✈ Latest From Airplane Watch ✈

Thursday, September 19, 2013

✈ New Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ✈

Brief Description:

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is a superefficient airplane of the third millennium with new passenger-pleasing features. It will bring the economics of large jet transports to the middle of the market, using 20 percent less fuel than any other airplane of its size.

The main innovation of the new 787 Dreamliner over the aircraft of previous generations is the use of composite material carbon fibre instead of aluminium, which significantly reduces the weight and improves performance. The conditions onboard the plane are continuously monitored by a system of sensors, which also report any maintenance needs to the ground computer systems.

Even the air in the cabin has a greater level of humidity than at present and the altitude within the cabin has been reduced by around 1000 meters, this significantly improve the comfort conditions for travellers. The added light from the larger windows also makes the interior more comfortable.

Advances in engine technology have been the greatest factor contributing to the overall improvement in the Dreamliner’s consumption. The 787 has new engines from General Electric and Rolls Royce, practically representing a jump of two generations in terms of technology.

The new Boeing 787 family offers airlines unprecedented efficiency, significantly reducing operating costs, with exceptional environmental performance. The plane generates savings of around 18% per seat with the same configuration.

Boeing 787-8 Blueprint Drawings

Seating:
210 to 250 passengers

Range:
7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers)

Configuration:
Twin aisle

Cross Section:
226 inches (574 centimeters)

Wing Span:
197 feet (60 meters)

Length:
186 feet (57 meters)

Height:
56 feet (17 meters)

Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.85

Total Cargo Volume:
4,400 cubic feet

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
502,500 pounds (227,930 kilograms)

Program milestones:
Authority to offer late 2003
Program launch April 2004
Assembly start 2006
First flight December 2009

You may also like to read about:
✈ New Airbus A380-800 Superjumbo ✈

Airbus A380-800 Superjumbo
Airbus A380-800 Superjumbo














✈ Airplane insurance how much does it cost to own your own plane ✈
It's always good to have some extra airplane cover
It's always good to have some extra airplane cover


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

✈ Year 2050 Planes Will Fly in Bird-like Formations ✈

Reduced Aircraft Mass

1. Reduced structural and payload weight
Some of the ideas dealt with in other sections may have relevance here: the use of ground power augmentation (section 2.2) may serve to reduce engine thrust or the use of detachable or ground located undercarriages (section 4.1.3).

However, the most effective approach to a better relationship between power, weight and payload seems to rest with new concepts for the aircraft design. The concept that appears to receive most effort to bring it forward is the Blended Wing Body [BWB]. The savings of drag achieved by its tail-less nature are significant and the L/D function in designs being studied is about 15% higher than current design conventions.

Reducing the structural weight of a given concept will bring about benefits dependent upon its operational use. Broadly based figures suggest that the percentage taken off the weight of the aircraft, engines and systems will produce a percentage saving in fuel burn per tonne-kilometre of 1 - 1.5 times greater.

It may be possible to reduce the carried weight of the cabin crew by installing server systems that dispense food, drink and incidental items to passengers in flight. Concepts of zero-baggage or self loading baggage might also serve to reduce the baggage weight carried. It is not known at present how significant the net savings would be.

2. Reduced fuel weight
On long range sectors especially, the carriage of the fuel carried by the aircraft itself implies a considerable cost in fuel used. A number of ways have been suggested to optimise the balance between fuel carried over long stages and the additional fuel used for landing more often. In the UK "Greener by Design" paper5 this optimisation is dealt with more extensively and the conclusion drawn that for many aircraft an optimum stage length is about 4000 Km. This would allow savings on long haul flights of 10-20%.

Air refuelling
Already a commonplace for military aircraft the technology is well developed. The benefits would arise from reducing the fuel carried for the latter parts of a journey - this fuel could be loaded much nearer to the destination and allow smaller aircraft with smaller fuel loads to operate.

Such a technology could be extended to commercial operations and this has been studied in some depth by Dr Raj Nangia. His preliminary studies indicated significant savings of fuel burn by this method but more study is required to identify practically achievable net benefits when the expenditure of fuel by the tanker fleet are taken into account6. Flight re-fuelling of airliners might become routine, saving some of the fuel used to lift massive fuel loads from the ground and carry it halfway around the world.

Every schoolboy is familiar with pictures of military aircraft flying in tight formation advancing toward the enemy. Every naturalist is familiar with the sight of skeins of ducks flying into the sunset in their typical "V" formation.

The idea put forward is to transport both of these ideas into the air transport system leading to significant benefits in fuel consumption, fuel carriage and in better ATC.
The obstacles of tight formation flying are to avoid on a regular, reliable and secure basis any adverse effects from the weight dependent vortices from the wings of the lead aircraft. Vortices are a function of aircraft weight and commercial airliners are substantially heavier than all other aircraft that have attempted close formation flying.

Conceptually the benefits are very considerable. If the reduced drag that ducks create by wing warping to reduce their individual effort in flying long distances can be harnessed then long range travel could be substantially more economical. Research already conducted shows that cruise fuel savings could be 15-40%.

Wings flying within about 0.8m of each other can experience 60% drag reduction7. Practically achievable fuel savings (and fuel carriage) in the order of 10% have been projected. Groups of aircraft (such as on the busy intercontinental routes) could be treated as a single entity by ATC as they sometimes are now.

In the further future groups of similarly routed aircraft could form "fixed" formations in which the aircraft became a single flying system under a single control only dissolving as aircraft wished to drop off nearer to destination. The technical resolution of the problem of reliable and secure close flight would be very relevant to other concepts (such as the Cruiser/Feeder above).

3. Reducing systems weight
The section (2.2) dealing with the use of ground power augmentation will be relevant to any attempts to reduce aircraft systems weight. Additionally ideas were put forward that would also bear upon this aim. The benefits of achieving some reduction would naturally play through to overall fuel burn, to economy and to reduced climate impact.

The concept of launched aircraft with some form of airport retained take-off undercarriage was discussed. Were such an idea to be feasible it would bring substantial benefits by eliminating one of the heaviest systems on the aircraft. On initial considerations it is relatively easy to imagine how the take off might be accomplished with the undercarriage being left behind. Landing would be much more demanding. Firstly the loads upon landing are much heavier so the prospect of any lighter weight "landing only" undercarriage is immediately to be rejected.

Landing at normal speeds would have catastrophic consequences. The only idea presently presented that seems to hold out any promise at all of bringing this to fruition is landing within a landing tube (see section 3.2.2) where the "touch-down" speed is effectively zero or extremely low.

Parafoils are used to deliver military supplies. The advantage over a traditional parachute is that these parafoils are steerable. The current loads that can be used with these systems are relatively small.
If the technology could be developed into a system where aircraft could make parafoil assisted landings, noise produced by aeroplanes during decent and landings could be substantially reduced.

One could imagine an airport where aircraft are launched by MAGLEV systems whilst runways are only used to recover aircraft using parafoil assisted landings. As the final landing speeds would be extremely low, a simple skid undercarriage would be needed saving at least 5% of the total aircraft weight. Landing strips could be much shorter than the current runways.

The parafoil technology would need to be further developed. First one needs to consider the additional weight that would be carried. Second, the parafoil glider should be able to operate in cross wind conditions. Third, the accuracy of the system should be extremely high with an accuracy of about one meter.

Another issue that needs further research would be the mechanism to open and retrieve the parafoil. This should be done totally automatically. Steering the parafoil should be automatic as well with the possibility of manual override.

Passenger aircraft flying in formation like birds could be a feature of aviation in the second half of this century, it was revealed today.


Formation flying could happen on high-frequency routes under a vision for flying from 2050 and beyond produced by plane-making company Airbus.

The company added that by the middle of the 21st century flights in Europe and the USA could on average be around 13 minutes shorter, saving around nine million tonnes of fuel a year.

In its latest vision for sustainable aviation in the future, Airbus envisages:

  • Aircraft climbing more steeply on take-off to minimise noise and allow for shorter runways
  • Highly-intelligent aircraft able to "self-organise" and select the most efficient and environmentally-friendly routes.
  • Planes free-gliding on their approach into airports to reduce emissions and reduce noise
  • Planes clearing the runway quicker on landing and passengers reaching terminals faster
  • The use in aviation of sustainable biofuels and other potential energy sources such as electricity, hydrogen and solar power.

Shorter journey times could be achieved by the optimisation of air traffic management and on-board technology systems.

The shorter flights would lead to the saving of more than 28 million tonnes of avoidable C02 emissions a year as well as the saving of five million flying hours.

Airbus engineering executive vice president Charles Champion said: "Our engineers are continuously encouraged to think widely and come up with 'disruptive' ideas which will assist our industry in meeting the 2050 targets we have signed up to.

"These and the other tough environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter aircraft design and optimising the environment in which the aircraft operates. That is why our latest Future by Airbus Smarter Skies concepts focus on not just what we fly, but how we may fly in 2050 and beyond."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

✈ Ideas About Aircraft Carriers - Battleship Destruction Capability ✈

Came across a think tank about Aircraft Carriers that I think might be a good read. Some interesting facts came to light that say alot about the current situation and for anyone interested you might want to give this one a read.


Floating ideas about aircraft carriers

Original Story at
www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/23/aircraft-carrier-navy-think-tank/

Your article “New doubts about future of carriers” (utsandiego.com, March 20) by Gary Robbins left out one obvious solution: the battleship.

The United States Marine Corps has not had any credible surface-fire capability since Desert Storm when two battleships were on station to provide this needed and massive level of close-in support. This was all documented by the CNO on Dec. 3, 1996, and GAO on Aug. 6, 1997.

A single battleship can lay down more devastating firepower in one hour than can all the attack aircraft operating from two carrier battle groups. 


A single battleship can provide more lethality in that period of time than can 25 B-2 bombers. 


Every single shell from a battleship offers more devastation than that from five cruise missiles all impacting on the same spot.


What’s more important is quick response. Getting a sortie off the deck of a carrier usually requires several hours followed by an interminable wait for the aircraft to arrive. That bomb load also requires numerous support aircraft as escorts.

Presenting American power to the world is good only if it can be seen. An aircraft carrier operating 300 miles offshore (to remain safe from attack) offers negligible psychological impact. A battleship five or ten miles off shore presents an image never to be forgotten – especially when it fires a broadside.

Further, late World War II-class U.S. battleships are about as impervious to enemy attack as anything that has ever been afloat. Aircraft carriers on the other hand are at the far opposite extreme and essentially cannot be protected by anything and are now being targeted by a whole new family of carrier specific attack weapons.

As America’s national debt rockets beyond $16 trillion and nearly half of our yearly budget is funded by borrowed money from Red China, Japan and South Korea, we no longer have the right or the ability to buy “glitter.”

The carrier and the carrier battle group are nothing but navy romance on the taxpayer’s dime. Today we need brute force power projection that can arrive and dig a hole ten feet deep the size on a football field on 60 seconds’ notice. That’s the battleship. – Robert Beken, San Diego

In response to “Report urges phasing out aircraft carriers” (March 21): Before we mothball our entire fleet and surrender our global military hegemony to another emerging power, let us hear from the Center for International and Strategic Studies, The Hoover Institute and Hudson Institute on their thoughts about the viability of aircraft carriers. This newly formed Center for a New American Security think tank hearkens back to the isolationist era.

American military prowess must reign supreme in the Pacific Century and San Diego will be its epicenter. – Edward Mracek, La Jolla

✈ B-52 Stratofortress Rusting Away at Museum of Aviation ✈

This is an interesting story about how downsizing and economic trouble causes museums to scrap Cold War icons and other military aircrafts that belong to future generations. 


Yes there is no possibility to keep all our relics intact, however what strikes me with this story is how hard can it really be to build a roof for the planes? It's just so sad for me to hear what they are planing to do with all the planes..




Monday, March 18, 2013

✈ GoPro® HERO3 - Quadcopter DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone ✈

This amazing piece of kit comes complete with everything you can possible need to capture stunning events from far above. You charge the LiPo battery, mount your GoPro® HERO3 camera, and install the 4 ordinary AA batteries in the transmitter and you are ready to start filming. And that's it, just that quick! This kit comes with everything you need to start Aerial Filming using your GoPro® HERO3 camera.

The compact and highly integrated design means that it is easier for you to pack it into your backpack.

The streamlined design brilliantly reflects the aesthetics of its industrial design and the fantastic visual effects allows you to become the focus of the crowd. Moreover, you can mount a GoPro camera or if you like a light and handy camera on your Phantom to shoot some footage from the air!

The Phantom has an integrated flight dynamics system, the Naza-M + GPS multi-rotor autopilot system, as well as the dedicated remote controller and receiver. Flight parameters and functions have been setup before delivery, so you can fly your Phantom the moment you receive it.

The Phantom also has the Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) function of the Naza-M autopilot system. Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction. By using Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC), wherever the nose points, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction. In course lock flying, the forward direction is the same as a recorded nose direction. In home lock flying, the forward direction is the same as the direction as the direction from home point to the multi-rotor. Failsafe & auto go home/landing:

The Phantom also has the failsafe function of the Naza-M autopilot system. This means when the communication between the Main Controller and the transmitter is disconnected, the outputs of all command sticks from controller will go to the center position. If the GPS signal is good enough, the system will automatically trigger Return To Home and landing safely.


What you get with this quadcopte.


Ready to fly and film with your GoPro® HERO3 in minutes from Delivery + Transmitter

Stable - Advanced Autopilot Naza M + GPS + Altitude Hold Position Hold

Failsafe auto go home & landing function + Intelligent Orientation Control

Comes with GoPro Camera mount for amazing flight filming capability Two flight control modes, including position hold.

Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) mode.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

✈ Aviation Books - Wings On My Sleeve - The World's Greatest Test Pilot Tells His Story ✈

No test pilot in history has flown so many types of aircraft as Commander Brown and certainly no other test pilot writes as clearly and interestingly as he does. "Wings on my Sleeve" was first published in 1961 in a much shorter form. In this new edition he answers so many questions that come to mind when reading his other books - notably "Wings of the Navy" and "Wings of the Luftwaffe" - and sets these books into a much wider context of his amazing life.

This is the story of his life from his first flight, with the legendary German WW1 ace and later stunt pilot and finally Director of Air Armaments in Goering's Luftwaffe, Ernst Udet, through his experiences in Nazi Germany and his encounter with the SS when they came to tell him that the two counties were at war and on through a life that included convoy escort duties and hair-raising encounters with FW Kuriers before his outstanding deck landing skills led to his being appointed to RAE Farnborough.

Details - Wings On My Sleeve
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (18 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VCR0OO

He then chronicles the hectic life of a war time test pilot as he flew practically every type of British and US military aircraft and evaluated captured enemy machines to develop combat tactics.

Because of his fluent German, the last days of the war found him despatched to Germany to assemble and test German aircraft. Here he accepted the surrender of a major Luftwaffe base when he landed in the mistaken assumption that it had already been captured by the allies. During this time he met and talked to Goering and Hanna Reitsch as well as every major German aircraft figure of the era.

Post war the pace did not diminish: taking delivery of the first US helicopter to be allocated to the UK, he asked about training to fly it and was handed a thick book with the words, "Here's your instructor!" High speed flights investigating the approach to Mach One were interspersed with development on the Avro Tudor and Bristol Brabazon as well as a huge range of varyingly successful (and otherwise) experimental and new military and civil aircraft.

Commander Brown's close involvement in the development of so many British and US aircraft, allied with his own evaluative and literary skills make this a book to be cherished and re-read time and again: in fact, just like his previous books!

My only complaint is that, like all good things, it leaves one wanting more of the same.

PS: Commander Brown has written far too few books! One I would love for him to write would be "Wings of the Post War Navy".

Brown was born on 21 January 1919, in Leith, near Edinburgh in Scotland. He first flew when he was eight or ten when he was taken up in a Gloster Gauntlet by has father, the younger Brown sitting on his father's knee.
In 1936 Brown's father, an ex-Royal Flying Corps pilot, had taken him to see the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where, Hermann Göring having recently announced the existence of the Luftwaffe, Brown and his father met and were invited to join social gatherings, by members of the newly-disclosed organisation. It was here that Brown first met Ernst Udet, a former World War I fighter ace. Brown, a fluent German-speaker, soon discovered in himself and Udet a shared love of flying and Udet offered to take Brown up with him. Brown eagerly accepted the German's offer, and after his arrival at the appointed airfield at Halle, he was soon flying in a two-seat Bucker Jungmann which Udet threw around much to Brown's delight. Udet told Brown he "must learn to fly" and that he "had the temperament of a fighter pilot".

In 1937 Brown left The Royal High School and entered Edinburgh University studying Modern Languages, with an emphasis on German. While there he joined the University's Air Unit and received his first formal flying instruction. In February 1938 he returned to Germany, where, having been invited to attend the 1938 Automobile Exhibition by Udet, by then a Luftwaffe Major General, he saw the demonstration of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 helicopter flown by Hanna Reitsch before a small crowd inside the Deutschlandhalle. During this visit he met and got to know Reitsch. Brown was later to renew his acquaintance with her after the war, in less pleasant circumstances, she having been arrested after the German surrender in 1945.

In the meantime, Brown had been selected to take part as an exchange student at the Salem International College, located on the banks of Lake Constance and it was while there in Germany that Brown was woken up with a loud knocking on his door one morning in September 1939. Upon opening the door he was met by a woman with the announcement that "our countries are at war". Soon after, Brown was arrested by the SS. Fortunately, they merely escorted Brown in his MG Magnette sports car to the Swiss border, saying they were allowing him to keep the car because they 'had no spares for it'.

If you have the slightest interest in aviation since the 1930's this book will leave you open mouthed in awe at the incredible experiences of the author. No-one would have the audacity to write this as fiction for fear of it being branded "too far fetched!".

If being taken for a flight by Ernst Udet before WW2 and watching Hanna Reitsch fly one of the first helicopters inside the Olympic stadium isn't enough, the author goes on to fly every major UK, US, German, Italian, Russian and Japanese aircraft of world war two before being at the very forefront of the jet age and conquering of the "Sound Barrier"....and all whilst being in our Navy! Written from his personal diaries, the style is humble and events put down to good fortune when I am sure they are really due to his skill.

The book can be frustratingly thin on subjects that deserve a book of their own (how many other allied pilots flew a Me163 rocket plane under power I wonder...) and it flits back and forth in time a little confusingly but these are minor quibbles. The book is heavy due to the high quality paper needed to support the small print size to cram it all in and if more detail were given it would extend to several volumes.

Just read it and revel as iconic aircraft and characters of the 40's ad 50's are met and summarized before moving onto the next encounter.
In a time when the term "hero" has become confused with "celebrity", here folks, is the real thing...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

✈ Mysterious Space Weapons X-37B Top Secret Spy Plane ✈

"There is no one on the ground with a joystick flying it," Lt. Col. Troy Giese, X-37B program manager in the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said before the first X-37B mission blasted off last year.

I SPY WITH MY LITTLE SPACE PLANE: The Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane sits on the runway after landing at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16. The plane was in orbit for more than 15 months on a classified mission. (Photo: Boeing)
The Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane sits on the runway after landing at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16. The plane was in orbit for more than 15 months on a classified mission. (Photo: Boeing)
The X-37B looks like NASA's now-retired space shuttle, only much smaller. The vehicle measures just 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide, with a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed. For comparison, two entire X-37Bs could fit inside the payload bay of a space shuttle. It is designed to launch vertically inside the nose cone of a rocket, stay in orbit for months at a time, and then land horizontally on a runway like a space shuttle.

But unlike NASA's shuttles, the X-37B space plane does everything autonomously. It also has a solar array that is deployed from its payload bay to generate power during its months-long stay in orbit

The X-37B, also known as Orbital Test Vehicle-2 (OTV-2), launched on March 5, 2011, from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Its flight was the second-ever space mission for the X-37B program; the first was flown by OTV-2's sister ship, OTV-1.

OTV-1 stayed aloft for 225 days in 2010, well under the supposed 270-day orbital limit for the space plane. But OTV-2 smashed that limit, zipping around our planet for 469 days.

The X-37B's payloads and mission details are classified, so it's unclear exactly what OTV-2 was doing up there for so long. But Weeden thinks the Air Force's claim about technology-testing is broadly accurate.

Based on OTV-2's orbit — which is also classified but was figured out by keen-eyed amateur astronomers — Weeden reckons the space plane may have been staring down at Afghanistan and the Middle East with some brand-new spy gear, perhaps sensors that can see in wavelengths beyond the visible spectrum.

But China seems dubious of the Air Force's explanation, suspecting that X-37B missions might have a more aggressive intent.

The X-37B appears to be undergoing safing procedures after landing on Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m. PST (0916 GMT). Significant weathering, or discoloration, can be seen on the spacecraft's upper thermal blanket insulation. (Photo: USAF/Vandenberg)
The X-37B appears to be undergoing safing procedures after landing on Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m. PST (0916 GMT). Significant weathering, or discoloration, can be seen on the spacecraft's upper thermal blanket insulation. (Photo: USAF/Vandenberg)
 "Industry analysts said the spacecraft could be a precursor to an orbiting weapon, capable of dropping bombs or disabling enemy satellites as it circles the globe," China's state-run Xinhua news agency wrote on June 17, a day after OTV-2 touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

China views the X-37B "as a perfect example of the U.S. developing a space weapon program while stating in public that they're doing no such thing," Weeden told SPACE.com.

Just hours after China's Shenzhou 9 capsule roared into space on June 16, 2012 with three astronauts aboard, including the nation's first female spaceflyer Liu Yang — the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane touched down in California after 15 months orbiting Earth on a hush-hush mission.

The Air Force insists the X-37B is just testing out technologies for future satellites, but China has a deep suspicion of the vehicle and its activities, experts say.

"The X-37B is actually very controversial over there," said Brian Weeden, a technical adviser with the Secure World Foundation and a former orbital analyst with the Air Force. "They view it as a space weapon."

The Shenzhou 9 capsule, for example, linked up with the unmanned Tiangong 1 module on June 18 and again on June 24, making China just the third country — after the United States and Russia — to pull off a manned space docking.

Shenzhou 9's mission, which is expected to wrap up by June 29, 2012 is viewed as a key step in China's plan to build a permanently staffed space station in Earth orbit by 2020. The country hopes to land a taikonaut on the moon sometime after that, and it's also developing its own satellite-navigation system so as not to be dependent on the U.S.-military-run GPS network.

China's suspicions about the X-37B may not make American officials too happy, for they've stated a desire to engage the Chinese more fully on space issues going forward.

"The U.S. says they're very interested in military-military dialogue with China on space activities, and further cooperation with China in a few different areas," Weeden said.

Secret second test flight
Air Force officials have not said much about first X-37B mission, and they're been similarly tight-lipped about the upcoming second flight with the OTV-2 vehicle.

But the Air Force has said that the X-37B spacecraft should help the Air Force test and demonstrate new technologies — such as guidance, navigation and control systems — that could be used on future satellites.

The secrecy surrounding the X-37B has led to some speculation that the plane could be a space weapon of some sort. But Air Force officials have repeatedly denied that charge, and some experts have postulated that it is a platform for space reconnaissance.

The X-37B was built by Boeing's Phantom Works Division in Seal Beach, Calif., and can fly long, extended missions because of its solar array power system, which allows it to stay in orbit for up to 270 days, Air Force officials have said.

