Posts Tagged ‘747’

Say Good-Bye to Boeing 747 Passenger Jet Service Over Frisco – Only 18 Left at SFO – All Gone by Oct 29, 2017

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

The Queen of the Skies above Coyote Point last month:

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United’s old birds flying out of SFO, only 18 left now, are skedded to leave us by the end of October 2017.

Now that’s just the plan, and it depends on United getting enough replacement aircraft. And the cargo version, well those will keep flying until after you’re dead, Gentle Reader, sry. And it’s possible there could be a 747-8 (the unloved replacement for the aging 747-400 seen above) flight in SFO’s future, who knows.

And IDK, Donald Trump’s Air Force One, that’s sort of a 747 – I can’t think of a reason for him to visit, but anything’s possible. And I guess some foreign carriers might still do something with passenger 747’s who knows.

But the fundamental point is that 2017 will mark the End Of An Era, an entire hubsworth of United 747 will disappear, so if you see a four-engined jet near SFO, it’ll be the even larger Airbus A380, (which is, already. becoming a kind of flying dinosaur itself oh well. You see, they made the wings too big, to facilitate the inevitable stretched cabin that was supposed to come in the future, but whoops, no stretch is coming after all. So all these A380 airplanes you see have too much wing for no good reason. Plus the wings are too short, owing to the sort of arbitrary limit of an 80 meter wingspan, which was necessary to limit the amount of re engineering required to get them to fit into airports. And Airbus could have opted for Boeing-style folding wingtips, but no, they didn’t, oh well.)

No fatalities in the long history of 747 jumbos at SFO but there was United 863, which almost plowed into Mount San Bruno in 1998 and also Pan Am 845 – check the YouTube –  video footage starts about halfway through:

I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t have jumped from the front part of a jumbo jet with its tail on the ground, but you have flight crew yelling at you to go go go, so off you go.

Anyway, adieu, 747.

Recalling (Again) the Close Call United Flight 863 had with Mount San Bruno Back in 1998

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Here’s an excellent report from the WSJ back in 1999.

And here’s a more better photo than I had in back in aught-nine:

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Same mountain, same antennas, same general direction for the plane (except the 1998 incident occurred at night and with fog/clouds).

Anyway, United Airlines took things seriously and aviation is the better for it…

Licensed to Ill, United 747-400, Fleet Week 2016

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

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The End of an Era: 2014 is the Last Time Any Airline Will Boast of Its Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets – Air China’s 747-8

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

I was surprised to see this ad:

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Here’s how things looked back in 1968:

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And here’s how things looked back in 2008 for Boeing’s jumbo jet competition, the Airbus A380.

Where’s our jumbo jet scorecard?

Boeing 747 1st Generation = SUCCESS! Unquestionably, but now obsolete

Boeing 747 2nd Generation = SUCCESS! Unquestionably, but pretty much obsolete

Airbus A380 1st Generation = FAILURE! Pretty much. A big money pit for Airbus

Boeing 747 3rd Generation = FAILURE! Approaching obsolescence faster than expected 

See a pattern here?

It’s Finally Happening: Emirates Airlines Launches Daily Airbus A380 Superjumbo Service Between SFO and Dubai December 1st

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Well I just saw a banner ad, so consider that confirmation that, as of December 1st, 2014*, Emirates is finally offering daily flights to and from Dubai out of SFO on its shower-stall equipped** Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbos.

So, chalk that up as a victory for SFO.

Here’s your Emirates A380, equipped with a horseshoe bar in the back, upstairs, for Business and First Class passengers only:

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It was back in 2008 that Emirates brought a then-new A380 to town, to show it off. Get all the deets on that visit right here.

But, IRL, they ended up using the smaller Boeing 777-300ER twinjet instead. When asked, the Emirates people said they were “considering” the A380 for daily flights to and from SFO. Well, six years later, the day has come.

Oh, here’s my take on SFO + A380 readiness right here. IMO, the A380 was, is, and will continue to be Just Another Airplane. Sorry.

Oh well.

*The writer is saying that the new, longer-range A380’s are lighter?  Uh, I think he should have said heavier instead. More fuel = more range, right? That’s the case here. It’s still a very heavy aircraft, one that’s still heavier than designed…

**What happens to your used shower water after your five-minute-max spritz is over? Emirates wanted to dump it out in-flight but I don’t think they got permission to do that. So, there’s a holding tank that gets emptied out after landing. So, Emirates needs to burn more fuel to carry a useless load of soapy water waste water. Not too “green,” huh? Oh well.

Checking In on a Typical Mayor Gavin Newsom Press Conference a Half-Decade Later: Who Lost Qantas?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Well, nobody really “lost” QANTAS, but SFO used to have the big Australian carrier like for a half-century and now it doesn’t so that’s what SFGov was upset about back in the day. Let’s review.

Here’s 2009, from Qantas:

“In 1954, San Francisco became Qantas’ first US mainland destination and we have a long association with the city. We are delighted to showcase our new aircraft to the people of San Francisco.”

And here’s 2009, from Newsom:

“San Francisco International Airport was designed to accommodate the new A380 aircraft, and we are extremely pleased today to welcome Qantas Airways in the first commercial A380 flight to SFO,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new aircraft provides yet another bridge of friendship between San Francisco and Australia, and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Qantas.”

Now IRL, the Airbus A380 was and is just another airplane in the sky. And IRL, the state of the art of large commercial aircraft would be to use two large engines instead of the A380’s four smaller engines. And calling it “environmentally sensitive” was and is a bit of a stretch and, in fact, these days it’s considered a guzzler and so much so that Airbus is considering certifying completely different engines.

Anyway, what happened soon after this press conference in 2009 is that Qantas shut down operations at SFO and went to Texas. So instead of upgrading airplanes coming into town, they just upped and quit on us, they couldn’t wait to get out of here.

Why? Because it made sense for them to do so and also the airport people at Dallas Fort Worth came up with millions of dollars to throw at Qantas.

Who knows, Qantas might come back to SFO at some point (but it doesn’t really matter all that much).

Pretty much everything he said at his press conferences turned out to be wrong – this is just an example.

And This Week’s #1 San Francisco-Related YouTube Video is All About “Chemtrails” from an Asiana 747

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Of course the scientific term for chemtrails is contrails, or vapor trails if you prefer.

But if you’re tired of controlled demolition, Building 7, and the JFK conspiracy, then chemtrails might be for you!

Chemtrail sprayer closeup over San Francisco, 2-16-14

(Nice camera, dude – a Canon Powershot SX50 at 1200mm equivalent.)

Mountain View View, Sometimes – The Boeing 747-200 What They Call Air Force One Right Next to the 101 Freeway

Friday, October 25th, 2013

What you can see from the freeway, sometimes:

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And then you’ll see the support aircraft at and around SFO, in the next county up the 101.

Hill, Plane, Building: “SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, THE INDUSTRIAL CITY” – Frankfurt-Bound Lufthansa 747-400 – “UNITED AIR LINES”

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Icons all:

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Check Out How Big the Overly Large Wingsails of Larry Ellison’s Failed America’s Cup are – Like in Relation to a Jetliner

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

This is pretty much to scale, believe it* or not.

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And actually, the real wing of this KC-10 jet, which would be considered the size of a medium-big jetliner these days, is smaller than what you’ll find on Craaaaaazy Larry Ellison’s AC72 America’s Cup yachts.

And actually, Craaaaaazy Larry Ellison’s AC72 America’s Cup yachts have wings bigger those found on monstrous Boeing 747’s, your prototypical jumbo jets.

Hey Larry! Why don’t we use smaller wings on days when the wind is blowing a lot? Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But hey Larry! Why don’t we allow control devices like, IDK, spoilers, you know, the way other similar-sized wings have? Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But hey Larry! Why don’t we have a spoiler system for use in emergency situations, like NASCAR has, you know, since your people felt the need to promote this under-regulated “sport” as “NASCAR ON THE WATER?”

Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But you WILL take eight figures from the taxpayers of San Francisco in order to fund your ego-gratification race?

Well then, On With The Show.

*Your DC-10, MD-10, KC10 type aircraft were famous for having big, big tailplanes, back in the day, the likes of which you can see in this photo, the horizontal stabilizer you can see at the back. Which was fine, but it wasn’t efficient because  tailplanes don’t really lift anything. So, McDonnell-Douglas engineers made the updated model, the MD-11, with a smaller tailplane. And they also strengthened the landing gear to deal with the lengthened body. All these things led to a more efficient but harder-to-handle aircraft. So in tough landing situations things head south in a hurry and, instead of the landing gear collapsing, you’ll break a wing off and roll over. (See below.) These days, this is mostly a problem for FedEx pilots and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Godspeed, FedEx pilots. 

Oh, and this wasn’t the only safety issue with this unsuccessful and relatively rare a/c.

  • On July 31, 1997 FedEx Flight 14, MD-11 N611FE, crashed during a landing at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey. The aircraft flipped onto its back and subsequently burned, following a landing attempt from an unstabilized flare.
  • On August 22, 1999 China Airlines Flight 642, an MD-11 operated by subsidiary Mandarin Airlines, crashed while landing at Hong Kong airport during a typhoon that exceeded the plane’s crosswind specifications, also flipping onto its back and burning. Three passengers were killed.
  • On March 23, 2009 FedEx Express Flight 80, N526FE, crashed at Narita International Airport, Japan while landing in windy conditions. Airport surveillance video showed the aircraft becoming airborne again after the first touch-down, then impacting nose-first the second time and turning onto its left side, erupting into flames; the impact flipped the aircraft upside down. The aircraft finally came to rest some distance left of the runway. The two flight crew members were killed.