PHOTOS: British Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

A milestone for the British aviation industry, as the country's national carrier took deliver of its first Airbus A380, becoming the tenth operator in the world to receive the superjumbo.

First look inside Singapore Airlines' brand new premium cabins

View these amazing photos and video showcasing the airline's next generation of business and first class cabin products, set to be the new industry benchmark for premium air travel.

PHOTO: First Airbus A350 XWB’s engines powered up

Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB engines have run for the first time on the A350 XWB, moving the aircraft closer to its maiden flight.

Pilot becomes online sensation with stunning cockpit photos

Air Arabia pilot Karim Nafatni's amazing photos have not only attracted a massive online following, but the global media have also jumped on the appreciation bandwagon.

PHOTOS: Thomson becomes first UK airline to receive Boeing 787

Thousands gathered to watch Thomson's first 787 Dreamliner (from an order of eight) arrive at Manchester Airport, completing its delivery flight from Paine Field in Everett.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PHOTOS: Bombardier completes historical first flight of CSeries aircraft

Bombardier’s CSeries Aircraft Completes Historic First FlightIt was celebration time for Bombardier Aerospace yesterday, after the first flight of its much-awaited CSeries aircraft was successfully completed.

With perfect weather conditions, the inaugural flight departed from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at approximately 9:55 EDT and returned at approximately 12:25 EDT.

I’ve included a couple of photos and a video on this page, which show Bombardier’s CS100 jetliner in the air, bearing Canadian registration markings C-FBCS. For more images, you can view an entire photo gallery on my Facebook page – click here to visit.

The historic flight was conducted under the command of Captain Charles Ellis (Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Centre), who was assisted by Captain Andris Litavniks and Andreas Hartono in the roles of First Officer and Flight Test Engineer, respectively.

The historic flight of a CS100 jetliner was conducted under the command of Captain Charles Ellis
“The performance of the CSeries aircraft was very impressive! We couldn’t have wished for a better maiden flight,” said Captain Ellis. “Flight test vehicle one (FTV1)’s state-of-the-art flight deck was responsive and comfortable, and the aircraft handled exactly as expected. Overall, we had a very productive first flight and an excellent start to the flight test programme.”

The first flight marked the beginning of the CSeries flight test programme, which will lead up to the first customer delivery. A total of five CS100 flight test vehicles, all of which are currently in various stages of assembly, will join the flight test programme in the coming months.

“This is a very proud day for Bombardier and a true validation of the CSeries aircraft’s design and development, and of our extensive ground test program,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries Programme, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “During its maiden flight, CSeries FTV1 reached an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,810 metres) and an air speed of 230 knots (426 km/h). In-flight tests included flap and landing gear retractions and extensions; in-flight manoeuvres that included a simulated landing; and early validation of the flight control system.”

The first CSeries aircraft was greeted by more than 3,000 Bombardier employees and Board members, customers, partners and suppliers, upon its return to the company’s Mirabel, Québec facility, where the final assembly line for the CSeries aircraft programme is now under construction.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

GUEST POST: The ultimate luxury of private jet tours

A tour by private jet remains in a luxurious class of its own
While it is undeniable that modern travel grows ever more comfortable and convenient, a tour by private jet remains in a luxurious class of its own.

From the moment of stepping inside the charter aircraft, one can relax in the knowledge that the most arduous part of the journey is already over and one's role has become that of a discerning traveller gaining a unique perspective on the majestic works of nature and phenomenal achievements of man.

From the long and varied list of destinations worthy of viewing from above, here are a select few to inspire a journey:

Himalayas, Southern Asia

Sir Edmond Hillary, who in 1953 led the first expedition to reach the top of Mt Everest, once commented that the Himalayas "will bring a tear to your eye and then freeze them to your face". There is, however, no danger from the extreme cold in the air conditioned comfort of an aircraft. The Himalayas are home to over a hundred peaks exceeding 7200m and include the earth’s highest point, Mt Everest. The snow-covered mountains are breath-taking on a clear day, and to see them from a bird’s eye view is a privilege that cannot be attained while one is earth bound.

Nazca lines, Peru

To gain any perspective of the Nazca lines, located on the west coast of Peru, an air charter is imperative. When viewed from the ground, the ancient enigma would seem nothing more than enormous lines carved at random in the ground. With the advantage of altitude, however, these lines form themselves into a collection of animal figures of massive proportions, including a condor at 134m across and a monkey at 93m by 58m. Scientists and historians are yet to agree on an explanation for the creation of these figures, but for those more concerned with appreciating the ingenuity its creators, a flight over the area is highly rewarding.

Dusky Sound, New Zealand

Remote and untouched, Dusky Sound is the epitome of pure, natural beauty that New Zealand is renowned for. Access to the area is by sea or by boat only, and so a flight over the unpopulated area is a rare chance to see nature at its finest. Dusky Sound is the largest of a chain of fiords located on the south west corner of New Zealand. Captain Cook was the first European to set eyes on the sound in 1770, and it was he who gave it its name, presumably for its solemn appearance. The sheer sides of the surrounding mountains, the green of the native forest and the blue of the crystalline waters all combine to produce a scene of startling beauty.

Serengeti, Tanzania

Few places on earth can match Africa's juxtaposition of wildness of nature with luxuriousness of travel. Hosting the largest mammal migration in the world, a jet charter flight over the Serengeti will be a delight for the nature lover. Approximately 70 larger animal species can be found on the Serengeti, as well as a range of terrain including riverine forests, swamps, grasslands and woodlands. Migration time is during October and November, when over a million wildebeest and around 200 000 zebra relocate from the northern hills to the southern plains, and to catch a glimpse of this epic journey from above is unforgettable.