New flights to Rijeka

After months of negotiations Ryan Air has confirmed that it will commence services to the sea side town of Rijeka (pictured above), located in North-Western Croatia. The world’s largest low cost airline will commence seasonal services to Rijeka’s Airport, located on the island of Krk, from April 1, 2009 and will operate there until the winter season which begins in late October. The flights will operate from London and Birmingham twice a week. This will bring the total number of flights to the UK from Rijeka to 4 times a week as two flights are operated by Croatia Airlines to London-Heathrow. More specific details about Ryan Air’s plans to Rijeka will be known when Rijeka Airport authorities sign an agreement with Ryan Air. The airport authorities are hoping that the low cost airline will introduce more flights in the near future. The German airline TUIfly has also announced it will be increasing flights to Rijeka next year.

Rijeka Airport has seen a major decrease in passenger numbers this year. In the month of September alone the airport saw a drop of 35% while October figures, which should be released within the next few days, are also expected to see decreasing numbers.

Two more Hughes 369's. ZK-HMZ and ZK-HUX.

Two more Hughes 369's I noted on my recent outing.

ZK-HUX Hughes 369D , c/n 1190607D had a build date of November 1979 to become N9149F. It came to NZ and was registered to one R J Hayes at Te Anau as ZK-HUX on 16-05-1985, first flying as such at Christchurch on 29-05-85. It moved up to Airwest Helicopters at Reefton in April 1989 before going back to Te Anau on 09-09-1994 - this time listed to Southern Lakes Helicopters. Mount Hutt Helicopters used it during 1996 although they don't seem to appear on the "official paperwork" . Central South Island Helicopters (Helimac) of Herbert feature from 31-05-2002 and currently Enfield Enterprises of Oamaru feature from 19-10-2004. Pictured above at the Timaru Gun Club on 05-10-08, parked about 10m from the Airfield boundary fence. I guess this negates any landing fees !

One that has eluded me for many years is the Hughes 369HS ZK-HMZ. However on 11-10-08 It was the only occupant of the airfield at Manapouri - parked away out by the fuel pump. This is a product of July 1973 and began as N9156F with a c/n of 730499S before becoming ZK-HMZ on 23-05-79 with F R Andrews Transport Ltd at Gore. As of 26-02-87 it was listed to W Pinckney & F R Andrews Transport and then to W Pinckney Ltd at Glenaray Station (Waikaia) from 30-11-94. Scobies Transport of Wyndham feature from 04-01-1996. It now carries the script Scobies Transport Ltd and Helicopters Southland Ltd.

Note that both are fitted with wire cutters above and below the fuselage pod.

Also interesting was the fact that although this airfield is some distance from civilisation, I was met by another vehicle as I was departing the airfield. Just the elderly Mr Scobie himself wondering what I was doing near his flying machine. So big bro is watching out there.

New flights from Zagreb and Podgorica

The Swiss based airline Flybaboo has commenced regular services from its base in Geneva to the Croatian capital of Zagreb making it the only airline to operate between the two cities this winter. The flights began on Tuesday, October 28 and will be operated twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday. The flight approximately takes 2 hours. It will primarily cater for the Croatian and Bosnian dispora living in Geneva that will now be able to, without transiting through other airports, reach their homeland. The passengers travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to reach home by transiting at only 1 stop in Zagreb. The flights are operated using a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 Turboprop, which is able to seat 78 people.

Meanwhile the 2009 summer season is already being planned in Montenegro’s main hub Podgorica. The second largest British airline, BMI, has recently announced that it will commence services from London’s Heathrow Airport to the Montenegrin capital following the success of Montenegro Airlines’ Podgorica/Tivat to London-Gatwick line. The new flights will commence on May 1, 2009 unless the destination is dropped by BMI’s new owners Lufthansa.

Hughes 369 paint scheme

Found this somewhat differently painted Hughes 369 in a hangar at Queenstown.
I believe it to be Kim Hollows of Fiordland Helicopters H369D ZK-HJO2 , c/n 107-0204D.
These aren't getting any younger. Cranked out in 1978 it spent ten years as N8699F before drifting down to Australia to become VH-AJZ.
Jo Faram of Gisborne picked it up as ZK-HJO on 16-02-1996, followed by a period with Miller Helicopters near Thames from June of 97. It was listed to Fiordland Helicopters on 14-04-00.

Taieri's Blokes Shed

Spied the sign on the side of the Otago Aero Club hangar at Taieri the other day (17-10-08).

And a list of the "Blokes" key holders stuck on one of the windows.

"New" Resident at Hokitika

Pete Lock of Hokitika recently took delivery of Jodel D9 ZK-AKR with the aircraft being flown from its previous home of Balclutha to Timaru and then across the Southern Alps to Hokitika. This particular example celebrated its 21st birthday in January this year, yet its cosmetic appearance certainly gave the look of something more befitting the era in which the registration of ZK-AKR would have been more aptly applied!

Belgrade Airport plan to save Jatand improve hub

The government owned Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport of Serbia has reported that by the end of 2008 it will have a profit of 18 million Euros which is 14 million greater than last year. The airport is now conducting a plan to reduce the dilemma of Serbian national carrier Jat. It was recently reported that Jat will be selling some offices worldwide including a few offices inside Serbia to reduce costs. The CEO of Belgrade Airport is proposing that they purchase the offices and allow Jat to continue operating them. The purchase would amount to 35 million Euros. However there is a split inside the Serbian government. The Minister of the Economy as well as the Serbian Privatisation Agency want to see Jat’s properties sold while Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković and the Ministry of Finances believe that Jat can survive without selling out extremely valuable and lucrative property. It is expected that the government will today either adopt or reject Jat’s development strategy for the next 4 years. It was supposed to be passed last Thursday however the differing opinions within the government postponed the protocol until this week. Meanwhile Jat Airways has been accusing Belgrade Airport for not helping the airline enough because it must pay some of the most expansive taxes and operational costs in Europe to operate from their Belgrade hub.

