In this article we will have air news on piloting, airlines and fleet modernization as follows, for November 2010,
Dropping the Co-Pilot
In Europe, low cost carrier Ryanairs Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, has suggested in an interview with the Financial Times, the co-pilots are essentially redundant in modern airliners, because “the computer does most of the flying.”
Seasoned airline watches are well aware that O’Leary is something of a maverlick, but he has a keen sense of PR that ensures that his company is rarely out of the media.
In the past, suggestions have been made that passengers would have to pay to use the toilet and that it would be possible to offer very low fares for passengers who were willing to stand. None of it went any futher, but Ryanair garnered a considerable number of column inches. So it might have seemed with the latest comments, but this time there may be a grain of truth.
Earlier this year, Embraers vice president for airline market intelligence, Luiz Sergio Chiessi, told World Air news that the company was looking at single-pilot airliner capability in ten to fifteen years time.
It was emphasized that this is purely an Embraer initiative and accepts that there would be considerable effort involved in “selling” the concept to airlines, unions and passengers.Nevetheless, the technology is evolving and the concept acceptable, mainly due to the evolution of the emerging, new air traffic management systems-NextGen in the USA and SESAR in Europe. It was significant that Embraer was the first manufacturer to indicate this degree of interest.
Since then, it has been revealed that Thales Aerospace is theorizing the type of flight deck an airliner might have in 20 years time, including that of single pilot operations for commercial aircraft.
Currently, says Thales, there is too much opportunity for human error and too many complex functions that are not used. The company is looking to what is termed a Cockpit 3.0 configuration that needs to be crew-centric, using the benefits of the crews strengths and helping them manage their weaknesses.
Along with intelligent interfaces other innovations will include more extensive networking, along with interactive languages. Keyboards will have given way to touch screens, multi-touch systems and 3-D interfaces.
Interfaces would also be intuitive, providing a synthetic view or combined vision system, to help the pilot safely navigate and manage the flight. It is likely that several small screens will be replaced by one big one, plus a head-up display.
Early days, but it suggests that those who are good with their iPhones could well the best pilots in the future!
One thing is certain: automation will continue to evolve, though it is likely that the pathfinders will be the military.
The Israelis are developing an unmanned aerial ambulance. Developed by Urban Aeronautics, the MULE uses the Fancraft louvered, internal-rotor lift and propulsion system to achieve a maximum takeoff weight of 1,13 tones lifting a cargo of up to 226 kilograms and fuel sufficient for 2-4 hours at speeds up to 100 knots.
Ryanair has confirmed that it has started a dialogue with the regulatory authorities, regarding the possibility of introducing single-pilot operations, but in a statement it made clear that the proposal remained at an early stage.
Regulation and certification procedures being what they are, it is very unlikely that any changes will be made prior to considerable technical innovation that realistically, as the man said, is at least ten to fifteen years away.
Milestone Boeing 767 Enters Assembly Stage
Boeing Has begun assembly of the 1000th B767 aircraft at its factory in Everett, Washington.Mechanics took the first step in major assembly by loading the wing spar into the assembly tool.
The spar is the internal support structure that runs through the full length of the wing.
“This is an important milestone for the 767, which has continued to evolve and improve since entering service nearly 30 years ago,” said Kim Pastega, vice president and general manager of the 767 program me.
“The 767 is a high –performing twin-aisle airplane that delivered nearly 99 percent dispatch reliability every day for more than 90 operators around the world.”
The 1000th aircraft, a 767-300ER (extended range) passenger model .is scheduled for delivery in February 2011 to long-time customer ANA (All Nippon Airways). ANA ordered its first 767 in 1979 and has taken delivery of 89 B767s to date.
Boeing will use the 767 as the platform for its NewGen Tanker if it wins the US Air Force KC-X Tanker competition. Contract award currently is scheduled for the middle of this month.
Unique Air Tour Planned
Top-Tiered USA-based aviation travel company, AiJourney, has announced another new trip
for general aviation pilots who want to fly their own aircraft on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
In August next year, AirJourney will launch its first 60-day trip around the African continent. The announcement was made recently at the annual Cessna Jet Pilots Convention in the US.
“This is one of the most fascinating trips we’ve ever put together,” Air Journeys Thierry Pouille said. “There is so much diversity on this trip, from northern Africa all the way down around Cape Town and back.”
The trip will leave from Quebec City, Canada, on August 26, 2011, returning on October 24, taking in 24 countries along the way. The AirJourneygroup will cross the Atlantic into Europe then work south towards Africa.
Guests stay 2-4 days in high-end hotel accommodation and enjoy an elaborate list of activities unique to the location. Stops en route to Africa include Prague, Venice, Santorini and Amman, then on to Nairobi, Tanzania, Victoria Falls, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Abidjan among several others.
As with all AirJourney trips, a professional journey director will accompany the group each step of the way. Virtually everything is prearranged for the pilots, including al weather briefings, route planning and navigational charts, foreign customs, hotels, ground transportation, gourmet meals and a wide range of local activities at each destination.
Air Journey has been leading escorted pilot adventures for more than a decade and offers a variety of escorted trips that explore North, Central and South America, as well as Europe and the Caribbean.
In July this year, Airjourney welcomed a group of aircraft back from a 72-day, 25000 nautical miles trip around the world.
Anthony Juma is the Editor and Senior Aviation Director at Wings over Africa Aviation.
This is an Air Charter Company that specializes on Flight News On Airlines, Piloting&,Fleet Modernization. The website has guided thousands of travelers to achieve their dream holiday. For more information and guidance, visit the site at http:// www.wingsoverafrica-aviation.com/index.php/about-us/objectives.html
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