Saturday, 17 November 2018

The final flight of the last Boeing 747-100

The last Boeing 747-100  (N747GE CN 19651) belonging to General Electric has departed Victorville (VCV/ KVCV) for Tucson (DMA/KDMA) to be showcased at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, one of the world’s largest non-government funded aerospace museums.
This was the 25th 747-100 built and it began its life with Pan American World Airways in March 1970 as N744PA, and finally served with GE Aviation since the 9th March 1992. The 747-100 was a long range, wide-body airliner powered by Pratt & Whitney Engine JT9D – 7A engines, and entered service in January 22, 1970. The last B747-100 was delivered in 1986. The first 747-100s were built with six upper deck windows (three per side) to accommodate upstairs lounge areas.

Many 747-100s were converted into freighters later on. A total of 168 747-100s were built; 167 were delivered to customers. Boeing kept the prototype N7470 (CN 20235) and aptly named it "City of Everett"  The first 747-100 emerged on the 30th September 1968. The 747 has evolved over the decades to comprise variants such as the 747-200, the 747-300, 747SP, the 747 Combi, the 747-400, and the 747‑400ER (Extended Range). Qantas was among the 26 airlines that ordered the 747 aircraft, with its logo featured on the side of the fuselage of that original 747. The airline started 747 service in September 1971 and has operated 65 of the type in total. However, Qantas announced in May this year it planned to withdraw all its 747s from the fleet by the time it celebrates its centenary at the end of 2020 replacing them all with the latest Boeing 787-9's.
Currently, Boeing offers the 747-8I (passenger) and 747-8F (freighter). However, there are only 22 outstanding orders for the 747 and all 22 are for the freighter version of the aircraft.
As of the 31st August 2018, the total number of 747s delivered stood at 1,546, according to the Boeing website.

Some of the information sourced from here

Friday, 16 November 2018

Happy 98th Birthday QANTAS

A red triangle containing a white silhouette of a kangaroo, with the word Qantas beneath the triangle


QANTAS A380-861 VH-OQL (CN 0074)

Qantas Airways Limited, the third oldest airline in the world after KLM (7th Oct 1919) and Avianca (5th Dec 1919) celebrate their 98th birthday today having been founded on the 16th November 1920. Qantas is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline in Australia by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. It began international passenger flights in May 1935. The Qantas name stands for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services", and is nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo".
The airline is based in the Sydney suburb of Mascot with its main hub at Sydney Airport. Various subsidiary airlines operate to regional centres and on some trunk routes within Australia under the QantasLink banner.  Qantas also owns "Jetstar Airways", a low-cost airline that operates both international services and domestic services  and operates in Australia and New Zealand.
Fergus McMaster was a wealthy grazier who took little convincing about the benefits of aviation. He was crossing the sandy bed of Queensland's Cloncurry River when his car broke an axle. Paul McGinness helped repair the vehicle and the two struck up a friendship. Back in Brisbane, McGinness and Fysh outlined to McMaster their plans for an air service, beginning with joy rides and air taxi trips. McMaster, fired with enthusiasm, convinced business acquaintances to invest with them. With their former flight sergeant Arthur Baird as aircraft mechanic, Fysh and McGinness travelled to Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney, where they ordered two Avro aircraft. The purchase agreement, dated 19 August 1920, was in the name of The Western Queensland Auto Aero Service Limited. A new company name was later adopted, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited, which was quickly abbreviated to the acronym 'QANTAS'.
Papers formally establishing Qantas were signed in the Gresham Hotel, Brisbane, on 16 November 1920. The company, based in Winton, was registered with Fergus McMaster as Chairman.
In 1921 the Qantas fleet consisted of two biplanes - an Avro 504K with a 100 horsepower (74 kw) water-cooled Sunbeam Dyak engine and a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2E with a 90 horsepower (67 kw) air-cooled engine. The BE2E was purchased for £450 ($900) from Charles Knight, a Longreach stock and station agent who, having experienced a turbulent delivery trip, swore nothing would induce him to fly again. Today QANTAS fleet consists of 118 aircraft.

As of September 2018, the Qantas mainline fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
Airbus A330-200 18 27 224 251
28 243 271
Airbus A330-300 10 28 269 297
Airbus A380-800 12 __14 64 35 371 484
Boeing 737-800 72 12 162 174
Boeing 747-400 3 14 52 32 255 353
58 36 270 364
Boeing 747-400ER 6 58 36 270 364
Boeing 787-9 6 842 28 166 236
Total 127

Qantas had 8 Boeing 787-9's on order and their first one was delivered to Sydney on the 20th October 2017, to date 7 have been delivered, the 7th (VH-ZNG CN 36240) arrived in Melbourne two days ago directly from Paine Field Everett. I have see VH-ZNH doing test flights so I expect this will delivered in the next week or so. Qantas has an option of 8 more 787's and these will replace the aging fleet of 747's which will be completely retired by the end of 2020.

QANTAS B787-9 VH-ZND (CN 63390)

Qantas changed it's colour scheme in October 2016 and the new scheme will eventually be transferred to every aircraft in their fleet.

