Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A DHC8 and an ATR72

Last Saturday, in between the brief excitement of the returning ATR72, I shot these pictures of a Eastern Australia Airlines-operated DHC8 and a Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ-operated ATR72.

As you can see, it was a bit gloomy all day, although until you went north, the cloud was high enough for most of the Aero Club's activities, with only a light breeze and the threatened rain not eventuating. All-in-all, a nice day for a fly for those that did get up.

First up is an Eastern Australia Airlines-operated [Jetstar branded] Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL taking off.

Bombardier DHC-8-315, VH-TQL, operated by Eastern Australia Airlines on behalf of Jetstar
Next up is an ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD, which is operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ].
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVD, operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fiji Airways B737 departs

Here is a quick picture of today's Fiji Airways Boeing 737-8X2, DQ-FJG, departing this afternoon. Not a bad picture I suppose since it was fast moving, the camera was hand held and as you can see it's rather gloomy...

Boeing 737-8X2, DQ-FJG, operated by Fiji Airways

Beech 300LW

Today's interesting visitor was the previously-featured Beech 300LW, VH-WCN, which is operated by AVCAIR. In effect thought it's a privately operated aircraft, which arrived from Auckland and was on route to Dunedin.

Despite the Australian registration and contact address, I understand that this aircraft is now based at Ardmore airport [NZAR] in Papakura, Auckland.

Beech 300LW, VH-WCN, operated by AVCAIR of a Queensland, Australia address

Beech 300LW, VH-WCN, operated by AVCAIR of a Queensland, Australia address

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Emergency response at Wellington Airport today

Today there was an emergency response at Wellington Airport, with a Mount Cook-operated ATR72 turning back from a flight to Christchurch. According to media reports [not that I put much stock in those], this was due to a chlorine smell in the cabin, which apparently resulting from bleach leaking from a bag in the cabin.

Anyway, here is a picture from across the other side of the airport.

The aircraft was one of Mount Cook's newest ATR72's, ZK-MVE, along with emergency vehicles from the airport, NZ Fire Service and an ambulance from Wellington Free Ambulance service.

ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVE, operated by Mount Cook Airline [Air NZ] with emergency vehicles

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sounds Air PC12's

Today's pictures are of two of Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12/45 aircraft, ZK-PLS and ZK-PLT. These were taken as they departed from runway 34.

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Pilatus PC12/45, ZK-PLT, operated by Sounds Air

Sunday, May 08, 2016

A little Turkish Delight

A surprise visitor at Wellington today is this Airbus A319/115CJ, TC-ANA, which is operated by the Turkish Government.

I wasn't at the airport when it arrived, but it appears there was quite a delegation awaiting the arrival, so there must have been important people on board. By the time I arrived at the airport, it was all tucked up and quiet.

Airbus A319/115CJ, TC-ANA, operated by the Government of Turkey

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Minatur Wunderland in Hamburg!

The Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is one very interesting place. It is nominally a very very large train set with some very detailed models, but in reality it's much more.

Of particular interest to airplane people would be the Knuffingen Airport display, which I understand it loosely based on Hamburg airport. Of course the aircraft move, but also many of the vehicles, aircraft tugs, terminal gates and more! very, very flash!

What follows are a few of the pictures and video I took while visiting. Keep in mind that this is only a small part of the whole model setup, which will keep you occupied for several hours [possibly the best 13 euro you'll spend in Hamburg! :-)].

See the Air Chathams aircraft???

Holding for departure

Arrivals and departures board.... note the top one

Yes, they both "flew" in and taxied to their stands!

Moving by itself!


Monday, May 02, 2016

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Once back in the UK, I made a trip [curtesy of my sister] to Tangmere. Tangmere was a rather famous airfield in World War Two, although it dates from the around World War One and was closed in the 1960's. Nowadays, about the only reminder of the airfield I saw was the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

This small museum houses a number of aircraft [including several outside] and a reasonable collection of memorabilia and artefacts from it's time as an operational RAF base. If you're in the area, it's probably worth a good couple of hours to visit, although it's not one of the big museum, like the RAF Museum at Hendon or the museum at Duxford.

The staff are very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful. In fact, I was given a brie fintroduction to the museum and later a guided tour through the two hangers and a sit inside a basic replica of an SE5A cockpit. A really nice touch!

