Once a month, Delta Air Lines holds a "garage sale" at one of its facilities near their flight museum adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The New York Times' Jackie Snow visited this curious surplus sale. Turns out, many of the shoppers lining up to buy galley carts, oscilloscopes, earbuds, posters, branded silverware, and maybe even a scavenged coach class seat actually are Delta employees. From the NYT:
Perry De Vlugt, a Delta flight attendant based in Salt Lake City, has a basement full of Delta memorabilia; his collection was profiled in The Salt Lake Tribune, and he has a website dedicated to his hobby. He doesn’t know how many items he has, but he’s out of room in the 1,000-square-foot space dedicated to his collection...
Over the years, the sale has expanded to include decommissioned plane parts, service items and promotional material. Pieces as varied as pre-9/11 steak knives, coasters, an aircraft lavatory, old menus and timetables have been snapped up by collectors. The priciest item sold has been a $500 pressurized door from a DC-9 plane, and the sales contribute between $70,000 and $100,00 to the flight museum each year.
When Delta updates its branding, changes technology or over-orders or retires parts, those items are offered up to the sale.
“They suffer my wrath if they throw out anything before we get to take a look at it,” said Judy Bean, the sale’s manager and a Delta employee for 48 years.
"Stocking Up at an Airline’s Garage Sale" (New York Times)
Delta Surplus Sale (Delta Museum)
(Images: Delta Flight Museum posts on Facebook)
Read the rest
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating multiple reports of UFOs over the coast of Ireland on Friday. From the BBC:
(A British Airways) pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow, said there was a "very bright light" and the object had come up along the left side of the aircraft before it "rapidly veered to the north..."
(Another Virgin pilot said) there were "multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory" and that they were very bright.
The pilot said he saw "two bright lights" over to the right which climbed away at speed.
One pilot said the speed was "astronomical, it was like Mach 2" - which is twice the speed of sound.
According to the IAA, the matter will be "investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process." Meanwhile, the BBC quotes an astronomer who suggests what the pilots saw could have been a meteoroid aka "shooting star."
image: not the actual UFO over Ireland
Read the rest
This gorgeous 1960s aerodynamic test model of a NASA supersonic transport plane from the space agency's Langley Research Center can be yours for $5,685. On offer from Agent Gallery Chicago, it's approximately 51" long with a wingspan of 24" and "built of wood and composite materials." Unfortunately, one of the fins has snapped off but I'm sure the right person could work wonders with a little balsa wood, X-acto knife, and paint.
"RARE 1960'S NASA AERODYNAMICS SST MODEL" (via Uncrate)
Read the rest
Police arrested Bruce Michael Alexander for groping a sleeping woman seated in front of him on a Southwest flight from Texas to New Mexico. In the police car, Alexander reportedly told police that "the president of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts." From USA Today:
Read the rest
The woman said she felt Alexander's hand move from behind her and grab her right breast. She said she fell asleep about 20 minutes into the flight and not long after, she felt him touch her but assumed it was an accident, according to court documents.
About 30 minutes later, she said she felt Alexander's hand grab the back of her arm and grope around her ribs and then her breast.
The woman then stood up and told Alexander she did not understand how he could think that was OK and he needed to stop.
There's no better way to beat the heat on your next beach vacation than to hold on for dear life while being blown around by the power of a jet engine. Read the rest
Starting Thursday, Singapore Airlines will offer a nonstop flight between Singapore to New York, becoming the longest commercial non-stop route at 19 hours in the air. That's 3 hours longer than Quantas Airlines' Perth to London long haul. To handle the distance, Singapore Airlines ordered nearly 50 of Airbus's new A350-900 ULR (for Ultra Long-Range). From CNN:
Read the rest
"The A350 is a clean-sheet design that has been designed for those long-range flights," Florent Petteni, Airbus' aircraft interiors marketing director for the A350, tells CNN Travel.
All A350s share Airbus' design philosophy that makes the aircraft cabin feel more like a room, rather than a long tube. The plane has high ceilings, sophisticated LED lighting, almost vertical sidewalls and a low noise level.
These features, along with a maximum in-cabin simulated altitude of just 6,000 feet, all combine to provide an improved passenger experience, according to Petteni.
During its 1970s heyday, the Concorde, the commercial supersonic plane that did NYC to London in under three hours, wasn't just a revolution in aerospace engineering; it was an icon of industrial design, set the bar in luxury travel, and, quite literally, embodied the jet-set lifestyle. Now, my friend qnd colleague Lawrence Azerrad, the creative director of the Grammy-winning Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set we released last year, has created a glorious art book about the Concorde and its scene in the sky. The book, Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, overflows with historical and technical information and stunning photos of the plane, its marketing materials, and amenities designed by the likes of Andrée Putman, Raymon Loewy, and Sir Terence Conran who wrote this book's foreword. From CNN:
Taking a branded item home was part of the experience. Anything that could be removed from the plane would be taken by passengers as a souvenir. Some of these items were particularly sought after, like those designed by Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design who created cabin interiors for Air France.
"He used a very forward-thinking, futuristic approach for that time, down to the design of the seats, the headrests, the fabric and, probably more famously, the stainless steel flatware, which Andy Warhol would famously steal," said Azerrad. "There's a story where (Warhol) asked if the person sitting next to him was taking theirs, she said no and he took her set."
Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde is a magnificent celebration of the history of our in-flight future. Read the rest
Since the 1950s, wildlife departments have airdropped fish from planes to repopulate remote lakes. Above is video shot by Kamas State Fish Hatchery.
"They kind of flutter down, so they don't impact very hard," said Kamas State Fish Hatchery supervisor Ted Hallows. "They flutter with the water and they do really well."
From an article Hallows wrote in Wildlife Review (PDF):
Many of the lakes in Utah are excellent places to fish, but you can’t get to them with a truck or a car. The Uinta Mountains alone have more than 650 fishable lakes. The best way to stock many of these valuable fisheries—and sometimes the only way to stock them—is from the air…
What used to take the old-time biologists and their pack trains months to stock can now be stocked in a few hours with an airplane. And using an airplane stresses the fish less. That means more of them will survive their fall to the water.
More at The Kid Should See This: "Aerial stocking: Utah wildlife departments drop fish into lakes from airplanes"
— Pattern (@Pattern) August 29, 2018
Read the rest
Pilot: "It's not my first day in New York. It's not my first day in an aircraft."
From the Irish Times:
Read the rest
The Aer Lingus plane referred to as “Shamrock 104 Heavy” throughout the recording had gone down the runway southwards, and was intending to turn left across the Atlantic and towards Ireland.
The pilot saw a storm upon take off to his left that he deemed unsafe and so carried on straight to await further instructions.
While the pilot thought the storm was unsafe to fly through, the air traffic controller became agitated telling the pilot no other aircraft had deviated from the requested course.
Air travel sucks. It’s always cramped. One person, per plane, is paid to bring a tuna and onion sandwich on board so that its odor can be pushed through the air re-circulation system (FAA Regulations, yo), and there’s never enough booze in those wee bottles to make a proper drink from. But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about bed bugs!
From Fox 5 NY:
Passengers on flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to India are complaining about bed bug infested seats.
In one case this week a family complained their infant was covered in bites and bleeding by the time the 17-hour flight landed in Mumbia.
Pravin Tonsekar tweeted Air India photos of his seat with apparent bed bugs on them.
Air India replied with a comment that it is: "Sorry to hear this. Sharing the details with our maintenance team for corrective measures in this regard."
Another passenger tweeted to the airline that his family flew out of Newark on July 18 and his wife and three children were covered in bed in bites all over their body. He asked, "Is this what we paid $10,000 for???"
Actually, no. You paid for a seat, in-flight meals, fuel, airport taxes, and a place to stash your luggage. The bugs were a freebie.
A quick Duck Duck Go search revealed that this wasn’t the first airborne bed bug encounter that’s found its way into the news. In 2017, a Canadian family got eaten up by the little buggers during a nine-hour flight on a British Airways flight from Vancouver to London. Read the rest
In absolute crap weather conditions, two U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crews were dispatched to Jumbo Mountain, 39 miles west of Ketchikan, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island: a charter plane with 11 passengers was reported to have crashed. After making the flight to the purported crash site, battling wind rain and poor visibility all the way, the Coast Guard arrived at the crash site and reported in: all 11 souls on board, while battered from a rough landing on the side of a mountain, were very much alive.
