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'Senseless In Seattle'  
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6868 times:

Over the past two years, members of the www.concordesst.com site, have as well as been heavily involved in the Brooklands Concorde project (former BA spares source, G-BBDG), also visited some of the now preserved examples.
G-BOAD in NY last year, as well as OAC at MAN, where I was happy to do a cockpit tour.

G-BOAG, being at such a world class facility, located near a nice city with plenty of other attractions, was always going to get a visit, which in truth would be a heavily socially orientated event, hence the title of this TR, the name of this particular trip.

Members would be coming to Seattle from other parts of the US, as well as the UK, so a fair bit of planning was needed.
But once accommodation and a semblance of a plan was worked out, we were off!

Being BA staff, who now has an annual ID100 Bookable ticket to use, my ticket choice was easy, plus I'd almost certainly get Club.
All I paid for were the various airport/departure taxes.
Others were using their ID80's, non BA staff from the UK, including sst.com Webmaster Gordon Roxburgh, took advantage of the BA ticket sale a few weeks back.

BA49, LHR-SEA, 03 NOV 2005, G-CIVX

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © K Chilton



On checking in, I got seat 19k, in this respect I was lucky, others either got WT+ or WT.
19K is a rearward facing seat, on this flight, the Club cabin was not very full.
Boarding complete, Capt Bedford asked attention be paid to the safety video "Not a Hollywood blockbuster, no sex or violence, but the most important film you'll see". This was done in a good humored, not a hectoring fashion.
After pushing back, our taxi went past the LHR fire trainer during a training exercise on it, I'm not in any way a nervous flyer, but unfortunate for anyone who was looking out of the window and seeing that.

Take off roll began at 14.39, airborne on a westward course out of LHR, we soon settled into the flight.
Whilst there was a good selection of PTV options, nothing really to grab me, but I had reading material and some of the TV programmes, rather than the movies, looked to be worth checking out.

I skipped 1st course, having the salmon option, not being able to drink due to medication I take, my beverage choice was limited.
But it was all perfectly fine.

We had some nice views of Iceland, looking very wintry, later we'd get a peek at Greenland, though mostly obscured by cloud, as was most of the flight.
Our course took us 70 Deg N, a polar route.

Sleeping on planes, even in the comfort of Club, is not something that comes easy to me, at most, I might have dozed for 30-45 mins, not unusual for me at all, no reflection of the cabin either, rather my hyperactivity.

We touched down at SEA on schedule after a pleasant flight.

I had two items of hand baggage, being in Club I had been able to take the large holdall on board, for those in the other cabins it meant checking in holdalls, suitcases.
Which we found at SEA had not been loaded on to our flight.

They would arrive the following day, and would be delivered to our hotel, not to minimize this aspect of BA/LHR operations which is an on going running sore, but those with missing bags just shopped harder at the local Target store in Seattle, as they'd planned to do anyway!

Seattle seems a nice city, plenty of non aviation stuff to do, we had hired a vehicle and settled into our hotel awaiting the rest of our group, from places like Wisconsin and Ohio.

Apart from visiting OAG, (the heavy rain had closed the airpark, but we had pre-arranged so got on board Concorde as well as AF1), a fascinating afternoon at the restoration facility, where fantastic work is being done on the Comet 4C in particular, we took in the whole Museum Of Flight facility.
It was all well worth the trip, as was the tour of the Boeing plant, fascinating to see the 747 line, albeit running at a low rate at this time.
The flight line included Eithad and AF 777-300's, a Lan B767F.

We also took the Sprit Of Washington dining train one evening, went on a boat trip to (unsuccessfully) look for Whales in Puget Sound, up to the top of the Space Needle, exploring various parts of Seattle nightlife.

Our US members left before us, but we had a full day to kill before our flight.
So we drove up to the fast advancing winter weather at the Summit at Snoqalmie, then to Snoqalmie falls.
The long drive around also took in the Tacoma Bridge, as part of a very roundabout route towards SEA.

BA48, SEA-LHR, 07 NOV 2005, G-CIVR

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © PolishAir42 - Chicago Aviation Photography



Our group, well some of them anyway, were more lucky this time, Gary and Tracy (both BA staffers on ID80's) got Club, as did Mike whose sister is BA Cabin Crew, as well as myself (seat 17A).
Boarding, pushback, taxi and take off all happened smoothly enough, the crew, like on the outbound flight, was efficient, friendly, attentive.
I had a fish starter, a steak main course, the food on both flights was perfectly good.

