Tag Archives: USAF

457 Innovations in Flight 2017

We cover the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display with a series of interviews.

Max and David at the 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display.

Max and David at the 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Photo by Brad Jefferson.

We participated in the National Air & Space Museum’s 2017 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. This annual event is held at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport.

Innovations in Flight Interviews

We recorded a number of great conversations at the event. These follow, along with start times:

United States Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Nowland is Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. 2017 is the 70th anniversary of the USAF and the theme is Powered by Innovation. We talk about the shortage of pilots, the need to get more young people interested in aviation, and remotely piloted aircraft. [2:45]

Caroline Sheen is the Photography and Art Editor for Air & Space Magazine. We talk about finding photographs to support the articles. These come from many sources, such as archives, photographers, or Caroline herself. She gives us some tips for aviation photography and what she looks for as a photo editor. Be sure to look on newsstands for the special issue: 50 Greatest Moments of the Space Age. [15:16]

Christopher Watson is the FAA Emergency Communications Program Manager, Command and Control Communications Systems, under the Office of National Security Programs and Incident Response. Their emergency response vehicle was on open display and Chris describes how it responds to natural disaster relief, accident sites, and special security events. We also talk about the FAA’s B4UFLY smartphone app, a valuable resource for drone operators. [25:25]

Harry Hartfield with Amazon Prime Air described the company’s vision for package delivery: packages of five pounds or less delivered in 30 minutes or less. Amazon Prime has developed different drone models for different environments, and also sophisticated sense and avoid technology. [32:22]

Student Kathryn attended the event as part of a San Diego middle school trip to the East Coast. [37:58]

Hillel Glazer and his son Jacob flew their 1972 Piper Cherokee 180 to the event and had the aircraft on display. We talk about the flight in, the people who came by to look at the plane, and we watch the B-2 flyover. [41:05]

Credit

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

455 Kitfox Aircraft

We talk with Kitfox Aircraft about kit-built airplanes. Also, a digital co-pilot for GA, the Stratolaunch airplane, Middle Eastern airlines shun Qatar, an aviation-themed playground, the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force wants mandatory budget caps removed, and President Trump wants the U.S. air traffic control system privatized. We also have a very informative listener recording about pulling through and hand propping radial engines.

Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport

Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport

Guests

Kitfox Aircraft is owned and operated by John and Debra McBean from the Homedale Municipal Airport (S66) in southwest Idaho. The McBean’s were builders before they owned the company and they often helped other builders with their projects. John McBean holds commercial and instructor ratings and we welcome him to the Airplane Geeks podcast.

Also joining us from Kitfox is Brandon Petersen who joined the team in 2012 as the wing builder. His role has evolved over time. You can find his fingerprints on the company social media posts, videos, wings, and fiberglass products that are shipped to builders around the world.

The original Kitfox Model I was introduced at Oshkosh AirVenture in 1984 by Denney Aerocraft. The modern Kitfox has stayed true to the concept of the original design – it’s a fun, comfortable, and affordable airplane that can be easily built without any special tools or training.

Kitfox Aircraft is introducing the Kitfox Speedster at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2017. Based on the Series 7 platform, it offers a bigger fuselage, higher gross weight capability, a shortened wing, and a cleaned up and faired airframe. This allows the builder to get up and go fast without giving up a whole lot of the STOL characteristics of the airplane.

The plane going to Air Venture will display a new brightly colored paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs. It pays homage to the original Speedster with a modern twist. Kitfox has arranged with Kyle Franklin to perform with the Speedster in the air show. Kyle’s late father Jimmy flew the original Speedster.

Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,

Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,

Find Kitfox Aircraft on Facebook, and YouTube.

Aviation News

Could General Aviation Use a Digital Co-Pilot?

Researchers from Mitre Corp.’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development have developed a “Digital Copilot.” The concept is that general aviation single-pilot flight operations would benefit from a tablet app that monitors and communicates safety-critical flight information to the pilot.

The Gigantic Stratolaunch Aircraft Emerges From Its Hangar in the California Desert

The Stratolaunch is a twin fuselage, 385-foot wingspan aircraft designed to carry a launch vehicle as part of an air launch to orbit system. What is not called Stratolaunch Systems Corporation was officially announced in December 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan.

Mideast airlines halt Qatar flights as Gulf crisis escalates

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, and have broken off relations with that country. As a result, Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Gulf Air are discontinuing flights in and out of the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Qatari government called this “unjustified and based on baseless allegations.”

Aviation-themed playground coming to Stafford airport

Stafford Regional Airport in Virginia is building a playground around an aviation theme. Two nonprofits are making this happen: EAA Chapter 1099 and Rappahannock Aviation Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Stafford, Virginia focused on community outreach programs and initiatives that educate and inspire youth in aviation.

New Air Force head calls for end to defense budget caps

Dr. Heather Wilson was the first female military veteran elected to a full term in Congress. More recently, the US Senate confirmed her nomination as U.S. Secretary of the Air Force on May 8, 2017. Wilson has now asked Congress to remove the mandatory budget caps of the Budget Control Act.

Trump pushes Congress to privatize air traffic control

President Donald Trump urged Congress to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system.

Listener Recording

Keith Shaddox explains hand-turning and hand-propping radial engines.

Mentioned

Stick & Rudder Aviation – Founded to provide Kitfox tailwheel flight training.

Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s 27th World War II Weekend

Midway hero honored 75 years later

Thaba Tholo game in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Wings Over Avgeeks in Jennifer’s Tales From the Terminal blog.

F-22 thrust vectoring nozzles

NOW That’s What I Call Remote Working

GE9X: The world’s biggest fan of ice

Credit

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

 

426 FlyOtto

A new on-demand service that matches travelers with professional pilots and GA aircraft. Also, a turboprop with one third of the parts 3D printed, more on the American uncontained engine failure, recovery parachutes for larger aircraft, flexible airplane wings, Southwest pilots ratify a new contract, and enlisted pilots for remotely piloted aircraft.

Guest

Rod Rakic

Rod Rakic

Rod Rakic co-founded OpenAirplane in 2013 to make renting an airplane as easy as renting a car. The “universal pilot checkout” resets the clock on the flight review, offers a renter’s insurance discount, and gives pilots access to the same make and model of aircraft across the U.S.

Now the company has launched FlyOtto, a new service that matches travelers with professional pilots and certified general aviation aircraft. On-demand private charter avoids the hassles of major commercial airports and increases the utilization of the GA fleet. FlyOtto takes advantage of the over 5,000 public use airports in the U.S.

A pioneer in the development of innovative experiences, Rod has spent 20 years creating online products that enhance and manage brands. In 2007, he co-founded myTransponder, a pioneering social media tool for aviation. Rod has years of experience developing tools and community specific to the aviation industry.

Rod started flying when he was sixteen and holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

Follow @OpenAirplane, @FlyOtto, and @rodrakic on Twitter. Find FlyOtto on Facebook.

News

GE Aviation fires up engine made from 35 percent printed parts

General Electric has tested the a-CT7 demonstrator engine which incorporates a very high percentage of “3D printed” parts. In the Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine to come, 12 printed parts are planned to replace 855 conventionally manufactured parts. The ATP will power the all-new Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft.

GE Aviation’s Advanced Turboprop Engine

NTSB: Failed airline engine disk had fatigue cracking

In a preliminary report, investigators say the failed turbine disk that exploded on American Airlines Flight 383 showed evidence of an internal anomaly at the source of some fatigue cracking.

Will a Large-Aircraft Parachute Recovery System Catch On?

Aviation Safety Resources (ARS) is working on the TriChute Safe Landing system that could be used on larger aircraft, such as the 8,000-pound Cessna Caravan. When this system is activated, the fuel-laden wings separate from the fuselage, and all three portions of the aircraft descend under their own parachutes.

TriChute Demonstration

MIT and NASA’s flexible wing could be the future of aviation

Researchers from MIT, the University of California Santa Cruz, and NASA are working to develop flexible wing technology. This concept uses an “array of tiny, lightweight structural pieces” called “digital materials” that twist “when put under pressure from a pair of motors on the wingtip.”

Southwest Airlines Pilots Ratify New Agreement

Southwest Airlines says its pilots ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) says 84 percent of the pilots who voted were in favor of the new contract. SWAPA announced the deal means a 15 percent pay raise, with a 3 percent annual increase through 2020. Also, pilots are no longer required to contribute to the pension plan.

First two enlisted pilots complete solo flights

The U.S. Air Force has an initiative to train enlisted Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilots for RQ-4 Global Hawk missions. The October 12 Enlisted Pilot Initial Class (EPIC) included four enlisted students along with twenty commissioned officers.

Airplane of the Week

David asks for your help to decide which aviation book to review next. Review Que: I need your help.

Mentioned

FAA Safety Briefing November/December 2016 (PDF), Why Can’t I Uber with my Airplane?

Man admits to shining laser light at SkyFOX

Breakdown at 30,000 Feet

Credit

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

 

409 Vet Air: Flying Veterans in Need of Medical Care

Providing veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, an around-the-world record attempt, Air Force to use enlisted airmen as RPA pilots, FAA encourages GA aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment, a cable break during a carrier landing, and growing military aircraft in chemical vats. Plus, a report on the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Guest

Karen and Jesus Pereira

Karen and Vet Air’s Jesus Pereira

Jesus Pereira founded Vet Air in 2015 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity that uses volunteer pilots and GA airplanes to provide veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, as well as flights for compassionate reasons.

Having joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard in February 1996, Jesus attended basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina, and received his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee Virginia as a Petroleum Supply Specialist. He is currently serving with HHC 126th BSB with the grade of E-7, Sergeant First Class. He has one deployment to Kuwait in 2010 where he served with the Army Aviation Task Force.

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus is currently a Veteran Service Officer for the Town of Longmeadow in Massachusetts. His primary function is to provide Veterans with MGL Chapter 115 benefits and assistance with federal VA benefits. Jesus holds a private pilot certificate with complex, high performance, and tailwheel endorsements.

Learn more at VetAir.org, and on the VetAir Facebook page.

News

Teen pilot Lachlan Smart on track for world record

Eighteen year old Lachlan Smart wants to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, and he plans to make 24 stops in his Cirrus SR22 doing it. Follow his journey at Wings Around the World.

Air Force plans 100 enlisted drone pilots by 2020

The Air Force expects to graduate the first class of enlisted airmen in 2017 for remotely piloted aircraft, specifically unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The graduates would become the first Air Force enlisted pilots since World War II.

FAA Policy Helps Modernize GA Airplanes and Helicopters

FAA Policy No: PS-AIR-21.8-1602 [PDF] “encourages general aviation aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment on airplanes and helicopters that is not required by the agency’s regulations.”

Navy: Human error to blame for March cable break aboard USS Eisenhower flight deck

An arresting cable broke when an E2-C Hawkeye attempted to make a carrier landing, injuring eight sailors. The video shows the dramatic recovery by the pilot of the Hawkeye.

Cable snaps on USS Eisenhower during landing

BAE Systems wants to grow military aircraft in chemical vats

BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow are working on a manufacturing method that utilizes a “Chemputer” at the molecular level to assemble objects. Originally developed for pharmaceuticals, this might allow the construction of small UAVs or components for large manned aircraft.

Growing UAVs Through Chemistry

Resources:

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

David attended the opening of the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. We hear opening remarks from Dr. Bob van der Linden, Chairman of the Aeronautics Department, and Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, a curator in the Space History Department.

We then hear David’s interview with Bob van der Linden, who describes some of the changes made, the visitor experience, and the special photo op with the Spirit of St. Louis and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).

NASM app logoNext, David talks with Vicki Portway and Sarah Banks from the social media team about how the museum is reaching out and transforming itself through the “experience loop.” We also hear about the new GO FLIGHT: National Air and Space Museum app for iOS and Android. The app lets you connect to the museum from wherever you are.

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Mentioned

Routehappy job page.

Credit

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

406 Innovations in Flight 2016

The Airplane Geeks attended the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Airplane Geeks Innovations in Flight 2016

The Airplane Geeks: Micah, Brian, Max, Benet, David

Interviews

Commander Brian McGlaughin, USCG

Commander Brian McGlaughin

Commander Brian McGlaughin

The United States Coast Guard is celebrating 100 years of aviation in 2016, and we hear about the mission of Coast Guard, flying in Alaska, the Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard that was inducted into the National Air & Space Museum, the new C-130J, and of course, the 100th celebration activities.

Steve Lott, The Boeing Company

Steve Lott

Steve Lott

Steve is the Director of Communications for Boeing, based in Washington D.C. He talks about Boeing’s 100th year anniversary and explains that July 15, 2016 is Founders Day, when Bill Boeing had his first flight. Boeing employs a number of full time historians, and maintains a very large historical archive, including many photographs.

Steve tells us about the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall renovation at the NASM downtown on the Mall, and reminds us about the excellent The Age of Aerospace series. This documentary explores the last 100 years of aviation history and is presented by Boeing and Discovery Communications.

Captain Caitlin Diffley, USAF

Captain Caitlin Diffley

Captain Caitlin Diffley

Captain Diffley is the Regional Director for the United States Air Force Academy Admissions Office for the Northeast. She describes opportunities at the Academy and the many concentrations offered. Learn more about the application process at AcademyAdmissions.com.

Max Flight

During a brief lull in the interviews, David and Benet decide to “interview” Max and hear about his visit outside the Museum to see the aircraft and automobiles on display. Max also describes his experience at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

Steve Maloney

Steve Maloney

Steve Maloney

Steve is a contemporary artist from California who transformed a boneyard U.S. Army Huey helicopter into a mixed-media sculpture. The helicopter served as an air ambulance during the Vietnam War, and Take Me Home Huey is now touring the U.S. to honor Vietnam vets and facilitate conversation about their service.

Watch the trailer of the documentary film about the role Hueys played during conflicts as told by pilots, mechanics and helicopter crew members.

Bill Barry, NASA

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry (seated, far left) and some airplane geeks

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry (seated, far left) and some airplane geeks

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry tells us about some of the other anniversaries in 2016, including the first Viking lander on Mars 40 years ago, the 10th anniversary of the first COTS (commercial off the shelf technology) contact for launch services delivering material to the Space Station, the 100th anniversary of Langley, and even the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Bill talks about naming the Space Shuttle Enterprise rather than Constitution, the aeronautics programs at NASA, and public interest in NASA activities. Be sure to visit the NASA History webpage.

Photos

Take Me Home Huey

Take Me Home Huey

DSCF9051_600

Micah and Brian

Micah and Brian

Credit

Airplane Geeks would like to thank the National Air & Space Museum for inviting us back to the Innovations in Flight event. This is a must-attend, bring your family event held the Saturday before Father’s Day in June.

Photo credits: @ProfVanderhoof, @dronemama, @maxflight

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

AirplaneGeeks 322 Flying a KC-135 When the Ground is all Sparkly

KC-135R Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor. U.S. Air Force photo by Kevin Robertson.

Aerial refueling, airline profits boosted by lower fuel prices, the future of the U.S. Air Force, bad behavior at the airport, and the NBAA Convention.

Guest

Guest Matt Fritz is a KC-135 Instructor and Commander with over 2000 hours, including combat and combat support. He is also a certified acquisition professional, a certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer/Practitioner, and the Author of an instructional book entitled, “Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success.” Matt actively blogs with other military leaders at GeneralLeadership.com, as well as at his personal blog AdvancedVectors.com. He’s a civilian licensed commercial pilot with multi-engine and turbine ratings.

We talk about the role of the KC-135 tanker, an aircraft with a mix of old and new technology. Also, the future look of the Air Force, and the importance of open communication between military leaders and the public – connecting the warrior to the citizen.

Matt has some advice for young pilots who aspire to serve their country as a military aviator, and he tells us a story about a brand new boom operator flying over Afghanistan on a night mission.

News

Cheaper Fuel Leads to Record Profits at Airlines

Third Quarter airline results are in, with American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, and Southwest Airlines seeing record profits. A big part of the reason? Lower fuel prices.

America’s Enemies Beware: The U.S. Air Force Is Set to Soar (and Become Even Deadlier)

This article in The National Interest argues that between now and 2035, the U.S. Air Force will come to look very different than it has in the past.

