Tag Archives: B787

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.

 

 

419 Regional Airlines Raise Pilot Pay

Pay for regional pilots, prospects for the A380, Auto-GCAS saving F-16 pilot’s lives, travel security, large airports and GA airplanes, a rebate for ADS-B, and flying the Eclipse 550.

News

American Airlines raises pay for regional pilots

American Airlines Group subsidiary Envoy Air announced they are raising their starting pay for new hires 47% to $37.90 per hour. AA subsidiary PSA Airlines is increasing starting pay 56% to $38.50 per hour. This is in addition to opportunities for bonuses. First-year pilots can make about $58,000.

Singapore Airlines Won’t Extend Lease on First Airbus A380 Jet

Singapore Airlines operates 19 A380 jets. The first five of them were obtained on a 10-year lease deal. Now Singapore has announced they will not be renewing the lease for the first A380, which expires in October, 2017. The WSJ notes that it “isn’t a fateful blow for the program” but “it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft.”

Auto-GCAS Saves Unconscious F-16 Pilot—Declassified USAF Footage

An international F-16 student pilot experienced G-induced loss of consciousness, and his aircraft went into a steep supersonic dive with full afterburner. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) kicked in and executed a recovery maneuver, saving the pilot. This was the fourth confirmed “save” of an aircraft by the system.

This Muslim Woman Says The TSA Stopped Her At Least 10 Different Times In One Round Trip

25 year-old Zainab Merchant from Gainesville, Florida was traveling with her husband and 6-month-old baby to a wedding in Vancouver, Canada. Over the course of the trip, she and her family experienced many security checks, rechecks, missed flights, they were held overnight, the at times the family was separated.

Pilot Sues SF Airport Over General Aviation

For the last three years, Robert Reinheimer’s Cessna 182 has been the only piston airplane tied down or home-based at San Francisco International Airport. Reinheimer claims the airport is trying to force him out.

ADS-B Rebate Reservation System to go Live

The FAA is offering a rebate reservation system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems. Aircraft owners will be able to apply online for a $500 rebate toward the cost of installing ADS-B Out equipment in their aircraft. A total of 20,000 rebates will be available through the program.

Mentioned

Rob tells us about his flight in the Eclipse 550, and compares it to the original model. He also attended the EAA chapter 932 meeting at Galt Airport, in Greenwood, Illinois, and the AOPA regional Fly-In at Battle Creek, Michigan.

Max West posted his first Facebook Live video from the traffic pattern.

Max East visited the South Dakota Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth AFB, home to B1-B Lancers.

Design a Boeing Dreamliner! Hainan Airlines is hosting a Design Your Own Livery contest in which you can design a paint scheme on a 787 airplane through a custom built web based tool. Whoever wins the contest could get their design painted on a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane, and also get a free business class trip to China.

Listener at Large Launchpad Marzari sent a recording examining the question, “if you fly a drone, are you a pilot or an operator?” To go along with that, he sent a link to Brain Surgeon – That Mitchell & Webb Look , Series 3 – BBC Two.

John Mollison, producer of Old Guys and Their Airplanes sent a nice little animation he made with his new Apple Pencil. It’s a study for an upcoming quick-short featuring an RAF pilot.

Spitfire from 41 Squadron nails a Doodlebug

Navy: Pilot Error Primary Cause of Fatal Blue Angels Crash

A member of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team killed during practice in Tennessee lost control of his fighter jet because it was traveling too fast and then failed to recover because it was too low for the maneuver he was performing, a Navy investigation shows.

China to spend $1 trillion on 6,810 new aircraft

Chinese airlines will spend more than $1 trillion on new aircraft over the next two decades as they seek to meet booming demand for air travel, according to a new forecast by Boeing. Randy Tinseth, a marketing executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that he expects passenger traffic in China to grow by 6.4% a year over the next 20 years.

Gigantic RC Crash SAAB Gripen XXXL 1:2 Scale Model Turbine Jet Fatal End Total Destroyed

Computer Engineering Student Donates Five Million Air Miles to Student Organizations

Ryan Pickren, a senior computer engineering major in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is donating five million United Airlines miles to Georgia Tech student organizations that participate in charity work.

Credit

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

 

416 Reducing Loss of Control Accidents with Airball

The grand prize winner of the first annual EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize explains his concept for reducing the number of accidents induced by loss of control. Also, an Airbus autonomous flying vehicle concept, Part 107 regulations for small commercial UAS, a laser pointer goes to prison, a federal lawsuit against United Airlines, pay raises for airline employees, and 787 Dreamliner engine woes.

Guest

Ihab Awad

Ihab Awad

Ihab Awad is the grand prize winner of the first annual EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize for his Airball concept designed to reduce accidents induced by loss of control. Ihab explains how the loss of correct relative wind can result in stalls and spins, and how the Airball graphical representation (a blue ball) allows the pilot to quickly understand and manage the flight state of the airplane.  Airball does this using air data from a number of sensors.

