Guide to spotting at Bristol Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, UK, Websites, Western Europe | Posted on 23-05-2013

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Bristol AirportSimon Fewkes from the new Bristol Airport Spotting website recently got in touch to see if I could let people know about his webiste. In return, he’s agreed to give us an overview of where to spot aircraft at Bristol Airport. Here goes…

Bristol airport has a few spotting locations to spot and photograph both landing and departing aircraft, some of these spots are official and non-official. Aircraft that can be seen here include easyJet A319s and A320s, Ryanair 737-800s, Thomas Cook A320s, Thomson 757 and 737s, Air France ATR42, KLM Fokker 100 and Fokker 70, Aer Lingus ATR72, Helvetic Fokker 100 plus other visitors at various times of the year.

Spot 1: Winters Lane

This is possibly the best location to spot aircraft, it can provide great views of aircraft on the apron, taxiing and taking off, unfortunately its not great for photography as the fence can get in the way but a set of step ladders can solve this issue, if you get closer to the end of runway 9 the fence is much lower, during the summer it can become busy here and ice cream vans are available to serve the spotters.

Spot 2: Winters Lane by Golf Course

This spot is good for watching aircraft as they land on runway 27 and taxi back to the terminal as they will pass right in front of you, also departing aircraft on runway 9 will taxi past you to take off, this spot isn’t good for photography as the fence will get in the way and is too high for step ladders. Both spot 1 and 2 can be accessed by turning into Downside Road, go along this road until you see a red phone box and a sign saying “Tall Pines Golf Club and Lodges”. Turn left there into ‘Cooks Bridle Path’. This is a tight lane so be careful for oncoming traffic and regular tractor activity.

Continue up that lane, past the golf course on your right, down another little hill and back up the other side. You will then come to a bend where you will find the airport perimeter fence, and the main taxiway.

Spot 3: Felton Common

This location is great when runway 27 is being used for landings, arriving aircraft are very low above you and can provide great photos and video opportunities, and this location is to the east of the A38 and can be accessed through the village of Felton which is just past the airport heading towards Bristol on the right.

For further information on all of these locations, with photos, videos and maps visit www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk

Flybe sells Gatwick slots to easyJet

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 23-05-2013

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Flybe  has sold its 25 slot pairs at London Gatwick Airport to easyJet for £20 million.

The regional airline has been working on ways to reduce its costs, including pilot salary cuts, deferring deliveries on new Embraer jets, and now this cull of Gatwick flights.

Flybe currently operates seven routes from Gatwick, and carries around 550,000 passengers per year. It specifically blames a 102% increase in airport charges over the past five years for its decision to leave.

Flybe will continue to operate as normal all its seven domestic Gatwick routes – from Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and Newquay – until Saturday 29th March 2014, with no changes to pricing, frequency or timings. It also confirmed that there will be no impact upon any other route currently operated from those seven airports and that the funds generated by the sale of the slots will be re-invested in the remaining 159 Flybe routes.

The move will likely see an increase in destinations and frequencies offered by easyJet at London Gatwick from next summer.

 

Aviation incident reports at your fingertips

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting Equipment Reviews | Posted on 22-05-2013

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Air365 appA new app has launched which gives you the opportunity to monitor aviation incidents around the world.

Air365 offers fully interactive route mapping of accidents and incidents plus aircraft, flight and airline information – and includes an easy-to-search archive of over 72,000 aviation incidents spanning over 30 years.

The app is aimed at aviation enthusiasts, professionals and air travellers. It promises to be regularly updated from top sources, filtered by type of event. It enables users to easily find related articles, including associated photography and video coverage available for individual incidents. Articles and incident reports can be bookmarked for easy retrieval.

App creator Paul Stoakes – an IT developer and keen aviation photographer – said:
“Air365 is aimed at a broad international audience ranging from commercial and amateur pilots to aircraft spotters and photographers, as well as the aircraft maintenance community. I am confident the depth of content and easy-to-use features and maps will appeal to anyone with a special interest in aviation incident reports from around the world. The building of Air365 actually stems from my wife’s fear of flying because as a frequent business traveler, she regularly conducts research into airline safety for her own peace of mind so this may be another potential user group.”

App365 is available now for iPad (Apple App Store link), and will be released on iPhone and Android mobile phones soon according to their website.

Skywest orders up to 200 Embraer jets

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Brazil, North America, South America, USA | Posted on 22-05-2013

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Skywest Embraer 175Skywest Airlines has signed a deal with Embraer to order 40 E-175 jets. These will be operated on behalf of United Airlines.

The deal also includes another 60 firm orders which are reconfirmable, and subject to Skywest being awarded Capacity Purchase Agreements (CPA) to operate them on behalf of other US airlines.

Skywest has also taken options on another 100 E-175s, taking the total potential order to 200.

If all 100 firm orders are exercised, the order has an estimated value of USD 4.1 billion at current list prices, representing one of the most significant orders in each company’s histories. SkyWest plans to configure the E175s in a dual-class 76-seat layout, with the delivery of the first aircraft scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.

“This is truly a milestone order for Embraer. As our largest Brasilia and ERJ operator, SkyWest has now selected the enhanced E-Jet for their fleet, validating their confidence in Embraer and recognizing the tremendous capabilities of the E175 as the best aircraft in its class,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “I’m confident the technologically advanced E175 will become the company’s flagship, bringing greater efficiency to their operations and a higher standard of comfort to their customers.”

Ethiopian Dreamliners to Brazil

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Brazil, Ethiopia, South America | Posted on 18-05-2013

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Ethiopian 787 (c) Konstantin von WedelstaedtEthiopian Airlines will commence Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Brazil from July.

The fairly complex service will route Addis Ababa – Lome – Rio de Janeiro – Sao Paulo

This will be the first Dreamliner service to Brazil, and operates 3x weekly from 1st July.

Southwest will be 737MAX 7 launch customer

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, USA | Posted on 16-05-2013

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Southwest 737MAX 7Southwest Airlines has converted an order for Boeing 737NG aircraft into an order for 30 737MAX 7 aircraft.

This shows Southwest’s ongoing commitment to the 737, which is the sole aircraft type in its fleet (split across classic and NG models), and also makes the airline the launch customer for the MAX 7 variant.

Southwest also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. These airplanes, along with the 737 MAX 7s, are part of Southwest’s ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency and profitability. The 737 MAX 7 supports Southwest’s expanding fleet modernization effort. Southwest is expected to take its first 737 MAX 7 delivery in 2019.

Painted Airbus A350 emerges

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in France, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 13-05-2013

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Painted A350 © Airbus S.A.S 2013 Photo by P. PigeyreAirbus today unveiled its A350 aircraft fully painted.

The aircraft emerged from the paint facility at Toulouse in the white and blue scheme of Airbus, with its smart blended winglets adorned with ‘A350 XWB’ titles.

As reported earlier, the aircraft is expected to fly on 11 June, though this has not been confirmed officially yet.

A350 Toulouse © Airbus S.A.S 2013 Photo by H. Goussé

A350 © Airbus S.A.S 2013 Photo by H. Goussé

UPDATED: Boeing 787 Airline Route List

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 12-05-2013

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by Altair78Given that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is now back in the air, I thought it best to update you on the routes airlines operating the type are flying/planning to fly.

Therefore I’ve updated the Boeing 787 Routes page with the latest information available from the airlines through a number of excellent routes websites.

You can find out the latest planned routes and dates at this link: Boeing 787 Routes page

Unusual follow-me car at Bologna Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Italy, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 09-05-2013

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Lamborghini Follow Me Car (c) Aeroporto di BolognaBologna Airport has recruited the services of an unusual car for its follow-me drivers to direct pilots to their parking positions after landing.

Since 6th May, a Lamborghini Aventador LP has been in use. It is painted with a red and white chequered livery, and furnished with Follow Me signs. Drivers have been trained to use the car by Lamborghini test driver, Mario Fasanetto.

The use of the car is to promote the 50th Anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini, and will also see an exhibition on Lamborghini inside Bologna’s main terminal.

The V12 engined car will be in use, guiding up to 140 flights per day at Bologna Airport, until 16th May.

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.