# Flying

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by hypewaders, Feb 22, 2004.

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I teach people to fly, and work on airplanes for my living, but primarily because I have so much fun. Anybody who wants to ask anything about flying, I'll tell what I know, and make up the rest.

3. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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Well Hype I am a airplane fanatic, so I want to ask you a question.

Do you think that Boeing will be able to survive the Airbus challenge of the A-380? You know # of Pax, vs. speed?

Do you think that the major American carriers like American, United, etc. should merge or do you think that they can all fulfill their niche?

5. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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I think the A-380 will not be welcome at airports, and the first crash of one will end their passenger service. Large passenger loads present avoidable logistical and safety problems. Also, large aircraft along major routes are going to become avoidable nuisances for choosy passengers, because the leviathans are bound by the need for large hub terminals, and hampered by long turnaround times to load and unload passengers. Smaller and more advanced jets are beginning to provide more direct, flexible and far more enjoyable travel. I excpect very large aircraft to soon go out of fashion just as the airships did.

Most of the time I fly, I do it for the experience and not as transporation. But two weeks ago, I flew a biplane from New York to Texas, that has a total seating capacity of one. I am certain that nobody in a Boeing or Airbus has ever enjoyed such a trip as I did in that 24-foot span, 180-hp baby fighter plane.
-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

8. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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But one must concede that the A-380 offers much more profitability for the companies, low fuel consumption, greater passenger loads, and even putting duty frees in the craft, with the occasional message parlor. I think the A-380 has its problems, being that will put a strain on airports, but with increasing passenger loads each year smaller jets will cause much more traffic. Companies with the A-380 should be able to further decrease the price of a ticket. I think that Boeing's plans are ambitious but questionable; the failure of her 777-300, and 767-400's should not come as a surprise. Boeing is simply not competitive with an airbus that is cheaper, in conformity with each other, and has repeatedly got better grades from passengers for aisles room, and leg room. Trust me I have been on enough 737's to loath the damn thing. I think the same thing was said about the 747 about one crash and that's it. But the 747 is the most successful long ranged airliner ever devised, and so should the A-380. I think the problem is that ppl find the A-380 imposing (as they should) but really it makes much more sense then smaller planes.

http://www.airbus.com/product/a380_backgrounder.asp

I think that the A-380 freighter is going to be a wild success as well.

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If hauling walking freight is fulfilling, I suppose they are grand. The pretty contrails make nice reference lines for aerobatics, and the 747s leave magnificent ones when there's enough humidity way up there. Occasionally a KC-135 with a bevy of F-16s nicely grids my tapestry. That's when I like to switch on the smoke and draw something a little more whimsical. I think the DC-3, Connie, Boeing 314, VC-10, and a few others far surpassed big contemporary flesh-freighters in sheer elegance.

10. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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But the Connie, the 314, and the VC-10 were all eventually relegated to freighter work as well in their twilight years. Admittedly there is nothing like looking at a BOAC VC-10, but now she is a jet that does in-flight refueling for the RAF. The future is more money, not less, companies on international routes are going to have a increase of passengers, and they would want to decrease the costs per passenger, to do that would mean en masse. But the Russians believe it or not are going super sonic; Tupolev is seriously contemplating what is named the Tu-444. But it is a biz jet, I forget but Tupolev had another supersonic jet in development? The Tu-244? I think it will be interesting to see if the Russian have the initiative and the money to proceed.

11. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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Undecided, you might enjoy this VC-10 site.

The IL-96 is, I must admit, beautiful.

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15. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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Shocking isn't it, it is even better then the Condor of the same era. If WWII never happened, let me tell you a true golden age would have happened. With Lufthansa Condors crossing the Atlantic, Imperial Airways Albatross' going to Egypt, or India. Who knows about the Soviet Union, that would have interesting to see. Surely the centre of aircraft development would have been in Europe not the US. Also I suggest you check this website out:

http://www.cardatabase.net/modifiedairlinerphotos/

http://www.cardatabase.net/modifiedairlinerphotos/search/photo_search.php?id=00000539

But my all time fav. livery/jet combo has to be the Interflug Il-62:

I miss good ole Interflug...

