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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.

418 Airline Security and Safety

 

Aviation security since 9/11, smartphones on airplanes and more lithium-ion battery woes, the Boeing middle of the market airplane, another idea on how to find MH370, flying commercially to Cuba, and a review of the movie Sully.

Guest

Cynthia Drescher

Cynthia Drescher

Cynthia Drescher is a professional travel journalist, a contributing digital editor at Condé Nast Traveler, and a contributing editor at the Runwaygirl Network.

We discuss how airline and airport security have changed in the fifteen years since the 9/11 attacks. Also, the current issue with smartphone battery fires and how the airlines are responding. Cynthia recently examined safety problems when passenger smartphones fall into airplane seats, and we talk about what the airlines might do in response.

Cynthia visited Cuba, having flown there on the first JetBlue flight. She tells us about the travel experience and her impressions of the country and its people. We also learn which airplanes Cynthia enjoys, and the one that is not her favorite.

Follow Cynthia on Twitter at @JetSetCD, and on Instagram.

News

How Airport Security Has Changed Since 9/11

It is estimated that the U.S. has spent almost $100 billion on security since the September 11 attack. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created by Congress, we have hardened and bulletproof cockpit doors, no-fly lists, detection machines of various sorts, shoe removal, limits on liquids, profiling, checkpoints, and much more. Are we more secure? And what’s next?

Air Force, Running Low on Drone Pilots, Turns to Contractors in Terror Fight

Drones play a large role in the military response to terrorism. A drone requires a pilot, and with lots of drones, the U.S. Air Force needs lots of drone pilots. Private contractors are being used for reconnaissance missions, but are prohibited from being “trigger pullers” and firing weapons.

Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note faces airline bans

Some Galaxy Note7 smartphones have experienced lithium-ion battery fires. While Samsung has stopped sales of the phone and has initiated an Exchange Program for U.S. consumers, airlines and the FAA are taking action.

The necessity of smart stowage for smartphones on aircraft

Guest Cynthia Drescher describes the safety implications of smartphones that slip inside airline seats, and what might be done about it.

Can Boeing compete with the Airbus A321neo? And does it want to?

In the mid-size aircraft arena, the Boeing 737 MAX 9 is losing to the Airbus A321neo, which is larger and has a longer range. This size-class has been called MOM, or Middle Of the Market, while Boeing is calling it the New Mid-range Airplane or NMA. Such a plane could be a 737 stretch, while others are saying a new twin-aisle is possible.

Drifting Flaperon Decoys Next MH370 Gambit

There’s a new idea in the search for MH370: Drop Boeing 777 flaperon replicas into the sea at suspected crash sites, and see if any end up at the beach on Reunion Island. That’s where a flaperon from the 777 drifted. If one of the replicas does as well, the drop point gives you a targeted area to search.

Lawsuit seeks to block Alaska Airlines’ $4 billion acquisition of Virgin

The plaintiffs argue the deal would weaken competition in the industry, causing job loss and higher fare prices.

The Aircraft of the Week

af-2w_af-2s_vs-25

David continues through this collection of listener-requested aircraft of the week. This week’s aircraft was requested by Mike Stuemer. The Grumman AF Guardian was the bridge between two Classic aircraft: the Grumman TBF Avenger and the S-2 Tracker. It was too big, too slow, and flown in pairs, but it wrote the book on how to track subs.

In the next few weeks, David will take on the challenge brought forth by Chris Ruark: the F-105 Thunderchief, or THUD!

Movie Review

Rob Mark reviews the film “Sully.”

Mentioned

Airventure 2016 in my Sonex – from Mike Smith

How to Eat an Airplane

Tesla hires top designer Randy Rodriguez, man behind: Nissan 370Z, Titan and ICON A5 aircraft

Airbus Loses 2 Orders, Boeing May Gain $7 Billion Fighter Sale

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team 360VR Experience Launched at Oshkosh 2016

AeroShell 2016 VR Experience 360

Yankee Air Museum Destroyed In Fire (OV-10 Bronco Association)

Yankee Air Museum (Wikipedia)

Yankee Air Museum (official site)

The F-35 Stealth Fighter May Never Be Ready for Combat

Credit

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