I passed the time by watching the PTV, managing a doze with the seat fully down, of around an hour or two, good going for me, on a night flight like this you have to make the effort I feel!

On both my seats, on and outbound, all the facilities worked OK.

We made very good time, being an hour ahead of schedule, with only a short time holding.
Over London, I (for a change!) spotted a recognizable landmark quickly, (Crystal Palace Tower), viewable from a friends flat in Herne Hill (spotted that too), so enjoyed the view as we approached LHR, down to a smooth landing ahead of schedule, a fitting end to an interesting, enjoyable trip, my first trip to Seattle, a very nice city.

The crew again were cheerful and efficient, the flight crew provided less in commentary than outbound, but again perfectly OK, the Capt certainly sounded cheerful when he announced how ahead of schedule we were!

On this thread on sst.com, planning the trip, here are the later pages from during and after our time in Seattle, with pics, from page 10 onwards;
http://p102.ezboard.com/fconcordesst...icID=1139.topic&start=181&stop=200

[Edited 2005-11-09 19:48:48]

[Edited 2005-11-09 20:10:03]

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9690 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6845 times:

I am glad that you enjoyed your trip to Seattle. I grew up there and absolutely love the city. I am very good friends with the director of the Airpark at the Museum of Flight. Back when I worked at the Museum of Flight a few years ago I worked with her. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the exhibit, they are looking (and no removing the plexi glass barriers inside the plane is not an option). She was looking at putting up more interesting signs or other displays. The worst thing about the Airpark is that Air Force 1 leaks very badly when it rains. That plane has deteriorated, so they are being extra careful nowadays, especially with Concorde since BA has threatened to terminate the museum's lease if it does not do a good job of keeping it maintained.

Quoting GDB (Thread starter):
So we drove up to the fast advancing winter weather at the Summit at Snoqalmie, then to Snoqalmie falls.
Then we drove back down towards SEA, via the Tacoma Bridge.

Just being picky, but Snoqualmie Falls is on the east side of the city and Tacoma is south. You wouldn't drive over the Tacoma Narrows bridge or even anywhere near Tacome to get to SEA from Snoqualmie. You would drive over a floating bridge likely on I-90 or no bridges at all via I-90 and I-405.  Smile



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6837 times:

Just as well I didn't navigate then!
I'll modify.

We were all impressed with Museum Of Flight, BA might growl every now and then, but it is most unlikely to ever remove OAG.
Beleive me, if BA have concerns with any museums, Seattle is not at the top of that list.
We were pleased with what we saw.

The afternoon at the preservation facility was fascinating and inspring too.

Everyone was very helpful and informative at the various facilities.

[Edited 2005-11-09 20:13:24]

User currently offlineGordonroxburgh From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 550 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6810 times:

Great TR GDB!!

I think the museum do a great job with OAG. A little too much plexiglass. Maybe it could be trimmed back a little would be my view. The 3 (and soon to be 4) UK based BA a/c don't have any perspex all in the seated area of the cabin. Tailor made covers are used over the tops of the seats in Edinburgh.

The museum of flight is a world class facility and BA made a very very good desiosn to send one of their fleet there, in particular the a/c that flew the very last ever commercial passegner service.

The museum have great plans to put all the a/c under cover, once they are able to do this they wll be able to interperate them a lot better, but I'm sure many people like GDB and I would be all too willing to assit them in anyway we can......as long I dont need to fly there and back in steerage again, which actually was OK.

We did go over the Narrows bridge, it was a bit of a de-tour on our way back. We went up I90 over the floating bridge, but came off early and headed SW to Tacoma to pick up the I5 then a highway over to the (WIDE) Narrows bridge.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9690 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

Quoting Gordonroxburgh (Reply 3):
I think the museum do a great job with OAG. A little too much plexiglass. Maybe it could be trimmed back a little would be my view. The 3 (and soon to be 4) UK based BA a/c don't have any perspex all in the seated area of the cabin. Tailor made covers are used over the tops of the seats in Edinburgh.

Everyone at the MOF wanted this (I worked in the education department two years back and they are the ones responsible for Airpark), but after seeing the deterioration on AF1, the excessive plexi glass was needed. It was proposed that no one would be allowed in the Concorde at all (like the Smithsonian), but the plexiglass that gives one foot wide path to walk through made it possible. As much as you would think that signs would stop people from touching and sitting in the seats, it doesn't work that way.

Another thing is that make sure you contribute to the museum if you want some of the other airplanes opened up! Once an enclosure over the Airpark can be built, the AA 727 will be opened up. The first ever 741 built likely won't be since it has a gutted interior, but if enough money is raised, then maybe one day they can remodel a section of it (as the direction I know is lobbying for).



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

While I would prefer to see no plexiglass inside, to be fair places like Seattle and NY will see a far higher volume of visitors than MAN, FZO and eventually Brooklands.

But SEA was much better than LeBourget, with SD's odd raised floor, which made this visitor, very familiar with a Concorde interior, feel somewhat odd, it was disconcerting.

The Space Needle was of extra interest to me, since it is in one of my very favourite films, 'The Parallax View' (1974)

[Edited 2005-11-09 20:57:46]

User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6691 times:
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Glad to hear you guys were having a blast.

And its great to hear we have something to look forward to in Seattle!

Good fish,
good wine and
Concorde!



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6673 times:

Great Trip report GDB.
Went to SEA 2 years ago ( LHR-SEA December 26th and 30th December SEA-LHR in First  Smile on ID100 )
went inside the Concorde ( while it was still in it's old place) and It looked in good shape. Seattle is a great place ( aviation and non aviation). I saw my first ever Ice hockey match there and saw the Matrix at the Imax cinema. Went on the monorail from the shopping center.
My dad liked itand it's a very clean city ( not much graffiti or vandalism, in the city center atleast)
I remember hearing that it caught fire last year, is it open/ due to reopen. Or are they waiting for the ongoing new monorail route to be built ?

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
FZO and eventually Brooklands

Is the concorde at Bristol open ?

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
he Space Needle was of extra interest to me,

Did you go up it. Great place to eat there, although not my taste ( no fast food damn it  Wink ).

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6660 times:

Went up the Space Needle.
Not for the food though.

I understand OAF at FZO is open.


User currently offlineGordonroxburgh From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 550 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6595 times:

I agree with Roseflyer, with the throughput of visitors the plexiglass sadly essential.

Maybe over time, if funds permit, or it needs to ever be replaced, it can be sculpted to give a little more room in the aisle similar to New York.

I'm sure a way to display the 747 will be found. There must be some interiors around in the desert that can be fitting to a small section. Having the rest of the structure open will look great


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9690 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6527 times:

Quoting Gordonroxburgh (Reply 9):
I'm sure a way to display the 747 will be found. There must be some interiors around in the desert that can be fitting to a small section. Having the rest of the structure open will look great

Of course there could be a way to display the 747, but right now there isn't any money to do so. The museum is still paying off the Personal Courage Wing (WWI and WWII aviation tribute) that opened in June 2004. The only chance of the 747 being opened up for visitors is when the new enclosed hanger will be built. This is necessary so they don't need to staff two people at the plane. The problem is that there are plenty of volunteers in the nice summer months, but no one wants to watch over the Concorde in the winter, so the museum has to pay staff to do so, which hurts their budget.

As for the food at the Space Needle, it isn't that great really. It is way overpriced. There are far nicer restaurants in the city that the locals know about which serve much better food at the same price and with amazing views. Seattle's glorious landscape with the mountains, lakes, sound/bay, and islands makes for stunning views. If you ever get a chance to go to the Columbia Tower Club (members only) at the top of the Bank of America Tower which is the tallest buidling in the city, you will get better food and better views. Also you will get good views of the planes on their way to SEA and BFI. In fact the building was originally supposed to be taller and the tallest buidling west of the Mississippi when it was built, but the FAA said it could not be over 1,000ft as it was in the flight path for SEA, so they shrunk each floor by 6 inches to shorten the building.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6275 times:

Oh! I am disappointed that I didn't know you were coming to my city! I would have loved to say hello. Glad you enjoyed your trip.


But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

Nice and succinct report  thumbsup .

