Can you hack a plane and take control?

May 18, 2015

Can you really hack a plane and gain control or is this just ‘pie in the sky’?

Recent reports regarding Security researcher Chris Roberts, United and the FBI have highlighted possible issues with the vulnerability of airline Inflight Entertainment Systems.

Feds Say That Banned Researcher Commandeered a Plane

A security researcher kicked off a United Airlines flight last month after tweeting about security vulnerabilities in its system had previously taken control of an airplane and caused it to briefly fly sideways, according to an application for a search

Hack A Plane

Previous reports in the press say that Chris was able to alter power and direction of aircraft.

Hacker made a plane fly sideways from his seat

A Colorado computer hacker told the FBI that he briefly made an airliner fly sideways by hacking its computer system, according to a report. Chris Roberts, who runs a cybersecurity consulting firm, told FBI agents in Syracuse in April that he pulled
As yet the aircraft manufactures haven’t been talking about the possible consequences if someone can hack a plane or if they believe their aircraft are open to such threats. In the meantime Chris wont be saying too much at the moment.

At the moment we await any further information but all of this isn’t new. If it is possible to hack a plane and take control through the IFE you would hope that the right people are on the case. In the meantime flying is still one of the safest forms of transport so do enjoy your travels.

 

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Airbus E-Fan electric plane project takes off with new factory in Pau

May 1, 2015

Airbus Group has agreed with the Aquitaine region to build the Final Assembly Line (FAL) for the Airbus E-Fan 2.0 all-electric aircraft in Pau, southwest France.

The decision was announced by Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Jean Botti and Alain Rousset, President of the Aquitaine region, during a press conference in Bordeaux, the capital city of Aquitaine.

“We have reached the next milestone in our Airbus Group E-Aircraft roadmap. The industrialisation of our Airbus E-Fan aircraft will help us to advance electric flight and also to gain experience to scale up the technology,” said Jean Botti, Airbus Group CTO.

Airbus Group will invest € 20 million in the overall design and development of the E-Fan 2.0 aircraft, in addition to contributions from Airbus Group’s partners. The consortium is supported by La Nouvelle France Industrielle. The Aquitaine region is also supporting the project through a regional subsidy and the FEDER (Le Fonds Européen de Développement Regional) investment for a total of € 2.25 million.

“With this new assembly line, Airbus Group is preparing for the future and creating new jobs and business in the Aquitaine region,” he added.

Voltair SAS, created in 2014 and owned 100 percent by Airbus Group, will manage the E-Fan development, production and delivery in the Pau area. Voltair will also be in charge of selling and providing services like maintenance for the E-Fan aircraft.

E-Fan Electric Plane

Pau, which is already a regional centre for the aeronautics industry in France, was chosen as it is located close to design partner Daher and offers direct access to the runway, a medium size airport and good meteorological conditions. The purchase of the site from the current owner is due to be signed by mid-year 2015 with construction works for the FAL scheduled to start in the middle of 2016. The targeted goal for entry-into-service of the first E-Fan 2.0 is around the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. E-Fan 2.0 is a key project in the industrial plans launched by the French government in 2013.

Airbus E-Fan Electric Aircraft

Airbus Group will bring its electric technical demonstrator aircraft, E-Fan, into serial production with the E-Fan 2.0, a two-seater version dedicated to initial pilot training. Airbus Group’s E-Fan project started in 2012 with an intensive development phase of more than 12 months.

The demonstrator aircraft was first presented at the Paris Air Show in 2013. Since its first flight on 11 March 2014, the E-Fan has performed more than 78 test flights with more than 38 flight hours in total.

The E-Fam engine

The Airbus E-Fan propulsion is provided by two electric motors with a combined power of 60 kilowatt, each driving a ducted, variable pitch fan. The duct increases the static thrust, it reduces the perceived noise and improves safety on the ground.

The E-Fan is powered by Lithium-ion polymer batteries

The E-Fan’s motors are powered by a series of 250 Volt Lithium-ion polymer batteries based on cells made by KOKAM in South Korea. They are housed within the inboard part of the wings outside the cockpit, and provided with venting and passive cooling.

E-Fan wheel and motor

Another innovation of the E-Fan is its landing gear, which consists of 2 wheels positioned fore and aft under the fuselage, plus two small wheels under the wings. The aft main wheel is driven by a 6 kilowatt electric motor, providing power for taxiing and acceleration up to 60 km/h during take-off, reducing overall electrical power consumption in day-to-day operation.

E-Fan cockpit

An optimised electrical energy management system (e-FADEC) is integrated into the aircraft, which automatically handles all electrical features, thereby simplifying the monitoring and controlling of the systems. The e-FADEC reduces the pilots’ workloads, allowing the instructor and the student to fly the aircraft and focus on the training mission.

The aim by Airbus Group is to create a family of E-Fan aircraft. The first, planned to enter service in 2018, will be the E-Fan 2.0 which will be configured with side-by-side seating for the instructor and student. A larger E-Fan 4.0 variant is scheduled to arrive in 2019. This aircraft will also have a combustion engine to increase its range.

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ANA launch Star Wars Jet with R2-D2 livery on B787-9

Apr 20, 2015

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced it will introduce a Star Wars Jet, painted in an R2-D2 livery, on its newest aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This new look jet marks the beginning of a five-year ANA Star Wars™ Project and agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.

This will be the first time a Star Wars character has appeared on the exterior of a commercial aircraft. The R2-D2 design was unveiled to Star Wars fans at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California.

Star Wars Jet

Star-Wars-Jet-R2D2-Jet

The Star Wars jet livery is in line with ANA’s strategy to further enhance its international presence. Last spring, the carrier significantly expanded its international flight network from Haneda and Narita airports in Tokyo. With demand increasing around the world for flights to Japan and routes linking the United States with Asia, ANA is committed to raising the profile of the ANA brand in the global market through innovative partnerships and branding opportunities. The partnership with Star Wars, beloved by audiences in Japan and around the globe, is a perfect match as Japan’s largest airline seeks to connect travelers around the world through this project.

“We’re excited to be involved in this collaboration with ANA, one of the world’s leading 5-star airlines,” said Kayleen Walters, Vice President, Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd.

“We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring a Star Wars character. We’re confident that Star Wars fans around the world will absolutely love this design.”

“ANA boasts an extensive international network, along with convenient connections between the U.S. and a wide variety of destinations throughout Asia,” said Takashi Shiki, ANA Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing.

“Although it’s a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations. The R2-D2 motif works well with ANA’s blue logo design on the aircraft’s fuselage, and many people associate R2-D2 with competent and reliable service-also hallmarks of ANA’s 5-star service. We are particularly delighted to introduce this collaboration now as we prepare to launch our new international service from Tokyo to Houston in June, making it our 10th North American destination. Through the introduction of the new Star Wars livery we hope to welcome more passengers from around the world to experience ANA as the Inspiration of Japan.”

The Star Wars jet and R2-D2 livery will be seen on international flights in the autumn.

ANA also launched a special website featuring the Star Wars collaboration. For more information on these ANA Star Wars Projects just visit: www.ana-sw.com

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The @AeroMobil 3.0 Flying Car To Go On Sale in 2017

Mar 24, 2015

The AeroMobil Flying Car can (hopefully ) be yours in 2017 when it goes on sale! Following on from the latest version of the prototype, revealed last year, the company see their concept available to purchase within two years.

AeroMobil Flying Car

The idea of taking a car and making it transform into an aeroplane has taken many years and four prototype designs to get to the pre-production version we see in the video. This latest version was shown last October and certainly proves that AeroMobil are getting closer to the final version that will be able to be used by pilots.

As a car the company say it can:

fit into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic

The AeroMobil Flying Car

Since October 2014 the current 2 seater prototype has been undergoing flight tests. It’s light construction, using the latest composite materials allows it to not only use ‘normal’ airports but also take advantage of grass field strips. With just a 200m grass runway needed to take-off and a range of 435 miles the AeroMobil certainly offers a great deal of flexibility when using it to fly.

Flying AeroMobil Flies 430 Miles – Business Insider

AeroMobil 3.0, the flying car, is the core product of the Slovakia-based company AeroMobil. It has been in development since 1989. In flight, it can reach 124 mph and fly for 430 miles on a full tank of gas. Owners could park it …

Driving it on the road and you can add another 110 miles to the range but you can’t always travel in a straight line, there will be more traffic and the views wont be as good!

Following on from the 2017 release of this flying car the company are looking to develop a four seater version with twice the range and no need for a human pilot…

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It’s Never Too Young To Be An Airline Pilot

Dec 8, 2014

Recently qualified pilot, Carol Vorderman is backing the call by British Airways for more women to become airline pilots. The airline already has more female pilots than any other UK  carrier and is determined to see that number rise.

Following on from her pilot training Carol Vorderman is hoping to inspire more women to become pilots. As well as her skills with figures she plans to follow in the flight path of British pioneer aviator Mildred Bruce by flying solo around-the-world next year.

“I always wanted to be a pilot. It was the reason I read Engineering at Cambridge, and ideally would have joined British Airways after graduating, but sadly their training school wasn’t open at that time. Thankfully with initiatives like British Airways’ Future Pilot Programme there are more opportunities for tomorrow’s potential female pilots. What a great life they have ahead of them.”

Carol Vorderman is backing call by British Airways for more women to become airline pilots

Carol Vorderman is backing call by British Airways for more women to become airline pilots

British Airways Future Pilot Programme open to anyone from 18 to 55

British Airways is looking to continue increasing its influx of new pilots. The airline’s cadet programme has proved popular with some 4,500 applications in each of its first three years. It has seen a gradual increase in the number of female applicants and successful cadets each year – but British Airways is hoping to attract even more women in order to deepen the potential talent pool of pilots.

British Airways’ First Officer Emily Lester, said: “The British Airways Future Pilot Programme has allowed me to realise my dream of becoming an airline pilot. After an intensive training programme I am now flying to destinations throughout Europe and would encourage anyone thinking of a career as a pilot to apply. It’s an ideal route into an incredibly rewarding career for both men and women.”

The airline runs its own cadet training scheme called the British Airways Future Pilot Programme – open to anyone from 18 to 55, with no previous flying experience required and plans to open the next application window for the programme from February, 2015. It also recruits trained pilots from other airlines and the armed forces.

British Airways offers its pilots a range of options to suit all lifestyles including part-time roles, as well as long and short-haul flying on its fleet of more than 280 aircraft across 180 worldwide destinations.

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To Fly is to Inspire – Anyone can fly!

Nov 21, 2014

Look what DJI have come up with now!

We’ve used the Phantom, it is a great drone to fly but now DJI have launched the Inspire 1 which provides everything you need to get the best from your aerial footage.

Inspire 1

This new drone redefines what it means to take to the sky, film and fly. It is the most advanced ready-to-fly system for anyone to use. You get a compact drone that is packed with the latest technology in photography, videography, and flight, this all-in-one platform empowers you to create stunning footage for any use.

You can see all around you with a full, unrestricted 360⁰ view of the world around you to create images like never before. This is made possible with the 4K camera. With you can shoot up to 4K video and capture 12 megapixel photographs. The lens consists of 9 separate elements, including an ‘aspherical element’ for extreme clarity, while Adobe DNG RAW support gives you the power to make every shot a masterpiece.

We can’t wait to give it a go and if you have taken any footage with the new Inspire 1 then do let us see it!

Visit the Inspire 1 website here.




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British Airways fly a million passengers on their A380s

Nov 17, 2014

In just over a year British Airways has flown its millionth passenger on their new Airbus A380 aircraft.

Last Saturday, the 15th November, on the BA268 from Los Angeles to London, BA’s millionth A380 passenger took off. This route was the first destination the airline’s new superjumbo flew to on its inaugural flight, last year on the 24th September.

British Airways A380

British Airways Airbus A380

The first British Airways Airbus #A380 was delivered in July 2013. There are now eight in the fleet flying between Heathrow and Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Singapore and Washington. A further four aircraft have yet to be delivered.

BA A380

The A380 is a popular aircraft for passengers to fly on. As one of its latest aircraft the cabins have the latest seating and inflight entertainment across the cabins.

British Airways is investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

Next April the A380 will begin flying to San Francisco, followed by Miami in October, which will benefit from a double daily service. This  new A380 route to Miami is part of British Airways’ plans to enhance the usage of facilities in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 by combining its operations in two terminals and moving out of Terminal 1.

Over the next 12 months, flights to 20 British Airways destinations, including Miami, will change terminals at Heathrow and by the middle of October 2015 all of the airline’s services will depart from either its flagship home of Terminal 5 or the main oneworld alliance Heathrow base in Terminal 3.




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Behind the scenes of the Air New Zealand safety video #airnzhobbit

Nov 14, 2014

Air New Zealand has created some of the best, most watchable airline safety videos and as the official airline of Middle-earth, they now can show a sneak peak behind the scenes of their latest Hobbit Safety Video.

#airnzhobbit

IN this film you can go behind the scenes of The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.

See Elijah Wood, Sir Peter Jackson and the wizards of Weta Workshop.

You will see the authentic filming locations such as the majestic mountain ranges in Queenstown and the lush, humble dwelling of Hobbiton.

Go one on one with Hobbit cast members and discover that your Middle-earth adventure is closer than you think! #airnzhobbit

Have you booked with Air New Zealand yet?!!




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If you like kids and music but hate war you might like this ON OFF Photo Book

Nov 11, 2014

A recent trip to Atlanta, on Virgin Atlantic‘s new 787, turned out to be more than just a flight on a new aircraft.

Along with this unique ‘gig over the Atlantic‘ flight it was a chance to see the city that Delta calls home and meet some very interesting people. One such person was a fella who seemed to have a camera continually strapped to his hand – portrait photographer Tom Oldham.

Now Tom was there to work and work he did throughout the three days and two nights we spent celebrating the new Virgin Atlantic route and  787. On the Friday night, I managed to grab a few minutes to chat with him as we were driven to the launch party. Once there though he was back shooting the bands and guests.

On the flight home I managed to grab Tom’s contact details and his Twitter account. It was on Twitter, a few days later, that I saw his ON OFF Photo Book project .

What’s it all about?

It’s an unseen insight into live music to raise money for War Child. Having shoot loads of music portraits for various magazines Tom wanted to capture a live music project that tied in portraiture, to really show the energy exchange that occurs around a performance. To combine these dynamic elements in a really consistent way so music fans could see in the simplest form what a band really looks like before and after a show.

“The style and tone is deliberately stripped back, removing location, colour and any distraction from the honesty of the two shots. It’s also a nod to Annie Leibovitz’s early days Rolling Stone work, which I admire.”

What do these photos tell us about live music?

These shots are a true insight into live music – Tom never shouted any direction, the artists would just return to the spot in front of his light where they had stood prior to walking on stage, and act how they felt.

“It’s supposed to be loose and free and straight and therefore an honest reflection of the show, their performance and the vibe between the band.”

“Shooting the gig itself is commonly a rehearsed performance and I wanted a more genuine record of the tension and release in the incredibly private seconds before and after a show. Hopefully you agree this was achieved.”

Tom (weirdly) found the final shoot for the project, featuring Rudimental at the Roundhouse, one of the most pleasing shots – it felt like a real moment.

“They’re wonderful fellas and were really happy to be photographed for War Child – they have nothing to hide and only love to give. They look brilliant and are really living inside the moment, this is their time. It’s all in the shots.”

Having met the guys on the Atlanta trip they really are a great bunch, grounded, dare I say normal and most definitely talented!

Go on – Give just £5

What’s the best story or anecdote you earned from the nights of hard work?
There are so many stories that Tom has whilst doing this project.

“Liam Gallagher managed three frames before saying ‘FOOK THIS’ and walking off, that’s him leaving frame you can see.”

Beady Eye - ON/OFF Photo Book

Beady Eye – ON/OFF Photo Book

 

“The mighty Prodigy were amazing – it was quite terrifying waiting backstage awaiting the after shot, listening to their booming set. I had 17 seconds before they were ushered off site.”

The Prodigy - ON/OFF Photo Book

The Prodigy – ON/OFF Photo Book

“Tom the singer from Pulled Apart By Horses puked, then walked into our after shot. I could tell you something about every one of these, they’re all really special to me.”

ON/OFF Photo Book

For Tom the most surprising act was Janelle Monae.

“She was astonishing, I still think she is the most wonderful live artist and it was a delight to shoot her for the project. Janelle really understands what’s required photographically and it shows.”

And the loveliest?

“Rudimental hugged me afterwards. MIA was really warm and kind. Janelle Monae and Grimes were super friendly and grateful for their involvement too. Anyone who is nice in that moment and can focus on other people is very generous I think.”

If you talk to Tom you’ll find out how the artists he photographed really felt about the project and how some went above and beyond to make it work.

Muse stood in the mud in the freezing cold backstage gazebo to do this for us. Their management were annoyed but the band didn’t care, despite it ruining Matt’s new sparkly pumps. That’s love. They’d just done a two hour, headline set at Leeds Festival and hardly had a hair out of place afterwards. Only the towel suggests it’s even an after shot. Like – what would make them actually sweat?

But why has Tom decided to do this for War Child?

Who else? War Child is the most respected charity working with the music industry and it was completely logical to try to support their work with this kind of project. Especially now – I can’t remember a more chaotic and destructive time in recent world history than 2014 so to have the opportunity to contribute in this way means a great deal to me and everyone who buys the book, I’m sure.

Don’t be shy, help Tom raise some money for a decent cause. You can give just £5 and there are prints and book options too. Just visit here

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Remembrance Poppy in plane sight for British Airways 747 passengers

Nov 10, 2014

British Airways has added a large Remembrance Poppy in plain sight of its jumbo jet passengers. To commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth servicemen and women in the two world wars and later conflicts, a British Airways 747 has been adorned with a giant poppy.

Poppy Plane

The 8ft by 8ft poppy was displayed on the aircraft as it flew in to Houston on Saturday 8th November  and when it arrived back in to London on the morning of Remembrance Sunday.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ executive chairman, said: “We are honoured to pay our own tribute to the millions who have fought for their country during the last 100 years.”

The BA 747 Poppy Plane

The BA 747 Poppy Plane

“We believe this will help deliver the spirit of remembrance to countries around the world and support the great work that takes place through The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.”

Adding the Remembrance Poppy to the BA 747

Adding the Remembrance Poppy to the BA 747

British Airways will also be asking customers and colleagues to observe a two minute silence at 11am on Remembrance Sunday on November 9 and Armistice Day on Tuesday 11th November. During both periods, British Airways pilots at UK airports will not start aircraft engines.

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