Topic archives: airliners

What another 32 A380s for Emirates could mean

What another 32 A380s for Emirates could mean

June 8, 2010 10

Today’s order of another 32 Airbus A380s by Emirates is about as many of the giant jets as it would need to operate all of its current or approved flights between Australia and New Zealand and its Dubai hub. Or put another way, when Emirates has 90 A380s in service, for argument’s sake, by 2020, […]

A glorious past bites Boeing where it hurts

A glorious past bites Boeing where it hurts

June 8, 2010 4

It can be argued that a design choice made for the Boeing 707 about 58 years ago is causing Boeing present day grief. And that choice was to make the 707 sit close to the ground. Too close to it for future changes in engine technology. The low profile chosen for the main gear or […]

This new jet engine is really important

This new jet engine is really important

June 1, 2010 3

Reports about progress in jet engine design are generally eye-glazing in their detail, however, the most recent blurb from Rolls-Royce about its E3E program is important for reasons the UK engine maker doesn’t discuss. And that is the “you-go-first, no-please-you-go-before-me” signalling that is going on between Boeing and Airbus over their ambitions to building ‘something […]

How far has myth making outflown the realities of plastic jets?

How far has myth making outflown the realities of plastic jets?

May 25, 2010 4

There are some sharp reality checks in recently published NASA documents for anyone who believes the age of lightweight breakthrough composite airlines is about to begin with the Boeing 787 or the Airbus A350 families. These papers were released last week as the NASA N+3 studies into the airliners of the 2030s. They were drawn […]

Porn and air travellers

Porn and air travellers

May 23, 2010 21

So, Australian customs officials are now asking a question on the arrival form that technically requires the traveller to decide whether any photos they have of themselves and their lovers is ‘pornography’ when in fact the alternative answers might be that is ‘art’ and that it is definitely ‘none of your business’. In my opinion, […]

Five amazing airliners for the future

Five amazing airliners for the future

May 20, 2010 15

How does a ‘virtual window’ for passengers, or a cockpit where the pilots fly lying prone grab you. Or a total of 25 seats across in a flying manta ray blended wing body airliner. A NASA funded program to identify advanced airliner concepts for the 2030s has produced five subsonic designs that address tough rules […]

Qantas & Jetstar 787 time warp persists as Boeing discloses another glitch

Qantas & Jetstar 787 time warp persists as Boeing discloses another glitch

May 18, 2010

Qantas today confirmed that it expects to gets its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in mid-2013, or five month’s sooner than the first of that model is delivered to launch customer Air NZ in December 2013. Our query as to how the Dreamliner orders were tracking was prompted by Flightblogger’s scoop over a somewhat embarrassing glitch […]

How Qantaslink bent a jet with a 3.6g hard landing

How Qantaslink bent a jet with a 3.6g hard landing

May 14, 2010 9

On February 7, 2008, a Qantaslink Boeing 717 was slammed onto the runway at Darwin Airport so hard it deformed and wrinkled the rear of the fuselage sufficiently badly for it to be officially declared an air accident. Of course Qantas insisted at the time that “National Jet [which operated the Qantaslink 717 fleet under […]

Serious AirAsiaX incidents at Gold Coast being investigated

May 10, 2010

The ATSB has launched an inquiry into two very dangerous incidents at the Gold Coast Airport last week, on May 3 and May 4, when an AirAsiaX A330-300 dropped below the safe radar minimum altitude while apparently looking for the runway in bad visibility. The announcement of the inquiry says little. But the words mean […]

It’s fog diversion season again in Rockhampton

It’s fog diversion season again in Rockhampton

May 9, 2010 5

Last week’s diversion of a Qantas 747-400 inbound from Los Angeles to Brisbane to Rockhampton because of fog gave David Blackwell at its airport some more trophies for his portfolio of jets you don’t really expect to see at an Australian country airport. It can only be a matter of time, and nature, before he […]

AF447 and the questions the ‘black boxes’ mightn’t answer

AF447 and the questions the ‘black boxes’ mightn’t answer

May 7, 2010 5

Even if the ‘black boxes’ from Air France flight AF447 which have just been located are retrieved and read, there is a question of great importance to all airlines that they mightn’t be able to answer. And that is, to what extent (if any) was this disaster caused by pilots thinking more like accountants or […]

In defence of plane spotters, a.k.a. ‘anoraks’

In defence of plane spotters, a.k.a. ‘anoraks’

April 24, 2010 6

Among the dumber mindsets in matters concerning security at airports there has been a crack down on photography in general and plane spotters in particular. The situation is not as bad in Australia as in Little Britain, India, the EU, and the US, but there have been anecdotal reports on sites dedicated to aircraft spotting […]

Snapshots of a very cold Boeing 787

Snapshots of a very cold Boeing 787

April 24, 2010 1

Some postcards have arrived from inside the big ‘fridge’ or the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida of ZA003, the third numbered of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner test and certification fleet doing a cold soak test. These freeze frames are from a video that should be posted on www.newairplane.com shortly, […]

The untidy story of a ‘blemished’ QF 737 windscreen

The untidy story of a ‘blemished’ QF 737 windscreen

April 3, 2010 3

The allegations about the Qantas 737 flown with a cracked windscreen early in February that are the centre of yet another safety controversy concerning the airline have run into a major problem with the media. That is, a need for all black or all white reporting, all within a brief ‘tidy’ report that says ‘Qantas […]

Virgin Blue signs for  up to 105 new Boeing 737s

Virgin Blue signs for up to 105 new Boeing 737s

April 1, 2010

Although no price has been disclosed Virgin Blue has inked a deal for up to 105 new Boeing 737s that would on current prices probably be worth between $US 4.4-5 billion, or maybe twice as much at catalogue values. Thursday 1 April 2010, Brisbane, Australia: Virgin Blue Group confirms it has just formally signed an […]

Is this a naughty photo?

Is this a naughty photo?

March 30, 2010 5

While we are accustomed to beautiful photos of Boeing airliners flying past Mt Rainier and over the North Cascades and Olympic peaks and glaciers, similarly alpine images of Airbus jets are rare. And this image, possibly taken from one of the two Swiss Air Force FA18 Hornets involved in this rendevous with the Engine Alliance […]

Single cabin short haul shake up

Single cabin short haul shake up

March 19, 2010 4

Another set of nails have been driven into the coffin of class distinctions and curtain partitioned cabins in short haul air travel. Air New Zealand has given the freebie chasers, the class conscious, and its competitors, a bit of a kicking with its plans for single cabin services across the Tasman later this year. But […]

Emergency safety action ordered for all NG series Boeing 737s

March 15, 2010 1

The US Federal Aviation Authority has reviewed a service bulletin sent to NG series 737 operators by Boeing on Friday and upgraded it to an emergency airworthiness directive or AD. This makes the Boeing bulletin compulsory, and follows a recent serious inflight incident involving part of the horizontal stabiliser of a near new Ryanair 737-800. […]

AF447: A head crash in the cockpit, ice on the outside, and too much freight in the hold?

AF447: A head crash in the cockpit, ice on the outside, and too much freight in the hold?

February 24, 2010 13

Some gravely serious allegations about the conduct of Air France flight AF447, which crashed in the middle of the Atlantic killing all 228 people on board last June 1, have been published in the German magazine Der Spiegel. Titled ‘Head Crash in the Cockpit’, or more colloquially, a stroke, Gehirnschag im Cockpit doesn’t seem to […]

Long live the Queen of the Skies

Long live the Queen of the Skies

February 11, 2010

This graceful photo of the prototype 747-8 freighter passing Mt Rainier during its first flight this week has been circulated by Boeing. Not since 1982, when there was some overlapping between  the 767 and later 757 certification programs programs have  two different Boeing airliners been engaged in test flights at the same time. So look […]