• Airlines
    things-many-people-dont-know-about-cargo-airlines
    Things Many People Don’t Know About Cargo Airlines

    The general public is familiar with passenger airlines but not with cargo airlines. Some even find cargo airplanes quite mysterious.

    When you go the airport, you rarely see cargo aircraft doing their thing. Usually, these airplanes are parked at a different bay, far from passenger terminals so people can hardly ever see them.

    As a proud cargo pilot, I have heard quite a number of interesting questions from the curious public. Now, let me shed some light on the similarities and differences of cargo and passenger airlines.

    A cargo and passenger airplane is basically the same except that the cargo airplane has more room for shipment. You can expect to see boxes, crates, and even pallet collars – go check http://kronuscollars.com/ if you haven’t seen one.

    Inside the flight deck of a freighter and a passenger airplane, you could hardly distinguish any difference. The front office is actually the same. Flying a cargo plane is also same as piloting a passenger plane. Both of these aircraft require the same experience, license, and FAA Type Rating.

    things-many-people-dont-know-about-cargo-airlines-1The major difference between these two types of airplanes is outside the cockpit. The most obvious difference lies with the door. A freighter obviously has a larger door as compared to passenger airline. This allows the quick loading and unloading of the shipment from the main deck. The curved doors under the main deck create extra space, allowing the lower deck to be loaded with more cargo. As can be expected with a freighter, every space is utilized for payload.

    The variant of the Boeing 747 used by cargo airlines has a very special cargo door. It has a very large nose that when it is raised; it can accommodate very large loads such as vehicles, military tanks, and even smaller aircraft.

    Inside the cabin, the familiar arrangement that you expect to see on a passenger airplane, such as seats, windows, and overhead storage, are all gone. It’s just an empty vacuum that is specially engineered for the efficient loading and unloading of freight. The interior is far from the convenient and luxurious interiors that you see in passenger airlines. The main deck has several rollers and latches where containers and pallets are latched into position.

    Air freighters follow a strict schedule. Every minute counts, so cargo pilots need to be quick and agile. One full load can equate to thousands of customers whose shipments are expected to arrive at specified time. Usually, cargo jets have one or two stops.

    Once at the airport stop, they are carefully inspected and fuel is reloaded. Experienced ground crews do things quickly, imagine NASCAR pit stops. After all the necessary checks are performed and passed, the freighter is given a go. It then heads to its destination to get the shipment delivered as scheduled.

    Another main difference between the cargo and passenger airlines is that the former normally only has two crews – the Captain and the First officer. For some longer cargo trips, up to four crew members are on board the flight. In a regular passenger flight, you can expect a number of flight attendants, co-pilots, and other crew members. That’s not the case for cargo planes.

  • Aviation
    so-you-wanna-be-a-pilot-1
    So You Wanna Be a Pilot?

    Being a pilot is a fun and rewarding job, but it’s not all a bit cakewalk; not by half! Being a pilot means that the lives of hundreds of people are in your hands at all times, and you and your co need to run systems that look as complex as your average spacecraft. On the other hand, you get to fly above the clouds for a living, see places all around the world, and sit down and look at the view for most of your job! There are both pros and cons, but it is worth it to me. Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to become an airline pilot!

    First, you need a 4-year college degree. If you plan to fly for a small regional airline you won’t need the full college degree, but it’s unlikely you’ll get the job without a degree at all. However to fly for someone like Delta or Southwest, and 4-year degree with a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) preferably in aviation is the way to go. The exception to this general rules is if you served in the military, and preferably the air force. This shows that airline you are willing to do what it takes to learn.

    so-you-wanna-be-a-pilot-1Next, work on your reflexes! You will have to become ADD; you need to look at so many instruments at once, absorb that information, and react to it. It takes a special kind of person to do this; it’s like watching a drummer play a massive drum set and never miss a beat.

    Next is the actual aviation school. To get your private pilot’s licence you will need to complete 40 hours of supervised flight. Next, to get a commercial licence you will need to get over 250 hours of direct, cross-country, and simulated flight.

    Most airlines prefer that you have no less than 1500 hours of flight experience before you fly for them. Once again, the military is an option. You can enter the Air Force or Navy reserves and get trained for a year, then go back to civilian life. In case of emergency they would call when they needed you.

    One more option is to try and get a job at a small regional airport. They almost always need pilots, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a job somewhere. After that you should be able to parlay your regional airline position into an even better job somewhere else for a major airline!

    The key is that you need to practice. Just like a drummer mastering an instrument from Barking Drum, you need to keep on learning the skills involved in flight. That way you will be hireable and companies will snatch you up!

