Tag Archives: A-10

613 A-10 Thunderbolt II

A former A-10 pilot who flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm tells us about the A-10 from a first-hand perspective. Also, Boeing 737 MAX cancellations, airline layoffs and furloughs, Emirates plan for the A380, an American Airlines and JetBlue partnership, a bizarre Icelandair plan, aviation museums are re-opening, the B-52 Chrome Dome mission, a drive-in airshow, and thoughts on Urban Air Mobility.

Guest

Buck Wyndham is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate who joined the Air Force to fly his dream airplane, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. He became one of the very first pilots to take the Warthog into battle and flew many missions during Operation Desert Storm. He went on to fly the T-38 Talon as an instructor for over seven years. 

Buck describes A-10 design and its mission as a ground support aircraft built around a 30mm rotary cannon. “The gun” is 21 feet long, weighs 4,000 pounds loaded, and can fire 70 rounds per second. Buck describes the physical sensations when firing the gun, and he tells us about the difference between air-to-air combat with fast jets and air-to-ground combat with an attack aircraft. He also explains A-10 maneuverability.

Hogs in the SandBuck’s new book, Hogs in the Sand: A Gulf War A-10 Pilot’s Combat Journal, is available in either hardcover or paperback. It’s a gritty, inside look at aerial warfare during Operation Desert Storm, but it is more personal and emotional than books of the same genre. It’s not the typical combat account. It includes that but also much more.

Currently, Buck is an A320 captain for a major US airline, and he is the Chief Pilot for Code 1 Aviation in Rockford, Illinois. Buck has written articles for Warbirds, Classic Jet Journal, and Warbird Digest. He enjoys flying vintage aircraft, building his RV-8, and working on his next book, a novel entitled Red Air.

The Hogs in the Sand website has information about the book, and also some good A-10 videos. Find more on the A-10 at the Hogs in the Sand Facebook page.

Aviation News

Boeing 737 MAX cancellations top 350 planes in first half of 2020

Sixty orders for the 737 MAX were canceled in June by airlines and leasing companies. Deliveries in the first two quarters of 2020 were down by 71% compared to the previous year.

Southwest Airlines Has Another Ominous Warning for Airlines

Southwest Airlines has never had an involuntary layoff or furlough. That might change this year. Southwest’s initial plans for 2020 suggested the airline expected a recovery by year-end and  Southwest originally planned to operate in November and December about as many flights as last year. However, in a letter to employees, Southwest acknowledged that this is becoming unlikely and they may see involuntary layoffs and furloughs.

American Airlines warns 25,000 employees about potential job cuts as coronavirus continues to sap demand

25,000 front-line employees, about 29% of American’s U.S. mainline workforce, were warned that they could be furloughed this autumn. As with other airlines, employees were advised to take early retirement packages or extended leaves. American’s revenue in June was down more than 80% versus a year ago.

Delta just gave United a stark lesson in pandemic business leadership

United Airlines has said that blocking middle seats is just PR. However, Delta Air Lines and Southwest “decided their customers would prefer those middle seats empty,” according to ZDNet. Delta is not raising ticket prices and CEO Ed Bastian says those empty middle seats are the “No. 1 reason” travelers are booking with Delta.

The president of Emirates says passengers will never again be as comfortable as they have been aboard the enormous discontinued Airbus A380

Only 251 A380s will have been delivered by Airbus when production stops in 2021. Emirates has about half of them and the airline’s president Tim Clark says they’ll bring them back into service: “Hopefully, we’ll see them flying for at least another 10 years. Unfortunately, it’s not being produced. So there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll keep it going as long as we can.”

In a twist, American partners with JetBlue in bid for New York and Boston

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have again formed an alliance where each can sell seats on the other’s flights. With this agreement, American stands to gain in JetBlue strongholds Boston and New York. JetBlue could benefit from American strength in the Midwest and Southeast. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Icelandair says it’s letting go of all its flight attendants — and shifting their duties to the pilots

Icelandair and its cabin crew have had a labor dispute and last Friday the airline said starting July 20 cabin crew employment would be terminated. The airline’s pilots would temporarily assume flight attendants’ roles. In May 2019, 419,000 passengers flew on Icelandair. In May 2020, just 3,100 flew the airline. But then on Sunday… Icelandair and flight attendants have struck a deal. Icelandair and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI) reached an agreement and the announced firing of the flight attendants was rescinded.

Mentioned

Aviation News Talk YouTube channel

TABfabric Etsy shop for hand-made face masks. Proceeds go to the Pasadena Woman’s Shelter.

B-52 Stratofortress – US strategic bomber / Documentary US Air Force / WHD

Airshow London (Ontario) announced its 2020 air show will take place on September 12 and 13 as a drive-in format featuring a traditional three-hour air display. The airport grounds can accommodate close to 2500 cars with this socially responsible model. Guests will arrive with a pre-purchased ticket (1 ticket per vehicle) and be directed to park in their own 20 X 25-foot space to enjoy the show either inside or outside their vehicle. Guests can bring their own refreshments, listen to the show on their car radios, and utilize portable washrooms.

585 Wings Over New Zealand, Australia, and Britain

Preservation of World War II aviation history with Dave Homewood. In the news, we look at labor contract negotiations at US airlines, the latest on the 737 MAX crisis, the safest airlines to fly in 2020, the Punctuality League 2020 results, a great story from United Airlines, and why the A-10 Warthog can’t be stopped.

Guest

Dave Homewood on his ride. Photo by Stu Russell.

Dave Homewood goes for a ride. Photo by Stu Russell.

Dave Homewood is a New Zealander who grew up in an aviation-loving home. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1989 and served as a Safety Equipment Technician in the Safety And Surface trade till 1993. Along the way, Dave developed a huge interest in WWII air force history.

Living in Cambridge, he began researching the people from his town who’d served in the Air Force in WWII. That massive Wings Over Cambridge project continues today, along with the Wings Over New Zealand Aviation Forum that has become a hub for the New Zealand aviation community.

Dave created a podcast called the Wings Over New Zealand Show, or WONZ, and even hosted a live version of the show for several years. Taking the show on the road to Australia with James Kightly to visit museums, aircraft collections, restoration shops, and an airshow, Wings Over Australia was born containing interviews with interesting Aussie aviation personalities.

Dave interviews wartime Spitfie pilot Jim Robinson.  Photo by Peter Wheeler.

Dave interviews wartime Spitfire pilot Jim Robinson. Photo by Peter Wheeler.

This year, Dave plans to create a similar sub-series, Wings Over Britain, traveling to England to visit museums, airfields, aircraft collections, airshows and memorials and interview people involved in aviation there and particularly in the preservation of both warbirds and the memories of the people they represent.

Dave says he “will weave into the series the stories of the thousands of New Zealanders who traveled halfway around the world to fly and fight in the defense of Britain and the liberation of Europe in WWII. Particularly of note will be marking the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and also the Battle of France. During both battles, New Zealanders made up the largest number of non-UK pilots and aircrew to take part. I’ll also cover Kiwis taking the fight to Europe, including D-Day, and also Kiwis in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, and probably a few stories of Kiwis who also flew and fought in WWI.”

Dave is the editor of Sport Flying magazine and does freelance writing as well as research for other writers, and for warbird aircraft owners tracing the history of their airplanes, and for families seeking info on their ancestors who flew or served in the RNZAF. He also interviews veterans for his Courage And Valour: New Zealanders in the Italian Campaign podcast.

Aviation News

US airlines are set for a 10th year of profits. More than 120,000 employees want a raise

After ten consecutive years of profitability for airlines, organized labor is looking to share in the good fortune and also advance some quality-of-life benefits. Labor agreements with over 120,000 unionized airline employees are scheduled for this year.

737 crisis leaves Boeing badly behind in race with Airbus

2019 was a “disastrous year” for Boeing and 2020 will be “precarious.” Boeing has new leadership, the company is hemorrhaging financial resources, engineering resources are focused on the 737 MAX, and Boeing has lost strategic advantage to Airbus. Boeing faces a damaged reputation with airlines, regulators, pilots, and the flying public.

Revealed: The safest airlines to fly in 2020

Airlineratings.com announced the Top Twenty Safest Airlines for 2020: Qantas, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, TAP Portugal, SAS, Royal Jordanian, Swiss, Finnair, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, and KLM.

The site also announced the Top Ten Safest Low-Cost Airlines for 2020, in alphabetical order: Air Arabia, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, IndiGo, Jetblue, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet, and Wizz.

United’s Fantasy Flight Makes Holiday Wishes Come True

For many years, United Airlines has taken children in need on a “Fantasy Flight to the North Pole.” This season, flights originated from 16 cities around the world.

Delta Air Lines is the Most Punctual Mega Airline in the U.S. for the Third-Straight Year, According to OAG’s Punctuality League 2020

OAG announced the results of its Punctuality League 2020, and Delta ranked number 1 for U.S. airlines in the Mega Airline category for a third consecutive year with an OTP of 83.56%. The U.S. remains a world leader for punctuality, finishing with four of the top 10 most punctual Mega Airlines and six of the top 10 Mega Airports globally.

Why It Seems Like Nothing Can Stop the A-10 Warthog

The U.S Air Force has given up trying to retire the A-10 and will instead upgrade the aircraft.

Mentioned

John Mollison from Old Guys and Their Airplanes has a new film titled The Mettle Behind the Merit – The Steve Pisanos Story. Produced with the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, it is about an immigrant who came to live the American Dream and ended up an ace and WWII war hero. An Educator’s Kit is available to bring the story into the classroom.

Important Charter Guidance for Pilots and Passengers – The FAA says this posting will be removed on January 19, 2020.

Contact Ground, Point Niner – OpenAirplane.com and FlyOtto.com have shut down.

2019 Stuart Air Show

The Stuart Air Show highlights the importance of aviation and the service of Veterans it also provides hundreds of opportunities to schools and school age children to learn about aviation, American history and about the Armed Forces. On Friday afternoon prior to the show, schools and children service agencies from all over the Treasure Coast participate in the show for free, allowing underserved children and families an opportunity to see and be a part of the experience. The Air Show is also a ‘fundraiser’ as well as a ‘friendraiser’ for many non profit organizations. Each year the Stuart Air show donates tens of thousands of dollars each year to area charities as well as service programs for children and Veterans.

We promote a safe, family entertainment event while providing financial support to its benefiting non-profit organizations including: the Special Olympics, United Way of Martin County, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many other deserving community charities. We offer many different types fundraising opportunities for local non-profit organizations and community groups. Nearly a dozen organizations benefit each year.

Our air show is a three-day event featuring thrilling performances by nationally known performers as well as interesting and historical static displays of aircraft and vehicles. We provide multiple benefits to the surrounding community through our direct charitable giving, through fundraising opportunities for nonprofit and civic groups during the show, and through our significant impact on the local economy.

566 Aviation Conversations

We talk with an FAA NextGen portfolio manager, the CEO and digital marketing director of a flight simulation company, the crew of an NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter, a retired Vice Admiral and pilot who is the oldest living graduate of the US Naval Academy, and the owners of an aviation-themed hotel in Texas. In the news, we look at a hydrogen fuel cell-powered airplane, a $5B repair bill for China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, new wings for the A-10 Warthog, alcohol and commercial pilots, and landing an A321 in a cornfield. Also, Part 1 of Launchpad Marzari’s adventure buying an airplane.

Guests

We present a number of aviation conversations recorded with interesting people at several events:

Jamal Wilson manages two of the FAA NextGen portfolios: performance-based navigation and separation management. Jamal attended EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2019 for ADS-B outreach with the GA community.

Laura LeBan is co-founder and CEO of InfiniteFlight. Jason Rosewell is the digital marketing director. The company produces a photo-realistic flight simulator that runs on a tablet. The software is so comprehensive and realistic that one of the biggest names in electronic flight bags uses InfiniteFlight to conduct product validation testing.

Pilot LCDR Rob Mitchell, engineer Nick Underwood, and technician Todd Richards hunt hurricanes on the NOAA WP-3D Orion.

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth is 102 years old and currently the oldest living graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He’s flown Curtiss SBC Helldivers, Douglas SBD Dauntless’s, and Grumman F9F Panthers. His career as a naval aviator was long enough that he transitioned from biplanes to jet fighters. Admiral Weymouth is the recipient of the Navy Cross for actions against the Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and he was also awarded the Legion of Merit, twice, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, four times.

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth.

