Friday, November 21, 2014

Watch a Semi-Truck’s World-Record Jump Over a Lotus F1 Car

Lotus F1 Truck Jump

Wanna see a world-record stunt? Something crazy and mind-blowing and death-defying? How does a tractor-trailer breaking the Guinness World Record for jump length tickle you? Oh, and for good measure, a Lotus Formula 1 car. Yeah, that’ll do.

So here’s the setup: Mike Ryan, the guy who can race a big rig up Pikes Peak or drift it around a racetrack as if he was driving a normal-size car, designed the stunt and is the wheelman in the truck. Martin Ivanov pilots the F1 car. Both guys have extensive experience as stunt drivers in various Bond, Bourne, and Fast and Furious movies. In other words: these are very experienced professionals, so definitely don’t try this at home.



It’s all in the name of advertising for EMC Enterprise, a cloud computing and data-management company that apparently does something computer-related for Lotus F1. However, this is more than just a commercial, it’s a record-breaker: That truck flew 87 feet and 7 inches from where it launched, landing it in the pages of the Guinness Book.

Risky? Definitely, for Ryan and Ivanov. But look at it this way: If they broke that F1 car in the process, it wouldn’t have done much to hurt Lotus’s current eighth-place standing, 641 points behind the leader, Mercedes.

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Celebrate With a New 10-Year China Visa.. at 50% Off!

This month China has started issuing visas valid for multiple entry over 10 years to US passport holders for tourism and short-term business visits.

Your passport must be valid for at least a year, and you can continue to use your 10 year visa even when your passport expires and you get a new one. (You carry the old passport with you to prove the visa.)

This makes things a whole lot easier, since the Chinese visa can be expensive and it can be a pain to get, so not having to get one each time you visit is a real boon for travelers.

With the new 10 year China Visas, Allied Passport & Visa is offering View from the Wing readers 50% off service fees for a Chinese visa requested by the end of the year.

When I’ve done visas for China I’ve done them myself, I always found living in DC to be good at least for easy access to the embassies and consulates of many countries. But having someone else do it is easier, of course, and for much of the country – new 10 year validity notwithstanding – it’s still inconvenient to process these yourself.

Now, you’ll still pay China Embassy fees of $140 – $160, and you’ll pay the fee to have Allied FedEx your materials back to you ($22 – $45 depending on the priority you request). But you’ll get 50% off of their service fees.

  • Standard processing (10+ business days), normally $45, with this offer $22.50
  • Expedited processing (4-9 business days), normally $100, with this offer $50
  • Emergency processing (0-3 business days), normally $200, with this offer $100

To qualify for this offer just indicate “ViewFromTheWing” referred you on your Allied Order Form.

For avoidance of doubt, I do not get anything at all for the referral. When i highlighted an offer from Allied in the past, readers had universally positive things to say about the experience. So when China started offering 10 year visas, I decided to reach out to them to see if they’d offer a special discount. They were willing to, so I figured I’d pass the savings opportunity along to readers.

For those of you that make use of it, I’m thrilled, please feel free to share your stories in the comments.

And I’d love to hear from anyone that has used a visa processing service in the past, why did you and how did it go? Or do you prefer to do it yourself, and if so why?


You can join the 40,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest deals. Don’t miss out!

The post Celebrate With a New 10-Year China Visa.. at 50% Off! appeared first on View from the Wing.

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Watch a Soviet-era Battlestar Galactica spacecraft-like reconnaissance drone launched by Ukrainian forces

Tu-143 fired

An interesting video shows the Ukrainian forces launching Soviet-era Tu-143 reconnaissance drones.

Some months ago we published some pictures showing an almost intact Tu-143 Reys drone, recovered, almost intact, in a field by the pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine.

Here is an extremely interesting video showing the Ukrainian military extract the Tu-143 from the launching truck, prepare and finally launch the spacecraft-like drone.

The Tu-143 is quite similar to the Tu-141, even though substantially smaller. It has an operative range of about 60 – 70 kilometers and a low-level flight capability.

It is truck-launched and recovered by means of a recovery-parachute, deployed from a hatch on the upper side of the rocket’s rear fuselage.

Powered by  a TR3-117 turbojet with 5.8 kN (590 kgf, 267 lbf) thrust it can reach an altitude of 5,000 mt (16,400 ft) and a top speed of 950 km/h (580 mph). It can carry both photographic and TV sensors with datalink capability to transmit live data to the ground control station.

H/T Brian Ostrander for sending the link over

 

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Watch a 55-Day Overhaul of the Largest Passenger Plane in Two Minutes

Emirates' very first mammoth Airbus A380 has racked up some crazy stats since first being delivered to the airline back in 2008. And after 3,000 takeoffs, 12.5 million miles, and 1.2 million passengers, it's no wonder the plane's first major checkup took a total of 55-days. Thanks to the magic of timelapse, though, you get to watch the whole thing go down in under two minutes.

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Delta Snubs Boeing Again with Airbus Widebody Aircraft Order

By Austin Speaker / Published November 20th, 2014

The A330-900neo. Images courtesy of Airbus

The A330-900neo. Image courtesy of Airbus

Any loyalty that Delta Air Lines once had to the Boeing family or aircraft is most certainly gone, now that it announced a second order for widebody Airbus aircraft in just over a year.  Instead, Delta opted to order 50 Airbus jets — 25 A330-900neos and 25 A350-900s.

Back in April, the airline requested bids to replace its entire fleet of 747-400s and some of 767-300s (of which they are the world’s largest operator), and both Airbus and Boeing submitted their bids. Boeing proposed a mixt of 777Xs and 787-9s.

EXTRA: Analysis of Delta’s Widebody Replacement Options for 767-300ER and 747-400

A Delta Boeing 747. Image Courtesy of AirwaysNews

A Delta Boeing 747. Image Courtesy of AirwaysNews

Delta has been an outspoken proponent of the A330neo program since before its official launch at this year’s Farnborough Air Show, and its order for that type has long been expected. As a current operator of the A330-200 and -300, Delta already has a stake in the aircraft, and its top-up order of 10 A330-300HGW in September 2013 only further cemented that commitment.

EXTRA: Special Report: Airbus Launches A330neo as a Competitor for Boeing 787

And with the estimated 12-14 percent reduction in fuel burn brought by the A330neo, it appears to make economic sense for Delta to stick with the popular family of jets.  At the time of that order (the first Airbus order in Delta’s history), Delta specifically rejected the A350 because it had not been thoroughly vetted yet, and delivery slots were not available in the near term.  But times have changed, and Delta may have found a way to rectify their unorthodox fleet strategy with the Airbus order book.

Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / AirwaysNews

Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / AirwaysNews

EXTRA: Delta Orders Forty New Jets, Continues to Underscore Conservative Fleet Approach

Delta has managed to shave untold millions off of its acquisition costs by purchasing aircraft at the end of their service life in exchange for deep discounts for filling the production gap.  Though rather unusual, the same is true of its A350 order.  Despite the aircraft not having entered service yet (which it will do in mid-December with Qatar) and Emirates’ cancellation of a 70-aircraft order has created a large block of available early delivery slots, and Airbus was undoubtedly anxious to fill them.

It appears Delta will have a truly new widebody aircraft for the first time in decades, thanks to Emirates.  Although a specific delivery date has not yet been given, it is likely that the airline’s first A350s will arrive even before the A330neo, scheduled for first delivery in 2017.  Boeing could not offer early delivery slots for the 787-9, and they suggested a temporary measure of providing five 777-200LRs, which Delta already operates, that would also help Boeing to fill the production gap of the 777 classic.  Unsurprisingly, Delta declined that offer.

A Delta Boeing 777 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Image Courtesy of AirwaysNews

A Delta Boeing 777 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Image Courtesy of AirwaysNews

EXTRA: Delta Details Narrowbody Interior Improvement Blitz, Will Spend $770M

It is worth noting, however, that Delta has a standing order inherited from Northwest for 18 787-8s, which are scheduled for delivery starting in 2020. By that point, the airline will have already received a large chunk of this new order from Airbus.  In the long run, the 787 will likely serve as a more comparable replacement for the 767-300, but Delta appears more interested in upgauging its 767 fleet in order to boost profitability–one of the reasons for their purchase of the larger 767-400 in the first place.

The Airbus fleet will likely start replacing the oldest members of the 767 fleet on the highest-traffic routes, while the newer 767s are shuffled to lower traffic routes to await replacement by the 787.  Among the Airbus fleet, the A330neo will likely spend most of its time in transit to Europe and South America, whereas the A350, which has a longer range, will be used primarily on trans-Pacific routes. Delta is not expected to comment on this order until its official roll-out on December 11.

—–

Contact the editor at benet.wilson@airwaysnews.com

The post Delta Snubs Boeing Again with Airbus Widebody Aircraft Order appeared first on Airchive.

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Airbus wins Delta wide-body order

Airbus has won the hotly-contested competition for 50 wide-body airplanes, two sources tell Leeham News and Comment.

Artist rendering of Delta Air Lines A350, via Twitter, original source unknown.

Airbus will sell Delta 25 A350-900s and 25 A330-900s, our sources say. Rolls-Royce is the sole-source engine supplier.

YouReadDLBoeing hoped to sell Delta the 787-9 and also offered five new 777-200LRs as bridge lift until delivery slots for the 789 were available, according to our information.

Losing is a major disappointment for Boeing, not only because of the sheer number of wide-body airplanes involved but also because this is one of the Big Three US carriers; and there was the slim chance Delta might take Boeing up on the 777LR order, which would help fill the struggling production gap for the 777 Classic.

For Airbus, winning Delta is a major coup for many of the same reasons: the sheer size of the deal, Delta’s status and, while the A330neo order won’t help the A330ceo’s production gap, this gives a good boost to the neo program and adds a prestigious name to the customer list.

According to our information, Boeing couldn’t find early delivery slots for the 789–hence the offer of the 777LR–but Airbus was able to move the A350 skyline around enough to provide the airplane early.

The A359 is intended for the Pacific and the A339 for the Atlantic. Delta is building up a major international hub at Seattle, where some of these airplanes will fly from.

Airbus told LNC, “We do not comment on rumor or speculation concerning discussions with our customers.” Boeing declined comment.

Delta did not respond to a request for comment. Delta’s plan was to announce this at Investors’ Day on December 11.

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Russia's modernised Tu-160 fighter jet completes first flight

Tu-160 BlackjackRussia's Tu-160 strategic bomber has completed its first flight after modernisation, the aircraft's designers Tupolev said Wednesday.

"On Nov 16, 2014, the Tu-160 bomber performed its first flight after a major overhaul," the Tupolev Design Bureau said in a statement.

According to the company, the bomber took off from the Kazan airfield, in the Tatarstan Republic (a constituent republic of the Russian Federation), and the flight lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes, Xinhua reported.

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J-31 stealth jet gets bad reviews after Zhuhai Airshow flight

J-31 GyrfalconChina's newly unveiled J-31 stealth fighter has received bad reviews at home and abroad after making its first public demonstration flight during the biennial Zhuhai Airshow in the southern province of Guangdong.

The criticism of J-31, China's second fifth-generation fighter jet, mainly stems from the dark exhaust emitting from the jet's engine, which indicates the engine's poor efficiency in burning fuel.

There are two types of engines used on the J-31 jets — the RD-93 used by Russia's MiG-29 fighters will be fitted to those intended for foreign clients, while the ones deployed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will have the WS-13 engine developed from the RD-93.

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New ‘Info Wing’ To Be Trialled In Abu Dhabi

'Info Wing' System- Handout photo

There are lots of things being tested out for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi –  double points, slow zones, Caterham’s chequebook – and this new ‘info wing’ is the latest.

The brainchild of Lewis Hamilton’s dad Anthony, the LED display will sit alongside the onboard roll hoop camera and will primarily display race position information and other data such as fastest laps and tyre strategies, although there is no word as yet as to whether they will flash red to warn low-flying Maldonado’s where the other cars are.

Hamilton hopes the display will make it easier to understand what’s happening in the race for people watching from both the grandstands at at home on TV, although quite what’s wrong with the FOM on-screen graphics I don’t know. Hamilton hopes to extend this concept to other forms of motor racing across the globe, although sports car and endurance racing have been using a similar system for years.

'Info Wing' System- Handout photo

'Info Wing' System- Handout photo

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Los Angeles: Witness the Prologue to Audi's design future [w/videos]

Filed under: Concept Cars, LA Auto Show, Coupe, Audi, Design/Style

Audi Prologue Concept

Audi went Hollywood for its debut of the forward-looking Prologue concept car last night, pulling the silks back at a sprawling LA manse in the hills. The cost-no-object unveiling of the car, as well as its prominent positioning at this year's LA Auto Show, speaks to the importance with which the company views the styling you see here.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, maharishi of development for the three-rings brand, made two important announcements at the presentation: reiterating publicly his endorsement of new styling chief Marc Lichte, and telling us that Prologue design will be found on upcoming production versions of the A6, A7 and A8.

Take a close look at that imposing face on the Prologue - an amped up revision of the single-frame shield grille that has appeared on new models like the TT already - and get used to it. Lichte called out the grille as the new face of the brand, so we fully expect its deployment across the range as the 2016 models roll out.

As we discussed in our original post, there's also a big hope that "Prologue" refers to an upcoming A9 model. Certainly the turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 under the hood of the concept car seems ready to go for production, its 605 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque (shockingly) within striking distance of outputs for current models like the RS7. Nothing in the clean bodywork or precise interior work lead us to preclude production, either.

Have a look at two quick videos below - a Short Cut of the unveil and a walk around on the show floor and then tell us how you feel the future of Audi in Comments.

Continue reading Witness the Prologue to Audi's design future [w/videos]

Witness the Prologue to Audi's design future [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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