  • Airports
    Airplanes and Airports
    Airplanes and Airports

    Airplanes and airports are inseparable tandems. If your career requires frequent flying, you most definitely have harnessed a tremendous amount of patience. Airport delays are not the most exciting part of travelling and flying. Fortunately, there are airports that have a full line of amenities to make the wait more bearable. Most airports have duty-free shopping malls, entertainment centers, relaxation areas, and many other conveniences. But what could be better than taking in nature inside the airport halls?

    Here are three airports that have some nice gardens for traveler and aviators to take delight while waiting for the flight.

    First in our list is the O’Hare Airport in Columbus, Ohio. This busy airport features one of the most modern, urban gardens in the country. Located at a seemingly unused nook of the airport’s ORD Rotunda Building, between Terminal 2 and 3, is an a 900 square foot of vertical aeroponic garden. The high-tech urban garden uses the latest indoor garden technologies, much like the LED grow lights found at Plantozoid.com.

    It looks very much like a DIY project which could hopefully inspire others to follow. The plants – a variety of edible flowers, herbs, greens and herbs – are grown in a series of vertical PVC towers equipped with high-powered lights. The signage below shows where the produce is delivered. The very nutritious plants are nourished by a nutrition-rich solution that flows within the columns. There is definitely no soil used in this garden. Water is also re-circulated so it is very efficient.

    Second is the Changi Airport in Thailand. This international airport was among the first airports to introduce gardens in their design. As early as 1980s, Changi Airport already has a sizeable space dedicated for its 250 plan species and some 500,000 plants. The nursery alone can produce 3,000 plants every month.

    Making your stay even more pleasant are several ‘green’ attractions like the orchid with koi pond, the butterfly garden and the colorful flower garden. You can walk further to reach the impeccably manicured outdoor garden which showcases sunflowers and cacti.

    Third is the Incheon Airport which offers not just one garden but seven! This encapsulation of nature gives off a very relaxing ambiance amidst the bustling airport. Each of these gardens has a distinct character – cactus, flowers, pine trees, local flora. Many of these plant species are not naturally found in South Korea so it is only in this airport where you can see them. A vast portion of the garden is located at the ground floor.  On the second floor is an almost 2,000 square meter garden that features over 150 plant species that include herbs, flowers, bamboo and ferns. These gardens are free for all to enjoy so take time to unwind and relax here while waiting for your boarding time.

    While many airports offer cozy, modern relaxation areas, sometimes it’s good to take a break from all the modernity and just return to beauty of nature. What could be more relaxing than a ‘green’ airport!

  • Aviation
    History of Aviation in a Nutshell
    History of Aviation in a Nutshell

    Many people erroneously believe that the Wright brothers made the first aircraft. While the plane they flew in Kittyhawk was certainly the first fully automated aircraft to achieve sustained flight, it definitely wasn’t the first aircraft ever. We hope to do away with little misconceptions like this which seem to plague our favorite topic in the world. However, to give you an exhaustive history of aviation would take a lot of time and space that we just don’t have right now. A brief summary of key events, points in time and facts related to the field is definitely something that we can give to our readers though.

    While the rickety plane Orville and Wilbur put together is certainly one of the most unique aircrafts in the history of aviation, it does not mark the beginning of the field. For one, people have been using hot air balloons to float around in the sky for hundreds of years now, as far back as 1783 when Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier achieved the first unmanned balloon flight in Annonay, France. The craft was unmanned, but would you climb into something if you had no idea whether the thing would fly or crash and burn? Smoke was used as a lifting agent initially, because hot air wasn’t yet understood.

    (more…)

  • Aviation
    Some Interesting Aviation Facts
    Some Interesting Aviation Facts

    We’ve already covered a short history of aviation in another post, but there are so many interesting facts we had to leave out that we wanted to make another little piece to talk about some of them. Specifically, there are at least four facts about aviation that most people, even those who are dedicated to flying and aircraft, probably don’t know. We’ve compiled this short list here to tell anyone who will listen, so if you wanted something interesting to bring up the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, by all means allow us to furnish you with some talking points.

    Airlines come and go these days with companies merging, being bought up or simply collapsing under the heavy burden of bankruptcy. But did you know that the oldest airline in the world, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, or KLM for shirt, still exists today? KLM has been flying people and products around the world for decades now, since the company had its first successful flight from Amsterdam to London on May17th, 1920. The fact that Royal Dutch Airlines is still in operation is a testament to the success of the Danish people when it comes to aviation and flight.

    (more…)

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