Raj News

Raj News

Posts Tagged ‘aviation

Indian Air Force: Boeing Transporter makes flight work of things!

leave a comment »

IAF C17

The Indian Air force are making light work of things by bringing in their third Boeing Transporter aircraft. Ten of these Transporter aircraft have been purchased from the US at a cost of billions, $5.1 billion to be precise, the deal was arranged in 2011.

The aircraft is capable of easily transporting military tanks, the media have reported that these aircraft will be transporting tanks to the Indian borders; the reason for the spreading of tanks to the border is to act as a deterrent, and China have sparked India into a response.

China has at the ‘line of actual control’ built up a military infrastructure presence and this has instigated India into a speedy response with their purchasing of the largest of Indian Air Force transporters. As mentioned before the Indian Air Force have three of these planes and by the end of this year the air force is expecting a delivery of two more and in 2014 another five more Boeing Transporters will have arrived amounting to ten large transporters for the Indian Air Force.

The transporter plane’s title is ‘The C-17 Globe Master III’ and it has already made its debut with a test flight at the Hindon base in Uttar Pradesh, India it is set to help replace its outdated Russian IL-76 airlifter fleet.

The C-17 can carry 150 military personnel, can land on forward make shift runways and has a short turn around time, it can lift up to 70 tonnes in one go and will be used for the transportation of tanks, machines and personnel, it can also refuel whilst in the air.

“The C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft will change the way we deploy forces in the North and North East,” said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.

India are now enabled to deter threats of encroachment upon their territory, although they will still be working on developing their own infrastructure along the borders.

The C-17 will certainly be making light work of things in the development process and help by transporting tanks to act as a deterrent.

C17

Indian Air Force : Jet crash again!

leave a comment »

iaf

You may recall that on the 12th February an Indian Air Force Jet had crashed and the pilot had ejected safely, I wrote a news report about the incident and here is the link from the article titled Indian Fighter Jet crashes.

Here are a few excerpts from the latter:

“The Fighter Jet was a MiG – 27 part of the Indian Air Force and the crash took place on Tueday 12/02/2013, the fighter jet was being piloted by Wing Commander Nishikant Singh who after ejecting was rushed to the Jodhpur’s Military Hospital. Pilot Singh’s condition was said to be stable and that he was in no danger.”

“Eye witnesses have reported that a young boy sustained injuries, although minor, which was inflicted through the debris which was sent in all directions, a house near the air base was also damaged.”

Well now another aircraft has crashed, in the same state, Rajasthan, in a different district, Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, and the incident happened on 19/2/2013 a Tuesday. The Jet was an Indian Air Force Sukhoi 30, which is of Russian origin, both pilots managed to eject safely and there was no damage to anyone or anything as a defence spokesman summarised.

As for some stats:

This is the second crash involving IAF aircraft since January this year and the fifth since April last year. Since their induction into IAF in the late 1990s, this is the fourth crash involving an SU-30 fighter plane.

IndiaAirforce

The Sukhoi 30 had planned to participate in IAF’s day-night exercise ‘Iron Fist’ on February 22 the defence spokesman mentioned. The crash more specifically took place in Jaisalmer, Chandan firing range (Pokhran).

The Iron Fist will be the biggest air power demonstration in the history of the Indian Air Force and will begin on 15th February 2013. The display will be a nine-day exercise with fighter planes and helicopters, which will be firing missiles and dropping bombs on dummy targets.

Nearly about 100 fighter planes and helicopters will be taking part in this huge event that will certainly be a spectacle to watch. India’s Prime-Minister Manmohan Singh will be there to watch this powerful display on the first day as will Prime-minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence minister AK Antony.

“The mammoth fire power exercise will witness the debut of indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ and light combat helicopter (LCH) ‘Rudra’.”Source : (Economic Times.)

I know I will be watching this mass scale exhibition of Indian Aerial might, where there will be fly-by’s and the latest in Indian Air Force technology on display! IRON FIST will certainly be a historic point in India and the exhibition if all goes well will be marked as a celebration of the Indian Air Force.

IAF SUKHOI 30

Flying High! Largest Airline Merger worth $11billion!

with one comment

usairwaysandamericanairlines

US Airways and American Airlines are merging to create the biggest airline in the world. The deal is worth $11 billion!

The initial talks between the two airlines had begun in August 2012 and the merging of the two airline companies was confirmed on the 15/02/2013; the merger will see the airline market become more competitive and close the gap between competitors such as  Delta airlines. The company will be operating under American Airlines whose creditors will hold 72% of the merged company, although the Chief executive of the company will be US Airways boss Doug Parker.

Mr Parker said of the merger “Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers, ensuring that we are always able to take them where they want to go”, the merger will see savings of $1 billion a year for the two companies, he also said: “The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.”

For the public this merger should be good, as ticket prices should drop with the airlines being able to afford dropping their prices in return for more members of the public flying with the merged company and this is certainly likely due to more consistency being provided in flight times and availability which there will be much more of as the merged company will together have a total of 900 planes and operating more than 3,000 flights with over 100,000 employees and will be aiming to increase on all the numbers stated.

American Airlines has seen bankruptcy in the past whereas US airways has seen profits in the past few years, the US airways boss Mr Parker also seems positive on the revenue for the future saying that the “Combined airline will compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.”

The new merger will be offering more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.

Although the two companies would like to see the merger happen, they are still to be subjected to the competition regulators of the US and the US bankruptcy court and their approval.

The BBC report on the merger and quote the Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller and his concern about the two airlines joining forces: “Industry consolidation has created stronger and more financially viable airlines, which are necessary for our country’s long-term economic growth, but it has also resulted in fewer choices for consumers, higher air fares, and reduced air service to small-and-medium sized communities.”

This is the argument on the other side about airline mergers and although they may be positive for the airline and the public, it will mean more power to the airlines and whether they choose to misuse this power by hiking up airline prices is something everyone will be watching carefully.

Other mergers in the airline industry that have taken place are Delta airlines with Northwest airlines and Continental airlines with United airlines.

Flying_High

Indian Fighter Jet Crashes

with 2 comments

mig-crash2013

Rajasthan’s Barmer district was where the jet fighter went down, the pilot managed to eject safely before the crash which left debris over a radius of 300 metres.

The Fighter Jet was a MiG – 27 part of the Indian Air Force and the crash took place on Tueday 12/02/2013, the fighter jet was being piloted by Wing Commander Nishikant Singh who after ejecting was rushed to the Jodhpur’s Military Hospital. Pilot Singh’s condition was said to be stable and that he was in no danger.

The pilot was on a standard Indian Air Force operational flight and an inquiry is to take place as to what caused the crash of the plane which is from a Russian origin and now with the Indian Air Force. The flight was not long lived and lasted two minutes, the MiG-27 took off at 3.55pm from Uttarlai air base and by 3,57pm it had crashed 3km from the base. “The aircraft was on a routine sortie when it crashed near a hamlet, Allawani- Ki- Dhani, 30 km from Barmer, in the Western sector”, said defence spokesman Colonel S D Goswami.

Eye witnesses have reported that a young boy sustained injuries, although minor, which was inflicted through the debris which was sent in all directions, a house near the air base was also damaged. The appropriate authorities were informed by villagers when they saw the MiG-27 losing altitude and looking as if about to crash, due to the speedy reporting of the imminent danger, the fire brigade were able to reach the pilot and the crash site quickly and put out the fire.

The MiG-27 Jet Fighters have been controversial, as the Russian sourced air-crafts have seen quite a few crashes above twelve crashes since 2001.

It has been built by Hindustan Aeronautics after obtaining the license to produce the ground attack air-craft. The Indian Air Force refer to the MiG-27 as Bahadur (Valiant). The Air-craft is to be retired in 2017.

20130213133724

iaf

The BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster!

leave a comment »

*This article is soon to be featured on Autoraiders.com

Read on for more on the BMW Z4 ZAGOTO ROADSTER BELOW:

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-and-Coupe-01

Initially BMW had a stint with Zagato one of the worlds finest craftsman of cars (Zagato is from Italy) and they produced for their first partnership together the BMW Zagato Coupe` for The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este held at Lake Como in northern Italy; the car showcased there on May 25th 2012 and what a beauty the partnership produced! (See above photo featured in red)

concorso-deleganza-villa-deste-2012-3

Three months later (August 2012) saw the alliance join together for the second time, between the two they showcased the BMW Z4 Zagato roadster! An even more beautiful showpiece and showstopper! The venue was Pebble Beach (California) and the Z4 Zagato Roadster was a commodity that everyone wanted to see!

concours-dElegance

400px-Pebble-beach-concours-delegance-2012

The prestigious Concours d’Elegance (California) 2012 was a perfect pit stop for this car to be showcased and you know it will only go on to attract more and more attention wherever it goes. This is the second collaboration between BMW and Zagato and I for one, hope it will not be the last. (See photo below featured in silver)

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-and-Coupe-02

Zagato is known for their handscraftsmanship and this fiery roadster was made within six weeks, from design to finished product, and it does not succumb to its predecessor in any ways. Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design said of the partnership “It was only with the expertise of both companies in the manufacture of high-end one-off cars and another display of outstanding teamwork that we were able to finish the car on schedule.”

Andrea Zagato says of the six week process “BMW is a high-achieving carmaker boasting a vast well of knowledge and technical capability in this area. When you combine that with our expertise in the creation of micro-series cars and our streamlined production processes, everything is in place to produce a beautiful model like the BMW Zagato Roadster in double-quick time”.

The Z4 Zagato Roadster and the BMW Zagato Coupe` will undoubtedly be collectors items as all Zagato models are, and of course the BMW Zagato Roadster has its distinctive trademark of a silver ‘Z’ on its sides near the front wheels. Alfa Romeo were the first to work with the Zagato coach builder and since then Zagato have made more than 200 Vmax concepts, special editions and micro-series, they focus on the shell of the body and incorporate their traditional measures of ensuring aero-dynamicty and lightweight construction as initial body designer Ugo Zagato learned his trade in aviation. The company has a family heritage passed on from Ugo Zagato to Andrea Zagato and Marella Rivolta-Zagato, who are now the third generation of Ugo’s family to continue with the Zagato studio and creations. Zagato was founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato. (See Photo Below of Ugo Zagato)

Ugo_Zagato

The Roadster is a convertible two door and a two seater car, obviously a car for the hot countries where there will be no rain to soak up only sun, although there is always the Z4 Zagato Coupe` which has a double bubble roof for those countries where there is torrential rain and the soft-top of the Zagato Roadster just won’t cut it although it too has a double bubble roof feature in a traditional Zagato hallmark, which will add to the value of the car in appearance and price. Unfortunately there is no price being given because this concept is not to go on sale, also BMW have not released any photos of the BMW with the roadster’s soft-top roof up, they have however raised the bar, standard, and the roof, metaphorically speaking, with this concept model.

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-05

There are many features about the Zagato Roadster which are endearing to everyone and anyone, here are the most prominent of them:

  • The large yet elegantly stitched beige letter ‘Z’ on the headrests of driver and passenger, giving further association to its designer specification. Behind the headrests are beige shadow headrests which incorporate roll bars.
  • The BMW has its trademark kidney grille and it is an exquisite grille made up of small letter ‘z’s.
  • The front of the car has McLaren styled scoops although smaller in size, giving this Zagato roadster a racer look.
  • The lights are shaped finely and compactly and they are attractive to look at, directly above the headlights are razor-light LED’s.
  • The lights are twin and circular shaped.
  • The bonnet has been made with three-dimensions to it and has V lines from the BMW logo at the front creating the letter V, and gives the car further impressiveness about it.
  • Beautiful leather finish on the interior seats and roll-bars and side doors.
  • There is a small lip at the front of the car and this fits in with the look of the car and it adds to the cars racing appearance.
  • The alloy wheels are 19″inch in size and star-shaped with five spokes and include a matte finish to complement the rest of the paintwork on the body.
  • A meshed grille is present on the front of the car and are contained within the air scoops and above the lip at the front.
  • The seating is low and the driver sits down in a race like position inside the cockpit, making this car a real roadster.
  • There are futuristic concept styled indicators on the wheel archs, yellow at the front and red at the back.
  • The rear of the car has eloquent matte finished exhausts, one on either side, however BMW decided to be subtle in this aspect as they do not protrude from the car.
  • The lights on the rear of the car are one long strip with a black tint all across this strip and the lights cannot be seen, providing the roadster with a sense of mysteriousness about it.
  • There are also sporty looking scoops on either side of the car, behind the front wheel archs and on the bonnet on either side.
  • A curvaceous line is visible occurring from the rear of the door and reaching to the rear of the car.
  • The rear of the roadster features a diffuser ensuring smooth airflow.
  • Long wheel base.
  • The roadster is based on the  Z4 sDrive35is there are no specifications as to the engine under the bonnet or top speed, however estimates are that it has a 3.0-liter six speed engine. With this engine it would take a time of 4.7 seconds to go from 0-60mph and the top speed is said to be the same as the Z4 sdrive35is which has been electronically-limited at a maximum speed of 155 mph.

The rear is smartly created, it is smart, prim and proper with no sharpness about it and smooth curves around the edges, it is sculptured rather than chiseled. BMW had this to say about it: “Taken as a whole, the rear of the BMW Zagato Roadster has a very broad, low-slung appearance, giving the car a wide stance and planted muscularity on the road. Beneath it, the dark diffuser gives the BMW Zagato Roadster a squat, powerful stance. The body-colored surfaces between the tailpipes draw the final lines in the distinctive, low-to-the-road and broad-set looks of the rear end.”

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-13

The interior is particularly worth mentioning in some detail, BMW says that the exterior and the interior both compliment each other well by blurring the two together: “The BMW Zagato Roadster consciously allows the boundaries between inside and outside to blur.” The interior is beige in colour and there is evidence of fine stitching everywhere, use of curvaceous brown lines on the inside of the doors and lights for both driver and passenger above the windscreen; attached to the windscreen is the rear-view mirror in a neat way.

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-Interior-02

The left hand drive steering wheel and the seats make use of the colour beige and black and the armrest between the driver seat and passenger seat is beige and can be flipped up to conveniently store whatever is necessary; it leads forward to the idrive dial (controlling the on-board computer/display) and the gear shifter which has been richly doused in the beige colour too, providing this car with an expensive look to match its exterior outfit. The idrive display is hidden in the dashboard and rises from out of nowhere for the driver to view. 

The gear shifter allows you to drive the car in manual although the car is an automatic. There is also a switch which can be used to put the car into park, other switches that can be accessed with ease are the sport and comfort mode switches placed close to the gear shifter. There is a cd-slot to listen to music as you cruise along in this wonderful machine. The Zagato roadster has a start/stop engine button which is neatly placed to the right of the steering wheel on top of a metallic finished strip, alongside this button are four large dials which allow you to control different functions such as fan heating or cooling all laid on top of the same metallic strip. The Speedometers are large and shaped in a futuristic racing style, yet again an attractive feature of the car.

BMW says of the interior colours featured and the ‘Z’ for Zagato: “The interplay of colors and composition of details bathes the interior of the BMW Zagato Roadster in a sumptuous ambience, while the brown “z” embroidered into the seats is a further clue to its origins.”

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-Interior-03

BMW also go on to mention the interior design and say “The interior itself boasts the clear structuring one would expect from BMW and invites the driver to give the machine around him a thorough workout. Details such as the sweeping horizontal lines along the inside of the doors and the full-length center console lend a rarefied sense of exclusivity to the sporty promptings and driver focus of the interior.”

BMW have mentioned that the Zagato Roadster is like its partner the Zagato Coupe` by being able to drive well at high speeds and also intended for these speeds.

The best quote from BMW on the Zagato Roadster is the following from the official press release: “The taut hallmark BMW surface treatment and Zagato’s clearly defined distribution of visual mass lend the BMW Zagato Roadster an athletic appearance – poised and eager, demanding to be driven.”

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-15

Whether the Zagato Roadster will go into production remains to be seen although BMW have not ruled it out as yet! The same is to be said about its counterpart the Zagato Coupe`. Everyone will be wondering if their is soon to be another collaboration and many including myself will be keeping are eyes open for the next showstopper from these two companies.

The Zagato Roadster and the Zagato Coupe` may be celebrated pieces, yet they are still a matter of argument, as to whether they are different pieces when compared or whether the Roadster is the Coupe` with the roof off, some argue that they have different features and that what makes them different, others say there features are similar and they look alike. I personally would add to the debate by saying that the Zagato Coupe` is not as attractive as the Zagato Roadster and the roadster is exactly what it should be, which is a fine specimen of a roadster!

The Zagato Roadster was launched in California and it seems only right to provide some additional information about BMW’s presence in America:

BMW own the Rolls-Royce brand as well as the MINI brand and the figures for the car dealers in the USA are as follows:

“The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.”

BMW of North America, LLC has been around in the United States since 1975 and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars began distributing vehicles in 2003.

“The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars.”

In South Carolina, is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing plant, for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. BMW in 2010 announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Spartanburg plant. This investment will produce around 240,000 vehicles a year, making Spartanburg the largest car plant in the United States through its number of employees. All signs that BMW are doing well and BMW will be wanting to continue to develop their standing further in the USA.

I’ll conclude by saying that this BMW Zagato Roadster is an exclusive concept model and if it does not go into production, it will, many would hope, have some influence on the design of future production models.

See Below for a Video of The designers of the BMW Zagato Roadster – Karim Habib, head of exterior design at BMW and Norihiko Harada, Chief Designer Zagato, where they touch upon the relationship with Zagato, the six week deadline, the launch for Pebble Beach and the design of the Zagato roadster.

   

Feel free to leave comments!

Raj Mehta

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-03

BMW-Zagato-Roadster-01

%d bloggers like this: