It’s the end of an era as the last Boeing 717 rolls off the line. It was based on the McDonnell Douglas MD95, which in turn evolved from the Douglas DC9 Series, so represents the last of a long line of the Douglas Commercial aircraft dating back to the DC1.
Boeing Blog: Randy's Journal: California dreamin' “Let this week's events serve as a great tribute to the Douglas legacy. The Long Beach factory with its legendary sign, "Fly DC Jets," will live on forever in the history of commercial aviation, and in its lasting impact on the Boeing of today and the future”
I’ve only flown in a few Douglas/McDonnell Douglas aircraft types (as a passenger!). One was much older than you’d think given I was born at about the time the jet age arrived in New Zealand;
The first Air New Zealand DC8 ZK-NZA arrived in July 1965, I arrived about six months later!
The oldest Douglas commercial aircraft I’ve flown in was a QANTAS DC4 Skymaster which operated into the mid ‘70’s servicing Norfolk Island. TEAL/Air New Zealand chartered these aircraft for the Auckland – Norfolk Island route from 1955 to June 1975. My grandparents lived at Norfolk and I still remember the, seemingly endless, flight I did at about age 6 or 7. The flight didn’t take a whole year, about 3 or 4 hours I think, but I can’t remember which year it was! For any child flying is an adventure but a long flight to a tiny dot in the Pacific in a multi-engine un-pressurised prop aircraft was a real adventure! I think the reason the DC4 was still in use at that time was thanks to the short runway at Norfolk and regulations regarding twin engine aircraft and long ocean crossings. It seems odd that an ancient 4 engine DC4 was thought more reliable than a modern jet! The Norfolk DC4 was initially replaced by Fokker Friendship’s and, after a runway extension, the Boeing 737’s used today.
I still have fond memories of Air NZ DC10–30’s which operated from 1973 to 1982. I remember drawing them as repeatedly as a child, the Koru on the tail was hard to get right! A flight to Sydney on one was my first international jet flight and still remember it was a nicer experience than the return flight on a QANTAS 747 (sorry Randy!).
I did a L.A.– San Francisco flight in a MD80 (or was it a MD90?) in 2004 and that’s my total flight time in Douglas Aircraft to date but I still have one more to add…
There are a few DC3’s doing charter/fun flights in New Zealand and I plan to get a flight in the most famous Douglas Aircraft of them all.
Fiat are buying back some of the Ferrari shares sold off to a consortium of banks in 2002 and will regain 85% share-holding. Perhaps they will offer US F430 Modena owners a deal on a Punto for their “small women and children”?
Will US F430’s have a (retracting) height check bar like theme park rides. “If you can walk under this bar you can’t ride in a Ferrari”?
I’ve been reading about The Da Vinci Code and decided I’m the only one who hasn’t read the book or seen the movie and probably never will. It gets added to the some of other must see blockbusters that I’ve never really bothered with;
Lord of the Rings: I must be the only Kiwi who has never seen the movies other than via the numerous Awards clips. I was forced to read Tolkien at school and hated it so the thought of spending hours reading/watching more of it does nothing for me.
King Kong: I saw and liked the original 1933 version years ago but have had no inclination to see any of the re-makes.
The Matrix: After many months I gave in and watched a some of this movie on DVD, didn’t like it and gave up way before the end.
Star Wars: As a kid saw it and would have loved it if I hadn’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey several years before. That set the standard for “space movies” for me as a kid and in many ways it still does. Never bothered with the many Star Wars sequels.
The recent move to “un-bundle” our phone network was heralded as the first step towards NZ getting better connected. Rod Drury highlights a couple of recent software deals and points out this industry represents a potential low investment path to increase our productivity. I’d add the work done by local Movie/TV production houses, it’s just another form of software, to this argument for creative “soft” industries being a future path for growth. If you have a great idea, the resources and talent to develop it then distance – the problem our traditional exports face – is not an issue.
“Hasn't the software industry proven it this year already? I just read that the total value of our wine exports in 2005 was 360m. TradeMe and Massive alone have generated over a 1B of inwards cash already in just 2006.”
You are not supposed to comment on, or click on, Google Adverts on your own site but I couldn’t resist looking at this one. 35HP didn’t seem much of an improvement on the 45HP I normally have but clicking thru revealed they meant an extra 35HP…