Sunday, June 30, 2013

Europe Trip 2013: Heathrow to Guangzhou and home sweet home

As with my flights from NZ to the UK, my flights home were on China Southern Airlines. Also, as with the trip over, I was surprisingly comfortable, with 3 out of 4 sectors have a 35" seat pitch in economy [compared to 31-33" seat pitch on most other airlines!]. The one exception was because I had an exit row, so leg room was "unlimited" :-)

Despite leaving London at 5:50pm and a 12 hrs flight, it was continuous daylight all the way to China so a very long day since we arrived in Guangzhou at about 1pm-ish.

Due to a long layover in Guangzhou [ICAO code: ZGGG] of 11.5 hours, China Southern put me in a hotel for about 8.5/ 9 hrs which was nice. The hotel had a very flash foyer and the room was not far behind. Very nice even if only classed as "3 star". The only problem with the hotel was that they were hosting an event and so at about 9pm the extremely loud music started. Ouch! Just as well we were catching the bus back to the airport at 10pm.

The only minor problem was that the flight was delayed 2.5 hrs, so a 3am departure, but such is life.

After arrival in Auckland at 6pm, I stayed in a hotel for the night then arrived home in Wellington the next afternoon. Fun, but tiring. Still, well worth it!

Anyway, on to the pictures. Top to bottom we have:

Night time over Russia :-)
Daytime over China
Hotel foyer in Guangzhou
My [very large] hotel room. Comfy too :-)
View from the hotel window
Airport terminal late at night... not much happening at about 1-2am. :-)
Boeing 777-3DZ/ER, A7-BAZ, Qatar Airways
Boeing 767-381/ER, JA608A, ANA

Europe Trip 2013: London Heathrow

In this second-last aviation post from my recent trip to the UK and Europe, I have a small number of pictures from London Heathrow, Terminal 4. Most of the time, it seems that Heathrow terminals are not great for photography [although that might be due to a fair number of night flights and I've never flown from Terminal 5], but T4 has plenty of places to have a good look out across the airfield., Another bonus of that T4 is very close to runway 27 L which was the landing runway during the time I was there. A nice bonus :-)

Anyway, on to the photos. I have just a small sample of some of the more interesting aircraft I saw in an hour or so. Top to bottom we have:

Airbus A330-223, B-6547, China Southern Airlines and my ride from Heathrow to Guangzhou
Boeing 767-432/ER, N845MH, Delta Air Lines
Boeing 777-2U8/ER, 5Y-KYZ, Kenya Airways
Boeing 767-2B1/ER, XA-OAM, AeroMexico
Airbus A300B4-662(F), D-AEAE, DHL (European Air Transport) - converted from a passenger A300.
A view from T4 across to T1/2/3. Note two A380's and the Control Tower. Nice :-)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Europe Trip 2013: Second post from Brooklands

One of the main attractions at Brooklands [for me at least] was the BAC Concorde. Unlike several of the other aircraft, this one was not flown into Brooklands... apart from the runway length and the fact that the aircraft had ready been grounded, this aircraft had for several years been used by British Airways as a source of spares... One of the things that Brooklands do is a "guided tour" and a video presentation on-board Concorde. It costs an extra 2 [or 4?] pounds, but it's interesting and worthwhile.

Anyway, other aircraft were a Vickers 806 Viscount, a Vickers Vanguard/Merchantman and a Vickers Varsity.

Last up is a video of the Merchantman landing at Brooklands many years ago. This video is well worth watching - especially at the end when they show how short the aircraft landed :-)

Europe Trip 2013: Back in the UK at Brooklands Museum

After arriving back in the UK, I headed off to the Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

The museum itself mainly consists of vintages motor vehicles of all sorts, including cars, motorbikes and a building full of old buses, plus a number of aircraft. Most of the larger aircraft are outside in the weather, although there is one building with a number of replica and original vintage aircraft.

This and the next post contain pictures of a small number of the aircraft.

The four pictures in this post of two Vickers VC10's and a British Aircraft Corporation BAC 1-11 - the first of the VC10's was flown into Brooklands some years ago when they had a runway. The second picture is the cockpit, and the third is the shell of an ex British Airways VC10. The last picture is a BAC1-11 which was also flown into brooklands some years ago.

