Continental Airlines Boeing 757-324 N74856
Some interesting tidbits about the scheduled* aircraft for the StarMegaDo 2010 Charter
- Serial number 32815 LN: 1039
- Type 757-324
- First flight date 17/12/2003
- Plane age 6.9 years
Continental.com Aircraft Specification:
- Cruise Speed: 540 mph
- Propulsion: Two (2) Rolls Royce RB211-535E4B “Phase 5″ High Bypass Ratio turbofan engines rated at 42,540 pounds of thrust each.
- Wingspan: 124 feet, 10 inches
- Roll out: 25/11/2003
- First flight: 17/12/2003
- Type: 324
- Engines: Rolls Royce RB211-535E4-C
- 27/01/2004 delivered to Continental Airlines.
- 27/01/2004 registered to Continental Airlines Inc.
- 28/01/2004 ferried Boeing Field to Orlando as COA9971
Seatguru.com Seat Map:
FAA.gov Registry Information:
* Aircraft Assignment Subject To Change Without Notice Based On Operational Requirements
Photos Used With Permission of Opshots.net Webmaster
StarMegaDo 2010 – New York JFK to Frankfurt FRA on a Boeing 747-400
Join StarMegaDo as we fly from JFK to Frankfurt in the first hop of the transatlantic aerophilic adventure.
We’ve created a special picture blog of photos from the events. Visit them visit them here:
Feel free to click on the pictures and post comments, or select some for downloading.
Just a few more photos from inside the final assembly building at Toulouse…
What great fun to be at the factory and see the planes from so many carriers all in one place. And there were plenty to be seen. Check out some of these beauties:
This is the plane we were touring in all day:
Not all the planes on the ground were Airbus, but they were still cool:
Some of the bigger birds on display:
Of course, the main focus of the visit to Toulouse was plane spotting of a different kind. We were there to tour the A380 final assembly line. We did, and it was amazing. More stories, video and photos from that soon.
As a group of mostly very frequent flyers, getting to go behind the scenes and see the other side of the operations is always interesting. After all, we’ spend plenty of time on the customer side. Hitting up the crew side is the next step in the adventure. So when Lufthansa opened up access to their Technik facility – their maintenance operations – scores of our group showed up to take part.
Among other things, the group wandered through a couple planes that were in for their regular maintenance checks. These planes are essentially fully disassembled and then put back together, with various bits replaced and refreshed along the way. One of the more popular scenes during these tours were the visits to the crew rest bunks. They may not be glamorous, but they are fully flat, quiet and dark. Not too shabby. I could travel like that. Then again, I’ve been in an overhead bin and didn’t think it was all that bad.
Anyways, here are pictures of some folks having fun in the crew rest bunks:
First stop on the trip was Oslo to pick up a few more participants and to meet the folks from SAS who were kind enough to host us. They provided all the traditional Norwegian fare for us, including snow on arrival. Walking off the plane in a Hawaiian shirt and making a snow ball was quite enjoyable.
There was traditional music and dance:
And there were a bunch of displays set up around the hangar. The Air Force had a demo of their med-evac procedures on display and we were able to walk around one of the planes, including in the engine cowls and the landing gear areas. Very cool stuff.
There was a presentation from the folks at SAS about their airline and the Euro Bonus program as well as two singing performances by one of the flight attendants, including one where the wing of the plane was used as the stage. Video of that should be forthcoming shortly.
And then there was the biggest surprise of the morning’s events. The main organizer, Tommy, actually got to leave the plane via the evacuation slide:
Some others hopped on afterwards, but I am quite certain it wasn’t the same.
And then our stay in Oslo was complete. It was off to the de-icing pad and our departure for Toulouse. Another exciting flight and an even more exciting arrival!
I’ve never seen so many people quite so happy to be boarding a plane at 5:15 in the morning. And yet there we all were. Nearly 200 mostly awake and in a remote gate area of Frankfurt International Airport, ready to climb on board the first of three flights in our chartered Condor Boeing 757-300.
Plenty of sleepy eyes in the gate area but once boarding started most folks perked up in a hurry.
Maybe it was that we were giving out lies in conjunction with the first flight’s theme – a Continental Airlines flight from Hawai’i to Los Angeles in the 70s. Or maybe it was because the excitement all finally just bubbled over. Who really cares why…folks were downright giddy and it showed in their faces and behavior.
And the party never stopped. It would be days before things calmed down. But it is still before 6am on a Thursday morning in this story and we haven’t even taken off for our first stop, Oslo and a breakfast party with SAS.
Just a couple photos here of the gorgeous Condor 757-300 that we chartered for the day. Good times!
The A380 is simply huge. There is no other way to describe it. And the reception we received from the folks at Airbus and the tour that they provided was huge as well.
I wrote the above more than 5 hours ago in an attempt to be witty, smart and informative. In reality what I am is drunk and exhausted. Therefore there will be no more text in this post. Look at the pretty pictures and enjoy. Hopefully I’ll get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight (unlike the last three) and there will be more coherence in the morning.
Everything on the trip thus far has been incredibly well prepared theme-wise. The visit to Oslo and SAS was absolutely consistent with this expectation – we landed in a light snow! It was chilly outside but the hangar was plenty warm with good fun.
The SAS crew put on a great show, including a traditional dance troupe and one of their very own flight attendants who is also a quite good singer performing a couple tunes. She actually used the wing of the 737 as the stage for one of the performances; I’ve got video of that to post later.
There was a quite informative demonstration by the Norwegian Air Force of the processes they go through for evacuating soldiers. They had one of the planes configured inside with stretchers rather than regular seats and even a couple demo patients there.
As part of the safety and patient evac demo they popped one of the emergency slides and Tommy got to ride down it from the plane. The rest of us were only able to pretend but we still had some fun with it.
And then our time in Oslo came to an end. The band played on but we boarded the plane again and headed out to Toulouse.
And I’m exhausted. Seriously.
Sure, I’ve never actually had to do it before so remembering things like the stirrer sticks for the coffee service or making sure I actually served everyone who asked for a drink – sorry again, guys – were things that I really think that I’d do better with a bit of practice. Still, it was a bit of a humbling experience realizing that it was actually a bit of a challenge to sling a few drinks out to the 50 passengers I was responsible for. And the real flight attendants were working at least 50% of the cabin, plus doing the actual meal service.
I’m sure I’ll being seeing pictures galore in the coming days and weeks of me working as a flight attendant and drinking on the job. After all, I had well more than my fare share of Sect on the fight, and a bit of vodka, too. So it wasn’t really a truly honest effort as to what it would take to serve the cabin. But it was close, and it was definitely more work than I expected.
But it was also a TON of fun. I was walking the aisle clearing glasses from the business class cabin while we were on the active taxi-way. I was trying to figure out which pedal locked the cart and which released it. I was walking the aisle closing the overhead bins and turning off the call button lights. It really was a ton of fun.
Oh, we did do the safety demo work, too. That was fun. It was harder in that I didn’t have a demo seatbelt to use – I just took the belt off of the seat I was standing next to at the time – and the announcements were done in German, which made it even more challenging. Still, we all managed to do the demos and arrive safely so no real harm there.
We were also fortunate to have with us some coffee brought along specially by a member of the tour. Vince Mills runs Kena coffee in Hawaii and produced a special Star Mega Do reserve blend for our flights. As I understand it the coffee was delicious. So, again, sorry to the few guys who I never made it back to with the cups of coffee. My bad. If you’re interested, check our Kena Coffee. I’m pretty sure he’s got plenty to share with the community.
Willi, the Condor Boeing 757-300 chartered for the Mega DO, is enjoying the snow in Oslo.
Pictures courtesy of perlman and nickpiggot via Twitpic.
I’m pretty sure that the Lufthansa folks have never had over 100 passengers show up for the Star Gold boarding line. Yet there we all were, a hundred of us, lined up waiting to board Lufthansa’s flight 405 from New York’s JFK airport to Frankfurt. And we had a ridiculously good time.
We filled up the plane. Literally. We had almost all the seats in business class and a whole bunch in coach, too. The plane was 100% full, plus a couple extras. The Lufthansa employees from NYC coming over to Frankfurt for the event had to ride jump seat rather than even getting seats in coach. There were literally no seats left on the plane.
The good news is that the seats we filled were done so with great fun and excitement. The bad news, such as it was, is that the tailwinds on our flight meant that total flight time was just a hair over 6 hours to get to Germany. That’s really fast. So fast that full enjoyment of the meal service and the Business Class experience and also getting some sleep is really hard to do. Almost impossible, really. But that didn’t stop us from trying.
Here are a few photos from in flight:
And then, before I really had time to understand just how much fun I was having, we were less than 4 hours from arrival in Frankfurt!
Through some means that I have yet to fully understand, one of the folks in our group got access to the flight deck and rode up there for the landing in Frankfurt. Seriously. And he’s given me copies of the photos to prove it!
Yeah, that was our plane coming in for a landing in Frankfurt. Finally, a shot that is often repeated but always enjoyable upon arrival in Frankfurt, the reflection of the plane:
More tours, lounges and incredible fun later in the day on arrival. Those posts to come eventually. Right now I’m too tired and drunk for my fingers to really work any more.
Our flight was early. Almost ridiculously so. We actually circled a bit near London and slowed down coming into Frankfurt and we were still ridiculously early. What we lost in terms of sleep time in-flight, however, was made up for in terms of time spent in the Welcome Lounge arrivals facility in airport.
For me that meant grabbing some food – I slept through the brekkie service on the flight – as well as a bit of a pick-me-up drink. The bar had all the makings available for Bloody Mary’s, including a nice little setup of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, black pepper and lemon. But no Vodka. And when asked the agent seemed dumbfounded that such a thing could even be considered. Alas, I was relegated to a glass of beer instead. These are the sacrifices I’ve learned to make for my devotion to the cause.
We managed to be parked at one of the most remote hard stands which meant a 15 minute long taxi and then an additional ride on buses over to the immigration facilities. We spotted the Lufthansa retrojet along the way. She’s a beautifully painted Airbus A321 and looks just as lovely as the Continental retrojet.
Everyone headed off in their own direction at this point, mostly to the hotels to freshen up and prepare for tours of the Lufthansa facilities or other events on-site Wednesday evening, including a dinner hosted by Star Alliance and Lufthansa.
Here’s the aircraft that we are flying, boarding right now. Word has it that the tower will clear this flight as it taxis and takes off as FlyerTalk1. Now, how cool is that?
A great shot of the newly painted 752 arriving in Madrid. Notice the Star Alliance logos on the winglets!