Tag Archives: Icon

488 NASA Chief Historian

The NASA Chief Historian helps us look at some events from the past, anniversaries coming up, and what the future holds for NASA. Also, the International Trade Commission rules for Bombardier and against Boeing, more information about the pilot in the fatal Icon A5 crash, Putin wants a supersonic civilian airliner, and a look at big aerospace and defense deals in 2017.

Guest

Bill Barry, NASA Chief Historian.

Bill Barry, NASA Chief Historian.

Dr. William P. Barry is the NASA Chief Historian. We talk with Bill about the upcoming 60th anniversary of NASA on October 1, 2018, the 60th anniversary of the first U.S. satellite, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. Bill gives us some insights into the tragic Apollo 1 accident, known simply as “The Fire.”

Bill also tells us about the Space Launch System, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the emerging role of commercial space companies like Boeing and SpaceX. We touch on the change of the NASA administrator, and even jobs available at NASA through USAjobs.

Bill has been NASA’s Chief Historian since 2010. He began work at NASA in 2001 after retiring from a 22-year career in the US Air Force. Bill worked in NASA’s international relations office for several years, and served as the NASA European Representative at the United States Embassy in Paris before being appointed NASA Chief Historian. A graduate, with honors, of the United States Air Force Academy, Bill also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate from Oxford University.

Apollo’s Worst Day: Veterans of NASA’s moon program referred to it simply as “The Fire.” Did it have to happen?

This excellent article by Andy Chaikin appeared in the Dec 2016/Jan 2017 edition of Air&Space Smithsonian. See also Apollo-1 (204) and The Accident, taken from the Report of Apollo 204 Review Board.

Find more at the NASA History Program Office webpage, and follow NASA History on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada Do Not Injure U.S. Industry, Says USITC

The United States International Trade Commission is “an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade.” The USITC issued this statement on January 26, 2018:

“The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce… has determined are subsidized and sold at less than fair value. As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued.”

The Commission’s final report will be published by March 2, 2018, can be accessed on the USITC website.

Roy Halladay Autopsy Findings Catch Industry by Surprise

Former baseball star Roy Halladay died following the crash of his Icon A5 in shallow water last November. An autopsy revealed that Halladay did not immediately die of the impact – a contributing cause of death was drowning. He also had “enough mood-altering drugs in his system to confirm he shouldn’t have been driving a car, much less flying an airplane.”

Russia’s Concorde: Putin proposes supersonic civilian aircraft based on its Tu-160 bomber

Vladimir Putin wants to build a civilian version of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic nuclear bomber as a supersonic passenger jet for wealthy customers. The United Aircraft Corporation has told Putin that designers already have a supersonic civilian airliner project.

Global aerospace and defense deals insights: Q4 2017

Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that the global aerospace and defense industry saw $72 billion worth of deals in 2017. This betters the previous record of $67 billion set in 2015, and represents a whopping 79% increase over 2016. Nine deals with announced value greater than $1 billion accounted for 86% of the total value this year. Global Aerospace and Defense Deals Insights Year-End 2017 [PDF].

The largest deals from 2017:

United Technologies’ $30 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins tops the list, followed by Northrop Grumman’s $9 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK, Safran’s $8 billion acquisition of Zodiac Aerospace, and Thales’ $5 billion acquisition of Gemalto.

Airline Story of the Week

Southwest Airlines rescues 62 stray dogs, cats from Puerto Rico

Sixty-two dogs and cats were rescued from hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Mentioned

The Aviators Season Seven.

AirSpace Podcast from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

NP Simulations, the UK flight simulator company based in London.

How Three High Schoolers Won EAA’s Founder’s Innovation Prize

See the Remora Systems website to learn more.

EAA’s Founder’s Innovation Prize (presented by Airbus)

Submissions will be accepted through June 1, 2018. Five finalists will be chosen to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of expert judges.

Interjet images by aviation photographer Paul Filmer:

​Interjet at IAH in 2015. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Interjet at IAH in 2015. Photo by Paul Filmer.

​Interjet at Toluca. Mexico. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Interjet at Toluca. Mexico. Photo by Paul Filmer.

Kiwi airline exec breaks record for world circumnavigation on commercial airlines

Andrew Fisher made a 52-hour, 34-minute journey from Shanghai to Auckland to Buenos Aires to Amsterdam and back to Shanghai. The old record was 55 hours.

Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here

Did the airlines get an exemption from the 2020 ADS-B requirement, or not…

Rocket Lab’s ‘Humanity Star’ is New Zealand first satellite and the Humanity Star website.

No Passport or Ticket: How a Woman Evaded Airport Security and Flew to London

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.

Guest

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane

Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Guest

Matt Knapp, founder at Zunum AeroMatt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.

Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.

We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.

Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Preliminary Icon Accident Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.

Disruptive Tech: Electric Airplanes Could Destroy The Automotive Industry

The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”

For more, download the RethinkX report.

Winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ Competition Solves Under Seat Crunch

The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.

Mentioned

The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:

Qantas chief Alan Joyce gets pie in face at Perth business breakfast, via listener Dave in Adelaide.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

451 Talking About Planes with Carl Stebbings

Carl Stebbings, the host of the Plane Talking UK podcast, helps us discuss the Chinese Comac C919 first flight, an F-35B assembled in Italy, a UK airline trade group manifesto, a vintage de Havilland Vampire literally tears up a runway, Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping the CSeries in the U.S., a report on the May 2016 crash of EgyptAir MS804, and the first fatal crash of the Icon A-5 amphibious LSA.

Guest

Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast

Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast

Carlos (Carl) Stebbings is the host of the Plane Talking UK Podcast. He joins in our conversation of recent aviation news, and he also tells us about some of his memorable flights including a Tupolev Tu-134 and riding in the jump seat of a B757. Carl’s favorite remains the L-1011 Tristar, but he also talks about the DC-10.

The Plane Talking UK Podcast started in 2013 as an audio show, but it’s now a live program with a chat room and PTUK YouTube channel. We hear how Carl got started with podcasting and about the exciting plans for his 200th episode.

Like many AvGeeks, Carl’s love of aviation started at a young age as he was able to do a lot of traveling. He has flown on more aircraft types than most people can mention and Carl is an avid plane spotter, as well as a private pilot in training.

Carl the owner of a mobile disco business and when he isn’t spinning CDs or podcasting, he works for the largest book printer in England. In addition, his very understanding, long-suffering wife, Gemma, has grown to accept that most holidays will involve losing her husband at the airport while he goes off plane spotting!

Aviation News

China’s New Jetliner, the Comac C919, Takes Flight for First Time

The Chinese Comac C919 airliner made its first public flight May 5, 2017. The C919 is a single-aisle twin in the same class as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, and powered by the CFM56 LEAP-1C.

First F-35B Assembled Internationally Rolled Out of Cameri FACO Production Facility

David Cenciotti writes in The Aviationist that “the first F-35B, the Short Take-Off Vertical Landing variant of the the F-35 Lightning II, destined to the Italian Navy, rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy.” This is the first F-35B assembled internationally. First flight is planned for late August, with delivery to the Italian MoD in November 2017.

This Cool Footage Shows U.S. F-35A Lightning II Combat Planes Flying Through The Famous Mach Loop For The First Time

UK airlines set out manifesto asks for new Parliament

Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK-registered carriers, published a manifesto of policy actions for the next Parliament. The association believes these would result in stronger, more competitive UK airlines.

Vintage plane rips up runway during take-off in Wolverhampton

This video from a vintage air show at Wolverhampton’s Halfpenny Green Airport shows how the jet blast from a de Havilland Vampire ripped up the runway as it took off.

OPINION: Boeing’s CSeries trade complaint lacks credibility

Boeing says Bombardier is selling CSeries jets in the U.S. at “absurdly low” prices and as a result, the company has suffered an injury to its business. Boeing wants the Commerce Department to impose duties on Bombardier.

Reports: French investigators suspect fire caused EgyptAir crash

Reportedly, French air accident investigation agency BEA found no trace of explosives on the bodies of the victims of the crash of EgyptAir MS804 which disappeared over the Mediterranean in May 2016. The A320’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), indicated smoke in an avionics bay under the flight deck and in a lavatory.

Two Killed In Icon A5 Crash

An Icon A-5 amphibious LSA crashed in California May 8, 2017, killing two people on board. Both were Icon employees. This is the first fatal crash of the airplane.

Mentioned

Listener Luke sent us the link to a video interview with Captain John Hutchinson, discussing some interesting facts about the crash of Air France 4590.

John Hutchinson on Air France Flight 4590

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.