I have e-mailed tech support and had no response. I called them,
and they assigned a ticket for the request to fix it but did nothing
for three days. I am very unhappy with their support.
Register.com doesn't care individual customers after all.
If you are linking to one of the above URLs, please change them to the
following URL until register.com fixes it.
From what I heard from the tech support, Register.com failed to
migrate their URL-forwarding server. Any changes to the aliases
need to be done by phone. Sounds ridiculous, but that's what
they told me. If they have thousands of customers, they will be
overwhelmed. It is impossible to do it over the phone.
Their online-maintenance page only updates my settings stored in my
local folder, but the settings won't be reflected to the actual
server. It is a paid service, and I am urging them to fix the
The fall semester is over. Undergrads are gone, and I see only
grad students who cannot go anywhere. I was one of them when I
was a student. I didn't have to go to CMU today. But, I
anyway worked at CMU.
I typically spent hours playing strategy games, flight simulators, or
role-playing games on a PC during the holidays when I was a student.
But, I don't have that much time nowadays. I have a few game
packages that I bought a while ago and still didn't open yet.
Instead of playing games, I have been studying features of C++ 11.
The only reason why I haven't started using C++ 11 features was
because I was sticking with Visual C++ 2010, which can generate an
executable file that runs on Windows XP. C++ 11 support in
Visual C++ 2010 is minimal. I need Visual C++ 2012.
However, I was thinking that Visual C++ 2012 couldn't generate an
executable that runs on Windows XP. I believe Windows XP will be
used long after Microsoft terminates support. I at least want to
keep my program usable on Windows XP.
I talked with a friend about a month ago. He is the most
excellent programmer I have ever worked directly with. And, he
said that he was using Visual Studio 2013 and can generate an
executable for Windows XP. But, I thought he was talking about
the Professional Edition. I'm using Express Edition to compile
YSFLIGHT and other programs on this web site. And, I was
Visual Studio 2012 Express Edition couldn't generate a program for
But, after seeing his code that is cleanly written using new features
of C++ 11, I wanted to use it. I looked into the possibility of
generating an executable for XP using Visual Studio 2012.
Then I found
a description that Visual Studio 2012 can generate an executable
for XP if I install updates. That was a good news. I
installed Visual Studio 2012 on my virtual machine to see if it was
I applied all updates from Windows Update, wrote and compiled a small
test code, and took it to a PC running Windows XP. The result
was a failure. I saw a message saying that a function called
InitOnceExecuteOnce is not found in KERNEL32.DLL, and the program
didn't start. I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked the
steps to compile a program for XP with VS2012. But, the error
message stayed, and the program didn't run. I gave up once.
The next day, it came to my mind that the error message is something
to do with KERNEL32.DLL. Maybe it was a version conflict of
KERNEL32.LIB. I looked at the location where the libraries for
Windows XP is supposed to be stored. Indeed, the libraries were
missing. I was supposed to see SDK verison 7.1A. But, it
It turned out that Windows Update was not installing the updates for
Visual Studio 2012 that are required for building an executable for
XP. I searched again, and found
Update 4 (which also included Updates 1,2, and 3) for Visual
Studio 2012. I applied it, and then my Visual Studio 2012 was
able to build an executable binary for Windows XP.
Best of all, I can write multi-threaded code within the standard.
I have long been waiting for the standard multi-thread support.
There are many places in YSFLIGHT, like collision detection, that can
be accelerated by multi-threading. I will gradually add
multi-threading in YSFLIGHT. Also, there were several places
that I wanted to partially specialize my template classes and
functions, but failed when I was using Visual Studio 2008.
Visual Studio 2012 was able to handle those partial specialization,
and my code became much cleaner.
I wish I can teach some of those new features of C++11 in my course
next year. But, maybe I won't have enough time to go that far.
I ran out of the lectures before covering all the topics I wanted to
cover this year. But, at least I can use standard thread
library, rather than OpenMP when I explain parallel processing to my
Daylight saving time is over. The sun goes down much earlier now
than in summer.
According to the Federal Aviation Regulation, I need to practice 3
full-stop landings and 3 take offs between one hour after sunset and
one hour before sunrise within 90 preceding days to carry a passenger
In other words, that's all I need to do to carry a passenger at night.
I flew for the night take off and landing practice this Saturday.
I couldn't fly as much as I wanted during November. So, I made
it a cross country. I flew Beaver County => Latrobe => Allegheny
County => Beaver County.
The semester is almost over. I have been loaded 100% for
answering students' questions, writing recommendation letters, grading
quizzes, and preparing for lectures. But, I finally was able to
take a breath for Thanksgiving break.
I spent long time playing a role-playing game yesterday and today.
I haven't played this kind of game for long time. It was
refreshing. We are planning to join the Black Friday shoppers
The screenshot below is of a polygon editor that I am working on.
The goal is to make a polygon editor that can make an airplane model
easily. It runs natively on Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows. I
am hoping to make it available here soon.
By the way, I'm deeply disappointed by the disappearance of comet
ISON. I was preparing to take pictures of the comet. I
even purchased a remote shutter for my Olympus E-5. But, I guess
I don't have to wake up early in December.
Good news is I didn't lose anything important. I am taking multiple
redundant backups of my source files. Also I take whole-drive back up
once a month, and am keeping older version for several months. What is
falling apart is the internal hard drive of my Late 2008 MacBook Pro.
What most troubled was this drive didn't even give an error message.
It silently broke files. If I can see an error message, I can stop and
recover from the back up copy. But, since it broke silently, I didn't
know if my files are stored all right, or some are already broken.
Since I never knew when the file was broken, if I kept using it
longer, I would overwrite back up copy with broken files, and the
recovery will become more difficult.
The situation was like this. The sanity of the file was not known
until I really observed. The files in this hard drive were as if
intact and were broken at the same time. It's just like a
Schledinger's cat. It is called the uncertainty principle of the
quantum theory. (Not really. It was just a defect!) I like to study
quantum theory, but I didn't have time to deal with the uncertainty
principle in my hard drive.
Kitchen sink clogged, which made me
think of the
I am a researcher, and therefore I am not superstitious. I think
prophetic dream is just an occasion. However, I do not deny
the possibility of predicting near future. In fact, theoretical
physicists are trying very hard to understand why the time goes in one
direction. We don't even know if there are some quarks moving backward
Of course we know that most of the matters we can recognize is moving
in the same direction in time as we do. My students cannot
predict what questions I ask in the quiz tomorrow (unless someone
cracks into the university's computer system). However, we may have a
sense that can perceive information from those very few particles
moving backward in time. It's unlikely. But, we cannot
I saw a bad dream last night. In the dream, bath tab and bath
sink clogged, the water coming backward. I tried to stop the
water from flowing into the living room, but I was powerless. The
water was about to come out of the bathroom, ready to contaminate
everything in the living room, and I woke up. That was bad.
Real bad dream it was.
Nothing special happened earlier today. I dropped off my wife at the
library, and I drove to the airport. I sat in an airplane for
two hours to review procedures end to end. I flew two rounds of
check rides in my mind. I started the engines, taxied to the
runway, took off, flew to the practice area, did all the maneuvers,
shot two approaches, one with 2-engines, and one with single-engine,
landed and one round of traffic pattern with short-field take off and
landing. I just prepared for my check ride, now scheduled for
Tuesday. It was a good practice especially because I could
actually move two sets of throttle, propeller, and mixture levers.
I have only one throttle lever at home.
Then I came home and heard a bubbling noise from the kitchen.
It was an unusual noise. I ran to the kitchen and realized the sink was clogged, and the
water was slowly coming up. Luckily, the water had not overflown
yet. I confirmed that the bathroom was ok. I transferred
dirty water with a bucket as much as possible to lower the water level. I
tried to use suction cup to unclog it, but didn't work. I called
the apartment maintenance.
My last night's dream was too prophetic to be a superstition. If I
am seeing this kind of
dream regularly, it was just a matter of time to happen. But, I
rarely see this kind of dream. This dream made me think that
there might be some quantum-level particles that moves backward in
time, and a human may have a sense of those particles, and
can dimly predict near future. (There you go, that would explain
how 'the force' works!)
Kitchen sink clogged, and it made me think of the quantum physics.
Well, my last night's dream was most likely just a occasion.
(Updated. I somehow turned off spell checker :-P I
think misspelling has been corrected.)
I was supposed to fly for my multi-engine check ride today but had to
postpone again. Last time was due to rain and low cloud.
This time heavy closs wind.
KAGC METAR is reporting 21015G21 now. 70 degree off from runway
28 at top wind gust 21kt. I have flown Duchess only 15 hours or
so. I am not confident to fly into more than 10kt cross wind in
Duchess at this moment.
I am waiting for a call from the flight school for the schedule of the
I have taken oral exam toward my multi-engine rating, and it went
well. The flying portion of the exam was postponed by a week due
to rain. I will take a flying exam next Saturday. I am one
step closer to my multi-engine rating.
I have been trying to walk to my office whenever the weather is good.
When I walk, I carry my camera + telephoto lens to take pictures of
birds. But, I haven't been able to do so for a while, mainly
because I was investing my time for multi-engine training. By
the way, my check ride is scheduled for the next Saturday. I
have take some nice pictures of Hummingbirds in summer, but no good
pictures since then.
But, today I went bird-watching first time in two months or so.
I didn't go to Schenley park, but I did go to downtown Pittsburgh.
Typically my targets are very cautious. I need to sneak in, like
a ninja, to the close proximity to the bird at which my telephoto can
capture it in full frame. And then I need to slowly aim at he
bird. Finally I focus and shoot by pressing the shutter button.
Some birds notice very small noise from the auto-focus motor and fly
away. So, they are very hard targets.
Today's target was not that hard. Rather, it was a soft target,
literally. I didn't have to even use my telephoto to capture it
full frame. And, it didn't fly away. So below are some pictures
I took today.
This Giant Rubber Duck will stay in Pittsburgh until October 20th.
As a pilot, I wanted to see it from a Cessna. But, I haven't
flown over Pittsburgh downtown solo yet. I'm supposed to be ok
if I fly at 2800ft (1700ft AGL) over the river, but if I accidentally
go up to 3000, I would bust into Pittsburgh class B, and if I go below
2500 I will be too close to the sky scrapers with respect to the
Federal Aviation Regulation. So, I won't be able to enjoy the
view too much anyway.
In the last flight, I ended up landing in a moderate gusty-wind
condition. According to the Beaver ATIS, wind was 210 at 10 gust
15 at the time of landing. Almost 15kt direct cross wind, which
was the maximum cross wind component which I won't fly if the wind is
faster than this. When I carry passengers, I wouldn't fly if the
cross wind was expected to blow more than 12. But this time, I
didn't expect to have this strong wind at the time of take off, but
when I came back I had to deal with it.
Usually I look at
Usually aviationweather.gov gives the least accurate prediction in my
impression. The reason why these four sites say different
predictions is because each of them is using a different
weather-simulation model. Nonetheless, these sites typically
agree at the day of flight. But, this time, aviationweather.gov
didn't agree with others. Aviationweather.gov was predicting 180
at 10 gust 18, which is beyond my go-no-go decision threshold.
However, other three sites were predicting nice wind.
Although my multi-engine check ride is near, I flew a foliage-watching
flight. I took two friends as passengers. Actually I
planned to fly only 1.5 hours, which was going to bring up my PIC time
to 399.5 hours, and when I pass my multi-engine check ride, the flying
hour for the check ride will be considered PIC time, and I was going
to get my multi-engine certificate and 400-hour PIC time at the same
I finished all the required flight training before the check ride on
Thursday. I was thinking that all I had to do was brushing up
what I was doing before. What caught me by surprise was that I
had to do actual feathering and unfeathering. Also I had to do
engine-out on take off (aborted take off.)
I think I probably can handle feathering and unfeathering. All I
need to do is to follow the check list. I can train for that
mentally while I am riding my exercise bike. It is very
uncomfortable because I practiced it only once, but I should be able
to manage it.
What worries me is aborted take off. What I need to do is to pay
attention to the directional control during take-off run, and I need
to pull the throttle idle when I feel I lost directional control.
So, if I need to apply big rudder input, it's a sign of single-engine
However, I sometimes need to apply quite good rudder pressure when a
gusty cross wind picks up speed. It could last a few seconds.
I need to apply rudder and aileron to counter such gusty cross wind.
The question will be if I can distinguish such gusty cross wind and
simulated engine failure.
I have flown 9.4 hours in Beech Duchess so far. I started with
maneuver practice, and then approaches, and since the last time, I was
practicing traffic pattern.
From the beginning, I was feeling this was a very difficult airplane
to land. If I control like a Cessna, I was always kicked back into the
air when I leveled off for touch down. One reason is the airplane has
good amount of energy at the runway threshold because its approach
speed is 90 to 100kt, which is 40kt faster than the stall speed. Also
it seems to have much greater ground effect because the wing was
mounted low. That's the two reasons I can think of.
My problem was I needed to be able to land to pass the check ride, no
matter how good maneuvers and approaches I can demonstrate. I tried a
few different methods, and finally I think I figured what I need to
do. I flew this morning, and made five good landings.
My old exercise bike broke beyond repair
two days ago, and this time, it was my headset. I was strapped
in Beech Duchess N6712A, and running through engine-start check list.
Before starting the left engine, to prepare for the noise, I took my
headset and opened it, when I heard a plastic cracking noise, and my
headset fell apart. Poor my headset. The left speaker was
hanging from the frame by a electrical wire. I borrowed a
headset from PFTC and flew this time.
