The Airbus Beluga Super Transporter

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.

CEPA Expo 2013

by  
Filed under Events

The Central Europe Private Aviation Expo Prague 2013 (CEPA Expo 2013) will focus on ways to streamline methods of doing business in the Private Aviation market in Central Europe in order to promote this growing industry. There will be speakers on various topics, as well as sector-relevant panel discussions and workshops. For more information visit cepaexpo.com

Dates: 26-28 November 2013
Venue: Prague Congress Center
City: Prague
Country: Czech Republic

CEPA Expo 2012

by  
Filed under Events

The Central Europe Private Aviation Expo Prague 2012 (CEPA Expo 2012) will focus on ways to streamline methods of doing business in the Private Aviation market in Central Europe in order to promote this growing industry. There will be speakders, panel discussions and workshops addressing many of the challenges in the private aviation industry. For more information visit www.cepaexpo.com

Dates: 28-30 November 2012
Venue: Prague Congress Center
City: Prague
Country: Czech Republic

Boeing and Airbus Dominate Global Market

by  
Filed under News

With Boeing and Airbus dominating a global market valued at US$100 billion annually, the two aircraft manufacturers continue to vie for first place in this lucrative business sector. First quarter results for 2012 reveal that Boeing appears to be on course to recapture the top spot, as it delivered 137 commercial airplanes, compared to the 131 delivered by Airbus. Airbus has held the coveted number one spot since 2012, and with both manufacturers intent on increasing production of their best-sellers – the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 – they will be competing in emerging markets where medium-haul airplanes are becoming more in demand.

Boeing’s position was aided by the launch of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the enhanced version of its Boeing 747 – both of which had encountered major production delays. Among the airplanes delivered by Boeing were six Boeing 747-8s and five of the innovative carbon-composite Dreamliners. European manufacturer Airbus delivered four of its A380 superjumbos and has recently begun assembling its competitor to the Boeing 787 – the A350 – in its factory in Toulouse. It is anticipated that the A350 will enter service in mid-2014.

While airlines snapped up the fuel efficient model of the A320 in 2011, Boeing is reportedly ahead of Airbus in new orders for 2012. Furthermore, Airbus may lose some of its orders placed by China if the current conflict over emissions between the European Union and a group of countries including China is not resolved.

Just this week London Heathrow became the 200th airport welcome the Boeing 747-8, after having determined that the new airliner meets requirements for operating safely within an airport environment. Currently the Boeing 747-8 is the only airplane with a capacity of more than 400 seats approved by over sixty airports worldwide.

While cost-cutting may be a priority for commercial air travel, the world’s super-rich are offering Boeing and Airbus a new source of revenue. In early March this year a bespoke Boeing 747-8, dubbed the 747-VIP, took off from Paine Field near Seattle for delivery to an unnamed customer in the Middle East. Airbus is reportedly working on an A380 for the Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, with the original plans making provision for transporting two Rolls-Royces, horses and camels, and a rotating prayer room which will always point toward Mecca. Business people in emerging and fast-growing economies such as China and Russia are also entering the market for larger long-range planes providing direct service to their destinations.

Harnessing Landing Power to Cut Noise and Emissions

by  
Filed under Features

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a team of engineers from the University of Lincoln have confirmed that future aircraft could harness and store energy produced by landing gear, which could then be used to taxi the aircraft – a necessary, but very fuel-wasting, function of air travel. In addition to the fuel-inefficiency of taxiing aircraft, leader of the research, Professor Paul Stewart, noted that emissions and noise pollution caused by jet engines is a huge problem with airports worldwide. Little wonder then that the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) has made engine-less taxiing one of its key objectives for the aviation industry in Europe beyond 2020.

Stewart added that if aircraft produced in the next fifteen to twenty years could incorporate the technology currently being investigated it would be enormously beneficial, particularly for people living in the vicinity of airports. The University of Lincoln’s research is assessing a number of methods of capturing the power generated by a landing airplane. In an interview, Professor Stewart, explained than when an Airbus 320 lands, the combination of its speed and weight produces around three megawatts peak available power. The team of researchers has explored different ways of harnessing that available power, including the interaction between magnets attached to the airplane and copper coils implanted in the runway. To date, many of the ideas have not proven to be feasible, either from a technical point of view or financially, or both. Nonetheless, the study has shown that it’s possible to capture energy in this manner, especially in light of advances being made in developing more-electric, or even all-electric, airplanes.

This collaborative effort between the University of Lincoln and the University of Loughborough is being carried out under the direction of the Airport Energy Technologies Network (AETN) which was established in 2008 by the UK-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to facilitate low-carbon research in the field of aviation.

AeroExpo Prague 2010

by  
Filed under Events

Due to its central location, Prague is known as the heart of European aviation, and is therefore a superb location for AeroExpo Prague 2010. The expo is set to take place from 28 to 30 May 2010 at the Pribram Airfield, about 50 kilometers outside the city. This international event attracts exhibitors from far and wide, and visitors can look forward to seeing an amazing variety of aircraft at the expo, including ultralight aircraft, business aircraft and even home built airplanes. Exhibitors will be displaying everything and anything to do with aviation, and there will be daily educational seminars providing insight into this fascinating field. Spectators can enjoy awe-inspiring aerobatics and demonstrations as skilled pilots put their aircraft through their paces. For more information visit www.expo.aero

Date: 28-30 May 2010
Venue: Pribram Airfield
City: Prague
Country: Czech Republic

Austria Air Power Air Show

by  
Filed under Features

As Austria finalizes plans for this year’s Air Power Air Show, airplane fans across the world are packing their bags and finalizing their travel arrangements. AirPower09 is set to be this year’s biggest European air show and it is a not-to-be-missed event.

Set to take place on June 26 and 27, 2009, Austria’s Air Power Air Show should be nothing short of spectacular. In previous years the show has set international standards, first with the birth of the Red Bull Air Race during AirPower03, and then with the EAC designating AirPower05 Europe’s best air show. Now, as arrangements for AirPower09 in Austria are given the finishing touches, fans of this prestigious event can prepare themselves to enjoy mind-blowing technology, wacky aircraft and breathtaking aerobatic displays.

The 2009 Austrian Air Show is set to take place at the Hinterstoisser Airbase in Zeltweg, Austria. The event is prepared by the Province of Styria, Red Bull and the Austrian Armed Forces, and the military display prepared by the Austrian Armed Forces is one of the highlights of the show. Not only does the show present an opportunity to wow crowds with the country’s military might, speed and skill, but it also shows how this aspect of the military can be used to provide protection and aid to the international community. Indeed, it seems that the role played by the Austrian Armed Forces in the maintenance of peace both at home and abroad will be a key theme of the airshow.

With an estimated 250 000 visitors making their way to the airbase to enjoy the event, the program certainly isn’t limited to only military aircraft. An incredibly diverse array of aircraft has been planned for AirPower09, from antique tri-planes to super-sleek combat jets. The air displays promise to thrill and excite, with some of the best military aerobatic teams from around the world scheduled to participate. Entrance is free and the event will be perfect for the whole family. The food available will be world-class and adults with small children will be able to make use of the day-care facilities provided on site. So there is absolutely no excuse to miss out on AirPower09!

Sunderland

by  
Filed under

Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
Next airshow: July 28-29, 2007

The Sunderland International Air Show is the largest free airshow in Europe. While most airshows are held at airports, this one takes place on the seafront at Seaburn. More than a million people enjoy the Sunderland Air Show every year. It features civilian, vintage, and military jet aircraft. The Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team usually performs, as does the Royal Navy Black Cats Helicopter Team. Previous aerial displays have also included the Pitts Special and the B17 Flying Fortress ‘Sally B’.

The airshow takes over the entire Sunderland coastline with displays, vendors, and ground entertainment. Visit the Sunderland Sunderland International Air Show at http://www.sunderland-airshow.com/ or call +44 (0)191 553 2006 and tell them airplanes.com sent you!

Charles de Gaulle International Airport

by  
Filed under

Also known as Roissy Airport, the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) International Airport is France’s main international airport. The airport is situated in Paris and it acts as one of Europe’s main aviation centers. In fact the Charles de Gaulle Airport is ranked second in Europe in terms of passenger traffic, beaten only by Heathrow Airport. However, the airport handles more cargo and more planes than both Heathrow and Frankfurt. The Charles de Gaulle Airport took about ten years to build and it is located on the northeast end of the city. It is named for the leader of the Free French Forces, Charles de Gaulle, who also went on to found the French Fifth Republic – a fitting tribute to one of the great heroes of France.

The Charles de Gaulle International Airport is a public airport which is operated by Aéroports de Paris. Of course it serves mainly the city of Paris, but this responsibility is shared by another two large airports in the vicinity. The airport has three terminals that are linked by the CDGVAL light-rail shuttle. CDG also has four different runways. The first is 13 829 ft (4 215 m) in length, while the second is 13 780 ft (4 200 m) in length and the third is 8 858 ft (2 700 m). All three have asphalt surfaces. The fourth is 8 858 ft (2 700 m) in length and has a concrete surface.

The CDG is connected to the rest of Paris by the RER urban rail network and the high-speed TGV network, so access to and from the airport is easy. Further to this, the airport is also incredibly beautiful. It features plenty of avant-garde architecture which gives it a rather unique and airy feel. Of course Charles de Gaulle International Airport offers all the modern conveniences that a traveler could possibly need and it is the most likely place for a foreigner to touch down should he or she decide to visit France. However, the Orly Airport also conducts quite a bit of traffic and you should definitely consider using this airport too.

Marrakech-Menara Airport

by  
Filed under

Marrakech-Menara Airport (RAK) is a relatively small airport located in Marrakech, Morocco. Conveniently situated just 6 km outside of Marrakech, Menara Airport handles flights from Europe, Casablanca and other Arab nations. This airport is technologically up-to-date and can cope with aircraft up to the size of Boeing 747s. The well-equipped airport deals with some 180 international flights every week. The shortest flight departing from the airport is just 81 miles, whilst the longest is 1 566 miles.

The Office National Des Aéroports (ONDA) is the operator of Marrakech’s Menara Airport. This public airport is situated at the coordinates of 31º36’40″N, 08º02’33″W, at an elevation of 1 535ft (468m) above mean sea level. The single asphalt runway of Menara Airport runs in a 10/28 direction and measures a length of 10 170ft or 3 100m. Amongst the airlines making use of Menara International Airport are Royal Air Maroc, Air France, GB Airways, Atlas Blue, Air Horizons, Regional Airlines and Iberia Airlines.

Airport parking at Menara Airport provides space for 363 vehicles at a nominal rate. There are several transportation options for those traveling to or from the airport. A taxi trip should take about 15 minutes between the city and the airport. Grand taxis have sufficient space for 6 passengers, but are not permitted access to the Medina. Remember to agree on the fare before hopping in. Petit taxis are your average city cabs and can take you right up to Djemma El Fnaa square. Don’t forget to check that the driver switches the meter on before departing. To catch a taxi you can either hail them from a bus stop or use the taxi phones in the airport. Another option are shuttle buses, which will deliver you right to the door of your hotel or other destinations. Purchase tickets from the conductor. Car rental agencies can be found at the airport if you prefer driving yourself around.

The terminal at Marrakech-Menara Airport has all the necessary facilities and services for the comfort and convenience of travelers. Amongst these amenities are banks, ATMs, bureau de change, a post office, tourist desks, telephones, cafeterias, stores and boutiques. The airport has just been remodeled to include an impressive freight station, the addition of a 3rd terminal and greater aircraft parking for the increased traffic it is experiencing. Nearby are a number of top hotels including Sheraton Marrakech, La Mamounia and Ibis Moussafir Meknes. Travelers waiting for flights can explore the beautiful park beside the Menara airport. This lovely 100 hectare piece of greenery is filled with Moroccan olive trees.

Next Page »