January 21, 2005

Airbus 380: It is an Airvillage

I like the new name, Airvillage, Boris Johnson suggests is more accurate than Airbus when talking about the A380 in an article on his blog.

Airbus 380:

This is not a bus, or even a tram or a train or ship. It is an Airvillage. Already Richard Branson is planning to fill his 380s with casinos and gyms and coffee parlours

Read the full article at: Boris Johnson MP

January 21, 2005 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Randy's Boeing Blog

Randy Baseler, vice president of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has a new web journal. Not quite a what I’d call a Blog yet (no permalinks, comments or RSS feed) but looks like it will develop into one. Suggest Randy looks at Bob Lutz’s Fastlane Blog as a good example of corporate blogging.

In the posts to date he reviews their sales in 2004 (inc 7E7 sales launch) and has comment on the Airbus A380. We will probably see both as Air New Zealand have 7E7’s (& 777’s) on order and the airport here has been altered to cope with A380’s (not sure whose – Qantas, Emerates?).

Randy's Journal 

17 January 2005
Happy New Year, and welcome to my new web journal. Talk about a new year's resolution - I'm starting the year by entering the Internet, and I'm looking forward to it.
I hope it will help solve one of my biggest frustrations - not being able to talk with everyone as often as I like about what's going on in our industry and our company. Either I'm in a different time zone, or in a meeting or at another commitment, so this web space can be a place where you can go to find out my thoughts and opinions.
And in the weeks ahead as we figure out more about blogging technology, we'll be adding more features…

January 21, 2005 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 01, 2005

Flight Simulator 2004 Vs Real

Vegas2004_combo Recently I did a flight with MAVERICK Helicopters (The "Dreamcatcher" tour). We flew over Vegas to the Grand Canyon and landed in the canyon by the river. On the return journey we passed over the Hoover Dam as the sun set then flew over "Old Las Vegas" and along "The Strip" for a superb view of the Casino lights.

It was awesome to see but strangely familiar. Credit for that goes to the Flight Simulator 2004 team as I had flown "The Strip" in it before leaving home. It looked surprisingly similar!

Some on the flightsim newsgroup wanted to see how similar so I made an album with photos taken on the flight and the same images taken from Flight Simulator 2004 (as close as possible) for comparison.

Flight Simulator claim "As real as it gets" and I think this shows it gets fairly real!

Open the Album: Flight Sim 2004 Vs Real.

NOTE: I have two freeware add-ons seen in some shots. Other than these everything you see is out of the box Flight Sim 2004:

  • The Eurocopter (ec130b4.zip from Flightsim.com) isn't in Maverick livery but is close to the machine I flew in.
  • The Strip has extra buildings and detail added (vgas2004.zip from Flightsim.com).

January 01, 2005 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2004

Las Vegas - Canyon Copter

Cnv00035 Had a look around the MGM Grand this morning. By NZ standards its huge, 5000+ rooms, 170,000 sq ft (17000msq) of gaming. Have a nice room looking along the strip towards the Bellagio.

I have tickets for a couple of shows, George Carlin and Rita Rudner, later in the week. Didn't go too far as I was being picked up for a helicopter ride. Did not want to get lost and miss it!

(Photo: Flying over MGM Grand on the way out of Vegas)

I went with MAVERICK Helicopters. The "Dreamcatcher" tour has over 2 1/2 hours flying time. We flew over Vegas to the Grand Canyon and landed in the canyon by the river. Descending to the floor gave a true scale of how large it is.

Cnv00009After some champagne and snacks we flew back over the Hoover Dam as the sun set. Stunning views and great views of the dam. Was good to see knowing the history from the "Seven Wonders..." programme seen on Prime. (Photo: Canyon Landing Spot)

By this time the sun had set and we flew over "Old Las Vegas" and along The Strip as all the lights were now on. Awesome to see but strangely familiar.

Credit for that goes to the Flight Simulator 2004 team as I had "flown The Strip" in it before leaving home. It looked surprisingly similar! (Photo: The Strip: Real and FlightSim 2004)

Au2004a_80_smallI think this was the best way to see the Grand Canyon (given the time restrictions) as you get the aerial perspective but also, by landing in the canyon, a true ground level appreciation of the scale of the place.

Looking down from an aircraft it looks big but looking up from river level its enormous. Most of the Canyon photos came out ok but as the sun went down I ran out of light as we headed back to Vegas & the Strip.

Luckily they record a DVD as you fly (it's your actual trip not a "canned one") so I have that as a record.

Fs2004strip_smallIt arrived about a week after I got home and is the full flight apart from the 30 minutes on the ground in the canyon  complete with pilot commentary, passenger voice and even backing music.

