After our “Behind the Scenes” bus tour of Schiphol Airport, we head up to the Panorama Terrace to do a little plane spotting.
There was a glarey winter sun and a stiff polar wind but undeterred we zipped up our jackets as high as they would go and joined a small crowd on the terrace.
I was actually surprised to see so many people up here, but clearly although we only just found out you could go up here and it was our first time, other people seemed to be regulars… some die-hard souls even sitting on benches in the bleak sun trying not to loose the packed lunch beside them to the wind.
We make our way from one end of the terrace to the other, it’s far longer than I imagined it to be and at the far end discover a plane we are finally allowed to go inside, a Fokker 100, that some
crazy brave pilot actually landed on the roof (this part of the terminal is relatively new so I dear-say this stunt was accomplished whilst the roof was still looking more like an empty runway than aviewing platform)
I think the airport has missed a great opportunity by not having a video clip and display available to show the actual landing… how cool would it be to see that?
The inside of the Fokker 100 had been partitioned so it’s a bit smaller inside, and they have ingeniously used a well situated photograph behind two rows of real seats to show “people” in the aircraft.
It was harder than I thought to grab a photo without someone else’s kids playing at being passengers on the seats but I waited a while and soon there was a kid-free moment to grab the shot.
They have fitted a thick perspex panel into the floor so that you can “see”a simulation of the baggage hold ( recognise any of your lost luggage?) and another thick perspex panel to look though to see what’s going on in the cockpit.
Knowing my son’s complete and utter lack of control when it comes to abstaining from pushing, turning or flicking knobs and buttons, that piece of perspex was a very suitable precaution.
…or maybe the designer of this exhibit also has son’s with terminally fidgety fingers too.
My plane spotting knowledge is mega minimal, so all I can really tell you is that I saw an awful lot of KLM aeroplanes and they came in sizes small, medium, large and extra large… plus a few Transavia planes (Dutch low cost airline) parked around as well for good measure and one Delta that looks like it followed Our Lady Of The Sat Nav’s instructions and of course ended up in the wrong place.
After I left the plane I went inside where a few café’s beckoned with warm food to revive our shivering forms and cold fingers. We managed to bag a table by the window and sat people-watching out the window and talking about the tour as we ate.
We have a surprise coming up for the kids, but for this we need to leave the airport… next stop: Amsterdam.