Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Plane You Can Park in your Garage: The ICON A5

The ICON A5 as you can see is a very good looking aircraft. The plane maneuvers well on the surface of the water with its unique amphibian under body design. Recreational flyers will enjoy this lightweight easy to fly aircraft. The ICON A5 will definitely have potential on the lightweight aircraft market.

The AirplaneNut

Monday, December 6, 2010

Continental Airlines mechanic charged with manslaughter in connection with the Concorde 2000 crash

A Continental Airlines mechanic and the airline have been found guilty for the 2000 crash of the Concorde supersonic airliner. The mechanic and the airline were charged earlier this morning with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2000 Concorde accident that crashed into a hotel killing 109 on board and 4 on the ground, the Air France Concorde was filled with mostly German tourist, all Concorde's were grounded after the incident. The crash occurred because of a metal strip which fell off a Continental Airlines DC-10 which departed on that same runway at Charles de Gaulle Airport earlier that day. French judicial and aviation investigators concluded long ago that a Continental Airlines DC-10 dropped titanium debris onto the runway at the airport before the Air France Concorde took off — a metal strip that gashed the supersonic jet's tire and sent rubber pieces flying into the fuel tanks, causing a fire.The court Monday ruled that Continental must pay a $265,000 fine and Houston-based mechanic John Taylor must pay $2,650. Taylor was also handed a 15-month suspended prison sentence.

The AirplaneNut

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dagestan Airlines crash could retire the Tupolev-154

Russia has prompted to discontinue the Tupolev-154 after this recent crash in Moscow, Dec. 4, 2010. This same aircraft type crashed, killing polish president Lech Kaczynski earlier this year. The Tupolev-154 is for more than a quarter of a century the backbone of Russia's and the Soviet Union's air transport system.

The AirplaneNut

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

US Airways flight 1549 struggling to stay afloat and avoid the barrage of an ice attack after being brought down by Canada Geese

New generation of commercial planes will continue to use aluminum

COMAC C-919 The end of Boeing, Airbus duopoly

CFM International, a joint venture between aerospace giant Safran and US conglomerate General Electric, signed an agreement with Commercial Aircraft this week to supply engines for the jumbo jet project. CFM will also form an assembly line with AVIC Commercial Aircraft engine Co, the domestic engine supplier for the C919, to jointly set up an engine assembly line. China will invest 200 billion yuan (US$29 billion) into the C919 to cut its reliance on Boeing and Airbus. The aircraft is set to make its first flight in 2014 and to be delivered to customers by 2016.

The AirplaneNut

Via China-Defense-Mashup

Image© China-Defense-Mashup

Boeing 787 Landing gear action

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

China brings the world one step closer to flying cars

China has approved the Low-altitude Airspace Management Reform Guidance, stipulating that in 2011, the low-altitude airspace for Beijing, Lanzhou and three other flight control zones will open to private commercial airlines, Chengdu Evening News reported Friday. Low-altitude airspace refers to the airspace that does not affect the public air transportation lines, and is generally below 3,000 meters. This airspace is used for the general civil aviation on law enforcement, medical aid, news reporting and other businesses – excluding public air transport and freight transport. According to the report, the altitudes set by China’s general civil aviation are above 6,000 meters. This reform determines the low-altitude airspace is below 1,000 meters. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) expects that the market size of general aviation, including related industries, may reach one trillion yuan ($151 billion) after the low-altitude airspace opens, according to a Xinhua report. An official surnamed Zhang with the China Aviation Industry Corp II(AVIC II)told the Global Times that China's huge potential demand for helicopters and light planes – from government agencies and the growing billionaires' club – has already become a reality in recent years, spurring the country to lift its long-standing restriction on the use of airspace below 3,000 meters.

The AirplaneNut

Via Global Times

Image© Popular Science

They make it look so easy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Virgin Galactic's commercial space program might have to return to the drawing board

Last week saw the opening of the world’s first spaceport in New Mexico, and while it may be ushering in a new era of adventure, some scientists believe that space tourism flights could increase changes to the Earth’s climate. The report, which was published in Geophysical Research Letters, stated that commercial space flights would emit large amonts of black carbon (soot) as well as altering global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone in the stratosphere. Martin Ross, one of the authors of the paper, said that simulations predicted that over 1,000 space flights a year could increase polar surface temperatures by 1 °C, and reduce polar sea ice by 5–15%. “There are fundamental limits to how much material human beings can put into orbit without having a significant impact,” Ross said, who is also an atmospheric scientist at the Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles, California. Currently, commercial rockets burn a mixture of kerosene and liquid oxygen that release large amounts of carbon. Several companies are attempting to change this however by developing a more economical ‘hybrid’ rocket engine that ignites synthetic hydrocarbon with nitrous oxide. However the authors of the paper say that these new hybrid engines emit even more black carbon than a kerosene and oxygen engine.“Rain and weather wash out these particles from the atmosphere near Earth’s surface, but in the stratosphere there isn’t any rain and they can remain for 3 to 10 years,” says Michael Mills, an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, who co-wrote the paper. Private space flights or ’space tourism’ is a rapidly growing industry, headed by Virgin’s Richard Branson. The new space port in New Mexico was funded by Virgin and is expected to be the home base for the Virgin Galactic flagship – SpaceShip Two. Over the next three years, private space companies such as Virgin Galactic, are expected to make up to two launches per day for space tourists. Meanwhile Congress has passed the NASA Authorization Act seeing more than US$1.6 billion invested in new private spacecraft, that will take cargo and passengers into orbit.

The AirplaneNut

Via Geophysical Research Papers

Image © Virgin Galactic

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leonardo Da Vinci's Dream come trough

Leonardo Da Vinci was born in 1452, and became one of the most well known inventors, sculptors, painters, musicians, architects, engineer and mathematicians of the time. His thoughts and ideas that are protected and conserved by museums seemed only possible in his mind, although some were the original blueprints for magnificent modern inventions. One of his drawings depicts a craft that could fly through the air with flapping wings on either side. If Da Vinci were alive today, he would proudly look upon the very first functional human-powered ornithopter with amazement and enthusiasm.
Da Vinci first thought of the ornithopter in the year 1485, and for centuries after, scientists and engineers worked towards achieving flight through fixed wing aircrafts and balloons. Even though many tried to create a craft that was human powered, the technology to create lift was not available.
Todd Reichert, from the University of Toronto, led the development of the first ornithoper, which has been named Snowbird. The Snowbird was put to the test on 2 August 2010, and proved that it was able to fly by maintaining both air speed and altitude for just over twenty-nine seconds. Reichert explained his enthusiasm in regard to project by saying: “Throughout history, countless men and women have dreamt of flying like a bird under their own power, and hundreds, if not thousands have attempted to achieve it. This represents one of the last of the aviation firsts.”
Engineering the human-powered ornithopter was a great challenge for Reichter and his team, as the lightweight aircraft had to combine perfectly with its wingspan, which is thirty-five meters. To create a lightweight craft, Reichter used carbon fiber tubes, basswood, balsa wood and foam. To power the Snowbird, Reichter explained that he made use of his legs, “which have the strongest muscles in your body. I just pushed both legs down together simultaneously, as if in a gym doing a leg press, and every time I pushed, a wire connected to the wings pulled them down.” The snowbird has proven that all dreams and ideas are obtainable, although some just take five hundred and twenty-five years to reach completion.

De Havilland Beaver Float Crash

Your Dream Airline?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Air France Flight 447 mystery deepens

Trovoltas 707 Haiti Relief

Actor John Trovolta along with his wife Kelly Presto visited Haiti days after the massive earthquake that shook the Haitian nation. Trovolta carried relief supplies into the Haitian capital, along with doctors and ministers from the Church of Scientology.
The 55-year-old actor piloted his own Boeing 707 from Florida with six tons of ready-to-eat military rations and medical supplies for survivors of Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.Travolta and Preston returned to Florida as soon as their supplies and passengers were unloaded in order to help accommodate space for other aircraft.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Airplanes of the future could be self-healing

A new technology inspired by the self-healing powers of plants and animals may allow damaged planes to fix themselves on the fly and point out even minuscule holes to maintenance personnel upon landing. Imagine if airplanes could miraculously heal cracks or holes in the skin during flight. Interestingly enough, researchers in Britain are attempting to make this dream a reality using a technique that utilizes composite materials that "bleed" when damaged—creating a "scab" of sorts that mimics our own natural healing process. This composite material is made of hollow fibers that are filled with an epoxy resin that will leak out if damaged. The researchers claim that this resin can return the structure to 80-90% of its original strength when dried. It is also colored so that ground crews have an easy visual on areas where repair is needed. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this technology is confined to minor damage, so any major cracks could still send you plummeting towards the Earth. Still, it would be a tremendous improvement that could result in lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft down the road. Airlines won't have to wait forever to see it implemented. Researchers believe that the self-healing technology could go commercial in as little as four years.

Cebu Pacific FAs dancing to Lady Gaga

Something you dont see on every flight

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Plane with a Parachute

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS™), standard equipment on every Cirrus aircraft, is indicative of the visionary commitment to general aviation safety. The parachute system is designed to protect pilots/passengers in the event of an emergency by lowering the aircraft to the ground after deployment. CAPS™ revolutionized general aviation safety by providing an additional measure of safety to occupants, similar in theory to the role of airbags in automobiles. No other certified general aviation aircraft manufacturer in the world provides this safety feature as standard equipment.

In the event of an in-flight emergency, pulling the red CAPS™ handle on the ceiling inside the cockpit deploys a solid-fuel rocket out a hatch that covers the concealed compartment where the parachute is stored. As the rocket carries the parachute rearward from the back of the airplane, the embedded CAPS™ airplane harness straps release from the fuselage. Within seconds, the 55' diameter canopy will unfurl, controlling the aircraft rate of descent. The final landing is absorbed by the specialized landing gear, a roll cage and Cirrus Energy Absorbing Technology (CEAT™) seats.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Virgin Galactic - Not Immune to Failure

This is of course is understandable given that they are designing a completely new system for space exploration. The left main landing gear on Virgin Galactic's space tourism jet collapsed as it landed after a test flight in the Mojave Desert Thursday, federal aviation authorities said. No injuries were reported. Two Federal Aviation Administration inspectors were on the scene to examine WhiteKnightTwo, a four-engine jet that will serve as the mothership for Virgin's passenger-carrying spaceship Virgin Galactica. No one was hurt, they plan to study it, gather all the data and details, and press on.

Euro Fighter Typhoon vs Bugatti Veyron

Saturday, August 7, 2010

ICON Aircraft -The Sport Flying Revolution

A revolution is occuring in aviation. The development is a collaboration between an F-16 pilot and a banker turned skateboard designer. The team at GP enjoys a healthy dose of vehicular obsession, be it by land, sea or air. This will be the first time the public will be able to experience the A5 amphibian model in person, and even more importantly – place their own orders in person. The ICON is a 2 seat, sport amphibious light sport aircraft that will carry two passengers up to 300 nautical miles at 120 mph powered by its 100 horsepower Rotax 912 ULS engine. The A5 will make aviation more accessible and affordable than ever before – not to mention an absolute blast. A Sport Pilot license (the category of license required to fly the A5) requires just 20 hours of in-flight training. Even more interesting is the fact that the ICON A5 has a folding wing setup allowing you to trailer the aircraft. The A5 will take off and land in either water or tarmac with its retractable landing gear. Inside you’ll be encompassed in it’s sports-car like cockpit complete with GPS, stereo, high visibility wrap-around canopy, and LCD multifunction display. The ICON A5 is no dangerous luxury toy, the A5 also has a complete airplane parachute in addition to an arsenal of safety features. The company has announced that customer deliveries are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2011, with an estimated base price of $139,000.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

155 dead in India plane crash

India conveyed its condolences to Pakistan over the plane crash near Islamabad that killed all 155 people on board. In a message to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna "conveyed deep condolences on behalf of the people and government of India to the people and government of Pakistan, especially to the bereaved families", the external affairs ministry said in a statement. All 155 people on board were confirmed dead when an aircraft of a private airline crashed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain in the wooded Margalla Hills skirting the Pakistani capital. The Airblue flight 202, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, suddenly lost contact with the airport here and crashed near the popular Damanekoh resort in the Margalla Hills at about 9.45 a.m.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gulfstream 650 -The fastest civil Jet

Boasting a top speed of 956 km per hour, the Gulfstream 650 will be the fastest civil jet in the world. The BR725 engines are manufactured by the well known Rolls Royce. It will be equipped with a full kitchen and bar and may be equipped with a variety of entertainment features including satellite phones and wireless Internet. To provide better usage of the internal volume, Gulfstream designers rejected the usual circular fuselage cross-section in favor of an oval which uses a flatter lower portion. The aircraft uses a very thin wing design to help the G650 maximize its speed. The same design is used for the Boeing787. To prevent dehydration the height of the cabin was reduced. Passengers won’t have to face ear problems during landings and takeoffs.

Question: How much will this Jet cost us?

The G650 will cost around $60 million. The aircraft, which is to make its first flight in December, will complete the test and certification program for European and American authorities by the end of 2011. Customer deliveries will start as of January 2012.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Airbus merges with BMW

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus launched the twinjet interiors Expo for the A350 aircraft. The Interiors Expo in the 2006 exhibition in Hamburg featured luxurious interiors by BMW. Airbus has linked with BMW Designworks Group to design a new interior on the wide body A350. The ultra luxury cabin will boast high end luxury features such as projection into the ceiling to match whatever atmosphere is required by the passengers, views such as the night sky, mood lighting settings to transform from daytime to nighttime. In the entrance area there is a dome that will give passengers the feeling of spaciousness or openness. BMW has also put together some fine-looking seats and a generally swank interior for this A350, even in the cockpit. The A350 is currently being develpoped and is scheduled to enter into airline service in 2013. The launch customer for this aircraft will be Quatar Airways.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A closer look at the Cirrus Vision

Cirrus Vision SF50 -The Personal Jet of your Dreams

Cirrus Aircraft is known worldwide for its distinctive composite-bodied propeller airplanes. The Cirrus Vision is equipped with a Ballistic Recovery Systems parachute and will be made of a composite material. Cirrus began taking $100,000 deposits for the aircraft in 2006. Initially, as a public relations exercise, the company gave deposit holders a drawing of the aircraft in the form of a jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time. On 28 June 2007, the entire puzzle was completed, and the aircraft's configuration was unveiled. The aircrafts maximum cruise speed is around 345 miles per hour and it can fly for 1770km with reserve fuel. The aircraft is quiet, equipped with the most modern sound suppression available. This mid sized jet is larger than single engine prop plane but smaller than Citation or Learjet. Its V-tail gives it a unique one of a kind look. This jet is also ideal for family outings as it was designed not just to be a typical business aircraft. As of June 2010 Cirrus reported that they had 431 orders for the aircraft. On December 27 2007 Cirrus Design secured a lease for a former Northwest Airlines hangar at Duluth International Airport, indicating that it will use the 189,000-square-foot building for construction of the Cirrus jet project. The Cirrus Vision SF50 will cost you somewhere around $1.7 million and is expected to be ready for delivery by 2013.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spaceport America

A unique business requires a very special home and Virgin Galactic will have just that at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Governor Bill Richardson and Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic and the State of New Mexico announced that they had reached an historic agreement which would see the building of a state funded $200m spaceport on a 27 square mile area of land in the southern part of the New Mexico "the Land of Enchantment". Virgin Galactic will establish its headquarters and operate its space flights from Spaceport America, the world's first purpose built commercial spaceport which is now under construction. Spaceport America will provide cutting edge facilities and a wonderful location for fledgling astronauts to realize their dreams.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boeing's Dreamlifter

The Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF), The Dreamlifter, is a wide-body cargo aircraft which was constructed by drastic modifications to an existing Boeing 747-400, the Dreamlifter is used exclusively for transporting aircraft parts to Boeing from suppliers around the world. It was developed to divert from marine shipping which is more timely and costly.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The ultimate boy fantacy

The avid aviator/actor John Trovolta currently owns five aircraft, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707–138. About a decade ago, Travolta had a home in a fly-in community near Daytona, but was sued by neighbours who claimed his jet airplanes were too big and noisy for their facility. His new Airport and home in Florida is located immediately off a main airstrip, it is designed so his jets can taxi right up to two outbuildings connected to the main structure, the house is equipped with an air traffic control tower. Travolta can literally walk out his door, under a canopied walkway and into the cockpit of his plane, and be airborne in a matter of minutes. According to the Federal Aviation Administration pilot database, Travolta is qualified in several types of single and multi-engine aircraft, and has the highest pilot medical certification possible.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The 787 survives its first lightning strike

The 787 Dreamliner survived its first lightning strike with no damage. The plane is at the halfway point of the its flight test program. The strike occurred last month when the Jet was flying above Puget Sound, near Seattle’s Boeing Field, when it was hit unexpectedly by lightning during a rare thunderstorm in the area. Post flight inspections of the airframe systems, fuselage and wings were said to be unscathed. Engineers are still studying how lightning affects the 787, the first aircraft built mostly from composites instead of traditional sheet metal aluminum. Scheduled lightning-strike tests and simulations, mostly on the ground, are scheduled for later this year as the Chicago-based Boeing completes the U.S. certification for the plane to carry passengers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Matt Halls close call

Airframe Parachute System

The full-plane parachute, also called the "Airframe Parachute System", was developed to allow for a safe return to earth if an in flight emergency is encountered. The system can be controlled by the pilot on the decent and is deployed by pulling a red handle above the cockpit panel. A disadvantage with this recovery system is that it works well for small aircraft that weigh typically under 5000 pounds but not for heavier commercial jets which sometimes weigh more than 1,000,000 pounds when fully loaded. Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc, the manufacturer of the parachute has sold nearly 500 of its $16,000 parachutes to private plane owners around the globe.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hannes Arch wins it

Hannes Arch finished in Windsor with an incredible win, despite one of the worst pylon hits in his career on practice day, the Austrian pilot flew at his best to come on top on race day with a record time of 1:05.96 in the final. Britain's Paul Bonhomme took second place while American Kirby Chambliss finished third. The races will continue in New York June 19 and 20, 2010. We'll be sure to keep you updated.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Matt Hall survives a scare

Pilot Matt Hall almost took a plunge into the Detroit river today during the qualification run. He lost control of his plane because of an aerodynamic wing stall which caused both wings and right gear to hit the water, the force of the water ripped the cowl off the gear. Matt recovered from the mishap and returned safely to the Windsor airport with minor damages done to his aircraft. Unfortunately he will not be able to repair his plane in time for the race. Qualifying day has come to an end and Nigel Lamb had the best time on the Windsor track. The action will continue tomorrow with the official race. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hannes Arch hits pylon during practice

Pilot Hannes Arch from Austria hit a pylon during one of his practice runs on the Windsor track. He lowered his nose right after the hit to prevent a stall which could have been devastating. The plane was not damaged. Last year veteran Peter Besenyei made an emergency landing while doing a photo shoot near Niagara Falls, his engine failed because of a lost of oil pressure, unfortunately, his plane wasn't repaired in time for the race. This year all pilots and their planes are ready to go. The Windsor track is much more trickier this time around. Here is a video of the hit which nearly brought Arches plane down.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Red Bull Air Race Weekend

The AirplaneNut will be in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, this weekend, June 5th and 6th for the 2010 RBAR. Of course we will be cheering on Pete Mcleod, the youngest pilot and first Canadian to compete in the elite Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Look out for constant interactive updates of the race on The AirplaneNut.

Richard Branson, Soaring to new Heights

Virgin Galactic recently announced that VSS Enterprise has completed her inaugural captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport. The captive carry flight signifies the start of what the Galactic team believes will be a successful and exciting spaceship flight test program. The VSS Enterprise test flight programme will continue though 2010 and 2011, progressing from captive carry to independent glide and then powered flight, prior to the start of commercial operations. The company plans to provide sub-orbital space flights to the paying public. Passengers will pay $200,000 for the flight with a $20,000 deposit. The craft is projected to be a six passenger aircraft with 2 pilots. Its planned trajectory will overlap the Earth’s atmosphere at 70,000 feet which will make it a sub-orbital journey with a short period of weightlessness. Here below is an animated video of spaceship Galactic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Antonov 70

The Antonov-70 is a next generation medium range military transport, which has been developed in Russia and Ukraine. It’s designed to carry large loads efficiently over long distances at a fairly high cruise speed. It can carry almost any tank or equipment in the Russian military fleet along with 170 troops in a pressurized cabin. The back opens up to allow para drop. It carries up to 47 tones of cargo, which is about 103 620 lbs, up to 1350 km. The engines are rated at roughly 14000 HP, making the AN-70 one of the most powerful prop driven aircraft ever built. The props are advanced swept scimitar shaped and reversible. They are designed for higher speeds approaching that of turbofan powered aircraft. But they provide the good fuel economy and lower speed and climb performance that propellers have to offer. T The propfan engine has been developed and experimented by NASA, GE, Pratt and Whitney, and others in the late 1980s. It was to be a powerplant that could be more efficient than turbofans of the day and they have shown to save a lot of fuel and be able to fly at jet like speeds. Its basically a gas turbine powerplant driving propellers that are designed for higher speeds, a high speed turboprop. Shorter and more swept blades than a regular propeller, to deal with transonic, compressibility and shock wave effects. Higher bypass ratio than a regular turbofan, and without a duct. More blades than a regular propeller. Contra-rotating blades provide an efficiency advantage at higher speeds, despite the higher weight and complexity penalty because of the transmission. One disadvantage of propfan engines is that they are of fairly noisy. The airlines didn't pursue the Antonov 70 because of its noise pollution and other economic or reasons. First flight was in 1994. A prototype model crashed in 1995 and that caused setbacks. Economic and political reasons also caused more setbacks. But nonetheless, it was an outstanding aircraft. Apparently the project is supposed to be completed and brought into production by perhaps this year. The airplane uses composite materials in its construction. The AN-70 definitely brings many advantages to the table in combat operations.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A380 Blade Containment Test

In this test of a full-scale Trent 900, a small explosive charge is used to release a fan blade from its disc. The engine has to contain the blade and has to contend with the resulting out-of-balance forces which arise when the blade is released. The fan blade containment test is regarded as an essential demonstration of aviation safety.

Piaggio Avanti II, The fastest Turboprop

The Unique design, twin turboprop has a 3 Lifting Surface Configuration. The main wing, canard and horizontal stabilizer which all contribute to the total lift produced. The horizontal stabilizer contributes positive lift in flight. In addition the fuselage itself produces lift because of its airfoil shape. The fuselage can produce up to 20 % of the total lift. This combination of 3 lifting surfaces and fuselage allows for a wing that is 34% smaller. This allows for reduced weight and drag. The fuselage and high aspect ratio wings are designed to keep the laminar flow attached as far back as possible which reduces drag, smooth exterior skin with internal riveting also helps to reduce skin friction drag. The result is significantly more aerodynamically efficient than a conventional aircraft design. The wing is rear and mid mounted. The spar passes right behind the cabin. The cabin is circular and pressurized. The anhedralled canards provide stability and balance by providing lift to the front part of the plane. These canards don't have control surfaces. They have flaps which extend when the wing flaps are extended. The rear stabilizer/elevator is used to control pitch. It has a T tail arrangement with swept surfaces for the vertical and horizontal tail. The ventral fins under the aft fuselage enhance stability at lower speed’s, the fins do not add to the drag at cruising speeds. The plane can cruise at over 400 kts at 29000 ft, thats over 450 mph. Not bad for a turboprop, faster than many light jets and almost as fast as some jet powered business aircraft It burns 890 lbs of fuel per hour at this speed, which is much more economical than some jet powered business aircraft. Normally it cruises at 365 knots and at higher altitudes for more efficiency / longer range. This Avanti is the fastest business turboprop and more efficient than most turboprops. The upgraded Pratt and Whitney PT6A-66B engines give a slightly higher top speed than the first Avanti model. It also has a slightly better fuel economy than the first Avanti. Maximum altitude is about 41000 ft. Range is over 1800 nautical miles. The Avanti II also comes with a glass cockpit. Aluminum and composite construction, mostly aluminum. Pilots find this aircraft a bit tricky to fly, It is no doubt a bit tricky to fly and to handle, unlike a conventional aircraft. The cabin is high enough to stand up tall in. The propellers are 5 blade pusher type rear mounted. Since the propellers are behind the cabin they provide a quieter cabin. But the exhaust from the engines blows right into the propellers. Also the airflow coming off the trailing edge of the wings interacts with the propellers. This causes a lot of exterior noise. It has tricycle retractable landing gear configuration with main wheels coming out of the fuselage. Orders for the aircraft were initially very slow which is not surprising because of the hefty price tag of about 6.6 million bucks. Can seat up to 9 people including 2 crew in a spacious and luxurious interior. There’s already about 82 of them registered to owners around the world and more orders are expected. The aircraft has come a long way despite a long history of developmental and company financial difficulties.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Air India Express, Deadly Crash

An Air India Express airliner crashed and burst into flames outside an airport in southern India on Saturday, killing 158 people. The Boeing 737-800 appeared to skid off the table-top runway in rain at Mangalore airport in Karnataka state and plunged into a forest below. Eight of the 166 passengers and crew on board survived. Ajay Kumar Singh, a senior Karnataka police official, told reporters,"We had no hope to survive, but we survived, the plane broke into two and we jumped off the plane, as soon as the plane landed, within seconds this happened." Local television showed a fireman carrying what seemed to be the remains of a child from the smoking wreckage. Charred bodies lay in the forested terrain. All the passengers were Indian nationals Many were likely to be Indian migrant workers in Dubai. The pilot was a British national of Serbian origin with over 10,000 hours of flying experience. Investigators on the scene have located the flight's black box. One TV report said the plane hit a radar pole on landing. The plane struck a forested area, and flames blazed from the wreckage as rescue workers fought to bring the fire under control. Boeing said in a statement it was sending a team to provide technical assistance to the crash investigation.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Concorde Crash

Part 1

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Part 6

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On 25 July 2000 the Concorde crashed in Gonesse, France. All 100 passengers and nine crew on board the flight, and four people on the ground, were killed. The cause of crash was from debree on the runway which punctured the tire, the tire exploded and ruptured the fuel tanks. Concorde's were grounded days after the crash, returned to service in 2001 and then grounded again in 2003.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

787 Wing Load Test

On March 28, 2010, the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a twin-engine mid-sized commercial jet which is currently scheduled to enter service in the final quarter of this year, underwent and passed a full load wing stress test at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington. The full-load wing stress test marks a major step in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft’s development in preparation for service. The full-load wing stress test is a standard test mandated by the FAA and all other aviation authorities for any aircraft with plans of flying commercial service. The test included the forced bending of the wings upward by 25 feet each 150% of the the maximum structural stress which the aircraft is expected to endure in ordinary operation.

The breaking point shown here was a sudden snap because of the composite materials, unlike traditional sheet metal aluminum which will break much slower than the plastic composites. Both these materials will break at certain point, depending on the structural integrity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Libyan Airways Crash, 1 Survivor

Libyan airliner arriving from South Africa disintegrated on landing at Tripoli airport on killing 103 people and leaving one survivor, an 8 year old boy. The dead included nationals of nine countries, 61 came from the Netherlands, which ordered flags on government buildings flown at half-mast as a mark of respect. Some nine hours after the 6 am (0400 GMT) crash, the child underwent surgery at a Tripoli hospital where medical staff said his condition was not life-threatening. The boy suffered broken legs and was injured in the head. Witnesses told reporters that the aircraft inexplicably broke up as it came in to land in clear weather. It exploded on landing and totally disintegrated. Teams of emergency workers wearing face masks sifted through the wreckage, which was scattered in a wide arc across the landing area. The Libyan transport minister said that the crashed plane was new and had only been acquired by the airline last September. The aircraft had received its last maintenance check from German airline Lufthansa in Milan on March 5 and had since flown only 1,586 hours. The aircraft which crashed was an Airbus A330-200.

The scene hours after the crash, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

The 787 Inaugural Test Flight

The 787 has been Boeing's most talked about commercial airliner since the introduction of the 747. The aircraft is one of the most eco-friendly planes ever made, it is made of light weight composite materials, a very fuel efficient transport category aircraft. The certification process is underway and could take anywhere from 9 to 12 months before completion. This maiden flight will be remembered for years to come.

Boeing 787 Test Flight, Seattle, December 15, 2009

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Continental Again?

Today, May 9, 2010, a hydraulic problem forced a Tokyo-bound Continental Airlines aicraft to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport. Continental Flight 9, departed Newark at 11:25 a.m., and safely returned to the airport at 12:15 p.m. All 225 passengers and 16 crew are said to be safe. The Boeing 777 wasn't damaged. The pilots burned off and jettisoned fuel to lower the landing weight before returning to the airport. The Boeing 777 is equipped with a backup hydraulic system for redundancy, but when there is an issue with the primary hydraulic system, the procedure is to land the aircraft safely at the closest airport. The 170,000 pounds of jet fuel which was released by the plane at an altitude of about 4,500, evaporated before touching the ground. The passengers were transfered to another aircraft to continue their journey to Tokyo.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The A380 Wing Flutter Test

The video below shows you a behind the scene look at a crucial procedure carried out by Airbus on the A380 for the aircraft to be certified for flight. The test is one of the most dangerous tests done by Airbus, it is performed on all Airbus aircraft for certification.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Continental Flight 3407

The Continental Flight 3407 crashed on February 12 2009 in Clarance Town New York. It was about 5 nautical miles from its destination airport. The flight was a regularly scheduled route from Newark New Jersey to Buffalo. The airplane crashed during its final approach falling flatly on a house. 50 people were killed altogether, 49 of them on board the aircraft, 1 inside the house. There were 4 residents in the house, the remaining 3 escaped with injuries. Firefighters rushed to the scene the put out fires, unfortunatly they were not able to save any lives. At first the crash appeared to be caused by icing, and that was the focus of the investigation. The aircraft did have good anit-ice systems as it is a modern high tech airplane. This was first fatal accident involving Q400 aircraft. Later investigation revealed that the likely cause was pilot error. The black box and cockpit voice recorder showed what happened in the last few moments. It appears as though the crew was not watching their airspeed as it was slowing down, they were also in the process of extending their flaps. As the airplane was reaching its stalling speed, the crew got a stick shaker warning on their controls, immediately the pilot then abruptly pulled up the yoke. This is the opposite of what he should have done. He should have lowered the nose and increased power. It appears that abruptly raising the nose aggravated the situation and put the airplane in a stall. This is because it reduced the speed even more and it increased the angle of attack abruptly. Furthermore T-tail aircraft suffer from the deep stall condition, which may have been a factor. This is when the stalled turbulent wake coming off the main wing gets into the vertical and horizontal stabilizer and reduces its effectivity. So the airplane went into a serious spiralling dive. The crew struggled to regain control. They managed to flatten it out and get it level. But it was too late. They were too close to the ground and didn't have enough flying speed to recover so it fell flat down and had its nose in the direction opposite to its destination airport where it was heading. The cockpit voice recorder revealed that they we're having conversations other than what was related to their flight, which under 10,000 feet, is against regulations. Also they were discussing seeing a buildup of ice on the wings. Furthermore, they discussed that they did not know how to deal with the icing. This was during the time when the speed was reducing, on its approach to the runway. Investigations into the pilots background also revealed that the pilot in charge had failed license checkrides a few times. Furthermore, the airline had failed to provide sufficient stall training to the pilots, and the pilot the day did not have the required stall training.

Monday, May 3, 2010

European airspace reopens

The decision to reopen the European airspace came amid mounting pressure from the airlines industry which was facing crippling losses and had conducted its own test-flights to show that it was now safe to fly. Some, however, were still sceptical with Martin Chalk, president of the European Cockpit Association representing some 40,000 European pilots, saying there was no “definitive answer to whether it is safe to fly or not''. Civil aviation authorities asked airlines to run ash-damage tests before and after each flight. This could lead to delays and cancellations. A semblance of normality, meanwhile, started to return as Heathrow and other major European airports sprung back to life after six days with passengers erupting in joy at the news that they could finally return home. Eurocontrol, the European air traffic body, said it was expecting almost 75 per cent of European flights to operate. The initiative to lift the ban came from mainland Europe with France and Germany, among others, taking the lead. Within hours, Britain followed suit and the first flight — from Vancouver — landed at Heathrow around 10 p.m. on Tuesday. “It's good to be back,'' said Neil Rodgers, the first person to come through the arrivals gate. The disruption, which British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called "the biggest challenge to our aviation transport network for many years," has cost European airlines roughly $1 billion US in lost revenue.