Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Tag

TNT Airlines: “We Make Your Flight Fun As F#@K   Leave a comment


Posted February 7, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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This is how to fly, if you have the big money.   Leave a comment


In the compendium of complaints about air travel, we have not yet encountered “I do not have an unencumbered, horizon-to-horizon view of the entire planet.” At some point, we surmise, someone must have shared that frustration, because Windspeed Technologies has come up with a solution.

The company’s SkyDeck is a clear bubble that pokes up out of the top of an airplane. One or two passengers access this viewing dome via a staircase, or (rather showily) in an elevator. Once they are head and shoulders above the fuselage, they may rotate their seats to view some particular object — the sunset, or a constellation, or a cloud that looks a lot like a bunny. The bubble is made of the same material as the canopies of a supersonic fighter jet, and it’s a teardrop shape mounted just before the tail to have the smallest possible effect on aerodynamics. Its feasibility has been studied a thousand different ways, patents and trademarks have been applied for, and an aircraft manufacturer has begun offering it as an option on its custom builds — though there are not yet reports of orders taken.






Does the SkyDeck seem a bit… erm… over the top? Yes, but certainly that is the point. Windspeed identifies business and VIP aircraft as their primary market, where amenities like the SkyDeck make sense because airplanes made of solid gold are too heavy to fly. But the company also sees a commercial application, where, they say, “Current in-flight entertainment offerings have not changed much over the decades” (as if SkyDeck were the logical successor to seatback entertainment systems). In this bright future, airlines would charge passengers for a trip up to the SkyDeck, providing an additional revenue stream for beleaguered airlines that have not yet found enough things to charge for.

Still, it’s awesome. To merely propose cutting a hole in the top of a jet — and then actually figuring out how to make it happen — is an admirable engineering feat. And who hasn’t imagined what the view might be like the outside of a plane, rather than through the tiny windows we’re now supposed to keep shuttered so as not to interfere with the seatback entertainment systems? Given the chance, we’d certainly spend a few minutes enjoying a 360° at 36,000 feet — though we admit to having some concerns about the availability of beverage service up there.





Posted December 26, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Eye-Catching Aircraft   Leave a comment

Like the peacock demonstrates, brightness grabs attention. Some airlines let the artists have fun, a few militaries also do the same.


Not much colour here, but the rain soaked tarmac and sky make it awesome. U.S. Navy F-18’s at Key West Naval Air Station.


The giant Airbus A-380.


Qantas 747


Virgin Atlantic Airbus A-340

air5 mirage

French Mirage fighter

air6 ana

All Nippon Airways Boeing 777

Southwest Airlines Specialty Plane Shamu One.

Southwest 737

air8 bangkok

Bangkok Air Airbus A-319 and A-320

air9 skyteam

 Arik Airlines, Nigerian airline, Airbus A-340


Air New Zealand 777


German Luftwaffe Typhoon fighter


 USAF F-16


Posted December 14, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Boeing 747-8 Private Jet takes Luxury to a Whole New Level   Leave a comment

For most people, private jets such as the $65 million Gulfstream G650 or the Bombardier Global Series are the epitome of luxury air travel, but there are a select few who can afford more than that. They’re converting airliners into private flying palaces. To meet this demand, Airbus and Boeing have begun selling “VIP” versions of their airliners under the Airbus Corporate Jet and Boeing Business Jet brands. While most of these planes are based on smaller Airbus A320 series or Boeing 737 models, one recent VIP conversion took luxury to a new level.

One very lucky, very wealthy, and very confidential client took delivery of a personalized Boeing 747-8, completed by Greenpoint Technologies of Kirkland, Washington. Its incredible 4,786 sq. ft. of space features a stateroom, lounges, an office, and a massive dining room.


Master Bedroom




boeing greenpoint-technologies_747-8_img-3


Upper Deck Lounge

boeing9 hump

Time to relax at 40,000 feet








Big Majestic Beast



Posted December 7, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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U.S. Army tests tiny Mini-Drone   Leave a comment

The US military is testing $40,000 surveillance drones that can fit in the palm of your hand


US Special Forces are testing a tiny bug-like drone that could change the future of warfare.

The teeny flying robot, called the PD-100 Black Hornet 2, weighs 18 grams with cameras and fits in the palm of your hand. The device, which can fly for up to 25 minutes with a range of two miles, also features both regular and thermal cameras.

Designed by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, the drone’s minuscule size and embedded technology make it an ideal tool for covert missions. The British military began implementing the device with soldiers in 2013, and now the US military is apparently showing interest.

According to a report by Defense One, US Special Forces have obtained a “handful” of the PD-100 Black Hornets.

The stealth device can be flown autonomously with its GPS autopilot feature or it can be manually controlled. The device is so small it can be stored in a small pack that can be worn on the body for easy access.

While the device may look like a toy, it’s certainly not priced like one. The PD-100 Black Hornet 2 prices at about $40,000 for larger orders of the device, said Ole Aguirre, VP of business development for Prox Dynamics. But considering that the Pentagon plans to spend approximately $2.9 billion on unmanned systems for the fiscal year of 2016, according to theDrone Center at Bard College, the $40,000 price tag doesn’t seem so significant.

The US military is showing an increasing interest in tiny drones these days.

Reports earlier this week revealed that the military is in the early stages of developing its own mini-drones. According to, these drones are built to swarm in a manner that would confuse enemy radar systems. In other words, the small devices could potentially overwhelm the enemy by providing so many targets that they find it hard to take them down.

The devices could also be used to cover an area with sensors so that they could survey an area and collect data.


In July 2014, the United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) selected the PD-100 Black Hornet after looking at commercially available small-scale UAVs as part of the Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (CP-ISR) program. It concluded that further refinements were needed for a U.S. Army role including reconfiguring the data-link, giving it night vision, and improving navigational capability. The Black Hornet was tested with U.S. troops at an event in early March 2015, and Prox Dynamics delivered a PD-100 with upgraded features for special forces testing in June 2015. By 2015, the Black Hornet had deployed with U.S. Marine Corps special operations teams.

black hornet1

Posted November 30, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Flying Saucer Attack!!!   4 comments





Posted November 23, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Supersonic Business Passenger Jet Zooming in Over the Horizon   Leave a comment


Aerion, the supersonic-jet maker backed by Texas billionaire Robert Bass, plans to choose a manufacturing site during the first half of next year as it targets delivering the first faster-than-sound business aircraft in 2023.

The timeline unveiled Monday fleshes out how Aerion and partner Airbus Group SE intend to build a civilian plane capable of trans-sonic travel, a niche left vacant since the retirement of the Concorde in 2003. The team has made preliminary designs for a carbon-fiber wing structure, fuselage, landing gear and a fuel system, among other components.

“We see clear and achievable technical solutions to the design of a supersonic jet, and a realistic road map for helping Aerion proceed toward construction and flight,” Airbus Senior Vice President Ken McKenzie said in a statement.

Airbus will provide major components and Aerion will do the final assembly, the companies said in the statement released at the National Business Aviation Association trade show in Las Vegas. For the production site, Aerion needs a 100-acre (40-hectare) area near a U.S. airport with a runway at least 9,000 feet (2,700 meters) long, The plan is to break ground on the factory in 2018.

Aerion is targeting the first flight of the AS2 for 2021. The project began in 2002 and was put on hold by the 2008-09 financial crisis.


The collaboration with Airbus announced last year increases Aerion’s chances of building a private jet that can break the sound barrier. The AS2 is intended to fly efficiently at lower speeds over land because of flight restrictions related to sonic booms. Over oceans, the aircraft can accelerate to Mach 1.5, which is 1.5 times the speed of sound. At sea level, sound travels at about 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) per hour.


While military jets have had supersonic capabilities for decades, the economics are daunting for civilian operations. High ticket prices helped do in the Concorde after 27 years of service, which slurped twice as much fuel as a Boeing Co. jumbo jet while carrying only one-fourth as many passengers.

In the years since Air France and British Airways parked their Concordes, would-be supersonic jet developers have turned to business aircraft in hopes of putting newer technology in a smaller airframe to attract wealthy buyers and globe-trotting chief executive officers.

Aerion has begun to choose suppliers and plans to pick an engine maker during the first half of next year, CEO Doug Nichols said in the statement. The cabin will be developed by Inairvation, a venture between Lufthansa Technik AG and F. List GmbH.

“We will proceed with an engine that allows us to meet our performance goals with the minimum changes required,” Nichols said. “Solutions are in sight with today’s engine technology.”






Posted November 19, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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