The CEO of Equator Aircraft talks about the P2 Xcursion high-performance hybrid amphibious aircraft. In the news, debris from the Air France engine failure is found in Greenland, American Airlines is apparently destined to be profitable forever, and Boeing plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences.
The P2 Xcursion. Photo courtesy Equator Aircraft.
Tomas Brødreskift is the CEO Equator Aircraft, which is developing the P2 Xcursion, a high-performance hybrid amphibious aircraft.
Tomas decided to develop a float wing amphibious aircraft at design school. After that, he knew he had to find a way to continue, and so without money or any grasp of the complexity involved, Tomas started building and designing the aircraft, learning as he progressed.
Most of the design was based on things he saw in other planes, and he added a few of his own ideas. As for building the aircraft, Thomas was lucky to have his father join in, along with many other volunteers, and it has ended up being a volunteer / open source project. The project has now accumulated over 30,000 work hours and 7 years from the first concept.
Tomas became interested in aviation at a very early age, growing up in the 80’s watching VHS tapes of Burt Rutan. Tomas’ father built and flew a Long EZ and at the age of 7 Tomas started to build his own aircraft. He started flying gliders and took his PPL in 2002. Tomas interned at Airbus in Germany for a short while where he realized big companies were not the right fit for him. Luckily he met an awesome retired aircraft designer, G. Poeschel, and got totally inspired by his mind and his aircraft.
At the recent American Airlines annual meeting with Wall Street analysts at company headquarters, chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, “I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again. We have an industry that’s going to be profitable in good and bad times.” It wasn’t clear if Parker was talking about American Airlines, the entire airline industry.
Boeing announced that it plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which develops and manufactures advanced aerospace platforms, specializing in autonomous systems technologies and robotic aircraft. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Francois and Brian at Thaba Tholo. Note the wildlife in the background.
Brian was hosted by listener Francois at his game farm, Thaba Tholo. They talk about what it’s like to operate an airstrip in the South African bush, and the special aircraft that have visited the strip.
Then, listener Eoin talks with Brian in Hamburg, Germany about being a flight attendant at “Harp Jet” and his promotions in the growing airline.
Richard Aboulafia gives us his insights on the Boeing “middle-of-the-market” airplane, pilotless airliners, a comeback for Midwest Express, ATC privatization, United Technologies Corporation interest in Rockwell Collins, seat pitch, Russian and Chinese airliner programs, the Mitsubishi MRJ, and the HondaJet.
Richard Aboulafia is Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group. He manages both commercial and military consulting projects, and he analyzes broader defense and aerospace trends. Richard’s insights appear on television and radio programs, and in almost every major publication through his columns, his articles, or because he is being quoted. Richard writes and edits Teal Group’s World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing forecasting tool that covers over 135 aircraft programs and markets.
The Midwest brand disappeared in 2010 when Republic Airways Holdings, the parent company of Midwest Airlines merged that airline with Frontier Airlines. Now, a group of business and airline professionals have plans to bring the brand back. The Midwest Express website asks, “Remember when flying was hassle-free? It can be again!”
Previously, we pointed out Alliance for Aviation Across America videos featuring “Sully” Sullenberger arguing against ATC privatization. Karen Walker, the Editor-in-Chief at Air Transport World, thinks Sully is using his status to mislead people.
Jeanette Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. from Phoenix Aviation Research tell the story behind the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. In the news, we look at FAA reauthorization bills and the battle shaping up in Congress, this year’s Paris Air Show, the Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft, the youngest pilot in Australia, and an Israeli court ruling on reseating women in the airplane.
Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid.
Jeannette Remak is the owner of Phoenix Aviation Research. She’s a military aviation historian, a writer, author, artist, and photographic engineer. Her books include XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Blackbird: Declassified.
In the mid-1990s, Jeannette worked as the volunteer Aircraft Historian for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. She performed research for maintenance and restoration, and worked on the aircraft under her control at the museum, including many U.S. Naval and U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan. Jeannette restored sheet metal, she controlled airframe titanium corrosion, and she appropriated parts and specialized equipment for work on A-12 aircraft.
Working with the US Navy’s Curator office, Jeannette is responsible for the rescue of the Sikorsky RH-53D that is the lone survivor of the failed United States hostage rescue mission in Iran. The CH-53D is now restored and on display at the JFK/ US Navy Seal Training School in North Carolina.
Jeannette has a degree in Commercial Photographic Engineering and obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation Science in 2000. Jeannette also has a degree in Commercial Photography from the NY Institute of Photography.
Joseph A. Ventolo, Jr. is the former curator of the National Museum of the US Air Force. His career started in November 1959 when Joe joined the 269th Combat Communications Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. In 1965, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a communications officer. He left the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970.
In 1962, Joe joined the staff of the U.S. Air Force Motion Picture Film Archives at Wright-Patterson AFB as a Motion Picture Archivist. In 1979, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Museum’s Research Division as the Museum’s Historian. Two years later he became a Curator of Aeronautics. Joe has co-authored articles that appeared in such periodicals as Air Enthusiast, WW I Aero, and Friends Bulletin. In 1993 he was appointed Curator of the U.S. Air Force Museum and named Curator of the United States Air Force. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1995.
Joe is currently a co-owner/consultant with Phoenix Aviation Research. He has co-authored articles in the Atlantic Flyer, and written three aviation books, all with Jeannette Remak.
Their first book, XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla was published in December 1998. Their second book, A-12 Blackbird: Declassified, was published in December 2000. And a third book, The Archangel and the OXCART: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbirds and the Dawn of Mach III Reconnaissance was published in 2008.
Boeing said it has 240 orders and commitments. Some orders are conversions from earlier orders for other MAX models. The MAX 10 is a stretch of the MAX 9 that seats up to 230 passengers and is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
Airbus launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support digital transformation of the industry. The Skywise aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. See the video: Airbus launches new open aviation data platform, Skywise.
Test pilot Billie Flynn told Aviation Week, “After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,”
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. introduced a proposed FAA reauthorization bill in the House. The Bill prohibits passengers from being removed from a flight after they’ve boarded, privatizes ATC, and requires airlines to post resources for stranded passengers online when the airline is disrupted by a computer outage. It also calls for the faster development of a traffic management system for small drones, faster approval process for commercial drone operators, and a new certification system for small-drone commercial operators.
Guest Mark Baker is the President and CEO of AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. In the news, wake turbulence from an A380 flips a Challenger 604, two flight attendants sue American Airlines for failure to enforce company policy, an engine on a Saab 340 loses its propeller in flight. Also, an interview from the National Air & Space Museum Restoration Hangar, and an idea for a circular runway.
Mark Baker, president and CEO, AOPA.
Mark Baker is President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is also chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee, chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation, president of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations representing pilots in 72 countries, and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest aviation publication.
We talk about air traffic control privatization, user fees, BasicMed, and other areas of aviation advocacy by AOPA. Mark tells us about the effectiveness of AOPA regional fly-ins, and touches on aviation safety and Congressional general aviation caucuses.
Mark is a longtime general aviation pilot and has been flying for 35 years with over 7,500 hours. He holds certificates for commercial pilot with single- and multi-engine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s
President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would privatize air traffic control operations by creating an “independent, non-governmental organization.” Who would control the new corporate entity, and how it will be funded?
An Emirates Airbus A380-800 was at FL350 over the Arabian Sea when a Challenger 604 business jet passed 1000 feet underneath in opposite direction. The A380 continued to Sydney uneventfully. The Challenger didn’t fare so well in the wake turbulence from the A380.
Two flight attendants claiming sexual and gender harassment on social media have filed federal lawsuits against American Airlines for failed to enforce its policies governing employee use of social media.
