This episode, we have a number of interviews recorded at the 2017 International Paris Air Show by our reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari. We hear about the Antonov AN-132, Gore-Tex applications in aviation, an anti-drone gun, additive manufacturing with metals, and a really fascinating and detailed look at ejection seats. Launchpad also met up with Airplane Geeks listener Pauline.
In the news, we look at more evidence of the pilot shortage, FAA reauthorization bills in the U.S. Congress, ATC privatization, and security measures for commercial aviation.
Main features of the Antonov AN-130, presented at the Paris Air Show. Courtesy Antonov Company.
Regional airline Horizon Air is experiencing a severe shortage of Q400 turboprop pilots. They’ve recently canceled 318 flights, and more are planned. Managers are being used to fly the planes, pilots are being offered double pay, and hiring bonuses of up to $20,000 are available for Q400 pilots.
The Transportation Security Administration verified that the Department of Homeland Security measures have been implemented at Etihad Airways, so that airline is now exempt from the U.S. electronic device ban on flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States. The suggestion of a laptop ban on all international flights to the U.S. has been pulled back.
Jeanette Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. from Phoenix Aviation Research tell the story behind the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. In the news, we look at FAA reauthorization bills and the battle shaping up in Congress, this year’s Paris Air Show, the Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft, the youngest pilot in Australia, and an Israeli court ruling on reseating women in the airplane.
Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid.
Jeannette Remak is the owner of Phoenix Aviation Research. She’s a military aviation historian, a writer, author, artist, and photographic engineer. Her books include XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Blackbird: Declassified.
In the mid-1990s, Jeannette worked as the volunteer Aircraft Historian for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. She performed research for maintenance and restoration, and worked on the aircraft under her control at the museum, including many U.S. Naval and U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan. Jeannette restored sheet metal, she controlled airframe titanium corrosion, and she appropriated parts and specialized equipment for work on A-12 aircraft.
Working with the US Navy’s Curator office, Jeannette is responsible for the rescue of the Sikorsky RH-53D that is the lone survivor of the failed United States hostage rescue mission in Iran. The CH-53D is now restored and on display at the JFK/ US Navy Seal Training School in North Carolina.
Jeannette has a degree in Commercial Photographic Engineering and obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation Science in 2000. Jeannette also has a degree in Commercial Photography from the NY Institute of Photography.
Joseph A. Ventolo, Jr. is the former curator of the National Museum of the US Air Force. His career started in November 1959 when Joe joined the 269th Combat Communications Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. In 1965, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a communications officer. He left the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970.
In 1962, Joe joined the staff of the U.S. Air Force Motion Picture Film Archives at Wright-Patterson AFB as a Motion Picture Archivist. In 1979, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Museum’s Research Division as the Museum’s Historian. Two years later he became a Curator of Aeronautics. Joe has co-authored articles that appeared in such periodicals as Air Enthusiast, WW I Aero, and Friends Bulletin. In 1993 he was appointed Curator of the U.S. Air Force Museum and named Curator of the United States Air Force. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1995.
Joe is currently a co-owner/consultant with Phoenix Aviation Research. He has co-authored articles in the Atlantic Flyer, and written three aviation books, all with Jeannette Remak.
Their first book, XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla was published in December 1998. Their second book, A-12 Blackbird: Declassified, was published in December 2000. And a third book, The Archangel and the OXCART: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbirds and the Dawn of Mach III Reconnaissance was published in 2008.
Boeing said it has 240 orders and commitments. Some orders are conversions from earlier orders for other MAX models. The MAX 10 is a stretch of the MAX 9 that seats up to 230 passengers and is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
Airbus launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support digital transformation of the industry. The Skywise aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. See the video: Airbus launches new open aviation data platform, Skywise.
Test pilot Billie Flynn told Aviation Week, “After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,”
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. introduced a proposed FAA reauthorization bill in the House. The Bill prohibits passengers from being removed from a flight after they’ve boarded, privatizes ATC, and requires airlines to post resources for stranded passengers online when the airline is disrupted by a computer outage. It also calls for the faster development of a traffic management system for small drones, faster approval process for commercial drone operators, and a new certification system for small-drone commercial operators.
We cover the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display with a series of interviews.
Max and David at the 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Photo by Brad Jefferson.
We participated in the National Air & Space Museum’s 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. This annual event is held at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport.
