PZL104 Wilga

David and Max talk about the FAA/EAA agreement for Airventure, a unique Delta perk, and nano particle technology applied to jet engines.

The Australia Desk covers increased air traffic activity due to the search for MH370, and a Tiger Moth AD. In the Across the Pond segment, we learn about aviation in Scandinavia.

As always, the listener mail adds great topics, including more on the Flarm system, learning to fly first in a glider, a call for the fanciest/prettiest airport compass rose, cockpit voice recorder run time, the future of the A-10, nose-wheel cameras as IFE, and aviation book recommendations.

The week’s aviation news:

The Aircraft of the Week: the PZL104 Wilga by Jamie Dodson(Photo above.)

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is away this week so Steve is joined by PCDU’s Western Australia correspondent Ben Jones from Perth, WA, which has seen an increase in air traffic recently as aircraft from several nations stage from RAAF Base Pearce in the search for missing flight MH370.  The RAAF AP-3C Orions are being joined by an RNZAF P3-K2 Orion, Chinese Il76s, and various civilian aircraft in the search, some 2,500 off the Western Australian coast.

Australian vintage Tiger Moth aircraft are now subject to an airworthiness directive from CASA concerning lateral tie rods, following recent crash where a wing was found to have failed during an aerobatic maneuver.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter introduces a new guest contributor Marisa Garcia from Denmark to talk about aviation in Scandinavia. Working in the aerospace sector for over 20 years, Marisa now focuses her business on leading edge aviation journalism. In this inaugural segment, they discuss Marisa’s background in aircraft interior design and her website Flight Chic, along with the major Danish airlines, airports and their relative health in today’s marketplace.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

KDTA airport compass rose

KDTA airport compass rose

Patrick’s challange: Email us a photo of an airport compass rose, and we’ll pick the best ones.

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

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Freelance aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz joins us to talk about FAA deadlines, passenger behaviour on charter flights, and the state of U.S. airport infrastructure. Also, the best aviation museums, Jetblue’s new FlyFi system, travel technology, and analyzing travel data.

Jason is @AirlineFlyer on Twitter and also see his Facebook page. Find Jason’s writing at Airchive, AirlineReporter, and the Runway Girl Network.

The week’s aviation news:

From CNN, the World’s 14 best aviation museums:

14. Palm Springs Air Museum (California, United States)

13. Central Museum of the Air Forces (Monino, Russia)

12. Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum (Alice Springs, Australia)

11. Red Bull Hangar-7 (Salzburg, Austria)

10. Canada Aviation and Space Museum (Ottawa, Canada)

9. China Aviation Museum (Beijing)

8. Polish Aviation Museum (Krakow, Poland)

7. Pima Air & Space Museum (Arizona, United States)

6. State Aviation Museum of Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine)

5. French Air and Space Museum (Le Bourget, France) – Jason

4. Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour (Washington, United States)

3. National Museum of the United States Air Force (Ohio, United States)

2. Imperial War Museum Duxford (Duxford, UK)

1. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Washington, D.C.)

David Vanderhoof’s segment: Suzie the Cirrus and her adventure with Mr. Alex.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

This week we have a recent interview with Matt Hall, talking about his preparations for the upcoming Red Bull Air Race season. For US listeners, there are two races this year – one in Forth Worth and the other in Las Vegas.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Yak-130

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter talks to Krzysztof Kuska Editor-in-Chief of Infolotnicze about the decision by the Polish military to proceed with buying the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 twin-engined jet trainer as its Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) aircraft to replace its aged fleet of over 100 PZL Mielec TS-11 Iskra jets; significantly under cutting BAE and Korea Aerospace/Lockheed Martin in the process.  Pieter learns the M346 and Yak 130 share the same development stable, but this does not fit comfortably with some in Poland.

They also discuss the current pressure on the national airline LOT to look for both internal and external investment and its recent bad luck with the Boeing 787 service.

Follow Infolotnicze on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

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

Boeing 777-9X

Guest Max Trescott joins the conversation with us on Dubai Air Show orders and the Boeing 777X, the future of General Aviation and what pilots need to do now, the new FAA mandate for sleep apnea testing, FCC considering inflight cell phone use, and MU-2 stall training.

In the listener mail segment, we talk about difficult approaches, airport security, over-reliance on automation vs. hand flying the airplane, runway debris, flying in Russia, a highway landing, and more.

