Tag Archives: Airbus

501 OAG Travel Tech Innovation Survey

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

Guest

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

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

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

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

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

Aviation News

The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure

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

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

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

Bjorn’s corner: Turbofan Engine Challenges, Part 2

CFM fan blades

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

Airbus heads for dogfight with UTC over CSeries costs

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

Aircraft seat size in the spotlight as House passes FAA reauthorization

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

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

American Airlines CEO warns higher fares are coming

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

Listener Recordings

Hillel congratulates Airplane Geeks on the 500th episode.

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

Mentioned

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

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

Flying Pipistrel’s Electric Airplane

The “Remora Boys” presentation to the NTSB Round Table

Remora Systems

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

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.

492 Flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

A Boeing 787 Senior First Officer tells us about flying that plane. We discuss the implications of privatizing air traffic control, replacing the T-38C Talon with the Advanced Pilot Trainer, the impact of subsidy claims on Open Skies agreements, and a candidate for the top FAA spot. We also have an interview with the Commander of 302 Squadron of the Dutch Royal Air Force.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Courtesy Boeing.

Guest

Senior First Officer Mike currently flies the Boeing 787 for a major for European airline and is based out of London Heathrow. In our wide-ranging conversation, we learn about the transition from the Airbus to the Boeing 787, some of the differences, and training aspects. Mike tells us about the Lithium-Ion batteries used in the aircraft and cabin crew procedures for passenger battery problems.

FO Mike adds his perspectives as we discuss ATC privatization (or is it ATC corporatization?) and U.S. airline claims that Middle Eastern carriers received unfair subsidies. Mike isn’t shy about expressing his views, and along the way, we discover his preference for Boeing over Airbus.

Mike learned to fly in a Cessna 152 at age 17, then moved onto a Piper PA-28.  After completing the obligatory requirements, PPL, ME/IR, CPL and theoretical knowledge exams, FO Mike applied for the Advanced Entry Programme with a major Middle Eastern Airline. Starting with the Airbus A330, Mike progressed to become MFF/CCQ on the A330/A340, before moving over to the Boeing 787 as part of the entry into service crew for the airline.

Mike moved back to Europe in 2016 where he joined his current airline.  He holds a number of ratings: CPL, ME/IR, ATPL and is also Training First Officer and Type Rated Instructor. Altogether, Mike has flown the Airbus A330-200 and -300, the A340-500 and -600, and now the Boeing 787-9. Follow him on Twitter as @FOMike787.

Aviation News

Still Wondering Why GA/Biz Av Think the Airlines Will Run a Privatized ATC System?

One contentious aspect of the proposal to privatize Air Traffic Control in the U.S. is the makeup of the 13-member ATC board. What interests would be represented, in what numbers, and how might that impact general aviation?

T-X to replace T-38 at pilot training bases

The contract to replace the T-38C Talon with the Advanced Pilot Trainer (T-X) is yet to be awarded, but the U.S. Air Force is already planning the first pilot training base to receive the aircraft as early as 2022.

Emirates Airline boss reveals that the nastiest feud in the airline industry could kill his $76 billion Boeing order

Some U.S. airlines have accused Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways of receiving more than $50 billion state subsidies, a violation of Open Skies. Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, believes that Open Skies is at risk and the US aviation industry stands to lose.

Trump’s Pilot for FAA Administrator

We don’t know if the man is qualified, or even if this is a good idea.

Airline Story of the Week

Woman surprises husband with pregnancy announcement on flight from Tampa

An American Airlines crew helps a woman announce her pregnancy to her husband inflight, and catches his reaction on video.

Listener Recording

Thirteen-year-old Will gives us a teaser about his research project and his Airplane Geeks segment to come.

Interview

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari interviews Lt Col Grijspaardt, Commander 302 Squadron, Dutch Royal Air Force.

Mentioned

Robert Poole’s libertarian think-tank Reason Foundation.

Black Lightning: The Legacy of the Lockheed Blackbirds by Jeannette Remak and Joseph Ventolo Jr.

Qantas Group Pilot Academy | Qantas

A pilot lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting and over 100 colleagues came to her funeral

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

490 The Airbus A350

We talk with an Airbus A350 captain who has a long history flying commercial aircraft. In the news, we consider one-person flight crews, U.S. airlines looking to scale back consumer protection regulations, ADS-B vulnerabilities for military aircraft, and largest ever Piper order for training planes, plans for the Air Force bomber fleet, and Southwest runs out of glycol. We also have a conversation about ATIS with the Chief of the Air Traffic Control Division at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350.

Malaysia Airlines A350. Photo by H Gousse, courtesy Airbus.

Guest

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Bill Palmer is an A350 captain and an instructor pilot/check airman. He has been heavily involved in Airbus training since the early 1990’s, and Bill is the author of Understanding Air France 447 and other publications on Airbus flight control laws. Bill also holds a commercial glider rating and flies his Rolladen-Schneider LS-3 for fun in southern California.

Bill describes the transition to the A350 as like going from DOS to Windows. The aircraft shares some commonality with A380, and Bill describes fly-by-wire and the flight control laws. We also hear about other features of the A350, such as the paperless cockpit implementation and the availability airport runway, taxiway, and gate information to pilot. The plane will calculate landing distance and brake to the correct speed for the selected taxiway. Bill also describes the A350 runway overrun protection and the auto-flight system’s automatic TCAS and wind shear recovery.

Bill started flying at the age of 15, soloed on his 16th birthday and completed his private certificate at 17. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds a BS in Aeronautical Science. He earned his flight instructor certificate in 1978 and has been instructing almost non-stop since then while holding airplane, instrument, multi-engine, and ground instructor certificates. Besides light aircraft he has also taught on the 727, 757, A320, DC-10, and A330, and written manuals for the DC-10, A330, and B-787 fleets. He has also produced numerous training publications and videos for the various fleets as well.

Visit Bill’s webpage Understanding Air France 447 and his Trend Vector blog. His books Understanding Air France 447Airbus A330 Normal Law: Putting fly-by-wire into perspective, and Airbus Flight Control Laws: The Reconfiguration Laws are available on Amazon.com and at other retailers.

Aviation News

Boeing raises prospect of only one pilot in the cockpit of planes

At the Singapore Airshow, Boeing research and technology vice-president Charles Toups said, “We are studying [one pilot operations], and where you will first see that is probably in cargo transport, so the passenger question is off the table.” Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic about an unmanned freighter within the next five years.

Airlines seeking to snuff traveler rights?

In the Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney reports that last October the U.S. Department of Transportation asked airlines to suggest changes or cuts to regulations. Airlines for America filed 222 pages of comments. United Airlines added 50 pages.

Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks, ADS-B May Expose F-22s To Web Based Tracking GAO Warns

A 45-page Government Accountability Office report titled Urgent Need for DOD and FAA to Address Risks and Improve Planning for Technology That Tracks Military Aircraft [PDF] says that neither the Department of Defense nor the FAA has taken significant steps to mitigate security risks associated with openly transmitting flight data from military aircraft.

Piper Receives Largest Trainer Order in Company History

Chinese Fanmei Aviation Technologies has ordered 152 training aircraft from Piper Aircraft. Fanmei is Piper’s dealer in China, and a subsidiary of Sichuan Fan-Mei Education Group Co., which provides aviation education in China. This is reported to be the largest single order for training airplanes in Piper’s history. The seven-year purchase agreement is valued at $74 million and includes 100 Archer TX single-engine trainers, 50 twin-engine Seminoles, one Seneca twin, and one Piper M350.

Air Force outlines future of bomber force

In its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, the Air Force outlined plans for its bomber fleet, which include a plan to update the B-52 Stratofortress fleet, continue modifications to the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets, while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.

‘How does one airline run out of de-icer?’: Some gripes at Midway after Southwest’s cancellations

Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 250 flights from Midway Airport after running out of de-icing fluid. One of the glycol tank pumps wasn’t working properly and some of the de-icing fluid could not be accessed.

