Posts Tagged ‘air’

Frisco Loses “Hometown Airline,” “Thousands of Jobs” – Let’s Look at Excessive Hype for SFO the Past Decade – QANTAS and Vaunted A380

Monday, April 4th, 2016

1. Here’s the news:

Alaska Air Agrees to Buy Virgin America for $2.6 Billion

Does this airline deal “make sense?” IDK, we’ll see.

But let’s now take the chance to take a look at the hype over Virgin America nine years ago, when the Mayor of SF boasted of the “thousands of jobs” what would come from our “hometown airline.”

Flip to the next page to see that.

2. What else, oh the already-failed Airbus A380, the “green” plane what was “going to change everything.” From 2006:

These (A380) aircraft are also very efficient.

But no, not at all, not really. Actually, that’s the problem – A380’s aren’t all that efficient.

Now, did it make sense for SFO to prepare for the arrival of the A380 starting 10-20 years ago? IDK, perhaps, since the feds were paying for most of the work. But this plane certainly was not the future of air travel, as should have obvious to anyone a decade ago.

3. What else, oh, QANTAS.

The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Hey, did this work out? No, not at all. In fact, QANTAS completely abandoned SFO a short time later. It preferred Texas(!) and, of course, Los Angeles, for various reasons.

(And that’s the way it’s been since the 1950’s – QANTAS comes to SFO then starts losing money and then it leaves us and then it comes back to us. This really isn’t under the control of any local Mayors.)

Anyway, that’s how things have gone at SFO the past decade.

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“Young Lady, I Have Shoes Older Than You!” – Seeing the Nike Air Max Kicks You Bought in the 1990’s Come Back as Retros…

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

It was the 1990’s. Nike had shoes. I bought a pair at the Honolulu Costco, the one Imelda Marcos sends her people to, even these days, AFAIK. Anyway, now the same exact shoe is being sold as new as a part of Nike’s retro line:

7J7C1481 copy

Man, I’m old.

A Rare, Non-Military C-130 Over Frisco: Lynden Air Cargo Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules Flying North, To Alaska

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

These are some of the Lockheed C-130 military airplanes I’ve seen over town over the years, but this here Lynden Air Cargo Lockheed L-100 is the first civilian version I’ve ever spotted.

As seen looking south on Laguna:

7J7C1200 copy

Death of the Dust Trombone: Canon Replaces Legendary 100-400mm Telephoto Lens – Good-Bye Push-Pull Zoom

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Canon’s aging beast, the Clinton-era EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS USM lens is no more – after 16 years of production, it’s being replaced by the EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS USM II, a more conventional design. 

Here are some “dust trombones*” right here, back about a decade ago, all extended to the 400mm telephoto setting, the better to see the Blue Angels over Fort Mason, my dear:

img_3723-copy

Click to expand

The thing about the old lens is that it offered IMAGE STABILIZATION (IS) plus an “ULTRASONIC” MOTOR (USM) (for fast auto-focus) in the same package. At the time, Nikon couldn’t keep up, so it would make you choose betwixt one feature or the other, if you were lucky. Nikon lost a lot of customers during the Aughts for just this reason.

Read all about it.

I’m sure the updated lens will be better (and of course, lots pricier) in most respects.

Adieu, push-pull lens.

*Pull it in fast enough and you can feel the breeze on your face, since all that air inside needs to go somewhere…

Master with Student in Golden Gate Park – One In Very Good Shape and the Other Trying to Get In Very Good Shape

Friday, July 25th, 2014

I’ll tell you, Gentle Reader, I’ve lived in this town longer than you, but I’ve never witnessed people exercising by holding their arms up like Sutro Tower until just recently.

(My best guess is this is something to do with the Bollywood Dance Workout – Slumdog.)

And then there’s was this ritual – passersby were gawking:

I’m thinking the number one requirement to be an aerobics instructor or personal trainer is being in very good shape and, actually, I don’t know if there are any other requirements – maybe just being in very good shape yourself is all that’s necessary…

Aviation Writer James Fallows Commits the MSM Blunder of the Year with “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines” in the NYT

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Hoo boy: “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines

“Was this disaster somehow the airline’s fault? The answer is no — but to understand why, you have to look at the complex realities of modern commercial aviation.”

My isn’t this a touch patronizing? Well, obviously the primary fault is with the crew and commanders of the Gadfly missile system used to shoot down the plane. But Malaysian Air Systems is partially to blame for its negligent operation.

“Malaysia Airlines, already world famous because of the still-missing flight MH370, appears to have been following all normal safety rules.”

Is anybody suggesting that this flight was somehow illegal? I don’t think so. So talking about Malaysian following the “rules” is pointless.

“…explicit prohibitions are critical, because the entire aviation system works on the premise that unless airspace is marked as off-limits, it is presumptively safe and legal for flight.

OK again, Jimmy, the flight was unsafe but legal. Nobody’s suggesting that the flight was not legal.

“…when they crossed this zone at 33,000 feet, they were neither cutting it razor-close nor bending the rules, but doing what many other airlines had done, in a way they assumed was both legal and safe.”

Again, Jimmy, why are you harping on what’s “legal” to make your point that Malaysian wasn’t negligent? It’s as if the New York Times has turned into the Public Relations arm of Malaysian Air Systems or the government of Malaysia.

All right, it’s time to review. Here’s a partial list of airlines that were specifically avoiding this part of eastern Ukraine before the shootdown:

Asiana Airlines

Korean Air Lines  

China Airlines

Air France

British Airways

Air Berlin [Germany’s second-largest airline]

The operators of these airlines would have been able to fly over eastern Ukraine legally, but they chose not to. Why’s that, Jimmy? Why would these airlines spend more on kerosene for no reason?

Mr. Fallows continues in The Atlantic:

Somehow I suspect that if it had been a Lufthansa plane that was attacked, there would be fewer starting-point assumptions that the carrier had somehow been cutting corners at the cost of its passengers’ safety. 

This sounds like it came straight from Malaysian Airlines, this racism (or whatever) argument he’s pushing. In any event, corner-cutting at the expense of passenger safety is exactly what occurred here.

And here’s the stinger:

“If a government or rogue faction shoots down a commercial plane, is that really an “air safety issue?” 

Well, hell yes it is, Jimmy. It’s exactly an air safety issue. That’s why all those airlines cited above, plus others, were avoiding the area. For safety.

Comes now aviation writer Christine Negroni to offer views contrary to that of flyboy fanboy James Fallows:

So while Malaysia is self-evidently correct it its statements; the airspace was open and hundreds flights between Europe and Asia were using it every day, it is a weak reply to a valid question of responsibility

Indeed.

Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…

Oh, Costco is Selling Apple Stuff Again: iPods and iPads with a Modest Discount of $15 Or So

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

One supposes the great Apple Costco Spat of Aught-Ten is over, seeing as you can walk right in to Costco #144 and score an iPod Touch or Nano or, soon enough, an iPad Air or Mini or whatnot.

Apparently Canadian Costcos are getting iPhones now but supplies will be spotty in the U.S. depending on region and carrier.

(The last time I bought an iPod at a Costco it was co-branded with HP, believe it or not.)

Or if you really want to save money, there’s always the Apple Refurbished Store.

Anyway, enjoy.

Samuel L Jackson Selfies Show Him Going from Glad to Sad on His Recent Trip to Beijing, China – Air Quality

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Here’s SLJ on a small, snake-free plane on his way to China:

“‘Bout to go wheels up from London to Beijing. Might have to get my slumber on!”

But when he got there, he was dissatisfied with the Air Quality (AQ) level:

“Even w/ lights, you can only see 2 1/2 blocks…maybe! AQ 312!!”

Poor SLJ!

The San Francisco Police Officers Association Puts Out a Bizarre Video Called “ASIANA AIR” – Here It Is

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Here it is, from the police union:

Who staged this cheesy recreation of the Asiana 214 crash landing?

And who chose the old-school narration style?

I don’t know what you’re doing, POA.

Certainly, the populace considers this PR campaign odd.

Oh well.

Oh and here’s the concomitant billboard – let’s strike a pose in front of a crashed jet?

There are a million ways of doing better than this, POA.