Kai Tak remembered

It’s been a decade since the former Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak July 6, 1998 has been closed for business to replace him on an exciting new & # 39; the object, built on reclaimed land at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island. Two airports are like chalk and cheese; a futuristic, the second has long been held to sell by date; but there are still many who mourn the death of the old location.
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Many pilots who are willing to recall the adrenaline rush when they fly a plane for instrument guidance system (IGS), just a few hundred feet above densely populated residential house Kavluna, despite the notorious orange and white painted chess.
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If it was in sight and the airplane properly aligned at a height of 206 meters (660 feet) for the emergence of the aircraft through a wide curve required a sharp degree of 47 degrees before to level 46 feet (46 meters) from the threshold of the runway. .
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At night, the unique lighting system is installed accurately at intervals of 400 feet on the roof and goats specially constructed which guide pilots towards the center line of the runway. Since the final approach was very close, the distance between the lamps was reduced to 200 feet.
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The need to use lights to guide pilots thus forced to ban flashing neon signs throughout Hong Kong, to avoid pulling the input of pilots. Weather & # 39; e was often poor; typhoons, micro-explosions and strong side winds added load of pilots, and in many respects Kai Tak was waiting for a big crash.
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Several wrong aircraft ended in the shallow waters of the Gulf Kovlunskaga, and it really was an accident, that no commercial airliner ever descended on a residential area killed Kavluna and did not miss all that uzaratstsa in Lion Rock.
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This is due mainly to the very good aviation skills, excellent control of air traffic and, more precisely, in the early days, a strange element of luck. At the airport, of course, it was the proportion of incidents and many aviation enthusiasts saw the video on “You Tube”, which shows how close the Korean air “747” came to disaster during extreme weather & # 39; and.
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Mr. Kay and Mr. Yes

The history of the airport dates back to 1920 when two entrepreneurs, Sir Ho KAI (prepared by a doctor) and Mr. Au Tack * (the owner of the photographic business), set up Kai Tack Land Investment Company Ltd, to return the land, which they planned to use. to build new houses. The project failed mainly because few people want to live on the land that was still infected mosquitoes.
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Reclaimed area was vacant until it was adopted by the Government. In November 1924 the ship of the Royal Navy’s HMS Pegasus arrived in Victoria Harbor, which had four hydroplane Fairey IIID, which were used for aerial photography. They flew to the air-reconnaissance missions over the world and HIAS Bays, known persecution sad pirates who plundered the navigation on the South China Sea. Sir Reginald Stubs flew one of the planes, and thus became the first governor of Hong Kong, who examined their territory of seaplanes.
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It is obvious that needed a military base in Hong Kong, but in accordance with the Washington Agreement in 1021 the British were forbidden to establish a base in the east of Singapore. The British government has found a solution to open, pabuduyuchy on this site airfield for civil use, which could also be used when visiting fleet vessel.
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In January 1925 the American brave d & # 39; yabal Harry Abbott has received permission to set up a flying school in the place which he called the city a field of Kowloon. The lunar New Year’s Day, he announced the opening of the school, taking into Curtis Jenny firing crackers attached to his wheel.
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But the fireworks failed to ignite, and the audience felt this bad mushroom Shui. His colleague, the Sino-American pilot Henry Yee Young, performed a series of maneuvers before Abbott returned to the air with Richard Earnshaw on board, made a decent parachute. But it all went wrong, and Earnshaw landed in the harbor, tangled in parachute and drowned. A number of incidents went to trial before August Abbott and it broke and was forced to sell his plane.

The Royal Air Force took over the airport March 10, 1927, and except for the Japanese occupation during the war remained in some form until 1993. Initial publication was not popular because of the pungent smells of local nuly (open drain), competed with bacon smell from the factory, located nearby. Sharp Nool continued to welcome the passengers on board the aircraft, which arrived until the last days of the airport.

November 18, 1928 in the harbor crane short sautgemptanskih ship was tied to special moorings in the bay Kovlun. This was the famous Far East, the flight captain groups Cave-Browne-Pechora flying from Singapore to Australia, which later developed into the 205 Squadron.

To pull the plane out of the water it was necessary to build a concrete road moving, and to raise the aircraft on a dry steam valve steam valve was used. Everything began to take shape, and the Legislative Council has allocated money for landscaping and content on a site & # 39. By 1930 the runway was razravnavana and peraasfaltavana and metal hanger was completed to replace the matting structures that are exposed to light. In September, Mr. A J R Moss arrived from London to take over as caretaker airport, after which his assistant Eric Nelson in five years has influenced the development of the airfield.

