German airline unveils candy-striped aircraft

(CNN) — Most airplane exteriors look more or less the same — white backdrop, bold lettering, company logo — but every now and again, an airline unveils a livery that stands out from the pack.
Take All Nippon Airways’ “Flying Honu” A380s, designed to resemble bright colored turtles, or the stunning indigenous art that adorns one of Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
German airline Condor is the latest carrier to step up its livery game with a simple yet stylish paint job. Condor’s fleet is tricked out in candy-colored bold stripes, inspired by “parasols, bath towels and beach chairs,” according to the airline.
Condor was owned by British holiday company Thomas Cook, which collapsed in 2019. Now the leisure airline is striking out on its own, with a new look to celebrate. The colorful stripes, designed by Berlin creative agency Vision Alphabet, aim to evoke nostalgia for vacations past and excitement for vacations of the future.
There are five color options: Condor says the blue stripes represent the sea, the yellow stripes recall sunshine, red represents “passion”, green represents “island” and a beige-gold stripe should make travelers think of a sandy beach.

The airline suggests the stripes also represent “the diversity of Condor’s guests, employees and the multitude of opportunities to discover the world with Condor.”

Ralf Teckentrup, Condor’s CEO, said in a statement that the colorful stripes are the airline’s “new trademark.” Accordingly, it’s not just Condor’s exterior that’s been reimagined. Condor’s logo on its social media account is now emblazoned with stripes, while boarding passes and inflight items like blankets are being reimagined. Condor promises crew uniforms will also “shine in the new design,” with more details and photos to come.

Condor has over 50 aircraft in its fleet, and promises the majority will be painted by 2024. Expect to see six of the striped aircraft in operation by this summer, with these aircraft flying to destinations including the Canary Islands, Greece and Egypt.

The Little Jets That Can

The BD-5 Micro is a series of small, single-seat homebuilt aircraft created in the late 1960s by US aircraft designer Jim Bede and introduced to the market primarily in “kit” form by the now-defunct Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s.

In total, only a few hundred BD-5 kits were completed, although many of these are still being flown today. The BD-5J version holds the record for the world’s lightest jet aircraft, weighing only 358.8 lb (162.7 kg).



With the demise of the Bede Aircraft Company, the BD-5 entered a sort of limbo while builders completed their kits. The early safety problems and the challenge of adapting a suitable engine exacerbated delays. Over the next few years, however, solutions to most of these problems arrived in one form or another. Many other changes have also been incorporated to improve the original design. Today the BD-5 is a rewarding, if demanding aircraft.







General Characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 12 ft to 13.5 ft w/stretch kits (3.88 m to 4.11 m)
  • Wingspan: 14 ft to 21 ft 6 in (4.26 m to 6.55 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.6 m)
  • Wing area: Depends on wing used (-5A, -5B or -5J)
  • Empty weight: 167 kg and up
  • Loaded weight: 407 lb to 809 lb
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,100 lb (530 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Various reciprocating engines, from Rotax to Turbo Honda; turboprop with modified Solar T62; jet with Microturbo Couguar or TRS-18,


  • Maximum speed: 200+ mph (320+ km/h) recip, 300 mph (500 km/h) jet
  • Range: 720+ miles (1,152+ km) recip, 300+ miles (500 km) jet
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3,700 m) recip, 23,000 ft (7,000 m) jet
  • Rate of climb: 1,900 ft/min (579 m/min) recip, 4,000 ft/min (1,219 m/min) jet
  • Wing loading: Varies depending on wing selected and aircraft weight


Top 50 countries by number of business jets registered

The table below presents the top 50 countries by the number of business jets in operation. It will come as no surprise that the number of aircraft registered in the US is far greater than anywhere else in the world. Out of all of the 50 countries below, the US alone accounts for 67 per cent of business jets and 63 per cent of the global fleet.


Gulfstream G650. Highest rated business jet


In sixth position with 264 aircraft, the Isle of Man, located off the coast of the UK, opened for business in May 2007 and is continuing to be seen as a popular and quick place to register aircraft.

