Tag Archives: Boeing

532 A Jet City Star

Guest Isaac Alexander gives us a taste of aviation action in the Pacific Northwest. In the news: updates on the Boeing/Embraer deal, more WOW Air woes, Virgin Galactic test flight, MRJ engine final assembly in Japan, the Northrop Grumman Firebird MALE, an airline turnback to deliver a heart, and a pet fish. Plus David’s holiday story, Voyager spacecraft, and first flight comments.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Spruce Goose.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Hughes H-4 Hercules (the Spruce Goose) at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon.

Guest

Aviation geek Isaac Alexander is a freelance aviation writer who blogs, tweets, and posts as Jet City Star from the Pacific Northwest. In the past, Isaac was on the committee for the weekend-long Aviation Geek Fest held annually in the Greater Seattle area.

Isaac tells us about the aviation scene in the Pacific Northwest, including some of the aerospace companies based there, the senior roles held by women in area organizations, new scheduled service, must-visit museums and other attractions, recent aviation events, and some events coming up in 2019.

Follow Isaac on Twitter at @jetcitystar and see these sites to learn more:

Aviation News

Brazil court overturns injunction against Boeing-Embraer deal

Last week we reported that four congressmen with Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party won an injunction in Brazilian federal court preventing the Embraer/Boeing deal from going forward. Now a Brazilian federal appeals court has overturned the injunction.

Embraer and Boeing Approved the Terms of Strategic Aerospace Partnership, Seek Brazilian Government Approval

Both companies have come to an agreement: “The approved terms define the joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer, in which Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake and Embraer will hold the remaining 20 percent. The transaction remains subject to approval by the Government of Brazil, after which Embraer and Boeing intend to execute definitive transaction documents. The closing of the transaction will then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.”

Embraer Welcomes Brazil’s Filing of its First Written Submission Challenging Canada’s Subsidies to Bombardier

The dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization is examining subsidies received by Bombardier from the Governments of Canada and Quebec. The Brazilian Government (and Embraer) say the 19 subsidies violate Canada’s WTO obligations. More details about Brazil’s First Written Submission are available in the DS522 — FACT SHEET [PDF].

Enjoy your Holiday Laser-light Display-Responsibly

Each holiday season for the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays.

Flying with WOW Air? You might need to rebook as airline sells off planes, lays off employees

Budget carrier WOW Air is taking measures to keep the company in business. They announced a cut back in the number of airplanes from 20 to 11, they plan to sell four Airbus A321s, and reportedly the airline laid off 111 employees.

Virgin Galactic gets set for SpaceShipTwo flights that aim for space — but how high?

Virgin Galactic has been flight-testing its VSS Unity rocket plane, carried by SpaceShipTwo.

Mitsubishi completes first assembly of GTF PW1200G engine for MRJ jet

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine. In Komaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines (MHIAEL) has completed their first final assembly of the engine for the MRJ flight test program. Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Canada will also assemble and test the engine.

MHI completes capital bail-out of MRJ

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) bailed out/restructured debt by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC).

Video from Farnborough 2018: MRJ’s delays are over, says Mitsubishi

More flying footage: The Elegant ANA Mitsubishi Regional Jet MRJ Flying at Farnborough UK

Northrop Grumman Plans To Upend Aerial Surveillance Market With Their Optionally Manned Firebird

Northrop Grumman is developing a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft called the Firebird. It’s being developed for aerial surveillance missions and its history goes back to Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites that built an optionally manned demonstrator which first flew in 2010.

We now know where Seattle’s airborne heart was headed after Southwest flight was turned around

Someone forgot to unload a human heart from a Southwest Airlines in Seattle. During a subsequent flight of that plane, the error was discovered and the plane was forced to return to Seattle.

Student heartbroken, humiliated after being forced to give up pet fish prior to Southwest flight

“Cassie,” the student’s beloved pet betta fish, was refused boarding on a Southwest flight, despite being allowable according to the TSA website, and previous travel on the airline.

Holiday Story

David Vanderhoof tells us a Christmas story filled with historical figures.

Mentioned

Drone shatters passenger jet’s nosecone & radar during landing (PHOTOS) and the Tweet with photos.

JPL Voyager Mission Status page.  

The Flight Claims of Gustave Whitehead

Instagram photo of DC-3 by @mikeymcbryan.

