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Old 2nd November 2020, 21:15   #181
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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For short distances below 200 nautical miles (~370 kms) they are as cost efficient as a land equivalent on a seat mile basis give or take 5% to 7% due to the drag of the floats. If they were used for longer distances the drag of the floats burns more fuel due to increased time in the air. Flight hour for flight hour they need more maintenance on their hulls due to the effects of water corrosion. This is so even with fresh water.
This is interesting. I was of the thought that it was much more expensive than travelling by land. And that is the reason I wondered, maybe for a distance of 200kms or so would they really convince people to opt for a sea plane as a mode of transport. The prices need not be as low as say travelling by a good car or an AC bus, but given the speed advantage, a slight premium is deserved. I can think of an example of Bengaluru-Mysuru. Train journey is somewhere between 2-3hrs. Car journey is similar but can get worse due to traffic. Can a seaplane do the same journey from one waterbody of Bengaluru to Mysuru in 1hr at maybe 500-600 rupees a ticket? Maybe I am over optimistic about the pricing But you cant convince someone to pick this option for anything above 1k rupees. So that cost must work out for the airline.

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This increases versatility of linking a small town next to a water body to a larger city wit ha regular airport. That is really where linkage comes in. So many of our Tier IV towns lack an air connection which could boost trade and commerce if they were connected. For a small town an air connection to two large cities is like a village getting its first paved road link - it changes the economy.
I have no knowledge about this, but who would be the typical passenger on such a flight? The smallest or more remote areas I feel have great reliance on road infra. I dont see a person who can afford to fly come and land in a village that is as remote as to not have good road connectivity. I think if we consider boosting village economy, it is the produce of the remote areas that should reach the markets on time and in a cost efficient manner. But I am interested to know your version of this.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 22:53   #182
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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(piston) prop engines need very different handling. Starting is a very different matter all together. And as (to my knowledge) there are no prop engines with FADEC, so handling of the throttles and engine response is always very different to a jet / turbo prop.

You can’t just shove the throttles into the firewall on a piston engine. On a jet engine the FADEC takes care of all of that and more too.

Jeroen
Diamond DA42 with thielert diesel engines is a fadec equipped prop trainer/basic 4 seater airplane. There are only two levers (one per engine) and the airplane is flown like a jet with power setting percentage. There is no run-up (fadec does it on startup)
There is no feathering/mixture etc everything is again automatically controlled. Takeoff use 100% power, cruise climb at 90% and cruise at 75/80% power setting.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:16   #183
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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These are most appropriate set of questions...
This was actually something the Ministry of Civil aviation was pushing for at least since 2017-2018..
This was great! I'm actually fascinated by the seaplane option. I remember seeing a whole bunch of them one afternoon while I was killing time by the Winter Olympics monument in Vancouver. The seaplanes would take off and land with regularity from the calm waters as you suggested.

You won't be surprised if I tie this in with a defence related tangent - remember how India had the strongest shout for the ShinMaywa US2. I know in typical fashion these negotiations are comfortably ambling along to their decade mark, at which point we'll likely have a final decision. I wonder if a proliferation in seaplane use would tilt the tide for US-2 acquisition.

Also I have to say I'm inclined to agree with Foxbat, I have some reservations about the safety aspect of little seaplanes. I worry it could be a bit of a wild west, almost akin to the controlled chaos of our roads almost. Do we have enough air traffic controllers to make sure the pilots don't develop a laissez faire attitude?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 05:12   #184
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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But does the operational costs work out?I fear that such projects are more for tourism purposes rather than transport.
I will agree with you, these ventures will be more for Tourism and after the initial euphoria, can only sustain as long as you have visitors from other places.

Am a firm believer that for our Nation, nothing beats Fast Trains and highways. We don't need bullet trains but express trains doing 140-160Km. A Chandigarh or Ludhiana- Delhi 250-300 Km should be done in 2 Hours which is easily possible with high-speed trains and infrastructure can be created a fraction of the costs of a bullet train.

Aeroplanes can be beneficial for places where normal tracks or roads are a problem, like hills or island. Delhi- Simla/ Kullu/ Manali.. the list is endless across India.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 08:29   #185
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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This is interesting. I was of the thought that it was much more expensive than travelling by land.
And that is the reason I wondered, maybe for a distance of 200kms or so would they really convince people to opt for a sea plane as a mode of transport.
It will be more expensive in Rupees than travelling by land in a State transport bus. This is not for the farmer or the local worker. Commuter air in a country like ours (USA is different) is for the small town business community that needs quick access to a top 10 or top 20 city to generate better business but can't get there easily except without a large expenditure of time. Seaplanes are merely one segment within commuter air.
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Can a seaplane do the same journey from one waterbody of Bengaluru to Mysuru in 1hr at maybe 500-600 rupees a ticket? Maybe I am over optimistic about the pricing But you cant convince someone to pick this option for anything above 1k rupees. So that cost must work out for the airline.
This is not for Mysuru-Bengaluru. Like Bombay-Pune or Delhi-Chandigarh it is the wrongest possible route to select. There are already many alternatives there. This is for the town with a population of 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs which is next to a water body and has no easy access to an airport. Think of Nadiad, Gujarat, Nellore, Andhra, Silchar, Assam and about 100 more.
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I have no knowledge about this, but who would be the typical passenger on such a flight? The smallest or more remote areas I feel have great reliance on road infra. I dont see a person who can afford to fly come and land in a village that is as remote as to not have good road connectivity. I think if we consider boosting village economy, it is the produce of the remote areas that should reach the markets on time and in a cost efficient manner. But I am interested to know your version of this.
In 2016-17 when the Udaan scheme to connect smaller towns was launched the Govt survey showed that 342 towns in India could afford to sustain a commuter air connection. The main customer is the business man - the trader, small factor owner, sugar mill owner, etc for whom access to a top 10 or 15 cities means several hours of transport and maybe 2 modes of transport before he can reach a top 10 city for transacting business. It is this access that commuter air flights will plug. This is not for the general populace of that town with a population of 2 lakhs. You will be surprised by the buying power of a small town with a population of 2 lakhs - especially the buying power of the top 5% of that town who are usually the employment generators of the place.
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Am a firm believer that for our Nation, nothing beats Fast Trains and highways. We don't need bullet trains but express trains doing 140-160Km. A Chandigarh or Ludhiana- Delhi 250-300 Km should be done in 2 Hours which is easily possible with high-speed trains and infrastructure can be created a fraction of the costs of a bullet train.
A large country like India with diverse geographies and many levels on income (affordability) will always need many modes of transport and within each mode a few categories. I agree rail travel has a very important role to play. Seaplanes are a niche segment provider. They cannot and should not be seen as an alternative to rail.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 09:55   #186
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

How would the pilot qualifications differ from a sea plane to a commercial jet?. Could the sea plane land on flowing water like say the ganges or cauvery? or would need standing water like say a lake?.

I am pretty sure that sea plane airports would be in private hands , would AAI handle the communications?.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 12:38   #187
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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How would the pilot qualifications differ from a sea plane to a commercial jet?.
To the land plane certification will have to be added training & certifying for water based operations - first the rules of the road on water where other boats etc are likely to be plying, the meaning of various nav-aid buoys, the techniques of landing & taking off from water, dealing with currents etc.
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Could the sea plane land on flowing water like say the ganges or cauvery? or would need standing water like say a lake?.
Ganges as it is at Patna without a doubt. Ganges as it is at Rishikesh {fast flowing, turbulent and full of underwater rocks} will require a very skilled pilot and clear weather.
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I am pretty sure that sea plane airports would be in private hands , would AAI handle the communications?.
It can be either way.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 13:04   #188
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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Diamond DA42 with thielert diesel engines is a fadec equipped prop trainer/basic 4 seater airplane. There are only two levers (one per engine) and the airplane is flown like a jet with power setting percentage.
Correct, I should have said “single piston engine prop engines”. I am not sure if there are any others out there. Only about 2 years ago a big article in Flying Magazine was discussing the total lack of auto throttle on single piston prop engine planes. No faded is one of the reasons.

On the Cirrus the prop pitch and RPM are at least integrated into one lever.

Jeroen
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Old 5th November 2020, 21:51   #189
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

I do not think this seaplane experiment will last long, An entrepreneur tried this in Kerala and failed. "Protests by fishermen" was the stated reason.

This seaplane being used by Spice Jet has been wet leased from Island Aviation Services Limited (Maldivian), the national carrier of Maldives. Maldives is the biggest user of seaplanes with the private company Trans Maldivian Airlines (TMA) being the world's largest operator. However they are primarily used for transporting tourists to resorts.

Maldives is full of small islands but even then for longer distances they use turboprops. There are a dozen airports scattered across the country and more are getting added every year. Another big user is Canada where the remoteness of many communities make it the only feasible transportation option.


These seaplanes also have severe payload restrictions. Even in Maldives the resorts mention clearly that your luggage may not travel with you but may be sent separately. I know of at least one accident which happened due to a Center of Gravity shift due to faulty loading.

Let us see how long the hype lasts. I will be happy to be proved wrong here but I have every confidence it will be me who will be telling in this very forum t "I told you so - Seaplanes wont work in India". May be a few will be deployed in places like Andamans or Lakshwadeep for island hopping but I see little potential elsewhere.


The following article is worth a read.

http://https://www.deccanherald.com/business/business-news/federal-bank-attaches-seaplane-to-recover-rs-6-cr-debt-767395.html
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Old 19th November 2020, 17:39   #190
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Default Re: Indian Aviation: A Photo Essay

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There are probably more scientist and engineers involved in nuclear programs in France than in any other nation. In absolute and relative terms. Of course, no idea what they are doing, as they all speak French.

Jeroen
Sorry for being off-topic!

This was shared by my Belgian friends. There is a French powerplant just 3 KM from the Belgian border and surrounded by Belgium on all three sides. I think we have solved the mystery as to why the other Europeans hate the French (Belgians, Dutch, Germans, Spanish, Italians, British, Swiss and even the Irish for some reason)

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