World Airports Spotting Guides OUT NOW

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Book Reviews | Posted on 31-08-2015

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Our new book World Airports Spotting Guides is out now!

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Like our previous titles, the book is a comprehensive guide to where to spot at many airports. This time the coverage is worldwide, and we’ve increased the quantity to over 300 airports!

With each airport, there is a description of the airport and what you’re likely to see there, as well as advice on where to spot. With many of the airports this goes into plenty of detail, and includes a map and details of the best spotting hotels.

Whats more, if an airport has a museum or preserved collection of aircraft, this is also detailed, with opening times and admission prices.

Thanks to a successful pre-order campaign, many readers of this blog will have received their copies of the book.

However, if you still need to buy one, it is available here.

Alternatively, you can get it on Amazon, and from a range of specialist aviation shops.

 

If you have bought a copy, we’d really appreciate it if you left a review on Amazon as this helps the book get found by more spotters. Please also share this link on Twitter and Facebook with other spotters that you think would like to know about it!

World Airports Spotting Book – One Week To Go

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting Equipment Reviews | Posted on 05-08-2015

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Since I announced the sneak peak at my upcoming World Airports Spotting Guides book last month, the response has been fantastic.

We’ve had lots of pre-orders for the book, and lots of comments of support from eager spotters who are looking forward to getting their hands on the book.

 

Pre-Order Now. Free Gift!

If you read the original post, you’ll notice that I hinted that it would be worth your while pre-ordering, rather than waiting for the book to be released before getting your copy.

The reason for this is that everyone who orders in advance will receive a free gift from me. Yes, that’s right. A new digital product being developed here at Airport Spotting Blog that will go on sale later in the year will be given free of charge to everyone who pre-orders World Airports Spotting Guides! The only way to get it after launch date will be to buy it.

But that’s not all…

Everyone who pre-orders will also be in with a chance of winning a 1/400 scale model from GeminiJets! The lucky winner will be drawn at random and awarded this brand new airliner model.

So there’s every reason to order your copy straight away!

Pre-orders for World Airports Spotting Guides will close one week from the day of this post, on 12th August.

 

What’s it all about?

In case this is new to you, World Airports Spotting Guides is a brand new book written and researched for aircraft spotters full of useful and practical information on where to spot at airports around the world. Specifically it includes:

  • Over 300 airports
  • Detailed spotting locations
  • Maps of many of the airports
  • Spotting hotel suggestions and details of views
  • Museums and other attractions located at airports

The world airports spotting book features airports both small and large, from mega hubs to regional gateways, from desert boneyards to cargo airports. I’ve deliberately picked the most interesting places to pursue your hobby.

 

If you’ve read any of my previous books you’ll know that the quality and research is great and you’ll be able to use this for both pre-trip planning and whilst on the go.

So don’t delay… pre-order World Airports Spotting Guides today. The next time I write about this, the book will be released and the bonus offers will be gone!

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Sneak Peak: Airport Spotting Guides World Airports book

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in About The Site, Book Reviews | Posted on 20-07-2015

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World Airports Book

Whilst writing about airports, airlines and spotting on this blog I come across a lot of great information that would help spotters. I have heaps of saved up information which often finds itself into blog posts, or part-completed manuscripts for books. I also do a lot of research when out visiting airports myself.

In the past I’ve published a number of Airport Spotting Guides books, including Europe, Far East & Australasia, and USA.

But recently I’ve been working towards a complete rework and update, figuring it was time to have something new in print for spotters in 2015.

 

What Spotters Are Looking For

I’m a spotter myself, so I have the insider knowledge of what is useful for planning spotting trips and getting out and about at airports. I know what makes certain airports interesting, and what kind of place makes a good spotting location or hotel.

And like everyone else, I prefer to have all of the information available in handy reference format instead of sifting through lots of website and printouts.

But undertaking this kind of project is pretty complex given the hundreds of thousands of airports out there – especially the many new ones built or expanded since my last books were published. Without thousands of pages available for the book, it takes a bit of work to cram in as much useful information about as many interesting airports as possible.

It also means reviewing what was and was not popular about the last books. Some information dates too quickly, or takes up too much space. Some is simply nice but not necessary. Whilst others are essential. Spotters need to know the best places to spot, the best spotting hotels, information on what they’re likely to see and what’s nearby, and any indications on whether they’re going to be welcome or thrown into a police van!

 

What’s In The Book

I’ll be publishing Airport Spotting Guides World Airports in August 2015, and it will be available in both printed and Kindle ebook versions.

Here’s what you’ll find inside, and why I think it will be the most useful spotting guide book yet:

The book is broken up into countries and covers the whole world, rather than just one region like the previous books. The main parts are:

1. Detailed spotting guides

2. Guides to all major airports in each country

3. Spotting hotels and museums

Then within each part I go into more detail and set up all of the information useful for spotting at the airports listed.

  • Detailed spotting guides to the most popular spotting airports, including extended information about spotting at each airport, and a map in many cases.
  • Overviews of all other important commercial airports in each country, with brief description of what you’ll see and where to spot from.
  • Overviews of additional aviation attractions worth visiting, such as storage airports, executive airports and museums.

I can’t wait to get this book into people’s hands. It’s got over 300 airports included and I really believe it’s a concise guide that no plane spotter should be without.

I hope that by reading this blog and reading my previous books you’ll know that the information I collate and research is genuinely useful and up-to-date. Airport Spotting Guides World Airports could end up being the ultimate resource for plane spotting. And it’s only £14.99.

 

How You Can Help

I love being a part of the aviation enthusiast community of spotters, photographers, historians and industry workers who read this blog. It’s a real joy to be able to supply high-quality content and inspiration to help you in your hobby and understanding of the topic.

Now I’d like to ask for your help.

Please spread the word about this new book. It’s going to be a great resource for people like you and hopefully inspire people to take more time for their hobby this year.

I’d love to start off with a bunch of pre-orders for the book, which would really boost it from day one. And I’d love it if you could let other people know about it.

It’s got so much useful information and references for so many great airports out there that you really won’t want to be without it when you’re travelling or planning trips.

Watch out for my post on publication day with all the details, links to retailers. I’ll also be offering an something extra as a reward for helping me out, and the chance to win a special prize. I’ll also share some snippets of the amazing content in the book.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So help me out. Go make a preorder now. Here’s the link: Airport Spotting Guides World Airports. Do it today!

(And as a hint, make sure you save the receipt or order confirmation. You’re going to need it!)

Please note, the website below allows you to order using Paypal. But if you’d prefer to order over the phone or pay by another means, please call +44 7980 660446

 

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Last Chance to Fly Book Update

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 23-02-2014

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Last Chance to Fly EBookOur ebook Last Chance to Fly, which covers details of which airlines still fly some of the rarer aircraft types today and how you can fly on them, has been updated for 2014.

As well as updating some rarer types such as the Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154, we’ve also sadly had to remove some types completely as they are now no longer flying. These include the Boeing 747-100 (last flight with Iran Air in January) and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 (last flight with Biman in February).

To find out more about the book and buy your copy, visit this page.

10 new aviation books for January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Spotting Equipment Reviews | Posted on 20-12-2013

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There are a lot of new aviation books coming out in early 2014, and quite a few new ones that have appeared in the last few months of 2013. We haven’t brought you details of any for a while, so I thought I’d give you details of a few of the best new ones here.

I’ve linked each one to its Amazon page for you to find out more.

1. Commercial Aviation: An Insider’s Story
Packed full of information on the how’s and why’s of commercial aviation, such as: How do airlines work? How do you get a job in aviation? Are aircraft safe? Why did some of the well known crashes happen? What regulations do governments impose on airlines?

2. Air Disasters of the World: From the early days of flight to the Jet Age
Despite aviation being safer than ever, air disasters still occur and continue to fascinate us. In this gripping book, Xavier Waterkeyn explores more than 200 notable air crashes, including bizarre accidents, hijackings and tales of miraculous survival.

Civil Aviation in Northern Ireland

3. Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet
A look at everything about the style of airlines, from flight attendants and their uniforms, to the way cabins are laid out and designed. It shows how airline culture has changed since the 1920s, to the present big jets and corporations.

4. Civil Aviation in Northern Ireland: An Illustrated History
It’s easy to forget the part Northern Ireland has played in aviation, and this book takes a look at that history particularly through civil aviation, with 200 images of the airports, aircraft, people and developments since 1909.

5. Airlines of the USA
America has been a leader in air travel since the earliest days of flight. This book looks at the most important airlines to have come out of the country, from the big names such as Pan Am and TWA, to the cargo carriers, leisure airlines, and low cost pioneers.

6. BAC One-Eleven, The Whole Story
A new version of this excellent, authoritative history of the British twin-jet from Stephen Skinner and the History Press. Full of facts, information, and pictures.

Comet The World's First Jet Airliner

7. Comet! The World’s First Jetliner
Over 300 pages of detailed history, pictures and diagrams on the de Havilland Comet, which was the world’s first jet airliner. Written by respected aviation historian Graham Simons, so it is definitely recommended.

