Tag Archives: Airbus

AirplaneGeeks 398 Scott Hamilton, Leeham News and Comment

Solar Impulse 2 Landing April 2016

We talk with Scott Hamilton, the editor of Leeham News and Comment, about Solar Impulse 2, Bombardier and the CSeries, Boeing and the 737 MAX as well as a 787 engine AD, and Airbus and A321 assembly in Alabama.

Guest

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is the editor of Leeham News and Comment, which provides analysis along with the news, and the story behind the headline. Scott is known in the industry for his straight-shooting, call-it-like-it-is take on news and events. He is frequently called on by broadcast and print media to offer expert analysis about the issues of the day. Scott is also a regular speaker at aviation conferences and corporate events.

Before creating Leeham News and Comment, Scott co-founded of Linkraven Ltd. in 1989. Linkraven published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report, and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Scott was named Best Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2009 in the Regional Airline Category. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

Learn more at the Leeham News and Comment website, follow them on Twitter at @leehamnews, and check out Leeham News on Facebook.

News

Solar Impulse 2 lands in California after Pacific flight

After laying over in Hawaii for almost 10 months for repairs, the Solar Impulse 2 piloted by Bertrand Piccard landed in Mountain View, California just before midnight. The flight lasted just over 62 hours. Max Trescott witnessed the landing and gives us his impressions. He and Frank Sweeney posted some photos.

Note: In Airplane Geeks Episode 361, we spoke with pilot André Borschberg after he flew Solar Impulse 2 from Japan to Hawaii.

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500?

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500? Part 2

The CS300 was designed as the base model, with the CS100 being a shrink. Some wonder if there could be a stretch version, a “CS500,” that could seat more passengers and that is better sized for airline needs.

Delta May Be About to Order a Boatload of New Planes

Delta may be about to announce aircraft orders. Perhaps another order for (192-seat Airbus) A321s, and an order for 75 small narrowbodies from either built Bombardier or Embraer. Delta has been complimentary of the CSeries, but they have also made it clear that the price must be right.

Boeing Considering New 737 Model To Fend Off Bombardier Jet

The smallest B737 MAX, the -7 version with 126 seats in two class configuration, only has 60 firm orders. (30 from Southwest, 25 from Westjet, 5 from Canada Jetlines) Reportedly, Boeing is looking at a 150-seat model internally called the 737 MAX 7X.

First US-built American A321 completes maiden flight

First Alabama made jet liner to be delivered to owner today

The Airbus assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama continues to reach milestones with the A321 destined for American Airlines making its first flight. Airbus also delivered its first made in America A321 to JetBlue.

FAA orders ‘urgent’ engine fixes for Boeing 787 Dreamliners

In January 2016, a GEnx-1B engine was shut down in flight after the engine experienced excessive vibration. Ice came off a fan blade and caused an imbalance of the fan. That led to “substantial damage” after the fan blade tips started rubbing on the fan case. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive [PDF] requiring repairs or one older engine on the plane. The older model is less susceptible to icing than the newer Performance Improvement Program (PIP) 2 engine.

Two air traffic control officers charged for Taiwan’s worst crash in decade

On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR 72-500, crashed into buildings during approach in bad weather at Magong Airport in Taiwan. Forty-eight on board died, including the two pilots, and 10 survived. Two air traffic controllers and the two pilots have been deemed negligent.

FedEx Worker Falls Asleep In Plane’s Cargo Compartment, Wakes Up in Lubbock, TX

Probably not a career-enhancing move.

The Aircraft of the Week

David travels to Langley and interviews two F-35 pilots.

Listener Recording

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo at the Sun-N-Fun event in Lakeland, Florida, USA on 10 April 2016.

Launchpad Marzari brings us an interview with Richie, head of the RedBull Air Gaters. Also see Pictures of the day: Red Bull Air Race demo wows SUN ‘n FUN crowds.

Mentioned

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air – Providing scenic flight tours in Seattle with a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and a DHC-3 Otter.

The Puget Sound Business Journal is seeking a full time aerospace reporter

US airlines are freaking out about a company you’ve never heard of

The Derelict Aircraft Museum

General Aviation Aircraft Design by Snorri Gudmundsson.

Throwback Thursday: The History of Delta

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 397 Airman Certification Standards

We talk with the Special Technical Assistant for the FAA Flight Standards Service and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. Also, electrically powered planes, an important Approved Model List STC, the FAA teams up with the auto industry, airlines restricting fare bargains, a play about United Flight 232, Solar Impulse 2 returns to mission mode, and Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016.

Guest

Susan Parson

Susan Parson

Susan Parson is Special Technical Assistant with the FAA Flight Standards Service, and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. She serves as the lead FAA representative for the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) project to improve airman testing and training.

Susan has authored over 90 GA safety articles and several online training documents and courses, including Conducting an Effective Flight Review, Instrument Proficiency Check Guidance, and Best Practices for Mentoring in Flight Instruction.

Susan holds an ATP certificate, as well as ground and flight instructor certificates with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine land ratings. She repeatedly earned Master Flight Instructor and Master Ground Instructor designations from NAFI and Master Instructors LLC.  

As an active GA pilot, Susan instructs on weekends for her Cessna 182 flying club and the Civil Air Patrol. Susan created a number of advanced avionics training courses and modules, for the Civil Air Patrol, and she is the primary author of CAP’s National Check Pilot Standardization Course.

Susan Parson in SP-C182Susan has a BA in international relations and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Education (focused on e-Education and adult learning) from the University of Phoenix, and an Aviation Safety and Security Management certificate from the George Washington University’s Aviation Institute. Susan’s work experience includes serving in the United States Department of State’s diplomatic service.

Visit Susan’s personal webpage at www.avi8rix.aero and find her on Twitter as @avi8rix. The FAA Safety Briefing webpage is www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/.

News

Airbus, Siemens to work together on electrically-powered planes

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders says, “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.” Airbus signed a deal with Siemens to work on these hybrid electric propulsion systems.

Experimental Avionics For Certified Aircraft: EAA, Dynon Announce STC

At Sun ‘n Fun, the EAA and Dynon Avionics announced that they’ve developed an Approved Model List – Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) that allows Dynon’s D10 EFIS to be installed in certified aircraft.

FAA and Auto Industry to Team Up on Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FAA plan to hold an event April 22 with chief executives from the major automakers and aviation industry leaders. The goal is to look at how aviation industry collaboration practices could benefit automakers, particularly safety data sharing.

Three Big Airlines Just Trashed Your Cheap Fares

American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc. have taken action to restrict multi-destination fare bargains, mostly affecting business travelers. Previously, purchasing individual tickets for each leg could cost less than purchasing one multi-leg ticket.

Surviving crew of doomed United Flight 232 reunites for play

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, experienced a fan disk failure in the tail-mounted engine. The plane lost hydraulics and crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 passengers and one flight attendant. 184 people survived.

Eight survivors from the 13-member crew reunited to watch the play “United Flight 232” by Vanessa Stalling. The play is based on the 2014 book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales. The performance at The House Theatre of Chicago continues through May 1, 2016.

After a Long Delay, Solar Impulse 2 Is Ready to Finish Its Round-the-World Flight

On the 3rd of July 2015, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after having broken the record for flying non-stop for 5 days and 5 nights from Japan. Due to battery damage from overheating, the round-the-world journey was paused for repairs. However, the Solar Impulse 2 is now back in mission mode. Follow the flight at www.solarimpulse.com. We spoke with Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg in Airplane Geeks Episode 361.

The Aircraft of the Week

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

The Episode 400 History Segment Listener Challenge

David will select one aircraft from those submitted by listeners to be the Aircraft of the Week for Episode 400. Here are his rules:

  1. If you have hounded me to do a specific aircraft in the past, you’re automatically disqualified, and you all know who you are. I want someone to be rewarded.
  2. NO it will not be the C-130 nor a tanker!
  3. Not following directions might void your entry.***
  4. Pick your airplane.
  5. Send an email to theGeeks@Airplanegeeks.com with the Subject: David, please do this plane!
  6. Give me the full name of the plane.
  7. In 20 words or less tell me why I should do it. Creativity will be rewarded. Emoji’s won’t.
  8. Give me your name.
  9. How long have you listened to the show?
  10. What photo is associated with this post? It’s an  F-16CJ.
  11. Should you pick one I have already done, I will give you a second chance. I promise!
  12. You have until April 30, 2016 to get your entry in.

*** All decisions by the Historian are final!

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016

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Max and Brian report on this year’s amazing Aviation Geek Fest where about 250 #AvGeeks assembled for a weekend of Boeing facility tours, time in the Future of Flight Aviation Center and the Museum of Flight, and other exciting activities. Find more event photos here.

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Mentioned

"Silver Wasp" Boeing PT-17 Stearman by John Mollison

“Silver Wasp” Boeing PT-17 Stearman flown by Women Airforce Service Pilot Bernice “Bee” Haydu, by John Mollison

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

AirplaneGeeks 394 Plane & Pilot Magazine

We talk with the Editor-in-Chief of Plane & Pilot about changes to the magazine, drones interfering with airliners, the impact of lower airline fees on customers, an Airbus assembled in the USA, and blocking flight tracking.

Guest

Robert Goyer

Robert Goyer

Robert Goyer is VP, Editor-in-Chief, at Plane & Pilot magazine. He’s an award winning aviation editor, journalist and photographer. For more than two decades he’s been documenting the world of personal aviation in words and photography.

We talk with Robert about changes to the magazine and website since its purchase by Madavor Media in 2015. That includes expanding the target audience to include serious transportation pilots, bringing in new writers and rotating columnists, a focus on photography, and a weekly email newsletter.

Robert tells us, “I started flying before I remember flying, heading up with my dad in a little red-and-white Aeronca Champ from a cozy little grass strip in New England, and after a few years we graduated to a beautiful Cessna 195 that our family rebuilt together in the big barn out back.

Today, Robert does most of his flying in the system, filing IFR and flying on business and personal travel in high-performance piston singles up through light jets. He’s type rated in the Cessna 525 CitationJet and has plans to add a couple of new type ratings in the coming year, though he admits he has his eye on an old Super Cub he says has his “name written all over it.”

Find Plane & Pilot online at their website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

News

Lufthansa jet and drone nearly collide near LAX

The pilot of a Lufthansa A380 at 5,000 feet and 14 miles from Los Angeles International Airport says a drone passed close to the plane. The FAA is reported to say the drone flew 200 over the Airbus.

Surprise! Lower Airline Fees Would Be Bad for Customers

If enacted, the FAIR Fees Act introduced by two U.S. Senators would require that airline fees be set commensurate with the cost of the services provided. The Motley Fool says, “regulating airline fees would not be good for most travelers in the long run.”

Airbus plants seeds of a new aerospace cluster in the U.S.

An A321 destined for JetBlue should be making its maiden flight this week. The significant aspect is that the airplane is American-made at the new $600 million Airbus final-assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama. Most are describing this as Airbus’ beachhead in the U.S.Five other A321s are in final assembly for American Airlines.

Flight-tracking Blocking Efforts Under Way

The FAA has a program to block certain information about aircraft flying in U.S. national airspace, but it relies on a process where those providing flight-tracking services agree to block flight information when requested by operators. In return, the flight-tracking companies get access to the FAA’s ASDI data feed. But It’s not difficult receive broadcasts from mode-S transponders and ADS-B out transmitters.

Thousands of people run PiAware on a Raspberry Pi to receive ADS-B transmissions and forward that to FlightAware. The ADS-B Exchange website bills itself as “the World’s largest co-op of unfiltered flight data.”

The Airplane of the Week

Spartan Executive NC17682

Spartan Executive at Sun ‘n Fun 2006 by Ahunt – Own work, Public Domain.

David was given the opportunity to help 8th grader Jonah from Northern California with his paper on aircraft of World War II.  Jonah mentioned attending Oshkosh and noted that his favorite airplane was the Spartan Executive. In David’s opinion, Jonah has class and good taste so the Spartan Executive is the airplane of the week.

Mentioned

The Boeing 777 Thrust Asymmetry Compensation (TAC)

Boeing’s New Airplane Toilet and Bathroom Will Kill Humans’ Germs

Airlander 10: New pictures of world’s longest aircraft

Credit

Opening music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

Source

Original post: Airplane Geeks #394.

 

AirplaneGeeks 389 Women Airforce Service Pilots

The history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the controversy surrounding their burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Also, battle lines forming over privatization of air traffic control, Southwest pilots take a stand, Iran orders more airplanes, a high altitude long endurance pseudo-satellite, tanker news, the Knightwatch E-4B, and your favorite airplanes.

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Guest

Sarah Rickman is the editor of WASP News, published by Texas Woman’s University (TWU), the home of the official WASP Archives. The Women Airforce Service Pilots flew for the U.S. Army in World War II. Since 2003, Sarah has been a WASP oral historian for TWU, recording many of these ladies’ stories on audiotape.

Sarah tells us about the history of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). We also discuss the current controversy about the burial of WASPs at Arlington National Cemetery, the United States military cemetery.

Sarah has authored five books about the WASP:

WASP of the Ferry Command coverTwo new books on the WASP will be published this spring: WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds from the University of North Texas Press, and Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot, from Texas Tech University Press.

Sarah received the Combs-Gates Award for 2009 presented by the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Her grant is to research and write the story of the WASP who flew for the Ferrying Division in World War II. In addition to her books on the WASPs, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP.

Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor. She describes herself as a former journalist and former novelist who “found” herself when she met these amazing women who flew airplanes for the Army back when many women didn’t even drive cars.

ATC Privatization News

EAA Statement to House Committee Strongly Opposes ATC Privatization Plan

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee conducted a “markup” hearing February 11 on the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 4441). The bill was amended and the Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for consideration.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) voiced its opposition to privatizing ATC by submitting a statement in opposition to privatized ATC.

Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and chairman said, “ATC privatization is simply a bad idea on many levels; it will not solve the FAA’s funding dilemma and will create a substantial number of new problems and challenges that would cripple general aviation.”

House ATC Privatization Bill Advances; NBAA Continues Opposition

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen said the association would remain undeterred in opposing the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.

AOPA opposes user fees as reauthorization moves to full House

AOPA President Mark Baker said, “We’re profoundly disappointed that user fees are still part of this legislation.AOPA simply won’t accept user fees in any form on any segment of general aviation. And while there are some very positive provisions for GA in this proposal, user fees are a nonstarter for us.”

A4A President Calio: Reform ATC today for a better tomorrow

Nicholas Calio, the president and CEO of Airlines for America says separating ATC is “an international best practice that a growing consensus believes will create a more nimble, efficient, reliable and even safer system than the one we have today. Doing so will remove the kinks from an uneven and unpredictable funding apparatus while clearing the way for other improvements: more choices for customers, more direct flights, lower fuel consumption and reduced air emissions. So it’s puzzling why some would argue that everything is working just fine — an assertion that flies in the face of all that travelers have experienced over the past decade.”

Conservatives rally behind independent air traffic control plan

A group of 13 right-leaning groups sent a letter to Congress stating that moving ATC to a new nongovernmental organization is “an excellent foundation upon which to build a new model for an operation historically mired in old-style thinking and fiscal ineptitude. To us it is an axiomatic economic principle that user-funded, user-accountable entities are far more capable of delivering innovation and timely improvements in a cost-effective manner than government agencies.”

FAA Reauthorization 2016 – NATA

National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President & CEO Thomas L. Hendricks calls ATC privatization a “threat” to general aviation. More at the NATA Congressional Action Center.

Don’t Privatize Air Traffic Control

In an editorial piece, the New York Times characterizes privatizing air traffic control as a “solution in search of a problem” that “would do nothing to improve the present, federally operated system and indeed could make it worse.”

In Other News…

Southwest Airlines pilots picket for contract negotiations

350 members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association flew to Las Vegas on their day off to tell the public that they are upset. Why? because they don’t have a contract. Union president Jon Weaks said the pilots love Southwest and wouldn’t engage in travel disruptions. But they want to “give our company avenues so that we can trust them again.”

Iran Joins the ATR Club

Under the sanctions, Iran’s commercial aviation capability suffered greatly. That’s all changing now. Iran Air has signed a purchase agreement with ATR for 20 firm and 20 option ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The deal is valued at €1 billion.

In January, Iran Air placed an order for 118 Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft: A320ceo and A320neo families, A330ceo and neo airplanes, A350-1000s and 12 A380s. (Three A380’s were also purchased by Japan’s ANA in January.)

How To Build A Plane That Never Needs To Land

Solar-powered, long duration drones and other aircraft are development by companies like Google and Facebook to provide Internet service using them as pseudo-satellites. Now the British military is purchasing two solar-powered “Zephyr” high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAVs from Airbus. These autonomous unmanned systems would be used for long-term surveillance missions, and possibly to provide communication and ground support in remote areas.

The Zephyr, originally developed by UK firm QinetiQ, has a 23m wingspan and yet only weighs 55kg and cruises at 20km.

This Week in Tanker News

RAAF KC-30 completes first refuelling of a C-17

The first air-to-air refuelling from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport.

Boeing’s KC-46 Successfully Refuels F/A-18

For the first time, a Boeing’s KC-46 tanker refueled a Navy F/A-18 using its hose and drogue system.

Unmanned CBARS Tanker Air Segment Draft RFP Expected Later This Year

Naval Air Systems Command plans to release a new draft request for proposal later this year for an unmanned aerial refueling tanker. According to sources, the final RFP for the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) is due out in FY 2017, with contract award in FY 2018.

The Airplane of the Week

E-4B

David finishes out his discussion of Doomsday Planes with the converted 747-200Bs, otherwise known as the E-4B Nightwatch that serves as the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC).

Guided Tour Inside the E-4B NAOC Doomsday Plane

Listener Favorite Airpanes

Rob gives us the results of the call for our listeners to tell us what their favorite airplane is and why. Like many others, Micah had trouble picking just one.

Mentioned

The Sound of Flaps

Bruno Misonne composes music that incorporates the sounds of aviation in very unique ways. His latest creation is “The Sound of Flaps.” Bruno tells us this was “the most challenging project ever created. Everyone who regularly takes the plane becomes aware of this characteristic sound of flaps extending or retracting, a sound that becomes very audible when you are sitting in the cabin above the wings! It has been challenging to find a way to mix that sound with music since at first glance it seems quite impossible to do in such way that the result is pleasant!

