Tag Archives: B-52

693 Bye Aerospace Electric Airplane

The Bye Aerospace founder, CEO, and chairman on electric airplanes. Also, AeroShark aircraft skin technology, the Collier Trophy finalists, a hydrogen fuel-powered aircraft engine, more lasers pointed at aircraft, F-35C crash video leakers charged, and the closing of airspace.

Guest

George E. Bye is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Bye Aerospace, founded in 2007. He has two decades of experience as an aerospace entrepreneur, engineer, and executive.

Bye Aerospace founder, CEO, and chairman George Bye.
George Bye

George describes recent developments in the electric airplane industry, including new interest and investments by a number of companies of all sizes – startups to major aerospace companies. What was seen just a few years ago as “too futuristic” is now considered overdue. We look at the regulatory landscape and how that has changed, and the significant advances in battery energy density.

George explains the advantages of electric aircraft and specifically how the Bye Aerospace electric eFlyer 2 is designed for pilot training. The eFlyer is attractive from an operating cost perspective, efficiency, and aesthetically. George provides the status of the program and tells us the company is now building the first production conforming eFlyer 2, serial number one. Two more examples are planned for 2023.

Along the way, we discuss the charging infrastructure for electric aircraft, the safety aspect of very quiet airplane engines, electric airplane student pilot training, and what that means for subsequent transitioning to other propulsion types.

Bye Aerospace eFlyer.
The electric eFlyer, courtesy Bye Aerospace.

George has developed several aircraft designs, including the all-electric eFlyer 2, eFlyer 4, and eFlyer 800 aircraft. The eFlyer 2 is now in the FAA certification process.  Previously he designed the 14-foot wing-span solar-electric hybrid UAV, “Silent Falcon,” now in production in a former Bye Aerospace subsidiary.  He also conceived the new, piloted solar-electric SOLESA design which has completed initial flight test.

As a well-known conceptual design engineer, he has consulted for major OEMs on their advanced development programs. George was a part of the conceptual design leadership team on the Boeing T-X program, now known as the T-7A “Red Hawk” USAF advanced jet trainer. He provides expert reviews for Lockheed Martin.

George holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Washington and is an ATP-rated pilot with over 4,000 flying hours. He was a USAF instructor pilot in the supersonic T-38 for Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, C-141B Instructor Aircraft Commander, and is a Desert Storm veteran.

Aviation News

SWISS adopts AeroSHARK aircraft skin technology

Lufthansa Technik and BASF co-developed an aircraft skin technology they call AeroSHARK which contains 50-micrometer “riblets” that imitate the flow characteristics of sharkskin. It’s meant to reduce drag and thus improve fuel consumption and lower emissions. Swiss International Air Lines plans to begin equipping its twelve Boeing 777-300ERs with AeroShark beginning in mid-2022. The fuel savings are said to be more than one percent. AeroSHARK was launched on the  Boeing 777Fs of Lufthansa Cargo.

See also:

2021 Collier Finalists Announced

The finalists competing for the 2021 Collier Trophy are:

The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon program seeks to develop and demonstrate the technologies that enable effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missiles.

The Gremlins are groups of UASs flown from existing aircraft out of range of adversary defenses. After mission completion, the Gremlins are retrieved by a C-130 transport aircraft to be taken home and turned around within 24 hours for the next mission.

Ingenuity is a technology demonstration to test powered flight on Mars. The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover.

The Mission Extension Vehicle is a satellite life extension vehicle. It docks to a client geostationary satellite whose fuel is nearly depleted and uses its own thrusters and fuel supply to extend the satellite’s lifetime.

The Collier Trophy Selection Committee plans to meet on March 31, 2022, and announce the winner shortly thereafter.

Airbus and CFM to equip A380 with hydrogen-powered engine

Airbus and CFM International plan to use an A380 for a hydrogen-powered flight demonstration program. The engine will be mounted on the rear fuselage. Four hydrogen tanks will be fitted in the rear cabin. Airbus says that flight of the aircraft will occur “around the middle of this decade.”  Airbus A380-800 serial number MSN001 will be used for the demonstration. CFM is modifying an existing engine type in the U.S., a GE Passport engine.

