Sunday, December 4, 2016

✈ Worlds Fastest Fighter Jet MiG-31BM Goes Mach 2.3 ✈

The currently world’s fastest interceptor now enters service with Russia’s Aerospace Forces

It was on November 30, 2016 that three squadrons of MiG-31BM fighter-interceptors landed at Tsentralnaya Uglovaya air base near Vladivostok to enter service with the Russian military. This new aircraft will be replacing the Sukhoi Su-27SM and previous modifications of MiG-31 fighters. The first 24 modernized MiG-31BM fighter jets were delivered to the Russian military back in April earlier this year.

MiG-31BM Foxhound Supersonic Long-Range Interceptor Fighter Jet
MiG-31BM Foxhound Supersonic Long-Range Interceptor Fighter Jet

The Russian Air Space Forces plan is to finally have around 130 MiG-31BM aircraft in service. With 12-13 fighter jets to undergo modernization into the BM version each year. According to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov, after the modernization the plane can remain in active service for 40-50 years.

The MiG-31 (Foxhound) is a long range, two-seat, high-speed, high-altitude fighter aircraft developed on the basis of the proven Mig-25 Foxbat interceptor. It is designed to intercept and destroy cruise missiles, low-flying satellites, stealth aircraft, and other aerial targets of all types at all possible altitudes, during day or night, and in adverse weather conditions. The MiG-31BM is one of only a few aircraft able to intercept and destroy cruise missiles flying at extremely low heights. The BM upgrade is supposed to allow MiG-31s to remain in service until the year 2030.

According to Captain 2nd rank Vladimir Matveev, Eastern Military District spokesman, the aircraft’s combat capabilities increased by 2.6 times as a result of modernization. Classified as a long-range interceptor, the modernized MiG's are now able to destroy both air and ground targets.

The fighter jet is powered by two D-30F6 fuel-efficient engines developing a top speed of 2883km (1,860 miles) per hour at high altitude and about 1,554km/h (960 mph) at low altitude. The powerful engines allow The MiG-31 to break the sound barrier while flying level or ascending, whereas the majority of supersonic aircraft break the speed of sound in a shallow dive.

Moreover, the MiG-31 can go supersonic at medium and high altitudes without turning on afterburners. It can accelerate up to 2,500km/h (1553mi). At the maximum speed, is faster than any similar aircraft in the world, by at least 500 kilometers per hour. Duration of the MiG-31 supersonic flight is only limited by the fuel supply.

Its combat radius, depending on speed, varies between about 708km (440 miles) and 1,448km (900 miles).

A flight of fighter-interceptor MiG-31BM on the operational airfield

During the drills, the aircraft broke a record for the longest non-stop flight, spending seven hours and four minutes in the air while covering the distance of 8,000km (4,970mi) from Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region to the Astrakhan region in southern Russia with three mid-air refueling procedures performed en route.

The Zaslon-M weapons control and radar system, developed by V. Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, provides increased target detection range - nearly 320km (199 mi) - and a firing range of about 280km (174 mi). The system can detect a fighter aircraft at a range of 320 kilometers (198mi) with the ability to engage them at a distance of 280 kilometers (173mi). The upgraded radar can track up to 24 aircraft while engaging up to ten airborne targets simultaneously. The Zaslon-M also enables the use of air-to-air missiles, smart bombs and anti-radiation missiles.

The equipment includes digital secure datalinks. The RK-RLDN datalink is for communication with ground control centers. The APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200km (124 mi) from each other. It also can direct other aircraft to targets spotted by MiG-31BM. A group of four of these aircraft can control the air space of a front line 800-900 km (497-559mi) in length. The MiG-31BMs can perform as airborne early warning and control aircraft freeing A-50 AEW planes for other missions.

The plane carries 10 R-37M or RVV-BD missiles with an operational range of 320km (198mi). The range is 189km (117, 5 mi) for stealth targets. The missile is designed to shoot down AWACS and other C4ISTAR aircraft whilst keeping the launch platform out of range of any fighters that might be protecting the target. It can attack targets ranging in altitude between 15–25,000 meters (5 – 82,000 feet).

The R-37M is believed to track its targets with both semi-active and active radar homing. The R-37M can also use a fire-and-forget mode where it is completely independent of its launch platform. Its high explosive fragmentation warhead is huge 60 kilograms and capable of critically damaging large aircraft. The speed is incredibly high – about 7,350 km/h or Mach 6.

The Mig-31BM is also equipped with a six-barrel rapid-fire gun.

In the air-to-surface operating mode, the fighter can be used for mapping the terrain and attacking ground and sea targets by using a wide range of guided missiles and precision-guided bombs.

It can be equipped with antiradar missiles Kh-31 and Kh-25), air-surface rockets Kh-59 and Kh-29, guided bombs KAB-1500 or to eight KAB-500 with television or laser guidance. The maximum mass of combat load is 9000 kg (19841lb).

Able to undertake long-range interception, precision strike and defense suppression tasks, the aircraft is on the list of ten top aircraft in the world. The MiG-31BM variant will form the backbone of Russia’s air defenses.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

✈ AIRBUS A350-1000 Successful Maiden Flight ✈

The all new Airbus A350-1000 made it's maiden flight on 24 November 2016, the A350-1000 performed and demonstrated its efficiency and capabilities for it's global customers.

Airbus A350-1000 made it's maiden flight on 24 November 2016
Airbus A350-1000 made it's maiden flight on 24 November 2016

The new Airbus have the longest fuselage in the Airbus A350 XWB jetliner family. It is measuring nearly 74 metres from nose to tail giving it more storage and space. The new A350-1000 also offer a maximum range of 7,950 nautical miles and is designed for "high efficiency, maximum reliability and optimised performance" but is still able to offer the passengers the best-in-class comfort with its “Airspace by Airbus” cabin.

In a typical three-class configuration, featuring Airbus’ 18-inch-wide economy class seats for modern comfort, the A350-1000 seats a total of 366 passengers. Combined with a range of 7,950 nautical miles, this represents a significant revenue-generating advantage for operators. The aircraft also can be configured for a higher-density layout to accommodate up to 440 passengers.

Airbus A350-1000 Test Pilots During Maiden Flight on 24 November 2016
Airbus A350-1000 Test Pilots During Maiden Flight on 24 November 2016

As a member of the A350 XWB Family, the A350-1000 is helping found the Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, which creates the perfect space for both airlines and their passengers. Airbus is committed to delivering superior performance and passenger experience, and its Airspace by Airbus philosophy delivers a next-generation cabin concept inspired by four key attributes: comfort, service, ambience and design.

Watch Video from The Maiden Flight

Increased efficiency

Powering the A350-1000 will be higher-thrust Trent XWB engines from the manufacturer Rolls-Royce, this will allow the large A350 XWB to attain even greater levels of efficiency.

The Trent XWB engines will provide additional payload capability and range. On take-off the twin Rolls-Royce engines produce 97,000 lbs. of thrust making them the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft. With these two specially-tailored Trent XWB engines Airbus is hoping the A350-1000 will be capable of supporting the development of long-haul routes for emerging markets such as Shanghai-Boston or Paris-Santiago.

Airbus A350-1000 Maiden Flight on 24 November 2016
Airbus A350-1000 Maiden Flight on 24 November 2016

As well as the more traditional flight segments such as Manchester-Los Angeles or Dubai-Melbourneall. The efficiency of the Trent XWB engines will allow Airbus to burn 25 percent less fuel than its nearest competitor. The A350-1000 sells for $356 million at list prices, and it is designed to compete with Boeing's 777-300ER. That is currently the most successful version of the US planemaker's popular Boeing 777 family.

Airbus hopes it will help it reach 50 per cent of wide-body aircraft deliveries, up from 35 per cent in 2015. But critics say the aircraft failed to deliver the knockout blow to the older 777 it had hoped, despite an upgrade in engine design.

Airbus has sold 195 new-generation A350-1000s out of 810 total A350 orders, compared with 809 sales of the 777-300ER.

Monday, August 29, 2016

✈ Boeing 747-100 Cutaway Poster ✈

This is the Boeing 747-100 shown in the poster as a cutaway and it was the first original variant made by Boeing launched in 1966. The 747-200 soon followed, with its launch in 1968. The 747-300 was later launched in 1980 and it was followed by the 747-400 in 1985.

Boeing also announced the 747-8 in 2005. Several versions of each variant have been produced by Boeing, and many of the early variants were in production simultaneously. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) classifies variants using a shortened code formed by combining the model number and the variant designator (e.g. "B741" for all -100 models).

Boeing 747-100 Cutaway Poster X-Ray Cross Section
Boeing 747-100 Cutaway Poster Cross Section

The first 747-100s were built with six upper deck windows (three per side) to accommodate upstairs lounge areas. Later, as airlines began to use the upper deck for premium passenger seating instead of lounge space, Boeing offered a ten-window upper deck as an option.

Some early -100s were retrofitted with the new configuration. The -100 was equipped with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3A engines. No freighter version of this model was developed, but many 747-100s were converted into freighters. A total of 167 747-100s were built.

Friday, June 10, 2016

✈ US Military Test New GPS Jamming Weapon ✈

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) have made warnings to aircraft to stay a few hundred miles away from the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California.

Modern Electronic Warfare
Modern Electronic Warfare
The Us military is testing out a new electromagnetic weapon that disrupts GPS systems and other flight control systems.

June 7, 2016, GPS readouts will be unreliable or nonexistent for 253 nautical miles (291 miles) at 50 feet above sea level, for 340NM (391 miles) at 4,000 feet, and for 375NM (431 miles) at 10,000 feet, covering a huge area of very busy airspace.

The FAA issued the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Warning - CHLK_16-08_GPS_Flight_Advisory.pdf

FAA is warning
FAA is warning

The above map shows the Los Angles Basin, the San Francisco Bay Area and Las Vegas in Nevada are among the areas affected in some way.

In addition, the FAA is warning pilots flying the Embraer Phenom 300, one of the world's most popular executive jet aircraft, that the testing could interfere with flight stability controls and has said extra care should be taken in the area.

The jamming will take place between 0930 and 1530 Pacific Time and more tests are planned.

Further GPS jamming will take place at the same time on June 9, 21, 23, 28 and 30, bringing more disruption for travelers.

The US is not alone in this. The UK communications regulator Ofcom has issued an advisory that aircraft-based GPS jamming exercises will be held over the Scottish Hebrides at 0900-1100 and 1300-1500 local time for the entire month of July.

GPS jamming and electromagnetic war is nothing new even the North Koreans have it. And we reported about Electromagnetic war games by NATO back in 2014

This time however with the lack of ground jamming it could indicate that the GPS jamming device is airborne, but the FAA only concerns itself with airspace, so ground based jammers can't be ruled out.

It's also possible that the jamming is, in fact, just a testbed for some new anti-jamming technology under development and being flown overhead. With the ability to jam GPS getting easier and cheaper each day, the military is keen to develop new systems that would still allow aircraft, drones, and missiles to defeat jamming signals.

There's been no word from China Lake as to what the hardware used for the tests actually is (and we're not exactly holding our breath expecting an answer), but for the meantime avoid flying these unfriendly skies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

✈ US Spy Plane Flew Into Civilian Airzone With Transponders Off ✈

Moscow is furious after an US spy plane endangers civilian planes on the Russian border over the Sea of Japan.

Russia said it summoned the U.S. defense attache on May 23 after an American military aircraft flew into civilian airspace during a reconnaissance mission near Russia's far-eastern border.

US Reconnaissance Plane Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint
US Reconnaissance Plane Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint
The spy plane flew into the civilian airzone with the transponders turned off and could not be tracked by civilian traffic control.

Russia's defense ministry said that the U.S. Air Force RC-135 surveillance plane risked colliding with passenger planes as it flew over the Sea of Japan on May 22 because it had turned its transponders off and could not be detected by civilian radar, although it was flying at an altitude typically used by passenger jets.

The U.S. crew did not inform regional authorities of the plane's route, said the ministry.

"The U.S. plane crew's unprofessional actions created the danger of a collision with civilian airlines," the ministry said, adding that measures must be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

Potentially endangering civilian air traffic is bad enough, as is harassing Russia which constant surveillance flights just at the tip of its border. Combining the two is absolutely scandalous.

Imagine if a Russian military plane had strayed into the civilian air zone off the coast of Florida but kept its transponder off. In such a case the media would quite rightfully shred Kremlin to bits. Alas it was actually the Americans and therefore there is not even a whimper of the incident in mainstream media.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

✈ [Video] The Story of The Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing ✈

The Flying Wing was the brainchild of Jack Northrop, who started work on the concept in the 1930s. Jack Northrop also desigened the wings on the Douglas DC2 and DC3's and had also a scaled down wing flying in the early 1940's. That model is on display and flying at the Planes of  Fame Museum in Chino California. Back then Northrop advocated "The Wing" as a means of reducing drag and structural weight.

The Story of The Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing
The Story of The Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing
It may be hard to believe today, but the original Northrop Flying Wing's innovative design was often used against it by detractors from competing aircraft companies ("An airplane that doesn't have a tail")

Because of this Northrop Aircraft produced this information film to extol the Wings virtues and answer her critics.

The result is a film that gives a compelling overview of the principles of advantages of the Wing design, delivered by Northrop's Director of Engineering, Harrison F. Burke.

You'll see the restored color film of the jet powered Wing in operation, supplemented by an extensive use of instructive animations. You'll learn about the role of drag in flight in relation to efficiency in aircraft design, the advantages of a swept wing, the inherent advantages in structural integrity of the Wing design, simplicity and ease of maintenance, the role of center of gravity in tail design and more.

The Story of the Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - Restored Color - 1949

Nearly a half-hour long, this is a fascinating story of the world’s first “stealth” aircraft before stealth was an aviation term. The story of this magnificent aircraft ends in an achingly similar fashion to Northrop’s other technology marvel, the YF-23.

Both were never allowed to come to full power.  But in fact the YB-49 was actually executed and burned up on the Hawthorne airport runway by military order.

Pictures of the Northrop YB-49
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - First Flight - 1949
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - First Flight - 1949
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - In Air - 1949
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - In Air - 1949
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - Blueprint - 1949
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - Blueprint - 1949

Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - Picture 236600 ID 2102367
Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing - Picture 236600 ID 2102367

Saturday, May 7, 2016

✈ Batik Air Boeing 737-800 Runway Collision With ATR-42-600 Passenger Plane ✈

This accident happened a month ago Apr 2016. There were no injuries, but both aircraft received substantial damage. Even with the fuel on fire the firefighters managed to put out the flames on both the aircraft. From the photos we can see the aftermath of the damage and on the video we see the firefighters put out the fire of the burning wing on the Boeing 737.

The photos have been taken by TunasKelapa and the video of the accident is from Youtube user Ippi Thyssen. And the excellent write up was done by Simon Hradecky, created Monday, Apr 4th 2016.

A Batik Air Boeing 737-800, registration PK-LBS performing flight ID-7703 from Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma to Ujung Padang (Indonesia) with 49 passengers and 7 crew, was in the takeoff roll on runway 24 at 19:55L (12:55Z) when its left wing tip entangled with the vertical tail and left wing of a Transnusa Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-600 registration PK-TNJ crossing the runway under tow and separated the most of the vertical tail plane as well as the left wing from the ATR, the left wing tank ruptured open.

Batik Air Boeing 737-800 Wing Damage
Batik Air Boeing 737-800 Wing Damage - Photos by TunasKelapa
 Both aircraft caught fire, the Boeing was evacuated via slides. Fire engines responded and were able to put the fires out in a matter of minutes. There were no injuries, both aircraft received substantial damage.

Indonesia's Ministry of Transport reported the Boeing was taxiing for departure, the ATR was under tow to a hangar when the aircraft collided causing damage to the left wing tip of the Boeing and separation of vertical tail and left wing of the ATR. There were no injuries. The airport needed to be closed however.

ATR-42-600 Passenger Plane Massive Damage
ATR-42-600 Passenger Plane Massive Damage - Photos by TunasKelapa

Ground observers reported the Boeing 737-800 was already accelerating for takeoff from runway 24, when the ATR under tow crossed the runway about 1280 meters/4200 feet down the runway. The Boeing rejected takeoff but could not stop in time to avoid the collision.

Radar data suggest the Boeing was accelerating for takeoff from runway 24 reaching about 110 knots over ground when takeoff was rejected. The aircraft came to a stop about 500 meters/1650 feet past the intersection of the runway with the only crossing taxiway.

Batik Air reported their flight was cleared for takeoff and was accelerating when the aircraft under tow crossed the runway. Their crew rejected takeoff however could not avoid the collision.

Batik Air terbakar di Bandara Halim Perdana Kusuma

Video from Ippi Thyssen

Indonesia's NTSC have opened an investigation into the accident.

On Apr 5th 2016 Lembaga Penyelenggara Pelayanan Navigasi Penerbangan Indonesia (LPPNPI), ATC provider, reported that the tower controller on duty, his assistant as well as the supervisor were relieved from duties for at least three weeks because of emotional disorders and psychological effects of the accident on them. Indonesia's NTSC in the meantime is collecting data and is going to investigate the accident.

On Apr 6th 2016 Indonesia's Ministry of Transport suspended all ground handling operations by Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport arguing that the ground handler failed to prevent the collision on the runway. The suspension, not affecting JAS operations on other Indonesian airports, remains in effect until JAS complies with NTSC recommendations.

On Apr 11th 2016 Indonesia's NTSC released two safety recommendations to Indonesia's Ministry of Transport as result of the investigation so far: all aircraft operating within the runway area, irrespective of being powered, towed or otherwise, should be on the same frequency and all aircraft operating within the runway area, irrespective of being powered, towed or otherwise, should activate their position lights.

On Apr 14th 2016 the French BEA reported based on preliminary information from NTSC Indonesia, that the Batik Boeing 737-800 had been cleared to enter runway 24 via taxiway C and backtrack the runway. In the meantime the tug driver of the Transnusa ATR requested clearance to cross the runway from the north to the south apron and received clearance to taxi via taxiway C, runway 06/24 and taxiway G. While crossing the runway the tug driver saw the Boeing 737 accelerate for takeoff and attempted to steer the tug and aircraft to the right runway shoulder, however the left wing of the Boeing collided with the vertical stabilizer and left wing of the ATR. The Boeing rejected takeoff and came to a stop 400 meters past the point of collision. The occurrence was rated an accident and is being investigated by Indonesia's NTSC.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

✈ Emirates Airbus A380 Landing in Strong Crosswinds ✈

Caught on video this weekend was this crosswind landing done by an Emirates Airbus A380 at Manchester Airport, Saturday the 26th of March 2016. Looks like the pilots had everything under control even in the strong crosswinds that day and managed to do a safe landing with the big Airbus A380 carrying around 500 passengers.

The video uploaded to World Aviation HD on Youtube even have some comments from the passengers on the Airbus.

I was on this flight, it was scary.

+Lena Jostel hey lena, what was it like?

+World Aviation HD I remember there was a period of standstill as you can see from the video, and the descent was quite abrupt and I felt queasy. However the pilot really did great landing the plane. I'm still alive haha.

Emirates Airbus A380 landing in strong crosswinds at Manchester Airport March 2016
Emirates Airbus A380 landing in strong crosswinds at Manchester Airport March 2016
Flight: EK17
Registration: A6-EEC
Aircraft: Airbus A380

Saturday, February 27, 2016

✈ Boeing 727 Lands Without Landing Gear at Guam’s International Airport Friday ✈

An Boeing 727 Asia Pacific Airlines cargo plane landed at Guam’s international airport Friday without a functioning front landing gear. Video courtesy of Ronald Roberts, United Airlines.

Boeing 727 Crash Landing Feb 26 2016 - Picture by Mark Scott
Three crew members on board, and no one was injured, according to airport spokeswoman Rolenda Faasuamalie.

No fire or smoke was reported. The aircraft took off from A.B. Won Pat International Airport at 1:08 p.m. on a “training flight"

It was scheduled to return to the island at 3:15 p.m. At around 2:55 p.m., the airport control tower received an alert that there was a situation on board that “may affect safe landing"

The plane released fuel to become lighter. The video also shows how the crew performed a touch-and-go maneuver, which means the aircraft practiced a landing before making the actual attempt.The pilots performed the touch and go maneuver excellent and went on to circle the airport to make final preparations.

The aircraft spent extra time in the air to expend as much fuel as possible to prevent any possible damage to the aircraft body done by the "crash landing" from igniting the left over fuel in it's tanks.

The crew on board then called the final approach at 4:15 p.m., and the plane landed at 4:16 p.m.

Video taken by United Airlines Ronald Roberts Friday Feb. 26.

The incident did not impact airport operations, Faasuamalie said.

At the scene, the airplane’s nose could be seen tilted low to the ground. Other aircraft continued to land at the airport after the cargo plane touched down.

Airport rescue and firefighting units, the Guam Police Department, and the Guam Fire Department responded to the incident. Airport police controlled traffic around the airport.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registry, the plane was a Boeing 727 turbo-jet engine aircraft.

Pictures taken by Mark Scott and Video taken by United Airlines Ronald Roberts Friday Feb. 26.

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