>What a terrific photo (courtesy of Airliners.net) of ‘Yankee Lady’, a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress.
And here’s where B-17 pilots went to work. It’s remarkable to look at the complexity of dials and levers and remember that this aircraft was only designed around 35 years after the Wright brothers first took to the air.
>This video really does show how quickly Flight 1549 got into trouble, how little time the crew had to make decisions and how lucky they all were to have Chesley Sullenberger at the controls.
I do wonder, though, had they made an initial right turn instead of left turn what the outcome would have been given it would have put the Hudson out of reach…
>A few years ago I arrived at Canberra airport for a flight to Melbourne.
It was 5.30 in the afternoon and the airport was packed, as it always is at that time of day. However, on this day it was even busier than usual because domestic flights were delayed.
What delayed us all?
President George W Bush had been in town and Air Force One (and support aircraft) were in the process of leaving.
Canberra Airport has a 10,000 foot runway and while it can easily handle a fully laden 747 for landing it’s much more difficult to get one out of the place.
As Air Force One taxied to the end of the runway and out of my sight I took up the best vantage point I could.
I heard it fire up its engines to full throttle and shortly afterwards appear from behind the terminal on its take off roll.
The wings on a 747 are so wide that the outside engines sit over the sides of the Canberra airport runway meaning that huge amounts of dust and grass were being kicked up into the air by the mighty plane’s engines. As it was going on dusk the combination of setting sun, grass, dust and thundering aircraft made a terrific spectacle.
The nose pulled up near the end of the runway and it began a slow, slow climb out of the nation’s capital the like of which I had never seen.
To round out the entertainment it was followed by two other 747s packed with support staff, journalists and vehicles.
To this aircraft aficionado it was a great day and well worth the hour and a half delay.
I read the other day that the President’s pilot is also retiring from the Air Force after taking what will then be ex-President Bush back to Texas. Apparently, it’s convention and the First Officer then becomes the new President’s pilot.
Wanting to know more about Air Force One I went hunting on Youtube and came up with the following clips that are well worth watching.
Air Force One Tour: The Outside
Air Force One Tour: The Inside
Air Force One: Reporters tag along
That last one is also interesting, as it shows how well treated the journalists are.
And how much fun will it be for the Obama’s kids to travel on Air Force One?
I’d like one of my own (Air Force One, that is).
>Some readers may know that I am somewhat of an aircraft nut.
As a kid I traveled all over the world due to my father being a diplomat. I used to have the plane’s captain fill in my log book and visit the flight deck when I could.
Paradoxically, with all of those miles in the air, I’m also a nervous flier.
However, the bigger the aircraft the less nervous I am and it’s good to see that Virgin Blue’s international arm, V Australia, has got itself a dirty, great Boeing 777 aka the “Rolls Royce of the sky”.
V Australia takes to the sky on February 27.
>As people might know, I’m a bit of an aeroplane buff…even if I don’t like flying that much. I reckon that Singapore Airlines new A380 might help to calm my nerves, especially if I’m in one of their new kickass first class cabins.
Should be a great thing to fly in on long haul routes.