Are hybrid-electric airliners ready for takeoff?

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Much has already been said about the need for vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  On the ground, electric and hybrid-electric cars have been developed to achieve this objective.  While the aviation industry has lagged in this regard, hybrid airliners are becoming a reality, and not just a dream.

In the past, one of the main hindrances in the development of hybrid airliners is the heaviness of the batteries, which has led to safety concerns.  Compared with jet fuel, electric batteries carry much less energy for every unit of weight.  Even though electric motors are more efficient in converting energy into power than traditional engines, the total weight of a hybrid aircraft had been deemed too large for flight.

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But battery technology is continuing to advance.  Lithium-polymer batteries are continuously being improved, making it possible to manufacture lightweight hybrid aircrafts.  That these batteries can be recharged during flight makes the prospect of creating fuel-less airplanes even more promising.

Hybrid aircrafts have already been tested, and the results are encouraging.  When taking off, both the engine and motor are needed for the requisite power and speed.  But when the plane is cruising, the electric motor or generator takes over.  The capacity of the batteries may only allow a series of intercity or regional hops, for now.  But engineers are optimistic that by 2022, hybrid airliners that have a higher mile range can be used for commercial purposes.

Scott Beale has served in the aviation industry for more than 20 decades, successfully growing businesses, both which he acquired and founded.  Read more about the industry here.

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Buying a business jet? Here are a few tips from the experts

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To say that airplanes are expensive is a massive understatement.  Along with the hefty price tag, the additional costs of maintenance and security present ongoing worries.  This alone requires a lengthy process of deliberation for the right jet.

Luckily, businessmen and airplane owners have shared tips on choosing an airplane.  Let’s take a look at some of them.

Commitment

This is probably the most important reminder to anyone interested in buying an airplane.  Purchasing and owning a jet takes commitment.  Research has to be done on the airplane crew as much as the ground crew.  Maintenance staff and onboard crew both have to be reliable.

Used airplanes

Buying used airplanes isn’t as bad as it sounds.  Used airplanes still go through rigid examinations and inspections from the proper authorities.  However, if a potential buyer wanted to purchase a used airplane, he should have airplane maintenance experts and professionals with him to inspect the plane themselves, to identify repair and replacement needs.

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Use

A potential airplane buyer should also determine a number of things.  First, he needs to know how many people will be riding the aircraft on an average flight.  Next, how important is the cargo hold?  Will it be a transport plane?  Then, the buyer should factor in the usual destinations of the plane.  Some airplanes may not be as well-equipped as others for long distance flights.

What are you looking for in an airplane?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Aviation and aerospace professional Scott Beale was responsible for expanding FlightWorks from a $1.5 million-dollar business when he purchased it in 2000 to a $90 million enterprise when he sold the business in 2010.  For more info on Scott’s work and career, visit this page.

Flying a plane: Its amazing effects on a person’s mind

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Ask any pilot out there and they’ll swear that flying a plane is the adventure of a lifetime.  All those years learning and obtaining the requirements for flying are more than worth it.  For commercial airline and business pilots, the pay is more than substantial.  For pilots who’ve taken up flying as a hobby, the thrill of flying is enough.

As if all the perks of flying weren’t enough, recently, studies have shown another incomparable benefit to this endeavor.  Apparently, flying also provides great mental health benefits for the pilot.  Here are a few of them.

Neural function improvement and better focus

Flying a plane and driving a car have a lot of differences.  One of these is that if one drives a car long enough, the actions become second nature and muscle memory guides the driver through the process.  This isn’t the case in flying.  There are too many actions for the body to remember and a lot more conditions to consider, which is why flying requires a greater deal of focus.

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Heightened ability to multitask

In conjunction with better focus, a pilot develops the ability to multitask with much more efficiency and with higher quality of output.  While the number of tasks a person can do well is still limited, a pilot learns to improve how he does them as he contends with and reacts to signs and symbols all over the cockpit that serve as stimuli.

Scott Beale has led various aviation firms in attaining growth in revenues with his competencies in strategic and tactical planning, account development and acquisition, government contract and management, sales team training and supervision, and financial reporting.  More reads on aviation here.

Six Interesting Facts About Flying

Scott Beale Aviation shares interesting and lesser-known facts about flying.

Nearly 4 billion passengers boarded planes across all global airlines in 2017, and that number shows signs of increasing as the years continue to progress. Despite so many passengers frequently flying across various airlines, there are many things individuals don’t know about flying. Here are six interesting facts about flying that explain why passengers experience dry eyes, mood swings, and more while traveling on planes.

Taste is Reduced During Flights

While airplane food may appear inherently unappetizing, it’s mostly rendered unappealing due to altitude. When it comes to traveling via airplanes, cabin pressure can reduce taste by as much as 30 percent. With about a third of taste buds numbed, it’s no surprise food eaten on airplanes tastes bland. Interestingly, altitude also tends to enhance savory flavors, making tomato juice so much more appealing.

Cabin Air is as Dry as a Desert

Humidity in a home is, on average, over 30 percent. A plane’s pressurized cabin keeps humidity low, typically less than 20 percent, which is about the average humidity of the Sahara Desert. While low humidity doesn’t present any health risks, passengers are advised to wear eyeglasses to prevent dry contact lenses and discomfort, use moisturizing lotions, and limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine on long flights to avoid internal dehydration.

Turbulence Typically Drops a Plane Only a Few Feet

While turbulence may be jarring to passengers, traditional, run-of-the-mill turbulence typically only drops a few feet in altitude. Moderate turbulence can drop a plane between 10 and 20 feet, whereas severe turbulence has the potential to move a plane 100 feet.

During a Crash, the Tail is the Safest Place

When it comes to choosing seats, the last seats prove the safest. While plane crashes are rare, according to a Popular Mechanics study, passengers who sit near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those seated in the first few rows of the plane.

Planes Can Still Operate With Only One Engine

While failed engines are unsettling, commercial jets are actually able to fly with only one operable engine. They are also able to land safely without any engine power.

Traveling By Plane Can Influence Moods

Many passengers admit to feeling emotional when traveling by plane. According to a 1988 study, decreased oxygen and mild hypoxia caused by altitude influences moods. This can cause individuals to experience depressive episodes, become irritable, anxious, and apathetic.

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Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than two decades, successfully growing founded and acquired businesses. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Interesting facts about the aerospace and defense industry

aerospace-engineering
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A lot of Americans are vaguely familiar with the name “aerospace and defense” probably because they hear it on occasion in the news.  However, to paint a clearer picture, here are some notable facts about the industry.

  • The aerospace and defense industry can be divided into the two industries in its name. The aerospace half involves the production and sale of commercial aircraft, while the defense side assembles systems (and weaponry) for land, sea, and air military operations.
  • Some of the projects of the aerospace industry aside from aircraft are missiles and space vehicles. The industry also develops and produces subsystems such as propulsion and key support systems, and equipment for flight simulations.
  • Relatively few countries have an aerospace and defense industry since it eats up a substantial portion of the economy. However, governments have been quick to justify the cost, citing the overall political value of the industry both domestically and globally.
  • The United States military is the single largest market for defense systems in the world. Not only does it purchase aerospace and defense systems for America, it also supplies equipment for its allies all over the world.
  • The many space exploration programs, such as a manned mission to Mars, keep the aerospace industry busy.
EDC-HEADERS-KEYINDUSTRIES-DEFENSE
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Scott Beale has led various aviation firms in attaining growth in revenues with his competencies in strategic and tactical planning, account development and acquisition, government contract and management, sales team training and supervision, and financial reporting.  More reads on aviation here.

Whatever ended the flight of the Concorde?

What once was considered the future of luxury flight is today but a relic that one can find in museums. The Concorde fleet of commercial planes, which still holds the record for the fastest traversing of the Atlantic, ended its dominion of the skies 15 years ago.

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The two Concorde carriers, British Airways and Air France, officially announced that the Concorde was retired on April 10, 2003, with the last flight of the planes having taken place on June 27 for Air France and October 24 for the British carrier. This marked the end of 27 years of the aircraft’s operation and service.

The sleek aircraft boasted of an average cruise speed of 1,155 miles per hour, which was more than twice the speed of the conventional aircraft and over twice the speed of sound. But it had to be retired primarily due to the combination of steep maintenance cost and low passenger rates. The decline in passenger turnout was largely the result of an Air France Concorde crash in 2000, wherein 113 people perished just minutes after the plane took off.

Investigators said that the accident was caused by a piece of metal on the runway that burst a tire and led to the fuel tank igniting as the Concorde was leaving the tarmac. The 9/11 attacks of the following year also played a big part in the ceasing of operations, as fewer people were willing to fly for some time after, much less to pay expensive ticket fares.

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Interestingly, as 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Concorde’s inaugural test flight, a group called Club Concorde is raising funds to purchase, restore, and bring one plane back in the air. If only to give what once was deemed the king of the skies one more fitting salute.

Scott Beale is an aviation and aerospace professional and seasoned executive. For more aviation reads, drop by this blog.

A Glossary for Aviation Jargon

Scott Beale defines a few aviation terms to help others understand the language of the airlines.

If you’ve ever taken a flight, domestic or international, I’m sure you’ve experienced some form of confusion by the jargon either spoken over the microphone or face-to-face by airline workers. Travelers who make dozens of flights a year can find themselves having only a vague understanding of this airline language. Patrick Smith wrote the book about everything you need to know when it comes to air travel, Cockpit Confidential. Here are a few terms he describes.

AIR POCKET
An air pocket is a colloquial term for a jolt of turbulence.

ALL-CALL
When a pilot comes over the intercom announcing “…all-call,” they are looking for all the flight attendants to report from his or her stations as part of the arming/disarming procedure.

ALLEY
Also known as the “ramp,” this is the passageway or taxiway between terminals.

APRON
This references where the planes park for servicing or any large space of Tarmac (asphalt) that is not being used as an alley or runway.

AREA OF WEATHER
Area of weather is a less alarming way for the pilot to announce a detour due to a thunderstorm or heavy precipitation ahead.

 

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