3 Links I Love: The Electric Airline, Qantas Claims Success, Asiana’s Troubles

Links I Love

I’m starting something different this week. Since I’m sick of looking at my standard image every Friday, I’m going to add an “image of the week” to this post when there’s something that grabs me. (I can’t guarantee it’ll happen every week.) This week, I’m starting off with proof that a 7-year old can do better photoshop work than I can. My son did this drawing of Lufthansa, his favorite airline — he carries an old Schabak 747 model around with him all over — departing from LAX.

This week’s featured link:

Harbour Air to convert all its seaplanes to electric for first all-electric airlineelectrek
Harbour Air has a unique short-haul network in an area where there’s a lot of appreciation for conservation. I hope this actually comes to fruition and enables others to consider something similar. (via reader Elliot)

Image of the Week: Lufthansa 747 Departing LAX, drawn by my son

Two for the road:

There are some really interesting numbers in here. Half of the people on the Perth to London flight are beginning or ending in Perth. Another quarter are going to/from Melbourne (it’s the same plane). Much fewer go to other cities in Australia. It’s easy to say the plane is full, but is it making money? Qantas seems happy.

Asiana Airlines Liquidity at Risk on Junk Rating WarningBloomberg
While I don’t imagine an airline owned by one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea is going anywhere, this sounds like quite the mess the airline is in.

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29 comments on “3 Links I Love: The Electric Airline, Qantas Claims Success, Asiana’s Troubles

      1. SEAN – He was indeed… because the program shut down when he was in the middle of his first version, and he had to redo it!

  1. Emirates is about to drop its 777 PER-DXB flight, leaving just the daily A380, which may be due to lower loads since QF PER-LHR started.

    1. Kilroy – I told him that and he laughed and said, “yeah.” I feel like he now is having a crisis of confidence. (He was choosing between Delta and Lufthansa at first.)

      1. Ah. Sorry, didn’t mean to shake the little guy.

        Tell him it’s okay to have one “favorite” airline because of its snacks, and another “favorite” airline for other reasons, like its livery.

        I like the kid’s artwork. I wouldn’t want to see it for every post, but for an occasional or weekly series I think it’s cute and adds a little levity. Would love to see your son illustrate the next Cranky Jackass award, which I eagerly await.

        1. Kilroy – I’m sure he’ll get over it. ;)

          And don’t worry, I’m not doing kids artwork every week. In future weeks, it will probably just be airplane porn that I find, if I do it.

      2. Perhaps you & your wife should consider enrolling your son in art school. I’m sure there’s one for the younger set as this is L. A. after all.

  2. I’m not sure the numbers quite work for CXH-YWH (Harbour Air’s busiest route) just yet.
    While you’ll save 600lbs swapping a P&W Wasp out for a similar electric motor, you’re going to need (my back of the envelope calculations) a something like 210kWh battery, which is going to weigh 2400lb (at 210Wh/kg which is top end right now)

    5 min @ 100% (280kW)
    30 min @ 60% cruise
    45 min @ 50% reserve (TC VFR reserve requirement)

    The Beaver carries (max) about 800lb of fuel along with 600lb of engine weight savings doesn’t quite add up with a 2400lb battery; and you’ll end up losing about 1/2 of the useful load. And Beavers don’t take off with max fuel out of the harbour, so in reality it might be even more.

    My rough calculations say we need a roughly 100% increase in WattHour/kg in order to really make this viable for a lot of routes.

    While I applaud the effort (I already drive an electric car), and it’s pretty close to home (I learned to fly from a corner of the Viking[dHC] hanger), the press release in the fine details says only that they hope to have a test aircraft a few years from now that will be capable of short flights.

  3. Now we just need Qantas to launch Perth to LAX and getting to the West Coast of Australia from the US won’t be nearly as bad.

    1. This gives me an idea, or a “fun” question for Cranky…

      As a fun avgeek challenge, I’d be curious to see which potential around-the-world routings (even with different airlines and layovers up to, say, 24 or 72 hours) people could creating with the fewest number of flights (3? Or would it be a minimum of 4?) and/or the shortest distance or time traveled.

      Requirements: Routing must cross the equator at least twice, must be at least 24,901 statute miles, the circumference around the earth at the equator, and must start and end at the same airport (e.g., A to B to C to D to A).

  4. Cranky:

    Because of all the additional windows on the top deck…. that has got to be a 747-400! :)

    A few more windows though…. and it would have been an A380! :) :)

  5. So why is Lufthansa his favorite airline?

    I can see how west coast Australia to Europe would be a success, it’s like if people on the west coast of the USA had to fly to New York to get to Asia. Naturally people would flock to the nonstop service from their part of the country.

    1. David SF – That is a good question, and I have no idea why. I have taken him to In-N-Out for watch planes for years, and the Lufthansa A380 was always the first A380 arrival during lunch time. He also has an old 747 Schabak model which he loves. But I don’t know why he jumped onto that. We’re planning a Europe trip next year, and I think Lufthansa is likely going to have to be in the cards.

    1. 50% of the traffic is O/D in Perth so I imagine they’ll keep it going even when they get their new aircraft. They want to launch Perth-Paris (not sure which airport) but they’re currently in arbitration over landing fees with Perth airport so the route is on hold until it’s resolved.

  6. Although we don’t know how the Asiana financial issues will turn out, the lack of transparency, sudden resignations, and hints and much deeper problems sound similar to the Japanese business crises in the late 1990s. Should be interesting to follow unless Korea decides it needs to cover it up to save their reputation…

    (love the artwork btw!)

  7. If he’s got an old schabak model (the 1:600 ones, with the crooked, yellowing decals?), then why is he drawing the sad new livery? Let’s put some yellow on that tail. and let’s really go for it – add the blue cheatline.

    1. tharanga – Well, good point. The model does have the old yellow scheme with the silver bottom, but you know, he wanted to go with the current version. Maybe next time…

  8. I love how comments on the budding artist’s work far outnumbers comments on electric planes, Perth to London, and Asiana. Cranky, I think you’re on to something! What it is, I’m not sure. But it does remind me of the Family Guy episode where Chris’ “artwork” was discovered. :-)

  9. I have fond memories of sitting in the glass-walled Flying Beaver Bar & Grill in Richmond, BC, watching the Harbour Air seaplanes take off and land in the Fraser river. I’d go there every time I visited a customer, Standard Aero, that was just down the street. Good luck to their effort to convert their fleet to electric.

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