Watch the Wing When Landing!

Do you ever fly inside a Boeing 737 (let’s read it as 73) before? Those who live in Sarawak should’ve traveled inside a 73 if you wanted to go to the Peninsular. I believe those who ever fly within Peninsular Malaysia will at least flied once with 73, since Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia have a lot of 73. I hope you’d sit at the window seat before, where you’ll be able to see the back part of the wing.

You’d probably guessed that the most interesting time to watch the wing is when during approach (landing phase). That is the time when the aircraft is still descending and you’ll be able to make out houses and shop lots by looking at the surface of the earth. That is the time; the wing is sort of like extending piece of piece at the trailing edge (back side of the wing).

The things extending outward, are called Flaps (Fowler Slotted Flaps, to be more precise). Basically speaking, it is extended to make the wing area larger so that the wing is able to create more lift while slowing down. The plane need to slowdown before touching down on the runway usually at a speed around 130knots for 73 (believe it or not, it’s more than 200Km/h) to reduce tyre stress and wear.

Due to the design of the wing, without the flaps extended, it’ll need to keep a really high nose up pitch to maintain specific lift at specific speed, thus limiting what the pilot can see from the cockpit. So, flaps are used so that the nose can be lowered but still maintaining the same amount of lift at the same speed. This is done by increasing the effective Angle of Attack using the increment of flap angle. Usually the flap comes down in stages, controlled by the pilot (etc. 0°, 2°, 5°, 10°, 15°, 25°, 30°, 40°).

So why aren’t these flaps open all the way from the beginning since they can give so much lift and visual clearance. They create a lot of drag too. And since Jets are built to fly fast, large wing area will not allow that. Lift will be sufficient using small wing area whereby you’ll have high relative airflow (by flying fast). But the simple sweptback wing design will not be effective for low speed flying as it’s very easy for them to stall (wing lose the ability to create life due to turbulent airflow).

When you’re one to two minutes before touchdown, and after maximum (or almost) flap is extended, you’ll see this white smoke coming out near the tip of the wing (which I think unique to the 73). This is actually caused by condensation of the air, cooling the air to its dew point temperature. It is the really high speed of the relative airflow that causes the temperature to go down so much. It’s also due to the enormous amount of lift created by the wing that causes the air to sleep up so fast. You only see this during landing where it’s more humid near the surface of the earth.

Right after touchdown (usually you’ll hear a “tud” or tyre “screak”) you’ll see some part of the wing (in the middle, between the leading edge and closer to the trailing edge) open outward. The surfaces that extended out are called spoilers. During landing, it is used to prevent the wing from making lift by directing the air upward, pushing the wing (and the whole plane) downward, so the wheel (or main gear) brakes can be more effective. It’s also to slow down the plane by creating lots of drags.

If you sit at the window seat where you can only see the leading edge of the wing, you also have your own set of stuff to discover. Flaps on the leading edge are called slats, and they’ll also extent when flaps are extended, but not as much as flaps do. They’re extended to actually make the air traveling on top of the wing to go smoother, so higher angle of attack can be achieve before the wing stall but with the expense of more drag.

Once touchdown, usually after the spoiler is opened and the nose wheel is also down, you’ll notice that the engine’s cover will open (The cylinder shaped thing that’s fix on the wing, 73 got one engine on each wing). That is when the reverse thrust is kicked in. The reverse thrust works by directing the relative airflow sucking into the engine from the front and directing it back to the front (not by sucking the air from behind and push to the front). With that, the reverse thrust is only effective if it’s used at high speed, the point when the airplane just landed and until the plane slows down to 60 knots (~110Km/h). That is the time the breaks will be the only thing stopping the 50,000 Kg (roughly) going as fast as 100Km/h.

For your information, it’s the engines that push the air behind, and make the plane move, accelerate and fly. It’s not the wheels and gears that drive the plane, as it’s only some free moving parts.

I’m not copying from any books for this blog, it’s all from what I know, and I try to be as precise as possible without getting into too much technical details. So if you find anything misleading, please let me know, and I’ll correct it, both the blog and my knowledge.

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Watch the Wing When Landing!

Dash Eight Hundred

I got a scare just now when the uncle at the Check-in counter told me that he need to check whether there’s seats it not for the flight I am going to take. Apparently a Firefly flight was canceled, and the passengers need to be shifted to MAS. 10 minutes later he allowed me to check in. Whew.

After entering the boarding hall only did I found out that the flight has been retimed to 30 minutes past scheduled. So I went around taking photos. Spotted a private jet, probably from China. Then I met my senior currently working for MasWing based in Kuching.

He’s the one who told me that my plane has arrived, and it’s a 737-800, or seven three eight. It’s also one of those new planes with the latest cabin design and in-flight entertainment. It’s my first time flying in these new baby.

A quick look in the cabin, I noticed there’re no more colourful seats, and they’re all now leather covered. Overhead compartment is also very different, I guess they’re larger now.

Sitting down, I can notice the biggest addition to the 737, inflight entertainment and LCD screens on each and every single seats. However most of the features seem disabled, I’m guessing they only enable them for the Korea/Japan/Perth flights, or simply not available at all.

There is an USB port, and I’m able to use it to charge my Android phone with it. My phone detected that it can be a USB drive, but I can’t seem to find anything in the IFE to play the media files in my phone. There’s a QWERTY keypad but, no way you’re going to use it to type stuff into your phone or ipad via the USB cable.

The new plane comes with bigger window, good for viewing and of course photography. I am seated in the row with the emergency exit window hatches, so the legroom is VERY big. Something technical, the emergency window hatches for the -800 is a spring outward type. The one in 734 requires a person to actually open and detach the very heavy hatches, and throw it outside. The lavatory is pretty much the standard -800 ones, so does the Galley, I guess.

Photos will be attached soon, come back soon!

Updated on 20110905: Overdue photos uploaded.

Dash Eight Hundred

他人眼中的飞行员

I’d found a forum archive describing pilot in chinese. Of course it doesn’t apply to every pilot, maybe more for the PRC, but it’s something to read.

他人眼中的飞行员( 转)
飞行员,是一个特殊的职业。许多人眼中的“天之骄子”,许多人眼中的“高薪者”。其实他们也是普通的“打工仔”。只是工作场所不同。由于人员相对较少,接触面较窄,不为大多数人所了解而已。其实他们都很普通,从别人眼中看看飞行员到底如何。

一位飞行员的朋友这样说:
飞行员比较单纯,他们和外界打交道不多,又是技术类的工作,人没那么复杂。单纯而又高收入这两个条件很多职业并不具备。但是飞行员时间上不自由,又不能经常请假,并且假期很少。作为飞行员的朋友,需要性格独立一些,因为他们经常不在,你想要他的时候总是找不到他。

做飞行员的另一半,真的不容易! 飞行员的太太,早上醒来,总是一个人。每天还不放心,一担心他飞行安全,又怕他感情出轨,因为他们总是在外面,你不知道他们在做什么,而且他们身边总是围绕着美丽的空姐。

很多年纪大一些的飞行员因为工作辛苦,希望找一个能照顾家、照顾他的贤妻良母,有些大男子主义。他们比较容易紧张,并且有些抑郁。因为他们要长时间高度集中精力,非常疲惫。其实他们玩的机会也很多。

因为他们工作太紧张,所以放松的时候就尽情发泄自己,而且很多飞行员都喜欢运动。他们找女朋友要么是找同行,找乘务员,要么就是找大学和中学的同学,他们交际范围其实很窄。

飞行员在飞行过程中不可以打瞌睡,不可以太激动,不能看着云层浪漫地幻想,不可以大聊飞行以外的话题,飞行员要始终保持理智和平稳的心态
所有的电视剧里,飞行员都是空姐眼中的神,能嫁给一个飞行员或者和飞行员谈恋爱是件了不起的事儿。空姐嫁给飞行员似乎成了天经地义的事儿。然而飞行员也不觉得自己很受空姐崇拜,甚至有些空姐也并不怎么把飞行员放在眼里。 他们跟普通人没什么区别,只是进入驾驶舱之后,他们工作的时候特别认真。不管是什么性格的人,也许平时嘻嘻哈哈的,但进了驾驶舱就像变成了另外一个人,变得特别严谨。他们比其他同龄的年轻人要成熟稳定一些。他们有点大男人主义,说一不二的风格。

飞行员的女朋友这样说:
我眼中的飞行员,出门前飞行箱里找不到相机,却总是有电脑、话筒和摄像头,因为各地风景照的风光,比不上家人的一笑。对他而言,异国的美丽,是等着和家人一起分享的。
我眼中的飞行员,选外套的时候总是不选藏青色,埋怨和制服一样没有创意,却总是迫不及待地穿上新发的制服,又不舍将旧衣随意丢弃。
我眼中的飞行员,世界各国地走,但不懂品牌,唯一穿上身的大牌,不是BOSS就是BURBBEREY,但家人喜欢的化妆品、药品,常常牵挂在心,总会觅到最好的带回家。
我眼中的飞行员,在航班延误路上塞车很晚到家的时候,从来不会将辛苦二字挂在嘴边,也不会告诉家人恶劣的天气多么难对付,自己有多么紧张和疲惫。
我眼中的飞行员,不读书不看报,只会玩电脑游戏。却又知道所有的世界大事小事,所有的球队球员。
我眼中的飞行员,在机上享受乘务员泡的咖啡,回家却会主动为老婆亲手煮咖啡、热牛奶。
我眼中的飞行员,体检前紧张得要命,生怕自己身体有问题,体检后却仍然无所顾忌地吸烟,所有恐慌抛之脑后。
我眼中的飞行员,在国外时懒到不洗衣裤,把房间摊得一塌糊涂,回到家却会买菜、烧饭、接孩子,一到休息天就是合格的好先生。
我眼中的飞行员,从不会在聚会中提起自己的职业,偶尔被问到也会很谦虚地让自己慢慢成为配角。
我眼中的飞行员,真的挺好的,善良、简单、热心、大方、工作严谨、爱家,尽管和他们在一起,会比普通人少了一半的相聚时间,但是当你找到我说的这些飞行员,请你紧紧抓住手中的幸福。

她们还这样说:
认识飞行员前,看着他们穿着制服,提个飞行箱,戴个墨镜,觉得好帅好威风啊!
认识飞行员后,看着他穿着便装,也是两只眼睛一个鼻子一张嘴!
认识飞行员前,看着他们上飞机下飞机,很是神气,驾驶舱的风景一定不错!
认识飞行员后,不再关心外面的风影,不再想看着他上下飞机,而是牵肠挂肚的期待他落地后的那条平安短信。
认识飞行员前,认为他们薪水很高,样子也帅,职业上等。
认识飞行员后,发现不穿制服路上的MM也没看到多看他几眼;职业嘛,做生意的还要多得有钱去了!
认识飞行员前,人人都说这种人很花,看多了美女,而且去了外地过夜不知道怎么样呢,生活糜烂!
认识飞行员后,发现太不一样了!他们根本没有时间去多看美女一眼!
认识飞行员后,才发现他们太辛苦,他们挣的那点血汗钱让你不忍心花!
认识飞行员后,看他们整天风尘仆仆的满世界飞,累的面容憔悴,让你看了都心疼!

我眼中的飞行员:
1,除了飞行知识,以外的社会知识、科学知识、文化知识,知知甚少(可能有人有异议,但我是说大多不代表全部);
2,因为飞行太累,回到家的娱乐方式基本全是电脑游戏,偶尔打打球,和朋友喝喝酒打打牌,基本不爱逛街、凑热闹等;
3,社会接触面太窄,接触的不是以前同学,就是同事。找的对象如果不是别人介绍的,就是身边的同事或同学;
4,飞行回来至少用一天时间来恢复体力与精力。睡眠工夫不是一般能比的,睡醒了吃点东西又睡;(可能只是我老公是这样吧)
5,穿着上,穿便穿肯定没有穿制服好看。并且便装从不刻意讲究名牌,款式只要不像制服就好;
6,和普通人没有什么区别。他们就是父母的儿子妻子的丈夫孩子的爸爸,只是工作性质决定了他们不能经常在家而已.在家有兴趣的时候也做做家务,甚至个别飞行员对老婆更是百依百顺,体贴周到;
7,身体也不是外界想象中的那么好.甚至也经常发烧感冒,小病不断,体检前小心翼翼不敢喝酒抽烟,尽量保证睡眠充足,深怕检查出哪儿有小毛病,但检查完毕后将健康早就抛之脑后,常常约上三朋四友(其实也无非就是同事)大喝特喝;
8,飞行的时候也要聊天,抽烟,打壳睡.飞行前也有睡眠严重不足或者小喝几口.
等等,.总之,飞行员也是普通人,只是工作辛苦的方式与其它工作辛苦方式不同

他们也这样说:
1,找的老婆不一定是如外界所想象中的"美女",甚至还有"丑女",只要顾家能做家务带孩子就行;
2,经常以"我今天飞得累了,你心疼一下我"为借口,指挥老婆干这干那.老婆虽也懒得动但也屁颠屁颠地去做了,谁让家里这个男人是"特殊人群"呢;
3,超喜欢吃川菜,哪怕很不正宗的川菜到他们嘴里都是"好吃,好吃!",因为有"思川"情结,因为大多都是从四川毕业的.大多想到四川广汉民航飞行学校门口的"天娇"烧烤就冒口水.对四川话不一定会说但一定能听得懂,时不时冒出几句"普川"(与"川普"恰相反);
4,绝对不属于"富人"一类.钱虽挣得不少,但又要买车买房结婚生子,刚上班那几年经常"经济拮据".年龄长一点的机长不一定都像外界想象一样过"有钱人"的生活.常常用钱很节约,这样舍不得买那样舍不得用,毕竟是吃过苦的一代,知道钱的"好歹"(虽然本人觉得完全没有必要,挣钱就是拿来花的,人生苦短何不好好享受)
5,不管年龄大小,有时和小孩子没有什么区别.一是因为本来男人就有"恋母"情结,二是因为他们这种工作性质决定了,一从学校出来就没和"复杂"的社会怎么接触过,有时的想法和行为真的比较"纯真"..
6,确实是外面到处都是"外债".不是他欠别人,全是所谓的同学朋友亲戚欠他的.因为大家都觉得飞行员是个高薪职业,来借个千把万把块钱对于他们来说并不算什么.所以今天这个同学来借几百,明天那个朋友来借几千,后天又有亲戚来借几万.借给这个不借给那个自我心理又过意不去.借出去了几年不还也不好开口讨债,借来借去自己要买个车买个房的也没钱了,把自己借得一洗二白.
还有很多,呵呵,想不起来了.总之,飞行员就是普通人.
这些都是飞行员一个生活侧面的写照。真不真实只要你有心去了解一下就清楚了。这是从民航资源网上摘抄总结下来的一些文章。觉得挺能反应的生活,就拿来整理一下,供大家观赏一下。

Added later today: I notice someone went all the way to translate the article using a web-service. The result are somewhat close to the real meaning, but it’s not entirely accurate and very hilarious to read.

他人眼中的飞行员

Self Study at Home

Proof that I’m doing self study at home. I never thought before that my dad’s 19″ LCD monitor will come in such a great use. The setup was fantastic for my Normal Procedure (NP) practicing, which include memorising 46 pages of “things-to-do”. I’m not new to multi-monitor setup, I’d started using two monitors since 2005 when I’d upgraded my graphic card to an ATi Radeon 9600pro, which has both DVI and VGA output, on my old desktop PC.


Back in 2005

By using a DVI-VGA converter, I manage to use my old 15″ monitor, while using my 17″ as the main monitor; both are CRT monitors. Right now in 2009 the LCD is connected to my laptop’s VGA output. One thing is still the same, I’m still playing (now practicing) with Flight Simulator 2004, which is FIVE years old by now.

While waiting for my training to continue, my batch-mates from Langkawi who later joined AirAsia are already flying their Airbus A320. Not mere started flying, but one just had his base check and another one burst his monthly flying hour. Finger crossed that my training will start no later than April. For the meantime, I’ll try to be hardworking revising at home.

Self Study at Home

Passport

Finally, I got my passport today. I had a passport when I was still a little kid, it expired 10 years ago! The only reason my parents got me a passport then is to pass through Brunei to go to my father’s hometown in Limbang. The last time I used it was three months before it expired in 1998. Still, it was special to have my own passport at the age of two, usually it’s attach to the mother’s passport.

So all this while I do not have a passport, in fact, I never went to any over sea destination before. Although Brunei is a foreign country, it’s just next to Miri. It’s so close that nowadays I have friends living in Miri popping into Brunei just to have Sushi. It’s like Singapore and Johor, speaking of Singapore, I never went there before. The furthest I ever went, ironically over South China Sea, is only Langkawi, and that is still Malaysia.

I’m looking forward to go to many foreign countries around this region, furthest being Macau, during my observation flights. I will only be stepping on the tarmac of the airport for the first time I visit those countries. Sound sad? Sounds fun for me!

Passport

LIMA 2007

Here’s a quick update. Where was I? Alright, after coming back from Terengganu, I stayed in Langkawi for a little more than a week for nothing before I went to KL for a week and a half. I want to thank Ah Seng again for allowing me to stay at his place. Without his place, I have to stay very far away from KL thus very inconvenience for me to go to the city centre.

I purposely come back to Langkawi for LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Air Show), which is the biggest airshow in Malaysia held every two years. If it wasn’t for my school’s delays, I would’ve miss it. So I will do everything to visit it otherwise it’ll be pointless to be stranded in this little island for so long. I also get to go in on the first day, which is not open for the public, because my school got a booth set up over there.

Red Arrow

The most exciting part of the even is seeing the performance of Red Arrow Aerobatic team by British Air Force. I got some photos taken today posted in my Multiply, however only my close contacts there are able to view it. Do check back everyday until the 8th of the month for new updates there. Enjoy~

LIMA 2007