Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Flight Deck Of The Future

It seems that not a day goes by anymore that you don't hear about the airlines cutting back on service or charging ridiculous fees for the most basic of services.

In these difficult times in the airline industry, my employer has not been exempt from those practices.

Every single day all of our employee groups are reminded of how many ways we can save our company money. As pilots, we our constantly being asked to save as much fuel as we can whether it be by taxiing on one engine, not running the APU as much, asking for shortcuts from ATC, etc.

The two largest expenses at an airline are typically labor costs and fuel.

There's only so much we can do about saving fuel....but apparently some upper level managers at my employer have found a new way to cut labor costs.

Yes, that's right. They have eliminated the First Officers position!

This is the flight deck of the future. A single pilot Boeing 757.

My "View From The Left Seat" just got a lot better!

But I will miss having someone to talk to.

With the extra space freed up in the cockpit, we have begun placing baggage where the FO's seat used to be. Of course the passengers will have to pay an added fee for that too. But what a great source of extra revenue for the company!

Okay, Okay....It's not true. The entire post is just a joke.

But if the airlines could get away with something like this, I'm sure they would.

Thanks for visiting.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Step Back In Time

Well, my last two posts chronicled a flight sequence over to London and back.

Now it's time to share the layover experience.

Similar to an earlier post from a couple of months ago, this one is all about the photos.

I had always wanted to visit the Royal Air Force Museum in North London. It is located on the historic site of the London Aerodrome at Hendon.

So instead of a nap upon arriving at our hotel, I hopped on the "tube" and in 45 minutes I was in North London. A short walk later and I was there.

Once inside, out came the camera and here are some samples of this fine museum's collection.

DeHavilland Gypsy Moth
Vickers Wellington
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b
Royal Aircraft Factory BE2b
Avro Lancaster
Gloster Meteor F8
DeHavilland Vampire F3
British Aircraft Corporation Lightning F6
Bristol F2B
Hawker Tempest II
Curtiss Kittyhawk III
North American P-47 Thunderbolt
Bristol Bulldog (note the wind generator on the wing)
DeHavilland DH9A
Supermarine Stanraer Flying Boat
McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom

Of course there were many more beautiful aircraft to see and photograph, but these were a few of my favorites.

I would highly recommend a visit to the RAF Museum. I spent several hours there and could have stayed longer, but fatigue from the previous night's flight was interfering so it was back on the tube, dinner with some of the crew, and then a much needed 8 hour nap.

The next day would bring another set of photo opportunities as mentioned in the preceding post. I definitely filled up the memory cards on this trip!

I'm looking forward to another visit to London.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple.