Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said that at least 50 per cent of its pilot cadet intake will be women in a decade’s time.
The new initiative, named after Australian female aviator Nancy Bird Walton, will boost the number of female pilots by encouraging young girls to choose the applicable subjects in high school.
Mr Joyce will tell the Male Champions of Change Leaders forum: “We must work at the grassroots level to encourage girls and women into studies that can lead to a career in aviation. We just need to reinforce the message that girls and women belong in technical jobs.”
Qantas will have 20 per cent intake of women in its 2018 cadet program.
Three companies join forces to work on hybrid aircraft
Hybrid aircraft could be closer to becoming a reality that previously believed, as Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are set to work together on a hybrid electric aircraft prototype, the E-Fan X.
The demonstration model will adapt a BAe 146, replacing one of its gas turbine engines with a 2MW electric motor. A second motor will closely follow this if tests prove successful.
The main aim for the companies is to open up the pathway to building a commercial single-aisle aircraft, probably beginning with small aircraft consuming much less fuel. The prototype is penciled in to fly in 2020.
New research has suggested that novice military pilots can improve their visual responses to simulations by observing eye movements of expert pilots. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, shows that: “…when novice pilots learn how to move their eyes by watching the eye movements of expert pilots via eye tracking technology, they rapidly improve their visual scanning strategies in the cockpit,” according to Senior author Stephen Macknik.
Researches assessed eye tracking in novice and expert military helicopter pilots and found that eye movements are predictable between the two, that an algorithm can tell them apart in over 80 per cent of cases. The results suggest that replicating expert eye movements may benefit pilot training.
Qantas has revealed its staff sleeping quarters on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner series, which includes rest rooms for pilots.
The planes, which been in domestic operation since October, include features that go further than keeping passengers satisfied, with comfy staff areas, including private rooms pilots with wide beds for long haul flights.
The new fleet, which was unveiled last month, has the ability to travel non-stop to Europe and beyond. They house 236 seats including custom chairs in business class and premium economy.
China’s first flight powered by biofuel is a success
Hainan Airlines has flown China’s first international flight powered by biofuel, flying from Beijing to Chicago. The fuel, which is made of 15 per cent cooking oil, was flown by the President of the airline Sun Jianfeng, and lasts for 11 hours.
There were 186 passengers and 15 crew members on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and was part of a co-operation on ‘green aviation’ between China and the United States.
The aircraft used a type of biofuel made in China, which consists of 15 per cent waste cooking oil and 85 per cent normal jet fuel. Sun Jianfeng said that the flight was ‘smooth’ and ‘successful’, reaching a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet.