Posts tagged ‘aircraft’

The SR-71 Blackbird is Actually Dark Blue

By Chad Upton | Editor

I saw the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird at an air-show on the west coast in 1986. When the announcer introduced the jet, he indicated the plane had left New York about an hour earlier. A similar flight would take more than 5 hours on a commercial jet, but the SR-71 Blackbird is capable of traveling at over 2,200 mph (3530 km/h). As a kid and now as an adult, this blows my mind.

Although it was retired in 1998, it still holds the record for fastest jet powered aircraft, which it achieved in 1976. It was so fast that the standard procedure for missile defense was to simply accelerate and outrun the missile. (more…)

March 22, 2012 at 2:00 am 2 comments

The US Postal Service is FedEx’s Largest Customer

By Chad Upton | Editor

FedEx Express currently owns 697 airplanes, with another 48 on order. That makes FedEx the 6th largest airline by fleet size. They operate more Airbus 300 and 310 airplanes than any other airline and there are only five airlines with more planes than FedEx.

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. SkyWest
  3. United Airlines
  4. Lufthansa
  5. Southwest Airlines

The next five airlines after FedEx are: American Airlines, Air France-KLM, International Airlines Group, Air Canada, and Chine Southern Airlines.

The FedEx airfreight concept was dreamt up by Fred Smith who wrote a college paper proposing the idea. His professor gave the paper a ‘C’ grade and that’s kind of how the company started out in 1971.

At one point, the company was losing up to a million US dollars per month. Smith tried to raise capital from General Dynamics, who turned him down. While waiting for his flight home to Memphis, he decided to take a detour to Las Vegas where he won $27,000 — enabling the company to make payroll the week after.

That gave him enough time to raise between $50 and $70 million in additional funding. By 1976, it was a profitable company that set many trends in the industry. They were the first shipping company to computerize and offer parcel tracking. In 1994, they were the first shipping company offer online tracking.

Tip: Enter a FedEx, UPS or USPS tracking number in google and you’ll get a link to the tracking info.

Fedex’s largest customer is actually the US Postal Service. This is a bit strange since FedEx introduced its overnight mail service in 1981 to compete directly with the USPS’s express mail service. But, in 2001, FedEx signed a deal to carry Express and Priority Mail for the USPS — that contract has been extended to 2013.

Last but not least, the FedEx logo has an arrow between the letters “E” an “x”.

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Sources: wikipedia (world’s largest airlines, fedex)

March 8, 2012 at 2:00 am 4 comments


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