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Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Aug 29, 2020, 2:47 pm
  #20221  
 
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75. Aside from TU-144 SST flights operating to Alma-Ata, what is another unique and surprising aspect of jet service into Moscow, USSR in 1976?
OK, no widebodies. The IL-86 didn't come on line until 1981. And if Aeroflot didn't have them, nobody else would get to use them there.
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Old Aug 29, 2020, 4:22 pm
  #20222  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
75. Aside from TU-144 SST flights operating to Alma-Ata, what is another unique and surprising aspect of jet service into Moscow, USSR in 1976?

OK, no widebodies. The IL-86 didn't come on line until 1981. And if Aeroflot didn't have them, nobody else would get to use them there.

That's it, WHBM By 1976 practically every major European city had service from widebodies which - only six years into their existence - I should imagine were still quite a marketing advantage. I seem to recall Pan Am running a 747 through Moscow at some point, though evidently not in early 1976. Even Air France - which sent its A300s on regional flights all around Europe and northern Africa - did not send them into Moscow. The lack of widebodies just struck me as interesting given the times
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Old Aug 29, 2020, 4:26 pm
  #20223  
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And then there were just four...

12. (2003) What a night! That little white ball was practically on fire as you burned up the roulette tables at Mandalay Bay to the tune of over $38000.00! So what the heck – why not fly back home to Burbank in First Class? As things turned out, there’s just one flight a day that even offers First Class between Las Vegas and Burbank and you’ve called just in time to purchase the last available seat. Book it, Danno! Identify the airline and aircraft you’ll be flying upon.

30. (1990) As a lifelong resident of south Florida, you’ve often had occasion to visit Mexico’s Caribbean coast via Merida and Cancun. This time however, you’re headed for the other side of Mexico, to Guadalajara in the western state of Jalisco. And this won’t be a vacation trip either. No – you’re looking to invest in a new boutique tequila operation being fronted by your friend Guillermo Paz, a well-known star of Mexican stage and cinema. Guillermo knows his agave and you’re looking forward to learning more about the operation. Although you were expecting to make at least one connection, you’re surprised to discover a single daily one stop direct flight. Ay yi yi! Vamanos!! Identificar la aerolínea, la parada en ruta y el tipo de avión.

33 . (2003) You had a helluva time getting from New York down to Los Cabos, what with a broken down airplane and a missed connection, but your travel travails were well worth it given the wonderful week of sun and fun that you’ve enjoyed. And, as if things couldn’t get any better, you’ve been upgraded to First Class on your two-stop direct flight back to JFK. Identify the airline and aircraft you’ll return home on as well as the two enroute stops.


The following bonus question is sourced from a 1976 International OAG

Bonus Question 87B: What is the longest NONSTOP..twin jet flight out of London Gatwick? Remember, back in 1976, most international flights over 1200 miles were flown with four engine jets. Please identify the airline and aircraft as well.
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Old Aug 29, 2020, 4:51 pm
  #20224  
 
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By 1976 practically every major European city had service from widebodies which - only six years into their existence -
Although I gave the answer, I can't quite see that as being "unique". Were there any widebodies to Berlin, for example ? Or Birmingham ?

The Soviet Union refused to have any air service which was not reciprocated. As they didn't have any widebodies, nobody else got to use them there, quite apart from the low international demand for travel there in the 1970s. BOAC even had to order additional 707-320Bs to be delivered after their first 747s came along, to be used on the new London-Moscow-Tokyo route which none of their other types suited.

Pan Am did operate 747s to Moscow from 1988, but that was a different era, Gorbachev and Perestroika were here. Described here https://jpbtransconsulting.com/2014/...to-the-ussr-3/

Last edited by WHBM; Aug 29, 2020 at 5:05 pm
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Old Aug 30, 2020, 12:48 am
  #20225  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Although I gave the answer, I can't quite see that as being "unique". Were there any widebodies to Berlin, for example ? Or Birmingham ?
I should have gone with my first instinct and said "Capital cities". I was thinking of cities like Milan and Munich, but then Essen and Dusseldorf each have almost 600000 (today) which would qualify them as "major" cities in some quarters and they didn't see any wide bodies either. My bad. Chalk it up to declining intellect and advancing age.
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Old Aug 30, 2020, 4:16 am
  #20226  
 
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A
I should have gone with my first instinct and said "Capital cities".
Capital cities would be worse, as there are several, such as Berne or The Hague, which are not the major metropolitan point of their country and don't have much of an air service at all. Bonn piggybacked by name onto Cologne's airport (which is in Cologne city limits) And Berlin was the capital of the DDR.

I suspect much of Eastern Europe in 1976 didn't have widebodies - Warsaw, Budapest, Belgrade, etc. All in the multi-million population league. I'm even wondering about Vienna. Moscow is certainly in the top three of European cities, with London and Paris, but Berlin is normally No 4.

Speaking of Bonn, I once met a couple of girls who, from university, had gone to work for the UK foreign service, and been assigned to the British Embassy in Bonn. They didn't speak much German. For a holiday, they both knew Majorca in Spain, they knew English all spoken there, and thought it a good idea to buy a package holiday there from a local travel agency, flying LTU (I discerned the airline they used, inevitably, before moving on to ... other things). German only spoken on the flight from Cologne to Palma, hey-ho, and on the transfer bus to the resort - and at the hotel, and indeed the whole resort town, which had been fully bought out by German travel agencies. Being the late 1970s, English speaking had not penetrated nearly as much as now. Apparently the local village school specifically taught German (only) as a foreign language. It was a town that never featured in UK travel brochures then (Puerto Soller if you want to know). Next holiday they did USA, where the same was unlikely to arise.
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Last edited by WHBM; Aug 30, 2020 at 5:37 am
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Old Aug 30, 2020, 8:20 am
  #20227  
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A
Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
75. Aside from TU-144 SST flights operating to Alma-Ata,what is another unique and surprising aspect of jet service into Moscow, USSR in 1976?
Allow me to be a bit more specific - this question concerns ALL flights into ANY Moscow airport...

If the answer can be found by analysing the OAG (not having seen an actual hard copy and only played with the edition on CompuServe among other dial-up outlets in the late '80s) then I would guess that SU schedules were a state secret and thus no SU service was listed.

No - there were plenty of Aeroflot (SU) schedules listed...
I can assure you that full Aeroflot flight schedule was the state secret.

The flights you can see in 1970’s/1980’s OAG are these that were available for sale through neutral CRS’es/GDS’es (SABRE, Apollo, PARS, SITA GETS – Amadeus/Galileo didn’t exist in 1970’s) on SU plate via ARC/BSP neutral stock.

For these flights SU was hosted in SITA Gabriel system, that could price only inflated rates for foreigners.

90% of USSR flights were not available in CRS’es/GDS’es – for them SU used another system called Sirena, that was NOT connected with any other international system (so those imperialists could not spy on USSR). The funny thing is that Sirena survived the USSR collapse and is now used by a few small airlines in Russia/CIS.

I hope, I still have the 1996 Sirena handwritten ticket from Brest to Minvody (given to me from someone who actually flew on that route, who knew I then was an avgeek). If you go to the 1996 ABC World Airline Guide (European equivalent of OAG) the only Brest (BES airport code) you will see would be in FR. But the ticket I have is from Brest in today’s Belorussia (today’s code: BQT), which was an airport hidden from the Western world – thus not even listed in ABC/OAG.

Minvody (today officially called Mineralnye Vody - MVR) was listed in ABC but only with a few ‘foreigner accessible’ weekly flights shown (7 x VKO, 3 x KBP, 4 x LED, 7 x TBS, 3 x TAS).

BTW – the ticket was not in the IATA/ARC/BSP format – it was written in Cyrillic (that I could more or less read), had the seat number (no boarding passes were issued at the airport – your Sirena ticket was your boarding pass) and with price cut with scissors (I am serious – I really hope I have the ticket somewhere in my family house and will be able to post on this forum).

Another memory. I think it was during the ‘glasnost’ times (1998? 1999?) – to practice Russian I was given a copy of ‘Konsomolskaya Pravda’. There was an article about how chronically late SU domestic flights are and how frequently they are cancelled (yes – until ‘glasnost’ happened all SU flights were operating on time and never cancelled). The was a story of a family from Norilsk (in Siberia) who had to wait for 7 days for the next flight with available seats (all SU flights were always 100% full, with the exception of these ‘foreigner accessible’). The SU representative at VKO was not even sure what the issue was – they just waited patiently for a couple of days and finally flew. And - as this was during ‘glasnost’ - the journalist was permitted to ask Western airline how they handle delays. Of course, no way they could ask 'Nazi' Lufthansa or 'Imperialist' Pan Am. So, they asked Finnair rep for USSR. This was funny as he could not understand the question – for him long delay was a 1-hour delay, for SU 7-day delay was ‘almost on time’.

Fun fact: during USSR times all domestic flights were operating according the Moscow time. You can believe or not, but even today Russian long-haul trains still operate according to the Moscow time.

Yet another fun fact: today Aeroflot Group (including Rossiya, Aurora etc.) is hosted in SABRE.
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Last edited by TPJ; Aug 30, 2020 at 8:34 am Reason: gramar
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Old Aug 30, 2020, 1:51 pm
  #20228  
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Originally Posted by TPJ
I can assure you that full Aeroflot flight schedule was the state secret.
Thank you, TPJ, for this interesting and entertaining look into the workings of Aeroflot back in the day. Posts like this are a big part of what makes the Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion so enjoyable to participate in, so thanks for making my day with this post.