Daks Over Normandy

D-Day Squadron

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

 

531 Aerial Tankers, Again

Lockheed Martin and Airbus take another run at aerial tankers for the US Air Force, air marshals behaving badly, a Brazilian court blocks the Boeing-Embraer deal, airport biometric identity checks, a pilot and a pickup app, AOPA’s STEM program, an Antonov An-124 stationed at Houston, the Boeing 777X BBJ, and Voyager 2 in interstellar space.

Also, a aviation events Max plans to attend in 2019, his Eat at the Airport project, who flew controlled powered flight first, and more on ion drives and aircraft noise.

Airbus A330 MRTT aerial tanker.

A330 MRTT, courtesy Airbus.

Aviation News

Airbus Teams With Lockheed to Take On Boeing Tankers

In 2008, Airbus and Northrop Grumman won the contract to build tankers for the U.S. Air Force. But the award for A330-based tankers was overturned and in 2011 Boeing won the contract for  179 tankers based on the 767 aircraft, the KC-46. Since then, Boeing has been beset with difficulties and has failed to be on time or within budget. Now, Airbus and Lockheed Martin have signed a memorandum of agreement on aerial refueling and are willing to “provide aerial-refueling services to address any identified capacity shortfall and to meet requirements for the next generation of tankers capable of operating in the challenging environments of future battlespace.” See the press release: Lockheed Martin And Airbus Sign Memorandum Of Agreement On Aerial Refueling.

In-depth: Air marshal mishap led to concerns of possible hijacking at MSP control tower

Federal Air Marshal BadgeOn August 20, 2018, there was some confusion aboard a Republic Airlines flight operating as United Airlines flight 3531 from Newark to Minneapolis. Two armed air marshals were aboard the flight, and the flight and cabin crews were unaware of the marshal’s presence, one of whom identified himself by flashing his gun. The pilot reported a possible hijacking attempt and when the plane landed police arrested the two marshals.

Federal Air Marshals accused of more than 200 gun mishaps: Air marshal mishap led to concerns of possible hijacking at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (KMSP) control tower

The TSA’s Office of Inspection has documented more than 200 cases of air marshals allegedly misusing firearms or misbehaving with guns between 2005 and 2017, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Embraer-Boeing aviation deal blocked by Brazilian court

Embraer likes the proposed tie-up with Boeing. Four congressmen with Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party not so much. They sought an injunction which a Brazilian federal court granted. The decision forbids Embraer’s board of directors from signing the deal to create a joint venture on commercial aviation that Boeing would control.

US Airport Opens First Fully Biometric Terminal

Delta Air Lines and Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport now have the first U.S. curb-to-gate biometric terminal using facial recognition. The camera-based system compares scans of travelers’ faces to a database of verified ID photos curated by US Customs and Border Protection.

Video: Delta flight boarding with facial recognition

Passenger says Delta pilot used Grindr to hit on him during flight

A passenger received a message sent inflight from the pilot via an online dating service. What should pilots do and not do with their time in the cockpit?

This high school aviation program aims to stave off the pilot shortage

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) created a four-year STEM aviation curriculum. Classes are offered to ninth grade students and involve a mix of theory and hands-on projects. Eighty U.S. public, private, and charter schools are participating.

Cargo airline to make IAH home base for massive Antonov An-124 jet

Volga-Dnepr Group will base one of its 12 Antonov AN-124-100 planes at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. The company will provide crews, technical support teams, as well as special loading equipment.

Russian AN-124 Condor aircraft lands at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans from the Netherlands to deliver a diesel powered water pump in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The Navy's involvement in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations are led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Dawn C. Morrison (RELEASED)

Russian AN-124 Condor aircraft lands at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans from the Netherlands to deliver a diesel powered water pump in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Dawn C. Morrison (RELEASED)

Boeing Launches Longest-Range Business Jet Ever with BBJ 777X

Boeing Business Jets announced it is launching the BBJ 777X, which can fly more than half-way around the world without stopping, farther than any other business jet. Customers have a choice between two models: the BBJ 777-8 and BBJ 777-9. The BBJ 777-8 offers the longest range of 11,645 nautical miles and a 3,256 sq. ft. cabin. The BBJ 777-9 has a 3,689 sq. ft. cabin and an 11,000 nautical mile range.

Boeing BBJ-777X computer rendering © Boeing.

Boeing BBJ-777X computer rendering © Boeing.

