✈ Latest From Airplane Watch ✈

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
ZenosWarbirds

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.





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