LONDON AIRPORTS

Have you ever wondered how many Londonian airports have been built since the 1900s? Here is one of the best videos I have seen about this topic. It is one of a series produced by the comedian Jay Foreman. Thanks to this great source of information, you can have the answer as well as some fun.

Another interesting video tells us the train options to connect the six London airports to the City of London:

As you can see, it may cost an arm and a leg to travel to London. However, London airport system is the busiest one in the world. It demands a lot of concentration from its air traffic controllers as shown in this previous post: http://airforces.fr/2016/06/25/london-air-traffic-well-explained/

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FLIGHT RADIOTELEPHONY VARIANTS

GREAT VIDEO – Watch for pleasure, first. Listen carefully to the figures and phrases uttered and compare with the various texts that are enforced in the world, and in Europe. In such an extreme situation, you may understand that the procedures are turned into a faster phraseology. So, why not adopt it in GAT (General Air Traffic), after all? 😉

SUPERBE VIDÉO: Regardez d’abord pour le plaisir. Écoutez attentivement les chiffres et expressions et comparez les avec les textes en vigueur dans le monde et en Europe. Dans une situation aussi extrême, on peut comprendre que les procédures se fassent plus rapidement dans la phraséologie. Alors pourquoi ne pas l’adopter dans la CAG (Circulation Aérienne Générale), après tout? 😉

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LONDON AIR TRAFFIC WELL EXPLAINED

Here is a remarkable video for training purpose. It is not easy to understand how air traffic is managed at Heathrow airport but this video helps a lot to make out the stakes:
Voici une vidéo remarquable à but pédagogique. Il n’est pas facile de comprendre comment la circulation aérienne est gérée à l’aéroport de Heathrow mais cette vidéo est d’une grande aide pour comprendre les enjeux:

Note that there are four stacks in the vicinity of London. The word « stack » means « holding pattern » here. However, stack can mean another thing in aeronautical and general English. For instance:

Notez qu’il y a quatre « stacks » aux environs de Londres. Le mot « stack » signifie ici « circuit d’attente ». Cependant, stack peut vouloir dire autre chose en anglais aéronautique et général. Par exemple:

  • Stack of folders = Pile de dossiers
  • Smokestack = Cheminée d’usine
  • Hay stack = Botte de foin, meule de foin
  • Radio stack = Equipement radio à bord de l’avion (radio com, radio nav, transponder)
  • Wood stack = Tas de bois
  • Stack up / Stack down = Espacement décalé vers le haut ou vers le bas entre des avions de chasse ou d’acrobaties aérienne
  • Vent stack = Colonne de ventilation
  • To stack = Empiler, entasser
  • Stack = Circuit d’attente dans l’espace aérien londonien pour les avions à destination d’Heathrow

Note that easterly operations match westerly winds, and westerly operations match easterly winds.

Notez que les opérations d’est correspondent aux vents d’ouest, et que les opérations d’ouest correspondent aux vents d’est.

 

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WWI AIR COMBAT – WHAT IT CAME DOWN TO

What is more natural than looking back over major aviation innovations of the Great War today, the anniversary of the Armistice? Here is a very interesting video posted by the BBC on how the fighter pilots dealt with reconnaissance, bombing missions and dogfight techniques. Primitive flight controls are well explained as is the interest of performing missions with a triplane aircraft – three sets of wings are necessarily more narrow, providing the pilot with a better visual field.

From the flimsy Blériot XI to Sopwiths and Fokkers, the first aces developed early methods that are always taught in fighter schools even though beyond-visual-range air combat has taken over since. Major Charles Tricornot de Rose was considered by many as the father of air fighting as early as 1914. Then as shown in this video, the German ace Oswald Boelcke laid out a first set of rules for dogfighting called the Dicta Boelcke. Pilots’ life expectancy was not measured in years but in weeks.

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Could RAFALE benefit from F-35 glitches?

 

JSF F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II

The British Harriers were to be replaced by the F-35Cs. Do you remember? You may have learnt from the recent news that the carrier variant of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Joint Strike Fighter – CV JSF (Carrier Vessel variant’s Joint Strike Fighter) – F-35C was unable to catch the wire onboard the aircraft carrier during the latest landing tests.

Strange as it may seem, the F-35C’s designers may have not forecast what would unfold during a test flight while landing on an aircraft carrier:

The arresting hook (tailhook) never engaged the arresting wire as the clearance between the tail hook and the main landing gear’s tyre tread is too short for such a speed. An F-35C Lightning II missing her carrier landing has been reported even though some U.S. officials would have dismissed such information which might result from simulated tests.

Added to that is a software bug which had grounded the CV JSF for 6 days a few month earlier for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft might have encountered wing-folding input while flying!

As a result, the British Ministry of Defence might find a Plan-B solution as these design flaws, and some others which date back to November 2011 are deemed unacceptable for such an expensive fighter aircraft – $139.5 million for the F-35C (CATOBAR – Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery), and $150 million for the F-35B (STOVL – Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing). The latter can land on carriers but she is more expensive, and the JSF program costs have already increased several times.

 

Moreover, the JSF would not be able to fire AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as reported in this video:

 

 

RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

And there’s even more: according to a Pentagon study team report, 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35 would have been identified. For instance, the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) would not work properly…

The British MoD is therefore considering the purchase of either F/A-18E Super Hornets or RAFALEs for the RAF. The French Dassault which has already lost the Swiss NAC tender due to replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5s, would be proposing a new offer with 18 RAFALEs at a cost deemed lower than the 22 SAAB Gripens’ one according to the Swiss press.

The RAFALE is still in competition with the Eurofighter in the Indian MMRCA tender. the Indian officials are expected to make a decision this week. To be continued… ==> We have just learnt (on January 31, 2012) that the RAFALE has won the MMRCA tender… 🙂

 

Photo 1: © Recce 233 Savoie; Photo 2: © Xavier Cotton – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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