Tag Archives: Gulfstream

793 Hypersonic Flight

Stratolaunch’s Talon A2 hypersonic vehicle, China’s C929 widebody passenger jet, Air Force One pilfering, Gulfstream G700 certification, Spirit Airlines’ credit boost, pilot disclosure of therapy sessions, United Airlines excess pilot capacity, and Frontier Airlines’ April Fool’s Day prank.

Aviation News

Stratolaunch Unveils Talon-A 2, Its Fully Recoverable And Reusable Hypersonic Vehicle

Stratolaunch Talon-A hypersonic test vehicle.
Talon-A hypersonic demonstrator, courtesy Stratolaunch.

Stratolaunch was formed in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan to create an air-launched space transportation system. Scaled Composites built the Stratolaunch six-engine twin-fuselage carrier aircraft (“Roc”). A payload launch vehicle carried under the plane was to be released at high altitude and then flown into space. Paul Allen passed away in 2018 and the company was acquired in 2019 by Cerberus Capital Management.

Stratolaunch is working to advance hypersonic technology with the Talon-A, “an autonomous, reusable testbed.” The TA-1 flew on March 9, 2024, after it was released from the Stratolaunch, not quite reaching hypersonic speed. Now Stratolaunch has shown photos of the TA-2, designed to land at Vandenberg Space Force Base and be reused.

"Roc" in flight, courtesy Stratolaunch.
“Roc,” courtesy Stratolaunch

China’s home-grown C929 widebody passenger jet enters ‘crucial’ development stage amid Beijing’s aviation push

China’s commercial passenger aircraft strategy follows a path from the ARJ21 regional jet, to the C919 narrowbody, to the C929 widebody. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) marketing director said of the C929 that it’s in “a crucial stage in the development process” and that “the overall technical scheme of the aircraft has been determined.” Originally, COMAC was partnered with the Russian United Aircraft Corporation to build what was called the CR929. But Russia seems to have dropped out of the program.

The real D.C. crime wave

The press corps flying on Air Force One is leaving with more than they came with. Anything with the Air Force One insignia on it is being carried out. The plane can accommodate up to 76 passengers along with a crew of 26.

Gulfstream G700 Earns FAA Certification

The G700 is the largest business jet Gulfstream has made, and the fastest one it has ever certified. Compared to the G650, the G700 is 10 feet (3.0 m) longer with a top speed increased to Mach 0.935. It’s powered by improved Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines. Aerotime reports that Gulfstream expects to deliver some 50 G700s and a total of 160 jets across all types in 2024.

Spirit Airlines gets credit from International Aero Engines that will boost liquidity between $150 million and $200 million

Unscheduled engine removals and inspections for certain Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines are required in light of the contaminated powder metal problem. With its A320neo aircraft, Spirit Airlines is the largest operator of that engine in the U.S. Taking aircraft out of service has a financial impact. A deal has been struck where Spirit will get compensation via a monthly credit through the end of 2024. The airline says this will boost liquidity by between $150 million and $200 million.

Panel says FAA should end mandate pilots disclose talk therapy sessions

The FAA appointed an expert panel of aviation associations, pilot and air traffic controller organizations, academia, and medical professionals. They recommended that the FAA discontinue the requirement for airline pilots and air traffic controllers to disclose talk therapy sessions, saying “The FAA should develop a non-punitive pathway for reporting previously undisclosed mental health conditions, treatments, or medications.” The FAA is reviewing the recommendations.

United Airlines is asking pilots to take time off in May because of a shortage of new Boeing planes

United Airlines is experiencing new plane delivery delays and is asking pilots to volunteer to take time off in May. Fewer deliveries mean fewer flight hours which leads to overstaffing. In a note to pilots, United said it expects to make similar requests during the summer and possibly into the autumn. The Air Line Pilots Association said United is offering short-term leaves and unpaid time off, but they are not mandatory.

Frontier Airlines to Add Wide-Body Aircraft to its Fleet Starting in June; Route from New York-JFK to Bora Bora Will Kick Off the Ultra-Low Cost Carrier’s New Long-Haul Service Offering

The airline will add the aircraft to its fleet beginning in June 2024. The new planes will feature lie-flat seating, a chef-curated inflight menu, and free Wi-Fi for all passengers. Two weekly flights will depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK) to Mote Mute Airport in Bora Bora, French Polynesia (BOB) beginning June 1, 2024. On April 1, Frontier offered a one-day-only fare sale with flights to Bora Bora for $1.

Wait, what?? OK…

“April Fool’s! We aren’t really going to add wide-body aircraft to our fleet, or lie-flat seating, or a chef-curated menu, or free Wi-Fi, or fly to Bora Bora. However, we are offering a one-day-only fare sale featuring flights for as low as $38, inclusive of taxes, fees and charges, on all international destinations Frontier serves, to places like Cancun, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Los Cabos, Puerta Vallarta, St. Maarten, St. Croix, and more!”

Video: Frontier Airlines Auditions: Part 1

Mentioned

See Where Top Aviation Universities Rank – Flying Magazine August 2022

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

725 Airshow Crash

An airshow crash involving two warbirds, Flight MH17 convictions, A350 carryon weight, GA airplane shipments, A-10s and B-1Bs as attack aircraft, an airport closure impacts seaplanes, G700 on a world tour, and a sustainable jet fuel plant.

Aviation News

B-17 involved in airshow crash.

Dallas air show crash: Two World War Two planes collide in mid-air

A P-63 Kingcobra fighter and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress collided at a commemorative air show near Dallas. The P-63 pilot and all five occupants aboard the B-17 died.

Video: Early Analysis: Wings Over Dallas Midair Collision WWII Airshow November 12, 2022

3 convicted in 2014 downing of Malaysian jet over Ukraine

Malaysian Flight MH17 from Amsterdam was headed to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over Ukraine with a Russian surface-to-air missile. All 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard the 777-200ER perished. The investigation by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) determined that the plane had been downed by a missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine. Specifically, the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation. A Dutch court has now convicted two Russians and a pro-Moscow Ukrainian.

Spanish Court Orders Flag Carrier Iberia to Limit Hand Luggage On Airbus A350 Because Overhead Lockers Are So Big

Airbus has been offering larger overhead luggage bins as new equipment and as a retrofit. The so-called “XL Bins” on the A350 are truly huge. Airbus says the compartments on the A350 can accommodate five full-size carry-on suitcases. The cantilevered bins are designed to hold a maximum of 30-45 kg (66-99 pounds) and fold up into the ceiling.

Iberia flight attendants thought that lifting that weight for as many as 112 bins on the A350-900 was too much to ask, and filed a lawsuit. They asked for the XL Bins to be replaced with smaller bins, or ban Iberia from expecting them to close the XL Bins. The judge dismissed those demands and ordered the airline to start weighing passenger carry-on luggage and make sure that Iberia’s own weight allowance was being adhered to.

U.S. Air Force wants to use A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft along with B-1B Lancer supersonic bombers to destroy enemy air defense systems

ADM-160 MALD (Miniature Air Launched Decoy) drones will be used as decoys with electronic warfare systems instead of warheads. Mounted on the A-10, the decoys should improve the survivability of the attack aircraft. U.S. Air Force exercises on Guam have been using the B-1B Lancer paired with the A-10.

Twitchell Airport property in Turner under contract to be sold

Twitchell Airport is the last privately owned and commercially operated airport in Maine. It’s been operating for 76 years. The land owners are selling the 145 acres that the airport and seaplane facilities share, reportedly to build a self-storage facility. Twitchell is the only seaplane base providing fuel between its location and Rhode Island, about 200 miles.

Gulfstream Unveils Newest Business Jet Model G700 In Nigeria

Gulfstream Aerospace is taking two G700 aircraft on a world tour that includes major events and private showings in 20 cities. These are fully outfitted G700 production test aircraft.

