tip off

BEN SANDILANDS | November 22, 2014 | SPACE | 8 |

Virgin Galactic states its case anew, but there are issues

The new Virgin Galactic home page

The Virgin Galactic website has been relaunched, and makes a dignified, respectful, deeply moving and encouraging case for opening the experience of sub orbital (and eventually orbital) space flight to far more of us than has so far been possible.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 21, 2014 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 14 |

AirAsia X reported to be cutting back Australia flights

There are more signs of distress in the longer haul low cost part of the Australian international air travel market.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 21, 2014 | FLEET DECISIONS | 4 |

Delta could be set to fly new Airbuses to Australia

For an airline which drives hard bargains for ‘run out’ model jets, Delta has broken its recent form by ordering 50 new, indeed, as yet not in service wide-body Airbus models.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 20, 2014 | LOW COST CARRIERS | 3 |

What if JetBlue had entered the Australian airline scene?

JetBlue has ‘delighted’ Wall Street but disappointed consumers by giving in to demands to downgrade its generously spacious cabins, cram in more seats, and charge for checked bags.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 19, 2014 | JOINT VENTURES | 5 |

Qantas letter confirms international spin off process underway

A letter to a highly placed union official by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirms that the company is in full pursuit of the creation of a new entity to take over its international operations.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 19, 2014 | FINANCIAL ANALYSIS | 10 |

Key indicators continue to move in Virgin Australia’s favour

Also released today, is this the best airline poster art of 2014?

As the heat goes out of the apparently dying embers of a capacity war with Qantas, and fuel prices sag to levels no-one in the airline game dared dream about even a few months ago, Virgin Australia is cautiously optimistic about the future.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 19, 2014 | AIR SAFETY | 3 |

Pel-Air and Seaview anniversaries highlight safety failures

The CASA art work which illustrates the Flight Safety article

At a time when the Minister responsible for aviation safety, Warren Truss, appears to be invisible in relation to the shameful Pel-Air crash and its aftermath, it is worth remembering the Seaview disaster of 1994.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 18, 2014 | RAIL | 9 |

Eurostar, like Emirates, promises free wi-fi for all

Eurostar at London St Pancras. There are no really good e320 photos yet.

Coming after a week in which other media carried stories about airline passengers being ‘robbed’ of up to $1200 in an in-flight wi-fi  ‘gotcha’ for going past their paid data allocation there were two good news stories,  from Emirates, the airline, and Eurostar, the high speed rail network.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 18, 2014 | SPACE | 2 |

Airbus lands role in future of US manned space flights

It wasn’t just a 10 year old comet lander that put the European Space Agency in the astro-science spotlight this week but a contract for Airbus Defence and Space to supply an important part of America’s Orion manned spacecraft project.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 17, 2014 | JOINT VENTURES | 8 |

Qantas JV with China Eastern will cut out Shanghai hassles

Shanghai (Pudong), about to get easier for Qantas flyers

Wherever else it leads the Qantas joint venture with China Eastern 中国东方航空公司 will make life so much easier for Australians using flying kangaroo services through Shanghai’s main international airport from day one.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 17, 2014 | AIRPORTS | 28 |

Why Wellcamp Airport is REALLY important

QantasLink gets a country hose down at Wellcamp

The opening of Wellcamp airport, way ,way ,way to the west of Brisbane today, ought to strike fear into the heart of those who push grossly inflated prices for new transport infrastructure projects in Australia.

Or alternatively, deep envy at a political and public level. 

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 17, 2014 | SPACE | 5 |

NASA maps 556 fireballs burning up over earth in 20 years

Cosmic buckshot and planet earth, 1994-2013: NASA

Off the radar when it comes to the daily concerns of the airline industry, NASA has published an interesting guide to where bright fireballs were recorded over the 1994-2013 period from small asteroids or meteors (or even fragments of comet debris). 

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 16, 2014 | MEDICAL ISSUES | 15 |

About your next flight, no make that next x-ray

Earlier this month, NASA science writer Dr Tony Phillips, took a radiation logger with him on a transcontinental US flight and found, as reported on SpaceWeather.com, that the radiation dose rate at 39,000 feet was 30 times higher than it was on the ground.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 15, 2014 | HISTORY | 2 |

Historic Aircraft Open Days return to the Illawarra

At last, the hard working crew at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, based near Wollongong south of Sydney, at the Albion Park aerodrome, are doing monthly Open Days again.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 14, 2014 | CATERING | 21 |

Is a quality war replacing a fare war in Australia?

Dreamliner versus carry on: Don't try this on Jetstar

If the big dots are connected Qantas appears to be turning back to quality rather than price as a selling point in the Australian market.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 14, 2014 | SPACE | 12 |

Comet lander Philae stuck in a rocky badly lit place

One of Philae's legs beside a rocky outcrop. So much for the snowball tag!

Although it wasn’t known when scenes of jubilation broke out in the control room of the Rosetta mission when its comet lander Philae touched down on the dark surface of Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it ‘flew’ for another 113 minutes.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 13, 2014 | AIR CRASHES | 8 |

Virgin Galactic survivor didn’t know critical lever was unlocked

NTSB acting chair Christopher Hart (right) during an earlier media briefing

In its latest update on the crash of the Virgin Galactic space tourism vehicle, America’s NTSB says the surviving pilot didn’t know a critical control lever had been unlocked at the wrong speed.

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BEN SANDILANDS | November 12, 2014 | SECURITY | 21 |

Boeing unwilling to comment on 777 security issues

Boeing is not casting any official light on the concerns that have been raised over the insecure access to an electronics and electrical systems bay located below and behind the floorline of the cockpit of its 777s, including the 777-200ER that was missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

This is Boeing’s response to a request made last Friday 7 November (on the US side of the dateline) for a commentary on matters raised in this post on Plane Talking and on the Jeff Wise website.

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