Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




View Full Version : Major Airline Stack


BeechPilot33
02-15-2019, 10:56 AM
Anyone have an idea of how many qualified applicants the big three have on file. I’ve heard one to five thousand. Any recruiters are those in the know care to take a SWAG? By qualified I assume 1000 TPIC and a 4 year degree.


rickair7777
02-15-2019, 11:30 AM
Probably about 7000.

But its the same 7000.

TransWorld
02-15-2019, 11:39 AM
Probably about 7000.

But its the same 7000.

Last year there were 4,604 pilots hired by the majors/freight dogs/LCCs combined. So that is a bit of reference, about a year and a half supply. YMMV

It is going to increase over the next few years, and be sustained.

As history, in 2013, before hiring ramped up, hiring was 1,084. Hence, the sucking sound you hear.

There are about 20,000 regional pilots. About 1,000 get hired each year from the military. You can do the math.


rickair7777
02-15-2019, 11:53 AM
Last year there were 4,604 pilots hired by the majors/freight dogs/LCCs combined. So that is a bit of reference, about a year and a half supply. YMMV

It is going to increase over the next few years, and be sustained.

As history, in 2013, before hiring ramped up, hiring was 1,084. Hence, the sucking sound you hear.

There are about 20,000 regional pilots. About 1,000 get hired each year from the military. You can do the math.

How many are the regionals hiring each year? The civilian pipeline is humming along pretty well right now.

galaxy flyer
02-15-2019, 12:17 PM
Add in returning pilots who left in the Great Recession, the influx of second career noobies who suddenly found flying passion and there’s still a crap shoot aspect to the career. There’s never been a better time, it can be a great life, but don’t bank on being a wide body captain at a legacy.

GF

Sniper66
02-15-2019, 12:40 PM
Anyone have an idea of how many qualified applicants the big three have on file. I’ve heard one to five thousand. Any recruiters are those in the know care to take a SWAG? By qualified I assume 1000 TPIC and a 4 year degree.






There will never be a shortage at DL, UAL, AMR, SWA, FedEx, UPS since they all have almost zero turnover and only retirements ~ around 2200 per year. And hiring give or take around 3500 per year combined. So do the math.
7 years at a regional and the jump is as real as it gets with networking because that is what it takes

I would say around 11000 same applicants trying to break the code with the numbers you posted however Remember, every year the list is constant at 11000 since more qualified pilots enter this list from everywhere


That’s from a legacy recruiter very close friend of mine

JayMahon
02-15-2019, 01:02 PM
There will never be a shortage at DL, UAL, AMR, SWA, FedEx, UPS since they all have almost zero turnover and only retirements ~ around 2200 per year. And hiring give or take around 3500 per year combined. So do the math.
7 years at a regional and the jump is as real as it gets with networking because that is what it takes

I would say around 11000 same applicants trying to break the code with the numbers you posted however Remember, every year the list is constant at 11000 since more qualified pilots enter this list from everywhere


That’s from a legacy recruiter very close friend of mine

So, 1 in 5 positions to applicants each year. 1 in 3 applicants gets hired. Is growth that high or is there some expected washout? I can't imagine flying for a regional and washing out of training at the majors. You're already rocking turbine time.

Those numbers don't sound intimidating. I don't see any reason why the moment you hit the minimums you wouldn't put your application into all the majors and keep working them every year until you made it.

galaxy flyer
02-15-2019, 01:17 PM
first, what if you’re not one of those hired? I’ve known plenty in that boat. What if a recession slows hiring? Can delay hiring for years. What if High Speed Rail really does take-off? Unlikely at this time, but could really put a crimp on lots of short haul flying. The Shutyle went from A300/B727 to ERJ/CRJ with Amtrak’s Acela. What if you lose your medical before covered by LTD? A friend recently died of cancer at 57, no LTD in corporate flight department. Ouch!

The Sixties was the last time we had hiring like today, the Seventies were a lost decade, no growth despite the WW II retirements. The Eighties had a big boom due to growth, continued thru the Nineties even with a recession. Then another lost 13 years.

No predictions, but aviation careers aren’t guaranteed and far riskier than, say, accounting.

GF

JayMahon
02-15-2019, 01:33 PM
first, what if you’re not one of those hired? I’ve known plenty in that boat. What if a recession slows hiring? Can delay hiring for years. What if High Speed Rail really does take-off? Unlikely at this time, but could really put a crimp on lots of short haul flying. The Shutyle went from A300/B727 to ERJ/CRJ with Amtrak’s Acela. What if you lose your medical before covered by LTD? A friend recently died of cancer at 57, no LTD in corporate flight department. Ouch!

The Sixties was the last time we had hiring like today, the Seventies were a lost decade, no growth despite the WW II retirements. The Eighties had a big boom due to growth, continued thru the Nineties even with a recession. Then another lost 13 years.

No predictions, but aviation careers aren’t guaranteed and far riskier than, say, accounting.

GF

What if a simplified tax code gets passed? You know how many accountants do work OTHER than tax prep and tax advice and tax structuring and tax sheltering?

Thinking other industries are free from the ebb and pull of larger economic forces and aviation is impacted to a different degree is a sheltered point of view. Even in the airlines, you could be pumping gas or working the check-in desk or working for TSA giving handjobs and be in the same boat as pilots in an economic downturn.

In the end would you rather be running the rat race in a cubicle making 60-80k at best (without owning your own business or being an exception to the rule) or would you rather get paid 200k+ to do something that you love and travel more than most Americans could even imagine?

Let the bad times come. Regardless of where you sit you'll need to be flexible. A few lucky ones will fly over the dark clouds and not be impacted at all. These are all things you can't control. Manage the controllables.

Sniper66
02-15-2019, 02:35 PM
So, 1 in 5 positions to applicants each year. 1 in 3 applicants gets hired. Is growth that high or is there some expected washout? I can't imagine flying for a regional and washing out of training at the majors. You're already rocking turbine time.

Those numbers don't sound intimidating. I don't see any reason why the moment you hit the minimums you wouldn't put your application into all the majors and keep working them every year until you made it.




