NYCAviation.com editor Ben Granucci on plane spotting, CEO change at Spirit Airlines, drone news from the 2016 CES, a new FAA app, the Airbus A350, hand flying the airplane, five-engine airplanes, and the odd-looking Northrop Tacit Blue.
Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR’s Airport Day. Photo by Maggie Bradley.
Ben Granucci is the Standards Editor for NYCAviation.com, a New York City-based, globally focused aviation news, commentary, and enthusiast website. He is an avid aviation photographer and a lifelong avgeek. In addition to his work with NYCAviation, Ben also occasionally writes for AirlineReporter.com. Follow him on Twitter at @blgranucci and visit his Facebook page.
Some of Ben’s favorite photos:
Plane spotting at St Maarten
A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.
An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.
A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.
The Spirit Airlines board announced that board member Robert Fornaro would replace Ben Baldanza as the CEO of the ultra low-cost airline. Fornaro was the AirTran CEO who managed the sale to Southwest 2011. While Spirit remains profitable, it is less so than before, and stock prices have tumbled. Could there be a merger in Spirit’s future?
China-based EHang announced its EHang 184 autonomous electric drone at CES, and says it should be in production in a year. The aircraft carries a single passenger, is limited to a 23 minute flight, and is expected to have a price of $200,000-$300,000.
At CES, FAA Administrator Huerta announced the public release of the B4UFLY app for iOS, and the beta of a version for the Android operating system. The FAA says, “B4UFLY tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System (NAS) where they may want to operate their unmanned aircraft system (UAS).”
The U.S. Transportation Department Office of the Inspector General released a report saying the FAA is not ensuring that airline pilots maintain the skills they need to take control from automated systems during an unexpected event.
The FAA has issued a new advisory circular for flight instructors that promotes hand flying skills during flight reviews and proficiency checks. The AC says, “The FAA reminds CFIs conducting flight reviews and IPCs to ensure that a pilot under evaluation is proficient with the automated system and knows what to do if it fails.”
We talk with Vicky Benzing, a pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. In the news, we have earnings reports for Boeing and some of the airlines, an air show parachutist lands in the crowd, an angle-of-attack indicator video for GA aircraft, the effect of Syrian sand on Russian jets, and Boeing fears the loss of the ExIm Bank.
Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. She has more than 7000 hours of flight time and over 1200 parachute jumps in a flying career spanning over thirty years. Vicky currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.
We talk with Vicky about aerobatic performances at air shows, including training and preparation, the “chicken dance,” the maneuvers Vicky likes, and which ones the audience likes. Also, the difference between flying the Stearman and flying high performance jets, how competing in the Reno Air Races compares to flying aerobatics at air shows, and what the crowd interaction means to a performer like Vicky. Along the way, Vicky tells us about skydiving and that the United States Parachute Association is a good resource for finding jump zones and advice.
In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend Wayne Handley. She entered in aerobatic competitions throughout the US, and won first place in the Intermediate category in both the Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships in 2006. Two years later, she placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in the Advanced category.
Vicky Benzing performing
In between flying aerobatic competitions, Vicky began performing in air shows and today she focuses her energies on her airshow flying. Vicky holds a surface level waiver and a formation card, and has flown well over 100 air show performances at venues across the US, including performing at the airshow during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.
In 2010, Vicky began racing in the National Championship Air Races. She was chosen “Rookie of the Year” twice by her fellow Sport and Jet Class racers, and made history in Reno this year as the “fastest woman” racer ever in the history of the Reno Air Races, flying Dianna Stanger’s one-of-a-kind L-139 jet on the race course at 469.831 mph. See Live from the Reno Air Races with SkyChick and Team Darkstar for a video interview with Vicky and Dianna.
L-139 Courtesy Dark Star Racing
In addition to her aviation pursuits, Vicky holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed a successful career in the Silicon Valley high tech industry. Vicky is currently Vice President of the Sport Class Air Racing Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA.