Innovations in Flight Interviews
We recorded a number of great conversations at the event. These follow, along with start times:
United States Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Nowland is Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. 2017 is the 70th anniversary of the USAF and the theme is Powered by Innovation. We talk about the shortage of pilots, the need to get more young people interested in aviation, and remotely piloted aircraft. [2:45]
Caroline Sheen is the Photography and Art Editor for Air & Space Magazine. We talk about finding photographs to support the articles. These come from many sources, such as archives, photographers, or Caroline herself. She gives us some tips for aviation photography and what she looks for as a photo editor. Be sure to look on newsstands for the special issue: 50 Greatest Moments of the Space Age. [15:16]
Christopher Watson is the FAA Emergency Communications Program Manager, Command and Control Communications Systems, under the Office of National Security Programs and Incident Response. Their emergency response vehicle was on open display and Chris describes how it responds to natural disaster relief, accident sites, and special security events. We also talk about the FAA’s B4UFLY smartphone app, a valuable resource for drone operators. [25:25]
Harry Hartfield with Amazon Prime Air described the company’s vision for package delivery: packages of five pounds or less delivered in 30 minutes or less. Amazon Prime has developed different drone models for different environments, and also sophisticated sense and avoid technology. [32:22]
Student Kathryn attended the event as part of a San Diego middle school trip to the East Coast. [37:58]
Hillel Glazer and his son Jacob flew their 1972 Piper Cherokee 180 to the event and had the aircraft on display. We talk about the flight in, the people who came by to look at the plane, and we watch the B-2 flyover. [41:05]
Five things to watch for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. Also, a ruling that allows the Commerce Department to proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is engaging in unfair pricing, the European Union proposes rules for complaints of alleged discriminatory practices, a temporarily grounding of F-35 fighters, certification of the Diesel Cessna Skyhawk JT-A, and the Director General’s Report to the IATA Annual General Meeting.
Paris Air Show Preview
Anand Parameswaran, Sr. Vice President – Aerospace & Defence, at Cyient authored What to watch out for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. The report details five areas that warrant our attention:
The OEM migration from manufacturer to service provider
The impact of global politics on the defense industry
Building the future aircraft with additive manufacturing
Automating the A&D lifecycle
The rise of the East and Chinese influence in aerospace
Cyient is a global leader in engineering design services, design-led manufacturing, networks and operations, data transformation and analytics.
Anand Parameswaran heads up global Aerospace and Defence at Cyient and leverages Cyient’s capability across product design, manufacturing, and aftermarket solutions. He works around the world with OEMs and tier 1 suppliers.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that the Commerce Department can proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is selling jets in the U.S. at below fair price. Boeing says the CSeries planes benefit from illegal government subsidies. Canada warned it could cancel a planned $2 billion purchase of 18 Boeing military jets over the dispute.
News Release 17-087, June 9, 2017: “The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”
“As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of this product from Canada, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about July 21, 2017, and its antidumping duty determination due on or about October 4, 2017.”
Air France KLM and Lufthansa have been complaining that Gulf carriers receive illegal government subsidies. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad all deny the charge. Now the European Union has proposed rules to allow EU governments and airlines to submit complaints of alleged discriminatory practices to the European Commission.
The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded F-35 fighters at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona because of five incidents where pilots reported hypoxia symptoms. In each case, the airplane’s backup oxygen system worked as designed and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.
The Director General’s Report on the Global Air Transport Industry was delivered at the IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Overall the air transport industry is generating profits above its cost of capital. In 2017 the global airline industry is expected to generate a $31.4 billion profit on $743 billion in revenues.
Protectionism is replacing globalization, and that’s a threat to the industry.
Flying remains the safest form of long distance travel. IATA is concerned about states not fully investigating air accidents.
The landmark Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was agreed to at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 39th Assembly. Seventy states representing at least 80% of anticipated future growth have indicated their voluntary participation in the scheme. The U.S. pulling out of Paris Agreement is cause for concern.
Alternatives must be found to the electronics ban on large portable electronic devices.
IATA is concerned about a looming infrastructure crisis is looming. Existing infrastructure is inadequate and development plans are not ambitious enough.
IATA urged governments to be cautious when privatizing infrastructure assets.
Brian asks, “How do aviation writers come up with aviation topics?”
U.S. Air Force F-35A “AF-78” tail number 13-5072 from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah performed a low show aerial demonstration practice for the 2017 Paris Air Show, near Fort Worth, Texas. Aviation photographer Caulun Belcher of Texas shot the video of the F-35A rehearsal.
We talk with Kitfox Aircraft about kit-built airplanes. Also, a digital co-pilot for GA, the Stratolaunch airplane, Middle Eastern airlines shun Qatar, an aviation-themed playground, the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force wants mandatory budget caps removed, and President Trump wants the U.S. air traffic control system privatized. We also have a very informative listener recording about pulling through and hand propping radial engines.
Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport
Kitfox Aircraft is owned and operated by John and Debra McBean from the Homedale Municipal Airport (S66) in southwest Idaho. The McBean’s were builders before they owned the company and they often helped other builders with their projects. John McBean holds commercial and instructor ratings and we welcome him to the Airplane Geeks podcast.
Also joining us from Kitfox is Brandon Petersen who joined the team in 2012 as the wing builder. His role has evolved over time. You can find his fingerprints on the company social media posts, videos, wings, and fiberglass products that are shipped to builders around the world.
The original Kitfox Model I was introduced at Oshkosh AirVenture in 1984 by Denney Aerocraft. The modern Kitfox has stayed true to the concept of the original design – it’s a fun, comfortable, and affordable airplane that can be easily built without any special tools or training.
Kitfox Aircraft is introducing the Kitfox Speedster at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2017. Based on the Series 7 platform, it offers a bigger fuselage, higher gross weight capability, a shortened wing, and a cleaned up and faired airframe. This allows the builder to get up and go fast without giving up a whole lot of the STOL characteristics of the airplane.
The plane going to Air Venture will display a new brightly colored paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs. It pays homage to the original Speedster with a modern twist. Kitfox has arranged with Kyle Franklin to perform with the Speedster in the air show. Kyle’s late father Jimmy flew the original Speedster.
Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,
Researchers from Mitre Corp.’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development have developed a “Digital Copilot.” The concept is that general aviation single-pilot flight operations would benefit from a tablet app that monitors and communicates safety-critical flight information to the pilot.
The Stratolaunch is a twin fuselage, 385-foot wingspan aircraft designed to carry a launch vehicle as part of an air launch to orbit system. What is not called Stratolaunch Systems Corporation was officially announced in December 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, and have broken off relations with that country. As a result, Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Gulf Air are discontinuing flights in and out of the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Qatari government called this “unjustified and based on baseless allegations.”
Stafford Regional Airport in Virginia is building a playground around an aviation theme. Two nonprofits are making this happen: EAA Chapter 1099 and Rappahannock Aviation Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Stafford, Virginia focused on community outreach programs and initiatives that educate and inspire youth in aviation.
Dr. Heather Wilson was the first female military veteran elected to a full term in Congress. More recently, the US Senate confirmed her nomination as U.S. Secretary of the Air Force on May 8, 2017. Wilson has now asked Congress to remove the mandatory budget caps of the Budget Control Act.
We have a collection of aviation topics this episode: A flight in a Robinson R-44, a look at residential airparks, the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS, imaging instruments for aviation maintenance, US Air Force F-35A avionics and a walk around the aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and using a portable ADS-B receiver.
Bits & Pieces
As long-time listeners know, when our recording day falls on a major U.S. holiday, we forgo our usual format and instead bring you a collection of pre-recorded segments from the co-hosts, and from our listeners and contributors. That’s the case this episode.
The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:
Our Main(e) man Micah talks with helicopter pilot and Airplane Geeks listener Ernie Eaton at the Hampton Airfield Cafe after their flight in Ernie’s Robinson R44. [2:27]
Ernie Eaton’s Robinson R-44.
Ernie Eaton and our Main(e) Man Micah.
