Aviation Technology

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Air Safety Challenges Require Constant Vigilance August 28, 2014 - Recent accidents highlight gaps in air safety procedures, need for urgent improvements The world’s flight safety community has been badly hurt in the last year by accidents that have taken nearly 1000 lives. In this unprecedented psychodrama, long before final investigation reports are completed, it is obvious that technical issues are…

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Airbus Aviation Global Market Forecast: 2013 – 2032 August 10, 2014 - The latest Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF) – titled “Future Journeys” – covers the 2013-2032 timeframe, and highlights how emerging economic regions will further increase their importance in overall traffic growth during the coming 20 years. This report proves very interesting reading for anyone who has a vested interest in…

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An overview of the Airline Industry August 25, 2014 - In order to understand how new aircraft might fit into the current market, one must understand the customer. For commercial transport aircraft manufacturers, the customers are the airlines. For business aircraft, military programs, or recreational aircraft, the market behaves quite differently. The following discussion is intended to provide an example…

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Analysis: MH370 Preliminary Report May 5, 2014 - Steve Winter provides an initial analysis of the documents released by the Malaysian authorities on 1 May, including the ICAO-specified Preliminary Report. In addition to the report, a number of other documents were released, including some maps of the estimated aircraft flight paths, and a chronology of “Actions Taken” by…

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Asia Surpasses U.S., Europe as Key Driver in Aviation Growth August 31, 2014 - AUG 29 – Over the past decade, the Asia-Pacific region has maintained a steady economic growth rate superior to that of North American and European growth rates. This stable growth has resulted in the ascent of a newly affluent middle class across Asia. An increase in disposable income in the…

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Australian air traffic control system will monitor both civilian and military aircraft in ‘world first’ approach February 27, 2015 - In what the Government says is a world first, Australia’s next air traffic management system will service both civilian and military aircraft, doing away with long-standing separation. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) previously resisted the move, arguing it was imperative Defence retained full control over military flight traffic. But…

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Boeing Annual Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents – 2013 July 23, 2014 - Each year since 1959, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has published the latest edition of its “Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents Worldwide Operations” The latest one was published in 2013 and is based on accident data for 2012. The statistics presented in these Annual Summaries are based only on commercial…

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Boeing Rolls Out First Next-Generation 737 at Increased Production Rate April 29, 2014 - The first Boeing Next-Generation 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month rolled out of the factory in Renton, Wash. yesterday. The 737-800 will soon be delivered to Air Berlin and ultimately leased to Transavia France. The airplane will now undergo functional, systems and flight…

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Chinese Market for Commercial Aviation August 28, 2014 - It is often acknowledged that the commercial aviation market in China is one of the fastest growing industries in the world.  With the rise in population and the reduction of travel restrictions for the population, this market, is growing very fast in order to cope with the demand – both…

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Commercial Space Travel Training Company Gets FAA Approval August 23, 2014 - Do you want to fly on a suborbital space plane? What about a rocket launch all they way into orbit? A new commercial spaceflight training company wants to help you develop the right stuff for flying to space. Waypoint 2 Space — a Houston-based company aimed at helping commercial astronauts…

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Electronic devices on aeroplanes: a good thing? Open thread April 29, 2014 - All air travellers know the drill. Boarding has been completed, and the faff of the pre-takeoff routine is about to begin, which means all electronic devices must be switched off. Time for a last text or instant message, heartfelt or flippant. Ten seconds to digest one last sentence on your…

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FAA Completes Nationwide Equipment Installation for NextGen Aircraft Tracking System April 29, 2014 - WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today announced the completion of a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit. This upgrade is a key improvement in the Next…

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FAA rulings on model aircraft stifle development of new technologies, think tank claims August 1, 2014 - Federal Aviation Administration rules governing model aircraft are too restrictive and would stifle the use of new, innovative technologies, a Washington, D.C.-based technology think tank contends. In a letter (pdf) to the FAA’s Regulations Division, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation states that the administration’s Special Rule for Model Aircraft…

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FAA: New Technology in Aviation – 2014 September 2, 2014 - The 2014 issue of FAA Safety Briefing explores the important role technology plays in keeping general aviation safe and efficient. Articles discuss the many benefits of emerging technologies as well as the potential safety hazards of being too technologically focused. FAA: New Technology in Aviation – 2014 PDF File –…

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FAA: Philippines complies with ICAO safety standards and receives IASA Cat. 1 rating May 22, 2014 - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the Republic of the Philippines complies with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and has been granted a Category 1 rating. The country previously held a Category 1 rating until January 2008, when it was downgraded to…

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Flight Crew Reliance on Automation November 3, 2014 - Modern large transport aircraft have an increasing amount of automation and crews are placing greater reliance on this automation. Consequently, there is a risk that flight crew no longer have the necessary skills to react appropriately to either failures in automation, programming errors or a loss of situational awareness. Dependence…

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Future Technology and Aircraft Types August 1, 2014 -   The following discussion is based on a presentation by Ilan Kroo entitled, Reinventing the Airplane: New Concepts for Flight in the 21st Century. When we think about what may appear in future aircraft designs, we might look at recent history. The look may be frightening. From first appearances, anyway, nothing…

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Hurry up Syndrome November 12, 2014 - Aviation’s worst disaster, the terrible KLM / Pan Am accident at Tenerife, was due in great part to schedule pressure problems experienced by both flight crews. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) conducted an eighteen month, three country investigation of this accident, with an emphasis on the human factors of…

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ICAO, IATA, industry to improve global flight tracking after MH370 May 21, 2014 - The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reached consensus among its Member States and the international air transport industry sector on the near-term priority to track airline flights worldwide. The consensus was reached during a Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft, which was held in the wake of Malaysia…

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India prompts airlines on real-time tracking May 8, 2014 - India’s aviation authority has requested its airlines to use on-board aircraft communications addressing and reporting (ACARS) or automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) technology to allow real-time tracking of aircraft. “This is significant in view of the preliminary report released by ministry of transport, Malaysia, into the accident of MH370…

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Introducing Solara, the Atmospheric Satellite April 29, 2014 - If you take the main road east out of Moriarty, N.M., turn south at a sign advertising glider rides, and then swing east again past the sailplanes ornamenting a two-runway airport, you will see hangar No. 76, the headquarters of Titan Aerospace. In this cavernous office-cum-workshop, engineers are developing the…

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Keeping America’s Skies Safe April 29, 2014 - There are around 7,000 aircraft in the air over the United States at any given time. The United States’ air traffic control system is the safest in the world. To keep it that way, FAA and its Air Traffic Organization work continuously to improve the system. This includes incorporating new equipment and…

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Long-haul low-cost – mission (im)possible? August 25, 2014 - The summer of 2014 might have marked a new page in the development of the global passenger air travel market. Only a few global media sources have missed out on covering the Norwegian’s latest ambition – to launch low-cost transatlantic flights from London. A similar initiative is being also considered…

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 Preliminary Reports May 1, 2014 - There has been an immense amount of interest in the case of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370.  The preliminary ICAO reports have now been released and AEA is making these available to allow interested people to read and to try and gain an understanding to the events and actions related…

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MH370: A Blueprint For The Future? May 7, 2014 - The failure to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has revealed the risk of flying through ‘black holes’ where modern jetliners can – under rare circumstances – effectively disappear. The jet operated by Malaysia Airlines with 239 people on board disappeared from radar less than an hour after takeoff…

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New Aircraft Development: Reflections and Historical Examples August 25, 2014 - by Richard Shevell What makes any group of people decide that they’re going to build a new airplane? In the capitalistic world, the basic motivation is always profit. After all, the thing that makes an aircraft company exist is the desire of the stockholders to make money. If the aircraft…

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NextGen – FAA completes nationwide ADS-B rollout May 7, 2014 - The US Federal Aviation Administration has completed a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers…

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Origins of Commercial Aircraft August 28, 2014 - Aircraft come into being for a number of reasons. New aircraft may be introduced because of new technology or new requirements, or just to replace their aging predecessors. Commercial aircraft programs are driven by demand and air travel is booming (over 3 trillion revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) in the year…

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Radical planes take shape September 15, 2014 - Look up into the skies today at a passing aeroplane and the view is not that much different to the one you would have seen 60 years ago. Then and now, most airliners have two wings, a cigar-shaped fuselage and a trio of vertical and horizontal stabilizers at the tail.…

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Report: Boeing 777 suffers burst tyres after landing on wet runway, Maldives May 22, 2014 - The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) released an incident investigation report regarding a tyre burst incident involving a Boeing 777 landing on a wet runway in Male, Maldives. The Emirates flight departed from Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 2, 2011 on a scheduled service destined for Malé International Airport,…

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What is performance based navigation (PBN)? July 9, 2014 - Performance Based Navigation, or PBN, is navigation that uses global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and computerised on-board systems. This is in contrast with traditional sensor-specific navigation based largely on fixed ground-based beacons guiding aircraft along published routes via waypoints defined by these beacons. PBN defines aircraft navigation requirements in terms…

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What is your favourite airport? May 16, 2014 - These are hands down the world’s favourite airports.  But what is your favourite airport?   LAX is a favourite. Picture: Sam Howzit Source: Flickr MOST people don’t necessarily like going to the airport … there are lines, layovers and lots of crowds. But clearly that doesn’t stop folks from “liking” airports on…

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When ATC meets TCAS II December 16, 2014 - The purpose of an air traffic control service is to prevent collisions and to maintain an orderly, expeditious flow of traffic. The objective of TCAS II is simply to prevent mid-air collision – it is an independent safety net. It is inevitable that at times there will be some interaction between ATC instructions, often as a result of…

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Why NextGen Matters April 29, 2014 - The movement to the next generation of aviation is being enabled by a shift to smarter, satellite-based and digital technologies and new procedures that combine to make air travel more convenient, predictable and environmentally friendly. As demand for our nation’s increasingly congested airspace continues to grow, NextGen improvements are enabling the FAA to guide

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Worries about the use of composite material in new aircraft June 7, 2014 - Commercial airplane manufacturers have been using composite materials in transport airplane components for decades. But since 2011, new large transport aircraft built mostly with composite material have started commercial service.  This is the case of the Boeing 787, and later the Airbus A350. Some industry observers have raised concerns about…

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