Tag Archives: China

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

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

490 The Airbus A350

We talk with an Airbus A350 captain who has a long history flying commercial aircraft. In the news, we consider one-person flight crews, U.S. airlines looking to scale back consumer protection regulations, ADS-B vulnerabilities for military aircraft, and largest ever Piper order for training planes, plans for the Air Force bomber fleet, and Southwest runs out of glycol. We also have a conversation about ATIS with the Chief of the Air Traffic Control Division at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350.

Malaysia Airlines A350. Photo by H Gousse, courtesy Airbus.

Guest

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Bill Palmer is an A350 captain and an instructor pilot/check airman. He has been heavily involved in Airbus training since the early 1990’s, and Bill is the author of Understanding Air France 447 and other publications on Airbus flight control laws. Bill also holds a commercial glider rating and flies his Rolladen-Schneider LS-3 for fun in southern California.

Bill describes the transition to the A350 as like going from DOS to Windows. The aircraft shares some commonality with A380, and Bill describes fly-by-wire and the flight control laws. We also hear about other features of the A350, such as the paperless cockpit implementation and the availability airport runway, taxiway, and gate information to pilot. The plane will calculate landing distance and brake to the correct speed for the selected taxiway. Bill also describes the A350 runway overrun protection and the auto-flight system’s automatic TCAS and wind shear recovery.

Bill started flying at the age of 15, soloed on his 16th birthday and completed his private certificate at 17. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds a BS in Aeronautical Science. He earned his flight instructor certificate in 1978 and has been instructing almost non-stop since then while holding airplane, instrument, multi-engine, and ground instructor certificates. Besides light aircraft he has also taught on the 727, 757, A320, DC-10, and A330, and written manuals for the DC-10, A330, and B-787 fleets. He has also produced numerous training publications and videos for the various fleets as well.

Visit Bill’s webpage Understanding Air France 447 and his Trend Vector blog. His books Understanding Air France 447Airbus A330 Normal Law: Putting fly-by-wire into perspective, and Airbus Flight Control Laws: The Reconfiguration Laws are available on Amazon.com and at other retailers.

Aviation News

Boeing raises prospect of only one pilot in the cockpit of planes

At the Singapore Airshow, Boeing research and technology vice-president Charles Toups said, “We are studying [one pilot operations], and where you will first see that is probably in cargo transport, so the passenger question is off the table.” Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic about an unmanned freighter within the next five years.

Airlines seeking to snuff traveler rights?

In the Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney reports that last October the U.S. Department of Transportation asked airlines to suggest changes or cuts to regulations. Airlines for America filed 222 pages of comments. United Airlines added 50 pages.

Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks, ADS-B May Expose F-22s To Web Based Tracking GAO Warns

A 45-page Government Accountability Office report titled Urgent Need for DOD and FAA to Address Risks and Improve Planning for Technology That Tracks Military Aircraft [PDF] says that neither the Department of Defense nor the FAA has taken significant steps to mitigate security risks associated with openly transmitting flight data from military aircraft.

Piper Receives Largest Trainer Order in Company History

Chinese Fanmei Aviation Technologies has ordered 152 training aircraft from Piper Aircraft. Fanmei is Piper’s dealer in China, and a subsidiary of Sichuan Fan-Mei Education Group Co., which provides aviation education in China. This is reported to be the largest single order for training airplanes in Piper’s history. The seven-year purchase agreement is valued at $74 million and includes 100 Archer TX single-engine trainers, 50 twin-engine Seminoles, one Seneca twin, and one Piper M350.

Air Force outlines future of bomber force

In its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, the Air Force outlined plans for its bomber fleet, which include a plan to update the B-52 Stratofortress fleet, continue modifications to the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets, while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.

‘How does one airline run out of de-icer?’: Some gripes at Midway after Southwest’s cancellations

Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 250 flights from Midway Airport after running out of de-icing fluid. One of the glycol tank pumps wasn’t working properly and some of the de-icing fluid could not be accessed.

Interview

Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks about ATIS (automatic terminal information service) with Mark N. Vick, Chief, Air Traffic Control Division, Directorate of Aviation Operations at Robert Gray Army Airfield, Fort Hood Texas, a military joint-use airport that operates alongside Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport.