Bill Armstrong, developer and partner at Big South Fork Airpark, explains what it is like to live in a residential airpark community, and what to consider when you are looking for that lifestyle. [13:14]
Residential airpark living. Photo courtesy Big South Fork Airpark.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Captain Richards, Company Commander, F company 227 Aviation Battalion, and Sergeant Elbert about the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. [24:27]
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
Max recorded a call with Liam Hanna, a product specialist with Olympus Europe in Germany. Olympus Europe provides test, measurement, and imaging instruments for the aviation industry. Liam explains the different types of borescopes, how they are used and inspector training requirements, technology advancements that have been made, and dealing with a shortage of inspectors using live inspections and remote experts. Be sure to see the Olympus Application Photo Gallery for a great selection of videoscope and borescope images and videos. Max’s favorite is the High Pressure Turbine Movie, where the laser-drilled cooling holes are clearly visible. [38:12]
At the Chino Air Show, Brian talked with listener Matt Haines about the 60th Anniversary of the Planes of Fame Airshow [1:04:23]; with Staff Sgt Alexandra Dougherty, an avionics specialist for the US Air Force F-35A [1:06:30]; and with Colonel Eddie Bentley of the Commemorative Air Force in front of the beautifully restored C-53. The Commemorative Air Force operates the world’s largest collection of Flying WWII Airplanes. [1:11:47]
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Allison Hoyt about the Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above: WASP program. The CAF Rise Above program provides young people with real-world examples of how courage, self-confidence, and perseverance can allow them to triumph over the adversity they face in their own lives. The WASP program looks to encourage young women to become involved in aviation. [1:15:15]
Using a portable ADS-B receiver, often connected to an iPad, is a low-cost way for pilots to display nearby traffic. However, the displays can be misleading, as they often don’t show the most important traffic, which is the traffic closest to the plane with the portable ADS-B receiver. Max Trescott talked about the limitations of these devices in a recent episode of his Aviation News Talk podcast, and we have that segment for you here. [1:19:42]
Our Main(e) man introduces an interview with F-35 pilot Captain Roar conducted by Brian, Carlos, and Micah at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. In the interview, they discuss the transition from the F-15E Strike Eagle and low military flying in the UK. Capt. Roar mentions the Mach Loop we talked about a few episodes ago and describes the 3 different F-35 versions. We also hear about high G flight. Following that, Capt. Roar takes Brian, Carlos, and Micah on a walk around the F-35. [1:30:31]
The F-35A at the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh Airshow. Photo by Carlos Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast.
Carlos and Matt from the Plane Talking UK Podcast pulled together a video presenting many of the faces at the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. Have a look and see how many (sunburned) people you recognize from Airplane Geeks, the Airline Pilot Guy Show, the Plane Talking UK Podcast, as well as friends of the podcasts.
Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.
Image courtesy Zunum Aero
Matt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.
Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.
We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.
Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.
The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”
The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.
The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:
This episode, we bring you interviews from the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing. We talked with some of the performers, with others from with static displays, with the 911th Airlift Wing, and with a few AvGeeks for good measure.
USAF Thunderbirds at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. Photo (c) @dronemama.
Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017
The Wings Over Pittsburgh air show held May 13 and 14, 2017 was a huge success. The show was hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. During the event, we recorded a number of interviews for this episode. Next week when we’re all together again, we’ll tell you more about the event.
Also attending were Capt. Jeff and the crew from the Airline Pilot Guy Show, as well as the guys from the Plane Talking UK Podcast. We also had a pretty strong contingent of aviation podcast listeners – some we’ve met before, and others we enjoyed meeting for the first time.
Opening ceremony. [0:03:13]
Carlos, Brian, Micah, Captain Al, and Matt spoke with Captain Tim about the iconic Douglas C-54 Spirit of Freedom, used in the Berlin airlift. [0:08:41]
David talks with Lieutenant Jacob “Bacon” Riggs with the F-18F Super Hornet VFA-122 Flying Eagles. [0:25:12]
Max speaks with Colonel Jeffrey A. Van Dooltingh, Commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Coraopolis, PA. [0:31;29]
Carlos from the Plane Talking UK podcast and Brian interviewed Captain Randy Ball and talked about his MiG-17. See the Randy W. Ball Facebook fan page. [0:36:20]
Max spoke briefly with F-35 pilot Matt Gardner. Brian and Micah have a longer conversation at the F-35 static display, which we’ll bring you in an upcoming episode. [0:47:25]
The air show mainly featured military aircraft but there were a few commercial aircraft on static display, including a Republic Embraer E-175. Micah and Brian interviewed First Officer Mike Schrader. [0:51:51]
David talks with Lt CDr Andy Patterson about the P-8A Poseidon on static display. [1:02:34]
Max spoke with Airshow Director Major Charlie Baker. [1:09:58]
Some AvGeeks tell us their favorite airplane from the show. [1:20:52]
…and as a bonus:
Audio of the F-22 demonstration flight. [1:27:38]
Airline Pilot Guy Show episode 271 was recorded live Friday evening at the hotel, and all three podcasts recorded a live show Saturday evening. Look for those videos on the Airline Pilot Guy YouTube channel, or you can watch them right here:
Carl Stebbings, the host of the Plane Talking UK podcast, helps us discuss the Chinese Comac C919 first flight, an F-35B assembled in Italy, a UK airline trade group manifesto, a vintage de Havilland Vampire literally tears up a runway, Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping the CSeries in the U.S., a report on the May 2016 crash of EgyptAir MS804, and the first fatal crash of the Icon A-5 amphibious LSA.
Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast
Carlos (Carl) Stebbings is the host of the Plane Talking UK Podcast. He joins in our conversation of recent aviation news, and he also tells us about some of his memorable flights including a Tupolev Tu-134 and riding in the jump seat of a B757. Carl’s favorite remains the L-1011 Tristar, but he also talks about the DC-10.
The Plane Talking UK Podcast started in 2013 as an audio show, but it’s now a live program with a chat room and PTUK YouTube channel. We hear how Carl got started with podcasting and about the exciting plans for his 200th episode.
Like many AvGeeks, Carl’s love of aviation started at a young age as he was able to do a lot of traveling. He has flown on more aircraft types than most people can mention and Carl is an avid plane spotter, as well as a private pilot in training.
Carl the owner of a mobile disco business and when he isn’t spinning CDs or podcasting, he works for the largest book printer in England. In addition, his very understanding, long-suffering wife, Gemma, has grown to accept that most holidays will involve losing her husband at the airport while he goes off plane spotting!
The Chinese Comac C919 airliner made its first public flight May 5, 2017. The C919 is a single-aisle twin in the same class as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, and powered by the CFM56 LEAP-1C.
David Cenciotti writes in The Aviationist that “the first F-35B, the Short Take-Off Vertical Landing variant of the the F-35 Lightning II, destined to the Italian Navy, rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy.” This is the first F-35B assembled internationally. First flight is planned for late August, with delivery to the Italian MoD in November 2017.
Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK-registered carriers, published a manifesto of policy actions for the next Parliament. The association believes these would result in stronger, more competitive UK airlines.
Boeing says Bombardier is selling CSeries jets in the U.S. at “absurdly low” prices and as a result, the company has suffered an injury to its business. Boeing wants the Commerce Department to impose duties on Bombardier.
Reportedly, French air accident investigation agency BEA found no trace of explosives on the bodies of the victims of the crash of EgyptAir MS804 which disappeared over the Mediterranean in May 2016. The A320’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), indicated smoke in an avionics bay under the flight deck and in a lavatory.
Airline pilot Kathy Dulson tells us about the National Gay Pilots Association, and we discuss the recent flurry of airline public relations disasters. Also, an all-female UPS crew, the Blue Angels touch in the air, some airlines are dropping the “two persons in the cockpit” rule, and runway safety problems at Santa Monica.
Kathy Dulson is a Boeing 757/767 pilot for a major legacy airline based in Los Angeles. She has been involved in aviation for 29 years with four different airlines, starting in customer service and airline operations before pursuing her dream of flight. Kathy has been an airline pilot since 2002 flying the Saab 340, Canadair Regional Jet, Airbus 320, and now Boeing 757/767.
Our conversation includes a discussion of the advocacy the NGPA provides on behalf of LGBT members of the airline community. We look at the sponsorship provided by airlines and the scholarships offered, as well as the local chapters with flight schools and universities, membership in NGPA, and the role of allies.
The writer attributes incidents like the violent removal of a United passenger to a procedure-based industry that prevents a culture where frontline employees are empowered to make situational decisions.
That airline customer relations issues are prevalent in the news is evidenced by this list of stories that came up on the first page of a Google News search for the word “airline.”
Thunder Over Louisville is an annual airshow and fireworks display that kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. UPS was an event sponsor and a UPS 757 was part of the airshow. What makes this unique is that this was the first UPS crew flying in Thunder Over Louisville comprised of all women – flight and ground crew.
After the 2015 Germanwings crash where the pilot flew the plane into the ground, a “two person in the cockpit” rule was widely discussed. A rule change was advocated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, but last year EASA changed the requirement and allowed individual airlines make their own determination. The German aviation association BDL has announced that effective June 1, 2017, airlines will return to their original cockpit safety procedures.