This Week in the Air—September 4-10

Beginning Our Wave Glider ADS-B Sea Trials

This week we began tracking flights with an ADS-B receiver on a Wave Glider®  manufactured by Liquid Robotics® and managed by Maritime Robotics. The Wave Glider is currently 650 kilometers southeast of Jan Mayen and 400 kilometers from our target test area. One week into our sea trial, we are gathering important data about the behavior of the ADS-B receivers and their reception on the Wave Glider as well data about the Wave Glider platform itself.

The Wave Glider is tracking flights on its way to the target area near Jan Mayen

The Wave Glider is tracking flights on its way to the target area near Jan Mayen. Click to enlarge the image.

The An-22 Returns to Commercial Service

The Antonov An-22

The Antonov An-22

The world’s largest turboprop, the An-22, returned to commercial service this week after more than seven years. We followed the massive aircraft as it carried a 28-tonne cargo from Zurich to Ab Dhabi. See our blog post for a tour of the aircraft and how you can track future flights.

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity Takes to the Skies

The VMS Eve(Virgin Mother Ship) carrys VSS Unity (Virgin Spaceship) for its first flight ever over Mojave, CA on Thursday September 8, 2016. (c) 2016 Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

The VMS Eve(Virgin Mother Ship) carrys VSS Unity (Virgin Spaceship) for its first flight ever over Mojave, CA on Thursday September 8, 2016. (c) 2016 Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic’s Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity took to the skies for the first time, mated to Virgin Mother Ship (VMS) Eve. This first flight was a captive carry flight, meaning VSS Unity and VMS Eve remained mated for the duration of the flight.

The Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter ‘Dreamlifter’ Turns 10

A Boeing Dreamlifter departing Anchorage.

A Boeing Dreamlifter departing Anchorage.

Thought by some to be a wonder of engineering and by others an abomination, the Boeing ‘Dreamlifter’ turned 10 this week. The aircraft, specially modified 747s, are used to ferry pieces of the 787 from manufacturing centers around the world to Boeing’s final assembly lines.

Follow all four Dreamlifters using aircraft code BLCF or via registration with N249BA, N718BA, N747BC, and N780BA.

EK521 Preliminary Report Released

A6-EMW, the aircraft involved in EK521.

A6-EMW, the aircraft involved in EK521.

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority Air Accident Investigation Sector has published its preliminary report regarding EK521. A link to a PDF version of the report along with relevant Flightradar24 data is available in our blog post regarding the accident.