Archive for March, 2009

Boeing Unveils New F-15SE

Boeing today unveiled the F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE), a new F-15 configuration designed to meet the future needs of international customers.

F-15 Silent Eagle Logo Nose Art
F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE)
F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15SE)

“The F-15 Silent Eagle is designed to meet our international customers’ anticipated need for cost-effective stealth technologies, as well as for large and diverse weapons payloads,” said Mark Bass, F-15 Program vice president for Boeing. “The innovative Silent Eagle is a balanced, affordable approach designed to meet future survivability needs.”
Improvements in stealth include coatings and treatments on the aircraft. With the added advantage of redesigned conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) that allow for internal weapons carriage, the Silent Eagle becomes a very attractive fighter for Boeing’s international customers.

Depending on the specific mission, the customer can use the CFTs that are designed for internal carriage or change back to the traditional CFTs for optimum fuel capacity and external weapons carriage. The Silent Eagle will be able to internally carry air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 and AIM-120 and air-to-ground weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). The standard weapons load used on current versions of the F-15 is available with the traditional CFTs installed.

The aircraft’s canted vertical tails improve aerodynamic efficiency, provide lift, and reduce airframe weight. Another aerodynamic improvement is the Digital Flight Control System, which improves the aircraft’s reliability and reduces airframe weight.
Survivability improvements include a BAES Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) working in concert with the Raytheon Advanced Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar.

Boeing has completed a conceptual prototype of the CFT internal-carriage concept, and plans to flight-test a prototype by the first quarter of 2010, including a live missile launch.

Source: Boeing
Photos: Boeing

Safety Report - 03/12/2009

Date & Time: 03/11/2009 08:17
Location: New York, NY
Aircraft Type: McDonnell Douglas MD80 Registration: Unknown
Operator: American Airlines Flight: AAL309
Phase: Take-off
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: American Airlines flight 309 bound for Chicago, on departure from New York LaGuardia airport, number one engine failed. The aircraft was diverted to New York JFK airport and landed without incident. Several media reported that engine fragments fell onto the roof of a Queens industrial park.

American Airlines flight 309 FragmentsAccording to WCBSTV eye-witnesses reported: “We heard a loud bang and then a few seconds later you heard metal sweeping across the roof,” said Rick Bellini, an employee inside the industrial building where the debris landed.

The shards pierced the rubber roof, some a little smaller than a BlackBerry, others much bigger. A skylight was cracked, as were car windows, while the parking lot was covered with tiny pieces of what appeared to be titanium.

“We heard a very, very loud sonic boom or explosion, followed immediately thereafter of about 30 to 45 seconds of debris raining down, everybody was quite alarmed. We immediately suspected it was a problem with a plane,” said employee Bob Bellini. “We didn’t know if a plane had gone down or was going down.”

Full story: http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/engine.failure.nyc.2.956247.html

Source: FAA & WCBSTV / CBS

Lufthansa Group Orders up to 60 Bombardier CSeries Aircraft

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the launch customer for the CSeries aircraft program, has signed a firm purchase agreement for 30 CSeries model CS100 (formerly C110) aircraft. These aircraft will be operated by Lufthansa’s subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. The agreement also includes options on an additional 30 CSeries aircraft.

Swiss International Air Lines Bombardier CSeries

The Lufthansa Group became the launch customer for the CSeries aircraft family in July 2008 when it signed a Letter of Interest (LOI) for up to 60 aircraft, including 30 options.

“Our purchase agreement with Bombardier for CSeries aircraft is a renewal of Lufthansa’s commitment to commercial success balanced by environmental and business policies oriented toward sustainability and passenger comfort,” said Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fleet, Lufthansa. “We are proud to be the launch customer for the CSeries family of aircraft which meets our requirements for sustainable fleet development including significant reductions in fuel burn and noise, as well as offering flexibility for the future.”

“Having Lufthansa - known throughout the airline industry for its stringent engineering and technical standards - sign this purchase agreement for our CSeries aircraft, confirms their confidence in the airplane and the future of the program,” said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We, at Bombardier, are delighted to have Lufthansa working with us from the beginning as we develop a family of aircraft designed specifically to meet the needs of the 100- to 149-seat market segment.”

Bombardier Aerospace also today announced the launch of new model designations for its CSeries family of aircraft. The 110-seat configuration (previously known as the C110 aircraft) will be designated the CSeries model CS100 aircraft and the 130-seat configuration (formerly the C130 aircraft) will be designated the CSeries model CS300 aircraft.

The 110-seat and 130-seat CSeries family of aircraft brings unmatched passenger comfort, performance, and operating economics, benefiting from the latest technological advancements, including: fourth-generation aerodynamics; increased use of composites and advanced aluminium alloys in structures; the very latest in system technologies, such as fly-by-wire, electric brakes, and a next-generation engine – the Pratt & Whitney PurePowerTM PW1000G engine. PurePowerTM represents a significant breakthrough in turbofan technology, especially on the environmental front where it will set new benchmarks from dramatically reduced fuel burn, noise, and emissions.

The CSeries family will enter into service in 2013.
The CS100 and CS300 aircraft models will share a new common centerline engine and have the same crew type rating, operating and maintenance procedures. Each of the aircraft models will also have operational flexibility to permit utilization on both short-haul and transcontinental routes.

Source: Bombardier
Photo: Bombardier

Safety Report - 03/09/2009

Date & Time: 03/06/2009 23:49
Location: St. George’s, L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA/TXKF), Bermuda
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800 Registration: Unknown
Operator: American Airlines Flight: AAL308
Phase: Approach
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: American Airlines flight 308, on approach to L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA/TXKF) (Bermuda) struck a bird causing minor damage to the radome - Plane landed without incident

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.

Turkish Airlines Crash Caused by Faulty Altimeter

According to BBC the Turkish Airlines crash at Amsterdam last week has been caused be a faulty altimeter.

Dutch Safety Board chairman said at a press conference today, that the plane was still on autopilot when the crash happened and problems with the altimeter led to a loss of speed. He also stated the plane had twice before reported problems with its altimeter.

Investigation has shown that the plane had been at an altitude of 1950ft (595m) when making its landing approach to Schiphol airport. Suddenly the left radio altimeter indicated a change in altitude – from 1950 feet to - 8 feet - and passed this onto the autopilot. This change had a particular impact upon the automatic throttle system which provides more or less engine power. Its systems believed the plane was already touching down due to the wrong (too low) reported altitude. The automatic throttle controlling the two engines was closed and they powered down. This led to the plane losing speed, and stalling.

Dutch Safety Board chairman Mr Van Vollenhoven said that a conversation recorded between the captain and two first officers in the cockpit showed they had noticed the faulty altimeter but did not consider it to be a problem. “The crew initially did not react to these events, but when the stall warning system sounded, they immediately applied full power. But the plane was too low at 150m. As a consequence the plane crashed 1km before the runway”. The voice recorder has shown that the crew were notified that the left radio altimeter was not working correctly via the warning signal “landing gear must go down”.

The black box has shown that this altimeter problem had occurred twice previously in a similar situation, before landing.

The Dutch Safety Board has issued a warning for Boeing today requesting extra attention to a part of a manual for the Boeing 737, in which is stated that in case of malfunction of the radio altimeter(s), the automatic pilot and throttle system that are connected to this may not be used for approach and landing.

Dutch Safety Board Investigation Report (PDF, English):
http://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/docs/rapporten/Persverklaring_4_maart_GB.pdf

Full story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7923782.stm

As always, thanks to “prop-er”!

Videos - Carpatair Saab 2000 Emergency Landing

On Saturday, Feb 28 a Saab 2000 (YR-SBI) bound from Chisinau (Moldova) to Timisoara (Romania) did an emergency landing at Timisoara after an unsafe gear warning indicated a problem with lowering the nose gear.
The plane, belonging to the Romanian company Carpatair, circled Timisoara International Airport for about two hours in order to burn off its fuel and then did a belly landing on a bed of foam laid out by firefighters. Nobody was injured.

Videos

Video with ATC Radio

Photos
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/28/content_10918185.htm
http://avherald.com/h?article=415bdf5e

Thanks to prop-er for providing the links :) !
I heard about this incident during the last weekend, but at that time I couldn’t find any pictures or videos.

Safety Report - 03/02/2009


Date & Time: 02/28/2009 11:15
Location: Orlando, FL
Aircraft Type: Airbus A321-211 Registration: N183UW
Operator: US Airways Flight: 1624
Phase: Climb
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: None
Description: US Airways flight 1624 struck a flock of birds after departing runway 18L at Orlando Intl. Airport - The plane returned to the airport to make a precautionary landing. Minor damage was reported.

Source: FAA
Correctness of this posting is not guaranteed & completeness not intended. This posting is just for informational purpose.




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