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.