Aircraft – Pilotin Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:57:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Aircraft – Pilotin 32 32 KLM continues its plan to reconfigure aircraft in Premium Economy class Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:31:11 +0000

At the end of last year, we found out that KLM was planning to introduce a premium economy product. The inclusion of this class of service is an ongoing trend that has continued to gain momentum in recent years, with Emirates being one of the latest airlines to add it. Seeking to be the next major carrier to follow, the CEO of KLM noted in an interview that his airline had accelerated the introduction of the new class in its long-haul aircraft even before the global health crisis.

KLM’s oldest 787s are only about six years old and were first delivered to the airline in 2015. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

KLM and premium economy class

In December 2020, we first reported on KLM’s premium economy plans. The airline hopes to have class on long-haul jets by mid-2022. While we only found out about KLM’s PE ambition in December, the airline seems to have been thinking about class for some time, with its CEO noting in a CAPA Live interview that even before the global health crisis, there was a plan for the product:

“We decided, before COVID, to accelerate the introduction of premium economy class as a class. Today we only have it as an ancillary service. -Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM

In fact, KLM’s current long-haul configuration only provides for two classes of service: business and economy. The airline offers an Economy Comfort subclass, which offers economy class service with more spacious seats placed in the front of the cabin section, behind the business class.

Although no details have been released on the appearance of the class, Premium Economy Class generally offers wider seats with more legroom and more recline than Economy Class. Many airlines have also included “pop-out” legrests with their premium seats. Larger IFE screens, early boarding as well as an elevated dining experience are traditionally additional aspects of this cabin.

Below is an overview of what the “other half” of KLM, Air France, offers in terms of premium economy.

Focus on the 777 and 787

Simple Flying had also announced that the first planes to benefit from the premium economy class would be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 777-300ER. This plan was reaffirmed on Wednesday by the CEO of KLM, Elbers saying: “We are reconfiguring the majority of our widebody flights, focusing on the 777 and 787.”

Those familiar with KLM’s fleet will understand that this simply means that the airline’s Airbus A330s will be left out, at least in the initial reconfigurations. The carrier has 11 A330s, six of which are the shortest -200 and the other five are the longest -300. The -200 fleet has an average age of 15 years, while the -300 have an average age of eight and a half. It is also possible that the A330s will not be reconfigured at all if the airline does such an early retirement.

The airline’s 787-10s are among the newest wide-body aircraft in the KLM fleet. Most of them were delivered in 2019. Photo: KLM

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For upgrades and downgrades

One of the more interesting notes Elbers shared about the premium economy was that it wouldn’t just be for economy travelers who are hoping for an improved level of service. On the contrary, the CEO admits that this new class could turn travelers away from the more profitable business class, saying:

“This can accommodate both business travelers not returning in business class and economy class (travelers) by ensuring that there is a little more room and a little more space, which could start after COVID to be of value to our consumers. “

The airline’s Boeing 777 and 787 will be the primary target of a reconfiguration for the premium economy, leaving the airline’s Airbus A330s in the initial deployment. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft.

While most airlines would certainly accommodate traditional economy class passengers by paying more for the in-service upgrade, downgrading from business class would be much less desirable. However, it looks like the CEO of KLM is acknowledging that this is a phenomenon that can indeed happen – a pragmatic view of an industry that has changed a lot with the pandemic.

With about a year to go, are you looking forward to KLM’s premium economy class? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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National Aeronautics Association Awards Tamarack Aerospace Fly-Off Race Record in January Thu, 10 Jun 2021 16:56:42 +0000

Sandpoint, ID – Tamarack Aerospace is delighted to announce that the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has recognized Nicholas Guida, CEO and Co-Founder of Tamarack Aerospace, and J. Wickham Zimmerman, 30-year-old pilot, aircraft owner and CEO from Outside the lines, for US National Record Airplanes Class C-1.e, Group III Speed ​​over a course recognized record. The elapsed time of the record-breaking non-stop flight on January 26 was four hours, 35 minutes and 11 seconds in a Cessna 525 Citation (N44VS). The converted Active Winglet aircraft traveled 1,386 miles and used a total of 2,610 pounds of fuel.

This record-breaking flight was part of the “Fly-Off” between the Tamarack Active Winglets and a Cessna Flat Wing (N741CC) from Portland, ME to Palm Beach, FL. Journalists from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) were on board both planes to document the event, which was followed live on the web. The record was recognized by the NAA, which holds US aviation records and is the oldest national aviation club in the United States.

Guida is proud of his record breaking flight. “I am delighted to see the Tamarack Active Winglets being recognized for their in-flight capabilities. Active Winglet mods can result in up to 33% fuel savings, depending on weather conditions and other variables. by Guida after Fly-Off maintenance is available to stream online.

Zimmerman shares: “I am very satisfied with the performance of the Active Winglets during the January fly-off and I am proud to have participated in this record-breaking opportunity. Active Winglets offer significant fuel savings, increased safety benefits and more. I am happy that the aviation industry is able to see this revolutionary technology in action. ”

Tamarack Active Winglets consist of a wing extension, a winglet and an autonomous load relief system. The technology provides instant adjustment to turbulence, delivering smoother and safer flights, faster climbs, forgiveness for shorter runways, fewer stops and up to 33% reduction in fuel consumption. Tamarack Active Winglets modifications are present on more than 130 CitationJets today and are being considered for other aircraft, including single-aisle commercial and military aircraft.

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Growing Aircraft Engine Market CAGR 2021-2027 By AIRTUG, Flyer-Truck, Goldhofer, TLD Products, Eagletug – The Current Manomet Thu, 10 Jun 2021 04:13:05 +0000

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Motorized tugs
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Ravn Alaska Agrees to Purchase Airflow’s Under Development Electric Fixed-Wing Aircraft | New Tue, 08 Jun 2021 20:51:59 +0000

Alaskan airline Ravn Alaska intends to purchase electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) planes developed by San Francisco-area start-up Airflow.

The Anchorage-based airline, which currently operates De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100s on regional routes in Alaska, has signed a letter of intent to acquire up to 50 of Airflow’s developing planes, Airflow reported on June 8.

Neither company discloses whether Ravn paid any money under the deal. Airflow expects its planes to be in service in 2025.

Launched in 2019 by five executives who previously worked on Airbus’ now flap-type Vahana electric aircraft program, Airflow is developing at least two eSTOL variants – the Model 100 and the Model 200.

The aircraft will be able to land on traditional runways, which differentiates Airflow from the many competing companies – Archer Aviation and Wisk Aero, for example – which are developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Airflow says its design faces fewer regulatory and technical challenges than eVTOLs, which typically require somewhat new designs involving either swivel attachments or a mix of forward and downward facing props. In addition, many eVTOLs under development will require new disembarkation port infrastructure.

“Airflow’s hybrid-electric aircraft can enter service without any new infrastructure requirements and

Limited certification barriers compared to other entrants in the electric aviation market, ”the company said.

While Airflow confirms that it is working on passenger variants, its website only lists specifications for cargo configurations.

The Model 100 will have the capacity to carry 227 kg (500 lbs) of cargo, a range of 217 nm (402 km) and the ability to take off and land over a runway distance of 46 m (150 feet), the website. The Model 200 will have a load capacity of 907 kg, a range of 805 km and a required take-off and landing distance of 61 m.

The aircraft can be used to “supplement existing freight routes” and allow operators to benefit from the growing e-commerce market. They will cost a third less to operate than helicopters or eVTOLs, according to Airflow.

Airflow expects its aircraft to have a single pilot initially, although the company expects to bring range in future variants.

Airflow founders include Managing Director Marc Ausman, former chief strategist of Vahana, CTO Peter Kalogiannis, formerly head of Vahana aircraft integration and testing, and former Vahana employees Don Fung, Geoffrey DuBridge and Robbie Bunge.

Airbus closed its Vahana project in 2019.

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Risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on airplanes is low: a review of the evidence Mon, 07 Jun 2021 22:23:00 +0000

Researchers in Romania, the UK and Canada have systematically reviewed the available evidence on the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on airplanes.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is the causative agent of the current 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which continues to pose a threat to global public health and has caused more than 3.73 million deaths in the world.

The researchers say the examination results are consistent with the suggestion that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur on airplanes, but that it is a relatively rare event.

However, the data published so far do not allow a conclusive assessment of the likelihood and extent of transmission, and the evidence in most studies is of low quality, they add. The ability to compare results between studies is also limited by variation in study designs and methodologies used.

Standardized guidelines are needed for future studies on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on airplanes, according to the team.

“To our knowledge, no other systematic review of the literature has been undertaken to assess the evidence for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on board airplanes,” says Elena Cecilia Rosca of the Victor University of Medicine and Pharmacy Babeș in Timișoara, Romania and his colleagues.

A pre-printed version of the research paper is available on the site medRxiv* server, while the article is subject to peer review.

Learn more about the risk of air travel

The overarching goal of efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic is to suppress the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to prevent subsequent illness and death.

However, the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and many aspects of the disease it causes are not fully understood, and the measures introduced to restrict transmission are based on the best information available.

Air travel may be associated with transmission of the virus, given the high number of passengers and the close proximity between passengers and crew.

As in other confined or semi-confined environments, transmission of viruses on board can occur through direct person-to-person contact, contact with contaminated surfaces and transmission of droplets.

“Research is underway to understand the modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, with a continuing array of new publications,” says Rosca and colleagues.

“Accordingly, there is a need for continuous and systematic reviews of available studies with the latest knowledge to inform recommendations using the most recent information,” they write.

What did the researchers do?

The researchers set out to assess relevant data on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on board airplanes, to point out any important policy implications, and to highlight areas where further research is needed. emergency.

Between February 1st, 2020 and January 27e, 2021, the team searched LitCovid, medRxiv, Google Scholar and the WHO Covid-19 database for studies on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on board airplanes and searched for additional studies using the reference lists of relevant articles.

Rosca and his colleagues identified 753 studies, of which 20 were considered eligible. Eighteen studies evaluated in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2, representing 130 individual flights, and two studies examined the presence of the virus in aircraft wastewater.

What did they find?

The team says the overall quality of reporting in the studies was low.

Both wastewater studies reported positive samples for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), but the cycle cutoff (Ct) values ​​were relatively high, ranging from 36 to 40. La Ct value refers to the number of times a sample had to be amplified before the virus could be detected, with a high value indicating a low viral load and a low value indicating a high viral load.

The researchers also say that the definition of an “index case” varied greatly from one study to another and that the proportion of contacts found varied from 0.68% to 100%.

A total of 2,800 of the 19,729 passengers, 140 of the 180 crew and eight of the eight medical personnel were successfully located.

A total of 273 index cases and 64 secondary cases were reported and among studies that followed more than 80% of passengers and crew, the secondary attack rate ranged from 0% to 8.2%.

The secondary attack rate ranged from low to high on short, medium and long duration flights. One study of an approximately two hour short flight reported two index cases and five secondary cases, while another study of an 18 hour flight reported two index cases and four secondary cases.

The researchers say that the hypothesis that the risk of transmission increases with the duration of the flight due to higher exposure requires further investigation.

Studies have also reported the possibility of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic and symptomatic individuals.

“However, a major limitation of most studies was the possibility that asymptomatic index cases transmit the infection and that asymptomatic secondary cases were not studied due to the absence of symptoms, reducing the quality of the determination of the disease. cases, ”says Rosca and colleagues.

Better quality studies have shown potential transmission

Four studies that performed genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis reported better and reliable evidence and indicated that airplane tuning may be associated with the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

In addition, viral cultures of index cases that were performed in two studies yielded ten positive results.

“Positive viral cultures from index cases indicate that infectious virus was present, with potential for transmission to secondary cases,” the team writes.

“Standardized guidelines for reporting future research should be developed”

Rosca and his colleagues say current evidence indicates that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on airplanes is low. Yet the published data do not allow a conclusive assessment of the likelihood and extent of transmission.

“Standardized guidelines for reporting future research should be developed,” the team writes. “Future studies should aim for a comprehensive passenger and crew assessment, with a comprehensive follow-up strategy.”

The researchers say that factors that may influence transmissions, such as index case infectivity, passenger susceptibility and efficacy of exposure, should be evaluated consistently across studies.

“In addition, the new studies should take into account other factors that may have an impact on modes of transmission, including natural immunity and vaccine coverage,” they conclude.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Rosca EC, et al. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with air travel: a systematic review (Version 1). medRxiv, 2021. doi:,

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US senators took a military plane to Taiwan. For Beijing, this is a major provocation Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:14:00 +0000 Taiwan is finally getting much-needed help from the United States to fight its spiraling coronavirus outbreak. But for Beijing, the offer is a major provocation that risks intensifying both relations between the two sides of the Strait and US-Chinese relations.

A delegation of US senators traveled to Taiwan on Sunday morning local time to announce the donation of 750,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called vaccines “timely rain“for the island, which has vaccinated only 3% of its population and recorded its highest daily Covid death toll on Saturday with 37 deaths.

“It was essential for the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines, as we recognize your urgent need and we appreciate this partnership,” Senator Tammy Duckworth said during the three-hour visit.

In his welcoming speech to American visitors on Sunday, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu again criticized Beijing. “As we do our best to import vaccines, we have to overcome the hurdles to make sure these life-saving drugs are delivered smoothly from Beijing. Taiwan is no stranger to this kind of obstruction,” he said. he declares.

But the biggest blow to Beijing may not be Wu’s comments or the vaccine donation agreement itself, but the US military plane parked on the runway.

The US delegation arrived at Songshan Airport in Taiwan aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III freighter, a primary strategic airlift for the US military.

Previously, U.S. officials and politicians traveled to Taiwan aboard the C-40, a military version of the Boeing 737 commercial airliner, the Taiwan statement said. Central press agency.

The presence of a US military transport aircraft capable of transporting troops and cargo – including artillery, battle tanks and helicopters – in Taiwan is likely to trigger a meteoric reaction from Beijing.

Already, the state-run nationalist tabloid Global Times has lambasted the unusual choice of planes. “They want to make the landing of the C-17 on the island a fact that must be accepted by the mainland, paving the way for the United States and Taiwan to further intensify their collusion,” he said in a statement. . editorial Sunday.
In one separate report, the newspaper quoted Lv Xiang, an international relations expert for a government-backed think tank, as saying the visit was “the most serious provocation” by the United States since Biden took office, and that the continent “will not stand idly by”.

Previously, the Chinese state media had threatened war against the presence of US military planes in Taiwan. Last August, amid reports that a US Navy spy plane took off from Taiwan, the Global Times said Taipei and Washington “were playing with fire.”

“If the island has organized take-offs and landings of US military planes, it is crossing the red line to mainland China to safeguard national unity. It will be very serious,” he said in a statement. editorial August 31.

“If the mainland has conclusive evidence, it can destroy the affected airport on the island and the US military planes landing there – a war in the Taiwan Strait will begin as well.”

In its Sunday editorial, however, the Global Times appears to have softened its war rhetoric, calling instead for caution in Beijing’s response.

“We have the real freedom to take the measures we deem necessary. What we have to consider is that the effects must be positive and that the political advantages must far outweigh the costs,” he said. he declares.

Photo of the day

The big moment: Students from the Chinese city of Huzhou applaud before taking the national university entrance exam on Monday. Attended by millions of high school students each year, the two-day exam is considered the most important – and stressful – test a Chinese student will take in their college life.

The Business of China: Microsoft removed ‘Tank Man’ images for Tiananmen Square anniversary

Microsoft claims that “human error” led its search engine to block images and videos of “Tank Man”.

The photos were taken around the world from Bing on Friday – the 32nd anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. “Tank Man” refers to an unidentified protester who challenged a column of tanks advancing in the square. The images of the meeting have become iconic.

A Microsoft spokesperson said they were mistakenly taken offline. The images reappeared around the world – outside of China – on Saturday.

Bing, unlike its main competitors, including Google, operates in mainland China. This means that Microsoft is obligated to censor search results for Chinese users, according to Chinese law – especially images and information about the Tiananmen Square protests and the murders that followed. Internet censorship in China typically escalates in the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the event.

Hundreds of people were killed on June 4, 1989 in central Beijing. The massacre made headlines around the world, as did images such as “Tank Man”.

Although China’s censorship typically only applies within its borders, Microsoft’s accidental global pullout is not the first time that information in Tiananmen Square has been blocked outside of mainland China by a foreign company.

The FBI in December accused a former Zoom employee of participating in a scheme to censor meetings on behalf of the Chinese government. Xinjiang “Julien” Jin and his co-conspirators have reportedly ended at least four videoconferences commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre last June. Most of the meetings were organized and attended by American attendees, some of whom were dissidents who had participated in and survived the protests of 1989, the FBI said.

– By David Goldman

A man stands alone to block a line of tanks in Beijing in the iconic 1989 image of Tiananmen Square.

Around asia

  • The number of babies born in Japan fell to another record low in 2020, as more couples postpone marriage and start families amid a global pandemic.
  • At least 20 passengers were killed in train accident in southern Pakistan Monday morning. Officials said the death toll is expected to rise further.
  • Magawa, a premium giant african rat in pouch, is going out after a distinguished five-year career detecting unexploded landmines in Cambodia.
  • Meanwhile in China, a 25 year old suspect was arrested on Saturday for a knife attack that left 6 dead and 14 injured on a pedestrianized shopping street in Anqing City.

Beijing’s fury against the Uyghur court

A London-based “People’s Court” intended to investigate whether China’s alleged violations of rights against Uyghurs and other minority groups constitute genocide, is expected to conclude its first round of hearings on Monday.

The independent tribunal, made up of lawyers, academics and businessmen, saw dozens of witnesses in four days share poignant testimony detailing allegations of mass detention, sterilization and sexual abuse at the hands of the Chinese government.

Although the body itself does not have state support or the power to impose sanctions on China, it drew a furious reaction from Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin describing hearings as a “anti-Chinese farce” and an “insult to the law”.
Chinese state media have also stepped up their criticism, with the nationalist tabloid Global Times publishing at least five separate articles on the court, including a commentary that tagged audiences a “puppet” of the “great western powers”.
The court has long been in Beijing’s sights. It was one of the four British entities sanctioned by the Chinese government more than two months before a single testimony was heard. Geoffrey Nice, the president of the tribunal and a former chief prosecutor in the trial of ex-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, was also sanctioned.
The tribunal was set up at the request of the World Uyghur Congress, an international organization made up of Uyghur exiles, and is expected to deliver a judgment on whether the Chinese government has committed genocide against Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang after a second round of hearings later this year.
But in the months following the court’s announcement, several groups and governments have already taken steps to make the decision. Both Asset and Biden Administrations called Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang “genocide,” while the parliaments of Canada, the Netherlands and the UK all voted in favor of non-binding motions designating Beijing’s actions as such. An independent report from more than 50 global experts in international law, genocide and the region of China also came to the same conclusion.

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How should the continent react to the landing of a strategic C-17 aircraft in Taiwan? : Global Times editorial Sun, 06 Jun 2021 15:43:00 +0000

Photo by Tsai Ing-wen: VCG

Three US senators arrived on the island of Taiwan on Sunday morning on a whirlwind visit. They took a military transport plane, a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, instead of a civilian plane that normally performs such tasks, which received special attention. There is no doubt that the United States and the island of Taiwan are making new provocations with salami-cutting tactics that they have devised for this provocation.

Neither US nor Taiwanese authorities have deliberately highlighted or discussed the C-17. However, the media at the island’s green camp spoke about it several times and was very enthusiastic. They claimed that the C-17 is the US military’s strategic and tactical airlift and the US military’s primary rapid and long-range transport. They also said that it was the “first landing” in Taiwan and that it was “of great importance.” Western media also said the appearance of a C-17 was “unusual”. The US and Taiwanese authorities downplayed the importance of the C-17, but the Taiwanese media magnified its importance. They want to make the landing of the C-17 on the island a fact that must be accepted by the mainland, paving the way for the United States and Taiwan to further intensify their collusion.

The Taiwanese authorities know they are taking a risk and can trigger an escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait. However, they need more tension in the region right now due to the severe epidemic situation, the rising death toll from COVID-19 and growing public dissatisfaction. What they want most is to divert attention from the island to the mainland, using the conflict between the two sides of the strait to distract from the dispute between the authorities of the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP) and the people of Taiwan, and make the residents of Taiwan believe that the high death toll from COVID-19 in Taiwan is the price to pay for facing the mainland.

Taiwanese authorities have rejected vaccines from the mainland in such a critical situation because they fear their so-called anti-China policies will fail if they accept vaccines from the mainland. However, they are in a very difficult situation and there is little hope of containing the epidemic with current policies. In trying to find a way out, they found themselves in the stalemate of the escalating confrontation between the two sides of the strait.

For the mainland, we should not allow US-Taiwan salami cutting tactics to gain a breakthrough, otherwise they will become more daring and intensify their provocation in the future. Mainland China should also beware of the DPP authorities’ current dilemma and avoid helping them out of the situation. Our reaction will be a complete test of will and wisdom.

A series of actions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, including bypassing Taiwan and flying over the middle line of the strait, have already dissuaded the Taiwanese authorities. The mainland must maintain the seriousness of this deterrence and must not allow Taiwan’s secessionist forces to become endemic again. In the meantime, none of our countermeasures should provide any major excuse for the DPP authorities, who are now in distress, to displace the emotion of the Taiwanese people, stir up grievances, shirk their responsibility for the failure to act. the fight against COVID-19 and confront the mainland as a new hotbed of Taiwanese public opinion.

How to deal with the salami cutting tactics of the United States and Taiwan? It should be geared towards the ultimate solution of the Taiwan question and achieving good results. This principle is crucial.

Today, the mainland’s military advantage over Taiwan is overwhelming. We also have the ability to prevent US military intervention should a serious cross-strait crisis arise. The mainland already has the dominant power to decide how and at what pace to resolve the Taiwan question. In other words, we have the real freedom to take whatever action we deem necessary. What we have to consider is that the effects must be positive and that the political benefits must far outweigh the costs.

We must make good use of this dominant position, which means that we cannot be led by the United States and Taiwan but must become an active player. So far, the mainland’s military deployment and show of force in the Taiwan Strait has been very successful. Both the Taiwanese authorities and the US government have felt the pressure and the DPP authorities are in panic. The United States and Taiwan really want to regain their initiative, but their strength can no longer keep up. Taiwan’s fight against COVID-19 has been a mess and the Taiwanese authorities can only play tricks to make up for their mistakes and create the illusion that they still dominate the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Finally, we must believe that the continent can once again defeat the plot between the United States and Taiwan. If we are confident in our own strengths, we need not worry if the continent will suffer a strategic loss. China is examining the overall situation to come up with a grand plan, and it will not lack courage or strategic wisdom as it will represent the sum of the courage and wisdom of the Chinese people.

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New inflatable hangar technology set to take off in Indian aircraft maintenance industry Sat, 05 Jun 2021 17:48:24 +0000

In February, just before the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the large Indian infrastructure group GMR announced the establishment of Asia’s first inflatable hangar at its Hyderabad airport, bringing a new dimension to the maintenance and repair of airplanes and engines in the country.

The introduction of this cost-effective technology, which is being used by some airlines in Europe and the Gulf of the Middle East, is growing in importance as India is on the verge of expanding its aircraft fleet and its aeronautical infrastructure with hundreds of airports over the next few years. Some of them will also require aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

The government has, over the past four years, made various announcements to build or relaunch around 150 airports, including some airstrips in the country. In addition, amid the government’s efforts to make the country an MRO hub, new companies have also reportedly been announced by several players including Boeing, Airbus, Hindustan Aeronautics and Pratt & Whitney to set up repair facilities in India.

According to aviation industry estimates, hangars, which are used to protect airplanes from inclement weather and direct sunlight during MRO processes, account for a significant portion of the $ 1.7 billion MRO business. India. However, it takes a considerable amount of time to find an available hangar to undertake unscheduled repairs.

On the contrary, an inflatable shed is cost effective, reduces downtime and costs compared to building a conventional shed, while meeting all of the functionality, safety features and structural stability of a conventional shed.

The inflatable hangar is made up of low pressure tubes aligned parallel to each other forming a “rib cage” structure. Permanent structure, like any other conventional structure, inflatable sheds are intended for use in all-weather PVC canvas structures with a lifespan of more than 15 years.

These hangars, which vary in size, can be used as an individual alternative to conventional hangars, says Ashok Gopinath, CEO of GMR Aero Technic which brought inflatable hangar technology to the country.

“It’s a cost effective option that can shorten construction time. As part of the airport infrastructure, it can be used to perform on-line, ad hoc and aircraft-based maintenance checks, ”he said.

The inflatable shed is designed to withstand winds of up to 158.4 kilometers per hour (km / h) and can withstand temperatures from -30 degrees Celsius to +70 degrees Celsius, creating an alternative to conventional metal sheds solid which are both expensive and time consuming to build.

A typical single-aisle aircraft hangar currently requires an investment of around 50 crore and takes over 18 months to build. An inflatable shed, on the other hand, can be installed in about three to four months at less than a quarter of the cost, or so. 12 crore, which includes lighting, fire fighting, ventilation, doors, etc.

The GMR Group Narrow Body Single Bay Inflatable Hangar is designed to accommodate a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 series aircraft.

At present, the country has 19 conventional hangars owned by the subsidiary of the national carrier Air India, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), GMR Aero Technic and Air Works India, spread across different states. An area of ​​approximately 3,344 m² is required to accommodate a narrow-body aircraft in a hangar of approximately 7,000 m² for a wide-body aircraft.

According to industry experts, of the total MRO cost of an air operator fleet, engine maintenance costs account for 45%, component maintenance 25%, airframe and other costs account for 35%.

According to Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, India currently has around 700 commercial aircraft and will need 1,750 to 2,100 aircraft over the next 20 years. However, according to Boeing’s latest market outlook, India will need more than 2,200 new aircraft worth nearly $ 320 billion over the next 20 years.

“There is huge potential for such hangars, as many new airports will emerge in India. In addition, it is an ideal solution for operators and MROs for the regional connectivity scheme, ”says Pulak Sen, Founder and Secretary General of the MRO Association of India. “It is useful technology in an MRO operation that can be used to park an aircraft for routine maintenance.”

As the construction of a conventional hangar takes about 18 months and the allocation of hangar space by an airport operator is a time consuming exercise, it is best to have an inflatable hangar installed at a cost. and split time, Sen said.

The cost of these sheds varies depending on the size. There are smaller ones, which can only accommodate a helicopter or a small plane to the larger ones that can accommodate up to three Boeing 777s.

“With the knowledge of such an option in India, these hangars can be deployed in greater numbers in the future. However, only time will tell how the Indian market accepts this new technology, ”Sen said.

Echoing similar views, Gopinath said, “Going forward, this (greater adoption of the technology by MRO operators in the country) depends on demand and feasibility. If the authorities are looking for more permanent structures, they can opt for conventional hangars.

However, few future airports are likely to consider inflatable hangars to immediately make ground planes available to their airline customers, Gopinath said.

“These hangars can be deployed at offline or remote stations for smaller controls and rapid aircraft turnaround. They can also be added to normal hangars to support additional workloads, which an MRO can get, ”said HR Jagannath, former CEO of AIESL.

“But the main problem with inflatable sheds is where they need to be deployed. It should have access to the airport runway so that aircraft can enter the hangar. Most of these hangars are deployed at accident sites, where major repairs to the aircraft can be made, ”he added.

European aviation major Airbus has used portable inflatable hangers for many years to perform aircraft repairs in difficult or remote locations on a temporary basis and finds their transportability useful.

“With the significant and continued growth of aviation in India, it is essential that airlines have access to world-class maintenance facilities at home,” Airbus said in a statement to HT.

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Close-up photo shows China’s new aircraft carrier quickly taking shape Fri, 04 Jun 2021 20:28:35 +0000

Work is well advanced on the next aircraft carrier which is expected to join the expanding Chinese navy. A leaked photo now brings us our closest view to date of the ship, which is expected to provide the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, with a significant leap in capabilities, including catapults for launching. aircraft, a major advantage over the two previous ones in the service, smaller aircraft carriers with their “springboard” take-off ramps.

The unnamed new transporter, currently known as Type 003, has been under construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard outside of Shanghai since at least late 2018. Earlier this week, it emerged that a user of Tik- Tok had managed to take a very close-up photo of the ship, taken from the dry dock where it is being built, and upload it to this social networking service. The image was deleted shortly after, but not before it was saved and shared elsewhere online.


A satellite view of the Type 003 aircraft carrier under construction, dated February 18, 2021.

While inconclusive, the image appears to negate recent speculation that the carrier features a third aircraft lift on the port side toward the stern, to complement the two starboard elevators. Elevators are needed to move planes between the hangar and flight decks; the more elevators available, the greater the capacity to move planes. In comparison, the US Navy Nimitz the classroom design has four elevators. At the same time, more elevators can actually complicate the use of space in the cockpit and the US Navy has decided to have three aircraft elevators on the last one. Ford carrier class, with the size and position of these elevators intended to improve operations. The two previous PLAN carriers each have two elevators on the starboard side.

To date, most of the new carrier’s imagery has been limited to satellite and other aerial imagery of varying quality. The three enormous modules that make up most of the Type 003 were in dry dock in July of last year, with most of the keel and lower parts of the hull joining them in September.

Using these earlier images, some observers have extrapolated that the warship will probably have a displacement greater than the figure of 80,000 to 85,000 tonnes initially planned. This would bring it closer to the US Navy supercarriers, which have a displacement of about 100,000 tons.

Additionally, the Type 003 design should be equipped with an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), rather than relying on the “ski hill” ramps used on the two active PLAN carriers, the Liaoning (Type 001) and Shandong (Type 002). The use of EMALS could potentially increase the output generation rate on the new carrier, although it apparently does not feature additional aircraft elevators.

The introduction of an EMALS is a significant technological challenge, which has encountered its fair share of problems in the United States, but if perfected, it will allow the PLAN to operate larger and heavier carrier aircraft, such as as fixed-wing airborne early warning (AEW) platforms. , and to launch and recover existing multi-role J-15 aircraft carrier fighters at heavier weights, with a significant increase in the number of sorties the carrier can generate. EMALS would also allow the carrier to launch lighter drones, a prospect we’ve looked at in detail in the past.

Even if the Chinese EMALS fails, or if the equipment is not ready in time for the Type 003, the alternative conventional steam catapults which have also been tested would also present a great advance over “ski jumping”. Unlike the US Navy supercarriers, the Type 003 is expected to use conventional propulsion rather than nuclear.

Overall, the Type 003 represents an optimized original aircraft carrier design that will incorporate lessons learned during initial operations with the Liaoning and Shandong. The first of them is the old one Kuznetsov class transporter Varyag, which was transferred to China from Ukraine, entered service in 2012 and declared initial operational capability in 2018. The second, Shandong, although built in China, follows design principles very similar to the Liaoning and entered service at the end of 2019. At least once, the first two carriers have participated in joint operations.


The launch of the Shandong, in April 2017. It is the first aircraft carrier built in China.

What is clear, above all, is the speed with which Beijing is developing its aircraft carrier capabilities. Progress on the construction of the Type 003 has been impressive, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some reports predict Type 003 could be launched Next year, which would more or less correspond to an unranked February 2020 report of the Office of Naval Intelligence anticipating that this aircraft carrier could enter service in 2024.

If the Type 002 project was less ambitious, it should still be noted that only about five years elapsed between the laying of the keel of the future Shandong and the commissioning of this vessel. Just as important as the speed at which this was achieved is the experience that will have been gained by the Chinese shipbuilding industries that are currently working on the Type 003 and will surely build more aircraft carriers in the future.

Unconfirmed reports last year suggest that work on PLAN’s next transporter – the Type 004 – was due to start soon, possibly at the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning. There are persistent rumors that this ship will be both larger than its predecessors and be nuclear powered, but other evaluations suggest that it will use the Type 003 design. Ultimately, however, it seems likely that nuclear power will be the objective of the PLAN.

Western reports have frequently speculated that the PLAN could eventually constitute a force of six aircraft carriers. On the other hand, other observers claim that Beijing is planning “10 or more carriers” in the long term, which would clearly be a much longer-term ambition.

While the carriers themselves appear to be moving forward at an impressive rate, the developments within the thriving aviation branch of the carriers of the PLAN are somewhat less clear.

Production of the original J-15 carrier fighter, suitable for operations without a catapult from the decks of the Liaoning and Shandong has so far produced at least 36 production aircraft, said Chinese military aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht The war zone. Since the serial number assignment is somewhat confusing, the actual total may be higher, but Rupprecht expects production to eventually produce up to 60-70 J-15s to serve air wings. of the first two carriers.


A PLAN J-15 multirole fighter recovers on its aircraft carrier.

A version capable of catapulting the Chinese Naval Flanker, sometimes described as the J-15T, has also been tested from land bases and there are also reports of a so-called J-15B version equipped with radar, a advanced avionics and weapons. . It would make sense, of course, for all of these features to come together in a production version of the Flanker capable of catapulting to operate from Type 003, as well as Type 004 and potential future carriers. Rupprecht considers it likely that the J-15Ts – two of which have been identified to date – are primarily intended to serve as demonstrators for the future catapult compatible J-15B.


Seen in the background, this J-15T reveals the bar on the nose gear added for the launch of the catapult.

The ultimate fate of the J-15 may also depend on progress made with a widely distributed carrier version of the FC-31 stealth fighter, possibly referred to as J-35, although this is unconfirmed. Given that the basic design of the J-15 dates back to the Cold War era, the Soviet-designed Su-33, and has been the subject of criticism on several occasions, it seems likely that China is already working on a more capable successor, although, despite many rumors, there is so far no solid evidence of a naval FC-31.

The introduction of catapults on the Type 003 also opens the door to boarding an AEW fixed-wing aircraft, a prototype of which is already in test, a fact initially confirmed by photos published last summer. The KJ-600 twin-turboprop is analogous to the US Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye and looks superficially similar. When deployed aboard the Type 003, the KJ-600 promises to revolutionize the way the aircraft carrier PLAN’s air squadron operates, providing long-range surveillance against air, sea and land targets as well as combat management and networking. PLAN already has some experience with carrier-based AEW assets, in the form of the Z-18J, a derivative of the Z-18 heavy lift helicopter with a retractable radar antenna attached to the rear ramp.

Overall, PLAN’s burgeoning transport capability bolsters Beijing’s efforts to compete with the U.S. military in the region and develop its throwing power and true blue water capabilities. Inevitably, this goes against the lingering tensions between China and the United States, especially in the hot spots of the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

In his 2020 report to Congress On the Chinese military, the US Department of Defense highlighted the Type 003 in particular as a major development within its planned multi-carrier force:

“The next generation of Chinese aircraft carriers will have greater endurance and a catapult system,” the report said. “In particular, Chinese aircraft carriers and planned follow-up aircraft carriers, once operational, will extend air defense coverage beyond the reach of coastal and airborne missile systems and allow task group operations to increasingly long spans. “


the Liaoning flanked by a Type 052C destroyer and a Type 054A frigate.

The PLAN also clearly has more distant ambitions, as evidenced by its decision to create a new naval base in Djibouti, in a strategic position near the entrance to the Red Sea, which US officials consider appropriate to support aircraft carriers. There are also two new Fuyu Fast class combat support ships that have been specially designed to support aircraft carrier operations.

On the other hand, we must not forget that China is still very new to the aircraft carrier game. Few other countries have operational carriers regularly carrying fixed-wing aircraft and although PLAN is the last to join this elite club, it will still take many years of experience before its carrier branch reaches its full potential.

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Marine A-7 Corsair – NBC 7 San Diego Thu, 03 Jun 2021 20:21:48 +0000

With a crane and great care, a new light attack jet was hoisted onto the USS Midway Museum flight deck in San Diego on Wednesday – a new addition that took two years to restore.

A 50-year-old US Navy A-7 Corsair, on loan from the National Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., Has been carefully chipped away at the museum along the downtown San Diego waterfront.

The museum’s aircraft restoration team had restored the aircraft over the past two years at the North Island Naval Air Station, devoting more than 2,000 man-hours to the project.

Today, the fully restored historic aircraft – which had a lifespan of just over 25 years – is on display at the Flight deck of the USS Midway museum.

According to the museum, the A-7 Corsair first flew in 1965 and was used by both the US Navy and the US Air Force. In 1967, the jet was deployed to various US Navy aircraft carriers for combat missions during the Vietnam War.

The museum said the last deployment of the A-7 Corsair was in 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, where it was used to conduct combat missions over Iraq. After 25 years of service, the aircraft was withdrawn from active US military service in mid-1991.

After closures related to the pandemic, the USS Midway Museum reopened in February, with new COVID-19 security measures in place.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with last admission at 4 p.m.), the iconic San Diego attraction now offers online tickets with a predefined arrival time (this does not apply to members / laissez-holders). pass), which helps the museum manage capacity limitations and meet physical distancing requirements. For now, all visitors and employees must wear face masks.

Tickets cost $ 26 for visitors ages 13 and older, $ 18 for children ages 6 to 12, and $ 18 for U.S. Military Veterans (with ID). Admission includes access to the museum’s Hangar Deck and Flight Deck tour routes, which showcase the famous Midway collection of 30 restored Navy planes, all set against the scenic backdrop of San Diego Bay.

For the moment, some exhibitions below the bridge remain temporarily closed, as well as the guided tour of the island, the flight simulators and the boarding cockpits.

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