Aircraft Connectivity

Aircraft Connectivity

The Internet Comes to Airplanes

The advancement of wireless technology has spurred the development of the Internet of things, in which many devices are being connected to the Internet and are able to access information previously unavailable. Airplanes have joined this trend with the advent of servers and electronic flight bags (EFB). These devices allow the airplane to become a node in the operator’s network that is accessible and can exchange information in real time.

The Advantages of Having the Internet on the Aircraft

Systems on board airplanes produce significant amounts of data throughout each flight. However the data is confined to the airplane and downloaded through a labor intensive process only when needed. Today onboard servers and EFB allow the operators to quickly download the airplane data. Furthermore the connectivity to the Internet allows the crew to access real time information previously unavailable, from weather to updated flight planning information, giving them the capability to further optimize their routing and increase the comfort and safety of the passengers.

The Dangers of Internet Connectivity for the  Aircraft

The connectivity to the Internet is however a two-way pipeline and it carries security risks with it. Modern onboard servers allow the operator to firewall the airplane from external risks, diminishing the downsides of the onboard use of the Internet.

Questions

  • What do you think about the advantages of allowing the aircraft to connect to its operator via the internet?
  • What about the dangers of allowing on-board servers to talk to ground operators via the internet?
  • Do passengers think the airplane systems are already connected to the internet?

Vocabulary

  1. To spur: inciter
  2. Internet of things: internet des objets
  3. Devices: appareils ou dispositifs
  4. A node: un module
  5. Real-time: en temps réel
  6. Labor intensive process: processus qui demande un travail important
  7. Two-way pipeline: conduit à deux sens
  8. To firewall: établir un coupe-feu

Click here for the longer article from Astronautics Corporation of America

Why Are Jet Engines Getting Bigger?

This is fast technical English. Can you understand it?

Answer these questions:

Why are jet engines getting bigger?

What are the two parts of a jet engine?

What provides most of the thrust in a jet engine?

What is the ideal size for a jet engine?

Will jet engines continue growing in size?

Aircraft and Square Windows

There was actually once a plane that had square windows: the De Havilland Comet. After a few fatal crashes resulting from breakups in midair, the aircraft had its certificate of airworthiness removed. A thorough investigation revealed that the crashes were caused by increased stress especially at the corners of the windows. As a result, the fatigue on the aircraft over many flights resulted in the stress points at the corners of the windows to give way. All windows on airplanes are structural weak points, even round ones. Each additional window is decreasing the structural integrity of the body of the aircraft.

Airplane with square windows

Square Windows on Airplane

Explosion Rips Fuselage

UPDATE: This was NOT caused by an oxygen tank but by a bomb smuggled inside of a laptop. Are the authorities going to forbid laptops in the cabin now?
Accident: Daallo A321 near Mogadishu on Feb 2nd 2016, explosion rips fuselage open.

A Daallo Airlines Airbus A321-100, performing flight from Mogadishu (Somalia) to Djibouti with 74 passengers and 7 crew, was climbing out of Mogadishu about 5 minutes into the flight when an explosion was heard. The crew stopped the climb and returned the aircraft to Mogadishu for a safe landing about 20 minutes after departure. A large hole was seen at the right hand side of the fuselage above the wing.

The airline confirmed an explosion on board, the cause is under investigation, an oxygen bottle is being suspected. Passengers report at least one person was blown out of the aircraft. One passenger was missing after landing, the body was recovered near Balad about 21nm northnortheast of Mogadishu.

One passenger reported he saw the explosion occur inside the aircraft a couple of seat rows ahead of him followed by an air rush and sudden drop of cabin pressure, the seat belt held him in his seat. He saw two injured people around him, one an elderly man from Finland and another one being a young Italian. The elderly man was severly burned.

Engine explosion rips fuselage open

 

Accident rips fuselage open

Ripped Fuselage

Airplane Services

Here are all the services that must happen for successful commercial flights.

Around the airplane

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