Monday, April 3, 2017

Video: Preparing to launch Starliner to the International Space Station

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is working with Boeing to launch astronauts aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft atop ULA's Atlas V rocket. Here's what's in store for 2017 as they prepare to launch astronauts to the International Space Station beginning in 2018.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jazz Aviation amends Dash 8 aircraft operating procedures following landing accident

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that the continuation of an unstable approach following a loss of visual reference led to a Jazz Aviation LP aircraft contacting the surface short of the runway at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport, Ontario, in February 2015. There were no injuries, but there was significant damage to the aircraft. The TSB released their investigation report on Thursday.

The accident

On Feb. 24, 2015, a de Havilland DHC-8-102, operating as Jazz Aviation LP flight JZA7795 and carrying 15 passengers, departed Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, for a scheduled flight to Sault Ste. Marie Airport, Ontario. While on approach to runway 30, in conditions of twilight and reduced visibility due to blowing snow, the aircraft touched down approximately 450 feet prior to the runway threshold. Following touchdown, the aircraft struck and damaged a runway approach light before coming to a stop approximately 1,500 feet past the threshold.

Investigation

The investigation determined that a significant power reduction and subsequent decrease in airspeed, while flying below the minimum stabilization height of 500 feet, resulted in an unstable approach. This rapid deceleration steepened the aircraft's vertical path. The crew had reduced power in order to reach the target airspeed for the final approach and landing.

The crew had followed what they understood to be the correct speeds for the approach according to the company's guidance material. “Due to ambiguity in the guidance and uncertainty as to the required speed during the approach, the flight crew did not recognize that the approach was unstable and continued the approach to a landing,” TSB said in a press release Thursday.

The investigation also found that the rapidly changing weather decreased the flight crew's visibility of the runway, and that the steepened vertical profile created as a result of the power reduction went unnoticed, and uncorrected. Although the loss of visual reference required a go-around, the flight crew continued the approach.

An examination of over 500 similar flights on Jazz DHC-8-102s showed that company aircraft routinely fly decelerating approaches below the minimum stabilization height of 500 feet. If approaches that require excessive deceleration below established stabilization heights are routinely flown, then there is a continued risk of an approach or landing accident.

Changes

Following the occurrence, Jazz Aviation LP undertook a number of safety actions such as making amendments to the Jazz DASH 8 Aircraft Operating Manual, by introducing significant changes to the "Stabilized Approach Factors" subsection and adding simulator scenarios to the training syllabus.

FAA certifies Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet for commercial service

Boeing announced Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the 737 MAX 8 airplane for commercial service. Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing for the first 737 MAX 8 delivery to customers in the coming months.

To earn certification for the 737 MAX 8, Boeing undertook a comprehensive test program that began just over one year ago with four airplanes, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following a rigorous certification process, the FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 737 MAX 8, verifying the design complies with required aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.

The 737 MAX 8 reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by an additional 14 percent over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.

The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussion continue with customers on growing the family.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements. It is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,600 orders to date from 83 customers worldwide.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Contractor intelligence aircraft needed for Marine Corps training exercises

The Regional Contracting Office-MCI WEST, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., has a requirement to provide a manned, fixed-wing propeller driven aircraft with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to support semi-annual three-day training exercises for Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 (MAWTS-1), Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.

The service requested is to provide real-time electro-optical and infrared sensor full-motion video while integrating with close air support aircraft to locate and simulate attacking opposing forces, simulated by live role-players. The aircraft must have capability of five hours on station time at an altitude of 24,000 feet.

“The intent of this effort is to provide familiarization of flight characteristics, capabilities and limitations of ISR aircraft for MAWTS-1 instructors and prospective instructors,” Marine Corps officials said in contract documents released Wednesday. “This is a pre-solicitation notice that a solicitation is scheduled to be released on or around March 24.”

NASA orders avionics and autopilot upgrade for research aircraft

NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center operates a Beechcraft B200 aircraft, tail number N801NA, serial number BB-1164. The current avionics and autopilot suite, a critical aircraft system that projects rely on for accuracy, on the aircraft has been problematic for reliable operation and have been known to cause issues during research flight campaigns. Additionally, the aircraft needs RVSM capability, ADS-B In/Out, and TCAS/TAWS capabilities. “These are requirements for future projects, and they need to be addressed,” NASA officials said in contract documents released Wednesday.

