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Airbus Set To Launch New Narrowbody A320 Replacement By Early 2030s

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The A320 family has been a great success for Airbus. In service since 1988, it has overtaken the 737 in narrowbody orders (but not deliveries). There have been many upgrades and developments, most notably, of course, the A320neo. The next version could be a new clean-sheet design, according to Airbus. And possibly in service in the early 2030s.

A320neo rollout
What’s next for the A320 and A320neo? Photo: Getty Images

Changes to narrowbodies

The Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 dominate narrowbody fleets today. The 737 has been in service since 1968 and the A320 since 1988. Both have moved through several variants but have never had a full redesign. This has advantages in development cost, certification, and commonality for airline fleets.

But there comes a time when a clean-sheet design makes sense to build in new improvements. Both Airbus and Boeing may do this over the coming decade. There has been plenty of discussion about a New Midsize Airplane (NMA) from Boeing, dubbed the 797. This was expected to be larger than the 757, but most likely a widebody. As of 2020, these plans have been put on hold.

There have also been proposals from Boeing for a potential Future Small Airplane (FSA), building on the 737 MAX with a new design allowing additional fuel storage. A return to the 787-3 variant with a new  787X is also a possibility. Development of any proposal has been held up by the pandemic and the 737 MAX grounding, but we are likely to see some plans firmed up as the industry recovers post-COVID.

Boeing 737 MAX, Cayman Airways, Ungrounding
The Boeing 737 MAX is based on a 50-year-old 737 airframe – is it time for a new one? Photo: Getty Images

An A320 replacement by 2035

There has been less discussion about a replacement for the A320 from Airbus. With the A321LR entering service and the A321XLR promising a lot when it starts flying, the A320 family still has plenty left to offer. But there are already plans at Airbus for a replacement.

A321XLR Image
The next new member of the A320 family is the upcoming A321XLR. Photo: Airbus

Speaking at the Dubai Air Show in 2019, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury explained his thoughts about a new aircraft. As reported by FlightGlobal, he said:

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“I would consider the launch of a [single-aisle] programme in the second half of the next decade and entry into service in the early 2030s. We are at a point of time where we see a number of major changes impacting aviation, and they will probably impact the single-aisle business first.”

The development of a new aircraft will, according to Faury, be driven by improvements in both aircraft and production technology. He sees advances and more digitalization in production as critical to the launch of a new aircraft.

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New aircraft technology and engines

Of course, a big focus of the coming decades will be new fuel and aircraft propulsion systems. The A320neo series already made significant improvements in fuel efficiency over the A320ceo. The next generation will look to take this further with new engine technology.

A320neo
The A320neo was a major new iteration, but the next could go further. Photo: Getty Images

Work is underway across the aviation industry on both electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. For large commercial aircraft, hybrid-electric or hydrogen power are the most likely initial options. There is still much progress needed in battery technology before this becomes realistic. Airbus is exploring hybrid and hydrogen possibilities through its ZEROe aircraft program.

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This program looks at three new aircraft designs based on hydrogen power. Airbus hopes to have the first of these in service by 2035 and will select the aircraft type to be developed in 2024-2025.

ZEROe aircraft
Airbus’ three proposed ZEROe aircraft – a regional jet, turboprop, and a new blended-wing design. Photo: Airbus

It seems likely that any new engine options for an A320 replacement will line up with this zero-emission project. But we are very unlikely to see a full hydrogen-powered replacement for the A320 as early as 2035. A hybrid-electric propulsion system however is a likely option. Airbus has already looked at this with the E-Fan X hybrid project, but this was dropped in 2020. Rolls-Royce, however, has continued its work on electric engines that came out of the project.

E-Fan X
Airbus started looking at hybrid engines with the E-Fan X. Photo: Airbus

Could we see single-pilot operation?

Another interesting idea that has been raised for an A320 replacement is a single-pilot narrowbody. FlightGlobal discussed this with Airbus’s innovation arm, Acubed, in August 2020. Its chief executive, Mark Cousin, told FlightGlobal how he saw this as part of the future for single-aisle aircraft and how the company had started early tests with a Beechcraft aircraft. He said:

“We certainly believe that the next generation of single-aisle aircraft will be single-pilot capable. This is really long-term preparation for… this technology to be mature enough to be integrated into the development of the next-generation of single-aisle aircraft.”

Such an aircraft will require a system capable of flying and landing without a pilot. This will use autonomous neural network technology that learns from image data to make decisions as a human pilot would. Work is underway, but it is early stages.

This is not something we are going to see in full use by 2035. Cousin explains his view that a future A320 narrowbody, whilst being dual-pilot as airlines and regulators are used to, may incorporate the technology for single-pilot operation.

What do you think any A320 replacement will look like? Is Airbus a step ahead of Boeing in this important market? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/airbus-a320-replacement/

Aviation

What Happened To Flyglobespan?

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The leisure market makes up a significant part of commercial aviation in the UK. This sector has seen numerous carriers come and go over the years. However, few, if any, can claim to have served such enigmatic routes as those covered by Scottish low-cost airline Flyglobespan. But what exactly happened to this curious carrier, whose existence spanned less than seven years?

Flyglobespan Boeing 767
Flyglobespan’s largest aircraft type was the Boeing 767-300ER, of which it operated six planes over the years. Photo: Javier Bravo Muñoz via Wikimedia Commons

A brief history of Flyglobespan

Flyglobespan’s first services operated in April 2003 out of Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Scotland. The aircraft it initially used were a pair of Boeing 737-300s, which were provided by Channel Express, which would eventually rebrand as Jet2. Flyglobespan initially served leisure destinations in European countries, such as France, Italy, and Spain.

Within two years, the airline was flying 1.5 million passengers a year, using a larger fleet of nine aircraft. The number of destinations it served had climbed to 15, including Prague, and Spain’s Canary Islands. 2005 also saw it launch short-lived Anglo-Scottish domestic services, although these struggled to compete with established carriers like easyJet, and lasted just nine months.

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Flyglobespan Boeing 737
Flyglobespan’s smallest aircraft was the 737-600. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

Over the next few years, Flyglobespan began adding long-haul services to North American and African destinations. This period saw some obscure combinations of destinations being linked with one another, which we shall touch upon briefly. However, increasing financial difficulties, with debts said to be as high as £35 million ($48.5 million), forced the airline to cease operations on December 16th, 2009. It was placed into administration the next day.

Curious city combinations

Listed below are some of Flyglobespan’s more interesting long-haul services. Could the airline have been ahead of its time in terms of operating direct, ‘long thin’ point-to-point routes? That said, certain flights from Knock did make refueling stops when using 737s instead of 757s.

  • Doncaster/Sheffield – Hamilton, Canada.
  • Knock, Ireland – Boston Logan International.
  • Knock – Hamilton.
  • Liverpool – Hamilton.
  • Liverpool – New York JFK.
  • Manchester – Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Manchester – Hamilton.
Flyglobespan Boeing 767
Flyglobespan even operated transatlantic services from the fairly unexpected Doncaster/Sheffield Airport. Photo: Martin Galloway/Dotonegroup via Wikimedia Commons

A diverse, all-Boeing fleet

In its six-and-a-half years of operation, Flyglobespan operated a variety of twin-engine Boeing airliners. The majority of these were narrowbodies – for example, it flew five different variants of the Boeing 737. According to Planespotters.net, these were broken down as follows.

  • 737-300 – 6 aircraft, 2003-2009.
  • 737-400 – 1 aircraft, 2005 only.
  • 737-600 – 4 aircraft, 2005-2008.
  • 737-700 – 2 aircraft, 2007-2009.
  • 737-800 – 5 aircraft, 2005-2009.

Flyglobespan also operated three examples of the Boeing 757-200 between 2007 and 2009. In terms of widebody operations, the airline’s flagship was the 767-300ER. It operated six of these twin-aisle aircraft on its longer-haul and higher-demand routes between 2007 and 2009.

Flyglobespan Boeing 737
Flyglobespan’s largest 737 variant was the 189-seat -800. Photo: Javier Bravo Muñoz via Wikimedia Commons

These planes were Flyglobespans only widebodies, and could fly a capacity of 276 holidaymakers at a time. One of these aircraft has had a particularly interesting life after its time at Flyglobespan. According to Planespotters.net, G-CEOD was first transferred to Kenya Airways in August 2010, after eight months in storage in Shannon, Ireland.

It flew for the Kenyan flag carrier until June 2014, when it re-entered a 14-month storage period in Shannon once again. It was eventually taken up by Icelandair, who presently fly the aircraft with a two-class 259-seat configuration, according to SeatGuru. Simple Flying covered one of its more recent missions in great detail, which saw it fly a team of research scientists to Antarctica. What a contrast from its previous role as a summer-sun leisure workhorse!

Did you ever travel with Flyglobespan? If so, where did you fly, and on what aircraft? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/flyglobespan-what-happened/

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Boeing 737 MAX Electrical Fix Gains FAA Approval

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Boeing has received approval from the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for proposed electrical fixes to the 737 MAX. Electrical grounding issues forced over 100 MAX planes to be removed from service over the past month. Affected airlines will now be able to return their MAX jets to the skies.

Boeing has received approval for proposed fixes to electrical grounding issues affecting some MAX planes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

FAA grants approval for electrical fixes

The FAA has approved Boeing’s proposed modifications for the 737 MAX to fix the electrical grounding issues discovered last month. On Wednesday, Boeing sent out two service bulletins to MAX operators affected by electrical issues. The bulletins provide instructions on how to repair the problem, which will take airlines less than 24 hours per plane.

Boeing told Reuters,

“After gaining final approvals from the FAA, we have issued service bulletins for the affected fleet. We are also completing the work as we prepare to resume deliveries.”

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told U.S. lawmakers that the issue would require a “pretty straightforward fix.” Repair work is expected to take between nine and 24 hours per jet, at a total cost of around $155,000 for all affected planes in the U.S.

boeing-737-max
The FAA is satisfied affected MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes are now safe to return to the skies. Photo: Boeing

Dickson confirmed his full confidence in the safety of the MAX to a U.S House panel yesterday, saying,

“It is performing as well or better overall than any other airplane out there in the aviation system right now.” 

On May 4th, the FAA requested proof from Boeing that various MAX subsystems would not be affected by the electrical grounding issues. Despite many airlines expecting a swift solution to the problem, the FAA’s additional requests delayed the process to ensure other systems on the MAX were not compromised.

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What exactly were the electrical issues?

The electrical problems are believed to have arisen after Boeing altered its manufacturing process to accelerate production of the MAX. Boeing discovered the issue in early April, issuing a safety recommendation to 16 airlines operating the MAX.

The problem was first traced to a backup power control unit in the cockpit, before concerns the issue could affect other areas of the plane, including the pilot instrument panel. In an airworthiness directive issued by the FAA, the regulator claimed the problem could have resulted in a loss of critical functions.

Southwest MAX
Southwest had 30 MAX planes affected by the electrical issue. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The FAA said the issue,

“… could affect the operation of certain systems, including engine ice protection, and result in loss of critical functions and/or multiple simultaneous flight deck effects, which may prevent continued safe flight and landing.”

Boeing gives the all-clear for affected planes

Boeing has also announced that airlines affected by the electrical issue are preparing to return the MAX to the skies. According to the FAA, 109 MAX-8 and MAX-9 planes were affected, with 71 of those registered in the U.S. Southwest Airlines grounded 30 of its MAX planes in April, with American Airlines and United Airlines grounding 17 and 16 jets respectively.

Boeing 737 MAX, Production, Return To Service
109 MAXs were affected by the problem – around 25% of all MAX planes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The announcement comes as a relief for U.S airlines, with a busy schedule and market recovery on the cards over the summer. Other affected airlines worldwide include Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, GOL Linhas Aereas, Iceland Air, Minsheng Leasing, Neos Air, Shandong Airlines, SilkAir, SpiceJet, Sunwing Airlines, TUI, Turkish Airlines, Valla Jets Limited, WestJet Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Do you have confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/boeing-737-max-electrical-fix/

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The Top 10 Largest Planes Ever Made

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What are the largest aircraft flying? We all know the A380 is the largest passenger jet built – and likely will be for some time. We take a look here at this and other large passenger jets, as well as transport aircraft and some one-off developments. There are many ways to measure large aircraft – including length, weight, volume, or wingspan. We’ll take a look at all of this, but bear in mind, others could easily make the list!

Boeing 747 A380
The A380 and the 747 are the most commonly seen large aircraft, but there are many others. Photo: Getty Images

Airbus A380

The A380 is the largest passenger jet ever built by passenger capacity, volume, weight, and wingspan. The 747-8 beats it for length however, as will the upcoming 777-9.

Airbus A380 Getty
The A380 is an amazing development, but sadly facing challenges. Photo: Getty Images

It offers a maximum passenger capacity (exit limit) of 853 but a typical capacity of 400 to 550. Such high capacity demonstrates a world-class feat of engineering. But, unfortunately, it has not worked out as well as hoped for airlines.

Emirates has made a success of it with its hub-based model, but most airlines have struggled. The rise in the ability of twin-engine aircraft and the shift away from hub and spoke operations damaged the aircraft’s potential, and the slowdown seen following the events of 2020 has sealed its fate for several airlines.

A380
The coronavirus pandemic has not been kind to the A380. Photo: Getty Images

Sadly, with increasing retirements, it is failing to find a new use. Only Hi Fly has taken on a second-hand aircraft for charter use but even that airline has now retired it. Its potential in the cargo market is limited by its design, and although it would make an amazing private jet or VIP transport, its size and limitations have so far stopped this from happening.

Boeing 747-8

The 747 is, of course, the other very large passenger jet. The latest 747-8 is the largest version offered, coming in just over three meters longer than the A380. But it has a lower maximum capacity of 605 (again, this is the maximum exit limit, with a typical capacity around 450). It also has a much shorter wingspan (68.4 meters compared to 79.95 meters), which has been a benefit as it increases the number of airports at which it can operate.

Lufthansa 747-8
The 747-8. is the newest and larger in the 747 series. Photo: Getty Images

Until the A380, the 747 was the largest passenger aircraft flying. This has been its hallmark since its launch in 1968. It was developed in collaboration with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am). The airline had seen success with the 707 and wanted to take this further with a new aircraft over twice the size. It was, in fact, originally planned with a full-length upper deck, but this could not be made to work with safety requirements.

Boeing 707 and 747
The 747 was conceived as a new aircraft over twice the size of the 707. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing 777-9

As test aircraft are now flying, it seems appropriate to include Boeing’s upcoming 777X. The largest variant, the 777-9, will be the longest passenger aircraft ever launched, at just over 76 meters. And it will offer a typical capacity of up to 426 – not far off that of the 747-8.

Unlike the other passenger aircraft on this list, the 777X, of course, is a twin-engine aircraft. And these new GE9X engines are the largest and most powerful commercial engines ever built – larger than a 737’s fuselage! The 777X will bring in a new era of very high-capacity, very efficient twins. We are unlikely to see four-engine commercial jets again for some time, but there could be more developments in this area.

777-9
The 777-9 has been delayed but is now undergoing test flights. Photo: Getty Images

We still have to wait a while to see the 777X in airline use. Development has been delayed due to engine problems and issues with structural testing. And production delays have also crept in due to the slowdown during the pandemic.

As of February 2021, orders stood at 191 (down from 350 before the pandemic). Qatar Airways currently expects to take its first aircraft in 2023, but Emirates (by far the largest customer) may not until as late as 2025.

Antonov An-225

Moving away from passenger jets, one of the largest aircraft you will ever see flying is the Antonov An-225 freighter. Only of these is operational, although a second remains partially built. This is the heaviest aircraft ever built and has the widest wingspan of any operational aircraft. It also has six engines and 32 wheels!

An-225
The An-225 Mriya can carry a massive 250 tonnes. Photo: Getty Images

It was originally launched in 1971 to transport the USSR’s equivalent of the Space Shuttle, known as Buran. The shuttle would be carried on top of the aircraft, and parts of the rocket could fit into the large fuselage. It can carry the highest payload of any aircraft – an enormous 250 tonnes (for comparison, the 747-8F freighter aircraft can carry up to 136 tonnes). As such, it has remained in service and seen some specialized uses.

Antonov An-124

Sticking with the same manufacturer, the An-124 is smaller than the An-225 but is one of the largest commercially developed freighters. It launched in 1982, and 55 aircraft have been built. Until the 747-8 was introduced, it was the heaviest commercially produced aircraft.

As of April 2021, 33 An-124 aircraft remain in use (according to data from planespotters.net). Seven of these are operated by Ukrainian airline Antonov Airlines, 12 by Russian airline Volga-Dnepr and one by each of Libyan Air Cargo and UAE-based Maximus Air Cargo. They regularly see unusual cargo operations, such as transporting Maglev trains from Germany to China.

Antonov Car Parts Transfer
The An-124 is regularly used for cargo charters. Photo: Antonov Airlines

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

Carrying on with large transport aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy is also high up the list for size and payload. It is a military transporter aircraft built by US manufacturer Lockheed and entered service in 1970. It followed other successful transporters, such as the C-130 Hercules, but simply needed to be bigger.

C-5 Galaxy
131 C-5 Galaxy aircraft were built, and many remain in service with the US Air Force. Photo: US Air Force via Wikimedia

At just over 75 meters long, it is bigger than the A380 and the An-124. It can carry a payload of 127 tonnes and adds inflight refueling for a huge range.

It remains in active service with the US Air Force, although several large transports have followed it. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster is a leading example – it’s big but not as big as the C-5.

Interestingly, Lockheed was also interested in an even larger replacement. The so-called VLST (Very Large Subsonic Transport) was proposed in the 1990s but never developed. A passenger version would have two decks, four aisles and carry up to 900 passengers.

Airbus Beluga XL

Technically, the Beluga XL is not an aircraft type but a modification of the Airbus A330. As such, some may question whether it should appear on such a list. But however you treat it, it is one of the largest aircraft you will see regularly flying.

By volume, it is the largest. It offers a fuselage volume of 2,209 cubic meters. For comparison, Boeing’s Dreamlifter comes in behind at 1,840 cubic meters.

Airbus BelugaXL
Airbus will have a fleet of six Beluga XL aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Airbus built the Beluga XL (and its predecessor Beluga) to transport its aircraft components. From its outset, Airbus has split aircraft construction over several locations. It was formed as a consortium of several European manufacturers to take on Boeing.

The Beluga was introduced in 1995, based on the A300 airframe, and used mainly for A340 construction. The Beluga XL, based on the A330-200, followed in early 2000. Its larger size was needed for larger A350 components. So far, three aircraft have been delivered, and six will enter service by 2024.

Beluga XL
The Beluga XL can transport two A350 wings. Photo: Airbus

Boeing Dreamlifter

The Dreamlifter is Boeing’s modified fuselage transporter. This is based on a stretched 747-400 fuselage, with an innovative tail swing door to allow full access to the fuselage.

It was designed to carry Boeing 787 parts from suppliers in Italy and Japan (as well as US locations) to final assembly facilities in Washington and South Carolina. The first Dreamlifter entered service in 2007, and there is now a fleet of four.

Boeing Dreamlifter
The Dreamlifter is a specially modified Boeing 747. Photo: Boeing

It is a huge aircraft, but beaten by others on statistics. For fuselage volume, it comes in behind the Beluga XL. And while it is longer than the Beluga XL and the 747-400, it is beaten by the 747-8. Its four-engine 747 base offers a much higher payload than the Beluga XL but less than half that of the An-225.

Hughes H-4 Hercules

The Hughes H-4 Hercules was one of the largest aircraft ever built but never moved beyond the one prototype version. It is a flying boat transport and was designed for use during the Second World War. It could carry 750 troops or two 30-ton M4 tanks. However, it did not get flying until 1947, after the war had ended.

It has the second largest wingspan ever (after the Stratolaunch), at 97.8 meters, and is powered by eight Pratt & Whitney engines. To conserve metals during the war years, it has a wooden fuselage, hence its nickname of the ‘Spruce Goose.’

Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose.” Photo: Getty Images

The one prototype did make test flights but never entered service. It remains preserved and on display at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in Oregon, US.

Stratolaunch

Last on our list is the Stratolaunch aircraft (with the full name of the Scaled Composites Model 351 Stratolaunch). This huge double fuselage plane has the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever – an amazing 117 meters (the closest behind this today is the An-225 at 88.4 meters).

It was designed to carry a rocket, weighing up to 250 tonnes, between the fuselages for launch into orbit. Much of the technology, and its six engines, are based on the 747-400. The two fuselages are each 73 meters long – and in case you are wondering, the pilots sit in the right-hand cockpit. The left side is unpressurized and used just for equipment.

