Tag Archives: B747

431 The Seattle Aerospace Scene

A Seattle Times aerospace reporter tells us about the Boeing 777X, the 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing manufacturing processes, and more. In the news, inflight WiFi phone calls, air traffic controllers behaving badly, an audit of privatized flight service, United Airlines helps young dance competitors, and a seaplane with an impressive paint job. We also have a listener report about the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program.

Guest

Dominic GatesDominic Gates is the aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times. We discuss a variety of topics, including the recent Boeing 777 production rate cut due to softening demand and the production requirements for 777X flight test aircraft. We talk about the business decline of the 747 and the Air Force One replacement. Also, the requirement to restart 787 Dreamliner flight control modules and 787-10 final assembly in South Carolina. We look at globalization issues and Boeing’s strategy to rely on an extensive supply chain. Dominic also tells us about some of his memorable stories and scoops, as well as those that impacted labor.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Dominic taught high school calculus in Ireland and in Africa. He met his future wife and in 1992 moved to Seattle, where he switched careers to journalism. Dominic originally established himself as a journalist by freelancing, but eventually joined the Seattle Times as aerospace reporter in January 2003, his first newspaper job.

The Boeing beat is the highest-profile business beat at the Times and as the aerospace reporter, Dominic has broken many high-impact stories. His tenure at the Times coincides exactly with the story of the 787 Dreamliner. In 2003, just a month into the job, he broke the story in March that Boeing would hold a competition among the states for the final assembly location of its 7E7 airplane. On December 5 of that year, he revealed that Boeing’s 7E7 team was recommending Everett for final assembly. Ten days later, Boeing’s board made it official. Ever since, he has closely tracked the many twists and turns of the 787 story.

Dominic attends the European Air Shows each year and makes regular reporting trips to airplane leasing conferences, to Boeing plants around the U.S., including Charleston, and to Boeing suppliers, such as Spirit in Wichita. He has toured and written about the Airbus final assembly plants in Toulouse, the Airbus wing factory in Wales, and the Bombardier CSeries wing plant in Belfast.

Find Dominic on Twitter as @dominicgates, on Facebook, and at the Seattle Times.

News

Feds could allow Wi-Fi phone calls on airline flights

The Chicago Tribune reports that The U.S Department of Transportation announced it could see allowing WiFi phone calls if airlines tell customers about the policy when they buy their tickets. This is so customers who don’t want to sit next to others making calls could make other travel arrangements.

DOT Proposes Rule to Protect Airline Passengers From Being Unwillingly Exposed to Voice Calls on Aircraft

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, “Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft. Today’s proposal will ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight.”

Members of the public can comment on the NPRM at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2014-0002. 60 days. Look for DOT-OST-2014-0002-1795.

Air traffic controllers take a nap and grab a snack while pilots’ calls go unanswered

The Boise Idaho Police Department says that after two helicopter pilots were unable to contact controllers, officers entered the Boise Airport air traffic control tower. One controller was sleeping and the other controller had left the tower and smelled of marijuana.

Privatizing Flight Service Saved Money, Faces New Challenges

The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has released the report titled, FAA Achieved Most of the Anticipated Cost Savings from Contracting Out Flight Service Stations, but Needs to Determine the Future Direction of the Program [PDF], finding that the FAA has saved or avoided costs of approximately $2.13 billion over a 13-year period, and has implemented effective controls. The Office did make three recommendations to the FAA to help develop its future approach to providing flight services.

How United Airlines stepped up big time to help stranded young tap dancers

United Airlines came to the assistance of a group of American dancers trying to reach a major tap dance competition in Germany. The group was stranded in Boston over the Thanksgiving holiday due to the Lufthansa pilot strike, and United arranged for flights to transport the dancers to Germany in time for the competition. See Results – IDO World Tap Dance Championships 2016 for the ultimate outcome.