Jay and Mary Honeck, operate Amelia’s Landing, an aviation-themed hotel in Port Aransas, Texas. The two have been attending AirVenture for 37 consecutive years and they host a large awning/pavilion they call “The Chalet” at the North 40 camping area.

Aviation News

Navy’s China Lake Earthquake Damage Dramatically Climbs to Estimated $5 Billion

The repair bill for the damage to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is estimated at $5 billion. The Mojave Desert facility in California suffered from the two earthquakes on July 4 and July 5, 2019.

This plane can fly 500 miles, powered entirely by hydrogen

Startup ZeroAvia has designed a hydrogen-fueled electric power plant that can be used in aircraft. They have been testing the technology in a Piper and plan to conduct a full test flight with hydrogen on-board in a few weeks. ZeroAvia says they will supply the powertrain for use in planes with as many as 20 seats on flights up to 500 miles long.

See This Strange Looking ‘New’ A-10 Warthog? It Is Special for 1 Big Reason

The Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base has finished installing new wings on A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This under the A-10 Enhanced Wing Assembly replacement program. The new wings are expected to last for up to 10,000 equivalent flight hours without a depot inspection.

A-10 at the 2019 Geneseo, NY air show. Photo by Max Flight.

A-10 at the 2019 Geneseo, NY air show. Photo by Max Flight.

United Airlines Cracks Down On Drinking Pilots

United Airlines has new alcohol consumption rules for pilots. Under the previous policy, pilots had to stop drinking eight hours before they were due to report for duty. Now United Airlines pilots have to stop drinking at least 12 hours before they’re due to report for duty. The FAA mandates that pilots in the US can have a maximum blood alcohol level of 0.04. in the UK the maximum is 0.02.

Recording reveals the Russian Sully told air traffic control to buzz off after his emergency landing

A Ural Airlines Airbus A321 experienced dual engine failures after ingesting seagulls just after takeoff from Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow. The plane came down in a cornfield with no serious injuries.

Airlines Are No Longer Allowed to Ban Service Dogs Based on Breed

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) now forbids airlines from discriminating against service dogs of particular breeds. That includes pit bulls. “The Department’s Enforcement Office views a limitation based exclusively on breed of the service animal to not be allowed under its service animal regulation. The Enforcement Office intends to use available resources to ensure that dogs as a species are accepted for transport.” The new rule applies specifically to service animals. Emotional support animals aren’t covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Report

Launchpad Marzari gives us Part 1 of his series about buying an airplane.

Credit

Interviews conducted by Robert Fairbairn and Hillel Glazer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, and by Max Flight and Main(e) Man Micah at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

522 Aviation is Your Future at ERAU

Dr. Patti Clark, a Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, describes the Aviation is Your Future course offered free online for youngsters aged 8-12. We also hear about sustainability in the aviation industry. In the news, we look at the latest FAA reauthorization bill, engine maintenance and new wings for the A-10, forgetting to pressurize the cabin, misspelling your airline name, falsifying FAA medical records, and beards and oxygen masks. We also learn about the XP-82 Twin Mustang, as have some interviews from this year’s Dorkfest, including one very special celebrity.

Guest

Dr. Patti Clark

Dr. Patti Clark

Dr. Patti Clark is Program Chair, MS in Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability, at the College of Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. She is also editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Aviation Management.

Patti is one of the instructors of the Aviation is Your Future course, a project of the Woman in Aviation International Chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. It is a self-paced Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that celebrates Girls in Aviation Day which is October 13, 2018. The course targets children aged 8-12 and is intended to help attract more people into aviation. The modules are self-paced and should take the youngsters about 6 hours to work through.

Parents can register their children at any time and the course will be open from October 8 through 23, 2018.

Patti talks about the Master of Science in Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability program and how sustainability is created through three legs: economic, environmental, and social. We learn how the aviation industry needs to design for sustainability.

Patti holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics as well as a Master of Aeronautical Science (Management and Safety specializations) from the Embry-Riddle. She also holds Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a specialization in Aeronautical Science Management from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, AZ.

Patti’s aviation career started with active military service in 1977 as an aircraft jet engine mechanic. She followed that career path through several USAF Reserve and Guard assignments. After leaving military service, she continued to work with the USAF as an aircraft and engine Air Force Engineering Technical Services (AFETS) specialist.

Patti went on to earn her graduate degree and ultimately her doctorate, worked on DoD environmental and safety projects, and held several director positions at Embry-Riddle.

Along the way, Patti was named the Executive Director and Airport Manager for the Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, GA. In 2013, Patti accepted a full-time faculty position in the Embry-Riddle College of Aeronautics.

Learn more at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University website, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Free Online Courses (MOOCs).

Aviation News

FAA reauthorization doesn’t address airline fees but contains some wins for consumers

Once again, Congress is scrambling to pass a reauthorization bill for the FAA, since funding runs out on September 30, 2018. We look at what’s in the 1,200-page bill, and what’s not.

Moody A-10 engine maintainers make history

The Moody Air Force Base in Georgia has achieved a remarkable readiness level for the General Electric TF34 engines that power the A-10C Thunderbolt II. All TF34 engines in the fleet are repaired to serviceable status. The achievement is attributed to last year’s continuous process improvement event.

Senate approves full-year funding to repair A-10 aircraft

The U.S. Senate approved $65 million in funding for upgrades to the A-10 wings. The measure next goes to the House of Representatives.

Airline Passengers Bleed From Ears and Nose After Crew Forgets to Pressurize Cabin

The flight crew on Jet Airways Flight 697 neglected to pressurize the cabin, which caused the passengers some distress. Passengers reportedly said that no oxygen was flowing from the masks that dropped down. The airline disputes the claim. The aircrew has been taken off active duty.

This Major Airline Painted a Plane – And Spelled Its Own Name Wrong

It’s all over mainstream and social media. Photographs of Cathay Pacific show the newly painted plane bearing the logo “Cathay Paciic.”

To watch how an airliner is painted, see these videos:

Jetstar’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Put Together Quickly

Asiana Airlines A380: Painting (Episode 2)

Delta pilot accused of lying about mental health issues to keep flying

A Delta Air Lines pilot was indicted on charges that he falsified FAA medical records necessary to obtain his airman medical certificate. Three other airline pilots have been indicted for making false statements to the FAA in their medical certificates paperwork.

Pilot Beard Ban Debunked

A study by the Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver indicates that facial hair does not affect the delivery of oxygen from a mask.

The Airplane of the Week

Patti tells of her visit to see the XP-82 Twin Mustang being rebuilt by Tom Reilly. Then David gives us a little history of this unusual airplane. See August XP-82 Twin Mustang Update.

F-82G by DM Vanderhoof

F-82G by DM Vanderhoof

BETTY Jo. P-82B by DM Vanderhoof

BETTY Jo. P-82B by DM Vanderhoof

David’s 72nd Monogram kit

David’s 72nd Monogram kit

Interviews

Brian Coleman attended Dorkfest 2018 at LAX and recorded conversations with a few of our listeners and past guests. There was also a very big surprise guest in attendance.

Mentioned

Audi Stuart Air Show, November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida.

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.

 

497 Designing an Airplane

The Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft talks about designing an airplane. Also, Bombardier and Embraer and the market for small commercial jets, the corporate culture of Boeing, the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt, and a preliminary report from the NTSB on the fatal helicopter crash into the river.

Vashon Aircraft Chief Engineer Ken Krueger talks about designing an airplane.

The Vashon Ranger R7 flying near Mt Baker. Courtesy Vashon Aircraft.

Guest

new Ken Krueger, Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft.

Ken Krueger is Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft and principal designer of the Ranger R7 2-place aircraft.

We talk with Ken about designing an airplane. He tells us about the things that push you to design a new airplane, design objectives, and engineering reality. Ken describes the manufacturability of airplane designs and how to keep costs down through manufacturing automation, vertical integration, and the company culture. Ken explains how materials and construction affect repairability, and talks to us about engine selection, the considerations for good flying ability, and even the contribution of workforce diversity.

Ken played a tiny part in the development of large airplanes such as C-17, B-2, and F-22. He played a greater role in the design of small airplanes such as the RV-7, RV-8, RV-9, RV-10, RV-12, RV-14, and the Ranger. Along the way, he has built, owned, and maintained several airplanes, including an RV-4, an RV-6, and a single seat aircraft of his own design. This combination of education and experience gives Ken a unique perspective on successfully designing and manufacturing light aircraft in today’s world.

Ken grew up in an aviation family and his passion for aviation sparked early. He earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager and graduated a few years later from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Ken and his wife, Susan, live in Washington State and they currently own an RV-4 and a Cessna 150.

Visit the Vashon Aircraft website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Also, check out the article by Pia Bergqvist in Flying Magazine, What It’s Like to Fly the Vashon Ranger R7: The Jeep of the light-sport aircraft category makes a surprise entrance.

 

Aviation News

Boeing, Airbus Gird for New Duel in Niche Market for Small Jets

Airbus has aligned with Bombardier on the CSeries. Boeing is courting Embraer. Bombardier and Embraer have new fuel-efficient jets in the 100 – 150 seat range and orders for the smaller jets may be out there from Air France-KLM, United Continental Holdings, and JetBlue Airways.

How to Fix United Airlines’ Culture Problem

United Airlines treatment of their customers has been well documented in the press. With almost alarming frequency. Does United suffer from a corporate culture problem? If so, what can be done?

The Air Force has the money it needs for the A-10 Thunderbolt — but may soon get a new partner to help keep it in the air

What needs to happen for the A-10 to have a future, and who would have a role in keeping it flying?

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on NY Helicopter Accident

The NTSB preliminary report contains no analysis or probable cause but describes the sequence of events is described, subject to change as the investigation proceeds.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about her solo and experiences with a GPS.

Mentioned

After decade of restoration in Auburn, iconic ’50s airliner returning to Germany

Lufthansa L-1649 Starliner – A commercial from Lufthansa circa 1960 for a flight from Hamburg to New York on the L-1649A Starliner. In German with subtitles.

Cora VTOL: Autonomous Electric Sky Taxi from Zephyr Airworks/Kitty Hawk

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

413 Pay the Airline for What’s Important

We talk with an experienced travel writer about the air travel experience, frequent flyer programs (should they be regulated?), and an idea to centrally lock overhead bins. Also, regulating commercial balloon operators, the future of the A-10 (yet again), GA and biz jet sales, and a massive FAA hiring plan for Air Traffic Controllers. We learn who really did fly first, and why an AMT career might be worth a second look.

Guest

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart is a travel editor for Upgrd.com, a freelance travel writer, and he writes the Trip Sherpa blog. Upgrd.com is a resource website for frequent fliers featuring tricks of the trade and how to enjoy a first class experience on a coach budget.

Kyle tells us how frequent flyer programs and the travel experience have changed to what they are today. We also learn about airline mileage runs and status runs, what’s in Kyle’s “travel goodie bag,” and why the most important travel decision is to pay for the services that are most important to you.

Kyle flies several hundred thousand miles every year and has visited more than 50 countries on every continent except Antarctica. He has contributed to articles for Time, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Yahoo!, Huffington Post and many other media outlets.

News

Let’s Regulate Frequent Flier Programs. Here’s Why.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s has released an investigative report on airline loyalty programs. The report concluded that the government has the authority to regulate frequent-flier programs and asked for disclosure rules. The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at DOT wants to learn more about problems with frequent flyer programs, and has a complaint form to collect data: DOT Air Travel Complaint – Comment Form.

Should overhead lockers be centrally locked?

When an emergency evacuation occurs on an airliner, passengers are instructed to immediately exit the airplane and leave all carry on luggage behind. Of course, that’s not what happens. A fire safety expert from London’s Greenwich University has called for a central locking system controlled by the flight deck.

Tighter oversight of balloon operators urged after Texas crash

The NTSB is investigating a hot air balloon accident in where the balloon struck power lines, exploded, and all 16 aboard were killed. Should commercial balloon pilots be more strongly regulated in the U.S.?

Air Force To Make A-10 Replacement Recommendations as Early As Fall

The U.S. Air Force will begin working on its next five-year budget plan, and part of the plan will include a strategy for a close air support aircraft. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said options they’ll be looking at options for replacing or augmenting the A-10 Warthog. See also, The US Air Force has an absurd plan for replacing the A-10 Warthog.

GAMA: Airplane shipments, billings down across the board

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports that in the first half of 2016, shipments for general aviation aircraft, turboprops, and business jets were down 4.5 percent over 2015. Billings were down 11 percent.

FAA Set To Hire 1,400 Entry-Level Air Traffic Controllers. The Catch: Only One Week To Apply

The FAA expects more than 25,000 people to apply for 1,400 Air Traffic Control Specialist – Trainee positions, so the application period is only one week: August 8-15, 2016.

The Airplane of the Week

More like the pilot(s) of the week, this time. After the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremonies, David was once again thrust into the argument of who flew first. It wasn’t Alberto Santos-Dumont for sure, but he does deserve to be a Hero of Brazil. Listen to David prove it.

Some of the articles:

Mentioned in the segment:

On The Mark

The Realities of AMT TrainingHere’s why an AMT career is worth a second look.

Mentioned

The Flight Deal

Deal Ray

Express VPN

Milestones of Flight, Milestones in Life By David

43’rd Annual International SeaPlane Fly-in, Moosehead Lake, Maine, September 8th to the 11th, 2016.

Denver, Colorado to Jacksonville, Texas in a Cessna 150!

What a fire retardant drop looks like from right underneath

Help Wanted: Part-Time Pilots

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro F/A-18 flyby recorded by Ted at the 2016 Dayton Airshow.

AirplaneGeeks 388 Connecting to the Legacy with John Mollison

John Mollison tells us how his artwork and his interviews capture the human side of aviation history. In the news, we talk about the FAA reauthorization bill, and consider if United Airlines is getting better. Also, spraying airplanes to fight the Zika virus, the A-10 gets a reprieve, and Icelandair steps up their game with a Stopover Buddy.

John Mollison print_600

Guest

Artist and writer John Mollison has interviewed well over 100 highly decorated airman since 1999 including: Medal of Honor recipients Joe Foss and Leo Thorsness, Presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern, bestselling author Robert Mason, and Morris Jeppson, the Bomb-Electronics Officer aboard the Enola Gay, to name a few.

John Mollison

John Mollison

In his words, John “Interviews old guys and draws their airplanes.” He uses the process of capturing an exact, historically accurate rendering of a particular combat aircraft to learn more about the human side of history.

John interviews the pilots and aircrew of particular aircraft to to learn: What makes people go to war? What makes people cope with stress? How do people define success? And most importantly, what can be passed on to future generations so they can avoid the mistakes of the past?

His artwork and historical contributions, including his “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” documentaries can be viewed at: www.oldguysandtheirairplanes.com and www.johnmollison.com.

News

Details of long-awaited FAA reauthorization bill revealed

On Feb 3, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced bill H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016, the AIRR Act.

The AIRR Act proposes privatizing ATC via a federally chartered not-for-profit organization, third class medical reform, certification reform, and user fees for airlines and Part 135 charter operators.

Shuster Introduces Conservative Aviation Measure that will Remove Over 30,000 Employees out of Federal Government Control

In his press release, Shuster says, “The comprehensive reauthorization bill, which removes over 30,000 people from the federal government’s payroll, also streamlines the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional consumer protections, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.”

5 signs that United Airlines is finally getting better

CEO Oscar Munoz was upbeat and enthusiastic in the earnings call, 79% of the United pilots ratified a two-year contract extension, United operations are improving, United is building its San Francisco hub as the primary U.S. gateway to Asia, Boston-based PAR Capital Management increased its stake in the carrier to 8.9 million shares or 2.4% of the airline.

UK asks airlines to spray insecticide to fight Zika virus

The British government is asking all airlines that fly from areas affected by the Zika virus to spray their planes with insecticide before coming back to the U.K.

A-10 Survives The Budget Chopping Block

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the DOD is “…investing to maintain more of our 4th-generation fighter and attack jets than we previously planned — including the A-10, which has been devastating ISIL from the air. The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022, replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflicts.”

Want To Go Skiing With Icelandair’s CEO?

Icelandair and WOW Air are competing with low fares between the U.S. and Europe using Iceland as a waypoint. But now Icelandair is stepping up the game and testing an idea where passengers enjoy Iceland’s sights during a layover, before proceeding to their destination. Under this program, passengers can request an Icelandair Stopover Buddy to act as a kind of free tour guide.

