The Fairchild-Dornier Do-328JET

1. Turbine Triumph:

The power of engines, as historically demonstrated, extends beyond the thrust they produce to move airplanes. They also move passenger-toward a particular aircraft, when it is powered by the type that attracts them.

When the first long-range, pure-jet airliners appeared at the end of the 1950w in the form of the de Havilland DH.106 Comet, the Boeing 707, and the Douglas DC-8, it was concluded that this technology would be restricted to those sectors, since its speed could not be adequately exploited over shorter ones, leaving them the domain of piston aircraft, such as the Convair CV-440 Metropolitan and the Martin 4-0-4.

What was underestimated was the power the pure-turbine had to draw passengers to such airplanes, causing them to demand and ultimately expect this engine type on all route types. And manufacturers responded.

By the early-1990s, history repeated itself. The turbine, it was thought, could never be economically viable on regional-range routes, once again leaving the piston and later turboprop airliners with capacities of between 19 and 50 to serve them. But, when Canadair sparked the regional jet revolution with its 50-passenger CRJ-100 and Embraer closely followed suit with its own ERJ-145, there seemed no market for which the turbofan was not suitable-except, perhaps, for the very thin one, supporting no more than 30 seats.

Passengers again responded. And consensus was once again proven wrong.

2. Regional Jet Revolution:

Although powerplants usually precede designs, in the case of the regional market, designs preceded powerplants and provided the crossroads between larger airliners, business jets, and turboprop aircraft. Regional jets could thus originate from four potential sources.

The first, as previously mentioned, trace their roots to business jets-in this case, to the Canadair CL-600/-601 Challenger, which bred the stretched-fuselage regional airliners that followed it. In the second case, Embraer adopted the twin-turboprop EMB-120 Brasilia into a pure-jet counterpart, the ERJ-145. In the third, an existing airliner, intended for longer-range sectors, was scaled-down to produce a lower-capacity derivative, as had occurred with the MD-95/717, a shrink of the MD-90, and the A-318, a shorter-fuselage version of the A-319. Finally, regional jets originate as all-new designs, such as the Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke VFW-614, the western world’s first 44-seat regional jet; the Fokker F.28 Fellowship, which was succeeded by the modernized F.70 and F.100; and the British Aerospace BAe-146, which itself begot the re-engined Avro International RJ70 to -100 family.

All of these types fueled the regional jet revolution, which created a fundamental change in the market, mirroring the impact the pure-jet engine first had on the long, then medium-, and finally short-range routes, and blurring the line between the major and regional carriers. It also became the most rapidly growing segment of the industry.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) report entitled “Regional Jets and their Emerging Roles in the US Aviation Market,” seven US carriers operated 99 regional jets between 126 city pairs and served 103 markets from ten hubs at the beginning of 1998. The domestic regional jet fleet at the time was expected to double, to 200 aircraft, by January of the following year.

And these figures only escalated like the clockwise rotations of analog altimeters installed in climbing aircraft. Indeed, in order to remain competitive and retain market share, airlines were forced to order regional jets. Almost 80 percent of the 570 regional airliners ordered in 1998 were for pure-jets, eclipsing, for the first time, the number of turboprop deliveries the following year with 217 jets as opposed to 120 turboprops. By 2000, 726 regional jet sales were recorded, a 42-percent increase over the year-earlier period and it constituted more than 90 percent of all regional airliners ordered. The diminishing popularity of turboprop types, resulting in a 28-year low in sales, saw the sunset on once ubiquitous models, such as the British Aerospace J41 and the Saab 340 and 2000.

These sales figures, however, reflected more than passenger popularity. Compared to heavier twins, such as earlier BAC-111s and DC-9s-which had not been designed for regional routes, but which were artificially suited for some of them because of then significantly lower fuel prices-aircraft intended, from inception, for this purpose, offered two advantages: their lower structural weights burned less fuel and were rewarded with reduced landing fees, and their decreased thrust capabilities optimized them for lower cruise speeds, since a greater portion of regional flight sectors entail the climb and descent phase than do longer ones.

Barry Eccleston, Executive Vice President of Fairchild-Dornier Aerospace, predicted that the market for regional jets accommodating a maximum of 110 passengers would be worth some $205 billion, amounting to 9,000 aircraft, over the first two decades of the 21st century-or more than two-thirds the $280 billion-worth of ultra large capacity airlines, such as the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A-380-except that the regional segment of the industry represented seven times the number of airplanes. He also identified four phases of the regional jet revolution.

The first, entailing the initial breed of 50-seat Canadair CRJ-100s and -200s and Embraer ERJ-145s served to prove the concept, attract the passengers, and demonstrate the economic feasibility of it, its roots planted by Comair in the US and Lufthansa CityLine in Europe. The former initially provided feed to major carrier hubs and the latter bypassed them and instead served short and/or thin sectors between secondary city pairs.

Paving the way by demonstrating the overwhelming passenger acceptance of these aircraft, the 50-seat regional jet planted the seed for the second phase, establishing the seamless service interchange between mainline and microjets and creating demand for pure-jet service on routes even too thin for the 50-seaters. Scaled-down for accommodation of between 30 and 40, these types could altogether replace the comparably sized turboprops, especially since a design such as the ERJ-135, although a smaller derivative of the original -145, was itself a development of the Brasilia turboprop.

Like a rolling snowball, once the concept gained momentum, it was unstoppable and increased in size. So, too, did the aircraft representing the third phase, which offered capacities not unlike the traditional short- to medium-range twins, but at decidedly lower seat-mile costs. Examples of these were the Fokker F.28 Fellowship, the British Aerospace BAe-146, the Fokker F.70 and F.100, the Avro International RJ70 to -100, the Bombardier CRJ-700 to -1000, the Embraer ERJ-170 to -195, the Antonov An-148 and -158, the Sukhoi Superjet 100, and the Bombardier CS-100.

Regional jets accommodating 100 passengers, but flown by major carrier crews because of pilot scope clauses prohibiting their operation characterized the fourth phase.

Closing the gap between major and regional airline profiles, this type of operation entailed the replacement of first generation twins, such as DC-9s and 737s, with their advanced, higher-capacity regional counterparts, yet offered comparable levels of comfort, service, and speed on thinner, point-to-point, hub-bypassing sectors-in the process reducing airport congestion.

Integral to this quad-phase regional jet revolution-and particularly to the second of them-was, of course, the 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135. But, before it even flew, it had competition across the Atlantic, in Europe, in the form of another turboprop-turned-turbofan, the even-smaller Fairchild-Dornier Do-328JET.

3. From Turboprop to Turbofan:

Founded as Dornier-Metallbauten in 1922 by Professor Claude Dornier, that company was known for its massive, 12-engined, Do-X flying boat, becoming Daimler GmbH in 1972 and Daimler-Benz Aerospace 15 years later, when Daimler-Benz itself acquired a majority share holding. It was finally designated Daimler-Chrysler.

Its high-wing, twin-turboprop commuter aircraft, offered in 15-passenger Do-228-100 and 19-passenger Do-228-200 versions, amounted for 270 sales, and led to a 34-seat successor.

Seeking to divest itself of what had intermittently become a loss-making subsidiary, it sold a majority stake of Dornier Luftfahrt, located near Munich, in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, to San Antonio, Texas-based Fairchild Aerospace in 1996. Fairchild itself built the venerable 19-passenger Metro commuter turboprop, which sold in excess of 600 during a 35-year production run, and was initially an international partner in the 34-seat Saab-Fairchild SF-340, which accounted for 456 sales.

The Do-328, in the eyes of new owner Fairchild, had potential, and its strength-literally-lay in its robust, German over-engineered design. Already the second-fastest turboprop regional airliner after the 50-passenger Saab 2000, it lent itself to a minimal-modification retrofit with pure-jet engines, although former design owner Daimler-Benz had consistently failed to see the feasibility of the project.

But additional impetus came from several less-than-positive circumstances. The pure-turboprop version, already weighing 2,200 pounds more than targeted and subjected to high production costs, suffered from fierce competition with similar types, such as the Fokker F.50, itself the product of DASA’s previous Dutch subsidiary, and sales were sluggish.

Based upon Fairchild-Dornier’s survey of 50 worldwide airlines conducted between October of 1996 and January of 1997, passengers preferred turbofans, regardless of route type and length, and a turboprop-to-turbofan transition was not only logical, but left little choice, provided it could offer comparable performance and economics.

Powerplant popularity, however, was not the only factor behind airlines’ orders. One of the latest attractions was the ability of an aircraft manufacturer to offer a family of regional jets, as was beginning to occur with Bombardier and Embraer, so that derivative-associated design similarities and common pilot type ratings would offer the cost-effective flexibility to match capacity to route type and departure time.

Although Embraer’s own scaled-down regional jet was now on the horizon, the economics of such 30-seaters had yet to be proven. Nevertheless, if they could, this type of design was foreseen as fulfilling two purposes: (1). It could replace comparably sized turboprops on existing routes, and (2). It could create an entirely new market-one too long for a turboprop’s speed, yet too thin for the higher-capacity of the increasingly common, 50-passenger regional jets, thus heralding a new class of aircraft.

If successful, it could potentially replace some 1,200 aircraft in US service alone. With the ERJ-135 about to become the second member of Embraer’s regional jet family, and the Do-328 notching up less-than-stellar sales, Fairchild-Dornier had little choice but to combine its existing airframe with turbofan engines or concede the race-already as a distance third-to the other two contenders.

4. Do-328JET:

Modifications to the turboprop’s turbofan counterpart and, in many ways, successor, were few.

Because the fuselage was milled from solid material, the aluminum alloy for the pure-jet version retained more at frames 24 and 26, which corresponded to the wing and undercarriage attachment areas, while the upper-fuselage fairing, which served as the blending point for the wing, was also retained, as were the two aft, ventral strakes previously required by the turboprop’s air flow. Although the powerplant change had rendered them superfluous, they were not removed in order to avoid recertificaton costs.

The newly designated Do-328JET featured a 68-foot, 73/4th-inch fuselage and 69-foot, 9 3/4th-inch overall length.

Utilizing the same TNT (Tragfluegels neuer Technologie), supercritical wing as its Do-328 predecessor-which was originally designed for the smaller Do-228-and equally employing solid-milled skins to minimize the amount of riveting, the regional jet sported a unique planform. Aside from differing in its high-wing mounting, it featured highly-swept leading edges near the wing tip, parallel edges inboard of the engines, and a trapezoidal shape outboard of them.

Combined with the turbofans’ thrust capability, its wings, which retained the turboprop’s inflatable, leading edge boot deicing system, facilitated short-field performance, yet feisty climb rates (of 14.2 minutes to 31,000 feet), offering comparable block times to the ERJ-135 with which the aircraft would eventually compete.

High-lift devices encompassed single-slotted trailing edge Fowler flaps.

Internally, the Do-328JET’s wings incorporated a 200-liter fuel capacity increase, dual fuel pumps, and 30-percent larger-diameter fuel lines.

Sporting a 68.10-foot span and 430.6-square-foot area, they introduced a 100-mm trailing edge flap extension and thus increase in chord, rendering an 11.0 aspect ratio, for an ultimately targeted 400-knot cruise speed.

Like the turboprop -328, the regional jet retained the t-tail, but introduced a larger rudder trim tab to counteract the engines’ greater thrust.

The pylon-mounted, thrust-reverser devoid, 6,050 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney Canada PW306B engines themselves, replacing the nacelle-shrouded turboprops, were originally developed as -306As for the Galaxy business jet and incorporated an 840-mm, 22-bladed, wide-chord fan; a five-stage high pressure compressor (four axial and a single centrifugal); a two-stage high pressure turbine; and a three-stage low pressure turbine. Compared to the corporate version, the commercial powerplant offered a 30-percent increase in core flow and higher temperature-resistant materials in the high pressure turbine.

In order to cater to the Do-328JET’s increased weights, the twin-wheeled, hydraulically-actuated, tricycle undercarriage featured a Dunlop dual-braking system, with carbon disc brakes; a reinforced trailing link; and an anti-skid system to compensate for the lack of engine thrust reversers. Its nose wheel retracted forward, while its two main units were stored in fuselage-side fairings.

An AlliedSignal GTCP36-150 auxiliary power unit (APU) provided power for cabin lighting and air conditioning and engine starts.

Aircraft access was attained by means of a forward, left, out- and downward-opening, airstair- and handrail-equipped Type I crew and passenger door; a Type III emergency exit apposite it, on the forward, right side; a second Type III emergency exit on the aft, left side; and a Type II galley servicing door on the aft, right side.

Standard cabin configuration entailed 32 to 34 three-abreast, one-two-arranged seats at a 30- to 31-inch pitch and an aft galley and lavatory. Because of the 4,000-foot altitude increase in the Do-328JET’s service ceiling-to 35,000 feet-cabin pressurization was equally increased-from 7.0 to 7.4-psi, yielding an 8,000-foot elevation. Internal dimensions were 33 feet, 10 3/4th-inches in length and six feet, 2.5 inches in height.

Baggage, cargo, and mail were stored in the main deck compartment located between the aft cabin wall and the rear pressure bulkhead and accessed via a port door.

5. Flight Test Program:

Unlike clean-sheet design flight test programs, the Do-328JET’s entailed considerable comparison-between the handling and performance of what had been a 365-knot turboprop to one penetrating the 400-knot realm with pure-jet engines. The transition from one to the other had been even less of a leap than initially imagined, since the first -328JET prototype had been nothing more than the turboprop’s second prototype and even retained several of its features.

That prototype itself, registered D-BJET and rolled out for the first time on December 6, 1997 for public viewing, made its maiden flight from the 7,800-foot runway at Fairchild-Dornier’s Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, complex at 11:16 on January 20 of the following year, piloted by Meinhardt Feuersenger, Chief Test Pilot of the Do-328 turboprop program, and Peter Weger, who, in 1994, had first flown the Eurofighter EF2000.

Maintaining a southerly course over the Bavarian Alps, the aircraft, slated to gauge performance and test envelope expansion, attained a 220-knot speed and 25,000-foot altitude during its almost two-hour sortie.

Evaluating the prototype’s performance in comparison to the turboprop foundation upon which it was based, Feuersenger noted the absence of propeller wash and the smooth, over-wing air flow, no longer needing to continually retrim it as a result of power setting changes. Performance either approximated or exceeded computer calculations.

Assessing the regional jet after landing, Feuersenger said it performed “flawlessly” and “pilots will love this aircraft.”

Three other prototypes took part in the 18-month, 950-flight, 1,560-hour flight test program, which was delayed by four months because of the need to redesign the Dunlop braking system and Messier-Dowty shock absorbers to cater to the aircraft’s deceleration without propeller braking effects. Aircraft D-BWAL, first flying on May 20, was involved in performance certification testing. Avionics integration, the realm of the third prototype (D-BEIR), commenced with its July 10 first flight, and function and reliability testing began three months later, on October 15, when the fourth prototype first took to the air.

The first production-standard aircraft, featuring a five-foot wingspan increase and 8,160-pound fuel capacity, entered its intended aerial realm after the four prototypes.

6. Test Flight:

Initial Do-328JET performance could be gauged by the test flights its prototypes undertook.

The aircraft’s two-person cockpit, with a Honeywell Primus 2000 integrated avionics system, featured five, eight-by-eight-inch CRT displays, the primary flying (PFD) and multifunction (MFD) displays duplicated before each pilot and the engine instrument and crew advisory system (EICAS) located in the center.

The reclinable seats, with five-point harnesses, were equipped with storable armrests and were adjustable forward and aft.

Engine starts, using bleed air from the auxiliary power unit, were automatic, their parameters registered by the full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

After the flight plan had been entered into the flight management system (FMS) and the windshield panels had been electronically heated to prepare them for bird strikes or other foreign object impact eventualities, the twin-jet was steerable by means of its rudder pedals, provided the variation was no more than ten degrees to either the left or right, although sharper turns required the nose wheel steering tiller.

The aircraft was offered with two gross weights. The lower, designated the Do-328-300, could carry a 7,200-pound payload, had a maximum take off and landing weight, respectively, of 33,510 and 31,063 pounds, and a 740-nautical mile range with this payload and reserves at a 31,000-foot altitude. The higher, designated the Do-328-310, could carry an 8,104-pound payload, had a 34,524-pound take off weight and a 31,724-pound landing weight, and a 900-nautical mile range.

A corporate version, the Envoy 3, typically accommodated between 12 and 19 in layouts specified by the operator, but which usually included easy chairs, tables, work stations, divans, sofas, wardrobes, galleys, and lavatories. Additional fuel tankage increased its range to 2,000 nautical miles.

Calculated and entered take off reference speeds varied, of course, according to gross weight and atmospheric conditions. A 27,488-pound ramp weight, for example-including 5,000 pounds of fuel-resulted in V1, VR, and V2 speeds, respectively, of 103, 110, and 117 knots in prototype D-BJET.

Flap settings included 12 degrees for take off, 20 for approach, and 32 for landing.

With the altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and cleared altitude visible on the PFD, and the departure track on the MFD, the aircraft, cleared for take off and brake-released, initiated its acceleration run, its throttles advanced and its PW306B turbofans under FADEC control.

A 15-degree pitch angle ensured a best rate-of-climb of a little over 5,000-fpm.

Cruising at its 35,000-foot service ceiling, it assumed a Mach 0.69 speed with a 97.6-percent N1 fan, resulting in a 1,797-pound-per-hour fuel burn. Maximum cruise speed, at 25,000 feet, was 405 knots.

A 4,000-fpm descent rate, to 20,000 feet, was accomplished with a flight-idle power setting and Mach 0.61 airspeed.

The elimination of the previous version’s propellers necessitated a 20-knot increase in approach speed and ground spoilers automatically deploy after touchdown.

7. Sales and Service:

Sales, as with any other aircraft, depended upon quality, price, and the ability to fulfill its design goals. In the case of the Do-328JET, however, that aircraft actually created-and needed to create-its own market niche and therein lay the first obstacle to its orders-namely, was there a requirement for a 30-seat regional jet with in-house competition from its own turboprop and from the likes of the British Aerospace J41, the Embraer EMB-120, and the Saab 340, and could it fulfill its mission as economically as these types?

Not all carriers were likely to follow the 30-passenger pure-jet trend, especially those that saw little benefit in operating a type which was not part of a family, a strong competitive advantage Bombardier and Embraer both enjoyed over Fairchild-Dornier.

So similar, in fact, were its turboprop and turbofan siblings that they shared the same production line and airlines were able to wait until six months before scheduled delivery to choose a powerplant type.

Several factors, however, seemed to indicate its need.

Analyses of 300- to 1,000-mile route sectors revealed that they were either too infrequently served or were done so with inappropriately sized equipment, resulting in low load factors.

Seeking to exploit the former case-in which demand often exceeded capacity-Fairchild-Dornier foresaw initial-and ideal-deployment on traditional 19-seat turboprop routes, which it envisioned as stimulating demand because of its cabin class comfort, in-flight service, and pure-jet speed, the same way the 50-seat regional jets had “recreated” the 30-seat turboprop market.

Finally, because of restrictions inherent in US pilot scope clauses, dictating the number of regional jets that could be operated by major-aligned, code-share partner carriers, orders for turbofan aircraft accommodating 50 passengers or more were limited. Falling below this restriction with its 32 to 34 seats, the Do-328JET was exempt from these regulations. At the same time, it gave carriers the opportunity to close the lower-end service gap between traditional-turboprop capacity and that of the new breed of regional jets, enabling them to substitute mainline flights with increased, businessman-attracting frequencies and those operating during off-peak, service-scarce or altogether -devoid times, particularly midday.

Orders, as with any aircraft, increased as the program progressed. Launched during the 1997 Paris Air Show, the program itself attracted initial orders for six aircraft from Proteus Airlines, based in Dijon, France, and Aspen Mountain Air of the US for four. At the time of its first flight, there were 17 firm and 15-optiioned orders, and by July of 1998, there figures had respectively increased to 51 and 28, of which 11 were for Envoy 3 business versions. Continuing to mount, these totals increased to 75 and 101 by February of 2000 and 141 and 91 by early-2002.

Skyway Airlines, “the Midwest Express Connection” established in 1993 by Midwest Express itself to serve short-range routes and provide feed to mainline flights at its Milwaukee hub with a fleet of 15 19-passenger B1900Ds, took delivery of the first Do-328JET on August 4, 1999, employing it on route-proving sectors before inaugurating it into scheduled service two months later, on October 6.

Although the B1900Ds were suited to certain routes, they created a capacity gap in mainline Midwest’s fleet, whose aircraft featured four-abreast leather seats and premium, all-business class service. Skyway’s Beech aircraft offered little more than standup headroom.

Because 75 percent of Skyway’s traffic was origin-and-destination in nature, and these passengers seldom experienced its parent’s full-service product, its reputation was less than it should have been.

What was needed was an airplane that could accommodate half that of its DC-9s, but offer comparable speed, comfort, and service. The 50-seat CRJ-100/-200 and ERJ-145, considered too close in capacity to them, were quickly discounted.

The solution lay in Fairchild-Dornier’s microjet, of which five were ordered, with another ten on option, and they were seen as serving four purposes.

1). Increase capacity on existing Skyway routes.

2). Inaugurate service between city pairs too dense for its 19-seat B1900Ds, yet too thin for Midwest Express’s own 60-seat DC-9-14s.

3). Replace these DC-9s on short, low-density sectors

4). Add frequency to existing Midwest Express routes during off-peak times.

Featuring the same leather seats, carpets, and sidewall patterns as its parent’s DC-9s, it was able to offer identical service, with cocktails, hot towels, hot snacks, and freshly baked cookies from the aircraft’s dual-oven equipped galley.

Inaugural Do-328JET routes, from Milwaukee, included Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Toronto, with the number of daily, per-aircraft sectors, like those of its B1900Ds, nine, except the replacement type considerably reduced their block times-from two hours to 1.20 in the case of Nashville. Its only “inconvenience,” however, was its very speed: although it was higher than that of its turboprops, or about Mach 0.66, it was far lower than the Mach 0.8 of, say, the mainline 737s plying the same airways between VORs, forcing it to accept lower flight levels to avoid traffic conflicts.

Gandalf Airlines, of Bergamo, Italy, became the first European operator of the type, inaugurating service with the first two of 12 ordered aircraft in September of 1999 with three daily round-trips between Milan/Bergamo and Paris.

Atlantic Coast Airlines, like Skyway, was another regional operator aligned with a major US carrier through branding and code sharing agreements-in this case, United and it thus flew under the United Express banner.

Operating 19-passenger Jetstream 31s and 29-passenger 41s, mostly to United’s Washington-Dulles hub, it was able to substitute its 25 Do-328JETs according to demand, frequency, and time of departure.

8. Do-428JET:

Seeking to offer the crucially needed second member of its regional jet family, yet avoid the already-crowded 50-seat market, Fairchild-Dornier launched a stretched version on May 19, 1998 at the Berlin International Air Show, partially in response to often-requested capacity increases.

Having already experienced neck-and-neck competition with the ERJ-135, Fairchild-Dornier anticipated similar conflict with Embraer’s also recently launched, 40-passenger ERJ-140, which shared a 96-percent commonality rate with its smaller predecessor. Both the ERJ-140 and the Do-328JET’s larger brother, the Do-428JET, were aimed at operators that needed a step-up of about ten seats over the smaller-capacity model upon which they were based.

Although it was initially envisioned as a simple-stretch derivative, it quickly became apparent that to do so would have sacrificed its short-field performance, since it offered higher structural and gross weights and only a higher-capacity engine could remedy this deficiency.

According to Stanley Deal, Fairchild-Dornier’s Vice President for the Do-228, -328, -328JET, and -428JET regional airliners, “Our strategy is to add a member to the -328JET family, offering 44 seats… and giving us enough differential between the (-328JET).”

Incorporating forward and aft section insertions, the aircraft, with a new 83.4-foot overall length, introduced a repositioned Type III emergency exit and a second, aft Type I door, accommodating between 42 and 44 passengers at a 31-inch seat pitch in a “new look” cabin, which was 44.7 feet in length. The enlarged baggage compartment behind it had a 336-square-foot area.

A modified wing, with a 71.5-foot span and 516.7-square-foot area, introduced a 1.7-foot greater chord and rounded wingtips, while enlarged, inboard sections facilitated the installation of wider, 33.2-inch-diameter engines. Bleed air replaced its predecessor’s boot deicing system.

The engines themselves, 7,400 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney Canada PW308Bs designed for the Hawker Horizon business jet, represented a 25-percent power increase over the PW306Bs of the -328JET and introduced thrust reversers.

With a 44,533-pound maximum take off weight, the type had a 425-knot cruise speed and a 900-nautical mile range, now provisioned with a 1,510-US gallon fuel capacity.

Production entailed wings built in and shipped from San Antonio, Texas; fuselage sections assembled by Aermacchi in Italy; final assembly by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) in Israel and external painting and cabin fittings in Oberpfaffenhofen.

With the cockpit commonality between the -328 and -428JET, and common pilot type ratings, Fairchild-Dornier marketed them as the ideal pair of entry-level regional jets, envisioning them as 19- and 30-seat turboprop replacements, respectively, because of the market growth expected to be created as a result of their pure-jet appeal.

Launch customer Atlantic Coast, with an order for 30, foresaw considerable flexibility in operating both types, able to tailor capacity to demand.

Fairchild-Dornier’s own strategy, however, soon proved less than successful. A weaker than expected sales foundation created by the original Do-328JET and a dramatic increase in nonrecurring development costs-by some $100 million for its larger-capacity successor-began to cast doubts on its ultimate reality, with unanticipated design changes–including a 4.7-inch rearward wing repositioning, the addition of an aerodynamic fairing, the relocation of the undercarriage, and a reduction in weight-causing first deliveries to Atlantic Coast to be rescheduled from the last quarter of 2002 to the first of 2003.

Although a vitally needed cash infusion from investment firms Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice, and Allianz Capital Partners ultimately kept the company afloat, its much-needed pairing sank, changing market conditions and the paltry number of orders rendering the stretched version unfeasible and forcing its cancellation. Orders and options, totaling 113 from Atlantic Coast, Skyway Airlines, and Air Alps were worth $1 billion at the time.

With amended US pilot scope clauses now permitting an increasing number of 50-seat regional jet operations, and the consistent-and costly-redesign from the smaller baseline version, the Do-428JET had become less attractive, and the decision to cease its development came down to the lesser of two evils-namely, leave a hole in Fairchild-Dornier’s product line or one in its profits.

The company won out, but only until its cash ran out, and on April 2, 2002, now mired in $670 million of debt, it was forced to declare bankruptcy, ceasing to exist.

9. AvCraft Aviation:

Following the path of its former Fokker subsidiary, it only lay in waiting for a financial lifeline to resurrect it, and that was cast from Leesburg, Virginia-based AvCraft Aviation, itself founded in 1999 by pilot and now CEO Ben Bartel as an aircraft completion center then located in Akron, Ohio.

Having already been an approved maintenance facility for both the turboprop and turbofan versions of the Do-328, it was a logical step for it to purchase these and the Do-428JET programs, along with five aircraft still on the production line and 18 completed, but unsold ones; the name, type, and production certificates; and the tooling, spares, and parts, as it did on December 20, 2002.

Although it intended to restart the production line after it had sold these 18 aircraft and actually succeeded in placing a few of them with Hainan Airlines of China, it never realized its goal of targeting the type more to the corporate than airline market, following in Fairchild-Dornier’s footsteps and declaring its own bankruptcy in early 2005, thus ending a program full of promise, but short on profits.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I just finished the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I just finished this one last night and I was so touched by it that I thought it would be perfect to do a review on right now. It is a little over 400 pages, but it is a great, easy read and I finished it in about 4 days. If you are unfamiliar with the book, it is about a World War II Army Air Corp officer that is captured by the Japanese and taken as a Prisoner of War.

Unbroken starts with Louie Zamperini’s childhood and life growing up. He became an Olympic athlete in running the 5,000 meter, but was largely expected to break the 4 minute mile long before Roger Bannister did it. However, WWII came and his opportunity at the olympics was lost when they were cancelled. He then went into the war as a bombardier, flying in a monstrous aircraft at the time and dropping the bombs on his targets. Louie had several successful missions before being asked to run a rescue mission in a plane his crew was unfamiliar with. Two engines quit and they crashed into the Pacific ocean. Although he was tangled in wire and lost consciousness, he was still able to float to the top. He and two others floated for 47 days in the Pacific to a small set of islands occupied by the Japanese.

Unbroken then goes into his time as a POW and ultimately, his freedom when the Japanese admit defeat. However, the story is not over there as he has trouble dealing with his past and has some demons he has to fight. I don’t want to give away all the details here and spoil the book, so go get it now!

Unbroken is a little different book than I have reviewed before. However, it still provides a great message of survival, resilience and redemption – all qualities of leadership as well.

Two interesting parts from the book to share:

His brother Pete sent him an envelope while at the Olympics. Inside were two playing cards, an ace and a joker. On the joker, Pete had written, “Which are you going to be, the joker, which is another word for horse’s ass, or the TOPS: Ace of Spades. The best in the bunch. The highest in the deck, Take you choice!” On the ace he had written, “Let’s see you storm through as the best in the deck. If the joker does not appeal to you, throw it away and keep this for good luck. Pete.”

Which do you want to be? Are you leading like a joker, or the Ace of Spades? If your goal is the Ace of Spades, how are you going to get there? Another story is while he is in the Olympic race itself. He is not doing well and does not feel well. Then, this thought comes to mind.

“A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain. Louie thought, Let Go.” It is not always easy to let go of your challenges, overcome them and seek glory. However, it is worth it. What are you struggling with that you need to let go of?

We are so blessed to live in this fine country and at this time. We were put on earth to do great things. Stand tall and overcome whatever might be troubling you. In short, become UNBROKEN.

Top Secret of How to Revive BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply and Master Switch

Dear fellow guitarists, let me quote my previous article about my BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch which I almost discard providing it would not operate normally as it should be. Quote:

BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch I am telling you about has to end its service to me in two options: first, I will give it a last shot by drawing a direct wire to external grounding source. If the loud humming could be cured this way, then I will keep it. If not, then it must go to the second final option: it has to go to the garbage bin. Cross out the store where I bought it from and I will ring another friend whose musical store is now getting famous in town to get a new fresh BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch.

I did him call asking for a new fresh BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch,he was not in, one of his storekeeper answer. I pass the request to him getting shocking answer that BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch is discontinued. What is the newer version then? Nothing, we have better option which is a more powerful adapter plus power supply to handle your pedals. How about the Master Switch function? Cannot, you must turn your pedals On/Off individually…click! I hang on my phone before he finish his words. What the shell is he talking about?

After calm down I took a look at my legendary BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch and start thinking to myself. If it has to end this way then let it be. Let bygone be bygone. Before I said goodbye to it, Professor J’s last words before I left his place popped up in my mind and ringing in my ears.

  • ” This system rely only on this point as its grounding contact…”
  • ” This system rely only on this point as its grounding contact…”
  • ” This system rely only on this point as its grounding contact…”

I hope you can see clearly this a bit out of focus pic of my BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch showing thin flat washer and nut I removed from the Amp output socket. That should be the exact points of these nuts that drive me nuts! That is exactly the point “Professor J” showed me that evening. They are supposed to built a good surface to surface contact to the 1/4 mono plug at each of the BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch Amp and Guitar output sockets. I wish I have a better cam with me to take macro pic of the rotten rusted surfaces and edges of these nuts.

The tiny red straw is of rust remover spray. I washed clean all of the BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch Amp and Guitar output sockets by spray rust remover agent on and wipe them clean with tissue paper some 3 minutes afterwards. Pay special attention to clean the threaded section, rust and dirt perfect hide. I gently rubbed the thin nut and flat washer on an extra fine sandpaper soaked with rust remover liquid. I do not have to show you how a melted rust looks like, right? Repeat the steps twice, re assemble them, plug the BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch back into its BCB 5 carrying box, plugin my Leo Fender’s handmade G&L, turn on my Peavey Bandit and let the BOSS PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch determines its own faith.

Slowly crank up the volume knob and I wondered for a second if things were getting worse instead because I heard nothing out of the speaker. I was surprised it was at 9 o’ clock position and I heard just quite soft hissing like a snoring kitten. Rather than the used to be barking humming noise.

Cure For Bad Breath At The Back Of The Throat Caused by Sinusitis

There are many reasons for bad breath so it is quite difficult to pin down the reasons in some cases. Most of the problems appear because of improper oral hygiene. However, if you are experiencing bad breath from the back of the throat, it is likely to be due to sinusitis and post nasal drip. If this is the case for you, you should know some things about this condition and how to handle it properly.

What is Sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. It can appear as a result of an infection or problems relating to fungal, allergies, viral, bacterial or autoimmune. This condition is closely linked with inflammation of the nose (rhinitis) also known as rhinosinusitis.

The human body has many paired paranasal sinuses. This includes the sphenoid, masillary, ethmoid and frontal sinuses. Ethmoid sinuses can be further divided as posterior and anterior. There are different levels of acuity of sinusitis and we can classify the disease by the cavity it affects.

Based on that, we can have maxillary sinusitis (which causes problems in the maxillary area showing headaches, toothaches and so on), sphenoid sinusitis (which affects the area behind the eyes causing pressure or pain and can also be linked with the vertex of the head), ethmoid sinusitis (which can also cause pain and/or pressure behind the eyes but can also be exhibited between them, usually causing headaches) and frontal sinusitis (which attacks the frontal sinus cavity, usually causing headaches).

Lately, it has been discovered that there is a link between sinusitis and different diseases that attack the respiratory tract. Often, this is linked to asthma. Every type of sinusitis can appear as a part of general inflammation of the airway and thanks to symptoms that are characteristic to this inflammation, like coughing, it can be easily detected.

Sinusitis and Post Nasal Drip

Bad breath is not caused directly by sinusitis. What happens is that the inflamed sinuses will produce a lot of mucous that varies in thickness. It tends to drip down the back area of our throats, thus appearing on the back of the tongue and throat. This condition is known as post nasal drip.

Such mucus is made of mostly protein which is food for anaerobic bacteria living in the mouth. When these bacteria feed on these proteins, they release bad odors through their waste products. To make matter worse, the lack of moisture in the areas affected allows anaerobic bacteria to multiply easily. Mucus will also get attached to the back of the neck and will create an uncontrollable urge to swallow for the person affected. In order to get rid of bad breath that appears at the back of the throat because of sinusitis and post nasal drip, we will need to eliminate the condition that is causing mucus development.

In most cases post nasal drip is caused by an allergy, flu or common cold. In such a situation you might need to wait for the condition to cure itself and take some medicine if you are suffering from allergies. On the other hand we can also fight post nasal drip and try to reduce it (even eliminate it) while it still is produced by sinusitis. Doctors can prescribe different drugs in order to reduce bad breath and discomfort caused by the condition. Usually we will find a mix of three: Sudafed, Guaifenesin and antithistamines as the possible solutions for such a case.

Sudafed is a decongestant that you can purchase without a prescription and works by opening the sinuses. It also reduces the mucus that is secreted when inflammation is exhibited. Guaifenesin will work at removing mucus directly and will make it easier for the patient to swallow. You can also purchase it without a prescription and the most common names under which it is sold are Mucinex or Robitussin. As antihistamine, doctors usually prescribe Allegra, Claritin or Benedryl. They are recommended for night use and tend to make the patient sleepy, especially in the case of Benedryl.

Bad breath can be fought when dealing with the condition highlighted here. The only persistent irritation is your urge to swallow because of the mucus at the back of your throat. One way to relief this is to eat a piece of bread, celery or any type of bulky food. Most patients who suffer from chronic problems with post nasal drips will have celery near them at night so that they can sleep easier.

Bad Breath is the Least of Your Worries

When dealing with sinusitis and post nasal drip, bad breath is the least of your problems. You can easily mask bad odors coming from the back of the neck. What you really need to do is to follow the prescription from your doctor. Failure to do this will only make the condition worse and you might end up with various types of pain, based on the type of sinusitis you are suffering from.

For most cases, bad breath will disappear as soon as the disease is under control. By combining medicine, a proper diet and proper oral hygiene you will quickly notice important improvements in your breath quality. Do note that besides sinusitis, tonsillitis is another possible cause that leads to post nasal drip. To have a proper diagnosis, it is very important for you to consult a doctor.

Top Five High Rated Night Clubs in Orlando

Orlando is a home to some of the finest nightclubs in America. Hollywood stars, celebrities, politicians, socialites, and locals can usually be seen gracing some of the top bars and clubs in this city. Here is a quick rundown of Orlando’s finest night hubs:

Tabu Nightclub

Speaking of celebrities, Tabu is frequented by the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Colin Farrell. Formerly known as the Zuma Beach Club, Tabu features upstairs lounge, and a big main floor. Having received renovations recently, the Tabu nightclub is one of the coziest nightclubs in the city at present. Be sure to peel your eyes off when visiting it for a star-studded night.


Located a few minutes walk away from the I-4 freeway, Pulse is one of the best gay clubs in Orlando since 2004. Its simplistic facade can be deceiving for first-time visitors as the inside hosts popular happenings such as Gay College Night, Pulsate Saturday, and Temptation Tuesday. Guests will also find excellent dance shows featuring professional dancers.

Firestone Live

Considered the most popular destination for those looking for high energy dance and trance beats, Firestone continue to cater their customers’ need even late at night. Depending what night you are visiting, this place may feature punk acts and Indie rock instead of DJs. And if you want to get good view of the dance floor going upstairs to the Glass Chamber, a lounge located a level up, is the best choice you’ve got.

Dragon Room Cocktail Boutique

Located in Orlando’s entertainment district, this super chic and lavishly designed nightclub will definitely not disappoint anyone. Dragon Room is specially built for young people and students of the University of Central Florida. Pulsating dances, awesome DJs, and hip hop jams await customers of Dragon Room. This place has a bar that serves very good cocktails which customers can enjoy while tearing up the dance floor or seating at the lounge. Ladies will surely love Fame Fridays when they can get free drinks before midnight. There are also new drink specials each week during Saturdays. Watch out for celebrities that also grace the dance floor and bar from time to time.


Another chic place to stay during night time in Orlando is the Antigua. Located in downtown Orlando, it is not only accessible, but also a hot spot for all kinds of people looking for a good time to cool off. The main attractions of this place are regular drink specials served differently each week. With their 500-gallon tropical fish tank and background cascading waterfalls as decoration, the Antigua is the perfect place you can hang out when you are in Orlando.

Visiting Orlando will never be complete without spending a night in any of these night clubs. If your time allows, take time to go to these and get a feel of what it is like to be in the city of Orlando.

A 17-year-old Soldier in Germany

I turned 17 in my second eight weeks of basic training at Fort Hood, Texas and was too young to appreciate a tour of duty in Germany. I did visit some of the sites, but most of my free time was wasted. I should have taken more leave while there and toured more.

After the troop ship landed in Bremerhaven, Germany, we loaded into a train and headed south to a small town near Frankfort, Germany. Hanau would be my home for the next two years. The cold war was building up and we were warned about riding the trains to close to the border. You could get on the wrong train headed for East Germany and it would not stop until the first station inside East Germany. And then it would be too late and it might take months for the military to get you back.

Following small arms target practice one day about an hour drive from Hanau, two of us decided to skip the target duty and hitch hike back to the barracks. Large targets would be raised for the solder on the firing line to shoot at, then you would lower the target and mark the bullet holes. If they missed the target all together, they would get a “Maggie Drawers,” a red flag would be waved from the pit for everyone to see. Sometimes if you didn’t care for the person on the line, we would give him “Maggie Drawers.” We walked out to the main road with our rifles over our shoulders and put out our thumbs. In no time we were back at the Barracks and no one said anything, I guess that we were not missed.

The Barracks at Hanau were built by the Germans before WWII and the base was well laid out in a half circle with the motor pool and equipment on one side and the barracks on the other side. It was a short walk to the motor pool but it seemed longer when you were caring all your gear and a 30-Cal Machine Gun or the barrel of a 50-Cal. We had Red Alerts about once a month and we would jump out of bed, rush down to the arms room in the basement, grab the equipment and run to the motor pool to await further orders. Our Barracks was on the corner with a good view of the athletic fields and lower buildings. The room was also on the top corner floor. It was great except for a low support beam that ran at an angle from the floor to the ceiling. We soon learned to duck under or avoid it.

We were trained for an Atomic War if hostilities broke out. One or more of the Atomic war heads for the Honest John Missile where stored in the basement of our barracks. We always new when they were moving them, because they would warn us about taking pictures out of the windows. I did take a few pictures of the crane that lifted the war heads but not of the warheads. Shells for the Atomic Cannon where moved around all over our area and could have very well been stored in the basement as well. One end of the basement was restricted and we had our classroom and arms room in the other end. There were rumors that we also had Atomic rounds for the 8 inch and 155 mm guns, but I never knew for sure.

B Battery, 3rd Armored Division 2nd Howitzer Battalion, 73rd Artillery, consisted of six 155mm M109 self-propelled howitzers and an armored personnel carrier for Fire Direction Control. Except for direct fire practice, the artillery would be shooting blind under the control of the Fire Direction Control Center. The Fire Direction Control Center would receive information by radio from the forward observer who would be watching the rounds hit the impact area. The pack of charges for firing the 155mm shells came in a pack of seven. They would then be told what charge to use, for example a charge five would mean that two charges would be removed and thrown into the fire pit. As a safety measure, one of the gun crew would count the discarded charges and repeat out loud to avoid mistakes.

A recorder on the phone between the fire direction group and the guns, would record all the information sent to the guns, in case there was a mistake or someone misunderstood, then verification could be made. This was my job, Battery Recorder. I would ride out ahead of the battery with the First Sargent and we would align the aiming circle, a device which had a compass and a scope for sighting in different angles. We would use this to obtain the correct direction for the guns and place stakes for them to line up on when they pulled into position. Great care had to be taken to insure that all six guns were pointed in the same direction parallel to each other. You aligned the device to magnet north by looking through a hole at the end of the compass needle. The danger here was that you had to be sure that you knew which end of the needle you were looking at. If you had the wrong end, then the guns would be laid out 180 degrees and you would be shooting backwards. One of the Honest John rockets was laid out backward in Grafenwohr during practice. The rocket with just enough explosive to blow the head apart, hit a building in a nearby town. No one was hurt.

The Fire Direction Control Center consisted of two drafting tables set up in the armored personnel carrier with field telephone contact with the guns. Each table was identical except that one used a plain paper chart and the other used a topographic map. The first order of business when we set up in a new position was to zero in on a known target. We would fire one round toward the target and the observer would then give us corrections over the radio. We would bracket the target with usually only three rounds. From this information we could then aim at any other target within our field of fire. The drafting equipment consisted of a metal scale for the elevation and protractor for the azimuth. There were other calculations that determined the proper charge and weather reports that gave us the air density. This information was sent to the guns in a string of information as Charge, Elevation and azimuth. The recorder wrote down this information as it was being given to the guns.

After setting up the alignment stakes for the guns and while waiting for them to arrive, I would dig a fox hole and set up the command station for our Lt. who over saw the operation. In practice I could get away with digging a shallow hole and erect a tent or camouflage over it, depending on the weather. Two pictures of Lt. Weske and myself on the field telephone are in the 1959-1960 Spearhead year book for the 73rd Artillery, 3d Armored Division

My cousin, Anna Lell, started writing to a pen pal in Germany when she was in high school and asked if I would look her up while I was in Germany. We wrote several letters back and forth and I was invited up to Hanover when I got some leave. Hanover was in the British sector and they were not used to seeing American solders. Annamarie’s father was a solder in WWII and I am not sure how he felt about his daughter seeing me. A friend of theirs owned a Hotel and they provided me with a nice room. We went to the movies, took long walks and toured Hanover. Nothing more became of the relationship and we lost touch. I am not sure if Anna Lell is still writing to her.

I also corresponded with Becky, my friend from Englewood, Tennessee while I was in Germany. It was nice to get letters from home and others while away from home. Once shortly after I arrived in Germany I took a week of leave and went camping. I did not have much money so it seemed like a good idea. I fit right in with the campers and my pup tent. The locals at the camp ground were friendly and they had a nice swimming hole.

I was not much for drinking, I might go out on the town with some of the other solders and just sit on one drink all night. However one evening I thought that I would see what it was like to get drunk. I persuaded Zink who did not drink, to go with me. Funny how we used only last names in the service and seldom first names. I guess it was because our last name was always there on the front for everyone to see. Zink took good care of me that night, I sure don’t remember much and was very sick the next morning. I hated not knowing what was going on around me and I don’t recall ever trying that again.

Operation Winter Shield took place in February 1960 with over 60,000 members of the Seventh Army at the Grafenwohr training grounds. The weather was cold and dry. This was the cause of a major motor pool fire at the start of the training. A returning jeep driver was refueling one night from a tanker parked in the motor pool, when a static spark started a gasoline fire. We were called out in the middle of the night to evacuate the motor pool. It was quite a sight with all the vehicles moving past the burning jeep and fuel tanker with the tires blowing and flames reaching hundreds of feet into the night sky.

One of the Batteries experienced a shell going off just after leaving the barrel of the gun. There was a road some 100 yards in front of the position and a Lt. in a jeep had a close call. We got the cease fire on the radio and listened to the excited chatter over the radio. The shell is set for an air burst by placing a tool on top of the shell and setting a dial for the correct time. There are safety limits on the dial, so it had to be a defective shell in order for it to go off that soon.

We would go to Grafenwohr about every six months for training and that summer we returned.

Gen. Colin Powell writes in his 1995 autobiography “My American Journey” about his time with the Division in 1958-60 and about the Cold War and the Army’s mission in Germany.

Colin Powell was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division on December 1958, the 21-year-old 2nd Lt. joined the 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, at Coleman Kaserne. After a promotion to 1st Lt. and training in Grafenwohr, he related the following story. I was also in the field at Grafenwohr that fateful day. We were in the middle of a firing mission with our 155’s when the radio broke open with a command to cease firing, hold all positions and maintain radio silence.

(Form General Powell’s book)

While working as Louiseil’s exec, I got a foretaste of what hot war could be like if the Cold War ever ignited. It was a morning after payday in the summer of 1960. Our brigade had gone to Grafenwohr for field training. The troops were to be billeted in over six hundred general-purpose tents. Our company had not yet arrived in force, but a sister unit, the 12th Cavalry, had come in the night before. Its tents were full of troops, still asleep at this early hour. I was returning from a bartering mission with another company’s exec., bringing rations I had traded for back to our mess hall. My ears pricked up at an odd, whistling sound overhead. In about a nanosecond, I realized it was an artillery shell that had strayed wildly out of the impact area. I stopped, frozen, and actually saw the 8-inch round come in. It struck a tent pole in the 12th Cavalry’s sector, detonating in an air-burst. The roar was deafening, followed by a terrifying silence. I dropped the food and rushed toward the blast as dismembered legs, hands, and arms thumped to the ground around me. Money from payday came fluttering to earth. Some other soldiers joined me, wading through the acrid smoke and fumes. Inside the tent, I zipped open a sleeping bag, and what was left looked like an illustration of viscera in a medical textbook. In an instant, a dozen lives had been snuffed out and more men wounded. The tragedy was later found to have been caused by human error in aligning the gun, and the battalion commander and other officers were relieved of their duties. I had seen a hundred war movies, but nothing had prepared me for the sights I saw that day.

(End of account from General Powell’s book)

(Account of the accident from the History Web Site of the 3rd Armored Division)

Accidents in an actual shooting war, as well as a Cold War, are inevitable. This one, however, stands out as apparently the worst U.S. ground training accident of the entire Cold War. Just after roll-call, on a rainy Friday morning on September 2, 1960, sixteen solders were killed and 27 were wounded when a 200-pound artillery shell landed amongst them at Camp Kasserine, Grafenwoehr. All of the men were from the 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 12th Calvary, 3rd Armored Division. The shell, which had an incorrect charge due to human error, was fired by a V Corps Artillery unit — Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery.

I knew exactly what happen that morning, someone misunderstood the correct charge and the round over shot the impact area. The big fear in that tent area that morning was that they all knew that usually a fire for effect would follow and that would mean six more rounds could be following the deadly misplaced round.

I tried to take a typing course during my time in Germany, I started the course three times and each time when I was about half way through the course we would pull out for field training. I never did complete the course. However the typing lessons have helped me over the years.

I took a couple of weeks leave and visited Copenhagen, Denmark. Saw a lot of museums and towers, one tower was built for a queen to ride up in a carriage had a circular ramp all the way to the top. I saw Tivoli Gardens and the Littlest Mermaid. I loved the food, they had a lot of dairy products and everyone was friendly. The bars rotated hours, at midnight half would close and another group would open. Copenhagen had a lot of night life and although I did not dance much, I enjoyed watching. I was a loaner, maybe because I was younger than the others. I took this trip and others by myself.

Near the end of 1960, the majority of our unit rotated back to the states for discharge, these were the drafted men who only had to serve two years. The enlisted who had to serve three years had to take over the operations for another six months. At the same time the Nike Missile sites in Germany were being turned over to the German Army. The men who still had the remainder of their tour to serve were transferred to units like ours who were now short of men.

I was promoted to Sp4 and placed in charge of the Fire Direction Control Center under a new Second Lt. Phelps. Even though I had received advanced training at Butzbach, Germany in January 1959 in Fire Direction, I had been acting only as the Battery Recorder up until this time. Now I had a new crew with no experience or training in the Artillery. I conducted classes, but it was hard to hold the interest of displaced men with only months left to serve. I was very cautious, remembering the accidents that had occurred I did not want any blood on my hands.

During the winter of 1960/61 we were involved in more tests at Grafenwoehr and I am proud that we completed the exercises without incident. However, were slow in performing the test. I was given an article 15 and reduced back to Private and 2nd Lt. Phelps did not get his 1st Lt. bars. I fought the article with the help of barracks lawyers, until it was almost time for me to ship back to the states. One of the guys at headquarters told me at the end that if I had not fought so hard, he could have torn up the papers and no one would have been the wiser. But it was too late at that point so I stripped off all my rank from my uniforms, except one set that I saved for the trip home. This would keep me off any picky details that were dished out along the way.

We were fortunate to fly back to the states and I had a month off to visit family, now living in Florida, before reporting for duty at Fort Lewis, Washington. I was hoping to be stationed closer to my home, however you are returned to the nearest post that you enlisted. As I enlisted in Portland, Oregon, then Fort Lewis would be where I would be discharged.

How Power Savers Work – Basic Buying Tips

Can you really save 40% on your electricity bills by plugging a small box into your AC socket?

In the past six month a number of products have been advertised on TV and online which seem too good to be true. I’d like to explain the reality of these exciting claims and give you a layman’s understanding of how Power Savers work.

A Power Saver is a device which you plug in to your power socket. Apparently just by keeping the device connected it will immediately reduce your power consumption. Typical claims are savings between 25% and 40%.

The technology behind Power Saver units comes from German research coupled with Asian manufacturing and it is based on sound scientific principles.

Electricity is not stable. When electricity flows the voltage can rise and fall all the time. The rises in voltage are known as ‘spikes’ and they cannot be used by your appliances at all. All these spikes do is waste your electricity. These power spikes also convert electrical energy into heat energy which leaks power from your circuit. Not only that but the heat will also do long-term danage to your wiring and to your appliances.

There are a few Power Saver models on the market but they all work along the same principle. They store the electricity inside of it using a system of capacitors and they release it in a smoother way to normal without the spikes. The systems also automatically remove carbon from the circuit which also encourages a smoother electrical flow. This means that you will have less power spikes. More of the electricity flowing around your circuit can be used to power your appliances than before.

There are many factors which do affect the efficiency of your Power Saver. The device works immediately after plugging it in although it can take as long as 8 days before it has adjusted itself for peak performance. The rate of savings will depend on what kind of appliances you have connected. All appliances are different but expect savings of up to 25% on lights, 30% on air-conditioning units and up to 35% on other appliances.

The highest savings will be in areas where voltage supply is less stable. Locations close to shops, restaurants and light industries tend to gain additional savings from Power Saver devices.

So how can you be sure that your Power Saver is working correctly?

Most often Power Savers come fitted with a light to indicate that it is working. If you have access to an electricity meter then you should see it immediately slowing down. Assuming that the light is on and that you leave the device unattended you can expect savings immediately. Be aware that often electricity companies will not take meter readings each month. Often bills are calculated on monthly averages which self-correct over time so please be aware of that in using your bill as a guide.

Finally, it is highly recommended to order your Power Savers from companies offering 100% guarantees for longer than 30 days. Remember that 30 days may not be sufficient time to truly know if the device is working as effectively as you expect. Try to work with companies that extend their guarantee dates to at least 60 day which gives you a much longer period to assess the benefits.

The Presentation of Denmark in the Opening Act of Hamlet

The presentation of Hamlet’s Denmark is first seen in the opening scene of Hamlet where the two guards enter and the first thing that is said is “who is there?” This immediately sets the mood of the whole play and to a certain extent what kind of state Denmark is in which is in a state of high alert, also the darkness and the mystery of who is there sets an ominous tone for the play and also sets an ominous mood for Denmark. It also suggests that the opening scene of Hamlet is set in the dark of night as they are unable to identify one another and so are on edge as to who the other person could be exactly.

Also when Bernardo says “long live the king” it shows that he is loyal to the current king of Denmark and by doing so proves that he is on the side of the other guard. This whilst establishing that both guards on the same side also shows that there could be an enemy and so the audience are able to conclude that currently Denmark is in a state of war. Throughout the whole of Act 1 scene 1 there is stichomythia where both Bernardo and Francisco have alternating lines and also there are blank verses that are broken up when Francisco says “Bernardo?” to which Bernardo replies in the same form of broken up blank verses “He.” By using this dramatic technique it suggests that the lines are spoken rather quickly one after the other which hints that there is some sort of tension between the two guards which is rather strange as they are only changing shifts and again this hints at the possibility that at that time there is some form of military instability in Denmark leaving everyone on edge.

In Act 1 scene 1 when Marcellus and the two sentinels see the ghost for the first time and they see that the ghost looks exactly like the late king hamlet “in the same figure like the king that’s dead.” Despite this they view it as a bad omen that maybe the men should have a military build up in Denmark in response to Fortinbras recruiting an army. Although Fortinbras’s army is supposed to be used against Poland, they fear he may attack Denmark to get revenge for his father’s death, and reclaim the land his father lost to King Hamlet. This is also backed up when they see the ghost in its full armour as the old king used to wear “such was the very armour he had on.” This again shows the risks that impose Denmark and how it is on the brink of war and the fact that the old king hamlet’s armour is discussed suggests that the old king was very much a war like king who was a hero to the people and so Denmark is going from a traditional war like place to a more political and diplomatically Denmark which can be seen when the new king Claudius sends a messenger to the king of Norway rather than confront the army which is being prepared to ensure that the army does not attack Denmark but merely passes through and goes to Poland.

In Act one scene 4 again the ghost is viewed as an omen on the fate of Denmark when Hamlet says to the ghost “Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,” so here it would be that Hamlet is asking the ghost is it an omen fro good health possibly to Denmark or is it a goblin. Then he goes on to say “Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell” this brings about the contrast and again an ominous mystery as to whether the ghost here is to bring gentle breezes or violent blighting gusts.

Also in scene 1 act 4 Marcellus says “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” this could refer to a number of things such as the new king Claudius marrying his bothers wife and becoming king or it would also be hinted at the ghost and it being an omen of bad news. Horatio replies to this “heaven will direct it.” This can be seen as Horatio saying that all that is currently wrong in Denmark in the end heaven will direct it all too good and that the heavens will make everything okay.

In conclusion the presentation of Denmark in Hamlet is very well done as it shows how the influential people of within Denmark affect the country as a whole.

How to Fix an Inflatable Water Slide: The Four Most Common Problems

Inflatable water slides have become extremely popular and if you are lucky enough to own one you know why. You have come to the right place if you are looking for info on how to fix an inflatable water slide. Banzai Falls happens to be one of the most recognized brands available and one of the best selling. Unfortunately they also seem to be one of the most problematic slides too.

There are some repairs that are easy to fix and some that are beyond all hope. I am going to cover the four most common problems and how you can take care of them yourself and save what is probably one of your kids favorite toys.

1. Mold: Well summer is here again and that that first hot day your kids are begging for the water slide and you unpack it from storage and find it is all moldy. Mold is unsightly and could be a possible health hazard but sometimes if it is not too extensive you can get rid of it. Start by getting a leaner that is safe for polyester canvas I would recommend Aurora Boat Clean Plus. You may want to consider washing your inflatable once a year to help keep is clean.

2. Tear or Puncture in the Fabric: No matter how careful you are with your inflatable water slide a tear or puncture can happen. You may not notice it until you inflate the slide and notice that is is under inflated or not inflating at all. If this happens you should start to hunt for tear in the fabric.

If your slide will not inflate at all the damage may be extensive enough that you can easily find it. If your slide is only slightly less inflated it probably means that the tear is small and may be difficult to find. A trick to make this easier is to inflate the slide and squirt it with a spray bottle filled with a mixture of dish soap and water. If you have a leak the escaping air should cause the mixture to bubble and you can identify the source of your problem. Once you find the leak you may want to check the rest of the slide to make sure there is not more than one.

To repair a rip or tear in the fabric you start by sewing up the hole this is to prevent it from getting bigger. Once you have sewn it up you will need some adhesive and a piece of material for a patch. You can purchase a canvas repair kit from almost anywhere that sells camping equipment they should have them for repairing tents.

Follow the directions that come with the kit just make sure you use a patch big enough to cover the entire rip. If the patch materials are not big enough you can use more than one piece just make sure you overlap the seams by about 1 inch.

3. Splitting Seams: Unfortunately if your slide is coming apart at the seams you have the hardest type of repair to make. Most of the time this type of damage may be too extensive to fix but since these slides are expensive you probably want to give it a shot. You are going to follow the same steps as repairing a hole.

Start by sewing the seam up, be sure to go a little beyond where the split stops. After that is done you are going to cover with the patch material. Then cross your fingers and turn the blower on if the slide holds air then give yourself a pat on the back.

4. A Defective or Broken Blower: If the blower unit is bad unless you have experience with electrical motor repairs then you should really replace it. You can purchase replacement blowers on eBay for anywhere from $50 – $200 depending on the type and condition. You will need to match the blower size and strength to the one you have for it to function correctly.

Banzai Falls is not the only maker of inflatable water slides there are other brands like Blast Zone and Bounceland which in my opinion offer a higher quality product. Banzai seems to have a lot of trouble with durability which leads so many people looking for directions on how to them. I hope you are able to repair your slide but if not check out some of the other brands.

The Advantages of Using Energy Saving Candle Bulbs

In today’s environmental changes and economic crisis common household owners have devised ways on how to save money on electric bills. In the guise of technology enhancement a lot of lighting companies have come up energy saving candle bulbs as the appropriate replacement for the traditional lighting bulbs that we have at home. Energy saving candle bulbs really helped common people to save home energy use.

Energy saving candle bulbs is the most sensible alternative to standard light bulbs that we are commonly using nowadays it is because of the many benefits it can extend to the homeowners. Low energy light bulbs and lamps last longer than standard light bulbs and save about 80% of the electricity bills you used to pay in a month. That’s amazing huge savings you can get! They used only a fraction of energy yet give full lighting at the same time. Aside from the high illumination of high saving lights they can also lasts longer than most standard lights do. You do not need to replace bulbs too often. Due to the low wattage of energy saving lights, cooler temperature is emitted and is perfect for enclosed fittings or spaces. Energy saving lights emits light white compared to cloudy yellowish light with standard bulbs.

More energy saving lights is now available in the market today and most homeowners want to use it instead of traditional lighting bulbs for a number of reasons. Energy saving candle bulbs is cool to touch preventing you from getting burned with real candles. Using candles as source of light pose safety hazards of getting your house burned by accident. It is important to be careful always when using candles at home and it must be kept out of reach of small children. Candle light bulbs promote a cozy ambiance and comfortable setting within your homes. It is beautiful to gaze on chandeliers and Christmas trees with candle light bulbs attached to it that emits flickering effects. In many instances candle light bulbs replaced candles because these are more efficient to use in any occasions and is economical.

When using real candles safety is your most concern because of many fire incidents caused by unattended candles. Candle light bulbs are very safe to use and install, do not emit smoke that can cause air pollution, low costs and amazingly last longer than any other ordinary bulbs.

Save home energy to save more money with energy candle bulbs because of their high quality and high illumination yet low in energy consumption indeed switching from traditional bulbs into using energy saving lights is a must. You do not only give yourself a favor but to the environment as well by reducing air pollution. Everybody is responsible of making this planet ideal place to live in.

Should You Consider Installing a Pendant Light Fixtures?

If you are reading this article, then either you are planning to renovate your home, or you are moving into a new home, or you are not totally happy with your current home lighting. In any of the cases, this might be the right time for you to understand the pros and cons of pendant light fixtures and consider whether you are going to be helped by one.

Pendant lighting has emerged as a great alternative to the classical ceiling lighting. In fact, if you dig deep into history, pendant lighting is one of the oldest forms of light installations. The old palaces and castles had great-looking pendant lights with fantastic fixtures. Pendant lighting resembled aristocracy during those days. And even nowadays, with ceiling mounted fixtures being the conventional form of lighting, pendant lighting remains the more aristocratic form of lighting.

Today, with the modern manufacturing industry being capable of quickly producing the pendants and this lighting system becoming more popular, there is no dearth of choices. You would be able to find pendant light fixtures of your choice with utmost ease and within affordable budgets. And in all likelihood it will look beautiful.

The more critical question is that can you get all the advantages of the conventional lighting if you use pendants? The short and practical answer is, yes, you can. What is a conventional ceiling lighting expected to do for you?

  1. It is expected to brighten up every corner of your room.
  2. It is expected to render sufficient brightness at the places that you desire.
  3. It is expected to make the home look beautiful.
  4. It is expected to be easy to maintain and keep clean.

Take a pendant light now. Note that the light fixture will let you determine the height of the light at the time of installation. So if you fix the light high, the light will spread out more and if you install the bottom of the fixture at lower heights then the light will be focus on a relatively more central area.

Hence, to brighten up every corner of your room you have to install the bottom of the pendant light fixtures high up. Interestingly if you live in a house with high ceiling, use a long handled fixture so that the light hangs down a long way from the high ceiling. That way you shall get better lighting closer to the ground and this is something you shall never make with a conventional ceiling lighting.

To get focus on a particular area, you shall have to hand the pendant lighting fixture over that area, and set the height of the bottom of the pendant to be lower. The pendant lighting being close to the ground, it is much easier to clean and maintain the light and the fixture. And in terms of looks, these are clear winners too.

6 Barriers To Effective Management

When you are just one of the team, managing others can seem like a stroll in the park. Yet in truth when people move into a management roles they often discover just how challenging it can be.

So what are 6 key barriers to effective management?

Barrier 1: Putting It At The Bottom of The List

So often I come across managers who, despite being clear that a key part of their role is managing, fill 100% of their schedule doing things. Inevitably managing which is near the bottom never gets a look in because people are too busy doing. Only you can make it priority.

Barrier 2: Refusing To Learn How To Manage

No matter what it is, you have to be willing to set time aside to learn how to manage. Yet some people feel that it is something you can just pick up. The reality is that there a huge cost to organisations financially and otherwise as a result of having managers who cannot manage.

Barrier 3: Not Delegating

You probably got promoted because you were good at doing. As a result you might try to keep doing everything by yourself. The trouble is that if you ever want to deliver great results you have start delegating.

Barrier 4: Failing To Motivate

People don’t just get motivated because your job title has “manager” in it. You need to actively take steps to find out what it is that motivates people and then actively seek to provide opportunities that allows them the chance to do what makes them tick most of the time.

Barrier 5: Ignoring Performance Problems

Sooner or later some sort of performance problem will arise. It might be tempting to try and ignore these in the hope that they will go away. What I have found is that when you do this small issues end up being blown out of proportion. If you want to stand out as a manager, develop a habit of acting on performance problems.

Barrier 6: Procrastinating

People might not like every decision you take but in reality they would rather you take decisions rather than procrastinate. If you find yourself procrastinating, stand back and ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I decided and acted?” The truth is, probably nothing major.

The Bottom Line: Management will always present some challenges and quite often small changes can make a huge difference to your success.

Custom-Built Fire Pit Vs Store-Bought

Should you choose a custom-built fire pit or buy a store-bought model? Neither approach need be costly, but which is the best way to expand the use of your backyard?

A fire pit, or its taller version, the fire table, adds a feature to your yard that can warm up a chilly night. As the year passes, the pit can be a gathering place for family and friends well into the fall and winter. In nice weather, it can be the epicenter of marshmallow and weenie roasts. By properly locating it in your yard, a fire pit offers a safe way to have a fire in your yard and can even help you get rid of the extra tree trimmings accumulating along the back of your property.

Fire Pit Basics to Consider

Both store-bought and custom-built pits rest on a fire-resistant surface such as gravel, concrete, brick, slate, or composite. Since embers can fly out, placing them on a wood deck is not advisable. Local fire codes vary, but the pits should be set at least 10 feet from the home or any flammable structure. Check with your city first – you may need a permit, while some communities allow no open burning at all.

Fire pits can be fueled by wood, gas, or gel fuels; some pits even have remote switches to produce an instant flame. Wood fire gives the most warmth, along with natural crackle and smoke.

Store-Bought or Custom-Built?

For a quick fire pit, you can order online or pick one up at your local big box store. For prices that start at less than $100, you can procure a very attractive unit in many styles that often include a screen to help keep flames in check. You can set the pit on a patch of gravel and produce instant ambience. If you like the look of store-bought pits, are too busy to prepare your ground for a built in unit, or are in need of one that is portable, your choice is clear.

A custom-built pit offers you everything one from the store offers, plus a whole lot more. For starters, building one for your home need not cost any more than what you would buy. After laying out the area where the pit will go, you dig a trench and fill it with gravel and cement as a base. You then lay bricks or manhole blocks on top of the base to form the sides. After covering the sides with a thin layer of surface-bonding cement, you add a layer of fireproof brick capstones on top for a finished look, along with a screen.

Hardscaping Design for your Yard

For many homeowners, a more extensive custom-built fire pit offers an opportunity to create a beautiful hardscape in the yard to complement the deck, gardens, retaining walls, and other features. You might build it out to surround the pit with a little round patio that might include built-in stone seating and use materials found elsewhere in the yard for an integrated look.

The more extensive your fire pit project becomes, the more likely it is that you will want to put it in the hands of a professional contractor. When you want to add a custom-built pit to your yard, entrust the design and construction to experienced hardscape designers.

Why the Psychology of Color Is Useful When Choosing From Various Abstract Wallpapers

Abstract wallpapers are always excellent choices for contemporary art lovers and people who like dreaming away. Digital art has the power to create unexpected graphics that please the eye, and offer viewers a psychedelic visual experience. Computer generated fractals or just photographs taken from unusual perspectives can help people evade from their environments into a new, creative world of shape and color. When admiring abstract pictures, you can get the impression of an unreal experience, comparable to that of a dream, a fantasy or of an altered state of consciousness.

How do you choose your abstract desktop backgrounds? Some people are just impressed with the eerie feeling certain images give, some like to choose images depending on their mood, the day, the weather and so on. There are people who like to choose abstract images depending on their color and the effects that specific color has on the human brain. The psychology of color offers clues to the fact that different colors have different effects on people, and we could use color in a therapeutic way.

First of all, how do people perceive color? Actually, color is a subjective experience in our brains. Objects are perceived as having different colors depending on the frequency of the light they reflect. The cone cells in our eyes are specialized to perceive color and transmit the visual information to the brain.

Colors also differ when it comes to their cultural interpretations and their effects on people. For example, in Western cultures, black symbolizes death and mourning, while in the Korean culture, the color of death is white. The effects colors have on people are mostly similar in all cultures.

What is the effect of your favorite color on the human brain? Let’s have a look at what psychologists have to say about the power different colors have:


Red is said to have a stimulating effect on people. Researchers found that red could affect people’s reactions, leading to more rapid movements and a greater force. This stimulating effect can also have negative consequences, like agitation or lack of concentration. Scientists found that exposing students to red leads to a poor performance on a test. So, if you plan to change your desktop wallpaper before an important exam, it might be a better idea to choose cool colors and avoid red.


Blue is a color that often induces calmness, relaxation, peace and serenity, because it can have the effect of lowering the pulse rate. Unlike red, blue stimulates creativity and has a positive influence on productivity. When you plan on working hard, choose blue abstract backgrounds for your computer, and you will be amazed of your own productivity. On the other side, blue can also create a sad, distant feeling.


When you feel stressed, change your desktop background to a green abstract image. Green is said to relieve stress and help body healing. A color of nature, green creates a feeling of calm and tranquility. Researchers also found that green has a positive influence on people’s reading ability.

So next time you choose a background for your computer, make sure the dominant color matches your mood and purposes. Abstract wallpapers can calm you or stimulate you depending on their color.

DuroDesign – Cork Flooring Review

This article is a review of DuroDesign’s cork flooring product. Our goal is to educate you on DuroDesign’s product and help you decide if this is the right cork based floor for you. Being there are quite a few manufacturers of cork based flooring it’s generally a good idea to learn about them. Feel free to view our other reviews on other manufacturers and vendors. If you’d like to learn more about installing it in your home or would like to get an estimate please follow the links at the end of this review.

First, you need to know the DuroDesign manufactures two different flooring products made of cork. One is the glue-down cork tiles and the other is the cork floating floor planks (click-together system). They both come in six different patterns and 54 different colors. You can install their glue-down cork tiles over a sub-floor of plywood or concrete. The cork floating floor planks can be installed over the same type of sub-floor and even over your existing floor. The floating floor planks tend to be geared more towards the do-it-yourself type, however many contractors do install this flooring product.

They claim they use only the best quality pigments to achieve crisp and clear colors in order to preserve its beautiful natural texture. The finish they use is the MP765 polyurethane finishing system (glue-down tiles only) to give them more durability, resistance to abrasion and resilience to make a cork flooring product to last a life time.

They offer a warranty on both of these cork based flooring products. You’re covered by a 25 year structural warranty and a 5 year renewable finish warranty. However, we recommend you talk with your vendor, dealer or contractor to get more accurate details on their warranty. From consumers we’ve talked to it seems that there are some issues behind the warranty, but for the most part they honor it. Make sure you follow any coating requirements to honor your part of the maintenance and care requirements.

You can achieve LEED® certification by install either of this cork flooring products including;

  • LEED® MR Credit 4.1 and 4.2: Recycled Content
  • LEED® MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • LEED® EQ Credit 4: Low-Emitting Materials

We rate both these products a 4.5 out of 5, the only issue we have is the limited available patterns and colors. If you’d like to learn more about other flooring products made out of cork from other manufactures follow the link below. You can also use the below link to get an estimate on installing cork floors in your household, up to 5 for FREE. So, what are you waiting for, come learn more about cork flooring today by following the links below.