Friday 31 August 2018

Virgin Australia turns 18

IATA ICAO Callsign

Happy Birthday Virgin Australia; 18 today. I remember the day you started operations.
Virgin Australia is Australia's second-largest airline behind QANTAS. With its base in Bowen Hills, (a suburb of Brisbane), the airline was founded by British businessman Richard Branson and former Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey. It was established on the 31st August 2000 with two aircraft operating on a single route, and suddenly found itself catapulted to the position of Australia's second airline after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. The airline has grown to directly serve 29 cities in Australia from hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, using a fleet of Boeing 737-800, Boeing 777-300ER's and Embraer jets.

Virgin Blue also owned airlines like Pacific Blue; Polynesian Blue and V Australia but now all operate under the name Virgin Australia.
After several years operating as a low-cost carrier it improved its services recently and now offers meals, baggage and inflight entertainment as part of the ticket price on all flights.
In 2011 Virgin introduced new uniforms; new catering options on board; new wide body aircraft to compete with Qantas on Perth–Melbourne–Sydney services; and the concurrent introduction of business class in January 2012; together with a new livery and renaming of the brand from Virgin Blue to Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia also has a regional branch called "Virgin Australia Regional Airlines"  (formerly Skywest) and it is based in Perth; servicing country towns in Western Australia as well as some interstate destinations Darwin, Alice Springs, and Adelaide. In April 2013 Skywest was purchased by Virgin Australia Holdings as its new regional offshoot.

Below are some of the liveries Virgin have had over the years.

VIRGIN BLUE B737-300 VH-VBY (CN 34323)
VIRGIN BLUE B737-81Q VH-VO1 (CN 30786)
VIRGIN BLUE B737-81Q (CN 30787)

On the 4th May 2011 Virgin Australia announced it will change its name and colour scheme, below are a few liveries that Virgin Australia kicked off with to celebrate the change .





As of April 2018 the current fleet stand at

ATR 72 - 14
AIRBUS A320 - 2
FOKKER F28 100 - 14
BOEING 737 - 75
BOEING 777 - 5

Virgin has on order
BOEING 737 - 10 MAX

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Nosewheel landing gear dislodges and hits engine

A Capital Airlines Airbus A320-214 traveling from Beijing-Capital Airport (PEK/ZBAA) to Macau Airport (MFM/VMMC) diverted to Shenzhen Airport (SZX) after sustaining severe damage in an apparent hard landing at Macau Airport.
The aircraft departed Beijing Airport at 00:17 UTC (08:17 LT), bound for Macau. Reports indicate that the nose wheel bogey broke away during an attempted landing at Macau Airport at 03:15 UTC (11:15 LT) and one of its gears detached and hit a engine. After declaring a Mayday the aircraft performed a go around and entered a holding pattern before the flight was diverted to Shenzhen where it landed safely at 03:58 UTC.

Aircraft Details
Airline: Beijing Capital Airlines
Code: JD/CBJ
Flight Number: JD 5759
Aircraft Type: Airbus A320-214
Registration: B-6952
Serial Number: 5331
Engines: CFMI - CFM56-5B4
First Flew: 24/09/2012
Age: 5 Yrs 9 Mts
Test Registration: F-WWIO

Tuesday 28 August 2018

An hour at Sydney airport

This morning I flew down to Sydney again for a three day visit for business.
After work I drove out to Kingsford Smith for an hour to do some spotting.


QANTAS A330-203 VH-EBL (CN 0976)


JETSTAR B787-8 VH-VKL (CN 36238)

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEG (CN 32911)

EMIRATES B777-36N A6-ECN (CN 37705)

QANTAS B737-838 (RETRO ROO II)  VH-VXQ (CN 33723)

QATAR A380-861 A7-APD (CN 160)


ETIHAD A380-861 A6-APG (CN 198)

Hi FLY A340-313 CS-TQZ (CN 0202)

Monday 27 August 2018

Boeing's factory just got a lot bigger

I found this below story on the weekend and I couldn't believe this.
In December 2013 we went to L.A , Seattle and Vancouver. While in Seattle we visited the Boeing plant and at the time I was seriously blown away by the size. Now I hear they have added to the size again making it even bigger.

Boeing plant
        Aerial View of Everett Boeing; View from South to North; includes 777X Wing Building.

Boeing’s Everett factory complex is the world’s largest building and has produced more wide-body planes – 4,937 – than all other competing manufacturers combined and it has just got a lot bigger. The new additions are two buildings for Boeing 777X construction which combined increase the factory space by another 25 percent.  The Everett, Washington complex, is the workplace for 30,000, produces 25,000 meals a day from 20 cafeterias and its area is bigger than Disneyland. In many ways, it is a magic kingdom. Here the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing, has built 4,937 widebody planes – the 747 Jumbo (1,546), 767 (1,116), 777 (1,559) and 787 (716) — since 1968. And it has plenty more to build: 22 747s, 108 767s excluding military tankers, 429 777s and, 671 787s. Those numbers are firm orders only and Boeing holds options for hundreds more 777s and 787s.  And there are another 1,280 wide-body planes on order. Boeing’s Everett production building is over 1km long and ½ km wide and you could fit 911 basketball courts inside. The massive production facility has six doors, each a canvas for depicting the company’s planes.

Boeing factory doors
The factory doors on Boeing’s facility are a canvas for depicting the planes that are built there.

And what a canvas — each door is the size of an American football field.
But the factory itself is just part of a massive industrial complex that includes three huge paint hangars, sprawling flight lines, a plane delivery centre that is as big as an airport terminal, office blocks, and the new 777X wing assembly plant. The whole facility covers an area of 415 hectares.
Built in 1968, the plant doubled in size to accommodate production of the 767 in the late 1970s and was expanded again by 50 percent in 1993 to build the 777.
Recently the huge wing plant was constructed behind the main facility to build the composite wings for the 777X.  It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington State. Boeing started tours of the factory when it was building the first 747 and since then more than 3.5 million people have seen the facility. The factory has 26 overhead cranes that cruise on 72 kilometres of networked tracks and these cranes make 45,000 lifts a month to support the building of about 20 planes a month. Painting the planes is also a feat. It takes up to seven days to paint a plane and a 747 requires 454 litres while a 787 a little less at about 370 litres. The plant is now building the company’s newest plane, the Boeing 777X, which is a total revamp of the popular 777.
That plane, with a new wing and engine and a more spacious cabin, will be capable of new non-stop routes such as Sydney to London and Sydney to New York.

This story and the images were taken from here