It was near the end of a series of flights from Copenhagen to Santa Barbara, and easily the best of the bunch.
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I want to fly in one of these — an Airbus 380. From the looks of the interior shots here, it’s an upscale airport lounge that flies. But that’s not what interests me. What I like are the positions of the lower deck windows, which line up below the equator of the fuselage. For passengers like me, who like to look at the ground below, that provides a better angle.
Many of the shots here and here were made out the windows on either side of the rear galleys of a United B777, next to the space where people wait to use the toilets. These windows are lower than the ones by seats, and taller. That makes them ideal for shooting pictures. They are also why I would rather have a seat in the back of coach than in the “premium” coach seating on that plane, all of which is over the wings. Or even in business or first class. Flying for me is about flying. That requires a view. Not nice food and television at altitude.
On the A380, as on all jumbo jets, the wings are huge. Also, the whole top deck (the plane has two floors) has windows that angle skyward. So the percentage of windows that look down is not large. But I’d love to try it out.
Right now only Emirates is flying the A380 as a commercial plane. (<strike>There are cargo versions already in service.</strike>) So I’ll need to find an excuse to fly to one of that airline’s destinations. On the right plane. Might not be easy. (See comments for corrections.)
Flying from Boston to Minneapolis by way of Chicago today. The second leg is through the middle of this:
Shouldn’t be much to see out the window.
But I’m looking forward to talking tomorrow morning at MinneWebCon. The title is The Intention Economy: What Happens When Customers Get Real Power. I gave a shorter talk by the same title to a small group at the Berkman Center a couple weeks back. The video and audio are here. This one will be for Web development folks rather than the somewhat academic folks that come to Berkman lunches. Should be fun.
I also expect to be hanging Monday night with other folks interested in seeing Carolina beat Michigan State in the NCAA championship game.
So I shot a bunch of pictures of Niagara Falls from 35,000 above, on a trip last week from San Francisco to Boston. Click on the pic for the whole set.
Interesting to think that the falls are only about ten thousand years old. A blink in geologic time.
Tags: altitude, buffalo, Canada, falls, flying, goat island, hydro, hydro-electric generation, lake erie, lake ontario, new york, Niagara, Niagara Falls, Niagara Frontier, Niagara River, Ontario, rapids, river, us
Sitting by Gate 88 at SFO, waiting to board United’s next Boston flight. I just took my chances and ordered a short dry decaf cappuccino. I figured I had a good chance of getting what I wanted because the coffee shop at the gate is Peets, of which I am quite fond because more often than not they make them right.
Not this time. Even with careful instruction (“just some foam and a tiny bit of milk on the espresso”), I got what remains the default for coffee shops everywhere, and which I’ve complained about before.
So now I’m sitting in seat 1a: a biz class window on the shady side of the plane with no obstructions. The window could be cleaner, but it’s not too bad. The shooting should be good.
I may be wrong, but I’ll betting that Esther Dyson is already the most frequent flyer on Earth.
Now she’s looking to fly at higher altitudes.
Here’s the latest on her Edventure site:
|UPDATE: I’m currently living in Star City outside Moscow, training to be a cosmonaut as backup to Charles Simonyi. His flight launches March 25. For details of my EDventures, see the LINKS for Hpost and FS blog. (I’m cross-posting.)|
Hat tip to Chris Locke.
The more I fly, the more useful, or at least interesting, the NOAA‘s AviationWeather.gov service becomes. At any given moment it has dozens of different reports on weather at altitude, across North America. The one above is among the many that show potential or reported turbulence.
Here’s the FAA’s page on flight delays. Plus FlightAware, the best of a bad bunch — too much flash and other stuff that doesn’t work on too many browsers, especially ones in handhelds. Speaking of which, I’ve lately been appreciating FlightTrack. The list could go on, but I need to move on. See ya in Boston. (At IAD now. The last two paragraphs were written at SFO, where connectivity was minimal.)
Oh, click on the map above and check out the current maximum turbulence potential between here (Washington) and Boston. So far there’s just one pilot report, of moderate turbulence, over Connecticut.
So I’m here in the Bolt Bus from Boston to New York. There’s wi-fi on board, and power outlets in the backs of most seats. But the wi-fi is slow, so I’m on a Sprint EvDO card. Getting about 1Mb down and .6Mb up. Not bad.
Anyway, I’ve recently uploaded a pile of photo sets to Flickr, where my inventory of photos is now approaching 26,000. Here is a list of just a few sets, mostly shot from airplanes and other moving vehicles:
- A drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in the Spring, when everything is still green.
- A trip that went from Las Vegas to Boston by way of Los Angeles. Many shots here, among them some amazing ones, mostly of desert.
- A winter flight from Boston to Santa Barbara, by way of L.A. Shot with a video camera in still mode. I still lacked a real digital camera back then (early 2005), so this had to do. Needs tags on the pix.
- Los Angeles in Winter, when L.A.’s mountains (the San Gabriels, which overlook the basin from the north) turn into alps. I love skiing there when the show’s thick (like right now), on Mt. Baldy. There are people who go skiing on Baldy in the morning and surfing in the afternoon. One of the fine graces of SoCal living.
- Four SoCal mountain sets I just put together: San Gorgonio (highest), San Jacinto (second highest), Baldy (third highest, and still above 10,000 feet), and San Gabriels.
- The Swiss Alps, shot on departure from Zürich earlier this month. Also crossing the Jura on the way into ZRH a couple hours earlier.
- Here are shots of the same Alps, still awaiting snow, only a few weeks earlier.
- Flying out of San Francisco last month.
- Flying in and out of Warsaw last month.
- Flying across Norway.
- White cliffs — not of Dover, but downcoast from there along the English Channel from Brighton to Eastbourn.
- New York at night, flying into LaGuardia from BWI in Baltimore. Shots of the Bronx Whitestone and Throggs Neck Bridge lights, were shot by The Kid.
- Colorful Salt Ponds, mostly on San Francisco bay, but with a few out in various deserts where they are all that remain of Pleistocene lakes.
- Boston to San Francisco last month.
- Flying into Las Vegas in September.
Wow. It’s snowing now. Hard. We’re still in Connecticut, approaching the Westchester border. The Weather.com map is quite colorful:
Hm. Not taking. Guess I need a separate post for it.
@dsearls A glitch in that last post. The great David Reed post linked was an error (not mine, faik). Belonged in another tweet.
These are the most spectacular mountains I have ever seen, shot on two flights seven years apart. Auyuittuq Nati... bit.ly/1vfH1Cb
Where the Ice Age persists, north of the Arctic Circle, now with captions: bit.ly/1vdLWn7