Take a look at the surprising engineering feat that lets Virgin America fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
Virgin America is now flying to Hawaii from Los Angeles! Producer Chad of The Tech Report was on the first flight out... which is also a miracle of engineering. Read on to find out why!
Here's the thing - people love Virgin America because you know what you're going to get. They fly a fleet of nearly identical planes and the amenities and quality are the same whether you're flying to San Francisco or Austin. But the flights to Hawaii from LA (and San Francisco) are special since it take a little bit of engineering magic to make it happen - it basically comes down to something called a "sharklet."
This is an 8 foot tall extension at the end of the wings. They make the plane more fuel efficient, which means it can travel longer distances. Earlier versions of Virgin's planes are equipped with the more typical "winglets" which wouldn't allow the planes to fly to Hawaii packed with passengers.
Producer Chad thoroughly enjoyed his flight to the Islands. Here are his notes from the trip:
Virgin America makes you feel like you're on vacation from the time you step on the plane. Their ambient lighting sets the tone for relaxation while their new 'Red' in-flight on-demand entertainment system allow passengers to watch live TV, movies on demand, listen to music, play games, and more. You can even message other passengers on the plane with their seat-to-seat chat. Every seat on-board the plane has a power outlet built in so you don't have to worry about losing a charge.
Upgrade to first class and enjoy a menu full of traditional Hawaiian food including locally cured and smoked marlin, sweet potato and pumpkin linguini, lemon pepper mahi mahi, and a roselani pauwela ice cream for dessert.
Once you arrive in Hawaii, there is plenty to do! If you're in the mood for a mai tai, check out the Mai Tai bar at the Royal Hawaiian featuring seven new variations of the drink. The Hawaii Tourism Authority took journalists on a variety of tours including a trip to Doris Duke's Shangri La and Pearl Harbor. Enjoy hiking, walking, snorkeling, and swimming, or take part in a variety of beach activities including catamaran rides or surf lessons.
Next up for Virgin America - they will fly to Maui from LAX starting on June 14.