Archive for January, 2011

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

Boeing 787 Dreamliner - New First Delivery Date

Boeing today announced a new date for first delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The plane maker expects delivery of the first 787 in the third quarter of this year. The new delivery date reflects the impact of an in-flight electrical fire on ZA002 during testing and subsequently modifications to electrical power distribution panels in the flight test and production airplanes.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner In Flight

“This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “We’ve also restored some margin in the schedule to allow for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification activities,” Fancher said.

The 787 program has been gradually returning individual airplanes to the flight test program. After receiving interim software and hardware improvements, four flight test airplanes have been subjected to extensive ground testing and a thorough review to ensure their readiness to return to flight. The remaining two airplanes will be returning to flight in the days ahead to bring the full flight test fleet back up to flight status.

Source: Boeing
Image: Boeing

Iran to Ban Tupolev Tu-154

News agencies are reporting that Iranian authorities will ban flights of Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft from February 20.

“All Iranian airline companies which have Tupolev-154 in their fleet are required to end operation of their Tupolevs by February 19,” the country’s civil aviation chief told media.
Four Iranian air carriers - Iran Air Tour, Kish Air, Eram and Taban - who have a total of 17 Tu-154 jets in their fleets, were instructed to ground their Tupolevs by February 19 and replace them with other planes. Which planes that might be is unclear.

“The use of Tu-154 planes is banned in connection with recent incidents involving those aircraft,” the civil aviation chief said in his letter to the air carriers.
Iranian authorities criticized the Russian Tupolev manufacturer for refusing to respond to the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization’s request in connection with recent Tu-154 accidents.

Over the last 10 years, 5 Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in Iran, killing more than 300 people.

Rossiya Tupolev Tu-154

In an effort to renew its outdated civil aviation fleet, Iran plans to import 13 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and 6 Airbus planes in the near future. The Islamic Republic will also start the domestic production of the IrAn-140 passenger plane, that is based on the Antonov An-140.

Iran is treated by international sanctions (UN and US) which, at some level, prohibit import of modern airplanes, spare parts and any other “aviation related material”.

Source: RIA Novosti
Image: Wikipedia

Video - Chengdu J-20 First Flight

The Chengdu J-20, first Chinese 5th generation stealth fighter, today successfully completed its first flight! According to Chineses sources the jet fighter made a 15-minute flight in southwest China’s City of Chengdu.

The Chengdu J-20 is a twin-engine multi-role heavy fighter with stealth capability and maneuverability as compared to American F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA.

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

Video:

Credits: http://www.defenceaviation.com

Iran Air Boeing 727 Crashed in Northern Iran (Video)

An Iran Air Boeing 727-286 (EP-IRP) crashed yesterday evening near Urmia (Orumiyeh) Airport (OMH), Iran, killing at least 77 souls on-board.
Flight IR277 was bound from Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR) to Urmia. The 36 year old plane crashed during an emergency landing in heavy snow storm after the pilots reported technical problems.

Video

Ongoing international sanctions on the country are blamed for the recent history of deadly aviation accidents. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 still prohibits international supply of aircraft, strongly needed aircraft parts as well as “related material” to Iran.




Contact