Tag Archives: Virgin Galactic

532 A Jet City Star

Guest Isaac Alexander gives us a taste of aviation action in the Pacific Northwest. In the news: updates on the Boeing/Embraer deal, more WOW Air woes, Virgin Galactic test flight, MRJ engine final assembly in Japan, the Northrop Grumman Firebird MALE, an airline turnback to deliver a heart, and a pet fish. Plus David’s holiday story, Voyager spacecraft, and first flight comments.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Spruce Goose.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Hughes H-4 Hercules (the Spruce Goose) at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon.

Guest

Aviation geek Isaac Alexander is a freelance aviation writer who blogs, tweets, and posts as Jet City Star from the Pacific Northwest. In the past, Isaac was on the committee for the weekend-long Aviation Geek Fest held annually in the Greater Seattle area.

Isaac tells us about the aviation scene in the Pacific Northwest, including some of the aerospace companies based there, the senior roles held by women in area organizations, new scheduled service, must-visit museums and other attractions, recent aviation events, and some events coming up in 2019.

Follow Isaac on Twitter at @jetcitystar and see these sites to learn more:

Aviation News

Brazil court overturns injunction against Boeing-Embraer deal

Last week we reported that four congressmen with Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party won an injunction in Brazilian federal court preventing the Embraer/Boeing deal from going forward. Now a Brazilian federal appeals court has overturned the injunction.

Embraer and Boeing Approved the Terms of Strategic Aerospace Partnership, Seek Brazilian Government Approval

Both companies have come to an agreement: “The approved terms define the joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer, in which Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake and Embraer will hold the remaining 20 percent. The transaction remains subject to approval by the Government of Brazil, after which Embraer and Boeing intend to execute definitive transaction documents. The closing of the transaction will then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.”

Embraer Welcomes Brazil’s Filing of its First Written Submission Challenging Canada’s Subsidies to Bombardier

The dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization is examining subsidies received by Bombardier from the Governments of Canada and Quebec. The Brazilian Government (and Embraer) say the 19 subsidies violate Canada’s WTO obligations. More details about Brazil’s First Written Submission are available in the DS522 — FACT SHEET [PDF].

Enjoy your Holiday Laser-light Display-Responsibly

Each holiday season for the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays.

Flying with WOW Air? You might need to rebook as airline sells off planes, lays off employees

Budget carrier WOW Air is taking measures to keep the company in business. They announced a cut back in the number of airplanes from 20 to 11, they plan to sell four Airbus A321s, and reportedly the airline laid off 111 employees.

Virgin Galactic gets set for SpaceShipTwo flights that aim for space — but how high?

Virgin Galactic has been flight-testing its VSS Unity rocket plane, carried by SpaceShipTwo.

Mitsubishi completes first assembly of GTF PW1200G engine for MRJ jet

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine. In Komaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines (MHIAEL) has completed their first final assembly of the engine for the MRJ flight test program. Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Canada will also assemble and test the engine.

MHI completes capital bail-out of MRJ

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) bailed out/restructured debt by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC).

Video from Farnborough 2018: MRJ’s delays are over, says Mitsubishi

More flying footage: The Elegant ANA Mitsubishi Regional Jet MRJ Flying at Farnborough UK

Northrop Grumman Plans To Upend Aerial Surveillance Market With Their Optionally Manned Firebird

Northrop Grumman is developing a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft called the Firebird. It’s being developed for aerial surveillance missions and its history goes back to Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites that built an optionally manned demonstrator which first flew in 2010.

We now know where Seattle’s airborne heart was headed after Southwest flight was turned around

Someone forgot to unload a human heart from a Southwest Airlines in Seattle. During a subsequent flight of that plane, the error was discovered and the plane was forced to return to Seattle.

Student heartbroken, humiliated after being forced to give up pet fish prior to Southwest flight

“Cassie,” the student’s beloved pet betta fish, was refused boarding on a Southwest flight, despite being allowable according to the TSA website, and previous travel on the airline.

Holiday Story

David Vanderhoof tells us a Christmas story filled with historical figures.

Mentioned

Drone shatters passenger jet’s nosecone & radar during landing (PHOTOS) and the Tweet with photos.

JPL Voyager Mission Status page.  

The Flight Claims of Gustave Whitehead

Instagram photo of DC-3 by @mikeymcbryan.

Daks Over Normandy

D-Day Squadron

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

 

486 Flying Fast, High, and Far Away

A U.S. company helps develop general aviation in China, Virgin Galactic gets closer to its first customer flight, Boeing reveals a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency suspends a carrier, and the future of the A380 is questioned again.

We have an Across the Pond segment, a clip from GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus conference, interviews from CES 2018 about the Bell Helicopter autonomous air taxi, as well as additive manufacturing for aerospace applications, and the fifth installment from student pilot Nicki on her second solo.

YXST

Aviation News

Chino aviation group wins contract to help Chinese develop general aviation industry

Chino, California-based Threshold Aviation Group has partnered with Chinese company YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. to establish and operate training centers for Chinese pilots and mechanics, and to establish airparks and fixed base operations.

Threshold Aviation Group is based in Chino, California and is an aircraft maintenance, management, service, and support organization with more than 175,000 square feet of hangar and office space. Threshold is located at the Chino Airport (KCNO), adjacent to its 7,000-foot runway.

YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. “focuses on the full-value chain development,which integrates general aviation services, tourism, aviation education, aircraft sales and maintenance, development of aviation town, aviation medical service, aviation sport, aviation logistics, security service and extension service.”

Mark Dilullo, Threshold CEO and owner said, “This is a huge, literally huge opportunity for Threshold Aviation Group to expand its business with nearly limitless potential. The Chinese aviation market has the potential to eventually be the largest (general) aviation market in the world, and we are in on the ground floor of that providing critical services to help get it off the ground.” This summer, about 10 Chinese pilots and mechanics will come to Threshold for intensive training in general aviation skills

In March 2017, Threshold held a trade show at its Chino Airport hangar as part of the “Inaugural U.S.-China General Aviation Business Conference,” sponsored by Threshold and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

YXST Aviation holds the exclusive right to develop six airports with the possibility of adding more.

Space tourism in MONTHS: Virgin Galactic completes groundbreaking test flight

Virgin Galactic has completed another successful glide test flight of its VSS Unity plane over the Mojave Desert. VSS Unity, is the second SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane for Virgin Galactic. The first, VSS Enterprise, was destroyed in a crash in October 2014. Unity was taken up to an altitude of 50,000 feet by its from mothership VMS Eve before being released for the descent.

“Son of Blackbird”: Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Concept That Could Replace SR-71

At a recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum, Boeing unveiled a reusable Mach 5-plus concept model. The Boeing design is seen as a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. Also, Boeing Unveils Hypersonic ‘Son-Of-Blackbird’ Contender.

Costa Rica Suspends Airline Amid Probe Into Fatal Crash

Nature Air has been suspended by Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency. A Nature Air Caravan crashed recently killing the two Costa Rican pilots and ten US citizens, including a family of five from New York. One of the pilots was the company’s director of training. Nature Air’s operations manager quit this week and its aerial security director has requested a leave of absence.  

Leahy confirms A380 future hinges on Emirates order

On an Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries webinar, COO-customers John Leahy said, “If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates, it is clear we will have to shut down the program.” The A380 program currently has a 95-aircraft backlog.

Airplane of the Week

David brings us Part 2 of the EC-121 Warning Star: more Willy Victor missions, the victories, and the challenges.

Across the Pond

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired (Photo Copyright – The Daily Telegraph)

Pieter is back with an update on his 2017. He talks about the Falklands Air War and his journey to get the book on the Fairey Barracuda promoted and how it all started back here on the Airplane Geeks 7 years ago.

The Falklands Air War Series:

Aviation Xtended Episode 73 featuring the Fairey Barracuda and a book on the aircraft by Naval Air Historian, Matt Willis. Also, an interview with PO Anthony Johnson RN, a Telegraphist Air Gunner in the Barracuda who served at the end of WW2.

Photo Copyright - Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

Photo Copyright – Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

CES 2018

Brian Coleman attended CES 2018 in Las Vegas and recorded several interviews:

Bob Hastings, Bell Helicopter executive VP of communications and government affairs talks about the Bell Air Taxi.

BellAirTaxi at CES 2018

Dana from FlashForge and Bill Steele from Polar3D, and their unique partnership with 3D printing and how engineers are getting trained and evaluated with Polar Cloud.

From aluminum to titanium to carbon fiber, Markforged offers a wide range of material capabilities. They can 3D print functional prototypes, lightweight tooling, or fully working replacement parts. Product VP John Rielly talks about their innovative 3D printing technologies.

Markedforge at CES 2018

Oscar Meza, vice president global sales from Shining 3D describes their unique position in the market with their wide-range of 3D digitizing and printing solutions including scanners, printers, material, design and manufacturing services for a complete end-to-end virtual and physical solution.

Shining 3D at CES 2018

Also

We listen to a clip of General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus CX 2018 conference. He talks about the Export Bank and infrastructure initiatives, including the consolidation of the 21 FAA Centers that manage air traffic control across the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 323 A Solar-Electric Airplane

Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC)

The Sun Flyer solar-electric General Aviation airplane, the FAA and GA accidents, the SpaceShipTwo accident, the Ford bomber plant, and the last MD-11 passenger flight.

Guest

George Bye is CEO of Bye Aerospace and also Chairman of AEAC, the Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation which was created to produce and market the Aero Electric “Sun Flyer,” a two seat solar-electric general aviation aircraft.

George is an ATP rated pilot who has logged over 4,000 flying hours. He was a USAF instructor pilot in the Northrop T-38 Talon, a C-141B Aircraft Commander, and he is a Desert Storm veteran.

George has developed a number of aircraft and technologies, including electric and solar UAVs, and the Javelin, that beautiful two-seat jet that was intended for military training as well as civil use.

We talk with George about the technology and the economic imperative of the Sun Flyer solar electric aircraft. The current synergy of technology in aerodynamics and structure, motors, batteries, and solar cells creates the possibility of a solar electric trainer with significantly lower cost of operation.

News

USA Today: FAA, general aviation could have done more to save lives

A USA Today article titled “Investigation: Post-crash fires in small planes cost 600 lives” says that in the early 1990s the FAA proposed changes for small aircraft that would help prevent post-crash fires. But the cost of installing the equipment on new airplanes was deemed to be “too high compared to the dollar value of the lives that would be saved.” So the changes were not implemented and since 1993 604 people have died from post-crash fires.

Will Virgin Galactic’s Crash End Space Tourism?

Shortly after being released by the WhiteKnightTwo, the rocket powered SpaceShipTwo came apart, killing one of the two pilots.

Virgin Galactic was founded by Richard Branson to provide commercial space tourism. The WhiteKnightTwo airplane is powered by commercially available jet engines and carries the rocket-powered of SpaceShipTwo to altitude. SpaceShipTwo is released, fires it’s rocket motor, and shoots up to suborbital space. From there, it glides to a landing.

Before the accident, listener Trevor sent in a link to a fascinating video: Commercial Jetliner Joined by Virgin Galactic.

Yankee Air Museum Takes Ownership of Willow Run Plant

During WWII, the Ford Bomber Plant at Willow Run in Ypsilanti, Michigan produced the B-24 Liberator. Since then the facility changed owners, but now it will be saved to become a museum. The Yankee Air Museum will now become the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run.

With Last MD-11 Passenger Flight, Another Aviation Icon Goes Away

The last commercial passenger revenue flight by a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 has taken place. It was a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Montreal to Amsterdam. KLM planned events around the flight and many aviation enthusiasts were onboard.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

The deHavilland Canada  DHC-7 or  DASH-7.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob thanks the men and women who worked tirelessly to restore ATC service after the Chicago Center fire.

Across the Pond

Matt Willis returns to talk with Pieter Johnson about Naval Air History and his latest projects including the Fairey Barracuda, a new novel, and why the P51 has so many myths surrounding it. Follow @NavalAirHistory on Twitter.

Mentioned

Australian Man Parks Wingless Airplane at Pub

From photographer Paul Filmer:

Manila Airport (RPLL) – Prop Aircraft

Beech Starships at Centennial (KAPA)

Avra Valley, AZ (KAVQ) – 2007 and 2009 (now called Marana Regional)

Silicon Valley can keep its Teslas and robotic cars: Slovakia’s AeroMobil just unveiled a flying car

AeroMobil website.

Credit

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

Episode 194 – The Aeroscholar

Guest Steve Harris is currently a senior at the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering and writes the Aeroscholar blog. He’s also the president of the UofM Student Chapter of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and is a member of the Jet Engine Team of Michigan. Steve is starting to pursue a private pilot’s license, he has taken students on a tour of the top aerospace companies in southern California, he attends the Aerospace Sciences Meeting every year, and through the AIAA he lobbies for the aerospace industry in Washington D.C. Steve Tweets as @Aeroscholar.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s aircraft of the Week: the Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama.

No Australia Desk news report this week, but you can still 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 talks again to Rohit Rao from AeroBlogger about developments in India with the focus on airlines. There’s more news from Kingfisher and the guys look at some of the new airlines starting up in the region. Find Rohit on Twitter as @TheAeroBlogger.

Find Pieter Johnson on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and also on Facebook at XTPMedia.

Links from Listener Email:

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 David Vanderhoof

 

Episode 118 – The Return of Runway Girl

Handley-Page two-engined bomber

Mary Kirby, the “Runway Girl” returns as our guest to talk about airlines using social media to generate revenue, the future for inflight connectivity, Aircell’s business aviation strategy, and more. Mary blogs on FlightGlobal as RunwayGirl, follow her on Twitter, and be sure to visit RunwayGirlMaryKirby’s Channel on YouTube.

The week’s aviation news:

Mentions:

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/.

Episode 77 – Harteveldt Returns

SS2 and VMS Eve in hangar 3

Henry Harteveldt, Vice President & Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, Inc. makes a return guest appearance to talk industry news and travel technology. Follow Henry on Twitter.

David Vanderhoof has another This Week in Aviation, Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast have their Australia Desk report, and Dan sneaks in at the end.

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

This episode’s opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Episode 29 – Branding with Shashank Nigam

Alaska Airlines

Max and Court are joined this week by Shashank Nigam of Simpliflying.com.  Shashank is an airline branding guru, and stops by to lend his thoughts to the various personalities of the airlines.

Tell TSA what Large Aircraft Security Program means to you

As distressed Detroit drops its jets, bizav ponders the fallout

WORLD EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: WhiteKnightTwo flies!

Honda to sell 100 jets a year from 2010

Investigators Focus on Likely Wind Gust in Denver Crash

NZ airline flies jetliner partly run on biofuel

Boeing considers 737 enhancements

GLOBAL AVIATION FORECAST – IATA issues forecast for 2009

16-Year-Old Sitka High School Student Wins ‘Paint the Plane’ Contest

Max’s pick of the week is How to Become A Private Pilot.

The Airplane Geeks are now on Twitter!  You can follow us @AirplaneGeeks.

Make sure to sign up for our new newsletter, “Airplane Geeks Week in Aviation.”
We’ll be bringing you these show notes, as well as some of the week’s news we didn’t have time to cover.
You can sign up at AirplaneGeeks.com.

Brother Love is responsible for this episode’s opening and closing
music, and you can visit his site at brotherloverocks.com.

If you have a question or a comment for the Airplane Geeks, you
can send it to thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com.

You can also leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252. If you have
a question you’d like mentioned on the podcast, this is the best
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