We talk to the U.S. representative and importer for Shark Aero, and learn what it takes to bring a new airplane into the country. In the news, the House Aviation Subcommittee is holding hearings in advance of FAA reauthorization, a town targets a membership airline, a new online aviation video service launches, travel bookings to the U.S. slow down, and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is sentenced. Plus, the story of memorable flights from a listener, and an Australia News Desk segment.
Shark Aero N235HK
Jonathan “JB” Baron owns the first and only Shark UL in the Americas, and is the Shark Aero US representative and importer. The Shark UL is manufactured by Shark.aero s.r.o. and type certified in Germany and the Czech Republic as an “Ultralight Aircraft.” It’s too fast and too complex to be a Light Sport Aircraft in the U.S., so the Shark UL is offered as the Shark US, an Experimental Amateur Built Kit with Builder Education and Assistance.
JB explains the process for importing an aircraft, including identifying the applicable certification type, obtaining an airworthiness certificate, transition training, registration, shipping and customs, and obtaining insurance.
JB recently retired from the Navy after two decades as a Naval Aviator flying Seahawks. He’s flown from every class of US Navy combatant including frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. In in the Navy, JB was a Fleet Replacement Instructor Pilot, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, and the Commanding Officer of the West Coast Seahawk Weapons School. He holds a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot rating, is an avid first person video aero-modeler, and he currently works as a lead systems engineer in the Washington DC area.
Features of the Shark Aero include an aircraft parachute, a cockpit safety cell, and a wide, forgiving flight envelope. Able to cruise at 150 knots consuming just five gallons of unleaded gasoline per hour, it can easily fly from DC to Atlanta in about three and a half hours. Its tandem seat, dual controls, glass cockpit, and bubble canopy gives the Shark the feel of a modern “pocket fighter.”
Residents of San Mateo county don’t like the noise from the Surf Air Pilatus PC-12s. The County Board of Supervisors has proposed a new curfew ordinance limiting one takeoff and landings of “noisy airplanes.” A noisy airplane is defined a one with a certificated noise level above 74.5 dB. The quietest PC-12 is rated at 74.6 dB.
The new aviation video service Uflytv comes from Tom Poberezny and Jim Irwin. Poberezny was EAA AirVenture chairman from 1977 to 2011, and president of EAA from 1989 to 2010. Jim Irwin is president of Aircraft Specialty & Spruce. Currently offering 220 titles.
Dave said, “The thing that got me the most about the Spitfire was on the start up how hot and fumey the cockpit suddenly becomes, I’d seriously never thought about it before but wow there’s a wave of very hot air blasting you from the Merlin up front, and the fumes are choking and I gagged slightly. The first thought was oh no, is it going to be like this for half an hour? But no it quickly passed and you could breath again, plus with the canopy shut it was all good.”
Also, “The other sensation in the Spitfire was looking out at those famous elliptical wings and smiling so much, more than I’d done on any other flight. I also spent a bit of time thinking about all the amazing veterans I have met and interviewed over the years who flew these machines in combat. I had over time gathered a vivid mental impression of what it was like to fly in a Spitfire from them, but having the actual real opportunity with all the sounds, smells, vibrations, sights and other sensations absolutely took that appreciation to a whole new level.”
“In 2014 our Wings Over New Zealand Forum raised the money to take two wartime RNZAF veterans, Alan Peart DFC and Jim Robinson, up in that very same Spitfire. They had flown together in No. 81 Squadron RAF, the same squadron that the aircraft’s markings are in. It’s marked up as the personal aircraft of Wing Commander Colin Gray, New Zealand’s top ace, who was Alan and Jim’s boss on the squadron. That was very special indeed, but I never thought for a moment then that I’d be doing it myself 18 months later. Great memories!”
The Australia News Desk
Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast bring us a report from Avalon 2017, which saw the arrival of the first two RAAF F-35’s in Australia. Steve has been doing some reports for AOPA Australia Live:
A roundtable discussion of current aviation news, issues, and topics from our listeners. They include: the effects of the U.S. immigration ban on airlines and airports, the impacts of new executive orders on regulations like 3rd class medical reform, the bad news for Santa Monica airport, American Airlines passes on in-seat screens, another airline is grounded by a computer problem, clarity on ADS-B for non-electric aircraft, a review ordered of the F-35C and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. Also, glass cockpit vs. round gages, the 2017 Aerospace Media Awards, a warm airline story from Alaska, exploding airline tires, and the Global Supertanker 747 in action.
President Trump signed an executive order that fulfilled a campaign promise for new immigration policy. The order restricts immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, it shuts off refugee admission for 120 days, and bans admission of Syrian refugees until further notice. This caused a certain amount of confusion among airlines, airports, government agencies, and the public. Demonstrations against the change broke out at many airports.
Among other provisions, this executive order requires that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination. How this impacts an agency like FAA is uncertain.
The Trump administration has ordered that no new regulations be published in the Federal Register. Also, that regulations that have been issued, but not yet taken effect, are pushed out 60 days. What does that mean for third-class Medical Reform, and the recently finalized Part 23 small aircraft certification regulations?
The FAA agreed to allow the City of Santa Monica to close the Santa Monica Airport as early as 2028. The City is also allowed to shorten the runway to just 3500 feet, eliminating larger business jets. Jack Pelton, CEO/Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association stated, “We were surprised at the announcement of the settlement between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica regarding its airport. It is certainly a disappointing development, first concerning the immediate ability to shorten the runway, and the ultimate ability to close the airport in 2028. While we can only guess at the inside discussions to reach this settlement as to our knowledge, the airport’s stakeholders were not a part of it, the founding principles of FAA grant assurances are to maintain stability for an airport and its users as part of the national airspace system, above local political maneuvering.”
American Airlines believes in-seat entertainment screens are a technology without a future. So rather than install screens in the seats of its Boeing 737Max airplanes, the airline will offer passengers free entertainment they can watch on their mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers.
The ADS-B Out rule takes effect January 1, 2020. If your airplane was originally certified without an electrical system, the rule doesn’t apply. But what if that same aircraft subsequently had batteries and an electrical starter installed?
POTUS vacations at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. About 8 miles away is the Palm Beach County Park Airport, also called Lantana Airport. County commissioners are learning that they’ll have to abide by the wishes of the Secret Service, and they are worried about the financial impact of operating restrictions.
A Pentagon review of the capabilities and cost of two aircraft has been ordered by Defense Secretary James Mattis. He wants to compare the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and an upgraded version of the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.
We talk with the producer and director of a film about the ways aviation has transformed the world. Also, relationships between Middle Eastern and U.S. airlines, the outlook for business aircraft sales, Chinese radar advancements, a report of health problems with crew uniforms, and a compelling story by a Marine.
Twin Otter seaplane preparing to dock in the Maldives, from Living in the Age of Airplanes
Brian J. Terwilliger is a licensed pilot captivated by flight since childhood. He is a filmmaker who produced and directed the National Geographic movie Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrated by Harrison Ford and featuring an original score by the late Academy Award® winning composer James Horner (Avatar, Titanic). The movie looks at the dramatic ways aviation has transformed the world, and was filmed in 18 countries, and across all 7 continents.
Following its premiere at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, the film continued its successful run on giant screen, digital, IMAX® and museum cinemas worldwide in 2015/2016. It has now been released digitally and on DVD / Blu-ray, along with the release of the original soundtrack.
Brian’s first film, the 2005 feature One Six Right, focuses on the romance of flight as seen through a day in the life of the Van Nuys Airport, a local general aviation airport in a Los Angeles suburb.
The CAPA Centre for Aviation awarded Qatar Airways their Airline of the Year award. In a subsequent interview with Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker, he talked about wanting to strengthen the airline’s strategic partnership with American Airlines.
GAMA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, released a report indicating that 3rd quarter business jet and airplane shipments worldwide were 534 units, compared to 542 a year ago. Billings were $4.1 billion, versus $5.3 billion in 2015.