Poor my headset.
But, first my old exercise bike. And thou my headset! I
have a feeling that I shouldn't touch my camera for a while.
I started diet last December. Actually, not really diet. I
have been trying to lose weight by increasing exercise. No
dietary restriction. I have been following dietary restriction
for kidney-stone prevention, but I didn't add any more restriction for
losing weight. For the first 6 months, I lost 2 pounds per
month. I think it was a good pace because I was just a little
bit overweight but not obese. Since I was in Japan and could not
exercise much in July, it took two months to lost another 2 pounds.
My primary goal was to lower my blood uric acid level. My former
family doctor told me that my uric acid level was higher than normal,
and losing weight is a good way of reducing it. Also, I rent and
fly a Cessna 172, which can carry three adults including the pilot.
If three adults are on board, the airplane is almost at the maximum
take-off weight. If I cut down 10lb, the airplane can carry 10lb
more baggage. It's critical when I fly to Columbus OH for
grocery shopping. (Yes, I have flown for grocery-shopping at
least three times.)
According to an E-Mail, YSFLIGHT will be on display at Seoul Air Show
2013! Air Show will be from October 25 to 27, and Defense
Exhibition will be from October 29 to November 3, and YSFLIGHT will be
on display on November 2. If you are planning to visit 2013
Seoul Air Show, please find YSFLIGHT!
Also I have added a link to
YSFLIGHT Korea in the YSFLIGHT Related Sites section.
Fall Semester Begins
Actually, three weeks have already passed since the beginning of the
fall semester. I am teaching C++ programming to the Mechanical
Engineering grad students again. I like teaching, and it's so
much a fun, but it certainly makes me busy. I am glad I could
release YSFLIGHT before the semester started.
I have been trying to find time for organizing and uploading my best
Hummingbird shots of this summer and pictures from Waukegan Air Show
2013. I'll post them when things get settled down.
This time, crews from YSUpload.com kindly offered to host YSFLIGHT
binaries. You can download the newest version from the following
YSFLIGHT binaries will be available from both YSUpload.com and
Download.com. I'll put links to Download.com back as soon as the
file is up in their server.
Major changes are as follows:
- Using OpenGL 2.0/ES2.0 features
- Change of vehicle
- Some maps include scheduled flights
- Landing-evaluation dialog
- Can enable random aircraft trouble (can configure probability and
- Damage indication
- I'm so sorry for those who have been using CPU-Rendered version of
YSFLIGHT. But, I cannot support it any longer. CPU-Rendered version is
dropped in this release.
- Bug fixes
Update: Download.com approved YSFLIGHT binaries. Wow!
It was quick this time.
I have submitted a flight-training request to Transportation Security
my Japan trip.
I was expecting to get an approval in a month or so, that's what PFTC
told me. In reality, the approval came within a week. My
flight instructor said it was the fastest approval she has ever seen,
and she speculated that TSA was thinking I am absolutely not a threat.
I was supposed to fly on Saturday, which was cancelled due to low
cloud. The forecast for today was predicting thick fog.
The sky was clear and the visibility was good in contrary.
I had been in Japan for about two weeks. It was particularly a
difficult trip to plan due to several constraints. What made it even
more special was Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco. I flew in the
same-type aircraft the day after the crash. My wife traveled
separately via San Francisco, and her airplane ended up taking off
beside the wreckage. We really wanted to use Haneda airport rather
than Narita airport this time because Narita is extraordinary super
inconvenient. If you use Narita airport, you would waste one whole
day. If you are planning to visit Japan, don't use Narita. Make sure
you use Haneda airport, which is much closer to Tokyo. No Narita
airport. Haneda airport also has more fun things to do, like better
shopping mall. Observation deck of Haneda airport is also much nicer
than Narita. But, due to scheduling reason, we ended up with Narita
again. I think Narita airport is good for Air Self Defense force. It
would be better used by the military for capital air defense. I would
vote for turning Narita airport into Narita air base.
There was a very sad accident in this year's Dayton air show. I
believe the air-show officials worked very hard to make this year's
air show entertaining without military participation. Despite
the effort, the accident took place on the first day. It was
The airplane flies with multiple layers of safety measures. Two
important factors are altitude and airspeed, or energy. If the
airplane is flying high, it can glide long distance for safe emergency
landing in case of engine failure. If the airplane is flying
fast, it is unlikely to stall in the first place, and even if it
stalls with a poor handling, the airplane can recover from stall
before hitting the ground if it is high enough. That's not the
case for a low-altitude slow-speed aerobatic flight. The two
aviators lost in the accident understood and accepted to take the
risk. I believe they didn't want the show to be cancelled due to
Do you think it is foolish to fly for life in an air show? You
may feel it is an exaggeration, but every time I go to an air show, I
think what human kind created in a few thousand years, which is a very
short time from the time scale of the space. The
state-of-the-art physics predicts that the earth will be burnt by the
sun within 4.5 billion years. To me, it is such a loss if
everything on earth is lost in just 4.5 billion years. But, when
I see the airplane flying freely defying the gravity, I feel that it
is possible for human kind to expand residence to the space.
Probably it won't happen within 50 or 60 years before the end of my
life, but if next generation believes it is possible, eventually it
will come true. So, the future of human kind heavily depends on
the air shows! Well, I exaggerated a bit. But, it is real
that many young generation choose a profession in aviation because
they watch an air show and so much impressed. Air shows have an
important role for sure. General aviation and air shows are
important parts of the aviation culture of the United States.
And, it is part of the foundation that is supporting the air and space
dominance of the United States. I can admire performers flying
in air shows but NEVER think they are foolish.
By the way, I feel the same way when I rent and fly a Cessna.
I'm not a super rich. But, I can rent an airplane and go up to
8,000ft over the weekend. If just a research associate can go up
to 8,000ft over the weekend, human kind must be able to eventually
expand the territory beyond the solar system in many years.
Don't you agree?
You can read more about what I saw in this year's Dayton air show from
The wing walker Jane Wicker was dangling under the airplane
wing. And the airplane was going to invert so that she comes on
top of the wing.
I remember that I saw the airplane started to roll
to get inverted. Before the airplane was fully inverted, it
looked to me like 120 or 130 degree bank, but a video from another
angle indicated 150 or 160 degree bank, the airplane rolled back to
almost 90 degree bank like knife edge, and the nose dropped.
There was a moment that I realized that the airplane was not going to
make it before it hit the ground. Next thing I saw was the
airplane disintegrating into pieces and a large flame. That
happened right in front of me. I think the airplane crashed
within 1,000ft from my location.
I have visited many air shows, but I have only seen an accident twice.
Both two accidents were fatal and happened to be in Dayton air show.
An ambulance, probably carrying the remains of the bodies of the pilot
and the wing walker, left the accident scene. The remaining of
the show was subsequently cancelled. The wreckage was right in
front of the spectator area. It would be too bad a taste to see
all flying activities in front of the wreckage where two airmen
were just killed. I think it was a right decision.
It was a very sad accident. But, they understood and accepted to take
the risk. I took my hat off, saluted (mentally), and left the
scene. Although the forecast was predicting a good weather, a
thunderstorm struck the Dayton International airport when I came back
to my car. The sky seemed to be mourning two airmen lost in the
A video of the accident I saw later indicated that the aircraft was
almost inverted, when its left wing dropped suddenly. Then the
nose came down and never recovered. It appeared to me the left
wing stalled. To enter inverted, the wing cannot support the
airplane near 90 degree bank, and the airplane wants to descend.
To compensate for that, the airplane needs to first nose up and add
power to gain positive vertical speed and then roll. Ideally the
vertical speed must be zero when the airplane gets completely
inverted. However, the video indicates that the Jan Wicker's
airplane was actually descending before it fully inverted.
Although the vertical speed was negative, the airplane nose was
gradually raised. Finally, the left wing dropped. The left
wing was carrying the wing walker. The airplane was not
symmetric. The essence of single-wing stall was there.
Maybe the pilot started rolling before the airplane gained enough
positive vertical speed, and he may have pushed the stick hard to stop
sinking. That's the impression I got from the video. You
can easily find a video by searching for keywords "Dayton air show
The show was resumed on the second day. I'm still organizing
photos. I'll upload good shots soon.
Close shave! What was close shave? I almost missed this
opportunity to watch B-29 at Allegheny County Airport this weekend.
We have only handful of air shows this year. The infamous
budget sequestration almost closed 149 air traffic control towers, which
was barely avoided, but then came cancellation of all military-hosted
air shows and military participations in privately-hosted air shows
including all Thunderbirds and Blue Angels flights. It is a dark
year for airplane fans and general-aviation pilots. Since I am an
airplane fan and a general-aviation pilot, it is doubly-dark year for
I am supposed to go to Dayton air show next weekend. I was
reading Dayton air-show web site, when it came to my mind that maybe
some new air show is scheduled by now. More than 60% of the
scheduled air shows have been cancelled. Air-show pilots suddenly
got available. Why not someone else assembled those pilots and
planned new air shows? Maybe someone did. So, I searched for
keywords "air show Pennsylvania", and what Google showed surprised me.
Airpower History Tour at Allegheny County Airport from June 14-16!?
I was totally caught off guard. How off-guard was I? I
was scheduled to fly a Cessna 172 on this weekend. I agreed to
give a substitute math lecture at Pittsburgh Japanese School this
Sunday. I was that much off guard.
But, I knew there was going to be an air show in the weekend.
There was no question. Go! The biggest participant was B-29
FiFi, the currently only one flyable B-29 Superfortress. FiFi was
scheduled to fly 9am and 1030am on all three days. I could take
morning off on Friday, and my scheduled flight on Saturday was in the
afternoon. I should have four chances of watching B-29 flying.
I was in Chicago last weekend to take my wife for a conference.
I scheduled to fly with my friend who is working at Waukegan while my
wife was attending a conference. Waukegan is about an hour drive
to the south of Chicago.
He is a professional pilot and also an instructor and has been giving
me very good advice for YSFLIGHT development. For example, the
landing-analysis which will be added in the next version is based on
his advice. Since I was visiting Chicago, I thought it would be
nice if he could give me a training for FAA Safety Program called
But, his main job is to fly an airplane for individual owners as a
co-pilot, and he got two duties on the day I was scheduled to fly.
So, he didn't have time to give me a flight training.
Finally, after four months of grounding, Boeing 787 is back in the
air. I expected it to return to service within two weeks, but I
wildly missed. (That's why I don't go to Casino.)
I guessed it to be back soon because the worst case scenario I thought
was Boeing needing to replace a Lithium-Ion batteries with a
conventional battery for the meanwhile. Some were making a
pessimistic guess and said that replacing the battery will take over
an year to get re-certified? Really? I doubt it.
It's not making a new battery. Why not taking a proven battery
that is currently used in 737 or 777? If the battery itself is
airworthy, what's needed is to make sure the battery provides
sufficient power in case of emergency for the short duration of time.
It's not an easy thing, but if Boeing activates their full-strength of
engineers, I think it was doable in a relatively short time,
definitely much less than four months. If testing a battery took
one year, it would take 100 years to build a new airplane.
But, Boeing didn't take that path. They stubbornly stick with the
high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery, that is not even used in flight.
I thought about a possibility that the airplane uses the battery
actively in flight to reduce fuel consumption. But, the energy
battery can provide must be very small compared to the energy
generated by the jet engines. Well, it could be small for one
flight, but could be huge over time. However, the battery needs
to be replaced eventually. Such an expensive battery will wipe
such small saving.
The answer was in the latest issue of Japanese Koku-Fan magazine.
According to the article, Vice-President of Boeing and Chief 787
Project Engineer, Mike Sinnet said that the high-capacity Lithium-Ion
battery is used for providing large electricity for the ground work.
I suppose it includes post-flight maintenance, loading and unloading
luggage, and pre-flight inspection. He also said that without
the high-capacity battery, it is very difficult to achieve 20%
efficiency improvement with a traditional Ni-Cd battery. He also
mentioned the battery is rarely used in flight.
From here is my interpretation. 787 seems to be doing something
like a hybrid car. But, the energy stored in the battery is used
during the ground operation, not for reducing fuel consumption in
flight. The best timing for charging the battery is during the
descend to landing, when the kinetic energy and potential energy are
dissipated. A traditional airplane just dissipated energy whole.
Such a heavy object high above the ground flying 0.8 times the speed
of sound has enormous potential and kinetic energy all of which are
produced by the engines. All of the kinetic energy and potential
energy become zero when the airplane land and fully stop at the
gate. But, 787 seems to be storing some of the energy in the
battery, and recycling it for pre-flight inspection, maintenance, and
other ground operations. Kinetic and potential energy will be
zero when it stops, but some portion will be stored in the battery in
the form of electric energy.
The biggest pitch of Boeing 787 is 20% reduction of running cost.
It's not 20% reduction of fuel consumption. It's overall cost
reduction. Probably, it is exactly 20% under the typical
operation model Boeing assumes. Not 19.9% or 20.1%. I
think this 20% is an accumulation of small cost improvements, and not
entirely coming from the fuel. If only one of these small
improvements is gone, the number may drop below 20%.
As one of the cost cuttings, probably Boeing focused on the cost for
ground operations. An airplane needs to go through so many
operations before taking off. The system needs to be checked.
Cargo doors need to be opened and closed. Someone needs to power
the conveyer belt for loading and unloading checked luggage.
