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Edmonton Airport, JOIN & IAC sign MoU



From Air Cargo Week – link to source story

By Yasmin Turner – May 13, 2021

FedEx at Edmonton International Airport

NTT, Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN), with support from the Invest Alberta Corporation (IAC), announced today that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop smart transportation projects.

The MOU includes plans to deploy a Smart Solutions pilot to deliver a digital on demand bus service in and around EIA’s Airport City. This pilot will leverage a data-driven approach to improve the commuter experience and generate behaviour insights for future solutions.

EIA is Canada’s fifth-busiest airport and serves 8.2 million passengers per year with non-stop service to 50 destinations worldwide.

“Thanks to our collaboration with NTT and JOIN, we will be able to deliver smart transportation services and solutions related to on-demand service and Mobility as a Service (MaaS),” said Tom Ruth, president & CEO, Edmonton International Airport.

“Enhancing passenger experience and improving social, environmental, and economic impacts are some of EIA’s strategic initiatives that we believe will be accelerated by this partnership with NTT and JOIN.”

By leveraging NTT Smart Solutions, the initial phase of the pilot will focus on on-demand ride-hailing, flexible bus routing, scheduling and occupancy. Passengers will benefit from improved booking options with online booking via a mobile app and web portal.

The service will allow for a near door-to-door service with bus routes and schedules adjusting in real-time to best suit commuter convenience. Drivers will access a dedicated driver application providing route guidance between virtual stops while enabling them to manage trips.

Occupancy information will be calculated for administrators to manage the operation in real-time and predicted occupancy would provide insights into the number of riders expected at select virtual stops in the future.

The on-demand bus solution will be managed by a centralised Smart Transit Central System that will allocate a shuttle to pick up passengers from their requested locations and then take them to their destinations via the best route calculated in real-time.

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Why Are Planes’ Landing Gear Tilted?



An aircraft on the ground appears to have a straight set of landing gear wheels, flat to the ground. If you look at it after takeoff or before landing, though, you will notice that it is often titled. Surprisingly, this it is more about practical storage and space savings rather than any technical landing aspects.

The titled landing gear on a Boeing 777. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Tilting for storage

The main reason that the landing gear tilts is simply to allow it to fit best into its storage compartment in the fuselage. Space on an aircraft is precious. The wings and fuselage store fuel, and the more space is taken up by extras (such as landing gear), the less space there is for fuel, and hence the lower the aircraft range.

To maximize the use of space the wheels are titled to fit into a smaller housing. This works using a device known as an actuator located between the wheels of the landing gear. This is hydraulically operated and applies a force to position the wheels at the correct tilt for storage.

A380 landing gear
The large landing gear on heavy aircraft take up a lot of storage space (seen here on an Airbus A380). Photo: arpingstone via Wikimedia

One-way hydraulics

When landing, the actuator will initially attempt to keep the landing gear titled. As the force increases, the pressure is released, allowing the wheels to level. This all happens very quickly and is more complicated than it sounds. It is best to see it in action – take a look at this video produced by Captain Joe.

The actuator can only be powered into the extended direction, not in both directions. The reason for this is complexity. It would require a more complex, and hence larger, heavier, and more expensive hydraulic set up to do this. And if it is not necessary, then why do it?

A few other benefits

The primary function of the landing gear, of course, is to take the force of the landing aircraft and prevent any contact between the fuselage and ground. Although it is not the main purpose, the tilted landing gear does help with this. The torque produced by the straightening gear helps to smooth the landing and lower the nose gear.

Another benefit from the tilt is the ability to use the first contact of the wheels (detected from pressure and weight difference) for air/ground sensing. This operates differently across aircraft, but it can include activating the speed brakes and allowing reverse thrust and aircraft depressurization.

The tilted landing gear on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft Aircraft can sense ground contact from the first wheel contact. Photo: Arpingstone via Wikimedia

Different tilts between aircraft

Given that the tilt is not primarily related to landing safety or technology, it is not surprising that landing gear are tilted differently on different aircraft. Some have leading wheels landing first, some the rear wheels, and some are, in fact, not tilted at all.

On the Airbus A330 and A340 and Boeing 747, 777, and 787 the rear (trailing) wheels are lower. On the 767 and A350 it is the lead wheels that are lower. On these aircraft, the actuator is located at the front of the gear, rather than the rear.

In Captain Joe’s video description, there is an interesting difference explained between the Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 variants. The 777-300 has an additional strut on the landing gear. This causes the wheels to lift off one pair at a time (rather than together). This gives a bit of extra height, lowering the risk of the tail striking the ground on takeoff.

777-300 landing gear
777-300 landing gear with its additional strut. Photo: Dmirty A. Mottl via Wikimedia

Gear incidents

Problems with the landing gear are a common cause of aircraft emergencies. Any issue preventing full retraction, extension, or locking of the gear in place will lead to an emergency landing.

Some incidents include a Virgin Atlantic A330 with a landing gear that failed to retract after takeoff from London Heathrow in March 2020. And earlier in 2020, a Virgin Australia Boeing 777 landing in Los Angeles suffered hydraulic issues with its main gear.

We don’t often write about landing gear technology. Let us know your thoughts on their function and tilting, or any model specifics, in the comments. 

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Who Says the F-35 Can’t Dogfight? You Just Gotta Jump Out of It for the Best Shot!



BattleField 2042 debuts with wild trailer showing pilot ejecting from F-35 to shoot down a Su-57 Felon with a shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon. And gaming fans are loving it!

Well, if you still have your doubts about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s ability to dogfight, the newly released BattleField 2042 should put those concerns to rest.

The new game reveal video (a big thank you to @malgordon for the heads-up!) shows us what the Air Force can’t, the real way to dogfight in an F-35: you just have to jump out and use your shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon against the enemy Su-57 Felon, then, climb right back in and hit the afterburner!

We’re not quite sure where you put an anti-tank missile in the cockpit of an F-35, why the throttle on this F-35 suddenly appears on the right side of the cockpit, or why the pilot isn’t wearing an F-35 helmet, but hey, this is gaming. We don’t sweat the details. It’s all about the action! Besides, with a soundtrack from L.A. bad boy rockers Motley Crüe, what’s not to love?

F-35 Battlefield
The sequence of the Su-57 downing.

And speaking of action, the new game play video shows plenty of cool new weapons systems, real and imagined, some super tacti-cool uniforms and gear, and a pretty crazy face-off between some Ka-50 Hokum gunships and a souped-up Little Bird that eventually gets creamed by a guy who does an XGames ghost ride big-air off a skyscraper into the chopper. They teach this stuff at Ft. Benning now, don’t they?

The latest installment in the popular BattleField gaming series, the 2042 edition was revealed in a new game play trailer on June 9, 2021. Over 2.2 million viewers, and counting, have watched the bizarre mix of X-Games extreme sports, fantasy special operations and apocalyptic, all-out global war so far.

In a particularly weird twist, the game also gives players control over the weather. So, if you ever wondered what it would be like to wage an all-out, close quarters battle in urban terrain in the middle of a tornado, well, now you can get your answer.

In a June 11, 2021 article by gaming columnist Vic Hood, game developer EA DICE’s chief studios officer Laura Miele told that, “We are creating epic battles at a scale and fidelity unlike anything you’ve experienced before”. The visuals in this new trailer confirm what Miele says. As outlandish as the action is, the appearance of the game is stunning.

This is the 17th edition of the Battlefield series, and the new game releases on October 22, 2021, for the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and good ‘ole PC platforms according to Pre-orders are live now. There’s no word yet if the Air Force, Marines or Navy will use the F-35 dogfight scenes to develop new outside-the-cockpit close-quarter combat tactics though..

Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.

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How Many Crew Are Required On An Aircraft?



Flight crew members play a critical role in ensuring operational and passenger safety on commercial aircraft. This is something that virtually all travelers take for granted, but the number of cabin crew required onboard aircraft is something that many of us overlook. So what are the legal requirements for the minimum number of flight crew required to be onboard commercial flights?

Lufthansa, Employees, Too Many
How many crew are required on each aircraft? Photo: Oliver Roesler via Lufthansa

Successful evacuation

One of the central reasons that a minimum number of cabin crew are required is that these individuals are essentially involved in the successful evacuation of aircraft. This means they are fundamental to the safe operation of any aircraft.

As is often the case in the airline industry, the number of cabin crew required on a particular aircraft is subject to various conditions and international legal requirements. Both of these factors can differ quite significantly, depending on the jetliner in operation, along with the region of jurisdiction.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has put together guidance related to the safe and expeditious evacuation of aircraft, which are contained in a document that the organization refers to as ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

Safety precautions are essential when deciding cabin crew numbers. Photo: airBaltic

However, as the organization notes, this document does not provide a strict numeric value. Rather, carriers are required to approve the amount of crew in each aircraft via the operator’s country. The ICAO notes that the ratio of cabin crew members to passengers and exits should be a central area of concern. Still, there are no specific stipulations regarding the number of cabin crew that must be in place.

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Different rules

Of course, that’s not the end of the story. Several other regulators are involved in the airline industry, each of which has different rules regarding cabin crew numbers. According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the minimum number of cabin crew should be established during the certification process of every aircraft. Again, this is open to negotiation based on a number of legal considerations.

There are all manner of regulations relating to how this number should be decided, and where it should be recorded once a figure has been established. But there are no hard and fast rules regarding precisely what number of cabin crew should be onboard a particular aircraft.

Flight crews vary from one airline to another. Photo: Air Astana

However, the FAA does make specific stipulations in this area. Again, the organization is keen to emphasize that the amount of cabin crew placed on any aircraft should be dependent on the size and weight of the airplane, along with the total capacity of passengers involved.

But there are clear figures involved in the FAA guidelines, with each carrier required to provide at least a minimum number of flight attendants onboard each passenger-carrying aircraft. This number depends on the length of the flight, the number of passengers, and other key issues.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Delivery
Virtually all commercial flights legally require at least one member of cabin crew. Photo: Emirates

FAA guidelines

The FAA regulations can be listed as follows:

  • Airplanes with a maximum payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds, and a seating capacity between nine and 51 passengers, require one flight attendant.
  • Airplanes with a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less, and a seating capacity between 19 and 51 passengers, require one flight attendant.
  • Airplanes that have a seating capacity between 50 and 101 passengers require two flight attendants.
  • Airplanes with a seating capacity in excess of 100 passengers require two flight attendants, plus one additional flight attendant for each unit of 50 passenger seats above a seating capacity of 100 passengers; i.e., 150 passengers would require three flight attendants, 200 passengers would require four flight attendants, etc.

While these regulations do not apply across the board in all locations, they can nevertheless be taken as a rough guide to likely requirements on any commercial flight.

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Stobart Air enters liquidation



Stobart Air has announced that it has ceased flight operations flights with immediate effect and has stated that it is now in the process of appointing a liquidator for the airline. In a company statement, Aer Lingus stated that Stobart Air had cited the “continuing impact of the pandemic which has resulted in almost no flying since March 2020.”

Before the pandemic, Stobart Air used to operate up to 940 flights across 43 routes in 11 European countries and currently has a fleet of 13 ATR aircraft, which are based are airports around Ireland and also operates a number of flights to the UK. The airline also has around 480 employees with the majority of its staff based at its head office in Dublin.

Stobart Air has operated Aer Lingus Regional under a franchise agreement since 2010. However, with the contract due to expire in December 2021, Aer Lingus put the regional service out for tender last September. The regional franchise agreement was then subsequently awarded to a new regional airline called Emerald Airlines, which was established in May last year.

Earlier in April of this year, Esken Limited, which was formally known as the Stobart Air Group announced that Ettyl Limited, an Isle of Man-based group had agreed to purchase a majority shareholder position in the company. However, according to Stobart Air, this purchase agreement has now fallen through and has forced the airline to cease flight operations.

In a company email, seen by AeroNewsX, the Managing Director of Stobart Air, Andy Jolly said “It is now clear that Ettyl is unable to conclude the transaction to acquire Stobart Air UC on the original terms, or to obtain an alternative package within the required timescale. Esken has, therefore, exercised its right to terminate the contract with Ettyl for the transaction with immediate effect.”

As of this moment, Aer Lingus has stated that it will operate five out of twelve routes operated by Stobart Air. These routes will likely be operated by the carrier’s Airbus A320. Aer Lingus stated that it will operate two routes from Dublin Airport (DUB) to Edinburgh and Manchester, while the other three flights will be operated from Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

In an updated statement, seen by AeroNews, Aer Lingus confirmed that “for at least the next week BA City Flyer will operate two routes” However the Irish based airline added that “alternative operations for the outstanding routes are still being determined.”

Stobart Air also used to operate a number of public service obligation (PSO) routes across Ireland and the UK including two vital routes to Kerry and Donegal from Dublin Airport. The status of these two important routes remains unclear, however the news that Stobart Air has cease trading will certiainly be a blow for regional connectivty for Irish aviation.

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