The Flight Detective

Trent is a European based author covering airlines in the oneworld alliance, plus those flying in the Irish, British and Australian markets. He also produces comprehensive and unbiased flight reviews. For variety, Trent intersperses all of this with pieces on aviation history, commentary on current industry happenings and travel tips for frequent and infrequent flyers.

Cranfield University need donations for a new flying classroom

Cranfield University in England is quite unique in that they have an airport on campus. British Airways once donated a Boeing 737-436 to the University for use in instructing students. They also have a flying classroom and laboratory, in the form of a Jetstream 31. This aircraft is now becoming difficult and expensive to maintain, so the University is calling for donations to replace it. Cranfield’s Flying Lab Why does a University need an aircraft like this? Well, it allows students to become flight test engineers. With special instruments on board, real-time data can be used to instruct the...

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Come and meet the unsung heroes of the airline industry

Who are the real unsung heroes of the airline industry? Is it the pilot who lands the plane despite bad weather? The flight attendant who goes above and beyond caring for that couple with the baby? Perhaps it’s the people in maintenance, keeping aircraft safe with their attention to detail? Another group of people stand out that are equally as important as those I just mentioned. The real unsung heroes are those working in Cabin Appearance, or, to use another word, the aircraft cleaners. What Do These Unsung Heroes Do? Every flown on a long haul flight? After landing,...

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What is the food quality like on Ryanair in Europe these days?

Despite having experienced the world’s worst Burrito and vowing never to eat on Ryanair again, I was curious about the food quality now that over a year had passed. In the interim, the menu has been changed and there isn’t a Burrito in sight. Various inoffensive pasta dishes and a curry make up the hot options these days. Even though my flight was going to land at 18:10 and I was heading out to dinner, I decided it would be worth checking out some of the new food. FR3104 – Dublin to Amsterdam (DUB-AMS) 11 April 2019 Boeing 737-800...

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Does anyone remember the MD-11, the penultimate Douglas?

The penultimate aircraft from the storied Douglas Aircraft Company to appear was the McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Taking to the skies on 10 January 1990, it entered service on 20 December 1990 with Finnair. Essentially a modernised version of the Douglas DC-10, it had a troubled beginning. High drag meant that initial targets for range and fuel burn were not achieved and it wasn’t until 1995 that this was corrected. McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Video Following on from last weeks video about the Ilyushin IL-86, this week we return stateside to look at the MD-11. The video runs for about 14...

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Revealed: Secret meanings behind some unusual airline codes

Airline codes are often quite easy to understand. You know these codes, they’re the two letters written before a flight number on an airline ticket. Obvious ones are AA for American Airlines, BA for British Airways, HA for Hawaiian Airlines and so on. Officially called airline designators and assigned by IATA (International Air Transport Association), some seem to have no relation to the airline they represent. Or do they? Unusual Airline Codes Czech Airlines have an IATA code of OK. You can see in the image at the top of this post, that its predecessor CSA even had OK...

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Ryanair make sure you really know the story before your flight

Once again I find myself flying with Europe’s largest airline, Irish based Ryanair. With their rules and regulations, you would have to be living under a rock not to know what to do. Before my flight, I received no less than three e-mails from them. One to tell me my flight was coming up, and then a little barrage of communications as the date closed in. Ryanair’s Baggage Story Passengers wishing to take a standard sized cabin bag on board must purchase Priority Boarding. This comes with the guarantee your cabin bag will be with you on the flight...

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airBaltic commence Dublin to Riga with the Airbus A220

Latvia’s airBaltic have commenced services between Riga and Dublin using the Airbus A220. Many of you will know that this aircraft is a Canadian design that was originally called the Bombardier CSeries. For Irish travellers, airBaltic provide the only experience of flying aboard the ultra-modern Airbus A220. airBaltic use it as the backbone of their fleet and are currently transitioning out their final Boeing 737s to operate just one single type. airBaltic Celebrate Dublin to Riga One of the airBaltic aircraft is painted to celebrate 100 years of Latvian independence. With its striking red and white stripes to evoke...

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Who are Great Dane Airlines and where will they serve?

There is a new kid on the block with the striking name of Great Dane Airlines. Unsurprisingly, this new carrier is based in Denmark and will be flying out of Aalborg. Aalborg is Denmark’s fourth largest city, after Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense, and is situated in the north of the country. Three routes will be operated when the airline launches. Great Dane’s Initial Routes Upon launch, Great Dane will operate flights from Aalborg to Dublin, Edinburgh and Nice. Dublin Airport report there will be a twice weekly service on Tuesday and Friday between 21 June and 26 July and...

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Have you seen the new Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 cabins?

Boutique airline Virgin Atlantic have taken the lid off their new Airbus A350 cabins. These are due to enter service on the London Heathrow to New York John F Kennedy route from around August, with the first aircraft to be called Red Velvet. The A350 cabins feature entirely new seating for Virgin Atlantic in all three classes. Upper Class receive new seats as well as a new social space concept called The Loft. Let’s have a look at it all. Upper Class Suite Upper Class is the business class product at Virgin Atlantic. All seats will feature direct aisle...

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American Airlines advertising their Dallas to Dublin services

American Airlines are opening the first direct flights between Texas and Ireland in June, with a new service from Dallas to Dublin. With Dallas being a major hub for AA, it will open up easier connections for passengers. It also opens up another potential one-stop service from Ireland to Australia. Passengers could choose to fly Dublin to Dallas on American, then transfer to the Qantas service from Dallas to Sydney. Flying the long way around could be fun. Dallas to Dublin Advertising For some reason, I am always interested in seeing airline advertising. Cathay Pacific had a prominent stand...

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