Tag Archives: Solar Impulse

411 Making Airlines Remarkable

Airline branding and marketing strategies, Farnborough International Airshow 2016 coverage, an MH370 update, Southwest Airlines revenue and a system glitch, a large Chinese amphibian, a few world records, and news from Maine.


Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying, a large aviation marketing strategy firm. We talk with Shashank about airline branding strategies and how they need to be different from those of typical consumer goods. He tells us about the changes implemented by some of his airline clients to better serve the new connected traveler, how airlines should manage crisis, and the value of empowered employees.

A sought-after consultant and speaker on aviation marketing, Shashank started SimpliFlying in 2009 as a blog on airline marketing. Since then, he and his team have built SimpliFlying into a global leader in airline consulting, having worked with more than 70 airlines and airports over the past seven years. Their latest projects include the Bombardier CSeries launch, and a re-design of the customer service strategy for Cebu Pacific. Shashank has a book coming out about airline marketing called SOAR. The book shares how some of the most innovative airline brands delight customers and inspire employees.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

We kick off our coverage of the Farnborough Airshow with two interviews by Brian and Micah. First, we hear from Capt. Jeff and Dr. Steff from the Airline Pilot Guy show. They discuss their efforts to put together the live recording and meetup at Farnborough. Then Brian and Micah have an interesting conversation with Airbus A350 XWB marketing director Mike Bausor about the A350. We’ll bring you many additional interviews in future episodes.

The guys also had an opportunity to speak with Rolls Royce about the Trent Ultra in development. The Ultra will be a geared turbofan with all-carbon fiber fan blades. Perhaps most interesting, the fan blades will have adjustable pitch and be fully reversible, eliminating the need for thrust reversers. The engine in development after the Ultra features electrically driven fans powered by constant speed turbines that drive a generator.

Post Podcast- Entire Crew

Seated from left to right: Captain Nick, Captain Jeff, Dr. Steph. Standing: Markus Völter (Omega Tau), Micah, Carlos Stebbins (Plane Talking UK), Pilot Pip (Plane Safety Podcast) , Captain Al Evans (PTUK guest host and contributor), Brian. Photo by Daniel Hannington,

F35 on static display.

The F-35 on static display.


MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

This publication “obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Southwest Sees Revenue Reversal As Terror Fears Hit Delta, United

Southwest’s second quarter earnings per share were up 15.5% to 1.19, slightly under estimate.  Revenue was up 5% to $5.38 billion, and traffic growth was 6%, while capacity was up 4.8%. See also Southwest Airlines: “Things Are Getting Better” An Update and an Apology on Systemwide Outages and Delta Air Lines Will Slow Growth to Ensure Business Travelers Pay Higher Fares.

China introduces Boeing 737-sized seaplane

The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China just introduced the AG600, the biggest amphibian of any modern military.

Fedor Konyukhov breaks world hot air balloon record

64-year old Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov flew around the world solo in eleven days.

The Last Flight of the Round-the-World Solar Flight

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have realized their dream of achieving the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight! From the Solar Impulse website: “Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers will continue to urge the global implementation of energy efficient solutions through the creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones. Join the movement with #futureisclean.”


Video Captures Apparent Spin Accident

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Wins Best Air Show – The results from the USA Today 10 Best U.S. Airshows voting.

Boeing’s Centennial Projection Spectacular – A highly recommended video.

This plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail?


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


AirplaneGeeks 398 Scott Hamilton, Leeham News and Comment

Solar Impulse 2 Landing April 2016

We talk with Scott Hamilton, the editor of Leeham News and Comment, about Solar Impulse 2, Bombardier and the CSeries, Boeing and the 737 MAX as well as a 787 engine AD, and Airbus and A321 assembly in Alabama.


Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is the editor of Leeham News and Comment, which provides analysis along with the news, and the story behind the headline. Scott is known in the industry for his straight-shooting, call-it-like-it-is take on news and events. He is frequently called on by broadcast and print media to offer expert analysis about the issues of the day. Scott is also a regular speaker at aviation conferences and corporate events.

Before creating Leeham News and Comment, Scott co-founded of Linkraven Ltd. in 1989. Linkraven published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report, and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Scott was named Best Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2009 in the Regional Airline Category. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

Learn more at the Leeham News and Comment website, follow them on Twitter at @leehamnews, and check out Leeham News on Facebook.


Solar Impulse 2 lands in California after Pacific flight

After laying over in Hawaii for almost 10 months for repairs, the Solar Impulse 2 piloted by Bertrand Piccard landed in Mountain View, California just before midnight. The flight lasted just over 62 hours. Max Trescott witnessed the landing and gives us his impressions. He and Frank Sweeney posted some photos.

Note: In Airplane Geeks Episode 361, we spoke with pilot André Borschberg after he flew Solar Impulse 2 from Japan to Hawaii.

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500?

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500? Part 2

The CS300 was designed as the base model, with the CS100 being a shrink. Some wonder if there could be a stretch version, a “CS500,” that could seat more passengers and that is better sized for airline needs.

Delta May Be About to Order a Boatload of New Planes

Delta may be about to announce aircraft orders. Perhaps another order for (192-seat Airbus) A321s, and an order for 75 small narrowbodies from either built Bombardier or Embraer. Delta has been complimentary of the CSeries, but they have also made it clear that the price must be right.

Boeing Considering New 737 Model To Fend Off Bombardier Jet

The smallest B737 MAX, the -7 version with 126 seats in two class configuration, only has 60 firm orders. (30 from Southwest, 25 from Westjet, 5 from Canada Jetlines) Reportedly, Boeing is looking at a 150-seat model internally called the 737 MAX 7X.

First US-built American A321 completes maiden flight

First Alabama made jet liner to be delivered to owner today

The Airbus assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama continues to reach milestones with the A321 destined for American Airlines making its first flight. Airbus also delivered its first made in America A321 to JetBlue.

FAA orders ‘urgent’ engine fixes for Boeing 787 Dreamliners

In January 2016, a GEnx-1B engine was shut down in flight after the engine experienced excessive vibration. Ice came off a fan blade and caused an imbalance of the fan. That led to “substantial damage” after the fan blade tips started rubbing on the fan case. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive [PDF] requiring repairs or one older engine on the plane. The older model is less susceptible to icing than the newer Performance Improvement Program (PIP) 2 engine.

Two air traffic control officers charged for Taiwan’s worst crash in decade

On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR 72-500, crashed into buildings during approach in bad weather at Magong Airport in Taiwan. Forty-eight on board died, including the two pilots, and 10 survived. Two air traffic controllers and the two pilots have been deemed negligent.

FedEx Worker Falls Asleep In Plane’s Cargo Compartment, Wakes Up in Lubbock, TX

Probably not a career-enhancing move.

The Aircraft of the Week

David travels to Langley and interviews two F-35 pilots.

Listener Recording

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo at the Sun-N-Fun event in Lakeland, Florida, USA on 10 April 2016.

Launchpad Marzari brings us an interview with Richie, head of the RedBull Air Gaters. Also see Pictures of the day: Red Bull Air Race demo wows SUN ‘n FUN crowds.


Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air – Providing scenic flight tours in Seattle with a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and a DHC-3 Otter.

The Puget Sound Business Journal is seeking a full time aerospace reporter

US airlines are freaking out about a company you’ve never heard of

The Derelict Aircraft Museum

General Aviation Aircraft Design by Snorri Gudmundsson.

Throwback Thursday: The History of Delta


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



AirplaneGeeks 397 Airman Certification Standards

We talk with the Special Technical Assistant for the FAA Flight Standards Service and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. Also, electrically powered planes, an important Approved Model List STC, the FAA teams up with the auto industry, airlines restricting fare bargains, a play about United Flight 232, Solar Impulse 2 returns to mission mode, and Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016.


Susan Parson

Susan Parson

Susan Parson is Special Technical Assistant with the FAA Flight Standards Service, and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. She serves as the lead FAA representative for the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) project to improve airman testing and training.

Susan has authored over 90 GA safety articles and several online training documents and courses, including Conducting an Effective Flight Review, Instrument Proficiency Check Guidance, and Best Practices for Mentoring in Flight Instruction.

Susan holds an ATP certificate, as well as ground and flight instructor certificates with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine land ratings. She repeatedly earned Master Flight Instructor and Master Ground Instructor designations from NAFI and Master Instructors LLC.  

As an active GA pilot, Susan instructs on weekends for her Cessna 182 flying club and the Civil Air Patrol. Susan created a number of advanced avionics training courses and modules, for the Civil Air Patrol, and she is the primary author of CAP’s National Check Pilot Standardization Course.

Susan Parson in SP-C182Susan has a BA in international relations and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Education (focused on e-Education and adult learning) from the University of Phoenix, and an Aviation Safety and Security Management certificate from the George Washington University’s Aviation Institute. Susan’s work experience includes serving in the United States Department of State’s diplomatic service.

Visit Susan’s personal webpage at www.avi8rix.aero and find her on Twitter as @avi8rix. The FAA Safety Briefing webpage is www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/.


Airbus, Siemens to work together on electrically-powered planes

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders says, “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.” Airbus signed a deal with Siemens to work on these hybrid electric propulsion systems.

Experimental Avionics For Certified Aircraft: EAA, Dynon Announce STC

At Sun ‘n Fun, the EAA and Dynon Avionics announced that they’ve developed an Approved Model List – Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) that allows Dynon’s D10 EFIS to be installed in certified aircraft.

FAA and Auto Industry to Team Up on Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FAA plan to hold an event April 22 with chief executives from the major automakers and aviation industry leaders. The goal is to look at how aviation industry collaboration practices could benefit automakers, particularly safety data sharing.

Three Big Airlines Just Trashed Your Cheap Fares

American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc. have taken action to restrict multi-destination fare bargains, mostly affecting business travelers. Previously, purchasing individual tickets for each leg could cost less than purchasing one multi-leg ticket.

Surviving crew of doomed United Flight 232 reunites for play

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, experienced a fan disk failure in the tail-mounted engine. The plane lost hydraulics and crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 passengers and one flight attendant. 184 people survived.

Eight survivors from the 13-member crew reunited to watch the play “United Flight 232” by Vanessa Stalling. The play is based on the 2014 book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales. The performance at The House Theatre of Chicago continues through May 1, 2016.

After a Long Delay, Solar Impulse 2 Is Ready to Finish Its Round-the-World Flight

On the 3rd of July 2015, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after having broken the record for flying non-stop for 5 days and 5 nights from Japan. Due to battery damage from overheating, the round-the-world journey was paused for repairs. However, the Solar Impulse 2 is now back in mission mode. Follow the flight at www.solarimpulse.com. We spoke with Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg in Airplane Geeks Episode 361.

The Aircraft of the Week

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

The Episode 400 History Segment Listener Challenge

David will select one aircraft from those submitted by listeners to be the Aircraft of the Week for Episode 400. Here are his rules:

  1. If you have hounded me to do a specific aircraft in the past, you’re automatically disqualified, and you all know who you are. I want someone to be rewarded.
  2. NO it will not be the C-130 nor a tanker!
  3. Not following directions might void your entry.***
  4. Pick your airplane.
  5. Send an email to theGeeks@Airplanegeeks.com with the Subject: David, please do this plane!
  6. Give me the full name of the plane.
  7. In 20 words or less tell me why I should do it. Creativity will be rewarded. Emoji’s won’t.
  8. Give me your name.
  9. How long have you listened to the show?
  10. What photo is associated with this post? It’s an  F-16CJ.
  11. Should you pick one I have already done, I will give you a second chance. I promise!
  12. You have until April 30, 2016 to get your entry in.

*** All decisions by the Historian are final!

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016


Max and Brian report on this year’s amazing Aviation Geek Fest where about 250 #AvGeeks assembled for a weekend of Boeing facility tours, time in the Future of Flight Aviation Center and the Museum of Flight, and other exciting activities. Find more event photos here.






"Silver Wasp" Boeing PT-17 Stearman by John Mollison

“Silver Wasp” Boeing PT-17 Stearman flown by Women Airforce Service Pilot Bernice “Bee” Haydu, by John Mollison


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