Historically, they say, the Air Force has been defined by it’s platforms: fighters, bombers, airlifters, refuelers, surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control.

The authors see a future where the Air Force will not focus on aircraft types, but on the Airmen, who will become “cyber-aided warriors with tremendous reach.”

Homophobic Man Taken Down at Airport After Inciting Brawl Over “Queers”

A man at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, who was described by some as drunk or on drugs, started a fight with another man wearing a pink shirt. When it got physical, passengers standing around jumped in, tackled the man, and held him down until police officers put him in handcuffs. All this was caught on video.

NBAA’s 2014 Convention Wraps Up as a Highly Successful Show

Rob gives us highlights from the NBAA Convention, which saw some 1,100 exhibitors, more than 100 aircraft, with over 26,000 people in attendance.

Aircraft of the Week

"SUEreabasteciendo1" by Martín Otero - Own work.

The MiG-28, the Exocet, and the Super Etendard.  David looks at one of the dumbest lines in Moviedom and TOPGUN.  “They are the MiG-28 and carry the Exocet anti-shipping missile.”  Flashback to when the movie was made and we explore why the Exocet was on everyone’s mind.

The Australia News Desk

Steve talks with Rod Rakic and brings us an update on Open Airplane, a service that assists pilots who want to rent an airplane. The network now has 72 locations in the U.S. with over 250 aircraft available, now including light twins, LSA, and tail draggers. 8000 pilots have signed up.

Across the Pond

Airline seats

Pieter talks to Marisa Garcia from www.flightchic.com about the latest trends in airline seating,  and her busy travel schedule. “If you want to cover aviation, you’ve got to fly…..”

Credit

U.S. Air Force KC-125 photo by Kevin Robertson.

“SUEreabasteciendo1” by Martín Otero – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

Episode 233 – USAF Test Pilots School

Major Brandon “Cain’n” Abel

We talk with Major Brandon “Cain’n” Abel, and Major John “Manson” Appelt, Experimental Test Instructor Pilots from the USAF Test Pilot School. Greg Morris from Gauntlet Warbirds joins in.

The USAF Test Pilot School is a 48 week program for classes of 20-24 students. Graduates go on to test and evaluate weapons systems as test pilots or test engineers. We talk with Cain’n and Manson about the selection process for admission into the School, the variety of aircraft flown at the School, and what a flight test mission involves.

The week’s aviation news:

David gives us a debrief on the Airpigz.com meetup at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles.

F-22 by David Vanderhoof

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Qantas experiences teething problems with its new alliance partner as their booking system allocates premium economy seats on Emirates aircraft – a class not available with that carrier.

Tiger Airways profits slip as they await a ruling by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission on their proposed takeover by Virgin Australia.

Jetstar Japan takes delivery of two new A320s.

The first former RAAF C-130H to be gifted to Indonesia (formerly A97-006) takes to the skies following deep maintenance in preparation for the transfer.

The USAF confirm they are sending two F-22 Raptors to this year’s Australian International Air Show (Avalon), and unlike their last visit in 2011, this time they’ll be putting on an aerial display.

Grant is heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this week as a guest of Malaysia Airlines to cover their launch into the One World Alliance.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Fairey Barracuda

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Naval Air Historian Matt Willis joins us to discuss his new book on the Fairey Barracuda a mono wing fleet air arm torpedo bomber from the second world war. Designed to be a mulit functional aircraft, the ‘Barra’ suffered reputational challenges from its perceived weaknesses. However, it proved itself many times and flew well into the ‘50’s.

Not a single complete airframe is left of the 2,600 Barracuda’s built but there is a project being delivered by the Bluebird team and supported by the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton to recreate a lasting memory to this both beloved and sometimes sneered upon aircraft. To Pieter, it is of course the chariot on which his father flew the majority of his fleet air arm missions and activities and therefore remembered with a little more fondness than others.

Matt can be found at www.navalairhistory.com and on Twitter @NavalAirHistory.

Matt’s published books include: Blackburn Skua and Roc and Junkers Ju 87 Stuka.

Naval History Links:

In Memorium:

Mentions:

USAF Test Pilots School

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

Episode 220 – Dan Hampton, Viper Pilot

F-16 by Paul Filmer

Guest Dan Hampton is the author of Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat. He served in the United States Air Force for twenty years (1986–2006) and is a graduate of the elite USAF Fighter Weapons School, USN Top Gun School (TOGS), and USAF Special Operations School. Dan has flown many combat missions in the F-16 as a Wild Weasel. These are elite Air Force fighter squadrons whose mission is to fly behind enemy lines to draw fire from surface-to-air missiles and artillery. Without being shot down, they destroy the threats and make the skies safe for the aircraft that follow.

Stephen Trimble from Flight Global’s The DEW Line joins us for a bit as a guest co-host. Follow him on Twitter as @FG_STrim.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Grant tells us about his latest hot air balloon pilot-in-command adventures, a kangaroo causes havoc at Melbourne Airport’s high rise parking lot, Qantas spends $A30million on further upgrades to its new Brisbane maintenance centre (which all but confirms the demise of their facility at Avalon in Victoria), Flight Centre is in hot water with the Government over alleged anti competitive behaviour towards Singapore Airlines, the New South Wales Police Force team are victorious in a charity “Haul A Herc” competition at RAAF Base Richmond near Sydney, the New Zealand Defence Force signs a five year deal with Hawker Pacific for four B200 aircraft, and we make a correction to last week’s article regarding Fiji Airways.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

In the last of the Royal Navy Historic Flight mini series, we talk to Lt Commander Glen Allison, the pilot of the Fairey Swordfish display aircraft. We find out what its like to fly an 80 knot bi plane versus his day job of Commanding a Lynx unit. For more see Royal Navy Historic Flight and Fly Navy Heritage Trust.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentions:

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

Episode 188 – The Mach 1.4 UAV

3 Eurofighter Typhoons by Paul Thompson

Guest Ryan P. Starkey, Ph.D. has been working with University of Colorado students to develop a Mach 1.4 UAV. Propulsion for this very efficient aircraft comes from a 20 pound turbojet that features an afterburner and thrust vectoring nozzle. We talk about the design of the vehicle, possible commercial and military applications, and the timeline for first flight.

Ryan is Assistant Professor and a McAnally Faculty Fellow, as well as Director of the Busemann Advanced Concepts Lab at the University of Colorado Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. You can also learn more about this project at Starkey Aerospace Corporation.

The week’s aviation news:

This week’s Australia Desk report was recorded live at the Tyabb Airshow, 70km southeast of Melbourne. Air Australia owes creditors $A90million but had less than $A500,000 in funds when it went bankrupt, Qantas fails in its bit to have to Federal Government change the Qantas Sale Act (1992), Virgin Australia restructures into domestic & international companies, tour operator, Jetset, has an incredible profit increase thanks to the high value of the Aussie dollar, ATC Ben makes a cameo appearance, Grant is horrified that Steve left light beer in his fridge!

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across The Pond, Pieter Johnson talks to John Greenway from the Manchester Airport Group about Manchester Airport’s growth and success at becoming the first Aerocity. Manchester has an innovative style to accommodating its customers, has a great Twitter feed and is performing well in a demanding market. Hear how the Airpark (the place for aviation spotters and enthusiasts) homes some of the nations most prized assets, including a Concorde.

You can find the Manchester Airport Group at www.manchesterairport.co.uk and on Twitter as @manairport. See also the Airport City website at airportcity.co.uk. Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Mentioned in the episode:

Links from listeners:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Post photo by Paul Thompson: Three Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire UK. He liked the picture as they flew towards him at around 500 feet and then went and had a little play ( vertically to about 20000 feet) as it were.

Episode 183 – Just the Geeks

nEUROn UCAV

The Geeks go it alone in this episode, but despite the lack of an aviation guest we manage to have a great time talking aviation.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Lockheed Model 10 Electra.

In this week’s Australia Desk report, Grant flys solo this week and covers a few headlines, an overly accurate mood-sensing music system, and some voice mails.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

In the Across the Pond segment, Gareth Stringer and Tim Robinson talk with Pieter Johnson about aviation news items from Europe. Making the cut this week is the Neuron-UCAV, the RAF buying second hand transport aircraft and the latest idea for runway capacity in the UK.

Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Mentioned in the episode:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.