Airball Simulator

Airball Simulator

 

Ihab is a programmer working at Google in Silicon Valley. He holds Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and computer and information sciences from the University of Minnesota. Ihab is a Sport Pilot with 150 hours, and looks forward to building his own experimental aircraft.

Follow the project at Airball.aero. Also, find Ihab on Twitter and Facebook.

Airball EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize Entry

Founder’s Innovation Finalists Forging Forward by Beth E. Stanton describes the five finalists in some detail, with videos.

Airball demo for EAA

News

Airbus Vahana autonomous flying vehicle concept under development

In Airbus Group: Future of urban mobility, My Kind of Flyover, the company says, “By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities… Airbus Group is harnessing its experience to make the dream of all commuters and travellers come true one day: to fly over traffic jams at the push of a button.” Vahana is the Airbus concept for an autonomous flying vehicle for passengers and cargo. It’s under development at the A3 “innovation outpost” in Silicon Valley.

FAA Begins Accepting Applications for Remote Pilot Operator

The new small unmanned aircraft rule for non-hobbyists (also known as Part 107 to Title 14 CFR) became effective August 29, 2016. The person flying a drone must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with that certificate.

For more information about the new small UAS rules, see:

The UAV Digest, episode 151: Part 107: Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems where we provide a summary of the major provisions of Part 107.

The UAV Digest, episode 159: Taking the FAA Online UAS Training Course where Max Trescott talks about completing the FAA UAS online training course.

Press Conference – FAA (Small UAS Rule) (Conference starts at 10:00 into the video.)

Man sentenced to federal prison for pointing a Laser Pointer at Sheriff’s Helicopter

A 35-year-old California was has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for pointing a laser pointer at a police helicopter flying over a traffic accident.

U.S. lawsuit says United denied sick leave to pilot on active duty

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court claiming that United Airlines failed to provide a pilot with sick leave when he was called to active duty by the U.S. Air Force. The suit charges that the pilot, a reservist, was denied his employment rights and violated the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Airline employees are getting huge pay raises

After years of concessions, airline employees are starting to benefit from high airline profits.

Boeing 787 engine trouble prompts ANA to cancel some flights

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is seeing sulfidation-corrosion cracking of turbine blades on some of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. All 50 aircraft in the ANA 787 fleet are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

Airplane of the Week

The OV-10 Bronco, Part 2: Foreign Variants and Civilian Applications. Sometimes history repeats itself. After being moved into the civilian world, the Bronco returned to combat twenty-plus years after it was retired, with only protest from the Marines.

Mentioned

Last episode, we mentioned the 3D tour of the B747-400 Global SuperTanker using Matterport technology. If you enjoyed that, here are more aircraft 3D tours:

Tiira homemade airplane designed and built by Raimo Päätalo.

Tiira homemade airplane designed and built by Raimo Päätalo.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 398 Scott Hamilton, Leeham News and Comment

Solar Impulse 2 Landing April 2016

We talk with Scott Hamilton, the editor of Leeham News and Comment, about Solar Impulse 2, Bombardier and the CSeries, Boeing and the 737 MAX as well as a 787 engine AD, and Airbus and A321 assembly in Alabama.

Guest

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is the editor of Leeham News and Comment, which provides analysis along with the news, and the story behind the headline. Scott is known in the industry for his straight-shooting, call-it-like-it-is take on news and events. He is frequently called on by broadcast and print media to offer expert analysis about the issues of the day. Scott is also a regular speaker at aviation conferences and corporate events.

Before creating Leeham News and Comment, Scott co-founded of Linkraven Ltd. in 1989. Linkraven published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report, and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Scott was named Best Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2009 in the Regional Airline Category. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

Learn more at the Leeham News and Comment website, follow them on Twitter at @leehamnews, and check out Leeham News on Facebook.

News

Solar Impulse 2 lands in California after Pacific flight

After laying over in Hawaii for almost 10 months for repairs, the Solar Impulse 2 piloted by Bertrand Piccard landed in Mountain View, California just before midnight. The flight lasted just over 62 hours. Max Trescott witnessed the landing and gives us his impressions. He and Frank Sweeney posted some photos.

Note: In Airplane Geeks Episode 361, we spoke with pilot André Borschberg after he flew Solar Impulse 2 from Japan to Hawaii.

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500?

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500? Part 2

The CS300 was designed as the base model, with the CS100 being a shrink. Some wonder if there could be a stretch version, a “CS500,” that could seat more passengers and that is better sized for airline needs.

Delta May Be About to Order a Boatload of New Planes

Delta may be about to announce aircraft orders. Perhaps another order for (192-seat Airbus) A321s, and an order for 75 small narrowbodies from either built Bombardier or Embraer. Delta has been complimentary of the CSeries, but they have also made it clear that the price must be right.

Boeing Considering New 737 Model To Fend Off Bombardier Jet

The smallest B737 MAX, the -7 version with 126 seats in two class configuration, only has 60 firm orders. (30 from Southwest, 25 from Westjet, 5 from Canada Jetlines) Reportedly, Boeing is looking at a 150-seat model internally called the 737 MAX 7X.

First US-built American A321 completes maiden flight

First Alabama made jet liner to be delivered to owner today

The Airbus assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama continues to reach milestones with the A321 destined for American Airlines making its first flight. Airbus also delivered its first made in America A321 to JetBlue.

FAA orders ‘urgent’ engine fixes for Boeing 787 Dreamliners

In January 2016, a GEnx-1B engine was shut down in flight after the engine experienced excessive vibration. Ice came off a fan blade and caused an imbalance of the fan. That led to “substantial damage” after the fan blade tips started rubbing on the fan case. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive [PDF] requiring repairs or one older engine on the plane. The older model is less susceptible to icing than the newer Performance Improvement Program (PIP) 2 engine.

Two air traffic control officers charged for Taiwan’s worst crash in decade

On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR 72-500, crashed into buildings during approach in bad weather at Magong Airport in Taiwan. Forty-eight on board died, including the two pilots, and 10 survived. Two air traffic controllers and the two pilots have been deemed negligent.

FedEx Worker Falls Asleep In Plane’s Cargo Compartment, Wakes Up in Lubbock, TX

Probably not a career-enhancing move.

The Aircraft of the Week

David travels to Langley and interviews two F-35 pilots.

Listener Recording

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo at the Sun-N-Fun event in Lakeland, Florida, USA on 10 April 2016.

Launchpad Marzari brings us an interview with Richie, head of the RedBull Air Gaters. Also see Pictures of the day: Red Bull Air Race demo wows SUN ‘n FUN crowds.

Mentioned

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air – Providing scenic flight tours in Seattle with a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and a DHC-3 Otter.

The Puget Sound Business Journal is seeking a full time aerospace reporter

US airlines are freaking out about a company you’ve never heard of

The Derelict Aircraft Museum

General Aviation Aircraft Design by Snorri Gudmundsson.

Throwback Thursday: The History of Delta

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 376 Van’s Aircraft Founder and CEO Dick VanGrunsven

Vans RV-14

Van’s Aircraft kitplanes, Boeing doesn’t plan to change the Dreamliner for Emirates, NASA is looking for astronauts, the first customer-built SubSonex jet flies, the Pilatus PC-12 business jet also has its first flight, and livestock pass gas.

Guest

Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

Dick VanGrunsven

Dick (“Van”) VanGrunsven is founder and CEO of kitplane maker Van’s Aircraft. Van has been flying since 1956 and has logged more than 15,000+ hours (the majority of it in airplanes of his own design) and holds CFI, multi-engine, and ATP ratings.

We talk with Van about the kitplane business in general and the Van’s Aircraft planes in particular. Van tells us what it is about the character of the planes that makes them so popular with kit builders and with the pilots who fly them. We also touch on personal jets, the decrease in numbers of amateur built planes, and how the availability of used experimental planes contributes to shrinking sales of new kits. Van also talks about getting good flight instruction in experimental aircraft.

Throughout high school and college Van flew a Cub and a Taylorcraft from the 670 foot grass strip on his parent’s farm. After finishing engineering school and a stint in the Air Force, he purchased a homebuilt 65 hp Stits Playboy, which he rebuilt with a 125 hp Lycoming engine, bubble canopy, Hoerner style wingtips, and an all new set of cantilever aluminum wings to replace the strut-braced wood and fabric originals. Renamed the RV-1, the Playboy flew like a new airplane.

Van flew the RV-1 from 1965 through 1968 but he felt something better was possible. He wanted an airplane that was able to fly in and out of any reasonable airstrip, with enough power and maneuverability to do good basic aerobatics, and cruise as fast as possible. He reluctantly sold the RV-1 and began design and construction of a completely original airplane.

The single-seat RV-3 flew for the first time in August 1971. Van quit his job at a forklift manufacturer and began supplying basic kits for the RV-3.

Over the next forty years, Van’s Aircraft became the acknowledged leader in the kit aircraft world.  New aircraft, from the RV-4 through the Light Sport RV-12 and now the “widebody” RV-14,  have been introduced and each has proven successful in the marketplace. For most of that time, Van was chief engineer, head designer, and CEO of the company.

For homebuilt resources, see the Van’s Aircraft homepage and Facebook page, the independent Van’s Air Force site, and the EAA homepage.

Guest Co-Host

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton is an Australian private pilot who started learning to fly in 1999, after a weather diversion as a passenger in a Grumman Traveller light aircraft wound-up as an unexpected overnight stay at a gliding field. Over the years Mark has flown 24 types of gliders, and he holds a glider instructor rating.

Gliders in Australia don’t require pilot licenses, so Mark didn’t start training for his PPL until 2008. He bought a well-built RV-6 in 2011, and enjoys using it for traveling to distant parts of the country, aerobatics, the odd “$100 hamburger,” and installing “RV-grins” on new aviators as part of their first taste of flight, including several who have gone on to gain pilot licenses of their own.

News

Boeing says will not make changes to Dreamliner stretch for Emirates

Emirates has said they will decide in 2016 if they will order almost 100 planes, either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus for A350-900. Emirates needs long-range planes that can operate in hot climates. Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth says, “The plan is not to change the aircraft, we really like what we have.”

Wanted: Astronauts. Got the right stuff?

NASA announced that by summer 2017 they will begin recruiting a new astronaut class of 8 to 14 people. This is an item that Yong-Lim Foo should pay attention to, our listener from Singapore. There are some basic requirements: You have to be between 62 and 75 inches tall and have a military, science, or technical background. You could end up on the International Space Station, traveling to the moon, or maybe even going to Mars. For more information, see http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts.

First Customer-Built SubSonex Personal Jet Flies

Redge Greenberg, of Durango, Colorado, received the first SubSonex kit (S/N JSX0003) in February and is now the first customer to build and fly the SubSonex Personal Jet. The SubSonex is sold as a Quick Build Kit only. Greenberg has 4,500-plus hours in numerous aircraft and says, “…I never got the chance to fly a jet. I first saw the prototype of the SubSonex at Oshkosh, and followed the development for over a year. When Sonex offered the jet as a kit, I was first in line. Like my RV8, the SubSonex is aerobatic, but the Sonex company also included a ballistic parachute for extra safety.”

Swiss-built business jet to compete against Cessna Citations

Pilatus Aircraft is entering the business jet market with its six-passenger PC-24, which had its first flight in May. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017, the second half of that year for U.S. deliveries. This will compete with the Cessna Citation business jets.

No Evidence Farting Livestock Caused Emergency Landing, Airline Says

The Aviation Herald reported that a Singapore Airlines plane with 2,186 sheep onboard diverted to Bali after “exhaust gasses and manure produced by the sheep” caused the smoke detector to go off. The airline says there is no evidence the livestock were responsible.

The Australia News Desk

Across the Pond

Pieter visits the Science Museum in London to show what visitors can see from an aviation perspective in the center of London. He gives a quick review of the aviation, aerospace and space exhibits on display and talks about other potential aviation sites to visit in the capital and elsewhere in the UK. The Science Museum is free and has a couple of hours worth of aviation exhibits if you want to slowly browse. If you want to speed around you can do them in less than an hour. However, the reset of the Museum will attract some attention as well and worthy of a whole day if you can spare it. Pieter also suggests making contact with him, if you are visiting and he (and his network) will help point you in the direction of aviation sites to visit in both London as well as the rest of the UK.

Mentioned

Barrage balloon cuts power to Seattle and causes air raid scare on January 12, 1942

Benfica safety video with Emirates:

Do you know what this clock is? Can you explain the markings? Leave any information in the comments.

ClockFaceUAL

Flying 101 paint job:

flying 101 paint job

Garmin AOA indicator calibration, via listener Craig:

AOA 1AOA 2

Photos by Neil from San Francisco Fleet Week:

nrphotography L-27

nrphotography L-29-2

nrphotography L-27-2

Credit

Photo of RV-14 copyright Van jones photos.

Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 371 Kevin Michaels

We talk with Kevin Michaels about United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and his strategy to repair the airline’s image, radical ideas for air travel, and Southwest Airlines purchase of two gates for $120 million. Also, risks that the airliner order bubble could burst, Bombardier strategy, and the viability of the A380neo.

Guest

Dr. Kevin Michaels is Vice President – Aerospace & MRO Practice at ICF International. 

Kevin Michaels

Dr. Kevin Michaels

Kevin began his career as a project engineer with gas turbine OEM Williams International. Since then, Kevin has accumulated more than 25 years of aviation experience, including hundreds of consulting engagements for leading aviation and aerospace companies worldwide.

He is a globally recognized expert in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sectors. Kevin has significant expertise in business-to-business marketing, customer satisfaction, and strategic planning.

Kevin’s experience spans all major market segments, including air transport, business and general aviation, and military. He was director of Strategic Development with Rockwell Collins Government Systems, and principal with The Canaan Group.

Kevin has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan; he also has an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Our conversation covers a number of current topics, including:

  • The airline order “super cycle,” the risk that it is a bubble that could burst, and the effects of sinking fuel prices and low cost of capital.
  • The situation at Bombardier, including their balance sheet and strategic problems given the market and actions by Boeing and Airbus.
  • The viability of the A380neo and how the engine manufacturers might look at it,
  • Retirements from the fleet where the aircraft have more value entering the surplus parts market. This has a significant impact on the OEM new parts market.

News

United’s new CEO acknowledges airline’s failures
United Airlines’ CEO wants to hear from you [VIDEO]

Oscar Munoz appears to be taking a different approach to managing the public image of the airline came from the merger of United Airlines and Continental five years ago. In full page newspaper ads he said, “The journey hasn’t always been smooth” and “We are committed to re-earning your trust.” On the new UnitedAirtime.com website.Munoz says:

“Let’s be honest, the implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees. While it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential.”

See also: Alaska Airlines CEO admits his own airline lost his bag

Inside the Dream Factory – watch amazing footage of a British Airways Dreamliner plane being built in USA

British Airways has taken delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner of the 22 planes it has ordered. The -9 is 20 feet longer than the base -8, has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), can seat 280 in a three-class configuration, and has an 8,300 nautical mile range. BA also released a time-lapse video of the aircraft being assembled in Seattle.

Three Ideas That Could Change Air Travel Forever

The Teague design consultancy firm shared with Fast Company some radical concepts for an imaginary future airline called Poppi. Teague asked themselves, “If we started an airline from scratch, what would we do?” At the recent Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference their Poppi concept was presented:

  • Ban carry-on luggage.
  • Make middle seats feel exclusive.
  • Encourage Amazon Prime-style memberships.

Southwest Defends $120 Million Payment for 2 Airport Gates

Southwest Airlines paid United Airlines $120 million to sublease two gates at Dallas Love Field. Southwest had already controlled 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field. United and Virgin America controlled two each. Delta Air Lines argues the gates are owned by the city and airlines can’t sell them. All this is being heard by a federal judge.

David Cush, Virgin America

We found this piece after recording the episode. Virgin America CEO David Cush talks about the Love Field gates.

The Airplane of the Week

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015. Last week we brought you David’s interview with Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF.

This week we have the interview with David Elliot, the Flight Engineer and Program Manager for the NASA Super Guppy N941NA.  David talks about flying and the planning for missions. A unique aircraft with unique missions.

The Australia News Desk

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

Finally back after a bit of a break although Grant has subbed out due to family reasons, being ably replaced by ATC Ben.  Ben tells us about his recent slight change of job, and location, having moved from the world of en-route controller in Melbourne to tower controller in the remote Western Australian town of Karratha.  He tells about the aircraft movement this predominantly mining based town hosts each day, including scheduled airline services through to multiple helicopter flights going out to the oil and gas rigs off the coast.

In the news, the RAAF has used a KC-30A tanker to successfully conduct air to air refuelling sorties with a USAF F-35A in the skies over California recently.  Using the boom system, the Lighting II make 59 contacts, taking on 23,000lbs of fuel in total.  A busy day for all involved.

Ben then talks about his participation in the annual World Flight event, the Australian version of which raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  Ben is a regular participant in this virtual around the world flight, using a fixed based 737 simulator in Hobart, Tasmania.  More details can be found at http://worldflight.com.au/.

Across the Pond

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

This week Pieter celebrates #WorldSpaceWeek with an update on the UK Space Agency’s first European Space Agency astronaut Major Tim Peake who will fly to the International Space Station on December 15th 2015. His mission title is Principia and he will be on the space station for up to 6 months. We also get an update on the latest Arianne 5 launch last week from French Guiana.

Mentioned

Make History Fly – Send B-29 “Doc” Through Flight Testing

You can also follow Doc’s Friends progress on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

My Grandfather And The Plane That Changed Seattle

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 328 ExpressJet Airlines Flight Operations

Brad Sheehan, Vice President – Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines

A regional airline’s flight operations center, NTSB report on 787 battery fire, a cracked Dreamliner window, outgoing TSA security chief John Pistole, why cheap fuel might not be a good thing, and airports that court avgeeks.

Guest

Brad Sheehan is Vice President of Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines. He’s responsible for the daily operations of more than 4,000 pilots and all Flight Operations functions.

We talk about the responsibilities of Flight Operations, managing “irregular operations” such as weather events, and accommodating passengers when there are disruptions. Brad describes the operations center job functions: mostly dispatchers, but also a team of managers, maintenance controllers, and schedulers.

The gap in the U.S. created by pilots retiring in next 10 – 15 years means majors will draw on the regionals for pilots. While many see the regionals as a stepping stone to the majors, a regional career could be attractive and Brad describes how that applied to him.

Brad has a degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University, and began his career at Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1997 as a pilot based in Atlanta. In his 17 years with ExpressJet, he’s served as a line check airman, instructor pilot, project manager, and chief pilot. He served as the director of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance from 2010 to 2013 where he was instrumental in launching numerous safety programs including their Safety Management System (SMS).

Headquartered in Atlanta, ExpressJet is the world’s largest regional airline with 9,000 aviation professionals, an average of 2,000 daily flights, and an all-jet fleet. ExpressJet operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express to serve more than 190 airports in the U.S., Bahamas, Canada and Mexico.

If you’re looking for a career in aviation, ExpressJet is hiring pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, crew schedulers, and more. If you want to begin your career as a pilot but don’t have your ATP CTP yet, ExpressJet offers a free, in-house CTP course for new hire pilots.

Find ExpressJet on their Facebook page, and learn more about employment opportunities on their ExpressJet Airlines Pilot Recruiting Facebook page. Follow @ExpressJetPilot on Twitter and expressjetpilots on Instagram.

News

Temperature in 787 battery cells spikes in cold conditions: NTSB

The NTSB issued its final report on the January 7, 2013 incident where ground workers discovered smoke and flames coming from an auxiliary power unit lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 that was parked at the gate at Boston Logan International Airport.

Previously, the NTSB said that one of the battery’s cells experienced an internal short circuit which caused thermal runaway in the cell. That then spread to the other cells and caused a full battery thermal runaway.

NTSB Press release: NTSB Recommends Process Improvements for Certifying Lithium-ion Batteries as it Concludes its Investigation of the 787 Boston Battery Fire Incident

“As a result of its findings, the NTSB is recommending that the FAA improve the guidance and training provided to industry and FAA certification engineers on safety assessments and methods of compliance for designs involving new technology.”

Man Punches And Cracks A Magical 787 Dreamliner Window

A man aboard a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner punching one of the plane’s windows, causing it to crack and frightening the other passengers. He was arrested on arrival, pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing in January.

Considering the Year in Airport Security, With the T.S.A. Chief

The New York Times’ Business Day section did an extensive interview with John Pistole, the outgoing administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Among the topics discussed: the growth of TSA’s PreCheck program and possibly switching the program to private contractors.

Airlines: Another Reason to Worry About Cheap Fuel

Investors are looking too much at fuel costs and not enough at controllable expenses. But the airline industry outlook has been driven by capacity discipline, consolidation, and unbundling. Capacity discipline driven by high fuel prices. Also, airlines will not all benefit equally from lower fuel prices do to different hedging practices.

Airport Programs Help Cultivate Avgeek Population

Washington Dulles and Miami International airports are courting avgeeks with special programs and social media. The Discover Dulles program is a way for those who love aviation to connect and experience things that are typically off limits to the general public.

Under the Miami Watch security program, airplane spotters are the eyes on the perimeter of the airport, like a neighborhood crime watch. Spotters get good access to the airfield and the airport gets another layer of security.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David proposes some changes to the weekly history segment, and asks the community for input.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson

Pieter reminisces over the past four years and the inspirational sources we all have for aviation. He also announces that he’s taking some time off from the Across the Pond segment. Learn about Anthony Kenneth Johnson (1925 – 2011) – Telegraphist Air Gunner (Royal Navy) at the Wartime Heritage Association.

Mentioned

The Romance of Aviation

Listener Shreenand send us this list illustrating that aviation may be different these days, but it still has a romance all its own:

That the romance is when you get to see day, dusk, and night, all at the same time, from your office window.

The romance is when you depart on a overcast, gloomy, dark day, break out on top and realise the sun really does exist.

The romance is when you fly during a meteor shower and see so many shooting stars, you run out of wishes.

The romance is when you check in at 37,000 feet, and whisper, “Honey I’m home.”

The romance is when you get to see a thunderstorm in HD. Only this time it’s close enough for you to touch.

The romance is when you fly from Moscow to Houston – fifty years ago you would’ve had to do it in a spy plane and fly high enough to be out of range of communist missiles. Or when you fly across the Atlantic without batting an eyelid, eighty years ago, they were handing out rewards for this sort of thing.

The romance is when you fly across countries and realise there are no real borders that divide us. Except, when you fly over the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. And you see it lit up like a major street for as far as the eye can see.

The romance is when you fly over Europe on a clear day. Within minutes you’ve seen the Alps, the Eiffel tower and the Big Ben.

The romance is when people tell you it’s a small world, and having seen the length of the Pacific, you beg to disagree.

The romance is when you ride along the tops of stratus and you can tell you are really shifting. Even magic carpets don’t ride this well.

The romance is when you speak to the same air traffic controller for the umpteenth time. You’ve never met him and probably never will, but you recognise him from his voice.

The romance is when you are number 10 for take-off on a gusty day. You get a ring-side view of your kind, doing their magic, earning a living.

The romance is when you are cleared for a visual approach, and from that point on, it’s no computers and no automatics. Just good old stick and rudder.

The romance is when you pop out of low cloud, and ahead of you lies three kilometres of velvet smooth tarmac, lit up like a Christmas tree.

The romance is when after a fourteen hour transcontinental flight, you look back at your office, and smile!

The romance is that no matter how prosaic you make it out to be, aeroplanes are still mankind’s greatest achievement.

The romance is very much alive and kicking ladies and gentlemen! But a window seat and an open heart, would help you see it.

