The Antonov An225 roars to life during a takeoff from Schipol
The biggest plane your average Joe off the street knows about is likely the Airbus A380 or some flavor of the Boeing 747. Relatively few people have every heard of or seen the Antonov An225 but what a sight it is. Mriya (Мрія in Ukranian) is perhaps the most impressive relic of the Soviet space program. Originally designed to give piggyback lifts to Soviet space shuttles, in its post-perestroika life it has provided great utility as a freight hauler popping up in airports the world over and swallowing up gargantuan loads of cargo. Once loaded up its Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofans do the rest. Just how big is big you ask?
Antonov An225 size comparison chart
There is only one An225 in operation (UR-82060) – compared to almost 60 An124s – ensuring that it is always in demand. Hardly surprising considering it hold the world record for the heaviest ever air lift. So the next time you’re seated with your seatbelt securely fastened taxiing to the runway, keep your eyes open as you pass the cargo facilities, it may be the only chance you ever get to see this marvel of Soviet engineering.
Filed Under: News, Video by airceo on Aug.13, 2010
Air France A320-100 bound for Nürnberg by Kevin Chan
This week saw the end of an aviation era with the retirement of the last A320-100 in service – F-GFKA operated by Air France. Airbus only produced 21 total -100 variants for three carriers Air Inter (7), British Caledonian (5) and Air France (8).
The arrival of the -200 with its greater range and efficiency killed off interest in the -100 right away. In fact the -100 was much maligned for its performance and there are even stories of BA operating payload restricted flights between Heathrow and Newcastle (< 218nm) due to Maximum Zero-Fuel Weight issues. [Unconfirmed]. Aesthetically the -100 and -200 only differ in that the -200 has wingtip fences. There is currently a Facebook petition in place to preserve an A320-100. To add you name to it please click here.
Below is a clip of an Air France -100 taking of from Paris (CDG), enjoy!
Where in the world is this? With these four pictures and some problem solving skills you can figure this out! Connect with me on twitter for clues! Challenge your friends or enlist their help by sharing this!
It’s 2010, websites are no longer something you have to have because it’s the done thing. Websites today must be a driver of activity and business, not a peripheral piece of your organization. That is acutely true if you happen to be selling through your website. In such cases it is imperative that your web presence be geared towards the end user – usability is king. Some airline websites do this well, some do it not so well and some are downright awful.
Since I seem to spend a lot of time researching and booking flights I thought it was time to write a review. For the purposes of this review I have chosen to critique WestJet.com. In my estimation (as somebody who travels a lot and ALWAYS books online) I would have to say WestJet.com falls into the middle of the pack – not great, not terrible. Let’s go to the landing Page.
OK not a good start. I’m told that my browser (Google Chrome) is not optimal. Two points in response to this:
If you have to display this message make it small and discrete. There’s no need to alarm surfers with a wordy message and an obfuscated screen.
Chrome and Safari may both be relatively small players but they are not a huge departure from Firefox and Internet Explorer. Get compatible. The cost of doing so is tiny, the upside is not.
[Update: Wow! In the time since I started this review and now WetJet look to have switched to a new browser detection mechanism that makes the previous gripe redundant.
Update 2: The nag screen is back. Odd.]
Post-nag screen is a confusing landing page.
WestJet.com - current landing page
There needs to be some space between the regular passenger click path and everyone/everything else. Also why is it that not everything is in two languages? No French speaking business travelers? This click flow is broken. It should be 1) pick a language to reveal a second tier then 2) pick from options available based on language selection.
WestJet.com - suggest landing page layout
So far it’s been fairly smooth sailing but once we get to the main page things start to come apart. View Full Article »