Meanwhile Belgrade Nikola Tesla will, on November 20, 2008, commence operating the category IIIb runway landing system. This system allows aircraft to depart and land in the worst of weather, especially during low visibility. Beforehand flights had to be diverted to Niš or other nearby airports due to their inability to land during fog. For now only Zagreb’s Pleso Airport and Belgrade Airport have the new system out of all the EX-YU capital city airports. The system was installed 2 years ago however only now has it been approved for use by the Civil Aviation Board. In late December 2007 many flights were cancelled and delayed due to fog and this should now become a thing of the past. There is only one category better than this system however it is used by barely a handful of the largest world airports. Furthermore the airport is devising a plan for the construction of its Terminal 3. More information about this vision and project will be known within the next month.

New Adria and Belgrade flights

Slovenia’s national carrier Adria Airways is already in the advance stages of finalising its summer 2009 schedule which begins on March 29. With the arrival of new aircraft more new services can be expected. Adria Airways will launch scheduled flights to the capitals of Spain and Bulgaria in order to meet the demand. Soon more information will be known about the new flights from Ljubljana to Madrid and Sofia.

Meanwhile Pegasus Airlines of Turkey will commence regular services to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport from January 25, 2009 after receiving necessary slots from Belgrade Airport and an approval from Serbia‘s Civil Aviation Authority. The new flights will operate from Istanbul’s alternative base - Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The flights will depart from Turkey’s largest city to Serbia’s capital every Monday and Wednesday late in the evening while it while its return flights will be operated on Tuesday and Thursday just after midnight. The aircraft to carry out the operations on this line will be either a B737-500 or a B737-800. This will bring the number of flights operated from Belgrade to Istanbul to 13 times a week. Currently Jat Airways operates to Istanbul Ataturk Airport 6 times a week while Turkish Airlines operates to the same airport 5 times a week.

Auster J1B Aiglet skiplane.

On 07-10-08 I made my annual pilgrimage up to Mount Cook. The prevailing meteorological conditions were such that the only activity at the Mount Cook Skiplane base was the young Lady at the terminal building service desk. Even the hangars were closed.
I took the opportunity to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at the Hermitage to track down the Auster ZK-BDX. The photo above shows it suspended in the foyer of the Alpine Centre. Pic taken through the glass doors. The round object is actually a large light suspended forward of and below the aircraft.
ZK-BDX is an Auster J1B Aiglet with the c/n 3122. Built as G-ANGV and exported through W S Shackleton in the UK to the NZ agents Bristol Aeroplane Co (NZ) Ltd. It became ZK-BDX on 18-03-1954 and received its C of A on 29-09-1954 with Mount Cook & Southern Lakes Tourist Co Ltd. It carried out its first landing on the Tasman Glacier on 22-09-1955. It, along with the Auster J1B ZK-BDL, were the Company ski plane trial aircraft. On 24-08-1959 ownership changed to the well known gliding man of the time, Bruce Gillies of Oamaru. It joined the North Otago Aero Club in april of 1961 followed by time with the North Otago Gliding Club, R B Johnson of Springfield and then back to Mount Cook Airlines abount 1974. it was withdrawn from use after its C of A expired and was displayed (suspended from the ceiling) in the Queenstown Motor Museum mid 1983. Its registration was cancelled on 21-06-1991. It then moved to the Queenstown Airport domestic terminal ceiling in 2001 and last year ended up at the hermitage.

New Zagreb Airport terminal designcreates controversy

Zagreb Airport is set to quadruple in size according to its expansion. The main hub of Croatia will get a new terminal which will enable five million passengers to travel through it every year, compared to the current capacity of two million. The new design (pictured above) was unveiled earlier during October. Current facilities are expected to be renovated by next summer, while the new building is created 2.5km north-east of the existing structure. Boško Matković, the airport’s director, said that the project is finally coming to a realisation 20 years after it was first proposed. He added: "We now have to request a construction permit, the drawing up of implementation projects and issue a tender for contractors. If everything goes to plan, we expect the works to be completed by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012”. However things are not going to plan.

An anonymous person has filed a report that Jure Radić, Branko Kincl and Velimir Neidhardt plagiarised their project for Zagreb’s new airport from Osaka airport, by the architect Renzo Piano. The report was given to the chamber of architects and engineers of construction. The chamber confirmed that there is no valid signature on the report, so they do not know who reported the architectural proposal for Zagreb’s new Pleso airport. The report requests that Radić, Neidhart and Kincl have their permits permanently revoked because of the plagiarism. The report also says that the competition was set up, and that people were professionally incompetent to notice a copy. It also said the architects who evaluated the work should have their licences revoked, which includes Jerko Rosino. The winning design caused controversy in Croatia as many believed there were much better designs. The airport authorities in Zagreb said that the allegations of plagiarism are nonsense.

To view the designs in order of the prize it received follow this link. Once there scroll down the page and make your own judgment if the best design won.

Milford Helicopters

A visit into Milford Sound on 10-10-2008 found the Aerospatiale A350B2 , c/n 4419 , of Milford Helicopters sitting out in the inclement weather. This near new machine was first registered on 30-07-08.
Lurking in the hangar was their other AS350 (ZK-HYM from memory - I forgot to note the registration down) and the Hughes 369E ZK-HTN2 , c/n 0335E. This is a 1989 model registered to Milford Helicopters on 30-10-01 having previously served in Canada, Norway twice, and Sweden twice. The above pic taken on 10-10-08 and the lower photo taken a year earlier on 12-10-07. Note the different nose structure.

Progress on the manufacturing / process side development

As with the aerodynamics, I am also in a continuous learning mode with composite fabrication and also metalwork. We just purchased a TIG welding machine. That seems like a welding machine that have courage to try out, it is almost like using gas-welding but with a little arc. Hmm. like a little tesla-coil? How the arc behaves seems to be adjustable and e.g. it seems possible to avoid the crater when stopping weld by adjusting the time how long it takes for the arc to diminish. There are many adjustments in the machine and there is lot to learn. And we tried yesterday. Welding aluminum is tricky, it suddenly melts without prior warning. And even after that, it continues to melt more, if I didn't pay attention how long I heated it up. Anyway, seems like a fun challenge to master TIG-welding of aluminum. These things may be obvious for professional welders, but you know, they don't teach welding to engineers. One must start from somewhere. I will use the TIG-welding machine for construction of the big CNC machine that we have been planning with Kate for quite some time by now. A big CNC is needed for creating fuselage and wing plugs. Doing it inaccurately manually seems like great waste of time (have been trying and have found that it does not pay off, a better method is worth to be investigated - I don't take any "facts" for granted, unless I agree with the results and have compared the method to alternatives and found it to be the best for that purpose (by the way, different parts may require different kind of construction method, optimal is not always only one method)).

I have been researching also alternative materials since I obtained the Cozy MKIV plans (which I am not building right now). So I have pretty unused 20 kg can of MGS L285. Nothing wrong with the epoxy, but I just found out a better epoxy: The Hybtonite obviously - the carbon nanotube epoxy. The price seems competitive with the MGS (read: the MGS is overpriced because of shipping costs from Germany) and with about the same amount of money I could as well use this "breakthrough material". It does not change the world by itself, but it can add some welcome stiffness to pieces that might be otherwise too flexible. If I hadn't have this 20 kg unused can of MGS, I would be screaming and ordering a 20 kg can of Hybtonite right now. But having this unused epoxy in the garage a kind of slows the process down since I have lots of money invested in that can and the epoxy has limited shelf life. The Amroy representative is saying that the carbon nanotube material should be as safe as any other composite material (read: not more hazardous than epoxy is already, which is hazardous by definition).

I have been discussing off-line with one UAV/RC-plane designer. He has given me lots of valuable links. I may publish some of them sometime later on this blog, so stay tuned. I am not mentioning his name now, because I am not sure if he wants to be mentioned, but anyway, I find the information found this way quite interesting and helpful. As I have been reading these documents, it has also occurred to me sometimes, that what if the configuration layout would have looks and styling as one major parameter. In my opinion, B2 way the coolest publicly known aircraft out there. So I kind of love flying wings. But I have many reasons to not be thinking of designing a flying wing, for aerodynamic and stability standpoint. But one of the configurations (that I have known before of course, but these documents were kind of reminding me about those, that some find them actually useful over the conventional configuration) - the joint wing. What if you take a B2, use no twist - ie. make a normal main wing, and put a inverted V-tail into it in a box wing configuration so that the inverted V-tail starts from the wing tips, and it avoids yet another intersection by not connecting to the fuselage anywhere. This might make the controls a bit tricky, would mean wire in mechanical control rather than push-rods. Or maybe it could be a hybrid of fly-by-wire and manual control: aileron control could be manual and the elevator and rudder (and the mixing of the two) could be handled with electronics and servo motors would drive these surfaces. Would require very powerful servo motors though (needs to be very fast and very strong). But I have been sometimes kind of thinking this kind of fly-by-wire. Before someone screams that fly-by-wire takes hundreds of years to develop, I would like to remind that it is simple RC-plane technology that people are using all the time in the simplest form - fly-by-wire does not need to mean computerized flight controls and a aerodynamically unstable aircraft by definition. A electric wire weights less than a push-rod anyway when the length is very long (e.g. high aspect ratio wing, and in this case, something that starts from the wing tip). This configuration would make the cockpit very wide and not very tall. The looks would be compromised quite quickly if the cockpit part would protrude significantly from the wing. Obviously the cockpit section would be seamlessly blended into the wing. The interesting challenge here would be: how to make that work okay and minimize associated penalties rather than the motivation to choose this would be some parameter obtained from this configuration. At least it is that way until it is proven that this unorthodox configuration could be any good. At least it could be fun to make a RC-plane like that. And I would paint it to black. Full size plane would be trickier with the color, but there is high Tg Hybtonite available too. A realistic process could be infusion moulding with the hybtonite epoxy (I will investigate this at some point in the future, investing in process can pay back in construction phase significantly, instead of spending 20 years for sanding, I rather think first couple of years and try to optimize the actual construction work to not take 20 years). This would be a kind of alternative for carbon/glass prepregs.

Nanchang ZK-JQS pops in for gas.

Nanchang ZK-JQS , called through Rangiora yesterday afternoon for gas. Listed to the Omaka Real Flying Club it had departed Omaka, flown down the West Coast on Sunday and overnighted at Rakaia Gorge, and was heading back home. The number "20"on the nose cowl is the last two numbers of its c/n , ie 3832020.

Xfoil for Ubuntu Intrepid

You may find out that Xfoil is not in the Ubuntu repositories. For compiling the source package, you need g77 compiler, but that is not included to Ubuntu Intrepid repositories right now and getting it to work from the source seems to be a lot of trouble. Here is what I found, after some digging, a ready made package which installed on Ubuntu Intrepid fine:

Download the file and install with

sudo dpkg -i xfoil_6.97-1_i386.deb

If some of the dependending libraries are missing, just install those from Intrepid repository and it works fine without problems. Have fun!

For more reading about XFoil, please see:
Xfoil manual
Xfoil tutorial with illustrations XFoil tutorial
More on Xfoil at mh-aerotools

Kermit ZK-DYM

The sparkling new Rans S6 ES (TD) Coyote II ZK-DYM , c/n 4051657 , first flew at Rangiora on 12-10-2008. The results of 2700 hours of toil spread over two and three quarter years by Dave Mitchell of Amberley. Power is provided by a 80hp Rotax onto a Brent Thompson propeller.
Referred to early on during its construction as Kermit by the bystanders - The name has stuck and is now worn on its rudder.
On the forward fuselage it has the Mitchell family crest.
The ciloured covering is sprayed with "clear coat" which gives it a really nice glossy look.
It has the locally developed engine cowls which allow easy access to the top of the engine on either side by simply undoing two clips and hinging that section upwards. Normal Rans top access is achieved by undoing a heap of screws - which makes a decent preflight rather tedious.
Pics taken at NZRT on Sat 25th Oct 2008.

Vlaisavljević is out and Vujović is back

In a surprise move (Predrag) Draško Vujović (pictured below) long time Jat employee and the CEO of the airline from 2001 to 2005 will return to the airline in hope he will manage to revive the struggling Serbian national carrier. Vujović successfully led the airline with the reintroduction of key services and the return of Jat as an international airline following 10 years of restrictions which were placed on the airline by the UN. He also led the airline through its name change of JAT Yugoslav Airlines to Jat Airways. Before he was forced to step down in 2005 Vujović was about to create a new Jat subsidiary named Interlink which was to be Jat’s low cost airline although the plan was dropped following a change in management. The management changed after a month long strike organised by Jat Tehnika in 2005 (at the time part of Jat Airways) that paralysed the airline. Following his departure from Jat, Vujović created the unsuccessful Centavia, which was to be Serbia’s first low cost airline, however it struggled and went bankrupt a month after operations began. Vujović has worked in Jat for 20 years (when the 2005 to 2008 period is excluded). He should be officially named by the Serbian gvernment as the new CEO of Jat Airways within the next 5 days (if not today or tomorrow).

Saša Vlaisavljević (pictured above) worked as ground operations manager for Jat Airways at Belgrade Nikola Tesla from the early 90’s and became the airline’s CEO in 2007. He has been heavily criticised by airline company employees for closing down Jat offices around the world and shutting down international services. Vlaisavljević will leave Jat and become the manager of the City of Belgrade. Meanwhile the government has not yet adopted Jat’s development strategy. This is because Serbia’s prime minister and other members of the government do not agree with the recommendations that Jat should sell its international offices in New York, Amsterdam and a few other European cities. With the change in Jat’s management it remains to be seen what will happen.

Lady Jane shows her tail.

Southern DC-3 Ltd had their Douglas DC-3C ZK-AMY c/n 13506 ; better known to most of the public as "Lady Jane" ; at Rangiora for much of yesterday as part of an open day at the field.
A slightly better view of her tail as she gets airborne with another load of paying punters.

And coming over the fence with it all down.

Adria Airways winter 2008/09Strengthening European services

Today on October 26, 2008 Adria Airways, the national airline of Slovenia will begin with its winter schedule. This winter season, which ends on March 28, 2009, Adria has increased frequencies to some popular services and hasn’t decreased frequencies on almost any other destinations. Seasonal flights have ended. This winter Adria will operate 234 weekly flights to 22 destinations from Ljubljana. It will operate flights using 12 aircraft (2 Airbus A320s, 1 Boeing 737-500, 7 Bombardiers CRJ200s and 2 CRJ900s) as it awaits the delivery of 2 new CRJ900 Next Generation aircraft and 2 Bombardier 1000NextGen planes.

Adria Airways will operate four daily flights to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna which have all been increased from double daily flights operated during the summer. Furthermore the airline will operate three daily flights to Brussels and Zurich. Flights JP322 and JP342 to Paris will remain unchanged with double daily flights from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. Flights will be operated 9 times a week to Amsterdam, daily to London, Moscow and Istanbul, five weekly to Stockholm and Warsaw, four weekly to Kiev and Copenhagen and three weekly flights to Athens. Flights to Barcelona will operate twice a week and services will cease on January 4, 2009.

The airline is significantly strengthening its flights within the region including former YU republics. Flights JP700 and JP702 from Ljubljana to Sarajevo will operate 13 times a week, daily flights to Priština will remain unchanged, while Podgorica flights will also remain with the same level of operations it had during the summer – 3 times a week. In Macedonia, the airline will operate to Skopje with double daily flights. The airline also remains committed to Albania’s capital Tirana with 10 weekly flights. Flights to Bucharest will be operated 4 times a week. Adria does not serve any flights to Croatia or Serbia’s capital Belgrade.

The only flights Adria will end are to its 2 seasonal destinations Birmingham and Oslo. The airline will fly into the winter season with new uniforms (pictured above). Adria will also have to prepare to deal with its 2009 summer schedule when many flights from June will have to be redirected to Maribor due to the reconstruction of its hub in Ljubljana.

Tuatapere visitation

I had the honour of visiting the sausage capital of NZ on 12-10-08 and found these two helicopters parked at the Northern extremity of the town.
Robinson R22 Alpha ZK-HRN c/n 0475 went to Helispray South on 02-07-05 and changed to Helipark Ltd on 23-10-06.
Another Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HUV3 c/n 2722, is also operated from here but was away working during my visit.
Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HVI2 c/n 10185 is under lease to them from Bluewater Helicopters of Picton.
Note the Blue bus in the background of both pics.


Avid Flyer Aerobat ZK-VID , c/n AACA/763 , was built by Paddy McDonnell of Ashburton and registered on 08-12-1993. At this time it was powered by a Rotax 582.
Peter Taylor of Te Anau became the registered owner from 01-08-96. It was ground looped on take off at Alexandra on 12-03-2004 damaging the right wing and destroying the right undercarriage and fuselage attachment point.
Ownership transferred to John David Cranstoun of Kirwee on 23-05-06 who withdrew the aircraft and cancelled the registration on 13-07-07.
Paddy McDonnell returns to the scene and rebuilt the aircraft and replaced the Rotax with a Jabiru 2200 engine and reregistered it on 07-02-08.
The above pic was taken at Ashburton on 23-10-08 showing the paintwork nearing completion.

Fuselage cross sections with iRhino

I described earlier on one blog entry how to make fuselage cross sections with iRhino easily. Here is the illustration of the lofted object cut to cross sections:

Cross sections, perspective:

Cross sections from front (simplified):

The source model:

The lofting capabilities of iRhino are awesome, it is easy to create shapes that would be impossible to come up with 2D cad models. I continue to be amazed with the quality of Rhino and I am also more and more convinced that there is no need for a 2D drawing program, I can do everything with Rhino. We are going to model our house next (which will not be discussed on this blog because it is not on-topic), while it is excellent for uniform 3D-shapes, it works so nicely with 2D shapes as well that it would be quite lame to spend all the time for nothing with AutoCAD (I am still getting shivers about the bad user interface, how simple things could take enormous amount of time to do and how innovation could get killed by the tool, we used to use that program when I was doing my studies, it is like completely from different planet than Rhino, and it is not a compliment for AutoCAD) where the work can be completed in matter of minutes in the Rhino..

