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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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.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why I would choose the Eclipse 400

It is a very light jet that can take up to 4 passengers including the pilot. It costs around $ 1.35 million US. I can't afford one yet but I'm working on it. The Jet cruises at up to 330 knots (379-380 mph) with an economical cruise speed of 256 knots (294 mph) and burns 26 gallons of fuel per hour. It can cruise up to 1200 nm at a maximum ceiling of 41000 feet. The Glass cockpit is very appealing with a modern looking panel. The smooth design, blended, V tail gives the plane a one of a kind look. Its manufactured with composite light weight materials. The Jet is Powered by a PW615F turbofan, medium bypass engine, pushing out 1200 lbs of thrust. It has a wide chord bell shape blade similar to a 777 engine. The engine inlet is not much bigger than your hand.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

US Airways, Flight 1549

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was successfully ditched in the Hudson River, just six minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. The aircraft was disabled by a flock of Canada Geese during its initial climb out.
The bird strike, which occurred about three minutes into the flight, resulted in an immediate and nearly complete loss of thrust from both engines. When the aircrew of the Airbus 320 determined that they would be unable to reliably reach any airfield from the site of the bird strike, they turned the aircraft towards the Hudson river, finally ditching the airliner about three minutes after losing power. If the aircraft wasn't at such a high altitude at the time of the strike, chance of survival would have been minimal. All 155 passengers and crew safely evacuated the airliner, which was kept buoyant though partially submerged and slowly sinking, and were quickly rescued by nearby boats. The pilot Captain Sullenberger was calm, his years of flight training and experience flying gliders kicked in, allowing him to safely glide the A320 into the river.
The entire crew of Flight 1549 was awarded the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. The award citation read, "This emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement." It has been described as "the most successful ditching in aviation history.