July 28, 2007

Riddle Me This, Part Two in a Series

This is overdue:

L/N 9:
Q: 011401

L/N 10:
Q: 19th star in the Constellation
A: Shanghai

L/N 11:
Q: Take away the first word in this airline's name, and you will be left with the name of another airline that rose, and fell, and rose, and fell again.
A: China Eastern

L/N 12:
Q: This is what you would say when greeting the Chairman of the Board's daughter, using the shortened form of her first name.
A: Hainan Airlines

L/N 13:
Q: Add this one's line number to that of its older sister, reverse it, and you have the only uniform number ever retired by Major League Baseball.
A: China Eastern

And now the next round...
Some of these are a bit harder.

L/N 14:
You could remove a word from this airline's name, and be left with the the name of another airline. I don't think their respective crews would get along, though.

L/N 15:
Multiply this one's line number with that of its older sister, and you get the numerical part of the model designation of the airplane whose nose some say resembles the 787's.

L/N 16:
Jinju and Narrabri might not be at the top of your list of future destinations. But combine their codes, rearrange the letters, and you have it!

L/N 17:

L/N 18:
There was a band that was known for wearing giant stove pipe hats on stage at their shows, in the style of Abe Lincoln, after whom they named one of their albums. On that album, they sang a song about a lady with a Vietnamese last name.

July 27, 2007

On Flight Delays

I've been wanting to write about this particular topic for some time now. Ironically enough, I now have the perfect opportunity to get my thoughts on paper. I find myself, as I type, sitting at Gate 33 at Logan Airport waiting for my 6:40pm flight to depart to JFK. My jetBlue E190 is here, fueled, loaded, and the crew is ready and raring to go. So why, you ask am I sitting here at 8:37pm twiddling my thumbs? Thunderstorms have forced a ground stop at JFK, and the entire New York City area leaving the beautiful skies over Logan devoid of flights heading to the Big Apple.

Salon.com writer and commercial pilot Patrick Smith, a friend of this blog, hit the nail on the head:
The situation at JFK has reached a breaking point, and it is symptomatic of a nationwide crisis.
I agree with Smith's assessment that regional jets and larger aircraft compete for a finite amount of space both on the taxiways and the sky, however, regional jets have succeeded in opening new markets and enabling better point-to-point connectivity that avoids intermediate connecting airports. The problem is in part schedules, but largely, as I see it an obscenely broken air traffic control system is slowing this country down. If you can remember all the way back to the Summer of 2001 flight delays were snarling America, CNN even did a big special on it. Six years later, it appears nothing has improved. 2006 was the worst year for flight delays in American history, and 2007 is expected to top that.

Advances in avionics technology are ready to fix this problem, the technology to modernize the system on the ground exists too. The air traffic control system as it currently stands is running on 1950s technology. A system that is great if you're flying a 707. Lousy if you're in something a little bit newer. The system as it operates now, relies upon VORs, NDBs and jetways in an entirely ground based system. Popular Mechanics diagnosed the problem perfectly.
With today's radar, it can take up to 36 seconds to get an accurate read on a plane's position — a long time for an aircraft flying 500 mph. So safety buffers err on the conservative side: The minimum distance between planes is 5 miles horizontally and about 3 miles on landing and approach. The result is inefficient use of airports and airspace.
New aircraft are more than capable of transitioning to a GPS based system. Space based navigation will enable more direct routing reducing flight delays, not to mention improving the bottom line and significant fuel savings. Alaska Airlines has been testing this new system, called NextGen, on its 737 and MD-80 fleet with extraordinary success, saving more than 1000 flights from cancellation last year.

The system is set to be implemented by 2025. However here's the problem:
"The current system cannot handle the projected traffic demands expected by 2015," Robert Sturgell, the FAA's deputy administrator, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in March 2007. "Absent modernization, the consequences will be a total system collapse."

July 24, 2007

New QANTAS Livery

Boeing 767-300 VH-OGD wearing the new QANTAS colors. This is the first update to the QANTAS livery since the year after I was born! What do you think?

Republished with permission, all photos are courtesy of Naddsy.

