News, Travel 747-400, A300-600, b747-400, JAL, MD81, MD90
JAL headquarters in Tokyo
According to Japan Airlines Corp (JAL), it will retire two-fifths of its aircraft, abandon one in eight overseas flights and end a quarter of its home routes in a bid to return to profit. To compete against cheaper regional rivals, JAL also said it would look at creating a low-cost carrier. The state-backed turnaround body leading the restructuring said relisting the airline would be possible by 2013.
JAL’s turnaround pledge includes a halt to 10 international flights following earlier closures aimed at stemming losses. It will also stop plying 39 domestic routes.
“JAL’s flop has caused a lot of trouble to shareholders and financial institutions,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Kazuo Inamori at a news conference in Tokyo. “Today is a new start for us,” said Inamori, who was asked by the government to run JAL for three years after it filed for bankruptcy.
Brought down by years of high costs, the former state carrier still faces an uncertain future as it takes on other carriers in a burgeoning and increasingly competitive regional air market.
Inamori’s fleet changes which amount to the elimination of 103 aircraft, was uploaded by aviation analysts.
JAL will offload all its Boeing 747-400 jumbos and every Airbus A300-600 jet it owns by March next year, and will stop operating all its McDonnell Douglas-built MD81 and MD90 aircraft by a later date. When complete, JAL will use four models rather than the seven it flies now.
“This is a massive shutdown in a very short amount of time, and generally only happens when airlines are shut down, not when they restructure,” said Shashank Nigam, head of Singapore-based airline industry consultant SimpliFlying Pte. “We are likely to see a very much smaller and more regional Japan Airlines come out of this,” he said.
JAL's McDonnell-Douglas MD-81
Air Force, News f35, F35 fighter jet, Israel, Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin F35
Israel is in negotiation to build the wings for the United States’s new F-35 stealth fighter aircraft, an Israeli official said on Monday.
An Israeli official who declined to be named said state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries would build the wings for Lockheed Martin’s 3,200 F-35s costing about $96 million each.
“We are in advanced talks for the IAI to produce around 800 sets of wings,” he told Reuters.
Lockheed Martin declined to comment on the details of a possible deal involving the aircraft, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Earlier this month Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved in principle the purchase of 20 of the radar-evading fighters, in a deal worth $2.75 billion.
Israel would be the first foreign country to sign an agreement to buy the F-35 outside the eight international partners that have helped to develop the plane.
Israeli and U.S. officials with knowledge of the deal said Israel has an option to buy a further 55 aircraft.
“Israel possibly will end up building a significant portion of the F-35,” said one U.S. official familiar with the deal.
An Israeli official said reciprocal purchase deals worth $4 billion had been secured for Israeli companies for their participation in the plane’s manufacture and might be increased to $5 billion although it would be conditional on Israel exercising its option to buy the additional 55 planes.
The F-35 is designed to avoid detection by radar and could play a role in any Israeli effort to knock out what it regards as the threat to its existence posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran denies Western and Israeli allegations that it is trying to produce atomic weapons.
Blog Articles, News 787 dreamliner, b-787, B787, Boeing, Boeing 787, boeing 787 dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner flight certification training has been started by Boeing Training & Flight Services following the provisional approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Boeing‘s Seattle-based 787 flight training devices
Pilots train on a 787 flat panel training device and a 787 full-flight simulator as part of flight training. Both devices were manufactured by Thales.
Sherry Carbary, Vice president, Flight Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said “The innovations of the 787 have inspired us to develop the most effective training curriculum based on our customers’ training needs matched with efficient delivery and modern simulation tools.” She also stated “With the FAA‘s approval on our flight training devices, we are embarking on an exciting journey toward delivering qualified and competent crews.”
The provisional designation will be removed once the airplane is fully certified. Local FAA offices will approve training courses customized for individual operators and these may be based on provisional approvals prior to certification of the airplane.
Mike Fleming, 787 Director of Services and Support, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said “We’re pleased with the progress we are making in ensuring our support products and services are ready for our customers.” Fleming also mentioned that “This is an exciting time for our customers and an important achievement for the entire Boeing team as we move toward delivery of the first 787.”
Currently, there are eight training suites at five Boeing Training & Flight Services locations around the world namely in Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Seattle and Gatwick, U.K.
Navy, News av-8b harrier, EA-18G Growler, EA-6 Prowler, F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, T-45 Goshawk
U.S. Navy T-45 Gosahawk
The Boeing Company joined the U.S. Navy at Cecil Field in Jacksonville to celebrate the Naval Air Training Command’s 1 millionth flight hour with the T-45 Goshawk, the Navy’s premier jet trainer aircraft.
“This milestone is another testament to the quality that this team has put into each and every T-45 that we have training our future aerial combat warriors,” said Rear Adm. Bill Sizemore, chief of Naval Air Training. “It’s an exciting time in Naval Air Training as we forge into the future with the T-45 Goshawk, converting the remaining analog models into digital/glass cockpits to mirror the aircraft in the fleet.”
For more than 18 years, the twin-seat, single-engine Goshawk has prepared student aviators to transition to front-line Navy and Marine Corps fleet aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-6 Prowler, EA-18G Growler and AV-8B Harrier. It is also the only aircraft in the world designed to conduct carrier-based flight training. A total of three Naval Air Training Command wings fly the T-45; Boeing presented each with a plaque at today’s event.
“Boeing is honored to commemorate the T-45′s rich legacy with our U.S. Navy customer, and we share the Navy’s pride in the aircraft’s critical mission of training for naval aviation,” said Greg Dunn, T-45 program manager at Boeing.
“The T-45 Goshawk plays a key part in the overall training system for the U.S. Navy, and it is great to see that the aircraft continues to perform so well,”
said Martin Rushton, managing director for BAE Systems’ Air Sector Training Business.
Air Force, Blog Articles, News f-16, f-16 falcon, F-16 Fighting Falcon, f16, f16 falcon, QF-16, QF-4
Last August 19, An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter plane was intentionally blown apart as part of an aerial-target flight termination system test.
Conducted by the 780th Test Squadron, and overseen by the QF-16 special programs office, the purpose of the test was to demonstrate that the FTS design will be sufficient to immediately terminate the flight of a QF-16, a supersonic reusable full-scale aerial target drone modified from an F-16. Each drone contains an FTS, which is needed to satisfy range safety requirements for use in unmanned missions.
The QF-16 will provide a fourth generation full-scale aerial target for air-to-air and surface-to-air weapons systems evaluation, which will be conducted by the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
Kevin Diggs, the QF-16 test and evaluation lead, said “We’re taking these non-operational aircraft and reusing them, recycling if you will,” followed by “We find a better purpose for them in making them flight worthy, which gives our weapons designers the opportunity to test our advanced weapons against a modern aircraft. Additionally, our warfighters get an opportunity to train against a quality fourth generation fighter.”
According to Diggs, another purpose of the test was to determine a range safety debris footprint. “This test was one step toward satisfying range safety requirements,” he said.
At approximately 11:15 a.m., with an audience looking on, the range officials exploded the aircraft. A small ball of flames burst from the middle of the aircraft, followed by thick black smoke, but no sound. The sound followed soon after with a deep reverberating boom. The extent of the damage went undetected at first, due to the amount of smoke billowing from the wreck. Once it cleared, it revealed the F-16 had been split in half between the cockpit and the wings.
“It’s sad to see an F-16 destroyed like this,” said Maj. Wayne Chitmon, of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, the squadron that will eventually own and operate the QF-16s. “At the same time, however, it’s exciting to know the fourth generation ability of the F-16 will enhance the warfighters’ capabilities.”
In the coming weeks, test reports will explain the outcome of the test. The next step for the program office is to evaluate those reports from the 780th TS and Boeing, the QF-16′s prime contractor. The project will then move forward to certifying the QF-16 with Air Armament Center range safety for unmanned flights in the future.
The first QF-16 is scheduled to be delivered in 2014. The QF-16 will replace the QF-4, the third generation full-scale aerial target drone.
Blog Articles, News, Travel Sukhoi, sukhoi superjet 100, superjet 100
Yesterday, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced the arrival of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in Italy for tests.
According to the company, “A third SSJ100 aircraft will take part in a series of tests, including detecting the noise level and the electromagnetic field,” adding that the tests will take place at Caselle and Cuneo-Levaldigi airports in northern Italy.
The tests are part of a certification program involving three SSJ100 aircraft. The program is now 70% complete, with the aircraft having made 814 flights so far.
The SSJ100 is a family of medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with U.S. and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.
The three variants were originally called the RRJ-60, RRJ-75 and RRJ-95, with the numbers designating the average passenger capacity of each type. However, with the renaming of the project to Superjet 100, the RRJ-75 was relabelled the Superjet 100–75, while the RRJ-95 became known as the SSJ 100–95. The smallest variant, called the SSJ 100–60, was temporarily postponed, and efforts are currently concentrating on the largest variant, with the smaller SSJ 100–75 to follow later. Longer variants, called the SSJ 100–110 and the SSJ 100–125, are also planned as well as business, VIP and cargo variants.
Each Superjet 100 costs at around $31.7 million. Sukhoi has so far sealed deals on the delivery of 122 SSJ 100s.
News B-17, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-17 Liberty Belle, Chuck Huber, war veteran
B-17 "Liberty Belle"
War veteran Chuck Huber flew a B-17 plane one more time over Springfield last Monday. Huber’s ride was part of the plane’s 2010 salute to veterans’ tour.
The last B-17 plane Chuck Huber remembers flying was shot down in World War II. He was flying over Germany on a bombing mission to a military complex in Kassel, when his plane caught fire and lost part of a wing, and one of the engines went out.
“It really makes me appreciate the freedoms they fought to protect,” said Susan Dunville Powell, Huber’s daughter.
Huber, who was an Army Air Corps 2nd lieutenant, said after the plane was hit he had to jump out of the plane with a parachute.
“We jumped out into a group of trees,” he said. “I jumped out at 22,000 feet. My feet landed in the trees. The Lord protected me. We (ran) for eight days before (the Nazis) caught us . The opposition wasn’t too happy to get me, and I wasn’t too happy to get them.”
After Huber and the others on his plane who had survived were captured by the Nazi soldiers, he was a prisoner-of-war for about eight months, until the war ended.
Restored by the Liberty Foundation, the “Liberty Belle” is one of just 14 B-17‘s that are still flying today.
“It’s a chance to experience and live history,” he said.
The B-17 was a model that was used in World War II, Korea, by Israel in the war of 1948 and Vietnam due to its defensive fire power, according to a press release from the Liberty Foundation.
Air Force, Blog Articles, News USAF, USAF X-37B, X-37B, X-37B Space plane, X37B
According to reports from seasoned satellite trackers, the US Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane apparently boosted itself into a new orbit.
Amateur skywatcher Greg Roberts of Cape Town, South Africa, noticed the orbit-raising maneuver last Aug. 14 when the object failed to appear as predicted by the last known orbit. Roberts found it again on Aug. 19 after several nights of searching, which enabled the new orbit to be estimated with sufficient accuracy to easily locate the X-37B space plane on subsequent nights.
That detective work led to other sky-sleuthing detections by Alberto Rango in Rome and Brad Young in Tulsa, Okla. Their sharp-eyed skills were essential in refining the calculation of the space plane’s new orbit and confidently determining the circumstances of the orbit-raising maneuvers.
Also called the Orbital Test Vehicle-1 (OTV-1), the X-37B was launched April 22 atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. From that point onward, mum has been the word about what the robotic reusable spacecraft is up to.
As of Monday, the X-37B had circled Earth for 123 days. Air Force officials have said the unmanned spacecraft could stay in orbit for around 270 days. This week the space plane is expected to fly over many North American cities and towns, according to the satellite-watching website Spaceweather.com. Skywatchers who know where to look using telescopes have a chance to see the X-37B space plane, weather permitting.
Little is known about the classified duties of the X-37B. However, Air Force officials did make it clear in pre-launch statements that the craft’s first mission would focus on proving technologies necessary for long-duration reusable space vehicles with autonomous re-entry and landing capabilities.
A second X-37B is under construction according to the Pentagon.
Built by Boeing’s Phantom Works division, the X-37B space plane is just over 29 feet (9 meters) long and weighs about 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg). It stands slightly more than 9.5 feet (3 meters) high and has a wingspan of just over 14 feet (4.3 meters).
The X-37B is designed to orbit Earth at altitudes of up to 500 nautical miles, loiter in orbit for up to 270 days, then re-enter the atmosphere to make an automated landing at Vandenberg.
The spacecraft’s new mission is overseen by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. It is believed that the X-37B will be operated by contractors under the direction of Air Force Space Command’s 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base.
Air Force, News F16 fighter, f22 raptor, F35 fighter jet, F35 Lightning II
A wide-ranging realignment will find the U.S. Air Force retiring 650 planes and shifting the jobs of at least 12,000 airmen.
The shuffle consolidates F-22 Raptor units, assigns up to 350 F-35 Lightning IIs to four bases, retires F-16 Fighting Falcons as F-35s replace them, establishes a home base for the service’s fleet of 37 MC-12W Liberty reconnaissance planes and names the U.S. Air National Guard wings that will be home to 38 C-27J cargo aircraft.
The Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., two of the largest F-16 Fighting Falcon bases will get F-35s to replace the F-16s they’re set to lose.
The first F-35s should arrive at Hill in July 2013 with the initial squadron complete in 2015. Standing up two other squadrons will begin in 2015 and continue through 2019.
On the other hand the Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., has to send its F-22s to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., which also flies the stealth jet. Holloman became a candidate to relinquish its F-22s because its role of training pilots and sensor operators of remote-controlled aircraft grew. Holloman gains an F-16 training mission to replace the F-22s departing. Two F-16 squadrons take the place of the two F-22 squadrons the base loses.
The F-16s no longer needed at the bases will be retired.
Blog Articles, Navy, News helldiver, SB2C Helldiver
A fisherman found on his electronic fish finder an outline of an airplane submerged 85 feet below the surface at a San Diego reservoir. It was later confirmed by Navy divers that it was a rare World War II SB2C Helldiver dive bomber which crashed during a training exercise on May 28, 1945 due to engine failure.
San Diego shut down the Lower Otay Reservoir to the public during this week’s salvage operation. Taras Lysenko, a former Army ranger who has rescued 33 planes for the museum, said divers found the Helldiver covered in mud and silt that kicked up in the reservoir, which slowed their efforts to extract it.
Divers have been working with zero visibility while they prepare the plane to be lifted carefully out of the water without further damaging it. Also, crews also have been keeping an eye out for anything bubbling to the surface that could indicate oil or fuel was leaking out and contaminating the city’s drinking water.
The pilot and gunner aboard managed to ditch the craft and swim ashore to safety. But the plane remained at the bottom of the lake, forgotten for six decades until it turned up last year on the angler’s device. Now, private salvage divers have been slowly and gently clearing away the silt and mud covering the SB2C Helldiver, hoping to pull the aircraft out on Thursday.
If it can be restored, the National Naval Aviation Museum hopes the Helldiver fills a void in its collection, considered to be one of the world’s largest displays of naval aviation history with more than 150 planes. Navy Captain Ed Ellis, of the museum in Pensacola, Florida said “We’ve been looking for a Helldiver for quite some time.”
Only a handful of the 5,100 dive bombers manufactured during World War II still exist. “At the end of the war, they were obsolete and so they just chopped them down, melted them and made most of them into tin cans,” Ellis said. “It wasn’t a particularly good airplane.”
One of the Helldiver‘s nicknames was the “Beast,” because of its reputation for being difficult to handle. The aircraft was plagued by problems from the start with the first prototype crashing in February 1941. The second went down as well when it was pulling out of a dive. The British Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force canceled their orders.
A former volunteer at the museum left money to cover the cost of the plane’s extraction, Ellis said. The museum only salvages planes in which the crew survived. If anyone died, the site is considered to be a grave and is not touched, he said. The museum has located hundreds of submerged aircraft, mostly in Lake Michigan and some oceans.
“This is always an exciting event. Some aircraft have been pulled up and we’ve found the batteries still hold a charge, or there is still water in the canteen left by the pilots in the cockpit, or some of the lights still work,” Ellis said. “We’re always amazed by what still works and is in good condition.”