Retired BA employee Norman Dawson has spent approximately 18 months making a beautiful matchstick model of a Boeing 747-400 and a Concorde (which took a year).

Norman matchstick model maker

Norman in front of his models

Norman has been making model aircraft for as long as he can remember and as he was nearing retirement after a 40 year career, began wondering what to do with his retirement. It was then that he thought of making a matchstick model of a Boeing 747.

Norman had access to 747 maintenance manuals to get all the scale right which is 1/50 and the 747-400 is about 4ft 6in long.

matchstick 747-400

The 747-400

matchstick 747-400 and Concorde BA branded

with BA branding

The Concorde is 1/40 scale and is over 5 feet long.

matchstick Concorde gear down

Concorde droop nose and gear down

The Concorde has been made in two modes. The first is supersonic all gear up and nose up, the other is landing mode all gear down and full droop nose.

matchstick Concorde gear up

Concorde nose and gear up – going supersonic

Here are some more images and angles..

 A detailed look at the Concorde model…

A walk around the 747-400 and th Concorde…

A little about Norman..

We thought it would be interesting to tell you a little about Norman’s life which has been closely associated with aircraft, as he fell in love with aviation as a boy growing up in Bedfont in the 1950′s next to the Airport and in sight of the old Pan Am hangar.

For the last year of junior school Norman had to cycle through the airport to school every day and had permission from the then Airdrome Commandant and a pass, although after a while, Norman says he knew all the security people. Clearly things were very different then to now!

Norman went into motor racing with the legendary Gulf GT40 racing team being in the team which won the 1969 the Le Mans 24 hour race.

Norman has already started his next model which is a 777.

This from Routesonline:-

British Airways from 30 March 2014 is re-introducing Boeing 747-400 service on London Heathrow – Nairobi route, after a 6 years hiatus. The OneWorld member plans to operate a 747 instead of 777-200ER on this route in Northern Summer 2014 season.

Below is some information for you planespotters.

BA065 LHR1045 – 2120NBO 744 D
BA064 NBO2315 – 0555+1LHR 744 x256
BA064 NBO2340 – 0620+1LHR 744 256

This from the British Airways website, as at 17:20 hrs UK time. (For the latest information from BA go to the BA website on the link here.)

“British Airways has complied with a request from Heathrow Airport to reduce its flying schedule on Monday 28 October as a result of the severe forecast storms. 

The airport has instructed all airlines using Heathrow to reduce their schedules in the following manner on Monday:
Between 0600 and 1100 a 20 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
Between 1100 and 1600 a 10 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
Between 1600 and 2230 a 5 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
All of the agreed cancellations for British Airways are from the European and domestic networks. Other flights, still shown as operating, may suffer from delays.
All British Airways long-haul flights into and out of London Heathrow are currently planned to operate as normal, albeit there may be some delays due to the poor weather.”

BA recommends checking the status of your flight before leaving for the airport.

Heathrow flights reduced 28th October 2013

Stormy weather predicted

As at the time of writing Gatwick Airport are also recommending checking the status of flights before leaving for the airport.  The Gatwick website link here.  Also check whether Gatwick Express, Southern Railway and First Capital Connect services are running. As at the time of this article there are reports that neither Gatwick Express or Southern Railway services will be running early morning.

It would be a good bet to check the status of your flight whichever airport you are leaving from.

British Airways Winter Schedule photo of a beach

This will look very inviting come December

British Airways’ winter 2013 schedule starts this weekend with a new winter sun route and increased frequencies to a selection of destinations.

The airline will launch weekly flights from Heathrow to Gran Canaria from October 26 and will increase the frequency of flights to Hot-spot Destinations. We think that Hot Spot Destinations this means destinations which are comparitively warm when compared to the UK in the winter.

British Airways Holidays packages to the Gran Canaria include seven nights at the 3* Club Maspalomas Bungalows from £299 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation on a self catering basis. Alternatively, there’s seven nights at the 4* Paradise Lago Taurito Hotel from £459 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation on an all-inclusive basis. Seven nights at the 5* Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort is also available from £589 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation only.

Lynne Embleton, director of strategy, said: “Gran Canaria is a fantastic destination for holiday makers, especially families, with over a half a million people from Britain visiting every year.

“We’ve had a really positive response to the destination since it went on sale, which we attribute to great prices on our British Airways holidays and the fact this is the only direct flight from Heathrow to the island.”

British Airways also report other changes to the winter schedule, from that of summer 2013, including increases from Heathrow to Chennai (five to six per week), Seattle (from seven to 10 per week), Miami (from 14 to 18 per week), Rio de Janeiro (from six to seven per week), Mexico City (from three to four per week), Tripoli (from three to four per week) and Freetown (from three to four per week).

Gatwick will also increase services to Marrakech (from seven to 10 per week) and Salzburg (from four to eight per week).

Mr. Davies, the head of the Airport Commission is considering 58 proposals,from runway extensions to developing green-field sites and aims to release an interim report in December. The target is for a final report in 2015, Davies said in his first current statements since his appointment.

The commission hopes to produce one option, and in addition to the proposals received, it is considering ideas that were not submitted to them such as connecting Heathrow and Gatwick with a high-speed rail link.

Do that now – we say.

Mr. Davies did say Heathrow and Gatwick may be allowed to build runways to meet expected growth in demand for air travel.

The background to this issue is that it is accepted as fact that flight capacity is approaching capacity at London’s airports, with Gatwick and Heathrow particularly pressed.

Heathrow Airport Ltd. submitted three plans to the commission, each capable of delivering extra flights at a cost of up to 18 billion pounds. The proposals would boost the number of people using the hub to 123 million to 130 million from 80 million today.

But Heathrow is located in an inconvenient location being positioned on potentially very valuable and useful real estate and with a flight path right over central and affluent (and influential) West London.

Boris Johnson would like to shut Heathrow completely and develop a new airport in the Thames estuary with an estimated cost of £65 billion. Boris would also propose to develop Stanstead Airport to the north of London into a hub. The obvious benefit if the Johnson proposal is the 1,220-hectare Heathrow site situated on prime West London land homes for up to 250,000 people.

Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport and has identified alternatives for constructing a new landing strip to the south of the existing one. Gatwick estimate that it could add a second runway for around 5 billion pounds, this would eliminate the need for a single U.K. hub.

So what will the future bring? Watch this space…