Across The Pond

About to leave Miami for London, first time in an A380. I’ll check in when I get to Heathrow. If my phone works…

(Update a few hours later)

Standing in a long line at Heathrow for passport control. If they have the poor judgment to let me into the country, I’ll be heading into town for lunch with friends in Chelsea.

33 thoughts on “Across The Pond”

    1. I’m not a fan of how Airbus does fly-by-wire, in particular how the manage their redundancy of the flight-critical elements (this is one of my areas of expertise). The absolute risk is still quite low, but I tend to avoid Airbus aircraft unless I have no choice.

  1. My wife and I have reservations on a Singapore Airlines A380 in suites class for our 30th Anniversary trip (SYD to NRT via Singapore). We look forward to having our own little apartment up in the front of the jet, at least for a few hours.

  2. Rand, how was the ride in the A380? Kerinia told me that the fuselage 1st bending mode is quite noticeable upon takeoff if you’re sitting in the upper deck.

    BTW, if you’ve never been to it, I enjoyed the Brunel Museum on my last trip to London.

    1. It was very smooth (unsurprising for a vehicle with so much inertia). Main thing I noticed on takeoff was how long it took to rotate and how slow the initial climb and angle was. The acceleration wasn’t exactly neck snapping.

  3. I know I’m European, but I wasn’t a fan of the A380. It takes forever for boarding to happen, because the airplane is so large, and the lower level (cattle class) is just noisy as hell. The upper level is quite nice though.

  4. Interesting thing about airplane response to pitch/AoA changes. They aren’t all that much different. I needed to calculate this once and figured out the solution to the first order differential equation. Several years later I found the same thing in a book by one John C. Houbolt.
    It is also routine in airline operations to run the engines at reduced thrust for takeoff, for engine longevity. Figure out airplane weight, runway length, air density and use just enough power to takeoff safely. Explains why the takeoff/climbout seemed gentle.
    I once got to sit in the jump seat of a Qantas 747-200 for takeoff out of Sydney/Kingsford Smith to Honolulu and was surprised that on the long runway we used most of it.

    1. Interesting. So that would also shift the abort decision point down runway?

      And you’re saying climbout pitch doesn’t affect climb rate much?

    2. Interesting, I’ve never seen that. All the flights I’ve taken they certainly had the engines pretty close to the max during takeoff. Is this a relative thing you’re saying? For example they run at 100% instead of 105%? Seems counterintuitive per Rand’s point about abort distances.

      1. They typically run in the 88-98% range. The abort distance is factored in. If you can take off on a 9000′ but have a 12000′ runway like LAX, then you can lower engine speed for safe takeoff. No reason to run engines at max, especially when they are sending their data straight back to the manufacturer. Besides, the FMS will calculate it all for you, and all you have to do is push TOGA.

        1. Leland and Mike are correct; modern airliners are all about minimizing costs, so if you can take off at a derated thrust setting to extend engine life, you do. A reasonably modern FMS will do all of the hard work of computing V1. If there is no noise abatement or obstacle reason to climb at max climb angle, most airlines will choose to climb at best ROC speed, which is almost always faster and a lower climb angle than max climb angle; you get to altitude faster and likely with less fuel burned.

  5. The airspeed difference between best angle of climb and best rate is large for a jet. Best rate is much faster indicated airspeed. May take a while to get there after liftoff.

  6. Rand, be careful not to walk out of a pub carrying a butter knife. I wouldn’t want the London gestapo to get excited by the chance of nabbing a white American male with a weapon. And if someone attacks you; fall on the ground and roll over to expose your belly; lest you be arrested for defending yourself. Finally, don’t mock the Nazi’s. They’ll put you in prison for mocking Nazi’s.

    Other than that; enjoy London. I recently heard I might get a chance to go over some time this year. I’ve missed it, but I also hope to get north up to Scotland.

    1. I really can’t believe what is going on over there especially since their media tries to portray the British as a bunch of tough guys.

    1. In terms of costs, I suspect a lot of its overhead (not necessarily accounted in this way) expenses for the security clearances and procedures. In his book about Skunk Works, Ben Rich noted how the requirements to maintain a secure area would escalate budgets and the difficulty they had in even getting work done within the system.

