Category Archives: Aircraft

Aviation: Are Electric Air Taxis & Planes Ready Yet?

The aviation industry is keen to reduce its carbon footprint, and big money is being spent developing battery-powered aircraft. Last year, investors poured around $5bn into companies seeking to get manned electric VTOLs – vertical take-off and landing craft – airborne. The technology is improving, but as the FT’s Charlotte Middlehurst reports, there are still major hurdles to overcome.

Design & Aviation: ‘AirCar’ Is Certified To Fly (Video)

AirCar the dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle has been issued the official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, following the successful completion of 70 hours of rigorous flight testing compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, with over 200 takeoffs and landings.

The challenging flight tests included the full range of flight and performance manoeuvres and demonstrated an astonishing static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode. AirCar flew 70+ hours of test flights, incl. cross country with 200 takeoffs and landings.

Read more

Alaska Views: Pilot Lands Plane On Highline Lake

Aviation: ATEA – Hybrid Electric VTOL Aircraft

Airports: How Chicago O’Hare Was Redesigned

Available space, weather and air traffic volume are key factors that go into airfield design. Robert Hoxie, who helped redesign Chicago O’Hare’s airfield, explains how runways are mapped out. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan/The Wall Street Journal

Air Travel: Why Airport Security Is So Slow (CNBC)

There once was a time when getting through airport security was quick and easy. But after the attacks on 9/11, the TSA, or Transportation Security Administration, was created and security screenings became much more thorough. With millions of people passing through TSA checkpoints everyday, this can create excruciating long lines, especially during holiday travel. Despite enhancements in technology like millimeter wave imaging and CT scanners, the airport security process has been slow to evolve. But that may soon be changing.

Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines are just a few of the U.S. airlines starting to test facial recognition for boarding and TSA checkpoints. The TSA is also working with companies on designing better screeners so passengers don’t have to remove anything from bags and can leave their shoes on. CNBC explores how far we’ve come in airport security and the ways the TSA and airlines are looking to speed up and make airport security even safer.

Future Of Mobility: eVTOL’s & Electric Flying Taxis

Look! Up in the sky! Not a bird … or a plane … it’s an eVTOL! An eVTOL (pronounced “ee-vee-tol”) is an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—and thousands of them could be flying above cities by 2030. 

Air taxi gif

“Flying taxis will happen; it’s a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if’”

What new modes of air transportation will exist in 2030? Could eVTOLs replace cars by then? Will passenger aircraft be piloted or autonomous—or somewhere in between? McKinsey’s Kersten Heineke, Benedikt Kloss, and Robin Riedel imagine the future of advanced air mobility.

Read more

Analysis: Why Airlines Aren’t More Profitable

Passenger airlines are a crucial industry in the global economy, but the sector is also extremely volatile. Running a passenger airline is an asset-intensive industry with narrow profit margins.

Despite the risks, the industry has experienced some periods of consistent growth, which can lull investors into a false sense of security. Watch the video above to learn whether investors should steer clear of the sector and why passenger airlines struggle to stay profitable.

Video timeline: 0:00 – Introduction 1:35 – Industry shocks 6:16 – Business models 8:28 – Deregulation and consolidation 12:55 – Industry outlook

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett once called himself an “air-o-holic” because of how tempted he is to invest in commercial airlines. But he learned the hard way, twice, that the industry can be a risky bet. Airline stocks have been on a wild ride since the beginning of the pandemic, which shows just how volatile the sector can be. “It seems that airlines once or twice a decade are hit with these really hard-to-process exogenous shocks, whether it’s something like 9/11 or the Great Recession,” said Adam Gordon, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group’s Airline Practice. The passenger airline industry is already asset-intensive, with narrow profit margins. Despite the risks, the industry has experienced some periods of consistent growth. Airlines saw big growth in profits for about a decade prior to Covid, which analysts attribute to the airlines restructuring post-9/11. These periods can lull investors into a false sense of security. In 2017, the CEO of American Airlines said he was confident the business was never going to lose money again. Airline stocks may be appealing to investors because the industry is crucial to the global economy. “If you just step back and you think about what service airlines are offering, they’re putting you in a metal tube, taking you up to 40,000 feet, and transporting you in relative or absolute comfort at hundreds of miles an hour to get from point A to point B. And if you think about the substitutes for that service, like, there really aren’t any,” said Gordon. “So it’s kind of surprising to me that an industry that delivers that kind of a service and does it with an absolutely impeccable operational and safety record is able to come under such pressure,” he added.

Views: $30 Million ‘Super Scooper’ CL-415EAF Plane Fighting U.S. Wildfires

This $30 million Super Scooper is the only plane in the world that was designed specifically to fight wildfires. The aircraft performs a dangerous dive down to a body of water, scoops up 1,400 gallons of water in 12 seconds, and drops its load of water on raging forest fires. We went inside this massive aircraft to find out how it works, what it takes to fly it, and why it’s considered the most efficient aerial-firefighting aircraft in the world.

WWII Aviation: The ‘P-51 Mustang’ Fighter Plane

The P-51 was the darling of the Army Air Forces. Aerodynamically agile and acrobatic, the Mustang was fast and furious in its effectiveness in downing enemy aircraft. A latecomer to World War II, it first saw combat over Europe near the end of 1943. The long-range fighter proved to be just what the Allies needed to escort bombers to and from Germany as they hammered enemy targets.

Aug. 2, 2021, 6 a.m.

“In terms of the air war over Europe with the strategic bombing campaign, the P-51 was a war-winning weapon,” says Jeremy Kinney, associate director of research and curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. “As a fighter escort, it enabled the successful bombing of targets deep in Nazi Germany from bases in England and Italy. That was a crucial component in the destruction of strategic sites such as factories and munition plants.”

Read more