Aviation Books for the Holidays

Ace Abbott says the best holiday gifts money can buy are books. If you have friends, neighbors, relatives, or airport and pilot colleagues who may be remotely interested in aviation, the following list of aviation books will pleasantly entertain these people. In honor of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” here is Ace Abbott’s list of 12 great aviation books.

  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach; non-pilots as well as aviation folks have enjoyed this classic for nearly 40 years; available anywhere books are sold.
  • Falling to Earth by Al Worden: A memoir of an astronaut who went from a small farm in Michigan to become the first man ever to venture to the back side of the moon as the Apollo 15 command module pilot. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJxW61.
  • Fighter Pilot (Robin Olds) with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus: A must read for every current or ex-military person, particularly any pilot from the Vietnam War era. The story of an iconic fighter pilot who was a heroic and courageous leader. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgIKaz
  • Rules of Engagement by Joe Weber: This book complements Fighter Pilot. It is Tom Clancy-like fiction, since it is laced with reality. The primary theme of a free-spirited Marine fighter pilot during the air war over Vietnam is complemented with a poignant love story; available at http://bit.ly/1CBtBFK.
  • The Rogue Aviator by Ace Abbott: A memoir of an adventuresome, maverick pilot who experienced a radical roller-coaster-like ride through a diversified aviation career; filled with entertaining and implausible aviation anecdotes; as well as an insider’s look at commercial aviation. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1tHUaid, or http://therogueaviator.com/.
  • Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crash Pads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet by Heather Poole:  As the title reveals, this book relates many radical anecdotes of craziness in the cabin, and provides insight into the multifaceted drama that can occur in the cabin of a passenger airplane. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yep9sy.
  • Chuck Yeager– An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager; This story of the renowned test pilot will take you way beyond the speed of sound and into the world of swashbuckling fighter pilots and test pilots. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vFuvfi.
  • Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen: This well researched book will provide revelations about the famed top-secret “black-area” in the Nevada desert. It will clear up some misconceptions about aliens while revealing insight into the depth of the level of energy and effort by the U.S. government into the development and use of spy planes, such as the SR 71 “Blackbird.” Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJBDbQ.
  • The Darkest Mission by Rick Burton; This well-researched spy-vs-spy thriller was very well researched and contains troves of information derived from the real world of international espionage. The primary narrative revolves around a WW II B-17 crew that was shot down over enemy territory; an adrenalin-pumper from start to finish. Available at http://amzn.to/1pMIyi.
  • An Extraordinary Life-Gone To The Dogs by Lisa Weiss; A powerfully poignant non-fiction account of a Jewish B-24 pilot who was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. Protagonist Irwin Stovroff relates his experiences as a POW and provides unique insight into the nuanced relationships of POWs and their colleagues as well as their captors. Irwin’s yeoman humanitarian efforts toward American Veterans is the glorious outcome of his improbable survival. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zdLuEZ.
  • Squawk 7700 by Peter Buffington; This auto biography relates the trials and tribulations of life as a commuter/regional air carrier pilot who reveals his very unpalatable training experience as a co-pilot for American Eagle Airlines. This book functions as an expose’ of the underpaid and overworked commuter pilots in the U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1w0DzgV.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; This WW II aviation bestseller is a story of survival, resilience, and redemption. It is available wherever books are sold. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1wjWRx.

Credit

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

 

Episode 318 Listener Survey Results

Oceana Airshow Geico Flight / Honor Flight

Results from our listener survey, the B787 battery issue, Air Traffic Control Center vulnerability, historic aircraft, flying a float plane, and air-to-air photography.

News

Boeing, FAA Don’t Understand 787 Battery Shortcomings, Japanese Say

After the Boeing 787 experienced Lithium Ion battery problems, Boeing made some changes designed to reduce the chances of thermal runaway, and to better manage the situation should it occur. But the root cause for the problem was never determined. By Christine Negroni in her Flying Lessons blog.

Illinois man accused of torching air traffic center was being transferred to Hawaii

A disgruntled FAA contractor posted a suicide note on Facebook, brought a can of gasoline into the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, and set the place on fire, affecting more than 2,000 flights. The man was found by paramedics as he attempted to end his life with a knife.

Allen vs Jackson to restore or recreate the battle for collections

Paul Allen (co-Founder of Microsoft) and Peter Jackson of (Lord Of The Rings Fame) are both amassing huge warbird collections.  They are being painstakingly restored by Allen and  completely recreated from scratch by Jackson using original plans.  The article questions if flying these on of a kind aircraft is worth the risk.  Also does creating a “Clone” of an original demean the original and cloud the historical significance.

Flying a Seaplane

Rob’s been learning to fly a float plane.

David’s Report

Geico Skytypers Blue Angels

The Geico Skytypers were invited by the Blue Angels to do a formation flight, and they wanted to David to take some air-to-air photographs. David relates that adventure.

David in Texan

At the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show, David spoke with Kenneth Hess, the Public Affairs Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. They discussed biofuels and goals of the Navy to reduce energy consumption. Ken mentions the free Energy Warrior app, which lets you discover what the Navy is doing to lead change and increase combat capability. You also learn facts about U.S. oil dependence, and what America’s Navy is doing about it.

Also at Oceana, David spoke with air show and event announcer Ric Peterson about what it takes to be an announcer.

The Australia News Desk

WONZ DH.83 Fox Moth

In one of the shortest AusDesks of all time, Grant chats briefly with Errol Cavit and Zac Yates after the recent Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet-up at Ardmore Airport near Auckland.

WONZ Two Seat Spitfire

In addition to Grant scoring a flight in a de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth, there were plenty of amazing aircraft (including a 2-seat Spitfire) and excellent presentations during the day (plus some beer at the end).

Across the Pond

Ascender © Bristol Spaceplanes

Ascender © Bristol Spaceplanes

Pieter looks at the UK Government Review of commercial spaceplane certification and operations: Technical Report [PDF], as well as the recent news on MOM, MAVEN and Rosetta.

Mentioned

Airbus helps develop first supersonic biz jet

Rand Peck Aviation Photography

AIR14 – The pilots’ view

Plane Spotting: U.N. Brings Rare Jets to NYC

Melanoma Incidence Is Much Higher for Flight Crews

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 290 – David Parker Brown, Airline Reporter

Boeing Tour

Guest David Parker Brown from AirlineReporter.com knows the airline industry, and he also plays a big role in the annual Aviation Geek Fest in Seattle.

In 2014, the two-day event included the Museum of Flight Restoration Center and tours of the Future of Flight Aviation Center, the Boeing Everett Factory, and the Passenger Experience Research Center (PERC). Boeing even held a Dreamlifter next to the Future of Flight for the group to view from the ground. They also saw the Delivery Center and an amazing time was had by all.

Boeing Dreamlifter by AvGeekJoe

Boeing Dreamlifter by AvGeekJoe

Airplane Geeks listener AvGeekJoe has a collection of pictures of the Museum of Flight’s restoration of a DH 106 Comet Mk 4C and of one of the Dreamlifters. Also see the Future of Flight’s photographs from the event.

The event received some favorable press, including Aviation Buffs Get To Embrace Their Inner Nerd At Annual ‘Geek Fest’ by Seattle NPR station KPLU, and Wow! Making planes in the world’s biggest building by CNN.

Malaysia Airlines B777-200

Malaysia Airlines B777-200

The week’s aviation news:

Harbin SH-5

Harbin SH-5

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: the Harbin SH-5, a Chinese turboprop flying boat.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: Women in aviation.

Jack Newman from GetIntoFlying

Jack Newman from GetIntoFlying

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

After recently appearing on Xtended, resident pilot and advisor Fl Lt Jonathan Duke RN, a Sea King Mk 7 Pilot for the Royal Navy joined Pieter to talk about GetIntoFlying. A project all about helping those interested in careers, enjoyment and interest in aviation and aerospace achieve their goals, GetIntoFlying has been a great success. Following last weeks discussion on British Airways careers, here is another great resource for those interested in an aviation career. Follow @GetIntoFlying on Twitter.

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

Mentioned:

Junkers Ju 52

Junkers Ju 52

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

AirplaneGeeks 272 – NBAA 2013 Report

 

Learjet

Guests Jon Ostrower from the Wall Street Journal and Molly McMillin from The Wichita Eagle discuss the just concluded National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 2013 Convention. This year the event saw 1100 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees.

Jon and Molly give their observations of the event, including the demand for business jets and the outlook, new programs and money going into product development, the unveiling of Dassault 5X, Learjet’s 50th anniversary and the Learjet 85, Beechcraft making it through bankruptcy, lithium batteries, new Aviation Partner scimitar winglets, and consumer electronics in cabin interiors.

Molly was the recipient of the NBAA’s 2013 Journalism Award for her article, “Corporate Planes Give Business Owners an Edge.”

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Ryan NYP, the Spirit of St. Louis by Randy dePasquale.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

There’s no AusDesk Report this week, but David uncovers some spooky hidden messages from the boys down under, just in time for Halloween.

BAE 146

Banned by the EU Avia Air Traffic flies BAE 146’s amongst others. Jason Smart flew on this aircraft type on his travels.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

We ask Jason Smart back onto the show to talk about his travel writing career that has seen him travel to every former ex Soviet state in his book The Red Quest. We then follow Jason’s journeys through the airlines and aircraft he has flown around the world, his scariest flight ever and what the food served on some airlines tastes like. A different look at the aviation sector through the eyes of someone who has flown on banned airlines and broken airliners.

His books can be found at www.theredquest.com and cover an amusing look at his travels through Europe, Asia, the America’s and The Middle East. Certainly many of these could be added to your holiday shopping list.

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

Mentioned:

From Errol Cavit on folding wings:

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