Way Back When…

Back in the great days of aviation the concorde was the true queen of the sky’s. It was the only successful supersonic passenger aircraft. It cost thousands of dollars to ride but went from London to New York in just 4 hours.

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Plane of the Week (Bombardier Dash 8)

One of the fastest turbo-prop airliners you have probably seen it before. The Bombardier Dash 8 truly is the ultimate regional aircraft. It consumes significantly less fuel than other jet aircraft on routes that are under 1000 ish miles. It is a turbo-prop and uses Pratt and Whitney engines. The newest version of the aircraft is the q400 that can seat up to 79 passengers. The “q” in q in the name of the aircraft stands for quiet and every aircraft produced after 1997 has the noise suppression system. The aircraft was designed after the Dash7. One of the distinctive features of the Dash8 is the extremely pointed nose on the aircraft. There have been about 1110 aircraft produced so far. It is one of the most advanced regional aircraft with a full glass cockpit and FMC system. It is known to have a distinctive turboprop sound and it is one of the most iconic and special regional aircraft of all time. It’s loved by airlines such as United express, Flybe, Air Canada Jazz and Horizon air. Plus it is known to be one of the best regional aircraft on the market and if you want to ride on one they serve almost every different kind of airport because of it’s size. The Dash 8 truly is the future of regional aviation.

Bombardier Dash 8 Public Domain

Airline Showcase (American Airlines)

America is the country where powered flight was started and tested. So why not have an airline with our name in it? American Airlines has been around since the dawn of commercial airline service. It all got started in 1934 when American Airlines commenced operations. The owner worked with the aircraft company Donald Douglas to develop the Douglas DC-3. American was the first to fly this aircraft in 1936 and it allowed them to be one of the first airlines to not carry mail on-board along with passengers and still make a profit. This was the time when American began to call their aircraft “Flagships”. At this time American became the first airline to create a lounge at an airport for passengers. It was built at the then brand new New York LaGuardia airport. The lounge was for invited passengers only.  The 50’s passed by and American entered its golden age: the 1960’s. After canceling their orders for De-Haviland Comets because of structural issues, they received their first Boeing 707 in 1959, but the fleet of jet aircraft did not quickly increase until the 1960’s. At that time American was doing great. The 1960’s was the golden age of aviation and everyone wanted to ride the new jets that flew higher faster and further. When they entered the 1970’s American was still a game changer and was the first large airline to hire a female pilot. They hired Bonnie Tiburz to fly the Boeing 727.  American just kept expanding for decades, buying up smaller airlines as they expanded. In 2013 American retired their classic logo that had been first introduced in the late sixties and put out a new logo. Because of rising fuel prices and a bad economy American has been struggling the past few years and in February of 2013 they gave up the fight and decided to merge with U.S. airways, another struggling airline. In a way this was the death of an amazing airline, but may be the rebirth of it.

Plane of The Week (Boeing 737)

The Boeing 737 is my favorite aircraft of all time and I think that the airlines agree because it is the best selling commercial aircraft ever made. An astonishing 7,755 have been made as of September. The aircraft has been in operation science 1968 when Lufthansa decided to reach out and give the 737 a try. Many airlines call the 737 their “trusty workhorse” and it has outstanding reliability and it flexibility especially with the QC or quick change version. Over the years Boeing has produced many different variants the newest being the Boeing 737-900ER. It is part of the Next Gen series along with the 600 700 and 800. In the future Boeing has plans to introduce the MAX series of the aircraft and southwest has already ordered some to add to their 737 fleet, which happens to be the biggest 737 fleet in the world. The 300 aircraft and newer have engines made by CFM International and if you look closely you will notice that the engines are flattened at the bottom. This is one of the distinctive features of the 737. Now you probably see why this is may favorite aircraft of all time. I hope that you appreciate the 737 more now.United 2-1253

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Logitech extreme 3D pro flightstick review

As you may have seen in my post “My New Found Love For FSX” I mentioned the fact that I use the Logitech extreme 3D pro flight stick. I decided to write a review of the stick because it is a great product! I love it because it has all of the main aircraft controls and is very responsive. You can set your hand down on it for hours and it still stays comfortable. It is made out of reasonably sturdy plastic and looks very nice. Flight Sticks can range in cost from 15 to 400 dollars and this one is about 30 U.S. dollars and to be honest it is a very reasonable price. If you are just staring the flight simulation hobby and are not very sure if you will like it than this is the stick for you. Because of its low price but high quality it really allows you to experiment with FSX and decide if you like it before going all-out and buying a yoke and rudder pedals. This is truly a great product and I would highly recommend it. Below is the link to the Logitech website where you can purchase that flightstick.

 

http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/extreme-3d-pro-joystick

Plane of the Week (crj-700)

The belated plane of the week is the bombardier CRJ-700. It is a twin jet regional jet or RJ for short. It has a two person cockpit and can usually hold between 50 and 80 people. It’s engines are normally made by GE or but some are made by other companies. Most airlines use this aircraft on short flight but the aircraft is capable of routes such as Albuquerque to Chicago. It is sometimes known as the CR-7. The aircraft can be kind of uncomfortable on long flight’s though because the cabin is kind of cramped. I am sorry about this being a very short plane of the week but I have been extremely busy.

 

Happy flying,

The plane geek

 

 

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My New Found Love for Flight Simulator X

I recently bought the game Microsoft Flight Simulator X. I guess that should not call it a game because it’s a fully blown PC flight simulator! Almost everything in the cockpit is interactive and usable. For example if I need to turn on my landing light’s I do not need to use the keyboard like you do with some competitors of the program I can simply scroll over the landing lights switch and click and they turn on. All of the aircraft that you can choose from that are built into the game are all real aircraft! The cockpits are accurate to the aircraft to so the 737 cockpit and the 747 cockpit for example are different and look like the ones on the real aircraft. There are many different variations of each aircraft such as different liveries and you can even customize your call sign, flight number registration number.

Almost every airport in the world is included, in fact I live in a town of 10,000 people and we have an airport with one runway and our quote one quote airline service is done with a 9 seater cessna, that airport is in FSX and looks nice. Not all of the scenery is amazing but to be fair they had to model the ENTIRE world so I am willing to give them a break on the very few scenery bugs that the game has.

There is an insane amount of aircraft that are built into the game but if you still want more you can get modded aircraft. “Mods” are aircraft that are made by someone on there own time and then published for the public to use. Some of them are good and others are not as good. Your other option to get more aircraft is payware. These are also addon but they cost money. Companies like PMDG Captain Sim and Coolsky are all payware makers. Some make better planes than others but the good ones tend to come at a price.

FSX does have occasional bugs but not many. The worst is the fatal error issue when all of a sudden the program will just quit. I have owned the program for about two month’s and done probably about ten flight’s and it has only happened once. That is why if you are doing any long flight’s you should save every once in a while just to make sure that you do not lose your progress if the game or your computer crashes.

The game cost’s about 30 U.S. dollars at the moment and to be honest the game is almost useless without a joystick. I use the Logitech  extreme 3D pro precision flight sick and it is a great joystick. It is very ergonomic and has buttons and controls for throttle, camera, flaps, trim, gear, brakes and view. it also cost’s about 30 U.S. dollars but if you buy them together on Amazon you can get them both for 50ish.

The last thing that I would like to cover is that you do need a decent computer. I run mine on a Dell inspiron 1720 with a 2.4 GHZ. processor and it does pretty well coping with the program.  The computer has a decent graphics card made by N-Vidia. Before buying though definitely check the minimum system requirements to make sure that your computer can handle it. I think that mine is about the bare minimum when it comes to power for this sim. Even though it says only windows XP windows 7 works just fine with it. Sorry Apple fans this sim WILL NOT run on an apple computer because it is made by microsoft.

I say that if you have any interest in flying than you should definitely get this simulator.

Airline Showcase (Southwest Airlines)

I am beginning something called “Airline Showcase” that will show off and discuss commercial airlines. For the first post I decided that I wanted to make it my favorite airline ever: Southwest Airlines. Southwest was founded in the mid-sixties but did not commence operations until 1971 with 3 Boeing 737-200’s. And as some say “the rest is history”. They slowly began to expand their destination list and fleet. Southwest has never owned any other aircraft other than a version of the 737. That brings us up to our next topic which is fleet today. Southwest mainly operates the Boeing 737-700 and some 800’s. A few of their aircraft are of the 300 and 500 series but those are being replaced because they are up to 30 years old. Southwest’s other aircraft are very new and super nice especially if you are on an 800 version because those have the new Boeing sky interior. Currently they do not do any overseas flights but there are plans to expand routes to Honolulu. As you can see southwest is rapidly expanding and thriving in the airline business. This is partially because they have some of the nicest and most fun staff you will ever see on any airline. I would highly recommend this airline to anyone!!!Tower and Southwest Air-1239Southwest 1-1241

A rare sight!!!

Delta 2-1262This is kind of a rare sight which is an Airbus a320 in a Delta Airlines livery. This was a hand-me-down from Northwest Airlines after the merger and there are not too many a320’s in a Delta livery.