Landing Competition at SAANZ Flyin Whitianga

Due to the closure of Tauranga Airport for practice flying for the Tauranga Airshow, SAANZ aircraft had to relocate to Whitianga for their flying competitions. I thought I would call in to see what was happening. I was just in time for the landing competition and I photo'd the following efforts:

Technam P2002 Sierra ZK-SJS coming up short. It is owned by Stephen J Robinson of Thames and is ex ZK-SRG.

Too high! Re-engined Auster J5Q Aiglet ZK-BLW sails by for another attempt. It is owned by BV and SJ Freemantle of Waharoa.

Just past the line. Wittman Tailwind ZK-RET got close. It is owned by Noel Izard of Te Awamutu and is also re-engined, having first flown with a Rover V8 conversion.

Close but too short. Pulsar ZK-PXB is owned by Brian Anderson of Havelock North.

And the winner was Cliff McChesney flying the Waihi Aviation Group's Pulsar ZK-KFC. He was very close on all his attempts.

Piper Archer 11. ZK-KCC

Jean210 has sent in this nice shot (above) of the Piper PA28-181 Archer 11 ZK-KCC (c/n 28-7990423) from Quantum Education Group at Whangarei. It is a frequent visitor to Dargaville. The rather unique colour scheme was applied through sponsorship by K Double C, FM (originally there were also yellow stickers).
This airframe was cranked out by Piper Aircraft Corporation and registered as N28676 in July of 1999.  It was spied at Ardmore on 19-08-1980 having been imported by Dennis Thompson International Ltd and was registered to them as ZK-NDA on 22-08-1980 for delivery to the Northland Districts Aero Club at Whangarei from11-02-1981.
Below we see it as ZK-NDA at New Plymouth on 07-02-1985, still in its Piper delivery scheme.
 Below, as seen at Christchurch on 18-08-1986 in a new scheme.
On 01-05-2001 it was re-registered and re-listed as ZK-KCC, still with the Northland Districts Aero Club.
Ownership changed to Quantum Learning NZ Ltd of Whangarei on 01-04-2008 and then to Quantum Education Group on 06-04-2011.

Rocket at Gore!

Spotted last month at its Gore home was this little beauty, Team Rocket F1 Rocket ZK-FIZ (173).  As at last week the aircraft had only completed about 3 hours of flying.  With a 300hp donkey up front, I bet she is a rocket!

A brief on this example is available at KiwiFlyer

Peter C photo

FLetcher FU24 ZK-BIT

Fletcher Fu24 ZK-BIT was c/n 46, initially listed to Cable-Price Corporation Ltd on 29-02-1956 with its first flight being on 17-10-1956 and c of a issued on 24-10-1956. Ownership changed to Wanganui Aero Work Ltd on 06-05-1957. It carried the name "Ongarue". It was damaged at Waikanae on 13-05-1959; was converted to Mk11 status and flew on 01-10-1964. About this time it wore the pilots name " Lyndsay Williamson".
Top photograph was taken on 07-02-1964
The two shots above appear to be at Taihape. Date unknown and photographer listed as HCPH.

Final view above is from CMM, with the slide dated 11-75.
It was withdrawn from use on 18-11-1975 with 11564 airframe hours and its registration was cancelled on 22-05-1989.
It was later rebuilt as ZK-EHX with a new c/n - but that's another story.

Russia to Sell 60 Armored Vehicles to Indonesia

31 Januari 2012

BMP3F amphibian tank (photo : Kaskus Militer)

Russia is set to sell up to 60 infantry fighting vehicles to Indonesia in a deal worth more than $100 million, the Izvestia newspaper cited an unnamed military source as saying on Tuesday.

The deal will be finalized on February 10, the source said, adding that 20 BMP-3 vehicles will be delivered before the end of the year.

The Russian army stopped purchasing the vehicles in 2010.

The state-run weapons exporter Rosoboronexport declined to comment.

The Kurganmashzavod arms plant said it would produce modified vehicles for Indonesia.

Korean Air Announces Q4 and Full-Year Performance for 2011

Seoul, 31 January 2012 – Korean Air, South Korea’sflagship airline, announced today its results for the fourth quarter and fullyear ended December 31, 2011.

The airline posted operating revenue of3,062.1 billion KRW for the fourth quarter of 2011, up 7.7% compared to thesame period last year, and an operating profit amounted to 76.8 billion KRW.International passenger and cargo businesses remained the major revenuecontributors for the airline in Q4, accounting for 55.1% and 29.3% of theoperating revenue respectively. Compared to the same period last year, netincome for Q4 returned to the black and reached 125 billion KRW.

For the full year of 2011, the airline recorded operating revenueof 11,805.3 billion KRW, up 4.7% year-on-year, and operating profit of 394.1billion KRW. However, due to a surge in jet fuel expenses, a net loss isresulted during the period.

International Passenger Business
During the quarter, it saw increased traffic across all routes,including Americas (up 12%), South-east Asian countries (up 12%), and China (up14%); the international passenger segment recorded a Y-o-Y growth of 10.6% and10.2% in passenger carrying capacity and traffic, reaching 21,081 million ASKand 15,774 million RPK respectively.    Overseas inbound trafficlifted 15% compared to the same period last year.

According to IATA, international air traffic is expected to growby 5.2% in 2012, in which Asia region growth rate is projected to exceed 7%,and hence passenger traffic is expected to continue on a steadily upward trend.In addition, with the introduction of new routes (e.g. Incheon – DaNang,Incheon – Gatwick, Incheon – Urumqi and Incheon – Nairobi) and stepping upfrequency on selected routes, such as Busan – Hong Kong, Incheon – Qingdao,Incheon – Tianjin, Jeju – Beijing and etc., the airline sees potential growthin passenger traffic.

With the latest addition of more fuel efficient aircrafts to thefleet, including Airbus A380 and Boeing B777-300ER, the airline is expected tosee improvement in profitability.

Cargo Business
Cargo traffic recorded a year-on-year fall of 6.7% to 2,284million FTK as it saw a Y-o-Y decrease of 10% and 4% in Korea outbound trafficand transit traffic respectively. While outbound cargo traffic from Chinareported a slump, outbound traffic from south-east Asian Countries, Japan,Americas and Europe recorded increases of 6%, 5%, 6% and 3% respectively. InQ4, it saw the return of wet-lease aircraft in October and November forprofitability improvement. Charter flights to Sao Paulo and Lima were also putinto operation in the quarter.

Going into 2012, cargo traffic is expected to be on a steadilyupward trend with the Free Trade Agreement between Europe and Korea and TheLondon Olympic Games. Korean Air will strive to enhance profitability andsustain growth by focusing operation on new markets development. Korean Airalso sees the potential of leveraging Brazil as a hub and builds the cargonetwork in Latin America.

Korean Air will continue to expand its business prudently whileenhancing the quality of its service in 2012. With its long-standing commitmentto achieving “Excellence in Flight”, Korean Air aims to provide the bestquality to its customers while bringing the best returns to its shareholders.

* Exchange rate on December 31, 2011: 1 USDollar = [1153.3] KRW

New Jat with new owners

Businessmen taking over Jat
The Serbian Minister for Infrastructure yesterday announced that the government is finalising an agreement with local businessmen to invest into a successor to Jat Airways, which will become Serbia’s new national carrier. A total of ten businessmen are willing to invest into the new airline in return for an ownership stake. “I can’t tell you which businessmen are in question because they are very sensitive people who have their own interests and reasons. Give us another week or two", the minister told the media at a press conference.

One of the businessmen being tipped to be interested in investing into the new Jat is Miroslav Mišković, the owner of the Delta Holding company, which has been named the 86th most successful company in Central Europe by Deloitte with recorded revenue of over one billion Euros in 2011. Several years ago Mišković was interested in creating Serbia’s first low cost airline, Air Maxi, in cooperation with Aviogenex but in the end stepped away from such plans.

The Serbian minister for infrastructure states that the new company will be created before the end of the government’s four year term. Serbs are set to go to the polls on May 6 this year. The minister further states that the new Jat would have a completely new management and would take over Jat’s existing fleet with new aircraft to be ordered in 2013. He further adds that the new company would take over Jat’s employees and will operate with a profit.

