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Lufthansa May Help Sudan Relaunch Its National Carrier

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Ailing national carrier Sudan Airways is reportedly in talks with Lufthansa Consulting to revive the airline’s fortunes. Stumped by EU flight bans and US sanctions, the airline has fallen a long way from where it once was. But with the assistance of one of the industry’s leading restructuring consultancies onboard, could the tables be turning for Sudan Airways?

Sudan Airways A320
Sudan Airways has just one A320 in active service. Photo: Michel Gilliand via Wikimedia

Could Lufthansa Consulting rescue Sudan Airways?

Lufthansa’s consulting arm is reportedly in talks with the government of Sudan over the restructuring of the country’s ailing air carrier. Sudan Airways, one of the oldest airlines in Africa, has suffered from a combination of sanctions from the US and bans from flying into Europe, and is a shadow of its former self.

Since the lifting of sanctions in 2017, there have been rumors of a revival for the Sudanese carrier. Now, it seems the airline could be helped by one of the industry’s most accomplished consulting firms, Lufthansa Consulting.

The nature of the help has not been revealed, but could go as far as a joint venture partnership. According to an interview reported by Bloomberg, Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim said,

“If not through a joint venture, they can help to restructure Sudan Airways so that it can be competitive.”

Sudan Airways De Havialland Dove
Sudan Airways is one of the oldest airlines in Africa. Photo: RuthAS via Wikimedia

Lufthansa Consulting is an independent subsidiary of the German flag carrier. It provides consultancy for airlines, airports and other related industries. Founded in 1998, it has worked on projects including the turnaround of Mexicana de Aviacion, the restructuring of Saudia and the expansion of Air Astana.

The group has experience in Africa too, having been involved in the development of Ouagadougou International Airport in Burkina Faso, restructuring at Air Madagascar and upgrading operational processes at Kenya Airways. As such, it is in a good position to assist Sudan in the revival of a national carrier it can be proud to host.

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A revival on the cards?

Sudan Airways is one of Africa’s oldest airlines, having been formed from the ashes of the second world war in February 1946. Flying four De Havilland Doves, it began scheduled flight in 1947. A decade later, it joined IATA and by the 1960s had entered the jet age with the addition of two Comet 4Cs.

Sudan Airways Comet
The airline entered the jet age in the early 60s. Photo: Steve Fitzgerald via Wikimedia

Over the coming years, it flew 707s, A300s, 737s and many more types. However, the sanctions imposed against Sudan left its flag-carrying airline unable to procure spare parts for its fleet, or indeed any new planes. One by one, the airline was forced to ground its fleet, with 12 of its 14 aircraft unable to fly by 2017.

Today, the airline is a mere shadow of what it once was, with just two aircraft listed as under its ownership according to ch-aviation. An A320-200, formerly operated by Comoro Islands Airline, joined the fleet in 2016 and remains the only operational aircraft today. An A300, formerly of China Airlines, is leased by the airline, but is in storage at Khartoum.

However, there have been signs of a revival since the lifting of the sanctions in 2017. Rumors of a deal with King Salman of Saudi Arabia suggested as many as 14 aircraft could be supplied by the Middle Eastern nation. The Sudanese Ministry of Transport has been working to restructure the $6 million of debt owed by the airline. And just a few weeks ago, EgyptAir was reported to have signed a strategic partnership, which included Egyptian training of the Sudanese airline’s personnel.

Now, if the airline gets Lufthansa Consulting onboard, it could forge a pathway to a successful revival. Time will tell, and as usual, we’ll have to wait and see.

For more insight into African aviation, don’t miss AviaDev Africa, the industry’s premier route development conference, being held virtually this year. The event starts on Weds 9th of July, and runs for two days.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/lufthansa-sudan-national-carrier/

Aviation

Finally: US Hits Two Million Passengers In One Day On Friday

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Week after week, the United States air travel market recovery continues. On Friday, June 11th, for the first time since March 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notched over two million passengers entering a security checkpoint screening. This incredible number is indicative of the strength of leisure travelers in 2021 and a testament to the ongoing rebound of the aviation industry.

American United Tail
The US saw a good passenger count on Friday. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

US hits two million passengers in a day

On Friday, June 11th, 2,028,961 passengers entered a TSA screening checkpoint. Since March 8th, 2020, this was the first time that passenger numbers exceeded two million in one day.

The chart below shows the incredible rise in passenger numbers from March 1st through June 11th:

Graph 1
Daily passenger numbers from March through June. Data: TSA | Graph: Simple Flying

As you can see, the US has finally hit two million in a day, but numbers came incredibly close to that marker on some days. About four days in the last month have come within striking distance of the two million per day milestone. All of those days were around peak leisure travel holidays or weekends. The lead-up to this milestone was the Memorial Day holiday at the end of May.

Where does the recovery stand?

Comparing 2019 traffic levels to 2021 traffic levels shows a narrowing gap, but there is still room to go. The TSA data comparing 2021 numbers to 2019 looks at the same weekday (not the same date) in 2019 to give a more accurate picture.

Graph 2
2019 vs. 2021 passenger numbers. Data: TSA | Graph: Simple Flying

The chart above shows that the gap between the passenger numbers has significantly narrowed. However, 2019 saw more consistency in notching over two million passengers in a day. 2019 was one of the best years on record for the airline industry.

It may be more helpful to consider this in terms of percentage. The chart below shows the percentage of travelers recorded in 2021 compared to 2019. For example, 75% means that that date in 2021 compared to the same weekday in 2019 saw 75% as many passengers go through a security checkpoint in 2021 compared to 2019 (so, if, say 1.875 million passengers were screened on a day in 2021, that same weekday in 2019 saw 2.5 million passengers enter a security checkpoint).

Graph 3
The airline recovery as a percentage. Graph: Simple Flying

There is one anomaly, and that comes in May, where the number hits 90%. This Sunday in 2021 lines up with the Memorial Day holiday in 2019. The Sunday of the Memorial Day holiday weekend is typically a low traveler day, as passengers tend to wait until Monday or Tuesday to return home. With fewer passengers on that day in 2019 and Sundays in 2021 being heavy traveler days, it contributes to the inflated percentage.

Other than that, there has been a significant recovery in air travel. US passenger numbers are still down roughly 25% in raw numbers. That can be explained by some continued hesitancy in travel and the absence of a widespread return of business travelers. International travel, especially to Europe and Asia, remains restricted, contributing to a decline in passenger numbers.

Room for improvement

2019 passenger levels are a benchmark for the recovery. The US still has some ways to go, but it is bridging the gap, and numbers continue to trend upwards. The biggest area of improvement lies on weekdays. While passenger numbers are trending upwards on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, these days are heavy business travel days.

Heavy weekend travel is surely helping airlines, though the return of weekday travel will also lead to more sustainable operating economics as higher yield business travelers take to the skies. Most airlines expect a continued recovery of business travel, with the third and fourth quarters proving key in seeing those passengers return to the skies.

Passengers Getty
Passengers should be prepared for long lines this summer. Photo: Getty Images

The next “benchmark” the US airline industry needs to hit is a more sustained two million passengers in a day mark. Hitting it once in June and then never again through the rest of the summer would be bad news for the industry and signal a continuation of the crisis. However, all signs point toward a return in air traffic, which bodes well for passenger numbers through the end of June and into July and August.

The return of passengers has been relatively quick, but the travel industry ramp-up to cater to those passengers has been slower. While airlines are busy adding more flights, there are limitations regarding hotel availability, rental car availability, and shortages in labor to staff the lines at TSA checkpoints, check-in counters, and at many restaurants and tourist attractions.

Passengers are showing signs of returning to the skies. Now, the industry needs to follow and focus on handling the volume of returning traffic. The TSA is boosting its efforts to hire more staff, and the airlines have also turned toward volunteers and resumed hiring to support the recovery. Time will tell if the efforts are paying off, and July will be a critical month in the recovery.

Are you planning summer travel this year? Where are you going? Let us know in the comments!

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/two-million-passengers-us/

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Aviation

Finally: US Hits Two Million Passengers In One Day On Friday

Published

on

Week after week, the United States air travel market recovery continues. On Friday, June 11th, for the first time since March 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notched over two million passengers entering a security checkpoint screening. This incredible number is indicative of the strength of leisure travelers in 2021 and a testament to the ongoing rebound of the aviation industry.

American United Tail
The US saw a good passenger count on Friday. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

US hits two million passengers in a day

On Friday, June 11th, 2,028,961 passengers entered a TSA screening checkpoint. Since March 8th, 2020, this was the first time that passenger numbers exceeded two million in one day.

The chart below shows the incredible rise in passenger numbers from March 1st through June 11th:

Graph 1
Daily passenger numbers from March through June. Data: TSA | Graph: Simple Flying

As you can see, the US has finally hit two million in a day, but numbers came incredibly close to that marker on some days. About four days in the last month have come within striking distance of the two million per day milestone. All of those days were around peak leisure travel holidays or weekends. The lead-up to this milestone was the Memorial Day holiday at the end of May.

Where does the recovery stand?

Comparing 2019 traffic levels to 2021 traffic levels shows a narrowing gap, but there is still room to go. The TSA data comparing 2021 numbers to 2019 looks at the same weekday (not the same date) in 2019 to give a more accurate picture.

Graph 2
2019 vs. 2021 passenger numbers. Data: TSA | Graph: Simple Flying

The chart above shows that the gap between the passenger numbers has significantly narrowed. However, 2019 saw more consistency in notching over two million passengers in a day. 2019 was one of the best years on record for the airline industry.

It may be more helpful to consider this in terms of percentage. The chart below shows the percentage of travelers recorded in 2021 compared to 2019. For example, 75% means that that date in 2021 compared to the same weekday in 2019 saw 75% as many passengers go through a security checkpoint in 2021 compared to 2019 (so, if, say 1.875 million passengers were screened on a day in 2021, that same weekday in 2019 saw 2.5 million passengers enter a security checkpoint).

Graph 3
The airline recovery as a percentage. Graph: Simple Flying

There is one anomaly, and that comes in May, where the number hits 90%. This Sunday in 2021 lines up with the Memorial Day holiday in 2019. The Sunday of the Memorial Day holiday weekend is typically a low traveler day, as passengers tend to wait until Monday or Tuesday to return home. With fewer passengers on that day in 2019 and Sundays in 2021 being heavy traveler days, it contributes to the inflated percentage.

Other than that, there has been a significant recovery in air travel. US passenger numbers are still down roughly 25% in raw numbers. That can be explained by some continued hesitancy in travel and the absence of a widespread return of business travelers. International travel, especially to Europe and Asia, remains restricted, contributing to a decline in passenger numbers.

Room for improvement

2019 passenger levels are a benchmark for the recovery. The US still has some ways to go, but it is bridging the gap, and numbers continue to trend upwards. The biggest area of improvement lies on weekdays. While passenger numbers are trending upwards on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, these days are heavy business travel days.

Heavy weekend travel is surely helping airlines, though the return of weekday travel will also lead to more sustainable operating economics as higher yield business travelers take to the skies. Most airlines expect a continued recovery of business travel, with the third and fourth quarters proving key in seeing those passengers return to the skies.

Passengers Getty
Passengers should be prepared for long lines this summer. Photo: Getty Images

The next “benchmark” the US airline industry needs to hit is a more sustained two million passengers in a day mark. Hitting it once in June and then never again through the rest of the summer would be bad news for the industry and signal a continuation of the crisis. However, all signs point toward a return in air traffic, which bodes well for passenger numbers through the end of June and into July and August.

The return of passengers has been relatively quick, but the travel industry ramp-up to cater to those passengers has been slower. While airlines are busy adding more flights, there are limitations regarding hotel availability, rental car availability, and shortages in labor to staff the lines at TSA checkpoints, check-in counters, and at many restaurants and tourist attractions.

Passengers are showing signs of returning to the skies. Now, the industry needs to follow and focus on handling the volume of returning traffic. The TSA is boosting its efforts to hire more staff, and the airlines have also turned toward volunteers and resumed hiring to support the recovery. Time will tell if the efforts are paying off, and July will be a critical month in the recovery.

Are you planning summer travel this year? Where are you going? Let us know in the comments!

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/two-million-passengers-us/

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Aviation

Why Are Planes’ Landing Gear Tilted?

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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.

American_Airlines_Boeing_777-200ER_N788AN_landing_gear_and_flaps
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. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/why-are-planes-landing-gear-tilted/

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Aviation

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

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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 techradar.com 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 techradar.com. 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 TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, 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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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/06/12/f-35-battlefield-trailer/

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