Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boeing unveiled the 747-800 Intercontinental

Boeing today unveiled its brand new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental - and man, she’s a beauty!
“The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies — applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Albaugh. “We think our customers will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the striking new interior.”
“The 747-8 Intercontinental will be a great complement to our fleet, fitting nicely into the 400-seat category, improving our fleet’s eco-efficiency even further,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “As launch customer, we are looking forward to welcoming this new aircraft to our fleet next year as it adds to our ongoing fleet modernization and environmental efforts.”
Korean Air and VIP customers have joined launch customer Lufthansa in ordering a total of 33 747-8 Intercontinentals. First delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for the fourth quarter.
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Premiere
Boeing 747-8I Orange Livery
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Unveiled
The 747-8 Intercontinental will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any large commercial jetliner, with 12 percent lower costs than its predecessor, the 747-400. The airplane provides 16 percent better fuel economy, 16 percent less carbon emissions per passenger and generates a 30 percent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400. The 747-8 Intercontinental applies interior features from the 787 Dreamliner that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings.
The airplane unveiled today is painted in a new Sunrise livery of red-orange that only will appear on the first 747-8 Intercontinental and is a significant departure from Boeing’s standard blue. The new color palette honors many key Boeing customers whose cultures recognize these colors as symbols of prosperity and good luck.
Source: Boeing
Photos: Boeing

And Boeing delivered the 1000th 767

On Feb. 2, 2011 Boeing marked an important milestone in the company’s history. Boeing celebrated the rollout of the 1000th 767 airplane.

The 1,000th airplane is a 767-300ER (extended range) passenger model for ANA (All Nippon Airways) and was the final 767 to complete assembly on the current production line. Final production work already is underway on the 1,001 unit in a new, smaller bay that repositions the production line toward a leaner, more efficient operation.

1000th Boeing 767 - ANA (All Nippon Airways) Boeing 767-300ER


Boeing has offered the 767 as the platform for its NewGen Tanker if it wins the U.S. Air Force KC-X Tanker competition. A decision on the contract award is expected early this year.

The 767 family is settled in the 200- to 300-seat market. The 767 family includes three passenger models – the 767-200ER, 767-300ER and 767-400ER – and a medium-widebody freighter, which is based on the 767-300ER fuselage.

Source: Boeing
Photo&Video: Boeing

Airbus 10'000th order

Courtesy of:

On Monday Airbus announced its 10,000th order with a firm contract from Virgin America for 60 A320s, including 30 A320neo aircraft. This is the first firm order for the A320 new engine option; therefore Virgin America becomes the launch customer for the A320neo. This formalizes and expands an initial commitment given at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2010 with the inclusion of the A320neo as a new development in that deal. The 30 A320s will feature fuel-saving large wing tip devices called Sharklets. Virgin America has not yet announced its engine choice on the newly ordered A320s or the A320neo. Seating configuration on the aircraft will be the same as its existing A320 fleet (146-149 seats) in a two-class configuration.

Virgin America Airbus A320neo

“At just three years old and at a time when many carriers are contracting, we’re pleased to be growing and bringing our award-winning service to new markets,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “We credit a great deal of our success to date to having the right aircraft. The low operating costs, cabin comfort and carbon-efficient design of our all-new Airbus A320 fleet has helped fuel our growth and success in the North American market – and we’re confident the A320neo will only build on that.”

“We hit our 5000th order in August of 2004 – after more than 30 years. To achieve the 10,000th order just over six years later is a ringing endorsement of our product line,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “And it gives a strong boost to our new, eco-efficient A320neo when ‪Virgin America, one of our newest and trendiest customers, places the first firm order, for which we are extremely grateful.”

The A320neo responds to heightened customer environmental interest, offering a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption. The option was launched in late 2010 for first deliveries in early 2016. Airlines have the choice between CFM International’s LEAP-X engine and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G engine. Each variant of the A320neo incorporates Sharklet wing tip devices. In addition to fuel savings, the A320neo will benefit from a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions, reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to 500 nautical miles more range or two metric tons more payload. The A319, A320 and A321 models on which the new engine option is offered will have 95 percent airframe commonality with the A320 Family, thus the A320neo will fit seamlessly into the existing Virgin America fleet.

Since the first Airbus aircraft went into service in 1974 with Air France, Airbus has seen sales of its aircraft grow steadily. By 1989, after its first 15 years in operation, Airbus had sold 1,000 aircraft. Less than half that time again, just seven years later in 1996, sales had risen to 2,000. Sales of Airbus aircraft had reached 3,000 in 1998, again cutting the time it took to sell another 1,000 planes by more than half. And by 2000 a total of 4,000 aircraft had been sold to the market.

Source: Airbus
Image: Airbus

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amazing Video!

The Portuguese Aviation Enthusiast Association shared this on Facebook, how could I resist to share it here?

Airbus Develops Autonomous Aircraft Taxiing

Currently Airbus is developing an alternative that, in near future, could replaces the use of jet engine thrust during ground taxiing with electrical power.
The solution is simple: an electric actuator, powered by the aircraft’s APU, drives the landing gear’s wheels. Fuel consumption is expected to be five times less than it would be with engine power – saving as much as 200 kilogrammes of fuel per flight. In addition, this alternative delivers a feature much requested by airlines, providing greater autonomy at push-back from the boarding gate as no tug is required.
Airbus Autonomous Aircraft Taxiing using Electrical Power of APU
Design and implementation for the project, a transversal process involving Airbus’ Engineering and Procurement department, is progressing in two concurrent stages. The demonstration phase is scheduled to close in 2012 with completion of the prototype electric wheel actuator. In parallel, the modified APU and power systems will be tested on the Airbus electrical test bench, with full-scale rolling tests to begin in 2013. If all goes as planned, initial flight tests will take place in 2014.
Source: Airbus
Image: Airbus

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

British airforce on recruitment freeze: Ex-RAF retrain as commercial pilots

Courtesy of:

A good number of BA pilots have come from an RAF background and many quickly gain the skills necessary to become a commercial pilot, according to a British Airways spokesperson.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed this week that the RAF is to almost halve the number of trainee pilots and introduce a recruitment freeze due to defence cuts.
A BA spokesperson told Recruiter: “We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the RAF and good numbers of our pilots have come from that background.
“At the moment we are recruiting what we call Direct Entry Pilots and they have to have commercial jet experience and a relevant licence to fly our types of aircraft. Most of these pilots come from smaller airlines, with pilots looking to make a step up in their career path.
“The former RAF pilots, which we recruit at suitable times in our recruitment cycle, undertake the relevant conversion courses so that they can fly commercial airliners. Due to their previous skill levels we find that most of them show the sort of attributes we are looking for in commercial pilots very quickly.
“We hope to extend our recruitment programme during 2011 and 2012 and expect this to include a wide range of backgrounds from people with fairly limited flying experience with a real passion for a career in commercial aviation through to very experienced pilots looking for a change of company.”

FAA forecasts 80% increase in fliers by 2031

Courtesy of:

WASHINGTON — The embattled airline industry will see solid long-term growth over the next 20 years, with yearly passenger totals climbing from 713 million to nearly 1.3 billion, the government predicted Tuesday.
Growth of that magnitude will be difficult to accommodate at the USA’s most gridlocked airports near New York and at other chokepoints, highlighting the need for technological improvements in the air traffic system, aviation experts and federal officials say.
“We need to invest in aviation today to make sure America’s economy remains competitive,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says.
The annual Federal Aviation Administration aviation forecast projects small increases in airline flights and passengers this year compared with 2010. Total flights will drop slightly this year because of a continuing drop in private aircraft use, the FAA says.
However, the agency predicts annual growth of 1.6% in flights, a 35.5% increase by 2031.
Many airports across the country have seen steep traffic declines in recent years and could easily handle such increases, but it would be tough on already-constrained airports in New York and elsewhere, says John Hansman, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“It will be very difficult,” Hansman says. “The places that are already congested today will be really hurting unless there are major changes.”
The government is building an air traffic system that tracks aircraft with satellite technology instead of radar to improve efficiency. But the gains may not be enough to handle the forecast increases in already-busy zones, Hansman says.
In addition, the new system won’t be required until 2020, and airlines have been hesitant to spend the estimated $2 billion to $6 billion to equip their planes.
The forecast makes investment in the system known as NextGen critical, the government says. “Only a modernized air transportation system will be able to keep up with our forecasted demand,” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt says.
The FAA and the International Air Transport Association are predicting faster growth in developing nations and on international routes. IATA forecasts a 32% increase in worldwide passengers from 2009 to 2014. More than one-quarter of that increase will come from passengers in China alone, the group says.
After a decade in which U.S. airlines lost a collective $60 billion, the FAA says the industry turned a profit last year of $9.5 billion as the economy rebounded and airfares rose.

Fuel costs revive turboprops interest

Courtesy of:

234713 300x214 Fuel costs revive turboprop interestfuel efficiency of turboprops ATR
Soaring fuel prices are leading to renewed interest by airlines, particularly budget carriers, in turboprop aircraft instead of jets for short-haul flights, according the French-Italian producer ATR.
With crude oil prices expected to average US$110 a barrel this year, airlines are looking at turboprops because they use less fuel than jets even if they are slower, said Jerome Gabory, director for market strategy at the Toulouse-based concern.
“The market shares of turboprops and jets are really dependent on fuel prices. The higher the fuel prices the more market share for turboprops,” he said.
On a 500-nautical-mile flight, an ATR burns about 20 kilogrammes of fuel per seat, compared to close to 30 kg per seat for a jet-engined aircraft of the same size, he said.
“A turboprop can save up to 50% in fuel cost for the shortest flight. … The shorter the flight the bigger the difference (in fuel burning) because it does not climb as high as a jet,” he explained.
However, a turboprop is marginally slower than a jet. A short flight might take five to 10 minutes longer but the upside is that passengers can save $20-30 on the ticket price, Mr Gabory said.
ATR’s research shows 50% of passengers worldwide take trips shorter than 500 nautical miles, and 30% take trips shorter than 300 miles. That works out to 600 million passengers per year on short-haul routes.
ATR, which has the largest market share in turboprop aircraft in terms of order backlog, at 70% of the world’s total, is upbeat about the future of turboprops for short regional flights.
ATR, a 50:50 joint venture between Alenia Aeronautica and France-based EADS, believes the world will need almost 3,000 turboprops, estimated to be worth $70 billion.
Demand for cost-efficient regional aircraft, the expected increase in fuel costs and new environmental constraints in the EU Emissions Trade Scheme will put further pressure on airline costs over the coming years and favour turboprops.
About 60% of the 3,000 turboprops would represent growth demand and 40% for replacement needs.
The European producer recorded orders for 80 new aircraft last year, plus options for 33, doubling the previous year’s order intake, as the aviation industry fully recovered from its slump.
ATR last year achieved turnover of $1.35 billion, almost three times the level achieved in 2005.
It envisages strong commercial potential in regions such as Southeast Asia, India and Latin America, where ATR has been able to establish a foothold in recent years, and also in other emerging economies. That is in addition to replacement potential in mature markets.
Since its inception in 1981, ATR, the leader in the 50- to 74-seat regional turboprop aircraft, has booked net orders for 1,074 aircraft.
ATR ended 2010 with a backlog of 159 aircraft, with Asia-Pacific and Europe each accounting for 32%.


So I've heard that the French Civil Aviation Directorate, DGAC, is qualifying all already entitled pilots with the level 6 ICAO English evaluation without evaluation, so only the newly licensed pilots have to be submitted to this level checks.
One thing that worries Me is that this ICAO directive was made with the main propose to increase flight safety with the increase of communications quality avoiding misunderstood , how can this regulation in France be accepted when we all know that French people aren't quite good talking in English?

Single Engine Examination... Done!

Yes it is done everything that was included in my ATPL initial formation. So when the logbook and the examinations documents are examined by the INAC, National Civil Aviation Institute I will be accredited  with CPL pilot license, with ATPL frozen, Multi Engine, Single Engine, Instrument Rating and Multi Crew Co-operation. Next Stop, English ICAO level 4 minimum exam.

Multi Crew Co-operation and Crew Resource Management

About a week ago my college Luis and Myself went on a marathon of two consecutive days in the AlSim MCC simulator to complete our MCC Course.

First of all remind all the things learned during the classes and reviewing the checklists and procedures at the same time that we were getting used to the position of all controls of the simulator, in this case of the Beechcraft B200 King Air.

This practical part of the MCC Course comprehended in two days with a total of 15 hours. At the first day we made a flight of 2 hours with Me as PNF (pilot not flying) and after a short break another 2 hours flight with me as PF (pilot flying). After lunch I started for another 2 hours as PF and finished the day as PNF with the last 2 hours leg. At the end of this day all I can say is that it was very tiring full and now I surely understand when a pilot says that at the end of a number of legs and a bigger amount of flight time that his attention is no longer at the best level, and this we all know, can cause an accident.
During this day we've trained instrument flight in a multi crew environment, checklist and communications procedures, briefings, approaches and missed approaches procedures.
On the second day I started on the first leg as the PF and for this session and all the other one in the morning the training was based on the emergency procedures, such as engine failure during take off roll and after take off, fire in one engine, approaches with one engine inoperative among others.
To the second part of the day the best was reserved... explosive decompression and a landing with no engines running.

At the end of this second day the balance of the MCC course couldn't be better, sure this was a great opportunity to learn new concepts and procedures and to get prepared to fly more complex aircraft barely can't wait to do it.

Airbus simulator - multi crew operation

AlSim MCC Simulator with one pilot

P.S.- After this I am completely enchanted with the King Air and really love to fly one.

Vintage Aero Club

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