The Regional Jet

The concept of the “regional aircraft” was bom after World War II to describe the kind of air­planes used by feeder airlines or local service airlines authorized by the CAB to supplement the mainstay air carrier fleet. These airplanes were thus described to differentiate them from the long-haul aircraft flown by trunk carriers. At first these aircraft were older aircraft previously flown by the trunk lines, like the DC-3; Convair 240, 340, and 440; and the first commercial tur­boprop, the Vickers Viscount.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new kind of turboprop was conceived to service the short-haul and feeder market. These were airplanes like the high-winged, 28-seat Fokker F27, delivered in 1958, and larger iterations of the same basic design. The F27 and its successor types would go on to become the most successful turboprop of all time. In 1963, the low-winged Avro 748 turboprop took to the skies, carrying over 20 passengers.

Turboprops worked well in this market, as their operating characteristics allowed them to service smaller airports, and their fuel economy was much better than turbojets. After deregula­tion, and during the 1980s, other manufacturers entered the 30- to 40-seat commuter market, like De Havilland with the Dash 8, also a high – wing turboprop. While these turboprops were well liked by passengers because of their relative roominess, they were slow compared to jets.

The regional jet (RJ) was introduced into the aviation community in 1992 by the Cana­dian aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier, with its 50-seat CRJ100 (Canadair Regional Jet), in part fashioned on its business jet, the Challenger 604. In 1998, the company announced a stretched version holding 64 to 70 seats, designated the CRJ700, Series 701, and the 75-seat CRJ700, Series 705. A 90-seat version, CRJ900, joined the fleet in 2001. Canadair had some 55 percent of the regional jet market in 2002.

The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica, South Amer­ica) entered the field in 1996 with the ERJ145, with 50 seats. The 35-seat ERJ135 was intro­duced into service in June 1999 to begin replac­ing the Brasilia, Embraer’s turboprop workhorse. In 1999, Embraer launched a new family of twin-engine passenger aircraft consisting of the EMB170, 175, 190, and 195 jets with seating in the 70 to 110 range. The first of this new fam­ily, the 170, flew on February 19, 2002. Embraer claimed about 40 percent of the regional jet mar­ket in 2002.

The Embraer 190 received FA A certifica­tion in September 2005. JetBlue Airways took the first delivery of this 106-seat RJ and ordered 100 more. The EMB190 is a state-of-the-art airplane, which relies on digital modeling and virtual reality concepts in its design. This air­plane has an all-digital cockpit and is equipped with fly-by-wire flight controls except for aile­rons. Winglets at the wing tips are standard. The fuselage design features the “double bubble” idea, instead of the traditional circular cross sec­tion, which provides the look and feel of a larger cabin. There are no “middle” seats in its 2 by 2 seating configuration.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a 75- to 95-seat RJ, developed by the Russian aerospace firm Sukhoi in collaboration with Ilyushin and Boeing and with subsidy from the Russian government. Its first flight occurred in May 2008 and on February 3, 2012 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a type certificate for the airplane. The first aircraft was delivered to Amavia, an Armenian airline, and eight others have been delivered to the Russian company Aeroflot. Although orders and options are pending with other airlines and leasing com­panies, no other deliveries have been made. On May 9, 2012, a Superjet 100 on a demonstration flight out of Jakarta, Indonesia crashed into the side of a mountain, killing all 45 passengers aboard.

The Chinese are in the developmental stage of an RJ called the ARJ 21, with 80 seats for the first phase production and 100 seats for its next phase. Deployment of this aircraft was originally announced for 2008, but delays of various kinds have now pushed delivery to at least 2013.

There have been few other entrants into the RJ production market. Fairchild Dornier, a sub­sidiary of the U. S.-German partnership, Fairchild Aerospace Corporation, marketed the 329Jet. Production stopped with Fairchild’s financial reverses in the 1990s. The only other manufac­turer of regional jets was Aero International, a consortium composed of Aerospatiale, Ale – nia, and British Aerospace. The BAE 146 series became the Avro RJ series (RJ 70/85/100) and 160 of these were produced before BAE Systems announced their discontinuation in the last quar­ter of 2001.

The history of the regional jet is not quite ready to be written in full, but there are signs that this concept has just about run its course. During the 1990s, RJs began to replace the tur­boprops used by commuter airlines. As airlines reconfigured and modified their hub and spoke concepts to utilize RJs, these small jets became commonplace and relatively popular in that ser­vice. The regional jets are faster, the engines are more reliable, and engine maintenance costs are lower. But compared to turboprops, the original small RJs were much more expensive to oper­ate on a per seat basis. They were also more cramped than the larger turboprops, had less carry-on storage space, had lavatory issues, and minimal flight attendant service.

As seen above, the trend in RJ size has con­sistently been toward larger and larger aircraft. As the new RJ designs have increased their seat­ing capacity, the line between a medium-sized jet and a so-called RJ has been blurred. The Airbus 319, for instance, is normally configured for 124 seats, not much larger than the latest RJs. In 2005, a JetBlue spokesman refused to categorize the EMB190 as an RJ, saying that the aircraft was designed to fill the gap left by the DC-9. Many of these airplanes are being used by JetBlue to overfly hubs on point-to-point service (Orlando-MCO to Buffalo-BUF, for example).

The original RJ concept that emerged during the 1990s of producing jets to replace similar­sized turboprops is being phased out. Bombar­dier, for example, stopped production of its 50-seater in January 2006 and there is only lim­ited production of the ERJ145 under license in China.

Because experience has shown that operat­ing costs of RJs can make sense only on longer routes (400 miles seems to be the minimum), and as per seat operating costs, particularly fuel, have caused so-called “regional jets” to become larger, a market is appearing for a new era of turboprop aircraft to fill that niche. Most short-haul routes are less than 350 miles. Rising fuel prices have only reinforced this idea. Turboprops use about 30 percent less fuel than RJs.

The United States jet fleet is composed of four classes of aircraft: large, twin-aisle, single­aisle, and regional jet. In 1990, RJs accounted for 13 percent of this total, and by 2010 the RJ per­centage had risen to only 15 percent. By refer­ence to the chart in Figure 30-5, you will see that Boeing’s prediction is that RJs in 2030 will have shrunk to only 5 percent of the jet fleet while the total number of jet aircraft will have doubled.

There were only two companies producing turboprops in the 40-seat-plus capacity range as of 2007: Bombardier and ATR. The economic factors discussed above have caused increased orders for these companies’ turboprop aircraft. ATR as of July 2012 planned to boost production by 60 percent, to a rate of more than seven air­craft per month by 2014.

The old De Havilland Dash 8 production unit, which delivered the first Dash 8 in 1984, was sold first to Boeing and then to Bombardier in 1992. Bombardier turboprops are the Q100, first delivered in 1984 (33-37 seats); the Q200, first delivered in 1989 (33-37 seats); the Q300, a stretched version of the 100 (48-50 seats); and the Q400, first delivered in 2000 (68-78 seats). These airplanes have been fitted with a computer controlled noise and vibration suppression sys­tem since 1996 (the “Q” denotes “Quiet”), and produce a cabin decibel level equivalent to the CRJ regional jet. The Q400 has an impressive maximum cruise speed of 360 knots.

The European consortium ATR is a joint venture between EADS and Alenia Aeronautica. It produces the ATR 42-500 (48-50 seats) with a maximum cruise speed of 300 knots, and the ATR 72-500 (68-74 seats) with a maximum cruise speed of 276 knots.

Opening up smaller airports in point-to – point service by the use of RJs could also bring access to airline travel closer to home for the average traveler. Ninety percent of the country’s population lives within 30 miles of an airport, yet only 64 airports (1 percent of all airports) serve 80 percent of passengers enplaned in the United States.7

Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990

In 1990, the first comprehensive airport noise regulation statute, the Airport Noise and Capac­ity Act (ANCA), became law.

ANCA recognized that a national aviation noise policy was vital to the fitness of the coun­try’s air transportation system. Former Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner is on record as asserting that ANCA is “the most significant piece of aviation legislation since the deregula­tion act.” ANCA effectively altered the land­scape in matters of aviation noise.

Federal noise regulations in 1990 classified aircraft as Stage 1, Stage 2, or Stage 3 aircraft, with Stage 1 being the loudest. All Stage 1 air­craft have been phased out of service. ANCA mandated that no Stage 2 aircraft could be added to the fleet or imported into the United States after November 5, 1990, and that all unmodi­fied Stage 2 aircraft be phased out of service by December 31, 1999. Stage 2 aircraft include the 727, DC-9, and early versions of the 737 and 747. These airplanes were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Stage 3 aircraft must meet separate stan­dards for takeoff, landing, and sideline measure­ments, depending on the aircraft’s weight and number of engines. Stage 3 aircraft are the newer and quieter 757, 767, and MD-80 series, later versions of the 737 and 747, and aircraft that have been retrofitted with quieter engines by the noise reducing “hush kits.”

Under the provisions of ANCA, which apply to aircraft of at least 75,000 pounds certificated weight, airport operators were specifically reg­ulated as to when and how they could restrict Stage 2 and Stage 3 aircraft operations at their local airports, reaffirming the supremacy of the federal government over aviation policy in the

United States. Airport operators were prohibited from issuing unilateral restrictions on Stage 3 aircraft, since such aircraft comprise the state-of – the-art in aircraft noise. To paraphrase, the federal government in effect said, “This is the best we can do in engine noise, these are the airplanes that are necessary to be used in air transportation, and they will be allowed to fly no matter what the locals say.” Any attempted local regulation of Stage 3 aircraft would thus amount to an unlawful usurpa­tion of the federal prerogatives regarding aviation. Subject to due process safeguards, such as notice and opportunity to be heard, airport proprietors were allowed to apply certain reasonable restric­tions on the operation of Stage 2 aircraft as long as such local authorities did not impair the national policy of “phase out” articulated in the statute.

The ICAO standards for aircraft noise are contained in “Chapters” to the above-referenced publication known as Annex 16, Environmen­tal Protection, Volume I, which deals with air­craft noise. The work done at ICAO on aircraft noise is also performed in the aforementioned Committee on Aviation Environmental Protec­tion (CAEP), which was established in 1983. Its Chapters 2 and 3 fairly track the standards found in the FAA’s designation of Stage 2 and Stage 3 aircraft.

