Tag Archives: B-52

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.