All of this talk about going upper deck but for me the real magic of the 747 was flying business class and being beneath the cockpit so you actually had forward facing windows in the first row. I was lucky enough to have that seat on a Lufthansa flight from SFO to Frankfurt which was just magical. I am bummed that I never got an “Upper Class” flight on Virgin Atlantic though…
I’m more of a geography and airplane nerd than my wife, but she’s got two things on my I’ll never get – she spent a day in East Germany and flew on JAL from SFO to Tokyo on the top deck of a 747. I don’t travel that much, but I think I’ve been on 747s somewhere between 16-20 times. Setting aside a few WW2 planes, it’s my absolute favorite.
That “blast” (and it definitely was) takes second place to the tour we were given of a US Navy nuclear/attack submarine… the USS Trepang. That was while we were in technical high school, and the Navy wanted us to keep them in mind after we graduated from college with engineering degrees. (We were told back then that only college graduates could serve on US nuclear subs). Incredibly confined space that has still not been successfully depicted in films. (You’d have to be there.); smaller than anticipated control room; all thickly curtained-off bunks were shared; and a sub commander who avoided answering any questions (including mine about the Navy’s SUBROC) other than those that hinted at some curiosity for enlistment. If you ever get a chance to tour a military sub, then go for it!
I believe there are a couple here that we can tour. I did the Midway self-guided when we had people visiting us. My stepdad’s nephew was in the navy and spent most of his time on subs. I don’t know how he did that given that he’s 6-4.
I almost banged my head multiple times on the Midway (I’m 5-9) so I can’t imagine that subs are any less cramped.
I’ve toured the USS Cod a few times and it really is astounding how little space there is for so many people. For the opposite experience next to the Cod is the Mather, which shows how absurdly large lake shipping can get with a tiny crew.
My sister spent months in Soviet Russia. Apparently it was full of people who drank to forget everything. Their KGB Minder got injured falling off a tram. For a few weeks, all they could get for breakfast was champagne and cucumbers. The latter part of her time there was in Kiev; which was less depressing.
It is amazing, and I guess it has the side effect of reducing the death toll when things go wrong.
Looking at the layout of the Edmund Fitzgerald, it must have been annoying to reach the forecastle, only to find you’d left something in the aftcastle.
It boggles my mind that the Edmund Fitzgerald was over 710 feet long, and sank in 530 feet of water. If it could’ve just dropped one end and stood upright, it would’ve stuck almost 200 feet out of the water.
Working with what they had: Back in the 90s I came across old news re the only in-flight “meals” served by Russian airlines. Vodka, and caviar on toast.
PS: Thankfully, your sister and the others didn’t get robbed. When Rocketdyne was working with Energomash for a deal involving US use of Russia’s RD-180 engines, the ~20 Rocketdyne managers in Moscow got their bleisure trip interrupted by a gang of muggers. Passports… wallets… gone.