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Over The Pond

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LONDON -- I write this morning from Terminal 4 at London Heathrow, (somewhat) affectionately called the JFK of Europe. I spent the night covering 2837 nm from Boston aboard a 777-236ER G-VIIL. For the sake of full disclosure, it was actually my first time flying on a 777. I must say, even in economy, it's a very comfortable aircraft.

I've seen countless pictures of the famed curved interior and how passengers describe it as feeling roomier. Ford CEO and former head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and 777 program manager Alan Mullaly used to tell the story about showing the 777 interior mock-up to a group of airline executives for the first time. One executive asked, "So, you widened the fuselage by how much?" That really captures it all.

At the end of my flight, not missing a golden opportunity, I stopped by the flight deck to admire the front office and talk to the pilot. He had flown Boeing aircraft all of his career and made it a point to tell me why his preference of aircraft what it was. In short, it all came down to the flight control laws. He preferred having final authority vested in him rather than the computer.

I'm not about to pass judgment on the flight control philosophy debate - each theory has its merits.

Also, he wants to get a rating on the 787 when it arrives in the BA fleet, but he wants to wait and see how the EIS goes first.

For all those who take their love of aviation with dose of Flight Simulator, here was my route of flight on Speedbird 238.

PSM TAFFY FOXXE LOACH 5750N 5940N 6030N 5920N ERAKA ETSOM SUPIT GOW FENIK DCS LAKEY NUGRA

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