August 12, 2007

New Chechen airline started to operate

The new airline, Chechen has started to be the airline for all air travelling. although for the beginning it just serve twice daily flights from Grozny, and to Moscow.

Sultan Satuyev, Vainakh Avia's director, as written at Radio Free Europe: Radio Library told the Interfax news agency that a foundation named in honor of the assassinated former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov purchased the aircraft for the airline.

The company chief added that the airline plans to acquire more planes and start flights to Siberia, St. Petersburg, and to foreign destinations such as Turkey.

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August 04, 2007

Bombardier CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet)

The Bombardier CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) is a family of regional airliner manufactured by Bombardier, and based on the Canadair Challenger business jet. Design studies began in 1987, with the first prototype flying on May 10, 1991.

Because the CRJ project began at Canadair prior to its 1986 acquisition by Bombardier, the CRJ is sometimes also referred to by its original Canadair designation "CL-65". This legacy designation can still be found on some Comair in-flight safety cards.

Bombardier CRJ Canadair Regional Jet

Source: Wikipedia
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Future Air Navigation System

Aircraft are operated using two major methods; Positive Control and Procedural Control. Positive Control is used in areas which have radar. The controller "sees" the airplanes in the control area and uses VHF voice to provide instructions to the flight crews to ensure separation. Because the position of the aircraft is updated frequently and VHF voice contact timely, separation standards (the distance one aircraft must be separated by another) is less. This is because the air traffic controller can recognize problems and issue corrective directions to multiple airplanes in a timely fashion. Separation standards are what determines the number of airplanes which can occupy a certain volume of airspace.

Procedural Control is used in areas (such as oceanic and landmasses) which do not have radar. The FANS concept was developed to improve the safety and efficiency of airplanes operating under Procedural Control. This methods uses time-based procedures to keep aircraft separated. The separation standard is determined by the accuracy of the reported positions, frequency of position reports, and timeliness of communication with respect to intervention.

Non-FANS procedural separation uses Intertial Navigation Systems for position, flight crew voice reports of position (and time of next waypoint), and High Frequency radio for communication. The INS systems have error introduced by drifting after initial alignment. This error can approach 10 nmi. HF radio communication involves contacting an HF operator who then transcribes the message and sends it to the appropriate ATC Service Provider. Responses from the ATC Service Provider go to the HF radio operator who contacts the airplane. The voice quality of the connection is often poor leading to repeated messages. The HF radio operator can also get saturated with request for communication. This leads to procedures which keeps airplanes separated by as much as 100 nmi laterally, 10 minutes in trail, and 4000ft altitude.

These procedures reduce the number of airplanes which can operate in a given airspace. If marketing demand pushes airlines to operate at the same time on a given route, this can lead to airspace congestion which is handles the issue by delaying departures or separating the airplanes by altitude. The latter can lead to very inefficient operation.

Future Air Navigation System (FANS) is a standard developed by the air transport industry to allow more aircraft to fit into a given volume of air space. A number of generations of FANS standards are covered by the single term, progressing from simple automations of current processes up to rather futuristic approaches.

Communication Improvements

This involved a transition from voice communications to digital communications. Specifically ACARS was used as the communication medium. This allowed other application improvements. An application was hosted on the airplane known as Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC).

This allows the flight crew to select from a menu of standard ATC communications, send the message, and receive a response. A peer application exists on the ground for the Air Traffic Controller. They can select from a set of messages and send communications to the airplane. The flight crew will respond with a WILCO, STANDBY, or REJECT. The current standard for message delivery is under 60 seconds one way.

Navigation Improvements

This involves a transition from Inertial Navigation to Satellite Navigation using the GPS satellites. This also introduced the concept of Actual Navigation Performance (ANP). Previously, flight crews would be notified of the system being used to calculate the position (radios, or intertial systems alone).

Because of the deterministic nature of the GPS satellites (constellation geometry), the navigation systems can calculate the worst case error based on the number of satellites tuned and the geometry of those satellites. (Note: it can also characterize the potential errors in other navigation modes as well). So, the improvement not only provides the airplane with a much more accurate position, it also provides an alert to the flight crew should the actual navigation performance exceed the required navigation performance.

Source: Wikipedia
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July 31, 2007

Fairey Jet Gyrodyne helicopter

The Jet Gyrodyne was a modification of the second prototype Fairey Gyrodyne aircraft registered G-AJJP. The Jet Gyrodyne was built specifically to develop the pressure-jet rotor drive system used on the later Fairey Rotodyne. The appearance of the Jet Gyrodyne is part way between a small aeroplane and a helicopter. A helicopter-type cabin is the front of the aircraft. The engine, an Alvis Leonides 9 cylinder radial, is in the middle of the fuselage. Above the engine is a two bladed rotor. There is a simple tailplane with no tail rotor as might be expected on a helicopter. Two short wings carry rear facing wingtip propellors and also the main wheels of the tricyle undercarriage.

The engine performs two functions; the first is to power, through gearboxes, the two wingtip propellors, the second is to drive two superchargers (taken from Rolls-Royce Merlin engines) whose output goes up through the rotor blades and exhausts through jets at the tips of the rotors. At the jets the compressed air is mixed with fuel and burnt to give more power. As this means of powering the rotor gave no reaction torque, a separate tail rotor was not needed. The rotor jets could be used to power the rotor for vertical takeoff and landing and for the rest of the time, the rotor would autorotate like an autogyro giving lift but not needing power while the forward drive came from the wingtip propellors.

The Fairey Jet Gyrodyne was a British experimental compound autogyro built by the Fairey Aviation Company that incorporated helicopter, gyrodyne and autogyro characteristics. The Jet Gyrodyne was the subject of a Ministry of Supply research contract to gather data for the follow-up design, the Fairey Rotodyne.

Tethered flights at White Waltham were followed by the first free flight in January 1954, but a full transition from vertical to horizontal flight was not achieved until March 1955. System proving continued and by September 1956, 190 transitions and 140 autorotative landings had been completed.

Although scheduled for scrapping in 1961, the Jet Gyrodyne (serial XD759 later XJ389) survived and today is displayed at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, on loan from the RAF Museum collection.

Source: Wikipedia
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Fairey FB-1 Gyrodyne helicopter

In April 1946 Fairey announced a private-venture project for a rotary-wing aircraft, to be built to a new concept originated by Dr. J.A.J. Bennett who had joined the company the previous year. Dr Bennett had assumed control of the Cierva Autogyro Company in 1936, following the death of Juan de la Cierva, and Bennett's ideas were based on the combination of a lifting rotor plus an asymmetric propeller mounted on a stub wing, which would counteract yaw and provide thrust, lessening the loading on the rotor.

Fairey FB-1 Gyrodyne helicopter was a British experimental compound aircraft used a propeller set on the end of a stub wing to provide both propulsion and antitorque reaction.

The Gyrodyne was a compact and streamlined helicopter weighing just over 2000kg and powered by a 525hp Alvis Leonides radial engine, the power from which could be transmitted in variable ratios to a three-blade rotor just over 15m in diameter and to the anti-torque propeller on the starboard tip of the stub wing. The Gyrodyne behaved like a helicopter, but the same propeller also provided the necessary thrust for forward flight, when the aircraft looked almost like an autogyro.

A government contract to Specification E.4/46 was awarded for two prototypes with the first Fairey Gyrodyne exhibited as an almost complete airframe at White Waltham on 7 December 1946.

On 4 December 1947, the first of the two prototypes took off from White Waltham airport, and continued to build up flying time until March 1948 when it was dismantled for a thorough examination. The second prototype, basically similar to the first but with more comfortable interior furnishings befitting its role as a passenger demonstrator, was flying by the time of the next SBAC Display, in September 1948, at Farnborough. The first prototype was re-assembled and, following further test flying, took part in an attempt to set a new world's helicopter speed record in a straight line.

On 28 June 1948, flown by test pilot Basil Arkell, the Gyrodyne made two flights in each direction over a 3km course at White Waltham, achieving 200km/h, enough to secure the record. An attempt was to be made in April 1949 to set a 100km closed-circuit record, but two days before the date selected a rotor head fatigue failure resulted in the crash of the aircraft at Ufton, near Reading, killing the pilot, F.H. Dixon and his observer.

The subsequent grounding of the second Gyrodyne for an investigation was only to be expected, and the aircraft did not appear again until 1953. The extensively modified second prototype, renamed Jet Gyrodyne, flew in January 1954; it had two blade-tip jets, fed with air from two compressors driven by the usual Alvis Leonides radial. The Jet Gyrodyne had been completely redesigned to provide data on Fairey's big project, the Fairey Rotodyne.

An example of the Gyrodyne is on display at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Woodley, Reading.

Source: Wikipedia
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