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VYD (CN 33992)

QANTAS A330-303 VH-QPJ (CN 712)          

Qantas is also a member of the "One World" Alliance

BOEING 747-438 VH-OJU (CN 25566)

AIRBUS A330-202 VH-EBV (CN 1365)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Welcome to Brisbane Samoa Airways

Tonight Brisbane welcomes another new airline in the way of Samoa Airways.
Unfortunately due to the late night time arrival and departure Brisbane wont get to see this aircraft in daylight hours. (But I have seen it twice now in Auckland).
Samoa Airways, formerly known as Polynesian Airlines, is the state-owned flag carrier airline of Samoa. The airline was founded in 1959 as "Polynesian Airlines", providing domestic and international flights throughout the South Pacific. International operations were temporarily halted in 2005 and taken over by a new airline Polynesian Blue (later Virgin Samoa), before resuming international flights under the new name of "Samoa Airways" in late 2017. Samoa Airways is wholly owned by the government of Samoa and is based in the capital city of Apia, with its headquarters located in the Samoa National Provident Fund Building on Beach Road and its primary hub at Faleolo International Airport. The airline presently operates short-haul flights within Samoa and American Samoa, as well as long-haul flights to Australia and New Zealand. The airline has a fleet of four aircraft - one Boeing 737-800 and three De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter's.  
OL843 departs Apia at 6:55pm and arrives in Brisbane at 8:50pm the same evening. OL844 is set to depart at 10:50pm, touching down in Apia at 6:45am the next day.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (which was originally called Armistice Day) has a special significance in 2018.

Image result for remembrance day poppies

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice day (suspension of fighting) which ended the First World War (1914–18).
One hundred years ago today the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare. With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War. From the summer of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been at the forefront of the allied advance to victory. Beginning with their stunning success at the battle of Hamel in July, they helped to turn the tide of the war at Amiens in August, followed by the capture of Mont St Quentin and Pèronne, and the breaching of German defences at the Hindenburg Line in September. By early October the exhausted Australians were withdrawn from battle. They had achieved a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers, but victory had come at a heavy cost. They suffered almost 48,000 casualties during 1918, including more than 12,000 dead. In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the post-war decades. Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilisation of over 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.
On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919 two minutes' silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London. The silence was proposed by Australian journalist Edward Honey, who was working in Fleet Street. At about the same time, a South African statesman made a similar proposal to the British Cabinet, which endorsed it. King George V personally requested all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the armistice "which stayed the worldwide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and Freedom". The two minutes' silence was popularly adopted and it became a central feature of commemorations on Armistice Day.

Red poppies line the Wall of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra
Red poppies line the Wall of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra
   Photo Credit - Gouldy99

The red poppy, known as the Flanders poppy, has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. After reading the poem, Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia, wrote the poem, "We Shall Keep the Faith," and swore to wear a red poppy on the anniversary. The custom spread to Europe and the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth within three years. Madame Anne E. Guerin tirelessly promoted the practice in Europe and the British Empire. In the UK Major George Howson fostered the cause with the support of General Haig. Poppies were worn for the first time at the 1921 anniversary ceremony. At first real poppies were worn. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I; their brilliant red colour became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
Please remember to pause at 11.00am today to remember those who selflessly fought for your freedom and never came home.

                                   LEST WE FORGET

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Boeing sends out warning to its 737 Max customers

Boeing is preparing a bulletin to all operators of the new 737 model warning that “erroneous readings” from a flight-monitoring system can cause the planes to aggressively dive, Bloomberg quotes an anonymous source as saying.
Boeing will reportedly warn pilots to follow an existing procedure to handle the problem.
The bulletin is being prepared based on preliminary findings from the crash of one of the planes off the coast of Indonesia, the person said, according to Bloomberg.
According to a company statement as of September 30, about a month before the crash, Boeing had 4,783 firm orders from 98 identified customers for the 737 Max.
According to Bloomberg, more than 200 737 Max jets are already in use in commercial aviation.
The aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas told Business Insider that Boeing had about 9,000 737s in the sky at any given time.
Reuters has reported that representatives of the Singapore Airlines offshoot SilkAir, Garuda Indonesia, and Canada’s WestJet, all 737 Max operators, said they had not yet received a bulletin from Boeing. Data from the black box of the Lion Air 737 Max that fell into the sea with 189 people aboard has confirmed there was an issue with the plane’s airspeed indicator.
Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said on Monday that the flight data recorder from the crashed plane shows that the problem occurred in its past four flights, including the fatal flight on October 29. Without an accurate airspeed reading, planes are at serious risk of crashing. Jets flying too slowly can stall, and ones accelerating too much can tear themselves apart from the force.
A faulty airspeed instrument was a factor in the loss of Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Brazil to Paris in 2009.
The Lion Air 737 Max 8 speared into the coastal waters off Java just 13 minutes after take-off.
Bloomberg says the plane’s velocity was uncharacteristically high, possibly touching speeds of 600 mph as it hit the water.
Certainly, Indonesian search-and-rescue officials had trouble locating the wreck, despite encountering a large amount of wreckage in the four days leading up to the discovery of the fuselage.
Flight JT610 had radioed a request to return to Jakarta to land but never turned back toward the airport, according to Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.
The committee has said it is dealing with an “erroneous airspeed indication.”
Indonesia’s transport ministry has scheduled a briefing at 12:30 p.m. in Jakarta on Wednesday to share updated information on the Lion Air accident, Bloomberg reports.

Story sourced from here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Taylor Swift's concert = onslaught of freighters

Last night Taylor Swift performed her last Australian concert here in Brisbane and while the fans were getting excited to see her, there were other fans like myself exited to see her fratilla of aircraft here to move her equipment. Today Brisbane had an extremely rare event in the way of two Antonov 124-100 aircraft on the ground at the same time. We also had a Singapore B747-400 freighter and a DHL B767, not to mention her very own chartered Dassault Falcon 7X. The freighters were here to transport her equipment to Auckland in time for her next concert.  I left home at 4am and got to the airport at 4.40. The first one of two Antonov's (UR-82072) came in at 11.30 last night and the other one was coming in at 5.30am along with the Singapore freight and the DHL.

ANTONOV 124-100-150 UR-82072 (CN 9773053359136)

The Singapore 747 was the first to come in this morning.

SINGAPORE B747-412F 9V-SFQ (CN 32901)

Followed by the second Antonov 124

ANTONOV 124-100 UR-82029 (CN 19530502630)

and then last but not least the DHL freighter.

DHL B767-3HF VH-EXZ (CN 37808)

Taylor's private charter was also on the bay but it was moved not long after taking this photo in preparation for her arrival.


When the second Antonov arrived it was parked next to the first one, which looked seriously amazing. It wasn't long before the first left for Auckland.

I also took photos of the other morning international arrivals.

QANTAS A330-202 VH-EBV (CN 1365)

QANTAS A330-303 VH-QPJ (CN 0712)

MALINDO AIR B737-8GP 9M-LCH (CN 39821)

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EOH (CN 174)

SINGAPORE A350-941 9V-SMA (CN 026)

AIR CANADA B787-8 C-GHPX (CN 35261)

CHINA SOUTHERN A330-343 B-8363 (CN 1818)

Sunday, 4 November 2018

EVA Air plans increase and product improvement for Brisbane

E V A A330-203 B-16307 (CN 634)           File Photo

EVA Air (Pronounced letter by letter E V A) is planning to increase capacity and improve its product in the Australia market as it transitions Taipei-Brisbane, its only Australia route, from Airbus A330s to its recently added Boeing 787s. The Taiwanese carrier took delivery of its first 787, a 787-9 B-17881 (CN 39295) on the 3rd Oct-2018. It has three more 787-9s on order along with 20 larger 787-10s, all of which will be delivered by 2022.

  • E V A Air plans to transition the Taipei-Brisbane route from A330s to 787s, resulting in capacity increases and product improvements;
  • The airline has lie flat business class seats with all aisle access on its new 787 Dreamliner fleet;
  • The older A330-200s that are currently used to Brisbane have angled flat seats in an undesirable six abreast configuration;
  • Brisbane is E V A’s only destination in Australia and the airline has no plans to add other Australia cities due to the aggressive expansion from China Airlines.

E V A A330-203 B-16311 (CN 693)            File Photo

In receiving its first 787-9, E V A stated the new type would be used on long-haul routes to Australia and Europe. However, it is also intending to operate the larger 787-10 to Australia. The airline could initially transition Taipei-Brisbane to 787-9s in 1H2019 and later introduce 787-10s as the larger variant aircraft are delivered. EVA could also potentially use a mix of 787-9s and 787-10s with the larger 787-10s operating during the peak season.
E V A currently operates four to five weekly flights to Brisbane (depending on the time of year) using A330-200s. E V A configures its A330-200s with 252 seats, including 24 angled flat business class seats in 2x2x2 configuration and 228 economy seats in 2x4x2 configuration.
The airline has configured its new 787-9 fleet with 304 seats, including 26 lie flat business seats in a 1x2x1 configuration (providing aisle access from all seats) and 278 economy seats in a 3x3x3 configuration. The 787-9 will therefore result in a 21% increase in capacity compared to the A330-200. Business class capacity will increase by a modest 8% but the product will improve significantly and should enable the airline to attract more corporate traffic.
EVA has not announced a configuration for the larger 787-10, which will be delivered from 2Q2019. EVA president Clay Sun said on the sidelines of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents that the airline is also installing lie flat business class seats on the 787-10 and will not be including a premium economy cabin as the type will only be used on regional routes within Asia Pacific.
Mr Sun said Taipei-Brisbane, which is about a nine-hour flight, will be the longest route for EVA’s 787-10 fleet. The 787-10 would result in a significant capacity increase for the Brisbane market as EVA plans to maintain its current Brisbane schedule.
EVA has no plans to add frequencies to Brisbane or launch a second destination in Australia, according to Mr Sun. The airline doubled capacity on Taipei-Brisbane two years ago as prior to Oct-2016 it only operated two frequencies most of the year with a seasonal third frequency during peak periods.

Story sourced from here