Mentioned

Rolls-Royce UltraFan® – The Ultimate Jet Engine and Lego Ultrafan in the flesh! @RollsRoyce, a video on Twitter by Andrew Smyth‏.

Nine Aviation and Space Achievements Compete for the 2017 Collier Trophy [PDF] and GA Companies Among Those Vying for Collier Trophy.

Heavens Above

The 101-year-old woman who flew Spitfires in WW2

MH370: Malaysian military sidelines crash investigators as power play emerges on search team and MH370 conspiracy theory involves Seabed Constructor and chest from shipwreck.

Credit

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

486 Flying Fast, High, and Far Away

A U.S. company helps develop general aviation in China, Virgin Galactic gets closer to its first customer flight, Boeing reveals a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency suspends a carrier, and the future of the A380 is questioned again.

We have an Across the Pond segment, a clip from GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus conference, interviews from CES 2018 about the Bell Helicopter autonomous air taxi, as well as additive manufacturing for aerospace applications, and the fifth installment from student pilot Nicki on her second solo.

YXST

Aviation News

Chino aviation group wins contract to help Chinese develop general aviation industry

Chino, California-based Threshold Aviation Group has partnered with Chinese company YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. to establish and operate training centers for Chinese pilots and mechanics, and to establish airparks and fixed base operations.

Threshold Aviation Group is based in Chino, California and is an aircraft maintenance, management, service, and support organization with more than 175,000 square feet of hangar and office space. Threshold is located at the Chino Airport (KCNO), adjacent to its 7,000-foot runway.

YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. “focuses on the full-value chain development,which integrates general aviation services, tourism, aviation education, aircraft sales and maintenance, development of aviation town, aviation medical service, aviation sport, aviation logistics, security service and extension service.”

Mark Dilullo, Threshold CEO and owner said, “This is a huge, literally huge opportunity for Threshold Aviation Group to expand its business with nearly limitless potential. The Chinese aviation market has the potential to eventually be the largest (general) aviation market in the world, and we are in on the ground floor of that providing critical services to help get it off the ground.” This summer, about 10 Chinese pilots and mechanics will come to Threshold for intensive training in general aviation skills

In March 2017, Threshold held a trade show at its Chino Airport hangar as part of the “Inaugural U.S.-China General Aviation Business Conference,” sponsored by Threshold and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

YXST Aviation holds the exclusive right to develop six airports with the possibility of adding more.

Space tourism in MONTHS: Virgin Galactic completes groundbreaking test flight

Virgin Galactic has completed another successful glide test flight of its VSS Unity plane over the Mojave Desert. VSS Unity, is the second SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane for Virgin Galactic. The first, VSS Enterprise, was destroyed in a crash in October 2014. Unity was taken up to an altitude of 50,000 feet by its from mothership VMS Eve before being released for the descent.

“Son of Blackbird”: Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Concept That Could Replace SR-71

At a recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum, Boeing unveiled a reusable Mach 5-plus concept model. The Boeing design is seen as a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. Also, Boeing Unveils Hypersonic ‘Son-Of-Blackbird’ Contender.

Costa Rica Suspends Airline Amid Probe Into Fatal Crash

Nature Air has been suspended by Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency. A Nature Air Caravan crashed recently killing the two Costa Rican pilots and ten US citizens, including a family of five from New York. One of the pilots was the company’s director of training. Nature Air’s operations manager quit this week and its aerial security director has requested a leave of absence.  

Leahy confirms A380 future hinges on Emirates order

On an Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries webinar, COO-customers John Leahy said, “If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates, it is clear we will have to shut down the program.” The A380 program currently has a 95-aircraft backlog.

Airplane of the Week

David brings us Part 2 of the EC-121 Warning Star: more Willy Victor missions, the victories, and the challenges.

Across the Pond

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired (Photo Copyright – The Daily Telegraph)

Pieter is back with an update on his 2017. He talks about the Falklands Air War and his journey to get the book on the Fairey Barracuda promoted and how it all started back here on the Airplane Geeks 7 years ago.

