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Until May 2019, a total of 8,845 aircraft belonging to the Airbus A320 family have been sold and delivered, and a total of  8,439 of said aircraft are still in service. This makes the A320 the fastest-selling jet airliner family in the world, as well as the best-selling single generation aircraft program. The A320 family has proved popular with both legacy airlines and low-cost carriers, but why is that? Out of all the aircraft in the world, what makes the A320 that special? Why is it that popular? Let’s learn more about the most commonly used airplane in the world and find out. Meet the family members Manufactured by Airbus, the A320 family are commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners that can accommodate up to 236 passengers. The family comprises the A318, A319, A320, A321, and the ACJ business jet.  After the introduction of the A320neo (new engine option), the A320 became known as A320ceo (current engine option). The most widely spread aircraft family in the world, an A320 takes off or lands every 1.6 seconds. The versatile family can take off and land anywhere, and that’s why it has been to every continent in the world. Airbus A318 The A318 is the smallest member of the Airbus A320 family in terms of size and passenger capacity, it can carry up to 132 passengers. The aircraft may be smaller than other family members, however, it is the largest commercial airplane certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for steep approach operations, which allows the plane to take and land at airports such as London City. Airbus A318 shares a common type rating with all other A320 family members, which allows A320 certified pilots to fly the aircraft without the need for further training or other certificates. Airbus A319 A shortened-fuselage family member, the A319's wingspan is wider its overall length. The aircraft can carry up to 160 passengers. Up until 2019, the Airbus A319 has been in service with 108 operators. And due to its shorter fuselage and sleek design, it is the most popular Airbus A320 family member to be operated as a private jet. The A319 shares a common type rating with other family members, no further training or other certificates needed for type-rated pilots to fly it. Airbus A321 The Airbus A321 is a stretched fuselage variant of the A320 family. With an impressive length that exceeds 44.5m, the A321 is the largest variant of the A320 family. Airbus A321 aircraft are in service with more than 100 operators, with American Airlines and China Southern Airlines operating the largest fleets. Just like A318 and A319, A321 shares a common type rating with the rest of the family, allowing pilots to fly the aircraft with no extra training. Airbus A320 launched in 1984, the A320 made its first flight with launch customer Air France in 1987.  Technically, The A320 has two variants, the A320-100, and the A320-200, but in fact, Only 21 A320-100s were ever produced. The main differences between the two variants are wingtip fences intended to minimize drag and increase wing efficiency and also the A320-200 features more fuel capacity. In a nutshell, the A320 is a medium-range, single-aisle jet designed to compete in the 130 to 170-seat market.  New technology The most renowned aspect of the aircraft is the adoption of fly-by-wire, which is a technology that was previously reserved for high-performance military jets and the supersonic Concorde. Fly-by-wire technology replaces the physical cables and pulleys used to control older generation aircraft with computers that interpret and relay the pilot's input to the plane's control surfaces. Another new technology used in the aircraft is flight envelope protection, which is a safety system designed to prevent the aircraft from flying beyond its performance capabilities. And one of the most useful innovations in this plane was that Airbus launched cockpit commonality for Airbus with this aircraft. Since the launch of A320, Airbus started to unify its cockpits designs to be similar in operation. That is why pilots to transition between different Airbus models with the same Type Rating. Best exploitation of space The A320 Family features a great storage option; the A320 is the only single-aisle aircraft that is able to load large containers on the lower deck.  Add to that the outward-opening cargo doors and large cargo compartment cross-section, and you get the best possible design to maximizes the usable cargo volume. In addition to that, the airplane cabin boasts large overhead storage bins which are capable of holding eight bags instead of the standard five. This makes the aircraft a favorite among all airlines, it gives them the best option to transfer passengers and cargo together. The main competitor The main competitor to the A320 would be the Boeing 737. It is noteworthy to mention that if we looked at the total number of aircraft sold the 737 would be the most globally sold airplane in aviation history. However, the 737 was launched two decades before the A320. Since the A320 was launched in 1984 until now, it has outdone the Boeing in sales. From 1984 to 2019, the A320 has outsold the 737 by 438 planes. To learn more about training for Airbus A320 see also: TYPE RATING

Being a pilot is a job unlike all others. With various unique pros and cons, it is more of a passion than a regular job. If you are interested in flying in the air, you may want to know how this career is different than others before making your choice.  Because most airlines now stopped investing in training pilots from scratch, the cost and risk of this investment now fall primarily on the individual. And as pilot training is a substantial financial investment,  young aspiring pilots need more information about the career path to make an informed decision. And we are here to help people do just that. Traveling the world Of course, this is the first thing that comes to mind when being a pilot is mentioned, pilots travel around the world. While some other professions require people to travel a lot, no other profession compares to becoming an airline pilot in that regard. Pilots do not travel a lot, they travel for a living, there is a huge difference. In addition to that, many airlines allow pilots to take their families on vacations as a benefit. Nonetheless, you have to take some points into consideration. Not all pilots travel around the world for a career, this is the dream goal of most pilots, yes, but not everyone achieves that. Many pilots work for small regional airlines at the beginning of their careers, and some of them spend a lot of time in that phase. This largely depends on the individual's attitude and capabilities. Time for work and time to relax As much as all people would love to do that, not everyone is able to! A pilot job is one of the few high profile professions that still allow people to really leave work at work, and that is considered a great blessing indeed. When a pilot is not in duty, they can completely relax, no annoying calls or emails or deadlines or anything. Yes, being a pilot is hard work, but you can truly enjoy your time off. Excellent performance is expected Of course, all jobs demand that you do your best, flying is a little different, however. When you are a pilot, you take responsibility for all souls on board. The airline you work for expects you to perform a perfect job. As a result, good performance is not always commended, it is the norm when you are a pilot. Bad performance, on the other hand, has severe negative consequences. You can lose your job for one less than perfect flight. No one takes risks with a mediocre employee when lives are at stake. No routine for you If you hate routine, who doesn’t, then being a pilot is your dream job! Pilots have flexible and changeable schedules, work hours change from day to day and workplace often changes as well. Most importantly, when you get seniority, you can usually amend your schedule to your liking, something that many people only dream of. Take into consideration though that this flexible schedule means that pilots do not nessaccerily take holidays off. In fact, holidays are some of the busiest times for pilots so most pilots work through them. Considerable time off International regulations state that pilots should take days off between flights, this means that pilots often work around 15 days per month. And guess what, they get to take the rest of the month off! Of course, it is not exactly like that, you don’t take a two-week vacation each month. What it’s actually like is that you work for 3 or 4 days then take two or three days off, but that highly depends on your specific schedule. Whatever your schedule may be, it will include significant time off though! Incomparable view No other profession, even being an executive with a skyscraper office featuring large windows, can offer you such a wonderful view as the cockpit. Want a sea view? You will be flying over the sea. Want to see the desert? You will fly over vast deserts. Want to see magical city lights at night? How about seeing all the cities from above! Pilots get to see more of the world than anyone else, they get to see more than anyone in a single workday. A lifelong adventure A pilot career is a lifelong adventure, ask any experienced pilot about his most interesting stories and you are bound to be amazed. This career is different than all others, you work to the max and relax to the max. You fly for 10 long stressful hours, then land in an exotic country that you have never seen before. This versatile lifestyle creates amazing stories and sends you in an endless adventure. Lifelong learning While some jobs require initial training, being a pilot requires lifelong training. A pilot never stops learning new skills, if they want to stop learning they retire! Because technology is developed rapidly, new airplanes require pilots to get more training. But that is only one aspect of the lifelong learning journey a pilot embarks on. Pilots also need to get Type Rated for aircraft as each aircraft requires a certificate. They also need to undergo leadership courses and workshops, as well as teamwork courses to advance in their careers. To learn more about being a pilot see also: Want to be a captain? This is how you become a successful pilot

How much does it cost to become a pilot?

Some people shy away from studying aviation because it is known to be a costly education, but how much does it really cost to become a pilot? And most importantly, is this education a profitable investment? When you compare the cost to the benefits, do you come out with a good profit? The benefits of becoming a pilot are widely well-known: you get one of the best salaries in the world, you gain a lot of prestige and you travel the world for a living. If we already know the benefits, all that’s missing is the cost, so let’s find that out. Types of flight training Before we talk about the price you need to know the different types of flight training available in the world, and which is considered better and why. Integrated training Integrated flight training is a full-time commercial flight training course. In integrated training, all the program is completed with the same flight training organization. Because all the training is done with the same establishment it is usually shorter than modular training. A full time integrated course usually takes between 18 months and 2 years. And the student is qualified to take a CPL exam after that, if they pass the exam they get the license. In addition to that, students who complete integrated flight training can complete the course with fewer flight hours than the number of hours required if completing it through modular training. Because this is High quality, intensive training, many airlines prefer to hire students from integrated training courses. Modular training Modular flight training means completing your flight training one step at a time. It’s usually cheaper than integrated training, but it often takes years. That is why it is usually the route people take when they learn aviation as a hobby, not a career. You can take modular training while working a full-time job in any other field. Keep in mind that in modular training you will be required to buy your books and materials, which do not come cheap, as well as some equipment such as a headset, which is definitely not cheap. Another important point is that prices change, so the overall cost may change while you are working on your modules. Modular flight training is usually done in the following order: Private Pilots Licence (PPL) Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) Hour Building Commercial Pilots Licence Type Rating Studying aviation around the world: How much does it cost? Let’s take a quick tour around the world and find the cost of aviation training in different countries. Keep in mind though that this cost does not include accommodation or transportation, so if you do not already live in one of those countries you have to add those costs as well. How much does it cost to become a pilot in the USA? The cost of becoming a CPL certified pilot starts from $70,000 in the USA. Add to that the cost of getting an ATPL, and the cost of flying the required 1500 hours to be eligible for applying to airline positions and the cost comes to around $200,000. However, it may cost much more if the student takes some time to finish all the required licenses and ratings. The plane used the most for training in the USA is Cessna, either Cessna 152 or Cessna 172. Some integrated training programs charge even more than this, but as mentioned earlier, integrated training costs more but yields faster and better results. How much does it cost to become a pilot in the UK? In the UK, it takes around two years and can cost over $127,000 to get the commercial Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). Unlike the USA, an integrated course in the UK often costs less than a modular one, but not by much. For instance, it now costs around £ 90,000 and takes around 18 months to get an ATPL through an integrated program. On another note, however, the cost of living in the UK is much higher than in most other countries. That is why it is considered a costly option for non-residents. How much does it cost to become a pilot in Australia? To get a Commercial Pilot Licence in Australia, you can get integrated training for around $65,000. The integrated training program takes 18 months. Of course after this CPL you still need to train further to get your IR, ATPL, to be ready for an airline job, this will double the overall cost. It is also noteworthy to mention that while the accommodation may be a bit cheaper than the UK, transportation is much more expensive. How much does it cost to become a pilot in India? In India, you have to pass 6 written exams before you can start flight training. The flight training itself costs around $86,000, however, this largely depends on the duration of the training which varies greatly from one place to another. A common problem in Indian training centers is the lack of training aircraft, they are often so few that students have to wait in line to finish their required training hours. How much does it cost to become a pilot in South Africa? It takes around 18 months and costs around $50,000 to get your CPL in South Africa. Keep in mind though that you will need further training and certificates to get a job in an airline, like instrument rating and type rating, for example, type rating alone would cost you another $50,000. And of course, transportation to and from South Africa will make a considerable sum if you do not live in a nearby country. How much does it cost to become a pilot in Saudi Arabia? It takes around two years to get your CPL and your Type Rating in Saudi Arabia. OxfordSaudia is the only academy in the world to offer the Type Rating program along with the CPL program, this makes graduates employable as soon as they graduate. To learn more about fees and installments see: FEES AND METHOD OF PAYMENTS To learn more about becoming a pilot see also: Want to be a captain? This is how you become a successful pilot Captain pilot: A glimpse into the life of pilots

Women in the cockpit: Famous female pilots in history

Aviation used to be a male-dominated field, aka a man job, but some amazing women through history decided to choose the road less taken and learn how to fly. These early female pilots were the pioneers who opened the gates for the upcoming generations. Now it is almost natural to find women in the cockpit. Some of those names are so famous that you must have heard of them before, and some are less known, but they are all equally strong and impressive. So let’s take a look at some of the most distinguished female pilots. Raymonde de Laroche [caption id="attachment_2696" align="alignnone" width="949"] Raymonde de Laroche[/caption] Born in 1882, in Paris, Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman to get a pilot license. Elise Raymonde Deroche was an actress, but watching the demonstration flights by the Wright brothers in 1908  in Paris, as well as meeting various aviators, ignited a passion towards the field, and she started to dream about flying herself. Tutored by Charles Voisin, a pilot, and an airplane builder, she flew for the first time in 1909 and got her official pilot license in 1910. She broke several world records during her career, first for flying a distance of 323 kilometers, and for flying an altitude of 4500 meters above the ground in 1913 and then 4800 meters in 1919. Flight magazine called Raymonde de Laroche "The Baroness", and the title stayed with her all her life that a lot of people thought she was of noble origin. Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh [caption id="attachment_2697" align="alignnone" width="949"] Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh[/caption] Born in 1906, Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh was a writer and a pilot. A prime example for women’s rights, Anne worked side by side with her husband, Charles Lindbergh, she was his co-pilot for years. In 1930, Anne became the first woman in the U.S.A to get a glider pilot’s license. She later worked as her husband’s co-pilot, navigator, and radio operator. She helped Charles set a new transcontinental speed record, they flew from Los Angeles to New York City in 14 hours 45 minutes, which was a record at the time. And in 1931 they made a three-month-long journey to survey air routes from Canada and Alaska to East Asia. That trip was the subject of Lindbergh’s first book, North to the Orient, which was published in 1935. Her most famous written work, Gift from the Sea, was published in 1955. It comprises a collection of essays that discuss the struggle we all go through to achieve balance and serenity in life, with a focus on the life of modern women. Bessie Coleman [caption id="attachment_2698" align="alignnone" width="949"] Bessie Coleman[/caption] Born in 1892, Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman, as well as the first woman of Native-American descent to earn a pilot license. Even though flying schools in the United States did not accept black women at the time, she was determined enough to find another way to achieve her goal. Bessie learned French and moved to France. She studied at Caudron Brother's School of Aviation and got her international pilot license in 1921, thus becoming the first person of African-American and Native American descent to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. In order to start a career as a stunt flier, Bessie needed advanced lessons. She spent another two months in France where she took an advanced course in aviation, then left for the Netherlands to meet the renowned aircraft designer Anthony Fokker. After that, she traveled to Germany, where she received additional training at the Fokker Corporation from one of the company's chief pilots. After all this extensive training, Bessie went back to America to start a career in exhibition flying, becoming one of the most famous female pilots in the USA. Bessica Medlar Raiche [caption id="attachment_2699" align="alignnone" width="949"] Bessica Medlar Raiche[/caption] Not only did she make solo flights, but Bessica Medlar Raiche also designed and built an airplane with her husband. A doctor, a linguist, an artist, a musician, and a pilot, Bessica was certainly both gifted and motivated. Bessica, who was born in 1875, graduated from Tufts Medical School in 1903. She practiced medicine as a doctor and a dentist. When she was in France studying painting, she saw Orville Wright demonstrate his Wright Flyer. This affected her tremendously that she decided to build a similar aircraft when she went back home to the USA. With the help of her husband, she built an airplane based on the Wrights’ design but using lighter-weight materials. And because she was lighter than her husband it was decided that she would be the one who tries the plane. The flight took place on 16 September 1910, Bessica flew the plane exactly five times. The last flight, however, did not end with the smoothest landing, but Bessica was unharmed. Later on, Mr. and Mrs. Raiche formed the French-American Aeroplane Company and built several more airplanes. Sheila Scott [caption id="attachment_2700" align="alignnone" width="949"] Sheila Scott[/caption] Born in 1927, British aviator Sheila Scott broke more than 100 flying records between 1965 and 1972. She is definitely one of the most powerful women in the cockpit. She earned her pilot license in 1960 and started racing with her old biplane. To support her passion for flying, she worked as a demonstrator for Cessna and Piper aircraft. In 1966, Scott flew around the world for the first time, covering around 50,000 kilometers in 189 flying hours. She started setting world records after that, starting with her flight between London and Cape Town in 1967, her flight across the North Atlantic Ocean in 1967, and across the South Atlantic Ocean in 1969, and her flight from the Equator to the Equator over the North Pole in 1971. Her 100th world-class record was set during her third around-the-world solo flight. In addition to an impressive flying career, she published two books:  I Must Fly, which was published in 1968, and On Top of the World, published in 1973. Jacqueline Cochran [caption id="attachment_2701" align="alignnone" width="949"] Jacqueline Cochran[/caption] At the time of her death in 1980, Jacqueline Cochran, who was born in 1906, held more distance, altitude and speed world records than any other pilot, male or female. Known as the speed queen, Cochran was the only woman to compete and win in the Bendix race, the first female pilot to break the sound barrier, the first woman to land and take off from an aircraft carrier, and the first female president of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Cochran used her fame and money to help empower women, contributing to charitable causes and trying to establish a place for women in the space race. She believed that it was not enough to put more women in the cockpit women should also conquer space. To learn more about famous women in the cockpit see also: Hanadi Al Hindi: the first Saudi Woman to become a pilot The first Arab female pilot: Captain Pilot Lotfia Elnadi Aviation pioneers: Amelia Earhart

Unusual aircraft: Weirdest airplanes in the world

Engineers sometimes design and build an unusual aircraft for some reason or another, to prove a point, to research aerodynamics, or to see if it would fly better than a usual one. These weird airplanes are often seen as a novelty or a quirky invention, then they are documented and usually forgotten. Unlike normal airplanes, the focus on these unusual aircraft is often not practicality. The focus is mostly on testing a new theory to see if it would work, sometimes the theory does not work well and the aircraft does not fly at all, and sometimes it does but the cost is too high to experiment more on the subject. Such planes always end up in some sort of an aviation museum, kept as a novelty for the generations to come. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest airplanes that have ever flown in the skies. Some of these unusual aircraft did not fly for long, but they have all been tested, and all of them could indeed fly. Nemuth Parasol [caption id="attachment_2112" align="alignnone" width="949"] Nemuth Parasol[/caption] In 1934, students at Miami University decided to build this aircraft to demonstrate that a circular wing could indeed fly a plane. One prototype was made and tested, the unusual aircraft did, in fact, fly decently, and the circular wing provided a dreamy parachute-like landing. But the project did not go any further. Too bad as the Nemeth Umbrella Plane looked like a hybrid between a helicopter and a flying saucer. EDGLEY OPTICA [caption id="attachment_2114" align="alignnone" width="949"] EDGLEY OPTICA[/caption] Intended for low-speed observation work, this unusual aircraft was designed as a cheaper alternative to helicopters that allows for better vision with a focus on slow flying capabilities. The British inventor John Edgley designed and built the original prototype in 1974. He then started his company, Edgley Aircraft Limited with a small team, the first one flew in 1979. Thanks to its weird design, the airplane has been nicknamed bug-eye. Nonetheless, this same bizarre design is what gives it 270° panoramic vision and almost vertical downward vision. Plus, the cockpit canopy design allows photography through the panels. The small airplane barely has enough space for two passengers in addition to the pilot. It is considered the quietest powered aircraft in the world.   Antonov An-74 [caption id="attachment_2116" align="alignnone" width="949"] Antonov An-74[/caption] Nicknamed Cheburashka after a famous animated character,  the large engine intake ducts of the aircraft certainly do look like oversized ears. The plane, which has been operating since 1977, offers more than cute looks, it is capable of operating in harsh weather conditions in polar regions. It is one of the few planes that can operate in the Arctic and Antarctic environments. This is due to some helpful gadgets featured in the plane like wheel-skis landing gear and de-icing equipment. If you are looking for an airplane that can land well on ice, you can charter an Antonov An-74 from an air charter service. Sikorsky S-72 [caption id="attachment_2117" align="alignnone" width="949"] Sikorsky S-72[/caption] This experimental hybrid, titled Sikorsky X-Wing after the Star Wars fighter, is a mix of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. It was developed by Sikorsky Aircraft. The airplane was designed and built to combine the speed of a jet with the vertical takeoff abilities of a helicopter. However, the program, which was started for pure research purposes, was canceled in 1988. Rutan Boomerang [caption id="attachment_2118" align="alignnone" width="949"] Rutan Boomerang[/caption] Designed and built by Burt Rutan, The Rutan Model 202 Boomerang is a multi-engine aircraft designed to combat engine failure because even if one of the engines failed it would not become dangerously difficult to control the aircraft due to asymmetric thrust. This gives a very distinct appearance to the airplane. Two fuselages, one bigger than the other, with wings facing forward, this is indeed one unusual aircraft. It may look very bizarre, but the asymmetrical design allows the Boomerang to fly faster. And the plane was never intended for commercial use anyway, the 5 place light twin was intended for personal transportation. The Boomerang is simply a very unique private plane. Lockheed Martin P-791 [caption id="attachment_2119" align="alignnone" width="949"] Lockheed Martin P-791[/caption] Is it an airship? Is it an airplane? No, it’s the Lockheed Martin P-791! This aircraft is built for sustainability, it can fly longer routes for less fuel. this Hybrid Airship burns less than one-tenth the fuel of a helicopter per ton, and can easily land anywhere. That is why the producers of the technology hope that it will replace jeeps and trucks in sending cargo and transferring people to remote areas with no airports. This aircraft may look weird, but according to the company, it is faster and cheaper than land and sea transportation systems, especially for remote areas with little to no infrastructure. 377PG: The Pregnant Guppy [caption id="attachment_2120" align="alignnone" width="949"] 377PG: The Pregnant Guppy[/caption] Built from parts of Boeing airplanes as well as some new parts, the Pregnant Guppy is designed and built to carry irregularly shaped cargo for NASA. The designer of this unusual aircraft, John Conroy, had the idea when he heard that it takes 18 days for NASA to transfer space shuttle parts. He built the aircraft from parts of other planes, tried it, and then sold it to NASA. This type of aircraft is called Frankenplane because it is made of parts of other airplanes. Actually many people thought the project was ridiculous and the Guppy would never land safely. But to their surprise, the plane continued to work so well that a successor was designed and built, Super Guppy! Super Guppy features a  25-feet high, 25-feet wide, and 111-feet long cargo bay. This simply means that the aircraft boasts 39,000 cubic feet of usable space. Short SKYVAN [caption id="attachment_2121" align="alignnone" width="949"] Short SKYVAN[/caption] Built for function with total disregard for aesthetics, people have often made fun of this general-purpose aircraft, they have called it names like “Flying Shoebox” and “The Shed”, but the Skyvan has definitely proven value over the years. The plane that took its first flight in 1963, is still used today for transferring cargo and passengers. The 19-seat aircraft features a van-like large rear door for loading and unloading freight. This makes it very efficient for short haul flights, sky diving activities and much more. Dornier Aerodyne [caption id="attachment_2122" align="alignnone" width="949"] Dornier Aerodyne[/caption] This unusual aircraft looks like the rear part of an airplane as if someone has cut an aircraft in half and only left one half. Bizarrely though, it can fly! The weird invention was tested, it was remotely controlled and flew without a pilot. The first flight took place on 18 September 1972. The wingless aircraft was designed by Alexander Lippisch. According to Lippisch, with the right amount of thrust, a modified Aerodyne might be capable of supersonic flight. He never got to test that theory though as the project was stopped. To learn more about unusual aircraft see also: Giant airplanes: the biggest airplanes in the world

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