Here are a few photos from the visit.

Hawker Hunter

Supermarine Swift

Gloster Meteor, EE549

Harrier jumpjets

Engine from a crashed Hawker Hurricane

Cockpit from a crashed Hawker Hurricane


Radio set from a Lancaster

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I must be back in Wellington...

... as I'm back to seeing Air NZ and other Wellington visitors.

First up are a couple of regulars.

ZK-OXE has been around for a while now. This is another of Air NZ's Airbus A320-232 aircraft which is used on domestic sectors.

Airbus A320-232, ZK-OXE, operated by Air NZ
Mount Cook Airline's ATR72's look really nice in the black and white fern livery. We'll see more of these as Air NZ expands it's fleet of later model ATR72's, to replace the older ones and to slightly increase the overall fleet size.
ATR-GIE ATR72-212A, ZK-MVJ, operated by Mount Cook Airline/ Air NZ
Last up is an Australian-registered aircraft, a Beech B300LW, VH-WCN. This is registered to a company called AVcair of a Hamilton [Queenland, Australia] address. AVcair appears to be a charter operated based in Brisbane, Australia.
Beech B300LW, VH-WCN, operated by AVcair of a Hamilton [Queensland, Australia] address

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hamburg Airport # 2

Following on from yesterday's first post from Hamburg, here is a look at a few more aircraft.

First up was my ride home. It's a British Airways operated Airbus A319. A nice little workhorse, and a nice airline to fly on [I even got fed and a drink and at a good price].

Airbus A319-131, G-EUPC, operated by British Airways

Airbus A320-214, CS-TNJ, operated by TAP Portugal
Air Berlin in a low cost carrier based in Germany [surprise! :-)], which operated by jets and turbo props.
Airbus A320-216, D-ABZI, operate by Air Berlin
A category of aircraft that seem to be rare at the airports I visit in Europe are turboprops. There are never more than a very small number of them around. Maybe I'm just not visiting secondary airports or maybe they are just not used so much [there are on the other hand a usually a fair few regional jets]. Here are a couple:

Bombardier DHC-8-402, D-ABQP, operated by Air Berlin

Bombardier DHC-8-402, YL-BAH, operated by Air Baltic

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hamburg Airport

More from my recent holiday...

I spent just eight days in Hamburg., Nothing much aviation to report, although I did visit the excellent Miniatur Wunderland (there will be a post on this next week), which includes a large airport section and is apparently based on Hamburg Airport. Well worth the visit if you have a few hours free!

Once at Hamburg airport [ICAO code: EDDH] and after security, there was plenty of opportunity to photograph some of the flying both prior to, and after entering, the "B" gates, which handle non-Schengen area flights.

This post has the first of a two posts covering the happenings at Hamburg airport. There is only one photo of an aircraft on the runway... unfortunately my 55-250 kit lens gets too fuzzy at the 250mm end...

First up is a rather special aircraft - the first Airbus A320 NEO [New Engine Option] in airline service. Note that compared to the other A320's in this post, those engines have a much larger diameter. It's hard to tell from this distance, but there does not appear to be a lot of ground clearance...

Airbus A320-271N [NEO], D-AINA, operated by Lufthansa
Next up is an A320 operated by Aeroflot. If it's registration looks a little odd, that's because it is registered in Bermuda.
Airbus A320-214, VQ-BBB, operated by Aeroflot
This Easyjet aircraft has an interesting livery - one I've not seen on their aircraft before.
Airbus A320-214, G-EZOV, operated by Easyjet

Airbus A320-232, SX-DGO, operated by Aegean Airlines

Airbus A320-232, TC-JPB, operated by Turkish Airlines
There are not too many B757's operating outside of the US and Europe, but this is one of then. Nice to see! This picture shows of the stretch over the -200's used by the RNZAF quite nicely.
Boeing 757-330, D-ABOI, operated by Condor

Monday, April 25, 2016

Jetstar's "Sunglass Hut" aircraft

I was at Wellington airport yesterday and was in time to see Jetstar's Sunglass Hut-branded Airbus A320 depart. It has to be said that an aircraft can make for a pretty impressive billboard!