Below the photos is a link to the video of the BAC 1-11 landing at Brooklands [ICAO code: EGLB] all those years ago...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Europe Trip 2013: Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and back to London Heathrow

After Helsinki, a took the ferry across to Tallinn [capital city of Estonia] for a few days. After the visit I flew from Tallinn [ICAO code: EETN] to Copenhagen-Kastrup then back to London Heathrow.

I had a couple of hours at the airport and although the airport was nowhere near as busy as I had hoped, there were a few interesting aircraft passing through. What was interesting for me was that my flight to Copenhagen-Kastrup was in an Estonian Air Embraer ERJ-170 - a nice little plane and reasonably comfortable for a short flight. Also, the SAS flight from Copenhagen-Kastrup to London Heathrow was in an A319 in a special livery... see below.

Anyway, on to the photos. Unfortunately the light was not great for some of them but such is life. Top to bottom we have:

Airbus A319-111, VQ-BCP, Aeroflot
Boeing 737-8AS, EI-DLI, Ryanair
Boeing 737-53S, YL-BBE, Air Baltic
Canadair CRJ900, ES-ACD, Estonian Air
ATR ATR72-500, OH-ATF, Finncomm
Embraer ERJ170-100LR, ES-AED, Estonian Air
Airbus A319-131, OY-KBO, SAS

Europe Trip 2013: Aer Lingus, Turkish Airlines and Icelandair

In this final post from Helsinki-Vantaa airport, we have 3 more aircraft from Aer Lingus, Turkish Airlines and Icelandair. Enjoy the photos and the next post will continue my journey from another airport!

Top to bottom are:

Airbus A321-231, TC-JSB, Turkish Airlines
Airbus A320-214, EI-CVA, Aer Lingus
Boeing 757-208, TF-FIO, Icelandair

Europe Trip 2013: KLM, Air Berlin, Eurowings

Next up are 3 aircraft, one each from KLM, Air Berlin and Eurowings. Top to bottom are:

Boeing 737-8K2, PH-BXN, KLM
Boeing 737-82R, D-ABKA, Air Berlin
Canadair CL600-2D24, D-ACNN, Eurowings

Europe Trip 2013: Norwegian and Lufthansa

Still at Helsinki-Vantaa airport, next up we have 3 aircraft from Norwegian Air Shuttle and 2 from Lufthansa. Top to bottom are:

Boeing 737-8JP, LN-NGA, Norwegian Air Shuttle
Boeing 737-8JP, LN-NGC, Norwegian Air Shuttle
Boeing 737-8FZ, LN-NOC, Norwegian Air Shuttle
Airbus A320-211, D-AIPU, Lufthansa
Airbus A319-114, D-AILX, Lufthansa

Europe Trip 2013: Blue1

I'm back home in New Zealand now, so it is time to catch up on a whole bunch of photos I have wanted to post for the past couple of weeks.

In this post we have a series of 4 Blue1 [part of SAS] Boeing 717-200's from Helsinki-Vantaa airport. I was excited to fly from Copenhagen-Kastrup to Helsinki-Vantaa in early June - it was the first time I had flown on a B717, aka MD95. What I particularly like about the Blue1 aircraft in particular is the really detailed livery. Note the different colours in the first two pictures [as always, click on the images for larger versions].

Anyway, on to the photos:

Boeing 717-2CM, OH-BLI
Boeing 717-23S, OH-BLQ
Boeing 717-2K9, OH-BLO
Boeing 717-2CM, OH-BLH

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Europe Trip 2013: Helsinki-Vantaa Turboprops

There were not too many turboprop operators at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. I only counted 3 - Flybe, Finncomm and Air Baltic. 

Flybe and Finncomm were using various ATR's and Air Baltic's sole flight was a DHC-8. Photos are as follows:

ATR ATR72-500, OH-ATH, operated by Flybe
ATR ATR42-400, OH-ATD, operated by Finncomm
ATR ATR72-500, OH-ATI, operated by Finncomm
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q, YL-BAY, operated by Air Baltic

The only other turboprop I saw was a Finnish Air Force Pilatus PC12, but it was raining and the photo is rubbish...

Europe Trip 2013: Finnair at Helsinki-Vantaa airport - 2

This post has the special Finnair liveries that I spotted at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. This and the last post also cover off one of each type except the Airbus A321 :-) Anyway, top to bottom are:

Airbus A319-112, OH-LVD
Airbus A340-313X, OH-LQD
Airbus A340-313E, OH-LQE

The next posts will make a start on the other airlines and types I saw on the day, but I'm on holiday, so it may still take a few days :-) Enjoy!