See also:

On February 7, 2022, eleven airliners were struck by lasers in a one-hour period near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). No injuries were reported, but the industry is very concerned about the rising trend. Addressing this problem is difficult.

Five Sailors Charged in F-35C Crash Video Leak

An ensign and four chief petty officers have been charged with violations of Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, failure to obey a lawful order. The Navy is not releasing the names of the charged sailors.

European Union Closes Airspace to All Russian Aircraft

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, countries around the world are closing their airspace to Russian aircraft.

Israeli News Desk

Eyal describes a fatal accident where an LSA Sierra P2002 with two persons on board crashed in the mountains near Jerusalem. Weather conditions likely played a role with the LSA that was certified for VFR only.

Tecnam P2002 Sierra

Also, Elbit Systems will introduce a new version of the Skylark 3 short-range UAV at the Singapore Airshow 2022. The drone is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system that includes an electric engine and a combustion engine. The Skylark family of drones has been ordered by 27 countries.

Elbit Systems Skylark 3

Mentioned

Yvonne Pope Sintes obituary

A “Pioneering aviator whose childhood obsession culminated in her becoming the first woman in Britain to captain a commercial jet.” Her book is Trailblazer in Flight.

18 Things You Never Knew About The B-52 Stratofortress

2 Black Hawk helicopters crash near Snowbird; crew escapes serious injuries

Video: Witness describes frightening Black Hawk crash in mountains

American Helicopter Museum

Airplane Geeks listeners can enjoy a one-year individual membership at a 50% discount. For $25.00 (normally $50.00) you get:

  • Unlimited admission to the Museum for one year, including the March 4 event, “The Helicopter and the Presidency.”
  • Two One-Day Guest Passes.
  • Admission to FamilyFest and SantaFest.
  • Invitations to Member Receptions.
  • 10% discount on gift shop purchases.

The offer is good through May 31, 2022, at this link.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark.  With contribution from Eyal Shay.

689 Aircraft Type Club

An aircraft type club executive director talks about training and air safety. In the news, a Boeing 737 MAX lands in Antarctica for the first time, mixed GA accident messages, business aviation continues to grow, a B-52 takes a 1,400-mile journey over the road, an F-35C crashes, and Qatar Airways goes after some employees.

Guest

Tom Turner, Executive Director of the aircraft type club American Bonanza Society’s Air Safety Foundation.
Tom Turner

Thomas P. Turner is Executive Director of the Air Safety Foundation, part of the aircraft type club American Bonanza Society (ABS). He also publishes the popular FLYING LESSONS Weekly blog and writes, lectures, and instructs from his home in Wichita, Kansas, the “Air Capital of the World.”

The ABS Air Safety Foundation is the education and technical support arm of the Beech Bonanza type club. It offers its 10,000 members the opportunity to communicate and share information. Tom describes the training products and services offered to pilots, mechanics, and flight instructors. That includes the service clinic program, online training courses, and the monthly webinar open to non-members. In general, aircraft type club members have been shown to have a better safety record.

Logo of the aircraft type club American Bonanza Society.

Tom has logged over 4900 hours, including over 2900 as an instructor. He holds ATP and Flight Instructor certificates with CFII and MEI ratings and a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety. He was inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 2015, he is also the 2021 Jack Eggspuhler Award recipient from the National Association of Flight Instructors, the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year, and the 2008 FAA Central Region Flight Instructor of the Year.

A three-time Master CFI, Tom has been Lead Instructor for Beech Bonanza pilot training at the Beech factory, turbo normalizer production test pilot, aviation insurance broker and underwriter, corporate flight department manager and safety officer, university aviation course developer, and a Captain in the United States Air Force.

For more type clubs, see the AOPA Aircraft Type Club Listing [PDF].

Aviation News

First Boeing 737 MAX jet lands in Antarctica

Czech carrier Smartwings flew a Boeing 737 MAX 8 into Troll Airfield (AT27) on January 26, 2022. The flight departed from Oslo, Norway, stopped over in Chad, proceeded to Cape Town, South Africa, and continued to Antarctica. The 737 stayed in Antarctica for just two hours before making the return flight. The Airfield opened in 2005 and is owned and operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute. It includes a 3,300 meter (10,830 foot) runway on glacial blue ice.