I must say that Aeroflot impressed me when I flew with them on a short flight between Helsinki and Moscow three years ago. Nice, comfortable airplane (A320) with a proper Business Class cabin (2 X 2 seating - never before seen on any of the western European airlines) and decent service enroute. Additionally, I remember well the oddity of maintaining Moscow time throughout the five day portion of the seven day train ride between Moscow and Beijing. The train I rode on was Chinese operated but regulations required that the dining car be operated and staffed by people from whatever country the train happened to be passing through - thus once we entered Mongolia we switched to a Mongolian dining car and staff, etc. One thing I remember being told about the Russian dining car was the reason why it was staffed from kitchen to wait staff entirely by women. Apparently, a good percentage of the male workers were known to drink to excess on the long journey across Russia. Sometimes they would not show up for work at all or worse, they would show up drunk and surly. Additionally, nobody spoke English but the printed menu showed food listings in Russian, Chinese and English. If you want to read more about that trip, just click the links below. There's no need to read the simplistic and boring written portion - just scroll through the pictures to get an adequate sense of what one of the world's longest train trips is like.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28443061-post5.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28443084-post6.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28443091-post7.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28443101-post8.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28443105-post9.html
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Old Aug 30, 2020, 6:04 pm
  #20229  
 
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My brother and I rode the (Chinese) Beijing-Moscow train via Mongolia in the Gorbachov era (July, 1987). We had a very nice two-berth cabin and took along a case of beer, as Gorbachov was on his anti-alcohol binge then. Between two two-berth cabins there was a washroom with a hand-held shower. A German tourist group on the train had secured the dining-car stores, so after one day the caviar was gone, on the second the smoked salmon, then the beef stroganov, etc. But wonderful cabbage soup was always available. Although I was traveling on a diplomatic passport, and needed special visas, no one seemed to care or follow us (as far as I could tell), including in Moscow.
In September, 2004, after retirement, a friend and I rode the Russian train Moscow-Beijing via Manchuria, with a stopover in Irkutsk. By then travel in Russia was anxiety-free, and we were able to make all arrangements on the internet (including a private stay on the shores of Lake Baikal). The restaurant car had the multi-lingual, and limited, menu, but the food was good. There was a shower at the end of the car. Even the Chinese couldn't care less that we were there (again all arrangements made on the internet). I understand it's now all more difficult.

For the air-intererested: 1987 - Air India A310 Bombay-Hong Kong via Bangkok, train to Guangzhou, CAAC Trident Guangzhou-Guilin, CAAC 737 Guilin-Hangzhou, trains Hangzhou-Bejing, in part pulled by a steam locomotive, Interflug TU-134 Moscow-Berlin, British 737 Berlin-Cologne, Pan Am 747 Frankfurt-JFK
2004 - Air France 777 JFK-CDG, AF A-318 CDG-Berlin, train Berlin-Moscow (upon arrival the Russian sleeping-car porter asked me to give him my ticket, which he could presumably later sell to another traveler), China Eastern A-300 Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao, magnetic-levitation train downtown-Pudong airport (top speed: 430 km/hr), AF A-340 Shanghai-CDG.
All in all, loads of fun.
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Old Aug 31, 2020, 7:56 am
  #20230  
 
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I think I've mentioned the Russian aircraft museum at Monino, in the outer Moscow suburbs, before. You get there by local train from the Yaroslavski station, the same as the Trans-Siberian. Returning one afternoon, we ran in for the last few miles right alongside one of the Trans-Siberian services. Notably, its windows all had two people standing, looking out at Moscow, possibly for the first and maybe only time in their lives as Russians. Several had children between them as well. All looking, fascinated.

It's only when you go to the station there you realise the extent of the train service on the line. The Rossiya to Vladivostok, all the way, is well known, but there are many other daily services, one to Khabarovsk, which is nearly all the way, and others to Omsk etc, still several days travel. In the summer some are duplicated. The overall number of cars required must be vast. Soviet Railways by the 1980s had developed a very workmanlike passenger car with day/night compartments, which are used all over; they must have churned out thousands of them from the car plant in Riga (now in Latvia). If you want a one-night flavour of them without the extended time, the same cars are used on the many overnight trains from Moscow to St Petersburg. There are 4-berth (normal) and 2-berth (expensive) compartments. However, if your Russian is good you can understand that you can book all four berths in a compartment, but only have two travel tickets

My Russian was, well, very good

It was in the Moscow-St Pete overnight one night that about 1am we went along to the diner. I was dubious it would be open, but it was all night. We ordered a snack, cognac (which the Russians are expert at, from Dagestan), and coffee. I asked for cream with the coffee, and was told there was none. Then we ordered a fruit dessert. Mine came with an enormous pile of whipped cream on top. The cream, you understand, was for the desserts. Not for the coffee. Some old Russian ways (and it was apparently like this right back to Czar days) die hard. At exactly 1.30am, with a great crash, all the car attendants entered the diner, together, filled the tables, and were all served by the waiter with substantial veal cutlet dinners (and, of course, this being Russia, masses of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers). Seemingly part of the job. Half and half guys and girls, none probably over 25, all wearing their formal Soviet-era big hats.