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In 1932, flying club members went into opposition, which forced it to close. Vugan Fowler, a well-known leader of the aviation companies of the Far East, proposed to reform the club, and he became the Far East school of flights with a fleet of aircraft consisting of one author Bird and three cadets Aura. Ten Chinese working in the business, ten Englishmen and was forty-two students of engineering; evidence of how to promote an interest in aviation. After two years, the airport has been further developed with the addition of the sea wall, a fence and a ramp adjacent to Marine Aircraft. job placement for the RAF has also been completed on the east side of the old landing strip, where buildings have been erected on a dirt track that led to the fishing village of Lei Yut Mun. They had a beautiful view over the sandy beach and stood 30 meters above the aerodrome on the ground, where the multi-storey apartment blocks later will prevail against the backdrop of the eastern side of the airport. There were also plans to cover the runway.

In 1928, the British Government and the Hong Kong promised to spend 200 thousand pounds in the Kai Tak transformation into a modern on & # 39; object. In London, the colony is still considered only a second, and up to 1935 civilian tower and offices was constructed to the first fire truck was purchased. March 25, 1929 came the long-awaited first commercial flight, if deviant class Havilland DH 86 G-ACWD Diana “Dorado” from Imperial Airways crept. He led the initial delivery service to Penang and Saigon, which was linked to the UK flight to Australia (Empire Route), which departed from London on March 14. An experienced pilot Imperial Airways Captain John Locke commanded when informed that he saw three sharks basking in the waters of the South China Sea below his plane when he came to the colony. After running through an area known as the Magazine Gap, about 11.30 in the morning before it opened a beautiful view of Victoria Harbor, and is under the & # 39; driving under the squadron aircraft HMS Hermes. In anticipation of the voyage was the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Andrew Kaldekot and 200 VIP-persons, who counted only welcome the crew when the plane stopped. If the plane with & # 39; was the first commercial passenger who has ever landed in Kai Tak, with the & # 39; was the element of surprise. Ung-hey-Lim, captured by an amateur pilot, stuck between 16 Her Majesty’s mail bags after flying his own plane from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, to go on a flight.

The company Imperial Airways DH 86 visited the colony before, when Captain Armstrong flew the aircraft in a number of flights of the previous year. The people of Hong Kong followed the course of these flights for a considerable time, and if the bad out & # 39; e threatened first of them, Armstrong, not wanting to disappoint the people and not the risk of losing valuable contract flew in 1852 miles from Penang in a single day (16 September ). If the route is opened for regular traffic, it has reduced the 34-day sea voyage between England and Hong Kong up to ten days in the air. Later, when an agreement was reached with Siam (now Thailand), shorter route through Bangkok to cut another day and a half way. By the time when Imperial Airways began flying to operate a Class C boats to Singapore route 15000 miles (24140 km) was reduced to 5½ days when DH 86 provided the final link between Singapore and Kai Tak. Today, thanks to the progress made in the establishment of the right to fly shorter routes through Russia, Siberia and China have significantly reduced the distance between London and Hong Kong to about 6000 miles (9856 km), which modern aircraft can overcome without a stop less. than twelve hours.

Between the wars in the Kai Tak landed many famous pioneers of long-distance, even if the regular commercial services began slowly. In 1932, the air east Compagnie Français intended to connect Hong Kong with service Marseille-Saigon, but the plans were stopped. Two years before the Sino-German aviation company owned by Eurasia Aviation Corporation, also proposed route of postal communication between the Kai Tak and Europe, but the idea fell by the wayside, but later on June 29, 1937 extended the service Peiping (Beijing) in -Kanton Hong Kong. using universal Junkers JU-52. Then, August 10, 1938 Air France from Paris arrived in his car trohmatorny Dewoitine 338 F-AQBF “City Ventsyan” six days before to set a new record between Gano and Hong Kong in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

In February 1930 Pan American Airways Juan Trippe has made 45 per cent stake, to create the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Communications. October 8 they discovered the flight service on the boat, which connects Shanghai, Venhov, Fuzhou, Amoy, Smatav Canton and Hong Kong, using the S-38 Sikorsky. Two years later, they flew along the route twice a week, using amphibians Douglas Dolphin, later representing the Douglas DC-3 with increasing passenger traffic.