The Falklands Air War Series:

Aviation Xtended Episode 73 featuring the Fairey Barracuda and a book on the aircraft by Naval Air Historian, Matt Willis. Also, an interview with PO Anthony Johnson RN, a Telegraphist Air Gunner in the Barracuda who served at the end of WW2.

Photo Copyright - Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

Photo Copyright – Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

CES 2018

Brian Coleman attended CES 2018 in Las Vegas and recorded several interviews:

Bob Hastings, Bell Helicopter executive VP of communications and government affairs talks about the Bell Air Taxi.

BellAirTaxi at CES 2018

Dana from FlashForge and Bill Steele from Polar3D, and their unique partnership with 3D printing and how engineers are getting trained and evaluated with Polar Cloud.

From aluminum to titanium to carbon fiber, Markforged offers a wide range of material capabilities. They can 3D print functional prototypes, lightweight tooling, or fully working replacement parts. Product VP John Rielly talks about their innovative 3D printing technologies.

Markedforge at CES 2018

Oscar Meza, vice president global sales from Shining 3D describes their unique position in the market with their wide-range of 3D digitizing and printing solutions including scanners, printers, material, design and manufacturing services for a complete end-to-end virtual and physical solution.

Shining 3D at CES 2018

Also

We listen to a clip of General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus CX 2018 conference. He talks about the Export Bank and infrastructure initiatives, including the consolidation of the 21 FAA Centers that manage air traffic control across the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean.

Credit

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

427 How the Airplane Changed the World

We talk with the producer and director of a film about the ways aviation has transformed the world. Also, relationships between Middle Eastern and U.S. airlines, the outlook for business aircraft sales, Chinese radar advancements, a report of health problems with crew uniforms, and a compelling story by a Marine.

Twin Otter seaplane preparing to dock in the Maldives, from Living in the Age of Airplanes

Twin Otter seaplane preparing to dock in the Maldives, from Living in the Age of Airplanes

Guest

Brian J. Terwilliger is a licensed pilot captivated by flight since childhood. He is a filmmaker who produced and directed the National Geographic movie Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrated by Harrison Ford and featuring an original score by the late Academy Award® winning composer James Horner (Avatar, Titanic). The movie looks at the dramatic ways aviation has transformed the world, and was filmed in 18 countries, and across all 7 continents.

Following its premiere at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, the film continued its successful run on giant screen, digital, IMAX® and museum cinemas worldwide in 2015/2016. It has now been released digitally and on DVD / Blu-ray, along with the release of the original soundtrack.

Brian’s first film, the 2005 feature One Six Right, focuses on the romance of flight as seen through a day in the life of the Van Nuys Airport, a local general aviation airport in a Los Angeles suburb.

News

Qatar Airways Hopes to Strengthen Relationship with American Airlines

The CAPA Centre for Aviation awarded Qatar Airways their Airline of the Year award. In a subsequent interview with Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker, he talked about wanting to strengthen the airline’s strategic partnership with American Airlines.

Airline Coalition Urges Trump to Act

The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies issued a Statement from the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies on the Election of Donald Trump urging President-elect Donald Trump to stand up against state-owned Gulf airlines.

Cessna a bright spot in airplane delivery report

GAMA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, released a report indicating that 3rd quarter business jet and airplane shipments worldwide were 534 units, compared to 542 a year ago. Billings were $4.1 billion, versus $5.3 billion in 2015.

Teal Group: Slow Aircraft Sales May Be The New Normal

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia is “cautiously confident” that the business aviation won’t get worse, but we may be seeing the new normal.

China Claims Its New Anti-Stealth Radars Can Detect the F-22

For some time, China has been working to develop a Very High Frequency (VHF) active-phased array radar. This kind of system has a greater ability to detect stealth aircraft. At the Zhuhai Air Show, China showed the JY-27A 3-D long-range surveillance/guidance radar and the broader bandwidth JY-26 Skywatcher-U.

1300 American Airlines employees complain about hives, headaches from new uniforms, union says

American Airlines has new uniforms, and some flight attendants are complaining that they cause health problems. The cause isn’t known with certainty at this time.

Listener Recording

Favorite Aircraft – by a Marine, submitted by a listener and read by our Main(e) Man, Micah.

Mentioned

#PaxEx podcast 40 with Mary Kirby and Chris Kjelgaard.

666 The Devil’s Number – the Amazing Service of Col. Hank Snow [PDF] This story by John Mollison is available for free in honor of Veteran’s Day. It’s about one of the greatest combat pilots you may have never heard of, who flew 666 combat missions in three wars. John was a previous Airplane Geeks guest and produces Old Guys and Their Airplanes.

Fabulous Farnborough Airshow Photographs by Mary B. Lyons has been updated and is available in the U.S. at a special price.

Australian police probe fake air traffic calls forcing pilots to abort landings

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

422 A Look at The Crash Detectives

We talk about aviation accidents and look at a possible scenario for MH 370 with the author of a new book. Also, likely impacts of airline carbon offsets, building the giant An-225 in China, more fun with aircraft designations, and listener feedback.

Guest

The Crash DetectivesChristine Negroni is a journalist, published author, speaker, and broadcaster specializing in aviation and travel. Her new book, THE CRASH DETECTIVES: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, is a look at the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 in 2014, and other mysterious aviation accidents that have baffled the world.

Christine proposes a sequence of events aboard MH 370 that starts with aircraft decompression and pilot hypoxia, and ultimately leads to the aircraft flying on until it runs out of fuel. She supports the scenario with known facts and precedent from other accidents.

Christine Negroni

Christine Negroni

Christine has worked for many journalism organizations including, The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Air & Space Magazine, Executive Travel Magazine, Parade, as well as a number of local newspapers and television stations.

She covered the TWA Flight 800 crash for CNN, and wrote the book, Deadly Departure. Christine was asked by the FAA to participate in the advisory committee formed to address problems surfaced the the investigations of TWA 800 and the fatal in-flight fire of Swissair Flight 111. After the 9/11 attacks, Christine joined aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler and qualified for membership in the International Society of Air Safety Investigators.

News

Airline Pollution Deal Hinges on Complex World of Carbon Offsets

The agreement for an international scheme for commercial aviation carbon credits we looked at previously was finalized in Montreal. On one level, the idea is simple: the cost of carbon credits incentivise the industry to develop lower-carbon fuels and technologies, while the money raised by the credits will fund environmental initiatives to help to tackle climate change. At issue is the quality and availability of the credits.

Is it all over for the age of cheap air travel?

What will be the impact of the carbon credits scheme on airlines?

China plans to resurrect The World’s Largest Plane by restarting Antonov AN-225 ‘Mriya’ production

China will reportedly sign a deal with Ukraine to re-start production of the giant AN-225 cargo aircraft. Ukraine will also “provide a complete transfer of technology for the turbofan engines to be license produced in China…”

Airplane of the Week

David provides more fun with military aircraft designations.

Listener Recording

Part 3 of Ric’s series on getting a type rating in the Lear 45.

20160926_065904_600

Mentioned

EAA Oshkosh 2016 post on AgTalk with great photographs.

Credit

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

415 Airman Certification Standards

An FAA Designated Pilot Examiner talks about checkrides, the old Practical Test Standards (PTS) and the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS).  Also, government interest in airline IT system failures, pilot recruiting in China, the Boeing cabin of the future, the huge ATC applicant response, and Textron interest in Learjet.

Guest

Jason Blair is an active single and multi-engine instructor. He is a National Association of Flight Instructors Master Flight Instructor, and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for both part 61 and part 141 training providers. Jason was involved in the early stages of the FAA/industry efforts that developed the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that became effective June, 2016.

Jason Blair

Jason Blair

In this episode, Jason explains the differences between the Practical Test Standards and the new Airman Certification Standards, and when they apply. He offers advice for private, CFI, and ATP checkrides, and explains some of the common errors made by applicants. Jason tells us about the checks that Examiners make, the process they follow, and what the FAA is looking for. We also hear about the process for becoming an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.

