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TC957
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First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:43 pm

Seen at LGW today, parked outside their hangers is an all white A346, think it's VSHY - what's her fate ?
 
1stfl94
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:00 pm

G-VSHY will be going back to Airbus to be used in the A350 certification, not sure what this will exactly entail at this stage. Three more 346s will also be leaving the VS fleet, presumably as three new A333s are delivered.
 
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Polot
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 1):
G-VSHY will be going back to Airbus to be used in the A350 certification, not sure what this will exactly entail at this stage. Three more 346s will also be leaving the VS fleet, presumably as three new A333s are delivered.

It is listed as for sale by Airbus, along with the three others:

http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/asset/aircraft-available/
(G-VSHY is MSN 383)

Airbus has their own A346 (MSN 360, the first A346) for A350 certification use.
 
CF-CPI
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:01 am

The three listed for sale are 2002-built airframes. If I'm not mistaken, some of these early ones were heavier and less efficient than the later builds. I'm sure Mr. Branson wouldn't mind saving a bit on fuel.
 
CF-CPI
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:11 am

Looking over that for-sale list again, it's actually four airframes:

G-VSHY, -VMEG, -VOGE, -VFOX
 
1stfl94
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:36 am

Quoting poLOT (Reply 2):
Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 1):
G-VSHY will be going back to Airbus to be used in the A350 certification, not sure what this will exactly entail at this stage. Three more 346s will also be leaving the VS fleet, presumably as three new A333s are delivered.

It is listed as for sale by Airbus, along with the three others:

That was according to http://www.thevssource.com/ it does have a few inaccuracies but we'll have to wait and see
 
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lightsaber
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:57 am

Does VS have a retirement schedule for the A343s?

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 4):

Looking over that for-sale list again, it's actually four airframes:

G-VSHY, -VMEG, -VOGE, -VFOX

Good move on VS' part to save fuel and maintenance. Not to mention the weight reduction will drop ATC fees.

Lightsaber
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spiritair97
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:39 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):

Lets hope the 343s stay in the fleet for a while.
 
PHX787
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:51 am

Quoting poLOT (Reply 2):
It is listed as for sale by Airbus, along with the three others:

Maybe US Airways will pick it up   

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 7):
Lets hope the 343s stay in the fleet for a while.

Long live the A340! My favorite airplane after the 787  
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
spiritair97
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:55 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 8):

I qish theyd fly them into JFK more often. I saw one once but I wass walking down the road with my girlfriend and couldn't grab my camera in time  
 
skymiler
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:02 am

What happened to the "4 for the long haul" idea that was promoted some years ago by Sir Richard?
I love to fly, and it shows!
 
sv11
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:08 am

Hi,
Will Lufthansa or Iberia take these frames or will they be scrapped?

sv11
 
my235
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:25 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 7):
Lets hope the 343s stay in the fleet for a while.

Yes!!
 
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lightsaber
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:41 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 7):
Lets hope the 343s stay in the fleet for a while.

While pretty aircraft, the A333 now saves quite a bit of fuel. If the winglets come out and another PIP, I'm not aware of a VS A343 mission that couldn't be completed by the A333. If I missed one, then we should talk 787 due to fuel expenses.

Lightsaber
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PHX787
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:01 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 14):
While pretty aircraft, the A333 now saves quite a bit of fuel. If the winglets come out and another PIP, I'm not aware of a VS A343 mission that couldn't be completed by the A333. If I missed one, then we should talk 787 due to fuel expenses.

I never could figure out, but does the 343 have the same amount of seats as the 333?
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
sevenheavy
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:20 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):

The remaining 4 A343s will stay for now. 2 may leave the fleet next year but it's quite likely they will also stay until the B787s arrive. Even though they really aren't needed capability wise they are considerably cheaper to operate than the A346s, and they do offer some flexibility as they can easily sub for an A346, whereas the A333 could not on most routes.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 15):

A343 - J34/W35/Y171 - 240 total seats
A333 - J33/W48/Y185 - 266 total seats.

Most of the saving is by changing the UCS to a 1-2-1 layout, and thus only utilising A zone, therefore freeing up B zone for Premium. There is also no lower deck crew rest area ( these aircraft will generally only operate on flights of up to 9 hours duration) which gives back about 8 seats in economy as no access area is required.

It's not surprising VS can't get these aircraft in service fast enough. They are hugely more fuel efficient than anything else they have.

G-VINE is now back off lease to Ryan International. (returned early, probably due to Ryan's financial situation) and will be put into service within the next month or so on routes from LGW/MAN. Another factory fresh A333 is due in the next month or so, freeing up G-VMEG to go for its EOL C-check.

That will make 6 in service by September.
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
Mir
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:22 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
Not to mention the weight reduction will drop ATC fees.

I don't know of anywhere that charges fees based on current weight of the aircraft - I've always heard of fees being charged based on MTOW, which if anything should go up with improvements to the type.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
akelley728
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:45 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
Not to mention the weight reduction will drop ATC fees.
Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
I've always heard of fees being charged based on MTOW, which if anything should go up with improvements to the type.

He was comparing weight of the A333 to the A346. A333 MTOW is less than the A346.
 
PHX787
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:58 am

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 16):
A343 - J34/W35/Y171 - 240 total seats
A333 - J33/W48/Y185 - 266 total seats.

There's MORE seats?    So I guess there's really no use for the 343 then
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
akelley728
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:00 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 19):
So I guess there's really no use for the 343 then

Doesn't the 343 still have longer range than the 333?
 
jonnyclark
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:26 am

I wish they'd revamp their A340-300 fleet, at least the A340-600 were a better product for the customers. Still... It's always sad to see a bird stop flying....
Jonny, commercial pilot & founder of Thedesignair
 
anstar
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:47 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
Does VS have a retirement schedule for the A343s?

I believe they own one of them and the other 3 have leases extended until 2014/2015 when the 787's arrive.
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:52 am

Quoting poLOT (Reply 2):


According skyliner-aviation.de:

G-VSHY: ferried 11jul12 MAN-LGW after paint into all wh, to be used by Airbus as A350 testbed.
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
RubberJungle
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:55 am

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 1):
G-VSHY will be going back to Airbus to be used in the A350 certification, not sure what this will exactly entail at this stage


Don't know where this "A350 certification" suggestion came from, but Airbus says it isn't true. The aircraft isn't owned by Airbus, but by a consortium of banks, and is going back to them. There are "no plans" to use this aircraft in A350 testing, Airbus says.

[Edited 2012-07-22 01:59:40]
 
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KarelXWB
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:03 am

Quote:
Don't know where this "A350 certification" suggestion came from

I'm curieus too. Here are two pictures of G-VSHY all white suggesting the same:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul82/7550212334/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewsimpson85/7585015222/

[Edited 2012-07-22 02:04:57]
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
virgincrew
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:14 am

Quoting jonnyclark (Reply 22):
I wish they'd revamp their A340-300 fleet, at least the A340-600 were a better product for the customers. Still... It's always sad to see a bird stop flying....

I couldn't agree more

Here's a list of the A333's for VS.....

Hello Beautiful !!!
 
virtual
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:43 am

In terms of livery, what's the difference between Billboard and Billboard Metallic?

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 27):
Here's a list of the A333's for VS.....


 
britannia25
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:44 am

I can't believe they have named one of the aircraft G-VWAG!!!!! Thats awful and a bit embarassing too....! Oh well...that's only my opinion!  
 
virgincrew
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:52 am

Quoting virtual (Reply 28):
In terms of livery, what's the difference between Billboard and Billboard Metallic?

When the first 2 A333's were put into service Airbus couldn't master the metallic paint like Boeing had on the 744's. So they were painted in the new livery, but without the Metallic effect.

The one's since have been painted in metallic paint - I think when the LGW / MAN A333's go back in for the 3 cabin re-config they will be re-painted.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
virgincrew
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:54 am

Quoting britannia25 (Reply 29):
I can't believe they have named one of the aircraft G-VWAG!!!!! Thats awful and a bit embarassing too....! Oh well...that's only my opinion!

I think it's great - VS have always been about being different.....  
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
Auchmithie
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:00 am

G-VINE flew GPT-RFD for Ryan International as N771RD yesterday so rumours of its return appear premature.
 
britannia25
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:02 am

Oh yes Virgincrew, I know how they like to be different and I am a big fan of VS (I hate how everyone gives them a hard time on here), I just don't like the WAG thing....but as I say, that's only my opinion! :-P
 
egnr
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:22 am

Quoting virtual (Reply 28):
In terms of livery, what's the difference between Billboard and Billboard Metallic?

