Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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Air New Zealand appoints acting CEO

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand will appoint an acting Chief Executive Officer while the final phase of recruitment is underway to replace Christopher Luxon when he leaves the role on September 25.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff McDowall will become acting Chief Executive Officer from September 26 until the successful candidate, selected through a global search process, starts.  Mr McDowall is not seeking permanent appointment to the role.

Chairman Tony Carter says the Board is highly satisfied with how the global search for a new Chief Executive Officer is progressing.

Mr Carter will retire as Air New Zealand Chairman at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on September 25 and be replaced by current Director Dame Therese Walsh, who is leading the search process on behalf of the Board.

Magnificent colour video of the jumbo of the 1950s.

“Air New Zealand is recognised as one of the leading airlines globally having won a multitude of awards and delivering consistently superior financial performance, outstanding operational excellence and customer service levels that are amongst the best of any business in the world.  The strength of our brand and our people has attracted strong interest from candidates within New Zealand and overseas,” Dame Therese says.

Mr Carter says he is confident the Board will appoint an outstanding candidate who will inherit from Mr Luxon one of the strongest Executive teams in aviation.

Dame Therese says that given the calibre of the candidates being considered in the selection process it is possible that the new Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand will not start until the first quarter of 2020.

“We are fortunate to have a talented Executive team who are united in their support of Jeff to lead them and the business as acting Chief Executive Officer during this interim period.  Jeff has held senior management roles across the airline for more than a decade and is well known to investors, stakeholders and key partners, such as the travel trade and unions,” Dame Therese says.

Mr McDowall’s previous roles at Air New Zealand include Group General Manager Corporate Finance and Group General Manager Commercial.  Prior to Air New Zealand he worked across a variety of industries in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

General Manager Corporate Finance Stephan Deschamps will take over as acting Chief Financial Officer on the Executive on September 26.



Colour video of the magnificent stratocruiser jumbo of the 1950s

Bed time on a Boeing Stratocruiser.

This colour video of the magnificent stratocruiser jumbo of the 1950s  brings to life what is termed the golden era of air travel.

It was the jumbo of its day but its engines were a nightmare!

The Boeing Model 377 which was dubbed the Stratocruiser was the company’s first airliner after WW11 and it was a giant.

SEE video of amazing new colour scheme concept of the 787. 

Based on the WW11 bomber the B-29 it possessed all the speed and technical improvements available to bombers at the end of the war.

The Stratocruiser set a new standard for luxurious air travel with its tastefully decorated extra-wide passenger cabin and gold-appointed dressing rooms.

A circular staircase led to a lower-deck beverage lounge, and flight attendants prepared hot meals for 50 to 100 people in a state-of-the-art galley.

As a sleeper, the Stratocruiser was equipped with 28 upper-and-lower bunk units.

Pan American was the lead airline and began services between San Francisco and Honolulu in 1949.

Boeing only built 56 Stratocruisers between 1947 and 1950 because they were not as economical as the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation.

For the first time, long-haul air travel had become easy, comfortable and more affordable, as Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed improved the performance of their designs to gain an edge.

Cabins featured soothing colors, wall murals, reading lights, air vents and soft curtains.

But the engines were a challenge.

The Stratocruiser was powered by four Pratt & Whitney’s R-4360 engines that produced 4,300hp.

It had 28 cylinders in four rows, 56 manually-adjustable valves and 56 spark plugs.

However, the Stratocruiser suffered an engine failure every 158 flights.


Video of amazing new livery concept for the 787


Boeing is celebrating and recognizing its Employees Community Fund of Boeing (ECF) which has funded approximately $1 billion to local communities across the United States.

By pooling their funds, Boeing employees and retirees have been able to maximize their impact to nonprofits in 20 chapters across the United States. Now Boeing’s community-building employees are being recognized in a whole new way.

Would you fly in a wing??

The 787 program is certifying the largest full-body decal ever tested on a composite aircraft. If certified, the technology will offer airline customers new opportunities to promote their brand on the 787 Dreamliner through the creative use of photographs, complex multicolour graphics, logos, and various specific finishes with the same durability as paint.

“For us, choosing a livery design to test was easy – our employees that donate to the Employees Community Fund inspire us, and we wanted to do something special for them,” said Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager for the 787 program.

While the decal was being applied, a few employees that are involved with ECF got a first look at the special pink and purple livery and shared their personal connections to the ECF, which is owned and managed by Boeing employees.

“For more than 70 years, our employees have helped better their communities through ECF,” said John Blazey, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “ECF is our most popular employee giving program, and I’m excited to see it positioned for continued success.”


Citilink to take on the Perth-Bali route


Indonesia’s Citilink is to take on the Perth to Bali route from October this year.

Low fare Indonesian airline Citilink will launch a daily Denpasar, Bali, to Perth service from October 28 with 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

Fares have not been announced as yet but travel agents expect some special deals to formally launch the service.

Currently, the one-way fare in November is showing on its website at US$107 or A$165.

But in December, and into next year, the fare jumps to $US263 (A$404) one way.

However, the website is confusing in that it states that baggage is extra but a red headline statement announces that the fare includes everything.

At those fare levels, Citilink could be more expensive than Indonesia AirAsia which is quoting A$140 one way to Bali in November rising to $440 at the very peak of the Christmas period but quickly dropping back to A$140 in January.

However, with Indonesia Air Asia, there are add-ons.

The Citilink flight QG542 leaves Denpasar at 1.10am and arrives in Perth at 4.50am, while the flight back to Bali departs at 9.50am and arrives at 1.30pm…. perfect for check-in.

Citilink is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia in much the same way as Qantas and Jetstar.

The airline serves 30 destinations in Indonesia with a fleet of 57 aircraft as well as Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Kunming in China, Penang in Malaysia and Dili in East Timor.

Later this year as well as Perth, the airline is expanding to Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur.

Citilink will do battle with Jetstar, Batik Air, its owner Garuda, and Indonesia Air Asia.


Jerome “Jerry” Greer Chandler Tribute


It is with profound sadness that announces the passing of its Technical and Safety Editor Jerome (Jerry) Greer Chandler on Thursday, August 15th.

Jerry (71) succumbed to Parkinson’s disease and passed away quietly with his family around him.

Recently retired after 30 years of teaching writing at Jacksonville State University, Jerry has been a professional aviation journalist for over a quarter of a century.

In 1986 his best-selling book Fire & Rain chronicled the crash of Delta Flight 191 at DFW and its was subsequently made into a TV film on USA Network.

He appeared over the years on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, ABC, Nova and the National Geographic Channel in his capacity as an aviation safety “observer” as he hated the term “expert.”

He authored over 1,500 articles, consulted on three made-for-television films, wrote two books and managed to support a family of seven.


He also helped write two other books Green Wings and Greener Wings which chronicle Aviation’s true impact on the environment.

In early 2013 he joined

In 2011 he had the privilege of beginning work as a regular contributor on medical matters to VFW magazine, which sprang from his “stint” as an Army combat medic in Vietnam, where he was wounded in July 1970.

Jerry was awarded the Purple Heart in Vietnam.

Jerry in Vietnam.

In 2017 Jerry was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Aerospace Media Awards banquet in Paris, France.

Jerry said of the recognition at the time, “It’s a real honor, one that I will treasure always. Thanks to all who helped along the way — my family, editors, and colleagues. I’m humbled.”

Jerry’s passion for aviation started when his Dad took him to Dallas Love Field to watch DC-6s, DC-7s take off and land.

But that passion took a tragic turn when two relatives died in separate air crashes.

Jerry wanted to know more about why those accidents happened.

Jerry has worked for some of the world’s leading publications: Aircraft Maintenance Technology,, Air Transport World, Time, Overhaul & Maintenance, The Financial Times of London, Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Travel & Leisure, Popular Science, and Wirtschaftswoche.

Jerry leaves his wife Kathleen, five children and 11 grandchildren. Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: “The aviation industry has lost a dear friend, insightful commentator and passionate advocate.”

“No assignment was too much trouble; Jerry’s depth of aviation knowledge was amazing as was his list of contacts. He knew everyone and what is more, they knew him and respected Jerry and would always help on or off the record.”

“We at will miss his friendship, dedication and humour dearly.”




Mark Garfinkel, the moon, and the plane passion

Mark Garfinkel

Mark Garfinkel a self-confessed crazy avgeek says he has never seen a 747 he didn’t like, nor a bolt of lightning that he didn’t like, nor a brilliant moon as a backdrop.

“My goals are simple. To make a living and have fun providing good photography and “moment capturing” to my vast client list, and to grow that list.”

And growing that list he is doing with some stunning photography not only of aircraft but everyday life in Boston.

SEE Boeing delaying 777X-8.  

Mark worked at the Boston Herald for 25 years and recently moved to the NBC10 Boston but says he just loves aircraft. ” I am an avgeek”.

However, at the same time, he has his own business Picture Boston.

Mark has selected some of his favourite pictures for

You can order them through Picture Boston where you can also see a much larger collection.

You can follow Mark on Twitter here



Russian hero pilots save 241 after bird strike

Ural Airlines

The pilots of a Ural Airlines Airbus A321 are being hailed as heroes after they brought their aircraft with its 241 passengers and crew to rest in a cornfield after it suffered a multi bird strike.

The pilots, are Captain Damir Yusupov and First Officer Gregory Murzin.

The A321 was operating flight U6178 from Moscow Zhukovsky Airport to Simferopol.

After take-off, the A321 sustained numerous bird strikes to its engines which quit and the landing was made near the village of Rybaki, which is 5 km from the runway at Moscow-Zhukovsky Airport.

The plane performing flight #U6178 with 234 people on board, including seven crew members, took off from the airport of Zhukovsky in the Moscow region and was bound for the Crimean city of Simferopol.

All passengers were promptly evacuated with only 10 suffering minor injuries.

Boeing slows work on ultra-long-range 777X may pose problem for Qantas timetable

Rendering 777-9X; 777-8X

Boeing has slowed work on the ultra-long-range 777X and this may pose a problem for the Qantas order for an aircraft able to fly from Sydney to London nonstop with 300 passengers in 2023

According to the website, The Air Current the company has put back the development of the 777X-8 due to the ongoing 737 MAX crisis and the delayed first flight of the 777X-9.

The 777X-9 which was rolled out in March was due to fly in July but this has been put back to early 2020 because of issues with the GE engine.

But in a statement to Boeing said:

“We reviewed our development program schedule and the needs of our current 777X customers and decided to adjust the schedule. The adjustment reduces risk in our development program, ensuring a more seamless transition to the 777-8. We continue to engage with our current and potential customers on how we can meet their fleet needs. This includes our valued customer Qantas. We remain committed to the 777-8, which will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world and offer our customers optimal range and payload.”

However, Reuters says that a Boeing source said that the company was “offering a compelling option to Qantas” for its ultra-long-range requirement.

Airbus is offering Qantas a modified A350-1000 for the Sydney to London route.

The 777X-8 is the candidate for the Qantas ultra-long-range mission for Sydney to London and the Australian airline said that it wanted delivery in 2023 and the slip in the schedule may push the Boeing offering back to 2024.

The 777X-8 only accounts for 45 of the 334 aircraft on order and was due to be available in 2022.

The aircraft combines the best features of the current 777 with a longer and wider fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.

It also features 20 per cent larger windows and lowers pressurization altitude to reduce jet lag.

WATCH: Amazing thermal video of Boeing 757 landing

The 777-9X seats more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices.

With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the aircraft will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial aircraft says, Boeing.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world claims Boeing. The aircraft will seat 350 passengers and offer a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km).

The driving force behind the aircraft is Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, whose airline is the lead buyer with an order for 150.

Would you be happy to fly in an aircraft’s wing?

aircraft's wing

Would you be happy to fly in an aircraft’s wing?

Many would have seen the viral email showing Boeing’s 1000-passenger “new” 797 (see photo) and of course, it is a figment of some creative artist’s imagination – or is it?

One of the many fake flying wing photos.

In fact, it’s not so funny and the idea has been around since 1910 when famous German aircraft designer Hugo Junker patented a wing-only air transport concept.

This evolved in 1931 into the Junkers G38 34-seater airliner which featured a large thick wing providing accommodation for passengers.

WATCH in timelapse the building of this incredibly complex 777X model

The plane actually accommodated passengers in the nose, the short fuselage and the wing.

Through the 1930s and 1940s US, German and Russian designers studied the flying wing for a variety of roles with the promise of huge fuel savings and thus greater range.

IF you love flying you will love this DC-3 video

In 1946 Northrop flew the YB-35 flying wing bomber and in 1947 the jet-powered YB-49.

The first flight of the YB-35

Movie buffs may recall that it was the YB-49 that delivered an attack on the alien machines in the original War of the Worlds.

At the time Northrop touted the passenger appeal of the YB-49 and produced a film touting its virtues (see video below).

Later Northrop would build the B2 Spirit stealth bomber.

Studies into the passenger potential of the flying wing continue and Boeing has indeed conducted both passenger trials in mockups and also built and flown scale models.

However one of the problems is passenger acceptance of what would be a picture theatre styled cabin with up to 15 to 20 across the width with four or more aisles.

Thus some passengers would be seated well away from the centre of the aircraft’s axis and thus subject to significant movement up and down in turns with motion sickness implications.

Offsetting this is the significant benefits from the fuel economy of the flying wing which some estimate would burn up to 40 per cent less fuel than conventional aircraft.

If you love flying you will love this DC-3 video


If you love flying you will love this video taken by ParkAir Vision which captures the stunning lines of a Douglas DC-3 over Oregon at Sunset.

IF you like this video you will like our nostalgia galleries 

The DC-3 taught the world to fly but she had an extraordinary, almost uncaring birth.

The man who wanted her couldn’t afford her, the man who built her was reluctant to build her and the men who first flew her on December 17th, 1935, didn’t bother to arrange a photographer to capture one of aviation’s greatest moments.

Legendary American Airlines’ President Cyrus Smith who wanted the DC-3 as a sleeper transport was in “a cold sweat because he just didn’t have the money to pay for them,” according to Donald Douglas Sr., famed founder of Douglas Aircraft Company in a 1965 interview.

Mr Smith spent $300 ($5,500 today) on a 2-hour telephone conversation with Mr Douglas trying to convince him to widen his existing – and very successful – 14-passenger DC-2. “I did not like it at all,” Mr Douglas recounted in the interview. “Why should I have liked it? I had plenty of DC-2s on order.”

But Mr Smith was persuasive and ordered 20 of the larger DC-3s that would have 50 per cent more capacity than its smaller sibling, so Mr Douglas gave in. As Mr Smith did not have the money, he flew to Washington to successfully beg a colleague who ran President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation for a $4.5 million loan.

Eighty years on December 17th, 1935 Douglas Aircraft Company chief pilot and VP of Sales Carl Cover, accompanied by flight engineers Fred Stineman and Frank Collbohm, boarded X14988 at 2:15 pm local time, ran the engines up for about 30 minutes and taxied for take-off at Clover Field in Santa Monica, California.

Mr Collbohm, who occupied the right seat, recalled 40 years later that “it was just a routine flight. I can’t separate it in my mind from any other test flights we made in those days.”

Chief designer of the DC-3 Arthur Raymond didn’t remember the event either: “When the plane was ready, I suppose Carl and the others simply got aboard and took off.” And take off the DC-3 did at 3 p.m. for a 1 hr. 40 min. flight, landing just as dusk was approaching.

With it came nightfall for every other commercial aircraft flying.

The men who designed the DC-3. Mr Douglas is centre.

The DC-3 instantly redefined travel because it was the first plane that could make money just carrying passengers freeing airlines from government mail contracts and stops at tiny out of the way places. Now airlines could link bigger cities non-stop and slash travelling times.

Within three years, 95 per cent of all passengers in the US were flying on DC-2s or DC-3s. Globally that number was 90 per cent.

Movie stars, such as Shirley Temple, also played a big role in helping sell the DC-2 and larger DC-3 and “flying on a Douglas” quickly became “the thing to do.” And as recently as 2008 the DC-3 was still in the movies helping James Bond out of one of his many tight spots. In the “Quantum of Solace,” Daniel Craig was in the cockpit of a DC-3 with the lines; “Let’s see if this thing will fly.” It did and some!

READ: Finally a plane all passengers will love.

And just as James Bond impresses with technological wizardry the DC-3 was a marvel for its day.

Duplicate instrumentation for pilot and co-pilot as an added safety measure, new cockpit lighting for night flying, automatic hydraulically actuated retracting undercarriage, foot brakes, and hydraulically operated wing flaps were all introduced on the DC-3.

The impact of the DC-3 on the world’s economy was immense. Flying was now safe and economical.

In the US, passenger fatality rates plummeted sevenfold and in 1939 the “Scheduled Airlines of the United States” were awarded the prestigious Collier Trophy for flying 17 months without a single fatality.

Owing to the safety record of the DC-3 insurers began offering flight insurance in 1937 for the first time to passengers and pilots while the practice of temporarily cancelling policies when passengers set foot on an aircraft was discontinued.

Time magazine commented: “That insurance companies can now bet US$5,000 to two bits (25 cents) against a passenger being killed on a flight of some 800 miles is one of the best pieces of publicity which US airlines ever had.”

And Mr Douglas would appear three times on the cover of Time in recognition of the DC-3 and his leadership and organization of the US war effort in building 300,000 planes between 1940 and 1945.

The amazing performance and economics of the DC-3 saw a 50 per cent decline in airfares by 1940 compared to when it entered service in 1936.

During WW11 the DC-3 or Dakota or C-47 became the backbone of the allies transport armada with over 10,000 produced in the US. Most were built by women.

During World War II, Douglas employed more women by percentage — 85 per cent — than any other defence company and the company’s peak workforce was 160,000.

The women — nicknamed “Rosies” after one of the first women to work in a defence factory — turned out DC-3s, or Dakotas as they were better known in Australia, at the staggering rate of one every 34 minutes. Individually, they took three-and-a-half days to build.

Thousands of DC-3s flooded the commercial market after WW11 and they helped restart the world’s economy.

Today the DC-3 keeps on flying! Estimates have the global fleet at about 200.

While many are only seen at air shows there are well over 100 still hauling freight and passengers. Cost? A good one goes for $500,000.

And there is little doubt the DC-3 will keep on going and be still earning money when she reaches 100.



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