tip off

BEN SANDILANDS | February 06, 2016 | SPACE | 5 |

The moon man who believed in aliens has died

Edgar Mitchell, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission, has died on the 45th anniversary of his landing with Alan Shepard on the the Fra Mauro site on the lunar highlands.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 04, 2016 | FINANCIAL RESULTS | 3 |

Virgin Australia: Fewer passengers but higher profits in 2nd quarter

Fewer passengers, more $$$, Virgin’s Q2 story

Less continues to be more for Virgin Australia Holdings. The group’s second quarter has continued its first quarter profit recovery, while flying fewer passengers but making more money.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 03, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 32 |

WSJ: Boeing plans early 737 MAX deliveries, plus future new wing

A better photo of the 737 MAX 8 making its first flight

The Wall Street Journal says Boeing may deliver the 737 MAX to customers much sooner than previously intended and has plans to give its new tech single aisle family a better wing, higher undercarriage and bigger engine further down the track.

BEN SANDILANDS | February 01, 2016 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 3 |

Tigerair Australia: First we take Bali, then Berlin

The first repainted, reallocated, re-re announced Tiger 737-800

There was a bit more to today’s unveiling of the first Tigerair Australia 737-800, which has been reallocated to it from owner Virgin Australia’s fleet than was officially re-announced.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 31, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 8 |

News goes ga-ga over year old MH370 news

The cruel sea beneath which the durable wreckage of MH370 lies

The News organisation definition of ‘exclusive’ when it comes to MH370 appears to be reporting news that is more than a year old.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 30, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 5 |

Boeing’s MAX fuel saver flies high as oil stay low

The first 737 MAX 8 lifts off in Seattle

The 737 MAX 8, Boeing’s answer to a fuel price crisis that no longer exists, flew for the first time through gloomy Seattle skies today, but there were good reasons for its executives and flight test crew to be smiling for the post landing press conference.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 24 |

China sends hi-tech ship to MH370 search zone

The ship which should bring the sharpest and deepest eyes to the search

China is sending a ship with ultra deep-sea sonar scanning equipment to the MH370 search zone in the south Indian Ocean.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | ROUTES | 13 |

Emirates comes in fast with world’s longest flight to Auckland

The clipped wing version of the Emirates 777-200LR, a design conundrum?

Normally Emirates flags its new routes a year or more in advance. But Dubai-Auckland, no way, it’s starting on 2 March, daily, with Boeing 777-200LRs and will become the world’s longest non-stop scheduled passenger flight.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 29, 2016 | DEALS | 15 |

Airbus ends A380 drought with Iran Air deal

Laden with cash, the Airbus fleet does the Tehran banking run

Updated*  The not-quite-comprehensive ending of sanctions against Iran has also ended the Airbus A380 sales drought, with Iran Air signing for 12 of the biggest passenger jet flying.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 28, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 8 |

Vanuatu to lose its last Aussie jet as Virgin leaves

Port Vila airport minus jets

The failed state of Vanuatu’s shoddy runway at the Bauerfield, Port Vila airport has finally become evident to Virgin Australia, which like Qantas and its main shareholder, Air New Zealand, is now taking its jets home until things get fixed.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 27, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 3 |

Traffic chopper, Qantas, Virgin 737s get too close over Melbourne

A company photo of a Robinson R44

Updated* Australia Day could have started (and ended) badly for two passenger jets with more than 300 seats and a traffic chopper near Melbourne airport on Tuesday.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 27, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 6 |

Imagery shows where MH370 towfish struck undersea volcano

The location of the detached towfish on Intrepid volcano

The ruggedness of the undersea volcano that a critical piece of MH370 search equipment struck on Sunday is shown up in newly released bathymetric imagery. It begs the question, could the missing jet be concealed from discovery by the complexity of this part of the south Indian Ocean floor?

BEN SANDILANDS | January 26, 2016 | ROUTES | 22 |

Qantas 787-9s said to offer dreamy comfy 235 seat count

A new graphic for the Qantas 787-9 is needed ASAP

There are credible rumours that the seat count in the Qantas Boeing 787-9s due from the end of 2017 will be a low, and comfortable 235, and Melbourne-Dallas will be one of the routes.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 25, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 8 |

MH370 search towfish suffers mishap in south Indian Ocean

A towfish being launched from Fugro Discovery

The MH370 seabed search in the southern Indian Ocean suffered a mishap with one of its towfish sonar scanning devices when it struck a mud volcano yesterday.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 24, 2016 | AIR SAFETY | 7 |

ATSB closes in on controversial 2013 fog emergency at Mildura

The 737s positions just before the great clusterfogup of 2013

It’s almost three Australian winters since a Virgin Australia 737 with 91 people on board made an emergency landing at Mildura on a fog bound runway the pilots had difficulty seeing and came to a stop with its fuel tanks near empty.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 23, 2016 | AIRLINER DESIGNS | 19 |

Super efficient regional jet quest reinvents Comet IV

An MSA Comet IV at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport in 1966

An Arizona State University design study for a super efficient small jet has come up with a proposed airliner with remarkable similarities to the de Havilland Comet IV family.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 22, 2016 | AIR CRASHES | 23 |

MH370 row over search for missing 777 deepens

For close students of the MH370 search controversy, there is another, third, attack on the ATSB managed search for the missing 777 in The Australian today by former fighter pilot Byron Bailey, and it variously repeats or adds to a set of errors on his part.

BEN SANDILANDS | January 20, 2016 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 2 |

Scoot to interline on Virgin’s Melbourne-Tasmania flights

Scoot is using a new fleet of 787-9s and -8s to grow its Australian connections

In what might be called the airline equivalent of a relationship rather than a marriage the low cost carrier Scoot has struck an interline agreement both ways between Melbourne and Hobart and Launceston on full service Virgin Australia flights.