SInGAPORE_AIR
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Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:38 am

3 articles:

Boeing has sent the strongest signal yet that the Sonic Cruiser could be scrapped!

It admitted that convincing airlines to pay a premium for speed is difficult. Discussions with airlines were still focused on the "value of speed" and confirmed that "other options" were under consideration.

"If it turns out that we all don't value this speed, the Sonic Cruiser is way more than an airplane. It is a focus for the enabling technology we would bring to bear to build a new airplane," Mr Mulally said.

Virgin Atlantic CEO, Steve Ridgway commented, "I don't know if there is a premium to be had from the marginal increase in speed."

Airbus CEO, Noel Forgeard obviously said, "We think airlines expect cheap and clean airplanes and now our competitor is saying the same."

More information at the Financial Times website

Information gathered from the above hyperlink. Full information can be viewed by clicking the above hyperlink

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STT757
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:41 am

I've read different recently, from a British magazine in fact.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:43 am

Dated 22 July,

Boeing could launch the Sonic Cruiser with an order from just one airline.

A public announcement on the project will be made at the end of 2002.

"It doesn't have to be a high number if someone says 'We want to go there,'" Phil Condit, CEO said.

"We will narrow down on the direction that we will take probably in the latter part of this year," Condit said. "I think there will be a new product in the basic (Sonic Cruiser) category period: 200 to 250 seats." Among the decisions the company has to make: "Is it (one) product or might it be two?" "The engagement of the airlines has been pretty good. I don't sense any lessening of enthusiasm about this technology. I (see) no less enthusiasm about Sonic Cruiser than 18 months ago."

More information at the Forbes website (+ some information on BWB)

Information gathered from the above hyperlink. Full information can be viewed by clicking the above hyperlink


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
DIA
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:43 am

I would doubt that, Boeing has this posted today with a big, new SC pic:

FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom, July 24, 2002 -- At the Farnborough Air Show today, Walt Gillette, vice president and program manager for the Boeing Sonic Cruiser, outlined the progress being made on five technology fronts as Boeing [NYSE:BA] continues to focus on this major product-development effort.

"We are making very good progress on the fundamentals required to create the Sonic Cruiser," Gillette said. "These fundamentals involve the technology needed for the airplane, the processes needed to create the airplane, and the basic configuration exploration activities necessary to reveal the very best shape for the airplane."

The Sonic Cruiser airplane concept was unveiled in March last year. The airplane would have a dramatic new configuration and would be designed to fly as fast as Mach 0.98, shortening travel times with fuel efficiency per passenger comparable to today's best performing widebody twinjets. As part of the normal product development process Boeing also has developed two other alternative applications of the technology being used on the Sonic Cruiser and is asking for airline input.

Gillette characterized the current phase of development as a "learning" phase and said that progress is measured by how fast the team is learning about the technologies, tools and processes that will allow it to create an all-new class of flying machines.
........etc.
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:50 am

Dated 24 July 2002,

How much are pax willing to pay for speed?

Studies say $25 for each hour saved.

Phil Gillette (does he shave?), product manager, says 50 J Class seats (there's a difference between the J Class seats that Boeing and Airbus refer to, and what a premium airline like Singapore Airlines describes as a J Class seat), and 180 Economy Class seats would save two hours on a long haul flight, earning $14 000 more revenue per flight.

"We are not there on any of the (technical) measures. We can see we can get to the solution and we have various paths to work through," he said, describing studies into aerodynamics, engine technology and weight-saving materials. "We can see there is a solution space. The three engine companies are dong a wonderful job and really providing what the airplane needs in efficiency. They are very close to target."

More information at the Forbes website


Information gathered from the above hyperlink. Full information can be viewed by clicking the above hyperlink
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
backfire
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:54 am

Boeing also said at the show that, if airlines don't like the Chronic Snoozer design, they'll start revamping 757/767 size aircraft with alternative designs based on C.S. technology.
 
Navion
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Singapore Air & Backfire

Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:26 am

Singapore Air, Boeing is not near scrapping the SC. As a matter of fact, just at the Farnborough Airshow GKN Westland has joined the team, a team comprised of many of the top companies in aerospace. As Boeing has said this week, doing the SC is possible. They have proven all of the technology issues in testing they need to make it work. Their concern is time saved on premium routes such as JFK-NRT or JFK-HKG will be about 2 hours which may not be worth it. The jet however is doable. Check out some of the information on Aviation Week & Space Technology online. It's pretty interesting. Thanks for posting.

Backfire, notwithstanding your silly name for the SC, your basic premise is pretty good. There will be complete transfer of all useful technologies being developed by the cream of the crop aerospace companies already on board the SC project. These companies certainly aren't stupid (i.e. they know what they're doing).

Finally, I think it's time we all saw something new such as the SC and not just another updated rehash of the same old platform layouts and technology such as the A380 and 777. It's time to move to another level (provided the business case is there of course). The SC looks hot. The A380 is an absolute pig of a design, looks wise even though it (and the 747 derivatives) will be really efficient buses to haul butts in seats (yawn).
 
mt99
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:29 am

$25/$50 as the value of an hour saved as described in the article above sounds very low. how much time saving will the SC have were it will really counts across the Pacific ~3hrs.. that only an additional $150 per passenger can airlines make a profit with the SC and only $150 extra per pasenger?
Step into my office, baby
 
mt99
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:42 am

further more (from http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1027434889688&p=1012571727304)

"The move was a gamble by Boeing, which had done no market testing of the proposed aircraft. It was envisaged that Sonic Cruiser would travel at up to 98 per cent of the speed of sound. The company argued that this would allow airlines to charge a premium of around 15 per cent above business class fares."

15% above business class fares

United: ORD_HKG Oct 4 / Oct 20 business class : $6663

15% above = $7663
difference = ~$1000

if we assume a 3hr time savings.. thats $ 333.33/hour saved 6 times more that what people are willing to pay for an hour saved.
Step into my office, baby
 
brianhames
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:46 am

Well a picture of the Sonic Cruiser is plastered on the main Boeing website...

http://www.boeing.com/flash.html
 
wingman
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:58 am

I'm no aerospace engineer, but it still seems to me that Boeing could have this plane fly at M.92-94, saving tons of fuel while still improving flights times and range. Why are they so stuck on M.98? Even at M.94 and a capacity of 200-250, I still see this plane as a pure business traveler machine with smaller capacity going exclusively to high yield fares.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 8:01 am

Hey, Backfire, do you feel the need to paraphrase the ever arrogant Noel Forgeard? Boeing needs to thoroughly evaluate the business case for the SC before making a launch commitment? If airline response is sufficiently favorable, it's a go. If not, it makes sence to apply some of the SC technology to a more conventional jetliner to reduce direct operating costs. Boeing has maintained from the beginning it will do the SC only if a favorable business case exists. If airline opinion leads to a different direction, that's where it will go. All Boeing needs to do is not to make any grandiose claims early on that they can't back up later. Yes, they've been guilty of this before but if they let the airlines choose the airplane, the way they did with the 777, they should have a world-beating product. They must choose their projects carefully since they can't rely on a 33% government loan for funding.
 
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STT757
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 9:03 am

The Sonic Cruiser could really hurt the A-380, since most of the higher yields travelers will choose the SC (or 808 as it will likely be called), leaving the A-380 as a flip-flop hauler and cargo aircraft.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
srbmod
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 9:10 am

Now who would be the most likely choice for the Sonic Cruiser? Considering that it is a splashy aircraft with attitude (even though it's still a concept), who better than Virgin Atlantic? Sir Richard Branson has already expressed an interest in the aircraft for the start, and the Sonic Cruiser just seems to look like something that belongs in Virgin's fleet, and add to that something he could throw up against BA's Concorde. BA and Air France could be potential targets as well, since the Concorde is getting older and more costly to operate, and is very limited in the number of destinations in which they fly to. They could give Concorde comfort to more people at a good price.
 
b757300
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:24 am

I'll wait until I see a press release from Boeing, one way or the other.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:36 am

Agreed, STT757. If Boeing delivers on what they're aiming for, the SC will revolutionize air travel the way the B-707 did in the late 50s. Furthermore, if Boeing can manage to keep the purchase price below that of an A-380, it would be a VERY attractive alternative to the behemoth from Toulouse.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
transswede
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:53 am

This talk about a price-premium for just slightly faster speeds is nonsense. Would you pay $100 extra to arrive 1-2 hours earlier in a trans-pacific flight? I sure as heck wouldn't. Now if we are talking Concorde-like speeds, now then I might be willing to pay more. But for 10-15% faster? No way...
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scra

Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:53 am

Boeing is not the only one investing in the SC. Every supplier in the industry is lining up to get on board, at their own expense. The program has huge momentum. Even if the SC is scrapped, the technology now emerging can (and will) be used to enhance current designs.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:00 am

When you're going to visit Grandma or lay on the beach, 10-15% faster doesn't mean much. However, when you're a business traveler making your way across the globe or even just across a continent, that 10-15% can mean quite a bit in terms of time and money saved. And since business travelers are the market most aggressively sought by airlines, the backpacks-and-flipflops crowd can slug it out on the A-380. Most international carriers will opt for the SC if it delivers the economics Boeing is promising.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
AvObserver
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:06 am

Boeing's Walt Gillette was scheduled to give a major address on the Sonic Cruiser's progress at Farnborough today. The plane is still being touted by Boeing as their most important new product development. Why would this be if they're ready to scrap it. I'm inclined to think someone (Airbus?) leaked the story to the press to create disinformation about Boeing just as Farnborough was getting underway. Yes, I've got a rotten, suspicious mind but this is BIG business and 'Dog eat Dog'. On the orders front, I hope Boeing isn't humiliated like they were at last year's Paris show.
 
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STT757
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 12:17 pm

More on Sonic Cruiser from Farnborough,

http://boeing.com/news/releases/2002/q3/nr_020724h.html
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
kanebear
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 12:36 pm

Turn that 12 hour flight into a 10 hour flight? Where do I sign up! Even in F class the less time I'm in the air the better. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the aircraft utilization issue at all. What will the Sonic Cruiser do to current utilization patterns?
 
skiordie
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 1:52 pm

There are quite a few possibilities that can evolve from the Sonic Cruiser program. The large number of outside companies that are partners and are developing technology and systems for this program are reducing the risk to Boeing itself and is investing these companies in the success of the project. There is an enormous investment all the way around. The out come is not certain, but an interesting set of possibilities can looked at.

1. Sonic Cruiser, as advertised. 10 hour flight 10% more efficient.
2. Super Sonic Cruiser, dependent on the health of the industry and economy. A possible growth of the existing program. 8 hour flight same efficiency as current airliners.
3 Sub Sonic Cruiser, newly developed technology and airframes that perform at current levels with increased efficiency. Boeing would like to update the 767's, how much more efficient can they become without new developments? Keep the flight at 12 hours, but become 20% more efficient.

All of these airliners can be developed from the same basic program, it would seem to me that by choosing the middle ground for the sonic cruiser, Boeing can change goals of the program and still include the newest and most efficient design.

My vote #2

 
ben88
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 3:55 pm

Didn't the 747 prove that travelers preferred price over speed? The 747-400 is the best plane ever built imho, from a technical and usability stand point. I simply can't understand why Boeing is standing still while Airbus takes all the orders for a jumbo widebody. Business travelers who want REAL speed take Citation X's at mach .92 and avoid crowded airports which have constant delays, bomb threats, horrible security lines etc. Anyone agree??
 
jwenting
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Thu Jul 25, 2002 4:01 pm

No Ben. The 747 brought price and speed at the same time.
Before the 747, most people could not afford airtravel AT ALL. Now they can, and with the SC to complement the 747 and 777 people can now choose price or speed both (where previously it was price or don't travel).
I wish I were flying
 
N79969
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:20 am

The 747 is about the fastest commercial airliner out there. (I am not counting the Concord because of its limited use). I have heard that Boeing or Toyota or somebody has developed technology that eliminates the sonic boom on supersonic flights. If true, Boeing must be looking at that really hard and under secrecy. Airbus resources are tied up in the A380.

I agree with Wingman(?). If Boeing scraps the SC, I don't think its a huge deal. Airbus talks as if they are somehow prescient about market direction while Boeing dithers on various design concepts. The truth is Airbus product development is the product of moral hazard. If they invest money in a product that flops, they will not go out of the airliner business like Lockheed or McDD. They just won't pay back the 'repayable' loans. The kind of 'loans' that parents sometimes give their grown adult kids that can't find a job.
 
DIA
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:41 am

I agree with N79969. . .especially his last sentence. LOL.

Anyway, If the SC can cut out a couple hours on a trip for a small premium fee, sign me up too. That is well worth it and I'm sure well worth it to many business people who travel intercontinentally.

There definately is an SC market out there.

It has been said before:

Future airline fleets like UA, BA, SN, CX, JAL, LH, AF,.....etc. will absolutely get the SC because most people who fly are flying for business, not pleasure. Therefore, there aren't many airlines who could afford NOT to have the SC. IT will be the domino effect come time for orders. No one wants to be, or can afford to be, left behind.

C'mon people. . .the SC will be here. . .wake up and smell the next generation of flight!

How about an SCBJ?! Funny, isn't it. Now think about all the businesses that would want to get one. . .worldwide. I know, now it isn't so funny because you can see all the orders pouring in. Boeing knows this, they are definately not stupid. What Shiek, or multi-billion dollar company is going to ride around in a slow BBJ when someone else has something like the SC? That's what I thought.

Build it, the orders will come.

DIA
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
qatarairways
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:47 am

"And since business travelers are the market most aggressively sought by airlines, the backpacks-and-flipflops crowd can slug it out on the A-380"

I wouldn't say "slug it out" since the A380-800 will be the fastest sub-sonic commercial airliner untill the Sonic Cruiser arrives. The A380-800 will have a max cruising speed of M0.89. The Sonic Cruiser will have a max operating speed of M0.95-0.98 meaning it will only offer a 6-10% time savings over the A380 so if the A380 takes 8 hours on a transtlantic flight the Sonic Cruiser will take anywhere from 7h12min to 7h32min. A 28 to a 48 minute savings is hardly worth 10% higher tickets IMO.

The Sonic Cruiser though would have better time savings on the 15 hour trans-pacific flights which is the perfect niche for the SC. On a 15 hour flight you will see a 50-90 minute savings over the A380. Whether this is worth 10% more it is up to you to decide.

Regards,
QatarAirways
 
Joni
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:48 am


DIA,

The market isn't necessarily that huge. Many businesses are favouring economy class travel nowadays, which means they are very sensitive to cost.

 
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keesje
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 1:16 am

I think business passengers will have the option of sitting for 10 houres in a SC or sleeping flat for 12 houres on a flat bad in a 747, 346 or 380.

I would go for the later ...

Is Boeing still using 40 inch pitch in their J class seatcounts ?
Pls recount with 60 inch ..

I think Boeing's top specialists are trying to move from Sonic Cruiser team to the Yellowstone team with every A330-200 that is sold .....
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Areopagus
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RE: Sonic Cruiser

Fri Jul 26, 2002 1:18 am

There is a bit about SC in Boeing's Farnborough Wednesday report at http://www.boeing.com/news/feature/farnborough02/wednesday.html. The paragraph annotating the latest drawing states:

The latest changes on the Sonic Cruiser artist’s rendering Gillette showed journalists indicated tails pointing straight up, with less taper and positioned farther aft. The forward mounted canard wing went straight across, with zero dihedral. It, too, was positioned farther aft than in previous sketches. The wing tips were angled upwards slightly; a mid-fuselage wing mounting was used, as opposed to a high-wing or low-wing position.

The move toward a mid-mounted wing could be motivated by aerodynamics, or maybe because it will allow freight-loading doors below the wing. Moving the canard aft could be for improved gate compatibility.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 1:33 am

Keesje: "Is Boeing still using 40 inch pitch in their J class seatcounts ?
Pls recount with 60 inch"

I'm glad someone has noticed. When Boeing and Airbus talk about business class seats, they're talking like some kind of seat which is an Economy Class seat at a 40" seat pitch. That is not at all a business class seat. It's very dumb.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
aerosol
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:31 am

Regardless of the airlines wanting it or not, anybody thought about that this aircraft technically might not be feasible.

Reading some of the posts above the Concorde should be a bestseller!
 
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STT757
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:48 am

Concorde should have if it could have flown over the Continental US at Super Sonic speeds, and had the range to cross the Pacific. It had neither.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
backfire
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RE: Sonic Cruiser: Boeing Signals It Could Be Scrapped

Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:51 am

Don't quite know how you came to that conclusion about my comment, AvObserver, particularly since it originally came from the mouth of arguably the last person on Earth who'd paraphrase Le Noel...do be careful who you're accusing, dear boy, you'll end up embarrassing yourself.

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