Air Charter

How to fly a jet fighter without being fighter pilot

Fly fighters has been the dream of my life. Somehow, however, I had other interests when I was at the age at which one should prepare for becoming a pilot. The fascination for military aircraft and the wish to fly military aircraft has never vanished. When I grew older and made career, I often thought how it would be when I had chosen another way and became s pilot. Would I be luckier in the morning when driving to the airport to fly airplanes to fly to destinations far away? Would I have a better life as a fighter pilot, would I feel happier when I have to fly a military aircraft instead of driving to my office every morning? Would it make a big difference to fly airplanes as pilot instead of flying quite often on a business class seat?

One thing is for sure: When I had to choose, I would rather fly fighters than passenger airplanes. Flying  fighter is just far more thrilling, fly a jet fighter at supersonic speed and high G-Forces must be one of the best things you can experience. When using the afterburner for a short time, you are the fastest man on earth. Isn't that cool?

Well, thoughts like this sometimes came to my mind, although I'm quite happy with the life I have. I think if my profession is to fly a jet fighter, I wouldn't be able to support my family in a way I can now. My wife is already afraid when I have to go abroad as passenger in one of the airlines with the best safety records. When I would fly fighters like F-18 Hornet or F-16 Fighting Falcon, I think this would cost her too much nerves. Even worse, the thought that it is possible that I would have to fly military aircraft during a war against enemies that fly a jet fighter that is similarly advanced like our own would cause a heart attack.

So somehow I'm quite happy that my job is not flying fighter but go to office in a dull suit. But I have been very excited when I have read that it is possible to fly fighters as civilian. Yes, fly military aircraft, isn't that unbelievable? Unthinkable during the cold war, I learned that today it is even possible to fly fighters of different sort in different places: The most unexpected for me is that you could fly a jet fighter like the MiG-29 Fulcrum in Russia. Remember, this is the beast the west was so afraid of not so long ago, and it is still a very remarkable military aircraft.

I hope I can convince my wife to allow me at least to fly a jet fighter once to compensate for my wasted opportunity of flying fighter – the job of my dreams.

Source by Richard M. Shirley

How to Prepare Your First Trip to China

Tourism is a burgeoning industry in People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC) making it not only a prime business destination but a must see travel stop. To ensure that you enjoy your trip, Chinese Translation Pro has compiled these handy travel tips as well as useful bits of information to take with you.
When to Go: If you looking for the lowest price on travel, plan your trip during the Low Season; December, January and February. The Peak Travel Season pertains to May, September and October. March, April, June, July, August and November are perhaps the best travel months with respect to price, weather and entertainment.
Getting There: The national airline is Air People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC). As is true of any flight, travelers should confirm their return flight reservations; airline overbooking has led to people being stranded in People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC). Also, be prepared for a lengthy flight. A nonstop from New York to Beijing lasts 14 hours while a charter to Shanghai lasts upwards of 18 hours.
There are four airport hubs within People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC); Beijing/Peking (BJS/PEK), Guangzhou Baiyun International, Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG). Each airport includes taxis, public and shuttle buses, duty free shops, banks/currency conversions, post offices, business and internet facilities and bars and restaurants. Important to note is the departure tax, which is paid in Chinese currency only. Children under 12 and transit passengers, proceeding within 24 hours of travel, are exempt.
Once There: There are many transportation options via rail, sea and automobile. Railways provide the principal means of transportation throughout People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC). The trains are affordable, safe and well maintained operating between major cities; services include Beijing to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Harbin, Chengdu and Urumqi. There are three types of trains, the Express option being the best of the three. There are four varieties of fare: hard seat, soft seat (only on short-distance trains such as the Hong Kong to Guangzhou (Canton) line), hard sleeper and soft sleeper. Children under 3 ft tall travel free and those under 4ft pay a quarter of the fare. Train travel is often a comfortable experience albeit, a time consuming one, due to the distance between destinations.
National plane travel is a time saving alternative. Flights from Shanghei to Beijing, Hong Kong to Shanghei and Guangzhou to Shanghei are approximately 2 hours; however, the roundtrip travel costs average $350 USD. Although express train travel between these cities ranges from 12 to 18 hours, the prices are decidedly more affordable, between $15 to $30 USD.
One clever tip: Traveling in a foreign nation can be very exotic, fun and intimidating. This is particularly true if you don't speak the language. It will be smart to bring a wallet size "survival language guide" – China travel guide in your wallet at all times. So you can at least express yourself in the emergency situation such as "where is the restroom", "I am allergic to….", " I need to see doctor…" etc… You can download this nice small guide booklet at our Chinese translate website:
Fine Eats: A meal in People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC) need not include won ton or dim sum to be considered delicious and authentic. People's Republic of China (Mainland)(PRC) offers a vast array of dining options including Muslim, Korean, American and traditional Chinese.
If you have business or personal Translation needs, we invite you to visit this
Online Chinese translation

Source by sub subarticle2008

Thames River Boats – High Maintenance or Cheap to Run

A Thames river boat like any boat is a pit where you continuously poor money! The Thames in London is particularly aggressive on boats due to the tide and constant river traffic. Boats that normally sit at a quiet marina berth on the South Coast are ripped to pieces when left alongside a pier in Central London for a day or two. This and the fact that London's boats are very busy means the wear and tear is significant.

Different boats require varying amount of care and repair. Boats specifically designed for sightseeing and private charter - i.e. continuous use are generally far more robust with steel hulls, reams of fender and engines capable of continuous operation.

Prettier boats on the Thames in London generally require more attention to remain looking so! Wooden hulls require more frequent maintenance and less fenders, and rubbing strips mean more opportunities for damage to be caused. The small RIB's are great having basically inflated tubes around them, but hit one of them to hard and it will be punctured...

Fibreglass is about the worst material as it is light and easily scored, broken and shattered. This means where most boats can take the odd nudge here and there and come away with merely a few grazes a fibreglass hull tends to require a lot more attention!

Grounding can also cause obvious problem with a hull and propulsion system especially if their isn't protection built into the boats hull.

The more traditional type of propulsion, i.e. a propeller, has occasional problems picking up stray ropes which then wind themselves around the boats prop shaft often melting into a lovely lump before halting the prop!

Waterjets are a very safe and powerful means of propulsion used on all shapes and sizes of craft from the London Jet Boat, which does spins and zips about the river, through to the river buses continuously serving London's commuters. The nature of a water jet is that it sucks in water and pumps it out to create drive for the vessel which of course means any floating debris also gets sucked in. This can cause problems when for example a log or plastic lid gets wedged in the inlet and restricts water flow. Often back flushing can solve, but when it is well and truly wedged divers are required. In fact divers have a lot of action on the river.

Generally these problems rarely cause affect to clients on charter and crew are well trained in dealing with almost any situation including things like loss of steering, electrical faults and loss of power.

In-terms of annual maintenance boats generally go to dry dock where they are taken out of the water and given a full overhaul including re-painting inside and out, deep cleaning, new fender and rubbing strips as well as inspections to ensure all is well both above and below the water line. Often refits such as new wash rooms and new dance floors are also done during the dry docking period.

The boats on the river Thames in London are among the best kept in the World. Europe's legislation on standards and safety are led by that of the boats on the Thames in London. You can be assured you are in one of the safest places in the World when aboard a Thames passenger boat!

Source by Keith McGregor

The McDonnell-Douglas MD-80


Fuselage stretchability, inherently incorporated in the basic DC-9 design, had characterized its program, resulting in four dimensionally divergent, higher-capacity versions, including the initially-elongated DC-9-30 over the baseline series –10/14/15, the subsequent DC-9-40, and the final DC-9-50, the latter accommodating 49 more passengers than the twin-jet's original maximum.

The DC-9 itself, founded upon the four design tenets of ruggedness, simplicity, reliability, and low-cost, had been McDonnell-Douglas's best-selling commercial aircraft—so much so, in fact, that it took off or landed somewhere in the world every seven seconds, serving more than 570 cities with some 6,050 daily flights, and by 1979, the collective fleet had carried more than one billion passengers and logged more than 18 million hours with an almost 99-percent dispatch reliability rate.

Its Pratt and Whitney JT8D engine, the most widely used powerplant and numbering in excess of 12,000 units, had not only provided propulsive thrust for all versions of the DC-9, but had also powered the Boeing 727, the Sud-Aviation SE.210 Super Caravelle, the Boeing 737, and the Dassault-Breguet Mercure 100.

Both the DC-9's basic design and its JT8D turbofan therefore offered the most optimum, cost-effective platform on which to base a larger-capacity successor, which needed to equal the DC-9-30's range capability, yet exceed the DC-9-50's economics.

Its fuselage, not having reached its limit of stretchability, lent itself to still higher-capacity accommodation, but its obstacle had been a powerplant of sufficient thrust to maintain acceptable payload, range, and performance parameters for its operators.

Based upon the earlier, two-stage JT3D, which had powered both the 707 and the DC-8, the JT8D, a low, one-to-one bypass ratio turbofan, had first run on April 7, 1961, taking to the skies for the first time on May 1 of the following year mounted to a 707.  Receiving FAA certification on February 9, 1963, as the 14,000 thrust-pound JT8D-1, it had powered the 727-100 before being employed by the DC-9-10 and was subsequently offered in several successively higher-thrust versions, the last of which had been the 17,400 thrust-pound JT8D-17R.

A new-generation variant, providing application for an ultimate DC-9 stretch and designated JT8D-109, had been one of six demonstration powerplants incorporating larger, single-stage fans developed for NASA's Quiet Engine Program, which had run between 1972 and 1975, and two of its versions had logged more than 50 hours retrofitted to a modified DC-9-32.  Design of a further development, the 18,500 thrust-pound JT8D-209, began in 1974 and first ran two years later, test flown on a McDonnell-Douglas Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) in March of 1977.

Although a new, supercritical wing had also initially been considered, the aircraft, intended for short- to medium-range sectors which entailed higher ratios of climb-and-descent to actual cruise profiles, could not fully exploit such a new design, its benefits resultantly unable to justify its higher development costs.  The existing DC-9 wing, incorporating root and tip extensions and modified high-lift devices, would provide the required performance, economy, and range parameters.

Several initial iterations, mostly based upon the DC-9-50 and all featuring fuselage stretches for higher capacities, larger-area wings, and two refanned turbofans, had included the refan-stretched DC-9-50RS, the refan-super stretched DC-9-50RSS, the DC-9-55, and the DC-9-60, while a DC-9QSF, intended for Japanese operators as an NAMC YS-11 twin turboprop replacement, mated a DC-9-40 airframe with two 18,000 thrust-pound JT8D-209 engines and a two-foot larger wing, enabling the 114,000-pound aircraft to operate from 4,000-foot runways with 120 passengers.

