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