Earlier this year my friend and fellow anetter Mickrod (from SAL) informed me about his euro trip. When he finally got his plans sorted, we decided to meet in London on Sunday the 10th of October. As a Sunday daytrip would prove to be very expensive in terms of airline tickets, I decided to head out on Saturday the 9th instead. There are dozens of flight options on AMS-LON, and I was looking into the most fun option. While I hadn’t been to LTN before, I was more eager to get on the Avrojet RJ85 to LCY instead. KLM had some very decent fares, with a return out of LHR’s T4. I only had a poor LHR experience in T1 before so I decided to try them out. KL has a lot of ex-LHR flights, mostly operated by the 738. However my friend at KL informed me that there was one Cityhopper flight with a Fokker 70. I had already flown the F70 before, but I opted for it because it’s definitely more fun than a “boring” 738.
I talked my visit over with another friend/anetter Blackprojects, and we decided to meet up on Saturday at the Brooklands museum, just outside of London.
My flight into LCY left on Saturday morning, at 0840. I live only about 15 minutes from AMS and I headed out at 7 o clock. I had preselected a seat with a good engine view, something I had failed to do on my RJ100 trip in 2009. It was a quiet morning at AMS and I killed some time at the Starbucks before heading the cramped gate area in the “D” concourse. I’d already looked up the registration for my flight the day before, and It would be the EI-RJW, sporting an AF livery instead of the boring Cityjet livery. Around boarding time I went to the gate and cleared the individual security there. The gate area was cramped and crowded, and the window blinds were halfway shut, so I couldn’t really make any decent pictures.
The plane, I have a weak spot for the Avrojets
The vacuum cleaners powering this odd-RJ, the LF-507
The gate area
KL2755 / 09-10-10
Operated by Cityjet
Avro RJ-85 First time on type
EI-RJW “Garinish Island”
Photo © Michael Brazier-Aviation-Images
We were welcomed at the door by a flight attendant with a definite French accent, however one of the cockpit crew had an Irish accent! I think Cityjet has crews all over the place?
It was a pretty full flight, and the small overhead bins filled up quickly. I only had my coat and a backpack, but had to stow them a few rows behind my seat. I took the window seat, but the 2 seats next to me were quickly filled. The girl next to me looked puzzled because I was photographing everything. I could look down onto the AR8’s massive gear doors. (I have a bad memory of those, but that’s a different story)
The view of the engines as I had hoped for
The legroom was decent, even though I’m kinda tall. However the seat width was bad and caused for a cramped feeling. The interior looked nice and was in a good condition. We left the stand 5 minutes late and taxied to runway 09. The wing took away most of my outside view.
I love seeing all the moving parts under the wing
A nice morning in The Netherlands
The service on this 40 minute flight consisted of a drink and a cheese sandwich. But seeing as I hate cheese, I just went for some OJ. The flight attendants seemed nice.
Cloud cover around the UK
The forward cabin
Cityjet brand in the seat in front of me, nice touch!
After a very short cruise we descended into the fog, and into LCY
And on final!
After some powerful braking we came to a stop, making it my 5th flight movement at LCY. Not so busy as on weekdays this time, and this BA toy was one of the few interesting things to see. In all a pretty uneventful flight
Even though I was seated closer to the back, I chose to disembark at the front to get a close up of the engines
I was in line for immigrations at LCY for a couple of minutes, and after that I headed towards the DLR station. I transferred somewhere on the Jubilee line to Victoria station (IIRC) and picked up the pre-paid train tickets from a Southern rail machine. I got onto the first train to the Weybridge train station and met Mark (blackprojects) in the train.
The Brooklands museum is an interesting place if you like planes and/or cars
Gipsy 1 engine
The Brooklands museum lets you sit inside the cockpit of some of the planes, which is pretty cool! Throttle quadrant of the Vanguard
Me inside a Harrier
Nose gear of the Concorde “Delta Golf”
And to give you an impression of the size
The front office
Mark showed me around the museum, which has a pretty cool collection. They even have a fully functional Concorde simulator! We ran into 2 WWII Lancaster crews, who both had served as flight engineers on the Lancaster. It was a very interesting conversation with these gentlemen about some of their experiences on the Germany bombing raids!
After seeing the museum I said goodbye to Mark and headed back to London Victoria on the train. After getting some food I found the “Astor Museum Inn” a very nice and affordable hostel at a quiet location. I would be meeting Mario (Mickrod) here later on, but his FR flight out of MAD was delayed.
He made it a couple of hours later and we would be sightseeing in London the next day. We had lovely weather!
Me and Mario
Later that day we took the underground to LHR as this was heaps cheaper than the Heathrow express, and we had the time. The landside area of T4 looked nice. I had checked in for my flight earlier on Saturday, and found KL’s mobile check in site to be pretty convenient. It allowed me to select seat 15A, which would give me a good engine view on the F70. I decided however to print a boarding pass at one of the unmanned kiosks and found a very weird seat plan there. And I was confused as to which plane it belonged to. Would I be getting an aircraft change?
The one Cityhopper flight to LHR in the afternoon is kind of an odd one. The ground time is (IIRC) about 2 hours for the plane. And within this ground time another KL mainline flight leaves. The Cityhopper flight leaves at 1830 while yet another mainline flight leaves at 1835..
Mario and I had a beer in one of the landside bars, and then we said goodbye. I headed to the gate and he headed back to London for a couple of days of sightseeing. T4 was definitely better than T1, however it was kind of dark inside.
My flight would be leaving from a part of the terminal where you couldn’t see the plane, and I was getting anxious to see what happened to the scheduled F-70! The Schiphol website didn’t show a registration so I was unable to see what they had sent. I saw some signs to a remote part of the terminal, and decided to follow them hoping to get a glimpse. I finally spotted a blue Fokker but it was not what I expected. The aircraft had changed to a Fokker 100! I was very excited as this was a type I had yet to log, and it is soon to disappear from the KL fleet. An aircraft change for the good, a nice change!
Satisfied with what I had just found out, I headed back to the main terminal and took a seat with an overview of one of the runways. I spent the remaining time there looking at all the departures which flew past pretty close.
After a while the announcement was made throughout the terminal that my flight was ready for boarding. In the row for boarding there were a lot of people for the flight that left 5 minutes later, and they were all sent away. None of them seemed to understand there were 2 KL flights leaving around the same time!
Operated by KLM Cityhopper
Fokker 28 Mk 0100 (F-100) First time on type
Photo © Jussi Seppala
As my seat was still 15A, I did not get a view of the engine. However I didn’t mind as it was a new type instead of the F-70 which I had already logged before! The interior looked a little old fashioned, however it was in good state, and I like the 2-3 seating. The seat was comfortable and the legroom on this former TAM bird was decent.
I can’t really remember if the flight was full or not, but the seat next to me was occupied by someone. We pushed back relatively on time and taxied to RWY 09R. Darkness quickly settled in. I could see the 738 on the later flight still at the gate, and I was happy I chose for the Cityhopper flight instead!
The cockpit crew welcomed us on board and informed us that we would be number 8 for departure. Later on they said there were still another 6 planes ahead of us. However they did expect an on time arrival at AMS. I liked how they kept us informed. What was also pretty nice is that they announced that pax on the right side of the plane could see an EK 380 landing at 09R. I did not see it however on take-off I spotted it next to a SQ sistership.
We were finally cleared, and with a lovely how of the RR Tay engines we rolled down 09R.
After a while the service started, and I finally got the sandwiches instead of the cookies I had been offered on my previous inter-Europe KL flights! I didn’t eat the one with cream cheese, but the other one with veal (as the label said) was very good. The cabin crew was friendly.
The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful and due to the darkness I couldn’t see anything outside. We landed on AMS’s RWY 06 and rolled off the runway, straight onto the “Bravo” stand where most, if not all of KL’s Cityhopper’s fleet is stationed. We disembarked via the air stairs and got onto the bus to the terminal.
Arrival on the stand
Some more impressions of the OFP
After being bussed to the terminal I cleared immigrations and jumped on the bus back home. Arriving there only 30 minutes after I left the plane! In all it was a very nice trip, seeing a lot and scoring 1 new airline and 2 new types.
Decent service for such a short flight, friendly crew. However the catering was IMO less than on BA Cityflyer.
No real difference with KL mainline if you ask me! In all friendly crew, and service was sufficient on this short flight.
Cramped, they should offer a 2-3 seating! However I still like this “freak” among RJ’s, the 4 engines, the rugged landing gear, it’s just different! Quiet on the outside, however loud on the inside.
Spacious, though a little loud! But as an anetter I love the howling sounds of the RR Tay 650. Adding the fact that it’s a Dutch plane, I have to conclude that I love it!
Light years ahead of T1, though they could illuminate it a little better. Also not showing the gate number until the desk is manned is something I dislike. In all a good experience, great views of the rest of the airport!
Smooth arrival procedures and a great location make this my favorite airport in London.
This concludes my latest trip to London. I hope you liked reading this report. Any replies/remarks are always appreciated.