Monthly Archives: June 2015
Quieter Cabins Anyone?
Focus on a more comfortable plane ride exists for designers of commercial airliners and private jets alike. Engineers consistently make strides in this area; however, a team of researchers at NC State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a solution they are confident will change the game of soundproofing aircraft cabins.
Essentially the process incorporates a light-weight honeycomb composite material that is already used for interior cabin structures. What’s different is injecting a paper-thin rubber membrane between two layers of the honeycomb material to drastically reduce the amount of sound that penetrates the material.
Naturally, to operate efficiently, it is extremely important to add as little weight to the airframe as possible. While it is difficult to estimate the exact weight adage, it is predicted that it will be less than 1%.
Low-frequency noise, below 500 Hertz, is where this process is most effective; blocking between 100 and 1,000 times more sound energy than a panel without the membrane.
While studies are still in an infancy stage, the team has received several preliminary inquiries from composite panel manufacturers and providers of aircraft acoustic insulation but perhaps the most promising is an inquiry from a major airframer.
Boeing Business Jets Considers a Combi Configuration
Your first question might very well be, “What is a Combi Configuration?” Well, it is a combination of cargo and passenger configurations. The Combi, as it has been nicknamed, is expected to cater to industrial, government, and heavy machinery type organizations who find themselves in a position of needing to transport equipment and a support team to a destination. While there may not be a large customer base for such a configuration, it is still something Boeing is looking to explore as a means of expanding revenue sources and keep up with Airbus (who is already offering a comparable option).
New configurations seem to be popular at Boeing. Not long ago, BBJ had two simple products; the BBJ and the BBJ2. Currently Boeing offers 11 products in their commercial line. With that said, of the 228 private jetliners Boeing has sold, 164 of those are the 737 based BBJ.
While talks exist and Boeing has even announced that it will study the potential need for the Combi, don’t expect to see any cargo type BBJ with passenger seating for, at least, a couple of years. Boeing has proclaimed that they will not push toward development until they secure a launch customer.
FAA Proposes Strict Slot Limitations for New York Area Airports
The FAA submitted a proposal that would limit non-scheduled operations as follows:
- Newark International Airport (EWR): one slot per hour
- John F. Kennedy (JFK) to two per hour
- La Guardia Airport (LGA) would permanently adopt the current three per hour limitations
Parties opposing the proposed rule-making cite concern that the reduction in slots for unscheduled operations at EWR and JFK will have a significant impact on a broad range of operations. Further arguments cited the lack of industry data that would suggest congestion at these airports is in any way connected to non-scheduled operations.
Most business flights opt for Teterboro due to both economic efficiency and convenience; however, it is occasionally best to choose JFK, LGA, or EWR for logistical planning. Perhaps most concerning is the infrequent necessity of an emergency landing; EWR and JFK would no longer be alternatives when safety considerations would ordinarily warrant their use.
Ultimately, proponents of the rule-making are refuting the new rules based on the age old adage that the FAA is attempting to “solve a problem that doesn’t exist!”
What are your thoughts?
The First Gulfstream G500 Flight
Just seven months since we first saw the Gulfstream G500 roll out of their Savannah, GA headquarters the G500 flies for the first time. The flight took place on May 18th, 2015 and departed from the Savannah Hilton Head International airport and was piloted by Scott Martin and Kevin Claffy. Also along for the ride was flight-test engineer Bill Osborne.
The flight initiated with a climb to 10,500 feet and then the pilots took it to a speed of 194 knots; that’s approximately 223.25 mph. While that may seem quite fast it is a small percentage of the aircraft’s capabilities. In fact, the maximum operating speed of the Gulfstream G500 is Mach 0.925; that’s about 700 mph.
Notable Gulfstream G500 Specifications
5,000 nm 9,260 km
Typical Passenger Outfitting
Up to 18
Up to 8
Max Operating Speed (Mach)
Max Takeoff Weight
76,850 lbs 34,859 kg
Max Cruise Altitude
51,000 ft 15,545 m