Latin American occupies three places in the top 10, with Brazil and Mexico in second and third Venezuela at number 10. Brazil, in particular, is a vast country that takes time to travel across, so the number of smaller aircraft provide businesses with vital links between towns and cities. Although no age analysis is available, the number of older aircraft in both Mexico and Venezuela is noticeable and with little official information available, it is proved difficult to obtain true numbers of aircraft that are still currently active.

Austria’s position at number seven is partly due to a number of aircraft with Russian owners. Russia’s own import duty and tax payable on aircraft placed on the Russian register makes Austria a very attractive alternative country to register aircraft – something that also benefits the Isle of Man.

The number of business jets registered in China excludes aircraft registered in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, each of which appear under their own entries. If we were to consolidate the three countries, China would jump two places in the list to number seven. Hong Kong, in particular, has a large number of aircraft registered and appear at 35th place with 32 business jet on the register.

Most popular private jet registries

PositionRegistered CountryNo. of Aircraft
1United States12,051
6Isle of Man264
8United Kingdom241
11South Africa160
19Cayman Islands114
24United Arab Emirates61
25Saudi Arabia56
26Russian Federation53
34Czech Republic34
35Hong Kong32

Most popular business jet: Cessna Citation series with over 7000 built


Looking for a smaller aircraft, the Honda Jet


A highway passing right through a highrise building! Only in Japan.  

In Japan where space is at a premium strange things happen.

One of the most curious buildings in Japan is the Gate Tower Building in Osaka, Japan. The 5th, 6th and 7th floors of this 16-story office building is occupied by an express highway – passing right through the building. On the building’s floor information board on the ground floor, the tenants for the three floors are listed as the Hanshin Expressway. You realize this as the elevator skips from the 4th floor to straight to the 8th.

The Gate Tower Building is actually the result of an unusual compromise between the land owner and the Japanese government. The land has been occupied by a wood and charcoal processing company since the early Meiji period, but the gradual move to other sources of fuel resulted in the deterioration of those company buildings. In 1983, the redevelopment of the area was decided upon, but building permits were refused because the highway was already being planned to be built over this land. The property rights’ holders refused to give up, and negotiated with the Hanshin Expressway corporation for approximately 5 years to reach the current solution.

Aside from the intrusive highway, business at the Gate Tower Building is almost normal. The highway does not make contact with the building, and a structure surrounding the highway keeps noise and vibration out.

Dangerous Looking Sasquatch Spotted in Winnipeg

A Sasquatch has been spotted darting around the urban landscape in the downtown. What is even more concerning is that the big hairy hominid is wearing a Jason mask. Yes, the evil Jason from ‘Friday the 13th’ infamy.  Why a Jason mask? What is the intentions of this Squatch? Are the intentions nefarious and evil? No community deserves to have a psychopathic huge ape that walks on 2 legs on the loose.

Local newspaper the Midtown Plaza Bulletin took action and brought in renown paranormal investigator Mel Ryan. Mel has covered exorcisms at the now destroyed Demon Hotel, rooted out annoying ghosts at the old Archives building and confronted evil specters at the infamous Vaughn Street Jail, to name but a few of his audacious exploits. Mel immediately immersed himself into locating the rogue Sasquatch.

With the help of veteran clairvoyant Dean McDay and a resourceful bloodhound named Doctor Nose, Mel cornered the enigmatic Squatch at the dog park on Assiniboine Avenue. Mel immediately snapped a photo.

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With a Jason mask covering its face and holding a soccer ball under its right arm, it stood and faced the stunned intrepid paranormal investigator. Mel was dumbfounded. What is going through this creature’s primitive mind? As Mel reloaded to take another photo the Squatch, with super-human strength, threw the soccer ball towards him. Mel ducked in the nick of time, the speeding ball just missed his head, Mel’s glasses went flying. By the time he crawled around and located his glasses the Sasquatch disappeared down an adjoining back lane.