NASA’s Voyager 2 Probe Enters Interstellar Space

The Voyager 2 spacecraft has now left the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun – and crossed into interstellar space. This follows Voyager 1, which left the heliosphere 2012. In July 2015, NASA uploaded the audio contents of the golden records to SoundCloud.

Airline Story of the Week

United CEO gives his first class seat to elderly passenger

Mentioned

AvGeekFests.com – The calendar of aviation events.

The Flying Monkey Grill and Bar at the Hartford–Brainard Airport (KHFD).

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

528 Red Bull Air Race

We look at the Boeing Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS for the 737 MAX, the Lockheed Martin X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft, an Aurora Flight Sciences high-altitude pseudo-satellite, Japan Airlines pilots and drinking, and the TSA’s Automated Security Lanes. Also, Launchpad Marzari reports on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Finale in Fort Worth, Texas.

Aviation News

FAA Probes Potential 737 MAX Design Flaw

The FAA is focusing on the automated stabilizer trim system that Boeing added to the 737 MAX aircraft. It’s called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS. Boeing may be required to design a fix for the system. Meanwhile, a Florida-based law firm has filed a lawsuit against Boeing claiming the system was an unsafe design and contributed to the Lion Air crash.

Lockheed Martin starts production of its experimental supersonic plane

Earlier this year, NASA awarded Lockheed a contract worth nearly $250 million to develop a supersonic airplane that doesn’t create a loud sonic boom. The X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft is designed for a 55,000-foot cruise at about 940 miles per hour. NASA will flight-test the experimental QueSST aircraft by the end of 2021.

The Boeing Odysseus is a Solar Aircraft Capable of Staying in the Air Indefinitely

The Odysseus high-altitude pseudo-satellite from Boeing unit Aurora Flight Sciences has a 243-foot wingspan. Flight testing in Puerto Rico is to begin in April 2019.

How Japan Airlines Plans to Solve Its Drunk Pilot Problem

The JAL co-pilot arrested at London’s Heathrow airport for being drunk took an in-house breathalyzer test but cheated. The breathalyzer used by JAL didn’t have a tube and it wasn’t noticed that the pilot was not blowing into the device.

US airport security is slowly getting just a bit better

Traditional airport security checkpoints in the U.S. process passengers serially. But now a different TSA checkpoint design is rolling out to additional airports. They are called “Automated Security Lanes” and passengers are processed in parallel.

Video: Travel Tips: Automated Screening Lanes

Red Bull Air Race

Launchpad Marzari attended the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Finale in Fort Worth, Texas.

Launchpad asked a great question during the live press conference, then interviewed racer Mike Goulian who took third place overall for the season.

Red Bull Media Center, Austin, Texas.

Mentioned

PurpleAir.com  – An air quality monitoring network built on a new generation of “Internet of Things” sensors.

The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at three cruise ports and 26 airports.

YouTube Aviation Channels

More listener-submitted YouTube channels:

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Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

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

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Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

524 Electric Airplane Propulsion

The CEO of magniX talks about electric airplane propulsion. Also, FAA reauthorization, an initial NTSB report, why bad airline service is profitable, a possible increase in the LSA weight limit, and Air Force contracts for helicopters and the T-38 replacement.

Guest

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. maker of electric airplane motors.

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX.

Roei Ganzarski is the CEO of magniX, a company developing high-power-density electric motors for aircraft propulsion.

magniX sees itself as a propulsion company, developing electric motors for existing and future airframes. Roei describes how the electric airplane (or hybrid-electric) offers the prospect of connecting communities through lower costs to fly. In addition to reduced fuel and maintenance costs, electric airplanes benefit from lower emissions.

Roei describes some of the challenges faced, including battery energy density, lifespan, and replacement cost.

The magniX 350SHP electrfic airplane motor.

The magniX 350SHP electric airplane motor.

magniX is currently testing a 350 hp motor, while the 375 hp and 750 hp production motors are in final design. Flight tests are planned for the second half of 2019, with certification and start of commercial operation in 2022. Beyond that, magniX looks to develop one-megawatt and superconductor motors for very high output per kilogram.

Prior to joining magniX, Roei was CEO of BoldIQ, a global provider of dynamic real-time scheduling optimization software. Under Roei’s leadership, BoldIQ grew from a seed software startup to a profitable multi-million dollar SaaS company.

Follow @magniX on Twitter and find them on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Before BoldIQ, Roei was Chief Customer Officer for Boeing’s Flight Services division where he led all worldwide customer and market-facing organizations. Other experiences prior to Boeing include private investment banking, corporate finance, advertising, and the military.