Cargo centre to save Niš Airport

Niš Constantine the Great Airport, Serbia’s second international airport reconstructed in 2004 after it was bombed by NATO in 1999 has struggled in the past 4 years to attract airlines. The airport’s management has more than once accused the national carrier Jat Airways of ignoring the city even though in 2006 Jat introduced flights to some 4 destinations from Niš, all of which struggled to maintain more than 10 passengers. Despite promises from the airport management low cost airlines have been more than reluctant to operate flights to the city, situated in Eastern Serbia. It is currently only served by Jat Airways which maintains 2 weekly services to Zurich. Montenegro Airlines operates flights to the airport during the summer.

However, there now seems to be an investment that could save the airport and benefit the whole region. The CEO of public company Airport Niš Radisav Radojković, and the director general of company Eymaxx Management GmbH from Vienna Mihail Miler, recently signed a contract for the joint financing of the development of a logistics, commercial and cargo centre to be located at the Constantine the Great Airport. The investment, which everybody expects to be the catalyst for development in Niš, and the whole region of southeast Serbia, is worth 61.3 million Euros and construction will start in spring. The Viennese company participated in the tender together with investment fund Chayton Capital from London. The contract was signed in the presence of the Minister for the Environment and Spatial Planning of Serbia Oliver Dulić, the Deputy Ambassador of Austria Urlike Hartman, the Mayor of Niš Miloš Simonović, and the representatives of Niš’s city council. “This is our first logistics centre in Serbia. We also want to develop a trade centre at the airport and invest a total of 100 million Euros in several phases. The first phase will result in the creation of 500 new jobs”, Miler pointed out.

Is this the revival the airport needs? Only time will tell. Niš (pictured above) is Serbia’s third largest city population wise.

NOTE: Adria’s winter 2008/09 schedule, which begins tomorrow, will be published tomorrow. Apologies for the delay.

Question time #24 continued.

OK then.

What do you make of this then ?

I want the model, registration letter/numbers & c/n please.

Big plans for Montenegro’s airports

Airports of Montenegro have announced that they have served their millionth passenger this year 2 months earlier compared to 2007. Last year the millionth passenger passed through the doors of Podgorica and Tivat Airport on December 12. Airports of Montenegro, the company that regulates the two international airports in the country, is expecting that this year they will serve 1.1 million passenger. It is expected that, this year, 10.000 aircrafts will be served, an increase of 12% compared to last year. Officials from the company have concluded that the constant increase in passengers is as a result of the continuous improvements at the airport terminals. In its statement the company also mentions that in 2008 various investments have taken place including the instalment of the new information system for electronic check-in and improved baggage handling and boarding procedures. Currently the reconstruction at Podgorica’s old terminal 1 is under way as well as the expansion of the apron at Tivat. The total of these two investment stands at 6 million Euros.

Furthermore the master plan strategy is currently in development. The plan will outline the expansion and management of both airports until 2023. The master plan will also outline the pace at which the two airports will be expanded.

Feasibility of air travel on short distances

I, like many others, have been thinking the state of the current air travel system. With all the security checks and check-ins, the travel time becomes long. And easily using car, train or bus wins the passenger plane in the spent time for traveling from place A to B.

In other words, if you fly from Helsinki to Tampere, you can expect the check-in etc. to take at least 1.5 hours prior to the flight and then the flight takes maybe 0.5 hours. It might be also late, cancelled etc., and if this is a connecting flight, you may need to wait for your flight for another 5 hours sitting at the airport. On the other side you are waiting for your luggage to come, and it may take easily 0.5 hours.

So the shortest time with check-in luggage to travel from Helsinki to Tampere is maybe 1.5+0.5+0.5 hours = 2.5 hours. You may have also spent 60-70 euros for taxi from home to the airport, and on the other side the same amount of money to taxi. This makes moving from Helsinki to Tampere to be 180/2.5 = 72 km/h.

What about if this was a connecting flight that you waited for 5 hours and which was one hour late. That makes 5+1+0.5+0.5 = 7 hours. This makes the speed 180/7.0 = 25 km/h. You could beat the plane with a bicycle!

How about if you used a light aircraft to fly by yourself:
- Getting to the airport takes the same time, although it is easier to get to the Malmi airport than to Helsinki-Vantaa with public transportation without paying the large Taxi fee.
- Doing pre-flight check for the plane takes 0.5 hours. If you are quick, you have filed flight plan etc. during this time too. You may be able to speed this up if you are not flying alone.
- If the plane flies 222 km/h on average (includes takeoff and landing), taxi tie down etc. time is accounted with +0.5 hours (includes both airports), the total time to fly to Tampere would be: 0.5 + 0.5 + 180/222.0 = 1.81 hours. This is 99 km/h.

So the slow light general aviation plane is faster than the airliner on this trip. It doesn't win use of car though, getting to the airport and from the another airport takes time. But it wins train, because in case of train, you would have to get to the train station, and get from the train station to your destination with public transportation, which adds easily 0.5 hours on both ends, even Pendolino is therefore slower than the private car on this distance, so it is not better than using the personal aircraft.

How about if the light plane was a bit faster. It would travel 300 km/h. The travel time would become 1.6 hours. This is 112.5 km/h. Actually you can save fuel on Toyota Prius if you travel 112.5 km/h. And you are sooner directly at your destination. Not bad though for the plane. Wins the airliner hands down even in the best case.

If the distance was a bit longer, it would change the other way. The private plane would be a lot faster way to travel than car. And the airline would still have the overhead associated with security checks, package check-ins, package claims etc. For example, already if you would be going to Kuopio or Jyväskylä, the personal aircraft would be faster than the private car. And still the airliner would be the loser in the speed.

If you would go to e.g. Tallinn, Estonia, then the private plane would be excellent choice. That is because you can't go there by car, you have to use some transportation in between (e.g. boat). Even fastest boats are slow compared to even small ultralight aircraft. You could take the airliner, but it would take very long to get to the destination because of the overhead taking place at the airport. Instead if you took off with private plane, the overhead can be made smaller.

This of course requires that the plane could be flown in all weather and it would be simple to operate, with no need to do complicated tasks prior to flight in the pre-flight check. Something that would be for personal travel like a family car rather than for "flying sport". And the plane should be very low drag and very high efficiency design to make it compete in the fuel burn with the car (competing with e.g. Toyota Prius with a plane is very tough - the fuel budget for 100 km would be about 5 liters to be equal). Many current aircraft are not like that. But I feel that there would be use for that kind of planes, and this would not be impossible.

Here is by the way a video I recorded last May in the California trip. This video is about flight from Mojave Space Port to Palo Alto.

Cirrus SR20 flight from Mojave to Palo Alto (raw footage) from Karoliina Salminen on Vimeo.

Croatia Airlines to order 4 Airbus A319s

The leading airline in the EX-YU region, Croatia Airlines, has signed a firm contract with Airbus for the purchase of 4 Airbus A319 aircraft. The aircraft will join the fleet in 2012 and 2013 while the cost of the deal is currently unknown. The aircraft will have a two class layout with a capacity of 132 seats and will be deployed both on domestic and international services. The new order brings to a total of 12 Airbus aircraft in the fleet. The Croatia Airlines fleet currently consists of 4 Airbus A319s and 4 A320s as well as 2 new Bombardiers Dash 8-400s (with another 2 two join the fleet next year, replacing the two current ATR42s one of which is leaving the fleet on the 25th of October this year with its last flight from Zagreb to Podgorica). The airline can activate another 4 options for the Bombardier aircraft. By next year the fleet size should consist of a total of 12 aircraft. The average age of the Croatia Airlines fleet stands at 9.3 years. Croatia Airlines has the youngest fleet out of all the national carriers from the EX-YU republics.

"This strategic decision will allow us to meet the future demand of our customers with the most modern, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft," said Ivan Mišetić, Croatia Airlines President and CEO. "We are very pleased that Croatia Airlines, one of the largest and most successful airlines in the region, has further confirmed its confidence in the A320 Family by expanding its order backlog with Airbus," said Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy. "This shows the airline’s satisfaction and clearly demonstrates the high demand for the A320's advanced technology and efficiency in the years to come."


In designing an airplane, a great deal of effort is spent in developing the desired degree of stability around all three axes. But longitudinal stability about the lateral axis is considered to be the most affected by certain variables in various flight conditions.

Longitudinal stability is the quality that makes an airplane stable about its lateral axis. It involves the pitching motion as the airplane’s nose moves up and down in flight. Alongitudinally unstable airplane has a tendency to dive or climb progressively into a very steep dive or climb, or even a stall. Thus, an airplane with longitudinal instability becomes difficult and sometimes dangerous to fly.

Static longitudinal stability or instability in an airplane, is dependent upon three factors:

Location of the wing with respect to the center of gravity;
Location of the horizontal tail surfaces with respect to the center of gravity; and
The area or size of the tail surfaces.

In analyzing stability, it should be recalled that a body that is free to rotate will always turn about its center of gravity.

To obtain static longitudinal stability, the relation of the wing and tail moments must be such that, if the moments are initially balanced and the airplane is suddenly nosed up, the wing moments and tail moments will change so that the sum of their forces will provide an unbalanced but restoring moment which, in turn, will bring the nose down again. Similarly, if the airplane is nosed down, the resulting change in moments will bring the nose back up.

The center of lift, sometimes called the center of pressure, in most unsymmetrical airfoils has a tendency to change its fore and aft position with a change in the angle of attack. The center of pressure tends to move forward with an increase in angle of attack and to move aft with a decrease in angle of attack. This means that when the angle of attack of an airfoil is increased, the center of pressure (lift) by moving forward, tends to lift the leading edge of the wing still more. This tendency gives the wing an inherent quality of instability.

Figure 3-12 shows an airplane in straight-and-level flight. The line CG-CL-T represents the airplane’s longitudinal axis from the center of gravity (CG) to a point T on the horizontal stabilizer. The center of lift (or center of pressure) is represented by the point CL.

Most airplanes are designed so that the wing’s center of lift (CL) is to the rear of the center of gravity. This makes the airplane “nose heavy” and requires that there be a slight downward force on the horizontal stabilizer in order to balance the airplane and keep the nose from continually pitching downward. Compensation for this nose heaviness is provided by setting the horizontal stabilizer at a slight negative angle of attack. The downward force thus produced, holds the tail down, counterbalancing the “heavy” nose. It is as if the line CG-CL-T was a lever with an upward force at CL and two downward forces balancing each other, one a strong force at the CG point and the other, a much lesser force, at point T (downward air pressure on the stabilizer). Applying simple physics principles, it can be seen that if an iron bar were suspended at point CL with a heavy weight hanging on it at the CG, it would take some downward pressure at point T to keep the “lever” in balance.

Even though the horizontal stabilizer may be level when the airplane is in level flight, there is a downwash of air from the wings. This downwash strikes the top of the stabilizer and produces a downward pressure, which at a certain speed will be just enough to balance the “lever.” The faster the airplane is flying, the greater this downwash and the greater the downward force on the horizontal stabilizer (except “T” tails). [Figure 3-13] In airplanes with fixed position horizontal stabilizers, the airplane manufacturer sets the stabilizer at an angle that will provide the best stability (or balance) during flight at the design cruising speed and power setting. [Figure 3-14]

If the airplane’s speed decreases, the speed of the airflow over the wing is decreased. As a result of this decreased flow of air over the wing, the downwash is reduced, causing a lesser downward force on the horizontal stabilizer. In turn, the characteristic nose heaviness is accentuated, causing the airplane’s nose to pitch down more. This places the airplane in a nose-low attitude, lessening the wing’s angle of attack and drag and allowing the airspeed to increase. As the airplane continues in the nose-low attitude and its speed increases, the downward force on the horizontal stabilizer is once again increased.

Consequently, the tail is again pushed downward and the nose rises into a climbing attitude.

As this climb continues, the airspeed again decreases, causing the downward force on the tail to decrease until the nose lowers once more. However, because the airplane is dynamically stable, the nose does not lower as far this time as it did before. The airplane will acquire enough speed in this more gradual dive to start it into another climb, but the climb is not so steep as the preceding one.

After several of these diminishing oscillations, in which the nose alternately rises and lowers, the airplane will finally settle down to a speed at which the downward force on the tail exactly counteracts the tendency of the airplane to dive. When this condition is attained, the airplane will once again be in balanced flight and will continue in stabilized flight as long as this attitude and airspeed are not changed.

A similar effect will be noted upon closing the throttle. The downwash of the wings is reduced and the force at T in figure 3-12 is not enough to hold the horizontal stabilizer down. It is as if the force at T on the lever were allowing the force of gravity to pull the nose down. This, of course, is a desirable characteristic because the airplane is inherently trying to regain airspeed and reestablish the proper balance.

Power or thrust can also have a destabilizing effect in that an increase of power may tend to make the nose rise. The airplane designer can offset this by establishing a “high thrustline” wherein the line of thrust passes above the center of gravity. [Figures 3-15 and 3-16] In this case, as power or thrust is increased a moment is produced to counteract the down load on the tail. On the other hand, a very “low thrust line” would tend to add to the nose-up effect of the horizontal tail surface.

It can be concluded, then, that with the center of gravity forward of the center of lift, and with an aerodynamic tail-down force, the result is that the airplane always tries to return to a safe flying attitude.

Asimple demonstration of longitudinal stability may be made as follows: Trim the airplane for “hands off” control in level flight. Then momentarily give the controls a slight push to nose the airplane down. If, within a brief period, the nose rises to the original position and then stops, the airplane is statically stable. Ordinarily, the nose will pass the original position (that of level flight) and a series of slow pitching oscillations will follow. If the oscillations gradually cease, the airplane has positive stability; if they continue unevenly, the airplane has neutral stability; if they increase, the airplane is unstable.

Skopje struggles to surpasslast year’s growth

In the month of September the total number of passengers transported at Macedonia’s main hub, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, stood at 59.457 passengers, which is an increase of 2.8% in comparison with same month of last year. From the beginning of the year to the end of September the airport has seen an increase of 6.7% in passenger numbers. It is still questionable if Skopje Airport will manage to surpass its last year’s growth of 15.5% by the end of the year. At the moment it is highly unlikely as flights to 3 destinations – Amsterdam, Berlin and Hamburg will be ceased as of October 26 by the national airline MAT. Total number of aircraft operations in September stood at 1159. Commercial aviation (scheduled, charter and cargo flights) had increased by 2.3% compared to last year and for now the airport authorities do not expect a fall in the number of operations.

The most frequent lines travelled by passengers from Skopje are Vienna and Zurich, with the biggest increase in passenger numbers to Ljubljana, Istanbul, Budapest and Zagreb and the greatest decrease compared to last year on flights to Zurich, Belgrade and German destinations Dusseldorf and Hamburg/Berlin. On direct charter flights to tourist destinations in Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Tunisia and Sicily in the period from June to September, 29.112 passengers were transported or 62.1% passengers more than last year, and represents 10.2% of total passengers numbers.

Dynamic Stability

Static stability has been defined as the initial tendency that the airplane displays after being disturbed from its trimmed condition. Occasionally, the initial tendency is different or opposite from the overall tendency, so distinction must be made between the two. Dynamic stability is the overall tendency that the airplane displays after its equilibrium is disturbed. The curves of figure 3-11 represent the variation of controlled functions versus time. It is seen that the unit of time is very significant. If the time unit for one cycle or oscillation is above 10 seconds’ duration, it is called a “long-period” oscillation (phugoid) and is easily controlled. In a longitudinal phugoid oscillation, the angle of attack remains constant when the airspeed increases and decreases. To a certain degree, a convergent phugoid is desirable but is not required. The phugoid can be determined only on a statically stable airplane, and this has a great effect on the trimming qualities of the airplane. If the time unit for one cycle or oscillation is less than one or two seconds, it is called a “short-period” oscillation and is normally very difficult, if not impossible, for the pilot to control. This is the type of oscillation that the pilot can easily “get in phase with” and reinforce.

A neutral or divergent, short-period oscillation is dangerous because structural failure usually results if the oscillation is not damped immediately. Short-period oscillations affect airplane and control surfaces alike and reveal themselves as “porpoising” in the airplane, or as in “buzz” or “flutter” in the control surfaces. Basically, the short-period oscillation is a change in angle of attack with no change in airspeed. A short-period oscillation of a control surface is usually of such high frequency that the airplane does not have time to react. Logically, the Code of Federal Regulations require that short-period oscillations be heavily damped (i.e., die out immediately). Flight tests during the airworthiness certification of airplanes are conducted for this condition by inducing the oscillation in the controls for pitch, roll, or yaw at the most critical speed (i.e., at VNE, the never-exceed speed). The test pilot strikes the control wheel or rudder pedal a sharp blow and observes the results.

Eclipse ECJ

Here is Gizmag's article about Eclipse EJC:

Pictures on Eclipse ECJ

Jat to close landmark New York office

In an attempt to reduce spending and costs Jat Airways will close its landmark office in New York, open since 1971. The office, located on the famous Fifth Avenue, has been the airline’s office during its golden years as JAT Yugoslav Airlines as well as the not so golden years during the 90’s and more recent years. The airline used to operate regular flights from Belgrade and Zagreb to the largest city in the United States. The office has been host to many distinguished guests over the years including Serbia’s Crown Prince Alexander, the world number three tennis player Novak Djokovic and many others. It is still uncertain if the airline will sell the office or simply lease it. Furthermore the airline’s office in Amsterdam will be leased out with offices to be opened at the airport which will reduce costs. Jat Airways has many offices outside of Europe (with its own representatives from Serbia) including those in Tunisia, Tripoli, Cairo, Dubai, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. The airline once had offices in many US cities including Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. Just before the civil war Jat was to open an office in Caracas, Venezuela.

Meanwhile the Serbian finance minister has announced that the government will not invest any money in Jat due to EU regulations which outline that governments cannot support the national airline (which is the root of problems for Alitalia and Olympic). The announced purchase of new aircraft will probably be made possible through banking leases. Jat’s development strategy should be made public on October 23.

The closure of the New York office was not met with enthusiasm from Jat’s employees. It should be known by the end of the week if Jat’s current CEO, Saša Vlaisavljević, will keep his job.

Static Stability

Stability of an airplane in flight is slightly more complex than just explained, because the airplane is free to move in any direction and must be controllable in pitch, roll, and direction. When designing the airplane, engineers must compromise between stability, maneuverability, and controllability; and the problem is compounded because of the airplane’s three-axis freedom. Too much stability is detrimental to maneuverability, and similarly, not enough stability is detrimental to controllability. In the design of airplanes, compromise between the two is the keyword.

Despite global crisisMontenegro Airlines with good results

The Montenegrin national carrier, Montenegro Airlines, has transported more than 400.000 passengers during the last nine months, which is by one fifth more than it has been the case during the same period last year. It is expected that a Montenegro Airlines financial report, to be published within the following days, should show that the company has achieved positive business results during these nine months. The number of passengers on international flights has increased by 78%. The airline had 11 regular lines and serviced 20 charter destinations this summer. When statistics are broken down in more detail it can be seen that 39% of the total number of passengers transferred were tourists. The airline has recently introduced flights to London and Milan. The flights to London have proven profitable. Up until now 5.000 passengers have flown on this line. Use of capacities on these flights are 70% at the moment. The flights to Milan are somewhat weaker in terms of results. The current use of capacity on the flights is at disappointing 32%.

Good news for all passengers is that Montenegro Airlines will not change its ticket prices in the upcoming period, despite the developments at the global financial markets.

Basic Concepts of Stability

The flightpaths and attitudes in which an airplane can fly are limited only by the aerodynamic characteristics of the airplane, its propulsive system, and its structural strength. These limitations indicate the maximum performance and maneuverability of the airplane. If the airplane is to provide maximum utility, it must be safely controllable to the full extent of these limits without exceeding the pilot’s strength or requiring exceptional flying ability. If an airplane is to fly straight and steady along any arbitrary flightpath, the forces acting on it must be in static equilibrium. The reaction of any body when its equilibrium is disturbed is referred to as stability. There are two types of stability; static and dynamic. Static will be discussed first, and in this discussion the following definitions will apply:
  • Equilibrium—All opposing forces acting on the airplane are balanced; (i.e., steady, unaccelerated flight conditions).

  • Static Stability—The initial tendency that the airplane displays after its equilibrium is disturbed.

  • Positive Static Stability—The initial tendency of the airplane to return to the original state of equilibrium after being disturbed. [Figure 3-10]

  • Negative Static Stability—The initial tendency of the airplane to continue away from the original state of equilibrium after being disturbed. [Figure 3-10]

  • Neutral Static Stability—The initial tendency of the airplane to remain in a new condition after its equilibrium has been disturbed. [Figure 3-10]

Design Characteristics

Every pilot who has flown numerous types of airplanes has noted that each airplane handles somewhat differently—that is, each resists or responds to control pressures in its own way. A training type airplane is quick to respond to control applications, Lateral Axis PITCHING Longitudinal Axis ROLLING Vertical Axis YAWING Figure 3-9. Axes of an airplane. CH 03.qxd 10/24/03 6:44 AM Page 3-9 3-10 while a transport airplane usually feels heavy on the controls and responds to control pressures more slowly. These features can be designed into an airplane to facilitate the particular purpose the airplane is to fulfill by considering certain stability and maneuvering requirements. In the following discussion, it is intended to summarize the more important aspects of an airplane’s stability; its maneuvering and controllability qualities; how they are analyzed; and their relationship to various flight conditions. In brief, the basic differences between stability, maneuverability, and controllability are as follows:

  • Stability—The inherent quality of an airplane to correct for conditions that may disturb its equilibrium, and to return or to continue on the original flightpath. It is primarily an airplane design characteristic.
  • Maneuverability—The quality of an airplane that permits it to be maneuvered easily and to withstand the stresses imposed by maneuvers. It is governed by the airplane’s weight, inertia, size and location of flight controls, structural strength, and powerplant. It too is an airplane design characteristic.
  • Controllability—The capability of an airplane to respond to the pilot’s control, especially with regard to flightpath and attitude. It is the quality of the airplane’s response to the pilot’s control application when maneuvering the airplane, regardless of its stability characteristics.


Every pilot who has flown numerous types of airplanes has noted that each airplane handles somewhat differently—that is, each resists or responds to control pressures in its own way. A training type airplane is quick to respond to control applications, Lateral Axis PITCHING Longitudinal Axis ROLLING Vertical Axis YAWING Figure 3-9. Axes of an airplane. These features can be designed into an airplane to facilitate the particular purpose the airplane is to fulfill by considering certain stability and maneuvering requirements. In the following discussion, it is intended to summarize the more important aspects of an airplane’s stability; its maneuvering and controllability qualities; how they are analyzed; and their relationship to various flight conditions. In brief, the basic differences between stability, maneuverability, and controllability are as follows:
Stability—The inherent quality of an airplane to correct for conditions that may disturb its equilibrium, and to return or to continue on the original flightpath. It is primarily an airplane design characteristic.
Maneuverability—The quality of an airplane that permits it to be maneuvered easily and to withstand the stresses imposed by maneuvers. It is governed by the airplane’s weight, inertia, size and location of flight controls, structural strength, and powerplant. It too is an airplane design characteristic.
Controllability—The capability of an airplane to respond to the pilot’s control, especially with regard to flightpath and attitude. It is the quality of the airplane’s response to the pilot’s control application when maneuvering the airplane, regardless of its stability characteristics.

XL Airways emergency in Belgrade

A Boeing B737-800 from Germany’s XL Airways has made an emergency landing at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport (as seen above) after fire broke out in the left engine. The aircraft with 182 passengers was on route from Frankfurt to Antalya when fire broke out in its left engine. Flying over Serbia’s airspace, the pilot immediately requested emergency landing at Belgrade’s airport. Landing safely at Belgrade, the aircraft was escorted by the emergency fire services and paramedic services. Upon landing there were visible flames coming from the engine. This is the most serious incident at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport since a Lufthansa jet skidded off the runway 3 years ago. The seriousness of the situation is highlighted by the fact that the plane could have exploded above Belgrade had the pilot not responded quickly. Due to pressure in the engine the pilot had only 5 minutes to make an emergency landing. Luckily the aircraft was above Serbia’s capital at the time and could make a quick emergency landing. The passengers, which are currently at Belgrade Airport, will be flown to Germany this evening. The emergency occurred at 07.47 this morning.

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