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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Should India abandon the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft tender and move direct to a fifth generation F-35?

Last week I read an interesting article by Ajai Shukla in the Business Standard newspaper. Ajai argues that India should abandon its $10+ billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender and directly purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II fifth generation multi-role fighter. While the article does tend to get a little bogged down by the politics surrounding Indian defence …

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Tiger Airways withdraws from Bangalore. AirAsia muscle or internal reasons?

Effective November 14, 2010, Singapore based low cost carrier Tiger Airways is withdrawing its four a week Airbus A320 service between Bangalore and Singapore. The move is rather surprising since the winter season between November and February is the busiest travel period in the year. While no official reasons have been given, there are two possibilities.Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary …

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Jet Airways Boeing 737 hits Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A321 at Mumbai – Update 1

In the early hours of October 23, at about 02:05 local (20:35-1 UTC) a Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 registration VT-JBR with 122 passengers and an unknown number of crew [we estimate 8], was being pushed back from parking bay 85 at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, to perform flight 9W-540 from Mumbai, India to Muscat, Oman. The wing-tip of the …

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Bangalore bound FedEx Express Boeing MD-11F declares emergency diverts to Mumbai

A FedEx Express Boeing MD-11F registration N579FE performing flight FX-5062 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Bangalore, India, declared a full emergency after receiving a fire indication in the lower belly cargo hold, and diverted to Mumbai, CSI airport. The aircraft landed safely at 18:24 local (12:54 UTC) and after inspection the alarm was found to be false. The full …

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Indian government gives itself extension for mandatory airport licensing

The Indian government has issued a notification effectively extending the mandatory licensing deadline for most of the airports operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which is a government body. “no person shall operate scheduled air transport services to/from an aerodrome with effect from the 30 June 2011, unless it has been licensed by the Directorate General of Civil …

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Security paranoia gone overboard? Singapore Airlines flight in emergency denied landing permission

First the facts. On October 3, 2010, a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, registration 9V-SWK was performing flight SQ61 from Houston Bush Intercontinental, USA to Singapore via Moscow Domodedovo, Russia with 220 passengers and an unknown number of crew (the airline refused to give specific numbers). About 21:30 IST (16:00 UTC), the flight was en-route approaching the airspace over Amritsar in …

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DGCA approves use of mobile phones at Indian airports soon after aircraft lands and clears runway

In most countries across the world, especially in North America and Western Europe, the use of mobile phones is permitted soon after the aircraft lands and exits the active runway. In India, many a passenger broke current rules by following this practice. No longer. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is finally bringing Indian carriers in line with these …

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Turkish Airlines takes delivery of its first new Boeing 777-300ERs, prepares to return leased planes to Jet

Turkish Airlines THY took delivery of its first directly purchased 777-300ER from airframe manufacturer Boeing, registration TC-JJE. It is the first of 12 777-300ERs the airline ordered in 2009. Currently the airline operates four 777-300ERs which it leased from India’s Jet Airways in late 2008. Boeing is scheduled to deliver four additional 777-300ERs to Turkish Airlines by the end of …

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Kingfisher Airlines grounds aircraft on engine and financial woes

Kingfisher Airlines suffered a bird-strike incident last Friday. A simply dry report of the incident would read as, A Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A321-232 registration VT-KFP performing flight IT-331 from Mumbai to New Delhi, India on October 8, 2010, suffered a bird hit. During the take-off run, a loud thud was heard, since the aircraft was already beyond V1 (decision speed), …

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Are Airbus A380’s too big for its crews to deliver a good cabin service experience?

Dubai based Emirates airline is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 superjumbo, and has orders with Airbus S.A.S. for 90 aircraft. Airline President Tim Clark recently told Reuters in an interview. “We would like some more [Airbus A380 superjumbos] but we are going to run short of space,””120 was the baseline figure that the planners worked to get …

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Plane spotting photos: Indian Air Force MiG-27ML Bahadur upgrade

Last weekend, I managed to capture a very rare catch for Bangalore. It was the very first prototype of the upgraded MiG-27ML “Bahadur” (Valiant) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) tail number TU640 (originally TS640). Image © Devesh Agarwal. All rights reserved. The MiG-27 is a dedicated ground attack aircraft. Developed in the 1970s the MiG-27 shares the basic airframe …

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Smokin touchdown photos: Behemoth Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan visits Bangalore

It is essentially the world’s largest cargo airplane. Capable of carrying 120 metric tonnes it is surpassed by only the Antonov An-225 of which only one aircraft is in existence. It is the Antonov An-124-100M-150 Ruslan. Last Saturday, a Ruslan registration RA-82078, operated by Volga Dnepr Airlines, visited Bangalore to carry a satellite for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) …

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Singapore Airlines to introduce mobile phone calling and internet connectivity onboard

Singapore Airlines is collaborating with inflight connectivity provider OnAir (jointly owned by Airbus and SITA) to provide passengers on its Airbus A380, A340-500 (nonstop Singapore Newark and Los Angeles), and Boeing 777-300ER flights, a full suite of on-board communication offerings, including access to Wi-Fi Internet and GSM compatible mobile telephony services including SMS texting, email messages, and voice calls. The …

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British Airways revives 1983 livery in tribute to retiring Boeing 757 fleet

In 1978, with launch orders from the erstwhile Eastern Air Lines and British Airways, Boeing commenced the venerable Boeing 757. Eastern Air Lines put the aircraft into commercial service on January 1, 1983, followed by British Airways on February 9, 1983. British Airways has operated the 757 for 27 years, longer than any other operator, with the aircraft reaching a …

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Images: Indian Air Force Lockheed Martin C130J makes first flight

KC-3801, the first of six stretched fuselage Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force, made its first flight, at Marietta, Georgia, USA on October 4th. Along with these pictures, Lockheed Martin released a simple statement The first of six C-130J Super Hercules for India took to the skies for its maiden flight yesterday. The aircraft …

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Night plane spotting images from Bangalore airport

Today, some night plane spotting photos for your enjoyment. Spotting at night throws up some unique challenges. The aircraft need to be stationary, and the photographer requires good anticipation to capture the image in those few seconds between an aircraft’s arrival at the gate and it being swarmed by ground support equipment and people, or from the time of its …

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