Sunday, November 29, 2009

Somethings new, something old

For my US readers, hope you had a good and safe Thanksgiving. For those of you who have not spent the last week feasting and shopping, you haven't missed much. Thanks to the on-going painting, plumbing, and deliveries at the house, I haven't got much for you this time, although I am working on assembling an upcoming series on wake turbulence. Updates during the month of December are going to be sparse, as I'll be off for the next couple of weeks and getting the move done (I hope).

This time around, I've got some more new LAX stuff:

AeroMexico and AeroMexico Connect have just moved from Terminal 6 to Terminal 2, making Terminal 2 now almost another international terminal. Hawaiian and Sun Country are the only domestic carriers using Terminal 2; all the rest are international: Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Air China, WestJet, Air Canada, KLM, Air New Zealand, LACSA, TACA, Volaris, and Avianca.

Speaking of Avianca, they've shifted their schedule around: instead of arriving late in the evening and departing that night, Avianca now arrives first thing in the morning and leaves a little before lunch time.

I've mentioned winglets appearing on more models of aircraft before, and here are the latest:

This Continental was the first B757-300 I've seen with winglets. Nearly everyone who operates the -200's has been retrofitting their fleets over the last several years. At LAX, that includes American, Continental, Delta/Northwest, and United. The only other operator of B753's at LAX is Delta/Northwest; I don't know yet if theirs are getting them too.

In addition to the B753's getting winglets, I've also mentioned that a number of carriers have started retrofitting their B767-300's with winglets. American was the first, and I think I've shown you Delta and LAN aircraft as well. Here are the latest additions:

Air New Zealand, who uses B763's to/from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands (the only carrier going directly between LAX and Rarotonga; flight time is around nine hours)

Hawaiian, who unlike most of the other carriers that offer service from LAX to the 50th state, only goes into Honolulu from LAX. American, Delta, and United also serve Kona, Lihue and Maui.

While researching for a previous entry, I ran across a press release announcing the latest Horizon special paint scheme - 'Comfortably Greener' - and the next day, it showed up at LAX.

And finally, something old - this Northwest B744 arrived from Japan last week on its last revenue flight in Northwest livery. After unloading, it left for the paint shop in Victorville. The next time we see it, it'll be wearing Delta colors.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who's That? Part 16 - Rogue's Gallery revealed

As promised, this was a hodge-podge of special liveries and generics, along with whatever else I found laying around. When I was in New Orleans, they would call this "sweep the kitchen" or maybe even "sweep the swamp". For my simplicity, the carriers with multiple entries are grouped together.


Boise State Broncos
(love those colors!)

University of Oregon Ducks
(Although it sure looks like John Deere to me)

University of Washington Huskies

Bonus: Horizon also has a Dash 8 in Huskies colors.

US Airways

State of Arizona

State of Nevada

Arizona Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles

Star Alliance

This was tricky because it isn't an airline, but rather an airline marketing alliance. I think I've mentioned the Star Alliance before; it was the world's first airline alliance, and I believe it is the largest of the three major airline alliances. There are about two dozen member airlines. An airline's membership in the Star Alliance is usually denoted by the star logo appearing on the aircraft, just aft of the cockpit windows. But there is also this Star Alliance livery which appears on a few aircraft, in this case another US Airways A319. As a controller, I don't care for it because it's very difficult to distinguish what airline the plane actually flies for: The operating airline's name/logo appears in relatively small print below the windows aft of the front door. This makes it difficult for the controllers and other pilots to figure out who the airplane is, especially at night. I've personally had situations where I've told another aircraft to follow or pass behind a United or US Air (among others) aircraft who unbeknown to me was in the Star Alliance livery, only to have the pilot not do what I instructed him to do because I had incorrectly described the airplane he was waiting for. Here are a few more Star Alliance-schemed aircraft:

You can see the Star Alliance logo on this Air Canada E190, between the cockpit window and front cabin door.

All Nippon B773

United B744

United B763

Unlike most other airlines, Singapore's Star Alliance livery retains the airline's logo on the tail, which makes identifying the airline much easier. I wish they were all this way.


Not to be outdone, the second-largest airline alliance, SkyTeam, has introduced its own special livery in commemoration of its tenth anniversary. Like Star Alliance, SkyTeam's member aircraft display the SkyTeam logo just aft of the cockpit, and the special-liveried aircraft have the parent airline's name/logo aft of the front door, below the window line. The tail I showed you was an Air France B773; here are couple more:

Delta (nee Northwest) B752

China Southern B772

This Northwest Airbus shows the usual placement of the SkyTeam logo on participating airlines' aircraft: Just aft of the cockpit window.


Okay, there really wasn't anything tricky about this one, I just recently started seeing them here again and got some pictures. Evergreen International is a cargo operator based in Oregon. We used to get Evergreen DC9's in the wee hours, but not for some time now.

Air Shuttle

Air Shuttle is the callsign for Mesa Airlines, who appears at LAX as a regional partner for US Airways. They fly mostly to/from Las Vegas and Phoenix using various models of CRJ like this CRJ2. Here's how they normally appear:


To commemorate 50 years of Alaska's statehood, Alaska Airlines held a contest for a special paint scheme to appear on a B734: The Spirit of Alaska Statehood was designed by a student from Sitka, Alaska. The design is different on each side of the aircraft, and I like the way the sled dog appears to be wearing shades:


The Vive Mexico campaign was launched earlier this year by Mexican President Calderon to reinvigorate the Mexican tourism industry.

I've been seeing this white-tailed Mexicana A320 for months now; apparently they've run out of logo decals. Interestingly, this airplane and the one with the Vive Mexico livery both carry French registrations - if you look closely, you can see that they're consecutive.


This was another sneaky one, as it isn't a regular airline. I knew that the armed services have been contracting out non-essential services (anybody remember Halliburton?), but until these guys showed up, I had no idea that the practice had extended to mid-air refueling service. Omega Air offers this specialized capability, which seems like really targeted marketing. As far as I know, the only users of mid-air refueling are the military forces around the world; a mid-flight top up is not available to the flying public at large. This is a B707 - an old and rarely-seen aircraft these days. Compare to the B747 that's tail-on to the camera.

Sun Country

Of all the sneaky shots, this one was the most underhanded: The tail of this B737 wears Aloha colors, but the fuselage carries the Sun Country name. Adding to the underhandedness is the fact that I actually took this shot a couple of years ago. This is how the plane (well, one of its fleet-mates actually) looks now:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Decisions, decisions . . .

Well, the pink bedroom isn't pink anymore. Yippee! What it will be is yet to be decided; what it is currently is beautiful primer, although the ceiling is done. The problem with the paint color brochures that all the Home Depot/Lowes type places have is that the colors look very different when they're actually on the wall. Fortunately, they now sell little sample jars of paint so that you can go home and try them out:

And this is the result. Not quite a rainbow, but enough. It may help to explain the sequence here: I did three batches of three colors apiece, each subsequent batch because I was not sold on the previous one. My father, a retired architect, once told me that a good rule of thumb when choosing colors using the little sample cards is to find a color you like, and then use one that is two shades lighter than the one you chose. I really like the blue on the right in the first shot, but it does appear darker on the wall than it did in the brochure; I fear that in a 10' x 13' room it will be too much if done on the whole wall; thus the blue in the middle of the second shot. Likewise with the two greens.

I have a coworker who is currently also going through the 'painting the new house' routine, and her take on the choice of colors is "Who cares? It's just paint." Which is true of course, but it's just as much work to paint it the second time around . . .

Anyone who fancies him/herself an interior designer sort is welcome to comment with suggestions, although I make no promise to follow any of them. The one constant is that the ceiling is and will remain white. Period. I don't do colors on the ceiling.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who's That? Part 16 - The Stinkers

You thought we were done? Ha! I've been saving these for last: a sneaky collection of odd balls, one-offs, and assorted other stinkers. Many of them are carriers whose everyday colors I've already shown you, and some of these have been seen here before in other topics. And a few are just downright unfair. Good luck!