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Congratulations To The President-Elect

After a long and frequently bitter election process, both the primaries and the general, the United States has chosen Donald J. Trump to be its 45th president.  The peaceful transfer of power, which Americans take for granted, is nothing short of a miracle by historical standards.  Let us wish the incoming president well and may Providence be his guide during the difficult days that lie ahead.

And now, let us acknowledge the unofficial star of Campaign 2016!

Pilots’ View: Landing A Boeing 787

This video from Cockpit View takes us aboard a Boeing 787 on final approach to Stockholm (ARN).  Note the passage of sunlight across the ultramodern glass cockpit.  The videographer was snapping stills while filming, which explains the “stopping” effect.  Once the aircraft touches the ground, we get a full blast of the “flat tire” sound as the aircraft slows down.  As a passenger, I have always found this somewhat disconcerting! 🙂

You can find more videos from this videographer on You Tube and  and Facebook.

Analog-y! Approach Into Hong Kong

JustPlanes produced this video of a Boeing 747 making a dawn landing in Hong Kong. Great visuals of the city’s spectacular seaside setting and the older generation aircraft’s analog cockpit.  It is good to remember that modern aviation, for all its computerized wonders and glass cockpits, is built on the foundations laid by the analog era, whose aircraft remain perfectly flyable.  Alas, no classic flight jackets or aviator glasses (let alone goggles) appear. Dang! 🙂

KLM Explains Highways In The Sky

Every day 4,000 flights cross the North Atlantic, where there is very limited radar coverage.  How is the flow controlled? KLM explains the process in one of their interesting “Cockpit Tales” videos.  An aircraft flies on a track determined by ATC, which sets a precise entry point and time for each flight.  Once in, the aircraft observes tight speed and altitude parameters, which are communicated by satellite back to ATC.  The pilots monitor their progress very carefully.  Note the paper checklists!

Another example of the complex behind-the-scenes planning which makes modern commercial flight safe and reliable!


Legacy: Concorde And The Supersonic Dream

The Concorde, the world’s first real supersonic commercial jet, was perhaps the most exciting plane ever produced.  But it failed at being an economically viable proposition, an absolute must for any airliner. This video by Vox explores the legend and the reality.  Scalability is the term that best explains the Concorde’s demise.  Restricted to transatlantic routes because of its sonic boom, with poor fuel economy in an era of skyrocketing energy prices and limited passenger capacity, the airplane never went into mass production. Consequently, it never made sense for the manufacturer to invest in upgrades or successor models. British Airways and Air France pulled the last ones out of service in 2003.

But the mystique and glamor live on. On a personal note, back in the day I lived on one of the approaches to JFK airport.  You always knew when a Concorde was overhead, and looked up. It was that noisy even without the sonic boom. But what a sight!



British Airways: 747-400 Business Class

The Luxury Travel Expert takes the viewer on board a Boeing 747-400 en route from London to San Francisco. The video includes an extensive takeoff sequence (with New Age-ish music!) and a view of the amenities on offer in Business Class.  The BA 747 has premium cabins on both the main and upper decks; the latter affords almost suite-like privacy.  It all looks quite spacious and well-appointed, but the greyscale ambiance does look a trifle, well, chilly. There’s a walk through Economy towards the end and a very brief look at the landing in SFO.  The video provides links to the related blog and flight review.

Farnborough: Boeing Shows Off The 787-9

Aviation is about performance art as well as engineering. Boeing shone the spotlight on its biggest star at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow, putting a new All Nippon Airways 787-9 through some exciting aerobatic paces. (Japan’s ANA was the 787’s launch customer).  While passengers no doubt will be reassured by the aircraft’s performance capabilities, the sleek interior and amenities are probably of more interest.  You can read more about the aircraft at Boeing’s Dreamliner site.

CRJ900 Proves Europe Still Exists Post-Brexit!

Political arrangements come and go, but the view from the sky always stays the same, and provides reassuring perspective during noisy news cycles. posted this look at a Lufthansa CityLine CRJ900 on a short hop from Luxembourg to Frankfurt.  The low cabin noise level is remarkable given the proximity of the engines. Bombardier, Canada’s regional jet powerhouse, has produced another great plane that makes everyone a winner, which is what international trade is supposed to be about.  (Go to the Air-Clips You Tube page to see the write-up on the evolution of the CRJ900, which seats 76-90 passengers).


The Joy Of The LONG Flight Video-JFK To LAX

While most flight video fans are probably just interested in highlights, there are occasions when one might be in the mood for the whole thing.  (The prudent devotee does this on someone else’s dime; like on public wifi  :))  Long flight videos make a great backdrop to do other tasks, and if you haven’t been on a plane for a while, the chance to get accustomed again to the rhythms and sounds of air travel.  And then there is always the opportunity  for some great window views or a glimpse at the goings-on in cabin service, all from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Here Inflight Video lets us climb aboard an American Airlines A321T en route from JFK to Los Angeles, with the wonderful views of the Atlantic coastline, Middle America, the Rockies and the beehive of southern California that are on offer during these transcon journeys.  The audio includes ATC chatter and all the cabin sounds.  And, of course, the announcement from the flight desk that there’s no available gate at LAX, sorry for the inconvenience.  Don’t have 6+ hours? Skip around and enjoy!


KLM Juices Up-With Orange

Before there was virtual space, there was physical space.  And when it comes to advertising real estate and visualizing the brand, nothing beats a billboard in the sky..  Airlines have paid a great deal of attention to the image their planes cut up there, although jazzy paint schemes cost money and don’t help the aircraft fly any better.  KLM is doing a major refresh of its livery, adding a huge splash of the signature orange always associated with Holland. It’s a warm color, but it looks pretty cool!