AirplaneGeeks 311 – Travel Skills

TravelSkills founder Chris McGinnis

This Episode: A great new resource for business travelers, an FAA hangar policy change, the airliner manufacturing ramp-up, an MH370 update, the Griffon Lionheart, and some space news.


Chris McGinnis has had a long career in travel journalism, appearing on television and writing online. He recently created the Travel Skills blog, part of Boarding Area network, with news, information, tips, advice, and trip reports. Chris also co-hosts the #travelskills chat on Twitter with travel guru Johnny Jet every Friday morning at 9:00am Pacific Time (noon Eastern). There you’ll find topics discussed for an hour by people who are passionate about travel.

The News

New FAA Hangar Policy Draft: Much Confusion in GA Community

The FAA issued a draft policy that addresses the allowed uses for hangars at airports that receive federal grant funding. The policy as stated impacts airplane homebuilders.

GE Aviation invests $50M in 3-D printing plant

Alcoa Continues Aerospace Push With $1.1 Billion Pratt & Whitney Deal

Boeing, United Technologies Stockpile Titanium Parts

GE’s upgrade to their 300,000-square-foot Auburn, Alabama manufacturing plant is intended to let them mass produce fuel nozzles for the Leap-X engine. More broadly, we talk about the huge manufacturing ramp up required to satisfy the production requirements for new aircraft such as the A320neo family, 737 MAX, Comac C919, and Irkut MC-21.

Australia to announce next MH370 search

Malaysia Steps In to Save Its Reeling National Airline

Australia has selected Dutch company Fugro Survey to undertake the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The operation is expected to begin in September and last as long as a year. We also see that the Malaysian government plans to take full control of the company through a stock, buyback and restructure the airline’s operations.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week


David is off this week, but Jamie Dodson from steps in to tell us about the Griffon Lionheart, an American single-engined, six-seat biplane designed and produced in kit form for home building by Griffon Aerospace of Harvest, Alabama.

Across the Pond

Pieter is back reporting on the European Space Agency news that the Rosetta mission is now close to Comet 67P, ATV5 is close to docking with the ISS, the possibility that the UK will get its own Spaceport. Listen to Ep.27 – From rocket history to spaceplanes for more space content.

Listener Recording

Harriet and Micah

Harriet and Micah

Micah tells the story, “Favorite Flights I Never Flew.”


The 8 best beds on a Boeing 777

Chris McGinnis’ video tour of the crew rest area on Cathay Pacific’s new Boeing 777-300ER.

Boeing looking to expand presence in South Africa

Boeing Partners with South African Airways to Turn New Tobacco Plant into Jet Fuel

Activities include training, manufacturing, and biofuels. Boeing and South African Airways signed an agreement last year to establish a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa.

Photos from Paul Filmer

NCAR by Paul Filmer

NCAR by Paul Filmer

NCAR FRAPPE and NASA DISCOVER-AQ Operations in Colorado – July 2014

Aviation News – NCAR FRAPPE and NASA DISCOVER-AQ Operations in Colorado

Xtended Episode.29 – FIA 2014 (Live)

Pieter in the A350

Pieter in the A350

Recorded at the Farnborough International Airshow, Pieter and Tim talk to Jean Vincent Reymondon, Social Media Manager with the Media Relations Department of the Airbus Group. You’ll also hear interviews with several key suppliers.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

5 thoughts on “AirplaneGeeks 311 – Travel Skills

  1. Alex

    Hi Guys,
    Your link for the Griffon Lionheart takes us to Wikipedia that tells us about a different topic…namely the United States.
    Alex from China

  2. Charlie Branch

    Aw, Micah’s story reminds me of my first Alaska Airlines flight, as I was selected to be one of two fishery biologists (volunteer) doing stream surveys from May to September. I took the first city bus of the day from the Greyhound terminal downtown to Sea-Tac, ran to the counter and was told to “Run, your pack will be on the evening flight!” So it was that I ran to the gate, out the door and up the rear air-stairs of the B727, breathing hard as I met the most beautiful flight attendant I’ve ever seen. I was excited to be heading to Alaska for the first time, too, so I appreciated her taking my picture on the ramp at the Wrangell stop as a ramp agent scowled at dawdlers on her tarmac. The morning milk run delivered me to Sitka, and like Micah’s story, “I never saw her again.” Fast forward about 22 years, and I was returning home to Cordova, Alaska after flight training at Reno-Stead, boarding the new B737-700/800/900 series to be greeted with a hug from the flight attendant, and puzzled looks as I walked through first class to the cheap seats. Cordova is a small town, and our kids had been in play groups and elementary school together.
    Thanks for another great podcast! I’ve been busy covering fly-ins in north Idaho for our airport newsletter since it seems there’s a fly-in breakfast every Saturday somewhere in north Idaho. (August issue is on the website now, and I’ll put together another after the AOPA Fly-in August 16 with a story on Quest Aircraft, whose chairman is former chair of Alaska Airlines, Bruce Kennedy. You may remember him as the guy who had the in-flight meals served at Alaska Airlines’ board meetings.)
    Huckleberry pancakes, anyone?

  3. Willem

    Hi geeks.

    Just wondering where to find the link to the movie guest Chris made of the crew quarters in a (777?) from Cathay Pacific? It was mentioned in the last couple of minutes of the talk with Chris, but I have trouble finding it here, travel skills on or Youtube? Any chance the link could be shared? I would really appreciate that as I always wondered how access to this crew quarters is arranged…

    Thanks and keep up the excellent work on your brilliant podcast!

    Kind regards, Willem (the Netherlands)

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