As I was stumbling upon a fantastic picture shared by Stéphane Querry (follow his blog Survols), look at what the Californians could see up in the sky yesterday, on Friday, December 22, 2017:

Alors que je suis tombé sur une vue fantastique partagée par Stéphane Querry (suivez son blog Survols), regardez ce que les Californiens pouvaient voir dans le ciel. C’était hier, vendredi 22 décembre 2017:

The trails left by SpaceX Falcon 9 launch were so spectacular that the Californian witnesses believed it was a UFO. Beyond these impressive images, a new era has just begun as this lift off has sent 10 telecommunication satellites into space to build up the « orbital real estate » of the Iridium® satellite constellation. Aircraft, ships and land vehicles navigation will never be the same thanks to this network:

Les traînées laissées par le lancement de SpaceX Falcon 9 étaient si spectaculaires que les témoins californiens ont cru qu’il s’agissait d’un OVNI. Au-delà de ces images impressionnantes, c’est une nouvelle ère qui vient de commencer étant donné que ce lancement a envoyé 10 satellites de télécommunication dans l’espace pour construire le « parc orbital » de la constellation Iridium®. La navigation des aéronefs, des bateaux et des véhicules terrestre ne sera plus jamais la même grâce à ce réseau:



July 6, 2011 – The legendary Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport could have been inserted into this list but it closed down on July 6th, 1998 i.e. exactly 13 years ago, and this top ten gathers airfields still in service only. Gibraltar airport could have been part of it as a route (yes, you’ve well read) crosses its runway.

It must be very difficult to set up such ranking. This is what AirfareWatchdog has tried to do. Among them, a striking view of Courchevel airport at an altitude of 2,008 m featuring a steep slope in the middle of its runway.



2nd fuselage with a hole – Southwest Airlines aircraft grounded

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-3H4 had been forced to make an emergency landing less than two years ago. Another B-737-3H4 has just had a 6′ hole in its fuselage during a flight causing sudden decompression, and emergency landing.

The NTSB is leading an investigation into exactly what happened to this Southwest Airlines flight – a 737 which had a hole come open during a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento at FL 360 (altitude: 36,000 feet that is to say almost 11 kilometers high). It was a harrowing experience for the passengers and the crew members. Watch the video:


Navigation thanks to Los Angeles VHF omnidirectional range (LAX VOR)


X-47B bat-winged unmanned aircraft – Maiden flight

The US Navy X-47B UCAS-D (Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration) successfully completed its first flight at Edwards AFB on February 4, 2011.

The flight which was conducted by a US Navy/Northrop Grumman test team, lasted 29 minutes. The flight test was aimed to provide test data to check the system software for guidance and navigation, and the aerodynamic control of the tailless drone. The X-47B is deemed to safely take off from, and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Other flight tests should be performed to validate the airworthiness of the drone in Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS Pax River), Maryland till 2013. Here is the maiden flight video: