Tag Archives: EAA

612 Difficult Times for Airlines

Airlines face downward booking trends and very large furloughs, flight training in a time of social distancing, airlines struggle to enforce face-covering policies, airports are responding to the pandemic, Boeing issues draft pilot training document for the 737 MAX, and Spirit Airlines steps up to help a family in need.

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

Aviation News

United Airlines to lay off up to 36,000 U.S. employees in October as travel remains depressed

United Airlines sent employees a notice saying that 36,000 employees may be subject to involuntary furloughs. That would represent 45% of its U.S. front-line workers. Most of these (26,000) would be flight attendants and airport customer service and gate agents. Up to 2,250 pilots could be affected.

United Airlines Has a Huge Warning for Airlines

In mid-April, there were days when TSA checkpoint volume was only 4% of previous year levels. In May and June, the volume rose slightly and airlines started operating more flights. But now Covid-19 infections are spiking upward in many U.S. states and bookings are again dropping.

Redbird Connect Enables Virtual Pilot Proficiency Center

A few months ago, Redbird Flight Simulations started thinking about social distancing and flight training. They’ve developed a platform for flight instructors and their students that uses video conferencing technology and a web-based version of the Redbird Navigator flight simulator operating system.

Airline passengers find ‘creative ways’ to remove masks, American pilot says

Airline passengers are required to wear face coverings in flight, except when eating and drinking. Most do, but not everyone. Cabin crew have difficulty enforcing a mask policy since there is no Federal requirement, only a recommendation.

In July 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a 44-page “Runway to Recovery” plan [PDF] subtitled “The United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus.”

Touchless: How the world’s busiest airport envisions post-COVID travel

DFW and American Airlines plan to roll out self-check-in for luggage and touchless restrooms at the airport. The airport is piloting three luggage self-check-in systems: Amadeus’s ICM, SITA, and Materna IPS. DFW is also testing new sanitization technology including ultraviolet light to kill germs before they circulate into the HVAC system.

You couldn’t even pay me to fly United or American Airlines right now, and here’s why

Delta and Southwest Airlines are still flying with reduced seating, but American and United have resumed booking middle seats.

American pilots review Boeing’s latest Max training draft

Boeing has a draft of its new 737 MAX pilot training document. The Allied Pilots Association (APA) representing American Airlines’ pilots has a copy and they say the document is vastly more thorough than previous drafts. The APA is generally pleased with it but some concerns remain. Boeing’s latest draft includes some 10 documents and 200 pages.

Spirit to the rescue: Airline sends emergency plane to bring stranded family home

A family was flying on Spirit Airlines from San Juan to Philadelphia when their 4-year-old daughter had a medical emergency. The plane diverted to Turks and Caicos so the girl could get medical treatment. (She’s fine.) But the family didn’t have the necessary documentation when they tried to leave the island. Plus international travel is shut down there. They were trapped but Spirit and others came to the rescue. 

Mentioned

EAA’s Spirit of Aviation Week™ – July 21-25, 2020.

Meet The Navy’s First Female African American Tactical Jet Pilot

Air Force Name Tapes Can Now Include Accent Marks and Hyphens

 

607 Spirit of Aviation Week

The EAA plans for Spirit of Aviation Week, their big virtual aviation event. Also, Boeing customers defer 737 MAX orders, WOW Air plans to return as a cargo airline, and commercial pilots might seek refuge with the U.S. Air Force. Plus, a new AusDesk from the boys down under!

Aviation News

EAA Spirit of Aviation Week coming July 21-25

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is celebrating the aviation community virtually this July 2020. Over the course of 5 days, EAA Spirit of Aviation WeekTM will include streamed and on-demand content with a focus on education, information, and entertainment. Planned events include presentations, forums, discussions, historical and archival content, homebuilding workshops, pilot proficiency and learning to fly, a virtual exhibit space, features from air show performers, and more. The dedicated event website is https://eaatogether.org/. Use the hashtag #EAAtogether.

Boeing Preserves 737 Max Orders After Cancellations Surge; Hedge Fund Buys Debt

Boeing saw 150 737 MAX cancellations in March 2020 and 108 more in April, but now instead of canceling orders customers are deferring delivery. Boeing says it doesn’t expect any more cancellations. Japanese aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital is deferring delivery of 68 Max jets by four years to 2025-2027. Lessor AerCap is deferring the delivery of 37 aircraft from 2021-2022 to 2023 and later.

WOW Air Becomes A Global Cargo Airline Based In West Virginia

WOW Air liquidated in 2019, but the name was purchased and West Virginia businesswoman Michele Ballarin planned to re-launch WOW in October 2019 as an ultra-low-cost carrier, then as a cargo airline, then something called WOW Air Italy. Now WOW Air announced on Facebook that they’d become a cargo airline based in Martinsburg, West Virginia:

WOW Worldwide Cargo Hub Launches operations in Martinsburg, West Virginia [MRB]

WOW carGO is proud to announce the commencement of worldwide cargo operations from its US base in the capital region on the East Coast at Martinsburg. The facility is 100,000 SF of hangar and warehouse with 25,000 SF of administrative offices for global dispatch operations.

We are WOW!

Air Force Preparing for Furloughed Commercial Pilots to Request Return to Duty

Air Force pilots are asking to stay past their original retirement or separation dates, given the prospects for commercial pilots. Also, the USAF is preparing for an October 1 surge of commercial pilots requesting a return to active duty. That’s when the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (or CARES Act) expires.

Australia News Desk

Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron return with a special AusDesk. As always, the boys make us laugh as they cover the aviation news Down Under.

606 Cessna SkyCourier

A technical marketing advisor from Textron Aviation explains the new Cessna SkyCourier. In the news, strategic moves by aerostructures maker Triumph affect the Boeing 747, engine competitions are underway for the B-52 fleet and the F-15EX, a Pakistani airliner crashes under unusual circumstances, Delta Airlines retires the MD-80 fleet, and the U.S. Air Force drops the blanket height requirement for pilot candidates. We also hear about youth programs from the president of EAA Chapter 196.

Cessna SkyCourier

Martin Tuck is a technical marketing advisor with Textron Aviation. He recently spoke with Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari about the new Cessna SkyCourier which successfully completed its first flight recently.

The SkyCourier is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprops. It can carry 6,000 pounds of cargo or 19 passengers, depending on the configuration. The freight configuration accommodates three LD3 shipping containers. The aircraft features single-point pressure refueling capability and rugged landing gear for use on unimproved strips. FedEx is the launch customer for the SkyCourier, with 50 firm and 50 option orders.

Cessna SkyCourier cargo configuration.

Cessna SkyCourier cargo configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Cessna SkyCourier passenger configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Cessna SkyCourier passenger configuration, courtesy Cessna.

Located in Wichita, Kansas, Martin is a 42-year veteran of the aviation industry and has experience with the Hawker, Cessna, and Beechcraft brands, particularly in the King Air turboprops. He is part of the project team working on the new Cessna SkyCourier.

Aviation News

Boeing Debates Future of 747 Program

Aerostructures company Triumph Group is a long-time producer of the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer panels for the 747. The problem is that Triumph announced it will shut down the two plants manufacturing these components. Boeing has enough parts for the 747 backlog, but that’s the end of the supply. To continue production, Boeing would have to find a new source.

Triumph Group Reports Progress On Aerospace Structures Strategic Review

Triumph announced it was undertaking a comprehensive review of its structures business as it focuses on its core systems and product support markets and capabilities.  The Company has divested its 10 build-to-print machine shops, five fabrication shops, two metal finishing facilities, and its two million square foot Nashville large structures plant.

US Air Force launches contest to replace the B-52 bomber’s engine

The U.S. Air Force is again looking to replace the TF33 engines on its 76 B-52s. RFPs have gone to Pratt & Whitney, GE, and Rolls-Royce. The eight engines on each bomber would be replaced by eight General Electric TF34, GE Passport, Pratt & Whitney PW800, or Rolls-Royce F130 engines. The engine makers have until July 22, 2020, to submit final proposals.

US Air Force cancels GE Aviation sole-source for F-15EX engine, asks for competitive bids

The US Air Force initially said engines for the Boeing F-15EX would be sole-sourced to GE Aviation for 480 F110 jet turbines. Now the USAF is asking GE and P&W for engine proposals.

Pakistan Airliner Landed Gear Up On First Try: Report

Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK8303 attempted it’s first landing with gear up, scraping the engine nacelles on the runway before executing a go-around. It crashed into a residential area on its second landing attempt after both engines failed, killing all but 2 of the 99 people aboard, and one child on the ground.

See also:

Delta Air Lines will be the last US passenger airline to retire its MD-80 fleet in June. Take a look back at the all-American ‘Mad Dog’ jet.

