Archive for the ‘Aircraft’ Category

The Power Lunch Series (American Airlines: Why You Fly)

Monday, 17 April 2006; 17:50

Wow! Podcasts? Life coaching? Nutrition advice? This is an online promotion for American Airlines? I could write a short article on this aspect of AA’s promotions, but I will spare you that. Instead, let me point you directly to The Power Lunch Series with life coach Valorie Burton and nutritionist Dr. Ro.

Each week, a video vignette featuring either Valorie Burton or Dr. Ro offers advice ranging from alleviating stress and being constantly overcommitted to healthy eating while on the go. And although one target audience is clearly women, there seems another audience in mind to an extent unlike anything I have previously seen — and especially from an airlines. However, maybe someone is looking ahead and sees the changing demographics of America.

You may wish to take a few minutes to look around at other parts of American Airlines’ Why You Fly site. Family reunion planning advice? A downloadable pdf file for tracing your family’s health tree? Quite frankly, much of the site left me feeling all warm and fuzzy. (And in consumer behavior theory that would be termed having positive “affect” and “attitude toward the ad.”)

AA Boeing 737-800

“Swiss Air Force – The Movie”

Thursday, 13 April 2006; 15:55

First, yes, you read the title correctly. (Top Gun was already taken.) Second, who knew there was an international film festival for the world’s military? I did not. However, Swiss Air Force – The Movie was a recent winner of the International Military Film Festival in Rome, awarded with the Certificate of ‘Creative Excellence’ at the US International Film & Video Festival in Los Angeles in June 2004 and won the ‘Silver Globe Award 2004’ at the International World Media Festival in Hamburg. Not bad, eh? This is the synopsis…

An awe-inspiring and informative insight into the Swiss Air Force. A film that takes the viewer all the way from the stratosphere and high over the mountain tops, to behind the scenes of daily Air Force operations. Featuring: spectacular night trap maneuvers, air-to-air refueling of an F/A-18, night search and rescue operations on a glacier with the REGA and a Super-Puma helicopter equipped with an infrared camera…
…And the highlight: F/A-18 and MiG-29 engaging in a dog fight over everlasting snows, a rush of impressions giving you a totally new movie experience.

Enjoy viewing this short Quicktime trailer, which is also available as a Windows Media trailer. And, there are dial-up versions available.

Swiss F/A-18 Hornet

And maybe now you have a clue as to why it is a contingent of the Swiss Army that guards the Vatican. (Why the Swiss Guard? There’s a nice little history lesson in that for those interested.) The Swiss may be neutral, but they do know how to fight and build superb combat equipment. Remember, each Swiss male citizen is obliged to perform a few years of military duty, and all keep their rifles and uniforms at home–just waiting for someone to say, “Bring it on.”

Swiss F-5 Tiger II

American Eurocopter

Wednesday, 12 April 2006; 13:39

Eurocopter military helicopters are exclusively marketed and supported from Eurocopter’s company headquarters in France. And thanks to the ease of Internet [sic] travel, you can learn everything you ever wanted to know without experiencing the slightest bit of jet lag.

The above quote from the American Eurocopter web site directly addresses the point I intended to mention after viewing the 186 MB[!] film advertising its AS350 civilian helicopter. (It is made in the USA). Even just a few years ago, delivering such sales content to a potential customer would have required at least a CD-ROM and postage costs. Not exceptionally expensive, but not cheap either. If I recall correctly, the manufacturing costs for a corporate sales pitch on which I consulted was about $5 USD per CD. But today, with with the almost ubiquitous spread of broadband in business markets, the relative cost is close to zilch.

And should you wish not to download and watch an entire 186 MB file, there are plenty of other (and shorter) video advertisements for other helicopter models from American Eurocopter at its web site, including one for its all-weather air-to-air combat Tiger.

Eurocopter Tiger HAP

Learjet; Q Series Dash 8 MPA; Challenger 605 (Bombardier Aircraft )

Thursday, 6 April 2006; 13:20

Who has not ever dreamed of owning a Learjet? (Hmmm…I wonder why I have never seen these advertised on television. Not!)

And although the Learjet name is recognized everywhere in the world, Bombardier Business Aircraft also produces other planes, such as the Q Series Dash 8 MPA turbo-prop used by the United States Coast Guard.

Addendum [12 April 06]: Challenger 605; Learjet 60XR

Bombardier Learjet 45

Frankfurt (helicopter fly-over)

Friday, 10 March 2006; 12:47

Enjoy this very brief helicopter fly-over of the city of Frankfurt. It appears they are preparing for FIFA 2006 and wish visitors to have a feel for the city even before they arrive.

