Does anyone need a used 747?

Does anyone need a used 747?

Does anyone even know what a used 747 costs?  I found some posts that say you can get one for a “couple of million” dollars.  And then you need to fill the tanks with fuel…  But if you can buy the plane, that shouldn’t be a problem, now should it?

I came upon a dozen or so used 747 cargo planes in an aircraft boneyard of sorts at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

There’s some interesting history and things that I didn’t even know about the Air & Space Port that you can read about on their website by clicking here.

Some of these aircraft will be parted out and ultimately scrapped in place.  Some are in flying condition, and may find a second / third / fourth life.

I don’t know what the history holds for these beasts caught in the shimmering heat waves of Mojave.

Used 747 cargo aircraft in the boneyard at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

Used 747 cargo aircraft in the boneyard at the Mojave (CA) Air & Space Port.

These images are interesting to look at.  However, unless you’re into pictures that show the distortion caused by the heat waves, they may never make it onto a wall anywhere.  On the other hand, some like the effect.  You can decide for yourself!

From looking at the number of cargo 747s – either the air cargo business isn’t what it used to be, or these winged giants are being replaced by new or newer aircraft with a lower operating cost per pound of cargo.  Size isn’t everything in aircraft – it’s important for sure, but for smaller cargo that doesn’t require a specialty plane, it’s all about operating costs.  That’s part of why we human cargo pieces keep getting squeezed into smaller seats with less leg room – and we seem to be paying more for it, but that’s another story.

Believe it or not, the first flight of a 747 was way back in 1969!  I’ve flown on the 747 three times – once in the cavernous coach section, and twice in Business Class on a business trip to Australia.  By the way – it’s didn’t seem much better in Business Class for 14 and 16 hour flights – that’s just too long on an aircraft, period.

I found three websites about the 747 that you might find interesting – Boeing 747 on Wikipedia, the official Boeing 747 site, and Boeing-747.com.

Here’s a link to the planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

 

Fifi Awakens

Wondering just what the title is about?

Well, now that I have your attention…

I recently had the fortune/privilege of seeing the only operable Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber in the world (at least as of March 2015), Fifi.

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It was a strange day in some ways.

On one hand, there was the awe of what was the biggest and baddest bomber of its’ time.

There was the awe of watching her awaken from a slumber and prepare for flight.  The smell of unburnt fuel as the revolutions built, the puffs of sweetly acrid smoke dissipating into the air.  The vibration at my feet.

The realization that not only was I watching a machine, but one made for war.

As I said, it wasn’t just a “let’s go take airplane pictures” kind of day.  It was a day of reflection.

There were World War II Veterans there, including at least one who flew in one of Fifi’s kin, a member of a P-38 Ground Crew, and a P-51 pilot.  There were people of all nations and colors.

Many cheered when Fifi’s fourth engine reached full revs.  I wonder if they were cheering for Fifi as she is or what she represents to each of them.

It made me think of something related, but not.

My mind went to the the smiling boy I remember from across the street went to war as a young man, and didn’t come home.  I was probably reflecting differently than most that day.  I’ll stop there, because we all reflect upon war and loss differently.

But, let’s look at Fifi for what she is – an aircraft of a bygone era.  Technologically, the B-29 was at the leading edge of bomber design at that time.  And, I got to see her fly in 2015.

If you’d like to learn more about the B-29, click here for Wikipedia’s page, and here for Boeing’s page.

If you’d like to see Fifi as she awakens, click here to be taken to the Laughing Frog Images YouTube page or click here to be taken directly to the video.  It’s not the greatest video in the world, as I had to hold my phone above people, and try to keep it steady for about four minutes – so I apologize for the technical quality, but not the content.

I am working on a gallery of Fifi for Laughing Frog Images.  In the interest of being true to Fifi’s era, all of the images will be in Black and White.  There will be two versions of each image – one will mimic Kodak Panatomic X film (“Pan-X”), and one will mimic the grainy reproduction of a newspaper of the era.  It will be interesting to see what the feedback is on the two versions.