Airbus A320-232, VH-VFV, operated by Jetstar Airways

Airbus A320-232, VH-VFV, operated by Jetstar Airways

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Heathrow to Hamburg

After 13 days in the UK, I headed off to Hamburg.

Why Hamburg? Simply, I had never been there before, so it was an opportunity to have a look around.

The flight from Heathrow to Hamburg was a Eurowings flight, operated by Germanwings, both subsidiaries of Lufthansa. Despite being fairly inexpensive, I had a checked bag and food which was nice, even though it was only about a 1 hour, 45 minute flight.

Anyway, here are some photos from Heathrow prior to departure.

Airbus A319-111, CS-TTG, operated by TAP Portugal

Airbus A321-131, D-AIRT, operated by Lufthansa

Airbus A320-214, D-AIUQ, operated by Lufthansa

Airbus A320-211, D-AIQN, operated by Germanwings

Airbus A320-214, EI-DVK, operated by Aer Lingus 
Airbus A321-231, G-EUXK, operated by British Airways

Airbus A330-343, G-VGEM, operated by Virgin Atlantic
One more thing to note is that it seems that for domestic and regional aircraft, Airbus rules the root in Europe. There are Boeing about [and I have not deliberately excluded any], but they appear outnumbered by Airbus by a considerable margin. Long haul might be a bit more even.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

China Southern Airlines and Guangzhou Baiyun airport in China

On my recent trip to the UK, I flew with China Southern Airlines to London Heathrow via Guangzhou Baiyun airport [ICAO code: ZGGG] for what was to be a three hour break before proceeding to London Heathrow.

For the first time ever, I was flying business class. The first leg was in a Boeing 777 and it's amazing what a difference a flat bed makes for the comfort on the trip! Despite not getting a lot of sleep [that's just me, not an indication of comfort levels], I was still reasonably fresh. Being comfortable, I didn't need to walk around as I do in economy which probably helped a lot also.

The remaining long haul sectors would be in a B787-8, and I was very interested to see what the differences would be - especially the benefit of better cabin pressure and humidity. I did feel better after the B787 flights, I noticed that my mouth and throat did not get dry - it was just more comfortable.

The windows on the B787 were much larger and much easier to look out of from anywhere in the cabin, although the electric blinds are a gimmick. Hopefully the next version of them will actually be dark and therefore useful.

Movie and TV episode selection on the IFE is quite limited, but there's probably enough for most people. Personally, I don't care as I don't watch a lot of movies. I think I managed 1 full movie per sector, plus a couple of shows. I prefer to try and rest, which is very easy when you get to lie flat!

Food was nice. There's not a lot of menu options to choose from [that is, two for each of breakfast and the main meal], but the meals themselves were nice. Alcohol options were also limited but tasty - no problem as I don't drink much [except water and fruit juices] on planes anyway.

Overall, service levels were a bit variable, but the staff were all friendly and helpful. The only annoying thing was on the flight from Guangzhou to Auckland, one of the staff told me to turn off my mobile. Yes, it was in flight mode [I showed her this], and I was told "I understand but you must turn it off". I don't know if there was something missing in translation, but nothing I would have an argument about.

Keep in mind I paid half of what you would pay to fly Air NZ, Emirates or similar, so little things like the food and slightly inconsistent service levels are nothing. In any case, I purchased the ticket for comfort, not food :-)

The biggest benefits of a business class ticket? The lie-flat bed, plus lounges at all stops and priority queuing.

Anyway, on to some pictures. These are a few from Guangzhou. There are not that many - I spent most of the time in the lounge and only took a couple of walks to stretch the legs and get some photos. Also, they were shot through glass, so they are not all that great...

Airbus A321-211, B-6685, operated by China Southern Airlines

Airbus A330-221, B-6515, operated by China Southern Airlines

Airbus A330-223, B-6528, operated by China Southern Airlines in Skyteam livery

Boeing 767-381/ER, JA626A, operated by ANA

Airbus A330-323, HL8027, operated by Korean Airlines

Boeing 737-87L, B-1711, operated by Shenzhen Airlines

View across the airport and apron to the FedEx cargo apron

PS: I'm still a little tired, so this post will probably get updated as I re-read it :-)