You gottta see the video at the PlaneMadness blog of a DC-10 dropping fire retardant during a low level pass. It's pretty awesome.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Just as I was starting to look for some good coverage of the Airbus A380 first delivery to Singapore airlines, reader Taylor sent me a link to the News.com.au piece, A380 passengers bathed in luxury landing.
As Taylor wrote, "This is a really cool indepth piece about A380 with passenger accounts, pic galleries and video footage. Ace!"
Galleries include: The landing as it happened, Luxury tour of the A380, and Superjumbo-mania. Also look at The first interior footage video, and Take off: A380 soars into history.
If you find other photo galleries of this event, feel free to add a comment with the link.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Nuts about Southwest, the blog of Southwest Airlines, is all about their employees, customers, airplanes, and airports. It turns out they are the Official Airline of BlogWorld Expo, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 8 and 9, 2007. They'll have a booth at the event, along with a lot of other folks promoting blogging and new media.
If you'd like to attend and fly there for free, consider entering the Southwest "name the photo" contest.
"All you have to do is visit our contest site (provided by our friends at spigit.) and provide your best Las Vegas-style caption for the photo which was provided by Darrin Bush of the Las Vegas News Bureau. The deadline to submit your caption is midnight (Pacific Time) on Friday, October 26, 2007, and the winner will be notified on Monday, October 29, 2007. The caption with the most “thumb’s up” will win this great prize. Also, please visit the contest site to vote for your favorite caption. (Contest rules are posted at the official contest site.)"The winner gets a package that includes air travel for two on Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas from your closest Southwest city, free registration for the Expo, and a room for three nights (November 7 through November 9) at the MGM Grand.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Airbus is planning a celebration at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France for the delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines on Monday, October 15. The ceremony will be streamed live on the Internet starting at 10:00 local time (GMT+2) on October 15 (4:00am New York time) at www.a380delivery.com.
Get the latest info from Airbus at http://www.airbus.com/en/myairbus/a380_wow/.
Try the World Clock - Time Zone Converter if you need to convert to your local time.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Seattle Avionics Software, Inc. tells Thirty Thousand Feet their Voyager Flight Software System™ version 4.0 has been released which merges a completely new, real-time DirectX charting engine with version 3.6’s fuel stop auto-routing, Google Earth™ integration, and over 50 other new features.
Voyager 4.0 features a completely re-written charting engine based on the same DirectX technology that Google Earth and Microsoft Flight Simulator™ use. Voyager’s all-new charting engine is effectively real-time, capable of updating the screen more than 50 times a second, depending on hardware. This allows smooth, real-time zooms and pans — the first general aviation software offering this state-of-the-art technology.
Voyager 4.0 can also display any combination of digital vector data and geo-referenced scanned Sectionals and IFR charts. This means that pilots can plan and fly using geo-referenced Sectionals or IFR enroute charts with overlaid weather, TFRs and aircraft position. Voyager 4.0 seamlessly merges all Sectionals and IFR charts so pilots need not select particular charts to display; they simply pick the type of chart to display and Voyager does the rest.
The charting engine re-write was in response to customer requests for greater speed, and Seattle Avionics took the opportunity to to replace the previous 2D engine with high-speed 3D graphics technology.
Pilots will also find a new color scheme said to work well in both daylight and night flights. Current AvGas and Jet-A fuel prices are integrated into the autorouter, flight plans are exportable to Google Earth, Google Maps are integrated, and a memory card synch feature puts Voyager data on a memory card for transfer to another computer.
Another recently added feature is Web Synch™ which performs “one-click” data synchronization through the Internet among multiple computers for all pilot-specific information such as flight plans, aircraft, and pilots profiles. Flight plans can be printed to PDF files.
For more information about Seattle Avionics Software, please contact Sandy Allen, National Sales Manager, at 425-806-0249 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Seattle Avionics Software on the Web at www.seattleavionics.com.
We are two airplane pilots with an aviation household in the Los Angeles, CA (North Hollywood) area, that is themed for instruction and research, as well as accommodating to pilots and crew in airline and training programs. We have spent the last year under construction on a our brand new location (still within 2 miles of BUR, 5 of VNY & 20 of LAX), adding several rooms, and opening and enlarging existing spaces. Everything is brand-new and entirely designed with pilot housing and training in mind and we will be opening the new space within two weeks.Check them out if this meets your needs.
We are now accepting renters in need of housing while flight-training (private through ATP+) or working in aviation. We consider either long-term or short-term (crashpad-style) situations and are very reasonable in our CA rates -- but all must be aviation industry-related. We have a website with details and pix, which are updated as available with the construction and remodeling, and we are listed on Crashpads.com.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Normally on the drive to and from work, I listen to aviation podcasts through my PDA. There's the daily aviation news from Aero-News.net, great hangar flying on Uncontrolled Airspace: The General Aviation Podcast, tips and commentary for air travelers on Travel Commons, and the slightly nutty Matthew Holden with his PodAsia podcast for business and leisure travelers.
Today, however, it was something entirely different. Today was all about Bruno Misonne. I've blogged about Bruno before: he's the Belgian composer who creates soundscapes by combining aviation sounds with his musical creations. Bruno now has a CD of his work and I have a copy.
So what kind of aviation sounds are embedded in this music? You'll find prop engine sounds, the whine of jet turbines, cockpit voice recordings, aerial combat sounds, plain speech, and others - probably many more that only emerge after repeated careful listening.
The non-aviation musical content is a little harder for me to describe, not being a real music critic and having only rudimentary knowledge of music genres. I'd say it's synthesized and a lot of it has a pretty strong bass beat. Maybe that's Techno? But other parts have a decidedly classical sound, some evoke a Latin musical style, and still others I'd just call "whimsical."
One of the tracks I really enjoyed was "Airbus A-380 Deep Freeze Testing," and not just because this week I watched an A380 make a low-level pass on it's way to Bradley International Airport. (Boy, that Airbus with power by the Engine Alliance was VERY quiet!) I enjoyed it because of the mental imagery Bruno presents to you. At the start, I felt like I was in a very cold, and maybe dark place. A place with an equally cold A380, about to go through it's test regimen.
The opening of "Brussels National," Track 1 on the CD, would make a great sound intro for an aviation podcast. If I was creating a podcast, I'd talk to Bruno about a deal. Or maybe even commission him to create an original work just for the podcast theme.
Other tracks include Propeller Symphony, Tarmac Activity, Birds of War, Aerobatics, and the Turbofan Adrenaline remix. You can just listen to the great music, or you can drift into the aviation context and experience it that way.
You can sample the music or order the "Aviation Music" CD from Bruno's site, but the higher quality of the CD presents a superior musical experience. You can also buy the CD from CD Baby, a great source for indy music. You get your money's worth with this CD - the twelve tracks represent around 75 minutes of music. I think it's well-produced with high sound quality and impressive dynamic range.
Consider supporting the Bruno's work with a purchase.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
We received this from several sources:
International Aviation Body Fails To Act On Climate Plans
WASHINGTON, DC - September 28 – The 36th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization ends in disarray and conflicts over action to reduce aviation emissions. The assembly passed a resolution that would only allow for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions controls by host countries if the non-domestic airlines agreed.
"After ten years of posturing, this assembly's clear failure sounds the death knell for any ICAO role in environmental protection," says Dr. Werner Reh, aviation expert for Friends of the Earth Germany. "ICAO chooses to ignore the very significant growth in greenhouse gas emissions by airlines and the clear need for taxes, emission charges or emission trading schemes."
Aviation greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since 1990 and will further grow by 3.5% annually. The UN's IPCC report assesses the climate impact of aviation from 2-8% of global warming. Under the terms of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, ICAO, a UN body, was tasked with responsibility for reducing emissions from international aviation.
The 36th Assembly was faced with a dynamite agenda item presented by the European Union which proposed to integrate aviation into its existing emission trading system. Friends of the Earth supported the EU plan. The "Coalition of the Unwilling" was led by the United States, which has never agreed to Kyoto, joined by Canada which is not complying with its own domestic law for Kyoto. China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil joined in blocking the EU efforts.
"ICAO's buckling to the US insistence on 'mutual agreement by third parties' before the EU emissions trading scheme can be applied is the latest in a decade of stalling and denial," says Dr. Reh. "The EU has taken a leadership stance in pressing ahead to integrate aviation into its emission trading system. Its decision to make a "reservation" against the ICAO resolution signals the end for ICAO role on the environment. Effectively, the EU will ignore the resolution on 'market-based measures' on legal grounds that it undercuts the effectiveness of the EU battle against aviation effects on climate change."
"We can no longer tolerate ICAO's position that aviation is a sacred cow allowing it to ignore climate impacts," says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada. "Canada's alignment with the US on voluntary measures for aviation is yet more evidence of Canada's 'made-in-the-USA' game plan for climate inaction. Just like every other enterprise in the world, airlines must make significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. If their own governance agency fails to lead in this respect, it's time to find other mandatory means."
...focus on topics of national and global significance including carbon offsets, emission trading schemes, intergovernmental policies, taxes, technology and alternate fuels.With aviation increasingly in the climate change spotlight, the AUSAC believes the industry must act now to address the issues. Paul Bredereck, Vice President of AUSAC, says:
“The debate about aviation and climate change has been heating up for a number of years.Conference participants will be able to consider environmental issues and their impact, discuss research and development initiatives, and learn about advancements in aircraft technology to further reduce aircraft carbon emissions.
“While it is estimated that aviation accounts for approximately 2.3% of greenhouse gas emissions, powerful global leaders such as the European Commission are now championing trading schemes, and increased taxes, rather than new technologies and the development of alternate fuel sources as mechanisms to combat emissions and public perceptions.
“Quite frankly the time for the industry to act is now, otherwise governments will have no choice but to follow the lead of the European Commission, including the introduction of inevitably unpopular passenger taxes."