Posts Tagged ‘GE’

QANTAS Abandons S.F. for Texas – No More Qantas Rolls-Royce Ka-Booms over the 415 – SFO’s Airbus A380 Cargo Cult

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

How long has it been since three-star-rated former Mayor Gavin Newsom left office – has it been a week or two? Well, we’ll leave that to the judges and justices ‘n stuff, but, irregardless, it’s been long enough* for Qantas Airways Limited to announce that its abandoning the San Francisco Bay Area, g’night, mate.

Why? Well it’s ’cause they’ve been losing mad dollars on non-stop flights betwixt SFO and Cindy, Australia for donkey’s years. Enough is enough they figure, so future flights from Down Under will alight in Dallas, Texas. (Some Bay area travel(l)ers are not amused, not at all.)

Now, weren’t we due for superjumbo Airbus A380 double-decker service by now for those non-stop flights to Oz? Oh yes, but instead of getting that, we’re losing the non-stop, regular-jumbo Boeing 747-400 service we have now. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how could this be, San Francisco is a “natural amphitheater,” a “world-class” city even. Well, not anymore, or at least SFO isn’t a “world-class” airport anymore.

However, there’s a silver lining. You see, them Rolls-Royce engines, those RB211′s and those Trents 500 and up, well they blow up sometimes, ka-boom! Call it an “uncontained failure” they do. And QANTAS well, that’s pretty much all they run these days, the Rolls-Royce. (Just look at Australia’s national flag, why not, for the reason.) So, less Qantas = less less RR = less ka-boom over our heads.

For example, check out this Qantas flight out of SFO just last summer. It had passed the Farallones with almost full tanks and then, kaboom, Rolls-Royce engine #4 exploded. Oh well. Everybody made it back safe tho. Check it on the YouTube.

Flight 74 getting a little sparky high above the deep briny – not what you want to see looking out your window. Time to dump your avgas and circle back to Millbrae:

Click to expand

I hear you, you’re saying that’s the old Rolls-Royce. But, you know, that Qantas A380 engine that blewed up just after leaving Singapore late last year, that’s the new RR – indeed, that was a fairly recent vintage Trent 900 engine that destroyed itself. Oh well. The Aussie A380s have been patched up and now Qantas is flying them as far as they want again, to Los Angeles among other places. But not very long after the flights started again, yet another Qantas Rolls Royce engine went kaboom - this one was a contained failure, so that’s some consolation, anyway. Check it:

“A Qantas spokeswoman said yesterday the Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine would be replaced and the aircraft would be in service shortly. She said the latest incident involving Qantas jets and Rolls-Royce engines did not indicate any pattern of trouble. ”We certainly don’t view it that way at all,’ the spokeswoman said.”

O.K. fine. Whatever you say, lady.

Now with the SFO cargo cult. Leave us review:

“Cargo cult activity increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these in some Pacific islands observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

See where I’m going here? Didn’t we just get done re-doing SFO so that we could handle five or six A380 superjumbos at a time? Hells yes! We saw a few test runs from aircraft with Airbus, Emirates and Qantas livery over the past few years.**

But those big metal birds didn’t come back.

No cargo for us.

So am I saying that it was a stupid idea for SFO to prepare for the Age of the Super Jumbo Jet? No, not really. I don’t know all the deets of how things costed out, and who knows, it wasn’t impossible that official San Francisco’s dream of somehow besting Los Angeles could have eventually worked out. But if you could have seen how proud SFO officials were of their A380-only, double decker jet bridges in the new International Terminal back in the day, well, you’d be thinking cargo cult too.

Who knows what the future will bring. International air travel will increase like gangbusters over the coming decade, so we’ll probably get some use out of those dusty double-decker jetways sooner or later. And maybe then Qantas will be back, with or without A380s. (The Q has abandoned us before, and we made do.) Or maybe Emirates will get a little more MPG from the non-Rolls-Royce, American-made GP7200 engines on their A380s so they’ll be able to make a non-stop superjumbo hop to the Bay Area from the Mid-East. Maybe.

(And maybe by that time SFO will be called Willie Lewis  Brown Jr. International Airport, I’m seriously, that’s what the other former Mayor of SF wants, he wants us to chuck the extremely well-known SFO moniker for WLB. Can you imagine?)

Anywho, if you want to go Sydney after May 2011, your only choice will be United Airlines. Now, that flight is on an old jet that the President of United says is “unacceptable,” but at least you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles on your way Down Under.

So long, Qantas.

*They waited a only a few days – what a joke!

**Man, what a load this was:

“Sensitive to the politically charged nature of outsourcing and offshoring, the Airbus chairman for North America, Allan McArtor, said 50 percent of the A380′s components are being made in the United States. McArtor hailed the new aircraft as quieter and more fuel efficient than wide-body jetliners of the past. Final assembly of the plane will be done in Toulouse, with the first test flights scheduled for next year.”

50% American content? Absolutely not. There’s a bit of American content in A380′s (some of them have more and some less) but it ain’t nowhere near 50% and there’s no way it could have been 50%. Airbus is run by the Euros – why would they go out of their way to employ Americans?

“G’Day Airbus!  Qantas A380 Arrives at SFO

Qantas' A380 arrives at the International Terminal“On January 14, 2009, SFO welcomed Qantas Airways’ new A380 as it arrived from Sydney – the first Airbus A380 to bring scheduled passengers to SFO. The aircraft’s arrival was celebrated with a party at its gate in the International Terminal.   Sponsored by Tourism Australia, the party featured Australian music, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a kangaroo.

The International Terminal, which opened in December 2000, was specifically designed to easily handle the arrivals and departures of large capacity airplanes such as the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.

SFO’s International Terminal, with the country’s only built-in A380-ready gates, is the future for comfortable and convenient international air travel,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We welcome visitors from our sister city, Sydney, and look forward to offering regularly scheduled Airbus flights and connections for all of our international visitors.”

The International Terminal features five gates that can be used by the A380 – three with double loading bridges and two with triple loading bridges. SFO was the first airport in the United States to offer triple loading bridges. The third loading bridge extends to the A380’s top deck, which allows the aircraft’s 500-plus passengers to be conveniently and directly loaded or off-loaded from the gate to the aircraft in 40 minutes – approximately the same time it takes to load a 747-400. Moreover, SFO can accommodate a rapid turnaround for the Airbus. SFO is the only airport in the United States with such a high level of built-in readiness.

Qantas currently offers daily nonstop service between SFO and Sydney on its 747-400 aircraft. The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Jerry Brown Throws Down – Fighting CNBC Over $200 Million Fraud Action Against State Street Bank

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

CalBuzz, “Political News, Analysis, Commentary and More About California and Beyond,” has amused California Attorney General Jerry Brown so much that he’s sent a message out about it this AM.

Take a look at the video here to see for yourself if JB successfully punk’d the CNBC. Are you LYAO? CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera seemed amused, anyway.

MCC on the left and California’s fightingest public representative on the right, temporarily suspending the national interview with a piece of paper:

CNBC copy

Here’s Jer-bear’s missive in full:

“Yesterday I filed a $200 Million dollar fraud action against State Street Bank for ripping off California’s pension funds. In another example of how Wall Street elites poo poo financial abuse in their own backyard, CNBC sneered at this important effort to recover money stolen from California retirees. You can see the interview with CNBC at Calbuzz:
http://www.calbuzz.com/2009/10/lmao-attorney-general-jerry-brown-punks-cnbc/
With respect, Jerry Brown
P.S. – Our new mailing address is 291 3rd Street, Oakland, CA 94607″

On It Goes.

“USF Steps Up” Program Offers Half-Price Tuition to Visiting Students at Regional Campuses

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Did you know that the University of San Francisco has satellite campuses in Cupertino, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento*? (I didn’t.) Anyway, the Jesuits are riding to the rescue for students “trapped” by the University of California and California State University, or something like that. Read all about it:

USF has stepped up to offer select courses to Californians at its regional campuses and we’ve lowered tuition more than 50% for these courses. The courses are offered through USF Steps Up, a new program to help non-USF students trapped by the devastating budget cuts at California’s public universities and give them the classes they need to graduate.

“The University of San Francisco is committed to California’s students and is swinging open its doors in Cupertino, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento to help students fulfill their General Education (GE) coursework. Classes start January 25th and federal student aid may be available for eligible students attending other area universities.

USF’s main campus as it appears when Sausalito has Fourth of July fireworks: 

IMG_9528-copy

“For over 150 years the University of San Francisco has excelled at educating California’s students. In these tough times, we hope to serve your educational needs as well. Come learn with our excellent faculty at one of our regional campuses.

What: Transferable General Education courses for spring semester 2010
When: January 25 – May 13, 2010
Where: Cupertino, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento
How: Attend USF as a visiting student
How much: Tuition is $560 a unit for classes in the USF Steps Up program

‘USF Steps Up’ to Offer Half Price Courses

Response to California’s Budget and Education Crisis

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 — The University of San Francisco, a private Jesuit university, will offer a limited number of general education courses for half price at its regional campuses starting in January 2010. The courses are offered through USF Steps Up, a new program to help non-USF students trapped by the devastating budget cuts at California’s public universities and give them the classes they need to graduate.

Budget cuts at the University of California and California State University systems have resulted in layoffs, course reductions, and higher fees and left students scrambling for classes, many of which have been cancelled. “I’ve heard heartbreaking stories from my colleagues at state schools,” says Jennifer Turpin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco.  “Students are begging to get into classes, but they can’t graduate because they can’t get the classes they need. We realized we could help these students and California by offering these classes at our regional campuses, where USF already has a presence.”

More deets after the jump

* Sacramento, where you at Sacramento?

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16 Hours on a Plane – From SFO to Dubai – New Route From Emirates Airlines

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Pretty soon, you’ll be able to fly from SFO to Dubai nonstop on a brand spanking new Boeing 777-200LR. LR stands for longer range, and it can go quite a distance. The aircraft that will take you to Dubai will look a little like this, with the fattest jet engines in the world.

Happy flying!

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planegeezer via Flickr

Details after the jump.

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