Dorset-based innovator Richard Hartnell, whose Jurassic Airlines experience was a huge hit at the launch of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival in May, has spent recent weeks enhancing the flight in the run up to its stay at ‘Onboard International Airport’ in Weymouth to offer passengers the latest in what he describes as ‘Ecotainment’.
The 737 flight simulator takes passengers back 250m years in time to fly with dinosaurs, incorporating a humourous narrative from the pilot and co-pilot to explain the history of the Jurassic Coast and raise awareness of the effects of fossil-fuel usage on climate change.
The experience, which had its test flights from the specially built Lyme Regis International Airport in May, had passengers enthusing about its authenticity. On arrival at fast-track Check-In, passengers are asked the usual questions about what they may be carrying, but with the emphasis on fossil-fuel-derived products (fleeces, mobile phones etc). They then pass into the departure lounge via the Humiliascan enhanced biometric security scanner before a brief wait for their flight. During this wait, Jurassic Coast TV entertains and informs, with breaking news from different geological times and mass extinction events. Passengers then board their flights and, after their time-travel safety check, take off on their 15-minute trip back into hyperspace.
With green credentials foremost, the airports and aircraft are constructed with the help of recycled materials designed to minimise the Airline’s carbon footprint. “It doesn’t stop there either,” boasts Hartnell. “Compared to our competitors’ 737 fleets, ours burn significantly less fossil fuel to travel immense distances in a fraction of time.”
An excited passenger checking in with his family said, “I’ve heard they have an innovative in-flight entertainment programme to while away the eons of time on long-haul flights to Pangaea. We can’t wait to see the dinosaurs when we get there!” One passenger said it was his first ever flight.
Jurassic Airlines will be flying from Onboard International Airport (in front of the Weymouth Pavilion) from 26th July to 8th September during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tickets will be available from the Weymouth Tourist Information Office in the Pavilion. And, as a result of popular demand from time-travellers in Lyme Regis, and the Town Council giving the go-ahead, Richard hopes to reinstate Jurassic Airlines in Lyme Regis in the near future.