Wikipedia page: List of airports in Antarctica.

Flying Lessons Weekly for January 27, 2022 [PDF]

Mixed Messages on GA Accident Data: GA accidents and the accident rate have generally trended down, but AOPA Air Safety Institute’s numbers are up in 2019, while the NTSB says accidents are down in 2020, then AOPA said 2021 was the safest year in aviation ever, and then AOPA and the NBAA said an appreciable uptick in general aviation accidents.

Business Aviation Growth At a ‘Record High,’ Report Says

WingX reports that in January, U.S. bizjet traffic was up 26 percent over the previous January, and up 19 percent over January 2019. Most of the growth is from owned and managed aircraft.  seeing the most growth. Internationally, business traffic is up 25 percent compared to January 2021, and 16 percent more than reported in January 2020. WINGX Advance GmbH is a Hamburg-based company, founded in 2012, that provides aviation business and broader aviation market intelligence.

Road trip! Vietnam-era B-52 makes 1,400-mile highway journey for final mission

“Damage Inc. II” is a B-52H Stratofortress built in 1961 and retired to a boneyard in Arizona in 2008. Moved 1,407 miles in 19 days, the aircraft will serve as a mock-up at a Boeing facility near Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

Courtesy Tinker AFB @Team_Tinker

F-35 Crash Off Carl Vinson Is the Ship’s 5th Major Mishap in 2 Months

In what’s been called “a landing mishap,” an F-35C Lightning II “impacted the flight deck [of the USS Carl Vinson] during landing” and went into the South China Sea. The pilot safely ejected but seven sailors were injured. This was the first time the F-35C stealth fighter had been deployed aboard a carrier.

The Leaked F-35C Crash Photos Are Genuine, Confirmed the US Navy

The U.S. Navy is working to recover the jet. China’s Foreign Ministry said that China was aware but had no interest in the stealth fighter and added, “We advise [the US] to contribute more to regional peace and stability, rather than flexing force at every turn in [the South China Sea]”.

Video: Video Shows The Last Moments Of The Navy’s F-35C Before It Crashed Into The Sea

Human error, tech glitches and tape caused May 2020 F-22 crash

The Air Force Times previously reported that “the F-22 grew increasingly wobbly upon takeoff, then refused to turn left and barrel-rolled into the ground after the pilot safely ejected.” According to an Air Force investigation, the Florida crash was the result of an improper wash procedure, deficient pre-flight inspection, failure to notify the pilot of a new emergency procedure.

Qatar Airways Subpoenaed Google to Unmask Employees Who Anonymously Criticized Airline Online

Qatar Airways is said to have subpoenaed Google to find the identities of employees who have been critical of the airline. The two anonymous accounts in the Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNE) had revealed confidential information about the airline – specifically its recruitment and re-joining activities.

Mentioned

EAA Virtual Ultralight Days

State of Flight Training Survey

Thunderbirds Air Show Schedule

Air Force Heritage Flight flyover scheduled to support Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles

Air Force Facebook page

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof.

672 Leonardo AW609 Tiltrotor

The Head of Tiltrotor Marketing at Leonardo describes the world’s first commercial tiltrotor. In the news, a United stationary tail strike, Congress steps in on the controversial FAA flight training policy, DOJ files an antitrust suit over the American Airlines-JetBlue alliance, an industry-wide no-fly list is proposed, and Rolls-Royce wins the contract to re-engine the B-52 fleet.

AW609 Tiltrotor
Leonardo AW609 Tiltrotor, courtesy Leonardo.

Guest

William M. (Bill) Sunick

William M. (Bill) Sunick is Head of Tiltrotor Marketing at Leonardo. Their AW609 is the first commercial tiltrotor to enter the market and the world’s first pressurized cabin tiltrotor. The AW609 is well-positioned to serve a number of markets, including VIP, corporate, search and rescue, emergency medical services, and offshore energy exploration, as well as government roles.

Bill describes how the AW609 tiltrotor was designed to commercial standards, and how it offers the speed, range, and altitude of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane with the vertical take-off and landing versatility of a helicopter. We learn that the lower vibratory environment and pressurized cabin of this tiltrotor offer advantages for medical flights. Bill explains the FAA certification requirements for this aircraft, which falls into the new Powered Lift category.

Bill is responsible for the development of marketing and business strategies that create new opportunities, shape emerging markets, and influence customer thinking and actions. Prior to joining Leonardo Helicopters, Bill held numerous leadership positions at The Boeing Company within Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Market Development, and Engineering. He was also a member of the Presidential Helicopter team while at Sikorsky Aircraft in 1992.

Bill’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and a master of business administration degree in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University.

Aviation News

United 737 Tips on its Tail During Offloading

A United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER experienced a “stationary tail strike” on the ground at Lewiston (LWS Idaho) after a flight from LAX. United explained:

United flight 2509 flying from Los Angeles, California to Lewiston, Idaho landed without incident. Due to a shift in weight and balance during the offloading process, the tail of the aircraft tipped backward.  No injuries were reported among our customers, crew or ground personnel.  The return flight was on a different aircraft as originally planned.

See Boeing Tail Strike Avoidance for takeoff and landing risk factors.

House Passes Amendment to Reverse FAA on Flight Training Policy

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that clarifies that a flight instructor providing student instruction, flight instruction, or flight training shall not be deemed to be operating an aircraft carrying persons or property for compensation or hire. If passed, this would reverse the FAA’s recent flight training policy for certain types of aircraft.

Justice Department Sues to Block Unprecedented Domestic Alliance Between American Airlines and JetBlue

DOJ filed an anti-trust suit challenging the American Airlines-JetBlue alliance

American and JetBlue strike back against DOJ complaint over Northeast alliance

The DOJ claims the American Airlines-JetBlue Northeast Alliance eliminates competition in New York and Boston and harms air travelers nationwide:

The U.S. Department of Justice, together with Attorneys General in six states and the District of Columbia, sued today [September 21, 2021] in the District of Massachusetts to block an unprecedented series of agreements between American Airlines and JetBlue through which the two airlines will consolidate their operations in Boston and New York City. The civil antitrust complaint alleges that this extensive combination, which they call the “Northeast Alliance,” will not only eliminate important competition in these cities, but will also harm air travelers across the country by significantly diminishing JetBlue’s incentive to compete with American elsewhere, further consolidating an already highly concentrated industry.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “They’re wrong and we’ll prove it. It’s entirely pro-competitive.” Parker argued that the alliance allows the two airlines to compete against Delta and United, which are largely entrenched in the Northeast market, while American and JetBlue would otherwise not be able to mount enough of an offense on their own.

Airlines Weigh Unruly No-Fly List

Delta is suggesting a national “no-fly” list (different from the government’s No-Fly List, which is terror-based). Delta’s own blacklist includes more than 1,600 people. A Delta VP said their list doesn’t work if the person can just hop on another carrier.

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to sign $2 bln deal with GE for engines on Boeing jets

In this deal, Bamboo Airways will purchase nearly $2 billion worth of General Electric GEnx engines to power Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and General Electric GEnx-1B compete on the 787. Bamboo will operate its Dreamliner fleet on non-stop routes between Vietnam and the United States.

Rolls Royce Will Provide Long-Awaited New Jet Engines For The B-52 Bomber Fleet

The U.S. Air Force selected Rolls-Royce’s North American division to re-engine the fleet of B-52H bombers with F130 engines. The Drive reports: “Rolls-Royce’s new contract from the Air Force is valued at $500,870,458 over the next six years but could grow to over $2.6 billion if all of its options are exercised.” Work will be performed at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis and is expected to be completed by September 2038.

Mentioned

Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit at the American Helicopter Museum.

Honeywell and Wood introduce groundbreaking technologies to support efforts toward carbon-neutral sustainable aviation fuel

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge

613 A-10 Thunderbolt II

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

Guest

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

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

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

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

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

Aviation News

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

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

Southwest Airlines Has Another Ominous Warning for Airlines

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

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

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

Delta just gave United a stark lesson in pandemic business leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mentioned

Aviation News Talk YouTube channel

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

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

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

606 Cessna SkyCourier

A technical marketing advisor from Textron Aviation explains the new Cessna SkyCourier. In the news, strategic moves by aerostructures maker Triumph affect the Boeing 747, engine competitions are underway for the B-52 fleet and the F-15EX, a Pakistani airliner crashes under unusual circumstances, Delta Airlines retires the MD-80 fleet, and the U.S. Air Force drops the blanket height requirement for pilot candidates. We also hear about youth programs from the president of EAA Chapter 196.

Cessna SkyCourier

Martin Tuck is a technical marketing advisor with Textron Aviation. He recently spoke with Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari about the new Cessna SkyCourier which successfully completed its first flight recently.

The SkyCourier is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprops. It can carry 6,000 pounds of cargo or 19 passengers, depending on the configuration. The freight configuration accommodates three LD3 shipping containers. The aircraft features single-point pressure refueling capability and rugged landing gear for use on unimproved strips. FedEx is the launch customer for the SkyCourier, with 50 firm and 50 option orders.

Cessna SkyCourier cargo configuration.

Cessna SkyCourier cargo configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Cessna SkyCourier passenger configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Cessna SkyCourier passenger configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Located in Wichita, Kansas, Martin is a 42-year veteran of the aviation industry and has experience with the Hawker, Cessna, and Beechcraft brands, particularly in the King Air turboprops. He is part of the project team working on the new Cessna SkyCourier.

Aviation News

Boeing Debates Future of 747 Program

Aerostructures company Triumph Group is a long-time producer of the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer panels for the 747. The problem is that Triumph announced it will shut down the two plants manufacturing these components. Boeing has enough parts for the 747 backlog, but that’s the end of the supply. To continue production, Boeing would have to find a new source.

Triumph Group Reports Progress On Aerospace Structures Strategic Review

Triumph announced it was undertaking a comprehensive review of its structures business as it focuses on its core systems and product support markets and capabilities.  The Company has divested its 10 build-to-print machine shops, five fabrication shops, two metal finishing facilities, and its two million square foot Nashville large structures plant.

US Air Force launches contest to replace the B-52 bomber’s engine

The U.S. Air Force is again looking to replace the TF33 engines on its 76 B-52s. RFPs have gone to Pratt & Whitney, GE, and Rolls-Royce. The eight engines on each bomber would be replaced by eight General Electric TF34, GE Passport, Pratt & Whitney PW800, or Rolls-Royce F130 engines. The engine makers have until July 22, 2020, to submit final proposals.

US Air Force cancels GE Aviation sole-source for F-15EX engine, asks for competitive bids

The US Air Force initially said engines for the Boeing F-15EX would be sole-sourced to GE Aviation for 480 F110 jet turbines. Now the USAF is asking GE and P&W for engine proposals.

Pakistan Airliner Landed Gear Up On First Try: Report

Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK8303 attempted it’s first landing with gear up, scraping the engine nacelles on the runway before executing a go-around. It crashed into a residential area on its second landing attempt after both engines failed, killing all but 2 of the 99 people aboard, and one child on the ground.

See also:

Delta Air Lines will be the last US passenger airline to retire its MD-80 fleet in June. Take a look back at the all-American ‘Mad Dog’ jet.

Delta will retire its McDonnell Douglas MD-88/MD-90 fleet on June 2, 2020. MD-80 series was powered by two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines while the MD-90 was powered by IAE V2500 engines.

The Air Force Thunderbirds Say They Are Done With “America Strong” Flyovers

The Thunderbirds posted a message on social media that their recent flight over Southern California would be the last of the America Strong flyovers. This may have been a change in plans since some people expected flights over the Pacific Northwest and even other western locations.

Air Force Drops Pilot Height Requirement

The US Air Force Medical Standards Directory requirement previously required pilot applicants to stand between 5’4″ and 6’5″ tall. Applicants sitting height was to be between 34 and 40 inches. The Air Force said dropping those requirements was intended to attract a more diverse group of candidates. The Air Force Times said, “Instead of a blanket height requirement, the Air Force said that it will apply an ‘anthropometric screening process’ to figure out which specific aircraft applicants would be able to fly. These measurements, in addition to standing height, also measure an applicant’s eye height while sitting, buttocks-to-knee length, and arm span, are entered into a computer to determine which aircraft the applicant could and could not safely fit in.”

EAA Youth Programs

EAA Chapter 196 president Mike Smith tells us about some of their local chapter youth programs. The Experimental Aircraft Association is very focused on developing the next generation of aviation enthusiasts through the Young Eagles program, scholarships, internships, and aviation camps.

Van’s RV Formation Team

Mark Newton and a Van’s RV formation team landed in a 4-ship on runway 16R at Sydney International.

Mentioned

The Last B-24, investigating the wreckage in the Mediterranean of the last B-24 built.

Across The Pacific: Airborne, the Pan Am documentary.

Chris Manno’s new book An Airline Pilot’s Life is now available in paperback on Amazon.com.

Thromby Air: Social Distancing for Dummies

570 Flying in the B-2 Stealth Bomber

Our guest is the only person ever granted access to film the B-2 stealth bomber from the cockpit in flight. He’s producing a television series examining the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century. In the news, we discuss the protest with drones at Heathrow, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority views on the 737 MAX, a Boeing 707 struggling to get to Australia, and an A330 flight diversion due to spilled coffee. Plus, more interviews from Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, and part 4 of Launchpad Marzari’s quest to buy an airplane.

Guest

Jeff Bolton, first to film inside the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Jeff Bolton

Jeff Bolton tells the stories of the men, women, and families of the United States military. For more than 20 years he has been embedded in military commands, combat theatres, and natural disaster zones around the world.

This past July, Jeff became the first person ever to film a B-2 stealth bomber cockpit tour narrated by the pilot in-flight. He also filmed a B-2 aerial refueling from the bomber’s cockpit. More recently, Jeff has taken a camera inside the B-52.

Jeff is developing and producing a television series in partnership with Defense News that examines the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century titled GUARDIANS: A Mission For Peace. His previous projects include the documentary film America’s Marine Aviators.

Jeff’s website is JeffBolton.org and you can learn more at Educational Media Enterprises which produces documentary educational programming. He also volunteers at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, a non-profit educational organization which restores, operates, maintains and displays historically significant vintage aircraft.

Full Reveal Video inside the B2 Stealth Bomber

B2 Cockpit Tour & Aerial Refueling

JeffBolton.org B-52 Experience

Aviation News

Heathrow climate change drone protest arrests rise to 19

UK climate activists made a plan to protest near Heathrow Airport by flying drones inside the airport’s 5km no-fly zone. Their expectation was that the airport protocol would require halting flights. The group called Heathrow Pause said they’d use toy drones, fly them 6 feet high, outside of flight paths, and early in the morning when no flights were scheduled. Authorities responded with some unspecified technology that prevented the drones from flying.

See also: London’s Heathrow Airport appears to have worked out how to jam drone signals to stop climate-change protesters from shutting down its airspace

UAE regulator not optimistic on Boeing 737 MAX return this year

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) joins EASA in saying they too will conduct their own assessment of the 737 Max before allowing it to return to service.

High-flyer Travolta to jet into Australia but pricey gift grounded

Since 1998, John Travolta has owned a former Qantas Boeing 707. Travolta is attempting to gift the plane to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Albion Park, but repairs necessary to make it flightworthy may cost $2 million.

Plane carrying 326 passengers diverted after pilot spills coffee

An Airbus A330-243 operated by Condor as flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancún last February had to divert after the commanding pilot spilled some coffee onto the audio control panel (ACP). The panel started smoking, there was an electrical burning smell, and one of the buttons on the co-pilot’s ACP began to melt. The flight was diverted to Shannon airport and jettisoned fuel. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch interim report [PDF] describes operator safety actions, including ensuring that cup lids are provided for flights on all routes.

Reports

Buying a Plane, Part 4

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari tells us more about the Focke-Wulf he’s purchasing.

Focke-Wulf FWP-149D

Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, Part 2

Brian Colemen spoke with Ben Granucci from NYCAviation, Poppy (age 3), KC-10 pilot Doug and Bob, Tracy from the UK, Ian Petchenik from Flightradar24, Nick from JetTip, Pilot Mike, and Ross.

Mentioned

Eat at the Airport.com

American Helicopter Museum – 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

AvTalk Episode 66: Our Super Avgeek Week – Covers Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, the Super80 send-off, and more.