Elon Musk has reportedly added a new $78 million jet to his growing fleet of private planes.

This will replace his Gulfstream G650ER. Musk currently owns four jets, including three Gulfstream and one Dassault.

Company hopes to produce sustainable jet fuel at Loring Air Force Base

The former Loring Air Force Base was a large cold-war era base in far northeastern Maine. It was used by the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. In 1994, the base was closed and then redeveloped into an industrial and aviation park called the Loring Commerce Centre. The airfield became Loring International Airport. Now DG Fuels LLC (DGF) plans to lease 1,240 acres from the Loring Development Authority and produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel. (SAF). Press release: DG Fuels Signs Key Maine Land Agreement.

Mentioned

Plane Talking UK Podcast

Grand Dames of Aviation

Charity auctions off AN-225 “Mriya” debris pieces to raise funds for Ukrainian Soldiers

Video: ONBOARD Emirates New A380 FIRST CLASS *It ONLY Cost $___*

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Rob Mark, and Micah.

591 Aviation News

Airbus buys out Bombardier, the Gulfstream G700 makes its maiden flight, Airbus is testing a blended wing body aircraft, Boeing gets a 30 aircraft LOI for the passenger 747-8, Delta Airlines says they’ll spend $1B to become carbon neutral, a Canadian aviation museum seeks to appeal to people who aren’t #AvGeeks, the risks of turning off your ADS-B transponder, and the U.S. might block sale of the LEAP-1C engine to China.

Also, a great positive airline story of the week, an emergency AD for the Cirrus Vision Jet, the Girls Go Fly organization, a Harrier jump jet for sale, a really good sonic boom story, the oldest continuously operating military base in the world, and an addendum to last week’s baseball toss on a moving train scenario. Einstein would be proud. Perhaps.

Aviation News

Airbus Buys Bombardier Out Of Commercial Aviation For $591 Million

With this deal, Bombardier has fully exited the CSeries/A220 program. Bombardier receives $591 million, with $531 million paid at closing and $60 million to be paid in installments through 2021. Bombardier said with this deal the company avoids a roughly $700 million payment it would have had to make to fund production expansion. Airbus now holds 75% of Airbus Canada with the Government of Québec holding 25%, but Airbus can redeem the remaining government stake by 2026.

All-New Gulfstream G700 Makes First Flight

The Gulfstream G700 completed a successful two hour and 32-minute maiden flight, operating on a 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel. Introduced in October 2019, the flagship G700 model has five flight-test aircraft. A structural test article has completed load testing. Powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, the G700 has an all-new winglet, it can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km.

Airbus reveals futuristic blended wing aircraft design

Airbus has been flying a small-scale, remote-controlled blended wing body aircraft demonstrator. They showed the 2-meter long model at the Singapore Air Show. If the MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) leads to a full-scale aircraft, it could cut fuel consumption up to 20%.

Video: MAVERIC, a “blended wing body” scale model technological demonstrator

Boeing gets LOI for 30 747-8 passenger jets a deal worth over $10 billion

Boeing received a Letter of Intent from Avatar Airlines for the purchase of 30 new 747-8 passenger version aircraft. Boeing has been selling the 747-8F freighter, but no new passenger orders were received in 2019. Avatar plans to operate low-fare scheduled service to large major city pairs throughout the U.S. and Hawaii, beginning with fourteen 747-400s using aircraft currently in storage. Then the airline plans to transition to the 747-8 with 539 economy seats on the lower deck and 42 business seats on the upper deck

Investor Video: Avatar Airlines A Radical Departure 11 13 19 VER

Delta Air Lines Commits $1 Billion To Curb Its Carbon Emissions

Delta Air Lines wants to be the world’s first carbon-neutral airline. To do that, they say that starting March 1, 2020, they’ll commit $1 billion over the next 10 years. Press release: Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon neutral airline globally. “The airline will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.”

Delta Airlines’ Claim Of Becoming Carbon Neutral In March Is Disingenuous At Best

Michael Barnard, the Chief Strategist with TFIE Strategy Inc. (The Future is Electric), is not so impressed, noting that the Delta outlay is about 0.2% of their annual revenue. He also takes issue with Delta’s statement that they will continue to use jet fuel.

The aviation museum for people who don’t care about aviation

If you are not an #AvGeek, aviation museums can be boring. But the Canada National Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa aims “to spark interest in those who don’t think they care about planes — especially (but not exclusively) women, who often don’t feel like aviation museums are a place for them.” The museum wants visitors to hear stories about people who are like them. Curator Erin Gregory says, “One of my goals as a curator is to feminize the collection and to try to have the floor be much more representative of all the people who fly, including women. I’m working to revise and revamp the museum to make it as inclusive as possible.”

Turn Off Your ADS-B, Go To Jail?

The FAA posted a National Policy effective January 24, 2020 [PDF] that deals, in part, with ADS-B transponders:

Page 9-13 says, “Single Acts of Misconduct Generally Warranting Revocation. Some acts of misconduct are, by their very nature, so egregious or significant as to demonstrate that the certificate holder does not possess the care, judgment, or responsibility to hold a certificate. These acts include, but are not limited to, those listed in Figure 9-5.”

The referenced Figure 9-5 lists 30 Single Acts Generally Warranting Revocation. One is “Operating an aircraft without activated transponder or ADS-B Out transmission (except as provided in 14 C.F.R. § 91.225(f)) for purposes of evading detection.”

See also, Owners seek battery ADS-B in nonelectrical aircraft.

U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources

In order to export certain technologies to China (and some other countries), you need an export license from the U.S. Commerce Department. The Chinese Comac C919 uses LEAP-1C engines produced by CFM, International, a joint venture between General Electric and the French company Safran. There are reports that the U.S. Government is considering denying GE’s latest license request, thus blocking those exports.

FAA Emergency AD Grounds Cirrus Jet Fleet

A cabin ground fire destroyed a first-generation Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet on the ramp, and the FAA responded with an emergency airworthiness directive AD 2020-03-50 grounding the fleet. The problem is with audio amplifiers that drive the audio/microphone jacks in the passenger cabin. The AD requires removal of the 12 amplifiers before the next flight, typically an 8-hour task.

Positive Airline Story of the Week

A couple flew home with their adopted infant. Strangers threw an impromptu baby shower on the plane.

A couple flying home on Southwest with their 8-day old adopted daughter found lots of love from the flight attendants and the other passengers.

Mentioned

Save runway 6-24 at Chicago Executive Airport. A safety runway needed by small planes.

Girls Go Fly

Barbie releases pilot and engineer dolls to encourage young girls into STEM subjects

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020.

Airshow Harrier For Sale

With a Loud KABOOM, an F-105 Upstaged Our Air Force Graduation

475 Aviation News of the Week

In the aviation news this week: An executive order allowing up to 1,000 air force pilots to be recalled, a proposed ban on laptops in checked luggage, aircraft working the California wildfires, Qantas wants an extra long range airplane, a Goodyear blimp, the CLEEN II program, and a Delta Airlines story.

Aviation News

Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

The US military suffers a pilot shortage and needs about 1,500 more pilots. They’ve tried bonus and other incentive programs, but the gap remains. President Trump recently signed an executive order that allows the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

Nuclear Bombers Poised to Return to 24-Hour Alert After Trump Recalls Retired Pilots

There is talk that the U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert.

Laptops could be banned from checked bags on planes due to fire risk

The Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending that laptops be banned from checked luggage.

Military and Contract Air Assets (Including U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones) Key in Fighting Largest Ever California Wildfires

Wildfires continued to cause major problems in California and airborne firefighting operations playing a key role. This might be the greatest combined military and contract air fire suppression operation in history.

Drone forces brief suspension of air operations battling Bear Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

Once again drones flying near wildfires have forced firefighting operations to be halted.

Boeing and Airbus accept Qantas’s ultra-long-haul challenge

Qantas wants to fly non-stop from Sydney to London and New York. They’ve challenged Boeing and Airbus are to modify their aircraft to make 20-hour flights possible.

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two Goes West: Tiremaker’s newest airship to fly over 10 states on journey to California home

The Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two is on a three-week, 2,600-mile cross-country trip from Akron, Ohio to California.

Fact Sheet – Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise II (CLEEN II Program)

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the environmental effort that is part of the FAA’s Next Generation (NextGen) program. The Idea is to accelerate the development of new aircraft, new engine technologies, and advance the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Airline Story of the Week

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me About Delta Air Lines

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” reports conclude with his description of the flights home.

Mentioned

Limited leg space on commercial planes makes it harder to brace in flight emergencies: expert

Jan Davies is chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) — a group of experts studying effective impact bracing positions. She told the SafeSkies aviation safety conference that limited leg space could have an impact on passenger safety in emergencies.

Happy Design Studio

Happy Design Studio collaborated with paint specialist Air Livery on a custom livery design for a BBJ customer. Press release [PDF]. Photo Gallery.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

Pete’s discovered a Better Way to Fly with Air New Zealand

Pete the Kiwi finds out how to fly across the world and back. He’s voiced by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Hunt For The Wilderpeople), who makes a cameo appearance too. Pete the Kiwi is part of Air New Zealand’s “A Better Way To Fly” campaign.

https://youtu.be/DnpVjUzmD_0

NASA – Gulfstream III (G-III) Research Testbed Aircraft

California contrails over California by listener Sean.

Contrails over California by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 356 A Forum for Professional Pilots

Gulfstream G450

Conversation with ProPilotWorld.com founder Mark Matzuka, a close call at Midway, privatization of air traffic control, and observations on the Paris Air Show.

Guest

Mark Matzuka is Founder and President of ProPilotWorld.com, an online forum for pilots. As Mark looked at other pilot forums, he found they sometimes lacked accountability and didn’t have the level of professionalism he was after. Anybody could join those forums and offer advice and comments, but sometimes it wasn’t clear if these people were qualified, or even who they really were.

Mark responded by creating ProPilotWorld.com, a paid membership site that he calls, “The Premier Information Exchange and Networking Resource for Professional Pilots.” Registered members are vetted. Because the site is funded through membership fees, the forum does not rely on advertisers. Over 100 forums and subforums provide plenty of opportunities for the over 14,500 member pilots to exchange information and network. An associate membership is available for qualified professionals who are not pilots.

Mark has been flying for 27 years, 22 in business aviation with more than 13,000 flight hours, 10,000 of those in jets. He started his flying career in Chicago where he spent 20 years working as a flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot, and eventually became chief pilot. He now lives in Southern California as the chief pilot and aviation manager on a Gulfstream G450.

News

NTSB expected to investigate close call at Midway

A Southwest Airlines plane and a Delta Air Lines plane with similar sounding flight numbers simultaneously initiated takeoff rolls on intersecting runways.

Shuster Meets With NATA Members Over ATC Reform

Congressman proposes privatizing air traffic control

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster plans to introduce a bill to create an independent ATC corporation funded by user fees.

Boeing leads firm orders, but Airbus beats in total numbers

Paris Airshow racks up $107 billion in Airbus and Boeing total orders and commitments, 421 aircraft for Airbus, 331 aircraft for Boeing.

Credits

G450 post photo courtesy Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

Episode 142 – Chad from Aviation International News

Southwest Airlines

Guest Chad Trautvetter is the online news editor for Aviation International News (AIN) and also the editor of AINalerts, AIN’s twice a week electronic publication. Chad really knows General and Business Aviation, and just returned from the Sun n’ Fun International Fly-In & Expo at Lakeland, Florida. Follow AIN on Twitter at @AINonline and Chad at @AIN_SkyWriter.

David brings teaches us some aviation history, and Steve and Grant from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast present their Australia Desk Report.

The week’s aviation news:

Mention:

Follow our Twitter lists for some seriously great content by some of the best folks in aviation:

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/.