The TrackingPoint XS1 .338 Rifle
Again…. The Land Rover 110 Crew Cab pickup but stretched on a 130 Chassis
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 bridge Camera
The TrackingPoint XS1 .338 Rifle
Again…. The Land Rover 110 Crew Cab pickup but stretched on a 130 Chassis
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 bridge Camera
Sorry it’s been sooooo late but to say I/we’ve been a little busy is an understatement. So, lets get on with it – at the end I will list some of the things now removed from previous lists and please do comment on it all. Sadly last year I missed doing it at all, but the last 2 Christmas’s New Years were spent in the USA.
Without further ado – here is the 2013 TWBrit Christmas List:
Oculus Rift Gaming kit
DJI Phantom 2 Vision
Yes it’s back again…. why? because this house is STILL awesome!!
Land Rover 110 County Station Wagon
Actually I want a 130 stretched County Station Wagon with a standard pick-up rear but larger internal cabin space (obviously a special order)
.338 with a x24 Schmitt und Bender scope ( I would say an AS50, but they’re not legal in the UK)
A life time supply of Coffee
A Knighthood: KBE
for services to Britishness and Commonsense
An invite to become a member of White’s
Now, there is no way I can continue in leaving this list without an update for my weird and wacky wants… But due to the nature of manufacturing issues I have revised my dire wish for a personal Boeing 787 Dreamliner and opted for my most favourite plane the 777 and on a tight budget a 767.
Below are two pics of planes for sale (click on them to enlarge). It’s worth noting that a new 767 is about $185,800,000.00 and a new 777 is around $261,500,000.00 (Boeing 2013 list price) so can see these are greatly reduced as they’re older and have probably changed hands a bit.
Now the 777 is fly by wire with a mechanical back up, making it very cost-effective and much easier to service, however the 767 is ALL Mechanical except for a couple of little bits – this means things like control cable replacement on a 767 is quite a big and expensive business.
Also there is the cost of refitting them with bedrooms, bathrooms etc. Frankly an engine of a 777 is around the $18m each mark so I really don’t know how many cycles the airframe has left – but either way, two rock solid planes make the list :-)
Taylor K24CE – Got One
A REAL Tablet: Motion Computing J3500 – Got One
Drum Kit – Got one
Theakstons Old Perculier – Got plenty :-)
Millions of personalised guitar picks – Got Them
Give up Smoking – Did it, one year ago today
Adobe Master Collection CS6 & Lightroom – Got them :-)
Heavy Duty Footwear – Got them all
Laptop with i7 CPU – Got It
So there you are… the craziness that is me and-some :D
I’ve never actually liked flying much… oh they can gloss it up all they like, but if you have to sit in Cattle Class for more than 5hrs…(especially after the consumer, security and over priced hell they call the airport) the joy, or, in some people’s cases fear – soon ebb away to discomfort and boredom (or should I simply say they’re stomped into oblivion).
For me I guess it’s probably because I’m not driving it, giving over supreme trust to the men or women at the front to do their job to extreme excellence every single time they do it. Unlike the pilots who flew that Airbus into the Atlantic a couple of years back!
But way back when, I watched a documentary around the design and extreme testing of the then all new Boeing 777…
From the outset they were designing failure and known crash causes out of it. Not just a little, but totally.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of sitting in the cockpit of a Saudi Arabian Airlines 777 as we travelled over the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus, Syria/Jordan and on to Riyadh. At 44,000 ft these guys office is another existence all together! And I spent a few hours talking with and listening to the pilot, a former fast jet instructor, tell me about his passion for the 777.
To date, only one has ever really crashed. This, as many will know, was due to near impossible set circumstances to recreate – and no one died… This issue has now been completely designed out of all of the 777 systems and engines – thus making the 777 the most reliable and safest passenger aircraft ever made.
Today as an engineer at heart, as a passenger I ride on 777’s and marvel at the concept, the amazing complexity and power from engines with the metal fans blades that are actually grown molecule by molecule and how the fly by wire systems fly the aircraft better than any human could.
I note the smoothness to which a pilot levels off a climb, or responds to cross winds as we are on approach… and wonder if the person sitting next to me truly believes they actually have normal eating habits. Nowhere will you find more confident pilots and crew than on a 777.
Courtesy of Boeing here is a video of the people and the passion who make this frankly amazing aircraft.
And finally, just a few days ago the 1000th 777 rolled out of the Everett Hanger….
So why then have Boeing refused me downloads from their Hi-Res image library…
Oh yeah, 10,000 Boeing related hits on this blog last month just can’t be enough! The irony? Quite a few hits every month come from Boeing themselves!! Lets hope their over sized heads wont get in the way of building great aircraft!! ;-)
Yup, in the ever expanding global competitiveness of new aircraft, Boeing has had a few things to shout about regarding the new 787 Dreamliner.
In fact : Jonathan Gaffney, president and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association, presented Boeing with two certificates confirming the official status of the two world records earned by the 787 in 2011.
The airplane earned records for completing the longest flight for an airplane in its weight class with a 10,336 nmi (19,142 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 with a 9,126 nmi (16,901 km) flight in 2002.
I’d say the extra 1210 nautical miles pretty much smashes it :-)
Also in the last few days, Boeing delivered its first VIP format 747-8 to an undisclosed customer.. The VIP product line is of course in the “Private Jet” class and all I can add is “Wow!!”
However, it’s reasonably well documented that a well known Russian billionaire has actually ordered an Airbus A380 for a staggering sum of money – but I gotta ask; “what the hell do you do with all that space?”
Of course, regular readers will have noted that just before New Year I spent a little time in Roswell, New Mexico. Now, with all the usual fun tourist stuff going on, I forgot to go the former Walker Air Force Base just to the south of Roswell. Of course this base was significant in the Roswell legend and while buying up t-shirts as proof of my visit, I simply forgot. You see while the former Walker AFB is now a parking site for many airliners, it’s also a place Boeing carries out many of its tests on new aircraft, especially regarding the 777 and 787. Obviously Christmas week wasn’t the ideal time to catch anything cool going on, but nevertheless, I think i’d have liked to stop by.
I’ll finish this aviation post with news that if you wish to get a look at the 787, it’s actually on tour and details can be found HERE
It’s true, which is of course that I one day wake up and find myself very wealthy.
You see, there is a pleasure that only the very wealthy can afford, you know, those who probably make 100 million a year in interest alone.
It’s to own my own BBJ and that my friends is a Boeing Business Jet. Well while that department are called that, the aircraft can be anything thing you want them to be.
The original BBJ is the Boeing 737, and while it is priced very competitively against far smaller aircraft, in the region of $50m – it’s not really a super long range cruiser. Also the 737 is up for redesign, so what’s left?
Well the 787 Dreamliner isn’t quite ready, so this leaves us with two – the 777 and the 747.
Now personally, I think the 747 is a little excessive, even if I did have the money to burn, but as for the 777, well apart from the fact I like them a lot, it’s seems to be just about the right size – even If I do need to take the car along too.
But sadly, with the whole global warming thing, running a few staff, burning a lot of fuel and money on servicing etc – it’s a lot just to cart one person around.
Of course I’d have one, heck I’d go and get my wings so I could fly it myself!
I’d be a complete menace in it too.
The crazy part is, I’d really get a lot of use out if it!
Oddly, when you think of the 747, you’d probably think about Air Force One, but that’s a different thing all together – it’s more like a flying office block.
Of course, that other company (airbus) also makes them, but buying one is more a question of how long you want to live – if you’re in your 80s, then sure, buy an Airbus.
News is coming in fast an furious about the loss – or probable loss of an Air Fr*nce Airbus 330-200 with 228 people onboard.
The aircraft was last seen 186 miles north east of the Brazilian coastal city of Natal and was due to land at Paris 09:10 GMT (2hrs ago at the time of writing).
It really is no wonder that Air Fr*nce has taken to buying Boeing 777’s of late. Here is one at Boeings factory at Everett unveiling the new Air Fr*nce logo. After all, who on earth would want to fly Airbus?! and general opinion is that the new A380 will just be a better way of killing more people at the same time. Heck, on it’s first landing at Heathrow it cracked a wing spar.
Obviously, I’m not talking from a professional point of view, and we certainly have no idea what brought this particular A330 down with so much probable sad loss of life. But never the less, I just don’t trust Airbus’s and these days, I simply refuse to fly on them, but I will happily fly 777’s.
