Friday, January 30, 2015

Why do Jets leave smoke trail?

"Smoke" from "Jet"

"Oh, that's just a jet producing smoke as an indicator for other planes" - one of my dear colleague (senior engineer for airport special ancillary system) explained as a matter of fact. That's the most bizarre statement of my entire life. 

First of all lets make something clear - it's not smoke. It's pure ice. Yes, very very small droplets of ice. And this phenomenon or behavior is not even aviation related.  It is just moisture getting cooled to ice. 

It is the exact same principal as you blow out cold breath; just like the dude in the picture below: 

Random Dude

You see the water droplets in our mouth are exhaled with carbon dioxide. The water droplets are instantly cooled down to ice crystals which are so small that they have negligible mass and thus float in the air.

But we are talking about watching aircraft marking its territory in summer season. I am writing from Saudi Arabia, one of the hottest place on the planet. We see the same phenomena here.

Well, it is because of the height. As the height increases the temperature decreases. Ever saw Mount Everest in bright sunny day? Mount Everest will always have ice on it because it is situated 8,848 m from sea level. Aircraft cruise nearly at 10,000m from sea level.

The turbofan engine of commercial aircraft produces thrust at an exuberant rate. It contains water vapour which is cooled to ice crystals.  By the way this "smoke" is scientifically called as "Contrails". 
How it works.

So its all about temperature. This is also the same reason why we cannot see contrails in ground. Although, in cold countries we can see it in the ground:

Contrails viewed in the ground.

Also notice the gap between the engine and contrail. The water vapour will take some time to cool down. It's not instantaneous. This is the reason why you cannot see it when you are are flying. 

When it comes to military jet aircraft, they don't want to show you their contrails. Think about it, what is the use of 5th generation stealth aircraft if its contrails can be seen. They have special anti-contrail methods.

That being said, I think contrails are really cool. It reminds us how awesome aircraft really are and the stuff they can do.

Aviation Awesomeness

I hope this article has been useful and informative. We welcome your valuable comments and suggestion. 

Until next time guys, this is Chan signing off.

-Chan CK

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flying 101

Hi all. This is Ben MJ. This was so good that I had to share.

A sense of humor is not something most of us associate air travel with, but Kulula Air has one, which they demonstrate by the way they paint their planes.


Ben MJ.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day with Professional, Interview : VHF/UHF Radio Engineer

Let me start with an apology for not posting on Friday. It was not intentional and hope it will never happen again. But it was worth the wait.

With that said; I am proudly announcing a new category called Day with Professional. I will interview various professionals across aviation industry and share it with you from time to time.

Today I am going to interview my colleague and dear friend Mr. M.Arabi. He works as a Senior Engineer for VHF/UHF Radios that are used to communicate with aircraft. Believe it or not, these Radios are damn important; without which air traffic management is impossible. Arabi has been designing our Radio system which are installed across 4 radio sites with 36 frequencies. It's really cool!

Mr.M.Arabi - Communicating :)

Without further intro, here is the interview:

Me: Hello Arabi. How are you today?
Arabi: I am Good. Thank You having me here.

Me: It's our pleasure. So Arabi, tell me, what made you to choose Aviation?
Arabi: Well, I wanted to be a pilot when I was young. But after high school, I was looking for more complex challenge. Electronics Engineering fascinated me. I always wanted something special. Something different. Aviation is special and different. 

Me: That's great. What is it that you do?
Arabi: I am currently designing the radio system for King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Radio system consists of three sub systems. VHF/UHF Radios, Main Voice Communication System and Recording & Playback System. It's a very complex system. If not done right can cause disaster.

"Disaster if not done right."

Me: Can you tell me your typical day?
Arabi: It mostly involves solving engineering problems. Be it designing, documenting, installing or operating - it needs total focus. Radios mainly consists of Transmitters, Receivers and Antenna - which are delicate in nature. They can cause interference if not installed properly. No matter how small a problem is, I never let it grow. With my technicians, I guide them to work in teams and assure everything works properly. 

Me: What is that you like most about your job?
Arabi: It's the fact that I work with very critical electronic equipment, that makes flights manageable and safe. The stuffs we do are behind the screens. It's covered from normal eyes. It is not like a normal office job. The fact that I get to be a part of Air Traffic Communication is very satisfying.

Me: That's Nice. What do you think will happen to Middle East Aviation in future?
Arabi: New airports are being build every day here. I think in the coming years we can see Middle East aviation technology trying to catch up. I believe that manufactures must consider the hardware components to be competent for years. They should take the changing scenarios into consideration.

Me: Do you have any message to our audience?
Arabi: Thank You for having me here. Remember that Aviation is a field of passion. You need the passion to dedicate yourself to aviation. We may work behind the scenes, but it is the passion that makes us invisible heroes.

Me: Thank You Arabi for your time.

And I say goodbye to Arabi after a click:

I hope you guys like it. Let me know your thoughts. Comment below & Share.

Until Next time, this is Chan signing off.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Perptual Engine

Hello fellas!! Happy New Year to all! This is Aire. 

Today I wanna pitch you this idea about Perpetual Engines. I first saw this word "perpetual" on a Rolex watch's ad.

I found it to be very interesting. Perpetual "motion that continues indefinitely without any external source of energy " which contradicts with the laws of thermodynamics. If we are able to bring this notion to aviation world, it could be starting of a new era.

Engines works their own.But making these theory into practice revokes many laws and catapult the entire science world.

Take your imagination to new perspective - an aircraft mounted with such engine cruising through the atmosphere with no trace of fuel or even a single external source of energy.

Your suggestions are our energy to do more!!

Until next time

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Airborne

I would like to begin this article by giving respects to victims of Air Asia Flight QZ8501. Aviation world mourns in silence at this tragedy. Aviation is no simple industry. The advent of great danger and risk are dealt on a daily basis. 

With that said, we have entered a new year. I thank and extend my gratitude to  all my readers for your support.You've been a great audience. I wish all of you a great year ahead. 

Even if you are falling short, even if you don't have a happy beginning; remember that Boeing 737 was almost cancelled in 1960. It had only 21 orders from Lufthansa by 1965. Boeing was also competing with BAC One & DC-9. Boeing almost lost hope with this one.

But look at where it is now. Boeing 737 series is the best selling jet airliner in the aviation history. No matter where you are, no matter what you do; if you have a will there is a way. 

You see aviation is a dangerous and risky business. But we do it because it's worth it. It helps make the world a better place, to be part of something big. 

This is Chan signing off and again wishing you a very great 2015.

-Chan CK