Tag Archives: Heathrow

570 Flying in the B-2 Stealth Bomber

Our guest is the only person ever granted access to film the B-2 stealth bomber from the cockpit in flight. He’s producing a television series examining the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century. In the news, we discuss the protest with drones at Heathrow, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority views on the 737 MAX, a Boeing 707 struggling to get to Australia, and an A330 flight diversion due to spilled coffee. Plus, more interviews from Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, and part 4 of Launchpad Marzari’s quest to buy an airplane.

Guest

Jeff Bolton, first to film inside the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Jeff Bolton

Jeff Bolton tells the stories of the men, women, and families of the United States military. For more than 20 years he has been embedded in military commands, combat theatres, and natural disaster zones around the world.

This past July, Jeff became the first person ever to film a B-2 stealth bomber cockpit tour narrated by the pilot in-flight. He also filmed a B-2 aerial refueling from the bomber’s cockpit. More recently, Jeff has taken a camera inside the B-52.

Jeff is developing and producing a television series in partnership with Defense News that examines the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century titled GUARDIANS: A Mission For Peace. His previous projects include the documentary film America’s Marine Aviators.

Jeff’s website is JeffBolton.org and you can learn more at Educational Media Enterprises which produces documentary educational programming. He also volunteers at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, a non-profit educational organization which restores, operates, maintains and displays historically significant vintage aircraft.

Full Reveal Video inside the B2 Stealth Bomber

B2 Cockpit Tour & Aerial Refueling

JeffBolton.org B-52 Experience

Aviation News

Heathrow climate change drone protest arrests rise to 19

UK climate activists made a plan to protest near Heathrow Airport by flying drones inside the airport’s 5km no-fly zone. Their expectation was that the airport protocol would require halting flights. The group called Heathrow Pause said they’d use toy drones, fly them 6 feet high, outside of flight paths, and early in the morning when no flights were scheduled. Authorities responded with some unspecified technology that prevented the drones from flying.

See also: London’s Heathrow Airport appears to have worked out how to jam drone signals to stop climate-change protesters from shutting down its airspace

UAE regulator not optimistic on Boeing 737 MAX return this year

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) joins EASA in saying they too will conduct their own assessment of the 737 Max before allowing it to return to service.

High-flyer Travolta to jet into Australia but pricey gift grounded

Since 1998, John Travolta has owned a former Qantas Boeing 707. Travolta is attempting to gift the plane to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Albion Park, but repairs necessary to make it flightworthy may cost $2 million.

Plane carrying 326 passengers diverted after pilot spills coffee

An Airbus A330-243 operated by Condor as flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancún last February had to divert after the commanding pilot spilled some coffee onto the audio control panel (ACP). The panel started smoking, there was an electrical burning smell, and one of the buttons on the co-pilot’s ACP began to melt. The flight was diverted to Shannon airport and jettisoned fuel. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch interim report [PDF] describes operator safety actions, including ensuring that cup lids are provided for flights on all routes.

Reports

Buying a Plane, Part 4

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari tells us more about the Focke-Wulf he’s purchasing.

Focke-Wulf FWP-149D

Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, Part 2

Brian Colemen spoke with Ben Granucci from NYCAviation, Poppy (age 3), KC-10 pilot Doug and Bob, Tracy from the UK, Ian Petchenik from Flightradar24, Nick from JetTip, Pilot Mike, and Ross.

Mentioned

Eat at the Airport.com

American Helicopter Museum – 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

AvTalk Episode 66: Our Super Avgeek Week – Covers Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, the Super80 send-off, and more.

510 U.S. Airmail 100th Anniversary

The Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum tells us about the early history of airmail service in the U.S., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In the news, Goodyear has a new airship, Facebook cancelled its Aquila project, Boeing has reportedly asked engine makers to bid for the 797, Boeing unveiled a hypersonic airliner concept, a stealth tanker model was spotted, the TSA wants to look at your snacks, a third Heathrow runway gets closer to reality, NASA demonstrates a quieter airplane, and the Air Force reduces pilot training time. Also, finding airmail airway beacons, a conversation with Air Evac Lifeteam at the Circuit of the Americas, and student pilot Nicki talks about her new flight instructor.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Guest

Nancy Pope is the Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of airmail service in the U.S. and Nancy tells us about the early history of airmail, including the pilots, the aircraft, and the initial difficulties getting the service operating properly. She talks about some of the airplanes and artifacts at the museum as well as the Postmen of the Skies: Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service exhibition that is open through May 27, 2019.

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

Earlier this year, the first of two commemorative stamps was released. See: U.S. Postal Service Commemorates Air Mail with Stamp. You can purchase the blue airmail stamp at the post office, or at the USPS online store. The second (red) stamp will be released Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. at College Park Aviation Museum (1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD 20740). “Red Letter” day at the museum will be an exciting event to attend if you are in the area. See Red Letter Day: U.S. Postal Service Continues 100th Anniversary Commemoration. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view the ceremony live at facebook.com/USPS.

Nancy has worked with the items that are now in that collection since 1984. She curated the opening exhibits for the Museum in 1993 and more than a dozen at the museum since then. She has written about many elements of postal history, including the Pony Express, Rural Free Delivery, Parcel Post Service, the Postal Service during 9/11, as well as the later anthrax attacks and airmail.

Nancy’s most recent exhibits are “Systems at Work,” which examines mail processing from Colonial America to the present, and “Postmen of the Skies,” a celebration of 100 years of airmail service in America.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. in Washington, DC. Admission is always free.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Pegboard for tracking the location of airmail pilots and planes:

Max Miller’s log book. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The logbook was recovered from Max Miller’s fatal crash on September 1, 1920. The Junkers-Larsen JL6 caught fire in midair. Max Miller and his mechanic Gustav Reirson died in the fire and subsequent crash. Miller was Praeger and Lipsner’s favorite pilot and his death hit both men hard. Though slightly damaged by the fire, the handwritten entries remain clear. Airmail pilots used logs to record details about their flights and, on occasion, landing field conditions. Miller wrote his name on the front of this book, adding the name of his service, the “U.S. Aerial Mail,” and a notation of his home address in Woodland Hills Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

Max Miller’s logbook. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Eddie Gardner’s face mask is a nice leather piece that Nancy unofficially refers to as the “Hannibal Lecter mask.”

Airmail pilot Eddie Gardner's facemask.

Eddie Gardner’s facemask. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The Post Office’s airmail flag. You will recognize the globe/wings that became the ubiquitous symbol of airmail.

Postal Service airmail flag.

Postal Service airmail flag. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Our Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari located some of the airways beacon sites in Texas that guided early airmail pilots. He sent in a report about what he found. See Map of Airway Beacons and Arrows Across America to find these sites near you.

Launchpad Marzari and friend.

Aviation News

Goodyear’s new Wingfoot Three takes to the skies

Goodyear’s newest semi-rigid airship is the Wingfoot Three. Built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, the blimp still has to undergo flight tests before formal handover to Goodyear.

Goodyear’s U.S. fleet consists of three semi-rigid airships: the Wingfoot One (N1A), based in Pompano Beach, Florida; Wingfoot Two (N2A), based in Carson, California; and Wingfoot Three (N3A), based in Suffield, Ohio. Compared to Goodyear’s old model, the GZ-20, the Zeppelin NT model is longer, a little narrower, faster, and seats more passengers.

Video: Goodyear’s Wingfoot Three flies for first time

Facebook’s quest for fleet of solar-powered Internet drones grounded forever

Facebook has canceled the Aquila project – a solar-powered “atmospheric satellite” that would beam Internet connectivity to areas that had none.

Boeing reportedly tells engine makers to make bids for a new 797 plane

Boeing wants to build a new mid-sized airliner to be flying by 2025 – a middle-of-the-market jet. Call it a Boeing 797, or a New Middle Market Airplane, or the NMA. Reports say the engine manufacturers were asked to respond to a Boeing RFP by June 27, 2018. Boeing wants 25 percent less fuel burn per pound of thrust than the engines used on Boeing’s 757 planes. The big three engine manufacturers are named: CFM International, (the General Electric – Safran joint venture), Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. See also, This is Boeing’s NMA by Jon Ostrower.

Boeing unveils hypersonic 4,000mph airliner capable of New York to London in Two Hours

Boeing unveils rendering of hypersonic jet that would fly from US to Japan in 3 hours

Under this concept, the aircraft would fly at Mach 5, three times faster than Concorde, and cruise at 95,000 feet. It would be smaller than a 737, with both commercial and military applications.

New Stealth Tanker Model Is Touted By Air Force Research Lab At Aviation Conference

At the recent AIAA conference, Aviation Week’s Guy Norris noticed a model of an “Advanced Aerial Refueling” aircraft in the Air Force Research Lab’s area. The Air Force may be looking for a more survivable aerial tanker.

It started with your shoes, then your water. Now the TSA wants your snacks.

Passengers are being asked at security checkpoints by the TSA to remove their snacks and other food items from their carry-ons and place them in plastic bins for separate screening. This is a TSA recommendation to screening supervisors, not a strict policy. Some food looks similar to explosives which results in a secondary inspection. The intent here is to prevent that additional inspection.

Heathrow gets go-ahead to become world’s biggest airport

They’ve been talking about a third runway at Heathrow for years. It’s a contentious issue but now a parliamentary vote has passed that would allow construction of a third runway. Under the proposal, passenger capacity at Heathrow could jump from nearly 80 million passengers per year to 110 million by 2030.

NASA: Tests Show ‘Significant’ Aircraft Noise Reduction

NASA flight tests in a Gulfstream III research aircraft flying at 350 feet demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports. The jet had porous landing-gear fairings, an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge wing flap, and chevrons near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity with a net to modify the airflow.

Air Force cuts pilot training by 5 weeks

This represents about a 10% reduction in training time.

Interview

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with John P. Jones and John Linardose from the Air Evac Lifeteam which provides air ambulance service at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin, Texas.

Courtesy Air Evac Lifeteam.

Listener Recording

Listener Nicki continues her pilot training series with installment 13 about her new flight instructor.

Mentioned

Vote for your favorite American air show!

David was again asked to provide a list of the 20 best airshows for USA Today.

Hiller Aviation Museum Open Cockpit Day

The Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California will be holding an Open Cockpit Day on July 11, 2018. While this fabulous museum is relatively unknown to the general public, it has a fabulous collection of more than fifty aircraft and numerous interesting artifacts and displays.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.