Interview

Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks about ATIS (automatic terminal information service) with Mark N. Vick, Chief, Air Traffic Control Division, Directorate of Aviation Operations at Robert Gray Army Airfield, Fort Hood Texas, a military joint-use airport that operates alongside Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport.

Mentioned

Rolls-Royce UltraFan® – The Ultimate Jet Engine and Lego Ultrafan in the flesh! @RollsRoyce, a video on Twitter by Andrew Smyth‏.

Nine Aviation and Space Achievements Compete for the 2017 Collier Trophy [PDF] and GA Companies Among Those Vying for Collier Trophy.

Heavens Above

The 101-year-old woman who flew Spitfires in WW2

MH370: Malaysian military sidelines crash investigators as power play emerges on search team and MH370 conspiracy theory involves Seabed Constructor and chest from shipwreck.

Credit

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

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.

Guest

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Credit

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

479 Flight Tracking with FlightAware

FlightAware founder and CEO Daniel Baker talks about flight tracking technology. In the news, we look at the Dubai Airshow, aviation cybersecurity, the proposed Women in Aerospace Education Act, the GE Additive 3D metal printer, and a report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee on ATC privatization.

Guest

Daniel Baker is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of FlightAware, the flight tracking data company that provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions.

Flight tracking company Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Daniel was one of the principal developers of the FlightAware technology, and he now works directly with partners and customers in both industry (e.g., airline, cargo, business aviation) and government (e.g., air traffic management).

FlightAware uses data from air traffic control systems in over 55 countries, from FlightAware’s network of ADS-B ground stations in over 150 countries, from Aireon space-based global ADS-B, and from the major providers such as ARINC, SITA, Satcom Direct, Garmin, Honeywell GDC, and UVdatalink.

Daniel explains how FlightAware’s proprietary machine learning and rules engine called Hyperfeed takes data from multiple sources and fuses it together to create the best possible flight tracking information. About 10,000 messages per second are analyzed with over a thousand rules. Hyperfeed employs predictive analysis that looks at patterns in the flight tracking data.

Some 13-14,000 ADS-B ground stations send data over the Internet to FlightAware. Complete FlightFeeder stations can be purchased, or you can build your own PiAware flight tracking station.

We talk about satellite-based ADS-B through Aireon low-earth orbit satellites equipped with ADS-B receivers. These will provide flight tracking data for areas not covered by other means. Daniel also describes FlightAware TV, a custom, real-time FlightAware HDTV map for the office, hangar, or FBO.

Daniel knows tech and has been in the Internet services business for over two decades. He is a regular speaker at aviation and technology conferences and serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum. He also holds an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate.

Find the company at FlightAware.com, on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Dubai Air Show

Boeing vs Airbus: $77 billion in deals in under 2 hours
Airbus Seals $50 Billion Jet Deal to Outdo Boeing in Dubai
Boeing signs off on a $1.3 billion deal at Dubai Airshow
Day 1 At The Dubai Airshow: Boeing Steals The Show
Dubai Airshow: Building a new supersonic airliner
EgyptAir Orders Bombardier C Series Aircraft in Dubai

FlyDubai ordered 175 Boeing 737 Max planes with options for another 50. Boeing said it was the biggest order ever from the Middle East for single-aisle passenger planes. Altogether, the 225 firm and option aircraft have a total value of $27 billion at list prices, and include more than 50 Max 10s, with the rest Max 8s and 9s.

Airbus sold 430 A320neo family jetliners to Indigo Partners. The planes will go to four Indigo companies: Frontier Airlines, Volaris, Wizz Air Holdings Plc, and JetSmart. That deal was valued at roughly $50 billion at list prices.

Boeing also booked an order for forty 787 planes, worth $15 billion at list prices, with Dubai’s Emirates airline on Sunday. In a deal valued at $1.9 billion, Azerbaijan Airlines ordered five Boeing 787-8 aircraft and committed to two freighters. In addition, Azerbaijan Airlines became the launch customer for Boeing’s 787 Landing Gear Exchange Program.

Bombardier signed a letter of intent with EgyptAir for 12 firm CSeries CS300 aircraft with options for 12.

Cybersecurity Report Fears ‘Dismissive’ Approach

The Washington think-tank Atlantic Council released the report Aviation Cybersecurity: Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag which describes an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assessment on cybersecurity threats to ADS-B is “dismissive.” The study indicates that the aviation industry will likely experience cybersecurity challenges similar to other industries that have embraced the “digital revolution.” Previously, aviation systems were relatively secure due to the bespoke nature of their design, isolation from other systems, and little in the way of communication protocols. But air traffic management is no longer isolated, and ground services and supply chains are becoming fully integrated into an interconnected digital world.

Connecticut’s Esty sponsors women in aerospace bill

H.R. 4254: Women in Aerospace Education Act has been introduced in Congress “to amend the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to strengthen the aerospace workforce pipeline by the promotion of Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and National Aeronautics and Space Administration internship and fellowship opportunities to women.”

GE’s huge 3D metal printer makes aircraft parts

The GE Additive business unit of GE has a 3D metal printer capable of making aircraft parts as large as one meter in diameter. A metal powder is fused with a 1-kilowatt laser in thin layers to “print” the part. Since the machine is scalable, it should be capable of even larger parts.

Senate Republican Policy Committee Confirms ATC Privatization is Still Alive

A report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee titled NextGen Delayed, Just Like Your Plane says:

  • Air traffic control currently relies on outdated ground radar systems that cause delays throughout the aviation system.
  • The FAA is transitioning to NextGen technology, which has several components designed to allow safer and more efficient airspace management, including a switch to GPS.
  • Deployment of many NextGen components has been delayed and is expected to cost $2.6 billion more than planned.

The report says that “an ATC spinoff would very likely trigger constitutional challenges. A Congressional Research Service report [PDF] questioned whether courts might determine that a non-governmental ATC corporation would be unconstitutional under the non-delegation doctrine, Due Process Clause, or Appointments Clause. Although memoranda commissioned by proponents of a spinoff discount these concerns, the move to corporatize the ATC functions would almost definitely be challenged in court.”

Airline Story of the Week

Man who suffered brain aneurysm leaving him unable to walk takes to the skies as he makes a recovery

British Airways helps a man recovering from a brain injury to rejoin the world of commercial flight.

Mentioned

Retired Korean War Medal of Honor recipient passes away

More than 800 family, friends, and active duty and retired service members gathered in Concord, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017, to pay their final respects to retired Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.Hudner passed away Nov. 13, at his home in Concord. He was 93.

Video: Thomas Hudner, Medal of Honor, Korean War

Credit

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

475 Aviation News of the Week

In the aviation news this week: An executive order allowing up to 1,000 air force pilots to be recalled, a proposed ban on laptops in checked luggage, aircraft working the California wildfires, Qantas wants an extra long range airplane, a Goodyear blimp, the CLEEN II program, and a Delta Airlines story.

Aviation News

Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

The US military suffers a pilot shortage and needs about 1,500 more pilots. They’ve tried bonus and other incentive programs, but the gap remains. President Trump recently signed an executive order that allows the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

Nuclear Bombers Poised to Return to 24-Hour Alert After Trump Recalls Retired Pilots

There is talk that the U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert.

Laptops could be banned from checked bags on planes due to fire risk

The Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending that laptops be banned from checked luggage.

Military and Contract Air Assets (Including U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones) Key in Fighting Largest Ever California Wildfires

Wildfires continued to cause major problems in California and airborne firefighting operations playing a key role. This might be the greatest combined military and contract air fire suppression operation in history.

Drone forces brief suspension of air operations battling Bear Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

Once again drones flying near wildfires have forced firefighting operations to be halted.

Boeing and Airbus accept Qantas’s ultra-long-haul challenge

Qantas wants to fly non-stop from Sydney to London and New York. They’ve challenged Boeing and Airbus are to modify their aircraft to make 20-hour flights possible.