Seattle’s ‘Wild Orca’ Seaplane Attracts Attention

Seattle’s Kenmore Air Harbor is raising awareness of the plight of caged whales with a beautiful paint job.

Listener Recording

Kevin talks about Airbus winning the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program with their C-295. Competing with Airbus was the C-27J Spartan and the Embraer KC-390.

How did search-and-rescue mission to Igloolik go wrong?

That Others May Live: In The Air With Canada’s Search And Rescue Technicians

Mentioned

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)

Would You Like To Fly? by Jennifer Adams in Jetwhine.com. Jennifer blogs at Tales From the Terminal.

Photos: Kish, Iran (OIBK) – International Iran Airshow, 17 November 2016 by Paul Filmer.

International Iran Airshow

Credit

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

 

 

414 F/A-18, F-16, PBY, and P8 from Farnborough International Airshow 2016

More interviews from the Farnborough 2016 Airshow. We also discuss the future of widebody airliners, the U.S. Air Force pilot shortage, jetBlue air turbulence, an F-22 grounded by bees, an evacuation at a JFK terminal, a ride with the Geico Skytypers, and does the U.S. needs an airshow like Paris?

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

We bring you more interviews from the Farnborough 2016 Airshow. You’ll hear about the F/A-18, the F-16, the PBY, and the P8.

F/A-18 at Farnborough 2016

Carlos Stebbings (holding mic) of the Plane Talking UK Podcast along with Micah and Brian interviewing US Navy Aviator Lieutenant Jeff “Hoagy” Hanley about flying his F/A-18 Super Hornet. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)

F-16 at Farnborough 2016

Micah talking with Matt Smith of the Plane Talking UK Podcast about the F-16 Fighting Falcon and why it’s called a Viper. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina

PBY-5A Catalina Miss Pickup posing with (from left to right) Pilot Pip from the Plane Safety Podcast, Captain Al Evans from Flightfear Solutions, Carlos Stebbings and Matt Smith from the Plane Talking UK Podcast, Micah, Brian and Captain Rod, Miss Pickup’s pilot. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)

P-8A

Lithograph of P-8A Poseidon 168754, autographed and presented to Brian and Micah in Farnborough by Patrol Squadron 30 ‘VP-30’ based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.

News

Atlas backs the B747 freighter as Boeing considers its future

Boeing has announced a cut in the 747 production rate, and in a regulatory filing stated the possibility that production of the 747 could end. At the same time, Airbus plans to cut the production rate of the A380. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings chief executive Bill Flynn said there are three options for large widebody intercontinental cargo aircraft: the B747-800, the B747-400 and the B777. The 747 has load and loading advantages and Atlas Air looks forward to a long useful life.

Air Force sweetens bonus in facing pilot shortage

The U.S. Air Force needs 700 more fighter pilots by the end of 2016, and the shortage could reach 1000 within a few years.. Airlines offering higher salaries, better benefits, and long term career opportunities entice pilots to leave the service.

JetBlue turbulence puts 24 in hospital

A JetBlue A320 flying from Boston to Sacramento encountered rough turbulence, and was diverted to Rapid City, South Dakota. At least 22 passengers and two crew members were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Passengers reported flying out of their seats and even hitting the ceiling.

In a February 2016 article titled What Causes Turbulence? 10 Things You Need to Know, Conde Nast Traveler reports that the FAA says approximately 58 fliers are injured by turbulence each year. And PetaPixel tells us about a Military Plane Plunged 4,400ft when Pilot’s Nikon Got Stuck in the Controls.

F-22 Raptor grounded by swarm of almost 20,000 bees

192nd Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintainers at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia discovered a swarm of honey bees attached to the exhaust nozzle of an F-22 Raptor engine.

Airplane of the Week

Skytyper David

Skytyper David!

 

David went flying for the first time in 2 years.  He had the privilege of flying with the Geico Skytypers in a three ship formation over the Atlantic City, New Jersey coastline. Thanks to Jim Record for being an awesome pilot, and to Brenda Little for the opportunity.

 

 

Geico Skytypers

Geico Skytypers SNJ-2, the Navy’s version of the Texan T-6, a WWII training plane.

Geico Landing over KACY 08-15-2016 (Raw video of the flight.)

Mentioned

UK fraud probe casts shadow over Airbus jet sales

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 390 Lightspeed ANR Headsets

We learn all about Active Noise Reduction headsets with the founder and CEO of Lightspeed Aviation. In the news: Bombardier job cuts and a CS300 order, the NASA aeronautics budget request, United 747 retirements, and the FAA reauthorization bill stalls. We also have the winner of the John Mollison print.

Allan Schrader

Allan Schrader, founder and CEO, Lightspeed Aviation.

Guest

Allan Schrader is founder and CEO of Lightspeed Aviation, a leading producer of active noise reduction headsets for aviation. Lightspeed introduced their first product in 1996 at EAA AirVenture and continues to develop and offer innovative products.

Allan tells us how he started Lightspeed and the sound cancellation technologies involved. We learn about the labs dedicated to delivering quieting, comfort, and fidelity; the headset trade-in program; and the different acoustic signatures of GA airplanes, helicopters, and airliners. Allan also talks about the introduction of the wireless headset, and integrating headsets with cockpit information to enhance the cockpit experience.

Allan has a civil engineering degree and an MBA, and started his career at Tektronix  where he learned about product development and operations. Allan left Tektronix to launch a startup company producing wireless headsets, then after five years he and some of his Tektronix co-workers started Lightspeed Technologies to design and make Active Noise Reduction headsets.

News

Bombardier to Cut Workforce by 10%, Gets New CSeries Orders

Bombardier plans to cut about 7,000 jobs from its worldwide workforce of 71,000. Layoffs are expected in both Canada and Europe, split between the company’s plane and train operations. The better news is that Air Canada placed orders for 45 firm and 30 option CS300 airplanes.

Boom! NASA Wants to Bring Back Supersonic X-Planes

The $19B FY 2017 NASA budget request asks for $790M to be used for aeronautics research impacting the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the air transportation system; a major new experimental flight initiative to demonstrate and validate new technologies that dramatically reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and noise, and open new markets for U.S. industry; and research and development for revolutionary low carbon emission aircraft, including associated transportation systems, as part of a multiagency effort to enable a 21st century clean transportation system.

See:

United Airlines tells pilots it may retire all of its Boeing 747s by 2018

Aviation journalist Brian Sumers reports that almost a year ago, United indicated that its 747 fleet would be around for a while, with maybe a 2020 decision point based on aircraft maintenance requirements. Now however, pilots were told that 747 retirements may occur at a faster rate. If United does move to retire the 747 quickly, they say they will accelerate deliveries of new widebodies.

Reauthorization Bill Stalled In Committee

The FAA reauthorization bill which would privatize ATC will not be introduced to the full House as scheduled. Facing widespread opposition to the bill, Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster will instead try and consolidate support. Expect the bill to be amended before it re-emerges from Committee.

John Mollison Print Giveaway

Grandpas Untold StoryWe announce the winner of the John Mollison signed print showing the B-25 flown by Dick Cole and Doolittle, Bud Anderson’s P51B, Alden Rigby’s P51D, and Maury Magneson’s P47. John was our guest on Episode 388 where he told us about his “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video documentaries.

We also play a moving recording called “Grandpa’s Untold Story” that describes how the picture of one man’s B-17 came to be on the wall of his grandson.

Airplane of the Week

Listener Glenn Towler tells us the history of the English Electric Lightning.

Mentioned

Airfare is finally getting cheaper

Why We Fly Podcast

Ryan Hothersall’s photos of the E4 when it visited Adelaide, South Australia in 2005.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 381 Ballistic Recovery Parachutes

Ballistic Recovery Systems

A conversation about aircraft parachute systems with the founder of Ballistic Recovery Systems, HondaJet certification, the Cirrus Vision SF50, British Airways displeasure with Heathrow expansion plans, abandoned 747 freighters, and efficient but not accurate airport firefighters. Also, the Millennium Falcon, the Handley Page Herald turboprop, ATC job opportunities, and WATS tables.

Guest

Boris Popov

Boris Popov

Boris Popov is the founder of Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS). In 1975, Boris survived a 400-foot fall in a collapsed hang glider and the incident led Boris to develop a whole-aircraft parachute system. Ballistic Recovery Systems was founded in 1980 and their first parachute for the ultralight aircraft market was introduced in 1982. In 1983 the system had its first save of an aircraft and crew and since then has saved hundreds of lives

In 1998 the company collaborated with Cirrus Aircraft to develop the first recovery parachute system used on a type-certified aircraft, the Cirrus SR20. Since then, there have been 56 Saves of Cirrus Aircraft with 114 survivors, resulting in a fatal accident rate that’s half that of typical GA aircraft. The company also offers parachutes for the Cessna 172, Cessna 182, and about a dozen light sport aircraft, including the new Icon A5 seaplane.

News

Honda Aircraft receives type certification for HondaJet

HondaJet earns type certificate

Achieving type-certification brings Honda Aircraft close to customer delivery of the HondaJet. The small, jet-powered airplane features an over-the-wing engine mount, natural laminar flow, a composite fuselage, and a Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system. Power comes from two GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 powerplants.

Cirrus Teases Vision SF50 Performance Numbers

Cirrus Aircraft has released flight profile details of the Vision SF50 single-engine light jet. With a maximum ramp weight of 6,040 pounds, and a fuel load of 296 gallons/1,983 pounds, takeoff ground roll is 2,036 feet. At FL280, maximum cruise at 300 ktas burns 69 gph/462 pph, for a range of 1,000 nm. Fuel burn drops to 47 gph/315 pph and speed to 242 ktas at best-economy cruise, with range up to 1,200 nm.

Heathrow expansion: British Airways threatens to move out of UK

International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh isn’t happy with plans for Heathrow’s expansion. That plan includes a new runway, a new terminal, an underground train link, and a very expensive (£800m) car park. Walsh says all this would double the £40 fee they pay now for a return trip.

Be an Astronaut: NASA Accepting Applications for Future Explorers

NASA is looking for astronauts and the astronaut candidate application website is now live and accepting submissions through Feb. 18, 2016.

Malaysia hunts owners of Boeing 747s abandoned at airport

In an effort to remove three abandoned Boeing 747 freighters from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Malaysia, airport officials posted a notice in several newspapers giving the owners 14 days to pay the parking fees and remove the planes. Otherwise, the airport would dispose of the planes. The freighters have now been claimed by Swift Air Cargo, a Malaysian company.

Fire fighters spray foam on wrong plane during engine emergency

An Air China Boeing 737 had an engine fire while taxiing at an airport in China. This was reported by pilots of another plane who observed the fire. The firefighters arrived and dutifully covered the plane in foam – the reporting plane, not the one with the fire.

The Airplane of the Week

Can you feel it? There has been an awakening, the Dark and the Light. David’s Journey to the Force Awakens ends this episode with the ship that has been in more movies than any other:  the YT-1300 Freighter called the Millennium Falcon. “She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy” and has some really cool #AVGeek connections.

If you want to know more check out these links:

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith Easter Egg – Millenium Falcon

5 Things You Might Not Know About the Millennium Falcon

From World War to Star Wars: The B-17 and The Ghost

Fate of the Jedi, “Millennium Falcon” SpecPlate and Crucible–class

From World War to Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon

Across the Pond

Handley Page Herald copyright DestinWorld Publishing

An early production model Handley Page Herald in BEA livery demonstrating a single engine fly past – Copyright DestinWorld Publishing

Matt Falcus returns to Across The Pond and discusses his latest book The Handley Page Herald about the two-engined turbo-prop aircraft that proved reliable and useful in service, but failed to capture the volume of orders expected. Airline service lead to a later life as a cargo and freight carrier until it finished service in 1999.

