Tag Archives: Embraer

572 Pickle Fork Cracks

We discuss the erosion of manual piloting skills, pickle fork cracks in the B737NG, the EC review of Boeing’s interest in Embraer, a helicopter crash “close to home,” an “MCAS-like” system on the KC-46 tanker, tracking stealth fighters with passive radar, Delta’s proposed stake in LATAM, and Delta’s rules change for emotional support animals.

Aviation News

EAA Creating Hands-On Build-And-Fly R/C Model Building, Flying Program

EAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) have unveiled a new “Young Eagles Build and Fly” program. This is designed to engage youth in hands-on building and flying of radio-control aircraft.

Unexpected cracking found on critical Boeing 737 Next Generation part

Some Boeing 737NGs are exhibiting pickle fork cracks. These are structures that connect the wing to the fuselage and transmit the load to the fuselage as the wings flex. The pickle forks are reportedly meant to last a lifetime so the cracking is of some concern.

You Can Fly Challenge tops its goal

More than $2.8 million was contributed by more than 5,000 individual donors to the 2019 AOPA You Can Fly Challenge. The 2019 challenge exceeded expectations and the Ray Foundation voted to increase its matching grant to $2.5 million. In total, more than $5.3 million in new funding was provided for You Can Fly.

FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of ‘manual’ piloting skills

Flightglobal reports that the FAA has concerns about pilots who cannot handle the aircraft when the automation fails. Some pilots have inadequate manual flying skills. The FAA believes ICAO standards and guidance need to evolve as automation continues to expand. Daily bulletins are available from ICAO’s 40th Assembly in Montreal September 24 through October 4, 2019.

Boeing, Embraer Deal Faces EU Scrutiny

The European Commission wants to look at Boeing’s plan to take a controlling interest of Embraer’s commercial business, despite previously approving Airbus’ purchase of the Bombardier CSeries.

Bowdoinham man severely injured in helicopter crash at Sanford airport

A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at the Sanford, Maine airport. Pilot Jack White, 50, was transported to the hospital with “severe injuries.”

Boeing omitted safeguards on 737 MAX that were used on military jet

A system similar to MCAS is used on the KC-46 tankers, but for a different reason: to compensate for load changes. The tanker version, however, uses two AOA indicators instead of one on the 737 MAX.

USAF Reviewing Training After MAX 8 Crashes; KC-46 Uses Similar MCAS

The Air Force is watching to see if there are any implications for the KC-46.

Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm

German radar-maker Hensoldt claims to have tracked two F-35s for 150 kilometers following the 2018 Berlin Air Show in Germany in 2018. The TwInvis system passive radar system uses existing electromagnetic energy from radio and TV broadcast transmitters and evaluates their echoes when reflected by an object.

Delta is buying 20% of LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline

LATAM Airlines, formerly LAN Airlines S.A. and Lan Chile, is a OneWorld Alliance member. Delta Air Lines is planning to take a 20% stake in the airline for $1.9 billion says they’ll spend $350 million to expand the partnership. LATAM will be exiting the OneWorld alliance. No word if they will join SkyTeam led by Delta.

Delta lifts ban on emotional support animals on long flights, but pit bulls are still barred

Delta lifted its ban on emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. This puts them back in compliance with the Department of Transportation. However, Delta continues to ban pit bulls, even though breed bans are not allowed.

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour

542 Airline Seats

Airline seats from Layer Design that you control with an app, Boeing-Embraer deals, business jet deliveries, re-engining the B-52 fleet, regional jets and scope clauses, lithium-ion battery ban on commercial flights, another MH360 theory, F117 rumors, and flying with a fake license. Also, an airplane of the week, and two must-see videos.

"Move" prototype airline seats. Courtesy Layer Design.

“Move” prototype airline seats. Courtesy Layer Design.

Aviation News

Airbus economy seat prototype: Are these the future of airline cabins?

London-based Layer Design has developed the prototype “Move” airline seats for Airbus. These are intended to improve the experience of Economy Class short- to mid-haul flying. Sensors in the seat and measure seat tension, temperature, pressure, and movement. The Move app can be used to maintain optimal ergonomic comfort.

Boeing-Embraer Venture Gets Shareholders Approval

Embraer shareholders approved the deal to sell 80 percent of their commercial jet division to Boeing. They also voted to approve a separate JV for the KC-390. Regulatory approval is pending.

The Vision Jet Was the Most-Delivered Business Jet in 2018

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) says Cirrus delivered 63 SF50 Vision Jets, 22 in the fourth quarter. Bombardier delivered 60 Challenger 350 jets, the Cessna Citation Latitude had 57 deliveries, the Embraer Phenom 300E light jet saw 53 deliveries, while HondaJet and the Cessna Citation CJ3+ tied at 37 deliveries. Overall, business jet deliveries increased to 703 last year, up from 677 in 2017.

Rolls-Royce Indianapolis to compete for $1B U.S. Air Force contract, new jobs

In 2017, U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the ancient Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines that currently power its B-52 bombers. Rolls-Royce wants to bid on the 650 re-engine contract with its F130 engine. The Air Force hasn’t yet issued an RFP

United Airlines Orders First Class Regional Jets – But They’re Not For You

This is a story about scope clauses, under configuring an airplane and sending a message to the labor union, according to writer Samuel Engel. United plans to seat 50 in the CRJ550, a new variant of the Bombardier CRJ-700 series aircraft that normally seats 70-76. The plan is 10 first-class seats, 20 economy-plus seats, and 20 economy-class seats.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Major Rule to Strengthen Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the FAA, issued an Interim Final Rule that prohibits the transport of lithium ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.  In addition, lithium ion cells and batteries must be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft. For further information, see the Interim Final Rule as submitted to the Federal Register. You may submit comments to the Rule under Docket Number PHMSA‑2016‑0014 at Regulations.gov.

‘Desperate’ final 12 minutes of MH370 passengers and crew

March 8 marks the 5th anniversary of the loss of MH370. In his book The Hunt for MH370, Journalist Ean Higgins explores a theory that portrays the flight crew as valiantly trying to deal with a cockpit fire.

Let’s Talk About The Rumor That F117s Have Flown Missions In The Middle East Recently

F-117 Nighthawks have been spotted flying over Death Valley recently. One source claimed that F-117s were sent to the Middle East on a highly covert mission.

Senior SAA pilot fired for flying with fake licence for 20 years

A South African Airways pilot flew for 20 years on a forged airline transport pilot license. This came to light during an investigation into an over speed incident.

Video of the Week

FIRST LOOK – New USAF F-35 Full Aerobatic Demonstration!

A video of the new aerobatic demonstration routine flown by the US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team. Filmed opposite the crowd at the 2019 Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.

The Airplane of the Week

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, formerly known as Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

The Zero.

The Zero.

Mentioned

Women Take Flight, at the New England Air Museum, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

SUN ‘n FUN, April 2 – 7, 2019, Lakeland, Florida.

USAF Female Fighter Pilots: March 8 recruitment campaign upcoming movie

 

Listener Jonathan behind the bar on the Emirates 380.

532 A Jet City Star

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

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

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

Guest

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

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

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

Aviation News

Brazil court overturns injunction against Boeing-Embraer deal

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your Holiday Laser-light Display-Responsibly

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

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

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

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

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

Mitsubishi completes first assembly of GTF PW1200G engine for MRJ jet

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

MHI completes capital bail-out of MRJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Story

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

Mentioned

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

JPL Voyager Mission Status page.  

The Flight Claims of Gustave Whitehead

Instagram photo of DC-3 by @mikeymcbryan.

Daks Over Normandy

D-Day Squadron

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

 

531 Aerial Tankers, Again

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

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

Airbus A330 MRTT aerial tanker.

A330 MRTT, courtesy Airbus.

Aviation News

Airbus Teams With Lockheed to Take On Boeing Tankers

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

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

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

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

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

Embraer-Boeing aviation deal blocked by Brazilian court

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

US Airport Opens First Fully Biometric Terminal

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

Video: Delta flight boarding with facial recognition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boeing BBJ-777X computer rendering © Boeing.

Boeing BBJ-777X computer rendering © Boeing.

NASA’s Voyager 2 Probe Enters Interstellar Space

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

Airline Story of the Week

United CEO gives his first class seat to elderly passenger

Mentioned

AvGeekFests.com – The calendar of aviation events.

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

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

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.

513 Farnborough Airshow 2018

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

Farnborough Airshow

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

CFM to compete for NMA even if required thrust rises

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

Airbus, Boeing gain more than 960 aircraft orders at Farnborough

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

Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

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

United order for 70-seat E175s raises questions

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

A220 gains ETOPS certification

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

Pratt engines to power planes for startup airline

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

GoFly Personal Air Taxi Competition Racks Up Support

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

Video: GoFly Prize: Celebrating the Phase I Winners

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

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

Other Aviation News

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

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

The World’s Best Airlines for 2018

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

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

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

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

An Airbus A321XLR Could Be a Game Changer for JetBlue

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

Interview

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

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

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

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

Mentioned

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

DC3 food truck

 

 

 

 

 

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

Craftplicator

The Wings Over New Zealand Show.

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI).

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

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

511 Aircraft Dispatcher

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

Guest

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike

Dispatcher Mike

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aviation News

FAA declines to regulate more legroom for airline passengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview

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

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

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum

Mentioned

North Atlantic Tracks published by Shanwick Center and Gander Center.

PACOTS Flight Planning Guidance [PDF]

Airline Dispatchers Federation

International Federation Of Airline Dispatchers Association

Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA)

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

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

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

Pressure waves of air flowing off an airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

497 Designing an Airplane

The Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft talks about designing an airplane. Also, Bombardier and Embraer and the market for small commercial jets, the corporate culture of Boeing, the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt, and a preliminary report from the NTSB on the fatal helicopter crash into the river.

Vashon Aircraft Chief Engineer Ken Krueger talks about designing an airplane.

The Vashon Ranger R7 flying near Mt Baker. Courtesy Vashon Aircraft.

Guest

new Ken Krueger, Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft.

Ken Krueger is Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft and principal designer of the Ranger R7 2-place aircraft.

We talk with Ken about designing an airplane. He tells us about the things that push you to design a new airplane, design objectives, and engineering reality. Ken describes the manufacturability of airplane designs and how to keep costs down through manufacturing automation, vertical integration, and the company culture. Ken explains how materials and construction affect repairability, and talks to us about engine selection, the considerations for good flying ability, and even the contribution of workforce diversity.

Ken played a tiny part in the development of large airplanes such as C-17, B-2, and F-22. He played a greater role in the design of small airplanes such as the RV-7, RV-8, RV-9, RV-10, RV-12, RV-14, and the Ranger. Along the way, he has built, owned, and maintained several airplanes, including an RV-4, an RV-6, and a single seat aircraft of his own design. This combination of education and experience gives Ken a unique perspective on successfully designing and manufacturing light aircraft in today’s world.

Ken grew up in an aviation family and his passion for aviation sparked early. He earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager and graduated a few years later from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Ken and his wife, Susan, live in Washington State and they currently own an RV-4 and a Cessna 150.

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

Also, check out the article by Pia Bergqvist in Flying Magazine, What It’s Like to Fly the Vashon Ranger R7: The Jeep of the light-sport aircraft category makes a surprise entrance.

 

Aviation News

Boeing, Airbus Gird for New Duel in Niche Market for Small Jets

Airbus has aligned with Bombardier on the CSeries. Boeing is courting Embraer. Bombardier and Embraer have new fuel-efficient jets in the 100 – 150 seat range and orders for the smaller jets may be out there from Air France-KLM, United Continental Holdings, and JetBlue Airways.

How to Fix United Airlines’ Culture Problem

United Airlines treatment of their customers has been well documented in the press. With almost alarming frequency. Does United suffer from a corporate culture problem? If so, what can be done?

The Air Force has the money it needs for the A-10 Thunderbolt — but may soon get a new partner to help keep it in the air

What needs to happen for the A-10 to have a future, and who would have a role in keeping it flying?

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on NY Helicopter Accident

The NTSB preliminary report contains no analysis or probable cause but describes the sequence of events is described, subject to change as the investigation proceeds.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about her solo and experiences with a GPS.

Mentioned

After decade of restoration in Auburn, iconic ’50s airliner returning to Germany

Lufthansa L-1649 Starliner – A commercial from Lufthansa circa 1960 for a flight from Hamburg to New York on the L-1649A Starliner. In German with subtitles.

Cora VTOL: Autonomous Electric Sky Taxi from Zephyr Airworks/Kitty Hawk

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

487 Build an Airport then Take it Down

Our guest is the president and founder of Flying Eyes, a maker of eyewear for pilots and others, who also happens to be involved in setting up the airport each year at Burning Man, then taking it all down. In the news, we look at the impact of a U.S. Government shutdown on aviation, TSA formally ending the unloved Large Aircraft Security Program, the carrier with the most legroom, Boeing’s overtures to Embraer, the Emirates A380 order, and new support animal rules at Delta. Also, our Main(e) Man Micah looks back at Apollo 1 and how it shaped NASA.

Guest

Dean Siracusa

Dean Siracusa

Dean Siracusa is the president and founder of Flying Eyes, and an SEL/IFR rated pilot with more than 2,200 hours. Dean owned and flew a rare Meyers 200, and he operates the Meyers Aircraft Owners Association website.

Dean is involved in building Black Rock City Municipal Airport (88NV) each year for the annual Burning Man event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. After the temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance is taken down, the airport is likewise removed and the desert returned to its natural state. Burning Man 2018 takes place August 26 – September 3.

In 2012, Dean designed, engineered, patented, and began manufacturing Flying Eyes eyewear. He realized the need for specialty sunglasses that are comfortable with helmets and aviation-style headsets. He also created Eyes That Fly, where you can locate eye doctors near you who are also pilots and thus understand the unique needs of pilots.

Flying Eyes eyewear

Flying Eyes eyewear

Dean is a bit of a serial entrepreneur and founded the Transtock, Inc. stock photo agency that specializes in transportation imagery. He also founded Siracusa Productions to create images and commercials primarily for the automotive industry, including manufacturers such as Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and many others.

Dean received a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. While a student, Dean worked at Road & Track Magazine, later becoming the magazine’s sole staff photographer traveling the world shooting prestigious brands.

The Impact of a Government Shutdown on Aviation

We look at the impact on aviation of a U.S. Government shutdown due to the lack of a funding bill. We find the government functions that keep operating and those that shut down:

Aviation News

A Decade Later, TSA Officially Drops LASP

In 2008, the TSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP). The proposed security program that would have required security threat assessments for aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds.

The Airline with the Most Legroom Is This Little-Known Carrier

The Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet provides 34 inches of seat pitch across all its planes. By contrast, the average economy seat pitch on American, Delta, and United is 30 to 31 inches.

Boeing Seeks Embraer Control, With Defense Safeguards

Exclusive: Boeing willing to preserve Brazil’s ‘golden share’ in Embraer deal

Competition Begins for Production Site of Boeing’s NMA

The Brazilian government does not want to see complete control of Embraer move out of the country, and especially wants to retain it’s “golden share,” which gives the government veto power over certain decisions. Reportedly, Boeing is looking at sourcing engineering work and possibly production in Brazil. For a history of past Boeing interest in Embraer by Dominic Gates, see Boeing’s bid to buy Embraer could see Brazilian engineers work on the 797

Airbus Has Won Its Game of A380 Chicken with Emirates

Last week we commented on a statement from COO John Leahy that if Airbus couldn’t work out a deal with Emirates, the company would have to shut down the A380 program. Well, Airbus and Emirates have done a deal for 20 firm and 16 option superjumbo jets valued at $16B at list price.

British Airways in Talks Over New A380 Order

“Informed sources” have told Bloomberg news that British Airways talking with Airbus about the purchase of new A380-800s to use for high-demand flights at London Heathrow.

Delta reins in emotional support animals with new guidelines

With everything from comfort turkeys and gliding possums known as sugar gliders, to snakes and spiders being used as emotional support animals, Delta is taking a stand with new rules that require additional documentation. Report by Mary Kirby at Runwaygirl Network.

The Fire, or Apollo 1 – The Predicted Disaster

Our Main(e) Man Micah takes a look back at “The Fire” in Apollo 1 and how it shaped NASA.

Apollo 1

Apollo 1

Mentioned

Photo by Max Trescott.

Photo by Max Trescott.

Brian and Carlos offer a short debrief following the celebration of the 200th episode of the Plane Talking UK podcast.

Over the Poles 2018

Anderson Aviation Services Inc.

Canadian Aviator

Sturm Friederike – Grandiose Pilotenleistung am Airport Düsseldorf bei bis zu 110 km/h Seitenwind

After leading electric car adoption, Norway now aims to lead electric flight

Credit

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

446 Reliability Centered Maintenance for Aviation

Learn about what Reliability Centered Maintenance means for aviation from a well-known A&P/IA and the CEO of Savvy Aviation. In the news, first flights of the Boeing 787-10, the Airbus A319neo, the Antonov An-132D, and the Embraer E195-E2. Also, the Fairness for Pilots Act, important news for Continental engine owners, some talk about restarting the F-22 line, and an update from Airbus on an electric airplane.

Guest

Savvy Aviator CEO Mike Busch on Reliability Centered Maintenance

Savvy Aviator CEO Mike Busch

Mike Busch is the CEO of Savvy Aviation and a co-founder of AVweb. Mike is one of the best-known A&P/IAs in general aviation and he writes the monthly “Savvy Maintenance” column in AOPA Pilot magazine. He also hosts free monthly EAA-sponsored maintenance webinars. Mike was honored as “National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year” for 2008, he’s been a pilot and aircraft owner for 50 years with 7,500+ hours logged, and is a CFIA/I/ME.

Mike explains the origins of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and how it grew to be used by commercial, business and military aviation, but hasn’t fully trickled down to small general aviation.

RCM is an optimal maintenance program that differs from the old, traditional maintenance approach that follows the assumption that components start out reliable and become less so over time. RCM is a data-driven engineering method that assesses each aircraft component for possible functional failures, failure modes, failure effects and consequences. It then creates a maintenance plan that can even allow a component to run to failure. The result is lower maintenance costs and increased reliability.

Find many aviation maintenance resources at SavvyAviation.com, follow @SavvyAviator on Twitter, and like them on Facebook. See also:

Aviation News

IndiGo is Flying Their A320 NEOS at lower Altitudes over Engine Issues

Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is requiring a borescope test for Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines at 1000 flight hours instead of the usual 1500. Meanwhile, IndiGo Airlines has set at a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet for its A320neos. All this is due to problems with the engine combustion chambers and an oil seal.

Video: Pratt & Whitney PW1000G PurePower Engine How It Works

Boeing 787-10 completes first flight in Charleston

First Flight of Airbus A319neo Finishes Hours Ahead of 787-10

Antonov completes first flight of An-132D

Embraer E195-E2 achieves first flight ahead of schedule

A number of first flights recently took place: The Boeing 787-10, the Airbus A319neo, the Antonov An-132D multi-purpose twin-engine turboprop, and the Embraer E195-E2 E-Jet.

Fairness for Pilots Act introduced

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights was signed into law in 2012. Now U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) wants to broaden protections for general aviation pilots with the Fairness for Pilots Act.

Trump’s Secaf Pick Hints F-35 May Get New Rival—F-22

“President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Air Force wants the service to look at Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor as a possible alternative to the F-35…”

Important News for Continental 520/550 Owners

An extremely costly AD may be in the works.

Airbus abandons E-Fan as electric tech moves on

Airbus will not be producing the electric E-Fan two-seater training aircraft because the technology has advanced so much in the past three years. However, Airbus is considering an E-FAN X with another order of magnitude jump in electric power.

The Airplane of the Week

The favorite airplane of David’s father was the P-61 Black Widow.

David and his father

David and his father

P-61 Black Widow

P-61 Black Widow

Mentioned

Fabulous Farnborough Airshow Photographs by Mary B. Lyons.

Aviation Hackathon #SkyHack – Open to college students 18 years of age or older, October 13-15, 2017.

Video: The Boneyard

Explaining the East/West Asymmetry of Jet Lag

Newest Bath Iron Works ship named after Korean War hero

Update: Our listener Utah Patrick wrote us with the following:

“Like Max, I was touched by the story related in the current episode about Thomas Hudner and Jesse Brown. So much so that I decided to dig a bit deeper into the story. Turns out Hudner received the Medal of Honor for his efforts to rescue his wingman. The part about leaving Brown’s body behind bothered me. I understand the reasoning but I wondered if it had ever been recovered.

“Turns out Brown’s body and his aircraft were napalmed to keep them out of enemy hands. However, figuring something was left behind, attempts have been made to retrieve remains including one attempt 63 years later by (and this really surprised me) Thomas Hudner himself.”

Patrick provided two articles that provide more details: U.S. veteran in North Korea to find remains of fellow aviator and Six Decades Later, a Second Rescue Attempt.

Listener Mick's new neighborhood

Listener Mick’s new neighborhood.

Credit

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