July 22, 2007

The Dreamliner That Will Never Fly

During the roll out of Dreamliner One, I couldn't help but notice the 787 being assembled in the rear of 40-26. This one will never fly however. It is the static rig (ZY997) that is under construction for structural testing. The wings of this 787, unlike that of the 777, will not be broken. As far as I know, Boeing has decided NOT to break the wings for fear of the carbon fiber atomizing which would require a million dollar (or more) clean up of Building 40-23. The static rig will not have engines OR a horizontal tail plane while it undergoes testing in Everett.

Nose section of ZY997
Section 46
Center fuselageLeft wing rootLook how thin the left wing is. It's like a pancake.
Where the wing meets the body.

July 21, 2007

787 Goes IMAX


Production begins on 787 IMAX film

Earlier this month, director Stephen Low and an IMAX crew began filming the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for an upcoming IMAX 3-D movie titled "Legends of the Sky." Set in the context of aviation history, the film will highlight legendary 20th century airplanes in addition to the
manufacturing, testing and first flight of the 787. Initial filming focused on the 787 Premiere, as well as 787 partner facilities in Frederickson, Wash. Additional filming of the 787 will continue this fall. The film is scheduled for release in early- to mid-2008.

Approximately 25 IMAX crew members filmed the arrival of a Dreamlifter ferrying a 787 integrated midbody fuselage in Everett, Wash., earlier this month. The crew used the IMAX 3-D Solido camera mounted on the crane, to capture the airplane's arrival. Weighing approximately 225 pounds (102 kilograms), the camera is one of the largest in the world and captures spectacular 3-D imagery. IMAX movies feature surround sound and images up to eight stories high.

July 19, 2007

Riddle Me This, Part One in a Series

Back in June, this page prominently featured the first eight 787s and their recipient airlines. Flightblogger is taking this idea quite a few steps further. Early this month, this blogger learned the identities of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners 9 all the way through to 27 in an extremely unusual way.

The identities of L/N 9-27 arrived in the form of riddles.

I have since solved them all correctly and I felt it was only appropriate to share the riddles with the aviation community. Please note that these riddles were not created by me. I found that the riddles find their from origins in aviation history, pop culture, sports, mathematics and many other places.

In addition, please keep in mind that with these early build airplanes, the line number probably has little correlation to the delivery order. Boeing will be building and stockpiling aircraft when final 787 certification occurs. Airlines that have a number of airplanes in the first forty or so may well pick them up all at the same time.

Over the next several weeks, I will be releasing them, 5 at a time. The answers will be revealed in the posts that follows. Good luck and feel free to collaborate with each other here in the comments section or in the forums at airliners.net.

L/N 9:

L/N 10:

19th in the Constellation

L/N 11:

Take away the first word in this airline's name, and you will be left with the name of another airline that rose, and fell, and rose, and fell again.

L/N 12:

This is what you would say when greeting the Chairman of the Board's daughter, using the shortened form of her first name.

L/N 13:

Add this one's line number to that of its older sister, reverse it, and you have the only uniform number ever retired by Major League Baseball.

July 18, 2007

LCF1 Returning to the US


The first large cargo freighter, N747BC will return on July 18, 2007 as BOE876 leaving Taiwan at 3:15 GMT and coming back to Everett by way of a fuel stop in Anchorage. LCF1 had been undergoing final modifications and received a full Dreamlifter paint job in Taiwan following the extensive metamorphosis over the previous year. N747BC will join its hard-working sister ship N780BA on normal rotations very soon as a transporter of 787 parts as the program moves toward first flight, flight testing and production ramp up.

LCF1 snuck into the continental United States this afternoon as EIA574, arriving in Portland where it will undergo bridge work for the next several days before returning to Everett.

Air Springfield

Image Courtesy Associated Press

"Uh, everyone, please strap yourselves in, as we are experiencing a little Godzilla-related turbulence. It doesn't look too bad, though. He usually lets go at about 30,000 feet, and, after that, we'll just have to worry about Moth-Ra, Ged-Ra, and Rodan."

July 17, 2007

Changing Flight Numbers

Flightblogger has learned that the modified 747 LCF2 has changed its call sign from Boeing 632 to Evergreen 5146 and Evergreen 5104. 5146 represents the leg from Wichita to Charleston and 5104 represents Everett to Wichita. Flightblogger is working to confirm the permanent change in LCF flight numbers. Either way, it looks like Section 41 for ZA002 should be coming to Everett very soon.

UPDATE: LCF2 will return to Everett tonight as Evergreen 5169 with an estimated arrival at 6:12PM PDT.

July 15, 2007

787 Tails, Update 3

I've updated the 787 tails to include five new airlines: Qatar Airways, Uzbekistan Airways, Lan Chile, Aeroflot and TUI. The basis of the 787 tails was realized last week as they adorned the fuselage of Dreamliner One.

Airlines to be added:

July 13, 2007

Quarter Million!

At 5:05 pm and 5 seconds, Flightblogger received its 250,000th visitor!

The visitor came from Naperville, Illinois.

Again a huge thank you to the first time visitors, the veteran visitors, and the occasional visitors to this site. Without you, I'd be talking to myself.

Thank you all!


July 11, 2007

Up Close and Personal

There's been a dearth of information coming out of this page over the last several days, and want to assure you that I am transitioning the page to the "third phase" of 787 preparations for the first flight. Not to mention I'm still recovering from the weekend. There are a lot of new items in the works here and I believe you'll find them useful. In the mean time, more Dreamliner One:

July 10, 2007

Missed the Roll Out?

Part 1:
Roll out begins at 6:30 mark.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

July 9, 2007

Dreamliner One, meet Planet Earth. Planet Earth, meet Dreamliner One

I'll save extended descriptions for a later post. I just wanted to introduce you to the Dreamliner. I'll leave reactions and comments to you.

Pinch Me, I'm Dreaming

For those of you who thought I went all the way to Seattle with just a cell phone camera, you'll be happily mistaken. I just got off a red-eye from SEA. This is my first chance to actually take a second (breathe) and put up a few preliminary photos. There are A LOT of them, and they will be coming out over the next week or so. Please enjoy, and know there's more where these came from. All shots are currently unedited and will be fixed later in the week.

Thank you to all of those who made this moment possible.
V, CC, A&S, TH, GW, SO, LU

July 8, 2007

Trent 1000

Nose landing lights


Nice Nose



Qatar pictured by boeing as

Qatar pictured by boeing as 787 customer in tail images. I would call this a confirmation.

Charles Conklin, one of two

Charles Conklin, one of two general public members to have seen the dreamliner twice, says she looks amazing.

PAE Closed the airspace for

PAE Closed the airspace for 10 minutes. Not sure why.

Tail is full dreamliner paint.

Tail is full dreamliner paint. I stand corrected.

N787BA confirmed.

N787BA confirmed.

LN1 has left the paint

LN1 has left the paint shop and is being towed toward the final assembly bay.

The event has begun. Stunning

The event has begun. Stunning video presentation. The excitement is building.

Inside 40 26

The change of plans

A Change of Plans

"Good news of a long-awaited event will arrive soon."

No joke, that was my fortune cookie last weekend.

The good news has arrived.

Keep an eye out here. Airliners.net may not be the one to have the first picture.

Live from Everett, it's 07/08/07.

Two Places At Once

Somehow, I managed to defy the laws of gravity, physics and the universe and be in two places at once. I had an excellent vantage point of the departures at PAE yesterday afternoon. Watching the seven series aircraft lined up for departure one after another was truly an amazing sight. After the 757 departed PAE, I, along with famed night-time photographer Charles Conklin, raced down to BFI in time to see the 777-300ER do a fly over. The 777 had already begun its taxi when we left. I have the honor of saying, I raced a 777, and won.

I took a little video from my cell phone camera and put it on youtube.

Here are some of my favorite shots from yesterday. Please note these are 100% unedited images and have not been modified at all except for the copyright mark.

July 7, 2007

A Day at PAE

Seattle Post #2

I write this from the grassy knoll overlooking Paine Field. Wireless internet was kindly donated by Paris' father. The weather is a kin to Southern California right now and I believe I've found myself in Seattle on the nicest weather day of the year. Right now I'm looking at the threshold of runway 16R. I must admit, I'm in awe. I've spent the last three plus months staring at this very spot from 3000 miles away, and here I find myself. To see it in person makes this whole process real. Everything I've been writing about felt somewhat detached. This IS real.

The picture below was taken moments ago. It shows the line up of the seven series aircraft preparing for tonight.