NPR: Do Masks On Plane Flights Really Cut Your Risk Of Catching COVID-19?. “Just on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it now ‘strongly recommends’ all passengers and crew members wear masks. So the big question is this: How well do the masks work? Do they make it safe to fly across the country for a family visit? Scientists are just beginning to answer that question. And their findings offer a glimmer of hope as well as fresh ideas about what’s most important for protecting yourself on a plane.”
BBC: Extra facility opened for planes grounded by Covid-19. “An aircraft storage facility in Central Australia is now so full that its owners have had to seek out more space. Many carriers haven’t had enough passengers to justify flying during the pandemic, and have opted to store their planes. Asia Pacific Airline Storage is storing 94 planes at Alice Springs, and will store more in Southeast Queensland.”
Russia Beyond: INSIDE the cockpits of legendary Soviet planes (PHOTOS). “Many people dream of sitting in the cockpit of a plane. But what about the cockpit of historical aircraft? Now it’s possible even online thanks to Sasha Gentsis’ ‘Ruling the Skies’ photo project. Gentsis took some incredible shots of the inside of rare aircraft from the collection of the Central Museum of the Russian Air Force.”
BBC: Covid vaccine: 8,000 jumbo jets needed to deliver doses globally, says IATA. “Shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the ‘largest transport challenge ever’ according to the airline industry. The equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747s will be needed, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.”
Spotted via Reddit: Seatback Safety. From the Why Page: “As a professional designer, it can be valuable to contemplate how practitioners solved the same problem over time with different fashions and different tools. Seatback Safety cards have been used since the dawn of commercial flight. While their pamphlet form has remained largely the same for a century, they have significantly evolved in ways that reflected broader social and technological trends.”
Sky News: British Airways scrapping entire 747 fleet amid coronavirus downturn. “British Airways’ iconic 747 jumbo jet will no longer be operated by the airline after it decided to retire its entire fleet with immediate effect.”
Insurance Journal: Safety Agency Warns of Tail Strikes, Off-Course Flying by Near-Empty Airplanes. “While the plunge in travel has in many ways eased pressure on roads and the aviation system, it has at times had the opposite effect on safety. The rate of highway deaths has actually risen as motorists speed on empty roads. And the drop in airline passengers has triggered an unusual spate of incidents that are challenging flight safety, according to publicly available reports as well as government, industry and union officials. Moreover, the slow rise in air traffic is creating its own demands as parked aircraft are restored to service and pilots who may have missed training sessions are recalled.”
Dallas News: A Dallas blogger’s images of parked planes show just how far the airline industry has fallen. “Andy Luten usually takes pictures of planes in the air, taking off or landing. But in the depths of the COVID-19 downturn, the 37-year-old financial software consultant in Dallas wanted to put his hobby to work showing planes in their current state — on the ground. So Luten packed his Tesla and drove from Dallas to airports as close as DFW and Fort Worth Alliance and as far away as Arizona to document how the COVID-19 pandemic has thrashed airlines. He published the images this week on his blog, where he usually posts vacation pics, rocket launch photos and even shots from Dallas Mavericks games.”
Washington Post: Scientists know ways to help stop viruses from spreading on airplanes. They’re too late for this pandemic.. “On March 14, 1977, a woman with the flu climbed aboard a 737 and headed for Kodiak, Alaska, with 53 other passengers and crew. After an engine failed, most of them sat on the runway with the cabin doors shut, and the ventilation system off, for two hours. Within three days, 38 more people were sick. More than four decades after state and federal epidemiologists showed how easily viruses spread from person to person on airplanes, the novel coronavirus has decimated global aviation. Daily passenger screenings are down 95 percent, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Though there have been significant advances since the 1970s, and airlines spent weeks touting the safety of flying and their steps against the coronavirus, passenger cabins still pose a danger for the spread of infectious diseases, experts said. It is a problem of biology, physics and pure proximity, with airflow, dirty surfaces and close contact with other travelers all at play.”
The Museum of Flight: The Museum of Flight is Now in Your Home. “The site features the best of the Museum’s exciting videos, virtual tours, blogs and collections; plus surprising new ways to explore one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions. State-of-the-art 3D tours in the Virtual Museum Online allow visitors to deeply explore the Museum’s top 12 aircraft, including favorites like Air Force One, Concorde, B-17 and the Space Shuttle Trainer. For the bigger picture, photos and info about every plane and spacecraft in the Museum’s renowned collection are also on view.”
Air Force Museum of New Zealand: Air Force Museum Photo Archives Go Online. “Although at this stage only approximately 5,000 images are available, an estimated 0.5% of the total collection, more are coming online every day. Usually these are photos that researchers have requested and because there’s only me working in the Photo Archive, generally these are all I have time to digitise and make available. As time permits, I’ll be working through many thousands of files which simply need only a small amount of work before they can be made available. The initial focus will be on named course groups, starting with wartime pilots’ courses and aircraft pictures.”
UK Aviation: British Airways launches online archive of its centenary. “The online collection showcases moments of British Airways history from its first ever international flight as Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) on August 25, 1919 through to majestic images of Concorde, the world’s only supersonic airline of which British Airways was one of only two airlines to operate it.”
Malta Today: Maltese scientists teach computer how to make airplanes land safely. “A research team at the University of Malta has developed a computer programme that can help aeroplanes land safely by learning from the data of thousands of flights from a NASA database. The research project Smart Flight Data Monitoring (SmartFDM) by the Institute of Aerospace Technologies uses machine learning techniques to analyse the recorded data and allow the computers to learn automatically – without much direct human intervention or assistance – high volumes of data at a fast rate.”
Adafruit pointed me toward a database of paper airplane designs. It looks like there are about 40 designs, from easy to expert. Each one I looked at had extensive folding instructions with pictures, a link to a YouTube video, and downloadable instructions. Now I want to fold airplanes.
New-to-me: a database of skydiving dropzones. “Skydiving Source maintains practical and technical information on dropzones around the world. Use the search functionality and listings below to find the best place to make your first, or next skydive! Dropzone profiles feature general information, airport locations, aircraft, reviews, photos and more.” 245 dropzones are listed, the vast majority in North America.