August 2012 - Page 3 Aviation Articles

What’s Next for NASA? 10 Wild Newly Funded Projects

Supersonic Bi-Directional Flying Wing
Article By: Keith Wagstaff
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If you live near an airport, you’re probably glad that supersonic commercial jets aren’t the norm. The problem is that what’s aerodynamic for subsonic flight isn’t necessarily aerodynamic for supersonic flight, which is why you end up with such loud sonic booms. Gecheng Zha of the University of Miami found a potential solution: create a subsonic aircraft that can rotate 90 degrees during flight to turn into a supersonic one, ensuring that it’s always as quiet and efficient as possible.

Click Here to view the remaining 9 newly funded projects for NASA.

STC Approved: Garmin GTN 650/750 for Citation 500 Series

STC Includes Touchscreen Interface, WAAS Approvals
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Touchscreen Technology Now Available For Legacy Citations installing the new touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS/NAV/COM on Cessna Citation 500 series aircraft to include models 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The new STC, granted to JETTECH, is for a fully integrated GPS/NAV/COMM and also covers the installation of the Garmin GTX 33’s transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels, and GA35/37 antennas.
In addition, the STC includes WAAS approvals and will complement JETTECH’s existing STC for the Garmin G600 “Glass Panel” EFIS installation modification for the Legacy Cessna Citations offered as an STC’d data package. Shipments will be begin immediately and JETTECH says it stands ready to support its customers through the installation process.

“The benefits of this STC’d installation are numerous for Legacy Citation owners and operators.” said Rob Irwin, founder and member/manager of JETTECH. “Not only are there greater ranges of choices and price points, pilots now have access to instrumentation that would otherwise be limited or not available due to space restrictions.”

Irwin noted The GMA35 unit is designed to fit securely behind the GTN 750 series, leaving more room for the large display avionics. He said that all is required is to just touch the onscreen “Audio Panel” or “Intercom” button to access those controls. The large, six inch tall high-definition touchscreen offers access to a variety of displays including terrain mapping, graphical flight planning, geo-referenced charting, traffic display and satellite weather.

In addition to the new STC for the Garmin GTN 650/750 installation as well as the previously announced STC for the G600 install on Legacy Citations, JETTECH has also secured an STC for installing the Garmin G600 RVSM for the Cheyenne III, IIIA & 400LS models.

(Image provided by JETTECH)

Amelia Earhart Plane May Have Been Discovered Behind My Barbeque

Possible manmade parts found that might have been part of Amelia’s aircraft’s landing gear.

Article By Robert Goyer / Published: Aug 20, 2012
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It’s very possible that the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E has been at long last located. Objects that might well be part of the wreckage were spotted recently in the bushes behind my barbeque in Austin, Texas, a location where searchers had not previously focused their efforts. “We thought we might have been closing in on the wreckage, but until we spotted what can only be described as a small but curious debris field right off the edge of the deck, we weren’t sure we were looking in the right place,” said the leader of the Austin expedition, which is, er, me.

The exact location of the wreckage of Earhart’s plane has long been a mystery. The pilot, along with her navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared more than 75 years ago on one of the last legs of the pair’s round-the-world journey. There have long been theories as to what happened to the doomed flight—some even suggested that Earhart had been taken prisoner by the Japanese and held in captivity for years after the crash. And at least one team of searchers has been making regular visits to the South Pacific in search of the wreckage.

It wasn’t until last week, however, that I spotted the evidence myself in my backyard, inexplicably right behind the Kenmore grill. Previous searches had focused in vain on the herb garden to the west of the house, before I shifted my attention to the back of the house, theorizing that shifting winds might have taken the flight in that direction.

Until last year Austin, Texas, had not been considered a likely candidate to find the wreckage. After all, it is many thousands of miles east of where Earhart’s plane was presumed to have run out of fuel, and in order for the flight to have reached Austin, it would have had to have flown over parts of the North American continent for half a day, indeed for days after it should have run out of fuel. Fortunately, however, members of the search team were not thrown off by the seeming inconsistencies of the search effort and continued working to find some evidence.

That evidence, pictured above, might possibly be the red plastic dog bowl that Earhart or Noonan had onboard with them. There has long been talk of a dog and the red plastic bowl by islanders who are no longer around to confirm or deny such reports. Either that or it might be part of the landing gear. It’s probably part of the landing gear.

Before the wreckage could be recovered, cloudy weather and dinner forced the search team to return to base. It’s not clear when they will have another opportunity to return to explore the possible debris field, though donations, a spokesman said, would help. Benefactors are currently being sought to allow searchers to procure supplies, chiefly beer but steaks too, to enable a return expedition soon.

Boeing 787 Engine Failure Sparks Fire at Charleston Airport

Article by: Gregory Polek
Brought to you by: AINONLINE

Another Boeing 787 engine problem—this time involving a General Electric GEnx turbofan in an airplane destined for Air India—sparked a grass fire at Charleston International Airport during a pre-flight test on Saturday, forcing the airport to close its main runway for more than an hour. The contained engine failure has prompted an investigation by the NTSB, Boeing and GE, maker of the engine now in service with Japan Airlines on four 787s.

Evidence so far points to a failure in the “back end” of the engine, specifically in the area of the low-pressure turbine. “GE Aviation continues to work with the NTSB and Boeing to determine the cause of Saturday’s incident during a ground-test run in Charleston on a newly built 787,” said the engine company in a statement sent to AIN. “GE is working aggressively to move the engine involved in the incident to a GE facility for an investigative tear-down.”

The incident involved the second of three 787s that have rolled off Boeing’s new assembly line in Charleston, South Carolina. It came roughly a week after Japan’s All Nippon Airways had to ground its five Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-powered 787s following the manufacturer’s discovery of corrosion in a crown gear within an external gearbox during product development testing.

ANA has since returned four of its five airplanes to service, and plans to redeploy the fifth early this week.

A319 Lands On Antarctic Ice In Rescue Mission

Person At McMurdo Research Station Needed Medical Attention

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An Airbus A319 made a dramatic flight to Antarctica Thursday to evacuate a person in need of medical attention from McMurdo Station (shown below during summer months). The crew had to wait for a break in the harsh Antarctic winter and land on a runway built of ice during a narrow "twilight" window during the near 24-hour darkness this time of year. Then consider that the temperatures Thursday during the operation hovered at -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

CNN reports that the United States sought assistance from an Australian medical team for the evacuation of the researcher, who was not identified. The plane was dispatched from Christchurch, New Zealand and arrived at the research station early in the afternoon local time. It was on the ground a little more than an hour before departing back to Christchurch.

In a news release prior to the flight, the National Science Foundation said that it had reached an agreement with the Australian Antarctic Division, which manages Australia's Antarctic research program, to make the Australian A319 available to fly the patient out. The Royal New Zealand Air Force agreed to provide search-and-rescue coverage for the flight to and from McMurdo Station. The agency said that prior to the flight, the patient was stable but could require corrective surgery beyond what could be provided by medical personnel at the station.

The three nations' Antarctic research programs have existing agreements under which such assets may be shared as needed.

The ice runway, known as Pegasus, is one of only a very few runways in Antarctica that can accommodate wheeled aircraft. Antarctica is currently emerging from its six-months-long night, so there is a period of twilight at mid-day that could assist pilots in landing on the ice runway.

The evacuation flight comes shortly before a regularly-scheduled series of late winter flights to prepare for the coming Antarctic research season, which gets underway in October.

(Image Credit: Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation)

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