Jason was named the 2016 Michigan CFI of the Year by the FAA, and over 1000 pilot certificates have been issued in Jason’s role as Examiner. Jason writes for a number of aviation publications and he’s active in the general aviation industry.

Starting his flying experience at the age of 15, and soloing at 16, Jason received his private pilot’s certificate at 17. While he pursued both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University in non-aviation fields, he continued his aviation passion through flight training at local FBOs, obtaining his instrument, commercial, and instructor certificates.

Jason flies general aviation aircraft for much of his personal and business travel, and has served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Flight Instructors, and represented the flight training community on a variety of committees including the FAA’s Runway Safety Council, the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, the TSA Aviation Safety Advisory Council, NATA’s Flight Training Committee, and others. Currently, Jason works for a variety of companies and associations focusing on flight training regulations, procedures, and safety as a writer and consultant.

News

U.S. senators quiz airlines on IT systems after Delta disruption

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey sent letters of concern to a number of airlines in the wake of recent computer system failures at Southwest and Delta. They point out that with such a concentrated industry, any one outage can affect a large portion of commercial aviation, and inconvenience many travelers. The senators want to know how affected travelers will be accommodated, and what measures are being taken to ensure the security and reliability of airline IT systems.

China-based airlines are putting up lots of cash to recruit foreign pilots

Industry projections put the greatest airline growth in Asia. Boeing projects that the number of commercial planes in China will triple by 2034. Bloomberg says that means China will need to hire 100 pilots per week over that time period, and they are paying big salaries to get them: as much as five times more for new hires, and in some cases about 50 percent more than senior captains at Delta. See also Chinese Airlines Wave Wads of Cash to Lure Foreign Pilots.

Dim the lights, order lunch: Boeing develops smartphone app for jet cabin interior of the future

Boeing is looking at a future cabin experience that includes the ability for passengers to interact with the airplane from their smartphone. Commercial Airplanes’ Product Development engineers have created an airplane cabin technology demonstrator they call v-Cabin where concepts can be developed and tested. Passengers could control personal lighting, order food or drink items, interact with the IFE system, and even check lavatory availability, all over a wireless network.

As of Aug. 15, 2016, the FAA says 29,000 applicants have applied for the 1,400 positions

It comes as no surprise that the interest in open ATC positions is very high.

Cessna-maker Textron Inc would be interested in Bombardier Inc’s Learjet ‘at the right price’

Will Textron seek to add Learjet to its portfolio?

The Airplane of the Week

The OV-10 Bronco, Part 1. If your specs are drawn right, you get an aircraft that can successfully complete its mission. Sometimes that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what it can do. This episode we talk about development and combat and Medal of Honors. In Part 2, we’ll look at foreigners, civilians, and the return to combat.

Mentioned

David participated in the AirlineGeeks/American Airlines activities for National Aviation Day. His interviews and stories will be presented in episode 417 Bits and Pieces XV.

In episode 39 of Lucas Weakley’s The Logbook Podcast, Don “the pre-buy guy” Sebastion tells some more great stories.

B747-400 Global SuperTanker – A fascinating 3D tour of the Global SuperTanker by Matterport. See also What It Feels Like to Fly a Firefighting 747.

Credit

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

411 Making Airlines Remarkable

Airline branding and marketing strategies, Farnborough International Airshow 2016 coverage, an MH370 update, Southwest Airlines revenue and a system glitch, a large Chinese amphibian, a few world records, and news from Maine.

Guest

Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying, a large aviation marketing strategy firm. We talk with Shashank about airline branding strategies and how they need to be different from those of typical consumer goods. He tells us about the changes implemented by some of his airline clients to better serve the new connected traveler, how airlines should manage crisis, and the value of empowered employees.

A sought-after consultant and speaker on aviation marketing, Shashank started SimpliFlying in 2009 as a blog on airline marketing. Since then, he and his team have built SimpliFlying into a global leader in airline consulting, having worked with more than 70 airlines and airports over the past seven years. Their latest projects include the Bombardier CSeries launch, and a re-design of the customer service strategy for Cebu Pacific. Shashank has a book coming out about airline marketing called SOAR. The book shares how some of the most innovative airline brands delight customers and inspire employees.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

We kick off our coverage of the Farnborough Airshow with two interviews by Brian and Micah. First, we hear from Capt. Jeff and Dr. Steff from the Airline Pilot Guy show. They discuss their efforts to put together the live recording and meetup at Farnborough. Then Brian and Micah have an interesting conversation with Airbus A350 XWB marketing director Mike Bausor about the A350. We’ll bring you many additional interviews in future episodes.

The guys also had an opportunity to speak with Rolls Royce about the Trent Ultra in development. The Ultra will be a geared turbofan with all-carbon fiber fan blades. Perhaps most interesting, the fan blades will have adjustable pitch and be fully reversible, eliminating the need for thrust reversers. The engine in development after the Ultra features electrically driven fans powered by constant speed turbines that drive a generator.

Post Podcast- Entire Crew

Seated from left to right: Captain Nick, Captain Jeff, Dr. Steph. Standing: Markus Völter (Omega Tau), Micah, Carlos Stebbins (Plane Talking UK), Pilot Pip (Plane Safety Podcast) , Captain Al Evans (PTUK guest host and contributor), Brian. Photo by Daniel Hannington,

F35 on static display.

The F-35 on static display.

News

MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

This publication “obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Southwest Sees Revenue Reversal As Terror Fears Hit Delta, United

Southwest’s second quarter earnings per share were up 15.5% to 1.19, slightly under estimate.  Revenue was up 5% to $5.38 billion, and traffic growth was 6%, while capacity was up 4.8%. See also Southwest Airlines: “Things Are Getting Better” An Update and an Apology on Systemwide Outages and Delta Air Lines Will Slow Growth to Ensure Business Travelers Pay Higher Fares.

China introduces Boeing 737-sized seaplane

The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China just introduced the AG600, the biggest amphibian of any modern military.

Fedor Konyukhov breaks world hot air balloon record

64-year old Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov flew around the world solo in eleven days.

The Last Flight of the Round-the-World Solar Flight

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have realized their dream of achieving the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight! From the Solar Impulse website: “Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers will continue to urge the global implementation of energy efficient solutions through the creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones. Join the movement with #futureisclean.”

Mentioned

Video Captures Apparent Spin Accident

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Wins Best Air Show – The results from the USA Today 10 Best U.S. Airshows voting.

Boeing’s Centennial Projection Spectacular – A highly recommended video.

This plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail?

Credit

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

 

408 AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 Preview

Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), tells us about what’s been called the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. In the news, we talk about a call for more ramp checks at airports, Airbus plans to offer real-time transmission of flight data, the Chinese ARJ regional jet makes its first commercial flight, and the U.S. State Department schedules talks about Gulf carriers and government subsidies.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Guest

Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He tells us about some of the things you can expect at AirVenture 2016 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 25-31, 2016. We talk about the 100 Years of Boeing, the JetBlue “BluesMobile” Airbus, Memories of WWI, Aircraft of Desert Storm, the Snowbirds, the evening airshows, and many other exciting events planned for the week-long event.

Jack also explains the new Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus Group and leveraging the creativity of the EAA community toward solving challenges facing the general aviation community. The top finishers will receive a cash grant toward developing their product and prominent exposure at AirVenture.

We learn about the OSHALERT service for event attendees and how to sign up for those text alerts. Jack also gives us an update on some EAA advocacy activities, such as medical reform and FAA reauthorization.

Jack is the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company.  Jack was Sr. Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and he started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach CA. Also, he was a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and served on the board of directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

News

Senator Charles Schumer Calls for More Ramp Checks in New York

According to Charles Schumer, the U.S. Senator from New York, since 2006 the number of annual ramp inspections at major NY airports fell from over 2,800 to only 748. Schumer wants the FAA to increase the number of ramp inspections at airports across New York and the country, including the small airports that have been involved in the recent small plane crashes on Long Island.

Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety selected as a cockpit safety communications solution by Airbus

Airbus plans to offer the SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service to allow transmission of flight data in real time. Offered on future A320 and A330 jets starting 2018, the Inmarsat technology is much faster than current transmission speeds.

First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight

The Chinese COMAC ARJ21-700 regional jet made its first commercial flight. Chengdu Airlines flew the jet with 70 passengers from Chengdu to Shanghai in a two hour flight. The ARJ21 program launched in March 2002, with first delivery initially scheduled for 2007. The ARJ21 has the same cabin cross-section, nose, and tail as the MD-80, and uses General Electric CF-34 turbofans and Rockwell Collins avionics.

United, Delta, JetBlue Jockey For Edge In Gulf Airline Spat

The U.S. State Department is getting involved in the claims of Gulf carrier unfair advantage as they seek to expand in the United States. They have invited Alaska, JetBlue, Hawaiian Holdings, and others to meet and potentially discuss the matter. Next month, the State Department meets with the UAE and Qatar for “informal, technical discussions.”

Revised Total for Mideast Airline Subsidies Is $50 Billion, Lobbying Group Says

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies says forensic investigators have found a financial statement in Singapore for Qatar Airways that shows than the government of Qatar provided the airline with close to $7 billion in 2014.

The Partnership is the lobbying group composed of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, ALPA, the Allied Pilots Association, the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Communications Workers of America and the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

Book Review

EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture PhotographyDavid reviews EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture Photography, which is available through EAA and major booksellers.

This book showcases the many types of aircraft that have appeared for AirVenture, from classic fabric-covered covered biplanes to brawny warbirds to homebuilts and jetliners.

Mentined

Sully – Official Trailer [HD]

Livermore Reads Together Survey, which includes Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West by Craig S. Harwood (guest in Episode 349) and Gary B. Foge. The survey is open through July 18, 2016.

World War II Hero Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Dies at 94

Flew West – Robert “Punchy” Powell  11/21/1920 – 6/22/2016 by John Mollison.

Without Precedent: Commando, Fighter Pilot and the true story of Australia’s first Purple Heart by Owen Zupp.

Kevin Prior’s photographs from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Innovations in Flight Day 2016.

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Man Calls 911 Thinking He Was in Plane Crash, But ‘It Was All Just a Dream’

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Credit

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

 

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

We continue our discussion of airport topics and look at the airport master planning process. We also talk a lot about the TSA and airport security, as well as psychological testing for airline pilots, a military export control conviction, and a personal experience in a full motion flight simulator.

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Jenny Watts is an Airport Planner with Armstrong Consultants, Inc., a professional consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in airports. She describes the master plans that airports create, how they are used, and who uses them. Jenny also tells us about the Dark Sky initiative and how airports are making adjustments to reduce their contribution to light pollution. She published the white paper titled, Share the Sky – Good Neighbor Tips for Airports Near Dark Sky Communities and Beyond. [PDF]

Jenny has more than eight years of experience with aviation planning, corporate aviation operations, airport administration, and aviation education. Jenny has worked at large commercial service and general aviation airports in the Phoenix-Metro area, and directly contributed to operations, community relations, planning, and business development.

Jenny spent two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as an advisor and adjunct faculty member. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology Arizona State University, and her Master of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle. She has been affiliated with the Arizona Airports Association for over fifteen years, and Jenny is also a freelance contributing writer for the Arizona Aviation Journal.

News

California Resident Convicted of Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia “Wency” Man of San Diego, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle… and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Man conspired to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines for the F-16 fighter jet
  • the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • technical data for each of these defense articles.

Man faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2016.

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

Administrator Michael Huerta says the FAA will not require psychological testing for airline pilots because he says they only indicate the pilot’s mental health at a point in time. The tests don’t indicate what a pilot may do later.

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

A man tossed a homemade explosive device at the check-in counters at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, then cut his throat with a knife.

Man shot by police at Dallas airport faces assault charges, remains hospitalized

A man outside the Dallas Love Field terminal allegedly “hit his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks.” A police officer arrived with gun drawn and the man approached with rocks in his hands saying, “You’re going to have to shoot.”

Dubai airport shut Saturday for over an hour; 22 flights diverted: executive

Dubai International Airport was closed due to “unauthorized drone activity.” In the UAE, drones are prohibited within 5 km of airports, helipads, landing areas, or manned aircraft.

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

Warsaw’s international airport was shut down for 30 minutes due to two unauthorized drones flying in the area. Poland forbids drones flights within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius from airports.

Mentioned

One-third of the world cannot see the Milky Way — why that matters

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

Know Before You Fly – An education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

DHS Comparison Chart – This chart outlines the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Patrick Smith’s Ask The Pilot post TSA’s Summer Meltdown

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 385 Even More Intellectually Stimulating Than Useful

James Fallows talks with us about aviation in China. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List, A-10 retirement put on hold, the C-130 keeps on flying, a flight attendant meltdown, a new study about lasers pointed at pilots, and more on-demand flying.

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

Guest

James Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years, and his work has appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter for two years, he was the youngest person ever to hold that job.

Jim has been a visiting professor at a number of universities in the U.S. and China. He is the author of ten books, including National Defense, for which he received the 1983 National Book Award, and China Airborne, which examines China’s plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power. Jim is an instrument-rated pilot and owner of a Cirrus SR22.

In our conversation, Jim describes how China Airborne tells the larger story of China through the aviation lens. We talk about building the airport infrastructure and how that’s being funded, and issues for General Aviation in China, such as the shortage of airports, military control of the airspace, and training for controllers. Jim gives us his thoughts on the Comac C919 program and the state of business aviation in China.

Learn more about Jim’s work at JamesFallows.com and AmericanFutures.org. Mentioned were China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L. Shirk and How to Not Fly an Airplane by Shirley Phillips.

An "original Chinese design" at the Zhuhai airport.

An “original Chinese design” at the Zhuhai airport. By James Fallows.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

News

The Next Big Aviation Safety Issues

Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board publishes its Most Wanted List. The NTSB covers all modes of transportation, but several aviation-related items made the list:

  • Prevent Loss of Control in Flight in General Aviation
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  • Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  • Expand Use of Recorders to Enhance Transportation Safety

US Air Force shelves Warthog plane retirement amid ISIS fight

For years, the U.S. Air Force has wanted to retire the A-10 Warthog ground attack airplane. That’s been met with congressional criticism, as well as cries from many A-10 enthusiasts. According to sources, the USAF will postpone mothballing the plane in its 2017 budget request to Congress in February.

See also, This GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm gun firing test footage is pretty impressive in The Aviationist.

A-10 by Paul Filmer

A-10 by Paul Filmer

New Pentagon Contract Signals Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Airlifter Is Headed For 100 Years of Service

The C-130 might become the first military aircraft to see continuous service for 100 years. The first Hercules was delivered to the U.S. Air Force 60 years ago in 1956.

Did American Airlines handle erratic flight attendant correctly?

A 67-year old flight attendant who has been employed by American Airlines for more than 45 years, faces federal charges for some reportedly serious behaviour on a November flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt. These include “claims that she slapped co-workers, punched air marshals, even attempted to open the door of her jetliner as it taxied for takeoff in Germany.”

‘No Lasting Damage’ From Laser Attacks

A new study by researchers at the University of Calgary suggests that pilots struck by lasers do not suffer permanent eye damage. Momentary blindness or blurry vision, yes. Permanent damage, no. Dr. Michael Fielden, assistant clinical professor for the Cumming School of Medicine said, “Once their eyes settle down, they’re worried if there’s any permanent damage that could affect their ability to fly in the future. Fortunately we haven’t found any permanent damage.”

Airbus to Join Forces With Uber for On-Demand Helicopter Service, CEO Says

Personal transportation company Uber is expanding beyond vehicles to other modes of transportation. You can now order up on-demand rickshaws in India and boats in Turkey. Now Uber and Airbus Group are planning to launch a pilot program at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah using Airbus H125 and H130 helicopters.

The Airplane of the Week

You would never guess David’s favorite aircraft…

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Listener Recording

Christopher Sims tells the story of how he commenced as an Avgeek.

Mentioned

Bradford Camps, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar.

Fulton surface-to-air recovery system

Porter Ranch stench could endanger aircraft: Federal Aviation Administration bans low-level flights over gas leak area

Provincial Aerospace

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Credit

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