Originally, NASA used the space plane as an experimental test bed until funding for the project ran out in 2004.

The vehicle then passed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and was ultimately turned over to the Air Force in 2006.

This article was reprinted with permission from SPACE.com.
Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

✈ What is the Climb Rate of a 737 ✈

Pilots technical answers for - what the normal climb rate of a Boeing 737 would be.

First things first, climb rates depends on temperature, humdity, air pressure, the aircrafts center of gravity (passenger placement/weight, fuel weight/placement, cargo placement/weight) and cost v. speed considernations..

The initial climb rates can be in excess of 3000FPM, but the Boeing 737 can't sustain that rate of climb above roughly 7000 feet due to the air density. However 1800 is about average climb rate from around 12000 up to the flight levels. Depending on load.

1800 speed is considiered a "normal climb rate" and also found in the manual. You can of course increase the speed if you'd like, but you would have to watch out for stalls. Aircraft are set up in such a way so that you don't want to slow down too much while making your climb.

I'll usually start at about 2000fpm in the Boeing 737. Until around 30000 ft, when the speed starts dropping. To get to cruise of 35,000 or above, I find I have to drop the fpm down to 1000 to prevent stalling..

The below climb profile is SIMPLIFIED and not 100% real-world.
Boeing 737 climb rate - climb profile.

Set throttle to 98% N1 and takeoff at V2+10 (about 150kts) and hold this till ~1500' above the runway.

At 1500’ pitch down by 1/2 whatever v/s you needed to hold 150kts. (ex., if you were climbing at 3000 v/s pitch down to 1500 v/s) and reduce throttles/thrust to engine N1 at 92%. as the aircraft accelerates retract flaps (all up no later than 200-210kts) and as you approach 250kts increase pitch so you hold 250kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92% N1.

As you continue climb adjust pitch to hold 250kts.

At 10000' (USA) pitch down by 1/2 whatever v/s you are at to hold 250kts to accelerate to 300kts. pitch up to hold 300kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92% N1.

As you continue to climb adjust pitch as required to hold 300kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92%.

When the aircraft reaches M0.74 (somewhere between 25000' and 27000') begin following M0.74 (and allow the indicated knots to fall -THIS IS NORMAL!).

Keep M0.74 for the rest of the climb. adjust pitch as required. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92%.

When you reach cruise altitude NG someplace between 35000' and 40000'. Allow the aircraft to accelerate to M0.78-M0.80 and then hit the speed hold button on the autopilot.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

✈ New Mustang Logo And The SR-71 Blackbird ✈

Hello everyone.

Airplane MustangI put together a new header for the site and I hope you all will like it. I'll show it to you all here also in this post. I'm sure you all can see what type of airplane this is, even if it's mostly in blueprint form with added colors and value.

It's the P-51 Mustang, and it's one of my favorite military airplanes, that and the Spitfire. Sure I have a few more favorite aircraft too. Like the Blackbird. I don't even want to think about how much airplane insurance cost is for one of these though.

Anyhow earlier today (Wednesday February 6, 2013) before the M8.0 Santa Cruz Islands Earthquake and following Tsunami I was browsing some pictures of the SR-71 Blackbird aircraft, these pictures where taken by Nasa and of the research plane they were using back in California in the 90's. There really is something special to that long sleek body, not talking about all that Titanium..

This is an interesting video documentary about the SR-71 Blackbird airplane that I think you might like. You probably wont find any other video showing SR-71 doing Mach 1 filmed from the ground, skip to 31 min into the video to see it. Well that's all for this time, enjoy the video cya.

Friday, January 25, 2013

✈ Airplane insurance how much does it cost to own your own plane ✈

airplane insurance costs
Photo By jessicatrinh.com
Let me tell you the cost insuring airplane because unlike what many people believe owning you’re very own single or multiple engine plane is not that expensive at all.
Below I will go into what the aircraft insurance rates are today.

What you might not know about commercial aircraft insurance or the more common for you readers private plane insurance is that plane insurance cost covers much more than what you might think, and this is a good thing.

Another interesting fact is that the same plane insurance apply for most people around the world even. Aviation insurance was a bit different before with an cost of aviation insurance determined to a large extent by Lloyd’s of London.

This is because England was an important center of world trade in the 17th century and the Lloyd’s coffee house in London became the place to purchase insurance on ships and ship’s cargo.

So ever since it’s beginnings in 1688 Lloyd’s have been an pioneer in insurance. Naturally when airplanes came into existence back in 1903 with the first manned flight of a powered aircraft by the brave Wright Brothers who took to the skies, Lloyd’s was there and gave insurance coverage for all areas of aviation. And back then Lloyd’s of London gave experimental aircraft insurance and all sorts of insurance for aircraft / flying contraptions. The aircraft liability insurance  and ultralight aircraft insurance given back then was most likely a flying contraption.

Today they still play a major role in aviation insurance however in recent years 2013 the number of aircraft insurance companies that give aviation insurance and airplane insurance coverage even reinsurance coverage have increased creating even more competition in the aviation insurance business today.

So how much does it cost to own your own plane, single or multiple engine? Below is an average from 4 years ago.

So exactly how much is plane insurance today?
Airplane insurance cost for a 1973 Pa28-180
Loan on plane $700 month
Airplane insurance cost $2100 year
Annual 100 hour inspections about $5,000 year
Hangar cost $450 month
New engine fund TBO around 2000 hours. Adds up to $9.00 hour
Fuel burn around 8 gal hour
Preventive Maintenance about $4.00 hour

As you can see the airplane insurance cost here is very low. And even with the state of the economy today aviation insurance have remained rather stagnant with low rates for almost all policyholders.

However there are some risks like medevac helicopters and Alaskan operators that remain expensive to insure due to continuing losses.

The process of evaluating an insurance policyholders risk is called underwriting and it consists of gathering information about the aircraft, the pilots who fly the aircraft and how the aircraft will be used. And each year the policyholder is asked to update this information for the insurance agent to present to the various insurance companies.

The first thing to understand about this is that the competition for you’re policy exists on three levels. The insurance agent, the insurance company and the reinsurance company. But you as the policyholder are in control. And the best thing you can do is to meet with them personally if possible with several insurance agents and explore the depth of their knowledge not only about your risk but their knowledge about the kind of flying you do. Also their involvement with aviation outside of insurance and the depth of their knowledge about the insurance marketplace itself. Then you select two or tree agents to work with and divide the various insurance companies up. But you need to be honest with these agents, the competition needs to be real in order to be effective.

Let’s look at some more examples including airplane insurance costs that involve you as the owner. 

NOTE: If doing aircraft rental then it's aircraft rental insurance that you need to look at.

Airplane insurance cost 1974 Beech A36 Bonanza.
Monthly airplane insurance costs were $300 for insurance
Hangar around $175 month The hangar insurance may be included if not stated otherwise
Annual inspections averaged around $10,000 (after three years $7000 annual)
Loan about $750 month.

So that's about $1700/month even if I didn't fly it at all.
Hourly cost was about $100 hour for fuel at $5 gallon and another $50-$100 for maintenance (other than the annual inspections).

Flying 200 hours per gives a total cost of $50,000

Below is aviation insurance costs for a twin-engine plane

Airplane insurance Twin-Engine 1980 Beech 58P Baron
Insurance $1000 month
Hangar $175. The hangar insurance may be included if not stated otherwise
Annual inspections $20,000 (After three years around $15,000 for the annual)
Loan payments around $1750 month

So if I didn't fly at all it costs about $4250 month
Hourly cost was $200-$250 hour at $5 gallon plus $100-$200 for maintenance (not annual inspections)

Flying 200 hours per year, total cost $81,000

Lets look at an example of a light sport aircraft

Airplane insurance Jabiru J250SP
Insurance $200 month
Hangar $150 The hangar insurance may be included if not stated otherwise
Loan $550
Annual condition inspection $600

Total monthly cost is $950 if I don't fly at all.
Hourly cost is about $20 for fuel and another $15 for maintenance.

Flying cost at 200 hours per year about $18,400

Now there are some types of airplane insurance

Public liability insurance
This coverage, often referred to as third party liability covers aircraft owners for damage that their aircraft does to third party property, such as houses, cars, crops, airport facilities and other aircraft struck in a collision. It does not provide coverage for damage to the insured aircraft itself or coverage for passengers injured on the insured aircraft. After an accident an insurance company will compensate victims for their losses, but if a settlement can not be reached then the case is usually taken to court to decide liability and the amount of damages. Public liability insurance is mandatory in most countries and is usually purchased in specified total amounts per incident, such as $1,000,000 or $5,000,000.

Passenger liability insurance
Passenger liability protects passengers riding in the accident aircraft who are injured or killed. In many countries this coverage is mandatory only for commercial or large aircraft. Coverage is often sold on a "per-seat" basis, with a specified limit for each passenger seat.

Combined Single Limit
CSL coverage combines public liability and passenger liability coverage into a single coverage with a single overall limit per accident. This type of coverage provides more flexibility in paying claims for liability, especially if passengers are injured, but little damage is done to third party property on the ground.

The aircraft hull insurance or ground risk hull insurance not in motion
This provides coverage for the insured aircraft against damage when it is on the ground and not in motion. This would provide protection for the aircraft for such events as fire, theft, vandalism, flood, mudslides, animal damage, wind or hailstorms, hangar collapse or for uninsured vehicles or aircraft striking the aircraft. The amount of coverage may be a blue book value or an agreed value that was set when the policy was purchased.

The use of the insurance term "hull" to refer to the insured aircraft betrays the origins of aviation insurance in marine insurance. Most hull insurance includes a deductible to discourage small or nuisance claims.

Now let us look at some more examples of how much hull insurance costs are for you're airplane and what the going aircraft hull insurance rates are.

It is important to understand that between 60 percent and 80 percent of your overall aircraft insurance premium is for the aircraft hull coverage. This is a big number, in fact, you would actually pay more for hull insurance for a $30,000 coverage than for the liability insurance. Normally a limit of $1 million combined single limit with $100,000 per passenger. 

What does all this mean? It is simply because an insurance company pay a lot more in hull claims than they pay in liability claims. And since you’re now paying this much for hull insurance, what exactly do you know about it, and what are you're options?

First let’s look at one of the most important issues with this insurance coverage. This is under-insurance. All too often airplane owners try to reduce the cost of the overall aircraft insurance by lowering the amount of coverage they buy. You should never insure your airplane for less than you think your airplane is worth. If you do insure you're airplane for less then this is a big mistake. When you under-insure an airplane, you put the airplane at risk for a total loss. 

Say you have an airplane that is worth $100,000 and you then decide to insure the aircraft for $50,000 which also lowers the cost of your hull insurance. But what happens if you have an accident then? You have an accident and now the repair costs would be around $30,000, the salvage value for your airplane could be around $40,000. What this all means in the end it the insurance company will likely declare your airplane a total loss and only pay you the insured value of $50,000. 

This would mean you lose $50,000 and most likely scrapping you're airplane too.

So the key here is if you're airplane is worth $100,000, then you really should insure it for $100,000.

Ground risk hull insurance in motion, taxiing included
This coverage is similar to ground risk hull insurance not in motion, but provides coverage while the aircraft is taxiing, but not while taking off or landing. Normally coverage ceases at the start of the take-off roll and is in force only once the aircraft has completed its subsequent landing. Due to disputes between aircraft owners and insurance companies about whether the accident aircraft was in fact taxiing or attempting to take-off this coverage has been discontinued by many insurance companies.

Now remember what I talked about earlier take this into consideration, you can  hull insurance at three different levels.

  1. Ground only (not in motion)
  1. Ground including taxi
  1. all risk
So like stated earlier the ground only (not in motion) covers your airplane for all risk exposures while the airplane is on the ground and not in motion, i.e. vandalism, theft, windstorm, flood, fire, etc. 

Ground including taxi means everything covered under ground only (not in motion), plus risks during taxi, i.e. hitting a parked airplane, hitting a hangar, running into taxi-way lights and signs, etc. 

All risk adds risks during flight. Accordingly, the premiums increase as you go from ground only (not in motion) to all risk.

So lets take another example.

For example, if we consider an airplane worth $50,000. Ground only (not in motion) will range between .75 percent and 1 percent of the insured value. 

Percentages may be slightly higher for a rare airplane because of the potential for higher repair costs.

The same $50,000 airplane with ground including taxi coverage will probably cost anywhere from .5 percent to .75 percent more, or a range of 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent of the insured value. 

All risk coverage may run between 2 and 4 percent and possibly higher for rare airplane and some homebuilts. 

These ranges may seem wide, however there are many factors insurance company underwriters consider when determining a quote.)

Recommendations if you’ve just finished a homebuilt airplane or if you are purchasing an airplane, you should buy all risk coverage for ground, taxi, and flight. 

The first year you own any airplane that’s the year to have the all risk coverage. This is because you’re new to the airplane and the airplane is new to you. You never know, and trust me, all sorts of things will happen for you the first year. 

If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to be in the first year, so buy the all risk coverage and make sure you have a good aircraft insurance salvage for your plane. In your second year of ownership you may consider your options and get an even better aircraft insurance quote if everything have gone smoothly.

Also on last thing, as many airplane owners ask if they can lower their hull insurance premium by taking a higher deductible. 

Higher deductibles are seldom offered. But if you do get a quote with a higher deductible, it will not significantly impact the overall premium. For example, if you have an airplane worth $50,000 and instead of the $100 deductible offered by the insurance company you get a quote with a $5,000 deductible, your cost for hull insurance will decrease about $200. That’s really not much of a saving in the end.

In-flight insurance
In-flight coverage protects an insured aircraft against damage during all phases of flight and ground operation, including while parked or stored. Naturally it is more expensive than not-in-motion coverage since most aircraft are damaged while in motion.


References
1. Wells, A. T. and Chadbourne, B. D. Introduction to Aviation Insurance and Risk Management (3rd)

2. International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI)

3. History of Global Aerospace

4. Airline Insurance Market Indicators 2010/11 report by Aon Risk Solutions

5. Cunningham, Herb: Understanding Aviation Insurance, The COPA Guide to Buying an Aircraft, 34th Edition, pages 74-77.

6. Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

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