Saturday, 28 September 2013

C-Series first flight

I somehow missed this at the time, but the Bombardier C-Series had it's first flight back on the 16th September! Bombardier's newest aircraft, the CS100 and CS300, are designed to fill the gap between the largest regional jets and the smaller A320/737 variants, competing at both ends. They will seat a maximum of 125 and 150 respectively. They also represent a leap forward in technology: the C-Series is the first narrowbody airliner to be made primarily from CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic), and the first large airliner to use GTF engines (Geared TurboFan).

These feature gears between the fan and the compressor turbines, allowing them to run at different speeds. The front fan is more efficient at slower speeds, the compressors are better at high rpms, so the GTF increases overall efficiency significantly. The drawback is that the gears make it more expensive to produce and more moving parts means reliability is potentially affected. It seems that the GTF is the future though, with the A320neo using GTF's, along with Embraer's E2 and Mitsibushi's MRJ.

Back to the C-Series, it has 177 orders currently, the largest customers being Swiss, Republic Airways, Malmo Aviation, Gulf Air, Odyessey Airlines, Atlasjet, Porter, Korean Air, Air Baltic and Privatair. It's nice to see a new competitor in the Airbus/Boeing narrowbody duopoly!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Regional A330 launched

Airbus have launched a regional version of the A330, aimed at high density, short haul Asian routes. Current widebody aircraft flying the route have the range to fly nearly 10 times as far, so this new variant will be much better suited. It will also have upgrades such as a new cockpit amongst other things.

Also this is a cool video, the future of airbus widebodies:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

bmi to drop the 'regional'

Interesting that bmi regional are dropping the 'regional' from their name. I personally doubt it will help with awareness of the brand. One of the biggest problems faced by bmi when it was operating was that while in the UK everyone knew it was British Midland International, abroad people didn't know what it stood for. Re-branding back to British Midland would be a better bet I think, because then at least people know where you fly! How this fits in with bmi's expansion in Europe however remains to be seen.

Trip to Holland! [Part 2]

Part 1 here

 Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS/EHAM)  to London Luton (LTN/EGGW) to EZY2162
EasyJet Airbus A319 G-EZEV

This part of the trip report is best told in pictures, since everything went as planned basically!

Engine in the Terminal

Air China A340-300



Classic airport shot of a mighty KLM 747-400

Various skyteam birds, including one of KLM's few remaining MD-11's

Our ride home, G-EVEZ

Sistership heading off
Unfortunately I couldn't film the flight back, I'd been given an aisle seat and the couple next to me wanted the window! The flight back was turbulent enough for the cabin crew not to serve hot drinks, and it lasted for the majority of the flight. All in all, EasyJet have again proven to be, well, easy, and they seem to be consistently cheap unlike other carriers whose fares fluctuate wildly. I'd definitely fly them again, and I suppose this year, I've been part of their 'Generation EasyJet', those people who have travelled only because EasyJet made it available and affordable!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Trip to Holland! [Part 1]

I recently travelled to the Netherlands with my cousin to see some motor racing at Circuit Park Zandvoort - and of course that meant more flying!

We booked fairly late on and many of the airlines had become extortionately expensive (cough - klm - cough) but after an extensive search, the cheapest route viable for us was EasyJet from Luton.

London Luton (LTN/EGGW) to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS/EHAM) EZY2155
EasyJet Airbus A319 G-EZBO

The 7:20am flight meant an early start but everything went smoothly, including using airparks. We flew out on a Sunday when the number of flights was limited and as a result, the flight was packed. We hadn't pre booked seats (saved £6, why not) and I was assigned an aisle seat but still ended up by the window, most people don't care anyway!

Take off was on time and spectacular with the early morning clear skies:

After a fairly uneventful flight, we arrived slightly early in Schiphol:

The taxi was very long, as expected, but leaving the airport was straightforward. The trains weren't all running so a bus service had been put in place to cover it, and everything went as planned - by 11am we were at Zandvoort!

Part 2 coming soon.