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Showing posts from May, 2015

Flying in the “Tin Goose”

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Flight in a Vintage 1929 Ford Tri-Motor

The Ford Tri-Motor, known affectionately as the Tin Goose, was world’s first mass produced airliner.  Built with corrugated aluminum, the Tri-Motor resembled more like a tool shed than an airplane.


Nevertheless, it was rugged and durable.  This all-metal airliner introduced many elements of modern aviation that we know today:  an enclosed cabin, redundant engines; facilities such as paved runways, airport terminals, radio navigation were created because of the Tri-Motor.


Designed by Stout Metal Airplane, a division of the Ford Motor Company, 199 Tri-Motors were built between 1926 and 1933. Tri-Motor’s all metal construction backed by the Ford name convinced the public that it was a safe airplane to fly.


I flew in Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) aircraft NC8407, a Tri-Motor model 4-AT-E.  It was built in 1929 for Eastern Air Transport (a predecessor of Eastern Airlines) and restored between 1973 and 1985.  Originally powered by three 30…

Dream Big

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Flying on the Inaugural American 787 Dreamliner

Prologue

In February, when American Airlines officially announced plans for their inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight, naturally I jumped at the chance to purchase my ticket on that historic flight.  I have been logging as many inaugural Dreamliner flights as I can - with my primary focus being the inaugural revenue flight on every U.S. and Canadian operator (100% successful so far) and the inaugural 787 route-opening flight from my home airports in the San Jose area.


AA’s inaugural Dreamliner flight would take place on May 7th from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), between the airlines’ two main hubs.  Tickets went on sale over the February 14th weekend schedule update.  Demand was understandably high and AA’s reservation system was slow to show the 787 flight.  By the time I was ready for my purchase on February 15th, the price for the flight had gone up significantly (and all the window seats were taken).  Just like …