Stories 2016-11-25T15:29:17+00:00

Tracking Airplanes

The tragic unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370, and the two-year search for the black boxes from Air France AF447 has focused the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the airline industry to adopt new standards for position reporting. Starting in 2018, airlines will be responsible for tracking aircraft every 15 minutes, and by 2021, the standard will include minute-by-minute autonomous tracking of aircraft in distress.

August 25th, 2017|

Capacity Booster

Modern commercial airliners are filled with backups to the backups, all designed to get us to our destination safely and efficiently. There are multiple autopilots and flight control systems, secondary hydraulic and electrical systems and two engines. The pilot and co-pilot are even server different meals, so should one of them come down with food poisoning, there is always a backup. Operators of communications satellites face similar demands in maintaining service, which are compounded by the orbital location of their satellites: over 22,000 miles above the equator.

August 25th, 2017|

The Ins and Outs of Airport Runway Design

It’s said that a mile of road can only take you a mile, but a mile of runway can take you anywhere. The taxiway and runway layout of airports may look to be a confusion of concrete, but there’s a method to the striped and lit madness. Major airports with multiple runways can have a riotously complicated taxiway system. Inner and outer taxiways, some one way, some limited by aircraft size and weight, can confuse a pilot unfamiliar with an airport.

August 23rd, 2017|

How Vancouver became China’s aviation hub to the West

There are few pop culture icons better known on both sides of the Pacific than Jackie Chan. The action-movie star's work across US and Asian film made him an obvious choice to represent Hong Kong Airlines and fly on the airline's first flight to North America. The Hong Kong-based airline -- as its name suggests -- had its maiden flight to YVR Vancouver International Airport on June 30, its first destination outside of Asia and Australia. The carrier's flight is just the latest inaugural flight to YVR from mainland China and Hong Kong.

July 26th, 2017|

Fairey Tale

The history of aviation is littered with aircraft concepts and prototypes that promised to bring point-to-point passenger services to the traveling public. The idea of replacing massive and remote airports with a rooftop or downtown landing pad was, to say the least, inviting. The 1950s were a time of enthusiastic aerospace development and innovation, and one odd-looking aircraft of the era was the Fairey Aviation Company’s Rotodyne. It was designed to meet a short-haul vertical-lift requirement of British European Airways (BEA), an ancestor of today’s British Airways.

June 21st, 2017|

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