Roei is a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program. He earned an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BA in Economics from The University of Haifa. Roei sits on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association.

See: MagniX Hits Milestone for All-Electric Aircraft Motors.

Aviation News

President Trump Just Signed a Law That Radically Changes Life for Airline Passengers, Flight Attendants, and Airlines (Almost Nobody Even Noticed)

Greenville plane crash: Initial NTSB report shows braking switch was inoperative

This Is The Real Reason Bad Airline Service is Profitable

LSA Weight Limit Increasing To 3600 Pounds

Boeing Wins Air Force Chopper Deal [paywall]

Boeing Wins Contest to Build Air Force Trainer Jets [paywall]

Mentioned

Zunum Partners With France’s Safran For Hybrid-To-Electric Airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

515 Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current

Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower is now editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Jon shares his views on Farnborough, electric aircraft, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a Boeing middle market jet. Also, union reaction to single pilot cargo planes, Rolls-Royce financial woes in light of Trent 1000 problems, and a general aviation exhibit coming to the National Air & Space Museum. We also announce the winner of the Pima Air Museum book giveaway.

Guest

Jon Ostrower, editor-in chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower is a longtime professional aviation journalist. He was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal, a staff reporter covering aerospace at The Wall Street Journal, and aviation editor at CNN. Jon has recently embarked on a new project as editor-in-chief of The Air Current, a subscription-based service providing in-depth industry analysis which “connects the dots” of current aviation news stories.

In our conversation, Jon gives his perspectives on this year’s Farnborough Air Show, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a possible Boeing middle market “B797.” He ties these together with a possible rise in stature of the Chinese aviation industry. Jon also explains how he believes electric aircraft are poised to bring more change to aviation.

As a special offer for Airplane Geeks listeners, Jon is giving a discount on subscriptions to The Air Current. To take advantage of the discount, use the offer code “airplanegeeks” when you subscribe at subscribe.theaircurrent.com.

Aviation News

Airline pilots protest study on allowing cargo planes to have one pilot, remote help

Sec. 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 says, “The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program in support of single-piloted cargo aircraft assisted with remote piloting and computer piloting.” A group of unions representing many commercial airlines doesn’t know who put that in the legislation, or why, and they are not happy.

In Stop Government Funding of Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft, ALPA urges members to submit a “Call to Action to urge your Senators and Members of Congress to protect aviation safety and airline pilot careers.”

Rolls-Royce flies into loss on Trent engine trouble

This article quantifies some of the financial impacts on Rolls-Royce of their Trent 1000 engine problems. In the first half of 2018, Rolls suffered an after-tax loss of £962 million ($1.26 billion). In the first half of 2017, RR earned a net profit of £1.17 billion. Rolls-Royce took an extra £554-million exceptional charge linked to costs involved in fixing the Trent 1000, and the company estimates the total cost of Trent 1000 repairs between 2018 and 2022 to be upwards of £1.3 billion.

Rolls-Royce Offers Airlines Credits for 787 Groundings

Rolls-Royce Holdings “plans to offer airlines maintenance credits, limiting direct compensation for grounding Boeing Co. 787 planes in a bid to minimize the impact of unexpected wear issues on cash flow…”

Donations Energize NASM’s New GA Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is undertaking a seven-year upgrade project that will include a new “We All Fly” exhibit about the many forms of general aviation. To help finance the exhibit, the NASM has accepted a $10 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation. The exhibit will include an aerobatic biplane flown by Sean D. Tucker and is scheduled to open in 2021.

Pima Air & Space Museum Book Giveaway

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari announces the winner of our PIMA Air & Space Museum guidebook giveaway. We again want to thank Scott Marchand for his generous gift to our listeners. An album of listener photographs is available at AirplaneGeeks.com/pimabook.

Mentioned

WeatherSpork –  An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.   

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork.

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork. A KFC spork.

Police: Man tried to steal plane for concert

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Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

514 Aircraft Crash Sites

Our guest documents aircraft crash sites and helps next of kin find closure. In the news, we look at Boeing’s Aviall unit helping Antonov, a statement by aviation groups concerning GA fees charged by FBO’s, Delta’s test of a new dining experience for some international coach travelers, and an update on fan blade inspections following the fatal uncontained engine failure on Southwest. We also reminisce a bit about our past experiences with model rockets.

Guest

Pat Macha documents aircraft crash sites.

Pat Macha, founder of the Project Remembrance Team.

Pat Macha began documenting aircraft crash sites in the mountains and deserts of California in 1963. Twenty-five years ago Pat founded the all-volunteer Project Remembrance Team that is dedicated to facilitating the requests of next of kin who wish to learn more about the loss of loved ones in aircraft accidents. The Project Remembrance Team has assisted more than one-hundred-fifty next of kin to fulfill their wishes for accident reports, maps, photographs and crash site visitations. More than two dozen memorial markers have been placed at or near aircraft crash sites. All with the permission of the property owners.

All missions are completed with respect and admiration for those who have come forth to honor the memory of those whom they have lost. Losses suffered by first responders and members of armed forces receive an appropriate extra measure of attention.

The Project Remembrance Team includes retired military service members, pilots, rangers, educators, firefighters, law enforcement officers, professional scuba divers, and business people. Pat has authored six books on crash sites in California, and he is a well-received speaker on aviation accident history and aircraft archaeology.

To learn more about aircraft crash sites, visit AircraftWrecks.com.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Aviation News

Boeing steps in to help the manufacturer of the world’s biggest plane

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Antonov signed a deal where Boeing’s Aviall unit would supply components to Antonov. This will allow Antonov to resume production. Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets said Aviall will support Antonov to build AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes.

Women in Aviation Withdraws Support for Recent AOPA Letter on Airport Access

AOPA reported in Coalition Calls for Action on Airport Access that “16 general aviation groups issued a joint statement calling on the FAA to take action against ‘egregious, hidden fees and denial of affordable access to airport ramps.’” Among the groups signing the statement was Women in Aviation International, but now WAI has rescinded their support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, “As a pilot myself, I am sympathetic to the financial challenges inherent in flying, but we also recognize that FBOs provide services crucial to our flying as well as extending comforts which enhance general aviation operations.”

Also note: Plans Underway for WAI Girls in Aviation Day 2018. The worldwide outreach scheduled for October 13, 2018. A growing list of Girls in Aviation Day events around the world can be found at https://www.wai.org/events/girls-aviation-day-2018.

Delta Air Lines Just Made a Truly Stunning Announcement About Economy Travel. (But Will Other Airlines Just Copy Them?)

Delta Air Lines testing (majorly) enhanced international economy meals

Delta Air Lines is testing an “enhanced meal and beverage service” for international economy class passengers on flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo. The dinner service includes cocktails and sparkling water, appetizers, choice of three-course dinner, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert. The meal is served in courses, on white dishes.

World’s Best Economy Class Airlines 2018

Thai Airways tops the list, followed by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways, and fifteen others.

Southwest: Other carriers finding cracked engine fan blades

Following the April fatal uncontained engine failure of a CFM International engine on a Southwest flight, GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said about 150,000 blades have been inspected. A small number of fan blades with cracks have been found and Southwest CEO Mike Van de Ven said “maybe four or five” cracked fan blades have been found at other carriers.

Airventure 2018

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 Facts and Figures

Airplane Geeks at AirVenture.

AvGeeks at AirVenture.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Mentioned

B52 Crash Site in Maine, and The Wreck Chaser

United Airlines donates flights to reunite families separated at border

Mary Ellis, RAF Pilot, Dies At 101

Mary Ellis flying onboard a 2 Seat Spitfire and today (02.02.17) is her 100th Birthday

Brian attended the launching of some model rockets as part of the after-school program sponsored by the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum based in Compton, CA. In addition to successfully launching some rockets built by students Sarah and Jonathan, Brian let them launch two of his 3D printed rockets.  One rocket failed to deploy the parachute, as the 3D printed plastic melted from the engine heat. The other rocket properly deployed the parachute but experienced an internal structural failure that resulted in the rocket coming to earth in two pieces.   Both launches were considered a success as all parts were recovered and the students will learn from the failure analysis and design better rockets in the future.

United CEO Refused to Sit Coach for an Interview About How Shitty Coach Seats Are Today

The UK’s first disabled air display team gets ready for takeoff

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

513 Farnborough Airshow 2018

This episode we take a look at some of the stories to come out of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow including the orders, the Boeing NMA, the Airbus A220, a startup airline, and engines powering new aircraft. In the news, we look at the Ryanair strikes, the top ten airlines, United flight attendants preparing to pitch the airline’s credit card, and the Airbus A321LR and XLR. We also have an interview with the director of the Portland International Jetport, and an important announcement.

Farnborough Airshow

The Farnborough Airshow was 16-22 July 2018. We talked about some of the stories from that week:

CFM to compete for NMA even if required thrust rises

Even if Boeing’s power requirement for the New Mid-market Airplane’s engines goes over 50,000 lb-thrust each, CFM International still plans to participate in the competition. CFMI is the joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma).

Airbus, Boeing gain more than 960 aircraft orders at Farnborough

Airbus and Boeing announcing firm net orders and commitments for more than 960 aircraft, valued at $160 billion at list prices. This compares to sales of 917 aircraft announced at the Paris Air Show in 2017.

Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

Airbus has had up to 100 A320neo jets sitting on the ground waiting for engines, mainly from Pratt & Whitney.

United order for 70-seat E175s raises questions

United plans to take the 25 of the E175 SC variant in 2019, replacing Bombardier CRJ700s at a regional operator. The SC variant is configured with 70 seats instead of the US standard of 76 seats. United’s scope clause with its pilots limits it to 255 large regional jets with 70-76 seats, including 102 70-seaters and 153 76-seaters. The United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) responded, “This aircraft is designed to hold over 80 seats and will be flown to outsourced express carriers in the 70-seat configuration. Revenue plummets and costs skyrocket. Bringing this flying back to mainline United Airlines will lower costs, increase revenue, and allow United to once again control its product.”

A220 gains ETOPS certification

Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan has been granted extended twin-engined operations (ETOPS) of up to three hours. A total of 38 A220s are in service at Swiss, Air Baltic, and Korean Air. Another 424 are on order, including the 60 ordered by JetBlue Airways earlier this month.

Pratt engines to power planes for startup airline

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz announced that Pratt & Whitney will supply at least 120 geared turbofan engines to power the 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft for David Neeleman’s new airline. Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding at the Farnborough International Airshow with a group of “experienced investors” who plan to start the new U.S. airline.

GoFly Personal Air Taxi Competition Racks Up Support

GoFly was launched in September 2017 as a contest to create a personal aircraft that can fly a human 20 miles safely without recharging or refueling and using VTOL or near-VTOL capability. Pratt & Whitney is sponsoring the $100,000 Disruptor Award for the most innovative team in the competition. Over the next two years, teams will compete to win $2,000,000 in prizes. At the Farnborough Airshow, GoFly announced the 10 Winners of the GoFly Challenge: Phase 1.

Video: GoFly Prize: Celebrating the Phase I Winners

The LM-100J Wows a Global Audience at Farnborough Airshow

The Lockheed Martin LM-100J civil cargo plane performed a loop at the Farnborough Airshow.

Other Aviation News

Ryanair says biggest-ever strike to ground 600 flights next week

Labor issues continue at Ryanair with a strike by cabin crew scheduled for two days. Ryanair, published a list of cabin crew benefits on Twitter, while the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) convened a group called Cabin Crew United and released the Ryanair Cabin Crew Charter.

The World’s Best Airlines for 2018

The 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards are out and Singapore Airlines tops the list, followed by Qatar Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, Emirates, and EVA Air. U.S. carriers placed deep in the list. This year’s survey saw over twenty million entries.

United Becomes Latest Airline to Deploy Flight Crews to Pitch Credit Cards

Travel news website Skift reports that starting in September, United will join other airlines in pushing their branded credit card to passengers. Flight attendants will receive $100 for every customer they sign up. John Slater, the senior vice president of in-flight services said, “Some of our biggest competitors, including American, actively promote their cards through the Inflight division and have a sizable lead on the number of new customers their flight attendants generate by marketing the card on board. We need to answer this challenge just as we would any other competitive threat.”

For more background, see Study: Intro Bonus Offers for Travel Rewards Cards Nearly Triple in 10 Years by Benét J. Wilson.

An Airbus A321XLR Could Be a Game Changer for JetBlue

JetBlue has the option to convert some of its Airbus A321neo orders to the A320LR with a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, but they must give Airbus 24 months notice. JetBlue is considering where they can make the greatest margins – on domestic flights with the A321neo or transatlantic flights with the LR neo variant. But a possible A321XLR with a 4,500-mile range may be on the way with a larger center fuel tank and increased maximum take-off weight.

