Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Zeppy 3: wind-powered airship to attempt Mediterranean crossing

By Paul Ridden

08:08 June 28, 2010

Zeppy 3 will shortly sail across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of...

Zeppy 3 will shortly sail across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of the wind and a curved carbon foil based on the chien de mer by Didier Costes

Image Gallery (9 images)

Preparations are underway for a 150 mile journey from southern France to Corsica in a sail balloon. High flyer Stéphane Rousson is planning to pilot Zeppy 3 across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of the wind and a curved carbon foil based on the chien de mer by Didier Costes. Gizmag took the opportunity to have a closer look at the new balloon at the recent Paris Green Air Show.

Rousson is no stranger to Gizmag. As well as the ambitious WINDREAM ONE project, an attempt at a crossing of the English Channel has also been featured. The airship used in the latter has been subjected to some serious modifications, tweaks and testing since then and will shortly be sailing across Mediterranean waters at up to twice the speed of the wind thanks to a modified chien de mer first outed with WINDREAM ONE.

The 65.6 feet long and 16.4 feet wide Zeppy 3 recently on display at Le Bourget in Paris is filled with 200 square meters of helium. An adjustable cable (from just over 65 feet in length to 164 feet) will run from the pilot's cradle to the curved carbon foil skimming the surface of the water. The airship itself will then act like a huge sail, stabilized in the water by the chien de mer so that it can fly head to wind, traveling at up to twice the wind speed.

Rousson is hoping to take the wind-powered Zeppy 3 from Toulon in the south of France over to Calvi in northern Corsica some time in September or October. The 150 mile trip (as the crow flies) is expected to take between 10 and 15 hours, depending on weather conditions.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thai Air Force training plane crash-lands in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi - Two pilot trainers were injured when their training light plane crash-landed here.

The accident took place at about 11 am in Moo 2 village of Tambon Donchedi in Phanom Thuan district, police said.

The two pilot trainers - Flight Lieutenant Pitchaya Pa-obthip, 40 and Wing Commander Akkarayothin Wanchadok, 40 - were injured and stuck inside the plane which flipped over.

They were rescued from the plane and rushed to a hospital.

Prawit Thong-in, 63, the owner of the field where the plane crash-landed to police that he saw the plane flying lower and lower to his field before it crashed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thailand soon? - Hotel 747 Now Boarding


    Last year we told you about Oscar Dios, a Swede with a wacky idea: Park a retired Boeing 747 outside the Stockholm airport, and turn it into motel for the budget-minded traveler. His vision has become a reality, with Dios’ 25-room, 85-bed Jumbo Hostel scheduled to open next week.

    The Jumbo Hostel is now accepting reservations on its website for stays beginning Jan. 15.
    Dorm rooms start at 350 Swedish kronor ($45), with deluxe private rooms at
    $1,350 Kroner ($175). For even more, you can spend the night in the plane’s cockpit, which has been converted to a sort of honeymoon suite and is the only room on the plane with its own bathroom and shower.

    Dios’ vision for the Jumbo Hostel has up to now been limited to a series of conceptual drawings, but last week he invited a reporter from Britain’s Guardian aboard for a look at the place. The paper posted video of the tour (narrated by an extremely monotonic reporter) on its website, and it provides some interesting new details on Dios’ digs.

    For those of us who have done a lot of backpacking, the words hostel and claustrophobia are interchangeable, but judging from the Guardian footage, even rooms at the low end of Jumbo Hostel’s price range look pretty good. Each dorm room is around 20 square feet, but because Dios was able to remove the cable and wiring that made the 747 fly, the ceilings are a spacious 13 feet high. Overhead bins have been bolted to the walls for storage, and all rooms have free wireless internet access, as well as flatscreen televisions that double as arrival-departure monitors.

    The Jumbo Hostel might be cheap, but it still comes with some hotel-style extras . The 747’s upper deck, which airlines often use as a lounge, will remain such, with the original seats and serving areas intact. The plane’s first-class cabin has been turned into a cafe that seats 20 and is open to the public 24
    hours a day. Passengers are also free to use the plane’s emergency exits to step onto the wing and take a look around.

    And if you’re looking to catch an early flight, Jumbo Hostel’s location can’t be beat. It’s just a 15-minute walk to the airport terminal, or you can catch one of the shuttles that runs every 7

    Beyond putting up weary travelers, Dios plans to offer guided tours of the plane to the public for around $10 each, and says he hopes to franchise the concept. Judging from the state of the airline industry, there should be some surplus planes Dios can snap up cheap.

    Photos and images / Jumbo Hostel

    See Also:




    Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/01/swedish-747-you/#ixzz0rfHYQJAA

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    The Paris Green Air Show 2010

    By Paul Ridden

    08:32 June 21, 2010

    Gizmag attended this year's Green Air Show in Paris to take a look at some of the eco-frie...

    Gizmag attended this year's Green Air Show in Paris to take a look at some of the eco-friendly aircraft currently available, as well those which may be just on the horizon.

    Image Gallery (25 images)

    Gizmag attended this year's Green Air Show in Paris to take a look at some of the eco-friendly aircraft currently available, as well those which may be just on the horizon. Although representatives from the airship contingent were out in force at the event, electrically-powered planes and paragliders also put in a strong showing, along with some rather interesting ideas for tomorrow's oil-free aircraft.

    Although the almost regal presence of a couple of interconnected Concorde passenger jets dominated the exhibition hall which played host to this year's Green Air Show at Le Bourget's Musée de l'Air et l'Espace in Paris, they were not the main attraction. Spread around and underneath these mighty supersonic aircraft were the display booths of altogether gentler, kinder and much quieter technologies that are already in use today or hold the promise of providing our air transport needs for tomorrow.

    Amongst the exhibitors preparing for the post-oil era were representatives from aircraft manufacturers and development concerns, sport and leisure interests, aerospace researchers, new material developers, independent inventors and visionary designers. Outside the main hall, organizers hosted the world's first zero emission air show which saw a small number of electrically-powered aircraft brave the winds and cloud cover and triumphantly take to the skies.

    A full list of attendees at the second Salon de l'Aviation Verte is available online and Gizmag will be detailing some of the exhibits in subsequent posts. But for now, here's a sample of some of the technology on offer:

    The e-FunFlyer from Adventure is an 85kg fully electric paraglide trike with a 15kW electric motor powered by a 60v battery which should give the pilot a good hour or so of mid-air fun. And if the short demonstration on the airfield was anything to by, fun is definitely the operative word!

    A pedal-powered silver teardrop blimp, the Zeppy 3 from Stéphane Rousson is currently being prepared for a Toulon to Calvi crossing using a "Chien de mer" and the power of the wind.

    On the subject of airships, the students from Projet Sol'r also attended the event and are now busy preparing for a crossing of the English Channel.

    Although the news of an upcoming solar-powered two-seater from Eric Raymond was the focus for much discussion at the show, the huge wingspan of the solar-powered Sunseeker II still held sway over the exhibit and put in an inspiring performance up in the skies too.

    If an eco-friendly version of the film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machineswere ever to be made, then the successful blend of old and new that is the electric Demoichelle from APEV would surely have a starring role. The aircraft was on display in the main hall and made a brief appearance in the skies above Le Bourget during the zero emission air show.

    Also on the airfield but doing little more than sit very still for photo opportunities, the undoubted star of the show was the four motor electric Green Cri from EADS Innovation Works and Aero Composites.

    Visions of possible green futures were provided courtesy of Projet Dirisoft andOcturi.

    Of course, the Musée also showcases green air transport of old too - such as this model of Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier's balloon and various winged craft, including mock ups of famous visions from Leonardo da Vinci.

    Keep an eye on Gizmag over the next few days for more in-depth articles on some of technologies on display at the Green Air Show.

    One of Australia's richest men is among 11 execs and crew killed in plane crash over Africa

    A wrecked plane carrying the top executives of an Australian mining firm -- including one of Australia’s richest men – was found in the dense jungle in Congo on Monday, Sky News reported. There were no survivors.

    The 11 missing passengers and crew include one American, two Britons, six Australians and two French nationals. The plane was en route from Cameroon to the Democratic Republic of Congo when it fell off the radar not long after takeoff, the London Times reported.

    The aircraft had been chartered by Sundance Resources, an Australian mining company.

    Search teams from the armed forces of Cameroon, Congo and Gabon were hampered in their earlier hunt by a thick fog.

    The six Australian passengers represented the entire board of Sundance: Chairman Geoff Wedlock, CEO Don Lewis and staffers John Carr-Gregg, Ken Talbot, John Jones and Craig Oliver.

    Natasha Flacon Brian, a French national and executive assistant of The Talbot Group, a private investment firm, also was onboard. The other French national, the Britons and the American have not yet been named.

    The plane was flying from Mbalam, Cameroon, to Yangadou in Congo. Both stops were near Sundance mining sites.

    Sundance executive Ken Talbot, one of the richest men in Australia, has an estimated worth of $AU1 billion ($880 million). Talbot, 59, founded the mining company Macarthur Coal. He left the firm following allegations of corruption in which he was accused of depositing funds into a government official’s account. He was due to go on trial in August.

    Sundance halted trading of its shares, and CFO Peter Canterbury was named acting chief executive. “This is a deeply distressing time for the families of the missing, their friends and work colleagues,” Canterbury said.

    The firm’s executives were in Cameroon to discuss the Mbalam project, which reportedly could earn the African country billions of dollars over the next 25 years.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/06/21/2010-06-21_australians_plane_found_with_no_survivorsentire_board_of_mining_co_dies_in_crash.html#ixzz0rbACCgqM

    Jetstar launches innovative new cadet pilot training program

    Low fares leader Jetstar has launched a ground-breaking new cadet pilot training program in Australia and New Zealand tailored to deliver well trained pilots into a career flying jet aircraft and help support the airline’s expanding pan Asian operations.

    The Jetstar Cadet Pilot Training Program has been developed in partnership with two of the world’s leading pilot training organisations, Oxford Aviation Academy Group based in Moorabbin (Melbourne) and CTC Aviation Group plc based in Hamilton, New Zealand.

    The partnership represents a major investment by Jetstar, one of the Asia Pacific’s fastest growing carriers, in the region’s future generation of highly trained airline pilots.

    The program will offer successful applicants — to number up to 70 in its first year — on completion a career development path into Jetstar as an Airbus A320 pilot.

    The Jetstar Cadet Pilot Training Program, which will accept its first intake of candidates in July 2010, will also make a pilot career far more accessible and affordable to skilled individuals through two distinct entry streams:
    – Advanced Cadet Program (3 months): Successful candidates will hold a commercial pilots licence which is the basic qualification for all professional pilots;
    – Ab-initio Cadet Program (18 months): Successful candidates may have limited or no flying experience, but meet Jetstar’s requirements for aptitude, quality and safety to enter a comprehensive training and development program.

    Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said the breakthrough new program and partnership with these leading pilot training suppliers would complement Jetstar’s other pilot recruitment activity and would supply a significant number of its future requirements for pilots.

    “We anticipate up to 20,000 applications for this attractive new program which seeks to remove some of the traditional barriers to becoming an airline pilot, demonstrating the high demand to enter this highly skilled and sought-after profession,” Mr Buchanan said.

    “Both Oxford Aviation Academy and CTC Aviation Group have worked with dozens of the world’s leading airlines across Europe, the Middle East and Asia with similar cadet pilot training programs, and will now introduce this efficient and proven model to the Australia Pacific region for the first time.

    “Through our program, becoming a pilot need no longer be a pipe-dream for aspiring aviators as this key initiative provides a unique pathway for young people to enter commercial flying.

    “The program’s establishment also represents a significant fresh investment by Jetstar in the region’s aviation industry to further grow and develop the skills and capabilities of a highly-skilled workforce.”

    Mr Buchanan said the program will support Jetstar’s growth as a Pan Asian airline with its fleet planned to move beyond 100 aircraft over the next five years.

    Oxford Aviation Academy Group Managing Director Anthony Petteford said: “We are honoured to be invited to partner with Jetstar to support innovation and encourage greater diversity of enrolment into airline pilot training throughout Australia and Asia Pacific.

    “This new relationship with Jetstar is truly complementary to the 50 year heritage of Oxford providing ab initio cadet pilot training to airlines worldwide,” Mr Petteford said.

    CTC Aviation Group Chairman Captain Chris Clarke said: “CTC is delighted to be chosen by Jetstar to partner in this great opportunity for young men and women to enter the airline profession.

    “This highly valued partnership in the Australasian region reflects CTC’s wide experience across the globe in the provision of the highest quality of training – adding to the many thousands of pilots that CTC has trained for airlines worldwide.

    “We are sure that for Jetstar this will prove to be one of the most successful career development programmes in the region and it is certainly going to inspire and facilitate new entrants into the airline pilot profession. It is a further demonstration of Jetstar’s innovative and progressive culture,” Captain Clarke said.

    Jetstar Chief Pilot Captain Mark Rindfleish said Jetstar’s Cadet Pilot Training Program would allow candidates to enter from Australia, New Zealand, and also Singapore and Vietnam, where Jetstar has airline operations based.

    “Jetstar will offer a first in our region by equipping and fully qualifying graduates of our Cadet Pilot Training Program to fly as a Jetstar pilot as part of our experienced pilot group,” Captain Rindfleish said.

    “This is a big positive for our industry which we believe enhances the opportunities for people wanting a commercial aviation career by more effectively tapping into other talent pools, whilst supporting existing pilot training initiatives in our region.”

    The initial intake is now open with positions to be equally shared through both Oxford Aviation Academy and CTC over the initial years of the program.

    Cadet applications can now be made directly through Jetstar.com.

    **For images of the event, please contact James Aanensen at Public Relations Exchange: jaanensen@prx.com.au.

    Media Enquiries:
    For Jetstar:
    Simon Westaway Jetstar Head of Corporate Relations M: +61 (0) 401 994 627
    Andrea Wait Jetstar Corporate Communications Adviser M: +61 (0) 438 090 970

    For Oxford:
    Anthony Petteford Group MD and Director Marketing M: +61 (0) 428 906 655
    Emma O’Donnell Manager — Group Marketing O: +44 (0)1865 84 1234

    For CTC Aviation:
    Heather Claycomb HMC Communications M: +64 (0) 21 751 051
    Karen Bath Head of Corporate Communications M: +44 (0) 79 77 271 338

    For media enquiries in Thailand:
    James Best Aziam Burson-Marsteller M: +66 (0) 83-198-4722


    About Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA)
    OAA is one of the world’s leading independent providers of innovative airline pilot, cabin crew, maintenance training and aviation resourcing services, and is unique in its ability to offer a fully integrated global flight crew supply chain.

    With locations in Beijing, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hong Kong, London (Gatwick), London (Heathrow), Manchester, Melbourne, Oslo, Oxford, Phoenix, Shannon, Stockholm and Tokyo, OAA is able to provide integrated “Total Training Solutions” tailored to meet the needs of any airline worldwide.

    OAA operates 105 training aircraft, 64 simulators and 10 training centres, delivering an innovative and comprehensive portfolio of aviation training courses. OAA’s 3 ab initio airline pilot training schools are amongst the world’s most respected and have trained over 26,000 professional pilots during the past 50 years. OAA is owned by STAR Capital Partners and the GE Corporation.

    About CTC Aviation Group
    CTC is a global leader in aviation training and management solutions, training between 1200 -1900 aircrew for more than 50 global airlines each year.

    CTC Aviation Group’s UK and NZ based Crew Training Centres house state-of-the-art Airbus and Boeing simulators, hi-tech Computer Based Training facilities and a fleet of the latest, modern technology training aircraft to support its ab-initio training program — CTC Wings; all supported by one of the most experienced teams of Training Captains and Instructors worldwide.

    CTC Wings is a unique, comprehensive programme of developmental training for airline pilots. The CTC Wings Cadet route takes individuals with no flying experience all the way to the right hand seat of a commercial airliner in approximately two years.

    CTC FlexiCrew is an initiative to provide flexible yet quality resourcing solutions for both the airline industry and qualified pilots, including experienced instructors and examiners.

    About the Jetstar Cadet Pilot Training Program
    The Jetstar Cadet Pilot Program will comprise two distinct streams: an Advanced Cadet Program and an Ab-initio Cadet Program. Once completing either program, graduates will be employed by Jetstar for a six year Pilot Cadetship for the airline’s fleet of A320 aircraft.

    – Advanced Cadet Program: Successful candidates will hold a commercial pilot licence. As part of an intensive three month program, candidates will to be trained specifically in Jetstar procedures and standards with the specific target of entering the airline’s workforce as a Jetstar A320 pilot upon graduation;
    – Ab-initio Cadet Program: Successful candidates may have limited or no flying experience, but meet Jetstar’s rigorous requirements for aptitude, quality and safety. Candidates will enter a comprehensive training and learning program rigorous in order to become fully qualified with the highest of proficiencies as a Jetstar A320 pilot upon graduation.

    More detailed information is available in the “Careers” section at Jetstar.com

    When does the program start?
    The first intake of cadets will take place in July 2010 and applications are now open for ongoing recruitment over the next 12 months for first year of cadets.

    How can I apply?
    Applicants can now apply via Jetstar.com via the “Careers” link.

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    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Remains of missing Colorado airman found in Laos

    (AP) –

    DENVER — The remains of an Air Force officer who had been missing in action in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War have been recovered and buried.

    Maj. Thomas B. Mitchell graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1963 and was among nine U.S. airmen aboard a C-130 over Laos on May 22, 1968, that lost radio contact.

    The crew of another aircraft saw a large ground fire near the last known location of the cargo plane, but heavy anti-aircraft fire kept search and rescue aircraft away.

    Search teams from the U.S., Vietnam and Laos found the remains and personal items after searches between 1989 and 2008.

    Individually identifiable remains were returned to their families for burial. Other remains were buried last week in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    Infamous past of luxury Soviet airliner

    The largest Soviet plane in its time, the "Maxim Gorky" had its own library and individual lounge rooms on board. However, the fabulous luxury ended in disaster.

    Developed in the early 1930s, the plane “Tupolev ANT-20”, more commonly known as the "Maxim Gorky", remains one of the largest aircraft ever to fly.

    This monster of flight led the way for many safety features of modern aviation such as the auto-pilot, as well as providing a level of luxury onboard that was unheard of at the time. The resulting rigid and tough construction was quite enough for the speeds those machines were capable of – 250-300 kilometers per hour. This is confirmed by the fact that in Germany, planes based on the Tupolev design remained in service even after the war.

    Read more about Andrey Tupolev on Russiapedia

    In that period, manufacturers did their best to create larger and larger planes in an attempt to dominate the commercial and military markets. However, the airliner “Bristol Brabazon” was an expensive failure in Britain, and in the US Howard Hughes' “Hurricane,” or “Spruce Goose”, cost the tycoon his reputation as an industry leader.

    Unfortunately, “Maxim Gorky” is also best remembered for a tragic crash that took place on this day 75 years ago.

    While flying in formation with two other aircraft on May 18, 1935, an aerial stunt went badly wrong and one of the smaller planes collided with the “Maxim Gorky”. All on board both aircraft were killed.

    The 10 person crew and 37 passengers on the “Maxim Gorky”, as well the pilot of the other plane, were given a state funeral at Novodevichy cemetery.

    Igor Melnikov was just a small child when the accident happened close to his home.

    “We boys rushed to the crash site as soon as the word spread,” Melnikov recalls. “We sneaked through the cordon and started picking up pieces of the wreckage. I got a bit of the plane that had hit the ‘Maxim Gorky’.”

    That was not where Melnikov’s links with the tale of this plane crash ended. Some years later he married the daughter of Nikolay Blagin, who had been flying the plane which caused the accident.

    “When I was discharged from the army, I met a girl while waiting at a trolley bus stop. Later we married. She was Blagin's daughter,” Melnikov told RT.

    Although Blagin was blamed for the crash by the authorities, Melnikov believes that such claims are reckless and unfair. He says that Blagin has been made a scapegoat.

    “When the accident happened, opinions among pilots were divided: some stuck with the party line, believing Blagin to be to blame, while others looked at the other possibilities, like the strength of the wind that day. I have a view of my own. I know the whole story,”Melnikov said.