On 30/12/2011, in The aircraft we fly, by steve
Perhaps you too have been wondering when you saw Boeing 737s and 757s sprouting winglets: why was the Airbus 320 family stuck with the old-fashioned wingtip fences? Winglets have been shown to bring substantial (up to 5 %) reduction in fuel burn and the Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) blended winglet design, patented in 1994, have been around for many years.
Why was Airbus resisting?
I have talked to airline people who have had experience with specifying aircraft they were going to buy from both Boeing and Airbus. If I say they had a very low opinion of the European manufacturer’s relationship with customers, I am not even coming close to what they said. Remember the story of the A350? Had it not been for a few very vocal customers practically beating Airbus on the head, the folks in Toulouse would have not deviated from their original, rather outdated, ideas.
One can only surmise but it is probably true to say that with the 320 selling like hot cakes, Airbus simply did not much care. Why spend money and effort on improving something when it was being bought as it was, without fancy new appendages like winglets? It is interesting that Airbus customers were not banging the door about this… may be they had but there was nobody home. In any case, when the API winglets were tried on a JetBlue Airways A320, the 5 % fuel saving was actually demonstrated. By not adopting winglets much earlier, Airbus caused its customers to lose a lot of money quite unnecessarily.
On 28/12/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by Alex1
If I could give a word of advice to anyone embarking on a long ATM project (well, any ATM project, they’re all long) it would be ‘keep a good diary’. When Roger-Wilco’s indefatigable editor Steve asked me for a few words on the origins and meaning of UDPP, I struggled to find how and when the idea came about. I knew I had thought of it, and that it was first aired at a SESAR meeting in Bagneux in the Paris Banlieue. But beyond that I was guessing.
I was convinced it must have been ages ago, but even though I don’t have a diary note of a light bulb flashing, I see that it must in fact have been just about 5 years ago, about November 2006. I think the Work Group had been challenged by the Project Directorate to come up with some thoughts on the Network Operating Plan, not a subject I claim to know much about. But it did start me thinking about the way delays are distributed now (or more exactly, were then, but I doubt much has changed).
In the CFMU process flow rates, be they through a sector or in or out of a TMA, are determined by the service provider or passed to it, and slots are allocated on the basis of first applied = first allocated. In stable conditions this can keep the bottleneck well supplied with traffic, but it suffers from at least two flaws: the allocation of the delays is remote from the source, and the whole process is rather inflexible.
On 26/12/2011, in Events, by steve
Dear Young European Innovators,
I am Kumardev Chatterjee, Founder and President of the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF).
You will be aware of the competition for the Masterclass on Innovation we launched erlier this year with Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, and which EYIF organised with the European Commission at its Innovation Convention (IC2011) in Brussels this December. We received a great response with over 60 submissions, from which four winners were invited to participate in the masterclass and present their innovative idea. The Masterclass was a spelndid success for us, the Commission and the candidates, one of whom was selected to have their entire research and innovation funded.
And now we have launched Innotour USA, an Innovation tour of the USA in February for a group of 10 young Europeans, with a full program of visits and meetings, and all travel expenses in the USA paid. The US Department of State via the US Mission to the EU, in collaboration with the European Young Innovators Forum, is responsible for the design, facilitation and managment of this intensive multi-state, multi-city programme to visit major American hubs of Innovation like Boston and Silicon Valley.
From 12-22 February 2012, a delegation of ten young European innovators and entrepreneurs will embark on a ten-day mission to the United States. Starting in Washington DC, they will visit major American hubs of innovation like Boston and Silicon Valley, interact face-to-face with top innovation practitioners and experts, experiencing first-hand best practices of turning innovative ideas into successful projects and businesses. More than just a study tour, Innotour USA is a cultural exchange that will have a broad and lasting impact, building bridges between Europe and the U.S. on a common quest for innovation and development.
Please note that the application deadline is 5 January 2012, so if you are interested act NOW!
On 26/12/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by steve
Although the concept of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) originated in the US, Europe did leapfrog ahead with its initiative called Airport CDM (A-CDM). A-CDM has been implemented at a number of European airports with varying degrees of success and it seems that the momentum of implementation has slowed somewhat. On the other hand, most everybody agrees that A-CDM, if done properly, does bring the benefits predicted by the early cost-benefit analyses.
While A-CDM has several elements, practically all the benefits arise from the shared information and resulting better decisions while the chief conceptual basis of A-CDM is embodied in the milestones approach. The milestones are in fact defined events and corresponding statuses that must be achieved at defined times as the flight is going through the turnaround process. The turnaround process is then managed proactively by all the parties involved who share the same view and understanding of the process and the consequences of not meeting a given milestone. In fact, the purpose of A-CDM is to make the operation more predictable which reduces unnecessary queuing at the runway.
Of course things did not stand still in the US either. While the basic principles of the A-CDM concept have been adopted it was necessary to steer developments in a direction that took account of the fundamental differences between Europe and the US environment. These concern mainly the more active role aircraft operators play in assigning and controlling airport resources like gates and ramp areas as well as the availability of the FAA Command Center which, unlike the CFMU in Europe, has real authority to dynamically manage the National Airspace System.
The FAA has developed a Surface CDM Concept of Operations which provides the overall framework for CDM implementation in the airport context, much like the A-CDM Concept of Operations does in Europe. Collaborative Departure Queue Management (CDQM) is one element of the Surface CDM Concept, which has actually been tested in the US (in Memphis among others).
On 21/12/2011, in SWIM, by steve
One of the ways SESAR communicates with the world is the so-called fact-sheets. These are compact descriptions of certain aspects of the work-packages and as such provide a fairly useful source of quick reference.
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) has its own set of fact-sheets, well worth a look.
Check them out here.
On 16/12/2011, in The lighter side, by steve
This must be the ultimate Christmas yard decoration…
The site is near the Oak Creek Bridge on St. Michael’s Road [MD 33]. The folks who
own the property always have eye-catching displays celebrating various ‘holidays’ through
the year… this year they have certainly outdone themselves!
On 16/12/2011, in Battle stations, by krisztian
An oldie, but still very current. This video shows the arrival of Condoleezza Rice at Brussels Airport. Diplomatic Security agent argues with a Belgian State Security agent and the protocol service, almost getting into a fight, WHILE Ms. Rice is already OUT OF THE PLANE and on her way down the stairs…
– Make good and proper arrangements PRIOR to the arrival of your principal with the local security teams;
– Be diplomatic, even if that means biting your tongue from time to time;
– Your ego is not the one needing protection;
– Cameras are ALWAYS watching your protection detail.
Enjoy the video (courtesy VRT).