After all, the production of the A400M is simply turning into a farse. The A400M is the replacement for the C130 Hercules, and lets be honest here – not only is it needed, but with present military operations they’re needed yesterday! Already 5 years after the first order was placed, the A400M hasn’t even flown yet. They claim they might be able to deliver the first one sometime around 2012… Nice one, I doubt we’ll need them so much by then.
You don’t have to read too much of this blog to know that while I love traveling – not so much a fan of the flying part. However, there is one aircraft type I do trust and actually enjoy flying on – the Boeing 777. When we take a moment to compare the flight, systems, build quality and record of this aircraft you learn one or two fundamentally important facts; 1) this aircraft was designed and built by trying to crash and destroy it at every opportunity. 2) they don’t crash – unlike Airbus’s!!!
So, while I was shocked, it compared little to how shocked the entire aviation community were when one fell out of the sky while landing at Heathrow Airport in London.
Firstly, the aircraft fell nearly 125 feet and the cabin remained fully intact, then with the exception of one broken leg – everyone got up and walked out.
It didn’t take long for investigators to rule out the 777’s fly-by-wire computer systems – indeed, everything started to look like some sort of fuel issue.
Now lets put this into perspective, the entire industry has been waiting for the results of the investigation, an investigation that is being carried out in places all around the world.
So What happend?
BA038 had been descending gradually into Heathrow, the autopilot and the automatic throttle system controlling the aircraft.
The trouble started two miles out at 600 feet, as the plane was slowing down in its landing configuration.
At this point the engines would have required more power to keep the plane from sinking below the glideslope – an invisible three degree path down to the runway, generated by radio waves.
When the automatic throttle demanded more power, the engines initially responded. Then first the right engine, followed eight seconds later by the left, powered down – to a level below the thrust needed.
Warnings would have flashed up on engine monitoring screens in the centre of the control panel, showing the power was below that required.
A lower screen would have shown more detailed information about the flow of fuel around the aircraft. Other displays would show the likely speed and height the plane would achieve over the next minute.
Faced with the knowledge that a disaster was in the making, the crew had around 40 seconds to save their aircraft. It’s understood the captain Peter Burkill quickly reduced the amount of wing flaps deployed.
This was as important as the skilful manipulation of the control column by John Coward, in saving the aircraft. It cuts drag, speeds the plane up a little, and when a pilot has speed, he can maintain altitude.
The 150 tonne Boeing just cleared the busy A30, the airport perimeter fence, and a radio mast before crashing to the ground in a stall – where the plane can simply fly no longer.
There would have been further warnings in the cockpit, including the stick-shaker, where the controls vibrate to alert the pilots.
ICE in the fuel??!!!
Yep, thats right, according to THIS report by the AAIB over on the BBC website, this is indeed what they believe caused the problem.
Frankly, I’d wait and see what everyone else reports in too.
I’m not a fan of Airbus, I’m not a great lover of flying really – but it’s a necessity.
Airbus have this persistent knack of crashing stuff, I dunno, maybe it’s just a Fr**ch thing.(other than the A340 which appears to be almost as good as a 777).
The first time the A380 landed at Heathrow two years ago to test the airport out, almost ended in tears when one wing only just missed the ground, landing so hard it cracked some wing spar’s.
If you want safe air transport – look no further than the Boeing 777. The first and only incident happened at Heathrow a few months ago and it was the first in the aircrafts 13 year history… Now that is safe!
The 777 was designed from the outset to be un-crashable. They started with all known reasons for mechanical failure, designed them out then actually tried to crash the aircraft. This was a whole new approach to aircraft design and construction.
The incident at Heathrow looks at the moment not to be related to the actual aircraft i.e. contaminated fuel. But that 777 dropped over 100ft into the ground and while the damage was obvious – the fuselage never even got bent out of shape.
Here are a couple of videos of some of the tests carried out on the 777.
777 Maximum Load Rejected Takeoff – If this video does not play, you can watch it HERE in YouTube. Link willopen in a new window. The others should play fine.
Same test with a A340 which catches fire.
777 Wing load test to destruction (how to write-off a $270m aircraft)