More Aviation Trivia

Another friend wrote in reply “The story that wasn’t told in this write up was….

Boeing was in a demo fly off with Douglas for some government orders…. the Air Force was very impressed with the Douglas jet… and the Boeing folks on the ground radioed their test pilot ( who was in the air ) what the air force reaction was… the test pilot said well tell them to have Douglas do this… and he barrel rolled the airplane…. the FAA pulled his ticket for the stunt…but Boeing sold the airplane. I have been told by pilots that if you know what you are doing you can barrel roll a jet and not spill a drink on a passengers tray !!!!

I saw the original 707 as it sat in the bone yard in Tucson waiting to go to the Smithsonian once a proper show hanger was built..

Also the air force one 707 that Reagan used and is on display at his library in Simi Valley was completely restored by Boeing retirees they also have his Marine 1 on display…..

At the Boeing museum in Seattle on static display is a supersonic passenger jet…. once in PHX one left from Sky Harbor on a flight to London ( the group came back on the QE 2 the noise level was unbelievable…”

Boeing 707 60th Anniversary

An old friend just emailed me this fascinating account of the Boeing 707 at a pivotal point in Aviation History. I’ll introduce the topic and lead you to the original blog. Happy reading and perhaps reminiscing!

July 15th, 2014 was the 60th Anniversary of the inaugural flight of the Boeing 707, an aircraft that was poised to change the world of aviation. July 15, 1954, was a Day of Monumental Change. Aviation change, that is. World change. Today is the Anniversary of that event – an event that changed the course of commercial aviation, the world, and certainly of the Boeing Airplane Company.

Boeing 707 as flown by Pan Am

Pan Am

It is the 60th Anniversary of the First Flight of the 707 Prototype – the Dash 80. The product of a bunch of engineers who probably lived in Bellevue, Washington, wore wing-tipped shoes with argyle socks , white shirts with pocket protectors, and carried K & E slipsticks (slide rules.) They produced a machine that – on a dozen levels – changed the world.

But the first flight of this matriarch of Boeing’s long line of descendant jet transports, as advanced as it was, might have led to a very different outcome. And, a very different Boeing.

The story of the $16 million gamble, betting the company by building the 707 with Boeing’s own funds and no customers, has been told often. But, there was more to the story.

The rest of the 707 story…

Delta’s Gerald Grinstein to Retire – Again

Delta Airlines is reporting that CEO Gerald Grinstein will retire after the carrier emerges from bankruptcy early in 2007. By my count, this is Jerry’s fourth retirement: First, he left Western Airlines as CEO in 1987. Second, was his retirement as CEO at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp in 1995. Third, he retired as Chairman of Agilent Technologies in 2002. And now, Delta will give Jerry the proverbial Gold Watch. All this is proof that you cannot keep a good man down.

Newsline or Advertising?

Sometimes you cannot tell the difference between genuine news and planted advertisements. The authors of planted material are really very good. I’m sure that you can recall reading a supposed article in a slick publication only to discover its paid advertising tag in small print. One case in point is this story about Farelogix. After reading it, you must wonder about the whole organization running this web site and all the companies mentioned within. And, there is no tag to warn you.

British Businessman Flies with 2-Year Old Daughter’s Passport

No, you can’t bring water on the plane but a grown man can successfully fly to Amsterdam with the passport of a 2-year old girl.  A British businessman mistakenly took his daughter’s passport with him on a recent trip to the Netherlands and managed to get through 2 passport checks at London’s Luton airport and board the plane.  In fact, he brought up the error to passport control in Amsterdam.  The airline he flew, EasyJet, will likely face a fine.

Etihad Airways Prefers Guests to Passengers

Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the world’s leading new airline and currently offers flights for Guests and cargo to more than 40 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. At its core, Etihad Airways continues to seek new ways in which to expand its services and provide innovative benefits for its Guests. An interesting bit of semantics, but the right idea these days. When was the last time that an airline treated you as a guest?

A Former Sabre Geek

At first I that British Phenom, Harry Potter, had some tie to Sabre with the blog “A Former Sabre Geek“. Sorry, that’s Gary Potter. It is not clear from the blog title whether Potter used to be a geek or used to be with Sabre. In any case, he has some interesting links and some posts that are on the topics we all love best, Airlines and GDSs. It is also not clear yet from reading whether Potter holds any grudges against his former employer, but many of their alums do. Suggest you read a few posts and draw your own conculsions.

The Heart of the Matter

The Spinrota blog has recommended another fine book by a British author. Graham Greene’s “The Heart of the Matter” is truly memorable. Although this novel could be considered old, I found the character’s struggle with morality and religion quite fresh. Most importantly, the reader will learn more about the brutality in Africa. Such understanding is essential if Africa is ever to join the party.