Former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino killed in plane crash

Jeff Pino was president of Sikorsky aircraft from 2006 to 2012. Recently, he was the Vice Chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, developing the Trifan 600 VTOL for the commercial market. Pino and was killed February 5, 2016 in the crash of his P-51 Mustang in Arizona.

Mentioned

Why the sun is setting on the Boeing 747

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. Amazing Pilot!

Pratt and Whitney’s Moving Assembly Takes Jet Engines Back to the Future

Easyjet’s fuel saving aircraft produces water passengers can drink

Amazing [Ultra HD 4k] Malpensa Airport – Incredible plane spotting

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

AirplaneGeeks 385 Even More Intellectually Stimulating Than Useful

James Fallows talks with us about aviation in China. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List, A-10 retirement put on hold, the C-130 keeps on flying, a flight attendant meltdown, a new study about lasers pointed at pilots, and more on-demand flying.

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

Guest

James Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years, and his work has appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter for two years, he was the youngest person ever to hold that job.

Jim has been a visiting professor at a number of universities in the U.S. and China. He is the author of ten books, including National Defense, for which he received the 1983 National Book Award, and China Airborne, which examines China’s plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power. Jim is an instrument-rated pilot and owner of a Cirrus SR22.

In our conversation, Jim describes how China Airborne tells the larger story of China through the aviation lens. We talk about building the airport infrastructure and how that’s being funded, and issues for General Aviation in China, such as the shortage of airports, military control of the airspace, and training for controllers. Jim gives us his thoughts on the Comac C919 program and the state of business aviation in China.

Learn more about Jim’s work at JamesFallows.com and AmericanFutures.org. Mentioned were China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L. Shirk and How to Not Fly an Airplane by Shirley Phillips.

An "original Chinese design" at the Zhuhai airport.

An “original Chinese design” at the Zhuhai airport. By James Fallows.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

News

The Next Big Aviation Safety Issues

Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board publishes its Most Wanted List. The NTSB covers all modes of transportation, but several aviation-related items made the list:

  • Prevent Loss of Control in Flight in General Aviation
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  • Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  • Expand Use of Recorders to Enhance Transportation Safety

US Air Force shelves Warthog plane retirement amid ISIS fight

For years, the U.S. Air Force has wanted to retire the A-10 Warthog ground attack airplane. That’s been met with congressional criticism, as well as cries from many A-10 enthusiasts. According to sources, the USAF will postpone mothballing the plane in its 2017 budget request to Congress in February.

See also, This GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm gun firing test footage is pretty impressive in The Aviationist.

A-10 by Paul Filmer

A-10 by Paul Filmer

New Pentagon Contract Signals Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Airlifter Is Headed For 100 Years of Service

The C-130 might become the first military aircraft to see continuous service for 100 years. The first Hercules was delivered to the U.S. Air Force 60 years ago in 1956.

Did American Airlines handle erratic flight attendant correctly?

A 67-year old flight attendant who has been employed by American Airlines for more than 45 years, faces federal charges for some reportedly serious behaviour on a November flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt. These include “claims that she slapped co-workers, punched air marshals, even attempted to open the door of her jetliner as it taxied for takeoff in Germany.”

‘No Lasting Damage’ From Laser Attacks

A new study by researchers at the University of Calgary suggests that pilots struck by lasers do not suffer permanent eye damage. Momentary blindness or blurry vision, yes. Permanent damage, no. Dr. Michael Fielden, assistant clinical professor for the Cumming School of Medicine said, “Once their eyes settle down, they’re worried if there’s any permanent damage that could affect their ability to fly in the future. Fortunately we haven’t found any permanent damage.”

Airbus to Join Forces With Uber for On-Demand Helicopter Service, CEO Says

Personal transportation company Uber is expanding beyond vehicles to other modes of transportation. You can now order up on-demand rickshaws in India and boats in Turkey. Now Uber and Airbus Group are planning to launch a pilot program at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah using Airbus H125 and H130 helicopters.

The Airplane of the Week

You would never guess David’s favorite aircraft…

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Listener Recording

Christopher Sims tells the story of how he commenced as an Avgeek.

Mentioned

Bradford Camps, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar.

Fulton surface-to-air recovery system

Porter Ranch stench could endanger aircraft: Federal Aviation Administration bans low-level flights over gas leak area

Provincial Aerospace

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.