Stratolaunch
The Stratolaunch flew again in April 2021. Photo: Stratolaunch

There have been delays to the program, most notably following the death of its founder Paul Allen in 2018. The new owner, Cerberus Capital Management, decided to shift the role of the aircraft to be a launch vehicle for reusable hypersonic flight research vehicles. After a two-year delay from its first flight, the Stratlauch flew again in April 2021. We’ll keep an eye on future developments for this exciting aircraft.

Hopefully, this has been an interesting look at some of the largest aircraft around. Remember, there are many ways to measure such aircraft and several others could have made the list. Feel free to discuss the listed ones, or any others, in the comments. 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/largest-planes-ever-made/

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How Do Aircraft Navigate?

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Different vehicles have different levels of navigational freedom. Trains are very restricted, with their movements dictated by the rails on which they travel. Cars and other road vehicles enjoy greater flexibility, with the freedom to take several routes depending on the driver’s preference. But what about the factor of altitude comes into play? Aircraft travel further and faster than these vehicles, and at a range of different heights. So how exactly do they navigate?

Boeing 777 Sunrise Landing Getty
What are the various ways in which aircraft navigate? Photo: Getty Images

In the air

How aircraft navigate while in the air is influenced by whether they are flying under Instrument (IFR) or Visual (VFR) Flight Rules. When flying under IFR, pilots will navigate their aircraft using aspects such as radio and satellite navigation (GPS), as well as, as the name suggests, the plane’s cockpit instruments.

Meanwhile, when flying under VFR, such aids are generally only used as supplementary features. For the most part, VFR flight tends to rely on observational navigation, in which pilots visually calculate their position relative to another fixed point, sometimes with the aid of maps.

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Aircraft contrails
How aircraft navigate inflight depends on whether they are flying under IFR or VFR. Photo: Getty Images

In years gone by, aircrews would sometimes feature a dedicated navigator in addition to the two pilots (and sometimes also a flight engineer). However, as technology has improved over the years, the need for this role has been eliminated. The navigator’s presence would allow pilots to concentrate on other tasks, at a time when fewer aspects were automated than today.

On the ground

Pilots also need to know their way around when taxiing their aircraft between the gate and the runway. At smaller airports, or ones with which the crew is familiar, this may not be the most challenging task. However, at large or unfamiliar airports, it is paramount that pilots can still find their way around without making a wrong turn that could cause delays.

Lufthansa A380 Frankfurt
Aircraft sometimes have additional navigational help from ground vehicles, like ‘Follow Me’ cars, while taxiing. Photo: Jake Hardiman – Simple Flying

The Points Guy reports that aircraft are often provided with a paper map of the airport in question. This will feature conspicuously-labeled gates and taxiways to ensure that even first-time visitors know where they’re going.

Additionally, modern aircraft also often have a computerized moving map for ground movements, similar to a car’s GPS. This is useful when there is low visibility, either during the hours of darkness or due to inclement weather.

A crucial safety aspect

An aircraft’s navigation systems are a vital aspect in terms of ensuring its safe operation. As such, failures are often taken very seriously, resulting in diversions. Simple Flying covered two such incidents in 2019.

Virgin Atlantic G-VROY Boeing 747-400 Cockpit
A plane’s navigation system is one of the many aspects of its cockpit setup that helps ensure it flies safely. Photo: Jake Hardiman – Simple Flying

The first of these, in August that year, involved an Icelandair Boeing 757. This aircraft had been en route from Reykjavík-Keflavík (KEF) to Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA). In this instance, the aircraft encountered issues with its LNAV (lateral navigation) and VNAV (vertical navigation) systems while cruising at 34,000 feet near Greenland. It eventually landed safely in Reykjavík.

Then, in November 2019, a similar incident befell a Delta Air Lines Airbus A220. Funnily enough, this flight had also been bound for Seattle, although its origin in this instance was Denver, Colorado. Having encountered problems with the navigation systems 36,000 feet over Idaho, the crew elected to divert to Salt Lake City, Utah, where, thankfully, they also landed safely.

Were you aware of the different ways in which aircraft navigate? Perhaps you’ve seen some of these systems in person on flight deck visits? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/aircraft-navigation/

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