New certification standards for mechanics in the works

The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s Airman Certification System working group (chaired by AOPA) has been tasked with developing new certification standards, handbooks, and test development guidance for aircraft mechanics.

Credit

Opening music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

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.

 

AirplaneGeeks 377 Flight Simulation on the PC

Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK

An enthusiast talks about PC flight simulation, Dubai Air Show 2015 debrief, flight training with the Cirrus Aircraft SR22 at Emirates, antitrust lawsuit blocks United’s plan to purchase slots, and bag fees increase at low cost carriers.

Guest

Guest Nicolas Jackson talks about PC-based flight simulators. We learn that you can create the flight simulation experience you want – from flying a GA airplane in the pattern around your local airfield, to a transcontinental commercial flight.

We talk about alternatives to Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), such as Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D® simulation software and X-Plane from Laminar Research. Nicolas recommends the Steam edition of FSX distributed by Dovetail Games for new simmers. He also tells us about VATSIM.net, an international online flying network, and broadcasting on Twitch.tv, a live streaming video platform and community for gamers.

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson fell in love with aviation at the age of 10 when he got his first ride in a GA aircraft. Five minutes at the stick and he was hooked. Soon after that first flight, he bought Sierra Pro Pilot 99. He later switched to Microsoft Flight Simulator starting with FS98 and running all the way to FSX. He started flying on the international online flying network VATSIM with complex airliner add-ons in 2006, and hasn’t looked back since. Nicolas currently flies a variety of FSX aircraft and co-hosts the Unicom Podcast as part of The IFlySimX Team.   

 

Resources for flight simulation:

News

Boeing, Mostly Booked Until 2020, Comes Up Empty at Dubai Air Show

The Airbus A350 and A320 family, as well as the Boeing 787 and 737, are sold out to 2020 and beyond. Airlines and leasing companies have no incentive to purchase more airplanes.

OPINION: Dubai air show sees lack of commercial sales from Middle East

Bombardier unveils launch customer for CS300 airliner

airBaltic becomes the launch customer for the CSeries CS300 airliner when it takes delivery in the latter part of 2016. The Latvian flag carrier has orders for 13 firm and 7 options for the 160 passenger CS300.

Bombardier said it has 603 orders and commitments for the CS300 and CS100, 243 of which are firm orders. Also, Bombardier said it was nearing completion of the CS100 flight test program and was “on track” for certification of the airplane by Transport Canada this year. CSeries flight test vehicles took more than 1,000 flights during testing.

DUBAI: SuperJet confirms March delivery and winglets for CityJet

CityJet plans to take delivery of the 98-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100 in March 2016. The Irish regional airline is negotiating for 15 Superjets with 10 options.

DUBAI: Embraer details plan for E2 test fleet

Embraer plans to build six test aircraft as part of the E2 E-Jet re-engining program: four of the E190-E2 variant and two of the E195-E2. Both E195-E2s and three of the E190-E2s would be ready by end of 2016, with the fourth following in 2017. The Pratt & Whitney PW1900G will power the planes, and Dutch lessor AerCap will be the launch customer for the 97-seat E190-E2.

DUBAI: USAF secretary to redouble efforts on sluggish FMS process

US Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James says industry and regional partners voiced complaints that the approval process for US foreign military sales is slow.

Military spend outshines orders at Dubai Airshow

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force bought two Saab Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft, and will upgrade two existing Saab 340 jets. Lebanon will purchase six Embraer Super Tucano aircraft for basic missions and training. Boeing says five customers are interested in its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, a long-range spying plane. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $262.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to service Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sniper targeting system.

Emirates Airline Selects Cirrus Aircraft SR22 for Flight Training Academy Fleet

Emirates Flight Training Academy is going to use a fleet of twenty-two Cirrus SR22 aircraft for its flight training program.

U.S. Tries to Block United’s Acquiring More Slots at Newark

United Continental Holdings Inc. wants to buy 24 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, from Delta Air Lines Inc. The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the sale.

Justice Department antitrust chief Bill Baer says, “Allowing United to acquire even more slots at Newark would fortify United’s monopoly position and weaken the ability of other airlines to compete. That would leave the 35 million air passengers who fly in and out of Newark every year holding the bag.”

Frontier, Spirit Airlines raise bag fees for holidays

Last year, ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines began increased bag fees for the holidays, and they are doing the same this year. Frontier Airlines is also increasing their bag fees, but not just for the holidays. Frontier says they’ll charge a higher fee during the college spring break season, and during the summer travel season, from June 9 through Aug. 16.