The Trans-Sib seems to run somewhat at a jog-trot because the trains are interposed between the very heavy freight operation, which runs at the same overall speed. Commonly several of the passenger trains run just a few minutes behind one another, as described in Seat 2A's travelogue, then there's an interval.

Incidentally, as part of the Eastern Europe Comecon approach, all the Soviet Railway electric express locomotives were built in Czechoslovakia, by Skoda, and all the diners were built in the GDR. Standardised Soviet subway trains went the other way.

Here's that train approaching Moscow. Note how the locomotive is adapted for winter conditions - all the air intakes etc up on the roof.


The museum at Monino has one of every aircraft the Soviets ever built. Here's a Chinook helicopter they built sideways ...


and here's a nice Tupolev 114 contra-rotating prop long haul aircraft, which could (just about) make it nonstop to Havana. They routed Moscow to Murmansk in the far north, filled the tanks there, and set off diagonally across the North Atlantic tracks.

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Old Aug 31, 2020, 9:51 am
  #20231  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
I think I've mentioned the Russian aircraft museum at Monino, in the outer Moscow suburbs, before....

The museum at Monino has one of every aircraft the Soviets ever built. Here's a Chinook helicopter they built sideways ...

Yes you have......I would love to visit the Central Air Force Museum at Monino. And "Chinook built sideways" indeed. I believe that's a Mil V-12 and not very many were built as I think it never went into serial production. I also believe the Mil V-12 (which NATO named "Homer") remains the largest helicopter ever manufactured. I'm not sure what payload it could lift externally weight-wise but I think it was reportedly able to carry 196 passengers as a troop transport. A Mil V-12 made an appearance at the Paris Air Show back in the early 1970's and it must have been a sight to see (and hear) when airborne.....

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Aero...uRA%2BnmL7Rolj

And a quick BONUS quiz question......

What was the name assigned by NATO to the Tupolev Tu-144? ANSWERED

Last edited by jlemon; Aug 31, 2020 at 1:25 pm Reason: added bonus question & answer update
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Old Aug 31, 2020, 12:41 pm
  #20232  
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Originally Posted by jlemon
And a quick BONUS quiz question......

What was the name assigned by NATO to the Tupolev Tu-144?
in keeping with the convention of aircraft code names beginning with the same letter as the general category of aircraft -- B for bomber (Tu-16 Badger, Tu-22 Blinder, Tu-95 Bear); C for cargo/passenger (IL-18 Coot, IL-76 Candid); F for fighter (MiG-25 Foxbat, MiG-29 Fulcrum) -- I believe it was nicknamed the "Charger"

speaking of the Tu-95 Bear -- it was the baseline for the Tu-114 (which NATO designated "Cleat"); the principal modification was of course the pressurized fuselage

in 1967, during a family vacation to Montreal for the World's Fair, I talked my father into making a stop at Dorval so I could collect some exotic timetables and take a few pictures ... I was lucky enough to see an Aeroflot Tu-114 that day (as well as several Vanguards and a Nordair Super Constellation)
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Old Aug 31, 2020, 1:19 pm
  #20233  
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Originally Posted by jrl767
in keeping with the convention of aircraft code names beginning with the same letter as the general category of aircraft -- B for bomber (Tu-16 Badger, Tu-22 Blinder, Tu-95 Bear); C for cargo/passenger (IL-18 Coot, IL-76 Candid); F for fighter (MiG-25 Foxbat, MiG-29 Fulcrum) -- I believe it was nicknamed the "Charger"
Yep.....and here's a photo of a Tu-144LL with not one but two national flags on its tail.....

https://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Ph...97-44203-5.jpg
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Old Aug 31, 2020, 3:35 pm
  #20234  
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And then there were just four...

12. (2003)

30. (1990)

33 . (2003)

Bonus Question 87B: (1976)

Not anymore! These questions have been suspended until a later date....

Last edited by Seat 2A; Aug 31, 2020 at 11:09 pm
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Old Aug 31, 2020, 4:21 pm
  #20235  
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727-264 Advanced, N729CK operated by Kalitta Charters, on final for 14R at BFI about 10 min ago

can’t remember the last time I saw a 72S in the air, much less one with winglets
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