An MAS gets old before its time, the Fred Flintstone aircraft and Gangnam-style gliding

Here’s a chance to read the Straight & Level page from Flight International, 8 January:


Boeing old before its time

Malaysia Airlines probably thought it had the perfect publicity opportunity when, to mark its 40th anniversary, it repainted one of its 737-800s in the carrier’s original 1972 livery.

However, the Jakarta Post got the wrong end of the stick.

“MAS has brought back to service its old B737-800 aircraft… the first to fly between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on 1 October 1972,” the newspaper told its readers. “A fresh coat of paint returned the plane to its former finery.”

166247.jpgYabba-dabba fly

A glider with retractable landing gear? We love the look of (but don’t like pronouncing) the Swiss-built Archaeopteryx (below) – launched by the pilot running before pulling his legs into the cockpit. However, it does remind us of something Fred Flintstone might have dreamt up.

dia_archaeopteryx_02.jpgTopcliffe Style

It is not only the Chinese who have been adopting the Gangnam-inspired Carrier Style (see Straight & Level, 4-10 December 2012).

Rob Travers sent in this picture of two air cadets of 645VGS at RAF Topcliffe “trying to persuade a bemused looking Grob G109 instructor that he is about to be catapulted into the nearby River Swale”.

Unlike the Chinese carrier, Liaoning, the station is not fitted with a ski-jump, notes Rob. “And even if it was, with a 42kt stall speed, a Vigilant would be better off going down the ramp.”

S7005466 2.jpgYule like this

Ian Goold spotted this on the website of New South Wales training outfit Pacific Flight Services: “Achek Yule completed his final test on 4 December and is now a qualified Grade III Flight Instructor.”

“Perhaps appropriate that a guy called Yule should pass his December exams,” he says. “But – better yet – with a name like Achek he really should be in airline maintenance.”

Bad day at office

Show daily editorial offices are rarely salubrious – at their worst they are in some dark corner or subterranean boxes in the bowels of the convention centre, floors away from natural light.

But anyone looking for one of our competitors at the recent MEBA business aviation show in Dubai might have assumed things were really desperate – the newspaper’s own helpful “How to find us” hall layout graphic showed them located in the gents toilets.

Prophet of profit

Some of the aviation-themed festive cards that winged their way to Budgie Towers caught our eye.

Alongside vintage aircraft and cockpit Santas, we liked MTU Maintenance’s – the zeros of 2012 and 2013 cut out to show the engines of an A380, revealed in full when you open the card.

But our favourite in these worrying financial times was pre-owned business aircraft showroom The Jet Business’s impassioned paean to the free market: “May this holiday season and new year bring the world a renewed acceptance and appreciation of capitalism.”

Ah, nothing like a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Yuckspeak #924

Peter Martin suggests this extract from our 27 November Swedish special is worthy of Yuckspeak: “[Volvo Aero] is very process-driven… while at the same time focused on building consensus among all stakeholders.”

He remarks: “I have two questions. What does it mean and do people really speak

like this?”



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One Response to An MAS gets old before its time, the Fred Flintstone aircraft and Gangnam-style gliding

  1. Kim Pritchard 13 August, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    Sounds great! Fred Flintstone is probably amazing and the Topcliffe Style as well.
    I love it so much.

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