Eclipse is Back!

Eclipse aviatation/aerospace is back in buisness! They are now called Eclipse aerospace. Eclipse aerospace is a VLJ (very light jet) company located in Albuquerque New Mexico. They started off as eclpise aviation in 1998. The only aircraft model that they made was the eclipse 500. Below are some pictures of the aircraft. 

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Eclipse 500 prototype                                         Parked Eclipse 500

 

Sadly in 2009 the company went out of buisness after making 260 Eclpise 500 aircraft. In the same year the company was reestablished as Eclipse aerospace instead of Eclipse aviation and began design on a new versoin of the 500 called the 550. The first aircraft was delivered in October 2013. It is one of the most advanced private aircraft being made currently. I would like to provide some pictures of the aircraft but it is so new that there are no pictures of it in the public domain. Hopefully on their second attempt Eclipse will be sucessful. It’s good to see them going back to try to make another fantastic aircraft.

What Else can I Expect From The Plane Geek?

I have been seeing all of my comments and most all of them are very positive and give helpful feedback. I want to say thanks for those by giving you guys more content. I will do my best to put up even more posts on the website so that you guys will have something to read. I hope to include more reviews of FSX (Flight Simulator X) add-on aircraft and more real world aviation news. I hope that the blog will keep expanding just like it has in the past few months. Thanks for all of your support guys! 🙂

 

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Why is the DC-10 Still Here?

As most of us who pay alot of attention to the commercial aviation world know the tri-jet age is over. The Lockheed L1011 was retired in the 90’s and the 727 went at the same time or shortly thereafter. But there is one tri-jet that for some reason has stood the test of time. The DC-10 is still with us even after all that it has been through. The aircraft was new in the 1970’s but it is still in cargo use today. it started it’s life with a few tragic crashes but after that became very sucessful. The aircraft is still reasonably reliable too. It’s what was suposed to be reaplcement the MD-11 did not last near as long as it did in passenger service and likely will not spend even as much cargo time as the DC-10. So the question is why has the DC-10 lasted so long for the airlines. Well the first reason is simply that it was built by Douglas. Lets be honest Douglas had their issues while they were around but their aircraft lasted forever. Douglas DC-3s are still in limited service even though they are a design from the 1930’s. Delta airlines just retired their Dc-9s even though the DC-9 is a design from the 1960’s. Douglas has a reputation for making aircraft that last forever. So in the end it’s no surprise that the Dc-10 is still in service. It’s and aircraft that was built great and still runs great.

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Bye Bye World Airlines

Unfortunatly World Airlines will no longer be with us in the airline world. Their parent company Global Avaiation holdings has filed for bankrupcy.       North American airlines is also so owned by Global Aviaton  but will just be reconstructed World however will cease oporations. World oporated Boeing 747s and Mc-Donnel Dougleas MD-11s. The airline lasted almost 66 years and will likely be remebered forever. Goodbye Wold Airlines.

 

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The Best Mobile Flight Simulators

After talking about FSX for so long I decided that I should talk about some mobile flight simulators. Not everyone has a computer that is powerful enough to run FSX so those people may want to look at flight simulators that are on your smartphone.

I just want to make it clear that these programs are available for android in the Google Play app store. I am not sure if they are available in the apple app store for ios.  Now lets get down to business. The two programs that I have found are Xplane and Infinite Flight. They both have their ups and downs but they are both worth your time. Lets discuss Xplane first.

Xplane is just the mobile version of Xplane 10. I will discuss the good aspects of this program first. The scenery in the game looks amazing especially considering that it has to be run a a phones graphics card. The map is divided into regions that can be loaded individually. This is acceptable because smartphones do not always have a good enough processor to load a ton of scenery. You start with some regions and some of them are for purchase which is fair enough because the app is free and can be easily played for free too. If you do want more regions they will cost you 99 cents each. Same deal with the aircraft there are quite a few aircraft if you do not purchase any but their are TONS of aircraft that will cost you 99 cents each. The flight characteristics are pretty good too. Some of the bad aspects of the game are that if you go to the cockpit view it goes to it but you can no longer see ahead of you. There are lots of little things like this but overall Xplane is a great mobile flight simulator.

