-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


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Friday, May 30, 2008

Air France Concorde

Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde 101, F-BVFB

F-86 Skyblazers

F-86 Sabre
by dikjenkins
Tyndall AFB, Air show 2007

Northrop Grumman is secretly at work on a next-generation stealth bomber

Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman is secretly at work on a next-generation stealth bomber, with the prototype likely to be built by Scaled Composites, Defense Technology International reported this week. A recent financial report from Northrop Grumman shows $2 billion of new funding for "restricted programs," which DTI reports is "almost certainly" for the bomber. According to DTI, the prototype will use technology that already is under development for the Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator, with the aim of flying the new bomber by 2018. The bomber initially will be flown by an onboard pilot, but later extended-endurance versions are expected to be unmanned. The NGB will probably use newly developed materials and a blended-wing-body tailless design for the fuselage, DTI reported.

Scaled Composites, based in Mojave, Calif., was founded in 1982 by Burt Rutan. Northrop Grumman acquired 100 percent of the company last August. The Air Force expects the 2018 bomber to serve as an "interim fix" to bridge a bomber capability gap, allow it to retire a portion of the current bomber fleet, and prepare for development of a follow-on bomber with more advanced technologies such as hypersonic (Mach 5-plus) engines, according to a March 2008 report by the Congressional Research Service. About 100 of the NGB bombers will likely be built, the report says.



After more than a year of exploring various sites for its next stage of growth, Piper Aircraft (http://www.newpiper.com) announced on Wednesday that it has officially reached an agreement with the State of Florida and Indian River County to stay put.

"We are pleased and honored to announce our decision to remain and expand our operations in Indian River County," said Piper President & CEO James Bass. "Our decision is not just a vote of confidence for our hometown, it is also a commitment by Piper to Indian River County and the State of Florida." A $32 million, three-year incentive package from the state and county requires Piper to hire more workers and invest in its physical plant. Bass said Piper will make a substantial capital investment in facilities, technology, equipment and tooling; undertake product development; and design, develop, produce and assemble the PiperJet and other aircraft projects in the state.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Private Boeing 747

This looks like a photoshop jobbie to me. I've seen the B-747SP before but not this small.

Boeing 747 Cargo Aborted Take Off - Belgium

A cargo plane split in two is seen at the end of the runway in Zaventem near Brussels, Sunday May 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

Updated Sun. May. 25 2008 1:24 PM ET

The Associated Press

BRUSSELS -- A large cargo plane crashed and broke apart close to a row of houses while trying to abort a takeoff Sunday at Brussels airport, authorities said.

The Boeing 747-200 skidded to a halt in a field at the end of a runway around 1:30 p.m. Four of the five crew members on board the plane, operated by U.S.-based cargo carrier Kalitta Air, were slightly injured and were hospitalized, said Jan Van der Cruysse, spokesman at Brussels Airport.

"The plane is very seriously damaged,'' he said.

The aircraft cracked near the tail and by the wings when it slid about 300 metres past the end of runway 20. The plane, full of fuel, stopped just five metres from a rail line and 500 metres from houses on the edge of the town of Zaventem.

"I just heard a boom, and then I saw the plane go by the cemetery and the plane seems to be going off, sliding off, and then I heard a second boom, that's all I saw,'' local resident Johan Schoelink told Associated Press Television.

Rail services to and from the airport were suspended as a safety precaution, but the crash did not affect other flights at the airport, Van der Cruysse said.

Francis Vermeiren, the mayor of the nearby town of Zaventem, said the plane did not catch fire. Vermeiren was co-ordinating rescue efforts at the airport.

Vermeiren said the pilot told rescue authorities he heard a loud noise while trying to take off, after which he tried to land the plane. Airport officials said it was not clear what had caused the crash. Local news organizations speculated that a tire could have blown during takeoff or the engines could have failed.

Experts planned to examine the aircraft and remove the plane's cockpit voice recorder, or "black box,'' to find out what caused the crash, officials said.

Firefighters coated the wings of the plane with fire retardant foam because the plane was still full of fuel, the mayor said.

Some of the fuel had leaked from the left wing, but the spill was being contained and cleaned up.

Vermeiren said the plane had been scheduled to fly to Bahrain.

Airport officials said the plane was carrying cargo weighing 70 tonnes, over half of which was diplomatic mail. Other cargo included a car and batteries.

The plane is owned by Kalitta Air, a cargo carrier based at Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti, Michigan, and it made regular flights from Brussels, officials said. A person who answered the telephone at Kalitta Air on Sunday morning said no one was available to comment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why Boeing's Super Jet Isn't Flying Yet...

By: Jen Itzenson

Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner will be the most advanced passenger jet ever made. But as its debut is delayed for the third time, airlines are growing anxious.

The wings are from Japan. The fuselage is from Italy. The engines are manufactured in Britain (though some are also produced in the United States). More than any plane in history, Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner—the first commercial jet constructed largely from superlight, carbon-fiber composites rather than aluminum—is being built by a global network of suppliers and partners. So far, Boeing has taken orders for 892 Dreamliners, worth more than $145 billion, from some 50 airlines. But the outsourcing, along with manufacturing problems, has led to repeated delays. Result? The Dreamliner will not make its appearance until late 2009. [READ MORE]

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

F-22 low pass - Markham Park Florida

Photo by Pete Alvarez

American Airlines plane from D/FW continued April flight to Paris after losing panel

Flight attendants said it sounded like an explosion, but the visual was even more frightening.

An American Airlines plane lost a large panel while on a recent flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Paris. While the problem started before they left Dallas airspace, the plane did not turn back and crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Flight 48 takes off from D/FW every day and heads to Paris. But just 10 hours after a 767 twin engine jumbo jet took off on April 20, the flight came to an end with the discovery of the large hole that occurred only 10 minutes into the flight. [READ MORE]