      Along those lines, I never completely disagreed with Obama and Hillary’s opinion of easier secure discussion. I disagreed that there needed to be two Americas; one in which connected Democrats could disregard our National Security policies while others were prosecuted. Or one in which connected Democrats could disregard laws for open and transparent government, while others could not.

      1. Yes. And one can now apparently add a country in which connected Democrats are now entitled to lawyer-client privilege but the President of the United States – if he’s of the “wrong” party – is not.

        1. The “Searches of Premises of Subject Attorneys” section of the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual spells out specific procedures intended to safeguard attorney-client privilege in cases like this. I have no doubt that Geoffrey S. Berman, interim United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, (who was personally interviewed by Mr. Trump for the position) ensured that everything was done by the book, and that both the U.S. District Court magistrate judge who issued the search warrant and the FBI team who executed it were equally careful. It would be very unhealthy to their careers to do otherwise.

          1. Berman had nothing to do with the raid.

            Interesting. I now see it reported that Mr. Berman was, indeed, recused from the Cohen investigation. Thanks.

          2. Next question, since this raid was in regards to hush money payments with potential campaign finance implications, when the USA for SDNY recused himself, the next person should have been the AG, not the Deputy AG. Mueller referred the case to SDNY, because it isn’t about Russian collusion. As Sessions only recused himself on the Russian collusion; why did Rod Rosenstein take it upon himself to approve the raid?

          3. Yes, and I do wonder why the referral came out of Mr. Mueller’s team. Does that mean it must have been at least partially based on evidence they have uncovered, and not just what has been publicly released by the WSJ investigation into the hush money payout?

        2. From what I understand, these are the arguments supporting Mueller’s actions:
          1) Cohen’s offer to payoff the blackmailer to avoid bad press for the candidate is akin to a donation to the candidate that was not reported and beyond that allowed to be donated to a candidacy. Therefore it is a campaign finance violation.

          2) Cohen personally claimed that he acted on his own to work the NDA without discussing the matter with Trump, his reported client. This is unethical to say the least, because that means he is representing a client without that clients knowledge. Or, and this is the key part, no really working for the client at all. So when Trump also says he was unaware of the NDA and payoff; then the attorney/client privilege no longer exists.

          That said, this is dangerous ground for our country. First, it is clear that Cohen has represented Trump in the past, and the raid can gather records related to Cohen’s legitimate representation of Trump. That’s a violation of Trump’s 5th Amendment protections.

          The campaign finance charge is a stretch that is undermined by the arguments used to raid the offices. How is it a campaign finance violation when the campaign is completely unaware of the action? Further, according to Stormy and her attorney, the NDA is invalid and therefore the money will be required to be returned. Alas, Mueller is claiming bank fraud of some kind.

          But here’s the thing, Mueller was made Special Counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the election. He’s already been shown to have expanded this mandate by raiding Flynn and later asking for permission to expand the mandate into reasons given for raiding Flynn’s home. Now he’s investigating a NDA (a civil matter) regarding consensual sex between two adults 12 years ago.

          Meanwhile, Hillary’s lawyer illegally possessed classified information on their computers, lied to federal investigators about having such information, and nothing, not even a raid, was done about it.

          1. How long until we see material collected in this raid leaked to democrat operatives with bylines, including material properly covered by attorney-client privilege?

          2. Kirk is very sensible but I have little trust for the DOJ when they sifted Hillary’s data for what would or wouldn’t fall into the realm of protecting privacy vs breaking the law. It was the same DOJ that gave out immunities like candy and facilitated abusing lawyer client privilege for Hillary.

            I guess we will see what crimes can be invented here but it doesn’t look like Mueller will find any Russian collusion despite Hillary using cutouts acting as agents of Russia while also working for the DNC and Hillary, illegally funneling campaign funds to cutouts, and paying Russia for intel on Trump.

        3. Suppose Trump is impeached and removed from office. That means Pence, a far more religiously and politically conservative man, would ascend to the presidency. Good plan, leftists.

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