Many of these operations require electricity, and the airlines must
have been paying electric bill to the airport. The electric bill
must be small compared to the fuel bill, but who knows? Maybe
airports were charging some big bill to the airlines because once an
airplane lands, it cannot escape unless it is pre-flight inspected.
Instead of paying electric bill to the airport, if the airplane can
power all those operations, and the energy for powering those
operations are coming for free, maybe it makes a measurable change in
the running cost.
The idea is same as a hybrid vehicle. A car burns fuel to
accelerate. Acceleration means gain of kinetic energy. The
energy is dissipated as heat when the car slows down. A hybrid
vehicle stores some energy in the battery while slowing down instead
of dissipating all. The energy stored in the battery can later
be re-used to assist the engine, and that's why the engine doesn't
have to burn as much fuel. Similarly, 787 may be charging some
kinetic and potential energy to the battery during the descend, and
the energy can later be used during the ground operation.
This explains the timing of the battery fire. Japan Airlines'
787 caught on fire at Boston airport after landing. The battery
heats up when it is charged and used. So, the battery got quite
hot while it was charged during the descend and then finally reached
the burning temperature when the airplane is parked and started some
post-flight ground operations. All-Nippon Airways' 787 made an
emergency landing almost immediately after taking off. Probably
the battery got very hot while it was used for pre-flight operations,
and the fire gradually spread through the battery while it took off
and was climbing.
If it is the case, the fire is most likely immediately before landing
or just after take off. Many (including myself) thought it was
lucky because the fire didn't start when the airplane was over the
ocean. But, maybe it was not a luck. It was maybe because
of the nature of the incident. Although the battery was completely
burnt, no damages were observed outside the battery compartment.
The engines were running, and flight control systems were operating
normal. I think the Boeing's explanation that says there was no
danger to the crews and passengers is correct.
In fact, if the airplane could release the smoke to the outside of the
airplane, no passenger would have noticed. The airplane would
have made an emergency landing, parked at the gate, and then someone
could have found the burnt battery in the compartment. When I
heard Boeing made a smoke-releasing mechanism as a part of the fix, I
honestly thought what an ad-hoc and pointless solution. But,
maybe it is a correct solution if it is combined with other mechanism
to prevent battery fire.
I wanted to fly in this airplane when I visit Japan this summer.
But, due to many reasons, I had to choose 777 from Chicago to Narita.
Aagh! Narita again. I don't like this airport.
Narita is too far from Tokyo. Narita airport has long been
giving pain and frustration to the international travelers visiting
Japan. I think this airport is better used by the Japanese Air
Self Defense Force. I'm not particularly a fan of 787, but I am
interested in a new airplane. I hope I can fly in this one soon
and hope someone starts regular 787 flights to/from Pittsburgh
Everyone makes a mistake. Every pilot would say he or she had made at
least one mistake in the past while flying. Nobody is perfect.
That's why the aviation safety is guarded as a system. Pilots make
mistakes. Even when a pilot makes a mistake, the system prevents a
mistake from becoming a catastrophic accident. As well as pilots make
mistakes, a computer can say a strange thing. We all know from
Microsoft products. Well, some of you may know from
YSFLIGHT as well :-P (But, I
want Microsoft to be more responsible because they are charging so
much money.) That means no programmer is perfect. If a computer
says a strange thing, the pilot covers it. If both the pilot and the
computer makes a mistake, the air-traffic controller can help. That is
how the aviation safety is maintained. (And, that is why closing
control towers and furloughing air traffic controllers are a very bad
Nonetheless, there is no 100% safety. This world is statistical. We
cannot completely eliminate probability of getting a disease. But, you
can minimize the probability of a disease by regularly working out and
eating healthy food. We cannot completely get rid of automobile
accident risk. However, you can reduce the risk of an accident by
driving safer route rather than the shortest route. Like, I avoid
Forward+Murray+Pocusset intersection when I come back from CMU during
commuting hours. This particular busy five-way intersection is
horrible. I have seen many accidents there in the past because the
right-of-way from Forward avenue and Pocusset street is unclear. Looks
to me, Pocusset to Forward has the right-of-way over
Forward-to-Forward based on the geometry. But, some drivers think
differently for the obvious reason; the driver is continuing on the
same avenue in Forward-to-Forward. It is unclear if I should be left
lane or right lane on Murray avenue when I want to continue toward
Homestead. There is no designated right-turn or left-turn lane. I
drive Shady avenue instead, which is longer but much safer. It
is nearly impossible to fly a perfect flight, and therefore I'm not
trying to do that. I am instead trying to maximize the chance to
come back alive even if something goes wrong.
I flew with a student who is graduating this month. He was going
to graduate in half a month, so I thought it would be nice to show him
the CMU campus from the air.
But, it was the day of Pittsburgh Marathon. Many TV helicopters
might be flying over the marathon course. I didn't know if we
were able to circle over CMU. At least I double checked and
triple checked that there is no temporary flight restriction over the
course. So, I took off Beaver county to Allegheny county.
We won the final play off of a bowling league
hosted by Forward Lanes last
Saturday! Semi-final was somewhat ok, but the final was a tough
We form a four-person team in this league, and 7 out of 8 bowlers of
our team and the other team was spinning the ball. Oil on the
lane was ground off very quickly. I made 238 in the first game
of the final, but I could no longer hit the pocket after that. I
switched to the ball to a less hooking ball but I couldn't find a
right course. I ended up getting 168, almost 40 points below my
average. In fact, if I had one more spare, the team won the
second game, and that was it. But, the team lost the second game
mainly due to my stall and the winner was going to be decided in the
I struggled enough in the second game of the final. I just
decided not to think too much and throw a regular course. That
somewhat worked. I still had lower than average but had 191.
Good enough to carry the team victory. I earned the fourth
trophy. But, I really need to do something for a dry lane.
I should practice for it during the off season.
Unusually long winter in Pittsburgh is finally over, and birds are
coming back. Actually, many of the birds who are not supposed to
migrate disappear in winter. I wonder where they are in winter.
I don't think they can hibernate. Anyway, I started walking to
work with my camera.
The weather was good yesterday morning, at least when I left my place,
and I walked to CMU. On the way, I was able to come very close
to a Blue Jay, but the rain started falling. I had to put my
camera in the camera bag. The following picture was the last shot I
took before putting my camera in the bag. Focused and crisp, but the
branch in front of the bird was hiding its face. I could continue
shooting because my Olympus E-5 and Olympus lenses are water and dust
resistance. I just wanted to be nice to my camera.
The following picture is from the thunderstorm that struck
Pittsburgh area yesterday. It was before sunset, the camera didn't
want to use a long shutter. But I reduced the aperture to F14
and was able to use long shutter speed like 15 seconds. Actually I
realized that the lightning was hitting somewhere in Schenley park,
probably just a mile away from my apartment. I didn't hear too loud a
While I was looking at the pictures I took, I noticed a shadow in
the picture, same spot on all of the pictures. I initially thought
that my E-30 finally picked up a dust on the sensor. But, it turned
out it was a dust on my monitor. Again, Olympus's sensor-dust
reduction system is robust and reliable. It was a tragedy that Olympus
had to halt SLR-camera development to direct resources for mirror-less
cameras. The economy is going up, I wish they resume development of
upgraded models of E-30 and E-5. These are very good cameras.
I think I wrote before, but unless you are living somewhere you can
bring in your camera for service to a manufacturer's service center, I
don't recommend SLR cameras or mirror-less cameras except Olympus and
Panasonic. I haven't heard that other camera manufacturers implemented
a revolutionary sensor-dust reduction system, Olympus's sensor-dust
reduction system probably is way ahead of other manufacturers. If you
can bring in your camera directly to a service center, it's not too a
big deal. Unless otherwise, you probably don't want to buy a digital
SLR or mirror-less of other manufacturers. If you don't care about
black spots here and there, what's the reason you want to use a
high-performance high-image-quality camera? Compact digital or
cell-phone camera should be good enough for you then. If you take your
digital SLR to a once-in-lifetime trip, and ended up seeing black
spots in the all of your pictures, are you ok with that? I got REALLY
sick and tired of sensor dusts while I was suffering with Pentax
Olympus digital SLR and mirror-less, and Panasonic cameras which
are using the same technology (probably licensed from Olympus) are
very resistive to the dusts. I have used Olympus E-30 for three years,
carrying very often, even through pollen-floating Schenley park, and
it still does show no signs of dusts with F14. Olympus's dust
reduction works as advertised.
One of my friends invited me to a bowling tournament last Saturday,
and I was supposed to bowl in there. But, I had a call a night
before from him telling that he was mistaking the date of the
tournament. So, I became free. The forecast was predicting
a clear sky with calm wind. I haven't been able to fly for three
weeks due to bad weather. It was my first opportunity in three
weeks to go up. As I looked at the schedule of Moore Aviation, I
saw an opening in the afternoon. I reserved an airplane for
I made a reservation but had to find a destination. I wanted to
go to somewhere I've never landed and picked Johnstown.
Johnstown airport has two nice runways, but I didn't have any other
reason to visit there. I decided this might be a good chance to
I was expecting the infamous sequestration will gradually affect the
economy. But, I never imagined it was going to hit this directly
on me. Air Force Thunderbirds announced that they cancelled all
demonstrations after April 1st. Curse whoever responsible for
I am subscribing a magazine called "Koku Fan". Koku means
aviation in Japanese. Since I am living in Pittsburgh, I
typically receive it two weeks after it is published.
I picked up the latest issue yesterday, and one of the articles was
about 787's problems. I could see all the registration numbers,
the timing when all those airplanes are put in service, and the
registration numbers of 787s that caused a problem, including two
airplanes that caught on fire. This information was exactly what
I was looking for.
According to the battery charge/discharge log, NTSB and FAA concluded
that there was no sign of over-charging or excessive-current. If
that's the case, I thought that the battery capacity degraded more
rapidly than its design specification. Because the capacity was
lower than it was supposed to be, maybe the system tried to charge as
normal, and that's why there was no sign of overcharging.
However, because the capacity was lower, charging it normally was
excessive for the battery.
For example, laptop batteries rot rapidly. Unless you pay
attention to the charge/discharge cycle, your battery capacity may get
less than half within a year. Lithium-Ion battery loses its
capacity every time when you charge. If you charge to the full
capacity, it loses the capacity the most. If you search for how
to maintain your Lithium-Ion battery, you will find whole bunch of
different theories. However, what seem to be in common are: (1)
avoid charging too many times, and (2) stop charging at 70% or 80% of
its capacity. If you read a manual of iPhone or iPod, it
explains that the device has multiple battery cells, and the
controlling program adjusts scheduling of the charge/discharge cycle
so that number of times a cell is charged is distributed evenly, and
essentially minimizes the charge count. However, the Lithium-Ion
battery of B787 connects multiple cells in series. Therefore,
all the cells are charged and discharged in every flight, according to
the news articles. If it is true, the battery rot as fast as
your typical laptop battery, and then reached the point to catch on
fire. That was my final guess.
However, according to the article of Koku Fan, the particular airplane
that caught on fire, JA829J was delivered on December 20th, and caught
on fire on January 7th. It caught on fire within a month, almost
half a month, after being put on service. So,
capacity-degradation theory also seems to be incorrect. The
mystery deepened to me.
I have another mystery regarding this problem that I cannot find the
answer. It's just a battery! Yes, JUST a battery, which is
rarely used in flight. While the airplane is on the ground-power
supply, it doesn't need a battery. The battery may be used to
start the APU, only if the ground power-supply is inadequate to do so.
As soon as the APU starts, APU will supply electricity, and later main
engines will give more than enough power. The airplane needs the
battery to start APU, and for the short time in case of emergency
during the emergency descend. Airbus easily made a decision on
not using Lithium-Ion battery in the next Airbus 350 after watching
the 787's problem. It is supposed to be such an insignificant
I really don't understand why Boeing swaps 787's battery with an old
certified battery until the engineers find a conclusive solution to
the battery-fire problem. Is there a particular reason why 787
requires such a huge battery? All I can imagine is that B787 may
be doing something like a hybrid car; it may be charging energy while
descending from the cruise altitude to landing. But, I cannot
imagine the battery can store even 1% of the energy that is dissipated
during the approach to landing. It should be a good fuel saving,
but shouldn't be the significant part of the saving. What could
have saved is much less than the damage already done to all the
customer airlines due to the grounding of 787s.
I flew today and did some cross-wind landing practice. I was
supposed to bowl with a friend today, but he cancelled. As of
Friday, the forecast was predicting bad weather, but it turned out
nicer than forecasted. The predicted wind was moderate from the
south, which seemed to be a good condition for cross-wind landing
practice. I haven't been able to fly as often as I wanted in
January and February due to weather. It was a good opportunity
for me to get rust off of my landing skill. (Read
I make my user-interface library that I developed for YSFLIGHT open
source. It's still rough cut, but if you are writing a program
that needs to run on Mac, Linux, and Windows, and if you are sick and
tired for re-writing user-interface code for each platform, this
library may help.
I suppose most of the programmers who needs to write a cross-platform
program in C++ uses Qt. But, the future of Qt is uncertain after
Nokia bugged out from the development. I see many students using
Glut, but it is a poor-man's cross-platform development toolkit.
You can do little with Glut. I see many using Glut + Win32API,
ending up with adding Windows dependency.
I wish I could include DNM file viewer as an example, but I haven't
been able to do it yet. It will be added soon.
I have implemented change-of-vehicle. My goal is to use it
for campaign mode, in which the player has to conquer enemy bases in
the map. But, it takes some more coding.
I also implemented landing-analysis tab. You can see the
vertical and horizontal profiles of your approach. It would be
nice if I can add some automatic grading scheme for that, but if you
do a short-approach, your course will not be aligned to the runway
centerline until the very last minutes before touch down, your
approach may be steeper if you have a headwind, and in fact some
instructors like steeper approach because that way you can land safely
even in case of engine failure on final. So, I think no matter
what grading scheme I add, it's going to be controversial. I
instead I show vertical speed on touch down and crab angle relative to
After lunch at Latrobe, we decided to fly over
Fallingwater before heading
back to Beaver.
Fallingwater was a summer house for the department-store tycoon
- Kaufmann family. It was designed by a famous architect Frank
Lloyd Wright. I sometimes see some Japanese people coming to
Pittsburgh just to visit this place. It is one of few tourist
destinations of Pittsburgh. Actually, it's quite far from
Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is just the nearest big city of this
place. My passenger said he wanted to visit
Fallingwater but he
couldn't because the place was closed in winter. House tour of
Fallingwater is only
spring to fall. You can still go close to the house but cannot
go inside and look around. I don't think it's worth going there and
just look at the house from outside. But, I could show it to him
from the air. I recorded the location in my portable GPS last
time I visited there. I flew to Fallingwater guided by my GPS.
My first flight of 2013 was on 1/18. The sky was clear and wind
was almost nothing. The weather in Pittsburgh in winter is
depressing. We have only few flyable days. I took a
morning off to seize a precious flyable moment.
But, I could only reserve a 2-hour window. So, I just flew a
round trip from Beaver to Allegheny County.
I did three landings in total, all of which were very smooth. I
felt almost no shock. Only the noise from the rotating tire told
me that the airplane kissed the ground. I made a good start of
By the way, I'm writing this on February 8. I couldn't fly since
then mainly due to weather. I'm scheduled to fly this coming
When I called Moore Aviation, I was told that the Cessna 172M that I
am going to fly just received a new engine, and they welcome a
cross-country flight. When this type of an airplane gets a new
engine, it should run in constant-speed for the first several hours,
and maneuvers like touch & goes should be avoided. I probably
will fly to Latrobe, have lunch there and come back.
I am going to take an exchange student from Japan who is visiting
Carnegie Mellon for 40 days for a sight-seeing flight.
Boeing 787 didn't resume flight in two weeks. My prediction was
not right. :-P
But, Boeing filed a petition to FAA for a permission to fly Boeing 787
for test flights. I suppose Boeing engineers now have a
hypothesis of what happened in the Dreamliners that caught on fire,
and they probably will intentionally bring the airplane into that
situation. Of course, they just want to confirm and don't have
to burn an airplane. I believe they already have an additional
protection mechanism, or could be a software bug-fix, that will
prevent the battery from catching on fire, which they can also test in
the flights. 787s didn't resume flight in two weeks, but I
believe they will fly again soon.
I was trying to add landing-evaluator in the next version of
YSFLIGHT. Landing evaluator will show the vertical speed at the
time of touch down and also plot the vertical path profile of the last
30 seconds to one minutes before the touch down.
To add this feature, I need to search for all the landings of the
user airplane after the simulation. It was easy in the previous
version because the user was equal to an airplane (or a ground
vehicle.) So, the program had to look at up to one airplane.
But, another thing I am desperately trying to add in the next
version is change of vehicle, which allows the user to switch an
airplane or vehicle. For example, you can come up with a map in
which the user is only allowed to start in a truck, and the user
drives up to an airplane parked in an airport and board the airplane
and go. This will turn the Scenery Editor into more like a
Japanese counterpart of NTSB indicated that there was no overcharging
or over voltage of the burnt 787 battery. Also, the output voltage of
the battery was normal, 31V, until the last minutes of the battery
fire. This implies that the battery caught on fire all of a sudden,
triggered by something.
I said in the previous post that the worst
scenario for Boeing was the battery caught on fire all of a sudden
without any indication that could predict the battery is going bad.
What we know from the news release is that there was no sign of
overcharging and over voltage. Was the battery really showing no
sign of problem? But, we don't know how the battery was loaded.
If there was no overcharging or over voltage, next thing to suspect is
overloading, or excessive current. But, if engines were spinning with
climb power or cruise power, I don't think it was likely that the
battery had to provide any electricity.
But, then came to mind was that Boeing 787 may be doing something like
a hybrid car. The biggest sales point of 787 is high fuel efficiency.
An aircraft generates thrust and electricity by spinning engines. The
overall fuel efficiency can be improved by the improving electrical
If you think about a regular airplane, like Cessna 172, it doesn't use
battery in flight. Electricity comes entirely from the engine
alternator. If the alternator fails, or engine fails in flight, the
battery will supply electricity during the emergency landing. Other
than that, the engine starter is pretty much everything we use battery
for. There is an instrument called ammeter on the instrument panel,
and you can monitor battery charge and discharge. If I move flaps, the
needle makes a tiny, almost invisible, movement, but it comes back to
the neutral position, indicating that the battery is fully charged.
When US Airways Airbus 320 made an emergency landing to the Hudson
river due to engine failure following the bird strike in New York, the
captain deployed a propeller driven generator which powered avionics
and fly-by-wire system. It indicates that Airbus 320 doesn't have such
a big battery that can sustain critical component of the airplane
during the emergency landing.
However, from what we hear, Boeing 787 has two high-capacity
batteries. The batteries seem to be too big for just starting an APU.
Maybe Boeing 787 uses battery aggressively to improve the fuel
efficiency. The aircraft spins engines to accelerate, take off, and
climb. The energy generated by the engines turns into the potential
energy and kinetic energy. But, when the aircraft lands and stops, the
potential energy and kinetic energy become zero. So, all the energy
generated by the engine is dissipated. However, if some of the energy
can be stored in the battery, that amount can be
recycled rather than throwing away.
To do so, 787 needs to use the battery to make room for storing some
energy in flight. Maybe it is using the battery for cabin
pressurization and cabin power supply. If the battery supplies
substantial amount of electricity, the engines must be producing the
same thrust with less fuel. The energy that a battery can store is
small compared to the energy that can be derived from the engines.
But, if it contributes to even 1% saving, it is a substantial cost
cutting for airlines in a long run.
In the B787 that made an emergency landing, maybe the seatbelt sign
came off, business-class passengers opened laptop PCs plugged to the
power-supply on the seat and cabin attendants started coffee makers
and microwave, and it could make a surge of electricity usage. If all
come to the battery, a breaker must shut down the power from the
battery, but if it was a faulty breaker?
What about the one caught on fire in Boston? It depends on how
the power management program was controlling the electricity taken
from the battery. The energy efficiency can be maximized by
changing portfolio of the energy share of battery and engine for
different phase of the flight. So, maybe some electricity was
taken from the battery while taxiing back to the gate.
If this guess is right, the correction can be just an update of the
control program, and no hardware modification may be necessary. It was an
in-flight fire and sensational. However, the problem being sensational
has nothing to do with how much correction is necessary. I still think
a minor correction would be sufficient.
This is just my guess from bits and pieces of the information. Such a
possibility must be already reviewed by Boeing engineers, and they
must already know the cause and how to fix it. I still think
Boeing 787 will be back in the air soon.
Oh my! It's grounded. I see a lot of sensational news
clips from Boeing 787 flawed to Boeing in crisis. Some worried
about 787 may be grounded for prolonged period of time.
But, I don't think so. The problem should be fixed quickly.
Why? First of all, the two airplanes that the battery caught on
fire didn't crash. The flight data recorder has been recovered.
No data restoration or repair work needed. Fresh flight data is
By the way, whenever this type of incident takes place, people say
they are scared of flying. Isn't it the other way? All
Nippon Airways' B787 was able to make an emergency landing safely even
after the battery caught on fire in flight. It just proved that
B787 had a sufficient redundancy that can bring passengers and crews
to the ground. I don't understand why people gets to a wrong
Also, virtually all 787s in the world are grounded. I'm sure
Boeing dispatched teams of engineers to look at all of the 787s who
must now be checking the health of the batteries and comparing against
the flight log. Maybe also taking data from flight data recorder
from all available 787s as much as possible. Any battery, no
matter what type, rots over time. Lithium-Ion battery tends to
expand when it rot. So, rotting battery can easily be spotted.
Or, if the flight data recorder kept log of battery charge and
discharge, (it must be logged), it will tell the condition of the
battery better. If the battery is healthy, there shouldn't be
observable rotting of the battery because B787 is a new airplane.
If the engineers see more visible rotting in the batteries that have
been flown longer time, it means that the battery is rotting faster
If no rotten battery is found in all other 787s, means all other
battery were healthy, it means that the batteries in the two
particular airplanes suddenly caught on fire. Which would be
even a better news because the cause should easily be found by looking
closely into the flight data from the two B787s, and such a problem
should be fixed with easy update of a control program.
A person of Japanese counterpart of NTSB speculated that it could be
caused by a over-charging of the Lithium-Ion battery. Well, if
the fire is coming from the Lithium-Ion battery, the cause could be
over-charging, over-loading, or exhaustion. Exhaustion could
damage the battery and substantially reduces the battery capacity and
it could be charged beyond the capacity next time, so you can
categorize it as one type of over-charging.
If it were battery exhaustion, the airplane could have experienced
avionics failure, unable to start APU, or some glitch in the preceding
flights, but that apparently didn't happen. So, pretty much
over-charging or over-loading.
So, is it over-loading? In fact as soon as the main engines
start spinning, they will provide more than enough electricity to the
airplane, that's why the battery can be charged. I would think
over-loading is unlikely, unless power-management program somehow
ended up with shutting down electricity from the engine at some point
of the flight.
Nonetheless, some analysts mentioned that Boeing 787 is
electric-hungry airplane because pretty much everything is
electrically driven. If the airplane reduces the power while
descending, the airplane might have to rely temporarily on the
battery, and the battery may be loaded rather than charged. That
could explain why the Japan Airlines B747 caught on fire at Boston
Logan airport after landing.
However, the one of All-Nippon Airways caught on fire while it was
climbing or maybe just after climbing, meaning that it is unlikely
that the battery was overloaded at that time.
So, from what we can hear from the news, logical conclusion is that
that the over-charging is the issue, which should easily be fixed.
Why? The airplane is not lacking something. It simply
needs to throw away some energy. Not exactly throwing away.
That energy can be turned into thrust rather than battery charge.
So, it could even contribute to a tiny improvement of the efficiency.
It's not like developing a whole new technology. Just a minor
correction would do.
Of course, there is a possibility that the battery design is flawed.
This be a more serious problem because Boeing seemed to rely on only
one type of battery from one battery provider. Typically an
airline company can choose an engine, like Boeing 747 can fly with an
engine from P&W, GE, or Rolls Royce. If one of the three types
gets Airworthiness Directive, the airline can still keep the airplane
up with spare engines from other engine manufacturer. It just
needs some maintenance schedule adjustment, which could be a good
enough headache, but better than grounding a fleet.
If the battery is rotting gradually and finally reached the point of
catching fire, probably B787 can be flown with close-monitoring of
battery health, while the battery provider fixes the issue, and Boeing
look for the second battery provider.
The worst scenario for Boeing is the problem is due to the battery
design, and there is no way of predicting when the battery may catch
on fire. That would be the only nightmare scenario for Boeing.
But, I would guess that the battery is gradually rotting because two
aircraft caught on fire almost at the same time.
So, my prediction is B787 will be put back in the air within a short
time. I say within a week or two.
Let's see if my prediction is correct in the next two weeks.
So, after reading this post, do you think I like B787? Maybe.
I would love to fly in this airplane. But, I don't like or
dislike this airplane in particular because it doesn't fly supersonic.
Someone please build a supersonic airliner! That will be more of
Air Force Thunderbirds to fly a Latrobe air
The local TV news (WPXI) just broke a news that Air Force Thunderbirds
will fly in this year's Latrobe air show in Spring. I haven't
confirmed on the official Thunderbirds web site, but looks like it is
rumored to be on April 27-28. I was thinking that there won't be
too many air shows within my driving distance this year, but I will be
very happy if it is true. This time, I will take Wednesday to
Friday off to watch fly-in!
I want to see the final confirmation on the Thunderbirds official web
By the way, everyone talks about cloud computing now a days.
If you visit tech-related web sites, you must see articles about cloud
computing every day.
I have my own interest, and it is not usually in sync with the
current trend. I am honestly not interested in cloud computing
much, and I got somewhat behind from the current trend of cloud
computing because it has been off my scope.
But, it's not so good for a researcher in the field of engineering.
So, I decided to catch up during the break. The following
screenshots are the results.
What? Am I misunderstanding something? It's about
cloud, isn't it?
Much more realistic cloud than previous versions.
F-18 flying above an overcast layer
Cockpit view while flying just above the cloud top.
It's not shaded but is much more realistic cloud than previous
versions. I also experimented with giving some shading effect,
but that dropped the frame rate substantially on my late-2008 Macbook
Pro. I keep it on hold until I come up with a technique to
So, clouds will look more realistic in YSFLIGHT on OpenGL 2.0 / ES
2.0. Clouds will look the same as the previous versions in
YSFLIGHT on OpenGL 1.1 and on Direct 3D.