United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. are fast approaching to announcing as early as Monday May 30 that they will merge to form the world’s largest carrier by passenger traffic, according to people familiar with the matter.
Continental’s board plans to meet Friday and Sunday to consider a deal, according to one person familiar with the discussions but who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Another person briefed on the talks said Thursday that negotiators have agreed that the combined company would be called United, it would be based in United’s hometown of Chicago, and run by Continental CEO Jeffery Smisek with United CEO Glenn Tilton as chairman. All those decisions would need approval of both boards.
Boeing and Angola’s TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola (Angola Airlines) announced yesterday the airline’s order of two 777-300ERs (Extended Range) in a deal that also includes purchase rights for two additional 777-300ER jetliners.
“The efficiency, reliability and popularity of the 777 family will contribute to TAAG re-establishing itself as one of Africa’s premier airlines,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president, Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
TAAG currently flies Boeing 777-200ERs 10 times weekly from Luanda, Angola, to Lisbon, twice weekly to Beijing via Dubai and four times weekly to Rio de Janeiro.
Angola Minister of Transports Dr. Augusto da Silva Tomas and TAAG Chairman Dr. Pimentel Araujo joined several senior U.S. government and Boeing officials to celebrate the order at the Corporate Council on Africa U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Conference in Washington, D.C.
“The Boeing 777-300ER is recognized by airlines and passengers alike as the No. 1 choice for long-distance travel. These two 777s will add to our current fleet of 777s so that we can expand our premium service offerings to Europe.” Dr. Araujo said.
The two 777-300ERs are valued at approximately $544 million at list prices. The order originally was posted as unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site in 2009.
“We look forward to continue working together with TAAG as a long-term, trusted partner.” Dailey added.
The 777 family is the world’s most successful twin-engine, twin-aisle airplane. Sixty customers around the world have ordered more than 1,100 777s.
Lufthansa plans to operate its first Airbus A380 flights to Tokyo Narita and Beijing.
The Star Alliance carrier, which will take delivery of its first A380 on May 19, will operate the superjumbo jet between Frankfurt and Tokyo thrice-weekly from 11 June. From August 26, thrice-weekly A380 flights between Beijing and Frankfurt will commence, says Lufthansa. Its third A380 destination will be Johannesburg.
The A380 will replace part of the daily Boeing 747 flights to Narita and Beijing. Lufthansa plans to operate A380s daily to both cities when its third and fourth A380s arrive later this year.
“We have decided that two out of three first Lufthansa A380 destinations will be in the Asia-Pacific region. Our commitment to our customers, partners and many thousands employees in this region and our confidence in the ongoing positive development of the markets here could not be stronger,” says Lufthansa’s VP of Asia-Pacific Uwe Mueller.
Lufthansa had previously indicated that New York could be its first A380 destination.
The airline will operate its first A380 long-haul flight on June 6, when it transports the German national football team to the World Cup in South Africa, before revenue services begin on June 11.
Lufthansa’s A380 will have 526 seats configured in three classes: eight seats in first class, 98 seats in business class, and 420 seats in economy class.
The carrier expects to take delivery of four A380s this year.
The non-nuclear B-1 Lancer has adapted from a strategic mission to a close-air support role, and will continue to play an effective part in today’s fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to leaders here.
While the remaining bombers in the Air Force inventory transferred to Air Force Global Strike Command, the B-1 has become the go-to airframe when combatant commanders want a show of force or support for ground troops.
When the Lancer flies low and fast over enemy combatants in a show of force, the 200,000-pound aircraft can intimidate the enemy handily.
Since the airframe continues to play an important role, Air Force and Air Combat Command officials are looking at ways to improve the venerable B-1.
“We’ve been in constant upgrade on numerous systems; the airplane never sits still,” Colonel Catoe said. “There are structural improvements that are going on as the airframe is not getting any younger.”
Colonel Catoe said that the Sniper advanced targeting pod recently was added to the B-1 at the request of combatant commanders in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. It’s another sensor that has improved the utility of the aircraft.
Now with this tool, it’s not a matter of the pilot sending a precision weapon to an area; the Sniper ATP can enable the pilot to put the weapon at the correct address, Colonel Catoe said.
As the B-1 nears its 25th anniversary, a new chapter could be opening up for the bomber with an even more precise weapon, the airborne laser. The Air Force’s chief scientist, Dr. Werner Dahm, flew on a Lancer recently to see if the crew could operate an airborne laser platform in the tightly spaced cockpit while continuing to do their duties. The laser is capable of precision targeting and minimizes unintended damage when the enemy places hostile networks near schools and mosques. The Lancer could be looking at a prototype laser by 2014.
“All of the new things that the B-1 is improving or changing are brought here to be tested and developed. And we also have the weapons school people who work the tactical end of it,” Colonel Catoe said.
“Whether flying or maintaining, or on the ground interacting with our Army brothers, there’s an awful lot of great Airmen doing a great job,” Colonel Catoe said.
“After years of development with some of the world’s best aerospace engineers and industrial designers, ICON Aircraft has released the first of its line of sport planes, the ICON A5. The A5 is a bold yet elegant design that communicates beauty, performance, safety, and most importantly… fun.” To help Jet Blue celebrate their 10-year anniversary, the ICON A5 is on display through the end of April at JetBlue’s JFK Terminal 5 as an “icon” of aviation innovation. This is a “bite-sized private jet” with folding wings that can take off and land on water or on runway.
Its max speed is 120 mph and its max distance is 345 miles. ICON believes that consumer-focused sport aircraft can do for recreational flying what personal watercraft did for boating.
Three people are dead after an Air Force Iroquois helicopter crashed north of Wellington and a fourth is in hospital with serious injuries.
The helicopter came down early this morning at Pukerua Bay, near the Paekakariki Hill Road. It was travelling from the RNZAF’s base at Ohakea to Anzac Day commemorations in Wellington.
Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter operations manager Dave Greenberg said a paramedic was winched into the helicopter crash site.
“At that point we didn’t know if anyone was alive,” Mr Greenberg said.
He said the injured man was found and winched into the rescue helicopter before being taken to a nearby ambulance and transported to Wellington Hospital.
Mr Greenberg said the paramedic then was able to confirm the three others were dead.
Central police communications shift commander Stephen Ross said four people were on board at the time of the crash. The injured person was in a serious but stable condition, a hospital spokesperson told NZPA.
The U.S. Congress has been formally notified of the potential sale of the Boeing C-17 transport aircraft to India, according to a news that was released Monday from the American Embassy in New Delhi.
This is a mandatory requirement , a step in the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. The notification of the sale was submitted to American lawmakers by U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on April 22.
“This is an important step forward in the U.S. Foreign Military Sales process and is a necessary prerequisite to negotiations on the deal,” the release said.
U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said in New Delhi that the potential sale of C-17s showed Washington’s commitment to share the latest technology with New Delhi and was a further reflection of the growing engagement between the world’s two biggest democracies.
“The potential sale of C-17s strengthens the growing partnership between our two countries and demonstrates our enduring commitment to sharing the world’s best technology with India.” Roemer added.
Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced it delivered the first Citation CJ4. It was also the first Citation delivered with Cessna’s newly released GreenTrak flight planning software.
The delivery was made to an unnamed customer.
The Citation CJ4, certified in March by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, is the newest and largest member of the popular CJ family of business jets consisting of the Citation CJ1+, CJ2+ and CJ3. The CJ4 is approved for single-pilot operations and shares a common pilot type rating with the other CJs. (A pilot rated to fly any one of the CJs is rated to fly them all). Retail price in 2010 dollars for a typically equipped Citation CJ4 is $9 million.
GreenTrak is a proprietary system, the first offered by a general aviation manufacturer, that uses a process known as cost indexing to minimize total trip cost by balancing the costs of direct operation, fuel burn and carbon emissions.
The Citation CJ4 has a range of just over 2,000 nautical miles (3,710 km) and a top speed of 453 knots (839 kph) – both numbers greater than originally announced in 2006. It has a takeoff roll of 3,130 feet (954 meters) at maximum takeoff weight and is capable of a direct climb to 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) in just 28 minutes.
The Citation CJ4 features a four-screen Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, new Williams FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engines, and it debuts the Rockwell Collins Venue cabin management system.
Standard on the CJ4 are dual Mode S Diversity transponders with enhanced surveillance and ADS-B out capability, TCAS II, Class A TAWS, multi-scan weather radar, broadcast weather and a maintenance diagnostic system.
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A few months back, @_Warplanes held a contest on Twitter to give away model planes to our friends/followers. Here’s what Kevin, one of the #warplanes winners, has to say about his prize: the F-14 Jolly Rogers model. Thanks, Kevin!
Let me begin by saying, I’ve never won anything in my life; let alone an online Twitter contest. A few months back I decided to participate in a contest, hosted by warplanes on Twitter. It was simple. Type, ‘warplanes’ and send the message into twitterverse. On the last draw I was chosen as one of the winners. I was skeptical of giving my address out to an unknown person, but the professionalism with which I experience put my mind at ease. Once my information had been gathered, the model was delivered within days. When I received the model and opened the box I was taken back by its size and immaculate resemblance to the F-14 Jolly Roger I had seen as a child, with my father. The attention to detail surprised me. Thinking to myself I said, ‘surely a model F-14 from an online twitter contest won’t exhibit the dynamic sweep-wing design, for which the tomcat is notorious’. Once again, I was taken back with surprise. I could go on for hours about how well this model was constructed, but it is truly something that has to be seen, in person, to be fully appreciated!
It was a successful launch for the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), also known as the X-37B at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41, Saturday, 7:52 p.m. Eastern time.
“The X-37B has the potential to bring to space the flexibility that unmanned systems provide war fighters and combatant commanders today,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “With the ability to be launched into space and then land on its own, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an example of the kind of innovation that Boeing has been doing for decades to advance aviation, space systems, and now unmanned systems.
For a related article about Boeing X-37B, click here.