Asian Aerospace Impressions

tonyw

Well-Known Member
I'll have pictures when I get around to developing them. Yes, folks, there are some people who still use that funny thing called film.

Couple of things:

Man, was it a dead show. Biggest deal as far as aircraft goes? Some startup LCC in Asia inked a deal to lease five A320s or something like that. No big announcements from either of the two big guns about big contracts. Well, there was that little bit from the guy at Airbus saying that the 747 is dead. We'll see, but I kinda sorta think it's important to actually have your airplane flying before you say one that's in operation is dead.

The only civilian aiplane that flew during the daily airshow was the Embraer 170. Poor guys. They followed up an F-16 and a Mirage, which sucks. Then they only let them do two passes, one in the cruise and one in the landing configuration. It was kind of cool to see an RJ in what I'd estimate as a 45 degree bank, though. Not quite as cool as seeing an F16 go by at 100 knots and then go ballistic, but cool nevertheless.

Here's a question. On my return trip, I got to talk to the flight deck crew. They were waiting for a bus and I was waiting for my ride, so I talked to them a bit. One thing was that there were only three of them. I'm trying to figure out how three guys managed to stay legal to fly the entire trip (it took about 12 hours). Or maybe there was another guy who I didn't notice? And how do airlines handle switching crews these days for long overseas flights, with all the heightened security?

And I was very impressed. A 12 hour flight, and the guy greased it, right on the centerline. He laughed and said they aren't always that pretty.
 

FL270

New Member
Tony, what airline, what aircraft, where'd you stop/connect? Inquiring minds, man!!

Russ
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Ah, yes. I flew ANA from IAD to NRT and then NRT to SIN. The flight from IAD to NRT took about 14 hours and it was on a 777-200. One cool thing is that ANA has a camera view and you can turn that on to see what's going on outside. We did the great circle route, which meant that we went over a lot of Canada, came across Alaska around Fairbanks, and then went to Tokyo. Seeing the snow and ice covered Hudson Bay was interesting but that was pretty much the highlight of the flight. I was hoping to see some of the mountains in Alaska but unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate.

Another thing that ANA does which might be something US airlines ought to adapt is turning on the camera and putting it on the main screen during taxi, takeoff, climbout, approach, and landing. It was fun to see how all of the sudden, you go from nothing but water to farmland on the approach to NRT.

The flight from NRT to SIN was over the water, so there wasn't much to see there. It took about seven hours and it was also on a 777-200. It was a night landing, and I have to wonder what kind of approaches they have into SIN because it seemed like we were 10 miles away from the airport forever. I thought it might be because of the tall buildings in the city, but the airport is on the east side of the island and the main part of the city is on the west side.

Coming back, I flew from SIN to NRT and then NRT to IAD. We left at night on a 777-200 for the first leg. Again, there wasn't much to see, since the route is over the water. Since we were going east, it took a lot less time, only five and a half hours instead of the seven it took on the way over.

I actually got to spend some time in NRT on the way back. It was cool to see all the different liveries of all sorts of airlines. Obviously, there were planes from ANA and JAL there, but there were some from EVA, China Airlines, Malaysia, Thai, and Philipines as well. I didn't see too many US based carriers there but that may have been because they were at a different terminal.

We flew from NRT to IAD on a 777-200 again. We took a different route to take advantage of the winds -- ground speed was around 700 mph. The trip took around 12 hours and we flew over Seattle, through Montana, and over Iowa and then on to IAD. This time there was stuff to see, and it was fun to use the camera to check out the Rockies and it was cool when the turned on the camera on approach and landing. The guy absolutely greased it, right on the centerline.

The service was incredible. I had to ask one of the cabin crew for sugar (okay, Equal) for my coffee a second time and I thought she was going to cry when she brought it over. She kept apologizing and I'm like, relax, it's not that big of a deal.

The seats were fine. For a shorter flight, I'm sure I would have been very happy but on a long trip like that, even business class seats aren't going to be comfortable. Only the beds in first class would be, and I wasn't getting those seats -- I almost peed my pants when I saw how much the business class seats cost!

Overall, I was very impressed with ANA. I know that the US based carriers just can't provide the same level of service that the folks at ANA can -- I'm not one of those guys who expects to pay a Southwest price and get ANA type service -- but from what I could tell, ANA runs a great operation.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
Here's a question. On my return trip, I got to talk to the flight deck crew. They were waiting for a bus and I was waiting for my ride, so I talked to them a bit. One thing was that there were only three of them. I'm trying to figure out how three guys managed to stay legal to fly the entire trip (it took about 12 hours).

[/ QUOTE ]

One was probably an IRO (International Relief Officer-galley maid) required on 2 man aircraft when the flight exceeds 8 hrs. Usually, he/she is a type rated f/o (cheaper than paying for another Capt) who can switch seats with either of the two flying pilots while they are in crew rest.

[ QUOTE ]
And I was very impressed. A 12 hour flight, and the guy greased it, right on the centerline.

[/ QUOTE ]

Probably an autoland.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
One was probably an IRO (International Relief Officer-galley maid) required on 2 man aircraft when the flight exceeds 8 hrs. Usually, he/she is a type rated f/o (cheaper than paying for another Capt) who can switch seats with either of the two flying pilots while they are in crew rest.

[/ QUOTE ]

Okay, thanks. And nope, not an autoland. I asked the guy if he hand flew the approach and he said yes. He also smiled and said that they aren't always so pretty.
 
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