Welcome aboard!

 Posted by  General, Message from the Captain  Comments Off on Welcome aboard!
Jan 162015
 

Hello! This is your Captain speaking

Welcome to History of Flight Culture!

This website is designed to provide you with everything you need to enjoy (and succeed during) your semester-long journey. In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of the on-board features accessible via the menus appearing in the left-hand column of this page. After reading this post, please take a few moments to orient yourself by exploring currently available content and links.

Ticketing & Check-In: Some elements of the History of Flight Culture website are restricted to ticketed passengers only (i.e. registered students). If you have not yet booked your ticket, please do so immediately by clicking the “Register” link. Once our agents have processed your request, you will receive an e-mail message containing your official log-in id and electronic boarding pass (i.e. password). You should check-in with your log-in and password each time before “boarding” the site. To expedite check-in, you may wish to save this information to your browser’s cache. In the event that you forget either, simply click on the the “Forgot?” link to receive an e-mail message (sent to your registered address) enabling you to re-set your personal information. [Please note: History of Flight Culture has been optimized for browsing through Safari and Firefox. While you should have no difficulty accessing the site using a different web browser, you may see slight variations in lay-out and design components.]

Air Mail: Click on the “Contact!” link to send a message to the flight deck.

Travel Documents: This section contains items relating to the administration and structure of the course. Here you will find the official schedule of readings and viewings; assignments; classroom policies; and other issues specific to History of Flight Culture. For informational materials related to more general issues (including advice on approaching literature and painting; guides to writing; the grading scale employed across the SPOKE™ network, etc.), go HERE.

Passenger Lounge: The Passenger Lounge is home of “Travel Talk,” the on-line forum and discussion board for History of Flight Culture. Once you have obtained your boarding pass you will have the ability to post and reply to comments appearing in the forum. The Passenger Lounge is the place to visit if you have general questions or would like to follow-up (or comment on) issues/materials presented in weekly readings, viewings, and lectures. The Passenger Lounge is also an excellent place to meet others along for the ride, to organize study groups, and share course-related (or any other) information. Please note: the Passenger Lounge is restricted to ticketed passengers only.

Destinations: This is the central on-line repository for History of Flight Culture. Here you will find essential materials (including lists of key terms; relevant websites; on-line videos; and images) pertaining to the topics and themes addressed in readings and lectures. This section will be updated on a weekly basis. You are strongly advised to begin (re)viewing the materials appearing in each “Destination” soon after you have attended the corresponding lecture. Note well: unless otherwise indicated, items appearing in the Destinations section of this website are “required” for success in History of Flight Culture. [Note: The first Destination will appear after the first content lecture of the semester on “The Pre-History of Flight.”]

In-Flight Entertainment: Access to on-line videos and lyrics for the aviation-related songs featured during weekly in-class meetings.

Evasive Maneuvers: Isn’t there something more productive you could be doing?

I hope that this information has been helpful in orienting you to the History of Flight Culture website. If you have any questions (or trouble booking your ticket), you may contact me through the “Air Mail” menu located to the left.

Finally…

On behalf of Scott Palmer’s On-Line Knowledge Emporium™ (SPOKE™): “Thank You!” for choosing History of Flight Culture as the vehicle for your learning adventure this semester. Those of us here at SPOKE™ know that you have many choices for fulfilling your edutainment needs. We are pleased you have selected History of Flight Culture and look forward to assisting you during the course of your journey. Again, “Welcome to History of Flight Culture!” We hope you enjoy the ride.

Cracking the codes

 Posted by  General, Online Resources  Comments Off on Cracking the codes
Mar 302015
 

lax_tagAnyone who has ever flown – or simply booked an airline ticket online – is aware that when it comes to traveling between here and there it helps to know your location identifier, the ubiquitous three-letter markers used to designate airports around the globe.

Airport codes, as they are typically known, trace their origin to the 1920s when US airmail pilots began using the two-digit abbreviations assigned to cities by the National Weather Service (NWS). As the commercial aviation expanded during the 1930s, three-letter city codes were introduced enabling the industry to accommodate up to 11,756 distinct markers. Since 1945, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been responsible for administering the system.

While some airport codes make perfect sense: ATL (Atlanta, GA) – SLC  (Salt Lake City, UT) – STL (St. Louis, MO)

Others are a bit less obvious: JFK (New York City, NY. Kennedy Airport) – LAX (Los Angeles, CA)

And a few leave you scratching your head: MCI (Kansas City, MO) – MCO (Orlando, FL) – ORD (Chicago, IL. O’Hare Airport)

So, WTF?

If you’re interested in matching destinations to their abbreviations (and want to know why the two were paired together) the website airportcod.es is worth a look. There, you’ll find an alphabetical list of more than 200 location identifiers from around the world together with the story of their origins.

CVG? The code for the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport comes from the nearby city of CoVinGton.

LAX? When the industry shifted over to three-letter codes in the 1930s, many airports simply added an “X” to the end of the code they were already using.

ORD? Prior to being renamed in 1949 after Medal of Honor recipient Edward O’Hare, Chicago’s largest airport was known as ORcharD Field.

SUX? I’ve been to Sioux City, Iowa. Yep.