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Minggu, 08 Maret 2009

The New Boing Finished In 2008

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] in 2008 recorded 662 net commercial airplane orders, bringing its backlog of unfilled commercial orders to more than 3,700 airplanes.

The Next-Generation 737 remained the company's best seller, with 484 chosen last year by customers from nearly every region of the world. Demand for the all-new 787 Dreamliner also remained strong with 93 ordered, primarily by Middle East customers.

"While we clearly faced obstacles, 2008 also was a time of accomplishment at Commercial Airplanes," said Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer, who noted that the 2008 order total was the eighth highest on record. "We are leaders in commercial aviation and with that comes the responsibility to deliver the best value to our customers, our shareholders and our communities.

"With a balanced base of customers from all regions of the world, from airlines with varied business models, and with strong orders across our product line, we are now focused on executing this strong backlog position," Carson added.

The twin-aisle 777 captured 54 orders from customers in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia. The 767-300ER (Extended Range) logged 28 orders, and the 747-8 Intercontinental added three to the orders list.

During 2008, 375 airplanes were delivered to customers worldwide: 290 737s (including six Boeing Business Jets), 14 747s, 10 767s and 61 777s. Deliveries were affected by a strike that halted commercial production for several weeks.

Boeing also debuted the first 777 Freighter and began flight testing on that program, while the first P-8A Poseidon - a derivative of the Next-Generation 737 for use by the U.S. Navy - completed final assembly. In June, the first 767 Boeing Converted Freighter was delivered, 1 of 26 freighter conversions completed during the year. And, major structural and systems tests were successfully completed on the 787 Dreamliner.

Commercial Airplanes achieved several important milestones in 2008, including the 700th 777 delivery and the 5,000th order for the Next-Generation 737. The 40th anniversary of the rollout of the 747 was celebrated, as was the delivery of the 1,400th 747. Additionally, major assembly was started on the new 747-8. Boeing Business Jets also delivered the first BBJ 3, a new, larger version based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-900ER.
Other Boeing Commercial Airplanes highlights in 2008 included:

Reaffirming Boeing's environmental leadership by collaborating with global airline customers on demonstration flights using sustainable biofuels and advanced air traffic management concepts.
Seven Boeing Commercial Airplanes manufacturing sites earning ISO 14001 environmental certification: Renton, Auburn and Frederickson, Wash.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Winnipeg, Canada; and Bankstown and Fishermen's Bend, Australia.

Improving Services response time to 97.2 percent from 96 percent in 2007 for airplane customers' more than 10,000 urgent requests through our 24/7 Operations Center.
Partnering with government and industry to successfully meet a 10-year goal to reduce the U.S. commercial aviation accident rate by 80 percent.

Sabtu, 07 Februari 2009

Giant Ski

While reading through an old issue of Model Airplane News, I came across an article about float-flying off water. It started me thinking about how much fun it would be to fly off snow with skis. First on my agenda was to pick some suitable subjects to modify for ski installation. That was the easy part, because my Stinson L-5 Sentinel and Cessna L-19 Bird Dog were just begging to get out of winter storage and be drafted back into service. They are both 1/4-scale tail-draggers and are very suitable for trudging through snow. After working out a few logistics, I cleared a spot on the drafting table and got started. My intent was to come up with a ski design that was simple, easy to build and would use up some of that “leftover” material we all seem to have lying around the shop.

To get a better feel for the design requirements for skis, I took a quick look through some full-size aviation magazines for possible articles on winter flying. I came across an issue of the EAA magazine Sport Aviation. This particular issue had a short article about winter flying with skis. The article contained some neat color photos of two Piper J-3 Cubs on a snow-covered runway at a grass field. The J-3 is probably the most common aircraft that’s outfitted with different brands of ski; and this supplied me with a few ideas on designing a simple, yet effective, set of skis for my own 1/4-scale models.

After measuring the skis and fuselages of the Cubs in the photos, I calculated their comparative lengths, and used these figures to plan the dimensions of my skis. I then generated a rough draft of the full-size drawings for the 1/4-scale skis following the tried-and-true “That looks-about-right” formula (here’s to good old eyeball engineering!). The length of the skis would be approximately 50 percent of the fuselage length, and the axel pivot point would be at 30 to 40 percent of the ski length aft of the ski nose. For the width, I just picked a number that “felt” right.

The materials I used for the skis are well-known by all modelers and, depending on the weight of your model, the skis can be made of 1/18, 3/16 or 1/4-inch-thick lite-ply or luane (the plywood material used to skin interior household doors). For models that weigh up to about 15 pounds, use 1/8 inch thick material. For models of 25 pounds or more, I recommend 1/4-inch-thick material (both the L-5 and L-19 are in the lower 20s, so I chose to use 1/4-inch thick lite-ply). I’ve found that metal skis generally mean trouble because snow really likes to stick to cold metal. Wooden skis seem to work better; but just be sure you sand the bottoms silky smooth, seal them well with polyester resin, polyurethane, or epoxy and then apply a good grade of wax. We’ve successfully used beeswax, as well as high grade automotive paste wax. The wax will prevent the snow from sticking and also will allow the model to really slide across the snow.

Lay out the patterns on a flat piece of material and cut the outlines to shape. To get the nose of the ski to bend up and match the curve of the stiffener, a series of cuts is made across the skis top surface. These cuts are only 1/2 the material thickness deep and are only required in the nose area that needs to bend. This process is called “kerbing” and I simply used a utility knife to score these cuts. Just prior to bending this kerbed area, I also fill the cuts with glue so that when all the glue sets, this area will be nice and strong. The center stiffener and the two axle mounts are made of various types of plywood. For 1/4-scale models, the center stiffener is 1/2-inch thick, exterior grade, house construction plywood, and the two axle mounts are 1/4-inch thick, aircraft plywood. I also like to add spacers to each side of the axle supports so that the final thickness is the same as the wheels that I use on that model. This makes the process of switching from wheels to skis and back again, very easy and fast.

The entire assembly is glued together with 20-minute epoxy and clamped in place to cure. After curing, all the areas are sanded and then coated with epoxy and sanded again. Next, they are painted with a couple of coats of paint and topped off with some clear polyurethane or epoxy.

One of the neatest things about this design is the ease with which you can switch from wheels to skis. This is very important when you get that unexpected snowfall and last minute calls from your flying buddies to meet them at the field. It will take only a few minutes to change from wheels to skis.

There is only one modification needed for the fuselage; two pairs of eyehooks need to be installed to act as attachment points for the cables. Install two in front of the landing gear, one on each side. Attach the skis’ nose bungee and safety cable (more on these later) to these eyehooks ahead of the landing gear. The other two eyehooks go aft of the landing gear, (again, one on each side of the fuselage), the rear-extension limiting cables will be attached to these. To make these attachments sturdy, I simply epoxy some hardwood blocks inside the fuselage and permanently screw the eyehooks into place (see photos). I leave these in place all year long, so I do not have to make any changes when the weather makes an unexpected turn. I painted these eyehooks to match the fuselage and this way, they just get camouflaged and disappear very nicely.

To set up your skis properly, there are two basic, yet very important alignments to maintain.

Toe in: The skis must be parallel to each other, as well as to the fuselage centerline (a function of the landing gear’s axle toe in adjustment).

Angle of attack: The skis’ angle of attack must be approximately 10 degrees positive while the aircraft is in flight (a function of the bungee and aft limiting cable adjustments).

The nose bungee is big rubber bands that lift the tips of the skis. To limit how high the ski noses rise, you have to adjust the lengths of the rear-limiting cables. I like to make these adjustments on the workbench with the skis mounted on the axles (held in place with wheel collars) and the airplane’s tail propped up. To get the required 10 degrees of ski nose-up attitude, I keep the skis flat on the bench and then raise the tail so that the plane’s nose is set at a flight attitude of negative 10 degrees. A stack of paint cans works very well here! If you’ve set everything up properly, when you lift the model off the bench, the bungee cords will lift the noses of the skis and make the aft limiting cable taut. When the model is placed on the ground, the aft cables should slacken and the skis should lie flat. It’s important that they also be able to pivot freely on the axles. As an added safety measure, I suggest you run a “safety cable” alongside the nose bungee. This cable is adjusted when the model is sitting on the ground in the normal “at rest” attitude. The safety cable is attached at the same spots as the bungee, yet at this attitude, this cable should be taut. The idea here is that in the event of a bungee failing, you do not want the ski to turn nose-down on you in flight as it makes for a very messy landing. To make it easy to attach the bungee cords and cables, I install line connectors or some other form of “quick disconnect” device at the fuselage attachment points. Old control-line connectors work well and you might also find similar connectors in a fishing-tackle store.

To make it easier to remove the wheels from my models, I replace the usual wheel collars with cotter pins that go into small holes drilled through the end of the axles.

With all the shop work finished, now it’s time to head to the field. The toughest part is waiting for the snow and then having it arrive at just the right time, like on a Friday night so that Saturday can be a day at the field with nice fresh snow. I live on Long Island, NY, and we don’t usually get much snow, but last winter we had so much snow that it was difficult to get to the field! Regardless of how much snow we get, when we get an opportunity like this, the “Snow Bird Squadron” gets together and makes it to the field for some really great, off-ski flights.

When flying off snow, remember these tips:
  • You’ll need to apply slightly more power to taxi. If you have no ski attached to the tail wheel, the rudder will also need a blast of power for turning.
  • You’ll need more power for takeoff, and the skis will have to “plane” on the snow before you’ll be able to build up air speed. To overcome torque, apply the throttle gradually and smoothly and feed in the rudder as required (just as if you were flying off a green runway). You may need a bit more elevator to prevent the model from attempting to nose over, but once the speed builds up and the skis are “on plane,” you’ll be able to release the elevator. When it’s equipped with skis, your model will not fly as fast because skis increase drag. When flying with wheels, don’t expect to pull up as steeply.
  • Increase power during landings and use a slightly nose-high, three-point, or wheel-landing approach to keep the tips of the skis up. For short-field operations with my L-5, I particularly like the “I have arrived, three-point, plop” type of landing. The fun part for me is just shooting touch-and-go’s one after another.

Using scale-snow skis is a really easy way to extend your flying season. Before heading out, make sure all your radio gear is up to snuff. Cold weather wreaks havoc with batteries, as well as people. Just dress warmly, you don’t want frostbitten ears, toes or flying thumbs and be sure to take along some hot coffee or hot chocolate. Oh yes, and sunglasses are definitely in order—enjoy!

Sabtu, 24 Januari 2009

A380 In Single Class

Air Austral, the airline based in Saint Denis, La Reunion, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of two A380s in a single-class configuration. In such a configuration, the A380 will offer unprecedented level of fuel economy, further emphasising the eco-efficient nature of the aircraft.

In a single-class configuration the aircraft will seat around 840 passengers in the widest economy class seats and the service proven quietest cabin in the sky. Air Austral plans to operate the A380 through one of its subsidiaries on its high-density route from La Reunion to Paris, France. No engine choice has been made at this stage.

“Our vision is to provide a low cost-high quality service on the heavy traffic route between La Reunion and Paris and the A380 allows us to make this vision a reality,” said Gerard Etheve, President of Air Austral. “The A380 has the lowest cost per seat and is the most environment-friendly aircraft flying today while at the same time providing a high level of passenger comfort. This will enable Air Austral to better connect La Reunion to France at a lower fare”, he added.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, added: “Air Austral ‘s selection shows the potential of the A380 in the market of today and tomorrow. The real benefits of “doing more with less” now is a reality offered to the market and we congratulate Air Austral on making their vision into a real strategy for this important market segment”.

Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. In addition to offering unequalled levels of passenger comfort, space and quietness in the cabin, the A380 has unmatched levels of operating cost and fuel efficiency, consuming with 840 passengers less than two liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.
The A380 not only complies with today’s noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today. With a range of 8 200 nm / 15 200 km, the A380 is the ideal equipment to alleviate traffic congestion at busy airports, while coping with growth. Firm orders for the aircraft stand at 198 from 16 customers.

Airbus is an EADS Company