08/12/2010

A beautiful Boeing 747 going back to Saudi Arabia

With the start of the Islamic holy Ramadan month, from 11 August to 9 September, many Geneva visitors from the Islamic countries have been returning home, in particular to Saudi Arabia.


The return to Saudi Arabia of our Geneva visitors from there meant that there have been many flights to there since the weekend.

One of these is a venerable yet, to aviation enthusiasts, beautiful Boeing 747-SP, with registration HZ-AIF, which is listed as belonging to the Saudi Arabian Royal Flight. It came to Geneva in the afternoon of Saturday 7 August and left again that same evening at just after 10pm.

Despite its age (built in 1981), this aircraft has clearly been modernised, so that, unlike those Boeing 747 of long ago, it can take off, turn and fly straight over the alps without having to make a loop. It also has been equipped with a modern transponder, which regularly broadcasts its position, flight direction and height.

Interestingly, on its departure on the 7 August, the transponder information always indicated a zero ground speed (as if it were a helicopter simply hovering!). No doubt this minor fault will soon be corrected.

This type of aircraft appears in the Swiss noise classification list as one of the noisiest (Class I). Aircraft in this class will normally be banned from taking off after 10pm. However, the Swiss Civil Aviation office (OFAC) has stated that if the scheduled takeoff is before 10pm, but there is some delay, then such aircraft can take off until the airport closure at 0h30 the next morning. For a takeoff just after 10 pm we can be pretty sure that this was the case.

We will very probably be seeing this aircraft again next summer, and perhaps even in the winter ski season.

07:39 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, boeing 747, saudi, arabia, ramadan | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

The comments are closed.