As many of us Kiwi's know. To go anywhere outside the country flying is the main option.
We have been airborne from the very first days of flying.
Kind of crazy seeing a Kiwi is a flightless bird.
While flying to Sydney last week I was thinking about this and how flying has changed even in my short 60 plus years. When we were kids we flew to Nelson regularly. The aircraft used included, DC3 mostly, Vickers Viscount occasionally and the Heron. And shock horror once we went in a Bristol freighter but I can't recall why.
Then when I started flying overseas it was the Boeing 707, then the DC10 and my favourite the 747 in both normal and short version the latter was a special long range version. In the last 20 years there has been so many new aircraft types and too many to list.
But one particular passenger aircraft sticks in my mind from my childhood and that's the Solent Flying boat. I never flew in one as they were the domain of the wealthy but we did see them occasionally land in the Tauranga harbour.
Below are some details and a brief comparison between the TEAL (the company flying the Solents in NZ at the time) Solent and the new Dreamliner Boeing B789-9N that I flew in to Sydney.
A Solent in Wellington harbour circa 1950
34 passengers, range 2896km, 7 crew, 17,000ft crusing height at 393km/hr
280 passengers, range 14,000 km, altitude 43,000 ft, 954km/hr
But it can't land on water
It would take a number of Solents to cater for this many passengers. Part of the Auckland airport car park. (A very small part)
Our Dreamliner about to eat a Qantas jet over Sydney
In the Sydney Air new Zealand airport lounge these items on the wall.
I love this. Standing up at the bar in flight. Note the two ashtrays
One of the Dreamliners massive jet engines. Very quiet and super powerful delivering up to 81.000 lb/f. That's when they are not having blade issues in the turbines. But we don't think about that at 40,000ft.