From the Timeline series, Matt is looking for new authors and contributors to grow the series of aircraft, airport and airlines books.

Aviation photographer Paul Filmer wrote in: “What a great British aircraft. In the late 80s early 90s I worked for Channel Express in Guernsey, Channel Islands and flew jumpseat in many flights from Guernsey to Bournemouth and return. We flew boxed cut flowers out and mail and express freight (FedEx, DHL etc) inbound. The cargo capacity was 5 tonnes and it was very popular with the loaders as the large cargo door was low to the ground. I loved my time flying on these pax aircraft turned freighters.”

Paul sent in a photograph of a Page Herald in service, and one of a hand carved model he had custom made recently:

Handley Page Herald by Paul Filmer

Handley Page Herald by Paul Filmer

Handley Page Herald model

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.

 

AirplaneGeeks 271 – Ned Russell on Airlines

Mooney M20L PFM

Guest Edward (Ned) Russell is an airline reporter at Flightglobal. We talk about the American Airlines / US Airways merger and the DOJ antitrust suit. Also, the CSeries in China, airline capacity increases on the West Coast, and airline strategy based around considerations like anciliatory fees, airfare pricing, new more efficient aircraft, and route planning. We also get an update on the Delta refinery.

Ned has been a reporter for seven years, covering aviation throughout but only full-time since 2012 with Flightglobal. Prior to joining Flightglobal, Ned wrote for Project Finance Magazine in New York and FinanceAsia in Hong Kong. He began his writing career with a profile of the then brand new Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok for Airliners Magazine. Follow Ned on Twitter as @e_russell.

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week:

The Mooney M20, report provided by listener Tilman Hierath from the above the ground blog. Post photo above is of a M20L PFM that Tilman took at his home base of Strausberg (EDAY), just outside of Berlin, Germany. It is one of the very rare Mooneys with a Porsche engine.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

It’s that time of year again and we’re not just meaning Spring’s inevitable hayfever allergy attacks: Yes, it’s the Qantas AGM once again!

  • Joyce forecasts red for Qantas this year as yields are expected to drop 3% across the board (no sign of increases in travellers post election).

  • Speaking of kangaroos, flying and red: a roo hopped into one of Melbourne airport’s concourse shopping areas, forcing Steve to ask if he’d just skipped through security.

  • At least Qantas has been able to get another shiny new 737-800 for their fleet, making it their 68th so far.

  • Scoot is going to start flights between Singapore and Perth with introductory fares of $88 plus taxes, fees and ancillary charges which no doubt will include baggage, check-in (with or without sabre), seating, food, drink, air, etc. etc. etc.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

PSA-GeorgeHamlin_400

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week we talk to Matt Falcus about his new book Airlines of the USA, which charts the history of the majority of the airlines that have plied their trade in the USA from the start of aviation flying through to present day. The book lists the mergers and losses of some of the greats and also manages to tell the story of the smaller airlines as well. See Matt’s Airport Spotting blog.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

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

 

Episode 96 – Karlene’s Flight to Success

Delta A330 by Mark Hsiung

Our guest this week is Karlene Petitt, a long time airline pilot, currently flying with Delta. She blogs at Flight to Success and she’s also an emerging author. Karlene describes her training to fly the A330, what it’s like to pilot for a major U.S. airline, and how pilots like to be in control but sometimes are not. Karlene also brings a lot of good insight into current airline news. We had such an interesting conversation with Karlene that we had to skip a lot of the news.

Benet Wilson from AviationWeek helps out with the co-hosting. By the way, she’s got a new blog going called The TRAVEL World According to Benet. Also, Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast joined us live for the news:

David returns to provide his This Week in Aviation history segment.

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

Thanks to Mark Hsiung for permission to use his Delta A330 photograph above.

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