Billboard livery (G-VKSS & G-VSXY)

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tony Silgrim



Billboard metallic livery

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © T.Laurent

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 30):
When the first 2 A333's were put into service Airbus couldn't master the metallic paint like Boeing had on the 744's. So they were painted in the new livery, but without the Metallic effect.

The B744s were the first aircraft in the VS fleet to get the new metallic colours - I believe Air livery at Manchester carried out the repaints. However, the first few aircraft exhibited paint flaking problems.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Catterall
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Shane Stoffregan



My recollection is that whilst Air Livery, the paint vendor and Virgin worked together to resolve the paint problems, any further repaints were postponed, and the two new A333s were delivered in a modified livery. The paint issue appears to be solved now, so repaints have continued, and new deliveries are also in metallic.
7late7, A3latey, Sukhoi Superlate... what's going on?
 
virgincrew
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:25 am

Quoting britannia25 (Reply 33):
Oh yes Virgincrew, I know how they like to be different and I am a big fan of VS (I hate how everyone gives them a hard time on here), I just don't like the WAG thing....but as I say, that's only my opinion! :-P

I couldn't agree more and I totally respect you're opinion my friend  
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
britannia25
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:38 am

I remember as a kid flying to Los Angeles with them - It was a 744 and I was very excited as it was my first time on a 747. This was 1996 so I am guessing it was probably BIG, HOT or FAB?! Happy memories...sigh  
 
pilot21
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:42 am

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 24):
According skyliner-aviation.de:

G-VSHY: ferried 11jul12 MAN-LGW after paint into all wh,

That is correct - landed around 6pm that evening in LGW inbetween heavy rain showers and some thunder & lightening. I was in the Cafe Rouge restaurant in T1 and saw her land - wasn't sure what airline it was - but she used almost all the length of the runway and then taxied back to a remote very, very slowly.

Pilot21
Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR
 
jwhite9185
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:50 am

Quoting britannia25 (Reply 29):
I can't believe they have named one of the aircraft G-VWAG!!!!! Thats awful and a bit embarassing too....! Oh well...that's only my opinion!

I Agree - I think that one was supposed to be delivered instead of G-VNYC when Euro 2012 was on but obviously something changed. Hoping the reg will change now if its due to be delivered later. Same goes for G-VGBR Golden Girl, due to arrive during the olympics.

Quoting egnr (Reply 34):
The paint issue appears to be solved now, so repaints have continued, and new deliveries are also in metallic.

Not totally solved i think - I've seen one of the A343's looking a bit flaky and the one and only A346 in the new livery has an off patch on the tail. Nowhere near as bad as they were though.
@mytripreport
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:00 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 8):
Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 7): Lets hope the 343s stay in the fleet for a while.
Long live the A340! My favorite airplane after the 787

Even though I'm a member of the pro-Boeing faction, I still think the A340-300 is the best looking aircraft in service; perfectly proportioned, and very graceful.

I'd never been on an A340, and I think unfortunately most 340s will be gone within two or three years, so two weeks ago I made a special trip to YVR to fly on Philippine Airlines' A340 YVR-LAS.

Anyone in North America who hasn't been on an A340 yet should look into this flight - it's a fun, relatively quick and inexpensive way to log one.
 
Gingersnap
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:13 am

Quoting britannia25 (Reply 36):
I remember as a kid flying to Los Angeles with them - It was a 744 and I was very excited as it was my first time on a 747. This was 1996 so I am guessing it was probably BIG, HOT or FAB?! Happy memories...sigh

My first flight with VS was on-board G-VRUM "Calypso Queen", a 747-200B going to MCO out of MAN in 1998. Also happy memories.
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W B788 C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
anstar
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:20 am

Quoting Auchmithie (Reply 32):
G-VINE flew GPT-RFD for Ryan International as N771RD yesterday so rumours of its return appear premature.

Its due to come back to VS before the end of July.
 
co38
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:37 am

One would think the A345/A346 would suit charter companies well i.e Thomas Cook or airlines specializes in Haij type of flying. (Mass moving of people on an aircraft with low purchase/leasing rates) Since the A345/A346 are getting so un-popular with scheduled airlines, Im sure a charter airline could get very attractive rates for those unwanted birds.

But according to the aiplane characteristics manual for the A345/A346 found on Airbus' web site, theres a vast difference between the "Max Structural payload" (approx 66 tons) and "max passenger payload"(36tons) for the A346. It differs with some 30 tons. I dont think I have seen there being a difference between Max structural payload and Max passenger payload on other aircraft. The A333 does not have that difference.