Max Trescott was the 2008 National CFI of the Year. For all his pilot training books, CDs, and iPhone GPS guides, visit G1000Book.com. Also see also his personal blog, Trends Aloft.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: This week David gives thanks to our friends and listeners.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Etihad A330 pilot declares Mayday!, Virgin Australia goes after Qantas who asks for employee support, Indonesia suspends some relations with Australia and departs planned exercises with noisy F-16’s, and RAAF C-17 training.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Su-22 used for ground attack in Poland. Taken during Zlot 2013 at Krzesiny Air Base Courtesy - Krzysztof Kuska

Su-22 used for ground attack in Poland. Taken during Zlot 2013 at Krzesiny Air Base Courtesy – Krzysztof Kuska

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

We talk to Krzysztof Kuska, Editor in Chief at leading Polish aerospace website Infolotnicze about developments in the Polish military procurement for both helicopters and a lead in jet fighter / trainer. We also discuss the fragile state of Polish legacy carrier LOT as well as the threat of the new Berlin Airport on surrounding airports in Poland. See infolotnicze in English on Facebook and on Google+.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

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

B-58 Hustler

Guest Christine Negroni is author of the book “Deadly Departure” about the crash of TWA 800 (Now available as an eBook.) Her reporting appears in The New York Times and she has worked as a network television correspondent for CBS News and CNN. She blogs at “Flying Lessons” and you can follow her on Twitter as @cnegroni.

We talk about how the TWA 800 accident helped Christine become interested and involved in aviation, the quality of aviation journalism these days, her report of the 1952 crash of a BOAC Hermes in Africa and how some of the original reporting was not completely accurate.

Christine also has some thoughts about the recent television documentary “TWA Flight 800,” which puts forth a missile conspiracy theory. Christine has spoken with the Co-Producer and others involved in the documentary.

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Convair B-58 Hustler. (Photo above)

Jetstar

In This Week’s Australia Desk:

With Grant back on deck this week, we start by talking all things 787 with the news that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has cleared Jetstar to add it’s first such aircraft to their AOC, allowing them to begin passenger flights starting very shortly.

Air New Zealand has a number of 787-9 aircraft on order for their fleet and announced this week that the Auckland to Perth will be the initial route to see service.  We’re tipping their cabin will be a tad less squashy in a 302 seat configuration, compared with the 335 on offer from Jetstar.

Qantas announces March 2014 as the closure date for their 747 maintenance facility at Avalon Airport in Victoria, with the loss of over 300 jobs.  As reported last week, unions were desperately trying to come up with ways to save the facility, but Qantas seemed determined to close it and is proceeding accordingly.  With the continuing draw down of their 747-400 fleet from 34 airframes to a projected ten by next year, Qantas says they don’t have the workload to justify keeping the base open.  They’ve offered to re-deploy as many jobs as possible to facilities in Brisbane and possibly Melbourne, but its feared that 747 maintenance work for the remaining fleet will go overseas.

In defence news, the Royal Australian Air Force has started EA-18 Growler training in earnest with the first crews heading to the US for transition work with the US Navy.  The RAAF is acquiring 12 airframes of this type, which are due to begin service within three years.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

ATV 4 Albert Einstein from the ISS

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter brings us some news stories that caught his eye, including the passenger growth numbers in Europe, the Europeans Space Agencies space craft ATV4 Albert Einstein and the successful first flight of the e-Go.

Mentioned:

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

Photo by @nzaircraftfan

Guest Kevin Hiatt is CEO and President of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents.

We talk about the recent International Aviation Safety Summit: approaches (stabilized and otherwise), tactical safety and strategy, and a presentation from BEA on the lengthy AF447 investigation and the (inaccurate) suggestion by some that they were covering up for AF and Airbus.

Also from the Summit: Data gathering and sharing, and safety culture, including from the airline perspective. Dave Barger, Jetblue CEO, described how safety is one of the Jetblue five values.  Scott Winter, Assistant Professor of Aviation Sciences at the College of Aeronautics at Florida Institute of Technology presented on runway excursions.

Other topics we covered: NextGen ATC, where that’s going, and the impact on safety. The role of data in the future of flight safety world-wide. Flight Safety Foundation is working with the Mitre Corporation to take safety from a reactive mode (investigating accidents and implementing changes to prevent recurrence) to predictive mode using data to pinpoint areas that warrant examination to reduce future risk.

Before joining the Foundation, Kevin was the Vice President for Corporate Safety and Security at World Airways. Kevin was also with Delta Air Lines for 26 years in a variety of positions, including Chief Pilot at the Atlanta International Pilot Crew Base.

 The Week’s Aviation  News:

By Daniel from Sydney Australia

By Daniel from Sydney Australia

In This Week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is taking a break this week so PCDU’s Western Australia correspondent, Ben Jones (aka Jonesy) joins Steve for this report.

In the news, it’s Melbourne Cup week which, although a horse racing event, provides aviation enthusiasts a feast of extra aircraft and aircraft movements to check out.  One Melbourne based helicopter pilot didn’t enjoy the festivities quite so much when her Bell 206L flipped onto its side and crashed as it went to depart a local executive shuttle point in the city’s north.  Luckily, she escaped the wreckage with little more than a finger injury.

Qantas maintenance staff at it’s beleaguered Avalon base have approached the company with an offer to take three months off without pay, in a desperate bid to save the facility from closure.  It appears the company is determined to progress the closure plans however, as it continues to reduce it’s Boeing 747 fleet.  Avalon is the current home of Qantas 747 maintenance in Australia.

Ben tells us about local Perth-based participation in this year’s annual World Flight Australia, a virtual airline event that raises much needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Mentioned:

Photos:

This episode’s photos are provided by our listeners. Thanks to @nzaircraftfan for the Mustangs and Daniel from Sydney Australia for the Cessna 182 in flight!

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

Audio Transcription:

As a special for this episode, we have an audio transcription by rev.com.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at <a href="http://www.brotherloverocks.com/">www.brotherloverocks.com</a>.

Guest Carl Valeri is a commercial pilot and a flight instructor. He is also a prolific creator of aviation content. The broad appeal of his Aviation Careers Podcast goes beyond those looking for career advice. Its interesting to learn about what the jobs of others are like.

We talk about airline furloughs and seniority lists, things to think about when considering flying for a different airline, the age/seniority situation and what that means after an airline merger. Carl talks about how the Sun N Fun activities support and promote aviation. It’s not just the annual event. Sun N Fun radio broadcasts great interviews year round at Sun N Fun Radio.

Find Carl at the Aviation Careers Podcast (@FlyingCareers on Twitter), the Stuck Mic Avcast (@StuckMicAvCast on Twitter) and the ExpertAviator.com blog (@ExpertAviator on Twitter).

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week:

The so you want to be a Historian?  Since David will be celebrating Thanksgiving with his family on October 14.  He didn’t want to leave the show without a segment so this is where you come in.  We are looking to have you write a 1000 word history segment on the Aircraft, Helicopter, Blimp or space craft of your choice.  Here’s your chance to get that airplane you always wanted that David hasn’t done yet.  So here’s the requirements:

  • A subject that hasn’t been done

  • Minimum of 800 words maximum of 1200 words

  • Provide your references

  • Proper Spelling and Grammar

  • Must be submitted to theGeeks@airplanegeeks.com by October 9th, 2013

So let’s see them. David will choose one to record for the episode.  The others we’ll either post or maybe use them in later episodes. Good Luck Future Airplane Geeks Historians.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Steve and Grant have finally finished running around to various events in Australia (for now :) ) and have (finally!) put together a “real” Australia Desk. They quickly review a few headlines before settling down to discuss a recent AirProx between two Qantas A330s.

All that plus a shout-out to Aunt Benet’s piloting skills and news that Grant’s appearing in the latest Australian Pilot magazine from AOPA.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Iberia Maintenance

Iberia Maintenance

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week our contributor from Spain Diego Lopez Salazar from AeroPodcast takes us behind the scenes at the Iberia Maintenance facility at Madrid Airport. In the first of two segments we hear all about seeing an A340 stripped down to its barest minimums, who owns the aircrafts tyres and how quickly emergency chutes are deployed.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Listener Story:

Listener Micah, our Main(e) man, recorded a story he calls, “Fifteen Thirty At 2-O’clock.”

Crew - Morotai, 1944

Crew – Morotai, 1944 from listener Doug Betts. Doug’s father (highlighted) flew 52 missions in a B-24 of the 307th Bomb Group, The Long Rangers.

Mentioned:

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

Air Tractor 502

Guest Matt Desch is the CEO of Iridium Communications, the world’s largest satellite system with almost 650,000 customers around the globe. Matt is a commercial/instrument/multi rated pilot and owns a Cessna T210. He also volunteers as a member of the Board of Trustees for AOPA, and flies for Angel Flight as well.

The $3 Billion Iridium NEXT program is set to launch 81 new satellites in a low-earth orbit constellation that will include ADS-B receivers to support the NextGen navigation system. These satellites will relay aircraft signals into the air traffic controllers in real-time to enable world-wide navigation. This will allow, for example, vastly reduced aircraft separation over the Atlantic, yielding and more efficient flights.  The service will be provided through Aireon, a joint venture between Iridium and Nav Canada.

Find Iridium on Twitter as @IridiumComm and on Facebook. Matt tweets as @IridiumBoss.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: the Air Tractor AT-502.

Grant and Steve

Grant and Steve

In this week’s Australia Desk:

It’s Edition 200 of the Australia Desk!

First Boeing 787 in Jetstar livery rolls out of the Everett paint shop.

Worldwide Saber Reservation System crash takes Virgin Australia down with it.

A Virgin B737 collides with a Jetstar A320 during pushback at Melbourne Airport – up to $2million damage.

The New Zealand Government has issued a travel warning concerning flights taken in Tonga on board the Chinese produced MA60 turboprop aircraft, citing safety concerns.

Ryan Campbell continues his Teen World Flight, leaving the USA & Canada and touching down in Reykjavic, Iceland.  He’s heading to the UK and Europe from there.  Track his aircraft – VH-OLS.

AOPA Australia are holding a Safety Seminar in Perth on August 31st & September 1st at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, at Jandakot Airport.  Highly recommended for local pilots.

Here’s to the next 200 Aus Desks!

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week we continue our discussion with Oussama Salah on the Middle East and North Africa. We conclude the discussion on cargo and how a new airport should be built to fully integrate into the whole road, rail and sea transportation system. We also discuss the ‘evolutionary’ low cost versus full fair process with the news that FlyDubai is bringing Business Class into its existing low cost fleet.

www.linkedin.com/in/oussamasalah

www.oussamastake.blogspot.com

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

DC-10 Water Tanker drop by Stephen Tornblom

DC-10 Water Tanker drop by Stephen Tornblom

Mentioned:

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

A350XWB First Flight

At Simple Flight, Al and Marc produce a aviation radio show that goes live Sunday nights from 8:00pm to 10:00pm Central Time (U.S.) You can also listen to the audio archive anytime, or subscribe as a podcast in iTunes. Since the Simple Flight show is live, Al and Marc get a lot of listener interaction in real time.

The website offers other content for pilots, including an aviation blog, aviation photography, flight instruction. We talk about the live show, the next great flying club – delivering new pilots to aviation, and even Rod Rakic’s new Open Airplane project.

Find the guys and the site on Twitter as: @Al_H2Oloo (clever, eh?), @mepner, and @SimpleFlightNet.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is Sue’s Bird, the Piper PA-24 Comanche.

Embraer KC-390

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Winter weather has been causing trouble in for flights Australia’s south east this week, especially with fog causing many diversions. Mid week, two B737s, one Qantas & one Virgin Australia, diverted to the rural city of Mildura in Victoria; an airport normally accustomed to regional turboprop aircraft, and one that lacks an ILS. As the fog began to envelop Mildura as well, the Virgin 737, after two missed approaches, declared a fuel emergency and landed in what has been described as below minima for the airport. This has lead to an ATSB investigation which is due to report by March 2014.

Virgin Australia flight makes emergency landing in Victoria

Low fuel diversion involving Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR, Mildura Airport, Victoria on 18 June 2013

RAAF KC-30A tankers now operational and recently participated in Exercise Aces North, the culmination of the Fighter Combat Instructor course, in the skies over the Northern Territory.

KC-30As participate in Aces North

GippsAero rolls out GA8 Airvan number 200

Australia’s entrant in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, places second overall. A great result!

Melbourne’s RMIT comes second in Airbus Fly Your Ideas global competition

Grant talks about his balloon flying over the weekend with PCDU team member, Kathy Mexted

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Mentioned:

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

Panshanger showing its heritage

We celebrate five years of Airplane Geeks episodes. Courtney Miller, Steve Visscher, and Grant McHerron join in and we recall some early moments.

The week’s aviation news:

Australia Desk:

Find Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net. Also streaming 9:00am Saturdays on Kinglake Ranges Radio, a community radio station covering the greater King Lake area.

Dean Mcbride - Fighting to save our Heritage at Panshanger

Dean Mcbride – Fighting to save our Heritage at Panshanger

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Having solo’d from Panshanger in a Piper Tomahawk 13 years ago, the airfield has a very special place in Pieter’s heart, but it has a much richer heritage. He talks to Dean Mcbride about ‘Holwell Hyde’ and its role as a decoy airfield during the Second World War and how he is desperately trying to gain recognition for the role of the airfield as it faces the inevitable threat from development and encroachment from housing. Maybe this is not youir airfield but it could be soon.

Links: Petition, Website, Facebook.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

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

Time and Navigation

David Vanderhoof was invited to be a social media participant for the opening of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s new exhibit, Time and Navigation: The untold story of getting from here to there. He brings us recordings and interviews from the event.

The full selection of audio recordings, (with play times):

How did the aviators "shoot" the sun and stars?

The Winnie Mae, the airplane Wiley Post flew in his record-breaking flights around the world in 1931 and 1933

Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, Fact Sheet:

Opening April 12, 2013, National Mall building, Gallery 213

Presented in collaboration with the National Museum of American History

Sections: Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; Inventing Satellite Navigation; and Navigation for Everyone.

Sponsored by: Northrop Grumman Corporation, Exelis Inc., Honeywell, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, Magellan, National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing, Rockwell Collins and the Institute of Navigation.

“Time and Navigation” explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way. Through artifacts dating from centuries ago to today, the exhibition traces how timekeeping and navigational technologies evolved to help navigators find their way in different modes of travel, in different eras and different environments. Methods are traced through the decades to show that of all the issues facing navigation, one challenge stands out: The need to determine accurate time.

Twelve Things People Might Not Know about Time and Navigation

1. Although it was possible to navigate at sea before 1700, very precise positions could not be determined without accurate time and reliable clocks.

2. The earliest sea-going marine chronometer made in the United States was produced by Bostonian William Cranch Bond during the War of 1812.

3. Calculating position only by monitoring time, speed and direction is called Dead Reckoning. Measuring movement using only internal sensors is known as Inertial Navigation. Observing the sun, moon, or stars at precise times to determine position is known as Celestial Navigation. Radio Navigation systems use radio signals to maintain a course or fix a position.

4. The first several Soviet and American spacecraft sent to the moon missed it completely and crashed on the moon or were lost in space. Subsequent missions achieved their objectives as better techniques for guidance and navigation were developed.

5. When the first men went to the moon (Apollo 8), they used a sextant to help them navigate.

6. A spacecraft travelling across the solar system navigates by means of precisely timed radio signals sent back and forth to Earth. Navigators on Earth track its location and speed and transmit course adjustments. These techniques allow navigators to guide a probe to a planetary rendezvous or a pinpoint landing.

7. Space shuttles used onboard star trackers to locate their position in space with high accuracy. Once the shuttle reached orbit, the tracker automatically locked onto a star to orient the spacecraft.

8. The fundamental unit of time, the second, was defined in the past by the rotation of the Earth. Since 1967, the second has been defined by the signature frequency of a form of the element cesium.

9. A navigator on a ship at sea 100 years ago needed to know the time to the second. GPS satellite navigation works by measuring time to billionths of a second.

10. Albert Einstein’s understanding of space and time and relativity contributed to global navigation. Because GPS satellites experience lower gravity and move at high speeds, their clocks operate at a different rate than clocks on Earth. Since all the clocks in the system must be synchronized, a net correction of 38 millionths of a second per day must be added to the satellite clock’s time.

11. Increasingly reliable clocks and improved navigation methods have allowed navigators to calculate spacecraft positions with greater accuracy. By 2012 missions could be tracked with 100,000 times the accuracy possible in the early 1960s.

12. Atomic clocks in GPS satellites keep time to within three nanoseconds—three-billionths of a second.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is back on deck this week as we discuss the release of the new Qantas uniforms, revealed this week to much fanfare. Eight former Royal Australian Navy Kaman SH-2G Super Sea Sprite helicopters, which never saw service after the programme was scrapped two years ago, have been purchased by the New Zealand Government for their Navy at a cost of $A200million ($NZ244million – $US210million). And keeping in the recent theme of aviation lobby groups wading into the upcoming federal election early, the Australian Airports Association is asking the government to consider backing a fund to assist struggling remote area airstrips to the tune of $20million.

Links:

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week we look at what’s been happening in the Benelux countries and France with Frenchez Pietersz from Aviation Platform. New low cost carriers, KLM baggage fees and the threat of european hub domination from Schipol all get discussed.

Follow Aviation Platform on Twitter as @AviPlatform on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

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

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