Boeing and Airbus upbeat as Farnborough Airshow opens
Day one of the Farnborough Airshow brought a boost for Boeing as outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the purchase of nine of its P-8A Poseidon marine patrol planes as well as 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.
Against the background of Brexit, Cameron made much of how the purchase of the Poseidon submarine hunters – for the equivalent of 3.5 billion euros – will create about 2,000 new jobs in the UK as Boeing expands its maintenance and support operations there.
As Farnborough started both Boeing and Airbus raised their long-term forecasts for new aircraft demand and the European plane maker said Virgin Atlantic had ordered a dozen its biggest twin-engined plane, the A350-1000, despite the uncertainty from Brexit and the weak pound that has created.
Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive Officer, Craig Kreeger said: “We obviously don’t like a weak sterling. And we had taken steps in anticipation of a possible Brexit to hedge or protect ourselves against sterling movements in the short run. But in the end, how that affects demand for travel could certainly be a challenge.”
The heavy rain that grounded the air displays, could be seen as a metaphor for the political and economic storm clouds over the UK and Europe but Airbus and Boeing remain confident about long-term sales prospects.
They have enjoyed years of strong sales, with rising air travel and demand for new fuel-efficient planes raising the industry’s order backlog to a record 13,500 planes at the end of 2015, or near 10 years of production at current rates.
С-47 warplane in the Central Armed Forces Museum
The flying aircraft will appear in the Central Armed Forces Museum.
The Central Armed Forces Museum will significantly expand the exposition in Patriot Culture and Recreation Park by creating an interactive part of the exhibition. In accordance with the information, given by the museum's director Alexander Nikonov, two aircraft C-47 of Russian Aviation Company are considered to be the first exhibits. They are Alexei Leonov and Yevgeny Loginov. Last year, they made the historic flight through the legendary route Alaska-Siberia, which was used by the United States during World War II for delivering aviation equipment and strategic materials to the USSR.
“The main idea of Patriot Culture and Recreation Park itself is to create a living and interactive exposition,” Alexander Nikonov said to the Izvestia, “Last year, the Central Armed Forces Museum took part in the preparation and conduction of the two C-47 aircraft historic flight through the Alaska-Siberia route from the USA to Moscow Aerospace Show (MAKS-2015). After the flight, both planes were donated to the museum. Now we want to make sure that they do not become static exhibits, and could be used for its direct purpose,” – emphasized the director of the museum.
“C-47 are the only working exhibits in the future exposition of the Central Armed Forces Museum,” said Nikonov, “In addition, there are plans to create a flight simulator C-47, so that everyone could feel himself how to operate the aircraft of the Great Patriotic War.”
“For us, the Flight Alaska-Siberia Project (ALSIB 2015) was a continuation of the company's life position,” said to the Izvestia Sergey Baranov, the general director of Russian Aviation Company, “Alaska-Siberia sky route is a part of our common victory, because the military supplies to the Soviet Army under the Lend-Lease program were provided thanks to it. The flight was conceived in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Victory. Russian Aviation Company Ltd., the American Association BRAVO 369 , the Wargaming company have realized the idea which was unprecedented in its scale, i.e., to recreate historical events related to the organization and work of the Alaska-Siberia Route."
MS-21 first flight of the Russian airliner will be held before the end of the year.
Domestic aircraft manufacturers are currently still working on creating long-term airliner MS-21, which, in spite of the fact that had already been officially presented, should still be to produce its first flight before it begins production. Experts laws assert that the first flight will take place during the second half of December, however, given the possible problems in preparation, test trials can be transferred at the beginning of 2017.
It is necessary to clarify that in the development of modern Russian aircraft MS-21 was invested 75 billion rubles, however, experts believe that the project will pay for itself in just a few years.
The domestic civil aircraft industry: working for the future
The domestic civil aviation industry is developing far by intensively how it would like, however, the development of new aircrafts is still conducted, and in the near future will begin mass production of advanced Russian aircraft MS-21, which due to its uniqueness may be of interest not only to domestic carriers, and foreign airlines, as the flight performance of the aircraft, though somewhat inferior to modern airliners vypus Kai Boeing and Airbus, however, in value terms, and subsequent maintenance, these aircraft are more profitable.
