Posts in the category "Airplanes":

Name-a-Plane and fly to Frankfurt

Lufthsansa Name the Plane

Betty, Bob, Brutus? What name would you give to an airplane?

In preparation for delivery of its first Boeing 777F in Frankfurt this October, Lufthansa is having a contest to name an airplane. Entries will be taken until July 15, 2013 and the winner will be flown to Frankfurt so they can be on hand when the new plane lands.

Find more details about Lufthansa’s “Name the Plane” contest here.

More snaps from Fiji Airways A330 send-off

Fiji Airways had a party at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday to celebrate this Airbus A330 airplane,  which will start flying between LAX and Fiji in July as the airline ramps up service between LAX and Nadi International Airport (NAN).

Fiji Airways new plane

I wrote earlier about the airline’s new livery, the Fijian artist who created the livery that’s on the airplane and the meaning of the symbols in the Masi design. And although I didn’t get to join the group that flew on this plane to Fiji, I wanted to share a few more images from the send-off event that took place at the Flight Path Learning Center – Museum at LAX.

First a few snaps from the Fiji Airways event. To kick off the evening, there was a short performance by a troupe of Fiji warriors.

FIJI WARRIORS

I was a bit intimidated by these fellows, until I spotted them later snacking on some of the cupcakes decorated with the new airplane’s logo that we’d all been patiently waiting to devour. Turns out these warriors are Fijiians living in Utah.

Fiji warrior eating cupcake

P1010003

Another surprise of the evening was being in the Flight Path Learning Center – Museum, which is adjacent to the LAX airfield and a superb spot for plane spotting.

There’s plenty to spot in the museum’s exhibits as well, including a great collection of airline purses and bags -

LAX MUSEUM BAGS

These charming Pan Am footies -

LAX MUSEUM PAN AM FOOTIES

All manner of airplane models and airline uniforms and some very collectible books.

LAX MUSEUM BOOKS

Fiji Airways rebrand ready to take off in US

Fiji Airways cupcakes

(Very decadent) cupcakes show off the new Fiji Airways livery

Air Pacific’s makeover continues with the next step of its rebranding as Fiji Airways, the name the airline originally had back in 1951.

Fiji Airways new plane

Fiji Airways had a reception at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday to welcome its newest airplane – an Airbus A330 named – Namuka-I-Lau –which is not only the name of one of Fiji’s 333 islands, but the island where Makereta Matemosi lives. She’s the Fijian artist commissioned to create the design for the airline’s new livery, which originates from traditional Fijian art form known as Masi.

Fijian artist Makereta Matemosi

Fijian artist Makereta Matemosi demonstrating how she makes her Masi designs.

At the event, Matemosi explained the different meanings behind the various motifs in her Masi design for the new Fiji Airways brandmark, which has as its centerpiece the Teteva.

Fiji Airways Brandmark Symbol

The big circle has four crosses at its ‘corners,’ which are meant to signify interconnection and the way the airline connects people to the Fiji Islands. The inner circle reflects the spiritual values of the Fijian people, and the middle, which has sixteen petal shapes, is meant to reflect people working together.

Matemosi said the innermost part of the design – the diamond – represents love.

This new Airbus A330 airplane, one of three the airline is adding to its fleet, will begin flying from Los Angeles to Fiji on July 1, 2013.

Fiji Airways engine

Fiji Airways wing

In Alaska: goodbye sled dogs; hello airplanes.

Alaska Aviation

Undated winter view of Wien Alaska Airlines airplane with musher and dog team in foreground. Image credit: Wien Collection/Anchorage Museum

 

One hundred years after the first powered flight in Alaska, the Anchorage Museum on Saturday opens a major exhibition celebrating the rich and remarkable stamp aviation has had on the Frontier State.

That history began as a spectacle. In 1913, several Fairbanks merchants got together to ship a biplane from Seattle to Alaska by steamboat. They then sold tickets so onlookers could watch two barnstormers fly the plane 200 feet above the ground at a lazy 45 mph.

Ten years after that first powered flight in Alaska, Anchorage officials declared a holiday so people could come out and help clear land for the city’s first airstrip.

“In the early days, Alaska was a very inaccessible, remote place, with very few roads and some dog sled trails crisscrossing the territory,” aviation historian Ted Spencer told NBC News. “With airplanes, though, mail could be delivered in hours rather than weeks. Remote village and towns could be connected. Life changed incredibly.”

The exhibit, Arctic Flight: A Century of Alaska Aviation, showcases photographs and artifacts — including leather and fur-lined outfits worn by bush pilots and the tires and handmade skis inventive pilots attached to bush planes to allow them to land on glaciers and frozen lakes.

Even empty fuel cans, fabric, crates and other flight-related items intentionally or unintentionally left behind had an impact in remote places. “Those items were used to make furniture, clothing and household objects that are still around,” said Julie Decker, the museum’s chief curator. “In Alaska, people are very practical.”

Bush pilots became heroes in small towns and villages, Decker said. “They were a connection to the outside world and they could deliver things to places where things could never get delivered before,” she said.

BIPLANE

This Stearman C2B biplane was flown by several legendary Alaska bush pilots including Joe Crosson, the first pilot to land on Mount McKinley, and Noel Wien, founder of the state’s first airline. Image credit: Eric Long/Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

 

 

Pilots were also real-life Alaskan characters that had to be skilled in the air and on the ground. “They needed to be able to not only fly the planes, but fix them. And they needed to be able to survive in the cold and in the wilderness,” said Decker. “Imagine how tough and hearty they had to be in the early days of flying when the planes had open cockpits and it was 40 degrees below zero – on the ground.”

Other artifacts on exhibit include a Stearman C2B biplane flown by several legendary bush pilots, ephemera and memorabilia from a variety of former Alaska-based commercial airlines, a 1927 film clip from the first airplane to fly over the North Pole, and bits of airplane crash wreckage, including pieces from the 1935 crash that killed famed aviator Wiley Post and entertainer-humorist Will Rogers near Barrow, Alaska.

And while improvements in technology have made flying much safer than it was when that biplane first came to Alaska, Decker says “weather trumps all” and that flying small or large planes in Alaska can still present a formidable challenge.

“The state is just so huge, with all sorts of water formations, vast and rugged landscapes and extreme, unpredictable weather. Even with modern airplanes, GPS and radio communications, there are still crashes and planes still occasionally disappear,” Spencer said.

“Alaska is still a dangerous place to fly.”

My story: Goodbye sled dogs, hello airplanes. Alaska marks 100 years of aviation history first appeared on NBC News.com Travel.

 

 

New 777-300ER planes for Thai Airways & Air China

This week I had the opportunity to go to the Boeing plant and Paine Field in Everett, WA for Boeing’s delivery of THAI Airways’ new Boeing 777-300ER, which will be used on the Los Angeles (LAX) – Bangkok (BKK) route with a stopover in Seoul. The airplane’s business class seats recline into fully flat beds, and in economy class the seats are a roomy (and pretty) 18.5 inches wide.

I didn’t have the opportunity to join the special guests on this delivery flight to Bangkok, but I did get a look at the plane in the next parking lot slot, which was also being delivered that day. This is Air China’s new 777-300ER, which has a fun ‘Smiling Faces’ livery.

Courtesy Boeing

 

courtesy Boeing

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