The avionics and autopilot upgrade to N801NA will include:
  • G1000 Platinum Package with Synthetic Vision, including RVSM capabilities. Includes standby ADI, airspeed indicators and altimeter. Headset compatible, tie-in to audio panel.
  • Weather Radar upgrade (GWX-70).
  • ADS-B In/Out upgrade.
  • TCAS/TAWS upgrade, replace Skywatch 497 with Garmin GTW 825.
  • ADF compatible (currently ADF-60, upgrade to ADF-60A for compatibility with G1000).
  • Tie in the existing UHF radio to the G1000 suite.
  • Update the current DME-40s and Radio Altimeter (not compatible with G1000) to a DME-42 and Garmin Radio Altimeter and tie-in to G1000 package.
  • Retain the existing equipment that was removed to keep as spares for other B200 aircraft.
The work necessary to complete the avionics and autopilot upgrades shall be completed at a contractor’s facility.

All work should be completed within 20 business days of the arrival of N801NA to the contractor.

Video: Airbus showcases H135 helicopter with Helionix avionics system

Airbus Helicopters showcases H135 Helionix at Heli-Expo 2017.

Helionix is an innovative avionics system that offers operators exceptional mission flexibility and safety. Its design is based on a family concept with standardized features, so it can be installed on nearly all new commercial helicopters. Helionix is fully modular and can be installed with one to four screens, meaning it can just as easily be adapted to light helicopters or to the EC175.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Analysts estimate over 8000 space payloads to be launched between 2017-2036

Coinciding with the Satellite 2017 Conference & Exhibition held in Washington, D.C., this week, Teal Group space analysts have identified 8,607 satellites, probes and capsules to be built and launched to earth or deep space orbits between 2017 and 2036. They estimate the value of these space payloads at more than $250 billion. Teal Group is an aerospace and defense consultancy based in Fairfax, Va.

The payload count for 2017-2036 reflects a 41 percent increase compared to the 5,095 payloads identified last year for 2016-2035 and 46.5 percent more than the 4,067 payloads for the 20-year look forward in 2015.  The trend in the future market for space payloads continues upward, and it is being driven largely by the introduction of thousands of small, nano and pico (mainly "Cubesats") commercial satellites designed to provide everything from broadband and mobile communications to meteorological, imaging and position location & tracking services.

Teal analysts identify 443 payloads "proposed" for launch in 2017, followed by 583 in 2018; 727 in 2019; 926 in 2020; 731 in 2021; 1,222 in 2022; 1,201 in 2023; 968 in 2024; 730 in 2025; and 298 in 2026.

In their latest update by spacecraft type, Teal analysts classified 6,786 (79 percent) of the payloads as commercial, 921 (11 percent) as civil (government non-military), 579 (6.5 percent) as military, and 321 (3.5 percent) as university and non-profit.

Of the payloads, more than 75 percent of them are proposed for low earth orbits; 17 percent for medium earth orbits; six percent to geostationary orbits; and the rest to deep space or elliptical orbits.

Demand for Eagle 407HP helicopter conversions is growing

Honeywell will deliver a total of 10 HTS900 helicopter engines to Eagle Copters Ltd. in 2017. Eagle Copters placed a new order for eight additional engines in January 2017, adding to the two engines from a previous order, which are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter.

"The global helicopter market recognizes the many benefits of replacing the standard engine on the Bell 407 helicopter with the more powerful and reliable Honeywell HTS900," said Rick Buchanan, senior director of retrofit, modifications and upgrades, Honeywell Aerospace. "The HTS900 has a 17 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared with the standard engine and a 22 percent increase in shaft horsepower, making it ideal for lifting heavy loads under hot-and-high flying conditions."

"We have already completed eight conversions, have more in the pipeline, and are in regular conversation with other operators looking to upgrade their fleets either by converting their existing Bell 407 or acquiring a new Eagle 407HP from Eagle Copters," said David Whiting, vice president, Technical Sales, Eagle Copters.

