Tico Warbird Airshow 2015

February 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

Featuring some of the most famous trainer, transport, fighter and bomber aircraft from combat situations around the world, the Tico Warbird Airshow will take place on 13-15 March 2015. The 2015 event will be the 38th consecutive event hosted by the Valiant Air Command and the program includes a daily three-hour aerial perfomance, family entertainment, static displays, military re-enactors and firepower demonstrations, as well as flight simulators and airplane and helicopter rides. For more information visit www.vacwarbirds.net/tico-warbird-airshow/

Dates: 13-15 March 2015
Venue: Space Coast Regional Airport
City: Titusville
State: Florida
Country: United States

The Airbus Beluga Super Transporter

March 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

With production centers in a number of different locations throughout Europe, each specializing in the manufacture of sections of aircraft which are later assembled, Airbus needs reliable methods of transport between its various factories. For twenty years the Airbus A300-600ST (Super Transporter) has played a major role in this transport network. Airbus operates five of these super transporters, nicknamed “Beluga” because of their shape being similar to the Beluga whale.

When Airbus decided to create its own transport system to keep up with the growing demand for airplanes in the early 1990s, designers modified the frame of the Airbus A300-600 – an airplane with a proven track record of reliability. The aircraft’s top section was cut and a bubble-shaped fuselage section was added, while the cockpit was lowered, allowing for the loading and unloading of cargo to take place through the front of the Beluga. The Beluga’s payload is 47 tons, and while there are other aircraft with a higher maximum payload, the Beluga’s spacious cargo hold makes it perfect for transporting unwieldy and odd-shaped cargo that is not excessively heavy. For example, the Beluga can transport an A340 airliner’s wings, or even the A350 wide-body aircraft’s fuselage section. It does have limitations, however, and larger parts, such as those for the A380 Super Jumbo, are transported by road, boat or barge.

In the five years since its first commercial flight, the double-decker Airbus A380 has become a familiar sight at the world’s largest airports, some of which had to widen and strengthen their runways to accommodate the huge aircraft. The airplane’s parts are made in different manufacturing plants. The wings are made in Broughton, Wales; the forward and middle fuselages in St Nazaire, France; the rear fuselage in Hamburg, Germany; and the horizontal tailplane in Cadiz, Spain.

As the demand for airplanes continues to increase, and taking into account that Airbus has become more globalized with assembly plants in Alabama and China, the company is reportedly looking at cargo aircraft designs to replace the aging Belugas. The new aircraft, currently referred to as the Beluga XL, will be able to carry heavier payloads and have a longer range. It seems very likely that the characteristic “Beluga” shape will remain relatively unchanged.

Airplanes vs Cars on Energy Efficiency

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

According to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association, the number of airplane passengers is likely to grow by a third in the next four years, to 3.9 billion. As more and more people travel greater distances, often as a matter of routine, the issue of energy efficiency of different modes of transport has been investigated by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, with some interesting results. While people tend to think that driving a car is easier on the environment that flying in an airplane, the advanced technology of new airplanes is making them increasingly fuel-efficient.

To match the fuel-efficiency of some newer airplanes, cars would need to be able to get 33.8 miles per gallon, or carry more than one passenger. Current average fuel consumption is 23.8 miles per gallon, meaning that fuel-efficiency must improve by as much as 57 percent to challenge the performance of commercial airline flights. Also, current number of people per car is 1.38, which should be increased to at least 2.3 people to improve fuel-efficiency data for cars. While car-pooling is a concept long embraced by environmentally (and cost conscious) people, there are still a large percentage of cars that travel with only the driver in them, whereas airplanes are generally crammed to the limit with passengers.

Due to huge price increases over the past decade or so, fuel remains the single largest expense for airlines. Associated Press reports that in 2013, US airlines spent up to $50 billion on fuel. In the past five years airlines have been replacing older airplanes with the latest model airplanes from aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, designed to be 15 percent more fuel-efficient than before. In fact, the purchase of new aircraft has been at a higher rate than ever before, with 8,200 being ordered in the past five years. Currently up to 24 planes are manufactured each week, an impressive increase over the 11 per week of a decade ago.

While increased fuel efficiency, reliability and extended range are all motivating factors in the recent airplane buying spree, there are other reasons airlines are upgrading their fleets. Some of the old planes still have ashtrays in the arms of the seats, which clearly are redundant now, plus passengers expect the modern amenities such as power outlets and USB ports that older airplanes don’t have.

Gothenburg International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Gothenburg International Airport, is also known as Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, and is located
approximately 25 kilometers outside of Gothenburg. Gothenburg has a secondary airport, named Gothenburg City Airport. The Gothenburg International Airport is significantly smaller than Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, but still accommodates almost 4 million passengers annually. Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport is an international airport, and is the second largest commercial airport in Sweden, second to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

The Gothenburg International Airport used to operate from two terminals that were housed in one building, one for international travel and one for domestic travel. All passengers, domestic and international, book in through one side, and all arrivals come through the other. Booking in has now been streamlined to one area, as baggage needs to be screen and checked for dangerous objects and illegal goods.

Getting to the airport or leaving it couldn’t be simpler, with a number of transport options available. Airport busses leave the airport almost every fifteen minutes, and public busses are also stationed at the airport for passenger convenience. Taxis and limousines are available to passengers outside the airport building. Car rental companies can also assist travelers in their transportation needs, and the airport can accommodate 7,315 vehicles in their parking area. Indoor parking spaces are offered and all parking areas that are located indoors or outdoors, are continuously monitored by guards and cameras, to ensure safe and trouble free parking for passengers and people collecting passengers from the airport. Car rental companies that are located at the airport, if travelers want to make bookings prior to their arrival, include Avis Car Hire, Hertz Car Hire, Europcar Car Rental, Sixt Car Rental and Budget Rent-A-Car.

The Gothenburg International Airport in Sweden has only one runway for landings and for take offs. The runway is constructed from asphalt and is 3,299 meters in length.

Facilities that are provided in the airport terminal include restaurants, ATM’s, news-stands, book stores, cafes, gift shops, bars, banking facilities, clothing stores, duty-free stores and conference facilities. There is a secure and safe play area for children and a hotel is located within 500 meters of the airport terminal.

Thailand Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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The beautiful country of Thailand is already well noted as being a great holiday destination. The food is tasty but noticeably different from that of other oriental cultures while the people are incredibly friendly. The country itself is beautiful and though certain bigger cities may struggle with pollution, the landscape is varied and offers visitors a chance to see rural village life or bustling cities, and glistening beaches or gently sloping mountains. In urban areas there are endless markets, shops, bars and temples to see and one can literally spend days just mulling around getting a feel for Thailand’s unique people and culture. Every inch of rainforest and city is worth exploring and the country should definitely not be overlooked when choosing a holiday destination.

Travel in Thailand is relatively uncomplicated and there are nine major airports to choose from. Of course these include the fantastic Bangkok International Airport and the Phuket International Airport which are the two biggest airports in Thailand. Bangkok is by far the bigger of the two and it has three terminals and receives flights from Asia, Eastern Europe, America, Western Europe and Australia. However, there are also a variety of other airports available such as The Chiang Mai International Airport, the Chiang Rai International Airport, the U-Taphao International Airport and the Hat Yai International Airport. To date there are approximately 108 different airports in Thailand so if your time is limited, flying is usually the quickest way to access even the smallest of towns. Most of Thailand’s budget airlines offer flights from Bangkok International to all of Bangkok’s smaller airports. You might also choose to pilot yourself if you have your own aircraft and a license to fly.

All of Thailand’s international airports are have fairly good transport services with a choice between Airport buses, a rail station and minibuses. Those with a bit more money might prefer to take a taxi or hire a limo from the airport to their desired destination. So the next time you fly to Thailand, take your time to plot your course carefully and make good use of this country’s excellent airport facilities.

Airports in Thailand:

Bangkok International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The New Bangkok International Airport or as it is also known the Survarnabhumi Airport is located 25 km from Bangkok in Bang Phli district’s Racha Thewa. The name ‘Survarnabhumi’ means the ancient kingdom and was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The airport serves mainly Bangkok city in Thailand and for the moment is concentrating mainly on commercial flights as its conducting limited operations for the moment. The Survarnabhumi Airport has only been open since September 2006 due to many delays that they have experienced.

The airport took over the older Don Mueang International Airport, which use to be the main commercial airport in Bangkok, and all its flights. The revamping of the airport has included 132.2m air traffic control tower, one of the worlds tallest and an airport terminal that stands at 563,000 m2, the second largest building. However that may not be the end of the Don Mueang International as the Survarnabhumi airport has experienced many problems since its opening and so it may need to be closed for repairs while the Don Mueang airport handles all the flights.

The Survarnabhumi International Airport is a public airport and is operated by the Airports of Thailand Public Co Ltd. The airport is 1.4 meters or 4.6 feet above mean sea level and has two asphalt runways between 3,700 and 4,000 meters long. From the airport there plans to be a high-speed rail for the use of passengers and hopes to be completed by the end of 2007. From the city to the airport passengers will be able to get fast and efficient transport, taking them a maximum of 15 minutes. For the moment while the high-speed rail is still being completed passengers can still make use of the suburban commuter train service.

An alternative means of transport is the airport express buses, of which the airport operates a total of four. The air-conditioned buses take passengers from the first floor terminal all the way to down town Bangkok and to other various destinations. The airport express bus can be a little pricey, so you can also take the City buses but you will be required to take a shuttle bus to the bus terminal before you can be taken to your destination. Taxis and limousines are available but can work out to be very expensive. The taxis work off meters but before you leave for your destination you will be given a surcharge of 50 baht, another 300 to 400 baht, depending on where you are going and charged for tolls, which is about 60 baht. A part from a heafty payment you will also have to endure a 40 to 60 minute trip into the city depending on the traffic.

Odessa International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Odessa International Airport can be found in Odessa in Ukraine and was built in 1961, providing both domestic and international flights. Odessa is considered the fourth largest city in Ukraine, being home to more than a million people, and serves as an important port on the Black Sea. As a public airport, the Odessa International Airport’s official ICAO code is UKOO, with its allocated airport code being ODS and its World Area Code is 488.

The airport’s elevation above mean sea level is 172 feet or 53 meters. The airport has two runways – one measuring about 9,186 feet or 2,799 meters long consisting partly of concrete, with the other consisting of grass and measuring 1,815 feet or 553 meters long. These runways are shared by the country’s Air Force. The longitude of Odessa airport is 30 degrees 37’0″E and a latitude of 46 degrees 30’0″N.

The Odessa trade seaport was a very important trade port for the U.S.S.R during the Soviet period but now has very little military interference. Odessa seaport is considered a warm water port and so are its counterparts Yuzhny, an international oil terminal, and Illichivs’k all of which symbolize a very important transportation junction. The beautiful architecture that can be found in Odessa has a taste of the Mediterranean, not as one would expect considering it is a Ukrainian city. Odessa is a lovely city to visit, and those who fly into Ukraine via the Odessa International Airport will find that Odessa is a fascinating melting pot of cultures, languages and backgrounds.

Antonov An-72

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Antonov An-72 Coaler transport and cargo plane was developed for the Russian military, and some details about the airplane (including its original cost) remain unknown today. The first prototype of the An-72 was flown in 1977, and it was designed to replace the An-26 transport aircraft. In 1985, two versions of the An-72 airplane were ready to go into production. One version was the An-72, and the other, designed to handle harsh polar conditions, was the An-74. The An-74 is equipped with avionics that can endure extreme cold and the wings feature de-icing equipment. The plane has skis in place of wheels for landing on ice and snow.

The most unique feature of both the An-72 and the An-74 is the use of engine exhaust gases which are directed over the wing to boost lift and increase its Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) characteristics. This is possible because the two turbofan engines are placed forward and above the high mounted wings. Other factors contribute to its STOL capability, include slotted outboard wing flaps and leading edge flaps. As with many planes modified or designed for bush operations, the An-72 has heavy-duty landing gear and uses low-pressure tires. Combined, these features make the airplane capable of operating not only on short runways, but on those that are unpaved, icy, or snowy. Such conditions are not uncommon in military and remote operations, as well as in third-world countries where paved and maintained runways are not always available.

The An-72 continues to fly for the Soviet military and is part of several civil aviation companies’ fleets, including Aeroflot. The aircraft remains in active production. A rear fuselage loading ramp enables convenient loading of large-sized cargo and allows for airdropping. Additionally, passengers can ride in the folding side seats.

Maximum speed: 435.6 mph.
Cruising speed: 600 kilometers per hour, or 325 knots per hour.
Ceiling: 38,715 feet.
Range: 2,590 nautical miles.
Engines: Two Lotarev ZMKB Progress D-36 turbofans.
Crew: Two pilots and one fight engineer. Radio operator is optional.
Armament: Four 220 lb bombs, UB-23M rocket launcher, and one 23mm gun pod.

C17 Globemaster

February 9, 2009 by  
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The C-17 Globemaster III is a military transport airplane with a high wing, four engines and an unusual T-tail. Its primary mission is to transport troops, supplies, and/or over-sized equipment anywhere in the world in daylight or at night. It has high adaptability for various missions, in part because the C-17 can use paved or unpaved runways.

In addition, the C-17 uses a special flap system to enable it to make short-field landings. Because the C-17 Globemaster III can operate from relatively short airfields, the cargo plane is especially valuable during military, peacekeeping, and humanitarian relief missions when long runways are often not available. The C-17 has long-range capability even when carrying heavy loads though it can also take advantage of mid-air refueling when it’s available.

The C-17 Globemaster can carry a payload of up to 160,000 pounds comprised of personnel, cargo, or a combination of the two. Its enormous size permits the loading of two rows of tanks or one load of three Bradley infantry-fighting vehicles. The Globemaster is often used at the beginning of engagements to quickly bring needed equipment and personnel to the battle zone.

The U.S. Air Force initially purchased 180 of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Boeing, with the delivery taking place in 2008. As at January 2010, a total of 212 had been manufactured and delivered to the U.S. Air Force, Canada’s Department of National Defence, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.

Cruise speed: 0.74 – 0.77 Mach
Range: 2,420 nautical miles
Length: 174 feet
Wingspan: 169.8 feet
Height: 55.1 feet
Maximum weight: 164,900 lbs
Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney 40,440 pound thrust F117-PW-100 engines
Takeoff roll: 7,740 feet
Landing roll: 3,000 feet
Crew: Two flight crew and one loadmaster
Contractor: Boeing

References:
Boeing

C295

February 9, 2009 by  
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The EADS CASA C-295 is primarily a transport airplane designed to carry troops, equipment, or perform medical evacuations. Its versatility makes it especially attractive to countries that may be involved in a variety of missions, whether they’re humanitarian or military in nature.

The C-295 is manufactured by EADS CASA, a consortium of several European aircraft manufacturers which includes Airbus and Eurofighter, which in itself is a consortium of four member countries. The C-295 became operational in 2001, and 50 of the transport planes are already in the Air Forces of six countries: Poland, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Algeria, and Jordan.

Though the C-295 can hold large amounts of heavy cargo, it can land and takeoff on short, unpaved runways. This makes the plane especially useful for operations in unimproved areas such as those often relied on during humanitarian airlifts or wartime missions. An added advantage to the C-295 is its rear cargo door. It allows for easy loading and unloading of cargo and can be opened in flight for airdrops of cargo or troops. Depending on the mission, the cabin space can be configured to hold the maximum amount of cargo and/or troops (including injured personnel on litters).

The C-295 Persuader is a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare version of the C-295. Because such missions require a plane that can travel at slow speeds and low altitudes in order to perform visual inspections, the C-295 is well suited for maritime patrols. Long missions are typical, and the Persuader can accommodate the flight crew’s needs with sleeping areas as well as sufficient cargo room and observation posts.

Specifics about the C-295:

Maximum speed: 260 kts
Cruise speed: 300 mph
Maximum range: 3,040 nautical miles
Length: 80 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 84 feet 8 inches
Height: 28 feet 3 inches
Maximum takeoff weight: 51,150 pounds
Maximum payload: 20, 392.75 pounds
Engine(s): Two Pratt & Whitney Canada 2,645 SHP PW127G engines
Crew: Two
Contractor: EADS CASA

References:
EADS CASA

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