508 Innovations In Flight 2018

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

June 16, 2018

This is an annual event by the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Innovations in Flight is sponsored by United Airlines.

Airplane Geeks again participated in the event and we recorded interviews at our display inside the museum. Here they are, with start times:

Interviews

[09:25] Adam Klein, a research pilot for NASA at Johnson Space Center trains astronauts and flies the NT-38 NASA test aircraft. After studying permafrost in Alaska, Adam had the opportunity to fly through the eclipse on the way back to California.

NT-38 NASA test aircraft

NT-38 NASA test aircraft

[26:17] Kathrine volunteers with the Society of Women Engineers. She tells us about the organization, how it is reaching young women, and how the messaging has changed to be current with the times.

[34:10] J.B. Hollyer pilots the Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus.” He’s president of Seaplane Crossings.org a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that teaches the history of seaplane aviation and is working to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first airplane crossing of the Atlantic, achieved in May 1919 by NC-4. Also see the Flying Boat website, a documentary film about human aspiration told through the history, romance, and adventure of flying boats.

Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus”

Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus”

[46:00] Young Jack is a seasoned air traveler who was attending the event.

[50:28] Capt. Andy Schwartzman flies the A320 for United and tells us about his career path and flying side stick and yoke.

[65:21] Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Corey and Cadet Tech Sergeant Smith describes the Civil Air Patrol and the Cadet program which develops leadership skills and provides character enrichment. We talk about the classes and activities, the ranks and the progression.

[1:07:07] Brian has an Airline Story of the Week based on his United flight into Dulles.

[1:12:15] Listener Tanya Weiman flew from New York for the day and talks to us about aviation podcasts and the community they create.

[1:18:02] Eric Galler is producer/director of the Science of Flight from The Great Courses. This features 24 lectures by Smithsonian curators in a four DVD set. It was produced in cooperation with The Great Courses and the Smithsonian.

[1:27:36] Captain Rick Bell tells us about transitioning from the C-130 to the C-17, and how the C-17 is different to fly.

[1:36:24] A380 pilot Bjorn tells us what it is like to fly the A380 compared to other Airbus airplanes. Also, flying GA in Europe, the outlook for the A380, and an opinion on future unmanned airliners.

[1:45:03] Dispatcher Mike flew his 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer in from Atlanta with Capt. Jeff for the event. Mike describes the job of a dispatcher, if that makes you a better pilot, and if being a pilot make you a better dispatcher.

[2:02:33] Listener Andrew just starting his career in aviation and is moving to Wichita for his new job. We talk about what Airplane Geeks is all about and what it means.

[2:12:37] Capt. Jeff Nielsen from the Airline Pilot Guy Show talks about his military flying career and being an instructor pilot in the T-37 jet trainer. He also has some thoughts on piloting commercial aircraft.

[2:29:56] Wrap-up

[2:28:05] Post-event dinner

Credit

All photos by David Vanderhoof. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

507 SR-71, Owning the Airspace Above 60,000 Feet

We speak with an SR-71 crew member, instructor pilot, Wing Commander, airline pilot, and author. In the news, we look at the Airbus Helicopters H160, an F-35 report from the Government Accountability Office, the grounding of the B-1B fleet, and new airports for Thailand. Also, North American fliers are happier, five must-see TV programs about airplanes, the Texas Aircraft Expo, and listener feedback.

Guest

Col. Richard H. Graham in the SR-71 cockpit.

Col. Richard H. Graham in the SR-71 cockpit.

As a 15 year veteran within the SR-71 community, Col. Richard H. Graham is uniquely qualified to tell the Blackbird story. Col. Graham entered the SR-71 strategic reconnaissance program in 1974 and after several years as a crew member, he became an instructor pilot in the SR-71. In 1978 he was selected as the Chief, Standardization/Evaluation Division. In 1980 Col. Graham became the SR-71 Squadron Commander of the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. Following four years in the Pentagon, Col. Graham was selected to be the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Commander at Beale AFB in June 1987. He has written five books about the SR-71.

We talk about the models of the 50 Blackbirds that were built and their safety. Nineteen were lost, all but one in the first 6 years. Col. Graham tells us about the SR-71 ejection seat and the aerial refueling procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to prevent fuel tank explosions. We also compare the SR-71 with the U-2, and learn about measuring fuel drips, “unstarts,” and the pilot selection and training processes.

