Thoughts

Restoring planes is one expensive hobby

Paul Allen, one of the Microsoft co-founders, turns out to have more up his sleeve than the X Prize, although it’s related to it. He loves restoring old war planes. I’m not talking about painting them up so they can be placed in a museum, I’m talking about getting them up in the air! Just the idea sends shivers down my spine. I’d love to see a 1918 Curtiss Wright, or a Messerschmitt take flight, and he’s done it! What’s more, no expense is spared to restore them to their exact state when they were in flight, with the same materials and look. This is amazing restoration work, and it’s also very costly, bringing the price to hundreds of thousands of dollars per plane.

He’s purchased about three dozen airplanes since 1998, and about half of them are on display in two hangars at the Arlington airport outside Seattle. Once a year, he holds a flight day, where these old planes take flight for a public audience. His collection is open for viewing on Fridays and Saturdays, and the fee is $20. Definitely worth it!

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Reviews

Air quality in airplanes

It’s now been two days since I got back from my trip across the pond, and every time I blow my nose, my mucus is bloody. Sorry if I’m grossing you out, but I’m trying to make a valid point. The air in airplanes is too dry! Every time I fly for extended periods of time, my nose dries up so badly that it bleeds. I doubt I’m the only one with this problem, and I wish airlines addressed it already. It’s been well known for some time now. I remember reading an article years ago about how dry the air gets in planes, and what some airlines are doing. Well, I doubt much has been done since, because this problem still exists.

It seems that if the humidity is turned up, problems with damage to internal, structural components in the fuselage may occur. Also, fungus problems may occur in the plane. However, if I remember correctly, the impact of these two issues can be minimized, if not eliminated, through modern humidification systems and proper insulation of walls and crevices. Yes, it requires some retrofitting, but it’s worth it. Just think of the millions of travelers who have to deal with bloody noses every time they fly!

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Thoughts

On demand airflight to arrive by at least end of year

A company called DayJet will start taking orders from customers later this year for “on demand flying”. They have these light, 4-passenger airplanes called the Eclipse 500, and will let passengers book them for flights between cities that don’t normally offer commercial flights. CNET has the details in this article. I’m curious to find out what their pricing looks like, and how safe it’d be to fly in their airplanes.

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