Mel called his psychic friend Dean McDay instantly. McDay predicted the Squatch was headed towards The Forks. Mel Ryan ran at full speed to the green area in downtown Winnipeg known as The Forks. Doctor Nose was distracted by the other hounds running around the dog park. He wanted to join the doggy fun.


Mel made it to The Forks in short time. It didn’t take long before he spotted the elusive cryptid at the Oodena Celebration Circle.

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Donning the Jason mask and petting a raccoon, the Squatch was reclining in the sand. With the beast making no attempt to flee, Mel ran back to his SUV to get his rocket propelled stun grenades. That weapon was capable of immobilizing a bull elephant, surely it would knock out cold the red furred Squatch.

As it often turns out with the Bigfoot creature, when Mel returned it was nowhere to be seen. Mel was disappointed, if only Doctor Nose had not abandoned him for the smell of other dogs at the dog park, this may have ended differently.

The investigation continues. Updates shortly.

Winnipeg has a history of urban Sasquatches. Why in Winnipeg, its anybody’s guess. The beasts have been spotted all over the downtown area and along the river.

Some images:

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Above: appears the Sasquatch is chasing a Zombie into the river!


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The brave citizens of the city even have tours:

Lion + Tiger = Liger 

The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a tigress. Thus, it has parents with the same genus but of different species. It is distinct from the similar hybrid tigon. It is the largest of all known extant felines.

Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Ligers exist only in captivity because the habitats of the parental species do not overlap in the wild. Historically, when the Asiatic Lion was prolific, the territories of lions and tigers did overlap and there are legends of ligers existing in the wild. Notably, ligers typically grow larger than either parent species, unlike tigons which tend to be about as large as a female tiger and is the cross between a male tiger and a female lion.


The liger is often believed to represent the largest known cat in the world. Males reach a total length of 3 to 3.5 m, meaning they are larger than large Siberian tiger males. 

Jungle Island, an interactive animal theme park in Miami, is home to a liger named Hercules, the largest non-obese liger, who is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest living cat on Earth, weighing over 410 kg (904 lb).







How Ligers are made


I don’t think this is a rape.  The Tiger is just submissive, I think.

Wildlife Crossings around the World  

Rapid deforestation and excessive human intervention into wildlife habitat has lead to frequent straying of wild animals into human habitation. Intrusion into wildlife habitat typically occurs due to illegal encroachment and also when roads, railroads, canals, electric power lines, and pipelines penetrate and divide wildlife habitat. Wild animals attempting to cross roads often find themselves in front of speeding vehicles.

Road mortality has significantly impacted a number of prominent species in the United States and elsewhere, including white-tailed deer, Florida panthers, and black bears. According to a study made in 2005, nearly 1.5 million traffic accidents involving deer occur each year in the United States that cause an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage. In addition, species that are unable to migrate across roads to reach resources such as food, shelter and mates experiences reduced reproductive and survival rates.

Wildlife overpass in Banff National Park. Photo: Joel Sartore

One way to minimize human-wildlife conflict is to construct wildlife crossings such as bridges and underpasses that allow animals to cross human-made barriers safely. The first wildlife crossings were constructed in France during the 1950s. Since then, several European countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and France have been using various crossing structures to reduce the conflict between wildlife and roads. In the Netherlands alone there are more than 600 tunnels installed under major and minor roads including the longest “ecoduct” viaduct, near Crailo that runs 800 meters.

Wildlife crossings have also become increasingly common in Canada and the United States. The most recognizable wildlife crossings in the world are found in Banff National Park in Alberta where the national park is bisected by a large commercial road called the Trans-Canada Highway. To reduce the effect of the four lane highway, 24 vegetated overpasses and underpasses were built to ensure habitat connectivity and protect motorists. These passes are used regularly by bears, moose, deer, wolves, elk, and many other species.

In the United States, thousands of wildlife crossings have been built in the past 30 years, including culverts, bridges, and overpasses. These have been used to protect Mountain Goats in Montana, Spotted Salamanders in Massachusetts, Bighorn Sheep in Colorado, Desert Tortoises in California, and endangered Florida Panthers in Florida.

