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Bureaucromancer
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Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:40 am

Does anyone have a good understanding of what Canadian Pacific intended to do with the Comet before they lost the first and cancelled the second aircraft? They seem to have intended to operate the first two Honolulu - Nadi - Auckland -Sydney with DC-6s connecting to YVR, but even that seems to be pushing the aircrafts range... Was at really the entirety of their planning? No specific intent to use them elsewhere or buy more than two hulls? It definitely seems odd, but I really haven't found much specific information about these aircraft, and it could go some way to explaining how quick they were to cancel them...
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:46 am

I think that was it. Perhaps Canton Island might have been in there as well. But I wonder about the availbility of Jet-1, for example.

Comet 1 was, to my mind, a 'proof of concept' aircraft, but not really practical for longer range work. Not enough fuel and the DH Ghost engines went through it pretty quickly. Comet 2 was better, 4 even more so.
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yyz717
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:51 pm

I read somewhere they were indeed to be used on TP services. The initial 1A crashed on delivery on Karachi. The second 1A was cancelled soon after.

4 Comet 2's were also ordered and cancelled.
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longhauler
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:36 pm

I understand that the 1As that they ordered were intended until the 2s they also ordered arrived. I remember reading that with the 1As, HNL-SYD (with stops) was possible, and with the 2s, YVR-SYD (with stops) was possible.

I imagine that when the 2s arrived, the 1As would have been relegated to Canadian domestic flying. In the early days, CPs was very restricted in its competition with TCA, flying a jet domestically would have been quite a coup!
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Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Thread starter):
They seem to have intended to operate the first two Honolulu - Nadi - Auckland -Sydney with DC-6s connecting to YVR, but even that seems to be pushing the aircrafts range... Was at really the entirety of their planning?

That was the extent of the plans at the time, although when originally ordered in 1949 they were talking about service on the YVR-HND-HKG route, with 2 fuel stops at ANC and SYA (Shemya Island in the Aleutians) between YVR and HND.

Related article from the December 22, 1949 issue of Flight International re the CP order.
http://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1949/1949%20-%202022.PDF

[Edited 2012-12-31 12:49:21]
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:31 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
I imagine that when the 2s arrived, the 1As would have been relegated to Canadian domestic flying. In the early days, CPs was very restricted in its competition with TCA, flying a jet domestically would have been quite a coup!

Since CP had no trans-con authority at the time, Comet 1As on intra-BC routes would indeed have been a coup. And an expensive one. CP, despite very good passenger service, was never a very well thought out or run airline.
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:31 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 5):
Comet 1As on intra-BC routes would indeed have been a coup

Vancouver-Kamloops in a Comet 1A with a full hot meal? Sounds good to me!

But seriously, when the Britannia came along, did it fill in on some of the Pacific runs mentioned in this thread? Or was it primarily for European or longer Pacific routes?
 
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:49 pm

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Thread starter):
Does anyone have a good understanding of what Canadian Pacific intended to do with the Comet before they lost the first and cancelled the second aircraft? They seem to have intended to operate the first two Honolulu - Nadi - Auckland -Sydney with DC-6s connecting to YVR, but even that seems to be pushing the aircrafts range...

From what I remember of my reading of Wingwalkers, the plans were to base the two Comet 1A in Sydney. From there they were to serve Honolulu with intermediate stops in Fiji and Canton Island.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:50 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 6):
But seriously, when the Britannia came along, did it fill in on some of the Pacific runs mentioned in this thread? Or was it primarily for European or longer Pacific routes?

The Britannia was eventually used on all international routes - Europe, Asia, Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand although rather briefly in most cases as it was displaced within a couple of years by the DC-8.

The Britannia even appeared even more briefly for about a year just before it was retired on the Vancouer-Whitehorse route with stops at Prince George, Fort St. John and the tiny Yukon community of Watson Lake. It was hardly the ideal type for those routes and the much more reliable and economic DC-6B took over again until the 737-200 arrived about 5 years later.

[Edited 2013-01-01 07:52:06]
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:20 pm

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Thread starter):
It definitely seems odd, but I really haven't found much specific information about these aircraft, and it could go some way to explaining how quick they were to cancel them...

It's entirely possible that they didn't really want them, but decided to order for some other reason. It has been documented that Qantas were given the hard sell on the aircraft, and despite repeated requests, Qantas were not provided with accurate performance figures for the aircraft so they passed on it.

I do think the livery of the Canadian Pacific Comet looked really great!
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longhauler
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 9):
It's entirely possible that they didn't really want them, but decided to order for some other reason.

That is the first time I have heard that. Any ideas why they did order them?

But, what I have read is that Grant McConachie (who ran Canadian Pacific Airlines), often thought that CP not only had to be as good as TCA, but better. When he negotiated the Pacific routes out from under TCA, he had grand plans for those routes. He saw jets as being a huge example of "being better".

With connections from Europe and South America, jet aircraft from YVR-SYD and YVR-HND (with stops) would be a huge selling feature. To that end, the Comet 2 was also ordered.

When CF-CUN was lost on the delivery flight, some CP personnel were also lost. I am sure there were ripples through the entire (small) company. But, in the book "Bush Pilot with a Briefcase" the story of Grant McConachie, he mentioned that with the Comet he wondered if not only was CP going too far with advances, but maybe the industry itself was going too far with new technology.

Maybe something even as basic as over-rotating on take-off. A new phenomenon, and the cause of the loss of two Comets ... CF-CUN was the second.
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connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:03 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 10):
Maybe something even as basic as over-rotating on take-off. A new phenomenon, and the cause of the loss of two Comets ... CF-CUN was the second.

Second ? I thought CF-CUN was the first commercial hull loss. What then was the first ?
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 11):
Second ? I thought CF-CUN was the first commercial hull loss. What then was the first ?

G-ALYZ was lost in a similar takeoff accident at Ciampino in October 52.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:28 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 11):
Quoting longhauler (Reply 10):
Maybe something even as basic as over-rotating on take-off. A new phenomenon, and the cause of the loss of two Comets ... CF-CUN was the second.

Second ? I thought CF-CUN was the first commercial hull loss. What then was the first ?

No, it was the first commercial jet hull loss with fatalities. The first hull loss was the first BOAC Comet accident a little over 4 months earlier at Rome Ciampino on October 26, 1952, with the same cause as the CP crash but fortunately with no fatalities.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19521026-0

[Edited 2013-01-01 12:31:09]
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:30 pm

I wonder if there are any interior shots of the Canadian Pacific Comet. I've never seen any - and also only very few of the BOAC Comet 1 really, which is a bit of a shame.
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connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:57 pm

ClassicLover-

I haven't been able to locate interior shots of the CPA Comets, but hopefully these will be of some interest:

Image of CPA Comet 1A
Proposed CPA Comet South Pacific schedule
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FlyboyOz
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:22 pm

Thanks Connies4ever...it's so interesting to look at the flight schedule and stopovers. I didn't know that Canadian Pacific would put its Comet aircraft in Honolulu only not in Vancouver.
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connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:39 am

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 16):
Thanks Connies4ever...it's so interesting to look at the flight schedule and stopovers. I didn't know that Canadian Pacific would put its Comet aircraft in Honolulu only not in Vancouver.

Comet 1/1A didn't have the legs for YVR-HNL, or even SFO-HNL I believe. Comet 2, which was also ordered, could have done it. What interests me on the proposed schedule is the HNL-NAN sector - that also seems a little long for a Comet 1. 2748nm, which I think would put it also beyond Comet 2. So I guess there is a fuel stop at Canton Island that is just not shown on the sked.

Since kerosene was not in common use at that time, CPA would have had to arrange for fuel stocks, I'm guessing.
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Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:56 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 14):
I wonder if there are any interior shots of the Canadian Pacific Comet. I've never seen any - and also only very few of the BOAC Comet 1 really, which is a bit of a shame.

This 1952 footage includes about 90 seconds of BOAC Comet 1 interior shots (not the best quality) starting at 4:25 during a trip to JNB.
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/se...to-johannesburg-4/query/BOAC+Comet

Below are 3 photos of the interior of one of the two Royal Canadian Air Force Comet 1As in 1953 soon after delivery. They had a standard airline-type interior. Note the original rectangular windows. After only about 6 months in service they were grounded in January 1954, along with all other Comet 1s, following the second BOAC inflight disintegration.

After De Havilland discovered the source of the structural problems, they were ferried back to the UK unpressurized at low altitude in 1956 and were rebuilt, including replacement of the original windows with new oval windows as on subsequent Comets, and were returned to the RCAF in late 1957, redesignated Comet 1XB. They were retired in 1963. One was scrapped in Canada and the other was sold to a US buyer and flown to Florida but it was never operated and was also scrapped eventually. I believe the nose section of the first one is in the Canadian Aviation Museum in YOW.

The RCAF was thus the world's first air force to operate jet transport aircraft, and was the first transatlantic jet operator as the Comets were used extensively to fly military personnel to/from the RCAF's various bases in France and Germany, along with VIP flights in Canada and elsewhere.

RCAF article on the Comets.
http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/hst/page-eng.asp?id=621

http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-51.jpg

http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-52.jpg

http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-53.jpg


The two modified Comet 1XBs (with round windows) below.

#5301 at KEF during a fuel stop in 1960.

http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-27.jpg

#5302 at DUS 1962.

http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-94.jpg
 
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:00 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):

That's quite a fascinating read.

I'm trying to figure out the planned aircraft rotation, and perhaps someone can help.

The plane would have departed Honolulu on Saturday (flight 301), arrived in Sydney on Monday afternoon (thanks to the international date line). It would then RON and depart late Tuesday morning (flight 302), arriving in Honolulu on Tuesday morning. Then it would sit there for a day and a half, departing Wednesday night (flight 303), arriving Sydney on Friday afternoon. However, the return flight 304 departed Friday morning.

Was this plane supposed to sit in Sydney for a week (therefore, the two-plane requirement for a twice weekly service), or were there other flights besides those advertised on this flyer?
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Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:18 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 17):
What interests me on the proposed schedule is the HNL-NAN sector - that also seems a little long for a Comet 1. 2748nm, which I think would put it also beyond Comet 2. So I guess there is a fuel stop at Canton Island that is just not shown on the sked.

Schedule shows 9:15 in one direction and 9:30 in the other HNL-NAN-HNL which probably includes time for a Canton Island fuel stop when necessary.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:48 am

Quoting HoMsaR (Reply 19):
Was this plane supposed to sit in Sydney for a week (therefore, the two-plane requirement for a twice weekly service), or were there other flights besides those advertised on this flyer?

AFAIK CPA had no other route authority south of HNL, so it puzzles me as well regarding the utilisation of the aircraft. Esp. considering the cash laid out to purchase them, something like 1.1M GBP then, which I think would come out as about $4M CDN in then dollars.

Plus as I mentioned, the whole business of provisioning kerosene at Canton Island.

Grant McConachie was an inspirational leader, but I have sometimes wondered about his practicality.
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Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:58 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 21):
Grant McConachie was an inspirational leader, but I have sometimes wondered about his practicality.

It helped to have a parent company with deep pockets that didn't seem to worry much about the airline's profitability in those days.
 
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:16 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
I believe the nose section of the first one is in the Canadian Aviation Museum in YOW

   It's still unrestored>

Nose section:
http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-22.jpg

Cockpit:
http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/photos/planes/comet-23.jpg
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
I haven't been able to locate interior shots of the CPA Comets, but hopefully these will be of some interest:

That was very cool indeed! It looks like they were ready to go on the whole jet service thing. It's such a shame they cancelled the order. Since they were trying to set a record flight time for the delivery flight to Sydney, I suppose it was just adverse publicity that made them cancel the order. I mean, people would probably have thought the aircraft unsafe.

Check those fares though! A house cost an average £1891 in the UK in 1952 - so you can see why these fares were for the rich! Wow!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
Below are 3 photos of the interior of one of the two Royal Canadian Air Force Comet 1As in 1953 soon after delivery. They had a standard airline-type interior. Note the original rectangular windows.

I do love those pictures. Anyone know the purpose of that divider between the forward and aft cabins? It doesn't look like it's thick enough to have a toilet there, or is it? Interesting!

Love that recline too! You'd have a serious job of getting out from behind that if someone reclined in front of you! It's almost a lie flat seat hahaha!

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 23):
It's still unrestored>

Oh very nice pictures there!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
This 1952 footage includes about 90 seconds of BOAC Comet 1 interior shots (not the best quality) starting at 4:25 during a trip to JNB.

Sweet - that's some of the raw footage from a thread I posted on the BOAC Comet 1 from Pathe. I love how they have the raw footage as well - there's lots more of the cabin there. Great find! Love those curtains! I wonder if they had window shades too or just the curtains...
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:58 pm

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 24):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
Below are 3 photos of the interior of one of the two Royal Canadian Air Force Comet 1As in 1953 soon after delivery. They had a standard airline-type interior. Note the original rectangular windows.

I do love those pictures. Anyone know the purpose of that divider between the forward and aft cabins? It doesn't look like it's thick enough to have a toilet there, or is it? Interesting!

I believe that divider was a structural component to brace the fuselage.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:59 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):

So finally they were to fly through AKL rather than CIS, which was certainly more interesting for passengers.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):

Those pictures are great.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 25):
I believe that divider was a structural component to brace the fuselage.

I think so as well, they all had it ... even the Comet 4s.

Looking at the pictures of the RCAF Comet though, I can't quite place it. Forward of that bulkhead there were two rows in the BOAC, AF, etc Comets, and aft, the rest of the passengers. There almost appears to be 3 or more rows forward of the bulkhead in the RCAF one.

The only thing I can think, is that there were some rear facing seats, as was common in all RCAF transports before the B707.
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Viscount724
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:36 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 27):
Looking at the pictures of the RCAF Comet though, I can't quite place it. Forward of that bulkhead there were two rows in the BOAC, AF, etc Comets, and aft, the rest of the passengers. There almost appears to be 3 or more rows forward of the bulkhead in the RCAF one.

I thought the total seating was 36, including 8 seats in a small forward cabin (where the single window is) with 2 rows of facing seats separated by tables. I think that cabin was often used for crew rest. Believe it had a bulkhead and door to separate it from the rest of the cabin.

However this interesting description by a former RCAF Comet pilot mentions 37 or 39 seats a couple of times. He also describes typical eastbound and westbound transatlantic Comet flights and routings etc. to/from the former RCAF base at Marville in NW France, just south of the Belgian border and about 50 or 60 km southwest of Luxembourg. It closed in the mid-60s when Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO and wouldn't accept foreign military activities on French territory (or foreign-controlled nuclear weapons, which Canada briefly had then...on CF-104 Starfighters). The RCAF moved to several bases in Germany, mainly Lahr about 100 km north of BSL, just over the French border from Strasbourg.
http://67.69.104.76:84/marville/other/maother-12.html

(The blue text on blue makes it hard to read. It's much easier if you highlight all the text.)

More on Marville.
http://www.ronaldv.nl/abandoned/airfields/FR/lorraine/meuse.html

The link above mentions that some general aviation activities were seen in 2011. Not sure how old the Google maps photo below is but it shows X's on the runway indicating that it was closed. If it's only general aviation now, maybe they use the grass. Code is LFYK.
http://goo.gl/maps/6Zmus

[Edited 2013-01-03 16:42:46]
 
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longhauler
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:31 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 28):
However this interesting description by a former RCAF Comet pilot mentions 37 or 39 seats a couple of times.

That's a great article, thanks for the link.

In the brochures I have for the BOAC Comet 1, it mentions 36 passengers total. The information for the CPA Comet 1As indicate 44 passengers at 45" seat pitch, 8 in the forward cabin and 36 in the rear cabin. As the link you gave mentions an 8 seat crew compartment, that makes me think it was the forward cabin, and the 37 or 39 seats were in the rear cabin, as the RCAF Comets were 1As as well. Same fuselage as the 1, just more lift.

Still trying to place the pictures above, I see the window emergency exit is three frames from the rear, so the seats were forward facing, and those shots are toward the rear of the aircraft. It almost looks like there was another bulkhead toward the rear.

On another note, the three Comet 2s ordered by CPA were ordered on November 16, 1953 ... eight months after the crash at Karachi! This order was canceled with the cancellation of the Comet 2 program.
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ClassicLover
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RE: Canadian Pacific And Their Comets?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:46 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 29):
The information for the CPA Comet 1As indicate 44 passengers at 45" seat pitch, 8 in the forward cabin and 36 in the rear cabin

I believe the Air France Comet 1As were also 44 passengers.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 28):
However this interesting description by a former RCAF Comet pilot mentions 37 or 39 seats a couple of times

That was a great article - thanks for bringing it up. Some interesting nuggets about the aircraft too which I hadn't heard before. Thanks for that!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!

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