Col. Graham’s books are available on Amazon.com, but also on eBay where he offers autographed copies. Look for eBay seller ID SR-71 pilot 1974-1981.

Prior to entering the SR-71 program, Col Graham flew 210 combat missions in Vietnam in the F-4C/D Phantom as well as the Wild Weasel mission. He was a command pilot with more than 4,600 military flying hours. His military decorations include three Legion of Merit awards, four Distinguished Flying Cross medals, and 19 Air Medals.

After serving 25 years in the Air Force, Col. Graham flew for American Airlines for 13 years, accumulating over 8,000 flying hours. He was initially hired at American Airlines as a Flight Engineer, flying the B-727 and DC-10. After 2 years he moved to the right seat of the MD-80 and his last 3 years Rich few as a captain on the MD-80.

With over 16,000 hours total flying time, you can find Rich flying and teaching at McKinney (Texas) Airport (TKI) for the Texins Flying Club.

Aviation News

Airbus’ H160 Helicopter Helps Save Pilots from Their Own Mistakes

The Airbus Helicopters H160 medium duty helicopter is the first of the H generation. Airbus says “the entire design was based on one overriding goal: to create added value for customers in terms of performance, economic competitiveness, safety, and comfort.” The H160 features an advanced “automatic recovery mode” designed to help pilots in difficult situations.

Is the F-35 About to Be Delayed (Again)?

The annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the F-35 (published June 5, 2018) has identified 966 open deficiencies. About 20% of them are expected to remain open when the Pentagon is scheduled to begin full-rate production. The GAO is advising the Pentagon hold off until these are addressed.

The Air Force Has Grounded All Of Its B-1Bs Over A Fault In Their Ejection Seats

Air Force Global Strike Command has ordered its B-1 bombers to stand down after finding ‘an issue with ejection seat components’

The entire fleet of B-1B bombers is grounded as a result of an issue with the aircraft’s ejection seats. This follows from the safety investigation after an emergency landing of a B-1B at Midland International Air & Space Port in Midland, Texas on May 1, 2018.

Thailand approves new airports to serve even more travellers – while Maya Bay closes due to overtourism

Maya Bay is closed for four months as a result of over-tourism causing coral reef damage and pollution. At the same time, the approval of two new airports has been criticised by environmentalists.

Airline Story of the Week

Air Canada and WestJet see improved results in passenger-satisfaction survey

A survey of passengers shows that North Americans are happier about airline travel than they have ever been.

Interviews

Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari attended the Texas Aircraft Expo and spoke with Patrick Rydzewski of CTL Aero Solutions, and 12-year old Clare Muska.

See:

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 58, Unpacking sexism at AGM, guns in carryon, pot in transit with journalist Harriet Baskas.

5 Must-See Aviation Documentaries on Netflix or Amazon

Aviodrome

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

506 Erika Armstrong in the Cockpit

Our guest is Erika Armstrong, an experienced pilot, author, speaker, instructional design director for aircrew training, and a university aviation professor. In the news, JetSuite is the launch customer for Zunum hybrid-electric planes, a fatal electric airplane accident, onboard pet monitoring technology, airline flight 1’s, a Geico Skytyper is lost, Southwest Airline’s financial outlook, and kidnapping charges at a flight school.

Guest

Erika Armstrong

Erika Armstrong

Erika Armstrong was an international corporate and airline pilot, and she’s currently the Director of Instructional Design at Advanced Aircrew Academy. She’s also an aviation professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver, specializing in aircraft systems and propulsion.

We talk with Erika about what it takes to be a pilot and what it does not, the “pilot personality,” training for a flying career, and some of her experiences during her 30 years in aviation.

Erika holds an ATP with 6,000 hours, primarily as captain in a Boeing 727-200 and Cessna Citation 500 series aircraft. She has international flight experience in a Gulfstream and performed the FAA proving runs for a Falcon 20 Part 135 certification. Erika flew for the Red Cross and spent 12 years in the charter and business aviation sector as a pilot, dispatcher, and maintenance/avionics coordinator. She also flew 24/7 air ambulance in the Midwest.

Erika has seen many changes in aviation, but she finds that the single common thread holding all the generations together is the spirit of aviation. It’s her goal to help reignite that passion in the up and coming generations and to help change the perspective of aviation, for both men and women. Be sure to read her article Pilot Evolution: Begin at the End for some insightful advice.

