While it doesn’t happen as often with commercial airlines, Scott Beale maintains that one of the biggest breakthroughs the aviation industry ever enjoyed is air-to-air refueling. While the concept first emerged in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was successfully done in an official capacity.
Today, with the advancement of refueling technology, probe-and-drogue and flying boom systems are the main avenues for air-to-air refueling. The probe-and-drogue system is easier to use, while the flying boom makes air-to-air refueling a lot quicker, albeit with the need of a human operator for the boom.
Air-to-air refueling has been a huge help, especially in long distance flights. And with the technology constantly evolving, larger planes will soon take to the skies to refuel. Currently, the Stratotanker sits at the forefront of air-to-air refueling. However, Boeing has been developing its own refueling plane with a 120,000-pound fuel capacity.
Scott Beale also mentions how air-to-air refueling may in fact be the future of commercial air travel, with a number of airlines already adopting aerial refueling in many of their long distance flights.
What do you think of air-to-air refueling? Would you choose a flight that requires air-to-air refueling over one that requires you to stop over in another airport? Feel free to share your thoughts with Scott Beale in the comments section below.
Scott Beale is an aviation professional whose expertise in commercial sales and marketing of aviation products, government contracting, FAA certifications, maintenance report operations, and startup operations has led the companies he piloted to achieve revenue growth and various certifications. For related posts on travel and aviation, go to this link.
Most global airlines now understand the value of harnessing their social media presence, if they are to engage fliers and build lasting relationships. While this endeavor does mean having more real-time engagements and leaving the comfort zone of the corporate world, it’s nonetheless needed in this digital age for the maintenance and enhancement of brand equity, says aviation expert Scott Beale.
Still, though many are already locked into some form of social media engagement, some are looking for more innovative campaigns and initiatives. KLM has its “Meet & Seat” service where fliers are allowed to choose seats beside passengers based on similar interests, as indicated in their social media profiles. British Airways, on the other hand, uses a Facebook app called “Perfect Days,” which encouragers travelers to share their itinerary and travel wish list on the social media site.
Studies show that, for the world’s leading airlines, the volume of social media communication today ranges between 60,000 and 1 million Facebook followers and 15,000 and 20,000 tweets. And though these numbers are expected to grow even more in the coming decade, there’s still much to be done before airlines can become truly competent in social media engagement and customer relationship management in general. A larger, more robust resource pool is needed to respond to the increasing waves of customer posts and queries and concerns.
Scott Beale adds that a more strategic approach might be most advisable to attain brand equity. One way to do this is for airlines to partner with providers composed of social media professionals who are adept in the new technology platform.
Aviation professional Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for over 20 years. He is highly proficient in commercial sales and aviation products marketing, government contracting, and business startups. More on Mr. Beale and his work here.