8. London City Airport Through Time
Incredibly London City Airport is more than 25 years old. Built on a former east London dock, its impressive short runway and steep approach is always a favourite, and it has managed to grow into a significant business airport served by many airlines. This book looks back at the history of London City through pictures and captions.

9. Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines
Northwest’s name has sadly disappeared from our skies. Yet it was once a household name.  This book is a fully illustrated history of the carrier with many rare photographs and insights.

10. Concorde: A Photographic Tribute
2013 marked a decade since Concorde was retired, leaving only museum exhibits to scattered around the world of this most famous aircraft. This book looks at Concorde through a great number of full colour photographs from every angle in this beautiful tribute. Worthy of any collection.

Which aviation books would you recommend from the past year? Leave a comment below, and also let us know if there are any good books coming soon which you’d like to review!

Airliner World magazine Air Florida article

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 16-10-2013

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Airliner World Nov 13If any of you read Airliner World magazine, which is published in the UK but available worldwide, the current (November 13) issue features my article on Air Florida.

This airline was seen as one of the most successful carriers to emerge from the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and quickly grew a reputation and route network that was the envy of some of the legacy carriers.

Airlines of the USA

Sadly a well-publicised crash and mounting debts led to its demise in 1984.

Read all about it, with some great pictures, in Airliner World, or alternatively in my new book: Airlines of the USA, out now!

A look at Sun Country Airlines

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 28-07-2013

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Sun CountrySun Country Airlines emerged in the early 1980s with a single Boeing 727-200 aircraft. MLT Vacations utilised this aircraft on charter and leisure services out of Minneapolis/St Paul. The venture was set up by a group of former Braniff employees who recognised the gap in the market, where previously MLT had offered such flights using a Braniff 727.

MLT Vacations took a 51 per cent stake in this new venture, which was run by its employees and pilots, who were known for working together in order to cover all jobs that were required in the running of the airline, in order to save costs.

A Douglas DC-10-40 aircraft was leased from Northwest Airlines in 1986 and fitted with 370 seats to cope with demand on popular routes, such as Minneapolis /St Paul to Las Vegas, and also to allow longer routes to be undertaken. With the DC-10 came a stronger, sunnier new colour scheme with bold titles. Further Boeing 727 aircraft had also been acquired, and the airline was taking on many private charters and sports teams. During the Desert Storm operations in the Middle East in 1990–91, the airline’s aircraft and crew flew many charters as members of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.

Sun Country 727Following record profits and further fleet and route expansion, Sun Country was sold to the Mark Travel Group in the early 1990s. A time of consolidation took place as the airline encountered difficult trading conditions and an ageing fleet. The DC-10s were refurbished, and then finally retired in 2001.

In order to remain competitive, Mark Travel Group started a transition of Sun Country from a charter airline into a scheduled carrier capable of competing with the low-cost airlines of the era. It focussed on offering regular services between Minneapolis and Detroit, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Washington DC, and a variety of seasonal destinations in the Caribbean, Florida and Mexico. A major fleet renewal also took place, with Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft ordered for delivery beginning in 2001. However, with intense competition from Northwest Airlines, and the dramatic effects of September 11, 2001 on the airline industry, Sun Country was forced to cease operations on 8 December 2001.

The airline’s Boeing 727 and newly delivered 737-700/800 aircraft were mostly sold. A single 737-800 and the airline’s operating certificate were salvaged in the bankruptcy court by MN Airlines, a group of investors keen to restart Sun Country.

Service was gradually reinstated to operating seasonal schedules and charters from Minneapolis to California, Florida, Mexico and Nevada. This slow progress returned the airline to profitability, and from 2004 new Boeing 737s were acquired to fuel its growth.

The airline was sold again in 2006, to Petters Group Worldwide. But despite a strong start it began to struggle financially once again from 2008 as fuel costs and a struggling economy reduced its income. It once again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2008, and its owner resigned during a fraud investigation by the FBI.

Following a successful reorganisation, Sun Country emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2009 and announced a return to profitability, followed by route expansion. It currently has a fleet of 14 Boeing 737-700/800 aircraft.

The airline has always taken advantage of differing demands as the seasons change, taking on Dan-Air Boeing 727s in the winter months, and leasing its own aircraft during the spring and summer. Today, a similar arrangement exists with Transavia Airlines of the Netherlands, which sends its Boeing 737s during the winter, and receives Sun Country examples in the summer.

Aircraft Types Operated:

  • Boeing 727-200                       1985–2002
  • Boeing 737-700                       2001–present
  • Boeing 737-800                       2005–present
  • McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10     1991–1995
  • McDonnell Douglas DC-10-15     1995–2003
  • McDonnell Douglas DC-10-40     1986–1989

 

Airlines of the USAThis post is an extract from my new book, Airlines of the USA, which charts many of the most important airlines to have come from America, from early pioneers to present-day operators. Find out more about the book and get your copy here:

www.destinworld.co.uk/shop/airlines-of-the-usa

Thinking of becoming a pilot? Read Jason’s entertaining account – Book Review

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 16-07-2013

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Take Your Wings and FlyJason Smart had always wondered what it would be like to fly a small aircraft, and had been fascinated by flight from a young age.

After a terrifying flight in a friend’s microlight aircraft, he decided to take a taster flying lesson in a ‘larger’ Cessna light aircraft. Despite the overwhelming unfamiliarity of the experience, he was hooked and went on to complete his training and gain his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).

He decided to write down his experiences in this new book, Take Your Wings and Fly – A Journey Through a Private Pilot’s Licence, to help inspire (and perhaps pacify) others who are learning to fly, or have already gained their licence.

Written in a diary style, Jason takes the reader through the realities of learning to fly. From the confusing jargon, the thrills of first solos, and the points where nothing seems to click, to the exams, the days the weather cancels flying, the language of ATC, and the final test.

Here’s a sample where Jason struggles with the subtleties of landings…

Day 19. Thursday 15 August
Lesson 16: Circuit Bashing #6
The weather was good. Up we went into the circuit. After a few landings,
James told me I would be doing the landing completely unaided.
My approach was good, considering the crosswind, but my landing was
disastrous. In the flare, James took control at the last second to avoid a nasty liaison with the runway. We went around again.
On the next go, everything was fine until just over the runway threshold. I
still couldn’t judge how much to pull back on the yoke. Also just to add to my
woes I found it hard keeping the aircraft straight.
“C’mon… more right rudder!” James shouted. “And more back pressure
on the yoke!” And then we’d bumped down with a crunch. Up we went once more.

Yesterday, I read the average student took between 12-15 hours to go solo.
I was now at 16 hours and felt ages away from even considering going up by
myself. I couldn’t even land. After we’d parked up, I questioned James about it,
deciding to broach the subject tactfully and diplomatically.
“So am I shit at landing or what?”

 

The book is hugely entertaining, and goes on to cover Jason’s flying after gaining his licence, which is a great inspiration for those who have already gained their wings. Follow him on trips to other airfields and see how his skills develop.

Take Your Wings and Fly is available now through Destinworld Publishing, and also available on Amazon

Airlines of the USA – new aviation book

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, North America, USA | Posted on 09-07-2013

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Airlines of the USAAirlines of the USA is a new book from Destinworld Publishing, and written by Airport Spotting Blog’s Matt Falcus.

The book looks at the most important airlines to have come out of America, from the earliest days of commercial flying, to the more recent startups.

Who remembers such important airlines like TWA, Pan Am, Braniff, and Eastern Airlines? In their heyday it was inconceivable that they could fail when they were so huge, domineering, and were household names. Yet all of them ceased flying or disappeared into a different airline.

More recently we’ve lost names such as America West, Continental, Northwest Airlines, and we’re about to lose US Airways.

The book looks at how some of these large carriers first started, which was usually through government funded air mail routes using very early aircraft. Being pioneers in air travel, and with the emergence of new aircraft such as the Douglas DC-3 and Boeing 707, the airlines grew very quickly.

PSA and Pan Am

Then came the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, which allowed airlines to fly anywhere. It saw low-cost carriers such as PSA and Southwest Airlines thrive. And today they still do thrive, with AirTran and Spirit Airlines amongst the well-known names.

Each airline has its own chapter, and the book looks at the aircraft types it operated, with dates and much more information. The book is full colour, and is available to order now through Destinworld’s website here: www.destinworld.co.uk/shop/airlines-of-the-usa/

It is also available through Amazon and good aviation stores.

 

Mumbai Airports in Airports of the World magazine

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Book Reviews, India, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 08-05-2013

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Airports of the World May 2013Our new book title, Mumbai Airports Through Time gets a nice feature in the current Airports of the World magazine (probably the best enthusiast magazine on the subjects of airport spotting!)

The feature shows a snapshot of pictures from Mumbai’s airports, and gives a taste for the book (copies available here).

There’s also the chance to win a copy of Mumbai Airports Through Time, so grab a copy quickly. Go to this link to order: www.airportsworld.com

Or simply head to your local news agent.