Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spotter Alert!

A common complaint I hear is that most of the A380 operations at LAX occur on the north side of the airport. For those who like to do their spotting from In-N-Out, this is great. For those who prefer to spot from the hill in El Segundo, it's lousy. Well today is your lucky day! Runway 24 Left is closed most of the day for maintenance, which means that all the early afternoon A380 departures will be from Runway 25 Left. The closure is scheduled to run until 4 PM this afternoon, so it's quite likely that Korean, Singapore, Air France, British Airways, and Asiana will be departing from the south side of the airport today. Emirates often takes 25 Left anyway, but the time frame may force them to use the south side as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dreamin' of a Virgin


This week we added another carrier to the list of Dreamliner operators at LAX: Virgin Atlantic has begun using a B787-9 on one of their daily flights from London Heathrow. Unlike the other B787-9 users at LAX (United and LAN, so far), Virgin didn't first show up with a B787-8 before bringing the B787-9. Virgin has had B787s since last October, and was the first European operator of the B787-9. Virgin has also ordered more Dreamliners than any other European carrier so far. With the retirement of their A340-300s, whic had a seating capacity of 240, Virgins' B787-9s are the smallest aircraft in their fleet (by passenger capacity, anyway). Virgin's B787-9s are configured for 264 passengers; the next smallest, their A330-300s, are set up for 266. This appears to be a reduction in capacity at LAX, since the Dreamliner has replaced either an A340-600, which seats 308, or a B747-400, which seats at least 367.


Check out this Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner fact sheet

Virgin Atlantic fleet

Wikipedia: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin B787-9 with an Aeroflot A330-200 touching down

With an Air China B777-300

And another Air China B777-300. If I hadn't told you that was Air China, how long would it have taken you to sort that out? Now do you see why I don't like Star Alliance paint jobs? And SkyTeam is just as bad!

Here's a rare view; how often do you get to see a Dreamliner from this angle?

The windshield is one of the distinctive features of the B787. Unlike all other current airliners, it smoothly follows the sweep of the fuselage; there is no inset or step. Compare to the other airliners shown above; the Aeroflot A330 is a particularly good example.