Saturday, November 28, 2015

New B-2 Stealth Bomber Air-to-Air Footage

This video was uploaded by Northrop Grumman recently. It has amazing air to air footage of B-2 Spirit seen never before. Watch it in HD.

I couldn't write last week. My apologies. 


Costliest Aircraft in the World

B-2 Spirit.

One B-2 Spirit cost $ 2.1 Billion. That is the entire fortune of Evan Spiegel, founder of Snapchat and currently the youngest billionaire in the world.

It's the most expensive aircraft in the world.

B-2 was designed and constructed by Northrop Grumman who were pioneers in flying wing technology. B-2 Spirit was a quantum leap in technology and modern warfare. It changed the entire aviation military as we know it.

During the cold war period U.S. Air Force needed aircraft that can penetrate enemy defense to gather strategic military data and bomb them. B-2 was designed to be the master of stealth and can penetrate any air surveillance radar network without being noticed. In other words, they were invisible.

Legendary aircraft like U-2, SR-71A and B-2 - all were designed to gather information. I think what we should take away from this is - Knowledge is actually a power we cannot even fathom.

The initial plan was to built 220 B-2 stealth bombers. Since the cost of units was way past billion dollars, only 21 were built. One B-2 sadly crashed in 2008. 

Only 20 B-2's exist in the world now. 

It's truly one of the magnificent and majestic machines in the world. They are planned to be in service till 2058. Suits well for a machine that cost $2.1 billion dollars.

Thank You for reading.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Highest Manned Flight Altitude Ever Flown

In contrary to the popular belief, SR-71A Blackbird's record of highest manned flight altitude is not actually the highest. 

It was made by a legendary Russian Fighter Jet called Mig 25 Foxbat.

A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in Russia and several other nations. It is one of the highest-flying military aircraft, and the second fastest after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.

On August 31st 1977, Mig 25 cruised at 123,520ft (37.50Km). SR-71 A Blackbird cruised at 88,000ft. 

In the movie Iron Man, JARVIS says "SR-71 A Blackbird" as the highest flying fixed wing aircraft. Well, that's false.

Thank You Guys for reading.


Story of Russian Air Force

Russia is the only country in the world that can stand up against United States of America (USA) in military strength.

It's a fact and that is no small strength.

They were once a super-powered nation with massive arsenal of nuclear power. There ability to be a dominant country was partly due to its massive military strength.

Russian Air Force fly some of the most advanced jets in the world. The technology being used in Russian aircraft are state-of-the-art. 

The most famous Russian jets are Mig 29 and Su-35. Recently SU PAK FA stealth fighter which is planned to enter in service next year is also popular.

Russian fighter pilots are one of the most elite in the world with strict training regime and equipment.
Currently the Russian Air Force operates a total of 61 air bases. This includes 26 air bases with tactical aircraft, of which 14 are equipped with fighter aircraft.
In 2012, the Air Force was made up of:
  • 38 fighter squadrons (7 operating MiG-29s, one operating the MiG-29S, 2 operating the MiG-29SMT, 7 operating the MiG-31, one operating the MiG-31B, 4 operating the MiG-31BM, 7 operating the Su-27P, 8 operating the Su-27SM, 1 operating the Su-27SM3 and Su-30M2, 1 operating the Su-35S, 1 operating the Su-30SM)
  • 15 bomber squadrons (9 operating the Su-24M, 2 operating the Su-24M2, 4 operating the Su-34)
  • 14 assault squadrons (10 operating the Su-25, 4 operating the Su-25SM)
  • 9 intelligence squadrons (operating the Su-24MR, and various UAVs)
  • 13 training and testbed squadrons

After the end of cold war in 1991; Russian Air Force was faced with financial scrutiny. There was a time when pilots were not paid for 7 months consistently. There was even a strike for monthly wages.

This caused the Air Force to take a down turn until the rise of Vladmir Putin. Putin later increased the defense fund massively. 

Aircraft technologies,be it commercial or defense were greatly appreciated and was funded. This resulted in developing advanced support aircraft , unmanned aerial vehicles to stealth aircraft. 

Keeping the communist political views aside; Russian aircraft technology deserves admiration and respect. Pushing the boundaries of technology has been the strategy of many countries lately. And those who excel in that has a chance to spread fortune and prosperity. Russian fighter aircraft are an example of that.

спасибо за чтение (Thank You for Reading).


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Airbus Flight of the Future

Charles Champion, the man behind A380 has a grant vision for the future Air Travel. Check the link below to find the video by Airbus. Even though the video is old, it is an indication that Air Travel will change in the coming decades. Watch Out~


Dubai Air Show 2015

Famous for bagging big orders in 2013 for more  than $ 200 billion dollars, Dubai airshow became one of the largest airshow in the world & is considered close to Parish and Farnbourgh Air Show. 

With more than 1000 exhibitors and 6,000 visitors, the 4 day air show is a truly spectacular event for both professionals and aviation enthusiasts. 

Unlike former years, this years Dubai Air Show saw  the military companies bagging the most cash. Despite the lack of commercial deals, many companies including Lockheed Martin, Rafale and Jetpack Company Martin saw high potential deals raising up to more than $1 billion.

Dubai being the hub city of Gulf States saw the impressive display of USAF and UAE Air Force which included military aircraft like F-22, F-16, B-1B Lancer, F-15, V-22, Chinook, Rafale, Typhoon etc. 

In commercial department, the largest A380 with 615 passenger capacity was unveiled. 

Even though Boeing and Airbus returned home with less deals; a safety net for airliners is now clear. The four major airliners, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and FlyDubai doesn't want to create a order-bubble that could rumble up middle east aviaiton market.

That being said, it is awesome that Dubai Air Show has grown into a world-class trade event and I am sure that anyone lucky enough to have attended it have been knocked out of their shoes. 

Thank You for reading.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Be the Jetman: How to buy a Jetpack?

You saw how those guys flew with an A380. It's called being awesome. While watching the video, this were my precise thoughts:

Sadly, we cannot buy those used by Jetman. Yves Rossy doesn't plan to sell these - yet. His idea is to get close to perfection, to raise the bar of becoming totally free in air. 

Maybe, if you try hard enough, you can built one your own. Maybe.

If even you pull that off, these suits are not designed to take off from land. You would still need a helicopter and crew to support you. Jetman is being sponsored by various companies for marketing purpose; the main one being Breitling. A value close to a million dollars per year; is the entire operating cost Jetman. 

Yves Rossy has plans to built one wingsuit that will be able to take off from hill, just like a para glider.But this is in distant future.

Good news is that all is not lost for us.

My dear friend Mr.Deepak Pottanani Joseph (a.k.a. D.J.) told me about a jeptack we can buy.


Martin Jetpack is technically an ultralight airplane manufactured by Martin company from New Zealand. It uses ducted fan to fly. It has very basic flight movements, but hey this is the closest we can get to owning a jetpack. 

Martin jetpacks can fly upto 5000 ft (1.5 Km) at a speed of 40 mph (70 Kmph).

They go on sales next year at a unit price of 150,000 USD. Yup, costly. With 30 years of development cost, it's only logical that unit price exceed 100k USD. 

That being said, serious buyers can get these and fly around. 

The future of our own flying vehicles starts here. Let's be a part of it. 

Thank You guys for reading.


Friday, November 6, 2015


" The future of human flight is clear - completely autonomous like a bird. The real dream is to be completely free. Completely free." Yves Rossy (a.k.a. Jetman).

Yves Rossy's dream of becoming completely free in air has taken him to the heights of daredevil fame known as Jetman. He developed and built a wing-suit system comprising a backpack equipped with semi-rigid aeroplane-type carbon-fiber wings—with a span of about 2.4 metres (7.9 ft)—powered by four Jet-Cat P200 jet engines, modified from large kerosene-fueled model aircraft engines. (Ref: Wikipedia)

The system allow him to fly like an aircraft only that he use body mass to control the flight. Just like superman does. 

When I saw Jetman way back in 2009, I was astonished. It reminded me of the jet packs in GTA San Andreas. A wing with four jet engines mounted on carbon fiber wing. And instead of fuselage, there is a man. Amazing!

Me doing my graduate studies, wondered how he can pull this off. I mean it's definitely not like the one in GTA, where you have to take off like a rocket. And I thought maybe he invented new engines with some advanced complex chemical substance as its fuel. If it was just an RC model jet engine, others could have done it long time ago. 

The truth is, it was indeed an RC model jet engine. RC model jet engines are used in Remote Control (RC) jet model aircraft.

This aircrafts are very fast being powered by a miniature jet engine. Kerosene is being used a fuel. With RC plane flyers, flying a jet powered model is the ultimate dream. Check this video out to see how fast an RC jet engine really is :

Anyway, Jetman uses 4 of these. He didn't actually develop the system, it's a modified engine from Jet Cat (a leader in RC plane jet powered engine). 

The wings are specially designed to have maximum aerodynamic efficency while keeping the weight to strength ratio low. Carbon fiber is used for the wings.

After being fighter pilot and later an airline pilot, Yves wanted to take flying to next level. 

And he did. God bless, he did. 

It's one thing to develop and build. It's another thing to fly. 

 Without the clearance from authority he cannot fly. Yves system was licensed as an aircraft by FAA in 2011.

His recent flying with Emirates A380 is mindblowing:

Thank You Mr.Yves Ross for this awesome video!

Go behind the scenes : 

Yves Ross and his trianee did a flight over Dubai:

I also found him racing in Top Gear:

Watch this TED talk where he explains his system:

I wonder if there will be a time where we can buy these, strap it and just fly.  

Yves does this to push the boundaries of flight. It is a risk. But that should not keep anyone from exploring the possibilities. To achieve your dream. 

"If you have an idea or a dream , even if it's crazy, you should try it." - Yves Rossy.

Thank You for reading guys.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lily - Flying Cameraman

You know how tech giants are trying to use quadcopters for delivery. It's the future of logistics. Read my article about the future of logistics

It's not only the tech giants that has plans for quadcopters. A pack of small players doing awesome job with quadcopters too. They are different from the tech giants. They have different plans for the quadcopters. 

They intent to use it as a camera. 

Quadcopters are now being used for shooting marriage functions, celebrations, party and other gatherings. It's amazing what they are capable of. 

Our dear friend and blogger, Aire (Arun B); recently send me a video about a cute little quadcopter named Lily. Check out the video below:

As you can see, this machine uses tracking sensor and algorithms to take beautiful shots of exciting activities that we do. It's just awesome! 
The era of small flying machines are soon to dawn. 

My thanks to Aire for sharing this cool stuff with us.

Thank You Guys for reading.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Basic Flight Instruments

Microsoft Flight Simulator. I had these simulators starting from 2004. I used to spend hours flying aircraft. It was heaven. I had goosebumps every time the radio crackled with acknowledgements. Good old times.

I used to fly all sorts of plane. My favorite was Beechcraft King Air 300. I tell you, it's a beauty!

So, whenever I fly the aircraft, more than the throttle; I learned about the instruments.I used to wonder, which one was important. I came to realize which ones were crucial.

The aviation six packs. Yes they are called Six Pack by pilots. There are six basic instruments for any aircraft. They are divided into two categories based on the instruments they read the value from. 

The Six packs are:

Pitot tubes and Gyroscope are very cool tech. These techs are two centuries old though. I will have another article for it. For now, let's focus on the six basic instruments.

The first three work on the basis of pitot tube. Pitot tube works on air pressure.
The other three works on gyroscope. It's a wacky system that uses spinning, angular momentum, inertia etc.

The instruments that uses pitot tube are for movement - speed, height and rate of climb/descend.

The instruments that uses gyyroscope are for orientation - artificial horizon, heading, and  turn coordinator 

1. Air Speed Indicator:

As the name suggests, they show the air speed. The pressure readings from pitot tube is represented in units of velocity.

2. Altimeter:

We would want to know the altitude of aircraft. This is measured by the difference in pressure and representing that in units of height. 

3. Vertical Speed Indicator: 

This instruments shows the rate of climb or descend. They show it using the difference in pressure data collected from pitot tube. Question is why is rate of climb or descend a basic instrument?

That's because it gives pilots the power to predict. When they know the rate of climb or descend, they can plan accordingly. This one of the crucial thing about flying. In ground, with cars, we just follow road. Road is in and itself a predicated route. But with planes and pilots, when they are high above the clouds, they would want to know how fast the aircraft can reach ground or how fast it can climb.

I can go on and on with this instrument, but I think you got the gist.

4.  Attitude Indicator: 

Also called artificial horizon. It shows the orientation of the aircraft relative to earth's horizon. It is one instrument we all notice. It was one of my favorite in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

5. Heading Indicator: 

Advanced compass. You see, magnetic compass are poor instruments in an aircraft. They show incorrect bearings due to many typical errors. Heading indicator is one combined with gyroscope eradicates the error and give correct heading.

6. Turn Coordinator:

The turn coordinator (TC) is a further development of the turn and slip indicator with the major difference being the display and the axis upon which the gimbal is mounted. The display is that of a miniature airplane as seen from behind. (Ref: Wikipedia). You might want to google more on this later.

Anyway, those are our six basic instruments. These instruments are the very basic necessity of any flight. Pilots will have definite knowledge on these instruments as they are the ones that help him fly safe and sound.

Thank You for reading guys.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

What did Wright Brothers really invent?

Wright Brothers invented a machine that could achieve flight. That's the common belief. It's what we are taught. This would made us think that aircraft was invented by wright brothers.

Well, that's not entirely true. 

When you think about Wright Brothers, you think that they found out everything, right from scratch.

They did not.

You see, plenty of people achieved flight before Wright Brothers. George Cayley (the father of Aeronautics) had already designed airfoil. This allowed pioneer aviators to design gliders through out 1800's. 

Aviators in 1800's wanted to know if a man can fly. They wanted something to prove that a machine can lift a man. All their focus was to get a machine in air. That was the vision of 1800's.

And they succeeded in that, with lots of lost life. All a glider could do was to fly from a hill top to down, in a straight flight with no control whatsoever. But it was proved that you can make something fly.

Now, when Wright Brothers started, they had a different set of problems. They know that they can make something fly. But that was not enough. They wanted to control that flight.

And so they began their famous journey to find how they can control a glider in flight.

When they succeeded in controlling a flight, using ailerons and rudders; they wanted to increase the duration of flight.

And in no time, one of the coolest historic event took place in fields of Kitty Hawk in 1903.

Wright Brothers invented a powered controlled flight. That is their real invention. Don't you dare forget the lives of others who were trying to prove that man can fly.

Your value is amplified by the clarity you have. Be it aviation, business or life.

Question everything.

Thank You for reading.


Friday, October 23, 2015

SR-71A Blackbird Aviation Quote

Fear No Evil. This post is a dedicated to SR-71A Blackbird.

To honor it, I want you to compare the above picture and below picture. I want you to understand that we are fighting our own demons.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Boeing and India

Boeing recently released to press that they had closed more deals with India than whole US in last 50 years. The recent purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster cost $4.1 billion dollars. 

Indian Air Force has been purchasing Chinook, Apache, P-8 Poseidon, 737 and C-17 for its fleet. 

With Boeing decision to set up manufacturing facility in India, it is clear that Boeing is cementing its relationships with India. 

Indian Air Force fighter aircraft are mainly from Russian aviation giants. With the current scenario, a time may come when Boeing can sell it's fighter aircraft to India. 

Indian Air force has specific needs for its combat support. It has long been understood that investments should be made to state of the art support systems because it is the foundation on which national security is ensured. 

Boeing being the major supplier for the combat has more to do than just plain selling. Boeing had deployed a team in India years before to understand the needs of Indian Military. Being a sub-continent, India has many threats that had to be handled simultaneously. 

A highly integrated system is necessary for this kind of job and Boeing modified it's system accordingly. 

After years of studying and computing solution, Boeing is having its fruits now. 

Knowing the customers and satisfying them is good business. 

List of Boeing Planes in Indian Military 
Sr.No. PlaneQuantity
3AH 64-D Apache20
4CH-47 Chinook15
5P-8 Poseidon12

Thank You for reading.