czwartek, 19 marca 2015

About Russian, Ukrainian and Soviet airliners. Part 1

It's time for some nice photos of the loud, smoky or rare aircraft from the West. the list goes in a chronological way, staring with the earliest planes. This part takes is until 1963, the aircraft are sorted chronologically by their first flight. The Yak-40 is excluded from part 1, as it's quite important and I'll be nice to begin Part 2 with that plane.

Ilyushin Il-12 and Il-14
Ilyushin Il-12 OK-DBN CSA Orly 27.05.57.jpg
Ilyushin Il-12 (35046).jpg
Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-14 at Arlanda, November 1970.jpg

People and the Il

The Il-12 was a small, radial engine airliner, first flown in 1945. The planes engines were changed twice, the aircraft was meant to carry only 21 passengers. There were several problems with the prototype, such as centre of gravity issue. The Il-12 was delivered to Aeroflot in 1947 and to LOT Polish Airlines in 1951, also used in Laos, Romania, Bulgaria, China, Mongolia and North Korea (still used in 1960s). The Ilyushin was eventually unsuccessful, though in my opinion it led to a nice development-Ilyushin 14.
In 1950, the Il-14 took its first flight. the plane was similar size (21m. long, 31 wide), the engines were improved along with payload capabilities. Thus, flight dynamics were improved. Il-14s (Nato code: Crate)were used by airlines and militaries. 1,348 were totally built, produced since 1950, until 1960. They were manufactured in Czechoslovakia (being called Avia-14), China (known as Y-6) and East Germany. The Ilyushins were flying in Indonesia, Cuba, Congo or Algeria.There are three Il-14s flying in Russia, used on air shows, not commercial service.
Antonov An-8
Aeroflot Antonov An-8 Osta.jpg
Antonov An-8 AN1089511.jpg

The Antonov 8 was first flown in February 1956. Produced in Tashkent 1957-1961, it didn't become popular being used in a few African countries, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Spain and Soviet Union. The plane was a protoplast for the later Antonov designs. There were plans of a fuel tanker version or a Navigation trainer. Another version- the rocket boosted -8RU crashed during testing killing seven crewman and was abandoned. The last An-8 was flown in 2004 and retired.
Tupolev Tu-104 and 124

Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-104B at Arlanda, July 1972.jpg

Drag chute in action.

The Tu-104 was the second jet to enter regular airline service, though it flew into the sky in 1955, which was the sixth result. The design was based on the Tu-16, therefore many Tu-16 pilots could fly this magnificent plane. An interesting fact was that the plane used drag chutes, shortening the landing distance by 400 metres. The engines were placed close to the fuselage, like in The De Havilland Dh-106 Comet (and making it very noisy).
The crew consisted five men, two pilots a navigator, Flight engineer and radio operator.The plane was heavy, making piloting hazardous, in addition the Tu-104 was fast on finals.
The plane had a decent (2, 750km) range and was used in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia (CSA) and the Mongolian military. The last, 201st Tupolev 104 was built in 1960. 36 were involved in accidents and incidents. The deadliest one was caused by spatial disorientatiuon, killing 122 people on board.

The Tu-124 was smaller and had worse capabilities (25% smaller). The plane was also a less popular, between 1960 and 1962 164 were produced and delivered to CSA, Interflug, Aeroflot, Iraqi Airways, China Air Force, Indian Air Force Czech Air Force, Iraqi and Soviet militaries. The plane was relatively cheap and the operational service wasn't  expensive. Retired in 1980 by airlines, they were in service for the next 12 years with militaries.
Antonov An-10/An-12
Aeroflot An-10A CCCP-11213 Monino 1992-6-4.png

This Antonov project was built for civil aviation, it had four engine, was 34m long and had a 38 metre wingspan. The first flew in March 1957. I'm talking about the Antonov An-10 Ukraina, meaning Ukraine. The production began in 1959, and the plane entered service with (only) Aeroflot. It could be easily converted into a military plane. Until 1960, 112 were built. The plane could fly at a speed of around 345 knots Ground speed. The range was 2530 miles. The plane was a decent performer, more economic than the Tu-104, but had more problems, such as stability issues, causing two crashes, along with icing problems and similar situations. The plane continued service, but its fate were two crashes in the early 70s, one killed 122 people, when both wing separated due to structural failure. The Antonovs fuselage hit woods close to Kharkiv. The airline decided to cease Ukrainas operation.
Gomelavia Antonov An-12 Mutzenberg.jpg

At the same time, a better plane was developed, though its performance and size was fairly similar. There were and still are numerous of An-12 flying in many versions. Made to operate remote airstrips, the plane was quite popular in Africa. The Antonov was also built in China as Shaanxi Y-8.
The plane is used in Africa, Europe and Asia, from Angola to Poland (Bias Me), Indonesia and Afghanistan. Sturdy.
Ilyushin Il-18

Ił-18 Sił Powietrznych Federacji Rosyjskiej

 In my opinion, it's one of the greatest aircraft ever built.Another old and sturdy Ilyushin. The il-18 was a 1946 abandoned programme, but in the 50s, a design of a new prop began. The plane was pressurized, it had a nose radar and was the first Soviet airplane with autoland systems. The plane looks to be sturdy, right. Over 15 versions were built, since 1959 to 1978. More than 850 were built. The planes size was comparable to the An-12, with similar speeds but a better range. The takeoff and run distances were bigger, but the Il-18 was also used on remote African runways.
As an airline, you could chose two engines, Ivchenko Ai-20M or AW-68. The cabin was quite spacious, but the aircraft was noisy and sometimes vibrated a lot. The Ilyushin could carry from 100-120 passangers. The plane was flown in for example Cuba, Djibouti, North Korea (still), Egypt and Yemen. Three ones are still operational, possibly the youngest one would be 37 years old, if it was built in 1978 (the last). Not bad, as some 47 year old An-12s are still serviceable.This plane can be considered safe in my opinion, better than An-10 Ukraina. Overall, quite nice, sturdy and advanced for it's times.
Tupolev Tu-114
Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-114 JAL livery APM.jpg

Tupolev bureau was meant to design a long range aircraft in 1955. The airplane was based on the Tu-95 Bear bomber. The name was originally Tu-95p (passenger), but initially it became Tu-114 "Rossiya". The changes were fairly tiny, small cockpit design features were changed along with the fuselage design. The engines were the same as with the Tu-95, they are also implicated on An-22 aircraft.
 Due to the large engines and props, the gear was placed relatively high. The plane could reach an amazing speed of 880 km/h, 55 knots faster than boring 737 jets. Sorry, but this plane is too boring, despite -200 version being quite interesting and sometimes even extreme. In fact Boeing 707 jest or Dc Douglas 8 (Dc Douglas, he he) aircraft reached similar speeds. The rang was also quite impressive, 9700 km. The plane flew from Moscow to Tokyo in a JAL friendship repaint. the ceiling was decent, 38-39000 feet.
Tu-114s carried from 120-220 passengers, operating on intercontinental routes, such as Moscow-Havana(via Conkary), Belgrade, New Delhi and Montreal. The plane had a dinning lounge and sleeping beds, like the older American Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Only 32 were built since 1958 to 1963.  The plane was retired in 1976, only one Tu-114 was lost. They were replaced by jet Ilyushin 62 aircraft. Sadly, because the Tu-114 was an outstanding airplane. Luckily replaced by another great liner.
Antonov An-24

The Antonov An-24 was first flown in 1959, being designed earlier. It was built to replace the older Il-12 and Il-14 aircraft. An advantage of this plane was the fact, that it was turboprop powered. The plane is prepared for operating at extreme airports, such as ones with short runways, gravel strips, but also ones with minimal ground service. The cabin was considered noisy, however the airliner was quite popular with Warsaw Pact airlines, along with poor African countries.
The safety, well..... there were a few problems with icing causing crashes. 152 An-24s were lost out of 1367 (along with the Chinese version, a topic later on). About two dozen An-24 versions existed or were planned. There is also a Chinese version-XianY-7, along with a modernized avionics airplane called Xian MA60.  The production of An-24s started in 1959 and ended- 1979. They ares still operational in North Korea, Russia and Ukraine. Nearly all Warsaw Pact countries used An-24s (both as civilian and military airplanes). Somewhat the Wests Fokker F-27 Friendship.
Ilyushin Il-62

One of my very favourite aircraft. A beautiful, but dangerous plane. I'd love to see the Project Tupolev Il-62 in FSX so much, I'll even pay for it.
In 1957 the Tu-114 was developed, a long range Soviet airplane. Shortly, Ilyushin (Tupolevs rival) wanted to design a long range jetliner, in order to replace Il-18s and Tu-114 aircraft. This design was fairly similar to the British Vickers VC-10, just bigger. The first one flew in January, 1963.It had a unique feature of four engines at the back. Due to the weight they created, while on the ground, there was a gear at the back so that the plane doesn't fall back. The Ilyushin had a pressurized and air conditioned cabin, considered a little bit quitter than Il-18s or Tu-114 due to the engine positioning. The plane had a cruise speed around 820 km/h, range of 7000 km, carried around 170-200 passengers. At a length of 52 metres and wingspan of 43 it was a large airliner, longer than Boeing 707s or the early Dc Douglas Dc-8. The design had one issue-engines. Both NK-8 and D-30 engines had major flaws, such as turbine bearings, causing two deadly crashes in Warsaw.
The plane was introduced in 1967. The primary user was Aeroflot. Il-62s were also used in Czechoslovakia, Cuba, West Germany and Poland. The plane was leased by Air France, KLM and JAL. A modernised version was built in 1974, the -62M,one if its new features was an additional fuel tank in the tail section. Despite having decent operational abilities, the plane had difficulties with being loaded, making the flight preparation time quite long. A positive aspect of the plane was that pilots enjoyed flying it and liked.
292 Il-62 aircraft were built between 1963-1995. 10 of them are still flying. 22 hull loses occurred.
Sadly they aren't safe on their position, probably their fate is being changed. Hopefully by some cool plane. Cool- no A320 and 737.
Tupolev Tu-134

With time, the standards of aircraft grew higher and higher. The Tu-124 was now considered old and uncomfortable. Tupolev designed the -134, a plane made to be closer to the Western standards. The angle of the wing caused difficulties and pilotage hazards. First suppose to be called Tu-124A, the new plane featured wing modification and later on thrust reversers. The performance was different along with different engines. The cabin could fit 96 people, 40 more than the Tu-124.
The plane began service with Aeroflot in 1967. It was soon tested in Poland for BCAR, an airworthiness test. BCAR enabled the Tupolev to fly in western countries- the test was ICAO related.. It was quite revolutionary, as the Tu-134 was Russian. Russian wasn't a member of ICAO. In the end the plane was certified, but considered noisy. It also had an impact on the cabin noise.
Between 1966-1984 854 Tu-134 aircraft were built. They were quite popular with Warsaw Pact nations, along with many African operators. The Tu-134 is considered popular and 18 are still operated in Russia, North Korea and Sudan. The Russian operators are phasing out most of their Tu-134s, due to the crash of RusAir flight 9605, that sadly killed 47 people. Afterwards, Dimitry Medvedev Another notable crash occurred in October 1986, when pilots of a Mozambique (I tired to make it an adjective) presidential Tupolev had problems with navigation while landing in Maputo, crashing in South Africa, killing 33 (and the president).

piątek, 6 marca 2015

The weirdest plane crashes- Pilot vs Instruments Part Two

This time something different. Pilots with wrong instruments. Wrongly indicating components. This happens in life, however it's not always it. Some pilots do know that the other crewman are doing the wrong thing, but don't want to tell them. It happened in history.
This time, not the weirdest plane crashes, but some unusual ones. Now, let's see one of them.

Air India 855 Deadly Indicators.
On New Years day, 1978 Air India 855 was taking a flight from Mumbai to Dubai. There were 213 people on board. The aircraft operating the flight was A Boeing 747-200, Emperor Ashoka, the first Jumbo jet delivered to the airline.

 The plane took off Mumbai Intl Airport at 20:40. After a minute the crew was supposed to turn right. The captain began the turn.
Shortly the Captain noticed a toppled ADI, meaning it is stuck, showing the plane is still in a right turn. The F/O agreed with the commanders statement, however the Flight Engineer, looking at the Backup ADI noticed a difference. The Captain however had his own solution, banking the plane even more to the left. The commander used the rudder and yoke to control the plane, the FE tolled the captain not to bank the plane, however he didn't stop. Just 101 seconds after take-off the plane hit water.
All passengers and crew perished. It was the deadliest air crash of India at the time.
The cause of the crash, well two factors. ADI malfunction. The captains artificial horizon wasn't working properly. It was stuck on a right bank indication.
Indicators sometimes fail, that's normal. This time, however the pilots were at fault. At first, the captain is god. That is  the way the first officer (at all) and Flight engineer (too late and probably not to directly) didn't tell the captain, that he shouldn't turn the plane left and left even more. Quite common.
Tenerife, March 23rd. A KLM 747-200 collides with a Pan Am Jumbo jet. The captain of the KLM captain began the takeoff roll with ATC clearance. The other crewman did know the situation, but didn't tell the captain about his mistake. In addition the commander trained and gave licence to the First officer, the F/O obviously didn't want to tell him about the mistake. Like if you wanted to tell your boss, that he made a mistake. Easy to say, but hard to do.
Another 747 (200 ironically) crash with an indicator problem occurred in 1999. A Korean Air Cargo plane lost control and crashed near Stansted, after a malfunctioning gyro made the captains ADI do funky stuff and indicate weird things, he steered and banked the plane, until it crashed. The First Officer and Flight Engineer were much younger, and refused to say that the commander overbanked his plane. Another aspect, politeness to people with higher ranks is well known and usual to many Asian cultures. It includes Korea.
A plus of it all, now pilots flying together have to be similar age. There's also training, so that F/O make remarks and notes of captains mistakes, a general improvement is seen. Hopefully similar crashes won't ever happen. Because the captain isn't god. He is as human as other pilots, just mor experienced. Usually.

środa, 4 marca 2015

The weirdest plane crashes- Instruments vs. Pilot.

As pilots can't always fly the plane with only visual clue, they rely on instruments. Obvious and easy like 2+2. However sometimes pilots don't want to, or can't believe what the instruments are telling them. Not a problem with nice visibility. However at night or a at a foggy day, they are your one and only friend. The obvious part has ended.
On the other hand, many pilots incase of an emergency situation believe in their senses, the captain, wrong indicators. Not that obvious why. Some instruments are wrong, but in addition pilots don't know what to do.

An example- spatial disorientation. A situation were pilots don't trust there instruments, but senses in order to fly an aircraft, the definition is kind of mine and unofficial.  IMHO some pilots don't rely on indicators, but some visual cues, such as lights, which can get them very wrong. The feeling of bank, speed or forward roll (that is how you'd call it) causes a massive confusion in the pilots mind.
Subsequently, you get crashes.

Gulf Air 72: Pitch negative
Airbus A320-212, Gulf Air AN0212197.jpg
August 23rd, 2000 A.D. The world hasn't ended (some people believed that It'll happen 1999), planes fly around it too. An A-320 with 143 passengers on board was heading from Cairo to Bahrain.
The plane was on approach to Bahrain. The speed of the Airbus was too high, though other procedures were normal.

 While on ILS and visual with the airport, the pilots decide to go around, as they were going to fast. They put the gear lever and flaps up, adding power. Shortly the crew heard a GPWS alarm. They didn't notice it, configuring the plane. After ten GPWS alarms, the plane hit waters close to the runway threshold killing everyone on board.
A three day mourning was announced. The investigation into Gulf Air 72 concluded the following things.
  1. The individual factors particularly during the approach and final phases of the flight were:
    1. The captain did not adhere to a number of SOPs, such as:
    2. significantly higher than standard aircraft speeds during the descent and the first approach
    3. not stabilising the approach on the correct approach path; performing an orbit, a non-standard manoeuvre, close to the runway at low altitude
    4. not performing the correct go-around procedure
    5. other related items
  2. In spite of a number of deviations from the standard flight parameters and profile, the first officer (PNF) did not call them out, or draw the attention of the captain to them, as required by SOPs.
  3. A perceptual study indicated that during the go-around after the orbit, it appears that the flight crew experienced spatial disorientation, which could have caused the captain to perceive (falsely) that the aircraft was ‘pitching up’. He responded by making a ‘nose-down’ input, and as a result, the aircraft descended and flew into the shallow sea.
  4. Neither the captain nor the first officer perceived, or effectively responded to, the threat of increasing proximity to the ground, in spite of repeated hard GPWS warnings.
  5. The systemic factors, identified at the time of the above accident, which could have led to the above individual factors, were:
    1. Organisational factors (Gulf Air):
    2. A lack of training in CRM contributing to the flight crew not performing as an effective team in operating the aircraft.
    3. Inadequacy in the airline's A320 training programmes, such as: adherence to SOPs, CFIT, and GPWS responses.
    4. The airline’s flight data analysis system was not functioning satisfactorily, and the flight safety department had a number of deficiencies.
    5. Cases of non-compliance, and inadequate or slow responses in taking corrective actions to rectify them, on the part of the airline in some critical regulatory areas, were identified during three years preceding the accident.

The plane flying to high went around, with a captain believing that he is pitching up to high, giving inputs so that the nose lowers. In fact the pitch was correct, but the pilots actions- incorrect. With incompete training, performing a wrong procedures.
As you see a pilot strongly believing that he is doing something right, makes the situation worse and worse. Factors such as training or bad flying habits make it worse. In addition captains aren't corrected while doing something wrong. Tired or mistaken by instruments, sometimes by senses.
A bad scenario are General aviation pilots, who fly themselves or without a second crew member. This isn't proven information, however the effect of speed, roll, pitch and yaw is stronger on a smaller plane, though jets fly faster so they might create Spatial disorientation much worse.
I believe that this is one of the barriers in aviation safety, that are quite hard to be prevented. There are warnings, alerts and other pilots, however the aviator is beaten by nature. Terrorist can be prevented, by errors of human nature in aviation can't. Some are over us, humans, who invented planes. And cause all of their crashes.
All pictures from Wikipedia.