“Dramatic year” ahead for Adria

More challenges ahead for Adria
Adria Airways CEO, Klemen Boštjančič, has said that Adria can expect another “dramatic year” as the airline prepares for privatisation. The Slovenian government has a 70% stake in the carrier while banks hold the other 30%, as of last year. However, the banks want to sell their shares as soon as possible and only agreed to take part in the deal so Adria could avoid bankruptcy. The plan is for a tender to find a strategic partner for the Slovenian carrier to begin later this year and for the sale agreement to be finalised in the second quarter of 2013. With Lufthansa tied with many investments in Europe, Adria expects to see interest from Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways. All are looking to invest in Europe. Qatar Airways was recently locked in takeover talks with Spanair, which ultimately failed, Etihad recently bought a large stake in airBerlin, while Turkish Airlines is eyeing Poland’s LOT.

Despite a tough year ahead, Boštjančič notes that most of the hard work has been done with the suspension of high profile routes and other cost cutting measures already implemented. “Closing the route to Paris and London was a huge media and political story. We constantly hear from people that say because we received money from the government we should continue flying to those destinations. We have to explain to these people that we got the money from the government to stop flying unprofitable routes. There are a lot of people who really don’t get it”, Boštjančič said in a recent interview to CAPA. However, one more major obstacle remains before Adria’s restructuring programme can be deemed a success. It concerns the airline’s fleet rationalisation plans. “Clearly 2012 will be another critical year”, Adria’s CEO concludes.

As the first month of 2012 passes by Adria has already announced the resumption of seasonal flights to London, Barcelona and Manchester and has launched new flights from Priština to Verona. It also plans to significantly increase its frequencies from Priština to Frankfurt during this summer season so as to retain its place as the busiest carrier operating out of Priština. Back at home, this January, Adria holds a massive 77.5% share of all departures and arrivals out of Ljubljana Airport. Its closest rival, easyJet, managed only 8.2% and this share is set to tumble during the summer as the airline suspends flights from Paris.

Interesting and Colourful Hangar-Full at Tauranga

I was delighted to be able to get into Marty Cantlon's and Mike Dean's immaculate hangar at Tauranga and to be given permission to photo the aircraft inside. I have often looked through the front windows of their striking hangar to see tantalising glimpses of the aircraft hangared inside.

The first aircraft was Titan T 51 Mustang ZK-MPC which was built by M P Cantlon and was first registered on 3/12/10.

Next was Titan T 51 Mustang ZK-MJD built by M J Dean that was first registered on 23/11/10. The 2 Mustang's were built together and were first seen at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, but now they are both complete and have successfully flown. Further details can be found on this blog at

Then a pair of Stearman's recently imported by Marty and Mike. ZK-USN is a A75N1 model first registered in New Zealand on 14/9/11 and owned by Marty Cantlon. It is ex N115JP.

ZK-USA is a B75N1 model first registered in New Zealand on 15/9/11, owned by Mike Dean. It is ex N65041.

And finally yet another Stearman ZK-XAF. This is a E 75 model that was first registered in New Zealand on 13/6/96. It is ex VH-HLV. This one is operated by Bay of Plenty Classic Aircraft Company Ltd and is used for passenger flights from the Classic Flyers museum.

Korean Air TV Commercial Series, Canada, Heliski

A Handbag special

A request from Handbag asks for a photograph of his aircraft ZK-CBG.
Fletcher Fu24 Mk 11 ZK-CBG (c/n 87) started as a 240hp model with James Aviation Ltd of Hamilton, being registered on 20-09-1961 and first flew on 04-04-1962. It was re-listed to Advanced Aviation Ltd at Kaitaia on 27-09-1962; spent time with Sherwood Aviation and then back to Advanced and was uprated to a 260hp motor by 31-03-1965. It was back with the parent Company, James Aviation on 01-02-1968 and managed to have 300hp on 23-05-1968. It struck its loader at Purua on 29-03-1969 and was also damaged at Kaitaia on 21-01-1970. It was upgraded to Fu24-950M status on 13-07-1972 and was trundled down to Farmers Aerial Top Dressing Ltd of Invercargill from 20-07-1972. On 28-02-1975 it was listed back with James Aviation at Hamilton. Two more incidents occurred: a damaged nose at Ruapuke on 18-09-1976 and it struck a fence on take off at Purua on 04-05-1978.
It went to Langslow Aviation Ltd at Waipukarau on 31-08-1984 and then to R L Elliott (Trading as Eastland Contracts) of Waipukarau on 09-08-1990. Its last flight I believe was in August of 1996 and I believe it then went to Plank Aviation of Palmerston North but because it lacked "paper work" its registration was revoked on 09-09-1998. The next rumour was that it was destined for Wanganui Aero Work to be placed on a plinth but instead became a parts source for other WAW FU24's.
This pic of ZK-CBG was taken at Dannevirke in 1978 or 1979 and was kindly supplied by Allan Wooller.
The top pic was shot at Taieri on 04-03-1974.

A Selection from Tauranga during SAANZ Flyin

I travelled down to the SAANZ flyin at Tauranga on the Friday, which was the judging day for aircraft. Unfortunately the weather was not good during the day with a fast moving front crossing the North Island, but it cleared up nicely in the late afternoon.

The numbers of sport aircraft were well down on previous flyins with only around 25 visiting aircraft tied down overnight in the area allocated to SAANZ. (I recall there were about 80 sport aircraft at the last Tauranga flyin 2 years ago).

However there is always something interesting to photograph, and hangars to poke around in, so I will post what I found.

Seawind 3000 ZK-SWK has a Tauranga connection as it was built there by John Borman and a team of helpers. It is operated by Seaworks and it is owned by the Day Family Trust of Wellington.

Yak 52 ZK-YNZ is owned by ZK-YNZ Ltd of Pauanui Beach, and looked very colouful in the late sun.

And Europa XS ZK-EPA is a very active aircraft, and I saw it at Whitianga and Waihi Beach over the weekend.

Vietnam Made Automatic Grenade Launcher

29 Januari 2012

Grenate launcher MGL Mk-1 (photo ; BaoDatViet)

Institute of the General Armament Department of Defense Industry of Vietnam has successfully made sizes 40mm grenade launcher.

The scientific staff of the Institute of Armament (General Department of Defense Industry) completed the study design, trial manufacture of hand-held grenade launcher loader revolver type size 40mm MGL Mk-1 (grenade launcher).

Trial-manufactured products, including grenade launchers and optical viewfinder RDS sync type, the test has achieved the requirements set out in terms of skills, tactics.

Gun weighs 6.3 kg; revolvers contain up to 6 rounds, firing rate 18phat/phut, loader can automatically after each shot. Guns used to be the size 40mm ammunition as the M406 bullet damage, fire smoke M79T.

Hand grenade launcher to fire semi-automatic revolver type size 40mm MGL, the military is using more water because of advantages such as high-speed shooting, big powerful, compact structure, which can be equipped for personal use in accordance with division-level units.The study of the experimental success of this gun opened up the possibility of mass production to put our equipment in the military.

With the experimental success grenade launcher, the authors have completed the construction of the document: Drawings and technical conditions of a grenade launcher; drawings and technical conditions of RDS type optical viewfinder ; user manual grenade launcher.

Remarkable success of the writer's work is formed methodological weapon system in the absence of template; well combine theoretical study with experimental development, to address emerging issues students consistent with the level of science and technology in the country; be more creative in choosing working principles, construction plans, as well as technology solutions designed to produce good quality products to meet the requirements set out.

DND, Armed Forces Eye Italian Weapon

29 Januari 2012

Philippines Air Force operates some Italian-made aircraft : S-211 and SF-260 (photo : PhIlippine Fly Boy)

A JOINT team from the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces will be in Italy this week to scout for assets that will strengthen the defense capability of the military.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the team will look for aircraft, vessels and even armored vehicles that could be acquired by the military for both of its external defense and internal security operations.

Over the weekend, Gazmin said the department will be acquiring weapons and assets for the Armed Forces amounting to P70 billion.

The budget for the acquisition will be spread up to 2020 or even beyond the term of the current administration.

Since the massive procurement could not be financed by the government in just one release, the defense chief said the acquisition will be done through a Multi-Year Obligation Agreement (MYOA) from Congress.

Adoption of the MYOA was first proposed during the term of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro as a scheme in financing the military’s capability upgrade program, and which was implemented during the term of Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales in 2010.

In fact, a contract for the delivery of a multirole vessel from South Korea was sealed by Gonzales under the same scheme. Payment of installments for the warship began last year.

Gazmin said that aside from the US, which is the country’s principal sources of assets and equipment for the military’s capability upgrade, the defense department is also looking at Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom and South Korea as possible sources of assets.

From Italy, the defense chief said the same team will also visit Spain for the same purpose, and both trips will be taking this week.

“We will see the best we can get for the funds available, that will be the first priority,” Gazmin said.

He said the assessment, inspection and possibly even acquisitions should be done at least by July this year.

“It should be finished by July, or worse case scenario, by November. But by July, we should have attained at least 50 percent, that is already a good batting average,” Gazmin said.

He said the government is looking to acquire armored vehicles; aircraft, including long range patrol aircraft and fighter jets that include the F-16 from the US; multirole vessels; missile-armed ships; anti-submarine vessels and radars.

Gazmin said the interdiction capability of the military will be useless if it will not have enforcement weapons such as fighter jets and ships with guided missiles.

The big ticket procurements were necessary to defend the country’s territory and discourage intrusions into its maritime domain, particularly by China.

Gazmin said the modern weapons and assets are also necessary in so that the country is able to put up a credible force and protect its territory in the disputed Spratlys.

Meanwhile, two US Navy ships are in the country for routine port calls.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) docked at the Manila Bay while the USS Chafee (DDG-90) dropped anchor in Cebu.

“USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Chafee are here to engage with their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and perform Community Relations Projects, as well as allowing the crew an opportunity for rest and relaxation,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

“These goodwill visits highlight the strong historic, community, and military connections between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines,” the statement added.

At the same time, at least three retired military officials have been hired by the various agencies of the Department of National Defense as consultants, primarily to help in the procurement of assets and equipment for the military.

Peter Paul Galvez, DND spokesman said, the three retired officers, were hired to help the department in its defense acquisition system for the Armed Forces.

They are retired Lt. Gen. Willie Florendo from the Air Force, Vice Adm. Luisito Fernandez from the Navy and Gen. Victor Ibrado, former Armed Forces chief of staff.

“Their functions are to give advise on the perspective of the modernization. At least, they have the experience although they are already outside the Armed Forces,” Galvez said.

New Kitfox at SAANZ Flyin Tauranga

Not strictly part of the SAANZ flyin at Tauranga was this Kitfox Lite Squared N7800L which is to become ZK-ELE for L C Renwick of Auckland. (I bet you always wanted to know what a Kitfox Lite Sqared looked like!)

Pilots unhappy with Dash jets

Discontent amongst Croatia Airlines pilots grows
Croatia Airlines pilots are speaking out against the carrier’s Bombardier Dash fleet claiming that the aircraft are unreliable. During the week a Croatia Airlines Dash 8 experienced a minor technical fault, the eighth since December 2011. Speaking to the Croatian press, unnamed pilots say that the aircraft often experience technical fault indications which result in emergency landings and delays. Last month a total of six aircraft of the same type were grounded due to an indication that the forward exit door is not properly closed. “The Dash constantly breaks down. Some aircraft have micro cracks on the fuselage and corrosion on instillations”, one pilot told the “Večernji list” daily, one of Croatia’s largest daily newspapers. Pilots also say that aircraft which are sent for unscheduled checks due to technical faults are noted by the airline as going in for regular maintenance, thus leading to false statistics. Technicians have also spoken out against the aircraft saying that regular annual maintenance for the type takes up to 25 days while maintenance for the larger Airbus jets take only a week.

Croatia Airlines introduced its first Dash 8 aircraft in May 2008. The airline operates a total of six jets from the Canadian manufacturer, which has a capacity to seat 76 passengers. The aircraft has been praised by the airline’s management several times as it burns less fuel and has lower operational costs. Currently, one of the six Croatia Airlines Dash jets is out of service (registered 9A-CQB).

There is growing discontent amongst Croatia Airlines pilots, which became public late last year after their minimum rest period times were cut. The pilots’ union is now requesting for the government to replace the entire management. They were further enraged after their proposed plan to revive the airline was laughed off by the management. The airline accuses the pilots of seeking attention ahead of their collective agreement negotiatons.

Why Does Lightning Appear Blue and Cause a Rumble?

Fans of the film Rocky are very familiar with the character played by Burgess Meredith.  While Mickey, Rocky's lovable, old, grumbling boxing trainer has a lot of memorable lines, I particularly enjoy the one he uses to motivate Rocky during his training: "Kid...You're gonna eat lightning and you're gonna crap thunder!"  This hilarious line, delivered ferociously by Meredith, is not without educational merit: the sound of thunder always follows a lightning event.    

While everyone has observed the awesome phenomenon known as lightning, most do not know what they are seeing, nor the cause for what they hear afterwards.  Still, most are aware that one precedes the other (Rocky would never, for example, eat thunder and then crap lighting).

The reason for the order is simple: a lightning bolt causes a flash of light, which travels at 300,000 km/s (the speed of light), and the sound it produces, thunder, travels through air at about 0.34 km/s (the speed of sound in air).  So, the light from a flash of lightning that strikes one kilometer from you reaches your eyes almost instantly (1/300,000 of one second), while the sound it produces reaches your ears three seconds later.  We cannot easily fathom a ratio of one million, but in our atmosphere, that is just how many times faster light travels than sound.

But, why then is the rumble of thunder prolonged?  This is because the path taken by the lightning from the clouds to the surface of the Earth is a fairly long one.  Whatever the lightning is doing to produce the rumbling sound (we'll get to that later), it does it at all points along its length.  If the path of the bolt is vertical (not diagonal), then the sound from the ground end of the bolt has a shorter distance to travel to you than that which emanates from the cloud end.

If lightning strikes the surface 1 km from you, but had a source in the clouds that are 2 km directly above the surface, then the distance from the lightning on the cloud end to you is 2.24 km (using the Pythagorean theorem).  Sound covers that distance in about 6.5 seconds.  In such a case, you will observe the lightning, then begin to hear the sound of thunder after a three second delay (when the sound from the ground side reaches you), and it will continue to rumble for three and a half more seconds (when the last of the sound produced by the lightning arrives to your ears from the cloud end).  In fact, the first sound of thunder that one hears was produced a fraction of a second after the last sound was produced.  Put otherwise, our oratory system experiences the effect of lightning backwards.

Still, this does not capture the essence of what lightning is.

Lightning is a rapid discharge of electrical energy.  Although the mechanism through which the clouds develop charge is not fully understood (some suspect that ice plays a factor), everything that occurs after the cloud develops a large net charge is.  Once charge builds up sufficiently in a cloud, it polarizes the surface of the Earth (the Earth itself is a huge conductor).  As a result, a large potential difference builds up between the two ends.  This potential difference is 'relieved' when a stampede of electrons race from the clouds above to the ground below at over 200,000 km/hr.

The path of a lightning strike is indeed the path taken by the electrons.  So, can I then conclude that electrons are blue?  Not quite.

The reason that lightning is visible is due to both incandescence and luminescence.  Incandescence occurs due to the locally high temperature of air, which emits a blue-white glow.  The luminescence is a bit more complex.

The air in the atmosphere consists largely of nitrogen gas molecules.  The rapid flow of energy of the electrical discharge causes the electrons of the nitrogen molecules to move to higher energy states.  However, this state is very temporary - the molecules return to their original state soon after.  And it is this change of state that emits the distinctive blue-white colour that we associate with lightning, and electricity in general.

As such, the visual evidence of lightning is not the charge itself, but rather its effect on the air that it travels through.  And the same is true with the static electricity we see under our sheets on cold winter nights.  Here, we do not have the extreme high temperature that we had with the lightning (no incandescence), so the colour that manifests is due exclusively to the luminescence described above.  It turns out that those "sparks" travelling along your pajamas that freaked you out as a kid were just the flashing of nitrogen molecules.

Now, those static discharges on your pajamas do not produce a sound that resembles thunder.  The reason that lightning makes that thunderous sound is just as non-trivial as the reason it appears blue.  As mentioned above, part of the bluish appearance of the lightning is due to the high temperature air, which causes incandescence.  How hot does the air get?  Immediately after a lightning strike, the air in the vicinity of the lightning path reaches around 30,000 degrees Celsius - that is five times the temperature one would experience if one were hanging out on the surface of the Sun.

While the molecules along the lightning strike become scorching hot, the neighbouring volume of air remains unaffected in terms of temperature.  This massive difference in temperature translates to a giant pressure gradient.  The body of air, wishing for the equilibrium it had moments before the strike, seeks to restore it.  The pressure gradient causes the air to move... fast!  The result is a shock wave: the air moves at a speed faster than that at which it carries sound.  When we hear thunder, we are hearing these shock waves, which occur along the entire length of the lightning bolt.  If you listen to a supersonic jet airplane that is flying nearby, you would notice that it sounds like thunder.  That is because such jets also cause shock waves as they move faster than the speed of sound in air.

Lightning is a very dramatic expression of charge redistribution.  The entire event, itself a complex dance of electrons within the atmosphere, is complete within a fraction of a second.  Due to the intense nature of this phenomenon, I would never wish to eat lightning or crap thunder, as Mickey encourages Rocky to do.  Just the same, I would hate to enter the ring with someone who does.

Question time # 146 re-visited

We have not made much progress with this Question Time to date.
Sir Minty is on track with his suggestion that the first clue (above) was a propeller from a motorised glider.
This second view should clinch the deal real quick.


Three views of Christchurch International Airport from Bargeld01.
Top view is looking roughly southwest

Lower view is looking roughly south.

Crossing overhead to join downwind left hand for 02.

New Tactical Vehicle for RTA

28 Januari 2012

Isuzu 2,5 ton tactical vehicle (photo : Thales)

Thailand army began using a new tactical vehicle Isuzu FTS H2E33 (4X4). These trucks have a size of 2.5 tons and easy in maintenance and repair. The vehicle can be ridden comfortably on a flat terrain and contoured.

Specification :

Dimension (L x W x H ) 7,220 x2, 490 x3, 145 mm.
The load weight is 12,200 kg.
Plane load of 5,000 kilograms.
2,500 kg load on the terrain
Towing weight of 3,000 kg of baggage
Engines : diesel engines Isuzu 6 cylinder, 7790 cc capacity.
Max torque 706 Nm (72 Kk.-m.) at 1450 rpm / min.
HP 240 and HP the (177 kW) / rpm min.
Fuel tank capacity 200 liters.
6 speed forward and one reverse speed.
The hydraulic brake system
Turning radius of 9 meters.
Operating within 800 km.
Maximum speed of 97 km / hour.
The ability to climb high slopes 60 percent


PAF to Get First Delivery of 4 of 8 Brand-New CUH Bought from Poland Next Month

28 Januari 2012

Polish-made combat utility helicopter for PAF (photo ; modernize PAF)

MANILA, (PNA) – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will get the first delivery by the middle of next month of four of eight brand-new combat utility helicopters it ordered from PZL Swidnik of Poland.

Lt. Col. Mike Okol, PAF spokesman, told the Philippines News Agency that the remaining four helicopters will be delivered in November, also this year.

PZL Swidnik is the biggest helicopter manufacturer in Poland. Its main products are the PZL W-3 Sokol and PZL WS-4 helicopters used by the Polish Air Force and other European countries.

The PAF bought the eight Polish-made helicopters at a contract price of P3 billion.

The arrival of four utility combat helicopters is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program to boost the PAF’s air power, particularly supporting ground troops during combat operations.

The PAF has in its arsenal the reliable UH-1H “Huey” helicopters and the MD-520-MG gunships from the United States.

The Polish company won the bidding to supply the PAF eight brand-new combat utility choppers.

The funds for the purchase of the choppers were part of the AFP modernization budget in 2007.

Okol said the acquisition of these helicopters is timely because the Air Force badly needs helicopters of this type to support government ground forces during combat operations.

The Swidnik helicopter can carry 14 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot and has a maximum speed of 260 kilometers per hour and a range of 745 kilometers non-stop.

It can climb to an altitude of 19,680 feet, more than twice that of the “Huey.”
The Polish-made choppers can be armed with a variety of weapons, air-to-ground rockets, air-to-air missiles, M-60 machine guns and 20-mm cannons.


Spanair suspends Belgrade and Zagreb

Spanair ceases all operations
At midnight Spanair, Spain’s second largest airline, ceased operations after the carrier failed to find a buyer. On Friday, Qatar Airways had walked away from talks to take over the money losing airline after months of negotiations. The government of Spain's Catalonia region is Spanair's main shareholder, while Spanair's former owner, Scandinavian airline SAS, still owns an 11.9% stake. However, the Catalan government says it can no longer finance the airline.

Spanair has ceased all operations, suspending with it scheduled flights to Belgrade and its planned seasonal summer service to Zagreb and Dubrovnik. During this winter season, Spanair operated three weekly flights between Barcelona and Belgrade and on Friday morning announced it would increase the service to four times per week during the summer. Furthermore, the airline has also operated seasonal flights from Madrid to the Serbian capital in the past. Zagreb Airport will also be at a loss as Spanair operated seasonal flights to the Croatian capital from its Barcelona base. Last summer, Spanair also operated flights from Barcelona and Madrid to Dubrovnik. As Star Alliance partners, Spanair and Croatia Airlines code shared on each others' flights.

As a result, Jat Airways is now likely to resume seasonal summer flights to Girona while Iberia and Vueling Airlines will be operating flights from several Spanish cities to Dubrovnik and Split. Croatia Airlines should resume seasonal summer flights from Zagreb to Barcelona.

More from "The Coast" from Matt

On its trolley at Hokitika on 24-01-2012 was the Schweizer 269C ZK-HGJ2 (c/n S1388) of Karamea Helicopters Ltd. This spent a couple of years in the UK before moving to NZ in 1991.
Another Hokitiaka based helicopter is the Anderson Helicopter's Aerospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil ZK-HKA3 (c/n 2887).
 The Alister Yeoman Murphy Rebel ZK-JHY (c/n 513) from Ashburton.
Over from Rangiora was the Piper PA28R-201T Turbo Arrow 11 ZK-TWM (c/n 28R-7803275) of Transworld Motors Christchurch Ltd.

Christchurch today 28-01-2012

Bargeld01 reports from Christchurch International, Saturday 28-01-2012.
The Massey University School of Aviation's Diamond DA40 ZK-MTJ (c/n 40.1020) was at rest over the tie down wires near the Aero Club
The "scoop" for the day; is this Cessna 172R ZK-NAD4 , which made a local flight and then continued on its way.
It is actually the old ZK-JLY which CTC Aviation Training flicked off to the Nelson Aviation College on 16-01-2012. On the 24th, ie last Tuesday, it was re-registered in the NA* registration block now being used by Nelson Aviation College.
FYI. The first two allocations of the NAD letters went to Boeing 737's for ANZ; the third allocation was for a GAF N24 Nomad.
 Above; back in town briefly; is the Reims/cessna F406 Caravan 11 ZK-XLF (c/n F406-0057) of Kiwi Air from Gisborne. It dropped a sports team from the North.

Matt Hayes reports in

Matt has reported in from "The Coast" with these four photos.
The first three are at NZHK on 24-01-2012 and the Beech was at NZGM on the 23rd.
Piper PA28-140 Cherokee ZK-CIV (c/n 28-20798) went on line at Omaka with the Marlborough Aero Club in about November of 1965. In February of 71 it went to Gisborne and has been there ever since. Firstly at the Gisborne Flying School; then quickly to the Gisborne Aero Club; then with R J Jones from January 1973. In August 1995 title changed to the Jones Dymock Syndicate.
AFAIK this Piper PA28R-200 Cherokee Arrow ZK-EBA (c/n 28R-7535101) has been with the Ashe Farms Ltd since new in 1975. And that looks like its original 1975 scheme.
ZK-ESK is a Piper PA28-181 Archer 11 (c/n 28-181-7890046). It reached NZ from the US in late 1981 for Eagle Aviation. A multitude of owners later it was listed on 28-04-2005 to Chris Elworthy of Timaru
A quick snap of Beech 200 Super King Air ZK-FDR (c/n BL31) departing Greymouth on the 23rd.

Rangiora locals on Friday 27-01-2012

The new Evector Harmony LSA ZK-CGM2 now showing its "approved" registration layout.
See earlier blog for how it arrived with a "non approved" style.

Below we have four shots from Bargeld01.
The Robinson R44 Clipper ZK-IJA (c/n 0893) of Jasra Helicopters was circuit bashing before scurrying back to the Heli Centre at Christchurch International.
 Below are three views of the Mike Flemming Phoenix Luton LA-4A Minor U/L ZK-CLL (c/n PAL/1153) out trying out its new propeller.

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