The biggest gathering of Dakotas in 75 years. More than thirty Douglas DC-3 Dakotas and C-47 Skytrains, as well as hundreds of paratroopers, will mark 75 years since the D-Day invasion heralded the liberation of Western Europe. Daks from as far away as the USA, Canada, and Australia will join others from Europe.
The Daks over Normandy event is held in two locations: from 2 to 5 June at Duxford Airfield in the United Kingdom and from 5 to 9 June at Caen Carpiquet Airport in Normandy, France.
In the first phase, the aircraft will gather at the UK’s Duxford Airfield from 2-5 June. On 5 June, some 250 men and women in WW2 style uniforms will board the Daks for the flight to Normandy, where they will commemorate the historic jump that preceded the D-Day Landings.
Daks Over Normandy will be repeated at Caen Carpiquet Airport in Normandy, France from 5-9 June. The events will include static and flying displays, as well as meet-and-greets and the chance to board Dakotas.
Tickets will only be available in advance, from the event website. Ticket sales begin February 1, 2019.
Please see the event website for the latest information.
Wings Over New Zealand is having another of our popular Forum Meets, this time at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, situated at Wigram, in Christchurch on Saturday 30th of June 2018. There will be guest speakers, a chance to mix with fellow aviation fans and special guest Bryan Cox, the legendary WWII Corsair pilot, instructor, author and still flying at 93 years old. This event is NZ$10.00 at the door, but you need to let me know if you’re coming so you will be on the list.
Then the next day on Sunday 1st of July, thanks to a Givealittle Fundraising effort, Bryan Cox will fly in the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth NZ1443 that he flew in during his training 75 years ago. This will be happening at Rangitata Island Aerodrome in South Canterbury – about an hour south of Christchurch. All will be welcome to come along, there’s a lot of other things to see there in the Brodie family’s historic aircraft collection at the famous airfield. See the WONZ Forum for more at http://rnzaf.proboards.com
We talk with Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford about aircraft route planning, air navigation, and iFly GPS. Also, Ryanair flight cancellations and pilot pay, a Bombardier CSeries order, and headway made for NextGen.
Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford and the iFly GPS air navigation solution.
Brian Rutherford is sales and marketing manager for Adventure Pilot, makers of iFly GPS air navigation solutions. Brian describes the current air navigation landscape, the role of GPS and ADS-B, and how they work together. We look at the iFly GPS offerings and features.
iFly GPS is a multi-platform air navigation solution for iOS, Android, Windows, and dedicated systems that provides support for ADS-B traffic and weather. iFly GPS moving map navigation includes advanced features like geo-referenced hi-def VFR and IFR charts, de-cluttered vector mode, AutoTaxi+, RealView, and the comprehensive Active Alert System.
Brian holds a private pilot’s certificate and comes from the world of online retail, working at an Amazon subsidy called Woot.com as a buyer. He was a Sr. Brand Manager for a licensed apparel company called BioWorld. Brian also served on the board of EAA Chapter 1246, one of the largest chapters with 100+ dues-paying members.
Find Adventure Pilot on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to listen for the special 10% discount code available to Airplane Geeks listeners!
Engine delays from Pratt & Whitney will reduce 2017 CSeries deliveries to 20-22 from the 30 aircraft planned. Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare told analysts “This is a short-term issue that Pratt is actively addressing.” Meanwhile, Bombardier negotiated a letter of intent for 31 firm and 30 option CSeries orders from an unnamed European customer. The airframer says the order is not related to news that Airbus plans to take a majority stake in the program.
Multiple runway options allow the FAA to reduce the separation between aircraft because of improved wake categorization standards. The FAA has implemented this capability at some busy U.S. airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Performance-based navigation lets aircraft fly more directly from departure to arrival using satellite signals. Initial operational capability is three months ahead of schedule in the Northern California Metroplex. Between September 2014 and April 2015, the FAA conducted a phased implementation of 44 routes covering the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
Surface operations have improved. The FAA has implemented the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Surface Visualization Tool (SVT) ahead of schedule at five terminal radar approach control facilities. The system allows tracon controllers to better monitor congestion and plan for changes on airport runways and taxiways, especially during inclement weather.
