Well it's winter and this is the final open thread of 2008.
Fuselage to Flight Line
787 First Flight in April
Geoff Thomas of ATW has the item this morning. He outlines the milestones coming up over the next few months. My timelines line up with what he's hearing too and I'll have more on this later today or tomorrow.
Continental Accident in Denver
A wingletted 737-500 (CO1404) veered off runway 34R at DEN on Saturday at 18:18 local on its takeoff roll. Thanks to a well trained crew, a sound FAA safety structure, a solid aircraft design, and not a miracle, all 115 people survived the accident. Seven minutes later, a passenger twittered the only reaction one would expect in a situation like that. Early causes point to 30+ kt cross wind and/or brake issues. This appears to the be first commercial hull loss in the US since Comair 191.
British Airways Books E-Jets
BA announced earlier today that they are acquiring 11 Embraer E-170/190 jets for use on CityFlyer routes. One has to wonder how much KLM's decision to go with E-Jets influenced BA's fleet planning. Many saw the September 2007 A380 purchase as a reaction to Singapore, QANTAS and Emirates all preparing to serve LHR with superjumbos.
Going long haul
The Open Skies Agreement between the US and Australia, which took effect over the summer, is really starting to bear fruit for open competition. In the last few months, the number of carriers operating between the two countries has doubled. United and QANTAS hold a duopoly on this route, but come late-February, V Australia (777-300ER) will connect the two countries, followed by Delta (777-200LR) in July. Ben Sandilands has an interesting take on what he calls "Delta's Pacific Tsunami" and its potential impact on the legacy pacific carriers on that route.
In conjunction with this, the 2nd V Australia 777-300ER (VH-VPD) has shown up on the Everett flight line along with the first 777-200LR (A7-BBA) for Qatar Airways. Both were delayed by the strike and pushed back the start of new routes for both airlines to the US; Houston-Doha for Qatar and Sydney-Los Angeles for V Australia.
It begs the question: Would Delta be in search of Australian feeder traffic to fill its 777-200LR in the form of a carrier partnership on that side of the Pacific?
Fuselage to Flight Line
Renton photographer, Andrew Sieber (a friend of this blog), captured two interesting photographs three weeks apart. The first is a 737-800 fuselage arriving on a rail car taken on November 23. The second is that same 737-800 fully assembled on the Renton flight line on December 15. The 737-800 is for Royal Air Maroc.
The close of 2008
What a year! Barring any unforeseen massive stories (famous last words) these are the top five most popular FlightBlogger posts of 2008. Expect more top fives as the week unfolds.
Total page loads for 2008: 1,545,600+