Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dear fellow aviation enthusiasts,

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous year 2010!

Christmas Cartoon 2009 by humor.aero

Cartoon kindly provided by www.humor.aero - aviation cartoon books

American Airlines 737 - Crash Landing in Jamaica

Today an American Airlines Boeing 737-823 (WL) (N977AN) crash landed at Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport (KIN/MKJP), Jamaica. Flight AAL331 was bound from Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA).
On landing, the plane overshot the runway in a heavy rainstorm, slid into an airport fence and stopped on a road. All 6 crew and 140 passengers survived, at least 40 have been injured. The plane was substantially damaged. The fuselage was cracked, nose section damaged, one engine and wing detached from the aircraft.

Video by CBS

Source: FAA

Photos - Second 787 Dreamliner Makes First Flight

The second Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ZA002, completed its first flight today. The airplane, which features the livery of the Dreamliner’s launch customer, ANA (All Nippon Airways) of Japan, took off from Paine Field in Everett, completed a two-hour flight and landed at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA002 ANA (All Nippon Airways) Livery

Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA002 First Flight ANA (All Nippon Airways)

The airplane reached an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,962 m) and an airspeed of 200 knots, or about 230 miles (370 km) per hour. The airplane took off at 9:09 a.m. PST and landed at 11:10 a.m. PST.

This is the second of six 787s being used in the airplane’s flight-test program. Each of the airplanes will be used for a specific set of tests, with this airplane focusing on systems performance. Like its predecessor, ZA001, the airplane is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

Source: Boeing
Photos: Boeing

Video - Boeing 787 Dreamliner First Flight

Today the Boeing 787 Dreamliner successfully completed its first flight! At 10:27am local time the Dreamliner took off into the rainy sky of Paine Field, Everett (Washington).

The flight marks the beginning of a flight test program that will see six airplanes flying nearly around the clock and around the globe, with the airplane’s first delivery scheduled for fourth quarter 2010. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first Boeing 787 will be joined in the flight test program in the coming weeks and months by five other 787s, including two that will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines.

After approximately three hours, it landed at 1:33 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

Videos - Takeoff

Takeoff and Landing

… more videos and pictures to come …

Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Date of First Flight

Boeing today finally announced the date of the first flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

The maiden flight is scheduled for December 15, 10am (18:00 GMT). The first flight will occur from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. This date is dependent upon final internal reviews, taxi test and receiving the final experimental ticket from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

This event will be broadcasted live, including takeoff, landing and post-flight press conference, at www.boeing.com or www.newairplane.com. A special website will go live 24 hours prior to takeoff. The flight may last as long as three to five hours.

Update: The official 787 first flight website: http://787firstflight.newairplane.com/ffindex.html

Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Runway

Source & Photo: Boeing

Video - Airbus A400M First Flight

Today Airbus Military’s all-new A400M took off for its maiden flight from Seville Airport in Spain. The first entirely new airlifter of the 21st Century took to the air from runway 09 at 10:15 local time (09:15 UTC).

The aircraft, with a take-off weight of 127 tonnes, was equipped with 15 tonnes of flight-test equipment including two tonnes of water ballast and its performance was being monitored in realtime by teams of engineers in Seville and Toulouse using state-of-the-art air-ground telemetry. The crew explored the aircraft’s handling characteristics in the various flap configurations, checked the powerplant operation and made initial evaluations of the aircraft’s systems.

Its four all-new Europrop International (EPI) TP400D turboprop powerplants producing 11,000shp (8,200kW) each are the most powerful propeller engines ever fitted to a Western aircraft.

The duration of the flight was 3h 47min and ended with a landing back at Seville in front of more than 2,000 media, VIPs and Airbus Military staff.

Video of the A400M first flight:

Over the last four weeks the aircraft has been extensively tested on the ground in an increasingly challenging programme leading up to the first flight.

The engines have been run at full power, the electrical systems and on-board data network exhaustively tested, and numerous taxying runs at progressively higher speeds have been performed culminating in a rejected take-off test at a speed of 123kt (227km/hr) on 8th December.

Today’s first flight marked the beginning of a test campaign that will see some 3,700 hours of flying by an eventual five aircraft conducted between now and entry-into-service at the end of 2012. The A400M will receive both civil certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and military certification and qualification.

The A400M was designed from the outset as an aerial refueller and can offload fuel to both fighters and helicopters at their preferred speeds and heights.

The A400M features the same proven fly-by-wire controls technology as Airbus’ highly successful airliner family and an advanced cockpit that has evolved from that of the A380. Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) wings and other large structures bring weight and strength advantages and cut the risk of corrosion.

Photo of the A400M cockpit:
Airbus A400M Cockpit

A total of 184 aircraft have so far been ordered by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom,

Source, Photo & Video: Airbus

Perfect Gift for Aviation Enthusiasts

You’re looking for something to surprise a fellow aviation enthusiast or maybe even for yourself? Well, I’ve found the perfect gift!
Aviation humor and cartoon books from aviation-humor.com!

Aviation Humor Books

Each book contains brilliant cartoons, stories and anecdotes from the fantastic world of aviation. Some of the stories may have really happened, some just picture funny situations that, in some way, you may encounter everyday in aviation industry.

All of these books are created and published by two dutch ex Air Force officers. One was also flying as a captain for KLM. They started publishing their first book already in 1982, achieving great success worldwide!

These books are so much fun to read! Here are some examples of what you’ll get:

Aviation Humor Cartoon

After a lengthy delay at the gate while waiting to depart, the Captain finally came on the PA system and announced: “I’m sorry for the delay, but the machine that smashes your baggage and removes the handles is broken, so the ground crew is having to do it all by hand today!”

Aviation Humor Cartoon

A light twin had just landed on Runway 29. Missing the last turnoff onto Taxiway Delta, the pilot started to turn left onto Golf when the controller spoke up:
Tower: “N1234, that taxiway is approved for single-engine use only.”
N1234: “That’s okay, I’ll just shut down one engine.”

These books are a must-have for every aviation enthusiast and perfect gifts for Christmas or Birthdays!
Just head for aviation-humor.com and have a look for yourself!

Cartoons by aviation-humor.com

Watch A400M First Flight

The first flight of the Airbus A400M is finally scheduled for tomorrow, Friday December 11, 9:00 AM GMT+1!

You can watch the maiden flight that will take place in Seville (Spain) - LIVE via webcast at http://www.a400m.com

The A400M is the new European military airlifter that will replace the aging C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall. The turboprop Airbus A400M features a fly-by-wire Flight Control System with sidestick controllers.

Airbus A400M

Photo: Airbus

SpaceShipTwo Rolls Out

On Monday Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline, at Mojave Spaceport. The Virgin Galactic spaceline plans to operate a fleet of five of these craft in passenger-carrying private spaceflight service starting no earlier than 2011. More than 65,000 would-be space tourists have applied for the first batch of 100 tickets. The price will initially be $200,000. The duration of the flights will be approximately 2.5 hours, though only a few minutes of that will be in space.

Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan led the press conference, special recognition went to the team at Scaled Composites whose hard work and dedication have made this happen. Governors Bill Richardson and Arnold Schwarzenegger both contributed at the press conference, celebrating this huge milestone and also joining Holly, Richard’s daughter in naming the spaceship, VSS Enterprise.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise

The spaceship was carried down the runway by her mothership, VMS Eve, to a spectacular display of lights, music and snow.

More at http://www.virgingalactic.com

Korean Air orders 747-8 Intercontinental

Boeing announced an order for five 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners by Korean Air. Korean Air is the first Asian airline to order the passenger version of the new 747-8.

The airplanes have a total average list price value of $1.5 billion. Korean Air already has arrangements to operate seven 747-8 Freighters. Korean Air plans on flying the 747-8 Intercontinental on long-haul routes to the Americas and Europe.

The new 747-8 Intercontinental is stretched 18.3 feet (5.6 m) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration, an additional 51 seats. It also offers a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,815 km). Using the new GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8 provides airlines a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane. The 747-8 also provides nearly equivalent trip costs and 13 percent lower seat-mile costs than the 747-400, plus 26 percent greater cargo volume.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

The 747-8 also features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck. The airplane interior incorporates features from the 787 Dreamliner, including a new curved, upswept architecture that will give passengers a greater sense of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The architecture will be accentuated by lighting technology that provides smooth transitions for a more restful flight.

The 747 program is in the later stages of the 747-8 Intercontinental design phase. Assembly on the airplane is set to begin around mid-2010, with the first delivery of the passenger version scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Korean Air order only marks the second 747-8i order of a commercial airline. Lufthansa, the launch customer of the 747-8 Intercontinental, has 20 planes on order. The remaining orders for 8 planes come from several unidentified VIP customers. One (or two) of these VIP orders could be a replacement for the aging “Air Force One” Boeing 747-200B (Boeing VC-25)

Image: Boeing