PCDU Episode 113: Fleeting Dreams

JQ's new 787 arrives at Melbourne

JQ’s new 787 arrives at Melbourne

The past month has included a number of events related to the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review 2013 as well as the arrival of Jetstar’s new 787-8. Grant’s been visiting a few ships & interviewing their aircrew while Kathy’s had a flight on Australia’s brand new MRH-90 Taipan transport helicopters. Not long after that, Grant was in Sydney to watch the mass-flypast of aircraft as the fleet steamed into Sydney harbour then both Steve & Grant were on the tarmac in Melbourne for the new Jetstar 787 arrival celebrations.

HMS Daring's Lynx

HMS Daring’s Lynx

Naturally this generated lots of great new content and we’ve packaged it all up as follows:

  • 0:06:43 - LT Hamish Walker, Lynx Pilot on HMS Daring
     
  • 0:13:37 - LT CDR Teilo Elliot-Smith, Air Warefare Officer on HMS Daring
     
  • 0:27:15 - CDR Angus Essenhigh, Commanding Officer of HMS Daring
     
  • 0:34:37 - LT David Roderick, Seasprite Pilot on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 0:46:17 - LT Hamish Liddy, Seasprite Observer on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 0:57:22 - Leading Hand Zach Taylor, Seasprite crew on HMNZS Te Mana
     
  • 6 SQN is combined RNZAF & RNZN

    6 SQN is combined RNZAF & RNZN

    1:06:29 - David presents Grant with their 6 Squadron patch & explains its symbolism
     
  • 1:07:43 - Grant chats with listener “Mick from the Frankston line”
     
  • 1:14:45 - Kathy Mexted chats with Steve about flying in the MRH-90
     
  • 1:17:45 - LT Jack Wadey, MRH-90 Taipan Pilot
     
  • 1:31:40 - CPT Brett Chandler, Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell
     
  • 1:38:27 - Kathy chats about how she knew Brett Chandler from some time ago
     
  • 1:43:20 - David Hall, CEO of Jetstar Australia & New Zealand
     
  • 1:48:53 - Captain Jeremy Schmidt, lead pilot on Jetstar’s 787 programme
     
  • 1:55:19 - Gordon Rich-Phillips, Victoria’s Minister for Aviation Industry
     
  • 1:59:23 - We wrap it up and sign off

Kathy's aircraft for her media flight

Kathy’s aircraft for her media flight

Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted getting ready to board the MRH-90

Ben Wickham & Kathy Mexted getting ready to board the MRH-90

Jetstar’s new 787 is here

Jetstar 787-8 Arrives in Melbourne

Jetstar 787-8 Arrives in Melbourne

Jetstar’s shiny new 787-8 arrived in Melbourne on October 9th and we were there to greet it. From being beside the runway to video the arrival, near the fire trucks for the water cannon salute and in the hangar for the celebrations, Team PCDU captured lots of content from the event.

We’ll be including the interviews we recorded in our next episode (in final production at the moment) and loading photos on our Flickr stream & videos on our YouTube channel (as soon as Grant gets them loaded :) ).

Our thanks to Jetstar Australia for inviting us to attend and helping coordinate our access to staff for interviews.

PCDU Episode 89: RA-Aus NatFly 2012

Way back in April, Steve & ATC Ben flew “Ben Air” from Lilydale (YLIL) to Temora (YTEM) for the RA-Aus NatFly 2012 event, leaving Grant behind in Melbourne attempting to recover from bronchitis. While not as vibrant as 2011, there was still plenty of activity to keep Steve & Ben busy recording the following items:

  • 0:02:46 – Introduction to NatFly 2012
  • 0:03:25 – RA-Aus directors Steve Runcleman & Steve Tizzard discuss the event
  • 0:10:55 – Rohan Wittington talks about the amazing Petrel Amphibian
  • 0:18:28 – Chris Cabot from Wagga Air Centre discusses the Tecnam P2006T
  • 0:28:07 – Peter Wezenbeek walks us through the Wingmate Data Recorder
  • 0:33:02 – Andrew Tricket & his team will be releasing Sport Pilot TV in the very near future
  • 0:39:22 – Graeme from Stawell Aviation steps us through the Air Safaris they run
  • 0:45:51 – Chris Brandon at AirCreation Australia has some very cool trikes available (you know Grant wants to fly them, right? :)
  • 0:54:07 – Greg Robertson from Best Off Aircraft Australia had the Nynja on site for people to examine
  • 0:59:15 – Bas & Rowan from OzRunways talk about their presence at NatFly, the workshops they were running and their future plans for the software
  • 1:09:57 – Steve & Ben wrap up their NatFly 2012 experiences

ATC Ben preparing “Ben Air VH-RCR” for the great journey north

At 1:17:12 Steve, Ben & Grant have a chat about NatFly then we launch into an ATC Q&A where Ben answers questions about runway incursions plus aircraft callsigns and how ICAO handles them.

At 1:29:12 we then move into Listener Mail:

  • Lavan Ruben is a 14 year old aviation enthusiast who got to visit the 787 ZA003 at Melbourne (YMML), posting some videos on his YouTube channel: My Travels and Spotting
  • Jack Miller wrote in to say Hi and talk about his Aussie aviation blog General Aviation Australia
  • Andrew Brown writes in from the UK to say he really enjoyed the Geoff Whitty interview
  • Howard McClernon writes in to say he’s been sifting through the archives and enjoyed Lang Kidby’s talk about his flight re-enactments wwaaayyyy back in Episode 14

Temora’s making us all feel welcome

We then wrap up the episode (1:34:46) with a chat about helping to keep councillors from contemplating the closure of Kyneton airfield near Melbourne then a great shout out (at 1:36:50) to GippsAero for the first flight of their GA10 turboprop aircraft.

Notes:
* The Aus Air Services advert is provided courtesy of Star FM 94.3

PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime

787 Dreamliner (photo by Steven Pam)

787 ZA003 provides our Cover Art for this episode

Boeing have been taking their 787 Dreamliners on the DreamTour, a series of 7 multi-stop flights, or segments, that take one of the 787 test aircraft around the world. Each segment visits multiple countries, allowing airlines & invited guests to get up close to the advanced new airliner. Perhaps saving the best for last, the DreamTour came to the Dreamtime during it’s 7th segment. As part of this segment, the aircraft visited Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland (yes, that’s New Zealand, we know) and then on to Cairns before heading north of the equator once again.

Team PCDU were invited to tour the 787 while it was in Melbourne as guests of Qantas & Jetstar. Despite the cold, grey weather & occasional rain, our spirits were high & we were excited to once again encounter the Dreamliner. We’d met ZA001 at Oshkosh 2011 but been too busy to go through the interior so with ZA003 parked on the BAe Systems ramp, this was our chance to finally check out the cockpit.

After chatting with Reid Templin, one of Boeing’s flight test engineers, we recorded an interview with Captain Todd Abraham, one of the Boeing 787 technical pilots flying the aircraft on segment #7. Todd answered our questions about the training program, the electric brakes, the engines, the fly-by-wire system, adherence to the Boeing philosophy and the tactile feedback provided by the control yoke & throttles. Like the other Boeing airliners, the computer systems on the 787 supplement & assist the pilot but do not override, despite being fully computerised.

Our interview with Todd starts at 02:11.

Steve & Grant on the Flight Deck of 787 ZA003

Following this interview we climbed on board and checked out the cockpit (cool!!!!!) before heading back through the demonstration interior which featured example seating arrangements, galleys, toilets, large dimmable windows, high ceilings (with the new storage bins) & crew rest areas. All very impressive but the chance to hang out & chat with some more Boeing flight test engineers at the rear of the aircraft & talk about systems, structures & designs was fascinating.

Eventually we left & went back down to the tarmac to get some more photos of engines, landing gear, vents, inlets & more. From there we returned to the bus & went back to our vehicles, coming back to the reality of a cold, grey Melbourne day.

Team PCDU would like to thank Qantas & Jetstar for inviting us to join the 787 DreamTour here in Melbourne. We’d also like to thank Boeing for bringing the 787 down under and for allowing us to interview Captain Todd Abraham as well as spend so much time chatting with their flight test engineers.

Naturally, we’ve loaded our photos from the day as a 787 set on our Flickr stream for you to check out. We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and that you can appreciate the need to balance a short-length ‘quick-cast’ episode against getting our interview published while the DreamTour is still underway.

Notes:
* Cover art image courtesy of Steven Pam from SmartShots
* Thanks to Owen Zupp and also the crew at Junior Flyer for technical help with this episode
* Intro by Andrea Crook of Scripts & Voices

Joining the 787 DreamTour in Melbourne

Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime

At the invitation of Qantas & Jetstar, we spent some time today exploring the 787 ZA003 with its demonstration customer interior. The aircraft is visiting Australia & New Zealand as part of the DreamTour and today’s leg brought it to Melbourne.

In addition to getting to walk around & through the aircraft, we had some time to enjoy the cockpit, record a great interview with Captain Todd Abraham from Boeing and also have some casual chats with a few of the Boeing Flight Test Engineers who were on the tour.

It was a great experience and we’d like to thank Boeing, Qantas & Jetstar for helping to make it happen.

Steve & Grant on the Flight Deck of 787 ZA003

You can see all the photos we took today in our PCDU Flickr Stream.

We’ll be releasing our chat with Todd in our next episode. Watch this space :)

Update: Our 787 DreamTour ‘quick cast’ has been released. Check it out at PCDU Episode 88: Dreamtime

PCDU Episode 42: Wings Down Under

This episode we’re joined by Will Horton from the Wings Down Under blog to chat about recent aviation news items. We also have Anthony Simmons returning for another View from the Lounge segment and a chat with Damien Rose about his flight training up in Toowoomba. The episode wraps up with some listener mail and a shout out so it’s a little long but that should make up for the three Election QuickCast episodes we released recently :)

The list of topics we discussed with Will Horton include:

  • A review of the recent Asia/Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit in Sydney
  • The Asia/Pacific outlook for airlines includes a prediction for strong growth
  • “Buy local” for Russia (Sukhoi) & China (Comac) plus India building up its local aeronautics capabilities along with Mahindra & Mahindra buying into Australian aviation companies such as Gippsland Aeronautics
  • Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A350-900 order
  • V Australia’s 777 useage in Fiji & Bali plus the use of wide bodies (eg: 767/A330) on domestic routes due to slot restrictions
  • Qantas wanting to fly 787s into China & on to Europe
  • Jetstar being boosted over Qantas (if it’s new it’s JQ) and using Singapore as a hub into Europe
  • Qantas’s new smart card system for check-in that relies on elite frequent flyers who are with Qantas, not Jetstar
  • AirAsia setting up a Frequent Flyer program
  • Crawford Rix @ Tiger Airways is against frequent flyer programs as they’re anticompetitive and is hinting that Tiger could go down the RyanAir path (standing seats, pay loos, etc) – at least for the publicity :)
  • Customers in Australia and Asia/Pacific wanting a higher level of standards
  • Tiger setting up a franchise in Thailand (51% Thai owned but still Tiger Thailand)
  • China more likely to have standing seats as the Chinese can lay down the law for their own operations – no need to align with FAA/EASA standards although they’re investing in highspeed trains)
  • AirAsia wants to enter the Australian domestic & trans-tasman market
  • The high quality of the AirAsia experience (a discount carrier that doesn’t nickle & dime their passengers) will hit Jetstar hard
  • Pacific Blue is pulling out of the New Zealand domestic market
  • Repurposing of V Australia’s 777s off the Fiji route
  • United is not worried about Delta-V
  • Qantas’ financial results

Steve & Grant also talk afterwards about Virgin Blue’s financial results which came out after we spoke with Will, along with their news about adding A330s, dropping the E170s (while keeping the E190s) and linking up with Etihad.

PCDU Episode 33: Four Degrees of Separation from Ben Sandilands

In this episode we join noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands from Plane Talking to review the latest news & information. When we called Ben, he was experiencing a heat wave of 11 degrees Celsius at his home in the mountains near Canberra. Meanwhile, here in Melbourne we were thinking winter was upon us as the temperature dipped to 15 degrees Celsius. Four degrees of separation but a very different pair of perspectives on cold vs hot.

Fortunately, we were all spot on with our news analysis, including such topics as:

  • Use of composites in airliners and the indications that it won’t really be effective for another 10 to 20 years
  • QANTAS still claiming that they’re going to get their 787-9s on a date that would be before Air New Zealand (the launch customer) despite Boeing making a statement contradicting this
  • The changes that are afoot with the Virgin Blue group being under new leadership:
    • Brett Godfrey’s farewell bash
    • John Borghetti not getting the top job at QANTAS but, perhaps, getting something better with running Virgin Blue
    • Fleet choices and the possibility that they’ll get A330s or B767s, especially on high density routes like Sydney to Melbourne
    • The likelihood that they’ll rebrand the group (Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue) under a single name
  • Singapore Airlines having veto rights over the name Virgin for any new international airline
  • Tiger Airways recording a profit and becoming more of a stable, solid threat in the market
  • Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese wanting to restrict cockpit access to only the two pilots flying and any check pilots or safety reviewers
  • The F35 and how Australia seems to be one of the few countries NOT getting upset about all the delays and problems

After chatting with Ben, we have an interview with James Baldwin & Glen Somerville from EmptyJets, an organisation that gives you the chance to get rides in charter aircraft that would otherwise be flying empty on positioning flights. From helicopters to Gulfstream Vs, they’re all on the list and well worth checking out.

After that we dive into the mail bag where:

  • Matt McCabe compares the cost of learning to fly here in Australia against the USA
  • Errol Cavit enjoyed the Red Bull show and will be catching up with us when he comes over from New Zealand (for a Sci Fi convention, no less)
  • Vince Bezzina who volunteers at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook was checking if we knew about the DC6 coming to Australia from South Africa. Oh yes, do we ever!

We also have a couple of shout outs to:

  • Damien Rose who is now a private pilot and on his way to a commercial license (and speaking of the cost of learning – Damien sold his house to fund all this! He must have a VERY understanding wife, that’s for sure :)
  • Steve Cooke from the Flying Podcast in the UK has released his latest episode on a topic that’s very important for Grant: ballooning

The Jetstarisation of QANTAS is not over yet

Thanks to an opportunity presented by Shashank Nigam, Grant’s just had an article about the ongoing Jetstarisation of QANTAS published on Shashank’s Simpliflying site.

It provides a background on the birth of Jetstar, its growth to date and how it is destined to consume more of QANTAS’ mainline routes & aircraft. Head on over to Simpliflying and check out the article.

Thanks to Shashank for giving us the opportunity to gain further exposure to the global aviation world, it’s very much appreciated :)

PCDU Episode 25: Fan Boys

Yes, Steve & Grant are Fan Boys (big Fan Boys, in fact :) and this episode we demonstrate it once again by interviewing Matt Hall and hanging out with some more fans at the Flight Experience Melbourne Facebook fan page open night in their 737 flight simulator. Seems we’re not the only ones who think a publically accessible 737 simulator is a great thing :)

Here’s how this episode flows:

As usual, our theme music track is “YouNameIt5″ by Brian Simpson (aka t3cat5) and our sound effects come from SoundSnap.com.

PCDU Episode 22: Farewell 2009

It’s the Christmas & New Year holiday period, plus down here it’s Summer so we’re totally into listening to long aviation podcasts when we’re not distracted by having fun. So, for all of our listeners who have long drives or lots of chores to do around home, we give you our longest episode yet. With a bit of Christmas cheer, we produce just over two hours of PCDU goodness including an interview with Michael Gilmour from Downwind.com.au, our usual opinionated review of the news and listener mail. We also wrap up the year with a tip of the wing to the podcasts that inspire us and the guests who have helped give us some great content.

Here’s how the episode came together this time: