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.

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.

Trevor Smith from Desertpilot.com with the 1942 Champ
Trevor Smith from Desertpilot.com with the 1942 Champ

Guest Richard Aboulafia is Vice President, Analysis at Teal Group. We look at some of the major aviation developments from 2012 and look ahead to what we can expect in 2013.

We discuss narrowbody orders and the need for efficient aircraft in order to compete. With narrowbody technology on a plateau, it’s the efficiency of the engines that drive the economics.

China and Russian commercial aircraft prospects are covered as is Chinese military aviation. Also, prospects for general aviation in the U.S., the retirement of the Space Shuttles, the growth of commercial launch capability, and what that means for aerospace.

As for Boeing, Richard says watch the promptness of the 787-10 launch, and the 777X. Meanwhile Airbus is physically establishing itself on U.S. soil to mitigate exchange rate vulnerability, maybe put pressure on the unions, and help their prospects for the next military competition.

F-35 partner country concerns with price and delivery, airframer reluctance to take on commercial risk, and program vulnerability in times of budget crunch. Also watch the Korean FX3 fighter competition between the F-35 and the F-15. Even the USAF tanker resurfaces with issues getting the new hangars for them.

See Richard’s personal site at RichardAboulafia.com.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Aeronca 7AC Champion.

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Looking forward to upcoming issues for 2013, the Qantas/Emirates tie up is going ahead as the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission gives its approval, while Virgin faces an uphill battle to get it’s buy out of Tiger Airways & Sky West approved. ADS-B will factor in the news in 2013 as Australian carriers who operate above FL290 are required to use install equipment and use it by mid December, and the LSA (RA-Aus) sector is facing an interesting period as CASA exercises its oversight powers and grounds up to 1,000 aircraft.

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week on Across The Pond we return to Southampton Airport in the UK to continue with a new mini series focusing on behind the scenes. Last year we spoke to Dave Lees, Managing Director who gave us his strategy for growth and customer service at the airport and who has now kindly allowed us a behind the scenes look at some of the areas we don’t normally see. This week we talk to Dan Townsend, Airport Assurance Manager who tells us all about their innovative and world leading technology used for avian control.

Find more about Southampton Airport at SouthamptonAirport.com and their blog, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Must attend events:

Mentions:

A Skycrane dipping at the Fern Lake Fire, Colorado by Paul Filmer
A Skycrane dipping at the Fern Lake Fire, Colorado by Paul Filmer

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

Qatar 787 courtesy Boeing

David Parker Brown from Airline Reporter.com joins us fresh from the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow to give us his perspectives. Pieter Johnson also attended and gives us his view of the flightline and aerial display. Speaking of airshows, listener Seb Spencer provides an audio report from the 2012 Royal International Air Tattoo.

B737Max Winglets in front of a Korean B737900ER by Pieter Johnson

The week’s aviation news:

Breguet Br 1150 Atlantic

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Virgin tops Qantas in the latest SkyTrax Awards, Qantas deploying iPads for their Boeing pilots to use in flight, The Australian Aerial Agricultural Association says the carbon tax will add at least $18 per hour to their operating costs for crop dusting, Qantas sets up a new travel website called www.hooroo.com

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter attends the Farnborough 2012 International Trade and Air Show and gives us his view of the flightline and aerial display. He also wraps up Day 3 of the Trade Show with an interview with Tim Robinson from Aerospace International with some interesting developments from Virgin and Richard Branson. Also on show was the new Boeing 737Max Winglets. Quite a nice piece of engineering design, almost artistic!

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned on the podcast:

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

A400M at RIAT 2012 by Seb Spencer

Max, Rob, and David field questions from listeners who want to learn just a little bit more about us Airplane Geeks. We also talk about the BEA’s final report on the Air France Flight 447 crash, the Airbus plan to open an A320 final assembly facility in Mississippi, issues with the Airbus A400M engines, and how the heat affects airliners, at least in Washington, D.C.

With the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow underway, you might want to check out the Farnborough Air Show 2012 Micro-News Site Coverage List at Jet City Star – a great resource.

We also mention Seb’s photos from RIAT 2012
Rob’s video from his A380 flight, and
Ryan Hothersall’s list of models.

The week’s aviation news:

A U.S. Army Air Force Waco CG-4A-GN glider (s/n 45-27948) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Dayton, Ohio (USA).

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Waco CG-4A glider, the Hadrian.

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Grant gets his Private Hot Air Balloon Certificate! He tells us about the process over the past week, including his first solo flight. Congratulations Grant!!

In the news, Virgin Australia announces an order for 23 737MAX8 aircraft, arriving on our shores from 2019. Virgin also plans to defer some additional 737-800 orders until after 2016, but will retire its entire -700 fleet by the end of 2013.

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.

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

Photo by David M. Vanderhoof

Guest Chris Anderson founded DIY Drones, a free online community for enthusiasts and builders of fully autonomous aerial drones that perform just like large UAV’s, but use open source software. Chris also co-founded a company called 3D Robotics which sells aerial vehicles, components, and accessories. Chris is the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, and he is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.” Find Chris on Twitter at @DIYDrones.

We talk about converting R/C craft to autonomous unmanned vehicles with autopilots, sensors, and GPS navigation that rival military unmanned systems. Minus the armament, of course. With falling component costs and free open source software, these aircraft are not as expensive as you might think. This fosters a hobby UAV market that acts in a similar way to the early personal computer days when creativity and innovation ran rampant.

Past guest Martin Rottler subs for Rob Mark as co-host. Martin is a pilot and also lectures aviation subjects at The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies. Find him on Twitter at @MartinRottler.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Bell Boeing V22 Osprey.

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Qantas profits take a dive and so does their share price, Etihad buys a stake in Virgin Australia and may be looking to increase it, Scoot commences services to Sydney, the fifth & final KC30A tanker is ready for RAAF service while a former RAAF B707 tanker returns to Australian skies with new engines and a new owner

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.

Mentioned this episode:

Listener links:

Post photo by David M. Vanderhoof.

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

Guest Darryl Jenkins is a seasoned airline analyst, Chairman of the American Aviation Institute, and author of the Handbook of Airline Economics.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report: the Qantas Asian venture takes a dive as Malaysia Airlines pulls out of the Red Q proposal, Air New Zealand is upsetting customers with its new “bid for a seat” frequent flyer programme, and Airbus Military offers the RAAF a 6th KC30A tanker.

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.

In his Across The Pond segment, Pieter Johnson talks with Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast.com to give us an update on the airlines in Spain. They discuss Spanair, Iberia Express and Volotea and the Spanish Government’s step down from privatisation. Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Mentioned in the episode:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

N7406 c/n 104 Built for Capita Airlines and seen here in June 1962 operating for United. Credit Brian Burridge.

Our guest this episode is industry researcher and analyst Henry Harteveldt. He’s a Co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group where he will head up the airlline and travel practice of this research and advisory firm that will look at ecommerce, distribution, marketing and operations planning for airlines, hotel companies, travel agencies, GDS companies, and marketing agencies. Henry is also Chairman of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives and can be found on Twitter at @hharteveldt.

The week’s aviation news:

Plane Crazy Down Under

Steve and Grant recorded the Australia Desk Report on location at Coldstream Aerodrome (YCEM) where they had their mobile studio set up for the Australia Centre for Mission Aviation Discovery Day. Find them on the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter Johnson talks to Brian Burrage, co-founder of the Vickers Viscount Network and an ex Rolls Royce Dart Engineer. Brian tells us about the success of the Viscount as Britain’s best post war selling turboprop airliner, being sold world-wide with over 400 being produced. None are left flying but the Viscount Network aims to keep the aircraft awareness high through a fabulous website, talks and visits to the remaining airframes. You can find Pieter Johnson on Twitter at @Nascothornet.

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Post photo: N7406 c/n 104 built for Capita Airlines and seen here in June 1962 operating for United. Credit Brian Burridge.

Post photo: The Plane Crazy crew live on location. Can you name them?

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

DC-3 by Paul Filmer

Guest Julie Filucci manages the Cessna Pilot Centers program for Cessna, but she’s also written the book, Together We Fly: Voices From The DC-3. Published by Aviation Supplies & Academics, the book tells the story of the Douglas DC-3 through the voices of the people involved with it, from its design and production to the present day. Julie had completed her type rating in the airplane several years ago, and did an article for AOPA Pilot on the airplane for its 70th anniversary in 2005. “The feedback from that article was the most I’d ever received for a piece during my time at AOPA. And not just pilots wrote to tell their stories, but also engineers, mechanics, stewardesses, soldiers, and regular folks who had taken their first airline trip in the airplane. Capturing their voices became a quest for me, as so many of the people from the airplane’s early days have passed on.”

Learn more at the book’s Facebook Fan Page, and at Julie’s blog. Follow her on Twitter as @julieinthesky.

The week’s aviation news:

Steve and Grant discuss a variety of aviation topics in the Australia Desk Report. Find them on the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter Johnson talks to Phil Wallis, Chief Engineer for the Anglo American Lightning Organisation who has the task of getting English Electric Lightning XS422 back into the air. Its a rivetting insight into how to get a 1300 mph interceptor aircraft capable of 20,000 fpm climb airworthy after sitting around in a container for many years. The AALO Team can be found at www.XS422.com, on Twitter Twitter as @EELightning, and on Facebook. You can find Pieter Johnson on Twitter at
@Nascothornet.

 

XS442 in flight during her RAF service with the ETPS in the 1980's. Photo credit: AALO / Crown

XS442 in flight during her RAF service with the ETPS in the 1980’s. Photo credit: AALO / Crown.

Mentions:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

When You Fly

Our guest this episode is Ansel Brown, the award winning country music recording artist who co-wrote (with wife Lisa) and sang the song When You Fly at the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, when it returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh at the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators banquet, and the Women in Aviation breakfast. This moving song was written to honor Lisa’s grandfather Richard Wixom who was inducted into the Wisconson Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010.

Find more about Ansel and his music on Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. He also has a home page at AnselBrown.com and you can follow him on twitter at @AnselBrown.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report, Steve and Grant discuss the QANTAS restructure with Will Horton from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. Find Steve and Grant on the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter Johnson covers airport design considerations with information from @plansairports, and provides additional content from last week’s conversation with Steve, an A320 pilot. You can find Steve on Twitter @Thermalhound and Pieter @Nascothornet.

Mentions:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

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