In June 2001, ICAO adopted new, more stringent noise standards, as recommended by CAEP, which went into effect on January 1, 2006. These standards mandate a noise reduc­tion level of 10 dB below the standards previ­ously required (Chapter 3). These standards are referred to as Chapter 4 standards by ICAO.

These standards were adopted by the FAA by rule on July 5, 2005, designated as Stage 4 standards by the FAA, which also went into effect on January 1, 2006.4 These noise standards are intended to provide uniform noise certifica­tion standards for Stage 4 airplanes certificated in the United States. There is no weight limitation or exclusion for airplane type designs submitted after January 1, 2006; thus, all aircraft types will be subject to the Stage 4 noise standards.

Care should be taken to note the difference between the requirements of ANCA and the new FAA rule. ANCA, which requires compliance with Stage 3 standards, only applies to aircraft with certificated weight of 75,000 pounds and above. The new FAA rule, which requires new type designs to comply with Stage 4 standards, applies to all new airplane type design submis­sions, regardless of weight.

Although noise control of aircraft is exclu­sively a federal function, airport authorities and local governments do have the option to mitigate noise effects through land use controls, such as zoning and land acquisition, which the FAA agrees is the exclusive domain of state and local governments. Indeed, federal policy respecting Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding favors the use of such funds for that purpose. Airport operators applying for funds for these purposes must design noise exposure maps and develop mitigation programs consistent with federal requirements to insure that noise levels are compatible with adjacent land uses. Noise compatibility projects include residential and public building sound insulation. They include land acquisition and relocating residents from noise-sensitive areas. Airports have also installed noise monitoring equipment and noise barriers to reduce ground run-up noise.

ANCA also provides for additional funding sources by permitting the use of passenger facil­ity charges (PFCs) for land use control. Airports have collected and used PFC funds for noise stud­ies and mitigation totaling $15 billion as of 2005.

Overall, ANCA provides a framework for the implementation of a national policy of aircraft noise control, and reaffirms that local govern­ments have the continuing obligation to adhere to that policy and to cooperate with federal authori­ties to secure the achievement of such national interests. The policy is working. According to sta­tistics supplied by FAA, exposure to airline noise has decreased significantly and consistently from 1975 to 2001. Airline noise levels are calculated using the number of persons exposed to 65 dbA, in millions. In 1975, some 7 million people were subject to noise levels in excess of that number, while in 2001, the number of persons exposed to 65 dbA had declined to just 0.4 million. (See Figure 34-5.)

Through FAA efforts, under the AIP set – aside programs, residential and school popu­lations in the hundreds of thousands are now exposed to reduced aircraft noise (at or below 65 dbA) as of 2010.

Continuous Lower Emission, Energy, and Noise Program (CLEEN)

The CLEEN program was initiated by the FAA in a partnership format with the aviation industry with the objective of reducing aircraft fuel bum by 33 percent and reducing oxides of nitrogen by 60 percent compared to ICAO emissions standards. This voluntary effort attempts to get out in front of the regulatory scheme favored by the EU (and acceded to by the FAA under ICAO guidelines).

The program also seeks to reduce aircraft noise by 32 decibels from the current ICAO standard. Technologies include lighter and more efficient gas turbine engine components, noise – reducing engine nozzles, adaptable wing trail­ing edges, optimized flight trajectories using NextGen flight management systems, and open rotor and geared turbofan engines. The CLEEN program will accelerate the development of these technologies for potential introduction into air­craft and engines beginning in 2015. [19] [20]

Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

This new legislation has also raised the prospect of federal government involvement in state and local law enforcement issues, which may violate long-standing federal law. The Posse Comita­tus Act of 1878 is an arcane statute passed by Congress toward the end of the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War. The Reconstruction Era refers to the period after the defeat of the Con­federate states during which the former rebellious states were reincorporated into the Union. Fed­eral troops had occupied the former Confederate States to enforce federal law and to police state and local elections.

Posse Comitatus is Latin for “power of the county” and the doctrine arose in England in the 15th century to support the common law right of local sheriffs to impress citizens into a posse to enforce the law. In the American colonies, the doctrine referred to the military enforcement of civil or state laws, which was anathema to the colonists due to the use of British military forces in the colonies to enforce laws passed by the Eng­lish Parliament prior to the American Revolution.

The Constitution of the United States spe­cifically limits the role of the military in civil matters, and makes the military at all times sub­ject to the oversight of civilian elected author­ity. The Constitution also limits the role of the federal government generally, reserving unto the states all powers not specifically granted by the Constitution to the federal government. During the Civil War some constitutional protections, like habeas corpus (which is a constitutional safeguard and mechanism to prevent unlaw­ful or secret imprisonment of citizens) were suspended by President Lincoln under claim of “war powers.” After the Civil War ended, the federal military occupied the South as a con­quered territory and became the primary tool of law enforcement.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was designed to remove federal military author­ity over the state and local governments of the southern states after 13 years of Reconstruction. The original law specifically prohibits the Army from enforcing civilian law, and by amend­ment in 1956, it also includes the Air Force. By a directive of the Department of Defense, the Navy and the Marines are also prohibited from interfering with or participating in state and local law enforcement. The Coast Guard, which is now lodged in the Department of Homeland Security, is not covered by the Act or by any federal directive because the Coast Guard is actively involved in coastal law enforcement and has a federal complementary mission with the states.

The use of military or federal government drones within the United States, therefore, will be a subject of constitutional and judicial scru­tiny because of the Posse Comitatus Act as well as the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers of Rocketry

The progression of rocketry from literary fancy to scientific reality is generally credited to three men, all of whom worked separately from each other at about the same time. All were inspired by Jules Verne.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) was a provincial math teacher who spent most of his life in the small Russian town of Kaluga. Tsiolkovsky was a theoretician in aerodynamic flight, working through some of the same prob­lems the Wright brothers did at about the same time. His theories extended into jet propulsion and rocketry, as well as to the mechanics of liv­ing in space. In 1895 he published Dreams of the Earth and Sky, in which he described the mining of asteroids.

Tsiolkovsky’s primary work, Explora­tion of the Universe with Reaction Machines, was published in 1903 and is generally recog­nized as containing the first scientifically prov­able theories on the use of rockets in space. His writings are very detailed, including his specification for a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to fuel the engine of his theo­retical spacecraft. Hydrogen was first liquefied in 1898, and it is nothing short of amazing that this mixture propels the Space Shuttle today. Tsiolkovsky was a true theoretician, never attempting to prove his theories by practical applications, like building models or attempt­ing motor or flight tests. In spite of the volume of his publications, his work was not widely known outside of Russia.

FIGURE 41-1 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

Robert Goddard (1882-1945) was inspired not only by Jules Verne’s writings but also by another science fiction tome, H. G. Well’s The War of the Worlds. He dedicated himself to aero­nautics and space issues from an early age, and his first article, “The Use of the Gyroscope in the Balancing and Steering of Airplanes,” was published by Scientific American in 1907.2 After earning a Ph. D. in physics in 1911, he regis­tered two patents describing multistage launchers and liquid and solid propellant rockets, which became central to the progression of rocket sci­ence. By 1916, his work was being partially sub­sidized by the Smithsonian Institution.3

Goddard’s 1919 manuscript entitled A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, pub­lished by the Smithsonian in 1920, is regarded as a seminal work in the pioneering of rocketry. He continued his experimentation with rockets, launching the first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926, in a cabbage patch near Auburn, Mas­sachusetts. Although it rose only 184 feet in 2.5 seconds, it proved the workability of liquid-fuel propellants in rockets.

Like many who had gone before, much of Goddard’s work was met by mocking and scorn, particularly by the press, and most particularly by The New York Times.4 Although he withdrew from public view and conducted his experiments in as much privacy as possible, Goddard still attracted notoriety with each rocket launch. Launch failures and ensuing ground fires caused the Massachu­setts State Fire Marshal to prohibit Goddard from conducting any further tests in the state.

Charles Lindbergh found Goddard’s work fascinating and full of promise, and contacted him in November 1929. Lindbergh was famous by this time, and the lending of his name and credibility to Goddard’s experimentation was invaluable. Through the influence of Lindbergh, Daniel Gug­genheim agreed to fund Goddard’s research in the amount of $50,000 beginning in 1930. Goddard continued to receive support from the Guggen­heim Foundation in the ensuing years.5

Seeking open space and relative solitude, in July 1930, Goddard relocated to, of all places, Roswell, New Mexico,6 where he continued his research and experimentation until the beginning of

FIGURE 41-2 Robert Goddard on March 16, 1926 with the first liquid-fueled rocket.

World War II. He experimented with rocket control through movable vanes and rudders, as well as the use of gyroscopes. His rockets carried aloft the first payload, a barometer and a camera. Details of all of his work were published in 1936 in the treatise, Liquid Propellant Rocket Development.

Efforts to interest the United States govern­ment in his work were unsuccessful. But not everyone was unable to grasp the potential of his work. The new government of Germany, which took power in January 1933, was highly inter­ested in Goddard’s work. The National Socialist German Workers Party, also known by its acro­nym, the “Nazi Party,” led by Adolf Hitler, was very interested indeed.

Hermann Oberth (1894-1989) was born in Romania but lived his life in Germany. He was one of the first to discover the works of Konstan­tin Tsiolkovsky, during the 1920s. He published the book, The Rocket into Interplanetary Space, in 1923. This book presented theories very simi­lar to Goddard’s, but Oberth denied that he had had the benefit of Goddard’s work beforehand.7 Oberth conducted his own experiments during the 1920s, and in 1929 published an updated ver­sion of his previous book under the title of The Road to Space Travel.