I dont know exactly how many pax the A346 are certified for, but I am guessing around 380 (due to the above mentioned weight restriction)
Had there not been such a difference between the two Max weights, Im sure the A346 would be able to seat alot more than that. Thomas Cook Scandinavia for example have 405 seats in their A333. So with the extra over-wing exit on the A346, I would guess they should be able to seat a lot more than that.

Is there just a formal reason (a "paper" restiction) for the difference between the two Max weights on the A345/A346? Or is it an actual strucural reason? The only reason I can think of would be floor loading (unlikely).

Its a shame beautiful planes like A345/A346 cant find work anywhere anymore.:-(
 
kl911
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:18 pm

Quoting co38 (Reply 42):
I dont know exactly how many pax the A346 are certified for, but I am guessing around 380 (due to the above mentioned weight restriction)

Airbus website quotes 475 pax max.

source: http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamili...340family/a340-600/specifications/
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 961
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 35):

I'd have to agree about using G-VWAG as a reg. Awful idea! What sort of image does naming an aircraft after a superficial, workshy, materialistic, corner of the population portray to the rest of the world??

I can only hope most people don't see the reg.......

On another note, G-VINE is definately on its way back. It will be parked up at LGW pending a gap for a repaint. They won't reconfigure it for a while, so it will operate on the leisure routes. This may explain why MAN-LAS is an A333 for the winter, and may allow G-VTOP to leave earlier than planned.
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
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Polot
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:51 pm

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 44):
Awful idea! What sort of image does naming an aircraft after a superficial, workshy, materialistic, corner of the population portray to the rest of the world??

Considering I had to look up why WAG was so awful and embarrassing, it probably won't portray any image to the rest of the world.
 
britannia25
Posts: 131
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:56 pm

I would like to fly on their A330! I love the 600s though - went to Hong Kong in January, out of G-VFOX and back on G-VGAS (I think)! Great flights as always! I read some of their reviews on that skytrax, I think only miserable and moany people write on their or they are flying with a different airline  
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 961
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:59 pm

Quoting poLOT (Reply 45):

In fairness it's really a U.K. thing (maybe parts of Europe too?) so the damage in the U.S. will be minor.

Maybe it's just a bit of fun, and I'm being a miserable B*****d  
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
Virginblue4
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:15 pm

According to the above picture, it looks like they are naming G-VNYC 'Uptown Girl' instead of 'Liberty Belle' as originally planned.

Wonder why this is? I prefer 'Liberty Belle'.
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lightsaber
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:59 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 23):
I believe they own one of them and the other 3 have leases extended until 2014/2015 when the 787's arrive.

Thank you. That sounds like a reasonable retirement schedule for the A343s.

Quoting akelley728 (Reply 20):
Doesn't the 343 still have longer range than the 333?

Yes. Hence why I asked if *any* VS A343s were being used on missions that utilize the range for if the payload/range isn't required, the A343s are far more expensive to fuel and maintain than an A333. If the A343s are used long haul we will have to wait for the 787 as anstar noted.

Quoting co38 (Reply 42):
One would think the A345/A346 would suit charter companies well i.e Thomas Cook or airlines specializes in Haij type of flying. (Mass moving of people on an aircraft with low purchase/leasing rates)

That would be an excellent 2nd home for the type. However, it means the current owners must take a depreciation hit on the A345/A346 to make the airframes attractive to that market. Quite a large depreciation actually...

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 44):
I'd have to agree about using G-VWAG as a reg.

Someone please IM me what is bad about G-VWAG in British English. WAG in American English is "Wild assed Guess." In other words, you know a little but are really speculating on what is said.

Lightsaber
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
1stfl94
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting virginblue4 (Reply 48):

According to the above picture, it looks like they are naming G-VNYC 'Uptown Girl' instead of 'Liberty Belle' as originally planned.

Wonder why this is? I prefer 'Liberty Belle'.

Perhaps because the Liberty Bell is actually in Philadelphia? Personally I think they should have an aircraft as G-VEWR to recognise the first airport they flew to
 
Gingersnap
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RE: First VS A346 Withdrawn From Fleet.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 50):
Perhaps because the Liberty Bell is actually in Philadelphia? Personally I think they should have an aircraft as G-VEWR to recognise the first airport they flew to

G-VJFK was named Boston Belle, so that hasn't stopped them before.
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Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos