WAR : Polar Air 747 "Round the World"

WAR : Polar Air 747 "Round the World"
  • (19)
Year: 2004
Genre(s): Aviation , Documentary , Airline , Cockpit
Studio(s): Just Planes Videos
Director(s): Just Planes
Run Time: 205 minutes
Size: 3.0 GB
 US$ 15.00 Download to own, Unlimited viewing, 1 burn to DVD


Polar was formed in 1993 to operate worldwide scheduled cargo services. Since then it has been one of the fastest growing scheduled all-cargo airlines in the world operating a fleet of Boeing 747 freighters all over the world.

This program, the longest single dvd we've produced, takes you from New York's JFK Airport around the world back to JFK in the cockpit of the 747-200 and 747-400. Pilots give you many different presentations, you will see them at work and listen to communications with ATC even witness a go-around on short final at Miami's International Airport.

The superb cameras of Just Planes Videos invite home viewers to ride in the cockpits of Polar Air Cargo, over the course of seven flights, flying to nine world airports on four continents. Rarely has a single subject DVD presented such a pleasing variety of locales and flight conditions.

Trips are made in two very different kinds of Boeing 747 freighters. One of Polar's "Classic" jumbos, 747-249F N920FT (msn 22237) "Thomas G. Taafe", a veteran of the historic Flying Tiger Line, makes the journeys from New York-JFK to Atlanta, on to Glasgow-Prestwick, then short hopping over to Leige, Belgium. The action then switches to four different 747-400F's of the Polar Fleet &endash; N450PA, N451PA, N453PA, and M496MC (the "PA" suffixes purely to honor Pan Am, who never operated these aircraft). Detailed walk-arounds and enroute cockpit presentations on both 747 models allow the viewer to appreciate the significant differences in procedures and technology between the three-crew 747-200F and the two-crew 747-400F.

While foul weather and crosswinds make a pilot's workday more difficult, these situations make the DVD program very entertaining. Polar's excellent flight crew skills are on display from the start, as N920FT makes its midnight departure from JFK in rain and low overcast. As the drenched freighter soon breaks through into clear night sky, the magic of aviation is profoundly experienced. On a later trip by N453PA (747-46NF, msn 30811), Captain Hampton makes it look easy as he flies the approach to Chicago-O'Hare's Runway 27R in a very stiff crosswind. The view straight ahead is some 15 degrees off the runway centerline, until the plane is masterfully kicked straight at the last moment, while precious engines are kept clear of striking ground.

Some of the best flight footage involves trips in and out of Miami International Airport. Breathtaking night scenery of South Florida is made quite special by puffy cumulus clouds that are illuminated from underneath by the metropolitan glow. One MIA approach results in an adrenaline-inducing low altitude go-around, as traffic ahead fails to clear the runway in time for the Polar 747 landing. On a flight into Tokyo's Narita Airport, a long bumpy approach is made to Runway 34L, the result of hilly terrain below and the unusual local requirement that landing gear be lowered dozens of miles out. As Captain Brannon explains, this is to preclude the possibility of ice falling onto homes below, during wheel extension.

Always a plus in this series, we enjoy a wide variety of geography and climate on visits to abundant foreign destinations. The rolling green hills of Scotland greet the flights in and out of Prestwick, while on other trips we appreciate the locales of Seoul-Incheon, South Korea and Sao Paolo-Viracopos, Brasil. The expert camera techniques, used with several hand-held and mounted devices, create a welcome variety of perspectives. Thanks in part to excellent airline and flight crew cooperation, this DVD has a richness of content and production quality that will allow many repeat viewings.

Review by AVSIM
Polar Air Cargo DVD starts off with a rare view of a flight from JFK to Atlanta. The flight starts off at night during stormy weather and offers a wonderful view of both New York and Atlanta at night.

The following flight to Prestwick was also very insightful as the Flight Engineer shares his knowledge and experiences on the 747 classic. After a quick flight to Liege, we jump onboard one of Polar Air’s newer 747s, the 747-400. While on the 747-400 the pilots provided a very thorough explanation of the instrumentation and the scenery from the cockpit is nothing short of stunning as you are transported from your living room to destinations such as South Korea, Tokyo, Brazil and much more.

One of the highlights for me was the approach into Miami at night that offered a stunning view of the city. Added to that was the fact that while on approach to rwy 9, the crew is forced to do a go around at low altitude due to an aircraft which was a bit slow on exiting the runway.

This DVD provides a wonderful view of the day to day lives of cargo pilots on the job. One can’t help but admire how hard these guys work, leaving home and traveling around the world all in an effort to ensure that your packages arrive at your door.

This is my third review of JustPlanes DVDs and I am always amazed at how much the team at JustPlanes put into their videos. These DVDs are jam packed with useful information and with cockpit presentations that are clear and understandable for all pilots whether real world or virtual.

The scenic view from the cockpit is nothing short of stunning, especially so in the Baboo video. The Polar DVD is also packed with information and exciting moments when the pilots are forced to do a go around at night while landing at Miami. This DVD also is one of the first that literally takes you around the world starting and ending New York.

I am now convinced that I should start a collection of these DVDs and I would encourage others as well to look into these. It surely makes up for days when your not in the mood to fly on the simulator but you still want to do something aviation related. The prices of these DVDs can’t be beat either. When you think of all that you’re getting, the opportunity to follow airline and cargo pilots for a day really is priceless.

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