• Going Places - Sharjah To Frankfurt Main

    Going Places - Sharjah To Frankfurt Main

    By Rodolfo Astrada

    This leg will take us from the cargo airport of Sharjah to the cargo and passenger hub of Europe, Frankfurt Main or EDDF as air transport jargon codes. On climb out from Sharjah, first signpost is the island of Kish. While belonging to Iran, Kish is a free trade zone attracting vacationers from everywhere with relaxed paperwork to ease on luxury hotels, malls and other varied attractions. Kish receives over a million visitors any given year.

    FSX flight planner decided to take us along the western coast of Iran, up northwest clear of Iraq airspace, then eastern Turkey, over the Black Sea, bisecting Romania east to west, over eastern Hungary, then the Czech Republic, Slovakia and finally Germany, 2664 nm or 4837 km as you prefer.

    Looking afterwards into Flightradar24 this seems to be the regular routing (crowded even in the small hours!), only noticed a dogleg heading from departure towards the Iranian coast and then north by west over Iran. But the bit about Kish I did like to keep in so left it as the way I did the flight instead of the more official one. Anyway, takes over six hours depending on winds so sit comfortably and relax.

    Going Places 3 route

    Sliding over Iran airspace we meet the Zagros range to the right. The Zagros span Iran's west coast for over 1500 km and are the result of the earth's crust folding compressed by the slow motion eastward push of the Arabian plate against the main Asian plate. It is the same mechanism through which the Himalayan plateau was formed by the thrust of the Indian subcontinent against Asia, or Italy against Europe for the Alps and so on.

    Iran has its roots as far back as 3000 years BC and was cradle for one of the oldest civilizations rivaling Mesopotamia and Egypt. The legendary Persia, which at one time about 500 BC was the largest empire under Cyrus the Great. Only Alexander the Great could muster resources to conquest Persia then under Emperor Dario, 334 BC. After centuries of the coming and going tide of warlords and princes, Muslims got hold of Persia since 600 AD to these days. Looking down the endless string of rural villages with which for us are undecipherable names, one cannot but reflect how life flows there, how it was and how it has changed if any, and how will it ever change in such a rough, unfriendly mountainous and deserted environment. I wonder how the way of coming, staying and quitting from this world has ever changed in centuries.

    Going Places 3 Zagros Mountain Range

    We left in the last feature where the 747 project got started in part as a hedge against failure of the SST project, in part with an eye on the perceived need to bring air freight to a new level of development. Will not get into details how this project almost cost Boeing its existence yet turned one of the biggest and most iconic success stories in the air transport industry. The Jumbo initiated the era of the wide body airliner, the two aisle cabin. Most importantly, the economies of scale brought air travel into the reach of a new layer of users in terms of buying power. Before the 747, the term "jet set" was coined to identify the wealthy, the ones who could afford jet travel, the ones separated from the commons. The wide body revolution ended that state of affairs, or at least separated the well heeled to the forward first class section sharing the ship with maybe more than 400 additional souls packed trailing behind. The Jumbo entered commercial service in 1970, Boeing planned to build about 400 of them; turned out to build over 1500 and counting. So, what were the others doing? In a minute, we are making progress on our trip so let's check.


    2 Comments
    1. flapman's Avatar
      flapman -
      This has been a great series, thanks for writing it. I like the interweaving of the various topics as we progress along your trip.

      I haven't tried the Simmers Sky MD-11, but I do have the PMDG one. You would have really liked it, and it's a bummer that it wasn't more popular.. really an underrated ship in their line.
    1. ingrast's Avatar
      ingrast -
      Quote Originally Posted by flapman View Post
      This has been a great series, thanks for writing it. I like the interweaving of the various topics as we progress along your trip.

      I haven't tried the Simmers Sky MD-11, but I do have the PMDG one. You would have really liked it, and it's a bummer that it wasn't more popular.. really an underrated ship in their line.
      Hi!

      Thank you very much for your comments!
      Will keep on writing as there is a lot to share and your feedback is most encouraging!

      As for the PMDG model, I've read mixed reviews, and some issues about compatibility with OS / hardware configurations but it looks like a great product as all the other models from this publisher.

      Rodolfo
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