527 Bombardier Sheds Business Units

Bombardier sells off major portions of its commercial aviation business, FAA issues an Emergency Airworthiness Directive for Boeing 737, an American Airlines executive flys United, an update on United’s Polaris business class, Japanese pilots and alcohol consumption, and some visitors allowed to the gate at Sea-Tac. Also, a talk with a Challenger Class Red Bull air race pilot and crosswind landings with the B-52.

Bombardier Q400

Bombardier Q400

Aviation News

Bombardier To Sell Q400 Program to Viking Air

CAE To Buy Bombardier’s Bizav Training Biz for $645M

Bombardier announced it will sell its Q400 turboprop program to Viking Air for $300 million and sell its Business Aircraft Training (BAT) business unit to CAE for $645 million. See CAE to acquire Bombardier Business Aircraft Training for US$645 million to expand its position in business aviation training.

FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2018-23-51

FAA says this Boeing 737 MAX emergency AD “was prompted by analysis performed by the manufacturer showing that if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”

A Senior American Airlines Executive Flew on United Airlines. This Is Her Critical Review

American Airlines Executive Vice President for People and Communications Elise Eberwein flew from Chicago to Salt Lake City in first class on United Airlines. She live-Tweeted her impressions.

More changes coming to United Polaris business class

United says the Polaris business class seat is experiencing “changes” while others see them as “cuts.”

Japan to set up panel to tighten airline pilot drinking rules following recent scandals

The Japanese transport minister says they’ll create an expert panel to look at drinking rules for aviation staff. There have been a number of recent alcohol-related problems involving Japanese airline pilots.

Seattle airport hopes to let friends and family meet passengers at gate — among the first of a new post-9/11 trend?

Sea-Tac, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, has proposed a “Visitor Pass Program” that would grant some visitors access to boarding areas. See Port Begins Pilot Program to Allow Visitors Past Security at Sea-Tac Airport.

Interviews

Launchpad Marzari Interviewed Patrick Davidson, Red Bull Challenger 77. The Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class.

Launchpad also spoke with LTC Roy “Street”  Lohse, Instructor pilot, 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB about how the B-52 can land in a crab. or sideways in a crosswind.

Video: B-52 crosswind crab landing

Mentioned

Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) on YouTube

AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium

Teachers from across the country came to AOPA’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) conference, hosted and sponsored by UPS in Louisville, Kentucky. The event featured two keynotes, two panel discussions, and 15 breakout sessions.

SpaceX Highlight Reel (2018)

New SpaceX highlight reel that was showed by Gwynne Shotwell at the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium in November 2018.

Kermit Weeks Hangar channel on YouTube

Credit

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.

AirplaneGeeks 400 That’s a Lot of Episodes

John Croft

John Croft in the NASA Langley simulator

John Croft, Senior Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology joins us for our 400th episode. We discuss Safety Management Systems (SMS), the IATA 2015 Safety Report, challenges for a safety culture that embraces self-reporting, and flight simulator changes that include models for high-altitude, high-angle of attack regimes.

In the news, we discuss airline profits and complaints (both up), an aircraft leasing company IPO, thoughts on a B-52 engine upgrade, a female aviation pioneer, sonic booms, and PSA Airlines’ pilot hiring strategy.

John CroftGuest

John Croft is Senior Editor Avionics & Safety, Aviation Week & Space Technology. He’s a part-owner of a 1978 Piper Archer II, a certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine rated commercial pilot, and former NASA engineer. He specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites, including the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer and Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer.

After leaving NASA in 2000, John earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and went on to work for several aerospace publications, including Flight International as Americas Editor before joining Aviation Week in 2012.

News

Airlines report record profits even as customer complaints soar

In 2015, fuel prices came down 35%, baggage fees amounted to $3.8 billion, and reservation change fees were $3 billion. At the same time, average fares were down 3.8%, yet U.S. passenger airlines enjoyed $25.6 billion in profits in 2015 vs. $7.5 billion in 2014. But formal complaints grew 30%.

Top aircraft leasing firm’s IPO to raise $1.5b

Many airlines lease the airplanes they operate, from companies like ILFC, AerCap, GCAS, and BOC Aviation. Singapore-based BOC Aviation Ltd, is owned by the Bank of China, and they are looking at a possible IPO which could raise as much as $1.5 billion.

