Recycled Rockets

The first real step towards a world of Jonny Quest rocket planes traversing the globe.

SpaceX has succeeded in re-launching one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the first time ever, an undertaking that saw the first ever reflight of an entire orbital class rocket ever, by anyone. The achievement is a key ingredient in SpaceX’s long-term business plan for making rocket launches more affordable and accessible to corporate and…

via SpaceX successfully re-launches an orbital Falcon 9 rocket for the first time — TechCrunch

A Seaplane in the Desert

A few years ago I attended a conference in Albuquerque. I arrived at ABQ late in the evening and headed toward baggage claim. Walking through the terminal I made my usual scan of the airport’s amenities. I like to know what the airport offers just in case my return trip becomes a campout. Food court, check; sports bar, check; news stand, several; wooden propeller…  what?!?

sm55-prop-albuquerqueA small exhibit with a wooden propeller hanging on the wall above it caught my eye. As I got closer I was surprised to see an unmistakable silhouette. Inside the display case was a scale miniature of the wacky flying catamaran from Italy known as the Savoia-Marchetti SM.55. An unusual flying boat–or more accurately two boats–joined by a massive wing.

The story of this propeller and how it ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a tale of international intrigue– and an overlooked bit of aviation history. Continue reading A Seaplane in the Desert

Tulsa’s Airship Terminal

A Legend That’s Lighter Than Air

Courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical SocietyFor decades I have heard the stories about Tulsa’s dirigible mooring mast. But lately it seems to have gained traction, despite a lack of any real evidence. Numerous websites, newspaper articles and Wikipedia all mention the mooring mast atop the 320 Boston Building. But is it true?

Continue reading Tulsa’s Airship Terminal

Virgin Unveils Modified Airbus A320

This is one of the better hoaxes I’ve seen so far this April Fool’s Day.

airliner-glass-floorVirgin Atlantic announced the unveiling of a new glass-bottom airliner.

According to the company’s news release the “aircraft will look identical to the standard Airbus A320 that is currently being used on Little Red’s domestic routes, but will have a clear strip made from aviation-standard glass in place of the traditional aisle. This ensures the aisle in the plane’s underbelly is completely see through, allowing passengers to look down directly as the plane makes its journey through the sky.

Virgin Atlantic Launches World’s First-Ever Glass-Bottomed Plane

 

 

Move Over Orbitz

World’s Worst Airline Launches World’s Worst Booking Site

Of course that headline caught my eye.

The airline in question is the North Korean state-run carrier, Air Koryo. Browsing through the site is like taking the Wayback Machine to the cold war-era. For instance, the “news” section offers insight on the company’s newest equipment- the Tupolev 204. This “new” jet dates back to Aeroflot’s fleet from 1989 and “has 12 business classes and 164 economy classes.” Classes? I think that means seats.

Continue reading Move Over Orbitz

Unique Spam: Your Helicopter is Reserved

While perusing my spam folder for legitimate messages I came across this creative attempt at identity theft. Who wouldn’t be curious about the helicopter they rented for the weekend?

Note the “Internet Explorer only” part. Probably means they’re using a hack that doesn’t work with Chrome or Firefox.

Your order for our air transportation services has been accepted and processed. The rotorcraft will be at your disposal from 6.00 a.m. saturday to 10.30 monday. Once again, our rates are:
1 hour in the air: 816$
Takeoff / Landing: 291$
1 hour standstill on the ground: 85$
Longest fly-time is 3 hours.
When flying for longer distances, a second pilot is needed, and the cost accordingly increases by 120$ per hour.

Invoice you will be find in the attachment.(Open with Internet Explorer Only)

With respect
John Doe

Secure Checksum: 7208e1954bd37203a5e19f7d8e661b

Holiday Hills Landing

Any Tulsan worth their Quittin’ Time knows Urbana at 61st used to be a runway.

Courtesy Abandoned & Little Known Airfields

The air field was called Tulsa Commercial. But did you know that runway is not the only remnant of this airport?

East 58th Place is built on top of the crosswind runway. The original concrete is still intact and markings are visible in certain places. Presumably the developers of the Holiday Hills subdivision didn’t feel the need to break up all that  nice concrete.

Another nifty fact: what used to be the office/restaurant is a private home today. It has a huge kitchen and two bathrooms side by side!

More info and historic photos are available here…

Tulsa Commercial Airport from Abandoned & Little Known Air Fields

American Airlines Files Chapter 11

In case you haven’t heard, AA and their parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday morning. It’s naive to think this wasn’t possible. But after surviving 9/11 and the crash of 2008 I thought they may have been out of the woods.

The following email was sent to all AAdvantage members this afternoon:

Dear AAdvantage® Member,

As you may know, on Tuesday, November 29, American Airlines filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. We took this action as part of our efforts to secure our long-term success in delivering the highest standards in air travel. We are committed to meeting your travel needs with outstanding customer service and safety, and it will be business as usual at American throughout our reorganization process. More than 80,000 people at American appreciate your loyalty and look forward to continuing to serve you.

We want to assure you that your AAdvantage® miles are secure. The AAdvantage miles that you’ve earned are yours and will stay yours, subject to usual policies, until you choose to redeem them for a great award with us. Likewise, your elite qualifying miles and your elite status, including lifetime status granted under the Million MilerSM program is secure and remains intact. You will continue to earn miles through all our existing AAdvantage participating companies and you will be able to redeem those miles for the same great awards — flights, upgrades, car rentals and hotels just to name a few. And, throughout the coming year, we will be adding even more opportunities to earn miles, as well as new ways to redeem those miles.

American is honoring all tickets and reservations as usual, and making normal refunds and exchanges. And, we intend to maintain a strong presence in domestic and international markets. As we and all airlines routinely do, we will continue to evaluate our operations and service, assuring that our network is as efficient and productive as possible. Additionally, relationships with our oneworld Alliance and other codeshare partners are continuing to provide you with opportunities to earn and redeem miles for travel to hundreds of destinations worldwide, and we are honoring all tickets and reservations for travel on our partner airlines as usual. For information about American’s reorganization process, please visit AA.com/restructuring.

Even more importantly, we remain committed to providing a superior customer experience with a focus on delivering what our customers value most — the newest fleet with our upcoming aircraft deliveries, network strength in the important cities of the world and world-class products, service and technology.

American Airlines has a proud history, and we will have a successful future. All of us on the American team thank you for your loyalty and we look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.

Sincerely,

Maya Leibman
President — AAdvantage Loyalty Program

World’s Largest Chopper

Maduko Subsidiary Unveils New Helicopter

In a recent news release a bold new endeavor was announced to combine luxurious accommodations and rotating wing aircraft. The Hotelicopter offers 18 guest suites grafted on to a Soviet Mil V12 helicopter.

“The Hotelicopter is redefining luxury travel for our generation,” Alvin Farley, CEO of The Hotelicopter Company said in the statement. “Of course, safety is our number one priority, and our vehicle exceeds all safety, operating and maintenance requirements outlined by the FAA in the Code of Federal Regulations relating to transport category rotocraft.”

When questioned about the name, and its similarity to a hotel booking site, Farley was elusive.