One for the Avgeeks…Frankfurt, Milan Linate, BHX, first Neo trip

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You’ll have to forgive the reflections and so on, but how can I not take photos like this when given the chance?

When I get the time to travel for personal reasons rather than business, I run riot with photos and take anything and everything I can see simply out of interest. This is one of those times. Frankfurt airport has such a wide variety of airlines and aircraft types and they’re so much more accessible than they are at Heathrow. BHX is also prone to seeing some genuine surprises – while at other times it’s fairly dull.

“I’m not saying my diorama is life-like but…” I was in a state of delirium…it was for a few seconds like being driven down the inside of my own airport diorama!

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So these are snaps – and some commentary on anything significant, plus some observations on things I’d not seen before or experienced.

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The first thing is I got to see the original new Lufthansa livery and the one they modified it to in good light. There’s no question that the original dark blue tail was so very dark it looks black, in fact you’d be hard pressed to think it was anything else. The later version is clearly a dark blue. Do I like it any more than I did? Not even slightly. It’s bland and boring and simplistic to the point of ridiculous. Lufthansa isn’t Finnair or Swiss where the colours and simplicity go with national traits and state flags. For Lufthansa it’s just, well, plain boring (pun intended) and they’ve done themselves a sharp disservice.

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The next thing was getting to see the new Air Canada livery in person, it wasn’t easy to photo as we zoomed past on the bus, but the 773ER was one side at B47 and the 787 in the old livery on the other at B20 (ish). In full site the new livery looks excellent, but then new paint always does.

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Others of note, finally getting to see the 748i retro, it’s never normally there when I am, saw the MD-11F in the new livery, a 744, a pair of 748i’s – one in the black-blue and the other in the lighter blue – a couple of A320’s and a CRJ600. Still not impressed and still not convinced Lufthansa are fully committed to it. I had a chat with an associate in the company and he wasn’t saying much, but enough to say “look how slowly they’re painting them”….there was a hint that given enough time to avoid embarrassment a change might be forthcoming. I hope so.

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Milan Linate – this airport is small, can’t really take anything bigger than an A321 – they look massive here it’s so old and yet oddly charming. The massive Emporio Armani hangar and the Armani sponsored buses are SO Milan. It also has more shops than any small airport I have ever been in, its rammed with them. San Francisco International is one of the most under-utilised shopping spaces in the airport world – there are more in tiny Milan Linate than in all of SFO combined!  When airports make much of their money from retail – a good airport makes more from shops than landing fees – it’s no surprise it continues to be successful.

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The Frankfurt-Milan route we had a CRJ both ways, D-ACNE and D-ACNV, in the old Regional liveries with the Brussels Airlines-like tail. On the way out to FRA we had an old A319, but on the way back to BHX, D-AINC the “First to Fly A320neo” that Gemini did in 1:400.

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I have to say the noise levels – and I chose the emergency exit row window seat 12F – were so quiet, especially on take off, it was a real surprise. Other than that you’d be hard pressed to know it was a Neo other than the overhead bin layout – and the hard to get at vent controls seemed somewhat retrograde.

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I love thes technical images – those upper deck catering wagons are amazing, and  as usual so much lying about at FRA, always tons of seemingly unused bits of kit!

On landing another nice surprise at BHX – one of the 5 StarHansa liveried aircraft in from Munich!

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PS – If you ever find yourself in Milan – the WorldHotel Christoforo Colombo is simply superb.

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Back at BHX this was in from Munich
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A320neo D-AINC our ride home from Frankfurt as LH956

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Rubbish phot0 but first time I got to see the new Flybe livery at BHX 
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Note the Norwegian with no engine cores as it waits for Rolls Royce repairs, and the Austrian reg on the easyjet.

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That’s the original darker blue-black tail

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Love this livery
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Thats the railway station section that forms part of my diorama from the south side

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