-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


Search This Blog

Featured Videos


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Boeing 747SP-21

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

McDonnell Douglas MD-11 - Delta

Philip Air Inc: 1U1168 Cargo Door Actuator

Philip Air Inc: 1U1168 Cargo Door Actuator: "P/N: 1U1168 S/N: DESC: Cargo door actuator APP: Boeing 727, 757. COND: OH CERT: 8130-3 from Promprt Aero Services May/2010. TRACE: 129 WARRA..."

Philip Air Inc: D30664-309 Slide / Raft Fwd Airbus A320

Philip Air Inc: D30664-309 Slide / Raft Fwd Airbus A320: "P/N: D30664-309 S/N:DESC: Slide / Raft FwdAPP: Airbus A320COND: OHCERT: FreshTRACE: 129 or 121WARRANTY: 3 Years ---EXCHANGES WE..."

Philip Air Inc: Dapra Dot Peen Metal Marking Machine

Philip Air Inc: Dapra Dot Peen Metal Marking Machine: "<< Back Larger View Dapra Dot Peen Metal Marking Machine. This computerized machine allows you to dot-peen inscribe on met..."

Philip Air Inc: Boston Whaler Outrage 25 1986 w/ Cuddy Cabin

Philip Air Inc: Boston Whaler Outrage 25 1986 w/ Cuddy Cabin: "<< Back Larger View REDUCED!!!! Totally refurbished in 2007, Boston Whaler Outrage 25 1986 hull with cu..."

Philip Air Inc: Larger View ​Quantum Aviation Software (Component...

Philip Air Inc:
Larger View ​Quantum Aviation Software (Component...
: "Larger View ​Quantum Aviation Software (Component Control) with Dell ServerCondition: Used - Very GoodPrice: $5,000.00 ​Quantum ..."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Boeing 777-333/ER - Air Canada

Surely You Won't Be Able To Land This Plane Paramount/Everett Collection
Possibly, but only with a lot of luck and some autopilot assistance. Amateurs have landed smaller private planes after the pilot became incapacitated, but outside of 1970s disaster movies, it has never happened with a commercial passenger aircraft.
Simply getting to the controls is going to be very difficult. After 9/11, all commercial aircraft have secure cockpit doors designed to prevent anyone from entering during a flight. If you did manage to get inside and get in touch with a control tower or, more likely, the radar room (the control tower takes over only after an airplane is within 10 miles of landing), it’s crucial that there be a pilot on hand who has flown that specific type of plane (or someone else very familiar with it) to give instructions. In most cases, the controller in the tower would instruct you to input basic adjustments to altitude, airspeed and direction into the aircraft’s autopilot system.
“It’s much like a VCR, where you’ve got certain commands you have to set up to record, only much, much more difficult,” says Dale Wright, the director of safety and technology for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. If you punch in the correct settings on the right instruments and then hit autopilot, the airplane does the rest.
Assuming you remain composed, the biggest factor in a successful landing is whether or not the plane is equipped with an auto-land system to control the throttles and, as its name suggests, land the plane. Not all large commercial aircraft have auto-land, however, and without it, you would be forced to disconnect autopilot to land. At that point, says Chris Dancy, a spokesman for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the most likely mistake an amateur would make would be to fly too low, or too slow, which could lead to an aerodynamic stall, in which the airflow around the wing is no longer smooth enough to keep the plane in the air.
Even if the plane has autoland, setting down a 400-ton jet is still an enormous task. After activating the system, you’d have to engage the wing flaps and the landing gear and continually input new speed settings as the plane descended. But if you can dial in all the right numbers (aided by your pal in the control tower), once the plane is about three miles from touching down, the auto-land system kicks in and does the rest of the work, letting you sit back and enjoy the view.
Without auto-land, on touching down you would have to hit the brakes, which are controlled by way of a complicated foot pedal system, and reverse the thrust of the engines (if the runway is short) to stop the plane, Wright says. He guesses that a novice has a “less than 1 percent chance of landing and keeping [the plane] on the runway and not hurting anybody. And that's on a good day."
Have a science question you've always wondered about? Send an email to fyi@popsci.com

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Plane Talk (1965)

APU: Unsung hero of the engine world

APU: Unsung hero of the engine world

Auxiliary power units (APUs) do their dull and dirty work hidden away in aircraft tailcone compartments, unlike their turbine engine brethren connected to the wings or empennage.
On occasion however, the tables get turned.

On a bitterly cold Thursday in January 2009, the Honeywell 131-9A APU in the tailcone of a US Airways A320 that had just departed New York's LaGuardia airport came to the rescue after the aircraft struck a flock of geese. With both CFM56 turbofans damaged and the associated electrical generators eventually knocked off line, the APU during the final seconds of the ditching provided the power needed to keep the flight controls, displays and envelope protections in place to allow the pilot to touch down in the Hudson River in control and at the lowest possible airspeed.
APUs such as Honeywell's 331-200ER in this Continental 767 are meant to be out of sight, out of mind. Picture: Ed Croft
That the APU was available so quickly was testament to a well-trained crew. During the final hearing earlier this year on the successful, fatality-free ditching, a National Transportation Safety Board official asked the captain: "According to the [cockpit voice recorder] transcript, immediately after the bird strike, you called for the ignition to 'on' and to start the APU. This was before beginning the checklist. Can you explain your decision to do this?" To which Captain Sullenberger replied: "From my experience, I knew that those two steps would be the most immediate help to us in this situation."

That the APU was able to start and perform without question when needed was testament to the pedigree of these small compact turbine engines. The two primary manufacturers of the engines, Honeywell and Hamilton Sundstrand, continue to refine the devices and are preparing a raft of new technologies aimed at boosting reliability and "on-tail" time while decreasing emissions and fuel burn.

APUs are generally used to provide cabin air on the ground, pneumatic pressure for engine starts and primary or back-up electrical power for environmental, cockpit and hydraulic systems. They use the same fuel as the aircraft's engines and generally account for about 2% of the total fuel burn on a given mission.

Market leader Honeywell, whose APUs are standard on all Boeing 737NG models and have been selected as an option on 60% of Airbus A320s, is readying its most advanced APUs to date for the new Comac 919 single-aisle jet and the Airbus A350. Both APUs are derivatives of the company's popular 131-9 model, which is also on tap for the new Bombardier CSeries narrowbody line.

A near-term technology focus for Honeywell has been extending the life of the gas turbine wheels in the APU by moving to a one-piece turbine wheel rather than a hub with replaceable blades.

Both Honeywell and Hamilton Sundstrand use a single-spool engine architecture with a single-stage centrifugal compressor, combustors and two-stage high-pressure turbine. Overall pressure ratio is approximately 11:1 with peak temperatures in the neighbourhood of 2,000°F (1,090°C) for Honeywell's Airbus A350 design. The spool also drives an electrical generator and a compressor for pneumatic air flow to the aircraft's environmental control system and engine start system. 

The 131-9 typically drives a 90kV or 120kV generator and provides up to 168lb/min (76kg/min) pneumatic pressure, says Steven Chung, vice-president for marketing and product management for the APU line at Honeywell. Chung says the company has shipped more than 6,000 131-9 series APUs since 1991, when it was first developed for the McDonnell Douglas MD90.
Honeywell says the dual-alloy one-piece turbine wheels will provide some operators with a 10-20% increase in APU life, which for the 131-9 is on average about 12,000h time before overhaul (TBO). Interim maintenance typically includes replacing certain line replaceable units (LRU) during the life of the APU in part due to internal wearing of valves, mating materials and springs. Replacement parts include igniter plugs and filters.

"In hot climates with lots of pollution, particularly India and the Middle East, sulphur was building up on the blades and corrosion was an issue," says Mike Madsen, vice-president of airlines for Honeywell. "This change eliminates that issue."

Madsen explains that the dual alloy turbine wheel is fabricated with a hub that is fused to a ring of integral blades, an optimal design that, he says, eliminates potential for certain failures, thereby decreasing removal by 10-20% in regions such as China, India and the Middle East, where APUs are operated "pretty consistently" on the ground due to a lack of land-based electrical power service.

"It really attacks the potential failure modes you can experience," says Madsen. "One of the challenges you have with an APU is that it operates on the ground and ingests air that is not as clean as the air at altitude. This can lead to accelerated wear on engine." He says the one-piece design eliminates the nooks and crannies where corrosion from salts and other contaminants can begin. Like Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell offers an option to customers to monitor APUs in the field using temperature and vibration measured on board the aircraft at certain times and sent to the ground via the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system.

"In some cases, this allows airline to change out the questionable unit with an operational APU and get the other fixed," says Madsen. Airlines in some cases own their own spares and in other cases, purchase an integrated service solutions programme, whereby Honeywell manages the spares and provides them to the carriers when a failed unit is returned. Honeywell also has a rental bank and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) units available. Madsen says about 60-70% of customers contract with Honeywell for full support of their APUs on a cost per hour basis. Along with licensed maintenance providers, customers can obtain services at the company's facilities in Germany, Singapore and at Honeywell's home base in Phoenix, Arizona.

Many airlines, typically the legacy carriers, have their own APU maintenance facilities. "We are in the process of facilitating Air China, China Eastern and China Southern to do their own maintenance on APUs," says Madsen, adding that the company also has an APU maintenance facility in China.
Hamilton Sundstrand offers a power-by-the-hour care programme, with the main company-owned maintenance centre in San Diego, a facility in Northern France and a sister company (Pratt & Whitney) facility in Singapore. Third-party provider, StandardAero, also performs maintenance on the units. "We set up many airlines that want to do their own in-house repair," says Danny Di Perna, vice-president and general manager of Hamilton Sundstrand Auxiliary Power Systems. "We provide them tooling and documents and we can set up the operation as turnkey if desired." A network of field service representatives help with AOG situations but Hamilton Sundstrand does not maintain a pool of spares.

The company has increased its warranty up to four years or 4,000h, up from the typical three-year warranty of legacy systems. Like Honeywell, Hamilton Sundstrand's APUs are maintained on-condition and tend to last 12,000hr or more.

Hamilton Sundstrand says it has 5,000 APUs in total for the commercial aircraft market in operation, including 1,600 APS3200 APUs for single-aisle aircraft. Di Perna says 60-70% of the airline customers are using the data trending service.

To better keep track of APU performance and potential problems in the field, Hamilton Sundstrand is building a 253m2 (2,720ft2) customer response centre for its APUs in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The facility will be completed later this year.

Madsen says Honeywell has 20 APUs retrofitted with the dual alloy turbine wheel in the second-stage turbine slot flying as part of an evaluation - 10 on Boeing aircraft and 10 on Airbus aircraft. As of mid-September, the units had accumulated 20,000h operating time in total with no failures. Honeywell plans to have accumulated 50,000h operating time on the 20 units by mid-2011. Starting in June 2011, the company will introduce the new turbine wheels for both high-pressure stages for new and aftermarket models.
For overhauls, where the existing units will receive the new turbine wheels, Honeywell says turn-time will be reduced about half a day since the single-piece wheels will be pre-balanced at the factory. Turn time in total for an APU is 20-25 days, says Madsen.

Major drivers for next-generation APUs include cutting weight and improving reliability, along with reducing fuel burn and lowering emissions. Chung says goals for the Bombardier APU include a 15% reduction in overall fuel burn over a mission profile, a design driver that stems from desired sales in European markets. For the Airbus A350, Honeywell's HGT1700 APU will be its largest unit to date, delivering an equivalent power of 1,300kW (1,700shp) but cutting fuel burn and nitrogen oxide emissions with a new variable speed controller, also to be included in the APUs for the CSeries and Comac C919.

The variable speed controller runs the APU at an optimal speed based on ambient temperature, altitude and bleed air or generator demands, says Honeywell's Chung. For the 131-9, the controller will vary the speed of the APU within 10% of its nominal run speed of 48,800rpm.

Quieter APUs are also in demand, particularly in Europe and for East and West Coast US airports, says Chung. He says many airlines are asking for APUs that generate 3-10dB less than current international noise standards. "A lot of the noise has to do with APU emissions," says Chung. "That's where we come in with installation kits for the air inlet and exhaust to quieten it down." Other means of cutting noise include choosing blade counts for the compressor and turbines to push the noise above the audible range, he says. For the C919, Honeywell has a patented tailcone muffler design that quietens the overall noise of the APU when integrated to the aircraft.

Hamilton Sundstrand is introducing its first variable speed APU to the commercial market in the Boeing 787 with its APS5000. Unlike traditional APUs, the APS5000 drives two 225kV generators only, making it the first "all-electric" APU, says Hamilton Sundstrand. "It's remarkably quiet," says Di Perna. "There's no bleed-air provided." Di Perna says testing of the APS5000 is "just about wrapping up" and certification is expected in November. Other new commercial aircraft wins include the ARJ21, Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Irkut MC21.

Beyond the 787, Hamilton Sundstrand plans to take advances from the 787 programme into a new line of single-aisle APUs, a strategy aimed at taking market share from its competitor. Di Perna says Honeywell is dominant in the single-aisle market, with a 75-80% share compared with Hamilton Sundstrand's 20-25%. "We're trying to get 35-45% market share in the next seven years," says Di Perna. He says both companies have approximately 40% market share in military APUs and 50% each for regional aircraft.
"We've been improving the reliability of our products to fix some of the shortcomings and we're introducing a new core engine to that market," says Di Perna. "We're launching the programme in the next few months."

Links posted in this story:
·         787 Dreamliner|
·         Airbus A320|
·         Airbus|
·         Airbus A350|
·         Boeing|
·         Bombardier|
·         CFM56|
·         McDonnell Douglas

Monday, March 07, 2011


Secretive X-37B Space Plane Launches on New Mystery Mission

Date: 05 March 2011 Time: 05:50 PM ET
Stumble Upon
Google Buzz
Yahoo Buzz

We've seen footage from rocket-mounted cameras before, but this is a particularly stunning example of the genre: cameras mounted on the solid-fuel rocket boosters that lifted the shuttle Discovery into space last week document their entire 30-minute voyage, from liftoff to splashdown. The ground recedes fast amid sparks and smoke; Discovery cuts loose and continues on its lonely voyage; the boosters capture some lovely shots of our planet as they spin and parachute and land safely in the ocean.
NASA could go a long way toward solving its budgetary issues if they charged audiences to watch amazing movies like this.
Warning: the video is silent until audio suddenly kicks in around 14:50.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Secretive X-37B Space Plane Launches on New Mystery Mission... http://plu.gd/fu7

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Boeing's X-37 robotic space shuttle ends maiden voyage

Posted by Brier Dudley
One of the coolest and most mysterious high-tech gadgets around has to be Boeing's X-37B rocket ship.
The robotic mini-space shuttle completed its first flight today after more than a decade of secretive development. Its landing came after more than 220 days in space on an "experimental test mission."
Boeing announced "the successful de-orbit and landing" but didn't say much else in a one-paragraph press release today.
Here's the whole thing:
Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced the successful de-orbit and landing of the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), also known as the X-37B, for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO). The X-37B, shown here in a photo from before its launch, landed at 1:16 a.m. Pacific time today, concluding its more than 220-day experimental test mission. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on April 22.
Air Force officials involved in the project weren't sure how long the X-37 could stay in space, where it draws energy from folding solar panels, according to this Los Angeles Times story from April.
Boeing provided a few more details in a 2001 release, back when the X-37 was only intended to fly in space for up to three weeks. It said then that the vehicle would "serve as a test bed for 40 airframe, propulsion and operation technologies designed to make space transportation and operations significantly more affordable. Potential new commercial and military reusable space vehicle market applications for these technologies range from on-orbit satellite repair to the next-generation of totally reusable launch vehicles."
The 29-foot craft was then designed to have a 7-by-4-foot bay for conducting experiments. Its modular design was intended to "allow testing of both current and future technologies within the same vehicle, providing long-term cost savings."
Now we know what Charles Simonyi wants for Christmas.
E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share