You can find Erika’s professional pilot columns in national aviation magazines and she is the author of “A Chick in the Cockpit: My Life Up in the Air.” She has a new book to be released called “Zen and the Art of Being a Pilot.”

Aviation News

JetSuite to Launch Hybrid-to-Electric Planes by 2022

JetSuite is to be the launch customer for Zunum hybrid-electric planes. The private charter jet company plans to acquire up to 100 of the 6 to 12 passenger aircraft in the early 2020’s for short flights. In the Zunum aircraft, JetSuite looks to 80% lower emissions, reduced noise, a 7700-mile range, and a maximum cruise speed of 340 miles per hour.

Matt Knapp, the founder of Zunum Aero, and our guest in Airplane Geeks episode #453 says, “We remain on track for flight testing in 2019 and continue to grow our technical leadership across power electronics, electric motors, propulsors and aircraft. If you or someone you know are interested in joining our team, please visit our Careers page.”

Two Dead In Siemens-Powered eFusion Crash

Two pilots were killed in a crash involving the Siemens-powered Magnus eFusion electric aircraft in Hungary. Initial reports from witnesses describe the plane maneuvering at low altitude, catching fire, then crashing in a near vertical dive.

New tech allows pet owners to monitor animals during flights

The Unisys Corporation Digi-Pet system lets owners monitor their pet while they are in the cargo hold of an aircraft. Sensors attached to the pet’s kennel or carry case transmit data such as temperature, oxygen levels, vibration, and light. Pet owners are alerted if any problems arise. The system offers live video streaming, photos and voice exchange via a smartphone or tablet app.

Flight 1 – The most prestigious airline flight number

Airlines sometimes designate “Flight 1” for a special purpose. This list and infographic collects presents all the airline Flight 1s.

For pilot killed in crash, flying was a journey with his father

Sadly, Executive Officer/Wing Pilot Ken Johansen, age 52, died when his GEICO Skytypers plane went down shortly after takeoff from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. There were no injuries on the ground. David has flown with the Skytypers several times and reported his experiences on this podcast.

Southwest Airlines preps for revenue drop after fatal accident, scales back growth

Bookings at Southwest Airlines have declined after the fatal engine failure in April. The airline expects second quarter revenue per seat mile to drop 3 percent and additionally, Southwest is lowering growth plans for 2018 due to increased fuel prices.

Two Redding flight school employees arrested, accused of kidnapping student

Attorney: Chinese flight student had been expelled; kidnap charges disputed

The IASCO Flight Training general manager and his assistant have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. They are charged with kidnapping one of their students, allegedly to take the student on a plane and send him to China. A defence attorney says the two were only taking the student to the airport because he flunked his classes and his visa had expired.

Airline Story of the Week

Via @nt_planespotter, we see Hailey’s #Journeyto30 takes off. Hailey Dawson is an 8-year-old with Poland syndrome. She was born missing three fingers on her right hand and she wears a prosthetic hand made with a 3D printer. The youngster wants to throw out the first pitch at every Major League Baseball park. All 30 MLB teams invited her to be their guest of honor, and United Airlines offered to fly her to each of her stadium visits. Follow #Journeyto30 on Twitter for the latest news and photos.

Video of the Week

Tim Trott (the Drone Professor) sent in the AvWeb article Video Captures Damage-Free Road Landing. “A young pilot who some sources say is a student ducked power lines, dodged cars, buildings and pedestrians and put her Cessna 172 down without a scratch on a busy Huntington Beach, California, street.”

Video: Light plane makes emergency landing on Huntington Beach [street]

Mentioned

David comments on the new book by Tim Trott, Out of the Blue: The Life and Legend of Kirby ‘Sky King’ Grant. In the book, Tim answers the questions: Do you remember the Sky King TV show? Do you know who flew the plane in the shows? Was Kirby Grant a “real” pilot? How many different “Songbird” planes were there? What happened to the “missing episodes”? What did Kirby Grant do after the TV series ended? Did you know that Kirby Grant was a singer?

Listener Andrew is a pilot with Alaska Airlines and has flown the new B737-700 cargo jet we talked about in a previous episode. He sent along a couple of photos:

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

505 Bits & Pieces XXI

The Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. corresponds to our usual recording day, so as is the tradition, we have a Bits & Pieces episode for you with recorded segments from the hosts, contributors, and listeners.

Sikorsky VS-44A Flying Boat at the New England Air Museum

Sikorsky VS-44A Flying Boat at the New England Air Museum. Photo by Max Flight.

The segments that make up this episode [with approximate start times]:

Max visited the New England Air Museum to listen to a presentation on the history of Pratt & Whitney given by Mark P. Sullivan, former director of communications for P&W, now retired. Mark is the author of Dependable Engines: The Story of Pratt and Whitney. [1:42]

Reading list, courtesy Mark Sullivan:

  • The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A Technical History by Jack Connors.
  • R2800 Pratt & Whitney’s Dependable Masterpiece by Graham White.
  • R4360 Pratt & Whitney’s Major Miracle by Graham White.
  • Development of Jet and Turbine Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
  • Development of Piston Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
  • World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
  • The Aircraft Gas Turbine and Its Operation: The Pratt & Whitney OI 200 Manual.
  • An Account of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company by Frederick B. Rentschler (privately published).
  • The Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Story (privately published in 1950).

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari spoke with Maj Mathew  “Squeeze” Pasquali from VMA-311, a United States Marine Corps attack squadron of AV-8B Harrier jets. [9:56]

One of the things we’ve learned in close to a decade of the Airplane Geeks podcast is that pilots can be colorful characters. Astronauts are certainly no exception to that rule. A total of twelve astronauts walked on the moon, as of this week, and with Alan Bean‘s passing, only four are left with us on earth. Our Contributor-At-Large and Main(e) Man Micah tells us a little bit about what Al Bean meant to him. [18:07]

Alan Bean

Alan Bean

Max walks through the new Kaman exhibit at the New England Air Museum with Executive Director Jerry Roberts. [25:53] Following that, Max and Jerry walked to one of the adjacent hangars and up to the new balcony overlooking the hangar for a conversation about the museum. [32:10]

The B-29 Hangar at the New England Air Museum. Photo by Max Flight.

The B-29 Hangar at the New England Air Museum. Photo by Max Flight.

Brian catches Chief Master Sergeant Frank Gamache from March Air Reserve Base at the Planes of Fame airshow in Chino, California. They discuss the role of the C-17 Globemaster III and being a loadmaster. [42:16] Brian then talks with listeners Matt (a longtime volunteer at Planes of Fame) [45:26] and Bill. [47:30]

C-17 by Brian Coleman.

C-17 by Brian Coleman.

Launchpad Marzari speaks with Tora, Tora, Tora pilot Patrick Hutchins. Tora, Tora, Tora is the Commemorative Air Force’s recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries. [51:22]

Launchpad Marzari talked with Stephen Covington from SRC Airshows about flying the Pitts cross-country to the next show. [1:01:30]

SCR Airshows

SCR Airshows

In this months Across The Pond segment, Pieter talks to Neil Bradon, who he interviewed several times for the Airplane Geeks whilst Neil was doing his Private License training in the US. [1:06:50]

Neil training in the USA.

Neil training in the USA.

United Airlines Flight Attendant Saves Mom’s Breastmilk is our positive commercial airline story of the week, submitted by a listener. [1:14:35]

Student pilot Nicki provides the eleventh segment of her journey to become a pilot. [1:22:48]

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

504 Honeywell Chief Test Pilot

Our guest is the chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace. In the news, we look at 737-700 freighters, folding wingtips for the 777X, and an online general aviation community from the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The B757 flight test aircraft. Courtesy Honeywell Aerospace.

The B757 flight test aircraft. Courtesy Honeywell Aerospace.

Guest

Joe Duval, chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace.

Joe Duval, the chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace.

Joe Duval is the chief test pilot and site leader for Honeywell Aerospace Flight Test Operations at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona.

Honeywell Aerospace produces a wide variety of components and systems for general and business aviation, commercial aviation, and military aircraft, as well as for space applications. That includes avionics, engine controls, APUs, and propulsion engines, including those from the legacy companies Garrett and Lycoming.

As chief test pilot, Joe is responsible for all flight test engineering efforts, development and strategy, and maintaining technical and programmatic excellence across a team of engineers, technicians, mechanics, and pilots. He pilots Honeywell’s Boeing 757 and Convair 580 aircraft and participates in flight tests on other aircraft in Honeywell’s fleet.

Before joining Honeywell, Joe served as a research and test pilot with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory Flight Facility. He designed and flew flight test profiles for emerging technology in government and commercial applications.

Joe also served in the United States Air Force as a pilot on the C-130 and B-707 (VIP) aircraft. He eventually became the chief pilot for the flight department responsible for the transportation of the general officer and staff of Special Operations Command. He also served as the chief of safety for the same department and is trained as an accident investigator.

Joe has over 7,000 hours flying time as a pilot and flight engineer in multiple aircraft and holds FAA type ratings in eight aircraft. He has a Bachelor’s of Science from Oregon State University in software engineering. He is Honeywell’s corporate point of contact for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Joe also attended the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA and is a graduate of the Southern California Safety Institute’s Flight Safety Officer Course.

Honeywell Aerospace B757 flight test aircraft., showing the pylon for mounting test en gines.

Honeywell Aerospace B757 flight test aircraft., showing the pylon for mounting test engines.

Aviation News

Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 Freighters Provide “Lifeline” for Many Alaska Communities

Alaska Airlines cargo fleet of high-cycle 737-400 aircraft are being replaced with 737-700 Next-Gen aircraft to converted to freighters.

Boeing’s folding wingtips get the FAA green light

The FAA has accepted Boeing’s concept for folding wings on the 777X in order to allow the aircraft to operate at existing airports. FAA approved comes in the form of Special Conditions:

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0636; Special Conditions No. 25-726-SC], Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Folding Wingtips [PDF]

Video: Boeing 777X folding wingtips

EASA Launches General Aviation Community Webpage

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) created a webpage for general aviation operators. They say, “This platform is for GA enthusiast to meet and share their passion.  Keep yourself updated and share the latest news and events.” Anyone can join by registering on the EASA General Aviation page.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #10 on learning to become a pilot.

Interview

Brian spoke with Breeze Anderson from Helistream about their helicopter services. HeliStream offers many leisure and professional services, including scenic tours and sunset dinner rides. HeliStream also offers aerial photography, charters, and utility services.

Mentioned

Aviation Week’s Check 6 podcast, The Wild Ride at Uber’s Elevate Summit.

New England Air Museum

Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program

Hangar 24 Craft Brewing

From Jamie Dodson, author of the award-winning Nick Grant Adventures Series, and Hunting the Wind: Pan American World Airways’ Epic Flying Boat Era, 1929–1946, available for pre-order.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

503 D-Day Squadron and the C-47

A fleet of C-47 aircraft plan to fly over Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, the DOT plans to take a closer look at FAA oversight of airline maintenance practices, a panel of experts looks at the disappearance of MH 370, and passengers react to airline food service takeaways.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.

Guest

Moreno "Mo" Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari is the Executive Director of D-Day Squadron, an organization that plans to lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy in June 2019. That event includes a flyover of more than 30 international aircraft that will drop 250 paratroopers over the shores of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and honor the citizen soldiers of the War.

The D-Day Squadron is the part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Squadron’s education program tells the story of the citizen soldier to audiences at air shows and events off the flight line to honor the brave Americans and ensure their memory and significance is appreciated for generations to come. The group’s efforts are funded through the generous tax-deductible contribution of their supporters.

Mo is a sales/marketing and business development professional who received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Milan and an Aeronautical Technician diploma from the National Avio School, also in Milan, Italy. He moved to the United States in 1999 to become a commercial pilot and became a US citizen in 2008. In addition to being the Executive Director of the D-Day Squadron, Mo also runs Warbird Digest and Warbirds News, a successful vintage aviation publishing company focused on the warbird and classic aircraft community.

Aviation News

Watchdog probes FAA’s review of aircraft maintenance at American Airlines and Allegiant Air

In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office announced they would audit how the FAA reviews airline maintenance practices. Now, the DOT inspector general’s office plans to focus on FAA response to complaints received about American Airlines and Allegiant Air maintenance practices. The DOT memo says they want to find out whether the FAA “ensures that Allegiant and American Airlines implement effective corrective actions to address the root causes of maintenance problems.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crash was deliberate, aviation experts suggest

60 Minutes Australia gathered an international group of aviation experts to talk about the disappearance of MH370. While not in complete agreement, many feel it was a deliberate criminal act by the pilot – a suicide/mass murder. See also What the 60 Minutes report into MH370 didn’t tell us.

MH370 – The Situation Room | 60 Minutes Australia

Why passengers are so angry about an airline’s decision to scrap tomato juice

Following Brian’s comments last week about airline takeaways, we have this story. United Airlines decided to drop Sprite Zero, Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and tomato juice from flights less than 4 hours. Customers reacted strongly on social media and United reversed the decision. For more on this, see United Airlines Just Made First Class Passengers Incredibly Angry. Now the Airline is Having Second Thoughts.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.

Interview

Brian spoke with some members of the A-10 Demo Team at the Planes of Fame Airshow: Sr Airman Betty Chevalier (Team Public Affairs Representative). Tactical Sargent Dan Isaksen (Team Chief), and Capt. Cody Wilton (Team Pilot).

A-10 by Brian Coleman.

A-10 by Brian Coleman.

Mentioned

Boeing’s Been Granted A Patent For Turning The B-1B Into A Gunship Bristling With Cannons

Air Force special ops can’t afford the AC-130 gunship lasers

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

502 Electric and Solar Aircraft from Bye Aerospace

Bye Aerospace founder George Bye tells us about his electric and solar aircraft projects, including the electric Sun Flyer training aircraft, the StratoAirNet, the Silent Falcon UAV, the TriFan 600, the Mars SOLESA, and the Starlight UAV. In the news, we look at the WC-130H crash in Georgia, breaking airplane windows, and companies developing supersonic transports. Also, an installment from student pilot Nicki, the history of Soviet airliners from Will, Tom Larkin’s mini-jet, the Mercury 13 documentary, the centennial of U.S. airmail service, and lip syncing while flying.

Bye Aerospace Sun Flyer Electric Aircraft

The Sun Flyer electric aircraft prototype. Courtesy Bye Aerospace.

Guest

George Bye is the founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, which focuses on electric and solar aircraft projects, such as:

  • Sun Flyer electric training aircraft.
  • StratoAirNet family of solar-electric UAVs for medium and high altitude missions.
  • Silent Falcon UAV using stored electric power and thin film solar photovoltaics.
  • TriFan 600 hybrid-electric VTOL business aircraft in partnership with XTI Aircraft Company.
  • Mars SOLESA, a solar electric survey aircraft for Mars.
  • Starlight lighter than air solar electric UAV under a U.S. Navy contract.

George is an ATP rated pilot with over 4,000 flying hours. He was a USAF instructor pilot in the Northrop T-38 Talon at Sheppard AFB (ENJJPT), a C-141B Aircraft Commander, and he is a Desert Storm veteran.

Find Bye Aerospace on the web at ByeAerospace.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @ByeAerospaceInc. George has a personal webpage at GeorgeBye.com and he’s also on Facebook.

Sun Flyer’s First Flight Test Highlights- April 10, 2018

Test pilot, John Penney took the Bye Aerospace all-electric Sun Flyer proof of concept aircraft on its first test flight April 10, 2018, at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado.

Aviation News

Fallen Air Guardsmen honored in Puerto Rico following deadly crash in Savannah

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard unit lost nine airmen in the crash of a WC-130H Hercules cargo plane in Georgia, just after takeoff. The plane was on its final flight, to an air base in Arizona. A short video from the private memorial ceremony honoring the fallen crew was released.

Third flight in three weeks diverted because of damaged window

A JetBlue flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Tampa, Florida, was diverted to Fort Lauderdale after damage to the plane’s windscreen. A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, made an unplanned landing after a window cracked. A Southwest B737 experienced an uncontained engine failure which threw debris into a passenger window.

Aviation companies are plotting the return of supersonic flight — and they think their jets will be better than the Concorde

Several companies are working on supersonic aircraft:

  • Boom Supersonic is developing the 55-seat, XB-1 with delivery planned for 2023.
  • Spike Aerospace is developing the 18-seat S-512 jet, delivery in 2023.
  • Aerion Supersonic is working on the 12-seat AS2 jet for 2025 delivery.
  • Lockheed-Martin under NASA contract is planning a low boom experimental aircraft for late 2021.

Listener Recordings

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.

Young listener Will presents his project on the history of Soviet airliners.

Interview

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Tom Larkin from Mini-Jet Airshows.

Mini-Jet Airshows

Mini-Jet Airshows

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 57, Airline content trends and new lav concepts revealed

Mercury 13 documentary on Netflix.

Emirates Is Parking an Airplane a Day Because It Doesn’t Have Enough Pilots

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and the College Park Aviation Museum.

The May 1, 2018 issue of the FlyerTalk email newsletter.

What Happens When You Mix Flying and Lip Sync? (Temper Traps – Sweet Disposition)

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

501 OAG Travel Tech Innovation Survey

A recent OAG survey looks at future travel tech innovation and disruption. Also, the uncontained engine failure on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, integrating the Bombardier CSeries into the Airbus organization, the FAA reauthorization bill, and the effect of rising fuel prices on airfares.

Guest

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin is Chief Technology Officer at OAG, a global provider of digital flight information for airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies, and travel-related companies. OAG is in the business of data aggregation and distribution, with flight information used for real-time and analytical tools.

Mike tells us about the Travel Tech Innovation: Market Report where OAG surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. travelers to gain insight into which future advancements will resonate. We look at traveler interest in artificial intelligence applications, supersonic travel, booking process innovations, the use of autonomous vehicles, and biometrics at the airport to speed travelers along.

Mike has over 30 years of experience in aviation, travel, technology, and business development. After completing his education at MIT, he held several leadership positions during the first years in his career, and then took over leadership of FlightView, a US-based day-of-travel information and technology provider. Mike joined OAG via the FlightView acquisition in January 2015.

In his current role as Chief Technology Officer at OAG, Mike works with airlines, airports, and travel providers to utilize data-driven solutions to plan more profitable routes, improve customer satisfaction, and operate more efficiently.

Aviation News

The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure

Emergency engine inspections lead to cancellations, scores of delays for travelers on Southwest Airlines

FAA Airworthiness Directive 2018-09-51 issued April 20, 2018.

How does a CFM56-7B work? – This animated video from CFM International shows how a jet engine works and gives you a good view of the fan.

Bjorn’s corner: Turbofan Engine Challenges, Part 2

CFM fan blades

CFM fan blades: composite with titanium leading edge, hollow wide-chord blade, solid titanium blade. Courtesy CFMI.

Airbus heads for dogfight with UTC over CSeries costs

Airbus may be looking for suppliers to lower their prices. How will Airbus brand the CSeries airplanes, and will it Integrate the Airbus and CSeries sales forces, or keep them separate?

Aircraft seat size in the spotlight as House passes FAA reauthorization

U.S. House approves bill to reauthorize federal aviation agency

The U.S. House of Representatives approved five-year H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 by a 393-to-13 vote. The bill includes no ATC privatization. Also, airlines would not be able to involuntarily bump an already-boarded revenue passenger, large and medium-sized airports would be required to provide private rooms in every terminal for nursing mothers. Minimum dimensions for seat pitch, width, and length would be determined by the FAA within one year. A feasibility study of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems would be conducted.

American Airlines CEO warns higher fares are coming

Fuel is the second largest expense for airlines (after labor). With fuel costs increasing in the U.S., higher airfares are a possibility.

Listener Recordings

Hillel congratulates Airplane Geeks on the 500th episode.

Mike Harris, the host of the Why We Fly podcast, tells us about his week at Sun ‘n Fun 2018.

Mentioned

Questionable Motives and Tactics Cast a Shadow on the 60 Minutes Allegiant Story

First all-electric trainer plane gets airworthiness certification from the FAA in the US

Flying Pipistrel’s Electric Airplane

The “Remora Boys” presentation to the NTSB Round Table

Remora Systems

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

500 Five Hundred Episodes!

We celebrate our 500th episode with messages from our listeners and contributors, some Airplane Geeks facts and trivia, an AusDesk report, and a big announcement. In the news, we look at an emergency airworthiness directive for certain CFM engines, and a proposed mandatory retirement age for charter pilots.

Aviation News

FAA orders ’emergency’ engine inspections after deadly explosion during Southwest flight

A Southwest Airlines B737 experienced an uncontained failure in one of its CFM56-7B engines that resulted in the death of one passenger. The engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin for ultrasonic testing of the fan blades. This can be performed on-engine in about four hours. The FAA said the “emergency” order was based on a service bulletin. CFMI estimates 352 engines in the U.S. are affected and 681 engines worldwide.

See also:

The FOX News Rundown Podcast for 4/20/2018.

The Pilot Who Saved That Southwest Flight Is A Badass

Video: Turbine engine blade fail test

AARP Opposes Age 65 Retirement Age for Charter Pilots

A manager’s amendment in the FAA reauthorization bill would require a mandatory retirement age of 65 for certain Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional pilots. In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Pete DeFazio, the AARP says they have “long opposed mandatory retirement; using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots.”

Well Wishes and Messages for 500 Episodes

Our sincere thanks to all our listeners, past guests, and especially:

Five Airplane Geeks “Tips”

  1. Our first 6 episodes.
  2. The Airplane Geeks archive.
  3. Subscribe by Email.
  4. The AvGeekFests aviation calendar.
  5. The Airplane Geeks Slack Team.

Credit

CREDIT

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

499 Great Britain’s Royal Air Force Turns 100

Interviews and observations from the Great British Fly-In at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum celebrating the 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s Royal Air Force. Also, a review of Li-ion thermal runaway containment products for use on airplanes, Sun ‘n Fun, a deal to resolve the subsidy dispute between some U.S. and Gulf airlines, the F-35 reaches a developmental test flight milestone, Allegiant Air is criticized in a CBS investigation, a standoff missile makes its operational debut, and 787 Dreamliners with the Trent 1000 Package C engines get a reduced ETOPS rating.

The Great British Fly-In Celebrates the Royal Air Force Anniversary.

The Great British Fly-In Celebrates the Royal Air Force Anniversary. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Aviation News

U.S., United Arab Emirates near deal to solve airline subsidy spat, sources say

Reportedly, discussions are progressing that would resolve the subsidy dispute between some U.S. airlines and those in the Middle East. Emirates and Etihad Airways would make their accounting books available and would assert that they have no current plans to add additional flights to the United States.

F-35 completes most comprehensive flight test program in aviation history

The F-35 Joint Program Office says the program “has accomplished the final developmental test flight of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program.” The program operated for more than 11, conducting more than 9,200 sorties, accumulating over 17,000 flight hours, and executing more than 65,000 test points to verify the design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants.

Allegiant Air: The budget airline flying under the radar (60 Minutes report)

Is Allegiant Air Safe? ’60 Minutes Probes Airline’s Safety Record

During its 60 Minutes television program, CBS presented their findings after a 7-month investigation of Allegiant Air.  They call the airline the “most dangerous” airline in the U.S. and found “serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted take-offs.” Allegiant issued a statement calling the report “grossly misleading.”

The JASSM-ER: A look at Lockheed Martin’s new missiles used in Syria

Here Are All The Details The Pentagon Just Released Regarding Its Missile Attack On Syria

The United States and its French and British allies launched strikes against Syrian government facilities supporting chemical weapons. Striking the Barzah Research Center in Damascus were 57 Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and 19 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missiles.

Video: JASSM Reliability

The Great British Fly-In Celebrates the Royal Air Force Anniversary

David attended The Great British Fly-In at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, April 15, 2018. The event was conducted in partnership with Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) as part of the 100th-anniversary celebration of the RAF, the oldest air force in the world. The event featured many former RAF and other military aircraft, flown in for one day only.

Interviews [with approximate start times]:

  • Assistant Air Attache Steve Richards [36:39]
  • Doug Burkey from WideWings.net [41:47]
  • RAF Flight Lt Sarah Cole [44:38]
  • Dr. Peter Jakab, chief curator of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. [50:50]
The Great British Fly-In Celebrates the Royal Air Force Anniversary.

Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Thermal Runaway Containment Products

Listener Nick undertook a study of products that are designed to contain the Li-on batteries in personal electronic devices when they experience thermal runaway on aircraft. Nick looked at the available products from:

Sun ‘n Fun Report

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari reports from Sun ‘n Fun 2018 with a quick pilot report and an interview with Chief Foreign Officer Charles Villanida. GoArmy.com.

Mentioned

Air Force One: The Aircraft of the Modern U.S. Presidency [Amazon.com link]

Air New Zealand passengers face more disruption as Dreamliners hit by further Rolls-Royce engine problems

FAA limits flights by Boeing 787 Dreamliners with Rolls-Royce engine problems

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.