Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blog updates vs normal Life

Well since last weekend that I have the photographs and didn't had the time yet to treat them and make a decent post about the Braga Airshow Festival. Life hasn't been easy around here with days of work at the Portuguese Navy Lynx Base, travels to Braga and a house moving with a broken clutch of the car at the end f yesterdays night. Hope to finally have some time to bring my views of the Braga Airshow Festival and some other stuff, stay tuned!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chicken Wings Comics - Light saber showdown

It remembers me those days in the middle of Aden Gulf or the Indian Ocean waiting for our Lynx to return after a night patrol. Yeah we played Star Wars but you got to keep awake.

Light saber showdown

Sunday, June 16, 2013

91st anniversary of the South Atlantic airplane crossing

The date was June the 15th. 1922, the place was Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro Brasil. That day Portuguese Navy Officers Commander Sacadura Cabral and Admiral Gago Coutinho completed their journey across the South of the Atlantic Ocean.

Of course this was 1922 and aircraft were not as reliable as they came to be so this mission was covered by some aircraft changes, minor and not so minor mechanical fixes and all type of problems. Fact is that even Charles Lindbergh that performed the North Atlantic Cross connecting New York to Paris with the Spirit of Saint Louis only achieved that 6 years later in 1927.

The first Atlantic cross completed is mentioned to be in 1919 by Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown also in the Northern Hemisphere connecting St. Johns, Newfoundland to Connemara, Ireland.

Admiral Gago Coutinho was a very experienced navigator in the Portuguese Navy some of its Books Papers and know how is still used today to teach the new Navigator Officers of the Portuguese Navy and during the crossing the navigation was entirely made by the stars witch gives more importance to their achievement.

Below it's a paper allusive to this mission signed by both Officers.

One of the Fairey F III-D can be seen in the Portuguese Navy Museum close to the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisboa, and not to far from there and very close to the Tower of Belém there is a statue marking the starting point of this journey with a 1/1 réplica of the aircraft. As I said before aviation was not so reliable at that time specially for great journeys as this one so the firs aircraft ,the Lusitânia, had to be replaced by a second one, the Pátria, after a water landing already near Fernando Noronha Archipelago, although this second aircraft wasn't the final one as it turned out it didn't came to leave Fernando Noronha Archipelago due to an engine pane and a forced ditching Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral had to wait once more for another plane that could fly them to Rio de Janeiro.
The Fairey F III-D "Santa Cruz" photo: Carlos da Cruz

The Monument in Belém the starting point photo: Carlos da Cruz

Replica of the Fairey F III-D "Santa Cruz" in 2007 in Air Force Museum, Alverca photo: Filipe Cardoso

The third aircraft, the Santa Cruz, is the one now exposed at the Portuguese Navy Museum and it has a replica of it at previous Portuguese Air Force Museum in Alverca, plans are to take it to que new installations now in Sintra Airbase. This museum in Sintra has already some documentation and minor pieces exposed regarding this flight that can be seen.

One of the pieces that to me has the biggest historical relevance and that I had the opportunity to see a copy of the Mission Report typewritten by Admiral Gago Coutinho with illustrative photographs and every thing also autographed by Gago Coutinho. Nowadays this rare piece of Aeronautical History is well protected and can be seen at the entry lobby of the Portuguese Navy Helicopter Squadron the followers of the ancient Po Navy Aviation.

A rough resume of the journey between Portugal and Brasil

Since the XVth. century that Portugal looked straight to the ocean as an opportunity and as it is said around here "we gave new worlds to the world" and Commander Sacadura Cabral and Admiral Gago Coutinho were true believers of that. They joined the Sailor's spirit for adventure the interest for the new world of aviation and centuries of navigation knowledge all together.

At the time of the crossing Admiral Gago Coutinho attained the rank of Captain or in Portuguese Capitão-de-Mar-e-Guerra.

Peter Chandler: flying Airbus' pioneering aircraft

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where all the airplanes go?

This probably would be a 10 year old child question but remarkably it isn't. Many people not so involved in aviation use to ask me that and some already have found the answer by them selves. A scrapyard. This would be the redundant answer and it isn't wrong at all, some of them go to scrapyards all over the world, in fact here in Portugal there are intentions to invest in the building of a new facility to that purpose next do the Beja Airbase and now civilian Airport.

Well the term scrapyard is correct but not entirely as for the aircraft go to this facilities to be stored in order to wait for the next owner that's why the remote areas chosen to this are areas normally with low rain rates during the year and low humidity so the aging process of the materials don't go to fast. With this pictures you will see the real number of stored airplanes and no, it is not possible to store them inside as they are so many so maintenance technicians have to conduct a "Long Term Storage Maintenance" where some fluids are replaced with "corrosion inhibitor oil" other are emptied and other filled to the top maximum, external breathers vents and holes get sealed and transparent surfaces as side windows and cockpit windows get covered to protect the interior and that surfaces as well after that they are put in the desert alongside with other aircraft waiting for their fate. Some after a period are recovered and get to the air again but the normal is to get all the components still available and with lifetime available to use out and them all remaining interiors go out also until the only remains are the structure itself, after that there it goes finally for scrap to recycle all the structural aluminium alloy.

Global Aviation Resource by Paul Dunn have a report of probably the most known facility related to aviation recycling refit and storage in the world. It's in Victorville California, here is a link to their website and a report with some aerial pictures of the site so you can get the main picture of the dimensions and numbers involved in this process.


© Paul Dunn - Global Aviation Resource
Global Aviation Resource photo

Friday, June 14, 2013

The New Airbus A350 goes up in the Sky for the first time!

First of all I would like to express to all involved in the A350 program my congratulations for this achievement. This morning the Airbus A350 took off from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse, France. To Airbus this new model represents the continue of the wealthy combat for the leading of the skies between Airbus and Boeing. The American manufacturer is still experiencing some issues with the direct competitor the Boeing 787 Dreamliner but that is the price for the investment in new technology such composite materials or new battery fabrication and Airbus already has to deal with the same issues and regardless all the predicted situations new problems will possibly appear and rapidly solved by the engineers.

Here is the team of the A350 first flight and after the flight quoted that after a few minutes in the air it was like a regular flight such was the airplane's behavior and functioning. In their words all the simulator hours and engineering was well worth as the aircraft is perfect already.

Here is a small photographic resume of the flight.


TAP - Portugal the Portuguese flagship Airline has a contract with Airbus to buy the A350 and has one of the first airlines to receive the airplane it also had the chance to become part of the program. It will just be a matter of time to see this bird with the Portuguese colors at LPPT.

All images are Airbus Courtesy and credits are mentioned at the bottom of each one.

Vintage Aero Club

For those who follow this blog since around 2013 probably already have heard me talking about Vintage Aero Club. For those who didn&#...