For some time, China has been working to develop a Very High Frequency (VHF) active-phased array radar. This kind of system has a greater ability to detect stealth aircraft. At the Zhuhai Air Show, China showed the JY-27A 3-D long-range surveillance/guidance radar and the broader bandwidth JY-26 Skywatcher-U.
A new on-demand service that matches travelers with professional pilots and GA aircraft. Also, a turboprop with one third of the parts 3D printed, more on the American uncontained engine failure, recovery parachutes for larger aircraft, flexible airplane wings, Southwest pilots ratify a new contract, and enlisted pilots for remotely piloted aircraft.
Rod Rakic co-founded OpenAirplane in 2013 to make renting an airplane as easy as renting a car. The “universal pilot checkout” resets the clock on the flight review, offers a renter’s insurance discount, and gives pilots access to the same make and model of aircraft across the U.S.
Now the company has launched FlyOtto, a new service that matches travelers with professional pilots and certified general aviation aircraft. On-demand private charter avoids the hassles of major commercial airports and increases the utilization of the GA fleet. FlyOtto takes advantage of the over 5,000 public use airports in the U.S.
A pioneer in the development of innovative experiences, Rod has spent 20 years creating online products that enhance and manage brands. In 2007, he co-founded myTransponder, a pioneering social media tool for aviation. Rod has years of experience developing tools and community specific to the aviation industry.
Rod started flying when he was sixteen and holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
General Electric has tested the a-CT7 demonstrator engine which incorporates a very high percentage of “3D printed” parts. In the Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine to come, 12 printed parts are planned to replace 855 conventionally manufactured parts. The ATP will power the all-new Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft.
Aviation Safety Resources (ARS) is working on the TriChute Safe Landing system that could be used on larger aircraft, such as the 8,000-pound Cessna Caravan. When this system is activated, the fuel-laden wings separate from the fuselage, and all three portions of the aircraft descend under their own parachutes.
Researchers from MIT, the University of California Santa Cruz, and NASA are working to develop flexible wing technology. This concept uses an “array of tiny, lightweight structural pieces” called “digital materials” that twist “when put under pressure from a pair of motors on the wingtip.”
Southwest Airlines says its pilots ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) says 84 percent of the pilots who voted were in favor of the new contract. SWAPA announced the deal means a 15 percent pay raise, with a 3 percent annual increase through 2020. Also, pilots are no longer required to contribute to the pension plan.
The U.S. Air Force has an initiative to train enlisted Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilots for RQ-4 Global Hawk missions. The October 12 Enlisted Pilot Initial Class (EPIC) included four enlisted students along with twenty commissioned officers.
A program that helps get women into the pilot’s seat, American Airlines and FedEx aircraft fires, tech to help your bags from getting lost, another flying car (possibly), the Cirrus VisionJet receives FAA Certification, and we lose a legendary pilot.
Mary Latimer and her husband, Lawrence, have been in aviation since they met in 1970. They have been involved in the aerial application industry, ferry, maintenance, rebuild, flight training, freight, and corporate aviation.
Mary created the nonprofit Girls in Flight Training (GIFT) Academy that gets women into the cockpit. The goal of this female-friendly flight school is to identify and address the various issues that may be causing women to abandon flight training, and to assist them in overcoming those obstacles. GIFT Week is a once-a-year “Women Only” event that gives women in any phase of their flight training the opportunity to come together to further motivate their aviation training.
A flight instructor since 1974, Mary is a designated pilot examiner (for private, commercial, and instrument). She was named Flight Instructor of the year for the Lubbock, Texas Region in 2013. Mary is also a retired air traffic controller with twenty-four years of service and flies the Cessna Conquest II twin. She’s an A&P mechanic with Inspection Authorization and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.
Shortly after touching down, the left main landing gear on a FedEx DC-10 collapsed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. The two pilots escaped safely from the resulting fire. Fire crews arrived quickly, found a trail of fire down the runway.
According to Delta, the average cost to get a lost bag to the passenger is $70. Delta invested $50 million on an RFID-based tracking system which is more reliable than traditional barcodes. Delta’s mobile app even lets passengers locate their RFID-equipped bags on a map.
