The Anonymous Widower

The Proposed MSG Sphere At Stratford

I have been reading about the proposed MSG Sphere at Stratford in East London.

Note.

  1. The railway lines to the left of the sphere are platforms 11 and 12 of Stratford station on the West Anglia Main Line.
  2. The Great Eastern Main Line goes off to the right.

This article in the Guardian gives a good outline of the building and its promoters and backing.

But it won’t be plain sailing to get planning permission, as this paragraph explains.

Worries have already been voiced by local residents. A petition launched four months ago argues that the building will block sunlight, create light pollution and increase traffic in the area. Others have opposed MSG, whose executive chair, James Dolan, has donated funds to Donald Trump, and was on the board of the Weinstein Company from 2015-16. Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of the Music Venue Trust, has argued< that some audiences would feel uncomfortable in a venue from a Trump backer.

Protestors also believe the site should be used for housing, as Newham has over 25,000 households on the housing waiting list.

This Google Map shows the site.

Note.

  1. The site was used as a coach park during the 2912 Olympics.
  2. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link runs across the Northern edge of the site.
  3. The Great Eastern Main Line runs along the South-Eastern edge of the site.

As the sphere will be five hundred feet across, it must almost fill the site.

And then there’s this article in The Telegraph, which is entitled Crossrail Objects To Plan For London Mega-Venue.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Crossrail’s operator is seeking to block plans for a “second O2” in London, over concerns flashing lights from the proposed entertainment venue could cause crashes, with trains travelling at up to 80mph.

Crossrail have a serious point.

May 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Boeing: US Regulator Admits ‘Mistake’ Over Aircraft Crashes

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs.

US aviation regulators allowed Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft to continue flying despite knowing there was a risk of further crashes.

Analysis after the first crash last year predicted there could be up to 15 disasters over the lifetime of the aircraft without design changes.

Despite this, the Federal Aviation Administration did not ground the Max until a second crash five months later.

The FAA chief said it was a mistake.

I would class it as a very big mistake.

When are Boeing going to come to the conclusion, that they can’t stretch the fifty-year-old design of the Boeing 737 and they need a new modern design?

 

 

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Hydrogen Safety: Busting The Myth That Hydrogen Is More Dangerous Than Gas

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

It is a must read. Especially for hydrogen sceptics!

October 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

Boeing Left Safety Features Off MAX Jet

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s copy of The Times.

It appears Boeing had a similar problem to that on the Boeing 737 MAX, on the KC-36A Pegasus, so they fitted an MCAS system.

This paragraph in the Wikipedia entry gives full details.

On 22 March 2019, the USAF announced it was reviewing KC-46 training after the Boeing 737 MAX groundings, as the KC-46 uses a similar Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to that implicated in two 737 MAX crashes. However, the KC-46 is based on the Boeing 767-2C and its system takes input from dual redundant angle of attack sensors; it will disengage with stick input by the pilot. The Air Force stated that “The KC-46 has protections that ensure pilot manual inputs have override priority” and that it “does not fly the models of aircraft involved in the recent accidents” and that it is “reviewing our procedures and training as part of our normal and ongoing review process.

Note that there are dual redundant angle of attack sensors and the pilot takes control from the MCAS system, in the traditional manner.

These two features are not fitted on a 737 MAX.

Was the cost too great to maintain sales?

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Boeing ‘Misjudged 737 Max Pilot Reactions’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Boeing needs to pay more heed to how pilots react to emergencies in its safety assessment of the 737 Max plane, US transport chiefs have said.

That is very true. But worldwide there are thousands of pilots who are certified to fly a 737.

If Boeing had designed the plane correctly, it would be a strength, and a very strong reason, why airlines would buy the plane.

Pilots  don’t want to kill anybody! Especially themselves!!” And they tend to be very risk averse!

So how many of those thousands of pilots would trust a 737 MAX?

If one has a serious incident, I’m sure social media will be buzzing.

 

September 26, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Another Problem For The Boeing 737 MAX 8?

This article on the BBC is entitled Russia Bird Strike: Plane Crash-Lands After Hitting Gulls.

The aircraft involved in the accident was an Airbus A321-211, which was flying Ural Airlines Flight 178.

This model of Airbus 311 has CFM56 engines.

So what has that got to do with the Boeing 737 MAX 8?

|Especially as the Boeing aircraft is powered by the successor to the CFM56, the LEAP engine.

This engine is also offered on the latest baby Airbus; the A320neo.

As the Ural Airlines crash was the second bird strike that brought down a baby Airbus after US Airways Flight 1549, I wouldn’t be surprised to see see  certification authorities, making sure that this type of aircraft can land safely a double engine failure., providing the plane has enough height.

Airbus seems to have proven, that good airmanship can handle an Airbus A320, when it is flying as a glider.

Given the questioned  nature of the design of the computerised controls in a Boeing 737 MAX, the authorities might take a lot of convincing, that these aircraft can be handled safely in similar circumstances.

I think it should also be born in mind, that although the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549i; Chesley Sullenberger was very experienced, the two Russian pilots were much less so, but were still able to carry out a successful emergency landing without any fire and only comparatively minor injuries to those on board.

If you think I’m being alarmist about bird strikes, read the Wikipedia entry for bird strike.

This is a paragraph.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reported 65,139 bird strikes for 2011–14, and the Federal Aviation Authority counted 177,269 wildlife strike reports on civil aircraft between 1990 and 2015, growing 38% in 7 years from 2009 to 2015. Birds accounted for 97%.

We must not get complacent!

I hope that ICAO, the FAA and other authorities are collecting the data on bird strikes in a comprehensive manner and thoroughly analysing it, so that airports with serious problems are identified, so that they can improve their countermeasures.

 

 

August 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Airliners Built To Take Lightning Strikes – Like The One That Hit A Plane On Sunday

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on stuff.co.nz.

The article was written over a year ago and doesn’t refer to the Moscow crash on Sunday, but an incident in New Zealand.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Passengers on a Sunday flight to Wellington “screamed” when lightning hit their plane, but lightning strikes on aircraft are not unusual and airliners are built to take it.

It is many years since a lightning strike was implicated in a deadly crash by an airliner, and lessons learned in the past have been incorporated into the design of modern planes.

The article should reassure those who worry about flying when there are thunderstorms around.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Who’ll Want To Fly In A Sukhoi Superjet?

I have just read the Wikipedia entry for the Sukhoi Superjet

After reading the sad tale of the jet that crashed in flames in Moscow on Sunday, I have been telling my friends and family, that flying in these aircraft is not a prudent thing to do.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Boeing 737: Much More Than Just The Max

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on cnet.

It is a serious history, that explains how Boeing ended up in their current position.

I will still take a lot of persuading to fly in one!

The Sunday Times today has an article which is entitled Boeing Biggest Worry: Who’ll Want To Fly In A 737 Max?

Enough said!

I can see Internet designers putting together easy-to-use web sites to help passengers avoid aircraft they don’t like. There are some now, but they are rather clunky and you need to be fairly tech-savvy.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Steps At Dalston Junction Station

Dalston Junction is a four-platform station and these are the only stairs at the station.

I think the design is excellent.

  • They serve all four platforms, so you can’t go the wrong way!
  • They are very wide, so have a high capacity.
  • There are effectively four handrails for those like me, who want or need to hold on.
  • Fit travellers who can lift their case, can use the stairs.
  • There is a landing half-way up.
  • The stairs are well-lit.
  • in 2017-2018, the stairs handled nearly six million passengers.
  • The small number of interchange passengers don’t need to use the stairs and walk between platforms on the level.
  • The steps are Transport for London’s typical low-slip design.
  • At the bottom of the staircase, there is a wide landing area with two train information displays and a 20-30 metre walks to the four platforms.
  • At the top of the staircase there is a wide lobby, with the wide gate-line in front of passengers coming up the stairs.
  • There is usually, a member of the station staff watching the passenger flows and answering any questions.

But above all there is a single lift about ten-twenty metres from the stairs, so avoiding the stairs is easy and obvious.

I have seen few stairs in stations as well-designed as these.

A few more general observations.

Wide Stairs With A Double Rail In the Middle

This design of stairs is being increasingly seen in London and around Europe.

In Stairs And A Lift At Cannon Street Station, I show a similar installation.

But there are loads like this monstrosity at Bethnal Green station in Before Overground – Stairs Not Fit For Purpose.

How many stations could be improved by widening the staircase?

Probably quite a few, but many staircases are constrained within solid walls.

Handrails

Transport for London generally use round and easy-to-grip handrails.

These are the best I’ve seen, which are on the Amsterdam Metro.

Some on British Rail-era stations are big and square and must be difficult for those with small or frail hands.

An Obvious Lift

At Dalston Junction, the lift is obvious as you approach the stairs.

But in some stations, the lifts are at the other end of the platform.

The Greenford Solution

These pictures show the solution at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. There is an up-escalator.
  2. A staircase,which is as wide as possible.
  3. There are three handrails with a low rail for those who prefer it.
  4. There is an inclined lift, which saves space.

I think we’ll see more step-free installations of this style.

Safety

I won’t comment on safety, as I don’t want to bring bad luck to the installations.

Conclusion

All those designing staircases and lift systems for stations, should be made to visit Dalston Junction and Greenford stations in the Peak.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment