Microsoft Flight Simulator returns in 2020, Launchpad Marzari talks with the operations manager and the chief pilot at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos, the Boeing 737 has an issue with slats, fun facts about business jets, Raytheon and United Technologies propose a merger, airport facial scans raise privacy concerns, and an electric hybrid Cessna 337 Skymaster takes flight.
Advocacy group No Plane, No Gain offers data that illustrates the importance of business aviation, such as jobs supported, economic activity, accessibility to locations not served by airlines, humanitarian missions, and many more.
Under the proposed merger, UTCs aerospace unit would combine with Raytheon in an all-stock transaction to create Raytheon Technologies Corporation. As previously planned, Carrier and Otis would spin off UTC as distinct companies.
The Ampaire Inc. six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster was retrofitted with a proprietary battery-powered electric propulsion system that replaces the rear combustion engine. The “resulting system is a ‘parallel hybrid’, meaning the internal combustion engine and electric motor work in concert to optimize power output as the plane flies.”
Skydive Spaceland (Part 2)
Two final interviews conclude the report by Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari on his visit to Skydive Spaceland: Thomas Hughes, Operations Manager, Skydive Spaceland, San Marcos; and Chief pilot Matt Wampler.
The brothers who create the Chicken Wings comics tell us about the very popular cartoons with aviation humor, and 10-year-old listener Jackson reports on flying a full-motion flight simulator at the United Airlines flight training center in Denver. Also, the effects on aviation of the now-concluded partial US Government shutdown, the Airlander 10 prototype is retired, Boeing delivers two KC-46A tankers, and the Russians seem to be integrating unmanned “wingmen” with Sukhoi Su-57 fighters.
Stefan Strasser (left) and Mike Strasser (right).
Stefan Strasser and Mike Strasser are the brothers behind the Chicken Wings comics. Their work is well known in the aviation community and is published globally in many different publications.
Mike Strasser is an experienced helicopter pilot and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has many years of experience in aviation as a commercial pilot, an aircraft mechanic, and a flight instructor. Mostly, Mike now fights forest fires flying CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
Stefan Strasser lives and works near Vienna, Austria. He’s an accomplished cartoon artist and independent illustrator. He actually has a Master’s Degree in International Trade, but instead of finding a real job, Stefan decided to become a freelance artist. “Chicken Wings” is his most important project, but you can find his work in many other magazines, books, and newsletters all around the world.
Jackson is a 10-year-old flight sim enthusiast and fan of the podcast. He had an opportunity to visit the United Airlines flight training center in Denver to fly one of their full-motion simulators. Jackson tells us about his experience.
Chicken Wings Book Giveaway
Be sure to listen for the Chicken Wings book giveaway rules. Entries are due by February 22, 2019.
Hybrid Air Vehicles calls it part airship, part helicopter, and part plane. Others call it the “flying bum.” The prototype Airlander 10 is a hybrid helium airship. It’s being retired to be replaced by a production model that has already secured approved from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In addition to the Airlander 10 luxury touring airship, the Airlander 50 is being developed for the cargo or heavy lift market.
At the handover ceremony at the in Everett, Washington assembly plant, Boeing surprised the employees in attendance with one more KC-46 than they had been expecting. Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, announced, “I am delighted to be with you all today to celebrate the delivery of the first KC-46 tanker from Boeing to the United States Air Force. Wait a minute! I’m sorry, I have made a mistake. I think I had that wrong. I believe I am delivering two KC-46 aircraft to the United States Air Force! Two!”
Images have been spotted of an unmanned combat vehicle called Hunter. Also seen are images of a Sukhoi Su-57 with a logo that looks like the Hunter on the tail, as well as the image of a lightning bolt.
General aviation and hurricane disaster relief, flight simulation, the need for more mandatory pilot training, United Technologies purchase of Rockwell Collins, and geared turbofan engines.
GA providing hurricane disaster relief., courtesy Nicholas Rizzo.
Nicholas Rizzo is a Flight Training Technology Designer at Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc. Recently, Nicholas has been flying supplies into the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey: Rockport, Orange, Houston, and Beaumont Texas. Nicholas tells us about general aviation providing hurricane disaster relief.
As a youngster, Nicholas was fascinated by planes and he turned to home flight simulation flying X-Plane. In fact, he’s Chief Captain at X-Plane Junkies. Last year, he decided to become a real flying junky and he has logged 250 hours since last September obtaining his private pilot’s license and Instrument rating. Nicholas plans to pursue his Commercial, CFI, and CFII over the next few months.
Nicholas tells us a little about Redbird, including Guided Independent Flight Training (GIFT) for private pilots. This simulator-based maneuvers training supplement is designed to help pilots achieve their goals faster and for less money.
Organizations mentioned in articles and/or active in the relief effort: AeroBridge, Operation Airdrop, Cajun Air Force, Angel Flight SouthCentral, Air Charity Networks, NOAA Aircraft, Remote Area Medical, Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
United Technologies chairman and CEO Greg Hayes confirmed his company will purchase Rockwell Collins for $30 billion. The new company is to be called Collins Aerospace Systems. Rockwell shareholders get $140 per share in cash ($93.33) and UTC stock ($46.67). Current Rockwell Collins chairman Kelly Ortberg is to become CEO, and UTC Aerospace Systems’ president David Gitlin is to become president and COO.
Rolls-Royce confirmed that their Power Gearbox for the next-generation UltraFan engine has reached 70,000 horsepower on a test rig. Their goal is a gearbox capable of 100,000 horsepower. The Ultrafan is expected in 2025.
An enthusiast talks about PC flight simulation, Dubai Air Show 2015 debrief, flight training with the Cirrus Aircraft SR22 at Emirates, antitrust lawsuit blocks United’s plan to purchase slots, and bag fees increase at low cost carriers.
Guest Nicolas Jackson talks about PC-based flight simulators. We learn that you can create the flight simulation experience you want – from flying a GA airplane in the pattern around your local airfield, to a transcontinental commercial flight.
We talk about alternatives to Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), such as Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D® simulation software and X-Plane from Laminar Research. Nicolas recommends the Steam edition of FSX distributed by Dovetail Games for new simmers. He also tells us about VATSIM.net, an international online flying network, and broadcasting on Twitch.tv, a live streaming video platform and community for gamers.
Nicolas Jackson fell in love with aviation at the age of 10 when he got his first ride in a GA aircraft. Five minutes at the stick and he was hooked. Soon after that first flight, he bought Sierra Pro Pilot 99. He later switched to Microsoft Flight Simulator starting with FS98 and running all the way to FSX. He started flying on the international online flying network VATSIM with complex airliner add-ons in 2006, and hasn’t looked back since. Nicolas currently flies a variety of FSX aircraft and co-hosts the Unicom Podcast as part of The IFlySimX Team.
airBaltic becomes the launch customer for the CSeries CS300 airliner when it takes delivery in the latter part of 2016. The Latvian flag carrier has orders for 13 firm and 7 options for the 160 passenger CS300.
Bombardier said it has 603 orders and commitments for the CS300 and CS100, 243 of which are firm orders. Also, Bombardier said it was nearing completion of the CS100 flight test program and was “on track” for certification of the airplane by Transport Canada this year. CSeries flight test vehicles took more than 1,000 flights during testing.
Embraer plans to build six test aircraft as part of the E2 E-Jet re-engining program: four of the E190-E2 variant and two of the E195-E2. Both E195-E2s and three of the E190-E2s would be ready by end of 2016, with the fourth following in 2017. The Pratt & Whitney PW1900G will power the planes, and Dutch lessor AerCap will be the launch customer for the 97-seat E190-E2.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force bought two Saab Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft, and will upgrade two existing Saab 340 jets. Lebanon will purchase six Embraer Super Tucano aircraft for basic missions and training. Boeing says five customers are interested in its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, a long-range spying plane. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $262.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to service Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sniper targeting system.
United Continental Holdings Inc. wants to buy 24 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, from Delta Air Lines Inc. The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the sale.
Justice Department antitrust chief Bill Baer says, “Allowing United to acquire even more slots at Newark would fortify United’s monopoly position and weaken the ability of other airlines to compete. That would leave the 35 million air passengers who fly in and out of Newark every year holding the bag.”
Last year, ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines began increased bag fees for the holidays, and they are doing the same this year. Frontier Airlines is also increasing their bag fees, but not just for the holidays. Frontier says they’ll charge a higher fee during the college spring break season, and during the summer travel season, from June 9 through Aug. 16.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s transportation committee sent letters to major airline CEOs asking them not to raise bag fees. Nelson wrote, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,”
Airplane of the Week
This week David looks at the tip of the spear for the Armee de L’Air, the Dassault Rafale.
Across the Pond
Pieter welcomes back Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast to talk about his recent visit to Airbus and their Innovation Day presentations. They talk about some of the non-flying innovations Airbus is creating that may well find uses in other industries, such as Airbus Glasses, waste compactors, and paper cable ties. Pieter and Diego also get a short discussion in on the latest British Airways news, that IAG owned Vueling boss Alex Cruz is to become Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways.
Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich appears in the movie “Back in Time,” a documentary tribute to the Back to the Future movie series. The film is available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, with tour dates running through November 24th. (The Terrafugia segment starts at 1:13:30 if you want to skip straight to it.)
Guest Steve McNeilly is president and founder of Aviation Tutorials, providing interactive training software for pilots and flight simmers. He’s been in aviation for thirty years, he’s an airline pilot, A&P mechanic, instructor, examiner, book author, and FAA WINGS training provider.
We talk about how Steve came to develop these professional grade simulation tutorials which are light on theory and heavy on “this is what you need to do.” Also, pilots using iPads, drones in the airspace, electric drive systems for airliners, thrust reverser depoyment at altitude (Steve’s done that in a DC-8).
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is the D.H. 86 Express Airliner.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
After an “interesting” week in Australian federal politics, Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, is now also the Deputy Prime Minister, leaving Steve & Grant to ponder whether this will be good for aviation or not. In more positive aviation news, 19 year old Ryan Campbell has set out on his attempt to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world; a record which has only recently been set by American, Jack Wiegant. Ryan is flying in a Cirrus SR-22, VH-OLS, named “Spirit of the Sapphire Coast”, tracking east from Wollongong, just south of Sydney, across the Pacific to the USA (including a stop at Airventure 2013), then on to Europe, Asia and back to Australia. We spoke to Ryan a couple of days prior to launch and we present part of that interview in the week’s report.
In other news, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has handed down it’s findings into the cause of the Qantas A380 engine failure on board VH-OQA, in 2010. Although this has been covered earlier in the show, we popped our two cents in as well, including the fact that Rolls Royce ended up paying some hefty compensation.
Esther Emma Rose Noffke passed away June 28, 2013. A WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilot) assigned to the 318th AAF Flying Detachment in Sweetwater, Texas, she received her pilot certificate in June 1944 and was assigned B-26 flying duty at McGowen Field, Boise, Idaho. She received the Congressional Medal in April 2010 for service to her country.
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.
Our guest this episode is Keith Smith, the Founder and CEO of PilotEdge, which connects your flight simulator to live PilotEdge Air Traffic Controllers. Keith is also an instrument rated pilot and regularly flies a Lancair 360 out of Lincoln Park, NJ.
PilotEdge provides real ATC as you fly your sim, so you are interacting with controllers and other planes and thus flying with real consequences. It’s not synthetic ATC playing in the background. These are active duty Controllers, retired Controllers, and experts culled from other FS virtual networks.
PilotEdge brings a flight simulator to the next level for hobbyists, student pilots, professional pilots, flight training facilities, and airlines looking to increase simulation realism to improve training.
Along the way, Keith provides some good tips for those looking to get started in flight simulation and learning ATC.
David describes his experience flying with the Geico Skytypers in the SNJ-2, also called the T-6 Texan and the Harvard.
In this week’s Australia Desk report:
GippsAero to commence manufacturing the GA-8 Airvan in the USA, Draken International purchases eight additional ex-RNZAF A4-K Skyhawks to use for training operations in the US, Indonesia to purchase six extra ex-RAAF C130H aircraft in addition to the four already gifted to them, full body scanners to be introduced at Australian airports from November.
Pieter reflects on Airport Security. Are they doing a good or a bad job given some of the challenges they face. He gives some amusing and also worrying examples of where it goes wrong and then comes to the conclusion………….well listen in and find out.