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jayunited
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United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:58 am

Below is a direct quote from Flying Together providing a link will not work except for UA employees.

"In March, we began serving our LAX-SYD (Sydney) and SFO-SYD routes with Boeing 777s instead of Boeing 747s. It was part of an effort to better align capacity and operational costs of the aircraft to the amount of profitable demand in some of our markets.
The strategy has worked from both a revenue and customer satisfaction perspective.
"Our unit revenue performance and profitability have improved with the downgauge to the 777 on those routes," said Pricing and Revenue Management Managing Director Tim O'Malley. "Our goal is to carefully match capacity with demand on all of our routes. This is a step in that direction."
In general, we saw better-than-expected performance in our Pacific regions in the second quarter."

This move by UA to remove the 744 from the SYD market really threw a lot of sUA employees for a loop leaving many to question why since 747's have served SYD for a very long time. However with todays update on Flying Together it seems at if this move to the 3 class 772ER has paid off for UA both in customer satisfaction and in improved revenue. UA also made this same claim when they switched ORD-HKG to the 3 class 772ER that the 772ER improved customer satisfaction and revenue.

So my question is does UA regret dumping those 772 some of which were ER's during bankruptcy in favor of keeping more 744's? Because it seems like now days it seem like even though there are routes where there is enough demand to fill a 744 it seems as if the 772ER is a better fit and UA is able to make more revenue off the 772ER than the 744. So secretly does anyone believe that behind closed doors UA feels like they should have kept those 772ER that they dumped during BK and instead dumped more 744's?
 
strfyr51
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:49 am

During CH-11 some Lessors wanted their airplanes back, In an effort to cut costs they went back . I don't think it had or caused any regret. Some of us felt that putting the 777's on the SFO/LAX Syd route was a means to share the wealth as S-CO pilots and cabin Crews were not on the flight Crews for the 747. I could be wrong. I hope I amm But! that's what it seemed like. Especially since the Airbussed got re-tasked to IAH and the 737's seem to have taken the majority if the East West flying So it might be all coincidental At least I'd like to think so.
 
UA444
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:53 am

They fought hard to keep as many 777s as they could during bk. Only 8 were returned and most were A models.
 
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fxramper
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:03 am

Quoting jayunited (Thread starter):
stomer satisfaction perspective.
"Our unit revenue performance and profitability have improved with the downgauge to the 777 on those routes," said Pricing and Revenue Management Managing Director Tim O'Malley. "Our goal is to carefully match capacity with demand on all of our routes. This is a step in that direction."

In the past, when I used UA 747 to Australia, they were never full, sometimes not even 70%. I think the 772 fits the route very well. Maybe throw a 787 in there eventually. Could also have something to do with the sUA or sCO crew swapping. I know they opened a sCO crew based in LAX and cut the 6 day PVG into two 3 days (EWR&LAX). I'm always using EWR-Europe flights and they switch it up month to month. Sometimes I'm on a 763 to LHR with a sUA crew and sometimes it's a sCO crew on a 772 or 752. I think it's also the 744 mx base in SFO. SFO launches a lot of Asia and ORD uses(ed) also for Asia. Deploy them on high density. There are no regrets for dumping frames when they needed too.

  
 
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777Jet
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:11 am

Quoting jayunited (Thread starter):
So secretly does anyone believe that behind closed doors UA feels like they should have kept those 772ER that they dumped during BK and instead dumped more 744's?

I'm sure 99% of airlines might have made different decisions based on hindsight...
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AADC10
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:50 am

Quoting jayunited (Thread starter):
This move by UA to remove the 744 from the SYD market really threw a lot of sUA employees for a loop leaving many to question why since 747's have served SYD for a very long time. However with todays update on Flying Together it seems at if this move to the 3 class 772ER has paid off for UA both in customer satisfaction and in improved revenue. UA also made this same claim when they switched ORD-HKG to the 3 class 772ER that the 772ER improved customer satisfaction and revenue.

So my question is does UA regret dumping those 772 some of which were ER's during bankruptcy in favor of keeping more 744's? Because it seems like now days it seem like even though there are routes where there is enough demand to fill a 744 it seems as if the 772ER is a better fit and UA is able to make more revenue off the 772ER than the 744. So secretly does anyone believe that behind closed doors UA feels like they should have kept those 772ER that they dumped during BK and instead dumped more 744's?

Switching the 744 with the 772 to SYD was not that much of a surprise to employees. A few years ago the SYD flights were packed with high yields but the new route authorities weakened UA's grip on USA end of the market. The Y hard product also compared unfavorably with QF. Early in Smisek's tenure, he said that the Y product to Australia on the 744s was inadequate.

UA tried to keep all of the 772s during Ch. 11 but could not come to an agreement with some of the lessors, since those frames could easily be leased to another airline. Nobody wants 744s and UA wanted to dump most of them but they kept more than they wanted to in order to replace the lost 772s, with lower lease prices slightly offsetting the 744's limitations. Full 744s are a red herring since as we all know, yield management makes sure all flights to everywhere are packed.

It is easy to see the improvement switching from the 744 to the 772 to SYD.

- lower per-seat fuel burn
- higher yield
- wider Y seats with AVOD
- better dispatch reliability

The other aspect that is not mentioned in the OP is UA will be starting LAX-MEL with the 789, which makes up for the seats to Australia lost downguaging LAX-SFO/SYD.
 
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:51 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 1):

L-CO crews dont fly LAX/SFO-SYD, so what "wealth" was there to be shared?
 
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atcsundevil
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:33 am

Quoting B737900ER (Reply 6):
L-CO crews dont fly LAX/SFO-SYD, so what "wealth" was there to be shared?

Yeah -- I thought all of the flights were still operated by sUA regardless of the downgauge after the PW 772ERs were modified to handle the route. I know there was a lot of talk about this going to sCO in part or in whole on a.net, but my understanding is that has been sUA all along.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:09 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 5):
The other aspect that is not mentioned in the OP is UA will be starting LAX-MEL with the 789, which makes up for the seats to Australia lost downguaging LAX-SFO/SYD.

Fragmentation will be UA's strategy going forward. Between the 787s and A350s, they will down gauge. I'm sure UA would have preferred to keep the 77Es, but AADC10 already pointed out financially why UA had really no choice other than downsizing.

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UA444
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:12 am

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 7):
Yeah -- I thought all of the flights were still operated by sUA regardless of the downgauge after the PW 772ERs were modified to handle the route. I know there was a lot of talk about this going to sCO in part or in whole on a.net, but my understanding is that has been sUA all along.

They've been operated by UA crews the whole time. The ex-CO aircraft are only 2 class and the SYD flights do well to have F. They'd have to reconfigure a subfleet of the ex-CO birds and then base MX and crews out of the west coast.
 
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:35 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 2):
They fought hard to keep as many 777s as they could during bk. Only 8 were returned and most were A models.

Not exactly for what it's worth - first 3 really early builds - According to Planespotters, 3 of 8 were A models while 5 of 8 were ERs.

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UA444
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:49 am

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 10):

Some of that is out of date. I know some of the ER models are now at omni. They even have the old UA seat pattern still in them.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:26 am

I wonder why UA is so unhappy with their 744 fleet when DL is still happy with theirs.

The 744 was originally put on that route back at its early release because it could make the route. The -SP could, but it was small and inefficient. At the advent of the 772-ER (And remember, that was almost ten years after the 744), ETOPS on that route was still an issue. It wasn't until the early 2000s (IIRC) that the 777 ever saw NorAm-Aust service.
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atcsundevil
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:53 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 9):
They've been operated by UA crews the whole time. The ex-CO aircraft are only 2 class and the SYD flights do well to have F. They'd have to reconfigure a subfleet of the ex-CO birds and then base MX and crews out of the west coast.

Thought so. So there wasn't really anything in the way of "sharing the wealth" with this move as eluded to above. It was more a matter of offering a substantially better Y product, right-sizing the route, and operating a much more efficient aircraft.

I know there was some confusion when they made the announcement, mainly because it was before most people found out about the PW 772 mods; prior to those, only the GE90 birds could make the trip without penalties. So, lot of people thought that meant it was moving to two-class 772s and dropping out of the F market entirely (which obviously wasn't the case). That definitely would have been a poor move by UA, nor would it have made sense when they routinely sell out F to Australia. I actually think they should have done the PW 772 mods and downgauged a few years ago when Virgin Australia and Delta entered the market -- ever since then, it was obvious that UA had way too much capacity on the route when their competitors were utilizing much more efficient equipment.

I would assume that eventually this route will go to 3-class 787-10s when those arrive, but that's still several years off.
 
S75752
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:52 am

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 13):
PW 772 mods

What mods are you talking about?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
I wonder why UA is so unhappy with their 744 fleet when DL is still happy with theirs.

Probably thanks to hiding behind the money excuse for so many years to avoid retrofitting Y, while DL took action with their 744's. I wonder what UA's excuse is now.
 
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atcsundevil
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:32 am

Quoting S75752 (Reply 14):
What mods are you talking about?

The 777-222s (all sUA P&W powered) received MTOW upgrades to similar performance standards of the sCO 777-224s with GE90s, which were all originally delivered with uprated engines capable of EWR-DEL, EWR-HKG, etc. The mods to the -222s made ORD-HKG and LAX/SFO-SYD possible without facing payload restrictions; they would have taken major penalties without the mod. I don't remember all of the details (perhaps someone else does), so that's all the info I have.

Quoting S75752 (Reply 14):
Probably thanks to hiding behind the money excuse for so many years to avoid retrofitting Y, while DL took action with their 744's. I wonder what UA's excuse is now.

The counter-argument would be that UA is replacing the 747-400s in the coming years with the A350-900, whereas DL plans on keeping their 744s in the fleet, so committing capital to cabin modifications for an aircraft that will be retired soon is ill-advised.

Having said that, I think that's bullshit. UA should have upgraded the 744s from nose-to-tail when they installed the IPTE package. The fact that they simply stopped when reaching the Y cabin on both the 744 and the 763 while the products in both Y cabins are atrocious is completely asinine. Five years or more of in-service time remaining is sufficient for a cabin modification, in my opinion. At the time of the IPTE mods, the 744s and many of the 763s had nearly 10 years (or more, in some cases) until retirement, and yet, not even a bandaid was applied to allow a little sliver of joy to those doomed to fly economy. They added seat covers and new carpeting. Awesome. Half of the 763s received winglets and nose-to-tail cabin mods to 2-class, but the other half that remain in 3-class are still untouched in Y -- fortunately they at least have looping PTVs and are retiring imminently, which is more than can be said for the 744s...although the 744s are (allegedly) getting power ports. Woo hoo. It's still a few years too late.
 
jayunited
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 5):
UA tried to keep all of the 772s during Ch. 11 but could not come to an agreement with some of the lessors, since those frames could easily be leased to another airline. Nobody wants 744s and UA wanted to dump most of them but they kept more than they wanted to in order to replace the lost 772s, with lower lease prices slightly offsetting the 744's limitations. Full 744s are a red herring since as we all know, yield management makes sure all flights to everywhere are packed.

It is easy to see the improvement switching from the 744 to the 772 to SYD.

- lower per-seat fuel burn
- higher yield
- wider Y seats with AVOD
- better dispatch reliability

The other aspect that is not mentioned in the OP is UA will be starting LAX-MEL with the 789, which makes up for the seats to Australia lost downguaging LAX-SFO/SYD.

Thanks for the explanation ever since UA started moving the 744's off some traditional 744 routes and replacing them with 772ER I've often wondered if UA had kept those 772ER would we have less 744's in the fleet especially seeing that the switches that have taken place seem to be a win win for both UA and the customers. I now understand UA didn't have a choice they had to give up those 777's because they could not come to an agreement.

Also UA did mention the upcoming LAX-MEL route in the article they said early booking are very robust. So although no one can say for certain right now at this moment if the route will be successful UA is optimistic that it will be based upon the early bookings they are seeing.
 
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cosyr
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:35 pm

This wasn't the first time in history that UA has switched to the 772 to Australia. So when they think about regrets, what was it that made them switch back to the 744 after previous downguages? I know that competition is different now with DL and Virgin, but without Ansett and quite as much NZ competition, but there must have been a time in the last 5 years where demand justified the higher capacity, if less fuel efficient plane.
 
ukoverlander
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:08 pm

Given that UA 747's inflight amenities in coach are tantamount to a shrine to commercial flying in the 1990's, I'm sure no UA passenger mourn the loss of the 747 on the route. Absolutely shameful inflight product.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:21 pm

Quoting ukoverlander (Reply 18):

Given that UA 747's inflight amenities in coach are tantamount to a shrine to commercial flying in the 1990's, I'm sure no UA passenger mourn the loss of the 747 on the route. Absolutely shameful inflight product.

I agree. At least they've upgraded the interiors somewhat. In 2008 I took a UA 744 from SFO to SYD. On the outbound flight, the Y cabin was like stepping into a time machine. It had the old orange and blue carpeting on the bulkheads and one of those bathtub-sized RGB projectors. The screen had been replaced with strips of printer paper. The overhead monitors were the old CRT kind, each badly discolored. It was fantastically Third-World. Frankly, it was embarrassing for me as an American that one of my flag carriers should present itself this way on international services.

On the trip back, the aircraft had been refurbished. The overheads and bulkhead projectors were flat-screen and the bulkheads were grey-beige. It looked better, but frankly the lack of PTVs is simply not competitive on any long-haul flight anymore.

And if UA wants to attract the regular passengers between the US and Australia, they need a better on-board product. The 777 is a good step in that direction even if its IFE system is antiquated.
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UA444
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:18 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
And if UA wants to attract the regular passengers between the US and Australia, they need a better on-board product. The 777 is a good step in that direction even if its IFE system is antiquated.

How is it antiquated? The plane has nose to tail AVOD and PTVs in every single seat.

[Edited 2014-07-24 11:19:08]
 
jc2354
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:19 pm

Does anyone think that UA will eventually remove F from its aircraft, and go with the former CO configuration? It certainly worked out well with CO, as well with NW/DL , AC, etc.
If not now, then when?
 
UA444
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:22 pm

Quoting jc2354 (Reply 21):
Does anyone think that UA will eventually remove F from its aircraft, and go with the former CO configuration? It certainly worked out well with CO, as well with NW/DL , AC, etc
CO also didn't have the vast network that exists today. And even some ex-CO routes have had F put on them post merger. F has a place in the market and they'd be stupid to get rid of it (ignoring the fact that they are stupid).

And what worked for CO doesn't work for UA.

[Edited 2014-07-24 11:22:41]
 
boeingguy26
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:55 pm

I'm an engineer and the company I work for sells test systems. An upgrade on one of our products was user interface. Ever since the upgrade, all of the customers love it and want more. Now, bringing this analogy here and me being the customer, I agree. I'm currently in Hawaii on vacation and I flew DL2511 to get here. The airplane was retrofitted with new IFE, touch screen, USB port and AUX port on the bottom, and a 110VAC power outlet mounted on the seat in front at the legs. That flight was a pleasure! The plane did have some knock-off like LED mood lighting (not as nice as the Dreamliners) but it was enough of an addition to make the experience better, smoother, and more enjoyable. I remember thinking to myself that I would definitely fly Delta again especially knowing that the airplane is up to date.

I haven't flown internationally on a ULH flight for almost ten years and when I did I was too young to remember but taking my five-hour flight experience with the modernized interior, and trying to imagine it a 10-16-hour flight with IFE of a one-hour hop from LAX-SAC/PHX, I would definitely not be pleased and most definitely not fly with the particular airline again.

Aloha!
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:18 pm

UA took the cheap way out with the 744s. First they delayed maintenance pre-merger as much as possible to save money. What this meant post-merger is UA had to spend millions to catch up on deferred maintenance. This was completed.

With the refurb of the 744, they redid the C and F class but only recovered the seats and replaced the carpets in Y class. It clearly does not compare to other airlines on the same routes. UA belatedly decided to put in a streaming wifi product and will eventually put in power ports in coach. Again, this is to appease people in Y class and provide at least a bit of an upgrade versus the competition who normally have nose to tail AVOD plus power at every seat.

The three class 772ERs were fully refit, have AVOD and are up to date.
The two class 772ERs also have AVOD and are up to date.
The three class 763s are retiring out of the fleet (starting later this year) and were not refurbished.
The two class 763s are the most recently refurbished international aircraft. They have nose to tail AVOD and have the "latest" BizFirst seat up front. They are comfortable in Y with the 2-3-2 layout.

Edit: I'd note that the 772ERs are UA's work horses and UA also did the paperwork to upgrade the thrust ratings on its Pratt Powered three class 772ERs. Though they are getting older, they'll continue to do their thing for many years to come. Their retirement will be dictated by leases (if leased) and heavy maintenance cycles versus when the 789s come on board. UA will be likely exercising options on the 787s to completely phase out the 772s but this doesn't need to be done right away.

[Edited 2014-07-24 13:23:27]

[Edited 2014-07-24 13:23:53]
 
S75752
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RE: United Any 744/772 Regrets

Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:08 pm

You wanna see something funny?
https://web.archive.org/web/20130511090458/http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/inflight/connectivity/default.aspx
"Power outlets to be installed in United Economy® in 2013"

Silly UA!

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...inflight/aircraft/747/default.aspx
I think this quote sums up what they show for Y and Y+: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ALwKeSEYs
But in reality, at least based on what the fleet site reports; https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Aj3TTkYJD3ICdDVrdkZqS3g5R0F2THBJcDRpclZkT2c&gid=6
(part of https://sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/mainline-fleet-tracking )

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 15):
The counter-argument would be that UA is replacing the 747-400s in the coming years with the A350-900
Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 15):
Five years or more of in-service time remaining is sufficient for a cabin modification, in my opinion.

I'd be willing to bet that 10 years from now, they will still be clinging very tightly to at least half of their 744 fleet, Still making a mockery of SFO, and the loud aircraft still whoooshing slowly and loudly overhead. UA will be giving excuses for their procrastination, whilst IAH and LAX are my first bets of places that will enjoy the new 350's.

Yeah yeah I know the whole airlines don't make money on Y argument, but Y is when they should be making their good first impressions on people. UA is an airline that will never, ever see any J or F revenue from myself or many others I know whom have flown them (whom could provide J or F business if desired), but will not since they've left such bitter tastes in our mouths.
And the bitter taste was just from an SFO-FRA flight. If it was SFO-SYD or HKG I'd have probably been traumatized from the sheer boredom from nothing to watch or do, and the sheer indifference of them toward Y class!

And to think, with the Wifi, power, and streaming combination, they could have slingshotted themselves from being one of the worst if not the worst 744 service to one of the best! But what we've gotten is hollow promises, procrastination, and dysfunction.

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