Odds and Ends: CSeries and London City Airport; new life for BAe-146; SPEEA’s next step

It’s Christmas Eve but there is some news despite this being a slow day.

CSeries and London City Airport: The downtown airport is a highly challenging one. Aircraft have a challenging approach. The runway is short. British Airways operates the Airbus A318 to New York with a refueling stop westbound. Bombardier says its CSeries can do the trip non-stop. This article provides some detail.

New Life for BAe-146: This airplane didn’t have much to recommend it. In its original 3×3 configuration, it was a cramped airplane. It had four engines. The original engines were unreliable. But here’s a new life for them.

SPEEA’s next step: The Boeing engineers’ union takes another step to prepare for a strike, beginning Feb. 1.

Ed Colodny on US Airways mergers: He headed Allegheny Airlines and US Air for years, guiding the carrier through four mergers–including Piedmont Airlines, which critics widely considered that he screwed up, and PSA, which US did screw up. The Street gets his thoughts on the potential American Airlines merger.

GEnx PIPs slip a bit: The Performance Improvement Package program for the GEnx engine that powers the Boeing 787 and 747-8 has slipped a bit, according to this article.

11 Comments on “Odds and Ends: CSeries and London City Airport; new life for BAe-146; SPEEA’s next step

  1. GE made another important announcement the day before Christmas period, however I have seen very little information (almost nothing in specialized aeronautic press) about the acquisition of the Italian engine manufacturer Avio (former FIAT Avio) by General Electric, see details at http://www.geaviation.com/press/other/other_20121221.html

    After the takeover of Volvo Aerospace by GKN, the panorama of tier 1 suppliers of aeroengines OEM’s have significantly changed in Europe

  2. The BAe-146 will make a good fire fighting tanker, but so do the retired military aircraft currently in use. The retired military aircraft generally have fewer cycles and flying hours. But the key has always been maintaining aircraft in a flyable condition. The fire fighting retardent is corrosive, and corrosion control was a contributing factor to the C-130A crash in 2002 mentioned in the story. The USAF has no problem flying 50+ year old KC-135s. Why? Because of the outstanding maintenance and care they receive. The same with the B-52s, all of which are now 50 or more years old. The retired KC-135A/D/Es will make very useful fire fighting tankers, each carrying up to 100,000 lbs of water of retardent after modifications are made to the centerwing tank, both body tanks, and the upper deck tank, and can be “aimed” with precision using the Boom and a Boom Operator. Retired B-52s can carry up to 60,000 lbs of retardent or water, and, unlike most other aircraft is stressed for low level flying over mountains. Then we have the B-747 and DC-10 which have demonstrated their capability already.
    The BAe-146 is not the only option out there, retired B-727s and DC-9s are also good choices, and they are more ruggeredly built airplanes. Life of all these airplanes can be extended by not pressurizing them for fire fighting missions, as there is little need to fly above 15,000′ where there are fewer wildfires. There are a few new build fire fighting tankers, like the BBD CL-415 around, but few have been sold because of the $26M + price tag. IIRC only about 75 of them have been built and sold, mostly to Canada.
    No matter what the choice is, maintaning the airplanes in an airworthy condition is key to their longivity. That is expensive, but maintenance is always cheaper than a crash, with or without loss of life.

    • More than 200 Canadair water bomber were built. That includes 125 CL-215 and 76 CL-415. The 415 being a modernized version of the 215. The latter has P&W R-2800 radial engines whereas the former is equipped with P&WC PW123AF turboprops.

      Approximately 50 CL-215 were sold inside Canada. And about seventy-five were sold to various other countries like Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, France, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.

      Approximately 25 CL-415 were sold inside Canada. And more than fifty were sold to various other countries like Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco and Spain.

      Only the United States cannot afford it it seems. Or maybe it’s because the lives of their brave pilots is not worth the asking price. It’s true though that the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego lease them from Québec in the dry season.

  3. Normand Hamel :
    It’s true though that the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego lease them from Québec in the dry season.

    And most appropriately it’s a wet lease! 🙂

      • Correct. They gradually stopped producing the CL-215 when they introduced the CL-415. It is a similar situation to say the 737 when Boeing gradually stopped producing the Classic after they introduced the NG.

        But Canadair (now BBD) offered a retrofit to the owners of the CL-215 to install the turboprop engines. It is called the CL-215T. The CL-215T was never manufactured as such but only offered as a retrofit. And the concept evolved into the CL-415, with further improvements to the airframe. But from the ground it is difficult to distinguish the three variants, especially for the non-expert.

  4. The CS100 has a lot of wing for its payload. If the CS300 engine thrust rates, MTOW and addition fuel can be used, a needly fitting 4 abreast could be carried a long way, from a short runway..

    • The CS100 is actually offered with the CS300 engines. It is normally meant for operators in a high altitude/hot weather environment. But I can also see it as well suited for the London City Airport with its short runway. I would love to sit in one of those for a high performance take-off!

      • I fly out of City regularly. The introduction of the E-190 has certainly made take-offs more exciting. Landings as ewell. I was on one of the early Lufthansa E-190 flights when they were still trialling, with lower payload. We were airborne in less than seconds, and climbed to 3,000′ within seconds again. It was great.

        Landing is also interesting, but more disconcerting. Lots of shaking as the plane descends at a steep angle at what feels close to stall speed. I had a Lufthansa cabin crew on leave member next to me who experienced it for the first time as well, and it was a bit worrying when he got out the emergency card and started reading it.

        All the best

        Andreas

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