Pan Am wanted to connect Hong Kong to its trans-Pacific operations, and April 28, 1937, this was achieved with the arrival of a flying boat Sikorsky S042B (NC16734) “Hong Kong Clipper” in the expanded service from San Francisco and Manila. At that time, the Japanese had already threw part of China and Beijing filed until July. As a result of commercial flights over China became inherently dangerous and fall regularly under fire from the Japanese. CNAC courageously continued the flight, and in 1938, Douglas DC-2 was shot down near Macau, killing all 14 on board. The aircraft was returned to the Kai Tak from barge, refurbished and put into service. In October 1940 and in May 1941, two more DC-2 victims were killed when flying in the service of Chunking-Kunming-Hong Kong. The last prewar Airlines flight took off from Kai Tak December 12, 1941, when the Japanese were preparing to bomb the airport. The British military has declared invalid Hong Kong, and if the enemy invasion began on Monday, December 8, 1941, in the RAF had only three wildebeest Dean Vickery, based at Kai Tak and two amphibious Walrus Supermaryna tied to the shore. Airport continued to break, destroying six parked aircraft and “Hong Kong Clipper” Pan Am, which was located on the reduction. Another four aircraft miraculously survived the bomb, which went through the roof of the hanger, but failed to explode. Over the next two days CNAC aircraft relentlessly evacuated the airport employees in China, while the RAF detachment moved to the island of Hong Kong before the British handed over the territory of Christmas. The Japanese took the Kai Tak for military purposes, but the flights are being performed overhead lines Great Japan, which in peacetime were at the airport, they continued. Two prisoners were erected two-lane cross roads about 2366 feet (1300 meters). From 1942 to 1945, American troops Kai Tak bombed many times with great success, but it was inadvisable to make any sustained effort to remove the occupying troops.

Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945 and the British regained their presence. Despite the fact that the air weapons Grumman Hellcats and Avengers arrived at the airport on 29 August runways were still littered with bars bombs and fragments of the broken enemy aircraft. By mid-September RAF began to restore the presence of Squadron Supermarine Spitfires and for Christmas four squadrons began to act. Short Sunderland flying boats and Douglas DC-3 Dakota were added to the mixture using aviation Hong Kong. British corporation Overseas Airways (BOAC) expressed its intention to establish its flying boats from Ha Tay in the colony, delayed by the war. These services using Class Ha Tay Kander-Sunderland began August 24, 1946. In the same year, a major typhoon struck the region and destroyed several parked aircraft. Then quickly climbed the military aircraft Douglas Dakota, which crashed after takeoff Kovlun Tong.

Squadron RAF came and went through most of the post-war period, bringing with them the range of aircraft, including de Havillend Vennoms, Hawker Hunters and various helicopter types that are used to perform a variety of duties, including search and rescue. The British military also released the threat posed by Chinese communist forces in the Pearl River Delta in the late 40’s and played a role in helping to eliminate the pogroms of Hong Kong in 1967. Since 1993, the airport is supporting the Royal Air Force of Hong Kong. , A division of the Hong Kong Air voluntary Enclosure and later a government flying service. Hong Kong Aviation Club is also located in a corner of the airport, not far from the threshold of runway 13, which in later years has provided enthusiasts an interesting point of view.

Katie Pacific and the post-war development

In October 1945, a former pilot CNAC Roy Farrell, who during the war went infamous eastern Himalayas “Hump” between China, Burma and India, senile acquired Douglas C-47, which he turned into a civic needs of both DC-third He flew the aircraft from the United States on a roundabout route to Shanghai, where he met with his old friend, the former Australian military ace Sid de end. Friends have created an airline, which in February 1946, started operating cargo flights from Shanghai. The plane was registered VR-HAD and was named “Betsy”, a name that they took company, Cathay Pacific Airways, has become a legend. The second DC-3 (VR-HDB) titled “Nikki” was added, and the company quickly became a very lucrative, causing trepidation among their Chinese competitors. The situation has become “unhealthy” in the old Chinese city, and Farrell and de end saw the wisdom to carry their operation in the British-controlled Hong Kong. After air hostesses advertising Cathay Pacific began to make tentative passenger flights to Manila, Bangkok and Singapore. A year later, five DC-3 and two summary amphibians Catalina PBY 5a were purchased second-hand, since added many more places. Catalina, VR-HDT “Miss Macau” made history when it was first subjected to the action of air piracy. July 17, 1948 four Chinese tried to take control of the plane between Macau and Hong Kong, veryvshy that gold bars are transported. It was said that one of the kidnappers possessed basic knowledge about the treatment of the type of aircraft, but it all went wrong when the struggle began, and Captain Dale Kramer shot in the head. The plane went out of control and crashed into the Pearl River Delta with a crew of three and 23 passengers on board. One of the kidnappers was the only survivor. June 15, 1972, a regular event, when over in the & # 39; etnamam aircraft destroyed on board a Convair 880 machine-ies.