The Netherlands contains an impressive number of wildlife crossings – over 600, that includes both underpasses and ecoducts. The Veluwe, a 1000 square kilometers of woods, heathland and drifting sands, the largest lowland nature area in North Western Europe, contains nine ecoducts, 50 meters wide on average, that are used to shuttle wildlife across highways that transect the Veluwe. The Netherlands also boasts the world’s longest ecoduct-wildlife overpass called the Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailo. This massive structure, completed in 2006, is 50 m wide and over 800 m long and spans a railway line, business park, river, roadway, and sports complex.

Ecoduct Borkeld in the Netherlands.


Ecoduct Kikbeek in Hoge Kempen National Park, Belgium.


Elephant underpass in Kenya.

What lies beneath…. Diver braves the waters to swim with deadly 26-foot anaconda

  • Swiss diver Franco Banfi went to the Mato Grosso region of Brazil to capture these amazing close-up of enormous anaconda snakes in their natural habitat
  • These underwater beasts feed on rodents, birds and fish, lurking close to surface coiled and ready to strike

It lurks just inches below the surface coiled and ready to strike – and yet you wouldn’t know it was there.

These remarkable images show the enormous 26-foot (eight metre) anacondas of Mato Grosso in Brazil searching for prey in the murky depths.

They were captured by brave diver and snake enthusiast Franco Banfi, 53, who joined the beasts in their natural habitat armed only with a camera.

Ready to strike: Brave diver and snake enthusiast Franco Banfi captured this image of an enormous anaconda snake lurking beneath the surface of a river in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Ready to strike: Brave diver and snake enthusiast Franco Banfi captured this image of an enormous anaconda snake lurking beneath the surface of a river in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Hunting: This anaconda scans the surface of the water looking for prey such as mice, fish or birds

Hunting: This anaconda scans the surface of the water looking for prey such as mice, fish or birds

Enormous: This coiled anaconda was about eight metres in length. Swiss diver Franco Banfi captured the photographs on a ten-day visit to the Mato Grosso do Sul region in Brazil

Enormous: This coiled anaconda was about eight metres in length. Swiss diver Franco Banfi captured the photographs on a ten-day visit to the Mato Grosso do Sul region in Brazil

In another shot, Banfi gets up close to a huge anaconda that is lying on the riverbank and glistening in the ferocious tropical heat.

Thankfully for the photographer, it had just gobbled up a capybara rodent and wasn’t interested in devouring him as a second course.

Banfi, a father-of-two from Switzerland, said: ‘As the snake had just eaten it didn’t take much interest in us.

‘Everything is possible but I don’t think it would have eaten us. I was very close, I could have touched it if I wanted to.’

Time for your close-up: Banfi was able to reach out and touch this massive anaconda sunbathing on the riverbank having devoured a capybara rodent

Time for your close-up: Banfi was able to reach out and touch this massive anaconda sunbathing on the riverbank having devoured a capybara rodent

He saw six different female anaconda snakes on his ten-day trip to the Mato Grosso do Sul region, right in the heart of South America.

The region is known for its diverse natural beauty and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The name literally means ‘Thick Forest of the South’ and it’s easy to see why.

Banfi added: ‘At the first moment it’s scary because you don’t know the animal and everybody says it’s dangerous.

‘But after a while you understand that nothing happens if you respect the snake.

‘I have never been so close to a snake like this before. But I think a small poisonous snake is more scary than a big one. At least you can see the anacondas clearly and know what they’re doing.’

Say cheese! Banfi, 53, goes up close to take an underwater shot of one of the anacondas. He saw six huge female snakes during his time in Brazil

Say cheese! Banfi, 53, goes up close to take an underwater shot of one of the anacondas. He saw six huge female snakes during his time in Brazil

On the prowl: The bright sunlight suggests this anaconda is close to the surface and about the attack

On the prowl: The bright sunlight suggests this anaconda is close to the surface and about to attack

Elegant: This smaller snake glides through the waters

Elegant: This smaller snake glides through the waters

This story was originally published by the Daily Mail in 2012.