Flight Blog

 


We've talked about it for the past year — the expected demise of the small regional jet (50 seats or less). Today we have another sign that bigger jets are on the way: Republic Airways will operate large regional jets for American Airlines. Read the story from the Dallas Morning News.

BTW... That red, white and blue image is the new American Airlines logo.

 

 

 

 

 

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"What was that loud airplane we heard last night about ten o'clock?"

Sometimes people ask it like a question; other times it's an accusation...

Regardless, we've been getting for years — especially in the dead of winter when the cold air seems to amplify the uproar. Our answer is always the same. "That's the Federal Express 727 cargo plane. It lands every night about ten o'clock."

Image of Federal Express 727 jet

People from all over the Springfield metro ask the question, but it usually comes from those living in southwest Springfield. Have any of you noticed that the punctual ten o'clock roar is no more? That's right. FedEx put the old beast out to pasture about two weeks ago. It's been replaced by a much newer, and much less noisy, 757 (bottom photo).

The top photo shows one of the old 727s on our cargo ramp. They were made between 1963 and 1984. You won't find many in passenger service these days — most were converted to cargo planes long ago.

FedEx started retiring them several years ago for a host of reasons: they're old and expensive to maintain, they guzzle gas, and, oh yes, they make a lot of racket! In contrast 757s are much newer (less expensive to maintain), more fuel efficient, and much less noisy.

I keep on waiting for someone to call and ask why the ten o'clock hour is so quiet!

 

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Jan 09 2013 Glimpse of the Future at SGF BY adminTAGS Airlines

Image of an Embraer 190 jet

 

We got our first up-close look at an Embraer 190 yesterday (photo left). The 190 has been in production about 10 years but the airlines haven't used them for Springfield air service — that's probably going to change in the next couple of years — we fully expect to start seeing them on a regular basis. Here's what's going on...

Most of our airport's service is on regional jets. That's "RJ" for short. These small jets typically carry between 44 and 50 passengers. Many of you love to hate them because they're so cramped...

The airlines are retiring RJs like crazy because they're getting old and they're expensive to fly — you can't sell enough seats to pay for the gas. The Embraer 190 will likely end-up replacing many of the RJs.

Aviation Geek alert! The photo on the left shows the Frontier 190 that visited yesterday. The photo on the right is a typical RJ. Notice the differences. The 190's bigger engines are mounted under the wings, while the engines on the RJ are mounted in the rear. Notice the differences in tail configurations. Click the photo of the 190 to see a bigger version.

Some people refer to the 190 as a stretched RJ. That's really not fair. The 190 can carry up to 114 passengers and is considerably more comfortable. It's more powerful and more fuel efficient. Overall, it's a vastly superior airplane. Here's to the future!

 

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Gourmet coffee is coming to our airport. The Springfield based Heroes Coffee Company will open an airport store in early February.

We already have two restaurants, two news and retail stores, and a full service bar. Gourmet coffee was the missing link — it has certainly been the most mentioned "want" by airport customers.

The Heroes beverage menu will include gourmet coffee, espresso, fruit smoothies, Italian sodas, and root beer on tap from Springfield Brewing Company. Food items will include custard bars from Andy’s Frozen Custard, baked goods from Brown Egg Café, and chocolate from Askinosie Chocolate.

While airport customers enjoy their gourmet coffee they can surf the Internet using the airport’s new and vastly improved Wi-Fi system.

Wi-Fi allows computer users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. The Springfield airport began offering the service for free in 2003. We were one of the first airports in the country to do so.wif-fo logo

Back then the only people using the Wi-Fi were people with bulky laptop computers. And their numbers were few. Today it’s completely different. It’s not unusual to have a couple of hundred people connected. A few still use laptops, but the majority use tablets and smart phones. We see whole families who are wired — mom and dad with iPads; kids with iPhones and iPods. The old Wi-Fi system couldn’t keep up.

The new Wi-Fi keeps up with demand and can even regulate usage. Suppose someone is hogging the connection by downloading huge files. When that happens it can slow down everyone else’s connection. Our new Wi-Fi identifies connection hogs and cuts them back. That way everyone is assured a good connection.

 

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It was just about six weeks ago that we told you about Allegiant's decision to "suspend" our service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning January 14. We're now pleased to say that Allegiant will bring the service back on June 7. So we'll be without the service for about six months. Why the suspension? Read on...

Last fall Allegiant began dropping its LAX service at many airports across the country. The reason, said Allegiant, included construction, and a lack of gate and counter space at LAX. Now, the airline and LAX have apparently worked out the issues. And Allegiant tells us that it's going to do its best to make the LAX situation work.

At this point you're likely asking yourself why the service will be suspended at all — if the issues are worked out, why a six month hiatus? Especially since the suspension doesn't begin until the middle of January?!

It has to do with scheduling and reservations...

It was in November that Allegiant decided to suspend our service. When that November decision was made it immediately became impossible to book an LAX flight past mid-January because those flights were cancelled. If Allegiant decided to forgo the suspension it would be operating flights that it hadn't sold reservations for! Feel free to ask questions if that explanation is clear as mud...

By the way, the Allegiant website will now let you make reservations for LAX flights occurring on June 7 and after.

 

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