Largely due to Oberth’s efforts, rocketry became popular in Europe during the 1920s. In 1928, Wernher von Braun, while attending a boarding school in northern Germany, happened on Hermann Oberth’s book (The Rocket into Interplanetary Space). Fascinated, he launched himself into a program of physics and math­ematics that would prepare him for the fledgling science of rocketry. By 1930, von Braun was a student at the Technical University of Berlin, where Oberth was an instructor. An amateur rocketry group inspired by Oberth’s book, known as the “Spaceflight Society,” held meetings on the Berlin campus, and von Braun became a member. It was here that he met Oberth, and as a result von Braun was selected to assist Oberth in his liquid-fueled rocket motor tests. At this time von Braun was introduced to Goddard’s work, and he followed up with his own research into Goddard’s publications through scientific jour­nals and publications.

The German Army began its rocket pro­gram in 1931. When it came to power in 1933, the Nazi government placed the advancement of rocketry high on its military “want list.” At the time, the terms of the Versailles Treaty (the 1918 agreement that ended World War I) prohibited Germany from developing military aircraft, but it said nothing about rocketry, mainly because practical rocketry was unknown to anyone except to a handful of engineers. The German Army began recruiting bright university students with credentials and interest in rocket science.

By 1933, von Braun was working on his doctoral dissertation in physics. Because of a research grant from the German Army, von Braun began collaborating on a secret solid-fuel

FIGURE 41-3 Hermann Oberth (foreground) and Wernher von Braun (near right).

program at the ballistic weapons center at Kummersdorf. The Kummersdorf site was moved to Peenemunde on the Baltic coast in 1936. Peenemunde was the secret laboratory and test site for the development of the V-2 rocket, which is recognized as the immediate precursor of the launch vehicles later used in the U. S. space program. The V-2 was the first practical rocket, 46 feet in length and weighing 27,000 pounds. It flew at speeds in excess of 3,500 miles an hour and delivered a 2,200-pound warhead 500 miles away. It was put to use against Allied targets, including London, in September 1944.

With the approach of Allied forces toward the end of World War II, von Braun arranged the defection of about 125 of his top rocket sci­entists and engineers, who brought with them their plans, drawings, and test results. Von Braun and his “rocket team” became the backbone of the United States’ ballistic missile program after World War II, and ultimately were largely responsible for the development of the Saturn V super launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo modules to the moon. Although von Braun was central to the perfection of rocket science in its practical aspects, he is considered in the “second generation” of rocket pioneers.

Calbraith Perry Rodgers

Jl Wright brothers’ airplane (a model B, modi­fied for the flight) would be the first air­plane to fly coast-to-coast in the United States in 1911, piloted by a nearly deaf, cigar smok­ing 32 year old motorcycle racer and yachtsman of independent means. This was Cal Rodgers, great-grandnephew of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry (who defeated a British squadron at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812), and the great-grandson of Commodore Matthew Cal­braith Perry (who was in command of the U. S. Navy contingent that sailed into Tokyo Bay in 1853), the latter being credited with the opening of feudalistic and xenophobic Japan to U. S. and international trade for the first time. Cal Rodg­ers wanted to follow in his esteemed forefathers’ footsteps, but he was denied admission to the United States Naval Academy due to the hear­ing deficiency that had resulted from an onset of scarlet fever when he was six years old.

It could be said that Cal Rodgers had been at loose ends for most of his adult life. At six feet four inches tall, he had excelled at football in college, but thereafter he seemed to be unable to find his niche. He was never required to work for a salary due to his financial station, and he spent his days after college in “gentlemen’s” pursuits and in amateur sports adventures. Cal’s cousin, Lt. John Rodgers, was in 1911 a recent graduate of the Naval Academy, and he had been assigned
to take flying lessons at the Wright brothers’ fly­ing school in Dayton, Ohio (Huffman Prairie) as a part of the fledgling Naval Aviation program. It was there during the first half of 1911, while vis­iting with his cousin, that Cal Rodgers encoun­tered his first airplane up close.

Cal received ninety minutes of flight instruc­tion from Orville Wright and considered that he was ready for solo flight. Orville disagreed, so Cal just bought one of the Wright’s Model Bs and took off on his own. He entered his first aer­ial competition in July 1911, and in August, he won $ 11,000 at the International Aviation Meet in Chicago for endurance aloft.

Not quite one year earlier, in October 1910, publisher William Randolph Hearst had offered a prize of $50,000 for any person who could fly coast-to-coast within a period of thirty days from start to finish. In spite of no serious threat to the prize money from anyone else, Rodgers decided that he could win that endurance prize as well. Orville Wright, again, disagreed with the brash Rodgers, believing that the state of the aviation art had not progressed to the point where any fly­ing machine could endure such a trial. Undaunted, Rodgers lined up financial support from the Chi­cago meat packer J. Ogden Armour, who had just inaugurated a new five cent soft drink called the “Vin Fiz.” Armour seized on the idea of a cross­country publicity campaign as being just the right
promotion for his new drink and agreed to finance the venture. (See Figure App 6-1.)

The modified Model В was dubbed the “Vin Fiz” and carried the designation “EX,” which denoted that it was for exhibition fly­ing. The primary distinguishing characteristic of the Model В was the absence of the forward elevator, or canard, which had been the primary vertical control device on all prior Wright mod­els, including the “A.” The Model В was larger than the EX, with a wingspan of 38.5 feet to only 32 feet for the exhibition model. Both craft used twin pusher-type propellers chain driven by the 35 horsepower water-cooled motor, but the EX was built specifically for the stresses of exhibition flying. It carried no instruments, and Rodgers sat in an open chair located on the lower wing structure, completely exposed to the elements.

Armour also agreed to commission a three – car train to accompany the cross-country effort and to carry a contingent of mechanics and sup­port personnel, including the famed Charley Tay­
lor, who had built the Wright internal combus­tion engine used in the first successful flight of the Flyer at Kitty Hawk. The train, known as the “Vin Fiz Special,” was pulled by a steam engine, and consisted of a day coach, a Pull­man sleeping car, and a “hangar” car containing tools, spare parts, and a Palmer-Singer automo­bile with which to fetch Rodgers and return him to the Pullman at the end of each day. Both Cal’ s mother and his wife, Mabel, went along for moral support, as did a revolving assortment of friends, dignitaries, and newspaper reporters.

The adventure began on September 17, 1911 at the Sheepheads Bay Race Track on Long Island, where he lifted off to begin the first leg of the 4,000-mile odyssey (See Figure App 6-2.). His route would necessarily follow railroad tracks in order to make use of the “Vin Fiz Spe­cial” maintenance crew, but also because there were no navigation aids to guide his progress, nor were there any aerial charts, airports, or support facilities of any kind. The “iron compass,” the railroad tracks that would still be used to guide

the first airmail pilots later in the decade, ran westerly toward the great city of Chicago, on the far side of the daunting Allegheny Mountains. These same mountains would provide the great­est obstacle to the establishment of successful cross-country airmail in the years to come, but now they lay directly ahead of Rodgers.

Although exact historical sources are scarce, it appears that Rodgers elected to proceed north­west from Sheepheads Bay, to Middletown, New York, for his first leg of 84 miles, which he accom­plished easily and, as he said, he “didn’t even knock the ashes off my cigar.” But this pleasant beginning was not to be a harbinger of good things to come. Although the northwest route would avoid the harshest portions of the vaunted Allegh­enies, flat land it was not. The troubles began as he left Middleton when he crashed on takeoff. Diffi­culties continued as he made his way west toward Elmira, New York, then down into Pennsylvania, and finally on into the flat country of Ohio.

By October 9, 1911, Rodgers had made it only to Chicago. He was just one third of the way across the country and it was becoming obvious that the Hearst time limitation for the prize money
could not be met. He reached an accommodation with the Armour organization, nevertheless, to press on, prize or no prize. At Chicago the route turned south, partly because of the established rail lines and cities lying in that direction and partly to prepare for the southern circumvention of the highest portions of the Rocky Mountains. At stops along the way, crowds increased in size and enthusiasm. In Kansas City, the authorities closed the schools to celebrate the remarkable effort.

Enroute, the mechanics were kept busy refurbishing the Vin Fiz after the constant mis­haps encountered on takeoff and landings. An accurate tabulation of the number of crashes over the course of the journey is not available to us, but estimates range from sixteen to thirty – nine, depending on the prevailing distinction between a “hard landing” and a “crash.” Cal fared little better than the airplane, and he flew in bandages over most of the route and in leg casts over some of it.

By the time he and the Vin Fiz hobbled into Pasadena, California on November 5, 1911, it had been 49 days since he lifted off from the East Coast. A crowd estimated in number from

10,0 to 20,000 was there to greet him. He had made some 69 stops and had logged a total of 82 hours and 4 minutes airborne. But he was not quite through proving his point: he wanted the wheels of the Vin Fiz to kiss the Pacific waters. On November 12 he took off for the 20-mile hop to Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean only to experience after just 8 miles one of his worst crashes of all, at Compton. Rodgers was hospital­ized with internal injuries and a fractured ankle, and his recuperation forced a further delay until December 10, when he finally was able to com­plete his meandering and perilous coast-to-coast expedition. Crowds cheered as Rodgers taxied the weary Vin Fiz into the lapping surf of the Pacific, his ever-present cigar clenched in his teeth. It had been 84 days since he left Sheepheads Bay.

Cal Rodgers had become a celebrity, as his progress had been faithfully heralded by the coun­tries’ newspapers during the course of the journey. As King of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day 1912, he flew over the gathered marching bands and floats, dropping carnations to those assembled there. He was awarded a medal by the Aero Club of New York later that month, with President of the United States Taft in attendance.

Back in California on April 3, 1912, he was observed to take off from Long Beach, not far from where he had brought his continental odys­sey to its tortured end. He proceeded out over the Long Beach pier and was seen flying along with a flock of seagulls when his new Wright Model В suddenly dived into the Pacific Ocean. Calbraith Perry Rodgers did not survive. An investigation concluded that a seagull had been impacted by the airplane and had lodged between the articulating surfaces of the rudder, rendering control hopeless.

Cal Rodgers’ accomplishment has been relegated to the status of a footnote in the annals of aviation history, yet it stands as one of the many similar stories of the sacrifices of the gallant pioneers of flight. He was one of those who placed his love of flying and his capacity to endure ahead of his own safety and comfort.

« If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and watch the birds; but if you really wish to learn, you must mount a machine and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial.»

