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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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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Airbus A320-214

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 G-VHOT

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 N918WN

Mystery mini-shuttle may come to Florida...

Mystery mini-shuttle may come to Florida...

Blue Angels McDonnell Douglas FA-18 Hornet (16-3435)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sud SE-210 Caravelle III

Boeing retiree dreams of flying his 'bathtub' plane

Boeing retiree dreams of flying his 'bathtub' plane
Ed Kusmirek, 84, has spent decades building a replica of a 1924 super-light Dormoy Bathtub. Now he's ready to take flight.

Ed Kusmirek, an 84-year-old Boeing retiree, shows off his homemade replica of a 1924 Dormoy Bathtub. He says she's ready to fly. (Mike Siegel, Seattle Times/MCT / September 27, 2012)

By Dominic Gates

September 27, 2012

SEATTLE — Ed Kusmirek has built something special. Starting in his family room, then continuing in a garage near his house in Renton, Wash., he's fashioned what looks like an elaborate go-cart with wings.

It's a precise replica of a vintage airplane, a 1924 super-light Dormoy Bathtub. Almost six decades ago, Boeing Co. retiree Kusmirek hatched the dream of re-creating this particular piece of aviation history — and flying it.

Now with his airplane built, the 84-year-old needs only approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and a quick refresher of his flying skills to take it up.

The original airplane sported a converted motorcycle engine and an airframe made from parts either homemade or bought at a hardware store. Kusmirek has mimicked that provenance.

In the 1950s, he bought the authentic engine he needed for $40, caked in red Oklahoma dirt. Dismantling and restoring that was the beginning.

In the last seven years, he made the airframe himself, using many repurposed bits and pieces. The wheels came from a dirt bike. The tension wires inside the wings are spokes from a bicycle.

"The Wright brothers used a lot of bicycle parts," Kusmirek said. "I figured there's no reason I couldn't take advantage."

Showing off the finished airplane parked in an open hangar at Enumclaw Airport in Enumclaw, Wash., Kusmirek pointed to other unusual parts.

The wheel hubs and a cover on the engine are made from saucepan lids. The tail skid at the rear of the fuselage uses a spring from an old recliner. The edging around the cockpit is pipe-insulation foam covered with chamois leather.

The axle suspension incorporates a bungee cord that came from a hospital fitness center's rowing machine. The hubcap on each wheel is the top of a plastic soda bottle.

"It isn't structural," he offered assuredly, regarding that last item. "It's just a cover."

If this litany of recycling sounds like the work of a dilettante, that would be mistaking Kusmirek. Yes, he has a quick laugh, a Tintin-like tuft of fine silver hair sticking up from his freckled pate and an air of boyish enthusiasm. But he's a serious overachiever, a veteran of 39 years at Boeing who worked at high-end research.

Without a college degree, he ended his career as an instructor in Boeing's manufacturing engineering organization.

For this project, absent detailed plans for certain instruments, Kusmirek had to invent them himself.

He invented a mechanical airspeed indicator and tested it in a wind tunnel at the University of Washington. He invented a fuel gauge for the five-gallon gas tank above the pilot's head.

Now the airplane awaits only a few cosmetic tweaks at Enumclaw. Kusmirek hopes soon to taxi it along the ground and perhaps take it on a few preliminary excursions down the runway.

He plans to fly his Dormoy Bathtub, possibly this year.

Kusmirek will soon ask the FAA to certify his plane as airworthy.

He also plans to practice flying small airplanes. He has a pilot's license, but admits he hasn't flown much in recent years.

"Owning my own airplane is a little above my income level," Kusmirek said. "I have very little airtime."

He plans to take some lessons in a small airplane. "I have to get checked out so I will feel sufficiently proficient," he said.

Kusmirek doesn't intend to fly his baby very much. He'll probably take it up for a quick spin just once, a proving flight to put the crown on his accomplishment. Then he plans to tow the plane to the Port Townsend Aero Museum, where he is donating it.

Still, what he's contemplating is not to be taken lightly. Various replicas of the Dormoy Bathtub have been flown over the years, and some have had a bad end.

In 2008, a Bathtub replica crashed and killed the new owner on its first flight near Brodhead, Wis. In 1994, a similar crash in California killed a retired high school shop teacher who had built the plane himself.

Yet Kusmirek's family has faith in him. His eldest son, Dan, who lent a hand with the airplane project, said the many machines his father has built, fixed or restored over the years "seem to last indefinitely."

Is he worried about his 84-year-old dad flying an airplane with 1924 technology?

"I'd like to say I'm terrified," Dan Kusmirek said. "I'm really not. I have no doubts about his ability."

Gates writes for the Seattle Times/McClatchy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Armadillo Aerospace 2010

Fake pilot who joined cabin crew in cockpit

'Fake pilot who joined cabin crew in cockpit' is arrested in plot mirroring Spielberg's hit film Catch Me If You Can


PUBLISHED: 06:56 EST, 23 September 2012 | UPDATED: 07:08 EST, 23 September 2012
Comments (40)
A man who posed as a pilot and joined cabin crew in a plane cockpit has been arrested, Italian police said today.8

The unemployed 32-year-old man, whose real identity was not released, created a fake profile for himself on Facebook and called himself Andrea Sirlo, even posting pictures of himself wearing a uniform and Aviator sunglasses.

To complete the illusion he made up fake identity cards and even sent himself imaginary comments from dozens of fake cabin crew friends who expressed their 'delight' at being rostered with him on flights.

The unemployed 32-year-old man posed as a pilot and joined cabin crew in a plane cockpit. He has been arrested by Italian police

Police held the man in the bar at Turin's Caselle airport and revealed details of the elaborate scam at a press conference - as they compared it to the hit Leonardo Di Caprio film Catch Me If You Can in which he posed as a fake pilot and con man who flew more than one million miles around the world in the 1960s.

Officers said they believed he had flown in the cockpit of at least one flight between Munich and Turin in October last year and a link on his Facebook page highlighted the trip on a low budget airline called Air Dolomiti but did not take command of the plane.

Men in togas and partygoers in pig masks: How Berlusconi's political heirs blew Italian taxpayers' cash on debauched Roman bash
Controversial 'naked' airport body scanners to be scrapped after failing to receive European approval

They had been tipped off about him by an Italian Civil Aviation Authority who had become suspicious at how he could claim to be a captain when he appeared to be so young.

After he was arrested he took police to the garage of his home in Turin where he showed them the fake uniforms including white shirts and gold epaulets plus bogus identity cards, two books on flight theory and a plane log book.

Police compared the scam to the hit 2002 Leonardo Di Caprio film Catch Me If You Can in which he posed as a fake pilot and con man who flew round the world

Other pictures on his Facebook page showed him posing on an airport tarmac with planes behind him and in another he was seen inside the cockpit of a plane although it was not clear when and where it had been taken.

The site has now been closed by police but a person using the same identity and pictures also had a Twitter account in which he described himself as first officer for Lufthansa City Line.

Police said they believed he had taken another flight in April of this year as well but added they were still investigating the background of the man who they said was known to them and had previous convictions for fraud.

A spokesman for Turin police said: 'We are investigating several breaches of airport security and the man has been questioned about his motive but has not really provided a clear explanation of why he pretended to be a pilot.'

Turin airport said they were also investigating the case but they had not issued any identities in the name of Andrea Sirlo - the surname is the name of an air corridor over Turin.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2207422/Italian-police-arrest-man-posed-pilot-joined-cabin-crew-budget-airline-cockpit.html#ixzz27Q6Jwmwk
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China Southern Airlines Airbus A330-200 B-6516

Friday, September 21, 2012

Endeavour Lands at LAX

Endeavour Lands at LAX

Space shuttle Endeavour, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) performs a low flyby past the tower at Los Angeles International Airport, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles. Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the California Science center's Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) — at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Black Diamond T-33

B-1B Lancer Cockpit

Boeing's Flexible Flyer: Unmanned Little Bird

More Boeing planes to get wireless, cellular connectivity


Soon your long plane rides won't have to be cell-phone free. 
More Boeing planes to get wireless, cellular connectivity | PCWorldwww.pcworld.com
Boeing is building wireless and cellular connectivity into much of its fleet, but the FAA and airlines still have to approve and activate it for use.

F-16 Upside Down

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Piggy Back

USAF Focuses On Next-Gen Hard-Target Killer

USAF Focuses On Next-Gen Hard-Target Killer
By Amy Butler
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

September 17, 2012

Amy Butler Washington and Farnborough

Despite a grim fiscal environment, the U.S. Air Force still has ambitions to acquire a new generation of air-launched weapons that will take advantage of the stealthy F-22s in its fleet and the F-35s that will be introduced late this decade. But the service is being forced to prioritize its needs, putting a near-term emphasis on attacking hard and deeply buried targets such as nuclear weapons or command-and-control facilities in North Korea or Iran.

The Air Force is also exploring concepts for a Long-Range Standoff Weapon that would eventually replace the Air-Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCMs) in the fleet today. An analysis of alternatives should be completed by year-end to prepare for a fiscal 2014 program start.

However, a longtime goal of combining the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (Amraam) mission with that of an air-defense killer—once called the Joint Dual-Role Air Dominance Missile, or the Next-Generation Missile—has been put on hold in the near term.

One factor driving requirements for improved weapons stems from the limitations of the service's decision decades ago to shift to an all-stealthy fighter force. The Lockheed Martin F-22 and eventually the F-35 will provide the operational flexibility of stealthy missions in enemy airspace, but this attribute comes at a price. The internal weapons bay, used for stealthy operations, has only two positions. So the service is pushing weapon manufacturers to mature technologies to make future munitions smaller and more flexible. This, in turn, is reinforcing a need for more sophisticated explosive fills—perhaps halving the size of a warhead without compromising its explosive effects. Additionally, a decades-old hope remains for fuzes that facilitate variable explosive effects or shaped blast-fragmentation effects.

Air Combat Command (ACC) is conducting an analysis of alternatives to explore options for a future Hard Target Munition (HTM) that could be employed by legacy fighters as well as the F-22 and F-35. “Next-gen weapons need to be more flexible in terms of the types of targets they can address and, in some cases, may need to be smaller without sacrificing intended weapons' effects,” says Col. Sam Hinote, director of requirements at ACC. “This will allow our fifth-gen fighters to have a deeper magazine [increased load-out] and more flexible targeting options.”

The Air Force hopes to field a 1,000-lb. penetrator suitable for use in stealthy weapons bays in the next decade, with a program starting potentially as early as 2014, says Maj. Gen. Kenneth Merchant, Air Force program executive officer for weapons. Though the service has not yet refined requirements, options include a boosted 1,000-lb. version that would make use of a rocket motor for speed and momentum and, possibly, a 5,000-lb. follow-on without the motor. The goal with the 1,000-lb. version is to maintain the effects of a 2,000-lb. BLU-109 with a smaller weapon.

Although the Air Force is still able to employ the BLU-109, a weapon used heavily during the 1991 Persian Gulf war for hard-target missions, it hopes to shift to a smarter fuze capable of both burrowing and counting the layers through which it travels before detonating. To do so, better casings capable of withstanding layers of concrete and other materials also are needed.

Next Page


I am just curious why we cannot find a better way to release weapons from a bay or pod except to using open doors. Why cannot aircraft release weapons like submarines do, by using tubes and small openings. The the fact of Stealth would be less suspectable. Why not just drop them out the back and you would hardly eaven be noticed at all.

Name withheld

Weapons have always had to be built,rebuilt to fit different applications.Not more sophisticated explosive fills,use two weapons,don't over shoot our budget.I wrote last week about laminents in bio chemistry terms.Use consistantly with metal,glass,plastic,etc.components if they work.This is a republican buisness,and affilated with NATO if understood correctly.The Supreme Court,the Republican Congress,former republican Admins. know of my position papers,etc.

Name withheld

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why your in-flight Wi-Fi is slow and expensive: It’s all about the pipe

Why your in-flight Wi-Fi is slow and expensive: It’s all about the pipe
BY Stacey Higginbotham

Hate your Wi-Fi on planes? Think it’s too pricey? Too slow? Don’t blame your flight attendant, blame physics and the high cost of delivering broadband to a metal tube flying through the air at 500 mile sper hour. Here’s what it costs and why it’s slow.

It has been five years since American Airlines first launched Wi-Fi on its domestic flights in the U.S. and, frankly, since that time, Wi-Fi on airplanes is still stuck on the runway. It’s expensive, slow and based on GoGo data, less than 10 percent of flyers even attempt to use the service, even if someone else is paying for it.

But there’s a new promise on the horizon, with a leaked memo showing that JetBlue plans to offer Wi-Fi on planes in 2013 from a new provider, a service that could offer up to 12 Mbps per passenger on a flight thanks to a new type of satellite. But this scenario is unlikely, and understanding why explains why Wi-Fi on planes costs so much and is relatively slow. It also offers lessons on the limits of wireless.

So as entitled as we might feel to the same Wi-Fi experience in the air as we have on the ground, it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to cost more, have less capacity and come with limits. Don’t blame the airlines (or worse, the flight attendants): blame physics. After all, getting a mobile connection in a metal tube flying at a speed of 500 miles per hour is actually pretty freaking phenomenal.

It’s the economics, stupid.

The most fundamental cost is the cost of delivering data over the network, measured as the cost per megabyte. Currently there are three different types of networks, with the Xcede satellite that JetBlue will offer being a fourth.

GoGo: The top provider in the U.S. (American Airlines and Delta are GoGo customers) has built a ground-based network that provides capacity up to planes, as opposed to beaming signals from a satellite. Tim Farrar, a satellite analyst, estimates that it costs GoGo roughly 20 cents to deliver a megabyte of data on a plane. That’s about $200 for a gigabyte, which makes AT&T’s and Verizon’s $10 per gigabyte charges for wireless data look reasonable by comparison.

Satellite in the Ku-Band: Row 44 and Panasonic Avionics are both buying satellite capacity in this band. Airlines such as Southwest and some United jets carry this service. To afford their connectivity plus operate their business Farrar estimates they have to charge roughly 20 cents a megabyte to break even. At that price downloading a standard definition TV show that’s an hour-long would cost roughly $100.

Satellite in the L-Band: This is really expensive, but on international flights Inmarsat is subsidizing the cost somewhat because it wants to keep customers while it waits to launch a cheaper alternative, said Farrar. Singapore Airlines and Emirates use this service, but if they were paying full price their connectivity would cost $5 per megabyte, he said. Because that’s essentially the connectivity they are buying. Needless to say, these don’t offer rapid speeds.

Satellite in the Ka-band: Here’s what JetBlue is going to implement, and what Inmarsat and even GoGo hopes to deploy in 2015 to its customers. Using the Xcede service delivered by ViaSat, airlines will pay roughly 2 or 3 cents per megabyte for their connectivity said Farrar. The service depends on a new satellite launched in 2011 that can deliver up to 12 Mbps per person on a flight according to ViaSat.
What do airlines want their Wi-Fi to do?

Since network connectivity is the largest continuing cost of Wi-Fi on planes, it’s clear to see why the services are so expensive. It’s also why they are so slow. Even if the VisSat bird can deliver 12 Mbps per passenger on a plane, streaming a two-hour SD movie at a gigabyte will still cost between $20 and $30. How much of that will be subsidized, and who will do it?

The answer can depend on the agreements the airlines sign with the Wi-Fi companies as well as their goals in offering the service. GoGo isn’t designed for every passenger to hop online –it’s designed so premium business-class passengers will hop online. And they will pay for it, as evidenced by therecent price increases. This is a cold calculation that only a few people will pay the additional fee, but those people will pay a lot.

Other airlines may want to use Wi-Fi to entice passengers to fly with them as it seems JetBlue might. In that case, going with a cheaper service that you can offer on a limited basis to passengers makes sense.
This Wi-Fi is not home or event hotspot Wi-Fi.

Given the cost, the smaller pipe that satellite broadband offers, it should be easy to understand why you can’t expect to get the same Wi-Fi in a plane as you do at home, or even at Starbucks. At its median, it’s 20 times the cost of cellular data and the bandwidth is roughly that of a 3G network.

All Wi-Fi is not created equal — the backhaul to the Internet determines its capacity and how quickly you can download things. Your home Wi-Fi, if connected to a fast cable or fiber connection, is connected to a fire hose. The Wi-Fi from an LTE mobile hotspot is more akin to a garden hose and the Wi-Fi from current in-plane systems is like a drinking straw (some like L-band are like cocktail straws).

So don’t complain, after all, I managed to write this post on a plane with no Wi-Fi at all.

Alaska Airlines airplane image courtesy of Flickr user as737700.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro
Updated: Forecast: global mobile subscribers, 2010–2015 - 01/11/2012
Carrier IQ and the continued erosion of operator trust - 12/10/2011
The mobile backhaul market, 2011-2012: more innovation, greater competition - 10/18/2011

What is this?


RichWednesday, September 19 2012

“Getting a mobile connection in a metal tube flying at a speed of 500 miles per hour is actually pretty freaking phenomenal.”

Sorry Stacey, but dealing with the laws of physics, I don’t see why that statement should be true, because:

(1) Radio waves travel at a speed of 186,00 MILES PER SECOND. Compared to that, 500 miles per hour is nothing. From the viewpoint of the radio waves, the airplane is basically standing still.

(2) Okay, the plane is a metal tube. But the airplane itself is not used to receive the Wi-Fi signal from the ground. That’s what antennas are for, and an airplane has many of them and they’re used to transmit and receive communications and navigation signals that the plane needs to fly. All those antennas are designed to operate properly when mounted on a metal tube. Whichever antenna is used for Wi-Fi will do the same.

So, using the laws of physics, I can’t see how either the speed of the plane or its being a metal tube is relevant to the performance of Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi on planes is expensive and slow, it’s because of other reasons, probably related to business and economics., as you mentioned.
Reply /

LusciousWednesday, September 19 2012

I’m fairly certain Air Force One has no problem implementing high-speed internet bandwidth. And that’s alongside a veritable arsenal of military-grade communications gear commercial 747 aircraft don’t even carry on board.

Fact: it’s doable. Author’s excuses aside.

Gee Bee R-2 @ Fantasy of Flight

Another Atlas 5 readied to launch mini space shuttle

Another Atlas 5 readied to launch mini space shuttle
Posted: September 18, 2012

United Launch Alliance's Atlas-Centaur rocket has been put together for deploying the Air Force's third Orbital Test Vehicle flight, a mission that will demonstrate the reusability of the X-37B spaceplane when it blasts off Oct. 25.

An Atlas 5 first stage. Credit: NASA

The bronze first stage of the vehicle was erected atop the mobile launch platform inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral on Thursday, Sept. 13.

After setting the interstage adapter hardware in place, the Centaur upper stage was hoisted high into the assembly building on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The upcoming spaceflight will be the second for this particular X-37B vehicle, which spent 224 days, 9 hours and 24 minutes aloft between April and December 2010 on the inaugural OTV shakedown cruise.

A second vehicle spent 468 days, 13 hours and 2 minutes on a voyage from March 2001 to this past June that circled the globe more than 7,000 times.

Watch a video of the OTV-2 landing and see a collection of post-landing photos.

Now, the maiden spaceplane is poised for its return to orbit on another hush-hush mission of unknown duration or exactly what it is carrying in the payload bay.

"We are on track to launch OTV-3 in October," said Maj. Tracy Bunko, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

"As with many other advanced technology test programs, some details of the mission and test requirements are classified or sensitive. The focus of the program remains on vehicle capabilities and proving the utility and cost effectiveness of a reusable spacecraft."

Artist's concept of the X-37B in orbit with the solar panel deployed. Credit: Boeing

With pickup truck-size cargo bay, seven feet long and four feet wide, the stubby-winged craft could be filled with equipment being exposed to the harsh environment of space for proof testing or could contain experimental instruments intended for use by future military and reconnaissance satellites. The planes' unique capability to drop from orbit and land on a runway allows technicians to get their hands on the hardware after it spent more than a year in space.

"One of the most promising aspects of the X-37B OTV is it enables us to examine a payload system or technology in the environment in which it will perform its mission and inspect them when we bring them back to Earth. Returning an experiment via the X-37B OTV enables detailed inspection and significantly better learning than can be achieved by remote telemetry alone. Experiments can then be modified and reflown, allowing us to mature technology faster," Bunko said.

Built by Boeing's Phantom Works division, the miniature space shuttle is 29 feet long with a wing span of 15 feet, made of light-weight composite structures instead of aluminum and shielded with improved leading-edge ceramic insulation panels on its wings and tougher silica tiles affixed to its belly that are designed to be more durable than first-generation tiles used on the manned shuttles. It can weigh up to 11,000 pounds fueled for launch.

The in-space design life is 270 days, but good performance on the last mission enabled ground controllers to keep it aloft significantly longer.

"As with previous X-37B OTV flights, the mission duration is driven by completion of the test objectives rather than any specific date," Bunko said.

The Atlas first stage, with its RD-180 main engine burning kerosene fuel and super-cold liquid oxygen, will fire through the initial five minutes of flight.

The cryogenic Centaur upper stage filled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen then ignites for its only burn needed to heave the 5.5-ton payload into low-Earth orbit.

The launch sequence on OTV-1 and OTV-2 took about 19 minutes from liftoff to spacecraft separation.

It's the 501-version of the Atlas 5, a rocket that employs the five-meter-diameter nose fairing to shroud X-37B during ascent through the atmosphere and no strap-on solid-fuel boosters.

Although the exact target launch time has not been revealed, liftoff is expected in the late afternoon or early evening from Cape Canaveral's Complex 41.

IAG and Lufthansa stay away from TAP sale

IAG and Lufthansa stay away from TAP sale

In a blow for the Portuguese government, both IAG and Lufthansa decided not to bid for TAP SGPS SA. This highlights the challenges the troubled country faces in getting what it sees as being the right price for TAP.

IAG has been dragged down by the reorganisation of Iberia and now British Airways has significant problems with the loss of the Qantas JV and the possible loss of the AA JV. It is time for IAG to concentrate on shoring up its BA operations and reorganise the Iberia operation.

Lufthansa is also preoccupied with managing its current course through these difficult times.

For the Portuguese government time has run out almost. They need to sell TAP by the end of the year under the requirements of its EU bailout program. The airline should carry a value around the $1.6bn mark on a good day and the airline remains attractive because of its access to Brazil.

This leaves potential bidders from the Middle East and Latin America as the preferred options. But, as per the thoughts at IAG on the matter, who right now in this market is in a position to take on an airline that needs significant operational overhaul in a fast contracting European market whilst also satisfying ownership conditions attached to the sale?

Russia - Air Force : Russian Knights Sukhoi Su-27 10

Supermarine Spitfire

Photo by: Classic Aircraft Photography

Monday, September 17, 2012

Boeing 747 Disassembly

FAA to Issue Airworthiness Directive for GEnx Jet Engines

FAA to Issue Airworthiness Directive for GEnx Jet Engines

The National Transportation Safety Board is asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue an airworthiness directive to require ultrasonic inspection for all aircraft equipped with GEnx-1B and GEnx-2B engines before further flight.

NTSB’s recommendations come following recent incidents where GEnx engines installed on Boeing 787s and a 747-8 were found to have damage on their fan midshafts.

"Safety is the agency’s top priority. Inspections already have been completed on all passenger airplanes (none of which are U.S. airlines). Atlas Cargo Airlines is the only operator with two U.S. registered aircraft. We understand one inspection was completed today (Friday) with no findings and the second aircraft will be inspected over the weekend. The FAA will soon issue an emergency airworthiness directive and will take appropriate action. The agency will continue to review the recommendations and coordinate closely with the NTSB and GE as part of the investigation,” FAA said in an emailed statement.

In July, NTSB initiated an investigation of an engine failure that occurred on a Boeing 787 during a pre-delivery taxi test in South Carolina. The investigation is ongoing, though NTSB has since stated that the fan midshaft had a crack on it.

On August 31st, a Boeing 787 that had not yet flown was found to have a similar crack on the fan midshaft of one of its GEnx-1B engine. Following that incident, a Boeing 747-8F operated by Air Bridge Cargo experienced an engine failure during the takeoff roll in Shanghai, China. An inspection of the GEnx-1B engine showed similar damage on the fan midshaft.

"The parties to our investigation -- the FAA, GE and Boeing -- have taken many important steps and additional efforts are in progress to ensure that the fleet is inspected properly," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "We are issuing this recommendation today because of the potential for multiple engine failures on a single aircraft and the urgent need for the FAA to act immediately."

GE has developed a field ultrasonic inspection method to specifically inspect the fan midshaft. NTSB said all in-service and spare GEnx-1B and GEnx-2B engines on passenger aircraft have been inspected since the incidents. There are approximately 43 GEnx-2B engines on 747-8F cargo aircraft that have not yet been inspected.

NTSB urges frequent engine checks for Dreamliners

§ NTSB urges frequent engine checks for Dreamliners
The National Transportation Safety Board has called for frequent engine inspections for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft after cracks were found on two of the engines. Engine-maker General Electric, which has been inspecting all of the engines in use, says the cracks were a result of a new protective coating on the engine shafts that had trapped moisture and weakened the steel. GE will cease use of the new coating and return to an older protective coating, according to Rick Kennedy, a GE spokesman. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/14), Bloomberg (9/15)