Flightstory With New Website

You might have noticed that since last week nothing new has been posted here anymore. It’s because I was getting ready the all new Flightstory website! :)

I’m happy to announce that as of today the Flightstory Aviation Blog has moved to www.flightstory.net! Many new features are waiting for you!
It’s important to note that this blog will remain online and used as archive. New content will solely be posted on the new website!

New Flightstory.net

… So what do you have to do?

If you’ve subscribed to the RSS feed, you need to update the RSS feed address in your feed reader to: http://www.flightstory.net/feed
If you’re using Feedburner, you don’t need to chance anything since Feedburner has already been updated to use the new address.

… Why the new website?

First of all the new website is more modern, has a more friendly design and most important loads incredibly faster than the old one!

It now has full integration with Facebook and Twitter - so if you like, we can become friends!
Links: Facebook page | Twitter page

The category structure and page layout has been changed and new user functions implemented - like comment rating, new more modern comment form and related postings.

Participation has been enhanced as well:

  • You can submit stories, news and anecdotes or links using a new and better submit form - Link: Submit form
  • Photos and videos can be submitted as well - even works from any mobile phone! - Link: Submit form
  • If you’re on Flickr, you can add your photos to the Flightstory photo pool - Every week we’ll pick one entry that will be honored as “Photo of the Week” - Link: Flickr photo contest
  • You want us to review your products and services or want us to publish your press release, company news or dedicated article you can easily get in touch as well - Link: Contact form

We hope you like the new website! Please feel free to make suggestions and report errors. Any feedback is welcome!

Boeing Wins USAF Tanker Deal

The Pentagon recently announced, that Boeing has won the $35 billion USAF tanker contract. The contract means Boeing will initially build 179 of its 767-based KC-46A tankers to replace the Air Force KC-135 tankers.
Boeing must design, develop, manufacture and deliver the first 18 combat-ready airplanes by 2017. The first tanker is scheduled to fly in 2015.

The contest was not just about the better plane but also about monopoly and immense lobbying - Boeing spent more than $17.8 million on lobbying, just in 2010.
In 2008 U.S. Air Force already selected the competing KC-45 Tanker offered by EADS/Northrop Grumman but the selection was revised later after protests filed by Boeing.

EADS has three days to ask for a debriefing as to why exactly it lost. That debriefing must take place within five days, after which EADS has another five days to decide if it wants to formally protest the decision.

USAF Boeing KC-46A Tanker

EADS North America officials expressed disappointment and concern over the announcement that the US had selected a “high-risk, concept aircraft over the proven, more capable KC-45 tanker”.

“This is certainly a disappointing turn of events, and we look forward to discussing with the Air Force how it arrived at this conclusion,” said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “For seven years our goal has been to provide the greatest capability to our men and women in uniform, and to create American jobs by building the KC-45 here in the U.S. We remain committed to those objectives.”

If selected, EADS North America had committed to build the KC-45 at a new production facility in Mobile, Alabama, with a U.S. supplier base of nearly a thousand American companies.

“With a program of such complexity, our review of today’s decision will take some time,” Crosby said. “There are more than 48,000 Americans who are eager to build the KC-45 here in the U.S., and we owe it to them to conduct a thorough analysis.”

Sources: Boeing, Airbus
Image: Boeing

Photo - First Korean Air A380 Leaves Paint Shop

Today the first Airbus A380 for Korean Air (MSN035) has been rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg.
The aircraft is the first of 10 A380s ordered by the Asian airline. Korean Air will become the sixth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery in the second quarter of this year.
Korean Air will initially operate the A380 on flights from Seoul to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok, followed later in the year by transpacific services to New York and Los Angeles.

Korean Air Airbus A380

Photo: Airbus
Source: Airbus

Photos - 747-8 Intercontinental Unveiled

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

Airbus Strikes Back With WTO Ad

As we all know, the guys at Boeing are a bunch of whiners when it comes to topics regarding its rival Airbus. At least since the tanker-fight and the latest WTO dispute they don’t pass up the chance to release statements with nothing but hot air and made-up “facts”. But now Airbus has jumped on the bandwagon as well. According to SeattlePi the European plane maker just released this ad, “correcting” a misleading Boeing ad regarding the WTO findings on illegal subsidies that was released earlier, giving its American rival an “F”.

Airbus WTO Advertising - Reply to Boeing Ad

Source: seattlepi

Rollout of 1000th Boeing 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.

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

Video


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

Chengdu J-20 Uses US Technology

British newspaper The Guardian is reporting today, that the Chinese stealth fighter Chengdu J-20 may be built using US technology. Balkan military officials said China may have gleaned knowledge from a US F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.
“At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers,” said Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso, Croatia’s military chief of staff during the Kosovo war. “We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies and to reverse-engineer them.”
A senior Serbian military official confirmed that pieces of the wreckage were removed by souvenir collectors, and that some ended up “in the hands of foreign military attaches”.
Continue at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/china-stealth-fighter-us-technology

Chengdu J-20 First Flight - Chinese 5th Generation Stealth Jet Fighter

Related:
Video - Chengdu J-20 First Flight
Spotted: China’s Chengdu J-20 Stealth Fighter

Dangerous Laser Pointer Events in 2010

Dangerous laser pointer attacks on airplanes may be more common than you think. The FAA today published a list of laser pointer events on aircraft that have been reported in 2010. The list, that only includes incidents within the US, records the huge number of more than 2800 events only last year! This is the highest number of laser events recorded since the FAA began keeping track in 2005.

Los Angeles International Airport recorded the highest number of laser events in the US for an individual airport in 2010, with 102 reports, and the greater Los Angeles area tallied nearly twice that number, with 201 reports. Chicago O’Hare International Airport was a close second, with 98 reports, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport tied for the third highest number of laser events for the year with 80 each.

Aircraft Green Laser Pointer Distraction Glare“This is a serious safety issue,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Lasers can distract and harm pilots who are working to get passengers safely to their destinations.”
Nationwide, laser event reports have steadily increased since the FAA created a formal reporting system in 2005 to collect information from pilots. Reports rose from nearly 300 in 2005 to 1,527 in 2009 and 2,836 in 2010.

“The FAA is actively warning people not to point high-powered lasers at aircraft because they can damage a pilot’s eyes or cause temporary blindness,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “We continue to ask pilots to immediately report laser events to air traffic controllers so we can contact local law enforcement officials.”
Some cities and states have laws making it illegal to shine lasers at aircraft and, in many cases, people can face federal charges.
The increase in reports is likely due to a number of factors, including the availability of inexpensive laser devices on the Internet; higher power levels that enable lasers to hit aircraft at higher altitudes; increased pilot reporting of laser strikes; and the introduction of green lasers, which are more easily seen than red lasers.

Airplane Laser Pointer Safety

Top 20 US laser event reports by airport in 2010

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)–102
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)–98
  • Phoenix/Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)–80
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC)–80
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)–72
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) –66
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)–55
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)–47
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)–39
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)–38
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)–38
  • Tucson International Airport (TUS)–37
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)–36
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)–36
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)–32
  • LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT)–32
  • Bob Hope Airport (BUR)–31
  • Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)–31
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)–31
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)–26

Source: FAA
Images: FAA

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

Airbus - 10000th Order

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




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