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Category Archives: Planes

For aviation related material.

FreightOS

Now this is cool! A website in a similar vein as Expedia or Kayak that let’s you find the best rates for freight shipping. It’s called FreightOS. It actually looks very well done. Freight shipping is an awkward and clumsy process for the one-off shipment… for instance when I shipped some of my belongings from the US to the UAE. I had to rely on a shipper who kept a lot of the details and pricing very opaque.

Hopefully a competitive bidding site like this will encourage more transparency and shippers being up front with hidden charges and costs. Perhaps not though… on Kayak and Expedia the prices you find are before taxes and fees.

Still a cool idea.

Hacking an Airplane

Eye-opening articles on a the ability of a hacker to gain control of an auto-piloted aircraft. Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) protocols have no security and the hacker uses them to find targets, exploit the aircraft’s onboard computer, and break in.

Here are some of the functions Teso showed to the HITBSecConf Amsterdam audience:

  • Please go here: A way of interacting with the plane where the user can dynamically tap locations on the map and change the plane’s course.
  • Define area: Set detailed filters related to the airplane, for example activate something when a plane is in the area of X kilometers or when it starts flying on a predefined altitude.
  • Visit ground: Crash the airplane.
  • Kiss off: Remove itself from the system.
  • Be punckish: A theatric way of alerting the pilots that something is seriously wrong – lights start flashing and alarms start buzzing.

Scary.

NTSB Li-Ion Review

NTSB has scheduled their review of the 787 lithium-ion batteries for April 23-24:

The hearing will focus on issues relating to the design, testing and certification of the battery system.

Boeing seems to think they are close to FAA approval of their proposed solution. Its seems like this workshop is entirely untethered from Boeing’s efforts to address the battery problem.

NTSB Li-Ion Review

NTSB has scheduled their review of the 787 lithium-ion batteries for April 23-24:

The hearing will focus on issues relating to the design, testing and certification of the battery system.

Boeing seems to think they are close to FAA approval of their proposed solution. Its seems like this workshop is entirely untethered from Boeing’s efforts to address the battery problem.

Dubai World Central

Some scuttle, old and new, about Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International Airport (part of an aerotropilis development called Dubai World Central).

Doha International Delayed Again

Well this is embarassing… the non-opening of Hamad International Airport in Doha has been going on for over 5 years now.

Dreamliner Test Flights

Boeing has been doing some test flights for the 787.

EPA Sulfur Cutting

The EPA wants to restrict the sulfur content of gasoline by two-thirds. According to refiners this cut, from 30 to 10 parts per million, will cost $10 billion in capital improvements… a cost that will be passed down to the consumer possibly raising the cost of gasoline by 6-8 cents.

The sulfur content cut will increase the effectiveness of catalytic converters on cars.

What bothers me about this change is that it has been tabled for 15 months in order to avoid the presidential campaign and election. If they feared that the regulation couldn’t survive the scrutiny of an election then perhaps it’s not worth the economic toll it may impose. I wish there was some concrete way to means-test all the regulations that come from the EPA.

Emirates and Qantas Partnership

This is a big deal:

…both airlines embarking on a 10-year route-sharing deal in the highly competitive market between Australia and Europe. Qantas will move the hub for its European flights to Dubai under the partnership.

and

Under the agreement, Qantas is to close its Singapore hub for European flights from next month and end its existing 17-year revenue-sharing agreement with British Airways on the services between Australia and Britain.

The UAE’s geography favor’s it strongly for agreements like this. Combine it’s natural geographic advantage with the significant level of government support and I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of these partnerships.

Boeing News