P&W still pushing upgrade of B-52’s original TF33 engine

Boeing B-52 bombers are powered by Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines, 1950’s engine technology. They are loud, smoky, and burn a lot of fuel. There has been talk in the past of replacing each pair of TF33’s with a single new-technology engine, but such a re-engining would be very expensive. Instead, P&W military engines president Bennett Croswell is proposing a TF33 upgrade package that would lower the cost of maintenance.

Colorado Native Honored For Flying Through Glass Ceiling

Emily Hanrahan Warner became the first female airline pilot in the United States, and she’s now been inducted in the Irish American Hall of Fame. On April 10, 1973, Warner became the first woman hired by an American carrier and in 1976, she became America’s first female airline captain.

Honeywell, NASA Test Sonic Boom Technology

Under NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology (CST) project, Honeywell was awarded a contract in 2015 to overcome supersonic boom issues. Honeywell has developed a predictive display that tell pilots when a sonic boom is developing.

Seeking 500 pilots a year, PSA Airlines sweetens the pot

PSA AIrlines Inc. needs to hire 500 new pilots per year. To attract more pilots they will offer a $20,000 retention bonus to active first officers and a $250 monthly allowance for pilots to offset the cost of commuting hotel expenses.

Mentioned

IATA 2015 Safety Report [PDF]

Pilot Error Movie Trailer – A fictional drama film is inspired by the true story of Air France 447.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 339 Flying the B-52 in Two Wars

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress

Conversation with an aviation consultant, flying the B-52 in two different wars, special airline service for special customers, holding pilots accountable for safety, and reaching a Bombardier CSeries milestone.

Guest

Ken Curry is President/Owner of KC Aviation Consultants in Loveland, Colorado. We talk with Ken about being an aviation consultant, the current state of the FBO business, and flying the B-52 in the Vietnam and Cold Wars. Ken’s heavily damaged Boeing B-52D Stratofortress resides at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton.

Established in 2001, KC Aviation provides consulting services to aviation businesses and venture capital firms.  They also assist private jet aircraft owners and buyers with corporate aircraft acquisitions, sales, and charter services.

Ken was formerly the President and COO of Jet Source, Inc. in Carlsbad, California where he was responsible for two fixed base operations with over 100 employees.

Prior to that he was Vice President and General Manager of Petersen Aviation for over 7 years, providing aviation fuel, terminal services, and commercial jet charter and aircraft management services in Van Nuys, California.

Before that, Ken was with British Aerospace, Inc. where his last position was Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Arkansas Aerospace, Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ken served in the United States Air Force as a B-52 Pilot and Aircraft Commander.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and flew 157 missions in Southeast Asia, 27 of those missions over North Vietnam.

News

Did United Put a Whole Route in the Sky for One Very Important Passenger?

An investigation is underway to determine if the airline had improper “contacts or motives” when it provided the then Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with his own weekly flights to South Carolina.

United Airlines Officials Highlight ‘Near-Misses’ in Safety Message to Pilots

United pilots received a safety bulletin after four incidents where flight crew errors were called “major safety events and near-misses.” The bulletin came from United’s senior vice president of flight operations, and vice president of corporate safety. Some feel the message doesn’t speak kindly of pilot professionalism.

At United Airlines, Does Making Money Trump Safety?

After the story came out about the United safety alert to pilots, Rob received some information that might call into question the motives of the airline.

Canada’s Bombardier Launches its Biggest Jetliner Yet

CS300 Maiden Flight

The Bombardier CS300 made a five hour maiden test flight from Montreal’s Mirabel airport on February 27, 2015. In its Press Release, Bombardier says the “aircraft and its systems performed as expected.” The plane reached an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and a speed of 255 knots (470 km/h).

The Australia News Desk

Avalon Airshow is over and the boys are recovering from the heat, the long distance walking and the aero-awesomeness. For this segment, they chatted with Flying Officer “Guns” about the lessons learned when the RAAF took some C130Js to Exercise Red Flag at the start of this year.

Listener Recording

Helmet and Goggles

Micah tells us the story of “Lew’s Flight of Fancy.”

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.