However, experts note some "confusion" in the development of aircraft Russian aircraft engineer, because, in essence, is currently produced only small airliners are unable to compete on equal terms with foreign aircraft, which, of course, hardly carries the prospect of the next year, although its share is definitely present.
Just today there is evidence that lucrative contract to supply aircraft SSJ-100 to Irandisrupted, and, as it became known, the problem was not in the price, not for any flight characteristics of the aircraft and not as a product, and in the technical parameters airplanes of domestic production. Iranian authorities have stressed that they need roomy passenger airliners, in which Russian planes still far behind Western aircraft.
As can be seen from the above, the Russian aircraft manufacturers should work for the future, including the development of capacious planes, allows you to take on board far more than one hundred passengers, and quite possibly a large number of orders will not, however, here there is a great opportunity just for a few years to compete with foreign airliner, which is natural in the future could mean lucrative contracts, especially since, planes will be 20-30% cheaper than foreign analogues.
In order to minimize the amount of cash expenses for the creation of new advanced passenger aircraft, as well as shorten the time of actual development is likely worth taking for the base of existing models, such as the same SSJ-100 or MS-21, by improving the design of which can increase the seating capacity 50-70 people, which in itself will lead to more intense demand for Russian aircraft.
It is worth emphasizing the fact that in such developments should pay careful attention to using only domestic air hub and assemblies, as in this case, not only reduce the cost of construction of one unit, but also provide an opportunity to avoid various kinds of force majeure, including related with Western sanctions.
Vladimir Putin visited International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2015
Together with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Mr Putin visited the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry pavilion, which includes the stands of Irkut, Tupolev and Sukhoi, in particular, and an exhibition by Rostec State Corporation.
The President also visited the pavilion organised by the festival Ot vinta (Clear Prop!), where young engineers demonstrated their inventions.
International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS is one of the largest in the world. This year it features around 600 Russian and more than 150 foreign corporations and companies from 30 countries. MAKS-2015 is taking place in the Moscow Region town of Zhukovsky on August 25–30.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin about ALASKA 2015:
I want to mention too the Alaska-Siberia 2015 flight that took place just recently to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory [in World War II]. Pilots from Russia and the United States of America, flying planes from the war years, followed this long and dangerous route that linked our countries during those years, and are now here in Zhukovsky. This undertaking made a worthy contribution to preserving the memory of the war and the courage and heroism of those who fought Nazism. Thank you to everyone who took part in this wonderful project.
Veterans share history of Lend-Lease
The night before Rex Tanberg was set to speak at the Warbirds Over the Falls event, he found some notes that his father had written while he was assigned to the 7th Ferrying Group at Gore Hill.
Tanberg, former commander of the 120th Fighter Wing and a pilot, said during Saturday’s ceremony that in his father’s notes he found stories he hadn’t known before.
His father had arrived in Great Falls 73 years earlier, in a convoy as the troops were setting up the base on Gore Hill.
Tanberg’s father, also named Rex, had enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October 1941.
Once in Great Falls, he became part of the Lend-Lease program that sent nearly 8,000 aircraft from the U.S. to the Soviet Union to help them defeat Nazi Germany.
Great Falls was the staging area for that program, with members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots bringing planes direct from manufacturers to Great Falls. From here, male military pilots would ferry through Canada and Alaska to meet Soviet pilots in Fairbanks. The Soviet pilots were waiting there to deliver the planes to the battlefront.
The elder Tanberg was a maintenance airmen and personally helped ferry 27 aircraft to Alaska during Lend-Lease.
He also helped ferry aircraft across Europe, was a chief flight engineer in India and flew missions over the Himalaya Mountains in China, Burma and India. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Battle Stars while flying on 99 missions and 743 flying hours.
After the war, he joined the Montana Air National Guard and retired as a colonel with more than 36 years of service.
The younger Tanberg said that many of the ferry pilots were flying with less than 40 hours of flying time and weren’t instrument rated, so they flew in groups, following a rated pilot.
During the 1940s, pilots used what’s known as the four-course range navigation. If they were too far on one side of the flight path, they’d hear Morse code for A, if they were on the other side of the line, they’d hear Morse code for N, and if they were on course, they’d hear an even tone, according to Jeff Geer, founder of Bravo 369 Flight Foundation.
Bravo 369 is a nonprofit that is tracing the Alaska to Siberia route from Lend-Lease and making a documentary about the program and those involved.
Tanberg said his father wrote of a day that was 72 below zero and some troops went to the hospital for frostbite but one died of frozen lungs when he tried to run from the Civic Center to the hospital.
“There’s a lot of history here,” Tanberg said. “Most of them gave everything they had, some gave their lives, to help the U.S. win the war.”
It’s those kinds of stories that Bravo 369 is looking for in their documentary. They’ve found some pilots and others who worked for 7th Ferrying Group, but are looking for more.
“We’re always uncovering new stories,” said Craig Lang, director of Bravo 369.
The project is also bridging some gaps between the U.S. and Russia.
The Bravo 369 crew is flying T-6s with a crew from RUSAVIA, a Russian aviation company, in their C-47s along the Lend-Lease route through Canada, to Alaska and then traveling to Moscow for a major airshow there in August where the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe will be commemorated.
“This project is the power of an idea, the power of a dream,” Geer said.
Sergey Baranov, president of RUSAVIA, said the crews from Russia, the U.S. and Canada were now a “united team.”
“It’s a great collaboration,” Baranov said. “Even in these uneasy times.”
Burt Talcott was a Stanford University graduate that became a B-24 pilot.
When he was shot down over Austria, he had to escape out of the top of the plane because there was a fire below, he said. The 95-year-old believes he’s the only one to have survived such an escape.
“I bailed out of the top hatch. It was almost impossible to get out of there. It was the only means of escape because the plane was on fire,” he said. “I was one of those pilots with more take-offs than landings.”
Talcott is the uncle of Brad Talcott, a local contractor and developer, and was in town for the Warbirds event. He was honored during Saturday’s ceremony at the airport.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here,” he said.
After escaping from his downed B-24, he spent 13 months as a German prisoner of war. During that time he lost 50 pounds and days were passed with “boredom and anxiety.”
After the war, the Billings native became a lawyer and was later elected to represent California in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented one district for 12 years and another district for two years, before losing his seat to Leon Panetta, who later became the CIA director and Secretary of Defense.
Talcott never flew with Lend-Lease, but said it was interesting to talk to the other veterans at the ceremony who had.
“I was just one in the military, but in those days, everybody pitched in,” he said. “Everybody was pulling together a war response for the country.”
As for a U.S. group partnering with the Russians on the project, Talcott said “it could be an invitation for better relatiosn with our two countries, which is greatly needed.”
Mark Milkovich was assigned to the Air Corps/Army Air Forces Ferrying Command and was stationed at Galena Air Base. He worked in finance, so he was the one handling the money for the young ferrying pilots.
While there, he got to know the pilots and crews passing through and saw the Soviet crews, but couldn’t communicate with them because he didn’t know the language.
A translator asked Milkovich if he’d like to fly to Russia with them on a mission, but he said that with his Yugoslavian name, he was worried he’d be kept in Russia.
While stationed at Galena, the Yukon River flooded and the living quarters were flooded to the ceiling and the hangar had 13 feet of water, he said. He and other troops lived on top of the hangar for four days without food or water and when ice chunks starting bashing up against the hangar, Milkovich convinced people to open the doors so the ice could flow through.
“We were fearful it would tip over,” he said.
He turned 93 on Sunday and he had a happy story about one of the Lend-Lease pilots.
“I introduced a pilot to a young lady, and they got married,” he said.
The Bravo 369 and RUSAVIA crews are scheduled to depart Great Falls for Canada early Monday morning, weather permitting.
Warbirds land in Great Falls
On Friday, Mallette flew a vintage P-51 to the Great Falls International Airport for the Warbirds Over the Falls event.
His P-51 was built in 1944 and never saw combat, but for the weekend event it represents an iconic aircraft from World War II.
Mallette is now based in Helena and was joined by a P-63 Kingcobra out of Idaho, a C-47 flown by a Russian crew, a C-130 from the 120th Airlift Wing and two T-6s from the Bravo 369 Flight Foundation.
The event is designed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe and also to highlight the Lend-Lease program, which staged in Great Falls.