Friday, June 24, 2011

Golden Anniversary of LAX's 'Jet Age' Airport


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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the 'Jet Age' Airport at LAX. Dedicated by Vice President Lyndon Johnson on June 25, 1961 the new satellite terminals and central terminal complex were built in a contemporary style, incorporated the latest technology, and ushered in a new era of comfort and convenience for passengers traveling through LAX. To mark this historic occasion, two events were held at the airport. The public relations department held its second ever 'Sunday Spotter Brunch" on the observation deck of the Theme Building, where Singapore A380 models were raffled out and a commemorative coin marking the anniversary was handed out. The day before, the Flight Path Museum held a multimedia presentation where archival photographs and video showcased the airport over the last 50 years. With the museum's permission, I uploaded a small portion of that video to this blog. The full version can be seen at Flight Path, as well as additional information learned about the airport and the events depicted in the video.

Below, a salute to the Golden Anniversary of LAX's 'Jet Age' Airport!






Tuesday, March 29, 2011

¡OlĂ©!


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On March 28, after a 14 year absence, Iberia Airlines of Spain resumed service to LAX. Utilizing Airbus A340-300 aircraft, the airline provides direct nonstop service from Madrid to Los Angeles on Monday's, Wednesday's and Saturday's. An additional flight on Friday's will be offered between July and September. These flights are the only direct nonstops between the US West Coast and the Iberian Peninsula.

Nearly 70,000 passengers are projected to board the new flights, which are hoped to generate in excess of $300 million in economic output for Los Angeles. For spotters and photographers alike, it's just one more airline to enjoy over the skies of LA. I myself had never seen an Iberia airplane before the 28th, and look forward to many years of making up for that!

Below are a few pictures of Iberia's return to LAX. I wish the airline, and the new flights, much success!


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Monday, December 27, 2010

Beginning of the End


Another year is fast coming to an end for LAX, and we eagerly await what 2011 has in store for us. For Air New Zealand, 2011 marks the beginning of the end for its Boeing 747-400 fleet. After 20 years of continuous service flying its most important long haul routes, the -400 fleet will soon be replaced with brand new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The first of these 77W's was delivered to ANZ just last week, and will go into service in two weeks time. Within the next two years, 4 additional aircraft will replace the 747's on a one-by-one basis. With this, Air New Zealand joins the growing list of airlines replacing 747-400's with more modern and more fuel efficient 77W's.

We in Los Angeles see two ANZ 747's daily, and while we're excited to soon be receiving the new 77W aircraft on the Auckland-Los Angeles-London route, we're also a bit sad to see the 747's slowly go. The 747 is a beautiful aircraft, and the Air New Zealand livery gives it a classy look. With New Years just around the corner, and this my last post of 2010, I wanted to offer the first of many farewells to the ANZ 747 fleet. The aircraft have been a wonderful sight to see at LAX for spotters and photographers alike, and will come to be sorely missed. There's no word yet on what will become of the aircraft after their retirement by the airline, but they'll hopefully find a home and additional use elsewhere.

Below, one smart looking Air New Zealand 747-400 to close out the year. Happy New Year to everyone!










Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grounded


If you've been following the aviation world lately, you've undoubtedly heard about an engine failure that recently occurred on a Qantas Airways A380 flight from Singapore to Sydney. The extent of damage caused by the failure to the engine and airframe required an emergency landing in Singapore, and led Qantas to temporarily ground their A380 fleet. As of this post the fleet remains grounded at three locations around the world, as the airline and engine manufacturer continue engine safety inspections, and try to get a better understanding of the exact cause of the failure.

We at LAX have had a front row seat to the proceedings. Because of the immediacy of the grounding, Qantas currently has three A380's at LAX in various stages of inspection and repair work. Additional engineers have been flown in from Australia to help accelerate the work the aircraft are currently undergoing, while Qantas works hard to maintain daily service to its four destinations offered from LAX, two of them being served nearly exclusively by the A380's. The inspections here and elsewhere have uncovered minor issues with a few of the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines that power the Airbus, and out of an abundance of caution, the airline is forwarding replacement engines where needed. This includes LAX, where two of the three A380's will undergo an engine replacement.

It looks to be a few more days before the entire fleet is cleared to resume flights. I wish the airline and its staff my best in sorting out all of the work that still lies ahead. Qantas A380's are a magnificent sight to see in the air, and I for one can't wait to see this particular episode behind everyone involved.