New engine concept for Airbus

Airbus has unveiled design proposals for zero-emission aircraft powered by hydrogen that it says might be flying within 15 years, something that is beginning to excite airlines who claim their dependency on fossil fuels is becoming increasingly detrimental to their bottom line. 

Now Airbus has put forward plans to create a new fleet of zero emission aircraft aimed at creating a more sustainable aviation industry, claiming new hydrogen-powered airliners could begin to replace fossil fuel guzzlers in the skies as early as 2035. 

Recent advances in aircraft and engine technology have made airliners more efficient, but aviation still accounts for between 2 percent and 3 percent of global emissions and the race is on to reduce this figure. 

Sustainability in aviation has largely hit a roadblock as airlines dabbling in biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuel, have been restricted by its limited availability. Only a few airports around the world currently offer alternatives to kerosene-based jet fuels, requiring additional infrastructure and commitments by airlines to use the fuel. 

While smaller propeller-driven aircraft, up to around 20 seats, can take advantage of standard twin-engined arrangements when testing hydrogen-based power, larger designs with longer range “require another solution”, says Airbus. Among other options, the manufacturer is looking into powerplant design that effectively uses self-contained propulsion systems individually mounted on the aircraft wing....

Very remote air traffic cooperation

Apart from a whaling operation based on Stewart Island in the 1920s, there has been little commercial activity linking Norway and New Zealand on opposite sides of the world. This changed, however, when Norwegian company Avinor Air Navigation Services went live with Airways International’s TotalControl simulator at Oslo Airport in September after successfully completing remote site acceptance testing (SAT). 

With Covid-19 restrictions in place everywhere, travel to Norway wasn’t possible for Airways International Ltd (AIL) personnel. The key challenge was to meet a 1 October 2020 go-live date for the simulator and enable Avinor ANS to start its training as air traffic ramped up again. 

Creative solutions were needed by AIL to meet this challenge. A Covid-19 mitigation plan was enacted which included remotely performing factory acceptance testing; AIL specialists guiding local technicians through the installation of hardware from New Zealand; using AIL’s bespoke virtual platform Airways Knowledge Online (AKO) to deliver training to the Avinor ANS team; and undertaking SAT remotely. 

The successful completion of SAT for the Oslo Airport simulator signals the end of a five-month development and testing process. Remote factory acceptance testing occurred in August at Airways’ Christchurch base, using innovative technology to enable the Avinor ANS team to participate from Norway...


Helicopter FDR earns certification

The Eye In The Sky has become the first helicopter flight data recorder to achieve an AML STC (approved model list – supplemental type certificate) in New Zealand. This is a single STC that can be used across multiple helicopter types. Those initially listed are the EC130, the AS350 and the R44, with further aircraft types being added in the next few months. 

Utilising New Zealand manufacturers, the Eye in the Sky is the most cost-effective fully certified aviation FDR available. The all-in-one unit consists of a forward-facing HD camera mounted within the aircraft cabin, recording a 160deg HD image of the pilot control inputs, the view out the windscreen and, importantly, flight data captured from the instrument cluster...

Is black box streaming likely?

Following the recent crash of Sriwijava Air’s B737-500, a recurring question has again been posed within aviation circles, reports Seeking Alpha. Why don’t black boxes stream their data in real time?...

Floating an alternative option

Created at the end of 2020, Alt Air is the newest airline in Australia and is owned by Sydney Seaplanes, a floatplane operation based at Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour. The “Alt” stands for alternative, which is how the new airline sees its future role in offering passengers scheduled flight services from Rose Bay to regional NSW destinations...

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