If you get to Vegas and want to see the Grand Canyon I recommend the Maverick Dreamcatcher flight. There are a lot of tour companies operating there but somehow I think I stumbled on the best - the web works sometimes!

Near new machinery (it was only days old!), great itinerary, live not pre-recorded commentary and a friendly pilot who was happy to chat & answer any questions.

Au2004b_6It was a real highlight of the trip. I really recommend the Maverick Dreamcatcher flight if you get the chance to do it.

November 28, 2004 in Aviation, CAD Autodesk University | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

South Korean airliner avoided "near hit"

145ft (44m) is rather too close when you are talking about aircraft separation...

Link: ComPilots.com - Aviation Portal - South Korean airliner avoided mid-air collision.

A South Korean Boeing 747 carrying hundreds of passengers came within 145 feet of hitting another jet...

November 12, 2004 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2004

Burt Rutan: Aviation pioneer

Background on Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne from the BBC.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Burt Rutan: Aviation pioneer

Scaled Composites Website

June 20, 2004 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

Air New Zealand 7E7 for Flight Simulator 2004

Air New Zealand have ordered some 7E7's but you can fly one now!
Thanks to Jon & Peter at ARNZ Aircraft Repaints New Zealand there is a nice Air New Zealand repaint of Robert Versluys's GMAX 7E7-800 for FS2004. Seen here its flying over, or parked in, Dean Baunton's Auckland Scenery available from the same site. This scenery was built for FS2002 but works ok in FS2004 although you see some strange taxi manoeuvres at NZAA as the airport was moved slightly between the two Flightsim versions!
Get it from ARNZ Aircraft Repaints New Zealand Website

June 15, 2004 in Aviation, Cool Software | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 05, 2004

Boeing, Boeing, Gone?

Interesting article from Popular Mechanics about the future of Boeing. Its risky to build any new aircraft due to the huge investment required but how dependent are they on the success of the 7E7?
Popular Science | Boeing, Boeing, Gone?

June 05, 2004 in Aviation, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Air New Zealand choose Boeing

Although they are changing to Airbus for the domestic fleet, Air New Zealand have taken options on Boeing 777 and 7E7 aircraft to replace the current 747/767 long haul fleet.
STUFF : BUSINESS : Boeing wins nod over Airbus:

Twenty-First-Century Jet: The Making and Marketing of the Boeing 777
A book about aircraft but more about the process of specifying, marketing, designing, and building a complex technological product than just an "aircraft book".
I initially read it as the 777 was the first Boeing aircraft to use full 3d CAD modelling as the primary design tool but found the management and logistics aspects also interesting. It's more relevant to Kiwi's than ever now that Air New Zealand has added the 777 to its fleet.
Amazon.com: Books: Twenty-First-Century Jet: The Making and Marketing of the Boeing 777

June 04, 2004 in Aviation, CAD and BIM General, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2004


In what is believed to be a world-first, a helicopter was successfully landed on the aft deck of a privately-owned sailing yacht in Auckland recently. The EC130 seven-seat helicopter landed on the new super sloop Tiara anchored in the Waitemata Harbour in the city.
Arriving in style - helicopter lands on super sloop's afterdeck

May 30, 2004 in Aviation, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Airbus A380 Navigator

Follow the development of the new Airbus A380, a 555-seat "Super Jumbo" airliner, with the "Airbus A380 Navigator". This site is packed with information on the Design and Production of the A380 as it progresses towards its inaugural flight in 2006. There is also a great interactive 3d model view on the Navigator page.
Airbus.com Home Page

May 01, 2004 in Aviation, Design and Art | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

Emirates Sponsors Team NZ?

If this is accurate it seems like New Zealand is in the Americas Cup business again. There had been some doubt as its hard work getting the required budget but it looks like it’s going to happen.
Emirates Sponsors Team NZ
28/04/2004 07:15 AM - Denise McNabb - The Independent
XTRAMSN: Business: Business News: Emirates Sponsors Team NZ

April 28, 2004 in Aviation, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2004

Boeing's UFO

Unmanned Flying Object?

Boeing Unmanned Combat Aircraft Makes Aviation History

April 25, 2004 in Aviation, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Air NZ tipped to go Airbus

If this happens will be a major change for NZ aviation. The long haul fleet has been all Boeing since the Douglas DC8 & DC10's were retired.

Air NZ tipped to go Airbus way 15 April 2004 By ROELAND VAN DEN BERGH

Air New Zealand is tipped to buy a fleet of Airbus A330 twin-engine jets, worth up to $1.2 billion, to replace its Boeing 767-300 aircraft on medium to long-haul routes...

STUFF : BUSINESS - STORY : New Zealand's leading news and information website

April 15, 2004 in Aviation, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack