Monday, November 20, 2017

‘Air Race 1 World Cup’ flies fast and furious over Thailand

The high-flying “Air Race 1 World Cup” took to the skies this weekend over Pattaya, Thailand. It was a first of its kind event in the country and could pave the way for more to come.
CGTN’s Martin Lowe reports.

It’s fast and it’s furious, with the howl of racing engines and the smell of burning aviation fuel. Eight small planes twist and turn through the sky. First past the post is the winner.
The event, at U-Tapeo Naval Air Base in Thailand, puts the country firmly on the international sporting map. Following the success of a test meeting 12 months ago, this is the first time competitive air racing – with planes dicing wingtip-to-wingtip around a course of pylons – has taken place anywhere in Asia.
“The part that can get the most exciting is passing,” former US Navy Pilot Ryszard Zadow explained. “Getting behind somebody in their wake turbulence, 30 feet off the ground going 200 miles an hour, the airplane can get thrown around by the other guy’s wake, and next thing you know you’re upside down!”
Enthusiasts call “Air Race 1” the world’s fastest motor sport. Unlike other events – in which planes fly one-at-a-time against the clock – these aircraft compete together. They race at speeds of up to 450 kph, often just a few meters above the ground.
“Actually, we’re expecting there to be a huge appetite,” Air Race 1 CEO Jeff Zaltman said. “The spectators in this part of the world, not only in Thailand but all across Asia, they love sport. They love motorsport, both participating and enjoying as a spectator, so we’re trying to tap into that.”
Thailand has expressed interest in staging a Grand Prix motor race for some time. The success of international events like this, can only strengthen its case.
The Air Race 1 championship at the moment consists of a single three-day event each year, but if the sport can regain past popularity, more races may be added. Organizers are considering making Thailand a regular venue for the sport.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

I cover the travel biz: airlines, hotels, rental cars and destinations Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
A picture shows an Airbus A380 of Emirates bearing the portrait of late UAE's founder and late president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan during the Dubai Airshow on November 12, 2017, in the United Arab Emirates.  (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
The Dubai Air Show has come and gone. So far, despite breathless anticipation, no deal with Emirates Airline (or anyone else) has been signed for additional Airbus A380 jumbo jets.
Just before the show, speculation was rife that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 of the giant planes, which can seat between 500 and 600 passengers. The Associated Press breathlessly reported, “The order is expected to be one of the highlights of the November 12 to 16 event.” At list prices, estimates were that such an order would bring in $16 to $18 billion, although Emirates, by far the leading customer for the A380, would no doubt demand (and get) a discount.


Ludicrous first class cabins and gardens on Mars: seven things we learned from the Dubai Airshow

The Dubai Airshow concluded yesterday after a feverish week of aircraft orders and luxury oneupmanship. Here's what the annual aviation jamboree taught us.

1. First class is getting increasingly ridiculous

Fully enclosed private suites with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, virtual windows and seats inspired by Nasa (and designed to simulate the feeling of weightlessness that astronauts experience on board spacecraft) were among the new innovations unveiled by Emirates for its first class cabins, as part of a multimillion dollar upgrade across its entire fleet of Boeing 777s. Those virtual windows will project live footage of views captured by cameras installed outside the plane.
Economy class passengers can expect improvements too. “Throughout the aircraft, our customers will see modern and airy cabins, with painstaking attention to detail evident in design touches such as the textured wall and ceiling panels, lighting features, and more,” Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, said in a statement.

William Franke: The Man Who Bought 430 Airplanes in a Single Day

On Wednesday, Airbus announced its largest single aircraft order in the company’s history. U.S. investment firm Indigo Partners bought 430 aircraft of the Airbus A320 family for a sticker price of 49.5 billion dollars. The deal was announced at the Dubai Air Show by a jubilant John Leahy, Airbus‘ Chief Operating Officer – Customers. The massive deal includes orders for both the A320neo and A321neo aircraft, Airbus’ newest revamp of the A320 family.
Just a few days prior to the order, Airbus had been concerned that the Dubai Air Show would end in disaster for the company, with annual orders tracking below anticipated levels and few new orders placed at the Gulf event. Airbus has struggled to sell its flagship A380, even after its revamp as the A380plus. Rival Boeing had been pulling ahead of Airbus in recent weeks with further 787 orders firming up in Dubai.
With this order, Airbus has caught up in one fell swoop. The unusualness of the order begs the question: who places an order of this magnitude and what motivates them to place an order with a single manufacturer instead of diversifying?