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Summer Travels

Updates will be infrequent over the summer due to travel. Thanks for all the kind words of support & encouragement - they don’t go unnoticed.  

May
South Carolina to present at an aerospace conference

June
San Francisco, back to grad school to walk at graduation

July 
Utah, Third visit to Zion National Park - this time to hike the Narrows

August
Alaska, Two weeks visiting Denali, Katmai, Lake Clark, Wrangell-St Elias, and Kenai Fjords National Parks.

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- Luxair or Luxembourg Airlines -
It is the national airline of Luxembourg and was founded back in 1948. Since then the carrier operated a variety of airplanes such as 737s, Caravelles, 747SPs and A300s. They also used to fly to South Africa but ceased operations when European competition grew to strong. Nowadays the airline operates a small and efficient fleet of 737NGs, Embraer regional jets and Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s to different European cities. In 2015 Lufthansa decided to sell its 13% stake in the airline to the government of Luxembourg. In the future the airline is looking to buy new planes such as A320neos, 737MAXs or the C-series.

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Mysterious Red Glow Over Pacific 

A pilot and his co-pilot have spotted a mysterious orange and red glow over the Pacific Ocean. The strange lights were spotted south of the Russian peninsula Kamchatka during the flight of a Boeing 747-8 from Hong Kong to Anchorage, Alaska. And while no explanation has yet been given, it’s thought that they may have originated from the explosion of a huge volcano under the surface of the ocean. (Source) 

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Wingtip devices are usually intended to improve the efficiency of fixed-wing aircraft. There are several types of wingtip devices, and although they function in different manners, the intended effect is always to reduce the aircraft’s drag by partial recovery of the tip vortex energy. Wingtip devices can also improve aircraft handling characteristics and enhance safety for following aircraft. Such devices increase the effective aspect ratio of a wing without materially increasing the wingspan. An extension of span would lower lift-induced drag, but would increase parasitic drag and would require boosting the strength and weight of the wing. At some point, there is no net benefit from further increased span. There may also be operational considerations that limit the allowable wingspan (e.g., available width at airport gates).

Wingtip devices increase the lift generated at the wingtip (by smoothing the airflow across the upper wing near the tip) and reduce the lift-induced drag caused by wingtip vortices, improving lift-to-drag ratio. This increases fuel efficiency in powered aircraft and increases cross-country speed in gliders, in both cases increasing range. U.S. Air Force studies indicate that a given improvement in fuel efficiency correlates directly with the causal increase in the aircraft’s lift-to-drag ratio.

The term “winglet” was previously used to describe an additional lifting surface on an aircraft, e.g., a short section between wheels on fixed undercarriage. Richard Whitcomb’s research in the 1970s at NASA first used winglet with its modern meaning referring to near-vertical extension of the wing tips. The upward angle (or cant) of the winglet, its inward or outward angle (or toe), as well as its size and shape are critical for correct performance and are unique in each application. The wingtip vortex, which rotates around from below the wing, strikes the cambered surface of the winglet, generating a force that angles inward and slightly forward, analogous to a sailboat sailing close hauled. The winglet converts some of the otherwise-wasted energy in the wingtip vortex to an apparent thrust. This small contribution can be worthwhile over the aircraft’s lifetime, provided the benefit offsets the cost of installing and maintaining the winglets.

Another potential benefit of winglets is that they reduce the strength of wingtip vortices, which trail behind the plane and pose a hazard to other aircraft. Minimum spacing requirements between aircraft operations at airports is largely dictated by these factors. Aircraft are classified by weight (e.g. “Light,” “Heavy,” etc.) because the vortex strength grows with the aircraft lift coefficient, and thus, the associated turbulence is greatest at low speed and high weight.

The drag reduction permitted by winglets can also reduce the required takeoff distance.

Winglets and wing fences also increase efficiency by reducing vortex interference with laminar airflow near the tips of the wing, by ‘moving’ the confluence of low-pressure (over wing) and high-pressure (under wing) air away from the surface of the wing. Wingtip vortices create turbulence, originating at the leading edge of the wingtip and propagating backwards and inboard. This turbulence 'delaminates’ the airflow over a small triangular section of the outboard wing, which destroys lift in that area. The fence/winglet drives the area where the vortex forms upward away from the wing surface, since the center of the resulting vortex is now at the tip of the winglet.

Aircraft such as the Airbus A340 and the Boeing 747-400 use winglets. Other designs such as some versions of the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 747-8 omit them in favor of raked wingtips. Large winglets such as those seen on Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with blended winglets are most useful during short-distance flights, where increased climb performance offsets increased drag.

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SEAHAWKS BOEING 747 FLIES 12 PATTERN OVER WASHINGTON

A Boeing 747-8 jet decked out in a Seahawks paint scheme to honor the team playing in the Super Bowl took its sport a step further Thursday.

The plane flew over Eastern Washington after taking off from Seattle’s Boeing Field with a flight plan that spelled out 12. The flight path stretched from the southern border of the state between Washington and Oregon almost to the eastern border of Idaho to completely spell out the two numbers.

The plane — normally used for flight testing — featured a 12 on the tail and the phrase “Spirit of 12s Go Hawks” on one side of the plane. The new paint scheme was unveiled Wednesday. 

Boeing partners with the Seahawks on program in the Puget Sound area and is displaying the 747 as a tribute to the team’s success as it heads into the Super Bowl. (Photo: Sofia Jaramillo/Associated Press)