Seattle’s Museum of Flight gets a Dreamliner

It’s still so new – but the 787 Dreamliner is already a museum piece.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Boeing Company will officially donate Dreamliner “Number 3” to Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

If you’re in town, you’ll be able to see the plane in the museum’s East Parking Lot all weekend and tour it from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, and all day Sunday, Nov. 9.

The plane will then be relocated and closed to the public from Nov. 10 until the 21st while it gets prepped for permanent exhibition starting Nov. 22.

What’s the big deal about this airplane?

This 787 – ZA003 – was the third Dreamliner built. It first flew on March 14, 2010 and, in addition to its role in the flight test and certification program, Boeing flew this plane to almost two dozen countries to show it off as part of a “Dream Tour.”

Gifts for Avgeeks

I’m gathering up a list of cool aviation-related products and handicrafts, just in case Santa reads StuckatTheAirport.com, or in case you’re looking for some cool gifts this holiday season.

Two for today:

Jerome Daksiewicz has a kickstarter campaign going to create a boxed set of his runway prints of 30 of the large hubs in the US and a screenprint illustrating all the runways.

And Matthew Mahler at Skyebags has a refreshed line of items – a wallet, a tote and a Dopp kit – made from upcycled leather from old Delta Air Lines seats.

7_Skyebags Dopp Kit

Have a great avgeek gift to recommend? Send in your suggestions.

Fashionable & frivolous flight attendant attire – part 2

Here are more fun photos from a slide show on flight attendant uniforms I put together for CNBC Road Warrior. Part 1 is here.

Hughes Airwest, Designed by Mario Armond Zamparelli, 1972-77

Hughes Airwest uniform courtesy Ted Huetter, Museum of Flight Seattle

According to Seattle’s Museum of Flight, in the early 1970s American artist and designer Mario Armond Zamparelli was asked by business magnate and aviator Howard Hughes to create new flight attendant uniforms for Hughes Airwest. A memorable Airwest outfit was a Sundance Yellow princess-line knit dress, which had a matching zippered jacket. When going outdoors, flight attendants could add a hooded cape or a princess-line coat.


In the 1960s and ’70s, hotpants were common, as seen in this Continental uniform. Courtesy Cliff Muskiet www.uniformfreak.com

“Hot pants and short dresses with hot pants underneath were a common look in the 1960s and ’70s, and Continental, PSA and Southwest Airlines all had uniforms featuring that style,” said Cliff Muskiet of uniformfreakcom. “In those years, the stewardess was used to attract male passengers and hot pants were part of the plan,” he said.

8_courtesy Cathay Pacific

Courtesy Cathay Pacific

Compared with the hot pants-themed uniforms some airlines required their flight attendants to wear during the ’60s and ’70s, these Cathay Pacific uniforms, launched in July 2011, appear to be quite tame. But the union representing the airline’s flight attendants recently complained the outfits were “too sexy.”

In a statement, Cathay Pacific said it has made some modifications to the uniform to address concerns about the length of the blouse and the tightness of the skirt, and crew members “are welcome to exchange their uniform any time if they feel the fit is not right.”

Although many of the older airlines are long gone, some of the classic airlines are looking to return to the skies, such as PEOPLExpress.

In May 2014, a group trying to bring back Eastern Air Lines, the iconic Miami-based carrier that operated from the 1920s until 1991, held a contest to choose a designer for the uniforms crew members might wear when the airline returns to the skies. The winner was Miami-based designer Lisu Vega, whose collection includes a variety of chic, navy and teal outfits with matching hats and luggage.

9_Lisu Vega_Eastern Air Lines possible uniform

Eastern Air Lines uniform Simon Soong / Courtesy Lisu Vega



Interview with The Lego Pilot

guess muc

In person, he’s surely taller and more animated.

But in selfies online – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, – the world’s smallest international airline pilot is pretty darn charming.

Since March, the tiny toy has become the alter-ego of a London-based pilot – a first officer in his mid-20s – who for now won’t share his real name and the name of the airline he works for, but via email was willing to share some details about his real life and the adventures of the Lego figure he’s been photographing at work and play in, so far, more than 20 cities around the world.

walk hk

The real pilot told me that about two years ago, he was a given a Lego plane set with a Lego pilot as a joke present from his parents when he got his first commercial airline pilot job. “The pilot was to be like a lucky charm in my flight case,” he said.

That original Lego pilot got lost, but once the Lego Pilot photography project was hatched, the real pilot purchased a new figure.

“I guess he does resemble me. A happy coincidence when building the Lego mini-figure in the Lego Store,” he said.

coffee and paper before to

Finding locations for the Lego Pilot to have his picture taken hasn’t been a problem, but there have been strange looks and some challenges in setting up scenes, “especially outside, the wind tends to knock him over,” said the pilot. “Also I do get worried about losing him.”

headset radio

The pilot said he hasn’t heard from the Lego company’s lawyers yet, but he has posted a disclaimer on his site alerting fans that the project is not an official Lego project. He’s also being very careful about not revealing his identity to honor his company’s rules about social media.

“If the airline doesn’t like [the project] I could face disciplinary action and that would bring an end to the Lego Pilot,” he said. “I have worked very hard to get where I am and I do not want to lose my job. But at the same time, this project is fun and my new hobby gives the world a little bit of an insight into a pilot’s life.”

lego pilot HQ

(All photos courtesy of the Lego Pilot)

Fancy a flight to Paris? Charles Lindbergh did.


Spirit of St. Louis courtesy Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

So much chatter these days about amenities we want on long trip from say, New York to Paris, so let’s just take a moment today to tip our hats to Charles Lindbergh, who left New York for for Paris on the morning of May 20, 1927.

Thirty-three hours, 30 minutes, and 3,610 miles later he landed safely at Le Bourget Field, near Paris.

He was flying alone. So no one brought him a meal, a pillow a blanket or even a tiny bag of peanuts.

Read more about the plane and the flight here.