In 1948, one of the “noble” of the British trading companies Suir John & Sons invested in Cathay Pacific. Farrel has sold its stake in the airline and returned to Texas in 1948, and de Kansai resigned in 1951. The airline has increased significantly and now & # 39 is one of the leading operators in the world. The main competitors Swire, Giardini Matesan, enjoy the company of Hong Kong Airways, which is also operated from Kai Tak. BOAC airline has invested in this relationship of Chinese cities with international routes, but in 1959, Hong Kong Airways on the & # 39; united with Cathay Pacific. The airline has also established a very authoritative on the & # 39; facility maintenance – Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) in Kai Tak, and in recent years it has become a major shareholder in the rest of the airline based in Hong Kong; Dragunar and Air Hong Kong.

After the war, Kai structure so continued to evolve to meet the ever-changing demands rapid airlines. During the 1950s the airport there is a massive increase in regional and international operations. Многія міжнародныя перавозчыкі, уключаючы BOAC, Pan American Airways, Qantas, Air India, Northwest і Canadian Pacific, дадалі Ганконг да сваіх раскладаў. Дуглас DC-4 і DC-6s, стратакругіры Boeing B-377, Брыстальскія брытаніі і сузор'і Lockheed сталі пастаяннымі наведвальнікамі, а з турбарэактыўнымі рухавікамі з'явілася неабходнасць у больш доўгай узлётна-пасадачнай паласе. У 1958 г. на меліяраванай зямлі на ўзвышшы ў 16 футаў (4,87 метра) над залівам Каўлун з перанаселенай плошчай 750 футаў (228,60 метраў) на паўночным захадзе была адкрыта новая ўзлётная паласа ў 840 футаў (60,96 метра). і 300 футаў (91,44 метра) у вадзе, звернутай да канца. Больш за 3000 рабочых пачалі працаваць над праектам, які пачаўся ў студзені 1956 г., але быў завершаны своечасова прыбыццём першага рэйса 31 жніўня 1958 г. Таксама былі дададзены паралельны маршрут таксі і новы будынак пасажырскага тэрмінала. На афіцыйным адкрыцці ўзлётна-пасадачнай паласы 12 верасня Камета 4 BOAC, спецыяльна вылецелая ў Ганконг з аэрадрома дэ Хавілленд у Хэтфілдзе, стала першым самалётам для рэактыўных самалётаў, якія калі-небудзь прызямліліся ў аэрапорце. Да канца 1958 г. было прыбыта 4773 самалёта, а 19 авіякампаній выконвалі 184 рэйсы ў тыдзень да і з Кай Так. 17 ліпеня 1959 года Cathay Pacific DC-3 афіцыйна адкрыў начныя аперацыі ў аэрапорце пасля ўстаноўкі дадатковага асвятлення.

У 1960 годзе “Пан Ам” вылецеў у Бэй-707 на Кай Так, а ў тым жа годзе – першы ДК-8, які эксплуатуецца японскімі паветранымі лініямі. Веха наступіла, калі 11 красавіка 1970 года першы Б-747, “Pan Am 'Clipper One”, закрануў сведку шырокай натоўпу. Прыход шырокай эпохі прынёс дадатковы ціск для далейшага павелічэння даўжыні ўзлётна-пасадачнай паласы. Да 1974 года прыбудова пашырыла яго да 11 130 футаў (3,390 метраў) і былі дададзены дадатковыя маршруты для дарог, адключэння і стаянкі, а таксама новая пажарная частка. Трафік павялічыўся да такой ступені, што ў 1995-96 гг. 61 авіякампанія, якая карысталася Кай Так, садзейнічала 2850 пасажырскіх і грузавых рэйсаў і 230 нерэгулярных рэйсаў штотыдзень. 78 адсоткаў гэтых рэйсаў былі самалётамі шырокага корпуса, і гэта павялічыла колькасць пасажыраў, якія праходзілі праз тэрмінал, да 28 мільёнаў. Абсталяванне таксама стала другім у свеце загружаным грузавым аэрапортам 1,48 мільёна тон. З 31 запланаванага руху ў гадзіну Kai Tak дасягнуў максімальнай магутнасці, і сотні дадатковых просьбаў аб пасадачных слотах павінны былі адмовіцца. Было відавочна, што новы аэрапорт быў неабходным, і калі ён адкрыўся для бізнесу ў 6.20 раніцы з прыбыццём Cathay Pacific CX889 прама з Нью-Ёрка, гэта было не раней.

* Чамусьці з “аэрапорта” выкінулі “c”, хаця ён і з'явіўся як Kai Tack на арыгінальных варотах.

Аўтар: Боб Блеффілд