April Around the World

April Around the World

April Around the World

April Around the World

11 seats in a row

April Around the World

UAV Refueled in Air for the First Time

Aerial support to earthquake-stricken Nepal, aerial refueling of UAV, 25th anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope and the Wi-Fi service alarming the FBI. Reviewing April’s aviation events

Eilon Tohar

Nepal Earthquake: Aerial perspective
A massive earthquake stroke Nepal last Saturday, causing thousands casualties, large amounts of damage to structures and avalanches on Mount Everest.
Thousands were killed from what was defined as Nepal’s most lethal earthquake in the last eight decades. World countries have published their condolences to the Nepalese people and some even sent air support. Many roads were blocked due to rock falling, allowing forces to arrive only by air. But the airport in Katmandu is relatively small and was partly damaged during the earthquake. Its inability to absorb a large amount of airplanes, especially large ones, caused an aerial traffic jam around the city.

The bad weather in the capital also complicates the landings and takeoffs and strong winds make it difficult to send helicopters to high regions where help is needed.
A considerable part of the incoming air support is supply of vital equipment and materials for building portable hospitals. Airlifters carrying equipment are arriving from England, Australia, Pakistan and also Israel. India stood out among the countries as it sent a considerably large amount of helicopters and airlifters.

UAV Refueled in Air for the First Time
A US Navy “K-707” refueled a UAV in air. The aerial tanker transferred 1,810 kilograms of fuel to a “Grumman X-47B” UAV in the skies of Maryland, a week after a similar dry run experiment.
“Flightglobal” Website reported that the US Naval Air System Command said this is the first time a UAV has been refueled during a flight. Aerial refueling is highly complex due to the precision required while making the connection between the two aircraft.

The task becomes even more challenging when one of the aircraft is unmanned. The capabilities tested in the experiment are expected to be used by the US future UAVs.

25th Anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope
On April 24th 1990, Space Shuttle “Discovery” lifted off, carrying Hubble Telescope into orbit. 25 years have passed since that historical take off, during which amazing scientific discoveries were made and spectacular space photos were taken by Hubble.

The 25th anniversary celebrations took place over the web: science enthusiasts, American politicians and different companies posted their greetings on Facebook under the tag #Hubble25. Instagram was also given an air of festivity when countless photos taken by Hubble throughout the years were posted in the application under the same tag.

Airbus A380’s New 11-seat configuration
Airbus passengers, pay attention: The European manufacturer plans to add one seat to each row of the plane, increasing the number of seats in each row to 11.

The news elicited many responses when many claimed the decision will not only result in unpleasant crowdedness and discomfort, but will effect passengers’ safety in case of an accident or malfunction.
For that matter, nobody wants to be the passenger sitting in the middle of the middle row when he has to escape a burning plane as fast as he can.

FBI Warns from Wi-Fi on Planes
Do Wi-Fi networks offered to passengers by carriers on planes are a breech for hacking? Earlier this month, US Government Accountability Office reported that unsecured connections to passengers Internet networks can enable hackers to access plane’s systems. The FBI consequently issued a warning to carriers in that subject.