Saturday, June 17, 2006

The View from 41,000 Feet

I flew to Vancouver this weekend on WestJet and I was quite impressed with the plane. It was a Boeing Next-Generation 737-700, which has a cruising speed of 850 kph and a maximum altitude of 41,900 feet. The length of the plane is 110 feet with a wingspan of 117 feet. WestJet's ads say they have the most modern fleet in North America and I believe it - when I got inside I noticed it still had that new plane smell.

When I sat down I was surprised to see a TV monitor on the back of the seat in front of me. As we idled on the runway it displayed a representation of the plane's position and heading on a map of western Canada. It even displayed the airspeed and altitude, which of course at the time was 0 kph and 5 feet. I was impressed with how quickly the numbers increased as we took off, but I was most impressed with the pilot because he flew to an altitude of 41,904 feet in a plane that has a maximum altitude of 41,900 feet! Talk about pushing the envelope! I bet he was probably speeding too.

Soon though, believe it or not, watching the airspeed got boring so I decided to see if this monitor showed anything else and soon enough I was flipping around the dial with 24 channels of satellite tv at my disposal. Right about this time in the flight we were flying over the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains and I found something to hold my attention. Before I knew it we were on our final approach to Vancouver and I realized I had spent the entire flight watching The View from my window seat... on channel 14.

P.S. This blog article was written on my way home while on another Boeing Next Generation 737... but this one was only a 737-600, and it didn't have a tv. I actually had to use my brain to entertain myself... so I wrote this blog on my Palm Pilot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remarkable. Although rated at 41,000 feet max, even the Boeing website states they normally fly at only 37,000.

Miss High Flying Jet Set Sarah!