Photos – Northrop Grumman unveils B-2 Stealth Bike built by OCC

In July 2009, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which occurred on July 17, 1989.

As a visual centerpiece of its year-long celebration of this milestone, Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Air Force’s prime contractor for the B-2, unveiled a custom B-2 themed motorcycle designed and built for the company by famous Orange County Choppers (OCC), Newburgh, N.Y.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Bike By OCC

Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bike built by Orange County Choppers

OCC B-2 Stealth Bike

OCC B-2 Stealth Bike - The Spirit of Innovation

Orange County Choppers B-2 Stealth Bike - The Spirit of Innovation

The design, development and production of the B-2 Stealth Bike will be featured on the 2009 season premiere of the cable TV series “American Chopper”.

Northrop Grumman will feature the Stealth Bike at B-2 20th anniversary events throughout 2009 including social events, trade shows, and air shows. One of the highlighted events will be a B-2 first flight re-enactment ceremony in July in Palmdale, Calif., site of the original B-2 production and first flight.

The B-2 Stealth Bike is named “The Spirit of Innovation” to celebrate Northrop Grumman’s leadership in innovative air systems and the spirit of partnership with the Air Force that enabled the successful development of the B-2. Its “tail number” is 0789 to commemorate the date of first flight.

The Stealth Bike’s design mimics many of the visual details of the B-2 stealth bomber:

– Its gas tank and extended front cowling are shaped to resemble the B-2’s unique cockpit and fuselage; major components are painted to match its color.

– Each side of each wheel contains five machined aluminum B-2 models positioned in the shape of the Air Force star, each model engraved with the tail number of one of the 20 B-2s in the current fleet;

– The “aft deck” of the bike is made from a scrap piece of titanium used for the original B-2 aft deck;

– Top view of the bike reveals that its handlebars and aft deck are set parallel to the “leading edge” of its gas tank, mimicking the B-2’s unique “planform aligned” design.

Northrop Grumman The Spirit of Innovation B-2 Bike

Source & Photos: Northrop Grumman

FedEx ATR 42 Veers Off Runway (Video)

A FedEx/Empire Airlines ATR-42-320 (N902FX), during landing at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB), Texas, veered off the runway, crashed and caught fire. Luckily both crew members walked away from the plane.

According to Aviation Safety Network the weather was poor with an overcast at 500 feet, freezing drizzle and mist.
The flight positioned for an approach and landing on runway 17R. Initial press reports indicate that the airplane came down some 1000 feet short of the runway. The right wing caught fire.
Weather about the time of the accident (10:37 UTC) was reported as:
03:53 CST: wind at 10 degrees, 14 kts, visibility 3 miles in mist and freezing drizzle, ceiling 500 feet overcast, temperature -7.8°C, dewpoint -9.4°C
04:53 CST: wind at 20 degrees, 11 kts gusting to 18 kts, visibility 2 miles in mist and freezing drizzle, ceiling 500 feet overcast, temperature -7.8°C, dewpoint -9.4°C

Full Aviation Safety Report at:

Video – Flight 1549 Left Engine Recovered

The left engine of US Airways flight 1549 – an Airbus A320-214, N106US – that crash-landed in the Hudson River has been recovered. Salvage crews gently set the engine on a crane platform today.

Raw Video by AP

Video – CCTV Camera Captures Flight 1549 ditching into Hudson
Photos – Flight 1549 lifted out of Hudson River
USAirways Flight 1549 down in Hudson River NYC (Pictures)

Airbus News – Air Austral selects A380 – SIA gets first A330 – Wataniya Airways gets first Airbus

Last week Air Austral, the airline based in Saint Denis, La Reunion, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of two A380s in a single-class configuration.

In a single-class configuration the aircraft will seat around 840 passengers in the widest economy class seats and the service proven quietest cabin in the sky. Air Austral plans to operate the A380 through one of its subsidiaries on its high-density route from La Reunion to Paris, France. No engine choice has been made at this stage.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300

Today Singapore Airlines has added a new Airbus type to its fleet with the delivery of its first A330-300. Acquired under a lease agreement with Dublin-based AWAS, the A330-343 (9V-STA) was handed over to the airline at a ceremony in Toulouse attended by Mak Swee Wah, Executive Vice President Operations and Services, Singapore Airlines, Frank Pray, President and Chief Executive Officer of AWAS and Tom Enders, President and Chief Executive Officer, Airbus.

Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the A330 fleet will be operated by the carrier on regional and medium haul routes, initially linking Singapore with destinations in Australia and Japan. The airline is configuring its A330s in a high comfort layout seating 285 passengers in two classes, with accommodation for 30 in Business Class and 255 in Economy.

Wataniya Airways Airbus A320

Today Kuwait based Airline Wataniya Airways, has taken delivery of its first leased A320 aircraft, and has become the newest Airbus operator. Wataniya Airways, founded in 2006, plans to take delivery of a total of seven leased A320s.

In a standard two class configuration, the A320 can seat 180 passengers, however Wataniya’s configuration is particularly spacious with just 122 seats.

Wataniya Airways will offer scheduled services to major destination in the Gulf and the Middle East based out of its own premium services terminal at Kuwait international Airport from early 2009.

Source: Airbus
Images: Airbus

Photos – Flight 1549 lifted out of Hudson River

Today the Airbus A320-214, N106US, of US Airways flight 1549 was lifted out of the Hudson River.

(Click on pictures for full size.)

Photo via Flickr by Kevinh_photos

Photo via Flickr by Lorcan Otway

Photo via Flickr by Lorcan Otway

Photo via Flickr by Lorcan Otway

Photo via Flickr by Lorcan Otway

Video – CCTV Camera Captures Flight 1549 ditching into Hudson

The US Coast Guard has released a video taken by a surveillance camera that captured the crash landing of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River.

*Update: Scroll down for latest CCTV video*


3rd CCTV video released

Related: USAirways Flight 1549 down in Hudson River NYC (Pictures)

USAirways Flight 1549 down in Hudson River NYC (Pictures)

US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus A320-214 (N106US) en route from La Guardia (New York) to Charlotte did an emergency landing in the Hudson River five minutes after takeoff.
The plane may have hit a flock of birds, damaging both engines, and then descended. After suffering the bird strike, the pilot tried to return to the airport, then made a controlled landing into the Hudson. Ferries and other boats converged to help with a rescue effort, as the plane drifted south in the water.

USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320
USAirways Flight 1549 in Hudson River New York
USAirways Flight 1549 A320 down in Hudson River New York
USAirways Flight 1549 Hudson River
USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320
USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320 New York
USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320 Hudson River Manhattan
USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320 Hudson River Manhattan

CCTV Camera Captures Flight 1549

Interview with survivors

More Photos

Apparently all 150 passengers and 5 crew members could be rescued from the ice-cold water! Incredible job by the pilots, crew and rescuers!

Several commuter ferries as well as the Coast Guard Cutter Ridley arrived quickly to help rescue passengers on the plane. New York Police Department divers dove into the water to assist with the rescue as plane floated southbound on the river, possibly due to the tidal direction.
The divers were dropped into the water from helicopters overhead, police officials said. Some passengers were able to free themselves from the plane. They could be seen on the exterior in televised reports.

One passenger interviewed on WNBC said that the pilot told everyone on board to brace for a hard landing. Passengers started saying prayers before the plane hit the water. The passenger, who said he saw the left engine blow out, added that it was “kind of orderly” getting off the plane.

The pilot Chesley Sullenberger and his crew will be honored for their remarkable job by New York mayor Bloomberg with handing over a “Key to the City of New York”.

Images: MSNBC

Story at Ney York Times:


Airbus A350 XWB – Groundbreaking for final assembly line

Today, Airbus started construction work on the final assembly line for the A350 XWB, the new highly efficient wide-body aircraft scheduled to enter service in 2013.

The 74,000 m2 factory will house the first stages of final assembly for the A350 XWB: the joining up of the fuselage and wings. Aircraft testing and cabin equipping will then be completed in the nearby A330/340 Facility.

The 140 M€ Airbus facility at Toulouse, France, will provide work for more than 1,000 people when fully operational, and will be the most eco-efficient Airbus final assembly hall.

Airbus A350 XWB final assembly line
Airbus A350 XWB final assembly line
Airbus A350 XWB final assembly line

During the construction work, the concrete and foundations of the old buildings will be recycled and reused in the new facility. An energy management system will optimise energy use meaning that the photovoltaic roofing will provide much of the buildings electricity requirements. The new streamlined aircraft assembly process will allow teams to work in parallel, reducing the time from start of final assembly to aircraft delivery by 30 percent.

Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO said, “The detailed definition freeze at the end of 2008 and the start of construction work on our new Final Assembly line confirm that the A350 XWB is making steady progress. Set for first delivery in 2013, the A350 XWB will shape efficiency for the aviation industry. The global Airbus community, including our employees, suppliers and customers, are working closely together for the success of this programme.“

Source: Airbus