Six months ago, anyone boarding a plane and fitting their own seat cover would have likely been looked at with amusement by most fellow passengers and cabin crew. Once commercial aviation gets going again, though, such accoutrements might well become common. Products such as Seat Sitters – a combination pack of reusable seat cover, tray table cover, face mask, wipes and hand sanitiser – did raise a few eyebrows online when first released a couple of years ago at seatsitters.com , but probably not so much any more. Likewise the reusable fabric and disposable covers at germfreebee.com , which became one of the earliest plane-seat cover brands when it launched back in 2014. Debuting at the Travel Goods Show, in New Orleans, in the United States, in March, Fresh Flight’s disposable seat covers were the first to mention the coronavirus in their marketing, playing up passengers’ need for “a protective barrier between them and the germs, bacteria and filth found on airplane seats”. Priced at US$8.99 for a single seat cover, or US$9.99 with an additional wipe and face mask, they can be found at flyfreshflight.com . Note that airmail from the US is currently slow, if available at all, but surface mail will probably arrive before commercial flights resume from Chek Lap Kok anyway. Remembering the Junkers G.38, once the largest land plane in the world On November 7, 1929, news from Reuters of the first test flight of an unusual aeroplane appeared around the world. Newspaper headlines in Hong Kong included, “Plane to Startle the World”, “New German Air Giant” and “Passengers in the Wings”. This was the Junkers G.38 (above), at the time the largest land plane in the world. It had taken to the skies over Dessau, Germany, for the first time the day before, and passengers could indeed be seated inside the wings. Engineers could also walk around freely inside the wings, maintaining the four engines while the plane was aloft, flying at record speeds of up to 225km/h (140 miles/hour). “An electric kitchen,” it was noted, “is one of its special features.” The first Junkers G.38 went into commercial service with Deutsche Luft Hansa in July 1931, between Berlin and London, via Amsterdam. Only two were ever built, and one was lost in a crash in 1936. The other Junkers G.38 thrilled passengers seated inside its wings and glass nose for almost a decade, before being used for German military transport and destroyed on the ground by the British Royal Air Force in Athens, Greece, in 1941. Sadly, this design never caught on, and airline passengers have been stuck with sideways views ever since. There’s a brief, animated glimpse of what it was like to fly in a Junkers G.38 in Hayao Miyazaki ’s The Wind Rises (2013), a romanticised biopic about the early life and career of Japanese aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi. The film also features an appearance by Italian planemaker Giovanni Caproni and his magnificently eccentric, nine-winged Ca.60. Designed to be a transatlantic airliner, it makes the later Junkers G.38 look unexciting by comparison, but, as shown in the film, it was destroyed during a test flight in 1921. The Wind Rises is available on Netflix, with optional Japanese and English soundtracks, the latter featuring the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci and Elijah Wood. The Star Pisces, the only cruise left in Hong Kong’s waters A familiar sight in Victoria Harbour since the mid-1990s, the Star Pisces has been the only cruise ship to remain in Hong Kong waters over the past couple of months. She began her career 30 years ago, on April 30, 1990, as the Kalypso, ferrying between her native Finland and Sweden, moved to Hong Kong in 1994, and has been operating cheap-and-cheerful, one- and two-night entry-level cruises from here for most of her career. She has no cruises scheduled on the Star Cruises website, so is likely to be anchored in Hong Kong for the foreseeable future. Star Cruises’ larger SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius both seem to be sitting out the lockdown side by side in Singapore. While no cruises are apparently scheduled for the Gemini, the Aquarius, surprisingly, has about a dozen two- and three-day cruises from Keelung, in Taiwan, to several ports around Okinawa, in Japan, slated from July 1. See starcruises.com for details, but be aware that Taiwan seems unlikely to open to flights from Hong Kong in time for these sailings, even if they do go ahead.