have windows.
You can click on the company links above for more specific details on their individual projects, but the bottom line is that removing windows from fuselages will (eventually) be cheaper and more environmentally friendly due to reduced weight. According to CPI, airplanes without windows are lighter than airplanes with windows, and "for every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75%. If you save weight, you save fuel. And less fuel means less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and lower operational cost."