Data comm has been implemented at towers across the nation, approximately two and a half years ahead of schedule.
AOPA says, “Despite the achievements being made with NextGen technology and modernization, the airlines and their front groups remain critical of the current airspace system and are calling to overhaul it entirely.”
The OIG report states, “FAA is making significant progress in implementing the four NAC priorities. However, the Agency lacks a comprehensive process for effectively identifying or assessing risks, which could hinder its ability to fully implement its priorities. For example, while FAA took some steps to identify risks, it did not fully engage or include all stakeholders or effectively evaluate the severity of the identified risks to ensure its implementation milestones were realistic. In addition, FAA is not proactively mitigating risks to keep the NAC priorities on track. In particular, FAA and industry will need to mitigate several complex risks for capabilities expected for implementation and benefits delivery in the 2019–2020 timeframe, such as resolving issues with DataComm technology installed in aircraft. However, the Agency has not developed a detailed mitigation plan to address identified risks, involved industry in its decision-making process, or transparently reported its progress in this area.”
John Mollison tells us that “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” (OGTA) released the award-winning documentary film South Dakota Warrior. The film explores the character behind World War Two’s Battle of Midway hero, LtCDR John C. Waldron.
Waldron established himself in history by leading his torpedo bomber squadron (VT-8) in what appeared to be a futile attack against the Japanese carrier fleet during the opening moments of the crucial battle on June 4, 1942. The story causes the viewer to examine the qualities and responsibilities of leadership. Waldron, along with 28 other men of his squadron, was killed during the battle. He valued his Native American (Lakota) heritage and made reference to this fact as a personal inspiration.
The history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the controversy surrounding their burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Also, battle lines forming over privatization of air traffic control, Southwest pilots take a stand, Iran orders more airplanes, a high altitude long endurance pseudo-satellite, tanker news, the Knightwatch E-4B, and your favorite airplanes.
Sarah Byrn Rickman
Sarah Rickman is the editor of WASP News, published by Texas Woman’s University (TWU), the home of the official WASP Archives. The Women Airforce Service Pilots flew for the U.S. Army in World War II. Since 2003, Sarah has been a WASP oral historian for TWU, recording many of these ladies’ stories on audiotape.
Sarah tells us about the history of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). We also discuss the current controversy about the burial of WASPs at Arlington National Cemetery, the United States military cemetery.
Two new books on the WASP will be published this spring: WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds from the University of North Texas Press, and Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot, from Texas Tech University Press.
Sarah received the Combs-Gates Award for 2009 presented by the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Her grant is to research and write the story of the WASP who flew for the Ferrying Division in World War II. In addition to her books on the WASPs, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP.
Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor. She describes herself as a former journalist and former novelist who “found” herself when she met these amazing women who flew airplanes for the Army back when many women didn’t even drive cars.
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee conducted a “markup” hearing February 11 on the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 4441). The bill was amended and the Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for consideration.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) voiced its opposition to privatizing ATC by submitting a statement in opposition to privatized ATC.
Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and chairman said, “ATC privatization is simply a bad idea on many levels; it will not solve the FAA’s funding dilemma and will create a substantial number of new problems and challenges that would cripple general aviation.”
AOPA President Mark Baker said, “We’re profoundly disappointed that user fees are still part of this legislation.AOPA simply won’t accept user fees in any form on any segment of general aviation. And while there are some very positive provisions for GA in this proposal, user fees are a nonstarter for us.”
Nicholas Calio, the president and CEO of Airlines for America says separating ATC is “an international best practice that a growing consensus believes will create a more nimble, efficient, reliable and even safer system than the one we have today. Doing so will remove the kinks from an uneven and unpredictable funding apparatus while clearing the way for other improvements: more choices for customers, more direct flights, lower fuel consumption and reduced air emissions. So it’s puzzling why some would argue that everything is working just fine — an assertion that flies in the face of all that travelers have experienced over the past decade.”
A group of 13 right-leaning groups sent a letter to Congress stating that moving ATC to a new nongovernmental organization is “an excellent foundation upon which to build a new model for an operation historically mired in old-style thinking and fiscal ineptitude. To us it is an axiomatic economic principle that user-funded, user-accountable entities are far more capable of delivering innovation and timely improvements in a cost-effective manner than government agencies.”
FAA Reauthorization 2016 – NATA
National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President & CEO Thomas L. Hendricks calls ATC privatization a “threat” to general aviation. More at the NATA Congressional Action Center.
In an editorial piece, the New York Times characterizes privatizing air traffic control as a “solution in search of a problem” that “would do nothing to improve the present, federally operated system and indeed could make it worse.”
350 members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association flew to Las Vegas on their day off to tell the public that they are upset. Why? because they don’t have a contract. Union president Jon Weaks said the pilots love Southwest and wouldn’t engage in travel disruptions. But they want to “give our company avenues so that we can trust them again.”
Under the sanctions, Iran’s commercial aviation capability suffered greatly. That’s all changing now. Iran Air has signed a purchase agreement with ATR for 20 firm and 20 option ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The deal is valued at €1 billion.
In January, Iran Air placed an order for 118 Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft: A320ceo and A320neo families, A330ceo and neo airplanes, A350-1000s and 12 A380s. (Three A380’s were also purchased by Japan’s ANA in January.)
Solar-powered, long duration drones and other aircraft are development by companies like Google and Facebook to provide Internet service using them as pseudo-satellites. Now the British military is purchasing two solar-powered “Zephyr” high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAVs from Airbus. These autonomous unmanned systems would be used for long-term surveillance missions, and possibly to provide communication and ground support in remote areas.
The Zephyr, originally developed by UK firm QinetiQ, has a 23m wingspan and yet only weighs 55kg and cruises at 20km.
Naval Air Systems Command plans to release a new draft request for proposal later this year for an unmanned aerial refueling tanker. According to sources, the final RFP for the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) is due out in FY 2017, with contract award in FY 2018.
The Airplane of the Week
David finishes out his discussion of Doomsday Planes with the converted 747-200Bs, otherwise known as the E-4B Nightwatch that serves as the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC).
Bruno Misonne composes music that incorporates the sounds of aviation in very unique ways. His latest creation is “The Sound of Flaps.” Bruno tells us this was “the most challenging project ever created. Everyone who regularly takes the plane becomes aware of this characteristic sound of flaps extending or retracting, a sound that becomes very audible when you are sitting in the cabin above the wings! It has been challenging to find a way to mix that sound with music since at first glance it seems quite impossible to do in such way that the result is pleasant!
The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s Airman Certification System working group (chaired by AOPA) has been tasked with developing new certification standards, handbooks, and test development guidance for aircraft mechanics.
John Mollison tells us how his artwork and his interviews capture the human side of aviation history. In the news, we talk about the FAA reauthorization bill, and consider if United Airlines is getting better. Also, spraying airplanes to fight the Zika virus, the A-10 gets a reprieve, and Icelandair steps up their game with a Stopover Buddy.
Artist and writer John Mollison has interviewed well over 100 highly decorated airman since 1999 including: Medal of Honor recipients Joe Foss and Leo Thorsness, Presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern, bestselling author Robert Mason, and Morris Jeppson, the Bomb-Electronics Officer aboard the Enola Gay, to name a few.
In his words, John “Interviews old guys and draws their airplanes.” He uses the process of capturing an exact, historically accurate rendering of a particular combat aircraft to learn more about the human side of history.
John interviews the pilots and aircrew of particular aircraft to to learn: What makes people go to war? What makes people cope with stress? How do people define success? And most importantly, what can be passed on to future generations so they can avoid the mistakes of the past?
The AIRR Act proposes privatizing ATC via a federally chartered not-for-profit organization, third class medical reform, certification reform, and user fees for airlines and Part 135 charter operators.
In his press release, Shuster says, “The comprehensive reauthorization bill, which removes over 30,000 people from the federal government’s payroll, also streamlines the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional consumer protections, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.”
CEO Oscar Munoz was upbeat and enthusiastic in the earnings call, 79% of the United pilots ratified a two-year contract extension, United operations are improving, United is building its San Francisco hub as the primary U.S. gateway to Asia, Boston-based PAR Capital Management increased its stake in the carrier to 8.9 million shares or 2.4% of the airline.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the DOD is “…investing to maintain more of our 4th-generation fighter and attack jets than we previously planned — including the A-10, which has been devastating ISIL from the air. The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022, replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflicts.”
Icelandair and WOW Air are competing with low fares between the U.S. and Europe using Iceland as a waypoint. But now Icelandair is stepping up the game and testing an idea where passengers enjoy Iceland’s sights during a layover, before proceeding to their destination. Under this program, passengers can request an Icelandair Stopover Buddy to act as a kind of free tour guide.
Jeff Pino was president of Sikorsky aircraft from 2006 to 2012. Recently, he was the Vice Chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, developing the Trifan 600 VTOL for the commercial market. Pino and was killed February 5, 2016 in the crash of his P-51 Mustang in Arizona.
The history of an early aviation pioneer, update on hidden city ticketing lawsuit, Jetblue starting flights to Havana, jet engine big data, a possible narrowbody future for Rolls Royce, Leap-1B begins flight testing, and the Airbus A400M crash.
Craig Harwood is a professional Engineering Geologist and as a hobby he enjoys researching and writing about history.
His book Quest for Flight draws out of obscurity and documents the fascinating backstories in the conquest of the skies. The work and influence of American aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery serves as a framework for understanding the western contributions in the quest for flight in America.
Montgomery was a scientific inventor in the late 1800’s who observed and tried to mimic bird flight. His research caused him to turn to soaring birds for inspiration and he demonstrated controlled flight with his manned gliders.
We talk about societal attitudes toward flying at the time, the different motivations of early pioneers, and the roles of women in early aviation. We also discuss how the stories of others were overshadowed by the Wrights, who actively worked to protect their position as the originators of manned flight.
A Chicago judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by United Airlines against a 22-year-old. Last November United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit in against Aktarer Zaman who created Skiplagged.com. That site helps people with the “hidden city ticketing” strategy for low cost airfare. United and Orbitz claimed that Skiplagged provided “unfair competition” and promoted “strictly prohibited” travel.
The suit was filed in the Northern District Court of Illinois, but the judge in Chicago has now ruled that court has no jurisdiction because Zaman didn’t live or do business in that city.
The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan jet engine has over 5000 sensors, creating 10 Gigabytes/second of data per engine, or 2.04 Terebits/second for a twin engine airplane. P&W estimates data streaming will reach 12 Petabytes each year and they have partnered with IBM to create the data center capacity.
Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and some other partners teamed up to form International Aero Engines in 1983 to produce the V2500 engine for the Airbus A320 family and McDonnell Douglas MD-90. In 2011, P&W bought out Rolls Royce, which effectively removed RR from the narrowbody market. Now the departing CEO of Rolls-Royce said P&W parent company United Technologies Corporation is an “obvious” potential partner.
An Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed outside Seville one mile from the airport, killing four test crew and injuring two others. The aircraft was on its maiden test flight before being delivered to Turkey.
David Sudworth brings us his story of a perfect flying day in the UK.
Aviation historian Anne Millbrooke is our guest. Anne is the author of the award winning book Aviation History, as well as Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Alphabets of Aviation: A Guide to Contemporary and Historical Terms Found in Aviation Literature. She is an Adjunct Professor of History at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and also at the American Public University System. Anne is a writer, researcher, coach, speaker, and you can follow her on Twitter at @AMWriter.