Delta will retire its McDonnell Douglas MD-88/MD-90 fleet on June 2, 2020. MD-80 series was powered by two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines while the MD-90 was powered by IAE V2500 engines.

The Air Force Thunderbirds Say They Are Done With “America Strong” Flyovers

The Thunderbirds posted a message on social media that their recent flight over Southern California would be the last of the America Strong flyovers. This may have been a change in plans since some people expected flights over the Pacific Northwest and even other western locations.

Air Force Drops Pilot Height Requirement

The US Air Force Medical Standards Directory requirement previously required pilot applicants to stand between 5’4″ and 6’5″ tall. Applicants sitting height was to be between 34 and 40 inches. The Air Force said dropping those requirements was intended to attract a more diverse group of candidates. The Air Force Times said, “Instead of a blanket height requirement, the Air Force said that it will apply an ‘anthropometric screening process’ to figure out which specific aircraft applicants would be able to fly. These measurements, in addition to standing height, also measure an applicant’s eye height while sitting, buttocks-to-knee length, and arm span, are entered into a computer to determine which aircraft the applicant could and could not safely fit in.”

EAA Youth Programs

EAA Chapter 196 president Mike Smith tells us about some of their local chapter youth programs. The Experimental Aircraft Association is very focused on developing the next generation of aviation enthusiasts through the Young Eagles program, scholarships, internships, and aviation camps.

Van’s RV Formation Team

Mark Newton and a Van’s RV formation team landed in a 4-ship on runway 16R at Sydney International.

Mentioned

The Last B-24, investigating the wreckage in the Mediterranean of the last B-24 built.

Across The Pacific: Airborne, the Pan Am documentary.

Chris Manno’s new book An Airline Pilot’s Life is now available in paperback on Amazon.com.

Thromby Air: Social Distancing for Dummies

590 Richard Aboulafia

David Neeleman’s new airline, Breeze Aviation; Boeing’s board of directors, the 737 MAX, the NMA, and the FSA; United’s flight school purchase; NASA’s experimental X-59 jet and the prospects for supersonic transport; and a Southwest Airlines Teddy bear. Plus, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Fly-In, other upcoming aviation events, the EAA mobile unit, carbon monoxide detectors and pulse oximetry, and a physics lesson.

Guest

Richard Aboulafia

Richard Aboulafia

Richard Aboulafia is Vice President, Analysis at Teal Group. He manages consulting projects for clients in the commercial and military aircraft field, and has advised numerous aerospace companies. He also writes and edits Teal’s World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing, a forecasting tool covering over 135 aircraft programs and markets. Richard also writes publicly about the aviation field, with numerous articles in Aviation Week, Aerospace America, and other publications. Frequently cited as an aviation industry authority by trade and news publications, he has appeared on numerous television news programs and has spoken at a wide variety of conferences.

Aviation News

JetBlue founder unveils new, Utah-based ‘world’s nicest airline’

The new airline being started by David Neeleman will be known as Breeze Aviation, headquartered in Utah. Neeleman’s previous startups include Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul. Breeze will nonstop fly between currently underserved airports. Breeze ordered 60 new Airbus 220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in April 2021. The company leased 30 Embraer 195 aircraft from Azul, which will be delivered starting May 2020.

Experts question whether Boeing’s board of directors is capable of righting the company

Some think the Boeing board took a long time to fire Muilenberg. Is that an indicator of the board’s ability to deal with the crisis Boeing faces? New CEO Dave Calhoun says the board repeatedly considered confidence, but then in December decided it was lost. Richard Aboulafia was quoted: “The board you see today was largely created by McNerney, and he packed it with people with zero engineering experience.”

United Airlines buys flight-training academy to speed up hiring of 10,000 pilots

United Airlines needs to hire more than 10,000 pilots during the next decade. The airline is buying the Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix, a flight-training academy, with plans to bring student pilots into the academy with zero flight experience to become fully-rated commercial pilots.

NASA’s experimental X-59 supersonic jet could be built by the end of 2020

The X-59 QueSST is designed to test “quiet” supersonic transport over land. The aircraft was approved for final assembly in 2019. NASA commissioned Lockheed Martin to build the plane and they expect to have it completed by the end of 2020. First flight is expected in 2021.

