Shocking, I know! It occurred to me recently that I had not taken a vacation since, well, let's just say that it was before 2008. So, I was quite overdue for some time off. Upon instruction from every single person in my life, I have let my laptop at home and my email has an auto responder this week. Not to worry, I'll be back next Monday well rested and hopefully with some great photos. The blog, however, will be alive and well with some scheduled content this week, so keep visiting. See you in a week!
If you like FlightBlogger, may I also recommend:
Runway Girl, Flight International blog, Learmount, Left Field, The DEW Line, Airline Business, Unusual Attitude, Hyperbola, Image of the Day blog, Editor's Blog, Asian Skies, Aviation and the Environment and Terminal Q.
787 & Lightening Strike Protection
This is a must read:
FAA to loosen fuel-tank safety rules, benefiting Boeing's 787
By Dominic Gates - The Seattle Times
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has quietly decided to loosen stringent fuel-tank safety regulations written after the 1996 fuel-tank explosion that destroyed flight TWA 800 off the coast of New York state.
The FAA proposes to relax the safeguards for preventing sparks inside the fuel tank during a lightning strike, standards the agency now calls "impractical" and Boeing says its soon-to-fly 787 Dreamliner cannot meet.
Also, the aft fuselage of Dreamliner Six, the final flight test 787, should find its way to Everett as early as this week from Charleston.
The more and more I read, the more and more I'm convinced that the narrow body replacement battle will be the fiercest competition commercial aviation has ever seen. Boeing and Airbus are quietly working on what each has planned for the next generation, though it still remains that the engine technology is the key pacing item for product development.
Air France's First A380
MSN033, who's journey to Toulouse began in December 2007, and was later brought outside for the first time a year ago, is just about ready for her first flight. She was seen taxiing on Friday and her first flight should happen in the EXTREMELY near future.
Final Assembly for BA 777
The first of four (#771) British Airways 777-200ERs ordered in 2007 has entered final body join in Everett. This will be BA's first 777 delivery since 2001. We still have to wait more than a year to see the first BA 777-300ERs.
In other 777 news...
777F #1 (N5020K) is undergoing full refurbishment out on the Everett flight line for Air France. V Australia got its first 777-300ER (VH-VOZ) and Boeing got some color commentary by Sir Richard Branson. Qatar Airways took delivery of its first 777-200LR (A7-BBA) for flights from Doha to Houston starting March 30th.
757-300 with winglets!
Continental's first 757-300 (N75851) has been retrofitted with winglets.
"Sure, a tiny fraction of business jet users are overleveraged greedbags and bailout-seeking executives; the overwhelming majority are honest and productive members of society." - Richard Aboulafia