Avionics Magazine Announces Nan Mattai, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Rockwell Collins Avionics Woman of the Year

On 30/04/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

Avionics magazine covers all segments of the worldwide aviation electronics industry, including commercial transport, military/space, corporate aircraft, helicopter and general aviation. The magazine reports on technical, business and regulatory developments in all areas of avionics, including free flight, satellite navigation and positioning, airborne systems, ground navigation aids, air traffic control and management, and test and maintenance.

Nan Mattai, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Rockwell Collins, has been named Avionics Magazine’s Woman of the Year for 2012. She will be recognized for her contributions to the aviation marketplace during the Women in Technology Awards Luncheon on June 4 in Washington D.C.

Nan Mattai is the senior vice president of engineering and technology for Rockwell Collins. Additionally, she is a corporate officer. Mattai is responsible for the company’s engineering and technology organization, including the Advanced Technology Center. In this role, she is responsible for guiding the future technology direction, technology investment decisions and the development of advanced technologies to meet the needs of various parts of the business.

“Our very impressive list of candidates made this a difficult choice to choose just one winner for the Woman of the Year,” said Emily Feliz, editor of Avionics. “Nan’s leadership and dedication to not only her job, but the aviation community as well, was the deciding factor in selecting her for this award. We are all extremely proud to recognize Nan Mattai as the Avionics Woman of the Year.”

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Virtual classes achieve ICAO Level 4: Aviation English Live

On 27/04/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

Back in February we announced that Languagelab.com and Emery-Roberts have created a new virtual Aviation English course, Aviation English Live. (See the Roger-Wilco article English in the Aviation Sector: Languagelab.com and Emery-Roberts tackle the problem head on.)

The ground-breaking Aviation English Live e-learning course is based upon the Emery-Roberts and Macmillan textbook Check Your Aviation English. Aviation professionals learn to communicate confidently in non-routine and emergency situations and quickly achieve, maintain and improve upon ICAO Level 4.

The beta trial of the course was a great success. The course is now live with classes running every week.

Aviation English Live is taught using virtual world technology. Aviation professionals learn in the immersive, contextual environment of a virtual airport using a computer, headset and internet connection. ATCs and pilots learn online in real time with native English-speaking, qualified aviation English teachers.

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Aviation Week Launches Redesigned Website Offering

On 27/04/2012, in Bookshelf, by steve

Aviation Week has unveiled its redesigned AviationWeek.com and enhanced subscriber-based Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN). These recent changes share the common goal of continuously simplifying and integrating the products and services to meet the changing needs of today’s aerospace and defense (A&D) market.

“AviationWeek.com and AWIN — the premium subscription offering — form the cornerstones of the overall digital strategy,” said Anne McMahon, VP Data/Analytics and Marketing, Aviation Week. “Our technology team has been hard at work making back-end and front-end site improvements to provide more interactive content and an improved user experience, and we are very excited to launch them with new features that will serve our customers better and deliver measurable advantages.”

In addition to a refreshing new design, AviationWeek.com features include:

– More ways to connect and engage with Aviation Week journalists and A&D professionals around the world
– Simplified, integrated navigation
– New ad units and increased flexibility
– Additional ROI-driven market opportunities

New AWIN updates include:

– New commercial channel homepage with more data and analysis
– Expanded program profiles with deeper linkages to aircraft inventory
– Improved search
– New Executive Quick Views
– Greater user security

AviationWeek.com is the leading website for aerospace and defense professionals with over 500,000 unique visitors and 2.4 million page views per month.

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Goldtimer Birthday Party with a LI-2 and Other Beauties

On 24/04/2012, in Anniversaries, by krisztina

Crystal clear skies with just a few fluffy cumulus clouds above Budaors Airport provided the perfect setting for this special day, the 20th Anniversary of the Goldtimer Foundation. The sun was shining down on the participants of this flying jamboree which quickly evolved into a real family event.

The only airworthy LI-2 in the world

The LI-2, shiny as new, was waiting impatiently for the first take off which was followed by 12 additional ones. People were eager to get on board this unique aircraft, the world’s only airworthy LI-2 which saw service originally as part of the MALEV fleet. Each flight had a full house and hundreds of people were made happy in the course of the flights which lasted until late afternoon. Being a passenger on a LI-2 is the kind of experience aviation enthusiasts are unlikely to forget.

58 years old and still going strong... the PO-2

Added color was provided by the 58 years old PO-2 military trainer which was also on duty the whole day, taking passengers, wishing to fly exposed to the elements, beyond the clouds.

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Essential supplies…

On 23/04/2012, in Picture stories, by steve

The underbelly of history … a lot of stories like this are buried with the men who fulfilled the missions …

In the lighter moments of WWII, the Spitfire was used in an unorthodox role: bringing beer kegs to the men in Normandy . During the war, the Heneger and Constable brewery donated free beer to the troops. After D-Day, supplying the invasion troops in Normandy with vital supplies was already a challenge. Obviously, there was no room in the logistics chain for such luxuries as beer or other types of refreshments. Some men, often called sourcers, were able to get wine or other niceties from the land or rather from the locals. RAF Spitfire pilots came up with an even better idea. The Spitfire Mk IX was an evolved version of the Spitfire, with pylons under the wings for bombs or tanks. It was discovered that the bomb pylons could also be modified to carry beer kegs.

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Twenty-First Century Jet – The Making and Marketing of the Boeing 777

On 20/04/2012, in Bookshelf, by steve

By Karl Sabbagh
Publisher: SCRIBNER
ISBN: 0-684-80721-1

You may be wondering why I am recommending a book first published in 1996… The Boeing 777 is now known the world over as an efficient, safe and rather loveable aircraft that is in high demand by airlines.

Karl Sabbagh’’s book is a masterpiece and he tells the story of the 777 gestation in a clear and entertaining manner. While Boeing had put the future of the company on the line when they decided to build the 747, the decision to build the 777 and the effort expended was no less epic.

The original designers of the 777 are doubtless watching with a warm feeling in their hearts as Boeing is preparing to tweak the triple-seven to make it even more competitive with Airbus’ upcoming A350. From what is known about Boeing’s plans, it is clear that the 777 is an excellent design and a great platform on to which you can graft new technologies that will keep it a competitor to be reckoned with for many years to come.

In other words, we will be hearing a lot about the 777 in the coming years.

If you have not yet read Sabbagh’s book, this is an excellent time to get up to date on the story of the 777 and so be in a better position to understand and appreciate Boeing’s work to keep the twenty-first century jet right at the cutting edge in the coming decades.


Viewfinder View 13 – There are many ways for an aircraft to die

On 18/04/2012, in Viewfinder view, by steve

Most aircraft live to be well respected seniors but for all of them the day comes when they must face the cruel reality: no more flying! Some will have a second life as training facilities, others will burn while the firemen hone their skills, still others are disassembled and the material is recycled. Whichever way we look at it, forever grounded aircraft are a sad sight. Luckily, unlike us humans, aircraft cannot ponder their own mortality…

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Let’s make a new airline… A business plan for BlueSky Air?

On 17/04/2012, in Managers' corner, by steve

It did not take long after Malev, the Hungarian national airline stopped operations a few months ago that experts started to think about making a new one. An airline that would carry on the Malev tradition but be more of a commercial venture, hopefully able to stand on its own in the cut-throat environment of to-day’s aviation world.

Of course with even the strongest network carriers like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM scrambling to cut costs and looking at the future with wary eyes, even dreaming about a new airline may seem like audacity. On the other hand, there are new ventures and some of them are succeeding too.

I have written about what I thought were the most important considerations in setting up a successor to Malev and I continue to believe that those items are still valid.

However, investors are unlikely to give you their money without a good, convincing business plan. Writing a business plan is not easy but it has the added advantage of being a brutally honest reality check. Before you even approach the investors, the business plan will tell you in no uncertain terms whether your dreams have any reality at all.

You will notice that this write up is much more about business than flying. This is not a mistake. An airline, like it or not, is connected to aviation only by the incidental fact that it uses aircraft to carry people and goods. Other than that, it is a business… or should be if it wants to survive.

There must be many among our readers who have written numerous business plans and who are better qualified to do the job than I am. Nevertheless, I thought it might be useful to put together a straw-man of a business plan which could be used as first step in the creation of a real plan for the new airline I decided to call BlueSky Air.

A few general considerations

BluSky Air’s Business Plan is special in as much as it is aiming to prove that this initiative will be better than what was there before it… in other words, very soon one has to face up to the political aspects of the Malev failure and there is no place for obfuscation here. One has to assume that the investors will be aware of the details or if not, they will make sure that they get the relevant (and correct…) information and we should not find ourselves in a situation where they are asking questions to which we do not have the answer… It is much better to have all the answers there right from the start so that people don’t have to ask.

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Harmonized Transition Altitude for Europe – EASA A-NPA open for comments

On 15/04/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

Following completion of the HETA TF work aimed at creating a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the introduction of a harmonized transition altitude for Europe, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA 2012-01) Harmonised Transition Altitude, which is now open for comments.

You will find this A-NPA on the EASA web-site here.

The deadline for submitting comments is 29 May 2012. The most convenient way of submitting comments is to use the EASA Comment Response Tool (CRT) available at here.

EASA is also asking stakeholders concerned to fill in and submit electronically the questionnaire found on page 8 of the A-NPA.

The problems, including safety concerns, with widely differing transition altitudes in Europe concern every member of the flying community. I would therefore advise you to give due consideration to submitting comments on this subject to EASA and also filling in the questionnaire before the deadline of 29 May 2012.

Your opinion counts!


Security over the top…

On 14/04/2012, in Battle stations, by krisztian

Our contributor krisztian is on assignment on a ship somewhere on the North Atlantic but he had time to find for us a real gem about how security can be misunderstood of we are not careful. This story was also published by its author on Facebook but we wanted to share it also with the readers of Roger-Wilco. Next time you go through security without too much hassle, think of this story and bless your luck…

“As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all o…f our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to re-inspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.

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