Adam Smith, Senior Vice President, Center to Advance the Pilot Community, AOPA.
Joel Westbrook, Executive Producer, Air Fare America. This TV series being developed about GA is based on interesting places you can go, what you can do there, and the restuarants to visit. A hangar rat looks at the hangars behind the hangars, and what you can find there. It’s food, adventure, and pickers. @AirFareAmerica.
Colin an 11 year old airplane geek from Alexandria, Virginia.
David on the new F100 Super Sabre exhibit and some of the aircraft being restored at the Udvay-Hazy Restoration Center: SB-2C Helldiver, Sikorsky JRS-1 Flying Boat, a flying wing.
Bill Knight, Smithsonian Docent and avgeek since he was four years old.
Dave “Bio” Baranek, author of Top Gun Days. Available online, in bookstores, and as an eBook. See topgunbio.com. Bio flew the F-14A Tomcat with several fighter squadrons and was a Tomcat Instructor.
Dean Mcbride – Fighting to save our Heritage at Panshanger
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
Having solo’d from Panshanger in a Piper Tomahawk 13 years ago, the airfield has a very special place in Pieter’s heart, but it has a much richer heritage. He talks to Dean Mcbride about ‘Holwell Hyde’ and its role as a decoy airfield during the Second World War and how he is desperately trying to gain recognition for the role of the airfield as it faces the inevitable threat from development and encroachment from housing. Maybe this is not youir airfield but it could be soon.
Our guest this episode is John Zimmerman, a pilot and a Vice President at Sporty’s, the world’s largest pilot shop.
John talks to us about ADS-B, what it is, what you can do with it, options for implementing it, and how much it costs. We touch on the FAA strategy for getting aircraft operating in the U.S. airspace to ADS-B by 2020 – offering free weather as the carrot.
Also, ADS-B in-only portable receivers, like the Stratus for the iPad, which gives you “portable avionics” – something useful for club airplanes, for example. John offers an explanation for why the iPad, and especially the Mini, is so dominant among tablets for aviators.
We talk about Sporty’s Easy Approval solution for FAA approval to use your iPad with Foreflight Mobile as your Electronic Flight Bag. Also the factory assembled Vans RV-12 and the 2014 Sporty’s sweepstakes and Sporty’s Academy for flight training.
Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H at Auckland in 2012 by John Thomson
In this week’s Australia Desk:
We’ve often talked about the high cost of using airports in Australia, particularly the major hubs, and it seems the high cost of operating out of Melbourne’s Essendon Airport have forced a major user, business jet operator MyJet, to look for better options. Their solution comes in the form of relocating, thanks in part to some financial support from the Victorian government, to the regional city of Bendigo, 200km north west of Melbourne. During the week, they announced the opening of their new $A1.5million facility at the city’s airport, the largest such investment there in 40 years. They will now operate their small fleet of executive charter aircraft from this new base, using Essendon only as a pickup/drop off point.
On the subject of investment, Qantas announced this week that they’ll be putting millions of extra dollars into their facilities in Perth, Western Australia, as part of their drive to remain competitive with Virgin Australia. The plans call for upgrades to terminals & lounges, news and improved catering options, additional flights each day and increasing the number of A330s operating on routes to and from Perth. The city is a major hub for people working in the mining & resources sector, and CEO Allan Joyce said this week that he sees no end in sight to the boom conditions that are creating the resulting demands on his airline.
Airbus has also been in the news this week with a push to get the New Zealand government to consider the A400M & the C295 as possible replacement for their C130H fleet. The RNZAF currently operates five C130H airframes, all of which have undergone life extension programmes in recent years, but Airbus executives are keen to see their military airlifters play a role in this region of the world. We wonder if they’ll try to convince the RAAF to consider the “Grizzly” as well.
This week on Across The Pond we talk to Airplane Geeks fan and voice over artist Jesús Calderón. Jesús is an Air Traffic Controller in the Barcelona Tower and explains his passion about flying and also gives the team some feedback about the programme.
Follow Jesús as @Hardenaw on Twitter and find him on Facebook. Lead post photo is Jesús Calderón’s office at night.
Max Flight has a conversation with Ryan Ewing, who runs a site called Airline Geeks. Ryan is quite the enthusiast and his aviation passion started out at a very young age. Follow him on Twitter.
Rob Mark tells us how he seems to be having a little trouble with the President’s choice of Anthony Foxx to replace Ray LaHood as Secretary for the Department of Transportation.
An RAAF AP-3C Orion at Avalon 2013
In this week’s Australia Desk:
A Federal Government Senate committee has handed down a verdict into the handling of an ATSB/CASA investigation into the 2009 ditching near Norfolk Island of a PelAir Westwind jet, which ran out of fuel on a medical transport flight – a report which is extremely critical of the way the investigation was handled.
A team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have been short listed as finalists in the Airbus sponsored 2013 Fly Your Ideas global university challenge. The team has passed through to the final with its proposal for the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably-produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG). If successful, they stand to win a €30,000 prize.
The RAAF has retired an AP-3C Orion due to budget cuts and the Government has been making enquiries regarding the possible purchase of the MQ-4C Triton UAV
Pieter takes a break from guests this week to respond to Rob on the Jetstream and mention his son’s trip to Lukla airport one of the most dangerous airports in the world. But he leaves us with a question about aerospace domination in the next century.
Jason Paur is an instrument rated pilot and a journalist and writer covering aerospace at Wired.com. He’s been following and reporting on the Solar Impulse, a solar powered aircraft currently on a flight across the U.S., with the objective of a future around-the-world flight.
We talk with Jason about the Solar Impulse, which has a 208 foot wingspan yet weighs only 3500 pounds. Four electric motors rated about 10HP each are powered by photovoltaic cells, which cover the wings and horizontal stabilizers. The cells charge onboard batteries which allow the Solar Impulse to fly through the night. Jason describes what it’s like to fly the aircraft
We also discuss Jason’s visit to Wichita, including a rather dramatic demo flight in a Cessna Citation X flight test aircraft. Also, will we see airliners without pilots, and if so when?
Jason is also involved in Medium, an interesting new project from Ev Williams, founder of Blogger and Twitter. This is a collaborative platform that puts collections of writing into themed collections. Jason started an aerospace collection called Lift and Drag with some thoughts about the lost magic of flight. You can read all about it at the introductory post. Anybody who is interested in contributing to Medium and help expand the aviation collection can contact Jason.
We have spoken highly in recent years of Australian manufacturer GippsAero and their successes in creating aircraft that have sold all around the world. So it is with some concern this week that we report on the announcement of a corporate restructuring by parent company, Mahindra Aerospace, which although confusingly worded, indicated the loss of 40 jobs at the plant in Morwell, Victoria. There is widespread concern in the region that Mahindra may have a bigger plan in store, and one which may not be well received. We’ll keep a close eye on development.
In airline news this week, Virgin Australia has issued a profit warning to the Australian Stock Exchange indicating that revenues have not been as strong as previously expected, well below the $83million pre tax estimate but not yet specified. The share market reacted by dropping Virgin’s stock by 7% Worse still, their new low cost carrier, Steve’s favourite airline Tiger Airways, has also indicated that it has lost a significant amount of money over the past year. Virgin will no doubt be aiming to reverse these fortunes in the coming year.
Piper Warrior II 161 of Freedom Aviation, fresh from the paint shop with new avionics and engine
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
This week Pieter visits Dave Jelly from Freedom Aviation at Cotswold Airfield in the UK, to talk about the unique style of flying training that Freedom undertakes and what sort of flight sorties they make with both students and qualified pilots. Kitted out with new and refurbished aircraft Freedom is bringing a new and refreshing style of flight training and aircraft leasing to the UK general aviation market. Pieter came away enthused that GA is still ‘alive’ and blossoming here in some parts of Europe (weather permitting).
We talk about the history of ASTM, the makeup of the membership, the standards they are creating and maintaining, and who are they making them for. Also, how the Committee members work together to reach a concensus and why the standards change frequently.
Concensus for these standards requires a massive 90% agreement of Committee members, who meet frequently at airshows or events that otherwise bring many of the members together. The standards are constantly being revised based on lessons learned, accident investigations, and technology changes. Meetings are open to the public and private citizens can join the committees
David Vanderhoof gives us some aviation history in his This Month in Aviation segment. David mentions the Dornier Do 228 and Rob reminisces about flying that aircraft.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
Qantas CEO Allan Joyce finds his way back into the news the week indicating that the airline’s profits are nowhere near the levels his team had predicted earlier in the financial year, and major creditor Deutscher Bank took notice also slashed its forecast back to just over $80million.
Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson has been in Australia this week, talking up the newly branded Virgin Australia Regional Airlines as well as Virgin Galactic. He also indicated that he wasn’t above selling more of his stake in the group if he felt it prudent, and heaped praise on CEO John Borghetti and his team for their many successes.
Boeing opened a new Research & Development Centre in Port Melbourne during the week, securing it’s place as the largest such facility for the company outside of the United States.
Steve also extols the virtues of Yoo-Hoo chocolate drinks after finding them at a local US food importer in Melbourne. Grant is not so sure.
Angela Waller joins Pieter this week. Angela was a Stewardess back in the fifties and sixties and is Author of the book Before There Were Trolly Dollies. We get to hear what it was like in those days to travel by air and what Angela feels about modern air travel. An intriguing segment that goes back to the glory days of flight. Follow @AngelaWaller on Twitter.
Arthur Rosen blogs at My Opinion: Thoughts and Comments on General Aviation and he doesn’t hold back on his opinions. He’s a pilot, the AOPA-ASN (Airport Support Network) volunteer for Scottsdale Airport (SDL), past Chairman of the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission, he served on the Super Bowl Committee for Aviation, is past President of Arizona Soaring Association, an Aviation Expert for ABC TV-Phoenix, and a retired Judge!
We talk with Arthur about flight training and how it has become more about passing the test than learning to fly. Also, local airports and local politics – how residential development is an airport killer. Arthur has strong feelings about user fees, and how they, like land development, destroy aviation.
Arthur maintains that people do have an interest in learning to fly, but for many the cost is prohibitive. He has a pretty interesting prediction for small airplanes over the next five or ten years (it isn’t pretty), and he doesn’t buy the airline pilot shortage we hear about.
We discuss light sport aircraft and why they haven’t fulfilled the promise of being affordable entry-level airplanes. Also, legacy aircraft and FAA mandated TSO (Technical Service Order) equipment (Max gets confused because TSO means something different to ex-MRO guys), how the iPad is valuable for pilots with Foreflight and WingX dominating the apps market and training through the FAA Acquisition System Toolset (FAST).
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: Vultee Vibrator or Valiant BT-13/SNV.
Defence Minister, Stephen Smith MP, releasing the 2013 Defence White Paper at Defence Establishment
In this week’s Australia Desk:
The Australian Government released its latest Defense White Paper this week, outlining updates on planned future equipment acquisitions for the Army, Navy and Air Force. On the aviation side of things, the purchase of 12 EA-18G “Growler” aircraft was announced, and Grant ponders whether this might mean the existing 12 “pre-wired” F18F+ Super Hornets already in the fleet will still be converted – as previously planned – into Growlers, while buying 12 new Super Hornets to replace them. Steve points out that this is far too logical for any government to consider. Additionally, there is speculation that the F-35 order book may be reduced from 100 airframes to 72.
Australia’s Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, was in hot water this week after allegedly refusing to obey the instructions of a Qantas flight crew to turn off his mobile phone. The Federal Police was notified of the incident but were not required to attend the aircraft.
Former Qantas executive Rod Sharp took the reins at Tiger Airways this week, continuing the trend of ex-Qantas big wigs being poached away by John Borghetti, the CEO of Virgin Australia – who now own a controlling interest in Tiger, as reported last week.
No Speedos were harmed in the production of this segment
On our recent visit to the Royal Navy Historic Flight, Commander Ian Sloan told us about his plans to become an exchange pilot flying jets from a friendly nation’s aircraft carriers. Listen in and find out what aircraft type and what Navy, he is being seconded to.
Guest Mary Kirby is Editor in Chief of the Airline Passenger Experience magazine and the APEX media platform. She has extensive experience as an aviation industry journalist.
Mary gives us some observations from the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2013 held in Hamburg April 9-11, 2013, including ultra-slim seats and positive hopes for passenger use of Personal Electronic Devices. IFE and connectivity are becoming the cost of doing business for airlines, and the inflight experience is approaching the multi-screen experience that people have now in their living rooms.
Mary proves she was right and Max was wrong when he predicted that IFE systems would be replaced by passenger owned entertainment content. If fact, we’re seeing more screens inflight and more aircraft are now ordered with embedded IFE.
We talk about who the inflight connectivity players are and what they are doing, and their participation in social media, including Panasonic Avionics, Gogo, OnAir. Jetblue has agressive plans with Live TV.
Reaching out to consumers through social media is new for the IFE industry, and Mary believes this B2B2C communication is not only taking over the IFE world, but we may see the same with interiors.
Speaking of interiors, Mary gives us some observations about the A350XWB and B787 interiors as they relate to the passenger experience.
For a little change of pace, David relates historical aviation events to the all the aviation geek birthdays occurring around this time.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
United 747 collides with aerobridge at Melbourne Airport. Virgin Australia finally gets approval to buy 60% of Tiger Airways, while Singapore Airlines buys a chunk of Virgin Australia from Richard Branson.
The Winnie Mae, the airplane Wiley Post flew in his record-breaking flights around the world in 1931 and 1933
Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, Fact Sheet:
Opening April 12, 2013, National Mall building, Gallery 213
Presented in collaboration with the National Museum of American History
Sections: Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; Inventing Satellite Navigation; and Navigation for Everyone.
Sponsored by: Northrop Grumman Corporation, Exelis Inc., Honeywell, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, Magellan, National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing, Rockwell Collins and the Institute of Navigation.
“Time and Navigation” explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way. Through artifacts dating from centuries ago to today, the exhibition traces how timekeeping and navigational technologies evolved to help navigators find their way in different modes of travel, in different eras and different environments. Methods are traced through the decades to show that of all the issues facing navigation, one challenge stands out: The need to determine accurate time.
Twelve Things People Might Not Know about Time and Navigation
1. Although it was possible to navigate at sea before 1700, very precise positions could not be determined without accurate time and reliable clocks.
2. The earliest sea-going marine chronometer made in the United States was produced by Bostonian William Cranch Bond during the War of 1812.
3. Calculating position only by monitoring time, speed and direction is called Dead Reckoning. Measuring movement using only internal sensors is known as Inertial Navigation. Observing the sun, moon, or stars at precise times to determine position is known as Celestial Navigation. Radio Navigation systems use radio signals to maintain a course or fix a position.
4. The first several Soviet and American spacecraft sent to the moon missed it completely and crashed on the moon or were lost in space. Subsequent missions achieved their objectives as better techniques for guidance and navigation were developed.
5. When the first men went to the moon (Apollo 8), they used a sextant to help them navigate.
6. A spacecraft travelling across the solar system navigates by means of precisely timed radio signals sent back and forth to Earth. Navigators on Earth track its location and speed and transmit course adjustments. These techniques allow navigators to guide a probe to a planetary rendezvous or a pinpoint landing.
7. Space shuttles used onboard star trackers to locate their position in space with high accuracy. Once the shuttle reached orbit, the tracker automatically locked onto a star to orient the spacecraft.
8. The fundamental unit of time, the second, was defined in the past by the rotation of the Earth. Since 1967, the second has been defined by the signature frequency of a form of the element cesium.
9. A navigator on a ship at sea 100 years ago needed to know the time to the second. GPS satellite navigation works by measuring time to billionths of a second.
10. Albert Einstein’s understanding of space and time and relativity contributed to global navigation. Because GPS satellites experience lower gravity and move at high speeds, their clocks operate at a different rate than clocks on Earth. Since all the clocks in the system must be synchronized, a net correction of 38 millionths of a second per day must be added to the satellite clock’s time.
11. Increasingly reliable clocks and improved navigation methods have allowed navigators to calculate spacecraft positions with greater accuracy. By 2012 missions could be tracked with 100,000 times the accuracy possible in the early 1960s.
12. Atomic clocks in GPS satellites keep time to within three nanoseconds—three-billionths of a second.
Grant is back on deck this week as we discuss the release of the new Qantas uniforms, revealed this week to much fanfare. Eight former Royal Australian Navy Kaman SH-2G Super Sea Sprite helicopters, which never saw service after the programme was scrapped two years ago, have been purchased by the New Zealand Government for their Navy at a cost of $A200million ($NZ244million – $US210million). And keeping in the recent theme of aviation lobby groups wading into the upcoming federal election early, the Australian Airports Association is asking the government to consider backing a fund to assist struggling remote area airstrips to the tune of $20million.
This week we look at what’s been happening in the Benelux countries and France with Frenchez Pietersz from Aviation Platform. New low cost carriers, KLM baggage fees and the threat of european hub domination from Schipol all get discussed.
Jeff Nielsen (“Capt. Jeff”) flies for a major legacy airline and produces the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, subtitled: The View From My Side of the Cockpit Door. Jeff served in the Air Force as a C-141B and T-37 Instructor Pilot, and in his commercial career has flown the B-727 (all seats), the L-1011 (as First Officer) and the “Mad Dog” MD-88/90 (as Captain). In Airline Pilot Guy, Jeff presents news and views from an airline pilot’s perspective, and answers listener questions about airlines and flying.
With Grant off this week due to illness, PCDU team member Ben Jones steps in to help bring us this report.
In the news, Virgin Australia issues a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange announcing it’s acquisition of Skywest is complete and right on cue, the first Skywest Fokker 100 in Virgin colours makes it debut in Perth.
The last RAAF F-111C to fly, A8-109, is transported by road from Queensland to Wollongong in New South Wales to take up residence at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS). The aircraft, now fully decommissioned, has been fully repainted in 1980s era colour scheme.
Further news this week on Australia’s first two F-35 JSF airframes, designated AU-1 & AU-2. Lockheed says they are on schedule to be delivered by 2014, at which point RAAF aircrew can begin training.
The latest PCDU video is now online – Steve’s review of the RAAF KC-30A Multi Role Taker Transport, including footage of refuelling of two 77SQN Hornets over eastern Victoria RAAF Airbus KC30A Multi Role Tanker Transport.