Saturday, July 13, 2013

Airplane talk....funny stuff here!

We'll put this one under the heading of "Wat de Fuk".  In case you haven't already heard, someone pranked a San Francisco TV news station, sending them a press release listing the names of the four Asiana Airlines pilots involved in the Boeing 777 crash last week.  The station dutifully called the NTSB to confirm their information, and an intern there confirmed it as correct.  (I suspect his internship is now over.)  Tragic as that event was, I must say this is pretty funny.  See for yourself HERE.

So Sah Ree.

Also in aviation news, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire while parked at London's Heathrow Airport yesterday.  As you can see from this photo, the fire burned through the composite skin of the fuselage.  This follows a recent 3-month grounding of 787's due to problems with their lithium-ion batteries which caused several on-board fires.  Something isn't right here, folks.

Methinks Boeing just might have gone a little too far, a little too fast with this revolutionary (not evolutionary) new aircraft.  To save weight they used light/strong composites instead of aluminum, fully electric controls instead of hydraulics, etc.  This all looks good on paper, but apparently still has some kinks in it.

If they don't get it right and lose one in flight with major loss of life, the flying public might lose confidence in the type and refuse to fly it.  Check out the history of the deHavilland Comet back in the 1950's and the Lockheed Electra in the 1960's.  A series of crashes doomed both aircraft.

And if Boeing starts losing major orders for 787's* their financial viability as a company will be on the line.  They've pinned their long-term future on this aircraft.   While 737's and 777's are their bread and butter, the Dreamliner was to be their meat and potatoes for decades to come.

Boeing had better be very careful here.


*Twin-engined aircraft are given an ETOPS (Extended-Range Twin-Engine Operations) certification based among other things on their reliability.  The more reliable they are, the more of a straight line they can fly away from land over long water or polar routes.

If a plane's ETOPS certification is limited they have to fly closer to coastlines (and divert airports), making for a longer flight that uses more fuel.  If the 787 is "restricted" for questionable reliability, airlines will be dropping out by the drove as it's fuel efficiency is it's reason for being. The FAA is looking at this issue right now.


  1. Several posters on an aviation forum have said categorically that they would not permit their families to fly on a 787. Despite a life-long enthusiasm for flying on more and different kinds of aircraft (way over one hundred, helicopters, ultra lights, gliders, hang gliders and hot air balloons included) I have zero desire to get on board one myself. fin

    1. You're not alone, Fin. As you well know, fire onboard an aircraft is the most feared problem imaginable. You can work around most problems inflight, but an out-of-control fire isn't one of them. As I said, Boeing better get this one right, and FAST!

  2. With all the airplaine incidents recently, I felt compelled to watch the movie "Flight" last night.

    Let me just say, disaster: bad; Denzel Washington: ♥♥♥

  3. I hope this doesn't hurt Boeing. This is the last thing they need.