The Germans will probably cancel the Eurohawk drones programme, saidagency today.
The reason for such course of events is not the cost of the drones itself, but thes cost of adapting the drones to the European airspace standards which are set by European Aviation Safety Agency.
Image Credit: Haditechnikai Kerekasztal
The bill itself is going to be up to 600-700 million euros. And it is not certain whether that would be the final aggregate price of introducing the Euro Hawk system into service.
Currently, the Germans have only one Global Hawk drone and are planning to buy 4 more. The budget allocated to the procurement of the drones is about 1,2 billion Euro.
Nevertheless, that information would be meaningless in the light of the budget cuts that happen all over the world due to the global economic crisis. However, the NATO European strategy assumes that the drones would be used to patrol the areas of the Eastern end of NATO territorries, as TheAviationist analysed it earlier this year.
Based on Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk, Eurohawk was meant to be used as an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform by the German armed forces.
Taking into account the fact that the Germans would supposedly not buy the above-mentioned drones, the whole concept of AGS (Alliance Ground Surveilance) is not as certain as it was earlier.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist
This animation shows what may have happened aboard the Boeing 747 that crashed after take off from Bagram May 1, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Aviation, Aviation Safety, Military Aviation , 14comments
The following video shows what may have caused the crash of a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 shortly after take off from Bagram Airfield, in Afghanistan, on Apr. 29.
As we reported on our first article on the accident, there are rumours that radio frequency monitors listened a crew report according to which the load had shifted just prior to the crash.
A sudden and violent shift of the CG (Center of Gravity) during initial climb, might have induced the impressive nose high attitude that is clearly visible in the shocking video recorded by a car dash camera.
At that speed and altitude, the aircrew could do nothing to recover the situation.
The animation below points towards the engine stall as the root cause of the crash; however, the wings stalled (they would stall even if the engines were working properly) and the aircraft almost fell from the sky like a stone.
One of the most shocking videos ever shows huge Boeing 747 crashing after take off from Bagram April 30, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Aviation Safety , 12comments
This is one of those video that deserve very few words as it speaks by itself.
It was recorded by a dash camera and shows the B747-400 cargo plane operated by National Air Cargo crashing after take off from Bagram Airfield, in Afghanistan.
The B747, contracted out by the U.S. military can be seen almost still, few hundred feet above the ground, unable to climb, before stalling and crashing into the ground.
According to some reports, internal load shifted just prior to the crash, causing the heavy cargo plane to pitch up past the point at which the crew could not recover the proper airspeed and attitude.
H/T to Sam Wiltzius for the heads up
Recent articlesAviation, Aviation Safety , 8comments
On the afternoon of Monday Apr. 29 a civilian Boeing 747 cargo plane taking off from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, crashed killing all on board.
The doomed B747-400 cargo plane was operated by National Air Cargo and thought to be the example carrying registration N949CA (unconfirmed).
The aircraft had been contracted out by the U.S. military and had arrived at the base the previous day. Eye witnesses said that the 747 had taken off normally but once it had reached an altitude of around 1,200ft the nose pitched up violently leading to a subsequent stall.
There are rumours that radio frequency monitors heard the crew report that the load had shifted just prior to the crash: the heavy cargo plane pitched up past the point at which the crew could not recover; the resulting drop in airspeed made the aircraft stall and that close to the ground there was nothing the crew could do.
National Air Cargo made a statement to Reuters by phone stating “We did lose all seven crew members,” although their nationalities have not been released.
The Taliban released a statement saying that they were responsible for the crash but ISAF (NATO’s International Security Assistance Force) said that there had not been any insurgent activity around or near the base when the incident took place, therefore it would seem the Taliban tried to use this as a bit of a publicity stunt.
The tragic event comes only few days after a U.S. MC-12 military surveillance aircraft crashed in bad weather.
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com
Image credit: Albert Ramirez via AvHerald
Recent articlesAviation, Aviation Safety, Drones , 3comments
On Mar. 4, 2013, at approximately 1:15 p.m. LT, the pilot of Alitalia Flight AZ608, a Boeing 777 registered “EI-ISE”, flying from Rome Fiumicino to New York John F. Kennedy international Airport, spotted a small, unmanned aircraft while on approach to runway 31R at JFK.
The Alitalia B777 was about three miles from the touchdown point at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet and the drone, described as a four-propeller, black-colored remotely controlled aircraft about 4-feet in diameter, came within 200 feet of it.
Here below you can find the video that embeds the audio of the near miss. Noteworthy, AZ608 used the radio callsign Alitalia 60U “Heavy”.
Whereas the FBI is investigating the incident and looking to identify and locate the aircraft and its operator (flying such dangerous toy next to a major airport is at least insane), it may be interested to analyze what happens when a drone hits a commercial plane configured for landing.
Image credit: WGBH via KPBS.org
Anything hitting a plane configured for landing, hence slow and close to the ground, can theoretically cause a disaster.
Even if the drone was relatively small (at least if compared to pro-ones, i.e. Predator, Reaper and other famous UAVs) the extent of the damage could be quite large.
Let’s see some of them:
- FOD (Foreign Object Damage) in one of the engines: the Boeing 777 is a two-engine liner. Let’s imagine the drone was sucked by one of the two engines. The most obvious result would be loss/reduction of thrust if not engine fire
- Impact with wing and/or flight control surfaces: depending on the extent of the damage, an impact with the wing could cause a chunk of it falling apart, or debris damaging some of the control surfaces, with consequent reduction of lift generated by the wing, instability and/or inability to move the control surface (imagine drone parts being stuck between ailerons, flaps, etc.)
- Front impact/cockpit incursion: debris could damage or destroy the windshield, entering the cockpit injuring or killing the pilots (once again this depends on the size of the drone and the airspeed at the time of the midair collision)
- Impact with another part of the airframe: if the drone hit other, less critical parts of the plane, it could damage sensors, antennas and other equipment that feed the flight data computer, resulting in a lack of information to the aircrew.
- Distraction: if you see a drone coming close to your plane you’ll probably switch your attention towards it with a consequent loss of situational awareness. This can be dangerous, especially if it happens at very low altitude, at night, in poor weather.
Summing up: a lot of bad things can happen, but it all depends on the drone’s size and point of impact. Hence, better you fly your RC-model far away from airports if you don’t want to cause or be part of an aviation incident….or disaster.