Interview

Our Main(e) Man Micah spoke with Paul Bradbury, airport director at Portland International Jetport about a number of topics that impact the airport and the community.

See Federal grant will fund improvements to help jetport handle more passengers.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

Mentioned

Brian Coleman attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Compton Airport for a new DC-3 food truck:

DC3 food truck

 

 

 

 

 

The Columbia from the Undone podcast, by Gimlet from January 23, 2017.

Craftplicator

The Wings Over New Zealand Show.

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI).

Tankers Is a Job for a “True Airman” from Flying Magazine. For more aerial firefighting videos, see the Neptune Aviation Services Inc. YouTube channel.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

512 Aerial Firefighting

The COO of an aerial firefighting company tells us about the aircraft, the pilots, and flying the missions. In the news: early Farnborough orders, the rebranded CSeries (now the Airbus A220), a Rolls Royce Hybrid VTOL concept, and an engine OEM says, “not so fast.” Also, Pieter Johnson’s aviation weekend (rather amazing), listener Nicki takes Brian on a flight, Hangar Hotel, and information about AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 gatherings of aviation podcasters and listeners.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Guest

Dan Snyder is the chief operating officer of Neptune Aviation Services, an aerial firefighting company and the primary provider of large airtanker services to the United States Forest Service for more than 25 years.

Dan tells us about Neptune Aviation’s transition from the Lockheed P-2V Neptune to the BAE 146-200 jet for aerial firefighting. In making its selection to replace the aging aircraft, the company considered factors such as jet spool-up time and how to slow the aircraft. Another significant issue was the culture change going from radial to turbofan.

We look at how the fire retardant tanking system was designed and the approvals required. Dan describes the life of an air tanker pilot and what Neptune looks for in a pilot. We touch on safety issues, Forest Service contract models, and aerial firefighting safety – now and in the past.

Aerial Firefighting. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial Firefighting. Photo courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Dan has been involved in both flight and maintenance related aviation for over 24 years. At Neptune Aviation Services, he manages all of Neptune’s day-to-day operations, including aerial firefighting operations. Prior to his current position, Dan spent time in Alaska flying and maintaining aircraft. He served as Director of Maintenance for several repair stations and operators and flew for various corporate operators. Dan also has experience as a Part 142 ground and simulator instructor, a part 135 check airman, and an FAA examiner in several corporate jet types. Dan continues to fly and flight instruct from time to time. He holds FAA ATP, CFI, CFII, A&P, and IA certificates.

In Alaska, Dan flew a de Havilland Buffalo. This video features the Buffalo, but that’s not Dan flying (we don’t think): CC-115 de Havilland DHC-5 Buffalo STOL Takeoff.

Aviation News

Airbus Takes The Lead At Farnborough With 186 Order Commitments, Advantage In Asia

The Farnborough International Airshow kicked off this week, launching the annual “contest” for orders. The forecasts point to the most aviation growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus placed orders for 186 planes compared to 175 for Boeing. The A320neo picked up 159 orders and options and the 737 MAX received 145. Additionally, Airbus had orders for 27 A350 aircraft while Boeing reported that United Airlines had previously put in an undisclosed order for four 787-9 planes.

Airbus wins JetBlue order for its newly rebranded A220

The same day that Airbus unveiled the A220 name for the jet formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries, JetBlue announced it would buy 60 of the A220-300 jets. These are to replace JetBlue’s 60 Embraer E190 aircraft and are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1500G engines. These A220s will be assembled at Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama, facility.

Rolls Royce Reveals Hybrid VTOL

At Farnborough, Rolls-Royce showed a hybrid VTOL concept that could carry four or five passengers at speeds up to 217 knots with a range of up to 435 nm. The design should be flying by the “early 2020s.” The concept vehicle uses a gas-turbine to generate the electricity that powers six electric propulsors. A battery provides energy storage.

Engine Maker to Boeing-Airbus: Not So Fast on 737, A320 Ramp

CFM International has signaled Boeing and Airbus to be careful about increasing their production rates. With record backlogs of B737 and A320 family aircraft, the airframers are motivated to increase the rates but CFMI wants to catch up before committing to a higher production rate.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson tells us about his aviation experiences over a weekend – one memorable, one hopefully not to be repeated.

Recorded Segments

Brian Coleman goes flying with listener Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks with Kelly Criddle, senior marketing manager for Hangar Hotel. Mentioned is Fredericksburg Brewing Co.

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Mike Harris from the Why We Fly podcast provided a run-down of some podcast / social media events happening at Oshkosh this year.

Nick Herring provides some very nice feedback and introduces us to V1: The Podcast.

Mentioned

Aircraft in Pretoria crash was a 1954 Convair 340, recently acquired by a Dutch museum

Two Qantas pilots in South African Convair 340 plane crash

Wonderboom plane crash: It was a ‘thank you’ flight

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

511 Aircraft Dispatcher

An aircraft dispatcher for a major airline tells us about the training and knowledge requirements of a dispatcher. Also, the FAA says they don’t need to regulate airline seat space, Delta goes only nine abreast on the 777-200ER, Boeing and Embraer sign an MOU, and JetBlue steps up to help a pet in distress. We have an interview with the executive director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum, and we talk about going supersonic, more airmail navigation arrows, and the Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion first test flight.

Guest

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike

Dispatcher Mike

Mike Karrels is an aircraft dispatcher for a major airline based in the United States. He owns a share of a vintage 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer and hosts the Flying and Life podcast which covers the duties of a dispatcher and dives into the complex details of airline operations and flight planning. We last talked with Mike at the National Air & Space Museum in Episode 508 and here we expand the conversation about becoming an aircraft dispatcher.

Mike explains that dispatcher training requirements are defined in 14 CFR Part 65, Subpart C – Aircraft Dispatchers. Content and minimum hours are specified in 14 CFR 65.61 – Aircraft dispatcher certification courses: Content and minimum hours and 14 CFR Appendix A to Part 65, Aircraft Dispatcher Courses lists the knowledge topics. There are currently 57 Part 65 schools approved to teach: FAA-Approved 14 CFR Part 65 Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Courses [PDF]. We also look at the dispatcher practical exam, recurrent training, and the annual desk check.

We explore the differences between dispatching domestically and internationally, and between trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific where Mike tells us about the system of tracks system. He also explains how an awareness of the geopolitical situation is important to an aircraft dispatcher. We look at dispatcher trade associations and the union situation.

Mike graduated from Lewis University with an undergraduate degree in Aviation Flight Management and a few years later earned a Masters in Aviation and Transportation. He holds FAA certificates for Commercial Single engine land with an instrument rating, a Remote Pilot Certificate, and an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike's 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun 'n Fun.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike’s 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun ‘n Fun.

Aviation News

FAA declines to regulate more legroom for airline passengers

In response to a rulemaking petition filed by FlyersRights, in March 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC ordered the FAA to take a second look at regulating seat size and passenger room. FlyersRights argued that shrinking seat room and increasing passenger size made airliners unsafe in evacuation situations. The FAA has now responded saying, “The FAA has no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rulemaking at this time.”

Delta Just Made a Huge Announcement That Puts Other Airlines to Shame

Delta announced that their 777-200ER fleet refresh includes “9-abreast seating in Main Cabin versus the industry norm of 10 across.” Also in the refresh are seatback entertainment screens throughout with Delta Studio and thousands of hours of free content, and full-spectrum LED ambient lighting with customized lighting schemes depending on the phase of flight.

Boeing’s $4.75 billion Embraer deal leaves long to-do list

Boeing and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership. In a joint press release, the companies say, “The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake.”

JetBlue Just Did Something Wonderful (Something Other Airlines Have Struggled With)

Both United and Delta have been in the news with horror stories about pets on planes. Now we see a good news story about a French Bulldog named Darcy on JetBlue.

Interview

The Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is the third largest aviation museum in the world. The museum exhibits about 335 aircraft and 125,000 artifacts, attracts more than 170,000 visitors annually, and houses its own aircraft restoration shop. The museum also offers exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the “Boneyard,” it is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility.

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad spoke with Scott Marchand, Executive Director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum

Mentioned

North Atlantic Tracks published by Shanwick Center and Gander Center.

PACOTS Flight Planning Guidance [PDF]

Airline Dispatchers Federation

International Federation Of Airline Dispatchers Association

Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA)

Equator Aircraft Norway achieved first fully balanced flight with the P2 Xcursion prototype aircraft: First Runway Test Flight.

Northern Utah Aircraft Navigation Arrows Circa Early 20th Century by Patrick Wiggins.

An interesting graphic from Two wings “is megl’ che one!” (1) Some notes about sound:

Pressure waves of air flowing off an airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.