Heathrow Airport

Heathrow landing 01Heathrow landing 02Arrived at Heathrow this evening, ready for my flight to Kiev tomorrow, Thursday 4 September, to visit the Aeroprakt factory with Doug King, the New Zealand agent.

I’m staying at the Thistle Hotel, Heathrow, that has a great restaurant and bar – ‘Runway View’ – which, strangely, as its name suggests, looks out over Heathrow’s runway 09L/27R, where the evening flights were landing at the rate of one every 2 minutes or so. The flights were lined up maybe 5 in a row, their landing lights flicking on as they passed the 5-mile marker.

Mostly Boeing 737’s and Airbus 320’s but there was a smattering of bigger aircraft and the very occasional A380 – a majestic great beast, dwarfing all the other aircraft around.

BA’s terminal 5 slowly lit up as the sun set, a great glowing glass cavern, huge in the night. The two photos here are almost exactly the same view, a couple of hours apart.

The hotel isn’t 4-star by a long way, but it’s comfortable and clean and has that great view of the airport’s western end. The windows are triple-glazed and the rooms are very quiet. And to top it all, there’s a ‘POD’ ride directly from Terminal 5 to the Hotel. Described as the world’s first hi-speed personalised transport system, it’s an emission-free little automated electric car that takes you the 5-minute ride, almost to the hotel reception – highly recommended!

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