The Monterey Herald newspaper in California published photos of a possible flying car being developed by Zee Aero. Reportedly, Zee is financed by Google founder Larry Page. The aircraft has “an array of small propellers mounted on booms in front of and behind the wing, and a pusher prop mounted beneath the tail.” The Zee website states, “We’re designing, building, and testing better ways to get from A to B.”
We talk with a teenage aviation enthusiast who created an aviation news site and has organized a major avgeek event with American Airlines for National Aviation Day. In the news, we discuss narrowbody production ramp ups, a B-29 receives an airworthiness certificate, the CSeries, and EgyptAir Flight 804.
Ryan Ewing is the teenage founder and president of AirlineGeeks.com, a news site where a team of young journalists create the content. Most of them hope to work in the aviation industry as professionals when they grow older.
Ryan is quite knowledgeable about the airline industry for someone his age, and he’s been working with American Airlines to create AAviation Day 2016 on National Aviation Day, Friday, August 19th, 2016. On that day, American will open certain facilities to #AvGeeks who have registered for unique tours and events. The facilities include PHL, DCA, MIA, CLT, LGA, DFW, American’s HQ and Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, the Tulsa Maintenance Base, ORD, LAX, LHR, and Envoy’s HQ in Irving, Texas.
We first met Ryan in 2013 at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center during the 9th annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display. That the event that is now called the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Ryan will have a table at this year’s Innovations in Flight Day June 18, 2016. He plans to focus on encouraging young people to develop interests in aviation.
Boeing has spent $1B to create a 1.2-million-square-foot 777X center in Everett, Washington to manufacture wing components for that airplane. The 110-foot composite wing includes an 11-foot folding wingtip, which will be built by Boeing in St. Louis and sent to Everett for assembly. Power for the 777X comes from the advanced GE9X engine which has the largest fan that GE has built.
Pratt & Whitney must nearly triple its output of engines to meet demand for the GTF and engines for the F-35 and the KC-46 tanker. To meet the production ramp-up, P&W has invested $1B and created a 600,000 square foot facility in Manchester NH, operated by United Parcel Service (UPS), that will receive parts from suppliers, kit them, and deliver them to manufacturing and assembly plants around the world.
The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to the B-29 known as Doc, which has been undergoing restoration Wichita since May 23, 2000. Next, the restoration team will request access to a runway at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita for test flight operations. See, Photo Gallery: Doc’s Airworthiness Celebration.
In 2010, Republic Airways placed 40 firm orders and 40 options for the CS300, with deliveries initially scheduled to start in 2015. Bombardier has kept the order in the backlog, but removed it from their production schedule. Frontier filed for bankruptcy protection in February.
Aircraft of the Week
David begins giving the histories of aircraft requested by listeners in Episode 400. The first topic will be done in two segments for Michael and Tony. In part one, David talks about the development of the Mirage III. Next week he’ll cover the variants and conflicts fought with the the Dassault jet.
David’s 1/48th Scale Mirage IIIB from Heller with Aeromaster Decals
Mirage IIIB 286 was from 245 Squadron “Negev” and is the Highest Kill Mirage IIIB with 4.5.
Report on Shuttle External Tank “ET”
Brian watches the Shuttle Tank pass by
Brian reports on the movement of the Shuttle External Tank (“ET”) through the streets of LA on it’s way to the California Science Center, which describes how it:
“carried propellants—liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen—that flowed into the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs), where they combined and ignited to produce almost one and a half million pounds of thrust to help push the space shuttle to orbit. The external tank also served as the structural support for the whole shuttle stack, with attachment points for the orbiter and booster rockets.”
ET-94 is the last flight-qualified external tank in existence and was donated to the Science Center by NASA. The California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will be the only place in the world that people will be able to go to see a complete shuttle stack—orbiter, external tank, and solid rocket boosters—with all real flight hardware in launch configuration.