7 Things All Avgeeks Must Do - United Hub

7 things all AVGeeks must do

By Benét J. Wilson

Aviation geeks, also known as avgeeks, are those who have a passion for the aviation industry. A lot of aviation geeks become fascinated with aviation as children while looking up at planes in the sky. And as they grow up, avgeeks can spend a lifetime discovering ways to explore their love for flying. To give you a head start, here are seven experiences all true aviation geeks should do in his or her lifetime.

aircrafts flying in formation in the sky at an air show.

1. Attend a major air show.

Several air shows are held throughout the year all over the world, offering an exciting experience for spectators, especially aviation enthusiasts. Some of the best ones, however, only occur every other year so make sure to plan accordingly. On even-numbered years, the Singapore Air Show takes place in February and the Farnborough International Airshow in July. While on the other hand, the Paris Air Show occurs on odd-numbered years in June. These three events bring in all of the major commercial aircraft manufacturers and the events give them a chance to show off their airplanes in addition to announcing major deals. To top it off, all three events offer daily air demonstrations that are a mesmerizing sight to see.

2. Fly in a vintage aircraft

All across the country, aviation enthusiasts spend time restoring vintage aircraft to fly themselves and others. One aircraft to consider taking a spin in is the Ford Trimotor, a precursor to the modern passenger aircraft in the skies today. The Experimental Aircraft Association has a restored Trimotor that they fly all over the country. You can buy a seat for $75 for adults and $50 for kids. It's a ride well worth it.

3. Fly on an inaugural flight

Airlines typically go all out when there's a new high-profile flight between two cities. Earlier this year on Jan. 18, United launched service between Houston and Sydney, Australia, making it one of the world's longest flights at 17.5 hours. There was a quick dash by avgeeks to get on the flight, which was launched with great fanfare at our Houston hub.

The inside of a flight simulator

4. Fly an aircraft simulator

The simple, but realistic-feeling machines, usually found at malls or amusement parks can give you a taste of flying to places around the world. But the multimillion-dollar machines used to train commercial aircraft pilots give you a real feel of what it takes to fly a jet. Most of these simulators are used around the clock to train air crews, but there are a handful around the world that customers can fly in.

5. Visit an aircraft manufacturing plant.

One manufacturing plant you'll want to visit is Van's Aircraft, based in Aurora, Oregon, where they make “kit" aircrafts. These aircrafts are built by amateurs from plans or assembly kits made by companies like Van's. If you venture out to Aurora, not only do you get a tour of the facility, but you can take a demo ride in one of their aircrafts for $50. And if you purchase one, they'll refund you the $50.

United Polaris first class seating on our 777-300ER

6. Fly in first or business class

If it is within your budget, it's worth it to fly premium class on a trans-continental or even an international flight in United's Polaris first or business class. The experience begins when you arrive at the airport with a dedicated check-in, a premium airport security checkpoint line and access to a lounge before your flight. You're first to board, and you're sitting in a comfortable seat that turns into a lie-flat bed. Enjoy gourmet meals, fine wines and cocktails, and there's plenty to do with the in-flight entertainment system, including movies, television, music and games. It's an experience not to be missed.

7. Fly on an aircraft's final flight.

There comes a time when an aircraft will be retired from an airline's fleet. Last year, United retired their Boeing 747 “Queen of the Skies" from the fleet, and to celebrate the retirement, they held a special retro event for the final commercial flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. From a party at the gate to a throwback meal from United's previous Trader Vic's menu, the whole event was an unforgettable send-off for an iconic aircraft. Aircraft's final flights don't happen too often so be sure to look out for any opportunities to experience one.

If you go

To start checking off these avgeek experiences from your to do list and plan your first adventure, visit united.com or use the United app.

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