SEA is one of the few remaining US cities I'm interested in visiting but haven't yet got round to it. Fortunately I am going in July



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Glad to hear you visited the Boeing facility in Everett that builds the widebodies. I think the 787 will be built there(?) Also, how would you compare the Museum of Flight with the Udvar-Hazy facility?


Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5858 times:

Museum of Flight and Udvar-Hazy are complementary.
There are more significant airframes at IAD, Dash 80, 307, Enola Gay, Enterprise to name very obvious ones.
Though SEA scores heavily with it's air park, with G-BOAG, AF1, a rare 737-100 and the first 747.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9690 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5848 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 14):
Though SEA scores heavily with it's air park, with G-BOAG, AF1, a rare 737-100 and the first 747.

That rare 737-100 is the original 737 built. It was the first jet of the most popular jet of all time. I think it is pretty special (though I never got to go inside while I worked at the Museum). Boeing used the 737 as a flight-test aircraft before it became NASA's Transport Systems Research Vehicle in 1974. Based at the Langley Research Center in Virginia, the Museum's 737 was used to test many technological innovations, including a virtual cockpit, electronic flight displays, and airborne wind-shear detection systems. People tend to forget that it is a very special airplane. Better signage really needs to be put in place. Though it is better that they finally let you walk over there now to view it up close. It used to be all fenced off.

The only insignificant airplane is the AA 727. That is pretty much on display because it was donated at the time Airpark opened. It may be replaced by the Comet when the restoration center is finished with it. Overall the Airpark is one of the most awesome parts of the museum.

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 13):
I think the 787 will be built there(?)

Yes the 787 will be built there. Washington State offered some serious tax reliefs to ensure final assembly would remain in the state.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Hello again GDB

Quoting GDB (Thread starter):
On checking in, I got seat 19k, in this respect I was lucky, others either got WT+ or WT.
19K is a rearward facing seat, on this flight, the Club cabin was not very full.

I just wanted to ask, do you prefer the foward or rear-ward facing CW seats ?, I unlike some, like the backwards seating face, although it could be because i'm a typical 14 year old boy, who is easily pleased, such as letting go of everthing on take off, simple things please simple minds GDB  Wink

Quoting GDB (Thread starter):
Sleeping on planes, even in the comfort of Club, is not something that comes easy to me, at most, I might have dozed for 30-45 mins, not unusual for me at all, no reflection of the cabin either, rather my hyperactivity

Join the club, I always feel as if i'm the only one awake on the plane, and that's why i've got into the habbit of talking to the cabin crew for hours on end  Smile, especialy during the catering strike, 5 hours of talking to the cabin crew , even helped out  Smile ( if you count giving the thumbs when the soind was coming out in the WT/WT+ cabin as help)

Hope you are well
Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

I'm easy on which way the seat faces, not concerned either way.
Just happy to be in Club, happier still to be paying nothing but airport tax, due my long service at BA, I do try to use my annual free-firm on a longhaul.

[Edited 2005-12-08 19:08:14]

User currently offlineAmhilde From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4956 times:

ohher- sounds like you did exactly what I did this summer!

I was on a road trip from Reno up California 1 ( never again!), up Oregon and Washington coasts and hooking around YVR and then back down. Stopping in SEA was a MUST- I dashed through the airpark and the museum while the bf waited in the car. I should really put up the pictures I took there- I got some good ones even through the plexiglas in AF1 and G-BOAG. We also did Snoqualmie and actually stayed out there one night. Its a fantastic and beautiful town, though I tend to prefer Vancouver ( sorry folks!). The Boeing tour was great- we saw an Air China 747 Cargo on the assembly floor and some very good looking planes on the flightline. Even better was the giftshop  Smile



Hang on tightly, Let go lightly
User currently offline747LUVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4617 times:

My wife and I loved visiting Seattle a few falls back. Did the tours at Boeing, and Museum of Flight. We dined at the Space Needl eon our anniversary and although dinner was pricey ($120 USD including bottle of wine and tip) was great in our opinion. the BEST smoked salmon I've ever had to eat....so. We'd love to live there, but we love Orlando even more---so maybe one day it will be a 'summer' home there.

User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4406 times:

Nice report, SEA sounds like a good place to visit and Club World an ever good and consistent product. However, this poor student will stick to World Traveler for the time being.  Wink


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