-Wilbur Wright, from an address to the Western Society of Engineers in Chicago, 18 September 1901.

The DOT Approves the Eastern Takeover

The Department of Transportation gave its approval to the Eastern takeover by Texas Air later that year. That Eastern was a basket case was known, but, like Frontier, it had not been appreciated just how bad the situation was. Phil Bakes had performed well for Lorenzo after the Continental takeover. Under Bakes, Continental had been turned around and was profitable again. Like Continental, the most pressing problem facing Eastern was labor costs. But the labor problems at Eastern could not be handled like they were at Continental four years before by simply filing under Chapter 11, then unilater­ally abrogating the labor contracts in place with the unions. Congress had passed legislation in 1984 that restricted the effect of the holding in Bildisco, so that the debtor in possession (the bankrupt airline) could no longer unilaterally cancel labor agreements.3

Bakes relocated to Miami and took over the helm at Eastern. The magnitude of Eastern’s problems dwarfed those encountered at Conti­nental. The culture was different, the personnel were hostile, and the history of labor relations was dismal. Eastern’s record of labor relations over the years was largely a chronicle of the intransigence of the International Association of Machinists, whose leader was the powerful Charlie Bryan. Without a solution to the labor problem, for starters, there did not appear to be any way to salvage the airline.

Judging by subsequent developments, it appears that Lorenzo also came to that conclusion early; there likely was no way to salvage Eastern. Even as Bakes worked to solve the company’s seemingly insurmountable problems, Lorenzo began the systematic dismantling of Eastern for the benefit of Texas Air and its viable holdings. Eastern’s computer reservation system had been appraised for an amount between $250 million and $450 million, an astonishing fact when it is realized that the entire purchase price for the company was $615 million. Lorenzo had financed the purchase in such a way that less than half of the purchase money came from Texas Air, the rest of the money came from Eastern itself, validating once again the old leveraged buyout strategy that had worked so well. The computer reservation system was sold to Texas Air for the insider bargain price of $100 million, but the terms were even better: Texas Air put up no money, but gave Eastern a promissory note for the purchase price, payable at the end of a

period of 25 years at a severely discounted rate of interest. Texas Air then leased back the system to Eastern for a fee of $ 10 million a month.

w As a businessman, Frank Lorenzo gives capitalism a bad name.»

William F. Buckley

Lorenzo next transferred Eastern’s newest airplanes to Continental, paying Eastern again by promissory note for part of the payment. Conti­nental then sold the airplanes for cash, and at a profit. Continental bought 11 Eastern Air Lines gates at Newark Airport for half price, again paid for by promissory note. The purchasing of fuel was outsourced to a subsidiary of Texas Air at a cost to Eastern of $1 million per month. Eastern paid Continental another $2 million per month for the training of non-employee pilots who, ironi­cally, would be used to replace Eastern’s pilots in case of a labor disruption.

Eastern’s service was also being curtailed for lack of cash flow, and was stopped com­pletely at New Orleans, Seattle, and San Diego. Then came the sell-off of the routes, begin­ning with Eastern’s shuttle, which was sold to Donald Trump. The expected machinist strike came in March 1989, which marked the absolute beginning of the end. Although Eastern imme­diately went into Chapter 11, the reorganization amounted to little more than the gradual selling off of all remaining assets in order to raise oper­ating cash. The bankruptcy court took control of the reorganization from Eastern in April 1990, appointing as Trustee Martin Shugrue, former Continental president. The court used the oppor­tunity to judicially note that Lorenzo’s stew­ardship of Eastern had been a catastrophe. The reorganization was turned into a liquidation of Eastern’s assets and, in 1991, the charade finally ended. Eastern Air Lines was no more. Creditors were left holding the bag to the tune of almost $3 billion, and even the lawyers were shorted their fees, a most uncommon occurrence.

m Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the world, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.»

Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra, President of Ecuador

The Department of Justice after 1988

The DOT’s jurisdiction over mergers terminated effective December 31, 1988, and the DOJ then assumed sole responsibility for airline merger
review. The DOJ now has primary authority in air carrier cases to enforce all antitrust laws. Although there were few merger proposals after 1988 (see Figure 32-1), it was clear that the days of merger accommodation were over. The Justice Department approach to antitrust activity was going to be very different from that of the Department of Transportation.

In 1998, when Northwest, then the fourth – largest carrier in the United States, proposed to acquire a controlling interest in Continental, then the fifth-largest air carrier, the DOJ opposed the action. The challenge of the DOJ was based on the fact that the two carriers are each other’s most significant competitors (or only competitors) in nonstop service between cities where they main­tain their hubs. In its complaint filed in federal court against the carriers, the DOJ asserted that the proposal would cause higher ticket prices and diminished service for millions of passengers. This proposed merger did not occur.

In 2000-2001, United proposed to acquire US Airways. The DOJ opened an investigation into the merger and concluded that it would be highly anticompetitive for a number of rea­sons. These carriers were the only competitors between the District of Columbia area and a number of cities; they were the most significant nonstop carriers in numerous hub-to-hub mar­kets; only they connected several northeastern cities; and the merger would have lessened com­petition in several transatlantic markets. When the DOJ announced that it would sue to block the transaction, the airlines abandoned their merger plans.

Proposals that have been reviewed without adverse action by the DOJ include US Airways – America West (2005), Northwest-Delta (2008), and United-Continental (2010).

The Travails of the Legacy. Airlines-Bankruptcy

The survival of the air carrier industry in the days after 9/11 was no sure thing. Passenger volumes plummeted. Fares were lowered in an intensified competition for what traffic there was. Enhanced airport security procedures, with attendant delays, contributed to the problem. Added costs to the airlines included cost of security (e. g., for­tified cockpit doors), increased insurance premi­ums, and increased taxes. Fixed airline costs, like airplane lease payments and debt service, ran on. There was talk of nationalization of the industry or, at least, re-regulation. Gloom prevailed.

The airlines did what they could within the limits of management discretion, but that gener­ally was not enough. It was not enough even with the payouts made by the Air Transportation Stabi­lization Board, which paid out $7 billion in direct assistance to the airlines and many billions more in indirect assistance in the form of loan guaran­tees to selected airlines. Aid included a tax holi­day and pension relief. Still, it was not enough.

US Airways

On August 11, 2002, US Airways was the first carrier after 9/11 to seek bankruptcy protection. US Airways was the largest carrier at Washing­ton Reagan Airport, and as such was severely impacted by the airport’s closure for an extended period of time. In Chapter 11, U. S. Airways made significant changes to its operating model. It became the first U. S. airline to eliminate the pen­sions of its pilots, affecting some 6,000 employ­ees. It became the first legacy carrier to eliminate complimentary meal service on domestic flights. As a part of its reorganization, it began a process of de-emphasizing its hub and spoke system, particularly in the Eastern United States, in favor of point-to-point service similar to Southwest’s successful model. While in bankruptcy, the airline received a government-guaranteed loan under the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.

Beijing Protocol (Protocol to the 1971 Hague Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft)

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, member states of ICAO endorsed a global plan for strengthening aviation security, to include a review of legal instruments in aviation security to identify gaps and inadequacies in relation to emerging threats. It was concluded that the use of aircraft as weapons, suicide attacks, electronic and computer-based attacks, chemical, biological and radioactive attacks, were not adequately cov­ered by existing agreements.

It was also concluded that existing law focused mainly on persons who actually perpe­trated the attacks, usually on board the aircraft or at the airport, without considering the people who might be responsible for organizing, direct­ing, or financing the attack.

The Beijing Convention and the Beijing Pro­tocol may be considered together as two new coun­terterrorism treaties that promote and improve aviation security. These agreements criminalize the act of using civil aircraft as a weapon, and of using dangerous materials to attack aircraft or other targets on the ground. The unlawful transport of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons is a pun­ishable offense, as well as conspiracies to carry out such attacks. Making threats against civil aviation is also covered. The effect of these provisions is to require signatories to criminalize these acts.

After entry into force, the Beijing Con­vention of 2010 will prevail over the Montreal Convention of 1971 and the Protocol signed in Montreal in 1988.

The Moon Treaty of 1979

“The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bod­ies,” or the Moon Treaty, is yet another follow-on treaty that proceeds from the first space treaty, the Outer Space Treaty. Each of the treaties that have been adopted since the Outer Space Treaty has added more detail and definition to the gen­eral principles enunciated in the first treaty. The Moon Treaty, however, is considered by most as a “failed” treaty because the specific, additional language used has met with opposition from the major space-faring countries.

The basic stumbling block in the treaty is the use of the words “common heritage of man­kind” to describe the nature of the moon and its resources, as well as the other celestial bodies. The treaty provides for the establishment of an
international regime to govern the exploitation of these resources when such exploitation becomes feasible.

The general interpretation of this language is that all nations of the world have equal rights to the resources of the heavens, irrespective of whether or not they put forth any effort or incur any risk, financial or otherwise, in development of ways and means to recover those resources. Any plan to develop these resources would osten­sibly require approval of all nations on earth, which would be impracticable.

The rejection of the Moon Treaty follows a similar rejection of the terrestrial Law of the Sea Treaty (referred to gleefully by its detractors as LOST). In 1982, the United Nations conceived the Law of the Sea Treaty as a means of con­trol and governance of the world’s oceans. The breadth of the treaty was such that it sought to

biotechnology), physics (including fluid physics, materials science, and quantum physics), astron­omy, and meteorology. The goals of this research include developing an understanding of, and the technology to deal with, long-term human pres­ence in space, developing methods for the more efficient production of materials, developing new ways to treat disease, achieving more accurate measurements than is possible on earth, and a better understanding of the universe.

1 NASA and the United States
Space Program-А Review

Created by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 29, 1958, during the Eisenhower Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration replaced the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which had been researching flight technology for more than 40 years. NASA’s mission continued the work of aeronautics research, but also specifi­cally assumed the responsibility for research in aerospace and for the overall civilian space pro­gram for the nation, including the human space flight program.

The United States space exploration and development program has included both manned and unmanned launches, and unmanned launches designed specifically as precursors of human space flight. Included in these are Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, the Space Shut­tle, Skylab, and the International Space Station.23