Video: Quiet Supersonic X-Plane

Unbearably cute: A boy lost his teddy bear on a Southwest flight – so the airline sent him a new one

 After a young boy lost his favorite Teddy bear on a Southwest flight during the Thanksgiving holiday, his mother took to social media to try and locate the Teddy. The airline assigned an employee to find the bear but after an investigation, the Teddy couldn’t be located. So the corporate office decided to send the boy a new Teddy bear along with a storyline on how it was coming to live with the boy.

Mentioned

Igor I. Sikorsky Weekend Fly-In at The Bradford Camps on Munsungun Lake in northern Maine.  Meals and private lodging in waterfront cabins are included. July 10-12,  2020.

College Park Aviation Museum

That Last Decade, by Courtney Miller.

The Air Current Expands with new analysis, new director

The Experimental Aircraft Association will deliver the excitement of flight throughout the United States in 2020 as EAA’s “Spirit of Aviation” mobile unit, sponsored by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), visits numerous events in 2020. The traveling experiential exhibit introduces EAA to enthusiasts through aviation activities for people of all ages.

AOPA’s 2020 Fly-ins (now in AvGeekFests.com)

#StormCiara at London Heathrow – 20+ Go-Arounds and Crosswind Landings!!

 

582 Airline Safety

We discuss airline safety in light of the newly revised EU Air Safety List and claims by Horizon Air of a lax pilot safety culture. Also, free admission at EAA Airventure Oshkosh for youth 18 and under, layoffs coming to Textron, space-based ADS-B, and a load stability system for helicopters.

Aviation News

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

The EU Air Safety List details the countries and specific airlines that do not meet the airline safety standards of ICAO (the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization). Entities on the list are banned from operating in the European Union or have operational restrictions within the EU. Banned from EU skies are 115 airlines, 109 of them in 15 states due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities in those states. For more on airline safety see:

Horizon Air warns about lax safety culture among its pilots

Horizon Air’s vice president of flight operations stated that the airline suffers under a lax safety culture among the airline’s pilots, writing in an email, “If we sit back and do nothing, we will have an accident. Nothing good can come of the trajectory we are currently on.”

EAA to Give Free Admission to Youth at AirVenture

Young people ages 18 and under will be admitted free to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh as a way to introduce more youth to the possibilities in the world of flight. The 68th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention will be July 20-26, 2020 at Wittman Regional Airport. The Boeing Company is financially supporting this effort for the next two years to encourage more aviation-minded families and their children to attend the annual event that brings more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world to Oshkosh.

Textron filing gives more insight into forthcoming layoffs

Textron Aviation announced upcoming layoffs under a restructuring plan and didn’t provide details on the size of the workforce reduction. But a Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicates that about 875 positions will be eliminated. The plan will “improve overall operating efficiency through headcount reductions, facility consolidations, and other actions.”

Northern Virginia-based surveillance firm picks up airplane signals to save time and fuel over Atlantic

Aireon provides a global air traffic surveillance system using Iridium’s satellite network for space-based ADS-B. Reducing the separation requirements for flights crossing the Atlantic gives pilots more freedom to adjust routes and altitude for efficiency.

After His Search-And-Rescue Instructor Died On A Mountain, Caleb Carr, 25, Cofounded A Company To Help Stabilize Helicopter Baskets

When he was just 15 and training as a volunteer search-and-rescuer in Oregon, Caleb Carr’s instructor collapsed of an apparent heart attack. Due to high winds, the rescue helicopter could not put the swaying rescue basket through the dense tree cover and the instructor died on the mountain. Carr and Derek Sikora went on to found Vita Inclinata (Latin for “life by motion”) to provide autonomous helicopter load stability systems.

Mentioned

Airlines Confidential Podcast, hosted by Ben Baldanza (the former CEO of Spirit Airlines) and Seth Kaplan (transportation analyst for NPR’s Here & Now, former publisher of Airline Weekly.)

Rare 1954 Aerocar may fly off the auction block at Scottsdale

Flying Through Corona Arch!!!

558 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 Preview

What to expect at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. In the news, we discuss a woman trapped in an airliner, crosswind testing in Iceland, the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, and the Paris Air Show.

Guest

Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications, and Karen Kryzaniak, EAA’s vice president of risk management and human resources, accept the inaugural Community Partnership Award from the City of Oshkosh in recognition of 50 consecutive years of EAA fly-in conventions in the city.

Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications, and Karen Kryzaniak, EAA’s vice president of risk management and human resources, accept the inaugural Community Partnership Award from the City of Oshkosh in recognition of 50 consecutive years of EAA fly-in conventions in the city. Photo courtesy EAA.

Dick Knapinski is the director of communications for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). In this preview of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Dick explains that the July 22-28, 2019 event represents the 50th consecutive year in Oshkosh, and describes how EAA AirVenture has changed over time as well as what to expect in 2019.

This year is also the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins will be a featured guest. Burt Rutan and many of his aircraft designs will also be at Osh, along with air force demo teams and other performers.

The drone cage returns with demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. Urban air mobility (UAM) is getting increased attention from prominent aviation companies and startups and AirVenture will offer opportunities to discuss and explore that topic.

Dick explains that people come to Oshkosh (and come back year after year) for their own personal reasons, but the week-long event offers it all. He also has some tips for first-timers, both those flying in and those arriving by other means of transportation.

Aviation News

A Travel Nightmare: Waking Up Cold And Alone In A Darkened Plane

What do you do if you wake up after a flight to find yourself in a dark airplane parked away from the terminal? And how did this come to happen?

Did Collapse Of WOW Air Lead To Reinstatement Of Iceland Cross Wind Tests?

Crosswind testing at Keflavik International Airport was banned following the 2013 Sukhoi SSJ100 crash. Boeing and Airbus have wanted to resume certification testing in Iceland and may once again have the opportunity.

Boeing may see layoffs if another production rate cut happens, aviation consultant says

Scott Hamilton from Leeham Company believes Boeing executives have finally gotten serious about the 737 MAX and the company will bounce back. But could lower production rates lead to layoffs?

Here’s who bought what at this year’s Paris Air Show

Airbus Vows to Challenge the Secret Boeing 737 Deal that Stunned the Paris Air Show

At the Paris Air Show, Airbus launched the A321XLR and Boeing announced a large 737 MAX order.

Mentioned

Eat at the Airport

#PaxEx Podcast 67: Deciphering the messaging from Airbus and Boeing in Paris

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

496 Electric Aircraft and New Technologies

We talk about electric aircraft, automation, and new technologies in aviation with the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Also, airport access for general aviation, a GAMA jobs rally, the Department of Defense receives more aircraft than they asked for, a proposal for increased air cargo security, and interviews from South by Southwest with an astronaut and with the EAA.

Guest

Greg Bowles talks about electric aircraft

Greg Bowles, VP of Global Innovation & Policy, GAMA

Greg Bowles is the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Greg is responsible for identifying key technology opportunities and developing critical paths to success which will evolve the global safety, efficiency, and success of aviation.

Greg is in a unique position to talk about electric aircraft technology, regulatory changes, and other new aviation developments that impact the industry, pilots, and the general population. We discuss the state of electric propulsion, battery energy density, hybrid aircraft, and the rapid emergence of eVTOL electric aircraft. Greg illustrates some of the new options that electric power allows, and explains how the interaction between the human pilot and the technology has licensing and training implications. Greg sees a future where simplified vehicles open up aviation to a broader audience.

Greg leads the GAMA Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) which represents the world’s leading aviation mobility development companies along with traditional aviation manufacturers as this community strives to enable new kinds of public transportation through the air. He also leads the worldwide design standards committee that is chartered to develop globally acceptable means of compliance for general aviation aircraft.

Greg has been an advisor to several long-standing ICAO panels and he’s the industry co-chair on the FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization ARC which has developed the rewrite of FAA part 23 regulations to assure they will address aircraft of the next twenty years.

Pipistrel Alpha Electro electric aircraft.

Alpha Electro 2-seat electric trainer. Courtesy Pipistrel.

Before he joined GAMA, Greg worked as a certification engineer at Keystone (now Sikorsky) Helicopter, and he was a design engineer at Cessna Aircraft Company (now Textron Aviation).

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University. He is an active instrument-rated general aviation pilot.

Visit the GAMA website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Aviation News

Maintaining Airport Access for General Aviation

In the U.S., most airports have Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) which provide many services to general aviation, including fuel and parking. Changes in the FBO customer base may have implications for general aviation.

GAMA To Stage Next Rally at Garmin’s Olathe Facility

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is planning a jobs rally on in Olathe, Kansas, April 6, 2018, at the Garmin International Warehouse and Distribution Center. The event will feature government and industry leaders who will discuss the economic contributions of aviation, investment in products, the future workforce, and the promotion of STEM.

Congress appropriates a 28% increase in funding for new aircraft

The U.S. Government spending bill signed by the president on March 23, 2018, included 143 aircraft above what was requested by the Department of Defence. These include Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters, F/A-18 Super Hornets, KC-46A tankers, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. We look at the reasons for this and the implications.

H.R. 4176: Air Cargo Security Improvement Act of 2017

The Act passed the House by voice vote and goes to the Senate. If enacted, the TSA Administrator would establish an air cargo security division which would conduct a feasibility study on expanding the use of computed tomography (CT) technology for screening air cargo transported on passenger aircraft, followed by a 2-year pilot program.

Airline Story of the Week

Southwest Airlines Had a Brilliant Reaction When a Passenger’s Wi-Fi Wouldn’t Work

Interviews

At South by Southwest in Austin Texas, Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari spoke with astronaut Dr. John Danny Olivas and Andy Ovans from EAA headquarters.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about a recent episode with her flight instructor.

Mentioned

ASTM F44 General Aviation Aircraft

At Long Last, Flat Earth Rocketeer Finally Manages to Blast Himself Into Sky at God Knows What Speed

Australia-UK: First non-stop flight arrives in London from Perth

Qantas has set a new record for non-stop flight as QF9 has landed at Heathrow International Airport

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

488 NASA Chief Historian

The NASA Chief Historian helps us look at some events from the past, anniversaries coming up, and what the future holds for NASA. Also, the International Trade Commission rules for Bombardier and against Boeing, more information about the pilot in the fatal Icon A5 crash, Putin wants a supersonic civilian airliner, and a look at big aerospace and defense deals in 2017.

Guest

Bill Barry, NASA Chief Historian.

Bill Barry, NASA Chief Historian.

Dr. William P. Barry is the NASA Chief Historian. We talk with Bill about the upcoming 60th anniversary of NASA on October 1, 2018, the 60th anniversary of the first U.S. satellite, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. Bill gives us some insights into the tragic Apollo 1 accident, known simply as “The Fire.”

Bill also tells us about the Space Launch System, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the emerging role of commercial space companies like Boeing and SpaceX. We touch on the change of the NASA administrator, and even jobs available at NASA through USAjobs.

Bill has been NASA’s Chief Historian since 2010. He began work at NASA in 2001 after retiring from a 22-year career in the US Air Force. Bill worked in NASA’s international relations office for several years, and served as the NASA European Representative at the United States Embassy in Paris before being appointed NASA Chief Historian. A graduate, with honors, of the United States Air Force Academy, Bill also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate from Oxford University.

Apollo’s Worst Day: Veterans of NASA’s moon program referred to it simply as “The Fire.” Did it have to happen?

This excellent article by Andy Chaikin appeared in the Dec 2016/Jan 2017 edition of Air&Space Smithsonian. See also Apollo-1 (204) and The Accident, taken from the Report of Apollo 204 Review Board.

Find more at the NASA History Program Office webpage, and follow NASA History on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada Do Not Injure U.S. Industry, Says USITC

The United States International Trade Commission is “an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade.” The USITC issued this statement on January 26, 2018:

“The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce… has determined are subsidized and sold at less than fair value. As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued.”

The Commission’s final report will be published by March 2, 2018, can be accessed on the USITC website.

Roy Halladay Autopsy Findings Catch Industry by Surprise

Former baseball star Roy Halladay died following the crash of his Icon A5 in shallow water last November. An autopsy revealed that Halladay did not immediately die of the impact – a contributing cause of death was drowning. He also had “enough mood-altering drugs in his system to confirm he shouldn’t have been driving a car, much less flying an airplane.”

Russia’s Concorde: Putin proposes supersonic civilian aircraft based on its Tu-160 bomber

Vladimir Putin wants to build a civilian version of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic nuclear bomber as a supersonic passenger jet for wealthy customers. The United Aircraft Corporation has told Putin that designers already have a supersonic civilian airliner project.

Global aerospace and defense deals insights: Q4 2017

Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that the global aerospace and defense industry saw $72 billion worth of deals in 2017. This betters the previous record of $67 billion set in 2015, and represents a whopping 79% increase over 2016. Nine deals with announced value greater than $1 billion accounted for 86% of the total value this year. Global Aerospace and Defense Deals Insights Year-End 2017 [PDF].

The largest deals from 2017:

United Technologies’ $30 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins tops the list, followed by Northrop Grumman’s $9 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK, Safran’s $8 billion acquisition of Zodiac Aerospace, and Thales’ $5 billion acquisition of Gemalto.

Airline Story of the Week

Southwest Airlines rescues 62 stray dogs, cats from Puerto Rico

Sixty-two dogs and cats were rescued from hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Mentioned

The Aviators Season Seven.

AirSpace Podcast from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

NP Simulations, the UK flight simulator company based in London.

How Three High Schoolers Won EAA’s Founder’s Innovation Prize

See the Remora Systems website to learn more.

EAA’s Founder’s Innovation Prize (presented by Airbus)

Submissions will be accepted through June 1, 2018. Five finalists will be chosen to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of expert judges.

Interjet images by aviation photographer Paul Filmer:

​Interjet at IAH in 2015. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Interjet at IAH in 2015. Photo by Paul Filmer.

​Interjet at Toluca. Mexico. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Interjet at Toluca. Mexico. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Kiwi airline exec breaks record for world circumnavigation on commercial airlines

Andrew Fisher made a 52-hour, 34-minute journey from Shanghai to Auckland to Buenos Aires to Amsterdam and back to Shanghai. The old record was 55 hours.

Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here

Did the airlines get an exemption from the 2020 ADS-B requirement, or not…

Rocket Lab’s ‘Humanity Star’ is New Zealand first satellite and the Humanity Star website.

No Passport or Ticket: How a Woman Evaded Airport Security and Flew to London

Credit

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

 

467 EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize

We talk with the three high school students who won the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition for 2017. In the news, we look at the decline in short haul traffic in the US, how the US Air Force is responding to the flight crew shortage, using airport data to improve efficiency, the grounding of the MRJ test fleet, and AOPA taking action against egregious FBO charges.

Guests

EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize winners Justin Zhou, Thomas Baron, and Max Lord.

Justin Zhou, Thomas Baron, and Max Lord

Thomas Baron, Max Lord, and Justin Zhou won the 2017 EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize with their “Remora System” which takes sensor inputs and displays airspeed and angle of attack on a head-mounted display. All three are seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia.

The students explain their system which places the sensors in a pod under the airplane and transmits data which is displayed in a Vufine high definition wearable display. We talk about how the project started, and how it came to be entered in the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition.

The EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize was presented by Airbus and leveraged the creativity of the EAA community to solve specific challenges facing general aviation. The competition was featured at AirVenture Oshkosh where five finalists presented their ideas.

See Three High School Students Awarded Founder’s Innovation Prize, the Remora Systems website, and their Facebook page.

The Shark with sensor pod.

The Shark with sensor pod.

Jonathan Baron and the head mounted display.

Jonathan Baron and the head-mounted display.

Aviation News

What Caused Short Haul Traffic Decline in the US? – the $34b Question

Courtney Miller discusses three theories why U.S. short-haul traffic under 500 miles has declined by almost 30% since 2000 while the total U.S. domestic market has grown almost 30% since then. Courtney is Director, Lessor Sales at Bombardier Aerospace.

Air Force Boosts Pay Incentives, Targets Retirees Amid Pilot Shortage

The U.S. Air Force faces an aircrew shortage and is increasing incentive pay to try and improve the situation. In June, the Air Force expanded Aviator Retention Pay with a new Aviation Bonus Program.

How a Danish startup is using math to cut airport wait times in half

Copenhagen Optimization is using mathematical models and data to help airports optimize their activities. Waiting time was reduced by more than 50% at Geneva Airport in Switzerland, passenger throughput increased by 10% at Dublin Airport, and peak in check-in counter demand was decreased by 5.5% at Stockholm Arlanda.

Mitsubishi Grounds MRJs Following In-flight Engine Failure

Mitsubishi has four U.S.-based MRJ flight-test airplanes. The left engine on FTA-2 experienced an uncommanded shutdown and the plane was diverted to Portland International Airport where it landed “without incident.” The engine has been removed and sent to Pratt & Whitney for inspection.

AOPA Files Official Complaints Over FBO Fees

After pilots started reporting that some fixed base operators are charging excessive fees, AOPA analyzed the data and found some “exceptionally egregious,” fees: fuel more than $6 a gallon or fees for minimal or no services over $100. AOPA and seven affected pilots have “filed FAA Part 13 complaints over egregious FBO pricing practices at Illinois’s Waukegan National Airport, North Carolina’s Asheville Regional Airport, and Florida’s Key West International Airport, on behalf of its membership.”

Airline Story of the Week

Virgin Atlantic helps a family of four enjoy a memorable flight from London Gatwick to Orlando, especially for the two daughters aged 10 and 12.

Airshow Report

David tells us about Thunder Over Dover, the 2017 Dover AFB Open House. All photos by copyright by David Vanderhoof:

Listener Recording

Glen gives us some thoughts on the Embraer KC-390. For background, see Embraer and Boeing to collaborate on worldwide sales, support of KC-390 medium airlift.

Mentioned

easyjet : Inside The Cockpit ITV S1 E1 – This documentary series follows new recruits as they train to become pilots for easyJet. [Note: This video has now been blocked by ITV.]

The OLC website lets sailplane, paraglider, and hang glider pilots from all over the world upload their flight tracks. It’s competitive and there are several categories of competitions and most are based on distance. See Help… How things work in OLC? And All Flights of Jim Payne which shows Jim Payne’s flights from the Perlan 2 project.

Самолёт на трассе ДТП [Plane on the road accident]

Credit

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

464 Osh 2017, ATC, Airline Communication, and Airport Food

Steve Visscher joins us to bring us up to date on his activities and contribute to our conversation about Airventure Oshkosh 2017. In the news, we look at ATC privatization, saving money on new Air Force One airplanes, a 15-year-old girl takes flight, and a symposium for disabled airline passengers. Also, a song about SFO, airplane-themed eateries, some positive airline stories, viewing the August solar eclipse, and student pilot Niki’s continuing adventure.

Smokey Joe’s food stand outside Munich terminal 2, by Mark Newton.

Smokey Joe’s food stand outside Munich terminal 2, by Mark Newton.

Guest

Steve Visscher is co-producer of the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, an air show announcer, and now a business development manager for Bright Events – Wings Over Illawarra, “the Sydney Airshow.”

Aviation News

ATC Privatization: Inside the Fight for Air Traffic Control’s Future

Most airlines want to privatize ATC. GA is opposed to it. Our elected officials give different signals. What are the real issues here?

Trump Wanted a Cheaper Air Force One. So the USAF Is Buying a Bankrupt Russian Firm’s Undelivered 747s

President Trump Tweeted in December: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Now the Air Force is considering the purchase of two 747-8s that were never delivered. See Gallery: Where 747s go to die (Victorville, CA) and Southern California Logistics Airport near Victorville, CA.

Meet the 15-year-old girl who is too young to drive a car but can easily fly a plane on her own

This young woman is an inspiration.

Op-Ed: Disabled passengers deserve better accommodation

The inaugural Wheelchair in the Cabin Symposium is scheduled for September 22 at The Base at Virgin Atlantic near London Gatwick Airport. The Symposium is supported by Virgin Atlantic Airways and “aims to engage stakeholders in the aviation industry and the accessibility world to discuss the possibility of creating a wheelchair space on board commercial aircraft.” Spearheaded by activist Chris Wood and the Flying Disabled organization.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 Facts and Figures

B-52 and B-1 Departures – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

F-15 Eagle and F-22 Raptor Departures – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

Oshkosh EAA AirVenture 2017 – Blue Angels, Watching Airplanes, Airshow, Plane Spotting, Etc.

Photos from Hillel Glazer: Oshkosh Adventurers 2017

And a recording from Airplane Geeks Reporter at Large Launchpad Marzari.

Airline Story of the Week

‘It was the best moment of his life’: Boy, 7, with a heart defect is granted his wish of learning to become a pilot

Listener Recordings

Our Main(e) Man Micah: “Prior to Take-Off It’s Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.”

Derek on a 1969 encounter with Frontier Airlines.

Episode 2 from student pilot Nicki.

Mentioned

SimpleFlight Radio

Belite Aircraft Chipper

Belite Aircraft Chipper

Belite Aircraft Chipper

Susan Raye – L.A. International Airport

The Proud Bird food bazaar and events center.

Flight Path Museum & Learning Center

Wings & Fins Restaurant, Bar & Bistro located at the Tooradin Airport, 60 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD down the South Gippsland Highway.

Airports in the Path of Totality, from NASA. Visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ for lots of information and resources concerning the total solar eclipse that will be sweeping across the U.S. Especially the safety page! Pinhole projectors can be easily made for viewing the sun: Make a Projector to Safely See a Solar Eclipse.

The pilot shortage is real and airlines must change before it becomes a full-blown crisis, by Patrick Smith.

Thanks to Stuart Stevenson from the Pilot’s Journey Podcast for loaning Steve Visscher the studio!

Steve Visscher in Stuart Stevensons studio

Credit

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