My Review for the Just Planes Videos 2-Disc DVD presentation of Hong Kong -- Kai Tak International Airport
(released onto Digital Versatile Disc on March 31st, 2004). .....................
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1).
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
Running Time: 360 minutes (6 hours).
DVD Region Code: "Zero" (Region Free; NTSC).
No. of Discs: 2.
MSRP: $39.95 (U.S.).
Case Type: Keep Case.
If you need a Kai Tak "fix", look no further than this excellent 2-Disc DVD program from Just Planes. Six solid hours of non-stop action from one of the most exciting and photogenic airports of all-time -- Kai Tak International in Hong Kong.
Kai Tak closed in 1998, but not before the video team from Just Planes produced many hours of footage of this one-of-a-kind aviation facility. And the majority of that footage can be found on this double-disc DVD presentation.
Kai Tak was widebody heaven, with just about every type of heavy jet you can think of putting in an appearance at HKG
, and making that sharp right turn at the highly-recognizable "Checkerboard" just before touching down. There are countless views of spectacular and picturesque "Runway 13" landings offered up during this mega-Kai Tak program, including sixty minutes of coverage from the very last day of operations at the airport, filmed on July 5, 1998. Also included during the "Final Day" segment is in-flight footage filmed from the cabin of a Boeing 747-400 while on final approach into Kai Tak. Great stuff!
Get ready to witness some cool and crazy-looking vapor trails coming off the wings of many Boeings and Airbusses as they descend on final approach. Hong Kong's often-humid days made these fascinating trails of visible condensed air a common occurrence for aircraft bearing down on Runway 13.
Despite the fact that this HKG
footage was captured many years ago (before JPV made the switch to digital camera equipment), the video quality on this program is very good. In fact, in my opinion, it looks excellent for a non-digital video source. On most occasions, you can even freeze-frame an image with very little blurring, which is nearly impossible to do when freezing a VHS tape. And the 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack serves very nicely as well.
Each of the two discs is divided up into six parts (or Chapters), with each chapter lasting approximately 30 minutes. The photograph used for the DVD "Menu" background is the same one we see adorning the DVD cover and the physical discs themselves, only the "Menu" image shows it in its full, uncropped form. It's a beautiful photo (taken by Lawrence Chiu) depicting a combination of Jumbo Jet, Kowloon Bay, Runway 13, and the lights of Hong Kong. A stunning image indeed, that looks all the better on a large-screen TV
Kai Tak may have closed its gates and its one lone (and very busy) runway in 1998, but this unique and exquisite aerodrome will live on forever on the superior DVD-Video format thanks to this stellar production from Just Planes Videos!
Any plane-watching aviation fan, or anyone who wishes to keep the memory of the great Kai Tak Airport at arm's reach, will want to pick up this DVD set while they still can.