 

Now lets move on to infinite flight. I really like this program but I feel that it is not being used to it’s full potential. For example the virtual cockpit is there (you can see out of this one) but it is not interactive and the instruments do not work. It is mostly just there for looks and a good position to fly from. I do however like that the aircraft all have many different liveries that all look quite nice. I do believe that you need a phone that has at least 16 GB of open storage space because all of the downloads required add up quite fast. WHen you download the game at first you start with just one aircraft but there are many more of them that are free to download. This is definitely aimed at commercial aviation not military though. There are only  a few military aircraft that you can use. Overall this is also a very good game but it requires a lot of storage space.

Note: I did buy one DLC aircraft for Infinite flight that was $5.00 and it was quite good.

 

After discussing all of these ups and downs I have to say that I cannot really pick a favorite. If you want to spend money that Infinite FLight is the simulator for you but if you just want a good small free product than you may as well get Xplane. They are both great and really you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

Any Two Cities!!!

Today I will be writing about the worlds longest range jet airliner the Boeing 777200LR. The airliner was purpose built for extra long range flights. It has the capability to connect virtually any two cities in the world all while holding up to 440 passengers in an all economy configuration. The aircraft first entered service in 2006. The design range is  9,380 miles but the aircraft can travel far further which was shown when the aircraft flew over 10,000 miles nonstop. The record for the longest flight by a commercial airliner is held by this aircraft and the record was set when it flew from Hong Kong to London…. the wrong way. The aircraft flew over the Pacific then over the U.S. after that it flew over the Atlantic and landed in London all without stopping for fuel. There are many airlines that operate the aircraft and it is fairly common. If you ever get a chance to fly on a Boeing 777-200 LR go for it!

 

 

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My Flight Sim setup (update)

As some of you may know I not have a saitek pro flight yoke and throttle quadrant system and saitek pro flight rudder pedals. Below is a picture of the setup. I am sure that you will notice that I no longer use a laptop now. The setup is the same as in the last update except for now I use a Dell Dimension 8400 desktop running windows 7 and a dell 24″ LED monitor. Below the photo are my system specs.

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System Specs

Intel Pentium 4 single core 3GHZ

NVIDIA GE force 6800

2 GB of RAM

Where Are All of Those Boeing’s Made

I thought that this was a very interesting topic because here on the plane geek blog we talk about planes (especially boeings) a lot but we have never discussed where they are made. This is the place where all of boeing’s marvelous widebody aircraft are made. In fact the plant was made for the first ever widebody passenger aircraft the iconic Boeing 747. The land for the factory was bought by Boeing in 1966 after Pan Am ordered 25 boeing 747 aircraft. The factory now measures a whopping 472,370,319 cu ft making it the world’s largest building by volume. Although built for 747 production the 767 777 and 787 are also made here at the Everett factory. Even though the 747 may be reaching the end of it’s life the newest model of it the 747-8 is still being made here. This means that all of the 747’s ever made were built in the Everett factory. This factory does not have to worry about going away anytime soon though because people will always need new planes.

 I would have posted some photos but I cound not find any that were in the public domain

Airline Showcase (Lufthansa)

Lufthansa is the largest airline in Europe and is still expanding. It originates in Berlin Germany in 1926. We will be concentrating on the modern Lufthansa that was reformed after WWII. The first aircraft were ordered in 1953. These aircraft were four Convair CV-340 aircraft and four  Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation aircraft. In 1960 Lufthansa took delivery of their first Boeing 707. They had officialy entered the jet age. In 1964 the 727 was introduced and in 1968 the 737 was introduced. Lufthansa was the 737’s launch customer.

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When the 1970’s came around it was time to upsize and Lufthansa had no problem with that. They bought the Boeing 747 the airbus A300 and the douglas DC-10-30. In 2001 Lufhansa ordered the Airbus a380 which was a big deal. Years before the Airbus a380 came out Lufthansa could already be advertising it. In 2006 They also ordered the Boeing 747-8 giving them even more to advertise and show off. They are not a huge airline compared to American standards but they have no problem moving their way up in the world.

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