Vicky is sponsored by APECS Aerospace Corporation, an engineering consulting firm that specializes in providing support to aviation maintenance repair organizations. Other sponsors are Oregon Aero, maker of seating systems and helmet and headset upgrades and ASL Camguard, creator of advanced engine oil supplements to reduce engine wear.
Boeing Co. third quarter earnings were up 25 percent to $1.7 billion, and the company raised its earnings outlook for the year. In the quarter, Boeing delivered 199 commercial jets versus 186 jets a year ago.
Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said many wide-body jets coming off lease in the near future, will be available relatively cheaply, and will compete with new more fuel efficient jets.
Lower fuel spend helped jump net income 80 percent to $1.69 billion. Because 87 percent of American Airlines fliers fly only once a year and buy tickets based on price, next year American will offer cheap tickets with “less frills” on certain nonstop routes where it competes with discount carriers.
With record net income of $584 million on revenue of $5.32 billion for the quarter, Southwest beat the same quarter last year which had net income of $324 million on revenue of $4.8 billion. The company put $228 million into its profit-sharing program.
At the Wings Over Houston Airshow, a parachutist from a vintage Lockheed C-60 and using a WWII-era parachute landed in the crowd and took down a small tent. He suffered a broken limb. No spectators were injured.
For those looking for an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators in GA aircraft, the FAA has a new video to get started. The 19-minute video includes an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators, their use and general advice on installation in airplanes – plus references to FAA documents for further research. It also has demonstrations of three AOA indicators in the market – Alpha Systems, Bendix King, and Safe Flight. The devices have gained increased attention in the last year as the FAA’s safety arm focused on studying loss-of-control accidents, which can be mitigated with AOA indicators, the agency said.
He is, however, rather excited about the next Retro Roo colour scheme from Qantas. As we record an existing 737-800 is in the paintshop at Townsville getting one of the old Qantas paint schemes applied. We’re hoping for the V-Jet look.
Finally, Steve’s going to be Em-Cee for the Angel Flight charity dinner at Bankstown in Sydney on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Get on down and support the cause if you’re in the area!
AOPA Live This Week for October 22, 2015 has a really good special report from the Red Bull Air Races in Las Vegas. Matt Hall from Australia (and frequently heard on Plane Crazy Down Under) won the race. Second place finisher Paul Bonhomme from Great Britain won the championship.
Training for UAS pilots, airport security screening expands for airport workers, the Navy looks at swarming UAVs, Delta Air Lines senior instructors to take upset prevention and recovery training, and airlines alerted to watch for hackers.
Vince Donahue is the Founder and President of Vortex UAS, which provides tailored solutions for businesses utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (or UAS) including pilot training, consulting, and other UAS Services.
We talk with Vince about the current state of unmanned aerial vehicles used for commercial purposes, including the FAA NPRM for commercial use of small UAS. Vince comments on the concerns of airplane pilots, the need for drone pilot training, and the sense and avoid technology that is key to safe operation of drones in the national airspace.
Vortex UAS will be conducting a four hour introductory Training Course for unmanned aircraft pilots May 16th, 2015 at Chicago Executive Airport [KPWK].
Vince has been a professional pilot for over a decade and is presently the chief pilot of a corporate flight department. He has 4 type ratings in airline, charter, and corporate aviation and he is a Certified Flight Instructor. Vince serves as one of the founding members of the AUVSI Heartland Chapterencompassing the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.
He served as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) aboard USS Midway and USS Independence in squadron VAW 115 and has 500 hours as NFO in 130 sorties, 70 of them in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Vince received several personal decorations including the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for meritorious service during combat in the Persian Gulf War as an Aircraft Control Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye.
We previously talked about the story where guns were smuggled from Atlanta to New York aboard a Delta flight. The suspects in that case were staff at the airport. Now the TSA says they will implement increased electronic surveillance. And they are not fooling around.
Effective immediately, random screening of airline employees throughout the workday and biennial criminal history checks. TSA hopes to replace the periodic background checks with “real-time recurrent” FBI background checks for all aviation workers.
The LOCUST system launches a group of drones with tube launchers. It’s a compact system that can be used on ships, tactical vehicles, or aircraft. Once airborne, the drones share information and collaborate autonomously on both defensive and offensive missions.
Delta Air Lines senior instructors are being sent to upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) with ground, in-aircraft, and full-motion simulator instruction. The airline wants its pilots to better avoid or recover from loss-of-control (LOC) incidents.
Concerns have escalated that airliners might be vulnerable to hacking. A US Government Accountability Office report says some new passenger jets (787, A350, A380) have Wi-Fi passenger networks that share the same network as the avionics systems of the planes.
The FBI and TSA have issued an alert to airlines advising them to watch for certain activity. The alert then describes the signs that flight crews should be looking for:
Suspicious activity involving travelers connecting unknown cables or wires to the IFE system or unusual parts of the airplane seat.
Any evidence of suspicious behavior following a flight, such as IFE systems that show evidence of tampering or the forced removal of covers to network connection ports.
Any evidence of suspicious behavior concerning aviation wireless signals, including social media messages with threatening references to Onboard Network Systems, ADS-B, ACARS, and Air Traffic Control networks.
Network logs from aircraft that indicate any suspicious activity, such as network scanning or intrusion attempts.
The boys are back and only slightly embarrassed for thinking last week was the US public holiday. Ooops.
Meanwhile, the Australian government have publicly given CASA parameters for the changes they want to see made (basically: consider the economic and cost impact of safety regulations and implement the results of the Forsyth Review).
We talk with Sandy about the variety of exhibits and educational opportunities offered to visitors of all ages, including what to expect on the Boeing Tour. We also discuss the Aviation Geekfest as well as the great aviation attractions that can be found in the area.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is operated and managed by the Future of Flight Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in partnership with The Boeing Company and Snohomish County.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center is a must-see aviation destination and is located in Everett, Washington, just twenty minutes north of Seattle. The Boeing Tour is the only publicly available tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America.
A recent government audit warned the FAA that its air traffic control system is vulnerable to hacking. In February, an FAA administrative network was infected with a virus spread via email, but the FAA says no damage was done.
The Associated Press surveyed 31 airports and found 268 perimeter breaches since 2004. The surveyed airports handle three-quarters of U.S. commercial passenger traffic. San Francisco topped the list with 37, Philadelphia International had 25 and LAX with 24.
Airbus wants to be a player in the aftermarket service sector of commercial aviation, and they are working on a 12-year deal with a European operator. The deal is believed to be an Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) agreement: operators pay a fee per flight hour for maintenance services. Airbus also offers a Total Support Package (TSP). Reportedly, Airbus are in talks with other potential service customers.
The Australia News Desk
PCDU team at Barossa 2015
Steve and Grant traveled to South Australia this week to provide commentary at the Barossa Airshow, located at Rowland Flat in the famous Barossa Valley wine region. They’re joined by their locally based reporter, Maikha Ly, who worked as ground crew for one of the many wonderful aircraft that were present for the airshow – in this case, an 87% scale replica WWI Nieuport bi-plane.
In the news, the Australian Government has announced the purchase of a further two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for the RAAF which will increase the fleet size to eight. They will be based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in a deal said to be worth $A1billion, $A300million of which is earmarked for infrastructure upgrades at the already crowded facility. Of the stock of so called “white tail” C-17s left in the Boeing inventory, there are rumours that the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) may be considering the purchase of up to two aircraft….unless Airbus can do them a deal on a couple of A400Ms instead, of course.
Listen at the end for a cameo appearance by Steve’s son, Chris, who was helping out as well
A massive Washington DC warbird flyover to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, United Airlines customer service, the GA alphabet organizations talk current issues, an FAA forecast for GA, China looks to build airport infrastructure, and ADS-B prices drop.
Peter Bunce is President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), an international trade association that represents over 85 manufacturers of general aviation airplanes, rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services such as repair station operators, aviation training facilities, and others.
Pete is also a member of the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee that is planning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, (VE Day) with a massive Washington DC warbird flyover on May 8, 2015.
Pete has been President and CEO of GAMA since April 2005. He and the GAMA staff travel all over the world engaging regulators, policymakers, and elected officials to promote general aviation and advance the interests of GAMA’s international membership.
JetBlue and Southwest Airlines deliver the best customer experience in the U.S. airline industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.
The GA fleet is forecast to grow by only 0.4% per year. The fixed-wing turbine aircraft fleet is projected to grow at 2.2% per year, and rotorcraft growth is 2.5%, but these are offset by 0.6% decline per year in fixed-wing piston aircraft.
China has some 2,800 counties, but currently only 78 currently are served by general aviation aircraft. If they all had a GA airport, 280 billion yuan ($44.7 billion) of economic value would be generated.
Good news for aircraft owners, all of whom must install ADS-B Out by Jan 1, 2020.
DESIGN, BUILD, TEST Trailer – A documentary film that will follow a community of experimental test pilots in the Mojave Desert as they race to prepare themselves and their planes for the Mojave Experimental Fly-In.
A replacement for the T-38 jet trainer, FAA releases proposed regulations for small UAS, the world’s largest airport terminal is planned for China, changes to airline rewards programs, great aviation stories, and discussions about pilot reliance on automation and the Delta refinery.
Steve Taylor is a graduate of The Citadel with a degree in civil engineering. He served six years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force with service in Vietnam flying a C-130. Following a long flying career, he retired as an international airline captain. Along the way, Steve has flown the J-3 Cub, T-37, CV-880, DC-9, B-727, B-767, and L-1011. Steve’s autobiography, Wheels Up: Sky Jinks in the Jet Age, tells great true-life stories.
Steve has been a solo ocean sailor and holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. He has owned and operated a commercial construction company and is a Coastal Master Naturalist.
The U.S. Air Force wants to replace the T-38 Talon with a new two-seat jet trainer. The T-X program anticipates at least 350 planes and Northrop Grumman has a prototype that they plan to fly this year. Its a clean sheet design.
FAA Releases Details of Proposed Rule 107 for Small Drones
The FAA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for commercial use of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds. These unmanned aircraft must be operated within visual line of sight, under 500 feet AGL, and during daytime hours only. Operators would be required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating. Public comments can be made online at the Regulations.gov website referencing Docket FAA-2015-0150.
Max and David provide an initial reaction to the NPRM in Episode 81 of The UAV Digest.
Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for its Beijing New Airport Terminal Building, which it says will be the world’s largest. Reportedly, the 7.5 Million Square Foot facility is to be completed in 2018.
Effective April 17, Southwest rewards points will depend on the destination, time, day of travel, demand, and some other factors. Other airlines are making changes too: Delta Air Lines switched from miles traveled to dollars spent. United Airlines plans to switch to a similar plan.
The airplane pre-buy process, an update on some recent aviation accidents, the safest seats on an airplane, ICAO proposes an aircraft tracking standard, FAA Amends ADS-B Rule for General Aviation, building the Boeing 777x wing, and some aviation technology.
Don Sebastian is President of Aviation Consulting Services Incorporated and has performed over 2,000 pre-buys and flight tests. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and holds a CFII and helicopter commercial and instrument ratings. Don testifies as an expert witness and has eight lecture tours under his belt. Outside of aviation, Don contributes his energy to a variety of community and charitable activities.
We talk with Don about the airplane pre-buy process: making a squawk list for the buyer, conducting flight tests, log book reviews, and maintenance record reviews.
To speak with Don about your airplane purchase, call:
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending a performance-based tracking standard using existing and planned technologies and procedures. Aircraft flying in remote areas that do not have air traffic radar surveillance would report their position every 15 minutes. This can be achieved through onboard Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C), or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), and other connectivity solutions.
The FAA has corrected the May 2010 final rule on ADS-B requirements for general aviation. The rule required that ADS-B equipment must meet the requirements of certain TSOs. Now the FAA says the equipment must “meet the performance requirements” in those TSOs.
Orginally, the composite wing for the 777X was to be manufactured in Japan. Boeing decided to keep the technology in Washington State and is building a 1.3M square foot plant at a cost of $1B to build and equip.
Reaction Engines says they’ll have a static demonstration of the SABRE engine by 2019. The engine uses proprietary pre-coolers and starts in air-breathing mode up to Mach 5.5. It then transitions to rocket engine mode.up to Mach 25 using stored liquid oxygen.
Airplane of the Week
Avro Canada C102 Jetliner by Jamie Dodson. The jetliner that never was.
Virgin Australia are closing off their New Zealand based Pacific Blue operations.
The outback’s version of The Onion newspaper has run an amusingly false story of a pilot who tried to land on top of Ayres Rock (aka Uluru).
The Aviation Minute
Rob Mark talks about pilot wages.
Airplane Geeks on Ice
Report 7 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay brings to a close the Airplane Geeks on Ice series about aviation in Antarctica. Be sure to visit Juan’s Photo Gallery for some great photographs and videos.
Managing airport customer service, new TSA security measures, guns on a plane, FAA NPRM rules, the NTSB 10 most wanted, new airline routes, and the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month.
Dennis Hazell is Manager, Customer Service at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dennis supports the terminal and airfield operations, while focusing on the overall customer service experience at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Prior to joining the Airports Authority in June 2007, Dennis spent twenty-three years with American Airlines. He began his career as a flight attendant, and accepted management positions in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Albany, Richmond, and Washington Dulles, where he spent the last ten years as the General Manager.
He has also been involved in several community activities including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The United Way, and working with The George Washington University-Virginia Campus in focusing attention on STEM education. He also serves as a Board Director for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Department of Homeland Security announced some additional security measures: enhanced screening for airline employees, some random security checks, and more patrols in secure areas by the TSA and law enforcement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has been asked to look into airport security.
An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector was passing through a security checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia airport, after arriving from Atlanta, and a loaded firearm was discovered in his carry-on bag. He was arrested, saying it was his wife’s gun and he forgot he had it.
The FAA issued a final rule Dec. 3 that allowed up to 20 hours on an approved simulator for instrument training. Before that it was up to 10 hours. Now the FAA is withdrawing the rule.
New rules are established through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. The FAA normally issues an NPRM, followed by a public comment period before the final rule is released. Here, the FAA issued the rule first, with the comment period after. But in that case, if anyone objects to the rule, it is rescinded. Two people objected.
Route expansions may not seem like exciting news, but they’re a bigger deal than you probably think. Why? Because they often spark competition between airlines and drive down fares on multiple carriers.
The Aviation Movie of the Month
This week, David starts the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month: Always, the modern retelling of A Guy Named Joe. So what did David think? 4 out of 5 props.
The Australia News Desk
B767-338 VH-OGM departs Sydney for the final time on January 7th. Image by Damien Aiello.
Grant’s tired after completing his CASA panel interview process for aircraft maintenance management and Steve’s hungover after a few too many red wines with the “Infrequent Flyer” himself at the Members’ Reserve in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Oh my!!!
Despite this, the boys still manage to report on:
More Qantas 767s flying to the Alice Springs boneyard (where a UT-Air Antonov 74-200 may wind up if it’s not careful!)
Dogs and other animals that fly, an update on unmanned aerial vehicles, charitable aviation organizations that provide transportation to those in need, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Wirraway, and flying GA in the US and Europe.
Turbo flies everywhere with her, and the dog has a Facebook page and is on Twitter. Victoria thought the adventures of Turbo would make a good children’s book that focused on family and overcoming fears. Now we have Turbo the Flying Dog, the first book in a series.
We talk about crowdfunding the book, hurdles to publishing, and the positive role of social media and the aviation community.
Migratory turtles spend the summer in the waters off New England, then swim south in winter. But this year, wind and water temperatures have stranded more than 400 of them along beaches on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
According to Leslie Weinstein, a board member for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida, they need transportation to aquariums. Weinstein is working an aviation rescue effort with the Air National Guard, but also with volunteer groups like Pilots N Paws to solicit help from general aviation pilots.
This 2013 article describes a Marine serving in Afghanistan who rescued two Anatolian Shepherd mixes, Dusty and Wyatt. He was able to get the dogs to the U.S with the assistance of an animal rescue organization when his tour of duty ended.
Later, the Marine was transferred across the country and the airlines were unable to provide transportation. Wrigley gum heiress Helen A. Rosburg stepped in and chartered a private jet. Rosburg is the founder of animal rescue organization, On the Wings of Angels Rescue.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the donation of more than $30,000 to veterans’ organizations raised through the 2014 NATA Flag Pins for Veterans Project. Earlier this year, NATA and its members developed the project to expand our support of our Nation’s veterans. Donations from this year’s project will support the Veterans Airlift Command and the Medal of Honor Foundation.
Carl Valeri talks to the volunteer Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) which transports post-9/11 veterans for medical and other compassionate reasons outside the airline system. Carl also spoke with a veteran and passenger of Veterans Airlift Command.
The Australia News Desk
Wirraway A20-10 by @canvaswings
Back in September, the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin in Victoria, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first flight of their CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) Wirraway.
The museum’s Wirraway (A20-10) was built in 1939 and saw service as a trainer for the RAAF for nearly two decades. We sent Anthony “The Infrequent Flyer” Simmons (Max’s favourite Australian) out to chat with Ewan McArthur and James Kightly about the significance of this particular aircraft
Across the Pond
Pieter talks with Neil Bradon, once a student pilot on the show back in 2011 and now a well respected GA pilot in both Europe and the USA. Neil has returned from living and working in the USA to Ireland where he explains the differences in the GA sector and offers some advice based upon his experiences. Neil blogs at getmyppl.blogspot.com.
George is an ATP rated pilot who has logged over 4,000 flying hours. He was a USAF instructor pilot in the Northrop T-38 Talon, a C-141B Aircraft Commander, and he is a Desert Storm veteran.
George has developed a number of aircraft and technologies, including electric and solar UAVs, and the Javelin, that beautiful two-seat jet that was intended for military training as well as civil use.
We talk with George about the technology and the economic imperative of the Sun Flyer solar electric aircraft. The current synergy of technology in aerodynamics and structure, motors, batteries, and solar cells creates the possibility of a solar electric trainer with significantly lower cost of operation.
A USA Today article titled “Investigation: Post-crash fires in small planes cost 600 lives” says that in the early 1990s the FAA proposed changes for small aircraft that would help prevent post-crash fires. But the cost of installing the equipment on new airplanes was deemed to be “too high compared to the dollar value of the lives that would be saved.” So the changes were not implemented and since 1993 604 people have died from post-crash fires.
Shortly after being released by the WhiteKnightTwo, the rocket powered SpaceShipTwo came apart, killing one of the two pilots.
Virgin Galactic was founded by Richard Branson to provide commercial space tourism. The WhiteKnightTwo airplane is powered by commercially available jet engines and carries the rocket-powered of SpaceShipTwo to altitude. SpaceShipTwo is released, fires it’s rocket motor, and shoots up to suborbital space. From there, it glides to a landing.
During WWII, the Ford Bomber Plant at Willow Run in Ypsilanti, Michigan produced the B-24 Liberator. Since then the facility changed owners, but now it will be saved to become a museum. The Yankee Air Museum will now become the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run.
The last commercial passenger revenue flight by a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 has taken place. It was a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Montreal to Amsterdam. KLM planned events around the flight and many aviation enthusiasts were onboard.
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week
The deHavilland Canada DHC-7 or DASH-7.
Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute
Rob thanks the men and women who worked tirelessly to restore ATC service after the Chicago Center fire.
Across the Pond
Matt Willis returns to talk with Pieter Johnson about Naval Air History and his latest projects including the Fairey Barracuda, a new novel, and why the P51 has so many myths surrounding it. Follow @NavalAirHistory on Twitter.