TriStar500
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A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:19 pm

About this trip

Flying around Europe for very little money has become a well-appreciated commodity in recent years, and so far I have tremendously enjoyed the chance to explore little-known (for me) airports, countries and airlines for only a few Euros. However, most of these flights were operated by the ubiquitous A320 or B737 series, so finding “something special” in between all the generic aircraft types can sometimes become an arduous task.
A project, which had been looming in my mind for quite a while was getting on the rare McDonnell Douglas MD-90, an aircraft type, which could only be found with SAS and a few exotic charter operators in Europe for a long period of time during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Recently, after SAS had withdrawn their 8-strong fleet, Europe has seen a limited influx of new MD-90 operators, among them Blue1, SAS’ affiliate in Finland. Surfing around the various airline sites in March, I discovered that Blue1 was about to start twice-daily flights from STN to HEL in May, and these flights were to be operated by the rare last-generation Mad Dog. Without any further hesitation, I booked a ticket on a late June morning flight to HEL for just 100 Euro. It took me a little more time to organize my commute to and from this event, but finally I had my “Project MD-90” planned out:

DUS-STN 0640h-0655h on an AB F-100 (29 Euro)
STN-HEL 0855h-1350h on KF’S MD-90 (100 Euro)
HEL-CPH-DUS 1810h-1855h and 2030h-2145h on SK’s MD-81 and MD-87 for another 120 Euro.

All four segments in one day. Call me sad or tell me that I have no life!  Wink Big grin

Anyway, after a quick hop across the Channel on AB’s Fokker, I arrived at Europe’s largest LCC-dominated airport, London Stansted, in the early hours of a beautiful June morning, ready to check-in for my first (and probably only) MD-90 experience.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

London Stansted Airport (STN)

Stansted Airport (IATA: STN, ICAO: EGSS) is a large passenger airport with a single runway and hub for a number of major European low-cost airlines. It is located about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of London and is connected to the city by motorway, direct bus lines and a specialized train service, the somewhat overpriced “Stansted Express”. The airport is owned and operated by BAA like LHR, LGW and (to my knowledge) LCY. It is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and third-busiest airport in the London area after Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport, handling almost 22 million passengers in 2005. Several low cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet maintain bases at Stansted, and it is also the preferred destinations for other low cost operators from all over Europe.



Stansted International Airport has one central terminal. There are three boarding piers, one connected to the main terminal by a pedestrian bridge and the other two by a people mover system. A fourth pier is under construction or in the planning stage AFAIK. The terminal building was designed by well-known star architect Sir Norman Foster and features a "floating" roof, supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses (as you can see from the following picture). The base of each truss structure is a "utility pillar", which provides indirect uplighting illumination and is the location for air-conditioning and water, telecommunications, and electrical outlets. The layout of the airport is designed to provide an unobstructed flow for passengers to arrive from landside to airside on the same level, although one could be sceptical if this has really been achieved in the airside piers, where several changes of level are necessary between arrival of the shuttle train and boarding of the aircraft.



Check-in was an adventure in itself this morning, since the departure hall was bustling with activity and the Blue 1 counters were hidden in the most remote corner (column “K” if I remember right) of the entire complex between the MaxJet facilities and some Jet2 counters. Although I had arrived about 1h45min before scheduled off-block time at the desk, I only got boarding pass number 61 – didn’t matter much though, since I got the window seat (15A) I had desired.  Smile
On some other routes, it is actually possible to check in via internet for Blue1 flights (e.g. on Scandinavian routes), however, on flights from the United Kingdom the only way to register still is the old fashioned check-in at a manned counter.
Once I had gotten my boarding pass it was time for another queue – this time the dreaded one in front of the security checkpoint. Quite ironically, the queue at the fast lane was much longer than at the conventional checkpoint, which is somewhat negating the original aim of such an opportunity.
Once on the airside, I took a quick stroll through the massive shopping facilities, which are located between security checkpoint and the train station for the terminal pier shuttle.



Unusually for a UK airport, the gate number was both indicated on the boarding pass and on the information screens, so there was not need to remain stuck in the shopping area until the very last minute, and I took the next available train to my terminal pier, since spotting intrigued me more than spending my hard earned cash on overpriced airport merchandise this morning.
While the main terminal was a beehive of activity, the terminal pier (we used 1-19 , the international one) was relaxed and almost tranquil…



…with only a few charter flights to Spain and an EasyJet departure for MUC waiting at the gates.



In a sun-drenched corner, a Thomsonfly B757 was being prepared for a flight to Palma de Mallorca…



…and as you can see, many passengers had already dressed appropriately for their visit to sunnier climes, ready to get the trademark dark red sunburn British tourists are notorious for once they would step out of the aircraft.  Wink


At the center of the pier close to the escalator and stairway leading to the shuttle train, a couple of newsstands, a small coffee bar and an internet café offered some limited distractions for those passengers, who were not interested in watching the airside traffic outside.



I walked towards the runway-oriented end of the pier, where I watched the air traffic for a while. A MaxJet B767-200(ER) had just arrived and was already prepared for the next hop across the pond to either New York or Washington, DC.



Next to it, a SkyEurope 737 was ready to depart to Bratislava with the pushback tug just rolling into position for operation.



Finally, my “dream bird” had arrived! You cannot possibly imagine my relief when I saw the trademark pencil shape of the long and elegant MD-90 vacate the runway right next to our pier, because there had been reports during the previous weeks that Blue1 had run into teething troubles with the MD-90, often replacing the aircraft on the STN run with Avroliners or even leased SAS MD-80’s. Not today! Phew…



One or two minutes later, the Mad Dog had finally positioned itself at our gate – the last doubts were over, we were actually going to fly on the rare and elusive MD-90 ( and I was possibly the only passenger geeky enough to even notice that today).




The flight (STN-HEL)

London Stansted (STN) – Helsinki Vantaa (HEL)
Flight number: KF 552
Scheduled block time: 0855h – 1350h
Off-block: 0905h
Take-off: 018h (RWY 05)
Touchdown: 1350h (RWY 22L)
On-block: 1355h
McDonnell Douglas MD90-30
OH-BLU
c/n: 53458/2140
first flight: October 31, 1996
Seat 15A


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Photo © Harri Koskinen
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Photo © Robert Sjödell



After handing the boarding pass to the gate attendant, I entered the escalator, which guided us down one level to the entrance of the jetway. Here, we walked down the narrow aluminium tube only to be guided towards the apron – for some reason, it seems to be impossible to connect the MD-90 to the jetway at Stansted, so every passenger had to walk a few meters to the 1L door of our Mad Dog. I didn’t mind, because it allowed me to grab a few quick shots of our – at least according to my sense of aesthetics - elegant MD-90.  Smile



We had to wait for another minute or two for two ground assistants to unload a wheelchair, which had just been used to haul an elderly lady on board. Ramp personnel was just completing the loading of cargo and baggage into the smallish compartments on the other side of the aircraft, and an El Al Boeing 757 inbound from Tel Aviv slowly and carefully taxied into its parking position to our right.



While boarding; I took a quick glance at one of our trusty (and most likely “thrusty”) V2500 power plants, which are a generation ahead of the MD-80’s JT8D’s in terms of fuel consumption, air pollution and noise and went inside the aircraft.



Two smiling middle-aged female flight attendants wearing elegant dark-blue uniforms somewhat resembling the SAS design were waiting in the front galley, inviting passengers to pick up their complimentary copy of Scandinavian and English-language newspapers from the magazine rack located between galley and front seat row. Having expected to be on a no-frills flight, I was somewhat surprised about this offer, but nevertheless picked up a newspaper or two for the long three-hour flight to Northern Europe. Passing through the small business class cabin (there were just two rows curtained off this morning), I arrived at my seat (15A) after a short walk through the cabin. From my impression, little has changed inside the cabin since the SAS days, the seat design and fabric are still the same type like onboard contemporary SAS aircraft.



Seat pitch is quite generous, as only 166 seats have been installed on this stretched version of the MD-80 series, however there is no audio or video inflight entertainment available, which is quite standard with European low cost and scheduled carrier alike, but which would also be nevertheless a nice feature on a fairly long trip like this. The cabin design was not out of the ordinary and certainly was not any different from the one found on other late-model MD-80 aircraft.



The cabin continued to fill up with travellers during the next fifteen minutes or so, and when the front door was finally closed, about 80 percent of all seats had been taken by predominantly leisure travellers. Not bad for a route which had only started two months ago and which was served twice daily with 166-seaters!

After the cabin was secured for take-off, push-backed commenced and the powerful tug pushed us away from our terminal pier. Next to us, an El Al B757-200 was being serviced in anticipation of its return flight to Tel Aviv, with a couple of grim looking guards overviewing the handling process. Probably not a good idea to act “suspiciously” while being close to this plane!

Once we had received clearance to taxi, a faint whining indicated that our V2500 engines were spooling up to moderate taxi power. Incredible, how quite these engines were, it was really hard to discern any noise through the whispering of the air conditioning. The manual safety demonstration was started just as we were passing one of many EasyJet Airbusses, which itself was also about to be pushed away from the terminal for another short European flight.



As today’s weather was dominated by a slight easterly wind, it took us a good six or seven minute to slowly proceed towards the threshold of faraway RWY 05. Finally, we arrived at the access to Stansted’s single runway, however we had to wait until an inbound Ryanair 737-800 had completed approach and touchdown.



And now it was our time to blast off into the big blue yonder! With a faint whine, our powerful aggregates spooled up to take-off power and slowly, but ever accelerating, our heavily fuelled MD-90 sprinted down the 3 kilometer stretch of concrete and propelled itself into the sky with an impressive demonstration of raw power and grace after about 2,000 meters of take-off distance.



Is this specific to the MD-80 and MD-90 series of aircraft or a general characteristic of rear-engined aircraft? Our angle of attack certainly was impressive this morning despite a fairly heavy fuel and passenger load, so we quickly left the sun-drenched fields and meadows of southeast England below us.



During our climb-out; I noticed that this particular part of England is literally littered with airports and airfields, many of them dating back to the time of the Second World war, judging from their traditional triangular layout. Among these aerodromes were both larger, still active facilities like this one…



… but also smaller, possibly derelict ones like the following. If anyone can give me an indication regarding the name of the airfields I have snapped in these pictures, I would be highly delighted.  Smile



After a few more minutes of climbing and some manoeuvring, it was time to leave the British Isles and start our crossing of the North Sea. During this transit, I noticed the abundance of ships and oil rigs which could be identified below us – this must be quite a sight at night, when excess gas from the oil dwelling is burned off over the oil rigs!

Some twenty-five minutes after take-off, we had reached our final cruising altitude, which amounted to 37.000 feet today according to an announcement from the flight deck. Cruising along at Mach 0,74, our flight path was scheduled to cross the North Sea, reach Northern Denmark close to Esbjerg and continue on past Gothenburg in Sweden, central Sweden and Stockholm until we would reach the Finnish coastline to the south of Turku.

In the meantime, a cabin announcement invited passengers travelling in the Economy Class part of the cabin to explore the wide range of beverages, snacks and sandwiches of their new service concept called “Cafe1”, which is in fact just another pay-per-bite product. Not much of a surprise given the fact that Blue1 is a SAS affiliate: would the “mother” want their “daughter” to offer a better product than herself? Now that could be in the interest of the customer, so let’s better dumb down the superior product to the lower level of the mainline!  Wink Basically, it is the Lufthansa school of treating the needs of the lowly Peasant Class passengers.



I also took a quick snapshot of the safety card for all you nerds out there.  Wink Later, after returning from my daytrip, I noticed to my big “surprise” that two safety cards of the MD-90 must have slipped accidentally into my backpack – oh dear, I am already feeling so sorry for such a terrible mistake! Big grin



Talking about cabin service, the demand for overpriced snacks and sandwiches was fairly limited today, only the beverage sales stimulated some demand. After completing their service run, the smiling and ever-attentive cabin crew withdrew to their workstations in the front and rear galleys only to return with the duty free sales a few minutes later just as we were crossing the very northern end of Denmark close to the town of Fredericia (see below).



The remainder of our flight bumbled along sluggishly. After transiting across the rural – not to say desolate - regions of central Sweden, where huge dark green forests and equally extensive cold blue lakes seemed to alternate, we left the coastline about 45 minutes before our scheduled arrival time. A few minutes after travelling across the Botnian Sea, the small wood-covered and rocky islands marking the Finnish coastline came into view.



A cabin anunciator chime indicated the beginning of our descent into Finland’s major aviation gateway. Coming from densely populated Central Europe, it never ceases to amaze me, how desolate many other parts of the world, and even our continent are. Only until the very final stages of our descent, when we were already low and slow over the outskirts of Helsinki, with flaps deployed and gear down, the wilderness of the Finnish forests finally gave way to the typical signs of civilizations like highways, residential and commercial areas.



Gliding across the airport perimeter, we touched down on RWY 22L under a crystal-clear afternoon sky, spoilers were deployed and with a moderate dose of thrust-reversing, we were able to slow down to taxi speed and vacate the runway adjacent to the main terminal complex. Another three or four minutes of transiting past an array of Finnair short- and long haul planes followed suit, guiding us away from the main terminal to a more remote parking position at the western end of the apron next to a (rare, and by now extinct) MD-83 of Finnair, which was sitting idle under the Northern sun, probably only being used as a backup in this final stage of its career. Luckily, the MD series of aircraft seems to enjoy a reprise recently in Finland, since three MD-90’s are now flying for Blue1, so visiting HEL still treats you with the vista of some lesser known exotics like the –90 or the MD-11.



Engines were revved down and the annunciator bell indicated the release of the seat belt sign. With the usual hurry, everybody grabbed their belongings from the spacious overhead bins and the seat pocket (this must have been the point when those safety cards accidentally fell into my backpack) and prepared for disembarkation. A small extra and fitting end to my memorable MD-90 joyride was announced though – since we would have to be bussed to the Non-Schengen arrival lounge, it was also possible to disembark from the rear door! So guess, where I left the aircraft? Big grin



Another five minutes later, everybody had left our ride and we were bussed to the customs and immigration checkpoint, ending this enjoyable little ride across Europe.


Conclusion

Regarding passenger services, the flight on Blue1 did not offer any new perspectives or insights. KF offers a solid, no-nonsense product, which can be compared to many other contemporary flights on our bigger “national carriers”. The product seems to be an exact carbon copy of SAS’ offerings, which is probably not surprising given that the Finnish carrier is an affiliate of the multinational carrier.

Flying the MD-90 was well worth the time and monetary expenses. Cabin comfort is up to par with the latest generation of Airbusses and Boeings, while the 2+3 seating is a certain advantage when it comes to limiting the number of dreaded middle seats. While I cannot comment on the technical and operational aspects of the MD-90 - and I have heard about the quirks and snags which have plagued the introduction of this type with a variety of airlines worldwide - from the perspective of this aviation nerd, it is a pity that this fine model has not seen a larger success and production run.

Thank you for your interest in this trip report. In case there are any questions or comments you would like to post, please feel free to do so! I also appreciate a small “Thank you” message, in fact, this is what makes putting all those hours into a report like this worthwhile.  Smile
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
jsnww81
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:58 pm

Awesome report as always. I've never been on the MD90, but the MD80s are some of my favorites - if you sit just behind the wings you can really hear the engines.

Scandinavia is the only part of Western Europe I haven't been to yet - I need to get out there! Great work yet again.
 
Door5Right
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:56 pm

Excellent report and pictures, Mr. Tristar500. That was a nice day out for you!
My soul is in the sky...
 
767747
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:21 pm

Nice report and pictures! Blue1 sounds pretty good! Nice views of the aircraft at STN!
I love to fly!
 
semsem
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:04 am

What was the load like? Thank you.
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:12 am

Hi, Jens,
your report output rate is quite good now!.
Once again a good and interesting read and real good pix.
I was never on the MD90 till now, but I visited the airports from your report and so it was a good reminder.
I also noticed this huge number of oil-platforms on my flight OSL-LHR two weeks ago.
Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
AJO
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:02 am

Quoting Semsem (Reply 4):
What was the load like? Thank you.



Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
when the front door was finally closed, about 80 percent of all seats had been taken by predominantly leisure travellers
bla
 
planesarecool
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:12 am

Great report and nice pictures!  Smile

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
Here, we walked down the narrow aluminium tube only to be guided towards the apron – for some reason, it seems to be impossible to connect the MD-90 to the jetway at Stansted

Very few of the jetways are used at Stansted. It is an airport far too small for it's operation, therefore they use the L and R stands which cannot be connected to a gate, and allow two aircraft to be on the same gate at one time, rather than the one it was originally built for. In your case, it looks as if your aircraft is on stand 23L, whereas the Thomsonfly B757 is on stand 21(M) which enables it to be connected to a jetway.
 
TriStar500
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:36 pm

Thanks for all your feedback! I really appreciate that!  Smile

@Planesarecool
Tnank you for this very detailed information. One never stops learning.  Smile
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
Ndebele
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:24 pm

Hi Jens,
a great report about an again special flight (in this case due to the unusal aircraft type).

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
The terminal building was designed by well-known star architect Sir Norman Foster and features a "floating" roof, supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses (as you can see from the following picture). The base of each truss structure is a "utility pillar", which provides indirect uplighting illumination and is the location for air-conditioning and water, telecommunications, and electrical outlets.

Wow, you really have an eye for airport design. I like your detailed descriptions of what is most likely "just a terminal" for most of the other passengers.

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
on flights from the United Kingdom the only way to register still is the old fashioned check-in at a manned counter.

And you know, old school is good school!

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
In a sun-drenched corner, a Thomsonfly B757 was being prepared for a flight to Palma de Mallorca…

I was so looking forward to seeing you continue your tradition of snapping pics of the respective local TUI airline.

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
During our climb-out; I noticed that this particular part of England is literally littered with airports and airfields

Yes I noticed that, too, each time when approaching STN. Makes overflying the UK even more interesting. Me too, I'd also like to hear an educated guess which airfields we can see in these pictures.

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):

In the meantime, a cabin announcement invited passengers travelling in the Economy Class part of the cabin to explore the wide range of beverages, snacks and sandwiches of their new service concept called “Cafe1”, which is in fact just another pay-per-bite product

And if I may add: one of the most overpriced "pay-per-bite" products I've seen in a long time. 7EUR for that piece of pizza? Wow, they must be too far from reality...

Once again some amazing, pics, beside the STN airport overview, I especially liked those pics showing Fredericia and the next one showing the beautiful finish coastline. Stunning!

Oh, and one more thing:

Quoting Semsem (Reply 4):
What was the load like? Thank you.

Semsem, do you actually even read all the reports which you honour with your one-sentence-replies?

Regards, Alex.
 
MH017
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:44 pm

Jens,

Excellent trip-report again from your hands  thumbsup 
Would love to fly a MD-90 myself: thanks for the tip & route ...

Cheers,

MH017
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
pilot320
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:40 am

This is one of the best TR I've ever read yes  Well done!  thumbsup 
 
Contact Air
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:02 am

Hi Jens,

very interesting report of a great day-trip! As always, I also liked your pics a lot. The MD-90 is really a rare aircraft in Europe and you probably took the best option to get on it.

Just a small side-note:

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
The airport is owned and operated by BAA like LHR, LGW and (to my knowledge) LCY

In fact, LCY isn't part of BAA. It is owned by a private company.

Christoph
 
infodesk
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:29 am

Great report and interesting pictures. Would love to fly to Finland one day. Perhaps I can give Blue 1 a go from Zürich
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
SASDC8
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:47 pm

Hi Jens.

Great to see that you finally got your MD90 experience Big grin

I think that the rocket ship feeling is more a dc9/md80/md90 thing, but someone that has flown the Fokker 100 probably could give more insight in to the Dutchman's takeoff experience  Smile

At least my take off experience with the Tupolev 154 was not rocket like at all, as it barley got off the ground  Smile so in my book the MD90 rules the "rocket" hood Big grin

Stein
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
NZ8800
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:53 pm

Fascinating trip report thank you  Smile Brings back happy memories of time in the UK and Finland last year. HEL is a beautiful airport isn't it, so spacious and all that pale pine panelling; and the staff were so polite... one lady even took off to their other outlet for me to find the tie I wanted... the Finnish flag!  Wink
I had a slightly scary landing at HEL - broke out of the cloud literally five seconds from touchdown - it would be great if NZ could afford Category III ILS like Finland can!!!
MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
 
ba319-131
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:27 pm

Hi Jens,

Great report!

I plan to fly this route/type myself later this year, I too have the M90 missing from the old 'flown' log, something which needs addressing.

Nice pic's of the Finnish countryside, though I've only been transited through the airport a few times, the countryside always looks lovely, even in the winter snow  Smile

Thanks again.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
saslover
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:11 pm

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
just as we were crossing the very northern end of Denmark close to the town of Fredericia (see below).

It was a great report. I really enjoyed reading it  Smile

But I have a correction. Its not Fredericia in the North. Its Frederikshavn.
Fredericia is down south  Wink
Pilot how soon can you land this plane. I can't tell. Yes you can tell me I am a doctor
 
TriStar500
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:30 am

Thanks for your feedback and comments, guys!  Smile Having just returned from a trip to Paris (not quite taking direct flights, instead opting for DUS-MXP-CDG/ CDG-FCO-MXP-DUS), I'll try to write a follow-up report regarding my impressions of the EMB-170 (operated by Alitalia Express) within the next one or two weeks.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
SQ325
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:37 am

Nice report
I just flew the MD90 once fro CPH to FRA with a very light load.
The Take Off was impressive and i have to agree if you say the MD90 is elegant. Together with B752 and DC8 70 series the most elegant Airliner in the Sky.
It s a shame Boeing kicked the MD series in favour for the B737!
 
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airbuseric
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:21 pm

Jens,
well written report, nice routing and of course a/c types. Will keep it in mind for my future bookings, as also I'm missing the MD90 in my 'logbook'  Smile Also interesting to hear that you've been on the E170 of AZ. I was planning to try LO some day to WAW, and I would love to see your review on this aircraft.

Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:32 am

Hey there,

Great report........i used to love flying the MD90's.......they are ssooooo quite.
I remember them taxi-ing pass me at LHR and alll of a sudden, you'd think that the engines had been turned off.....amazing....

I managed to get 12 flights on the SK aircraft, but only on six different airframes.........and yours was not one of them..... envious......

Also, did you get to use the WC at the front, ...?? just because it has window's in and a blind too.....not that anyone's going to be looking in at FL370.....

Anyway, graet plane and a great report.

rgds

Tugmaster
 
TriStar500
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:42 pm

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 20):
Also interesting to hear that you've been on the E170 of AZ. I was planning to try LO some day to WAW, and I would love to see your review on this aircraft.

I'll try to get that done in the couple of days, Eric.  Smile I wasn't overly impressed from a passenger's point of view, IMO the aircraft made a somehwat "cheap" impression, certainly not as sturdy and well-produced as e.g. the Fokker.

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 21):
Also, did you get to use the WC at the front, ...?? just because it has window's in and a blind too.....not that anyone's going to be looking in at FL370.....

No, unfortunately I did not try that one out.  Smile I usually try to "hold it in" during flight.  Wink If I would have known about this nice little gimmick, I certainly would have paid the loo a visitthough.  Smile

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 19):
Nice report

Thank you very much!
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
Ndebele
Posts: 2847
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 21):

Also, did you get to use the WC at the front, ...?? just because it has window's in and a blind too.....not that anyone's going to be looking in at FL370.....

Isn't it just SingaporeAir who always visits the lavatory in-flight, just to describe each and every single detail of the toilet later in the report?!
 
TriStar500
Topic Author
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:11 pm

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 23):
Isn't it just SingaporeAir who always visits the lavatory in-flight, just to describe each and every single detail of the toilet later in the report?!

Would have been appropriate to inquire, whether Blue1 is using blue flush in the 'loo though.  Wink
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
CV990
Posts: 4224
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:50 pm

Hi!

Very nice report and I still have a "secret hope" to fly on the "MadDog MD90"! Indeed the DC/MD series are very nice and great airplanes! SASDC-8 asked how is the Fokker F100...well it's also a great airplane and probably closer to the MD's specially on take-off's, not so noisy due to those nice RRoyce engines, but besides that a nice airplane on the air! The F100 is also quite amazing when it needs to stop on short runways, I did experienced that when I flew TAM from Curitiba to Asuncion and we had a stop at Foz de Iguaçu, te runway was not that big but our little Fokker just got maybe half of the lenght of the runway! So resuming in a few words the "MadDog" is very powerfull ( and with the words SASDC-8 said that the MD90 is THE ROCKET...and I don't doubt it for any second...those IAE engines must "sing" on take-offs!!!! ), the Fokker is a little "softer".....but still a nice experience specially on take-offs and landings!
regards and thanks for the report!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
TriStar500
Topic Author
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:10 pm

You are absolutely right about the Fokker, Jose.  Smile It is - from my passenger standpoint - my most favorite regional aircraft to travel on, because it is quite, and the cabin and exterior looks well-crafted and well-designed. I have recently travelled on the EMB-170 and must say that the Brazilian bird might be advanced in terms of technology compared to the Fokker, but it lacks the feel of quality, sort of like comparing a Mercedes (the Fokker) with a Daewoo (the Embraer).
Such a shame that Fokker went out of business...  Sad
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
CV990
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:45 pm

HI Tristar500!

I absolutely agree with you in all you said...specially the way you compared both airplanes....eh!eh!eh! Daewoo.....that's very, very good!
I also feel it was a shame that Fokker closed, but you know Tristar500 the Fokker is still well alive, it's unbelievable how the 2nd. hand civil aviation market is absorving the Fokker, I just came from a trip to Colombia and AV is flying our "little dutch jet" a lot....and when I mean "a lot" it's A LOT!!!! I stayed in a place close to a take-off path of BOG airport and I could see plenty of Fokkers flying around...so it looks that in Colombia the Fokker is good news to AV!
Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
godbless
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:11 pm

Once again an awesome report of yours. As mentioned before it's always a pleasue to read your reports.
While reading it I really felt like I should go to Scandinavia again, I have absolutely no idea why I always get that feeling!?!  bigthumbsup 

Godbless
 
TriStar500
Topic Author
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:30 pm

Looking at your flag, it seems like you are already there.  Wink
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
LY777
Posts: 2269
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:09 pm

Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
however there is no audio or video inflight entertainment available, which is quite standard with European low cost and scheduled carrier alike,

Last year, I flew CDG-VCE-CDG on AF, CDG-VCE on an A320 and VCE-CDG on a 735, and there was no audio or video IFE, it was really disappointing for a carrier like AF!!!
Flown:A3B2,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388,717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W,D8,D10,L
 
TriStar500
Topic Author
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:28 pm

Quoting LY777 (Reply 30):
Quoting TriStar500 (Thread starter):
however there is no audio or video inflight entertainment available, which is quite standard with European low cost and scheduled carrier alike,

Last year, I flew CDG-VCE-CDG on AF, CDG-VCE on an A320 and VCE-CDG on a 735, and there was no audio or video IFE, it was really disappointing for a carrier like AF!!!

You are certainly correct.  Smile My comment was intended to state exactly that: the lack of IFE on short- and medium haul aircraft is quite the norm with European carriers.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
FlyGuyClt
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:44 pm

Awesome report and great pictures. Thank You for sharing.

Safe Flying  Smile
Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:16 am

Hi Jens,

First of all, congratulations with the excellent (as usual) trip report!

You seem to fancy short connections on seperate booking, which is really something I wouldn't fancy, certainly when you are connecting on a KF MD90  Wink

Anyway, your trip report inspired me to try something simillar. KF will re-enter the Belgian market with a twice weekly HEL-BRU, operated with their rare MD90 aircraft. Depending on the schedule, I have a trip to HEL in the pipeline with AY or SN in one direction, and KF in the other direction.

Sorry for the late reply, but changes in my private life have lead to restrictions in posting my opinions about airlines on public forums. That's also why I couldn't write trip reports of recent trips (including my first ever C-Class flights, on SN to/from GVA).

Regards
Frederic
 
TriStar500
Topic Author
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RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:05 pm

Thanks for your feedback,FlyGuyClt and Frederic!  Smile

I can fully understand that you have reduced posting if the topics discussed are touching your status as an employee, Frederic. That's why I refrain from posting about some topics, chiefly regarding airport development in Germany, too, even if it is sometimes hair-raising to see the errors other people post in such topics. Big grin
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
AY104
Posts: 451
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:35 am

RE: A Dream Ride To HEL On An MD-90 (w/ Blue1) +pix!

Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:14 pm

Thanks for the great report! I will be flying on Blue1 on Sept 5, from HEL to AMS, hope it is the same type of a/c. I did fly on an MD90 in 1997, from DFW to RNO, fairly late at night, on Delta when I worked for them. I was very impressed with the plane, too bad they couldn't make more. Luckily, I was in F and remember being so impressed by the service. The flight was 30min late, the crew came in off a Boston-DFW flight, must have been tired , but the service was great. An excellent tasty snack, and I asked for white wine, which was excellent, as I was the only one in F who was having wine, the F/A came around Many, Many times and I do believe I consumed the whole bottle!
Plan to do a trip report also, hope I get the MD90.
Cheers,
Carl (AY104)
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service

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