443 Heli-Expo 2017

Interviews from Heli-Expo 2017, a Boeing 797 might be in our future, a hybrid/electric powered vertical takeoff airplane is taking shape, companies attend the 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference looking to hire, some post-merger developments for Alaska and Virgin America, and a flight instructor who really was not. Also, a report on EAA at SXSW, and another memorable flight from a listener.

An MI-24 was displayed at the 2017 Heli-Expo. Courtesy Cold War Air Museum.

An MI-24 was displayed at the 2017 Heli-Expo. Courtesy Cold War Air Museum.

Heli-Expo 2017

Helicopter Association International says over 17,000 people attended Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas, with 731 exhibiting businesses and organizations, and 62 aircraft on display. Our Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large “Launchpad” Marzari attended the event and recorded a number of interviews.

Mat Noble, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP is looking to hire pilots. Apply at USAJOBS.gov and search for agency 1881. See also CBP Frontline Careers.

Charles Schneider, CEO of MyGoFlight. This company offers iPad flight apps and accessories, and introduced a HUD concept product.

Emmanuel Davidson, President of AOPA France, talks about bringing medical certification reform to Europe for light planes, and the role of IAOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations.

Bill Thompson from Embry-Riddle was at the show to support their graduates.

John Batey from the Cold War Air Museum (CWAM) brought one of their Mi-24 helicopter gunships. The museum is located on Lancaster Airport, 20 minutes south of Dallas.

Giovanni Mazzoni, AW609 program manager, describes the twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft with a configuration similar to the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, and aimed at the civil aviation market.

And then Launchpad ran into an aviation journalist named Rob Mark.

Aviation News

Boeing’s talking with airlines about a ‘797,’ and they like what they hear

There has been talk of a so-called “B757 replacement.” Something between the single-aisle 737 and the widebody 787. It’s been called the MOM airplane (Middle of the Market) and the NMA (either New Mid-sized Airplane or New Market Airplane). Now Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corporation, says, “Call it a 797. That’s what it’s going to be.”

Companies form alliance for hybrid aircraft

XTI Aircraft Company is teaming up with Bye Aerospace to develop a hybrid/electric powered prototype of their TriFan vertical takeoff airplane. XTI says that because of cost and weight reductions, the first TriFan prototype will be a full-size rather than the 65% scale version that had been planned.

Women in Aviation 2017: We’re Hiring

The 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference was held March 2-4, 2017 and Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president and co-founder of WAI noted that, “Major airlines have been coming to WAI for the past four years and hiring WAI members in significant numbers, but this year the companies accepting résumés seem to be more diverse.

If You Thought the Alaska/Virgin America Merger Was Anti-Competitive, Take a Look at San Francisco

Since its merger with Alaska, Virgin America has added a number of new destinations from San Francisco. It looks like a strategy shift with Virgin America now adding mid-sized markets (as Alaska was successful doing) instead of the large-market approach that characterized Virgin America.

Fake flying instructor convicted

A 25 year old man represented himself to North Weald Airfield (EGSX) in Essex, England as a pilot and flight instructor. Suspicious work colleagues investigated and found he was not. After the man plead guilty to several counts, he was sentenced to an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 14 months, 140 hours of unpaid work, and costs.

Listener Recording

Listener John tells us about his most memorable flight.

Mentioned

Visit AvGeekFests.com for a calendar of aviation events where AvGeeks can meet up and participate in aviation events.

Episode 186 of The UAV Digest features the AOPA Senior Director for UAS Programs Kat Swain talking about why AOPA is welcoming drone pilots to the organization.

After Heli-Expo, Launchpad Marzari travelled to SXSW, visited the EAA Spirit of Aviation Mobile Experience, and spoke with Trisha Rothermel. This mobile unit is sponsored by NATCA and is touring throughout the United States in 2017. See Catch the Spirit of Aviation During EAA’s Mobile Unit National Tour.

Applications now being accepted for AOPA scholarships

Titan Missile Museum

96-year-old WWII pilot takes flight again in Tampa

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Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

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Source: APG

442 Shark Aero

We talk to the U.S. representative and importer for Shark Aero, and learn what it takes to bring a new airplane into the country. In the news, the House Aviation Subcommittee is holding hearings in advance of FAA reauthorization, a town targets a membership airline, a new online aviation video service launches, travel bookings to the U.S. slow down, and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is sentenced. Plus, the story of memorable flights from a listener, and an Australia News Desk segment.

Shark Aero

Shark Aero N235HK

Guest

Jonathan “JB” Baron owns the first and only Shark UL in the Americas, and is the Shark Aero US representative and importer. The Shark UL is manufactured by Shark.aero s.r.o. and type certified in Germany and the Czech Republic as an “Ultralight Aircraft.” It’s too fast and too complex to be a Light Sport Aircraft in the U.S., so the Shark UL is offered as the Shark US, an Experimental Amateur Built Kit with Builder Education and Assistance.

Jonathan Barron, Shark Aero

Jonathan Barron

JB explains the process for importing an aircraft, including identifying the applicable certification type, obtaining an airworthiness certificate, transition training, registration, shipping and customs, and obtaining insurance.

JB recently retired from the Navy after two decades as a Naval Aviator flying Seahawks. He’s flown from every class of US Navy combatant including frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.  In in the Navy, JB was a Fleet Replacement Instructor Pilot, a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, and the Commanding Officer of the West Coast Seahawk Weapons School. He holds a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot rating, is an avid first person video aero-modeler, and he currently works as a lead systems engineer in the Washington DC area.

Features of the Shark Aero include an aircraft parachute, a cockpit safety cell, and a wide, forgiving flight envelope.  Able to cruise at 150 knots consuming just five gallons of unleaded gasoline per hour, it can easily fly from DC to Atlanta in about three and a half hours. Its tandem seat, dual controls, glass cockpit, and bubble canopy gives the Shark the feel of a modern “pocket fighter.”

News

Aviation Subcommittee to Examine the State of the Air Transportation Industry in the 21st Century

As it prepares to develop an FAA reform and reauthorization bill later this year, the Subcommittee on Aviation is holding a hearing on the current state of the U.S. air transportation industry. The hearing is titled, “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Air Transportation in the United States in the 21st Century.”

Previous Subcommittee hearings:

Proposed San Carlos Airport Ordinance Targets Surf Air, Excludes Ellison

Residents of San Mateo county don’t like the noise from the Surf Air Pilatus PC-12s. The County Board of Supervisors has proposed a new curfew ordinance limiting one takeoff and landings of “noisy airplanes.” A noisy airplane is defined a one with a certificated noise level above 74.5 dB. The quietest PC-12 is rated at 74.6 dB.

Uflytv Launches an Online Aviation Video Network

The new aviation video service Uflytv comes from Tom Poberezny and Jim Irwin. Poberezny was EAA AirVenture chairman from 1977 to 2011, and president of EAA from 1989 to 2010. Jim Irwin is president of Aircraft Specialty & Spruce. Currently offering 220 titles.

Trump Uncertainty Slowing U.S. Travel Bookings: Report

Travel analysis company ForwardKeys says demand for travel to the United States has declined due to the uncertainty of travel bans.

David Samson, a Christie Ally, Is Sentenced to Home Confinement

The former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was sentenced for pressuring United Airlines to operate a weekly flight to South Carolina for his personal convenience.

American Airlines To Phase Out Complimentary Cabin Pressurization

The Onion reports that due to the high cost, American Airlines will no longer offer free cabin pressurization to passengers starting March 15. You gotta love the Onion.

Air India’s all-female crew makes history with round-the-world flight

An Air India Boeing 777 completed the flight with an all-female crew, as well as female check-in and ground handling staff, the engineers who certified the aircraft, and air traffic controllers.

Listener Recording

Dave Homewood from The Wings over New Zealand Show describes his 1993 flight in a Grumman Avenger, and his 2016 ride in a Supermarine Spitfire.

Dave Homewood in the Spitfire

Dave Homewood in the Spitfire

Dave provided some interesting videos:

Spitfire

Dave said, “The thing that got me the most about the Spitfire was on the start up how hot and fumey the cockpit suddenly becomes, I’d seriously never thought about it before but wow there’s a wave of very hot air blasting you from the Merlin up front, and the fumes are choking and I gagged slightly. The first thought was oh no, is it going to be like this for half an hour? But no it quickly passed and you could breath again, plus with the canopy shut it was all good.”

Also, “The other sensation in the Spitfire was looking out at those famous elliptical wings and smiling so much, more than I’d done on any other flight. I also spent a bit of time thinking about all the amazing veterans I have met and interviewed over the years who flew these machines in combat. I had over time gathered a vivid mental impression of what it was like to fly in a Spitfire from them, but having the actual real opportunity with all the sounds, smells, vibrations, sights and other sensations absolutely took that appreciation to a whole new level.”

“In 2014 our Wings Over New Zealand Forum raised the money to take two wartime RNZAF veterans, Alan Peart DFC and Jim Robinson, up in that very same Spitfire. They had flown together in No. 81 Squadron RAF, the same squadron that the aircraft’s markings are in. It’s marked up as the personal aircraft of Wing Commander Colin Gray, New Zealand’s top ace, who was Alan and Jim’s boss on the squadron. That was very special indeed, but I never thought for a moment then that I’d be doing it myself 18 months later. Great memories!”

The Australia News Desk

Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast bring us a report from Avalon 2017, which saw the arrival of the first two RAAF F-35’s in Australia. Steve has been doing some reports for AOPA Australia Live:

Mentioned

Bay Area Expert Weighs In on Possible Cause of Deadly Plane Crash

Co-host Max Trescott West was interviewed on NBC Bay Area regarding the C310 crash in Riverside, California.

The Year of the Air Traveler

A4A has a new survey out on the “Status of Air Travel in the United States” [PDF] This was conducted in January 2017 and released on February 28.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

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