The job that pays the bills comes with some perks. One of them is that, occasionally, I get to visit the headquarters of other corporation. This week I visited FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee. The global courier delivery services company that pioneered overnight shipping services and a system that could track packages and provide real-time updates on package location, was founded just 47 years ago (in 1971) by Frederick W. Smith, who to this is the President & CEO. Today the company employs 425.000 people, owns a fleet of 670 aircraft, more than 185.000 vehicles and processes 14 million shipments each day.
After a day of meetings and great talks (among others with one of the right hand people of Fred Smith) we got treated to a tour of the FedEx Superhub at Memphis Airport, one of the largest logistics facilities in the world. For a bit more info, some pictures and the link to an interesting video about the hub continue after the jump…. (more…)
In a recent post I mentioned the 400 hours I’ve spent in airplanes on business trips last year. And that I’m happy for some Holiday downtime. And what did I do? Climbed into the cockpit of an Airbus A320 and took to the air again. Only that I was not really flying. Sounds crazy? Not really. My kids have treated me to 90 minutes in the cockpit of an airliner simulator. Not one of the real full motion simulators that airlines use for pilot training, but in a detailed cockpit replica with all systems fully simulated. And the near 180 degrees view of the scenery on the screen outside the big cockpit windows was enough to give you the full sensation of flying.
I think I’ve written in a previous post that I’ve got a private pilots license many years ago and that I’m a real airplane nut. Not only have I logged many hours in Cessnas, but a few years back I also flew an Airbus A340 full motion simulator in a Lufthansa Flight Training Facility. And I landed the big iron just as fine. The basics of flying are the same. regardless if piston engine planes or big passenger jets.
So after a short briefing by the flight instructor I did a first takeoff in Frankfurt, flew a pattern and landed successfully on the same runway. Then we did a full flight from Frankfurt to Nuremberg. It was so much fun. All the more, as the kids and the significant other (who took all the photos) where sitting in aircraft chairs behind the cockpit. We landed in snow drizzles about 40 minutes later and docked at the gate.
After a successful landing
I do fly the Airbus in a simulator on my PC, so operating the systems was quite familiar, but doing it in a real functional cockpit replica was so much fun. A got a certificate for my successful landings. So should ever the need arise in a real flight, that the crew would search for an emergency pilot, I’m definitely ready for it!
All photos taken with the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12mm F/2. Image specs for all are 1/60 sec at f/2 and ISO1600.
I’ve been on a crazy schedule these days. After flying from Portland to Munich I headed to the Austrian Alps late Friday afternoon, to meet my significant other, who arrived there by bus, for a weekend in the Gosau valley in Oberösterreich. On my way I passed Salzburg, where the Hangar 7 at the airport is the home of the Flying Bulls, the still operational fleet of vintage aircraft of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. As an airplane nut, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity for a quick stop to check out the aircrafts on display, like the North American B-25J Mitchell, a Boeing Stearman, a Chance Vought F4U Corsair (which I saw flying at the Oregon International Air Show the other week) and a Douglas DC6-B, plus many more. Also in the presentation is a vast collection of Red Bull racing cars. For some more impressions continue after the jump….
Yesterday I visited the Oregon International Airshow at Hillsboro Airport near Portland. As an airplane nut and former certified pilot I just had to take the opportunity once I found out the event was on during my free weekend in the Pacific Northwest. And sure I wanted to take many photos, although being limited to my Olympus PEN-F and my mZuiko 14-150mm F4-5.6 Travel Zoom. To visit the Air Show with me and for some aviation photography tips continue after the jump…
Phileas Fogg did it in eighty days. The protagonist of Jules Verne’s famous novel circumnavigated the world in 80 days, to win a wager of 20,000 pounds with members of London’s Reform Club. Accompanied by his French servant Passepartout and followed by a detective named Fix (who suspected Fogg had robbed the Bank of England), his travels, by all means available in the Victorian world of the 19th century, were full of adventures. He made it back to England on time, won the bet and even brought himself an Indian princess he saved from a fiery death.
My travel around the world will, by all means, be a lot less glamorous and adventurous. If all goes well it will take me 12 days. And I will travel westbound. The route is Nuremberg – Frankfurt – Vancouver – Portland – Vancouver – Taipei – Shanghai – Seoul – Tokyo – Munich – Nuremberg.
Fore some more info and a few more of colorful airplane photos I took at a Lufthansa event a while back continue after the jump…. (more…)
While I was in Detroit this past week there was no time to see anything besides airport, hotel and office. So in order to show you something from my latest travel destination I went back to my 2013 archive where I did spend a weekend in Motown. Back then I visited the Detroit Institutes of Arts, one of the principal art museums in the US, the Ford automotive plant in Dearborn and the nearby Henry Ford Museum. From this awesome museum are the photos for today’s post, triggered by a conversation I had with fellow blogger Tim S. Allen (check out his great site!) about a vintage airplane, the Ford Tri-Motor, that first flew in the 1920s. Tim, this is for you!
To see more photos of this magnificent vintage passenger liner, read about its history (it was the first plane that flew over the South Pole) and some interesting information about the Henry Ford museum (it has some really historic artifacts on display) continue reading after the jump…