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two Goes West: Tiremaker’s newest airship to fly over 10 states on journey to California home

The Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two is on a three-week, 2,600-mile cross-country trip from Akron, Ohio to California.

Fact Sheet – Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise II (CLEEN II Program)

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the environmental effort that is part of the FAA’s Next Generation (NextGen) program. The Idea is to accelerate the development of new aircraft, new engine technologies, and advance the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Airline Story of the Week

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me About Delta Air Lines

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” reports conclude with his description of the flights home.

Mentioned

Limited leg space on commercial planes makes it harder to brace in flight emergencies: expert

Jan Davies is chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) — a group of experts studying effective impact bracing positions. She told the SafeSkies aviation safety conference that limited leg space could have an impact on passenger safety in emergencies.

Happy Design Studio

Happy Design Studio collaborated with paint specialist Air Livery on a custom livery design for a BBJ customer. Press release [PDF]. Photo Gallery.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

Pete’s discovered a Better Way to Fly with Air New Zealand

Pete the Kiwi finds out how to fly across the world and back. He’s voiced by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Hunt For The Wilderpeople), who makes a cameo appearance too. Pete the Kiwi is part of Air New Zealand’s “A Better Way To Fly” campaign.

NASA – Gulfstream III (G-III) Research Testbed Aircraft

California contrails over California by listener Sean.

Contrails over California by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

Credit

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

474 The 2017 NBAA-BACE Convention

The National Business Aviation Association’s 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). Also, Airbus takes a majority position in the CSeries program, the Global Supertanker is firefighting in California, the Scaled Composites experimental Model 401 first flight, and trouble for Kestrel in Wisconsin and Maine.

Guest

Arthur Rosen is a retired Judge, AOPA-ASN (Airport Support Network) for Scottsdale Airport (SDL), and Chairman Emeritus of the Scottsdale Aviation Commission. He served on the Super Bowl Committee for Aviation, he’s past President of the Arizona Soaring Association, and an aviation expert for ABC TV-Phoenix. Arthur blogs at My Opinion: Thoughts and Comments on General Aviation. Follow him on Twitter at @judgearr.

 NBAA-BACE Convention

Arthur, Rob, and Brian all attended NBAA-BACE held Oct. 10–12 in Las Vegas, and we explore their impressions of the event. Brian recorded some of the speakers, and the following are condensed versions:

Opening Remarks from the Keynote: Ed Bolen and Clark County City Commissioner Lawrence Weekly:


Congresswoman Dina Titus, Representative for Nevada’s 1st congressional district:


Michael Huerta – FAA Administrator:


Robert Sumwalt – NTSB Chairman:


Capt Jim Lovell – Retired test pilot and astronaut:


Rob and Brian at NBAA EBACE 2017.

Rob and Brian at NBAA BACE 2017.

Aviation News

Delta Vows Not to Pay U.S. Duties on Bombardier’s C Series

Despite the tariffs recommended by the U.S. Commerce Department, Delta Air Lines says they will not pay import duties on the 75 CSeries aircraft it ordered from Bombardier. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “I can’t tell you how this is going to eventually work out. There may be a delay in us taking the aircraft, as we work through the issues with Bombardier, who is being a great partner in this.”

Airbus to buy majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program

Airbus Group is buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program. The CSeries headquarters will remain in the Montreal area but a second assembly line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at Airbus’ facility in Alabama.

Cal File Calls for “The Largest Tool”

The Global SuperTanker is fighting wildfires in California.

Bombardier’s Global 7000 Debuts in Vegas

The fourth of Bombardier’s Global 7000 test aircraft debuted in Las Vegas the NBAA-BACE
Called “The Architect” it is the “largest purpose-built business jet in the industry.”

Scaled Composites Completes First Flight of Secretive Experimental

Scaled Composites conducted the first flight of the experimental Model 401 proof-of-concept airplane. The airplane (N401XP) was designed for a “proprietary customer” and is the first of two commissioned.

Wisconsin suing Kestrel Aircraft over loan debt, stalled financing

Kestrel Aircraft Company evicted from Brunswick Landing

In 2012, the state of Wisconsin gave Kestrel $4 million in state loans and more in tax incentives to build a plant that was to employ 665 people. Kestrel didn’t build the plant and is in default on their loan payments. Meanwhile, Kestrel has been evicted from its facility in Maine for failure to meet its financial obligations.

Airline Story of the Month

Letter: A positive airline experience

One passenger’s Southwest Airlines experience after giving up her seat.

Aviation Story

Our Main(e) man Micah tells a story about seeing the Blue Angels prior to the The Great State of Maine Air Show.

Our Main(e) Man Micah

Our Main(e) Man Micah

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” continues with conversations at the Hamburg meetup with listeners Hendrik, Jan, and Christof talking about their flying experiences.

Then Brian talks with listeners Tilman and Matt about GA flying in Europe during the meetup in Berlin.

Tilman, Brian and Matt

Tilman, Brian and Matt

Mentioned

Video: Unbelievable Airbus A380 Hard Crosswind Landing during a storm at Düsseldorf

Video: A fond farewell to the Boeing 747

Credit

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

458 The Intrepid A-12 Blackbird

 

Jeanette Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. from Phoenix Aviation Research tell the story behind the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. In the news, we look at FAA reauthorization bills and the battle shaping up in Congress, this year’s Paris Air Show, the Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft, the youngest pilot in Australia, and an Israeli court ruling on reseating women in the airplane.

Guests

Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid

Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid.

Jeannette Remak is the owner of Phoenix Aviation Research. She’s a military aviation historian, a writer, author, artist, and photographic engineer. Her books include XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Blackbird: Declassified.

In the mid-1990s, Jeannette worked as the volunteer Aircraft Historian for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. She performed research for maintenance and restoration, and worked on the aircraft under her control at the museum, including many U.S. Naval and U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan. Jeannette restored sheet metal, she controlled airframe titanium corrosion, and she appropriated parts and specialized equipment for work on A-12 aircraft.

Working with the US Navy’s Curator office, Jeannette is responsible for the rescue of the Sikorsky RH-53D that is the lone survivor of the failed United States hostage rescue mission in Iran. The CH-53D is now restored and on display at the JFK/ US Navy Seal Training School in North Carolina.

Jeannette has a degree in Commercial Photographic Engineering and obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation Science in 2000. Jeannette also has a degree in Commercial Photography from the NY Institute of Photography.

Joseph A. Ventolo, Jr. is the former curator of the National Museum of the US Air ForceHis career started in November 1959 when Joe joined the 269th Combat Communications Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. In 1965, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a communications officer. He left the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970.

In 1962, Joe joined the staff of the U.S. Air Force Motion Picture Film Archives at Wright-Patterson AFB as a Motion Picture Archivist. In 1979, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Museum’s Research Division as the Museum’s Historian. Two years later he became a Curator of Aeronautics. Joe has co-authored articles that appeared in such periodicals as Air Enthusiast, WW I Aero, and Friends Bulletin. In 1993 he was appointed Curator of the U.S. Air Force Museum and named Curator of the United States Air Force. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1995.

Joe is currently a co-owner/consultant with Phoenix Aviation Research. He has co-authored articles in the Atlantic Flyer, and written three aviation books, all with Jeannette Remak.

Their first book, XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla was published in December 1998. Their second book, A-12 Blackbird: Declassified, was published in December 2000. And a third book, The Archangel and the OXCART: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbirds and the Dawn of Mach III Reconnaissance was published in 2008.

Jeannette and Joe previously appeared in Aviation Xtended #59 talking about the XB70 Valkyrie. Jeannette talked about the shuttle disaster in Aviation Xtended #54.

Phoenix Aviation Research Facebook page with all the photos.

Phoenix Aviation Research business page.

Jeannette Remak books on Amazon.com.

The United States Air Force Art Collection paintings by Jeannette Remak.

From the Paris Air Show

2017 Paris Airshow Highlights

Airbus secured 326 orders with Boeing getting 571. Boeing debuted the 737 Max 10 and offered some insights into the 797 model. Airbus presented the A321neo and the A350.

Qatar Airways wants to buy 10% of American Airlines

In a statement, American Airlines said: “Qatar Airways indicated that it has an interest in acquiring approximately a ten percent stake.”

The world’s biggest commercial plane just got more impressive

Airbus unveiled the A380plus, with 4% lower fuel cost. The plane features winglets and seating for 575 in four classes.

Boeing planning on hypersonic jets for commercial flights, though the Concorde’s memory lingers

Boeing says we could see hypersonic jets in commercial use in the next decade or two.

Pratt & Whitney Expands PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ Engine MRO Network

Eagle Services Asia (a JV between Pratt & Whitney and SIA Engineering Company Ltd.) will provide maintenance services for the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engine.

Boeing launches MAX 10 at Paris Air Show to challenge Airbus neo jet

Boeing said it has 240 orders and commitments. Some orders are conversions from earlier orders for other MAX models. The MAX 10 is a stretch of the MAX 9 that seats up to 230 passengers and is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.

PAS17: The Revolution Will Be Data-Driven, Airbus Looks Skywise

Airbus launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support digital transformation of the industry. The Skywise aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. See the video: Airbus launches new open aviation data platform, Skywise.

Watch the F-35 pull mind-bending aerial tricks at the Paris Air Show

Test pilot Billie Flynn told Aviation Week, “After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,”

Video: F-35 Aerial Demonstration Debut at 2017 Paris Air Show

Japan trio to develop small-jet engines with Pratt & Whitney

P&W signed an MOU with Japanese Aero Engines, a consortium of Japanese manufacturers. The partners will spend more than 100 billion yen ($898 million) to create small-aircraft engines.

CAE Outlook Says Half of Future Pilots Haven’t Yet Begun Training

CAE announced that the industry will need more than a quarter of a million cockpit crewmembers over the next 10 years. The CAE Outlook says:

  • 85,000 will be needed in the Americas,
  • 50,000 in Europe,
  • 30,000 in the Middle East and Africa and
  • 90,000 in the Asia-Pacific region.

Other Aviation News

Airline Bumping Protection, Easier Drone Permits Aim of Bill

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. introduced a proposed FAA reauthorization bill in the House. The Bill prohibits passengers from being removed from a flight after they’ve boarded, privatizes ATC, and requires airlines to post resources for stranded passengers online when the airline is disrupted by a computer outage. It also calls for the faster development of a traffic management system for small drones, faster approval process for commercial drone operators, and a new certification system for small-drone commercial operators.

Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft make an aerial farewell before final departure

Catalina Flying Boats is retiring its historic DC-3 aircraft for a pair of single-engine turboprop Cessna Caravans.

Canberra 16-year-old Jade Esler Australia’s youngest pilot

Teenager Jade Esler has become Australia’s youngest licensed recreational pilot. She funded the training by selling about 20,000 cupcakes.

Israeli Judge Says Airlines Can’t Reseat Women At Request Of Men

Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled that it was discrimination to ask a female passenger to change seats because an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man said he did he not feel comfortable sitting next to her.

Mentioned

After the 2017 Innovations in Flight event at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Jonathan Baron took David up in his Shark LSA. Jonathan was our guest in Episode 442 Shark Aero.

David Vanderhoof and Jonathan Baron with the Shark.

David Vanderhoof and Jonathan Baron with the Shark.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner and 737 MAX 9 Fly Together in Dramatic Display

Credit

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

453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane

Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Guest

Matt Knapp, founder at Zunum AeroMatt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.

Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.

We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.

Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Preliminary Icon Accident Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.

Disruptive Tech: Electric Airplanes Could Destroy The Automotive Industry

The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”

For more, download the RethinkX report.

Winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ Competition Solves Under Seat Crunch

The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.

Mentioned

The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:

Qantas chief Alan Joyce gets pie in face at Perth business breakfast, via listener Dave in Adelaide.

Credit

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