However, cost constraints and design complexities dictated a simpler, more straightforward version which incorporated the longer fuselage, increased-area wings, and JT8D-209 turbofans, yet retained cockpit commonality with all previous DC-9 variants.  Skipping both the DC-9-60 and DC-9-70 sequences, the definitive aircraft, designated DC-9-80—or DC-9 Super 80, to more accurately reflect the intended year of service inauguration—had been launched on October 20, 1977 with the receipt of 27 firm and 13 optioned orders from Swissair, Austrian Airlines, and Southern Airways, along with a letter of intent from LAV Lineas Aeropostal Venezolanas, all of which had been previous DC-9 operators.  Envisioned as a higher-capacity complement to its DC-9 airframe and a replacement for higher-cost tri-jets, it intended to provide service in maturing markets whose environmental and noise restrictions had precluded larger-capacity equipment substitution, the aircraft offering a significantly smaller noise footprint, greater range and capacity, and the lowest seat-mile costs of any comparable twin-jet.

According to then-President of the Douglas Aircraft Company, John C. Brizendine, "In recent years…we have become acutely aware of the need to conserve energy, to protect the environment, and to produce more and more economically efficient aircraft.  (The DC-9 Super 80) is specifically designed to meet the requirements of our industry for years to come.  These include environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, economical operation, and a spacious, comfortable interior."

McDonnell-Douglas boasted of the aircraft, "The DC-9 Super 80 is a blend of proven design with available low-risk technology for enhanced effectiveness, (but) the remarkable DC-9 reliability and lower operating costs are maintained."

Although it had been based upon this earlier-generation twin, it nevertheless introduced several advanced features.

A fuselage stretch, attained by means of an eight-frame plug forward of the wing and a single-frame insertion aft of it, resulted in a 147.10-foot overall length, increasing maximum capacity to 172, or 33 more than the DC-9-50 and a staggering 82 more than the initial DC-9-10, and producing the most massively stretched commercial airliner up to that time.  The forward, left, and aft, ventral, exits, both equipped with extendible airstairs, had been retained, but an aft, left servicing door, located only feet from the engine, had been introduced.  Aeritalia of Naples, Italy, manufactured its fuselage panels.

A new, 10.6-foot center section and two-foot parallel-chord tip extensions, resulting in the third dimensionally divergent DC-9 wing, yielded a 28-percent area, 57-percent fuel capacity, and 11-percent efficiency increase.  Measuring 107 feet, 10 1/4 inches, the airfoil, with a 24-degree sweepback at its quarter chord, a 9.62 aspect ratio, three degrees of dihedral, and a 1,239 square-foot area, had been comprised of four per-wing precision-machined skin panels which had been transformed from 14,000-pound ingots measuring 60 inches wide, 15 inches long, and 30 inches thick by the Reynolds Metal Company of McCook, Illinois.  The all-metal, two-spar structure, with riveted spanwise stringers, featured full-span, three-position leading edge slats with a new, intermediate setting to decrease take off drag and improve climb performance at higher gross weights; larger, doubled-slotted, trailing edge flaps which covered 67 percent of the span and lowered the aircraft's stalling speed; three spoiler panels, the outer two of which were employable as both flight and ground lift dumpers; and ailerons.  All but the latter were hydraulically actuated, while the ailerons themselves were manually operated.  An underwing vortillon fence ensured proper airflow.  Providing 1,520 US gallons of additional fuel tankage, it also offered an increased-area main undercarriage bay.

The variable-incidence, electrically-actuated horizontal tail, spanning 40.2 feet, or 3.6 feet more than that of the DC-9-50, retained the design's characteristic t-tail configuration and sported assister tab-equipped elevators, while the vertical fin, rendering an overall aircraft height of 30.2 feet, featured a hydraulically-actuated rudder.  It had been 1.4 feet higher than the DC-9-50's.

Its Pratt and Whitney JT8D-209 turbofan, mounted on either side of the aft fuselage and retaining the original target-type thrust reversers, was based upon the core of the earlier JT8D-9, but introduced a 49-inch wider fan and an advanced, low-pressure compressor, producing 18,500 pounds of thrust along with an additional 750 pounds of automatic power reserve (APR), generated during engine-loss conditions.  The larger-diameter, single-stage fan, driving a larger mass of hot core section-bypassing air, coupled with more efficient hot and cold exit duct intermixing air, and increased sound absorption material in its nacelle and surrounding casing, yielded numerous improvements, inclusive of increased thrust capability; a higher bypass ratio—of 1:1.78 as opposed to the earlier JT8D's 1:1; a lower exit velocity; an 11-percent decrease in specific fuel consumption; and a significantly smaller noise footprint than that of the medium-range tri-jets it had been intended to replace.

Employing weight-reducing Kevlar-reinforced aluminum honeycomb stiffeners with graphite tape caps in the outer barrel of its nose cowl and its upper and two lower cowl doors, the nacelle, 21.1 feet long, was 4.5 feet longer than the JT8D-9's and therefore presented engineering challenges relative to its mounting on the DC-9's, albeit longer, body.

The DC-9 Super 80 retained the hydraulically-retractable, tricycle, dual-wheeled, Cleveland Pneumatic undercarriage, fitted with Goodyear wheels, tires, and disc brakes; Hydro-Aire Mk IIIA antiskid units; and Douglas ran air brake cooling.  The nose wheel was steerable to 27 degrees to either side.

Although the Super 80 retained a common pilot type rating with the DC-9, it nevertheless offered several cockpit advancements, including a digital and flight guidance control system designed by the Sperry Flight Systems Division of Sperry Rand Corporation, which integrated the performance of seven flight control subsystems into two identical digital computers; cathode ray tube (CRT) displays; a digital fuel quantity gauge system; a dial-a-flap system; and Category IIIA autoland capability of 50-foot decision height (DH) and 700 feet of runway visual range (RVR).  A later introduced Electronic Performance Management System provided automatic pitch and thrust to effectuate optimum speed and fuel burn during the aircraft's climb, cruise, and descent profiles.

The 101-foot-long, "wide look" cabin, featured a broad, contoured, and sculpted acoustically-treated ceiling which blended in with the enclosable overhead storage compartments; aluminum sidewall panels sculpted round the windows; fluorescent lighting; a 19-inch aisle; and five-abreast, two-three or three-two, configured economy class seating, which reduced by half the number of middle seats traditionally associated with six-abreast arrangements.

Interior décor, which varied from conservative, business-oriented appointment to bold patterns and bright colors, was determined by the operator and custom-designed by McDonnell-Douglas whose interior design teams often made trips to airline home countries in order to absorb local culture and customs and then convert that experience into area- or country-reflective motifs.  Wool and wool synthetic blends were standardly used for seat covers and carpets.

Class and seating configuration equally varied according to operator.  A 137-passenger, dual-class arrangement, for instance, entailed 12 four-abreast first class seats at a 38-inch pitch and 125  five-abreast economy class seats at a 34-inch pitch, while single-class densities included 155 passengers at a 32/33-inch pitch, 167 charter seats at a 30-inch pitch, or a maximum of 172 high-density passengers, the latter accommodatable with a single galley installation.

Interior noise reduction was attained by means of an insulating blanket of fabric-reinforced Mylar over fiberglass.  The elongated DC-9 introduced a new pressurization and air circulation system, which replaced cabin air at greater frequencies, and its potable water system featured in-line heaters in all of its water lines.  An increased-capacity auxiliary power unit (APU) ran its environmental control system on the ground.

The aircraft's longer fuselage significantly increased its lower-deck baggage and cargo compartment volume, whose forward, center, and aft holds respectively encompassed 434, 376, and 443 cubic feet.

The DC-9-80 retained 80 percent of the DC-9-50's key maintenance features.

Like all of its earlier, shorter-fuselage predecessors, the aircraft had been designed for short-sector, rapid-turnaround, self-sufficient operations from short, limited-facility airfields, with its increased thrust, larger-area wings, self-contained airstairs, auxiliary power unit for environmental conditioning and engine starts, low-to-ground profile to facilitate servicing, loading, and maintenance, and ability to operate two or more sectors without the need for refueling.  Most turnarounds required little more than baggage carts.

With a maximum structural payload of 40,112 pounds, the DC-9-81, as designated in its initial variant, had a 147,000-pound gross weight, although this had been later increased to 149,500 pounds with uprated engines, and a maximum landing weight of 128,000 pounds.  Its normal and maximum cruise speeds were, respectively, Mach 0.76 and 0.80.  Range, with 155 single-class passengers and domestic reserves, was 1,564 nautical miles.

Piloted by Douglas Chief Engineering Pilot H. H. "Knick" Knickerbocker, Project Pilot John P. Laine, and Flight Test Engineer Virginia "Ginny" A. Claire, the first DC-9 Super 80 and the 909th twin-jet to roll off the Long Beach assembly line, made its maiden flight from Long Beach Municipal Airport's Runway 30 on October 18, 1979 with call sign DACO 80—for "Douglas Aircraft Company 80."  Following a 25-mile circular, overwater pattern, the long, slender-fuselage aircraft, accommodating 13,100 pounds of test equipment, completed a successful two-hour, 50-minute basic-maneuvers test sortie before landing at McDonnell-Douglas's Flight Operations Facility in Yuma, Arizona, where the Chief Engineering Pilot concluded, "The ground handling of the Super 80 is even better than the other DC-9s.  It also seemed quite stable in flight…The new engines were faultless, and the reverse thrust was very effective on landing…I believe the Super 80 is a great airplane and will live up to all our expectations."

The 1,085-hour, $36 million, three-aircraft flight test program, which entailed first flights of prototype N1002G on December 6, 1979 and N1002W on February 29, 1980, led to FAA certification seven months later, on August 26, under an amendment to the DC-9's original type certificate.

First delivered to launch customer Swissair on September 12, which had operated earlier DC-9-15, -30, and –50 series, it was inaugurated into scheduled service on October 5 from Zurich to Frankfurt, becoming the quietest commercial pure-jet.  Co-launch customer Austrian Airlines, which had equally operated a fleet of DC-9-30s and –50s, inaugurated its first revenue service 21 days later, on October 26, from Vienna to Zurich.

In order to adopt the McDonnell-Douglas designation scheme, the DC-9-80, or DC-9 Super 80, was rebranded the "MD-80" in 1983, its initial version dubbed "MD-81."


Development of the baseline Pratt and Whitney JT8D-209 engine, resulting in the uprated, 20,000 thrust-pound –217, augmented additional versions, the origin of which had been the 1979 requirement for a short take off and landing (STOL) aircraft to operate within the Japanese domestic market.  A then-projected iteration, designated DC-9 Super 80SF, would have mated the DC-9-40's fuselage with the DC-9-80's wing and engines, but the higher-thrust JT8D-217, applied to existing fuselage dimensions, would have provided most of the desired performance.  Resultantly, a second variant, designated MD-82 and first announced on April 16, 1979, featured the uprated, 20,000 thrust-pound turbofans with 850 pounds of automatic power reserve, a 44,024-pound payload, and a 2,050-mile range with 155 passengers.  First flying on January 8, 1981, it received its FAA type certification six months later, on July 31, at an initial 147,000-pound maximum take off weight, although the 1982 option of JT8D-217A engines further increased this to 149,500 pounds, resulting in still-higher payload and range capabilities.

Republic Airlines, the July 1, 1978 amalgamation of North Central and Southern Airways, had been the version's launch customer, having been the world's largest DC-9 operator with series –10s, -30s, and -50s, to which its eight MD-82s were eventually added.

The variant had been involved in two unique programs.  The first of these, occurring in October of 1982, entailed the innovative lease of 20 MD-82s to American Airlines, for which McDonnell-Douglas agreed to bear the maintenance and training costs.  This let to the February 1984 purchase of 67 aircraft, at attractive prices and with low cancellation penalties, to be delivered in blocks of ten to 25 airframes, each block of which had been confirmable 24 months before the targeted delivery date.  Becoming the mainstay of American's short- to medium-range fleet to facilitate hub connections in Chicago and Dallas, the aircraft, configured for 142 first and economy class passengers, ultimately numbered 234, the world's largest, single-type total outside of the former USSR.

The second innovative transaction occurred on April 12, 1985, when the Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation agreed to license-build 25 MD-82s in the People's Republic of China.

An extended-range successor, designated MD-83 and first announced on January 31, 1982, introduced still higher-rated engines.  The JT8D-219, rated at 21,000 pounds of thrust, featured a redesigned low-pressure turbine, a new high-pressure turbine, aerodynamically improved airfoils, a five-percent increase in thrust, and a two-percent reduction in fuel burn. 

First flying on December 17, 1984, the twin-jet, with a 160,000-pound maximum take off weight, offered a 2,502-nautical mile range, attained by means of 1,160 US gallons of additional, lower deck hold-installed supplementary fuel tanks.  Finnair, which had operated the DC-9-14/15, -40, and –50, served as the version's launch customer, operating the longest, nonstop MD-80 flight on November 14, 1985, when it covered the 3,406-mile distance between Montreal and Helsinki in seven hours, 26 minutes.  Transwede, of Sweden, inaugurated the first revenue-earning trans-Atlantic flight from Stockholm to Ft. Lauderdale with intermediate stops in Oslo and Gander.

In order to offer a lower-capacity counterpart more suitable to reduced-demand sectors, and to more effectively compete with the 737-300 Boeing designed for this market, McDonnell-Douglas offered the first, and only, dimensionally-divergent variant, the MD-87, which had evolved from its earlier, DC-9 Super XX studies for a 100- to 120-passenger aircraft powered either by Pratt and Whitney JT8D-200 series or CFM International CFM56-3 turbofans and offering a 110,000- to 120,000-pound gross weight.  The variant, with a 16.5-foot shorter fuselage, featured a new, 130.5-foot overall length and had a 38,726-pound maximum payload, or the same as the DC-9-50's.

Because of the decreased moment-arm of the shorter fuselage, vertical axis control required a larger-area, ten-inch taller fin, visible by the extension above its traditional t-tail mating point and resulting in a new, 31.2-foot overall height.  It also introduced low-drag flap hinges and fairings, a fillet fairing between the fuselage and the engine pylon, and a reduced-drag, blade-shaped tailcone.

Initially powered by the 20,000 thrust-pound JT8D-217B, but later retrofitted with the lower fuel consumption –217C version, the MD-87 had a 2,372-nautical mile range with 130 passengers and domestic reserves, although additional, MD-83 type fuel tankage in the lower holds increased this to 2,833 miles.

First taking to the skies on December 4, 1986, it received its FAA type certificate on October 21 of the following year, and was inaugurated into service on December 17 with Austrian Airlines from Vienna to Zagreb.

The last, and most advanced, of the five versions, the MD-88, reintroduced the original fuselage dimensions and was announced on January 23, 1986 after launch customer Delta Air Lines placed an initial order to 80 of the type.  Offered with 21,000 thrust-pound JT8D-219 turbofans, the version, most closely based on the MD-82, featured increased composite material to reduce structure weight, a new passenger cabin with a wider aisle and modernized overhead storage compartments, and an advanced, glass cockpit, the latter comprised of an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS), a flight management system (FMS), and an inertial reference system (IRS).  It retained the MD-87's blade-shaped tailcone.

First flying on August 15, 1987 and FAA-certified four months later on December 9, the MD-88 entered scheduled service with Delta on January 5, or just over 22 years after it had operated the world's first passenger-carrying service with the –14 series on December 8, 1965.  It had also operated the stretched DC-9-30 and the MD-82.


The 1,000th MD-80 had been delivered on March 29, 1992, and by December of 1997, 1,150 of the type had been in service with 60 worldwide airlines.  The design, partially succeeded by its advanced, re-engined MD-90 counterpart and Boeing's own Next Generation 737 family after that manufacturer's acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas, nevertheless became its best-selling pure-jet commercial airliner, exceeding sales of the DC-8, the Super DC-8, the DC-9 itself, the DC-10, the MD-11, the MD-90, and the MD-95/717, the last delivery of which had occurred on December 21, 1999, when an MD-83 had been handed over to TWA, ending two decades of production.  Combined with the 976 sales of the original, short-fuselage DC-9, it became the third best-selling twin-jet after Boeing's 737 and Airbus Industrie's A-320 family, with a collective 2,167 airframes having been built.

Source by Robert G. Waldvogel

What is Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol needs pilots and support personnel. As the official U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, CAP is assigned more than 90 percent of the Air Force's inland search and rescue missions. It is credited with saving an average of 80 lives each year. CAP was founded one week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Its volunteers flew more than 500,000 hours during World War II. Chartered by an act of Congress, CAP's basic missions include Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and Cadet Programs.

How Big Is Civil Air Patrol?

Civil Air Patrol Operates The Largest Fleet of Single-Engine Aircraft in The U.S.

More than 150,000  citizens who were concerned about the defense of America's coastline petitioned The U.S. government to organize a volunteer coastal patrol. Just one week before the December 1941 Japanese attack onPearl Harbor, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded.

Originally CAP was placed under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Forces,and during WWII CAP pilots flew more than one-half million hours, were credited with sinking two enemy submarines and rescued hundreds of crash survivors during wartime.

On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman established CAP as a federally chartered benevolent civilian corporation, and Congress passed Public Law 557 on May 26, 1948, making CAP the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. CAP was charged with three primary missions: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.

Today CAP consists of 52 wings (all 50 states, D.C and Puerto Rico). The country is divided into eight geographic regions.
-CAP includes approximately 1,600 units nationwide
-Currently has over 53,000 members
-Operates one of the largest fleets of single-engine piston aircraft in the world, with 550 currently in the fleet
-Flies, through volunteer members, nearly 110,000 hours each year and it maintains a fleet of 1,000 emergency services vehicles for training and mission support.

When domestic aircraft fail to reach their destination... it's CAP to the rescue.

During 2008 CAP members were credited with saving 91 lives

The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assigns more than 90% of its inland search and rescue missions to CAP. This includes missing or overdue aircraft, emergency location transmitter signals and missing persons.

CAP senior members and cadets are authorized to wear uniforms and insignias similar to those worn by U.S. Air Force personnel. Senior members provide their own uniforms, while cadet uniforms are supplied at no cost by CAP.

CAP participates in disaster relief missions by supplying ground teams and aerial surveillance. Its involvement with Homeland Security has increased significantly and CAP aircraft are used for aerial surveillance during counter drug missions.

Many of our citizens recall that day of the terrorist attacks as, "A day that will live in infamy." On September 11, 2001, when the truth of what had happened became apparent, the FAA ordered all domestic aircraft currently airborne to land at the nearest airport. In a short time silence ruled the skies. But then the sound of a single engine, four-seat, red, white and blue Cessna broke the silence above the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once stood. This CAP aircraft provided the world with the first aerial photographs of the devastation below.

CAP's part in Homeland Security began during WWII when CAP aircrews not only sank and damaged a number of Nazi submarines, they towed targets through the skies providing aerial gunnery practice for the nation's military pilots.

Today CAP continues Homeland Security service to our nation by flying into No-Fly-Zones and Temporary Flight Restricted areas providing real-time moving targets for intercept missions by military aircraft.

When a hurricane moves ashore, CAP ground teams move into stricken areas to assist in evacuation of survivors, fill sandbags, provide radio communications when the phone lines are down and whatever else needs to be done. When the clouds blow away, CAP aircraft are airborne taking aerial photos of the destruction and sending them via satellite to ground stations and local emergency management officials.

CAP pilots are among the best trained …

CAP members maintain peak proficiency by regular training missions that simulate the worst possible scenarios. Pilots are required to undergo an annual flight review with CAP check pilots. Civilian pilots are required to do this every two years. CAP cadets are eligible to apply for the National Flight  Academy, where they can qualify to fly CAP aircraft. Ground teams train during Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREXs). They learn map reading, radio direction finding and air to ground communications.

Mentoring the cadets is an important function of CAP. Great things happen when these young people see a need and then fill it. For example, Cadet Kyle Zobel, a member of the Raleigh-Wake Composite Squadron, which is based at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, wanted to see his high school sponsor a cadet squadron. The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School had an active leadership program and was looking to expand it with more hands-on programs. Zobel collected facts and figures that chronicled CAP's achievements and he took his proposal to school authorities. Ms. Bridget Bryant, coordinator of the leadership program, stepped up and assisted Zobel in his quest. Bryant's dedication to the project was evident when she applied for CAP membership. The Bulldog CAP Squadron is the first to be sponsored by the North Carolina public school system.

It was a distinct privilege for the author to attend the ceremony when NC Wing Commander, Col. Roy Douglass presented the squadron its charter .In a gymnasium packed with students, families and friends, The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Cadet Squadron became a reality, and as the word spreads throughout the school, membership continues to grow.

CAP Isn't Just For Pilots

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

CAP isn't all about flying airplanes. While many CAP members are aviation enthusiasts, a host of other specialties are needed. CAP maintains a nationwide network of Very High Frequency (VHF) repeaters and High Frequency (HF) long range communications system. Administrative, Personal Development, Finance, Safety, Legal, Medical, Chaplain Service, Drug Demand Reduction are just a few of the specialties available.

Senior members may join at age 18. There is NO mandatory retirement age. CAP boasts many highly skilled pilots who are beyond the age for receiving Social Security benefits. The age for cadets is 12-18, but a cadet may elect to remain a member as a cadet until age 21.

FBI criminal background checks are required for senior members. Seniors enter CAP with no rank but after completing the Level One and Cadet Protection Training they may be promoted to 2nd. Lieutenant. The top grade for seniors is Lt. Colonel. Members receive promotions, just as they do in the military, they earn them. Wing Commanders receive the rank of Colonel when serving in that position. The highest rank in CAP is Major General. This rank is reserved for the CAP National Commander. Maj. Gen. Amy Courter is currently serving in this position. Yes, that's right--there is no Glass Ceiling for women in CAP.

Cadets working through the training programs learn discipline, leadership and are immersed in aerospace education. Cadets attaining officer rank are eligible for many scholarship opportunities. Former CAP cadets are currently enrolled in the nation's military academies. Nearly 10% of the freshman class at the U.S. Air Force Academy each year are CAP Cadets.

The Commander of the most recent Space Shuttle Mission was Eric Boe, a former CAP Cadet.

This great nation wouldn't be so great if ordinary people stopped devoting their extra time to volunteer their talents to something worthwhile. The typical CAP squadron will have doctors, lawyers, office workers, computer specialists, truck drivers, factory workers, sales persons, fast food workers, you name it--we have it. We all joined at the senior level of membership, but...the sky is the limit!

Civil Air Patrol is a collection of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Civil Air Patrol: Citizens Serving Communities ... Above and Beyond,

More information is available from CAP Headquarters, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama:


For North Carolina residents, please CLICK HERE

Source by Don Penven

Business Aircraft Increases Business Productivity While Travelling

Travelling forms an integral part of business activity. Every day, several business executives travel from one destination to another for conducting corporate meetings. Although, previously also meetings were conducted likewise today, the basic difference lies in the fact that previously business executives used to travel from commercial airlines and now they rely on the personalized business aircrafts. Aircrafts hired for business purposes act like a boon in disguise for working professionals, because of the numerous advantages associated with their proficient services.

The benefits of hiring business aircrafts are listed below:

•    Saves Time- By providing door to door prompt service, these aircrafts help in saving lot of time. Moreover, one does not have to wait in check in queues for availing their services, thus result in saving valuable time.

•    Privacy and security- Business aircraft providers have remarkable history related to safety and security aspects of aircrafts. As services of business aircrafts are mostly avail by high profile business executives for discussing some important business issues, therefore keeping in mind the fact, the aircrafts have been thoroughly tested before making available to the end customers.

•    Produce Productive results- These aircrafts not only help in reducing travelling time from one destination to other, but also aid in conducting business meetings by making all the required arrangements in the desired manner. Thus, it can be said these aircrafts assist in transforming travelling time into creating new business opportunities.

Therefore, it can be said by employing business aircrafts one can avail varied benefits such as royal comfort, luxurious travelling, productive business results, etc. However, it is advised to hire services of professionals in order to make online bookings of these luxurious aircrafts.

Hire Professional charter services

Internet is the best medium to find suitable and cost-effective services of highly skilled air charter professionals. These professionals aid in arranging perfect business aircraft by providing customized services such as pick and drop service, valet service, etc. You can choose the perfect business aircrafts according to your requirements for meetings of business. Depending upon needs and requirements, one can choose desired aircraft from varied ranges of turbo props, executive jets, etc.

So, next time if you are planning for business trip, then do avail the facility of business aircraft in order to understand the real meaning of comfortable and luxurious business travelling.

Source by Article Manager

Golden Bear Realty: Luxury Home Sales in Palm Beach, Fl

For the discriminating home buyer who is looking for luxurious living and a fantasy lifestyle that includes world class fishing, golf, and limitless recreation opportunities, the first and last place to look is Palm Beach, Florida. Located on the Intracostal waterway of Florida’s gold coast on the Barrier Islands, Palm Beach is “The Best of Everything”.

The key recreational activity is golf. With an average year-round temperature of 74°, the avid golfer can play every day. The catalog of golf courses with manicured greens, challenging courses, and ocean views is inexhaustible. Whether you are looking to join a private golf community or prefer public courses, you can be assured of luxurious surroundings, stimulating company, and pristine fairways. The premier Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course with tournament conditioned greens provides an opulent lifestyle. Juno Beach, Wellington, Seminole Golf Club, Vero Beach, and Sebastian are but a few of the other courses in the area.

After a round of golf, enjoy a cocktail in the bar and dine in the many fabulous club houses. Choose from an endless array of steakhouses, and fine dining found in the beautiful area of Palm Beach.

One can’t think of Florida and not imagine the magnificent fishing. Juno Pier, at Juno Park, is spectacular in itself spanning 990 feet out into the ocean. There are boat ramps and slips. If sport fishing from a charter boat is more to your liking; it is all here. Looking for water sports, there is water skiing, jet ski, kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking and parasailing. Juno Beach is home to the Loxahatchee River, Florida’s only national wild scenic river. Well known for its birds and diverse wildlife. Eco-tours are a popular draw. Loggerhead Park and Natural Preserve is located here as well. Juno Beach, a quiet oceanfront community just north of Palm Beach, is a friendly place where you can live and play.

For the astute home buyer looking for Florida real estate, locate a licensed Golden Bear realtor for the ideal property for you. Whether a vacant lot, a custom or semi custom home, waterfront property, condo, time share, or estate, the right property is waiting for you. A qualified Golden Bear agent can assist in finding the home to fit your lifestyle be it equestrian property, gated golf community, country club living, beach front, or lake side, if you want city life or seclusion; your Florida realtor can help you realize your dream.

Source by Groshan Fabiola

Used Harleys for Sale: Best Place to Buy One at Cheaper Rates

Being an owner of Harley-Davidson entitles any individual for a great sense of pride and is same kind of feeling as that of owning a private jet or a luxury car. It is all same whether you are buying a used Harley or a brand new, as feelings and excitement remains the same. Nevertheless, there are some things and points given below that you need to keep in your mind if you are thinking about purchasing a used Harley-Davidson:

Used Harleys for sale are relatively cheaper than that of a brand new.

There are some models of Harley that can cost as much as that of a brand-new and fetch quite higher prices. Nevertheless, there are few models, which you can purchase at quite cheaper rates. There are many websites where anyone can buy Harley Davidson models at quite lower rates.

Rare Harleys are Used Harleys

Since over hundred years of this motorcycle brand, they have produced several hundreds of models, and most of them are very difficult to find as most are out of production line. You can buy a used Harley Davidson, if you want to purchase a Harley Davidson of any particular year.

Used Harley-Davidsons in best condition

Since being, an owner of Harley is same as that of a luxury car owner; perfect care is taken by all of the owners to keep it in a well-maintained state. Effect of this, you will occasionally or never see a poorly maintained Harley-Davidson on the road or in your neighborhood and same is valid with the stores selling Harley-Davidson. Due to this, many models cost quite higher even after they are too old.

Used Harleys for sale come customized

If you prefer to get a vintage Harley Davidson for sale, then buying old and used Harley bikes will come in handy, as most of the people prefer to sell used motorcycles for sale and go for the new and latest one. There are many bikes, which retain the same look as that of the original, but at many times owners modify the bike as per their personality and taste.

At many times, it comes as an advantage for many, but it does not signify that it will not be disadvantageous. As most of the individuals and owner make the changes in the motorcycle as per their requirements and personality, the next buyer will have to get the bike with all those modifications and changes. Unless you are ready to buy used Harley with all those modifications that come with it, you might face problems in giving it some changes as per your taste. Moreover, at many times you pay for the accessories that you do not even need.

Source by Clean harleys

Fly With Kingfisher Red Airlines at Affordable Rates

If you are one among those who love to touch the sky experiencing the beautiful affair of clouds and skies, the air journey can be a very relaxing and fun-filled means of commuting for you. If you are looking for a break from your mundane daily working life, then a trip to a dream destination with your family and friends can do magic for you. And what can be the best mode for your journey than air-travel to make fun reaching its max. Booking a cheap Kingfisher Red tickets is the first step towards making your dream of air travel to an exotic land a reality.

In the last couple of years, fares for all the domestic airlines ticket have come down significantly. Due to the emergence of a number of low-cost airliners in the domestic sky, competition has taken a serious turn thus resulting in fall in airfares.More and more people have shown their interest in flying fulfilling their long-brooded dreams. Airliners have also connected new places offering absolute connectivity.

Fly anywhere with your family members to exotic destination with Kingfisher Red for making your travel safe and hassle free. This Low-cost carrier Deccan has recently changed and now being renamed as Kingfisher Red. It will operate as a separate brand from Kingfisher Red Airlines. The leading business tycoon Mr. Vijay Mallya's UB Group has recently brought up Air Deccan airlines. It now sports the exciting kingfisher logo of UB Groups Kingfisher Airlines and is now known as Kingfisher Red. Air Deccan flights currently operates his flights to fly New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Jaipur, Hyderabad and many more. Presently, Air Deccan covers 57 destinations in India, which is more than any other airline in India.

Kingfisher and Kingfisher Red Airlines (formerly Air Deccan) collectively have 81 aircrafts in their fleet that service over 60 airports within India. Some of their most popular routes include flights between Delhi and Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, Delhi and Goa, Kolkata and Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, Agatti and Kochi and Bangalore and Tirupati. Kingfisher also operates charter Flights to all routes in its network.

To add another feather in its illustrious cap, Kingfisher will begin flying international skies, commencing flights from Bangalore city to London early 2009.

Source by Rajeev Das

Jet Boarding A Fun New Sport

Jet boarding is not particularly a new sport, but one that is just starting to gain a wider recognition. Power skiing as it is often called, is when you take a jet board out into the open water to play. It is a combination of waterskiing, snow boarding, wind surfing and surfing all in one amazingly fun sport. The jet board itself is a jet-powered surfboard that you stand on and it will propel you at speeds of up to 70km/h. It is one of those sports that is simple enough that even the novice can figure it out, but is challenging enough to keep a skilled jet boarder entertained.

Jet boarding is a unique combination of surfing while attempting to steer a board that you stand on. Since it is jet powered, the likeliness of staying on the first few times you try, are unlikely, however, you do get the hang of it once you have given it a few goes. People that have tried it claim that the most fun thing about the sport is that you stand on a board and are jet propelled across the water by your own inertia on the water. Not only is it a lot of fun, but standing up is simple enough that anyone can eventually do it with some practice, and those that are seasoned riders still come back for more because it is so much fun.

Half the fun of jet boarding is falling off. Each time you get up again, you can try using it in a different way since it is comprised of so many different sports. There is no right or wrong way to jet board, which makes it half the fun. Because jet boarding is considered to be the water sport of the new millennium, there is not really a gaming sport about it. There are no competitions, it is not known worldwide like waterskiing or surfing, and there is not any way to set rules to playing such a game as jet boarding is so many various water sports combined.

The Jet Board has an easy to use control that is designed to help teach the ride balance and buoyancy so that staying afloat is not a problem. Learning to take turns at high speed and learning to do all sorts of neat tricks while jet boarding is what makes it such a fun challenge for seasoned water sport enthusiasts. Learning to take a turn at 70km/h while using your hand as a hydroplane with your feet firmly in front of you instead of underneath you is a fun challenge that any water sport enthusiast should try at least once. Other tricks that many seasoned jet boarders enjoy include nose riding, tandem riding, wave riding, and even wave sailing, which is the ultimate challenge for any jet boarder.

So far, there is a 100% stand up rate for first time riders. Although. Standing up the first time is the only things that jet boarding can claim 100%. As fun as this new water sport is, it is not as easy as you may think!

Source by Sachin Kumar Airan