16. ### whitewolfasleep under the juniper bushRegistered Senior Member

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Ah. Thousands of us, at young age, read Richard Bach and ever since then are mesmorized by the sky. I gaze at seagulls and wish I could fly an airplane since age 8. Many losers like me never go further than that. A large portion gets into the airplane, looks at the clouds every half an hour, sighs, and lives on with more important daydreams. I have to admit that ever since I found out that women are not allowed into combat lines in airforce I decided there's nothing for me to do there.

Nonetheless.... Some day, when I'm rich, I will buy an airplane. So, Hype, share any experiences worth telling, tell of the cost of flight schools, age of people starting to go there, etc.

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I teach flying at the Cooperstown-Westville Airport in Upstate, NY, USA. It takes my students on average 10-20 flight hours and $900-$1800 invested to be ready for solo flying. To carry passengers as a Private Pilot, it takes 40-60 hours and $4-5K dollars. Another 40-flight hour course prepares pilots for instrument flying, which is highly recommended if you want to travel in your airplane. I rent my Cessna 150 for$60 per flight hour, with fuel and maintenance expenses included. Some of my customers schedule the airplane for weekend trips, which enables them to affordably enjoy not only the flying, but easy access to the entire Northeastern US. If a renter should get weathered in somewhere, and be forced to return without the airplane (you must in this case pay for your own return by friend, bus, airline, hitchhiking, etc) there is no penalty for exercising good judgement- I'll retrieve the plane at my cost.

As a trained pilot, flying yourself and a friend on a weekend getaway would typically cost about $300. For local flights, you can share the expense of a scenic tour with your passenger, in which case an hour's enjoyment of flying would cost you$30.

18. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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There's a shortage of good mechanics out there today. Many mechanics are being brought into America from South America which doesn't have as high of standards as America does when certifying their mechanics. That being said I think that many rental agencies are getting cheap labor and installing cheap parts from overseas. There are many good mechanics that come in from overseas but they just aren't as well trained as American ones are.

Overhauls must be done to engines every 1000 hours I believe for planes like yours. I just wonder how many companies comply with that regulation? Many times I hear that when aircraft crash there's some type of mechanical or electrical failure, over 75 percent from what I remember. I just have my doubts as to the airworthiness of some aircraft that are flying after knowing about second rate parts being used to get by with their overhauls. To many people trying to cut costs out there and they are hard to find with so few examiners to check out there airworthiness.

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Private aviation suffers under very stringent regulations that are not always fairly or practically conceived and enforced.

I get very cheap labor, because I do what I must do to keep my planes flying with my own two hands. Sometimes I pay myself with a cigarette, or more extravagently, with a flight just for fun. Small airplanes are far simpler than cars mechanically, and their proper maintenance mostly involves (as its most precious commodity) a generous amount of common sense. Parts are relatively expensive, either directly in purchasing them, or indirectly when it is necessary to fabricate them. In all cases the effort is well rewarded, but not always financially. Most aircraft owners who do not have the opportunity or desire to learn how to maintain their machines typically pay $30-80 hourly hiring someone. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than maintenance out of immediate necessity. In other words, aircraft are properly and most commonly maintained with the philosophy of monitoring the entropy of every component, and replacing that component before reliability is in doubt. Some components, like the primary structure, require very little maintenance other than respectful usage and corrosion protection, and can easily serve reliably for a century or more. On one of my planes, I recently repaired the primary fuselage structure in 2 places due to rust, in the course of an overhaul. I basicly took a hacksaw, cut out the rusted areas of tubing, and welded in new replacement sections of tubing that I made and installed for about$20.

Sometimes due to a deteriorating valve, I will remove an engine cylinder, have it reconditioned by an engine shop with new valve parts, and I'll reinstall it for a total cost around $500. I overhaul engines when they are "ready". This is a decision based not only on hours already in service, but also on oil analysis, engine performance, and sometimes economics- If an engine is requiring any exhorbitantly expensive single component repair, it is exchanged for an overhauled one. Recommended overhaul periods are a vague comparative statistic, but have no useful predictive value regarding one particular engine. Some give good service through 25% of their recommended overhaul period, and some through 150%. Most get overhauled near the recommended TBO(Time B4 Overhaul). Major engine overhauls for a simple single-engine airplane range from$12,000 to \$25,000 depending mostly on engine power rating. Most engines like this get overhauled once every 2,000 hours on average, which for individual occasional flyers can be literally a lifetime. So far, I've personally flown about 6,000 hours, which is more than typical.

Generally speaking, there is no evidence of any problem with the standards and practices of aircraft maintenance anywhere I have been. Very, very rarely are mechanical problems the cause of any injuries. In the case of private aviation, government involvement has reached the level that any greater regulation destroys the market. In other words, the only way that private flying can be made significantly safer is for the very activity to be economically curtailed. Of course it is likely that somewhere, someone is doing something stupid from a mechanical standpoint, to an airplane- but for the vast majority of people involved, very conservative and sober thinking goes into aircraft maintenance.

About 350 Americans are killed annually in connection with the operation of small airplanes (about 40,000 per year die accidentally in their cars, 30,000 intentionally end their own lives, and 20,000 are killed by violence within the USA). Most general aviation accidents have a chain of factors, rather than one single cause. Most often, as in over 95% of accident cases, the most offending component is the pilot. It would be difficult to find evidence to support a contention that more than a dozen Americans die annually as a direct result of bad aviation maintenance in the private aviation sector. It would be even more difficult to find a regulatory way to eliminate this specific manifestation of human error or negligence.

It is absolutely clear that aviation maintenance is a very rare primary cause of aviation accidents. In most cases bad decision-making precipitates tragedy. Reducing the likelihood of bad pilot decisions is a predominating focus of my work as a flight instructor. As I do routine maintenance on my airplanes, there is little or no uncertainty as to when a job is finished, or done right, and when it is not. Simple machines are simple to keep in good working order.

General Aviation Accident Statistics (a .pdf file)

Airline Accident Statistics

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Question from certified psycho in a mostly unrelated thread:

"can people with glasses fly or you need contacts to fly?"

Glasses are fine. Prescription goggles, even, if you like roaring around in an open cockpit aeroplane. Personally, my vision is much better with disposable contacts than it can be with even the best-made glasses. I once worked in an optical lab, and tried to create the perfect glasses for my moderate stygmatic myopia. For me, contacts provide vision that is demonstrably superior to the acuity of many friends and acquaintances who think they have "perfect" vision.

21. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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So then you hold this because you do your own work to your aircraft:

Q. What aviation mechanic certificates and ratings are issued by FAA?

A. FAA issues a single mechanic certificate with an Airframe (A) rating, or a Powerplant (P) rating or both (A&P) ratings to qualified applicants.

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Of course. But if I did not hold an A&P, I could seek the guidance of a licensed A&P to guide me as I do the work. And certificate or not, only a fool would venture into unfamiliar assemblies or procedures without the know-how that is required.

Well, on second thought, I have sometimes messed up on something through ignorance, but the resultant defective part does not ever get consideration to be installed on an aircraft that is to be released to fly. In these situations, such a part is put out of its misery, and disfigured beyond all confusion with a useful part, with whatever destructive tool I find ready and most satisfying. This varies from tossing stripped screws in the trash on a daily basis, to loud clanging noises and swear words in the hangar, to the rare spectacle of a broken carburetor falling from considerable altitude to its complete and violent destruction (anyone can legally do this from an airplane, so long as precautions are taken not to hit anyone, or anything they value). Such assertive decommissioning of parts can be very cathartic, especially if stupidity was involved in the shoddy work. So we have fun with our mistakes, but don't fool around with final workmanship when it comes to a flying machine. This is a part of aviation culture and self-preservation that predates, but has been encourageed by regulations.

OH- & I don't trust a mechanic who doesn't love airplanes enough to also be a pilot, or at least an enthusiastic passenger.

23. ### Energy BuffRegistered Member

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So Hypewaders, you're a mechanic. What would you say is the better bush plane as far as reliability, and ease of maintainance? The Piper Cub, the Beaver, or what? Or don't you do small planes?