Saturday, January 24, 2015

Two flights grounded in Atlanta following Twitter bomb threats

Two US passenger planes were targeted by bomb threats today. Delta flight 1156 and Southwest flight 2942, both bound for Atlanta, were escorted by F-16 fighter jets before landing. According to Reuters and the AP, passengers safely exited the aircraft before the planes were swept and cleared by bomb-sniffing dogs.

The cause for the commotion? Apparently a couple of tweets. As spotted by Buzzfeed, Twitter user @kingZortic told the official Delta and Southwest accounts earlier today that he was responsible for a bomb on each of the aircraft. He later posted his supposed address in Chicago, taunting authorities to raid his home. The account was inactive until this afternoon, when it posted its first tweet to Delta's support account.

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Here’s American’s First Boeing 787 — They’ve Now Owned Every Single Boeing Jet

American took delivery of its first Boeing 787 on Thursday, and flew it to Dallas on Friday.

They have 42 firm orders for the 787-8 and 787-9 and options on an additional 58 planes.

We’ll see the aircraft flying between domestic hubs for a few weeks when the aircraft first goes into revenue service during the second quarter, before they begin flying it internationally.

Here’s the American’s 787 landing at Boeing’s Paine Field after a test flight.

With the introduction of the 787, American is claimed to have operated every Boeing-designed jet aircraft.

Boeing 707 (-123, -123B, -323B and -323C models)

Boeing 717 (designed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95, inherited from TWA but not officially operated)

Boeing 720

Boeing 727 (both models)

Boeing 737 (-200, -300 and -800 models)

Boeing 747 (-100 and SP models)

Boeing 757 (-200 model)

Boeing 767 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 777 (-200 and -300 models)

Boeing 787 (now the 787-8 model)

I’m not sure the 717 should even count, as it was McDonnell Douglas-designed prior to the merger with Boeing. So even if you’d only count American as having had the aircraft as a technicality, I’d toss that from the list since it wasn’t Boeing-designed in the first place.

Interestingly, the only pre-Boeing 707 aircraft (the 707 was their first jetliner) that American operated that I’m aware of was the 377 Stratocruiser, by virtue of their acquisition of American Overseas Airlines which was later sold to Pan Am.


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Friday, January 23, 2015

Photos of 12-Inch MacBook Air Display Show Black Glass Cover, Polished Apple Logo

Just days after a report claiming Apple supplier Quanta Computer has begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air, Chinese site iFanr shares some photos [Google Translate] of what it says is the display assembly for the machine (via SlashGear).

macbook_air_12_display_1
The photos depict the claimed display and metal shell from the upcoming 12-inch machine alongside both a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 9.7-inch iPad, with its sizing appearing to measure up to previously reported dimensions. The display does, however, have two noticeable differences from current MacBook Air. First, instead of a backlit Apple logo on the back of the display assembly as is typically seen on Apple's notebooks, there is a polished metal logo more like those seen on iPads, with iFanr speculating the change could be tied to the device's thinness.

macbook_air_12_display_3
Additionally, the display lacks the grey bezels current MacBook Air models have, instead opting for an apparently all-glass edge-to-edge cover for the display as seen on Retina MacBook Pro models. Paired with black bezels underneath, it is difficult to see where the display ends and the bezels begin unless the screen is turned on. Earlier renderings of the 12-inch MacBook Air based on information from within Apple had shown gray bezels similar to those seen on the current MacBook Air.

macbook_air_12_display_2Claimed 12-inch MacBook Air display assembly with 13" MacBook Pro
The 12-inch MacBook Air will reportedly have roughly the same footprint as the 11-inch MacBook Air, relying on smaller bezels to compensate for a larger display size. The comparison photos shown by iFanr demonstrate the significantly smaller footprint for the 12-inch machine compared to a 13-inch MacBook Pro

12inchmacbookair2Claimed 12-inch MacBook Air display assembly with 9.7-inch iPad
The next-generation MacBook Air is expected to feature a high-resolution display (perhaps classified as Retina) and new Broadwell Core M processors that will enable a thin, fanless design. Other reports have claimed the 12-inch MacBook Air will do away with nearly all the ports typically found on Apple's line of MacBooks, offering only a headphone jack, a pair of microphones, and a USB Type-C port that may handle both charging and external connectivity.


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Unique HD video shows Russian Su-27 intercept P-3 Orion aircraft over the Baltic Sea

Su-27 intercepting P-3

A clip just released shows a close encounter over the Baltics between a Russian Flanker and a NATO P-3 Orion.

The following footage is quite unique: it shows a single Russian Air Force Su-27 Flanker jet as it intercepts and shadows a P-3 Orion, reportedly flying over the Baltics.

According to the source who sent it to us, the (unclassified) video was filmed in November 2014 by “one of the sensors carried by a Portuguese Air Force P-3 Orion MPA – Maritime Patrol Aircraft – during a mission over the Baltic Sea.”

The clip clearly shows the fully armed Su-27 approach the surveillance plane from the starboard side (at safe distance…), use the air brake to slow down speed and then break away.

According to our source, it’s pretty standard for the Russian Air Force to launch a single fighter jet to identify and escort NATO surveillance planes.

As reported a few weeks ago, Russian Air Force spyplanes skirting foreign airspaces are frequently intercepted by NATO planes providing Baltic Air Policing task. This video proves that even the Russians keep an eye on NATO and non-NATO’s surveillance and intelligence gathering activities in the region.

The Portuguese Air Force operates a fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft within the 601 Squadron “Lobos” (Esquadra 601), a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare squadron based at Beja Air Base.

Credit: Portuguese Air Force

 

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GIF: Airport

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American Air Takes Delivery of its First Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

By Benét J. Wilson / Published January 23, 2015

Image Courtesy of JDL Multimedia

Image Courtesy of JDL Multimedia

American Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner during a small transfer of title process ceremony yesterday at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, and the aircraft, N800AN, is now enroute to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

AA 787-1

EXTRA: Click here to follow the the aircraft on FlightAware

Test Pilot David Hensley. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

Test Pilot David Hensley. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

American Airlines Pilot David Hensley conducted the test flight last week, becoming the first employee to pilot the carrier’s first 787, according to a company newsletter on the event. “I think our pilots are really going to enjoy the airplane,” he said after the flight. “It was very, very quiet. It’s a very comfortable cabin environment, both for our crew and for our passengers.“

EXTRAAmerican Airlines’ 787 Makes First Appearance

The airline has firm orders for 42 787s, with options on another 58. It will take delivery of both the 787-8 and 787-9 as part of the 42 firm orders. Once the plane arrives, the Tech Ops team at American’s maintenance base at DFW will prepare the Dreamliner for flight training and other readiness activities.

AA 787-2

The first 787 is expected to enter revenue service in the second quarter, flying domestically between American’s hubs such as DFW-ORD for several weeks before being launched on international flights. Asia and Latin America are the most obvious markets. The 787 will bring new benefits to American’s network and customers. It has an onboard experience unlike any other airplane including a new Business Cabin product. Schedules and seating configurations have yet to be announced. The aircraft provides improved aerodynamics, advanced engine technology, reduced maintenance requirements, better fuel efficiency and lower overall operating costs.

Flight attendant Joyce Adkins. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

Flight attendant Joyce Adkins. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

The first customer flight — officially called CF-1 — is a chance for specially trained volunteers from Flight Attendant Involvement Teams (FAIT) to scope out the airplane from the inside. Flight attendant Joyce Adkins has participated in these acceptance flights since 2000, and last week rode in American’s first 787 test flight. “We sit in every seat during the flight, and look at everything a customer might touch or use,” she said in the newsletter. “Whatever we write up gets fixed. Typically, anything we want fixed after we take delivery, American has to pay for, so this saves a lot of money.”

 

EXTRAAmerican Airlines’ First Boeing 787 Takes Flight

Darrel Boyd. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

Darrell Boyd. Image Courtesy of American Airlines

Darrell Boyd is American’s only full-time employee in Everett, Washington. His job, as the airline’s resident representative at Boeing’s aircraft delivery center, is to follow the development of every new aircraft added to American’s fleet, where he ensures that the airplane meets standards before taking ownership.

EXTRAFirst American Airlines 787 Delivery Is Delayed

American claims to have  the youngest fleet of the U.S. global network carriers, with an average aircraft age of 12.3 years. In 2015, it plans to take delivery of an average of two new aircraft per week. The deliveries will make its fleet even younger, more modern and more efficient and will provide a solid foundation for continued improvements in technology, products and services.

EXTRA: AirwaysNews High Flyer Interview: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker

The 787 is scheduled into DFW at 7:07PM CST. American will also accept a new Airbus A319 at the same time. We will have photos and an updated story upon arrival.

 

Cover image courtesy of American Airlines.

Editor’s note: Our readers now have access to our weekly eNewsletter, which includes a recap of our top stories of the week, along with the subscriber-only exclusive Weekend Reads column and Photo of the Week from our extensive archives. The newsletter comes out every Friday night. Stay in the know; click here to subscribe today!

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Contact the editor at benet.wilson@airwaysnews.com

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

F-5 Tiger jets perform ultra low level flyby pruning trees in the process

Kenyan low pass

This is probably the coolest way to trim your trees.

The video in this post was filmed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mombasa (Moi International Airport), one of the airbases in Kenya.

It shows two F-5E Tiger II of the Kenyan Air Force perform an ultra-low level pass on a one-story building at Mombasa, whose effect is also to remove branches from trees surrounding it.

The KAF is equipped with about 20 F-5E and F-5F (two-seat version) Tigers, some of those formerly operating with the Royal Jordanian Air Force and upgraded to F-5EM standard before delivery to Kenya.

The Kenyan Air Force uses the F-5 fighter jets even in the air-to-surface role, carrying rockets and unguided bombs used to carry out attacks on Somali extremists.

 

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Meet the 2015 Williams FW37

Williams Martini Racing are the first to lift the covers off of their 2015 challenger replete with a less offensive nose as the 2014 had some fans blushing over the naughty looking appendage. It has now been replaced with a smaller protrudent that is less…below the belt as in 2014. How does it look to you? Here are the details from Williams:

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has revealed the first images of its 2015 car, the Williams Mercedes FW37 on the front cover of Haymarket’s F1 Racing Magazine. Following on from a successful season in 2014 Williams hopes the FW37 can continue the positive momentum into another competitive season of racing.

‘The notion for the FW37 was to look closely at the FW36 and its performances,’ says WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds. ‘We then went about recognising what had worked well and identifying and resolving the areas that we felt needed to be improved. Although the aerodynamics of the car were impressive there is always room for improvement particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations ’

The design of the FW37 has stemmed from the performance of the FW36 but the conceptual ideas came long before the 2014 successes.

‘The first conceptual stage of the FW37 came before the FW36 had turned a wheel. The main element to this is understanding the rule changes and how they will affect the design of the car, from here we can start see if our ideas will fit within the regulations.’

The performance of the FW36 in 2014 saw the team move forward from ninth in the Constructors’ Championship to third, obtaining nine podiums throughout the season and a front row lockout at the Austrian Grand Prix.

January 2015 The Williams FW37 Photo: Williams F1 ref: Digital Image FW37_3

‘The desire to beat Ferrari to third place in the Constructors’ in 2014 meant we pushed our development through to late autumn, but the size of the team is now at a point where it was able to sustain this development whilst still working on the FW37.’

With the regulations relatively stable from 2014 the team went about developing the FW36 with the additional changes necessary to meet the 2015 rules.

‘We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance. The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass.’

The layout phase of the car was completed by the summer break in August, with work on the new front bulkhead a main priority for the designers and aerodynamicists as the changes to the regulations had their effects on the car.

January 2015The Williams FW37Photo: Williams F1 ref: Digital Image FW37_2

‘The change in regulations offered us a slight headache. The new front bulkhead and nose geometry had much more of an impact than we had initially anticipated and the effect on the aero was profound. The team have worked hard on pulling back the deficit these regulations have made for us.’

After a strong 2014 the team has aims to continue improving in pursuit of podium finishes throughout the 2015 season.

‘The more rule stability there is, the closer the field gets. I hope as a team we are more capable of maintaining the forward momentum to catch Mercedes, than the teams behind us are of catching us. It’s not just about stable regulations but also about the team and every individual that works here moving forward and improving.’

Frank Williams, Team Principal concluded ‘The team had a fantastic season last year, we are aiming to replicate this development over the winter and to start the 2015 season in a strong position. We have an enormously talented group of people here at Williams who want nothing more than the team to do well. This passion produced a great turn around in fortunes for the team in 2014 and everybody has worked tirelessly to continue that climb up the grid.’

‘We have added a few more high profile names to accompany the incredibly supportive group of partners we have,’ Frank Williams added. ‘After a very strong first year with Mercedes we are looking to further develop the relationship as we look for more podiums in 2015. I feel this year will be equally as exciting as the last and look forward to seeing the car on the grid at the first race.’

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

[Photo] U.S. Air Force C-17 caught fire at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

c-17-fire

An engine malfunction led to a C-17 Globemaster cargo catching fire at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

On Jan. 7, a C-17 Globemaster III with the 445th Airlift Wing caught fire upon engine start at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

The air crew shut off the engine and the fire was quickly extinguished by the base Fire Emergency Services.

A base service member took the above image which shows the plane’s right wing engulfed by flames.

The extent of the damage is unclear: according to the 445 AW spokesperson, the damage is estimated at 300,000 USD whereas a memo of the firefighters at WPAFB obtained by 2 NEWS says damage at the airlifter is estimated at 1.5M USD.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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