Max Flight is a retired Aviation enthusiast, currently focuses his online activity on aviation Podcasts. He co-founded the Airplane Geeks Podcast and also produces The UAV Digest. He co-hosts the PaxEx Podcast and Airplane Geeks Podcast.
Recent episodes featuring Max Flight
This episode, we have an interview with the president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen. In the news, more woes for Boeing with FOD discovered in undelivered 737 MAX airplanes and the DOJ is reported to be investigating the company. Also, the Coronavirus continues to disrupt commercial aviation, a solar electric UAV planned to stay aloft for a year, a new tail-rotor design from Bell that should be quieter and safer, and this year’s Collier Trophy nominees are announced. Interview David Vanderhoof and Mel Payne, president, Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen. At the American Helicopter Museum, David talks with Mel Payne, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen. Tuskegee in Philadelphia: Rising to the Challenge is the story of dozens of Philadelphia-area natives who served as fighter pilots, bombers, nurses, mechanics, and in many other support roles. Aviation News Boeing Finds Fuel-Tank Debris in Two-Thirds of 737 MAX Jets Inspected So Far — Update Foreign Object Debris (FOD) has been a problem for Boeing. Two-thirds of the undelivered 737 MAX jets that have been inspected were found to contain tools, rags, and boot coverings in fuel tanks. The DOJ is reportedly probing whether Boeing’s chief pilot misled regulators over the 737 Max The Department of Justice wants to know if Boeing knowingly lied to the FAA while seeking certification of the 737 MAX. Boeing’s former 737 MAX chief pilot Mark Forkner was subpoenaed last year to answer questions from federal prosecutors in front of a grand jury. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Coronavirus flight cancellations top 200,000, sending jet fuel prices to more than 2-year lows More than 200,000 flights, mostly in China, have been canceled as a result of the Coronavirus. Delta, United, and American have halted service to mainland China and Hong Kong. With the resulting decrease in demand, jet fuel prices have fallen 17% in 2020. For an excellent explanation of the virus, see: You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus. Solar airplane aims to stay afloat for a whole year BAE Systems and Prismatic designed the unmanned solar-powered PHASA-35 airplane, and have tested it at the Royal Australian Air Force’s Woomera in South Australia. A High Altitude, Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE UAV), this “pseudo-satellite” could provide persistent service for defense, security, resource management, and communications. Another high-altitude solar-electric airplane under development is the manned SolarStratos. Bell’s New Design Could Make Helicopters Quieter—and Safer Helicopters with a single main rotor need an additional tail rotor to counteract the torque of the main rotor. But the tail rotor contributes a lot of noise and represents a safety hazard on the ground. Bell has come up with a different approach: four smaller shrouded electric fans in the tail. Video: Bell’s Electrically Distributed Anti-Torque EDAT https://youtu.be/jJUgmeSYox4 Trailblazing Projects to Compete for Collier Trophy The National Aeronautic Association announced nine projects that will compete for the Robert J. Collier Trophy: Airborne Collision Avoidance System Team Bombardier Global 7500 Gulfstream G500 and G600 Hubble Space Telescope Team magni500 Electric Propulsion System Project Heaviside Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft The United States Air Force-Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Team Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management Team The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet on April 2, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia, and the recipient will be announced publicly the following day. The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy will take place on June 11, 2020, at a location to be determined. Mentioned Big Ass Fans Crisis Communications Training For Airline Executives Airport webcams: Prague Airport’s YouTube channel AirLive Airport Webcams.net Webcam Hopper Webcam Plaza.net Airbus’s New Concept Passenger Plane Is for the Birds Waco Air Museum
Airbus buys out Bombardier, the Gulfstream G700 makes its maiden flight, Airbus is testing a blended wing body aircraft, Boeing gets a 30 aircraft LOI for the passenger 747-8, Delta Airlines says they’ll spend $1B to become carbon neutral, a Canadian aviation museum seeks to appeal to people who aren’t #AvGeeks, the risks of turning off your ADS-B transponder, and the U.S. might block sale of the LEAP-1C engine to China. Also, a great positive airline story of the week, an emergency AD for the Cirrus Vision Jet, the Girls Go Fly organization, a Harrier jump jet for sale, a really good sonic boom story, the oldest continuously operating military base in the world, and an addendum to last week’s baseball toss on a moving train scenario. Einstein would be proud. Perhaps. Aviation News Airbus Buys Bombardier Out Of Commercial Aviation For $591 Million With this deal, Bombardier has fully exited the CSeries/A220 program. Bombardier receives $591 million, with $531 million paid at closing and $60 million to be paid in installments through 2021. Bombardier said with this deal the company avoids a roughly $700 million payment it would have had to make to fund production expansion. Airbus now holds 75% of Airbus Canada with the Government of Québec holding 25%, but Airbus can redeem the remaining government stake by 2026. All-New Gulfstream G700 Makes First Flight The Gulfstream G700 completed a successful two hour and 32-minute maiden flight, operating on a 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel. Introduced in October 2019, the flagship G700 model has five flight-test aircraft. A structural test article has completed load testing. Powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines, the G700 has an all-new winglet, it can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km. Airbus reveals futuristic blended wing aircraft design Airbus has been flying a small-scale, remote-controlled blended wing body aircraft demonstrator. They showed the 2-meter long model at the Singapore Air Show. If the MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) leads to a full-scale aircraft, it could cut fuel consumption up to 20%. Video: MAVERIC, a “blended wing body” scale model technological demonstrator https://youtu.be/pgDRkNseNxU Boeing gets LOI for 30 747-8 passenger jets a deal worth over $10 billion Boeing received a Letter of Intent from Avatar Airlines for the purchase of 30 new 747-8 passenger version aircraft. Boeing has been selling the 747-8F freighter, but no new passenger orders were received in 2019. Avatar plans to operate low-fare scheduled service to large major city pairs throughout the U.S. and Hawaii, beginning with fourteen 747-400s using aircraft currently in storage. Then the airline plans to transition to the 747-8 with 539 economy seats on the lower deck and 42 business seats on the upper deck Investor Video: Avatar Airlines A Radical Departure 11 13 19 VER https://youtu.be/zfvFvSBSJlU Delta Air Lines Commits $1 Billion To Curb Its Carbon Emissions Delta Air Lines wants to be the world’s first carbon-neutral airline. To do that, they say that starting March 1, 2020, they’ll commit $1 billion over the next 10 years. Press release: Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon neutral airline globally. “The airline will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.” Delta Airlines’ Claim Of Becoming Carbon Neutral In March Is Disingenuous At Best Michael Barnard, the Chief Strategist with TFIE Strategy Inc. (The Future is Electric), is not so impressed, noting that the Delta outlay is about 0.2% of their annual revenue. He also takes issue with Delta’s statement that they will continue to use jet fuel. The aviation museum for people who don’t care about aviation If you are not an #AvGeek, aviation museums can be boring. But the Canada National Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa aims “to spark interest in those who don’t think they care about planes — especially (but not exclusively) women, who often don’t feel like aviation museums are a place for them.” The museum wants visitors to hear stories about people who are like them. Curator Erin Gregory says, “One of my goals as a curator is to feminize the collection and to try to have the floor be much more representative of all the people who fly, including women. I’m working to revise and revamp the museum to make it as inclusive as possible.” Turn Off Your ADS-B, Go To Jail? The FAA posted a National Policy effective January 24, 2020 [PDF] that deals, in part, with ADS-B transponders: Page 9-13 says, “Single Acts of Misconduct Generally Warranting Revocation. Some acts of misconduct are, by their very nature, so egregious or significant as to demonstrate that the certificate holder does not possess the care, judgment, or responsibility to hold a certificate. These acts include, but are not limited to, those listed in Figure 9-5.” The referenced Figure 9-5 lists 30 Single Acts Generally Warranting Revocation. One is “Operating an aircraft without activated transponder or ADS-B Out transmission (except as provided in 14 C.F.R. § 91.225(f)) for purposes of evading detection.” See also, Owners seek battery ADS-B in nonelectrical aircraft. U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources In order to export certain technologies to China (and some other countries), you need an export license from the U.S. Commerce Department. The Chinese Comac C919 uses LEAP-1C engines produced by CFM, International, a joint venture between General Electric and the French company Safran. There are reports that the U.S. Government is considering denying GE’s latest license request, thus blocking those exports. FAA Emergency AD Grounds Cirrus Jet Fleet A cabin ground fire destroyed a first-generation Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet on the ramp, and the FAA responded with an emergency airworthiness directive AD 2020-03-50 grounding the fleet. The problem is with audio amplifiers that drive the audio/microphone jacks in the passenger cabin. The AD requires removal of the 12 amplifiers before the next flight, typically an 8-hour task. Positive Airline Story of the Week A couple flew home with their adopted infant. Strangers threw an impromptu baby shower on the plane. A couple flying home on Southwest with their 8-day old adopted daughter found lots of love from the flight attendants and the other passengers. Mentioned Save runway 6-24 at Chicago Executive Airport. A safety runway needed by small planes. Girls Go Fly Barbie releases pilot and engineer dolls to encourage young girls into STEM subjects International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020. Airshow Harrier For Sale With a Loud KABOOM, an F-105 Upstaged Our Air Force Graduation
Micro-drones for law enforcement, a laser C-UAS system, DJI and the Coronavirus, drone remote ID interaction with manned aircraft, airplane modelers and remote ID, and a new reality show featuring drones. UAV News Calif. PD deploys new indoor micro-drones The Sacramento Police Department is testing micro-drones indoors during conflicts. Drones with video cameras can give officers a real-time view and they can also avoid direct physical confrontations with suspects. The Sacramento police have a fleet of 12 small FPV drones that cost only about $90. This Is How a Laser Weapon Torches Drones Out of the Sky In a just-released video, you can watch a C-UAS system from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems take down drones with a laser. The system is truck-mounted on a Land Rover Defender and a DJI Phantom plays the role of a hostile drone. The system detects the Phantom, tracks it, and fires a high-powered laser. The laser continues to melt the drone even as it tries to maneuver. https://youtu.be/HVNtz8gLhaY DJI drones join worldwide fight against Coronavirus DJI explained how its drones have been helping fight the Coronavirus. The company has pledged almost $1.5 million in aid and developed best practices for spraying a chlorine or ethyl alcohol-based disinfectant from the air. DJI adapted its Agras series of agricultural spraying drones to spray disinfectant in potentially affected areas. FAA Exploring How Manned Aviation Can Benefit from Drone Remote ID The FAA’s roadmap for integrating unmanned aircraft into the NAS relies on remote ID, but how will the remote ID signals from drones interact with manned aviation? The FAA plans to ask industry that question and is Internally discussing a request for information on how manned aviation could take advantage of remote identification signals. Oklahoma model aircraft hobbyists fight back against drone proposal The Academy of Model Aeronautics and Oklahoma model aircraft fliers have some problems with the FAA’s proposal for remote ID. The 400-foot requirement is not far enough for an RC glider. The FAA needs to have a compliance path for competitions outside the fixed sites. Adding a transmitter to a low-risk aircraft is too expensive and Remote ID requires access to the Internet. Also, the AMA doesn’t want owners to have to individually register every aircraft. NPRM comments are being accepted until March 2, 2020. Reality show to highlight role of drones in difficult survey ops A new reality series called “Down to Earth” shows real surveyors working with drones under challenging conditions. The surveyors use aerial drone imagery and analysis and the series is sponsored by MicroDrones. Viewers can register to watch a one-hour webinar at either 9 am ET or 6 pm ET February 19, 2020, covering episodes 1-3 of Down to Earth, project overview and objectives, workflow analysis, and a review of final surface model and deliverables. https://youtu.be/UzCofs-5fuM
David Neeleman’s new airline, Breeze Aviation; Boeing’s board of directors, the 737 MAX, the NMA, and the FSA; United’s flight school purchase; NASA’s experimental X-59 jet and the prospects for supersonic transport; and a Southwest Airlines Teddy bear. Plus, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Fly-In, other upcoming aviation events, the EAA mobile unit, carbon monoxide detectors and pulse oximetry, and a physics lesson. Guest Richard Aboulafia Richard Aboulafia is Vice President, Analysis at Teal Group. He manages consulting projects for clients in the commercial and military aircraft field, and has advised numerous aerospace companies. He also writes and edits Teal’s World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing, a forecasting tool covering over 135 aircraft programs and markets. Richard also writes publicly about the aviation field, with numerous articles in Aviation Week, Aerospace America, and other publications. Frequently cited as an aviation industry authority by trade and news publications, he has appeared on numerous television news programs and has spoken at a wide variety of conferences. Aviation News JetBlue founder unveils new, Utah-based ‘world’s nicest airline’ The new airline being started by David Neeleman will be known as Breeze Aviation, headquartered in Utah. Neeleman’s previous startups include Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul. Breeze will nonstop fly between currently underserved airports. Breeze ordered 60 new Airbus 220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in April 2021. The company leased 30 Embraer 195 aircraft from Azul, which will be delivered starting May 2020. Experts question whether Boeing’s board of directors is capable of righting the company Some think the Boeing board took a long time to fire Muilenberg. Is that an indicator of the board’s ability to deal with the crisis Boeing faces? New CEO Dave Calhoun says the board repeatedly considered confidence, but then in December decided it was lost. Richard Aboulafia was quoted: “The board you see today was largely created by McNerney, and he packed it with people with zero engineering experience.” United Airlines buys flight-training academy to speed up hiring of 10,000 pilots United Airlines needs to hire more than 10,000 pilots during the next decade. The airline is buying the Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix, a flight-training academy, with plans to bring student pilots into the academy with zero flight experience to become fully-rated commercial pilots. NASA’s experimental X-59 supersonic jet could be built by the end of 2020 The X-59 QueSST is designed to test “quiet” supersonic transport over land. The aircraft was approved for final assembly in 2019. NASA commissioned Lockheed Martin to build the plane and they expect to have it completed by the end of 2020. First flight is expected in 2021. Video: Quiet Supersonic X-Plane https://youtu.be/C3ESPCQgDok Unbearably cute: A boy lost his teddy bear on a Southwest flight – so the airline sent him a new one  After a young boy lost his favorite Teddy bear on a Southwest flight during the Thanksgiving holiday, his mother took to social media to try and locate the Teddy. The airline assigned an employee to find the bear but after an investigation, the Teddy couldn’t be located. So the corporate office decided to send the boy a new Teddy bear along with a storyline on how it was coming to live with the boy. Mentioned Igor I. Sikorsky Weekend Fly-In at The Bradford Camps on Munsungun Lake in northern Maine.  Meals and private lodging in waterfront cabins are included. July 10-12,  2020. College Park Aviation Museum That Last Decade, by Courtney Miller. https://youtu.be/K7JnVCGubS4 The Air Current Expands with new analysis, new director The Experimental Aircraft Association will deliver the excitement of flight throughout the United States in 2020 as EAA’s “Spirit of Aviation” mobile unit, sponsored by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), visits numerous events in 2020. The traveling experiential exhibit introduces EAA to enthusiasts through aviation activities for people of all ages. April 17-18: Purdue University Aviation Day; West Lafayette, Indiana May 13-16: Joe Nall Fly-In; Woodruff, South Carolina May 29-30: AOPA Fly-In; San Marcos, Texas June 12-14: Chippewa Valley Air Show; Eau Claire, Wisconsin September 5-7: Lunken Airport Days; Cincinnati, Ohio September 11-12: AOPA Fly-In; Rochester, New York October 16-18: Fort Worth Alliance Air Show; Fort Worth, Texas AOPA’s 2020 Fly-ins (now in AvGeekFests.com) #StormCiara at London Heathrow – 20+ Go-Arounds and Crosswind Landings!! https://youtu.be/Gln7T-xxE4k  
The FAA proposal to type-certify UAS, autonomous EA-18G Growlers, surveillance with drones in China, no Remote ID NPRM extension, DoD counter-UAS contract, an unmanned kit for the K-Max, delivering ice cream, and an arrest for busting the Super Bowl TFR. UAV News How Does the FAA Aircraft Certification Process Affect UAVs? The FAA proposes to type certify unmanned aircraft the same way they certify manned aircraft. Criticism has arisen because of the long, complicated, and expensive process can only be met by large companies. Type Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems is the rule proposed by the FAA to type certify certain UAS as a special class of aircraft under current regulations. (Docket No. FAA-2019-1038.) Comments must be received on or before March 4, 2020. EA-18 Growlers Can Be Controlled Autonomously Boeing has announced they and the U.S. Navy have successfully flown two unmanned and autonomously controlled EA-18G Growlers. A third Growler acted as the mission controller for the other two. This showed that F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers can perform combat missions with unmanned systems. All the Invasive Ways China Is Using Drones to Address the Coronavirus Drones with loudspeakers are calling out pedestrians in China who are not wearing a mask. They are also being used to monitor traffic infractions, students taking exams, illegal border crossings, and hospital disposal of waste. FAA denies requests to extend drone remote ID comment period A number of organizations requested that the comment period for the Remote ID NPRM be extended due to the complication of the rule and the number of people impacted. The FAA denied the request. Comments will be accepted until March 2, 2020, at Regulations.gov. The Pentagon is spending millions to scoop drones out of the sky with nets,  Fortem Technologies Wins Contract From Department of Defense for Advanced Airspace Security and Defense System F​ortem Technologies​ announced it was awarded a contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) through the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). DoD purchased various solutions from Fortem including its SkyDome®, DroneHunter®, DroneHangar, and TrueView radar for a layered C-UAS solution. Kaman K-Max advances civil and military autonomous flight programs The Kaman Air Vehicles division of Kaman Corporation is developing the K-Max UAS kit that will convert the helicopter for unmanned operation. First flight scheduled in Q3 2020. Launch customers are Helicopter Express Inc. of Chamblee, Georgia, and Swanson Group Aviation of Glendale, Oregon. Terra Drone Europe and British-Dutch transnational consumer goods giant Unilever collaborate to deliver ice cream in New York Delivery of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in New York is being explored by Terra Drone and Unilever. A demonstration flight was conducted at a recent Unilever annual investor event where a multi-copter drone was fitted with a delivery box designed to carry three Ben & Jerry’s mini cups. Pilot faces a year in federal prison for flying a drone during Super Bowl week The FBI announced that a 46-year-old man was arrested for flying a drone through the TFR during Super Bowl week in Miami. Authorities say he faces up to one year in federal prison if he is convicted. The man told the FBI that he just wanted to capture images of the Super Bowl-related festivities in South Beach. Mentioned Omniscient season 1 is on Netflix. The series is about a city that has chosen to ensure safety by assigning drones to watch each individual and report any crimes. Video of the Week An even brighter future is on the horizon. This television commercial from Florida Power and Light includes the NASC Teros Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAS. https://youtu.be/La0gef3LAzs
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Stats
Episode Count
455
Podcast Count
4
Total Airtime
2 weeks, 3 days