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Airplane Geeks Podcast

The weekly podcast that explores and expands your passion for aviation.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The weekly podcast that explores and expands your passion for aviation.

677 Green Aviation

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Green aviation topics such as sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen power. Also, airline flight cancellations due to weather and staff shortages, flight automation for non-pilots, the F-15EX engine competition, FAA and FCC disagreement on 5G interference for pilots, a possible national no-fly list for unruly passengers, and interviews from the 2021 Pacific Air Show.

Airbus zero-emission concept aircraft. © AIRBUS 2020

Aviation News

Textron Aviation – More Environmentally Friendly Fuels Approved for Cessna Piston-Powered Aircraft

A number of Cessna piston-powered aircraft are now approved for 91-octane unleaded (91UL), 94UL, or 100VLL (very low lead) fuel. Textron Aviation announced this for the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and 182 Skylane. The 206 Turbo Stationair HD aircraft is now approved for 100VLL. These fuels are cleaner burning compared to others with higher lead levels.

How close are hydrogen planes, really?

The short answer: maybe 3 or 4 decades. There are issues with carrying the fuel onboard a large commercial aircraft, creating the infrastructure, and price. SAF, or sustainable aviation fuels, is a much shorter-term step.

Biodiesel is booming. It may help the climate, but there’s a big environmental risk

Biodiesel is in high demand and Government incentives are helping ramp up production significantly. A third of all soybean oil produced in the U.S. already goes to make biodiesel. This is putting pressure on feedstocks, like soybean oil, which costs around a dollar per pound now. Last year it was $0.35.

American Airlines cancels 1,400 flights due to staff shortages, bad weather

Weekend staff shortages and bad weather were blamed for the cancellations. American reported that 376 flights were canceled on Friday, October 29, 551 flights were canceled on Saturday, and 480 more on Sunday. FlightAware said American has delayed more than 1,000 flights since Friday. About 1,800 flight attendants are scheduled to return from leave. The airline recently hired over 600 more and plans to start them by the end of December.

I’m Not a Pilot, but I Just Flew a Helicopter Over California

California start-up Skyryse developed FlightOS, a system that allows non-pilots to fly aircraft. Skyryse is backed by $250 million in funding and the system uses sensors such as cameras and radar.

General Electric Bests Pratt & Whitney In $1.6B F-15EX Engine Competition

The first lot of eight F-15EX fighters were powered by the competing GE F110-129 engine. The Air Force announced that the engine will continue to power the F-15EX. The firm-fixed-price deal could be for up to 329 engines. Deliveries will start in October 2023 and run through June 2031

FAA worries new 5G wireless service could interfere with aviation safety

In FAA Plans Warnings to Pilots, Airlines Over New 5G Rollout, the Wall Street Journal says the FAA is preparing a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin and an airworthiness directive saying that cell towers transmitting 5G signals could affect certain automated features that help fly and land airplanes. Like radar altimeters. On the other hand, both the FCC and the telecom industry say there is no evidence the 5G signals will interfere with aviation.

Buttigieg Says No-Fly List For Violent Passengers ‘On The Table’

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that a no-fly list should be considered for violent airplane passengers.

There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of flight crews in the air or any of the essential workers—from bus drivers to air crews who get people to where they need to be.

Pete Buttigieg

Related: What Would it Take to Set Up a National ‘No-Fly’ List of Unruly Passengers?

The FAA gathered top U.S. airline executives for a meeting to discuss the problem of unruly passengers. The airlines were given a month to develop concrete “additional steps” that reduce such incidents. A national “no-fly” list used by all airlines was suggested by Delta, but others prefer that the issue is handled by law enforcement.

Pacific Air Show

Brian Coleman attended the Pacific Air Show and spoke with a number of people, including Air Force Reserve Master Sgt Uscanga Harris, Ed, Gary with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Jay, and Stephanie.

Mentioned

Brick Mosaic Designer – Turn images into unique LEGO® compatible brick mosaic art.

Nov 03 2021

1hr 32mins

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676 Boeing 787

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A Boeing 787 Captain explains getting type-certified and his career journey. In the news, an MD-87 is destroyed but all aboard survive, Piedmont Airlines flight attendants authorize a strike, flight statistics comparing 2019 with 2020 and 2121, buying an airline flight from a vending machine, a protest by Alitalia flight attendants, and a proposed hypersonic passenger plane. Also, plane spotting at LAX and the new parking structure.

Guest

Arnie Quast is a new Boeing 787 Captain for United Airlines based at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport.  He has been a pilot at United for 31 years, and has flown as a crewmember in just about every aircraft type United has in their fleet.

Arnie describes the process of becoming a Boeing 787 captain after flying Airbus equipment, including the vacancy bid openings and how seniority determines where a pilot fits on the bid. We look into the United training process in some detail, including computer-based training (CBT) modules, the training center, transitioning to the aircraft, and the role of the line check airman (LCA). Arnie tells us about systems training, classroom ground school, using the simulator, the systems knowledge validation (SKV) test followed by procedures training and procedures validation, as well as maneuvers training in the full flight sim, maneuvers validation, practice flights through line-oriented flight training (LOFT), and the type-rating check-ride supervised by a standards captain.

Arnie touches on flight security issues, engaging with passengers, and United’s Aviate pilot career development program that offers aspiring and established pilots pathways to a United flight deck.

Arnie began learning to fly when he was 15 years old at a central New Jersey airport and earned his private pilot license at age 17.  After high school, he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he earned the rest of his pilot ratings as well as a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science. During his senior year at Embry-Riddle, Arnie worked for United Airlines as a Flight Operations Intern. That internship helped him get hired as a United pilot at age 23 and launched his career as an airline pilot.

Aviation News

NTSB: Plane that ran off runway in Brookshire had not flown in 10 months

An MD-87 attempted to take off from Houston Executive Airport but ran off the end of the runway, struck a fence and power poles, and burned. The eighteen passengers and three crew members were able to exit the aircraft after a flight mechanic opened the main cabin door and activated the evacuation slide. Video shows a puff of smoke at the tail of the aircraft and tire marks were found on the runway. 

Hundreds of American Airlines Regional Flight Attendants Vote to Strike, but Walkout Still Distant

Piedmont Airlines flight attendants at PHL unanimously vote to authorize a strike

Flight attendants at American Airlines’ Piedmont Airlines regional carrier voted unanimously to strike. The Association of Flight Attendants-Communications Workers of America claims that flight attendants just starting have a base pay of $16,500 a year and 10-year veterans make only $28,000 a year. According to the union, the airline offered a small pay increase that was more than offset by higher health insurance premiums.

Flight tracking statistics

The Flightradar24 global flight tracking service tracks over 180,000 flights from more than 1,200 airlines, flying to or from some 4,000 airports around the world – in real-time. Their aggregate flight tracking statistics compare 2019 (pre-pandemic), 2020, and 2021 to date.

This Japanese Airline is Selling Flights to Surprise Destinations Out of Vending Machines

The LCC Peach Aviation marketing campaign has been a big hit. Last August, Peach launched a vending machine in Osaka that sells capsules with the name of a surprise destination and Peach points that can be used towards the cost of the flight. Peach has sold more than 3,000 capsules so far.

Watch: Ex-Alitalia Flight Attendants Strip Off Uniforms in Flash Mob Protest

Alitalia is gone and was replaced by Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA). Alitalia had huge debts which were written off in a deal between the Italian government and the European Commission. But an agreement with the unions wasn’t reached for ITA. Only 30% of the Alitalia workers were brought into ITA and the union says their wages dropped by 30%.

Why a Mach 5 passenger plane is a crazy idea that might just work

Atlanta-based startup Hermeus is thinking about hypersonic Mach 5 air travel. The company is testing an engine for small, unmanned hypersonic aircraft for the US Air Force. Hermeus believes the engine design could be scaled to a size that could power a passenger plane. Engine tests of a “Turbine-Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) engine started in February 2020 based on the existing GE J85-21 turbojet engine used on the F-5.

LAX, Mayor Garcetti Announce Opening Of $294 Million Economy Parking Structure

Plane spotters at LAX.

Brian Coleman attended the event and speaks with:

Mentioned

Honoring the legacy of the WASP, November 11, 2021, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio.

96-year-old World War II Veteran granted dream flight in 1920s airplane

Veteran’s Last Patrol

Twin Cities Man Accused Of Operating Private Airport In Field Behind His Home

This Is The Most Incredible Tour Of A B-52 Stratofortress We Have Ever Seen

Erik Johnston’s Youtube channel

Oct 27 2021

2hr 3mins

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675 NBAA-BACE

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Highlights from NBAA-BACE, including the HondaJet 2600 Concept Light Jet, Cirrus Vision Jet, and Diamond all-electric trainer. Also, a KC-46 tanker update, airline ticket refunds, FA smuggling, a passenger who was not a terrorist, an Australia News Desk report, and a story from our Main(e) Man Micah.

NBAA-BACE

Highlights from the 2021 edition of the NBAA-BACE from the National Business Aviation Association.

Aviation supply chain faces mounting strain as demand picks up

Global shipping, supply chain, and labor issues are affecting aviation with component delays and increasing raw material prices. Skilled worker shortages are also occurring.

HondaJet Launches New 2600 Concept Light Jet at NBAA BACE

Honda displayed a mockup of the HondaJet 2600 Concept that will feature a transcontinental range of 2,625 nm. Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino:

“New conditions in the business aviation industry have signaled the need for rapid cross-country travel and the ability to carry more passengers and payload and dire necessity of cutting carbon emissions. In response we developed the HondaJet 2600 Concept, which delivers a transcontinental range of 2,625 nautical miles, with seating for up to 11 occupants.”

Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino

Cirrus Brings Latest Jet to NBAA-BACE

The Cirrus Aircraft SF50 G2+ Vision Jet is the successor of the G2. The G2+ adds new features including increased engine performance, Gogo Wi-Fi, and new color configurations. The Williams International FJ33-5A engine modifications produce a 20 percent improvement in takeoff performance in hot-and-high conditions.

Diamond Announces Plans to Create All-Electric Trainer

The Diamond Aircraft eDA40 will be targeted to flight school training fleets. First flight is planned for the second quarter of 2022 with certification following in 2023. The EDA40 is expected to have about a 90-minute flight time and a recharge turnaround time of about 20 minutes, said Heikenwälder.

Aviation News

AMC Green Lights KC-46 to Refuel F-15s, F-16s; 62 Percent of Receivers Now Cleared

The Air Mobility Command has cleared KC-46A tankers for air-to-air refueling using the boom. This is the third “interim capability release”

Battles are being waged over airline refunds. Passengers aren’t always winning.

The Department of Transportation recently reported that in the 18 months starting in January 2020, it received 124,918 consumer complaints related to air travel. Over 84 percent of them concerned ticket refunds. The Department of Transportation has launched investigations into 20 airlines but 18 of them are still pending.

American Airlines Flight Attendant Busted Allegedly Smuggling Gold Bars, Rolex Watches and Cash On Flight to Miami

The 57-year-old head purser was arrested in Argentina on suspicion of trying to smuggle the loot on a flight from Buenos Aires to Miami. Her luggage contained 2,204 grams of gold, Rolex watches, other jewelry, thousands of Pesos, and US$ 11,413.33. The flight attendant is accused of smuggling and money laundering.

Man who was pinned to ground as a terrorist at LaGuardia was held after fellow flyer mistook his vintage camera for a bomb

American Airlines Flight 4817, from Indianapolis to LaGuardia, made an emergency landing and emergency slide evacuation after a woman accused another passenger of having a bomb. The “terrorist” was simply watching vintage camera videos and handling his own old camera.

Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant bring news from Down Under:

More details around Defence’s proposed MH-60R buy

RAN MH-60R Seahawk helicopter ditches in the Philippine Sea

QANTAS Brings Forward International Flights to 1 November

Virgin Australia to return to international flights

Stereotypes on the Q400 – Reprise

A story from our Main(e) Man Micah.

Oct 20 2021

1hr 29mins

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674 Cranky Dorkfest 2021

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Recorded at Cranky Dorkfest 2021 at LAX. This is an annual one-day event just outside the airport where avgeeks meet to plane spot, see old friends, meet new ones, and tell stories. It’s hosted by Cranky Flier and this year about 300 people attended.

Brian Coleman spoke with some of the attendees, including Brett Snyder (Cranky), Isaac Alexander, JL Johnson (AirlineReporter), Ben Granucci (NYCAviation), Tim and Greg (Big Ass Fans), Bob Ruple, Allie, Kevin (Airline Videos Live), Phil Derner (NBAA and NYCAviation), Justin Erbacci (CEO Los Angeles World Airports), and special guest Courtney Miller (The Air Current).

Isaac and Dan
Isaac and Henry Harteveldt

Oct 13 2021

1hr 14mins

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673 Planes of Fame

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Our guest is Steve Hinton, the president of the Planes of Fame Air Museum. In the news, Delta Airlines signs a contract for sustainable aviation fuel, United Airlines decides to resume cargo-only flights, Qatar Airways profits were cut by Covid, and British Airways pilots may have the opportunity to fly for Qatar.

Guest

Steve Hinton is president of the Planes of Fame Air Museum and the owner of Fighter Rebuilders. Steve tells us about the living history collection of aircraft that is the museum, as well as the events held to create participation. Planes of Fame restores many warbirds to flightworthy condition and these are flown at demonstrations, airshows, and even in movies. A Bearcat and a Corsair were used in the production of the upcoming action war drama film Devotion.

Steve also works with the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation which celebrates U.S. airpower history and is a living memorial to those who have served in the U.S. Air Force. Heritage Flight demonstrations are flown around the world which pair modern aircraft with fighter aircraft from the past. Steve explains how the selected civilian pilots practice with the military pilots and he describes the challenges of flying old prop warbirds with modern jets.

After our conversation with Steve, Brian Finnegan joined us and he describes the history of Planes of Fame which was founded by Ed Maloney. Brian is the Director, Education Programs and Development at Planes Of Fame Air Museum.

Learn more at the Planes of Fame Air Museum website, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Aviation News

Delta purchases more than $1 billion Worth of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Delta Airlines signed an agreement with Aemetis for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The 10-year contract is worth more than $1 billion for 250 million gallons of blended fuel. The fuel will be produced at the company’s Riverbank, California renewable jet/diesel plant from waste forest and orchard wood. Aemetis expects the fuel to be available in 2024.

United is Restarting Cargo-Only Flights Because the Delta Variant is Having Such a Big Impact On Bookings

United Airlines had just responded to a surge in passenger bookings by phasing out special freighter services. Now the airline will resume cargo-only flights using empty passenger planes. Passenger planes can be used for freight by simply using the cargo hold or carrying the freight in the passenger cabin. Some airlines just strapped items to seats and others removed the seats to make even more room.

British Airways Boeing 777 Pilots Will Go On Secondment to Qatar Airways Over The Winter

According to an internal BA memo, up to 40 Boeing 777 Captains and First Officers have an opportunity to fly planes with Qatar for around six months during the London winter lull. Pilots would temporarily relocate to Doha and would retain their contracts and seniority. They would continue being paid by British Airways.

Qatar Airways says losses reach $4.1 billion amid pandemic

Those losses in revenue are a result of reduced demand for long-haul travel over the last fiscal year. However, Qatar reported an increase in earnings to $1.6 billion (before taxes and other costs) over the prior year. While the airline saved on jet fuel, it also reduced salaries by 15% and cut 13,400 employees from its workforce. Qatar had been the subject of a political embargo that kept them from flying in the airspace of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Massive oil spill off Orange County coast shuts down beachfronts, air show

How a burst oil pipeline brought a halt to an air show.

Mentioned

New Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit at the American Helicopter Museum.

Oct 06 2021

1hr 14mins

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672 Leonardo AW609 Tiltrotor

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The Head of Tiltrotor Marketing at Leonardo describes the world’s first commercial tiltrotor. In the news, a United stationary tail strike, Congress steps in on the controversial FAA flight training policy, DOJ files an antitrust suit over the American Airlines-JetBlue alliance, an industry-wide no-fly list is proposed, and Rolls-Royce wins the contract to re-engine the B-52 fleet.

Leonardo AW609 Tiltrotor, courtesy Leonardo.

Guest

William M. (Bill) Sunick

William M. (Bill) Sunick is Head of Tiltrotor Marketing at Leonardo. Their AW609 is the first commercial tiltrotor to enter the market and the world’s first pressurized cabin tiltrotor. The AW609 is well-positioned to serve a number of markets, including VIP, corporate, search and rescue, emergency medical services, and offshore energy exploration, as well as government roles.

Bill describes how the AW609 tiltrotor was designed to commercial standards, and how it offers the speed, range, and altitude of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane with the vertical take-off and landing versatility of a helicopter. We learn that the lower vibratory environment and pressurized cabin of this tiltrotor offer advantages for medical flights. Bill explains the FAA certification requirements for this aircraft, which falls into the new Powered Lift category.

Bill is responsible for the development of marketing and business strategies that create new opportunities, shape emerging markets, and influence customer thinking and actions. Prior to joining Leonardo Helicopters, Bill held numerous leadership positions at The Boeing Company within Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Market Development, and Engineering. He was also a member of the Presidential Helicopter team while at Sikorsky Aircraft in 1992.

Bill’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and a master of business administration degree in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University.

Aviation News

United 737 Tips on its Tail During Offloading

A United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER experienced a “stationary tail strike” on the ground at Lewiston (LWS Idaho) after a flight from LAX. United explained:

United flight 2509 flying from Los Angeles, California to Lewiston, Idaho landed without incident. Due to a shift in weight and balance during the offloading process, the tail of the aircraft tipped backward.  No injuries were reported among our customers, crew or ground personnel.  The return flight was on a different aircraft as originally planned.

See Boeing Tail Strike Avoidance for takeoff and landing risk factors.

House Passes Amendment to Reverse FAA on Flight Training Policy

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that clarifies that a flight instructor providing student instruction, flight instruction, or flight training shall not be deemed to be operating an aircraft carrying persons or property for compensation or hire. If passed, this would reverse the FAA’s recent flight training policy for certain types of aircraft.

Justice Department Sues to Block Unprecedented Domestic Alliance Between American Airlines and JetBlue

DOJ filed an anti-trust suit challenging the American Airlines-JetBlue alliance

American and JetBlue strike back against DOJ complaint over Northeast alliance

The DOJ claims the American Airlines-JetBlue Northeast Alliance eliminates competition in New York and Boston and harms air travelers nationwide:

The U.S. Department of Justice, together with Attorneys General in six states and the District of Columbia, sued today [September 21, 2021] in the District of Massachusetts to block an unprecedented series of agreements between American Airlines and JetBlue through which the two airlines will consolidate their operations in Boston and New York City. The civil antitrust complaint alleges that this extensive combination, which they call the “Northeast Alliance,” will not only eliminate important competition in these cities, but will also harm air travelers across the country by significantly diminishing JetBlue’s incentive to compete with American elsewhere, further consolidating an already highly concentrated industry.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “They’re wrong and we’ll prove it. It’s entirely pro-competitive.” Parker argued that the alliance allows the two airlines to compete against Delta and United, which are largely entrenched in the Northeast market, while American and JetBlue would otherwise not be able to mount enough of an offense on their own.

Airlines Weigh Unruly No-Fly List

Delta is suggesting a national “no-fly” list (different from the government’s No-Fly List, which is terror-based). Delta’s own blacklist includes more than 1,600 people. A Delta VP said their list doesn’t work if the person can just hop on another carrier.

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to sign $2 bln deal with GE for engines on Boeing jets

In this deal, Bamboo Airways will purchase nearly $2 billion worth of General Electric GEnx engines to power Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and General Electric GEnx-1B compete on the 787. Bamboo will operate its Dreamliner fleet on non-stop routes between Vietnam and the United States.

Rolls Royce Will Provide Long-Awaited New Jet Engines For The B-52 Bomber Fleet

The U.S. Air Force selected Rolls-Royce’s North American division to re-engine the fleet of B-52H bombers with F130 engines. The Drive reports: “Rolls-Royce’s new contract from the Air Force is valued at $500,870,458 over the next six years but could grow to over $2.6 billion if all of its options are exercised.” Work will be performed at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis and is expected to be completed by September 2038.

Mentioned

Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit at the American Helicopter Museum.

Honeywell and Wood introduce groundbreaking technologies to support efforts toward carbon-neutral sustainable aviation fuel

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge

Sep 29 2021

1hr 29mins

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671 Pilot Mental Health

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An airline captain focuses on pilot mental health and tells us what she is doing to bring that conversation into the light. In the news, another aerial refueling tanker competition, a Rolls-Royce electric airplane first flight, an X-Wing at the Smithsonian, a criminal charge stemming from the 737 MAX probe, the Cranky Dorkfest you missed, and emergency landings in Maine. Also, checked baggage issues and gifts for flight attendants.

Guest

Reyné O’Shaughnessy was a commercial airline pilot for over 34 years with a Fortune 50 company. She was a captain on the B767 and logged over 10,000 hours of total heavy jet flight time. In addition to the B767, her experience includes the A300/310, B727, and B747. Notably, thirty-four years ago she was one of the first women to be B747 qualified.

Now retired, Reyné founded Piloting 2 Wellbeing (or P2W) with a mission to create awareness about pilot mental health and mental wellness in the aviation industry. P2W serves individuals, schools, and corporations that want to implement supportive and practical training, experience compassionate forums, and be part of creating a better aviation world.

Reyné explains why the aviation community is so averse to talking about pilot mental health. We look at the need to normalize the conversation about pilot mental health and teach airlines and pilots a more holistic approach to wellbeing, that being a factor in safety performance. Companies need to support their employees with mental health training but the regulator is not currently forcing this. Reyné argues that reaching student pilots with information early in their career will help normalize mental health. The top flight schools are focused on technical training, but they need to incorporate wellness training into their programs.

Reyné’s new book, This is Your Captain Speaking: What You Should Know About Your Pilot’s Mental Health is available on Amazon.com. It looks at stress, anxiety, and depression in the aviation community.

Aviation News

Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker, firing the opening salvo in US Air Force competition

The U.S. Air Force has a bridge tanker competition coming up, also known as the KC-Y, and they released a sources-sought notification in June. The Boeing KC-46 is the incumbent, but they don’t have a lock on it. Lockheed Martin has just announced they will offer their LMXT aerial refueling tanker, based on the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ takes to the skies for the first time

We previously reported Rolls-Royce’s intentions to build an all-electric airplane and use it in a world-record attempt reaching speeds of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH). They’ve built the plane, which they call the “Spirit of Innovation,” and succeeded in flying it for the first time. Power comes from a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain. Rolls-Royce says it has “the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft.”

Spirit of Innovation, courtesy Rolls-Royce.

Why There’s an X-Wing Flyer at the Smithsonian

The National Air and Space Museum has a Star Wars X-wing on loan from Lucasfilm. Dr. Margaret Weiteka, Curator and Department Chair of the Space History Department, explains why they have it and how it is being prepared for display.

Video: Why There’s an X-Wing Flyer at the Smithsonian

https://youtu.be/CZojRDHNggI

What You Missed at Yesterday’s Cranky Dorkfest

Cranky Flier reports on the event.

Former Boeing Pilot Expected to Face Prosecution in 737 MAX Probe

The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal prosecutors plan to criminally charge Boeing’s chief technical pilot during the 737 MAX development. Mark Forkner was Boeing’s lead contact with the FAA concerning pilot training for the jet. In a criminal settlement with prosecutors earlier this year, Boeing admitted that two unnamed employees conspired to defraud the FAA about 737 MAX training issues in order to benefit themselves and the company.

Bangor airport to close for 2 days in early October for runway repairs

Bangor International Airport will shut down for runway repairs. Concrete runways can degrade as a result of an alkali-silica reaction, which is sometimes called concrete cancer. Since BGR is the last US airport for emergency landings eastbound over the Atlantic, and the first westbound, any emergencies will have to land elsewhere.

Prerecorded

In Defense of the Flight Attendant by Joe A. Kunzler.

Brian Coleman’s gifts to cabin crew.

Why Brian doesn’t check bags.

Sep 22 2021

1hr 45mins

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670 Aerial Sports Broadcasting

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We talk with the founder of Winged Vision about aerial sports broadcasting. In the news, Emirates intends to fly the A380 for the next two decades, Scaled Composites may have a Loyal Wingman contender, legislation that would eliminate the diversion of the airline ticket security fee, a 2-megawatt electric motor for aircraft propulsion, and an eVTOL company founder plans to be the first passenger on their uncrewed aircraft.

Guest

Bob Mikkelson with camera on the Helio Courier.

Bob Mikkelson is the president and founder of Winged Vision, a pioneering leader in aerial sports broadcasting and the largest operator of stabilized aerial camera systems for sports coverage in the country. If you’ve watched professional football, golf, and many other sports events, you’ve probably seen the work of Winged Vision.

The company was the first in the world to stabilize 40x lenses from aerial platforms in the mid-1980s and the first to fly a new generation of ENG-style telephoto lenses in the early 1990s, setting the pattern for today’s aerial camera systems.

Bob is a 2016 Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee and Emmy Award winner.

Inside the MetLife blimp.
Flight track over PGA Tournament (courtesy ADSBEXCHANGE)

Aviation News

Emirates Set To Fly The Airbus A380 For The Next 2 Decades

Dubai-based Emirates has three more A380’s to be delivered this year. The airline’s president says the airline will continue to fly the A380 for two decades.

“Emirates will continue to be the largest operator of this spacious and modern aircraft for the next two decades, and we’re committed to ensuring that the Emirates A380 experience remains a customer favorite with ongoing investments to enhance our product and services.”

Sir Tim Clark

New Unmanned Loyal Wingman Design Based On Stealthy “Son Of Ares” Jet Emerges

Under the “Loyal Wingman” concept, networked unmanned aircraft would accompany manned fighter aircraft. The U.S. Air Force has the Skyborg program and the U.K. Royal Air Force has Project Mosquito. A number of companies are developing prototype vehicles and Scaled Composites might have a contender with the Model 437, which is derived from the Model 401 Sierra, which first flew in October 2017.

Scaled Composites Model 401

Ahead of 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks, Senators Markey and Blumenthal Announce Legislation to Bolster Funding for Aviation Security

A $5.60 Security Fee for air travelers was established in 2003 to pay for aviation security. In 2013, Congress began diverting one-third of the revenue generated by this fee to pay for unrelated programs. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have reintroduced the Funding for Aviation Screeners and Threat Elimination Restoration (FASTER) Act that would end the diversion of the Security Fee.

Wright tests its 2-megawatt electric engines for passenger planes

Startup Wright says they are “developing megawatt-class, altitude-capable electric motors for high-performance altitude and ground-based applications.” The motor has twice the power (2 MW) and specific power (10kW/kg) compared to other electric motors being tested. The company hopes to use ten motors to power Boeing and Airbus-sized planes. See Wright has Begun Testing our 2 MW Aviation-Grade Motor for Transport-Category Zero-Emissions Aircraft.

The Wright concept design.

Kitty Hawk Founder Will Take First Flight in Its Air Taxi

The founder of air-taxi startup Kitty Hawk said he’ll be the first passenger in the company’s prototype. The autonomous Heaviside single-seat drone will likely fly for five minutes at about 1,000 feet above the ground.

Mentioned

Pilots N Paws

Video: Shark US – VLOG 63 – Remora Demonstration

https://youtu.be/w0B0GGMVFJQ

SharkAero USA YouTube channel

San Diego Navy captain makes history as first woman to command a nuclear aircraft carrier

Air Force thinking of new ways to divest from old systems in 2023

Percentage of License Holders that are Women

Sep 15 2021

1hr 33mins

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669 Daedalean Flight Control Software

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Daedalean AI-based flight control software for pilot assist and eventual autonomous flight, a Boeing 737MAX flight report, and a travel report on a trip to Germany.

Guest

Dr. Luuk van Dijk

Dr. Luuk van Dijk is CEO and co-founder of Daedalean, a Zürich-based startup developing flight control software for autonomous flight. The eventual goal is to create an AI pilot that measurably outperforms human pilots. Currently, Daedalean is working with regulators, leading aerospace manufacturers, and major eVTOL companies to test and certify the first machine learning-based sensor systems for guidance, navigation, and flight control.

Daedalean has created a pilot assist system that uses optical cameras for visual positioning without GPS, visual traffic detection without transponders or radar, and visual landing guidance without ILS. The Avidyne PilotEye system using Daedalean technology was introduced on the first day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021.

Avidyne Uses Daedalean AI Software in New PilotEye Vision System

“Daedalean’s neural network functions by taking high-resolution video input extracted in real-time by high-resolution cameras and sends it through a Convolutional Neural Network, which determines whether the images captured by the cameras are part of cooperative or uncooperative traffic. The system can also be used to identify safe landing areas if the pilot encounters an emergency situation.”

Aviation Today

The Daedalean product roadmap outlines the progression From Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems to Single Pilot Operations to Full Autonomy.

Luuk holds a PhD in Physics (UvA, RuG) and previously held Senior Software Engineering positions at Google Zürich and SpaceX, where he worked on infrastructure, flight software, and machine learning projects, among others.

Brian’s Travel Experience

We have two travel experience reports for this episode. First. Brian Coleman talks with Micah about his recent 737MAX flight. Then we hear about Brian’s trip to Germany on United, where everything did not go according to Brian’s perfectly planned itinerary.

Sep 08 2021

1hr 10mins

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668 Avelo Airlines

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An Avelo Airlines trip report and a conversation with the CEO of Crew Dog Electronics. Also, bonuses for Piedmont pilots, the FAA Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit, late-night TV hosts roast Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines cuts flights, and new startup Avelo Airlines makes route changes.

Avelo Airlines Trip Report

Contributing Editor Brian Coleman and our Main(e) Man Micah discuss Brian’s second flight on Avelo Airlines.

Aviation News

New startup airline Avelo is scrapping 2 markets — before flights even start

Avelo Airlines pulled Monterey, California (MRY) and St. George, Utah (SGU) from its route map. Those destinations were scheduled to start in late September and early October 2021. The airline said they’d “…take another look at our plans for these two markets next spring.” Avelo is also delaying the launch of flights to Provo, Utah (PVU). Service was planned to commence on Sept. 17, but Avelo confirmed that it’s now been pushed to Nov. 15.

Flight Attendants Left Scathing After Pilots at American Airlines Regional Carrier Get Bumper Pay Raise

Piedmont, the American Airlines wholly-owned subsidiary that operates under the American Eagle brand, has reached a deal with the ALPA pilots union. Captains would receive a $30,000 “retention bonus” in November while current First Officers would get $30,000 when they were promoted to the Captain. Pilots who move on from Piedmont to American’s mainline business would get $70,000. Additionally, pilots who meet working hours targets over the next two years would be eligible for an additional $50,000.

‘He is restrained now’: Chilling airplane audio serves as FAA warning about unruly passengers

The FAA Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit includes:

The FAA announced they have assessed $531,545 in civil penalties against unruly passengers since the start of the year.

Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers roast Delta’s CEO for refusing to call the virus by name: ‘He said from now on our airline’s pronounced Del-TAY’

The late-night TV hosts roasted Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian for refusing to use the term “Delta variant.

Southwest Airlines cuts flights to fix operational challenges

Southwest Airlines responded to complaints from Southwest Airlines pilots about flight delays and cancellations by reducing the number of flights. In a statement, CEO Gary Kelly said “We’re confident these adjustments will create a more reliable travel experience.”

Report from EAA Airventure Oshkosh

Aviation Entrepreneurship and Innovation Correspondent Hillel Glazer speaks with Sean Chuplis, the CEO of Crew Dog Electronics.

Mentioned

FlightAware

Sep 01 2021

1hr 24mins

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667 Savvy Aviation

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Mike Busch, founder and CEO of Savvy Aviation, talks about aircraft maintenance. Also, calling up the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, United Airlines says no duct tape, and unhappy Southwest Airlines pilots.

Aug 25 2021

1hr 41mins

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666 Airline Recovery

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Airline recovery, electric aviation, duct tape, preliminary NTSB report, upgraded F35 engine, A330 take off from taxiway, X-59 QueSST jet.

Aug 18 2021

1hr 46mins

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665 Spirit Airlines Meltdown

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Spirit Airlines cancels flights, American Airlines free Tik Tok, cargo plane returns with a fire indication, GA gallery coming to the Smithsonian, aviation jet fuel shortages.

Aug 11 2021

1hr 9mins

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664 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 – Part 2

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Continued coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 with the National Air Transportation Association, teTra Aviation, Pod-A-Palooza, and EAA Radio.

Aug 04 2021

1hr 19mins

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663 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 – Part 1

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A roundtable at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 recorded at the Theater in the Woods.

Jul 28 2021

50mins

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662 Spurwink Farm Fly-In

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Interviews from the Spurwink Farm fly-in and pancake breakfast held July 11, 2021 at the Spurwink Farm Airfield in Maine.

Jul 21 2021

53mins

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661 Bambi Buckets for Aerial Firefighting

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Bambi Buckets carried by helicopters for aerial firefighting, cargo jet wreckage found, Branson in space, F-35A wins Swiss competition, Germany buys P-8A, China export fighters, supersonic transports, F/A defense training.

Jul 14 2021

1hr 42mins

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660 Bradley Guy “Launchpad” Marzari

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On July 4, 2021, our friend and Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari was killed when his Focke-Wulf FWP-149D crashed while enroute from New Braunfels Regional Airport to Skylark Field in Killeen, Texas.

Jul 06 2021

55mins

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659 Jet Fighter Cockpit

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Jet fighter cockpit experiences, Amazon Air turboprops, B777X certification, 4K flight data recorder, Virgin Galactic commercial flights, exiting the aircraft.

Jun 30 2021

1hr 14mins

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658 Helping Youngsters in Aviation

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Helping youngsters in aviation, just one pilot on flight deck, A350 freighter, growing travel demand, new Air Force One plane delay, KC-Y bridge tanker, open rotor engine.

Jun 23 2021

1hr 29mins

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iTunes Ratings

255 Ratings
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Great podcast

By dgertz31 - Nov 02 2017
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Enjoyable podcast to listen to

Don The Prebuy Guys

By Don Sebastian - May 04 2017
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Great podcast, weekly episodes so very informative. Keep up the good work