Senator blasts airlines for holiday bag-fee boost; Frontier chief strikes back

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s transportation committee sent letters to major airline CEOs asking them not to raise bag fees. Nelson wrote, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,”

Airplane of the Week

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale

This week David looks at the tip of the spear for the Armee de L’Air, the Dassault Rafale.

Across the Pond

Vueling

Pieter welcomes back Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast to talk about his recent visit to Airbus and their Innovation Day presentations. They talk about some of the non-flying innovations Airbus is creating that may well find uses in other industries, such as Airbus Glasses, waste compactors, and paper cable ties. Pieter and Diego also get a short discussion in on the latest British Airways news, that IAG owned Vueling boss Alex Cruz is to become Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways.

Follow the Spanish-language Aeropodcast on Twitter and Facebook.

Mentioned

Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich appears in the movie Back in Time,” a documentary tribute to the Back to the Future movie series. The film is available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, with tour dates running through November 24th. (The Terrafugia segment starts at 1:13:30 if you want to skip straight to it.)

Connie’s 60th Birthday Start Up

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Air Force One

New Routes Mean More Noise for Some Homes Near Airports

Credit

Post photo Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK courtesy aerosoft.

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

AirplaneGeeks 369 The National Aeronautic Association

Concorde by Paul Filmer

Concorde © Paul Filmer

Conversation with Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association. Also, returning a Concorde to flight, Airbus sets up shop in the U.S., San Diego International Airport launches a traveler program to benefit the environment.

Guest

Jonathan Gaffney is President and CEO, of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), a position he has held since 2007. We talk about aviation awards, like the Robert J. Collier Trophy and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. We also learn about the aviation records that the NAA maintains.

Prior to arriving at NAA, Jonathan served for 12 years as the Vice President for Communications of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports.

Jonathan had a 22-year career as an Officer in the Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of Commander. He completed tours of duty onboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ, and was recalled to active duty during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also worked in Washington as a senior staff member in the United States House of Representatives.

Jonathan and the staff of NAA have transformed one of the world’s oldest aeronautical organizations (founded in 1905) from near-insolvency into a vibrant, sustainable association dedicated to its original charter: “…the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation in the United States.”

News

Group Plans To Fly Concorde By 2019

Club Concorde has a “Return To Flight” project that seeks to return one of the retired supersonic airliners to flight by 2019.  About $190 million has been committed by unidentified financial backers. Club Concorde says they are “a club for all things Concorde, run by ex-Captains, ex-charterers and people passionate about Concorde, working together to keep Concorde in people’s hearts and minds.”

Airbus Sharpens Challenge to Boeing With Factory in U.S.

Airbus has a plan for a $600 million plant in Mobile, Alabama for the A320, most of them destined for North American customers. Deliveries are due to start in early 2016 from the 53-acre facility, with the production rate increasing to four aircraft per month by early 2018.

Michel Merluzeau, vice president for aerospace strategy and business development with consultant Frost & Sullivan says, “It’s all about location. It’s about where you do business, and how that property is going to grow over time.”

San Diego International Airport Launches Sustainable Travel Program

The San Diego Airport Authority announced “The Good Traveler” pilot program. Travelers pay $1 for a Good Traveler tag or sticker with the proceeds going to three environmental projects: a forest restoration project, a wind farm, and a water restoration project. Each Good Traveler tag purchase offsets “the equivalent of the carbon footprint created by 500 miles of air travel or 200 miles of driving.”

Qatar 777 Takes Out Approach Lights on Takeoff From Miami

We’re not sure how this one got in here, and we didn’t talk about it. But here it is as, left as an exercise for you.

Airplane of the Week

Li-2 by Paul Filmer

Li-2 by Paul Filmer

David goes behind the Iron Curtain to talk about the DC-3skis The Soviet Built Li-2 NATO (CAB). Eventually over 4000 Li-2s were produced and it was as successful as it’s US Cousin, the DC-3/C-47.

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to the “ATP adopted pilot” Neil Bradon about his return to GA flying in Europe and then his role in the forthcoming 48 hour B737-800 Sim flight around Europe to raise critically needed funds for charity. The dates are 11th to 13th January 2016.

ATP for Ep 369 (ATP 188) cockpit

Follow @flight48hour on Twitter, and the Charity Flight Simulator 48 Hour Challenge on Facebook. Also see: Flight Deck Experience, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and North West Air Ambulance Charity.

Mentioned

Teen charged for carrying bomb-shaped alarm clock in carry-on

International Air Transport Passenger Association

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 359 Jack Pelton Previews AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 by DeKevin Thornton

We talk with Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.

Guest

Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (the EAA). He’s the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company. Jack was Sr. Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and he started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach California. Jack was a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and served on the board of directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

We talk with Jack about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, taking place July 20-26, 2015. Besides the forums and educational sessions, #OSH15 visitors can expect to see daily air shows, a 45-year anniversary salute to the Apollo 13 mission, and events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Curtis Pitts, the 75th anniversary of the Aircoupe, and major anniversaries of the beginning of World War II and the Battle of Britian. A B-52 landing at AirVenture is planned, two F-35s will be on display, and two F-22s will conduct a demonstration flight.

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

The New Goodyear Airship “Wingfoot One” will make an appearance, and Burt Rutan is scheduled to appear, arriving in a Beech Starship. A number of Viet Nam-era aircraft will be at Oshkosh, and so will an Airbus A350. WomenVenture takes place again, and Embry-Riddle hosts a sUAS challenge in the Aviation Gateway Park.

Ford Motor Company is once again supporting the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth aviation programs by unveiling and donating for auction a one-of-a-kind Mustang.

Find the Experimental Aircraft Association and AirVenture Oshkosh information at eaa.org, follow them on Twitter at @EAA, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Also, be sure to catch the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Webcams and LiveATC.

News

Historic Spitfire soars in record-breaking London sales

Supermarine Spitfire P9347 sold for £3,106,500 ($4,784,010) at auction. American philanthropist and art collector Thomas Kaplan sold the Spitfire to benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund and several other charitable organizations. Kaplan also gifted a second Spitfire N3200 to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Boeing just patented a jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions

The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved Boeing patent application 9,068,562, Laser-powered propulsion system. In one embodiment, an airplane engine uses lasers fired at radioactive material like deuterium or tritium to create a nuclear fusion reaction. The hydrogen or helium exhaust byproducts exit the rear of the engine and provide thrust. Coolant heated from the reaction drives a turbine and generator to produce electricity that powers the lasers.

Boeing Beats Airbus in June

The Motley Fool used the Boeing Orders & Deliveries Tool to examine June orders and found 161 planes ordered by customers. These were 131 single-aisle 737 commercial airliners, 24 Boeing 777s, five 787 Dreamliners, and one 747. Airbus reported 135 orders in the month.

Year to date, Boeing new plane orders are 221 single-aisle 737s, fifty 787s, forty-nine 777s, four 747s, and one 767. The total net after cancellations is 281 Boeing orders received through the first half of 2015. Airbus says they have booked 324 A320-family airplanes, 57 A330s, and one A350, for a total of 382 planes total.

Airbus’ all-electric E-Fan aircraft crosses the English Channel

First electric plane to cross the English Channel was Not Airbus!

On July 10, the electric Airbus E-Fan crossed the English Channel in a 36-minute flight. The E-Fan is a light twin-engine aircraft powered by lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. The night before the E-Fan crossing, an electrically powered Cri-Cri piloted by Hugues Duval made it’s own Channel crossing to become the first.

Originally, Pipistrel intended be first across the Channel in its Alpha Electro two-seat trainer. However, at the last minute electric motor maker Siemens banned Pipistrel from using the motor.

Calgary Lawn Chair Aviator Charged with “Mischief”

Twenty-six year-old Daniel Boria, attached 110 helium-filled balloons to a “$20 lawn chair” with the idea of skydiving from the chair into the middle of the Calgary Stampede. When he started drifting into the clouds, he bailed out, and ended up in jail. CBC News interviews the lawn chair pilot in Calgary balloon man calls adventure ‘sureal’.

United Airlines Pilot Flushes Live Bullets Down The Toilet: Here’s Why

Aerolineas Argentinas and the stripper who pulled the take off throttle

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s at home when he should be in Bali thanks to the ash cloud from Mt Raung. The boys talk briefly about flights resuming to Bali:

They also talk about the fun they had doing commentary at the Hunter Valley Airshow last weekend despite Grant losing his voice.

Mentioned

Listener Photos

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.) flying mentally and physically challenged children and their parents for Challenge Air and Sky Kids Arizona:

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)

Credit

Post photo by DeKevin Thornton.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 316 – NASA’s Aeronautics Research

Altair with Infrared Imaging Sensor

NASA’s aeronautical research activities, Boeing and Airbus production rates, an NTSB report on pilots and drugs, and an update on the F-35 engine fire.

Guest

Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., (USMC-Ret.) has been the NASA Administrator since July, 2009. During Charlie’s 34-year career with the Marine Corps, he served 14 years in NASA’s Astronaut Office and traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle.

Charlie flew more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has a lengthy and distinguished career serving his country, including receiving the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.

We talk about the role of government in general and NASA in particular when it comes to taking the development risks that industry cannot. Charlie tells us about NASA’s development of software tools for the FAA, including NextGen air traffic management tools.

We also discuss the allocation of funding between aeronautics and space, NASA activities in aircraft propulsion such as increasing efficiency of existing systems, recent biofuel tests, and projects with the Boeing eco-Demonstrator airplanes.

Charlie believes that supersonic transports can be in our future and tells us about NASA activity to address the sonic boom problem.

NASA is actively involved with the FAA and the six UAS test sites as autonomous flight technologies are developed. NASA focuses on sense and avoid and is looking at sUAS air traffic control.

We get an update on the commercialization of space flight, climate change and greenhouse warming, and space technology management.

Visit the NASA web page for a wealth of information, follow them on Twitter, and read NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s Blog.

The News

Boeing, Airbus seriously studying speeding factories

Boeing and Airbus are looking at boosting the production rates for the 737 and A320 families of airplanes. Orders have poured in and the airframers have years of backlog. Will the supply chain be able to sustain higher rates?

NTSB Study on Drug Use in Aviation Shows Upward Trend in Use of Potentially Impairing Medications; First Step in Understanding Drug Use and Accident Risk

The NTSB looked at more than 6,600 toxicology tests performed on pilots killed in aviation accidents from 1990 through 2012, 96% of which were GA. NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart said, “I think that the key take-away from this study for every pilot is to think twice about the medications you’re taking and how they might affect your flying. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs have the potential to impair performance, so pilots must be vigilant to ensure that their abilities are in no way compromised before taking to the skies.”

See also, NTSB releases study on medication, drug use: AOPA cautions findings are incomplete and inconclusive.

F-35 Fire: In Search Of A Solution

At Eglin AFB on June 23, 2014, F-35 AF-27 experienced a significant engine fire, grounding the fleet. It appears that engine flex caused a “hard rub” of the fan stage stator against the rotor. The friction caused heating, which led to micro-cracks in some blades. Then in normal operation, the cracks grew and the blades eventually failed. Pratt & Whitney is redesigning some components, but the root cause for the engine flex has not yet been identified.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Douglas C-74 Globemaster

The Douglas C-74 Globemaster.

With all the recent humanitarian news, the Boeing C-17A is getting a lot of attention. It’s often referred to as a Globemaster, but it’s time to set the record straight and talk about the real Globemaster – the Douglas C-74 and its son the C-124 Globemaster II, making the C-17A the Globemaster III.

Across the Pond

Finnair

Pieter Johnson has news of the UK Airports Commission decision to reject London Mayor Boris Johnson’s idea for an Estuary Airport (affectionately known as “Boris Island”). He also looks at Ryanair’s Boeing 737Max order, and some new services from both Finnair and Qatar Airways.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Shout Out

In Episode 134 of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, Capt. Jeff offers a very good discussion of hypoxia, with ATC recordings from the TBM-900 that crashed off Jamaica, and other examples.

Mentioned

Credit

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

Episode 254 – Simple Flight

A350XWB First Flight

At Simple Flight, Al and Marc produce a aviation radio show that goes live Sunday nights from 8:00pm to 10:00pm Central Time (U.S.) You can also listen to the audio archive anytime, or subscribe as a podcast in iTunes. Since the Simple Flight show is live, Al and Marc get a lot of listener interaction in real time.

The website offers other content for pilots, including an aviation blog, aviation photography, flight instruction. We talk about the live show, the next great flying club – delivering new pilots to aviation, and even Rod Rakic’s new Open Airplane project.

Find the guys and the site on Twitter as: @Al_H2Oloo (clever, eh?), @mepner, and @SimpleFlightNet.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is Sue’s Bird, the Piper PA-24 Comanche.

Embraer KC-390

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Winter weather has been causing trouble in for flights Australia’s south east this week, especially with fog causing many diversions. Mid week, two B737s, one Qantas & one Virgin Australia, diverted to the rural city of Mildura in Victoria; an airport normally accustomed to regional turboprop aircraft, and one that lacks an ILS. As the fog began to envelop Mildura as well, the Virgin 737, after two missed approaches, declared a fuel emergency and landed in what has been described as below minima for the airport. This has lead to an ATSB investigation which is due to report by March 2014.

Virgin Australia flight makes emergency landing in Victoria

Low fuel diversion involving Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR, Mildura Airport, Victoria on 18 June 2013

RAAF KC-30A tankers now operational and recently participated in Exercise Aces North, the culmination of the Fighter Combat Instructor course, in the skies over the Northern Territory.

KC-30As participate in Aces North

GippsAero rolls out GA8 Airvan number 200

Australia’s entrant in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, places second overall. A great result!

Melbourne’s RMIT comes second in Airbus Fly Your Ideas global competition

Grant talks about his balloon flying over the weekend with PCDU team member, Kathy Mexted

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Mentioned:

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