From The BBC:
Commander Michael Kahle, of the Coast Guard in Juneau, Alaska, congratulated the aircrew of the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters who conducted the rescue.
"Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides," he said in a statement.
Coast Guard spokesman Charly Hengen told local media that the rescue pilots had only about a quarter mile of visibility due to fog during the mission.
The pilot at the stick at the time of the accident was 72-year old Mike Hodgins, flying for a charter company called Taquan Air. The NTSB is investigating the accident, but in the meantime, damn: a plane crash on the side of a damn mountain where the plane comes out largely intact and all of the passengers survived? It might come out that the incident occurred due to pilot error but, in the meantime, I want a grizzled vet like Hodgins flying all of the planes, all of the time. Read the rest
Singapore Airlines just launched the longest nonstop commercial flight route in history -- 20 hours between New York City and Singapore. On the other side of the coin though is the shortest international commercial flight in the world: Anguilla Air Services' 12-mile route in the Caribbean between Saint Martin's Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) and Anguilla's Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport. Flight time is 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the shortest domestic commercial flight is from Westray to Papa Westray, Scotland. From CNN:
A narrow stretch of water separates the Orkney islands of Westray and Papa Westray, off the north coast of Scotland. Scottish airline Loganair has been running an air bridge between these two tiny Scottish islands for around 50 years, making it the shortest nonstop regular flight anywhere in the world.
The flight, operated by a Britten-Norman Islander eight-seater aircraft, takes just over a minute, but on occasions has been as short as 53 seconds, depending on tail wind.
"This route is used mainly by the people of the Orkney Islands going about their daily routines," says Andy Thornton, Loganair's director of flight operations. "It is used by teachers, the local police officer, the banker and children going to school. However it is also a keen route for tourists and aviation enthusiasts."
"A 10-minute flight? World's shortest airline routes" (CNN) Read the rest
Following other proposals for standing "seats" on airplanes (link
), the Skyrider 2.0 saddle seat "is the new frontier of low-cost tickets,” according to Italian company Aviointeriors. Rather than pitch the Skyrider as an inexpensive option for fliers, I think they'd do better positioning it as a healthy luxury like standing desks. From the Boston Globe
Read the rest
For airlines that have been trying to shed weight and save on fuel costs by introducing thinner seats and eliminating seatback screens, the Skyrider 2.0 makes perfect sense. According to Aviointeriors, the design allows a 20 percent increase in passengers per flight. It also weighs 50 percent less than a standard economy seat, lowering the fuel cost per passenger...
The reduced legroom brings the seat pitch (the distance between one seat and the next in front) down to 23 inches. By way of comparison, the seats on low-cost, low-rated Spirit have a seat pitch of 28 inches.
The de Havilland Comet, unveiled in 1952 to great acclaim, was beset with technical problems that grounded the entire fleet by 1954. One of the big design flaws? Square windows. Read the rest
Pilot Amol Yadav upped and said, one day, that he would construct an airplane on the roof of his apartment building in Mumbai. But how will you get it down, friends asked...
Read the rest
"I really don't know," he told them. Mr Yadav, who flies twin-engine turboprop planes for a living, is nothing if not obstinate. The five-storey building, home to his 19-member joint family, didn't have a lift, so they lugged factory lathes, compressors, welding machines, and an imported 180kg (396lb) engine up the narrow stairwell to the roof. Braving sticky summers and torrential monsoon rains, Mr Yadav and his motley crew - an automobile garage mechanic and an expert fabricator - worked under a tarp shed on the unkempt 111.5 sq m (1,200 sq ft) roof, less than half the size of a tennis court. In February last year, his six-seater propeller plane was ready.
Fallen Furniture offers this fabulous chair made from the engine cowling of a Boeing 737. Read the rest
A fellow traveling from Melbourne to Perth, Australia checked a single can of Emu Export lager. He was surprised when it popped out on the the conveyor belt at baggage claim.
“My mate works at the airport and we hatched the plan as a laugh — I half didn’t expect it to come out the other end,” he said.
“But when it did it was sent out well in front of all the other luggage, so the baggage handlers obviously appreciated it.”
Read the rest