The Watering Hole: February 9 – Jumbo Jets

On February 9, 1969, the Boeing 747 made its maiden test flight. While Boeing was an also-ran in the passenger aircraft industry along with Lockheed, Convair and Douglas – this aircraft delivered a statement that instilled Boeing’s position for 20 years as the prime provider of passenger aircraft. True, the other 7×7 machines were profit makers for Boeing, but non were an equal to the 747 (I would have to admit that ex fighter pilots loved the 727 which could execute 2-3 G turns).

Boeing’s newest effort is the 787 which has recently made its first test flight. In a sense, the 787 is the worlds first plastic airplane as it uses more composites than any other plane since the Stealth Bomber. The rational behind this approach is fuel efficiency.

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

This is not an endorsement of Boeing or any of its products.


11 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: February 9 – Jumbo Jets

  1. “Shackleton’s Antarctic spirits saved

    Three crates of Scotch whisky and two crates of brandy buried under Antarctic ice for more than 100 years have been recovered by a heritage team restoring Irish-born explorer Ernest Shackleton’s hut.”

  2. house,

    because the White House Press Corps was whining about being ignored—like they fulfill some vital function in the exercise of democracy and governance! .

  3. My father was at the 747 roll-out as he was in charge of BA operations for the middle East and the Far east, (all the way to Tahiti) and would thus manage more 747’s in his region than anyone else.

    BA built the hangars to house the first couple of planes right near my father’s office so he brought me along to work (on a Saturday) to show off his new toy (and his responsibility) .

    the maintenance hangar was the biggest building I’d ever been in, housing two Jumbo’s side by side. there were massive mobile gantries that fitted to the planes above the wing line. For a minute I was more impressed with the building than the planes.

    Father took me inside the plane. the interior was at the early stages of being installed—-they were doing the wiring first and there was masses of it. It was pretty damn awesome.

    There were two reasons my father was really excited about the 747. one was the economics of the plane, the other was the vast improvement in comfort that he’d enjoy on his many grueling business trips to Singapore, Bangkok, Australia and Japan.

    As an airline brat I was entitled to one free flight a year, though I never got to fly that often and there were two caveats to that benefit–one was that one should never tell any fellow passengers that one’s flight was free; and two as an airline brat with a free-flight benefit one’s status was rock-bottom—one was always “on standby”, one’s seat and flight were never guaranteed.

    however not surprisingly once all the paying customers had boarded there were usually a few seats available in First Class and that’s where I’d end up—usually in Seat 4K for some reason. I was so lucky, and I appreciated it every time.

  4. 5th,
    The one advantage of traveling in 1st class in a 747 is that you always knew that the front landing gear was operating. We had an especially grueling experience when a military family was bumped up to business class on TWA. Everything but Big Wheels in the aisles. We experienced three bumps to 1st class, round trip, to Europe after that. The steward said that our kids were models of decorum on the brat trip. When the steward(desse)s asked if they were permitted to consume Chateau Brion, caviar or escargot, we said that it was up to them but hide the wine list.

  5. 5th,

    I think you’ll see more of these Obama Press Briefings, without so much whining from the Press Corps. He gets instant attention from the media, and gets his side of the story out much better than Gibbs.

    Are you following the Chilcot Inquiry much?

  6. Walt…LOL.

    Perhaps my most luxurious trips were to Bahrain on Gulf Air L-1011 Tristars.
    Between the First Class Cabin and the Economy cabin was the First Class Lounge which had four enormous gold-leaf leather swivel/reclining chairs and a stand-up bar.
    All the caviar you could eat, all the booze you could drink, and all the cigarettes/cigars you could smoke.

    I was permanently (but pleasantly) shit-faced after the first 20 minutes of the flight.

    On one flight on my way back to the UK I sat next to a handsome young Arab man wearing smart/casual western clothes who wore a massive topaz and gold ring, and having nothing better to do I struck up a conversation with him–“so, is this a business trip or just for pleasure? ”

    “Both” he said, and explained that one of his Rolls Royce’s had been stolen in London but had recently turned up in Miami so he was actually off to the US to fill out the necessary police paperwork, and conveniently one of his thoroughbreds was in some major horse race in the UK so he figured he’d stop in the UK to see how his horse did first, before getting his car sorted out.

    He was the ruler’s nephew. He was very nice

  7. But wait! There’s more!
    That first clip was at the end of the show, about the stimulus hypocrisy.

    This was at the beginning of the show, about ending the filibuster.

    This was where she was kicking Boner’s ass, about the GOP ideas that were already in the health reform bill. That was particularly good.

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