The Honeywell HTS900 is a new engine design that provides an additional 500 pounds of payload, improved dash speed and 12 percent lower maintenance costs compared with the original Bell 405.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Most popular post February 2017

1.) Air Canada flight runs through grass during landing - On Feb. 25, Air Canada Flight 623 was traveling from Halifax to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson airport with 118 persons on board. [Full story]

2.) 10th annual Routes Americas conference to plan new flights in North and South America - The aviation industry came together last month in Las Vegas at the 10th annual Routes Americas conference to plan new flights in North and South America. [Full story]

3.) EarnHoney.com issues millions of bonuses to members due to crediting issues - EarnHoney.com, an online rewards website, paid out millions of bonuses to users in February due to “crediting issues,” the company said in an announcement on their website. [Full story]

4.) Virginia is the most romantic state, according to Ibotta - Virginia really is for lovers. [Full story]

5.) Video: Coast Guard overflight of New Orleans tornado damage - An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans conducted an overflight in eastern New Orleans to assess the damage caused by tornadoes in February. [Full story]

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gas station app aims to give out $1 million in cash back

Forget coupons and loyalty cards. To earn cash back on gas all you need is your phone and a receipt from a gas station listed on the Upside app. [Full story]

Sikorsky transfers S-70i prototype helicopter to Aselsan

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has transferred to defense electronics firm Aselsan an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter for use as the prototype aircraft for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP). The aircraft will enable Sikorsky to integrate an Aselsan-developed avionics suite into the Republic of Turkey's new T70 utility helicopter, and later into Turkish-built Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk aircraft to be sold internationally.

Called the Integrated Modular Avionics System (IMAS), the new avionics suite is a collaborative design by Aselsan, Sikorsky, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and pilots serving the Turkish Armed Forces to meet the requirements of Turkish T70 operators and other potential customers.

TAI leads a team of Turkish aerospace companies that will build at least 109 helicopters with the T70 designation for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program. The IMAS suite is expected in time for initial deliveries of T70 aircraft to Turkish end users in 2021.

The Sikorsky-owned S-70i aircraft arrived at Aselsan facility in Ankara on Saturday after nine hours of flight from Sikorsky's PZL Mielec aircraft factory in southern Poland. During the 930 nautical mile journey, the aircraft crossed Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria with two fuel stops along the way.

Sikorsky TUHP Program Director Jason Lambert presented the aircraft's keys to Aselsan President and CEO Dr. Faik Eken during an arrival ceremony Wednesday. Also attending were officials from the Turkish Government's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the Turkish defense industry, Sikorsky, and an international diplomatic delegation with missions in Ankara.

Aselsan and Sikorsky are co-developing the IMAS suite to provide Turkish pilots with powerful smart displays, point-and-click functionality to speed input of pilot commands, and ergonomic enhancements to the Pilot Vehicle Interface that will reduce pilot workload. Navigational improvements tailored to Turkish requirements will include an integrated Terrain Avoidance Warning System, an integrated advanced digital map, and coupled flight control functions for guided approaches to landing zones.

The TUHP program is valued at approximately $3.5 billion for 109 T70 aircraft, inclusive of the work to be performed by Sikorsky, TAI and other suppliers.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Air Canada flight runs through grass during landing

On Saturday, Air Canada Flight 623 was traveling from Halifax to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson airport with 118 persons on board. Towards the end of the flight, the aircraft (an Airbus A320) was flying an Instrument Landing System approach to runway 15R. Just after midnight, during the landing sequence, the aircraft traveled through the grass on the western side of the runway, eventually coming to a stop on the runway centerline. The passengers were deplaned on the runway and transported by bus to the terminal. There were no reported injuries, and apparent damage to the aircraft at this point is minor. The aircraft will be thoroughly examined to further determine the extent of the damage. Five runway edge lights were also damaged.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigators were deployed in the early morning to Pearson Airport to examine the aircraft and gather information. The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. To date, TSB have:
  • Taken possession of the CVR and FDR. These will be sent to the TSB Lab in Ottawa for further analysis.
  • Gathered airborne radar, ground radar and audio data from air traffic control.
  • Gathered the initial weather information.
  • Examined and took measurements of the occurrence site.
  • Conducted preliminary examination of the aircraft.
Next steps

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:
  • Interviewing the flight crew, air traffic control and other witnesses.
  • Gathering all information surrounding this flight, such as: weather, the approach, navigation systems, communications, the crew, training, the organization.
  • Analyzing data from FDR/CVR.
  • TSB investigators have to examine all the information before drawing any conclusions. It is too early to say what the causes and contributing factors of this occurrence might be.

Monday, February 20, 2017

ClixSense launches promotion to celebrate 10-year anniversary

On Feb. 22, the popular rewards website ClixSense will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. In celebration of this, the company is running a special promotion starting Monday that will run until the end of the month. [Full story]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Name change for WalletBuffet app

WalletBuffet, a free app for Android and iPhones that lets users earn real cash, has changed its name to DailyWin.

We have changed our name to DailyWin,” said app developer Peace Party Studios. “Thank you so much for all of you who play, stay tuned for cool new features coming soon!” [Full story]

Friday, February 10, 2017

EarnHoney.com issues millions of bonuses to members due to crediting issues

EarnHoney.com, an online rewards website, paid out millions of bonuses to users on Friday due to “crediting issues,” the company said in an announcement on their website. EarnHoney.com operates a rewards network which offers multiple ways to earn virtual currency called HoneyDollars (HD). Members can redeem their HDs for Amazon gift cards, PayPal gift cards or donate their earnings to charity. [Full story]

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Virginia is the most romantic state, according to Ibotta

Virginia really is for lovers. That's according to Ibotta, the mobile shopping app whose users have earned more than $170 million in cash-back rebates on everyday purchases. On Thursday, Ibotta released results from its first-ever Valentine's Day shopping data analysis, and found that Virginia is the most romantic state based on wine and chocolate sales. [Full story]

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ClixSense removes PayPal as payment option

The popular online rewards website ClixSense has removed PayPal as a payment option for its users due to new policy changes at PayPal[Full story]


Video: Coast Guard overflight of New Orleans tornado damage

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans conducted an overflight in eastern New Orleans to assess the damage caused by tornadoes on Tuesday. The Coast Guard has not conducted search and rescue operations in response to the tornadoes. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Magee.



10th annual Routes Americas conference to plan new flights in North and South America

The aviation industry will gather in Las Vegas next week (Feb. 14-16) at the 10th annual Routes Americas conference to plan new flights in North and South America.

Routes Americas brings together airlines, airports and tourism authorities to develop new air services. It moves to a new city every year to highlight the diverse aviation markets across the Americas. The Las Vegas event will be the largest to date with 820 delegates taking part in 2,700 meetings.

Nearly half of Las Vegas' 42.9 million annual visitors travel by air and the airport generates $30 billion in local economic impact. The city held more than 21,000 meetings, trade shows and conventions in 2016 which supported 65,000 jobs.

McCarran International Airport and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will host Routes Americas 2017. The leading airlines that will attend include American Airlines, Air Canada, Aeromexico, Delta Air Lines, jetBlue, Latam and United Airlines. Around 100 airlines, 260 airports and 40 tourism authorities are expected in total.

The latest issues and challenges facing the aviation industry will be debated at the event's Strategy Summit. The high profile speakers include Brian Hedberg, director of the Office of International Aviation at the U.S. Department of Transport; Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association; and Peter Cerdá, regional vice president of International Air Transport Association.

This will be the second time that LVCVA and McCarran International Airport have brought a Routes event to the city. Las Vegas gained more than 120 weekly flights with an estimated annual economic impact of $440 million in direct visitor spending in the year after the event.

"The U.S. aviation market is the busiest in the world and it is expected to grow to 904 million passengers a year by 2025," said Steven Small, brand director of Routes.

The conference will be held at ARIA Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Phone app lets users play matchmaker and earn money

Spritzr, the popular app that lets users play matchmaker, now lets users earn money by making successful matches. With some inspiration and Cupid-like skills, users can earn up to $250 each month, the company said in a press release Tuesday.

Spritzr has an intuitive interface where users simply drag and drop photos of singles they think are suited. If the individuals like each other, a successful match is made earning the matchmaker $10 Cupid Cash. This can be cashed out into real dollars when the user hits $100. Matches can be made for friends or complete strangers alike, with a limit of 10 couples matched per day. Matchmakers can tap on someone’s photo to reveal a profile including several other pictures, basic personal information (height, age, kids, work, education, etc), and a series of “tags” or labels that identify interests and personality traits (yogi, world traveler, adrenaline junkie).

Singles seeking love trade in $10 Cupid Cash for each successful match they receive. They replenish Cupid Cash by playing matchmaker for other singles or by purchasing it outright. Typically, online daters pay a monthly subscription or purchase credits for additional ‘likes’, with no guarantee they’ll make a match. On Spritzr, singles will only pay for successful matches. Furthermore, by playing matchmaker for others, singles could end up with more money than they started with.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Virginia has the most romantic restaurants in America

Proving Virginia really is for lovers, the state boasts 13 winning restaurants, followed by Florida with 10 and Ohio with eight, according to a list of most romantic restaurants.

In celebration of the romantic dining experiences we have on and around Valentine's Day, OpenTable unveiled their 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2017.

2017 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America
  1. Alexander's – Roanoke, Virginia 
  2. Antebellum – Flowery Branch, Georgia 
  3. Arabellas Italian Ristorante – Winter Haven, Florida 
  4. Arielle's Country Inn – Sellersville, Pennsylvania 
  5. BakerStreet – Fort Wayne, Indiana 
  6. Bertrand at Mister A's – San Diego, California 
  7. The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard – Canton, Ohio 
  8. Bistro L'Hermitage – Woodbridge, Virginia 
  9. Bistro San Martin – Arlington, Washington 
  10. Boulevard Bistro – Elk Grove, California 
  11. Byrd and Baldwin Bros. Steakhouse – Norfolk, Virginia 
  12. Café Central – El Paso, Texas 
  13. Café Matisse – Rutherford, New Jersey 
  14. Cafe Renaissance – Vienna, Virginia 
  15. Carlos' Bistro – Colorado Springs, Colorado 
  16. Chef's Table at the Edgewater – Winter Garden, Florida 
  17. Chez François – Vermilion, Ohio 
  18. Chez Nous French Restaurant – Humble, Texas 
  19. Chimney Park – Windsor, Colorado 
  20. Christopher's World Grille – Bryan, Texas 
  21. The Chop House – Multiple Locations 
  22. Circa 1886 – Charleston, South Carolina 
  23. Coldwater Cafe & Catering – Tipp City, Ohio 
  24. Collage Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida 
  25. Cygnus 27 – Grand Rapids, Michigan 
  26. Daniel's Restaurant – Hamburg, New York 
  27. Del Alma – Corvallis, Oregon 
  28. The Dining Room-Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina 
  29. Don's Pomeroy House – Strongsville, Ohio 
  30. Edgewood Restaurant – Stateline, Nevada 
  31. El Gaucho – Tacoma, Washington 
  32. The English Grill at Brown Hotel – Louisville, Kentucky 
  33. Fearrington House Restaurant – Pittsboro, North Carolina 
  34. Firefly – Panama City Beach, Florida 
  35. Flagstaff House – Boulder, Colorado 
  36. The Flatiron Cafe – Omaha, Nebraska 
  37. Fleurie – Charlottesville, Virginia 
  38. Four Winds Steakhouse – Wills Point, Texas 
  39. Franklinville Inn – Franklinville, New Jersey 
  40. Gabriel's Restaurant – Sedalia, Colorado 
  41. Gardner's – Olympia, Washington 
  42. Geja's Café – Chicago, Illinois 
  43. The Goodstone Inn & Estate Restaurant – Middleburg, Virginia 
  44. Gracie's – Providence, Rhode Island 
  45. Harry's Restaurant – Manhattan, Kansas 
  46. The Hobbit – Orange, California 
  47. Hugo's Cellar-Four Queens – Las Vegas, Nevada 
  48. Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm – Holicong, Pennsylvania 
  49. The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, Virginia 
  50. Jackson's Steakhouse – Pensacola, Florida 
  51. Jillian's – Palm Desert, California 
  52. Joshua Wilton House – Harrisonburg, Virginia 
  53. Katherine's Steakhouse – Mesquite, Nevada 
  54. L'Auberge Chez François – Great Falls, Virginia 
  55. La Cocina International Restaurant – St. Augustine Beach, Florida 
  56. La Cremaillere Restaurant – Bedford, New York 
  57. Latitudes – Key West, Florida 
  58. Le Cep – Fort Worth, Texas 
  59. Le Vallauris – Palm Springs, California 
  60. The Little Dipper – Wilmington, North Carolina 
  61. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse – Tulsa, Oklahoma 
  62. The Melting Pot – Multiple locations 
  63. Michel's at the Colony Surf – Honolulu, Hawaii 
  64. Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona 
  65. Montalcino Ristorante Italiano – Issaquah, Washington 
  66. Mr. Lester's Steakhouse – Charenton, Louisiana 
  67. Nick and Nino's Penthouse Steakhouse – Springfield, Illinois 
  68. The Old Inn On The Green – New Marlborough, Massachusetts 
  69. Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio 
  70. Over the Moon Cafe – Tacoma, Washington 
  71. Penrose Room-The Broadmoor – Colorado Springs, Colorado 
  72. Pepper Tree Restaurant – Colorado Springs, Colorado 
  73. Perry Street Brasserie – Galena, Illinois 
  74. Pier W – Cleveland, Ohio 
  75. Primavista – Cincinnati, Ohio 
  76. Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain – Phoenix, Arizona 
  77. The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro – Columbus, Ohio 
  78. The Restaurant at Convict Lake – Mammoth Lakes, California 
  79. The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn – Blowing Rock, North Carolina 
  80. Restaurant Iris – Memphis, Tennessee 
  81. Rey's – Raleigh, North Carolina 
  82. Ristorante Massimo – Portsmouth, New Hampshire 
  83. Russell's Steaks, Chops, and More – Williamsville, New York 
  84. Saint Jacques French Cuisine – Raleigh, North Carolina 
  85. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern – Raleigh, North Carolina 
  86. Sedgley Place – Greene, Maine 
  87. Ski Tip Lodge – Keystone, Colorado 
  88. Sky's Restaurant – Grand Forks, North Dakota 
  89. Sonoma – Princeton, Massachusetts 
  90. St. Martin's Wine Bistro – Dallas, Texas 
  91. Stables Steakhouse – Terre Haute, Indiana 
  92. The Steakhouse at Harrah's-Harrah's Reno – Reno, Nevada 
  93. The Studio, An Artistic Dining Experience – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 
  94. Tempo Dulu – Portland, Maine 
  95. TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone – Verona, New York 
  96. V.Mertz – Omaha, Nebraska 
  97. Vernon's Speakeasy – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico 
  98. Vintage Tavern – Suffolk, Virginia 
  99. Wally's Desert Turtle – Rancho Mirage, California 
  100. Yono's Restaurant – Albany, New York

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Video: NASA's Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment

Our atmosphere consists of several layers and each plays a different role in our climate. The bottom two layers are the troposphere and the stratosphere, and in between these two is a region of colder air known as the Tropopause. It is critical to understand the Tropopause, its composition and interaction with gases, aerosols, and humidity that affect the stratosphere’s climate, which ultimately affects the climate in the troposphere. NASA launched a mission called Airborne Tropical TRopopause Experiment (ATTREX) to find answers to these questions.



Demand for UAS pilots remains a challenge for US military

The demand for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has grown dramatically in the last decade to support combat operations. In response to the increased demand for UAS, over the last eight years the Air Force has more than quadrupled the number of UAS pilots that it requires, from about 400 in 2008 to close to 1,650 in 2016. However, the Air Force has faced challenges meeting its UAS pilot requirements. The Commanding General of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Airland in March 2016 that the Air Force had a shortage of about 200 UAS pilots. Meanwhile, the Army has faced a different challenge in managing its UAS pilot workforce—keeping the UAS pilots trained. A March 2015 Army review found that UAS mishaps were occurring at a rate higher than for other types of Army aircraft and Army officials stated that training shortfalls had contributed to these mishaps.

In April 2014, an Air Force investigation board found by clear and convincing evidence that the cause of a MQ-1B Predator drone accident was low-level wind shear during a critical phase of landing, and the pilot's lack of training in landing operations. The MQ-1B impacted a runway at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

The Air Force and the Army primarily rely on military servicemembers to serve as UAS pilots, although both services augment their UAS pilot workforce with contractors. In the last two decades, Air Force and Army UAS platform capabilities and missions have evolved.

For example, the Air Force initially used the MQ-1 Predator to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions before adding weapons to the Predator and acquiring the MQ-9 Reaper, which can perform strikes, combat search and rescue, and close air support, among other missions and tasks.

Video: High-flying highlights of the T-50A

The T-50A delivers the fighter-like performance and capabilities needed to eliminate 5th Generation training gaps and inefficiencies. The F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II have advanced capabilities that have never been available before. Advanced pilot training is the key to taking advantage of them. There is no more effective or affordable way than the T-50A to train the next generation of pilots to fly, fight and win. The T-50A builds on the proven heritage of the T-50. There are more than 150 T-50s flying today—100,000+ flight hours and counting—and the airframe has already trained more than 1,800 pilots.




Bye Aerospace and SolAero Technologies collaborate on unmanned aerial vehicle

SolAero Technologies Corp. recently announced a product development and manufacturing collaboration with Bye Aerospace to power Bye's StratoAirNet solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with SolAero's solar cells and flexible solar modules.

The StratoAirNet UAVs will provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to support commercial and government security requirements. The initial medium-altitude StratoAirNet 15 proof of concept prototype is undergoing final assembly. Following the successful preliminary design review process, flight tests were conducted on a small-scale wing powered by SolAero solar cells. Following further measurements and fit checks, additional test flights will soon commence on the 15-meter wing span prototype.

Since 2001, SolAero products have reliably powered nearly 200 successful satellite missions in space. The solar cells on StratoAirNet will allow the airplane to fly at higher altitudes with almost unlimited flight endurance, said George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace.

Bye said potential commercial mission applications for StratoAirNet include communications relay, internet service, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, damage assessment, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring, mineral source surveying, spill detection and infrastructure quality assessment.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Small satellite market will exceed $1.42 billion in 2017

The small satellite market will exceed $1.42 billion in 2017 and is expected to flourish over the next few years due to continued market interest and also because of the sheer potential, according to a report published this month by Visiongain, a research firm based in London.

Key players developing small satellite technologies 
- Aerospace Corp.
- GeoOptics LLC
- Oneweb LLC
- ORBCOMM Inc.
- Planet Labs Inc.
- Spire Global Inc.
- Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
- The Boeing Company

Small satellite applications
- Meteorology
- Security/Surveillance
- Earthquake/Seismic Monitoring
- Scientific Research
- Other Applications

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

US looks to buy more seats aboard Russian spacecraft

NASA is considering contracting with The Boeing Company for crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, according to contract documents released Tuesday.

Boeing recently entered into an agreement with Russia's RSC Energia, manufacturer of the Soyuz spacecraft. As a part of the agreement, Energia agreed to provide to Boeing two specifically identified seats on the Soyuz spacecraft for long-duration travel to and from the ISS, one on a flight to occur in the fall 2017 timeframe and another on a flight to occur in the spring 2018 timeframe. Additionally, Energia provided Boeing three additional specifically identified seats in the spring 2019 timeframe on two Soyuz spacecraft. Boeing and RSC Energia have agreed that Boeing has full rights to these seats and can sell them to any third party.

NASA is interested in launching one crewmember in the fall of 2017 and one crewmember in the spring of 2018, the agency said in a Presolicitation contract document. The agency is considering purchasing these services from Boeing, without competition, because no other vehicles are currently capable of providing these services. The purchase of these services will increase U.S. crew size on the ISS from three to four crewmembers to maximize science utilization.

NASA has contracts with two U.S. commercial companies for crew transportation to the ISS. However, these vehicles are still in the developmental stage, and not expected to begin fully operational flights to the ISS until 2019. In the event the U.S. commercial crew providers are delayed in demonstrating a fully operational capability to transport humans to space, the risk of de-crewing ISS greatly increases. “The absence of U.S. crewmembers at any point would diminish vehicle operations to an inoperable state,” NASA said in the Presolicitation.

NASA also is considering an option to acquire crew transportation from Boeing for three crewmembers on the Soyuz in 2019, to ensure the availability of back-up transportation capability in the event the U.S. commercial contractor vehicles are delayed or to augment future ISS operations and research.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only vehicle with the operational capability to provide crew services to and from the ISS in 2017 and 2018. There are eight Soyuz launches planned between 2017 and 2018 (four per year). The crew capacity of the Soyuz is limited to a maximum of three crewmembers per vehicle.

Russia recently announced its plans to reduce the Russian crew count onboard ISS from three to two, beginning in 2017. As a result of Russia reducing its crew count by one crewmember, there is now an available Soyuz seat in the 2017-2018 timeframe on each of the two planned spacecraft that would have otherwise had two Russian crew aboard. Of the 24 total Soyuz seats available in 2017-2018, the three seats resulting from the Russian crew decrement are the only available means of transporting additional U.S. crewmembers to ISS during this period.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Widerøe orders Embraer E2 aircraft

Embraer has signed a contract with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, for up to 15 E2 jets. The contract consists of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 aircraft. This flexible mix of purchase rights for E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2 will give Widerøe the ability to grow their fleet with a family of aircraft from 80 to 130+ seats.

The order has a potential list price value of up to $873 million, if all orders are converted. The three firm orders for E190-E2s were included in Embraer's fourth quarter 2016 backlog.

"It's always an important moment for Embraer when we add a new airline to our family of operators. Our next generation E190-E2s will also be the first jets in Widerøe's fleet,” said Arjan Meijer, chief commercial officer, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

Widerøe will configure the E190-E2s in a comfortable single-class layout with 114 seats. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018. This deal brings the E-Jets E2 backlog to 275 firm orders plus Letters of Intent, options and purchase rights covering another 415 aircraft giving a total of 690 commitments from airlines and leasing companies.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Groundbreaking study on near-death experiences

Clinical psychologist and author Liz Dale is asking anyone who has had a near-death experience (NDE) to participate in an online survey regarding the experience and its consequences – especially those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Survey results will inform a groundbreaking study and a new book to be published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. The survey is live now at http://lizdale.com/survey.html.

Dale's official site (http://lizdale.com/) has become an important resource for those with academic or personal interests in the NDE phenomenon. It includes access to over 1,300 books about NDEs. Dale anticipates that her new survey will make important contributions to the literature, as well as pave the way for future investigations.

Survey respondents can remain anonymous if they wish. Likewise, Dale asks that anyone who submits stories only use their first names and avoid sharing confidential personal information. Examples of questions from the survey include:
  • "Were there any changes in your personality since your NDE?"
  • "Were there any changes in your religious or spiritual beliefs since your NDE?"
  • "Were there any distressing aftereffects from your NDE?"
The forthcoming book on NDE aftereffects will not be Dale's first; in 2000, she published "Crossing Over and Coming Home: Twenty-One Authors Discuss the Gay NDE as Spiritual Transformation." The following excerpt from the book captures the essence of this research and the intensely personal and profound nature of the stories people have shared with her: "And then I felt the presence of Jesus Christ all around me. And I asked him, 'Do I really have to go back?' Then Christ said that he would send me guardian angels to aid me in my healing, and to guide and protect me. I awakened to find two men kneeling over me, with expressions of apprehension and concern on both their faces. For some reason I felt that they might be gay men. I felt very strongly that both men symbolized what would prove to be a succession of 'angels' that Christ had promised to send me."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Anti-drone market worth $2 billion by 2024

The global anti-drone market is anticipated to be worth $1.85 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The increasing use of drones has resulted in the commencement of another market that focuses on a solution for rogue unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), complete with net-firing bazookas, electromagnetic shields, and anti-drone death rays.

The steep rise in the adoption of drones for commercial as well as recreational purposes has increased concerns regarding aerial attacks and threats. Detection and identification of these unmanned aircraft systems have become a vital factor for the maintenance of the security. Various institutions across the world are increasingly deploying counter drone measures to address the ever-growing need for safety and security.

As UAVs become deadlier, stealthier, faster, agile, smaller, sleeker, and cheaper, the nuisance and threats posed by them are expected to grow at numerous levels, ranging from personal/domestic privacy to national security. With that in mind, there is significant effort both in terms of money and technology being invested in the development of anti-drone technologies.

Various national security agencies across the world have started to precisely understand the potential threats from drones and increasingly considering commercial as well as consumer drones as the new major threat to the world. It is only a matter of time before redundant and reliable methods of countering drones become mainstream and widely available.

Several busy airports and hubs across the world are seeking defense measures and regulations to protect their airliners and harbored aircraft from drones straying into commercial airspace and posing innumerable threats of a collision.

AT&T and NASA are researching the development of an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management solution that would support the safe and highly secure operation of drones in the national airspace. A key element AT&T and NASA are researching is the potential impact of cybersecurity threats. The vast availability of drones -- and their many current and potential uses -- could increase their risk of cyberattacks. AT&T advocates cybersecurity protections designed into the system from the outset.

Further key findings from the report suggest: 
  • Manufacturers across the world are increasingly developing innovative solutions to detect smaller recreational drones through their acoustic signature and visually.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period owing to increasing government spending in the expansion of aerospace and defense infrastructure across emerging economies.
  • Electronic countermeasures are anticipated to emerge as a lucrative segment over the next eight years as these measures involve the use of high power electromagnetic and high power microwave weapons to prevent successful transmission and reception of drone signals.
  • Various drone manufacturers, including DJI, have already started integrating "no fly zone" restrictions directly onto the onboard firmware in some of their products.
  • Numerous reports of drone sightings have been coming from various members of the airspace system, which in turn is presumed to propel the adoption of counter-UAV systems in commercial venues.