NASA (Patti LaBelle Pays Tribute to Columbia)

Thursday, 9 March 2006; 10:54

At the memorial service for the Columbia space shuttle and its crew of astronauts, Patti Labelle sang “Way Up There”*, a song commissioned by the NASA Art Program. The song was written by Tena R. Clark.

  • High Resolution (12.2 Mb .mov file)
  • * Medium Resolution (1.7 Mb .mov file)
  • Low Resolution (1.0 Mb .mov file)
  • (Comment: Download the 12 Mb video file and keep it. It’s definitely worth having on your hard drive. The video underscores what another great loss Columbia was. We lost a real-life preview of the fictitious Star Trek Enterprise. With the breakup of Columbia, the world lost a crew composed of different nationalities, cultures, races and genders.)

    General Electric Aviation (GEnx Engine)

    Wednesday, 8 March 2006; 15:10

    We seldom give those huge engines on modern airliners a second thought — until we think there is a engine problem, whereupon we proceed to panic and pray. Maybe this video overview by GEnx Theatre of its engine technology will put us more at ease when flying. Be sure to click on each thumbnail to view all presentation segments.

    (Pretty amazing engine, eh?)

    Distillery Proof Rating = ??

    “Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle Sure Strike”

    Tuesday, 7 March 2006; 17:36

    There is something very eerie and scary about this tiny little animation from Lockheed Martin (one of the defense contractors in America’s “Arsenal of Democracy”) of a hypothetical warfare scenario.

    (Stay tuned. There is more to come.)


    Friday, 3 March 2006; 17:23

    Breitling makes watches. Very fine watches. Be certain to click on Made By Breitling among the available links, and then on each aspect of the watchmaking process. Also click on Air Time and enjoy several short multimedia presentations, including one about the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight. The usual goodies are there, such as screensavers, but I like [and actually use] the downloadable Worldtime Calculator.

    And certainly not to be missed is Breitling for Bentley. (I guess they could not afford a Rolls.)

    General Motors (GM)

    Thursday, 23 February 2006; 9:42

    A click-through the difficult to navigate General Motors (GM) web site clearly points to an identity crisis. We see an attempt to reposition the gas-guzzling Hummer (with narration by “Govenator” Arnold Schwarzenegger) as a hydrogen-fueled environment-friendly vehicle on the one hand (as a prototype that GM states will never be produced), but a focus on E85 ethanol-based fuel to help reduce America’s “addiction to oil” on the other. In fact, GM’s ratio of fuel-hungry SUVs and muscle-cars to more fuel-efficient automobiles is greater than two-to-one. With gasoline prices rising to record levels and an out-dated product line, it is no wonder GM will soon file for bankruptcy.

    There is also a striking contrast in GM’s awareness of the current seller-to-buyer marketing communications environment versus that of companies like BMW and Porche. The multimedia advertising by GM is both often very well-hidden within its many seemingly disparate sites and also bears the appearances of design by high-school interns instead of professional advertising agencies. The majority of GM’s online ads present [often static] visual images of their products, but without any sound. In other words, they are not very engaging.

    Even exterior and interior views of GM’s showcase Corvette are shown with Quicktime, but without any background music or voice-over. Boring! However, the multimedia used to present GM’s European-built SAAB may be evidence that GM’s European operations “get” the internet and its power where GM’s American operations do not. Inside the SAAB multimedia presentation you will find sound, TV commercials, and even video of SAAB’s respected and feared jet fighter planes. Also go back and click “Video Tour” (upper left side of page) on the SAAB home page for additional excellent multimedia from SAAB.

    But in all fairness to GM, I do appreciate its Live Green, Go Yellow FlexFuel initiative. There you will find the “Stalk Car Race” game, a “video cobcast,” and a couple of GM’s “FlexFuel” vehicle commercials. I also direct you to the GM 2006 Chicago Expo where you will find webcasts, videos, and a link to GM’s Enclave concept car. (Move your cursor to the partial analog gauge on the left side of your screen for a pop-out menu.)

    Note: One of the more striking observations as one clicks through the GM web sites is a focus almost more on corn and ethanol than on GM’s car lines! Might this be the mechanism by which it hopes to survive as it attempts to retool its production line to more fuel-efficient vehicles? Well, I do not think that will work. GM will be bankrupt before this year’s corn crop is harvested in the fall of 2006.

    Requirements: Flash, Quicktime

    Southwest Airlines Gasparilla Pirate Fest (by

    Thursday, 16 February 2006; 21:01 presents a flash demonstration developed for the Southwest Airlines Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

    Requirements: Macromedia Flash