I am at a legacy and I can tell you the failure of new hires are almost none.. one here and there you hear failed training.
Just posting what a recruiter friend told me about the numbers month ago

rickair7777
02-15-2019, 06:13 PM
So, 1 in 5 positions to applicants each year. 1 in 3 applicants gets hired. Is growth that high or is there some expected washout? I can't imagine flying for a regional and washing out of training at the majors. You're already rocking turbine time.

Rare, but it happens (don't slack off). Major training is *usually* a little gentler than traditional regional training because it's all alien to the mil guys (especially non mobility). Regionals, at least historically, would hire ten and gradute 6-9. CFI's used to an expendable bulk commodity.


Those numbers don't sound intimidating. I don't see any reason why the moment you hit the minimums you wouldn't put your application into all the majors and keep working them every year until you made it.

That's exactly what you should do. The limit will be how time you have available, and which majors to prioritize. Ideally you'd go full court press on all the big six plus some LCC's of your choosing, but that would take a lot of effort to maintain apps, network, etc. Full time job.

TransWorld
02-15-2019, 07:56 PM
There will never be a shortage at DL, UAL, AMR, SWA, FedEx, UPS since they all have almost zero turnover and only retirements ~ around 2200 per year. And hiring give or take around 3500 per year combined. So do the math.
7 years at a regional and the jump is as real as it gets with networking because that is what it takes

I would say around 11000 same applicants trying to break the code with the numbers you posted however Remember, every year the list is constant at 11000 since more qualified pilots enter this list from everywhere


That’s from a legacy recruiter very close friend of mine

Boeing predicts the next two decades will average 6,000 pilots hired per year. The last 3 years actual hires have been 4,000+ per year. So the 3,500 per year seems low.

Interesting about you saying 11,000 qualified applications with the majors. With only 20,000 pilots with the regionals (and a reasonable guess of 2,000 mostly Captains are lifers), that seems high to me.

Back before hiring started up (2012) several sources from all the majors HR departments estimated there were 10,000 qualified applications. That was back in the day when the regionals had a lot of 20+ year CA just waiting for a call. There were a lot of FO with 10+ years. One would think it would be lower than that, today.

rickair7777
02-16-2019, 11:32 AM
Boeing predicts the next two decades will average 6,000 pilots hired per year. The last 3 years actual hires have been 4,000+ per year. So the 3,500 per year seems low.

Interesting about you saying 11,000 qualified applications with the majors. With only 20,000 pilots with the regionals (and a reasonable guess of 2,000 mostly Captains are lifers), that seems high to me.

Back before hiring started up (2012) several sources from all the majors HR departments estimated there were 10,000 qualified applications. That was back in the day when the regionals had a lot of 20+ year CA just waiting for a call. There were a lot of FO with 10+ years. One would think it would be lower than that, today.

I have heard that it's less than it used to be. You might get to 10,000+ if you include every regional FO with 1000 hours turbine time, they are technically qualified for most majors, but also rarely actually competitive for most majors... but that last could change if it had to.

And of course most of the applicants have applied to most of the best majors, if they bothered to apply to one of them.

sailingfun
02-16-2019, 11:53 AM
Hours flown are one part of the equation to getting hired at a Major. They are probably not the biggest part.

TransWorld
02-16-2019, 01:38 PM
I keep hearing rumors / guesses of 5,000 to 7,000 qualified* applications with the majors. It would be good if someone could ask an in the know HR person.

If the average hiring, as Boeing says, will be 6,000 each year over the next couple of decades, here is my crystal ball:

1,000 military (about what they are running)
1,000 commercial, non major freight dogs, US pilots flying foreign carriers, helio to fixed wing, etc.
4,000 from regionals

That means a 1 to 2 year supply of qualified apps. It will be replenished, but a constant draw will have a big, sustained sucking sound on the regionals.

United has about 150 furloughed that have a drop dead during 2019, not aware of any other furloughs.

Yes, there have been a bunch of pilots who left the majors after 9/11 and have now come back to the majors. Seems most remaining are going through regionals to freshen up. Their numbers are really starting to dwindle.

There continue to be a number of pilots in their 40s+ who have never flown for the majors that are quitting their day jobs. They are going through the regionals, so are part of what is stated above.

*qualified, for major from non-military:
Captain
1,000+ hours multi turbine
4 year college degree
No skeletons, or one or two with learning.

You can find exceptions here and there, but this looks like the big picture.

I have heard all sorts of numbers, including as high as 25,000 qualified applications (up from 10,000 when nobody was hiring). Considering that is more than the total number of regional pilots (20,000), it took me a minute to pick myself up off the floor, I was laughing so hard.

Excargodog
02-16-2019, 01:55 PM
“Qualified” is a hard to define term. There are in the total a group that are certainly “qualified” but also somewhat...blemished, for lack of a better word. They are clearly LEGALLY QUALIFIED and TECHNICALLY COMPETENT, but their applications draw interviews infrequently if at all because of too many tickets, too many DUIs, too many training failures, too little formal education, too many personal bankruptcies, etc. These people tend to remain in that “qualified” group, perhaps forever, and they inflate the numbers.

The issue isn’t the number of qualified applicants you need to compete against nearly as much as it is the number of COMPETITIVE applicants you need to compete against.

Depending on your own qualifications, that can be a much reduced number. It isn’t linear, it isn’t a flow. It’s a competition.

And the same process affects the interview. Yes, anyone who is selected for an interview is “qualified” but not all interviews result in CJOs.

Mesabah
02-16-2019, 01:59 PM
Half the people I talk to at my regional don't have their apps in with anyone. I doubt any major has more than 6-7 thousand apps.

full of luv
02-16-2019, 05:20 PM
Half the people I talk to at my regional don't have their apps in with anyone. I doubt any major has more than 6-7 thousand apps.

That's certainly better than a decade ago when in 2007 Delta was interviewing and someone claimed that they had over 12K apps on file.

Excargodog
02-16-2019, 07:41 PM
Current FAA stats indicate that there are an estimated 157,000 active ATPs in the US (ATP rating with current physical) but that the AVERAGE AGE is 51 and has been rising steadily for at least the last 17 years.

https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/media/2018-civil-airmen-stats.xlsx

Approximately 67,000 of these individuals work for the big six. An other 9000 work for the majors Allegiant, JetBlue, Spirit, and Frontier.

The regionals hold roughly 21,000 of those active ATPs.

Those two sources account for 97,000 or roughly 62% of all active ATPs.

TransWorld
02-16-2019, 08:31 PM
The remaining 38% - not flying for the big 6, LCCs, and regionals. What would be your guess as to what they are doing and how many will be drawn in?

Speculate. Go...

We all can make a laundry list of things these pilots are doing today, but how many is the question.

(I have my guesses.)

Blue Dude
02-16-2019, 08:40 PM
A good number would be retired and not yet deceased. A bunch of others are corporate and part 135. No idea how many of those have apps in.

Excargodog
02-16-2019, 09:09 PM
The remaining 38% - not flying for the big 6, LCCs, and regionals. What would be your guess as to what they are doing and how many will be drawn in?

Speculate. Go...

We all can make a laundry list of things these pilots are doing today, but how many is the question.

(I have my guesses.)

Well, at least another 4000 are flying for Atlas, ACIM, and the like. Fractionals are good 5000 more. Another 4000 miscellaneous charter, and that leaves 47,000 to go. I would imagine half the rest are flying miscellaneous business jets. There are nearly 12,000 BUSINESS jets registered in the US, most of which are professionally flown. Some, I don't know how many, would be over 65 but still keeping a current physical for flying their RVs and other expensive toys.

Peacock
02-17-2019, 12:40 AM
Well, at least another 4000 are flying for Atlas, ACIM, and the like. Fractionals are good 5000 more. Another 4000 miscellaneous charter, and that leaves 47,000 to go. I would imagine half the rest are flying miscellaneous business jets. There are nearly 12,000 BUSINESS jets registered in the US, most of which are professionally flown. Some, I don't know how many, would be over 65 but still keeping a current physical for flying their RVs and other expensive toys.

Plus sim instructors, military guys trying to get hired, and guys flying overseas

Poser765
02-17-2019, 04:20 AM
Plus sim instructors, military guys trying to get hired, and guys flying overseaslets throw another group in of indeterminate size.

We need to keep in mind that a few years ago getting your ATP wasn’t that much harder than wrapping up a multi add on. I know two career CFIs myself who also hold an ATP because why not.

chrisreedrules
02-17-2019, 04:33 AM
I would venture a guess that the majority of pilots at the American wholly owned regionals don’t have their apps in anywhere. It’s understandable to some degree. It takes about 4-5 years for a regional pilot to gain the experience to be realistically competitive. And by that time they’re looking at 1-2 years left to flow to mainline American. Many still try to get out but I see a lot of qualified pilots apply and never get called and just end up flowing.

And conversely the vast majority of pilots I talk to at other regionals aren’t even applying at American because the number of off the street civilians hired is very small. So they are all competing for the jobs at Delta, UA, FedEx, SWA, etc

Voski
02-17-2019, 05:22 AM
I would venture a guess that the majority of pilots at the American wholly owned regionals don’t have their apps in anywhere. It’s understandable to some degree. It takes about 4-5 years for a regional pilot to gain the experience to be realistically competitive. And by that time they’re looking at 1-2 years left to flow to mainline American. Many still try to get out but I see a lot of qualified pilots apply and never get called and just end up flowing.

And conversely the vast majority of pilots I talk to at other regionals aren’t even applying at American because the number of off the street civilians hired is very small. So they are all competing for the jobs at Delta, UA, FedEx, SWA, etc

I’m at Envoy and know plenty of people that aren’t trying to leave. They’re usually within 3 years of their projected flow (from the union). One of my friends said she’s never had an app out anywhere else and doesn’t intend to.

Excargodog
02-17-2019, 06:23 AM
I would venture a guess that the majority of pilots at the American wholly owned regionals don’t have their apps in anywhere. It’s understandable to some degree. It takes about 4-5 years for a regional pilot to gain the experience to be realistically competitive.

That sounds like your classic self fulfilling prophecy. Nobody will hire me so I won't apply....:confused:

And conversely the vast majority of pilots I talk to at other regionals aren’t even applying at American because the number of off the street civilians hired is very small.

Both ways...

captjns
02-17-2019, 06:29 AM
I’m at Envoy and know plenty of people that aren’t trying to leave. They’re usually within 3 years of their projected flow (from the union). One of my friends said she’s never had an app out anywhere else and doesn’t intend to.

Curious to know... with shorter upgrade times currently, is it easier for a regional pilot to live in base without the commute hassle, versus the big 3 in many cases?

rickair7777
02-17-2019, 07:53 AM
Curious to know... with shorter upgrade times currently, is it easier for a regional pilot to live in base without the commute hassle, versus the big 3 in many cases?

Depends. There are more regional domiciles in mid size towns, which tend to be more affordable than the big hubs.

So less traffic, closer to airport, more affordable. But that's about the only thing easier at a regional in most cases.

rickair7777
02-17-2019, 07:59 AM
lets throw another group in of indeterminate size.

We need to keep in mind that a few years ago getting your ATP wasn’t that much harder than wrapping up a multi add on. I know two career CFIs myself who also hold an ATP because why not.

Piston pilots, regardless of hours or ratings, are not going to be competitive for majors except as a last resort. It's apples to oranges, I trained a couple career CFIs at the regional, and it was poop show in both cases. They are much worse than a 1500 hour noob, because they are older, set in their ways.

That's a generality, I don't mean to discourage anyone who is really motivated.

Poser765
02-17-2019, 08:43 AM
Piston pilots, regardless of hours or ratings, are not going to be competitive for majors except as a last resort. It's apples to oranges, I trained a couple career CFIs at the regional, and it was poop show in both cases. They are much worse than a 1500 hour noob, because they are older, set in their ways.

That's a generality, I don't mean to discourage anyone who is really motivated.right. I’m not really using them as a potential ATP holder competing for a job at the majors.

The discussion was a bit more about what these ATPs are doing. My point was there are a LOT of people that hold an ATP but never use it to fly anything larger than a 310.

Excargodog
02-17-2019, 09:07 AM
right. I’m not really using them as a potential ATP holder competing for a job at the majors.

The discussion was a bit more about what these ATPs are doing. My point was there are a LOT of people that hold an ATP but never use it to fly anything larger than a 310.

That^^^

And, further research, there are about 2000 ATP holders over 65 who still hold a first or second class medical. They obviously aren’t competing for a job at the majors either, although I suppose their continued flying may free up other ATPs to compete.

So yes, the actual number of people applying to the majors may not be as great as one would at first believe, especially when you back out relatively recent ATPs with only SIC experience, regional “lifers” and we’ll paid 135 flyers whose age is such that they’d never recoup the decreased pay and lesser QOL they’d take to start all over again on Reserve at a major.

Perhaps the most telling thing in the FAA database is the constant increase in the average age of an ATP which in 2018 was 51 years of age.

That’s been increasing about three tenths of a year per year.

https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/media/2018-civil-airmen-stats.xlsx

See Table 13

And with the lag time between a new ATP and a competitive ATP (military flyers possibly excepted) that says existing ATP holders with competitive numbers are going to be increasingly in demand for at least three or four years no matter what happens with new ATP numbers.

atpcliff
02-18-2019, 06:54 AM
In 2017, I heard from a pilot, and read online from another, the same thing:
They had talked to AA HR. AA HR told them that in 2007, AA had 13,000 resumes on file that met AA mins. In 2017, AA had 3,000 resumes on file that met AA mins.

and then there are the US ATP holders, who are not eligible to work in the US...not sure how many...

Long Landing
02-19-2019, 06:30 AM
Not in HR at the majors but I do recruitment at the regionals. For those of you who think hiring right now isn’t a problem I can tell you you’re wrong. I recruit for Endeavor and even with pay rates being where they are, the DGI program, etc. there is still a desperate need for pilots that we cannot fill. When we filled our classes a lot of that had to do with taking pilots from other regionals, not new pilots into the industry. Going to the recruitment events at colleges and such is where you see the reality of the situation. In a normal day at a major college such as UND, Riddle, Western Mich, etc. you might talk to 25-30 students. Of those 25-30 about 10% can usually be hired and start class within 6 months. Times that by 2-3 recruiters at each event and you’re looking at maybe 5-7 students per school that can be hired. The problem is the drop off of students in their sophomore year who realize that either the career isn’t worth it or they are just downright bad at flying. Gotta figure as well that 10% of people coming out of college are “unhireable” by the majors (several check failures, criminal issues such as a DUI, etc.). There a regionals out there who have no pilots on reserve or minimal (2-3) reserves per day. They can’t staff the flying and need to junior man or offer 300% pay to get people to fly more. Some places even have guys flying 90-95 hours of block per month until they can’t do it anymore just to staff the flying. Be it a pay shortage or a pilot shortage the problem is that eventually the well at the regionals will run dry. It is impossible to recruit 3,000+ new pilots into the regionals every year. It simply cannot be done.

rickair7777
02-19-2019, 07:07 AM
It is impossible to recruit 3,000+ new pilots into the regionals every year. It simply cannot be done.

Actually it can. Depends on how bad they want to do it.

A government or industry funded (or both) ab initio program combined with a heavy recruitment effort to get millenials off their butts and out of mom's basement could turn out enough pilots (not talking to you millenials reading this now, if you're already here you're not the stereotypical slacker). Especially combined with a regional => major flow program.

I think right now with the known opportunities if you solved the training cost and career uncertainty problem you would easily get enough folks. Might have to modify the training and checking process so nobody's esteem gets damaged.

Other way to solve pilot shortage would be bigger planes, flown by fewer pilots. That's good for pilots (higher rates), airlines (better CASM), and customers (CASM), but bad for customers in the sense that they like frequency and often five daily RJ flights is more convenient than 1-2 mainline flights. Narrow-body CASM beats RJ CASM but only if you can fill the plane up...

Long Landing
02-19-2019, 10:10 AM
Actually it can. Depends on how bad they want to do it.

A government or industry funded (or both) ab initio program combined with a heavy recruitment effort to get millenials off their butts and out of mom's basement could turn out enough pilots (not talking to you millenials reading this now, if you're already here you're not the stereotypical slacker). Especially combined with a regional => major flow program.

I think right now with the known opportunities if you solved the training cost and career uncertainty problem you would easily get enough folks. Might have to modify the training and checking process so nobody's esteem gets damaged.

Other way to solve pilot shortage would be bigger planes, flown by fewer pilots. That's good for pilots (higher rates), airlines (better CASM), and customers (CASM), but bad for customers in the sense that they like frequency and often five daily RJ flights is more convenient than 1-2 mainline flights. Narrow-body CASM beats RJ CASM but only if you can fill the plane up...

So what you’re saying is to remove the regional flying product, which doesn’t solve the problem of staffing regionals which is what I was referring to. Yes if all that flying went in house and you interviewed with Delta/United/etc. before even beginning your training on the basis of your training being paid for then there would be less problems of getting guys to the airlines. Let’s be realistic however, there is still a small amount of people willing to be on the road 15-20 days per month away from family and friends. There would also be big pay implications in order to get that free training. You would see pay rates go to 50-75% of what they are today. But until these programs are put in place, and there is little indication of programs like that happening on a large scale, there will be the problem of getting people to regionals. In 5 years the regional landscape will be drastically different then what it is now. No one is going to start paying for training until they have to do so. So when they run out of regional, military, and the small handful of part 135/other flying types that can be hired then these programs might be a reality. And once they start these programs then 0-1500 hours is still a 3-4 year process. It’s going to be 5-7 years before a zero to hero pilot is a reality.

rickair7777
02-19-2019, 11:09 AM
So what you’re saying is to remove the regional flying product, which doesn’t solve the problem of staffing regionals which is what I was referring to. Yes if all that flying went in house and you interviewed with Delta/United/etc. before even beginning your training on the basis of your training being paid for then there would be less problems of getting guys to the airlines. Let’s be realistic however, there is still a small amount of people willing to be on the road 15-20 days per month away from family and friends. There would also be big pay implications in order to get that free training. You would see pay rates go to 50-75% of what they are today. But until these programs are put in place, and there is little indication of programs like that happening on a large scale, there will be the problem of getting people to regionals. In 5 years the regional landscape will be drastically different then what it is now. No one is going to start paying for training until they have to do so. So when they run out of regional, military, and the small handful of part 135/other flying types that can be hired then these programs might be a reality. And once they start these programs then 0-1500 hours is still a 3-4 year process. It’s going to be 5-7 years before a zero to hero pilot is a reality.

I said ab initio with training paid and a defined career path OR remove regional flying, I think either would work. I think folks would jump at an easy path where all they had to do was show up, complete the training, and good to go.

Airline pilots are a very, very tiny fraction of the population, I think there would be no shortage of folks willing to do the lifestyle if the cost of entry and career uncertainty were removed. The lifestyle is not bad per se, it's just different, not for everyone but it wrks fine for many. I get more (actual) time off as a pilot than I would as a white collar type... and I make twice as much as a typical white collar joe.

If lifestyle is really a problem, they could just hire more pilots to grant more QOL. They might have trouble finding people eager to fly 95 hours/month but if they offered 70 hours and 18 days off they'd have plenty of takers.

I sort of assume the majors have some sort of plan for pilots, they are pretty stoopid but nobody is THAT stoopid. The numbers are obvious and well documented. They are having discussions with the USAF to manage pilot movement between AF and airlines (which I think is BS). Maybe their plan A is to hope for a recession.

Bottom line, they still have a lot of trade space to sweeten the deal for noobs. This ain't truck driving... it's prestigious (yes it still is), good travel opportunities, more money than a slacker could ever hope for anywhere else, nice hotels vs. getting raped in a truck stop shower, etc.

SSlow
02-19-2019, 03:17 PM
A government or industry funded (or both) ab initio program combined with a heavy recruitment effort to get millenials off their butts and out of mom's basement could turn out enough pilots (not talking to you millenials reading this now, if you're already here you're not the stereotypical slacker). Especially combined with a regional => major flow program.

I think right now with the known opportunities if you solved the training cost and career uncertainty problem you would easily get enough folks. Might have to modify the training and checking process so nobody's esteem gets damaged.



I don't know how I feel about this. I understand the financial hurdle and the low starting wages being a hindrance to some in this current day, but the typical career progression in terms of job security and financial stability early on has vastly improved over what it was 10-15 years ago. Today we have a high number of scheduled retirements, no interview flow thru programs, regional FOs not seeing less than $50k/year, and even entry level CFI gigs offering some sort of incentive like company paid add-on ratings or some sort of housing program to attract talent.

IMO it's gotten so easy even today as of right now that I am not so sure ab initio would have much of an impact in recruiting qualified candidates.

Just for fun let's assume that an ab initio was put into motion tomorrow with an age cutoff of 35 (airlines need a whole career out of you for ROI). You would probably see a bump in interest from 30-35 year olds who could not successfully get into the industry back during the black swan event from the late 2000s, largely due to the financial crisis and other uncertainty in the airline industry. Understandable. It just was not feasible for a lot of people back then, especially those who needed to support a family.

However for those under 30, and I would assume that age group would be the most aggressively recruited by the airlines due to the possible longer length of service over a career, I just don't see it working out as well. For starters a large chunk of those would be disinterested once they learn that they cannot keep a beard or smoke a joint over the weekend with their friends. Add to that the younger millennials tend to gravitate more towards the hip and trendy new age style work environments, not so much the more traditional "square" type careers. It's boring to them (and I know this from personal experience). And as previously mentioned, the opportunity has vastly improved but the interest just isn't there.

Also there is a whole other debate on a certain age group of adults and their ability to accept constructive criticism and failure in the training environment, and whether or not that has to do with excessive helicopter parenting and the presence of social media all through childhood, but that would deserve its own thread.

Irishblackbird
02-19-2019, 03:37 PM
So what you’re saying is to remove the regional flying product, which doesn’t solve the problem of staffing regionals which is what I was referring to. Yes if all that flying went in house and you interviewed with Delta/United/etc. before even beginning your training on the basis of your training being paid for then there would be less problems of getting guys to the airlines. Let’s be realistic however, there is still a small amount of people willing to be on the road 15-20 days per month away from family and friends. There would also be big pay implications in order to get that free training. You would see pay rates go to 50-75% of what they are today. But until these programs are put in place, and there is little indication of programs like that happening on a large scale, there will be the problem of getting people to regionals. In 5 years the regional landscape will be drastically different then what it is now. No one is going to start paying for training until they have to do so. So when they run out of regional, military, and the small handful of part 135/other flying types that can be hired then these programs might be a reality. And once they start these programs then 0-1500 hours is still a 3-4 year process. It’s going to be 5-7 years before a zero to hero pilot is a reality.

Don't forget, corporate operations (not charter)want pilots too. What once used to be a sought after flying job, is now having difficulty finding pilots. They will once again start raising pay an qol to retain their pilots as well. A corporate operation in my area just hired a guy to fly a CJ II and started him at $150 k plus bonus, and stock. Less than 10 years ago, that job might have topped out at $70k.

Irishblackbird
02-19-2019, 04:17 PM
Actually it can. Depends on how bad they want to do it.

A government or industry funded (or both) ab initio program combined with a heavy recruitment effort to get millenials off their butts and out of mom's basement could turn out enough pilots (not talking to you millenials reading this now, if you're already here you're not the stereotypical slacker). Especially combined with a regional => major flow program.

I think right now with the known opportunities if you solved the training cost and career uncertainty problem you would easily get enough folks. Might have to modify the training and checking process so nobody's esteem gets damaged.

That's the last guy I want in the cockpit with me. You gotta have a little passion and want to be a pilot. I still don't think this would help in attracting new meat to the industry.

The job just isn't that appealing anymore. Continued check rides, passing medicals, being on the road, they see how miserable the passengers they are going to serve, going through TSA everyday, ****ty perdiem so so hotels, and how unglamorous the profession is in general. Some people have no desire to be in a union or standing in line waiting until your senority allows you to move up.Let's also throw in the fact of competition, and the fact that even getting an interview to get to the real level everyone wants to be at costs considerable time and money. (Wonder how many accountant's, marketing execs, IT professionals, engineers have to take a hogan test, or cognitive skills test).

I like the money my neighbor makes in the IT industry, but no way in hell would I want to be in front of a computer all day. Likewise I don't think you can turn someone into an effective and professional pilot if they don't truly have the passion to be one. Could be a costly venture for the industry to have people go through training that is paid for only to have them quit a couple years later.

rickair7777
02-19-2019, 04:19 PM
Don't forget, corporate operations (not charter)want pilots too. What once used to be a sought after flying job, is now having difficulty finding pilots. They will once again start raising pay an qol to retain their pilots as well. A corporate operation in my area just hired a guy to fly a CJ II and started him at $150 k plus bonus, and stock. Less than 10 years ago, that job might have topped out at $70k.

They should have no problems, they can allow beards and with the right regulatory infrastructure maybe cannabis too.

rickair7777
02-19-2019, 04:26 PM
I don't know how I feel about this. I understand the financial hurdle and the low starting wages being a hindrance to some in this current day, but the typical career progression in terms of job security and financial stability early on has vastly improved over what it was 10-15 years ago. Today we have a high number of scheduled retirements, no interview flow thru programs, regional FOs not seeing less than $50k/year, and even entry level CFI gigs offering some sort of incentive like company paid add-on ratings or some sort of housing program to attract talent.

IMO it's gotten so easy even today as of right now that I am not so sure ab initio would have much of an impact in recruiting qualified candidates.

Just for fun let's assume that an ab initio was put into motion tomorrow with an age cutoff of 35 (airlines need a whole career out of you for ROI). You would probably see a bump in interest from 30-35 year olds who could not successfully get into the industry back during the black swan event from the late 2000s, largely due to the financial crisis and other uncertainty in the airline industry. Understandable. It just was not feasible for a lot of people back then, especially those who needed to support a family.

However for those under 30, and I would assume that age group would be the most aggressively recruited by the airlines due to the possible longer length of service over a career, I just don't see it working out as well. For starters a large chunk of those would be disinterested once they learn that they cannot keep a beard or smoke a joint over the weekend with their friends. Add to that the younger millennials tend to gravitate more towards the hip and trendy new age style work environments, not so much the more traditional "square" type careers. It's boring to them (and I know this from personal experience). And as previously mentioned, the opportunity has vastly improved but the interest just isn't there.

Also there is a whole other debate on a certain age group of adults and their ability to accept constructive criticism and failure in the training environment, and whether or not that has to do with excessive helicopter parenting and the presence of social media all through childhood, but that would deserve its own thread.

Remember, you only need to move the needle a tiny little bit... the results will be amplified by the population size.

In the US, a MONTHLY job growth of 200,000+ is routine. 10% of that would solve the pilot shortage for the next decade...

Irishblackbird
02-19-2019, 04:43 PM
They should have no problems, they can allow beards and with the right regulatory infrastructure maybe cannabis too.

A little whamy jammy smokin could be a big bonus for the industry. Probably wouldn't have to can so many FA''s at the regional level for a positive drug test!

SpringLanding
02-19-2019, 05:50 PM
A lot of this great discussion focuses on mandatory retirements, but there will also be a lot of growth. Everything, including air travel, is continuously getting better, cheaper, and easier. These services are financially available to more people today in the US and worldwide than ever before, and that will definitely grow and improve: more flights to more airports on more airplanes.

What was the size of the largest pilot stable 20 years ago? AA and Delta are pushing 15000. Did Pan Am in all its former glory ever approach anything close to that? (Maybe, but I doubt it)

I think the opportunities to be a pilot today are better than most believe, and growth will factor in alongside retirements when considering hiring needs.

atpcliff
02-19-2019, 06:20 PM
And all of the above is focused on the US.

The growth in air travel in China, by itself, is crazy, not to mention India, the Middle East, Africa, etc. Jet Airways (India) just announced cutting their schedule down to 30 flights a day...parking a bunch of aircraft...because they don't have enough pilots.

In 2016/17, a US pilot who knows a lot about the China situation, predicted base salaries in China, for DECs, of $600-$750K/year. Currently, the max base pay I have heard of for DEC in China is only $30K/month. If you live there, they pay your Chinese taxes, housing, car, driver, kid's school, multitude of bonuses available, etc., etc.

Every US pilot that goes overseas, is one less for Our America. And, all of that foreign growth, increases the numbers of foreign cadets flying in the US. There is a shortage of flight instructors, and every flight instructor flying foreign cadets, is one less who can fly American students...

galaxy flyer
02-19-2019, 06:27 PM
A lot of this great discussion focuses on mandatory retirements, but there will also be a lot of growth. Everything, including air travel, is continuously getting better, cheaper, and easier. These services are financially available to more people today in the US and worldwide than ever before, and that will definitely grow and improve: more flights to more airports on more airplanes.

What was the size of the largest pilot stable 20 years ago? AA and Delta are pushing 15000. Did Pan Am in all its former glory ever approach anything close to that? (Maybe, but I doubt it)

I think the opportunities to be a pilot today are better than most believe, and growth will factor in alongside retirements when considering hiring needs.

I don’t about 20 years ago, but at their peaks in the 80s, EA, AA and UA were about 4500 a piece. AA was growing fast, too. PA probably never exceeded 3500 pilots.


GF

Elevation
02-19-2019, 10:09 PM
Sorry to be a wet blanket guys.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, we had the most airplanes in FAR121 service in 1999 at 7859 airframes. In 2016, we had 7034 airframes. Since pilot jobs are proportionate to airframes and not passenger seat-miles, it may be be folly to think that we'll see a second great spurt of growth in US aviation. In fact, as 19, 30 and now 50 seat airplanes go away, we may see a continued reduction in the number of pilot jobs available. Moreover consolidation in the US airline industry continue.

It's true times are good, but not as good as the sixties. I'd also beware anyone who says that this hiring will last.

The bureau of labor statistics and MIT have numbers that refute the glowing statistics put forth by the FAA and Boeing for future pilot demand as well (domestically).

My point isn't to throw mud, but for anyone considering a major life decision, it's worth doing a deep dive into statistics out there. Each source of stats has their own interest in skewing numbers one way or another. Getting a little nerdy may help you make an informed decision.

FWIW my flying career has been pretty good to me. I just think anyone starting out really needs to dig through the data on their own as well as with peers.

Pogey Bait
02-20-2019, 02:48 AM
Sorry to be a wet blanket guys.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, we had the most airplanes in FAR121 service in 1999 at 7859 airframes. In 2016, we had 7034 airframes. Since pilot jobs are proportionate to airframes and not passenger seat-miles, it may be be folly to think that we'll see a second great spurt of growth in US aviation. In fact, as 19, 30 and now 50 seat airplanes go away, we may see a continued reduction in the number of pilot jobs available. Moreover consolidation in the US airline industry continue.

It's true times are good, but not as good as the sixties. I'd also beware anyone who says that this hiring will last.

The bureau of labor statistics and MIT have numbers that refute the glowing statistics put forth by the FAA and Boeing for future pilot demand as well (domestically).

My point isn't to throw mud, but for anyone considering a major life decision, it's worth doing a deep dive into statistics out there. Each source of stats has their own interest in skewing numbers one way or another. Getting a little nerdy may help you make an informed decision.

FWIW my flying career has been pretty good to me. I just think anyone starting out really needs to dig through the data on their own as well as with peers.

I will throw a twenty down that this new “Moxy” airline is attempting to get certified for single pilot operations.

BoilerUP
02-20-2019, 03:30 AM
. Since pilot jobs are proportionate to airframes and not passenger seat-miles


I’d disagree with that; utilization (block hours) drives required crewing moreso than just airframes.

A domestic airframe that flies 14 hours per day will require more pilots than an airframe that flies 9 hours per day. This is one reason why more redeyes can spur hiring.

wilco811
02-20-2019, 04:27 AM
I will throw a twenty down that this new “Moxy” airline is attempting to get certified for single pilot operations.

Highly doubt it. The plane they’re getting which is the A220 is certified for 2 pilots.

sailingfun
02-20-2019, 04:58 AM
I will throw a twenty down that this new “Moxy” airline is attempting to get certified for single pilot operations.

They bought the wrong aircraft in that case. Do you think they will cancel the order soon?

Moonbeam
02-20-2019, 06:00 AM
They bought the wrong aircraft in that case. Do you think they will cancel the order soon?

Doubtful, but Neeleman might order 60 of those weird looking DARPA robot arms to go with it. All you have to do is take out the right seat in any aircraft and plop it in. Time will tell, but it wasn’t that long ago that entry level position at the airlines was Second Officer.

Check out the ALIAS(aircrew-labor in cockpit automation system program).

“ALIAS envisions a tailorable, drop-in, removable kit that would promote the addition of high levels of automation into Existing aircraft, enabling operation with reduced onboard crew. The program intends to leverage the considerable advances made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as similar advances in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety.”

atpcliff
02-20-2019, 06:59 AM
I will throw a twenty down that this new “Moxy” airline is attempting to get certified for single pilot operations.

Moxey has orderd the Bombardier 220, which is an aircraft certified for two pilots. Both pilots have to have an ATP MEL, and they have to be human. They can't substitute a robot for a human pilot, without recertification of the aircraft by the FAA. Does that sound easy, fast and inexpensive to you? I don't know a lot about certification of an aircraft, but I think that it would be easier to certify a brand-knew single pilot aircraft, than try and re-certify an aircraft from two pilots to one.

Moonbeam
02-20-2019, 07:25 AM
Moxey has orderd the Bombardier 220, which is an aircraft certified for two pilots. Both pilots have to have an ATP MEL, and they have to be human. They can't substitute a robot for a human pilot, without recertification of the aircraft by the FAA. Does that sound easy, fast and inexpensive to you? I don't know a lot about certification of an aircraft, but I think that it would be easier to certify a brand-knew single pilot aircraft, than try and re-certify an aircraft from two pilots to one.

I think it is way cheaper to have a mechanic take out the First Officer seat and bolt down a robot arm. That arm can be programmed to fly any existing aircraft. I just think it’s the Trojan horse to pilotless commercial aircraft eventually. The people behind it already tried to get a provision to study this in the FAA authorization bill.

dera
02-20-2019, 07:13 PM
I think it is way cheaper to have a mechanic take out the First Officer seat and bolt down a robot arm. That arm can be programmed to fly any existing aircraft. I just think it’s the Trojan horse to pilotless commercial aircraft eventually. The people behind it already tried to get a provision to study this in the FAA authorization bill.

It's taken Southwest what, a few years, to get ETOPS certification. You think a robot arm approval will happen faster?
This stuff is 20-30 years away.

Freddriver5
02-21-2019, 06:01 PM
It's taken Southwest what, a few years, to get ETOPS certification. You think a robot arm approval will happen faster?
This stuff is 20-30 years away.

No, it's here, it's now....

https://youtu.be/r-VJLz65QhM

rickair7777
02-21-2019, 06:06 PM
No, it's here, it's now....

https://youtu.be/r-VJLz65QhM

That's fine if the problem is that we need four hands in the cockpit.

If we need two brains, then we're still a long ways off.

atpcliff
02-21-2019, 10:23 PM
No, it's here, it's now....

https://youtu.be/r-VJLz65QhM

...and how long do you think it will take to get the above technology certified for use in a cockpit???

Poser765
02-21-2019, 10:53 PM
...and how long do you think it will take to get the above technology certified for use in a cockpit???ive said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not a matter of technology. The tech for a pilotless airliner could be available tomorrow. It won’t matter. Certification will take a long time, Retooling of fleets will take a longer time, and accepting the concept on a societal level will take even longer than that.

Excargodog
02-22-2019, 05:47 AM
ive said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not a matter of technology. The tech for a pilotless airliner could be available tomorrow. It won’t matter. Certification will take a long time, Retooling of fleets will take a longer time, and accepting the concept on a societal level will take even longer than that.

It all depends. The turboprop Electra was supposed to be the logical transition between piston aircraft like the DC-6 to jets, because “customers aren’t ready to see engines without propellers on them.” But a couple of wing-flutter mishaps and the Boeing 707 became the darling of the flying public while the Electra (although enjoying considerable military success as the P-3 after a few hundred pounds of stiffening fixed the flutter problem) got left in the dust.

Ni hao
02-24-2019, 09:06 AM
I think the sh!t will hit the fan so to speak in 2022-2023 to 2030. The bulk of the retirements happen then. My buddy who is at AA in training department says no way can they keep up. AA has no idea how to fix it. UA is planning for 2.5 year upgrades later from 2020 on. It's going be a wild decade. Last time this happened was 1962-1969.

galaxy flyer
02-24-2019, 10:41 AM
I think the sh!t will hit the fan so to speak in 2022-2023 to 2030. The bulk of the retirements happen then. My buddy who is at AA in training department says no way can they keep up. AA has no idea how to fix it. UA is planning for 2.5 year upgrades later from 2020 on. It's going be a wild decade. Last time this happened was 1962-1969.

See how 70-83 worked out. Hint, not so well.

GF

hindsight2020
02-24-2019, 01:21 PM
See how 70-83 worked out. Hint, not so well.

GF

Indeed. Seems the time to get hired is NLT 2020. Getting hired at the latter half of a wave is usually a pretty unenviable proposition, judging by my observation of the dynamics during the lost decade.

Excargodog
02-24-2019, 01:50 PM
Indeed. Seems the time to get hired is NLT 2020. Getting hired at the latter half of a wave is usually a pretty unenviable proposition, judging by my observation of the dynamics during the lost decade.

Agreed, but this time the ugliness is likely to be buffered by more mandatory retirements.

galaxy flyer
02-24-2019, 03:11 PM
Agreed, but this time the ugliness is likely to be buffered by more mandatory retirements.

Maybe, we’ll see. PAA furloughed and retired at the same time, as did EA and others as the WW II and Korean War generation retired. Retirements will buffer a lot of bad news at the expense of stagnation, if a downturn forces reductions. I’ve seen it.


Gf

Mesabah
02-25-2019, 02:34 AM
I will throw a twenty down that this new “Moxy” airline is attempting to get certified for single pilot operations.
Maybe, but the bigger threat on the horizon is environmental activists in government, taxing the airlines into significant shrinkage.

rickair7777
02-25-2019, 06:09 AM
Maybe, but the bigger threat on the horizon is environmental activists in government, taxing the airlines into significant shrinkage.

The general public might not put up with that if they can't buy plane tickets when they want, or can't buy plane tickets for less than $5K one way.

Control-freak fringe loonnies want everyone to just stay home in their tiny houses and tend their gardens. But there are other ways to address environmental impacts.

Bio-fuel (carbon neutral) could cut carbon emissions from turbine aircraft in half overnight, it's already been demonstrated on revenue flights. Just need to ramp up production beyond boutique quantities, which may require a government mandate. I don't think it would be much more costly than jet A in large-scale commercial production. Processing is similar to oil and the farming isn't any more involved than modern oil extraction technologies.

Technical advances currently in development by government (US and EU), and airframe and engine manufacturers will reduce fuel burn, carbon, and other emissions by significant additional margins.

Ultimately airliners could run on 100% bio-fuel, but would probably need to be designed to do that from the factory. They could actually start building them that way right now, so they could run on any combo of bio and petroleum, eventually 100% bio fuel. The 50/50 mix is needed now because fuel system seals are designed to be immersed in jet A to keep them from drying out, and possibly for fuel stability and temperature range issues. The changes should not need to be drastic.

TimetoClimb
02-25-2019, 07:26 AM
The general public might not put up with that if they can't buy plane tickets when they want, or can't buy plane tickets for less than $5K one way.

Control-freak fringe loonnies want everyone to just stay home in their tiny houses and tend their gardens. But there are other ways to address environmental impacts.

Bio-fuel (carbon neutral) could cut carbon emissions from turbine aircraft in half overnight, it's already been demonstrated on revenue flights. Just need to ramp up production beyond boutique quantities, which may require a government mandate. I don't think it would be much more costly than jet A in large-scale commercial production. Processing is similar to oil and the farming isn't any more involved than modern oil extraction technologies.

Technical advances currently in development by government (US and EU), and airframe and engine manufacturers will reduce fuel burn, carbon, and other emissions by significant additional margins.

Ultimately airliners could run on 100% bio-fuel, but would probably need to be designed to do that from the factory. They could actually start building them that way right now, so they could run on any combo of bio and petroleum, eventually 100% bio fuel. The 50/50 mix is needed now because fuel system seals are designed to be immersed in jet A to keep them from drying out, and possibly for fuel stability and temperature range issues. The changes should not need to be drastic.

Alternatively, if scientists/engineers can commericalize electricity generation from cheap and abundant resources (read:thorium), liquid fuels can be produced from atmospheric carbon easily. This would also be net zero emissions, but irregardless a preponderance of evidence suggests the role of co2 in the atmosphere is vastly overestimated. But media/politics has hijacked the debate. Fossil fuels will be the bread and butter of humanity's energy for decades and maybe even centuries to come.

atpcliff
02-25-2019, 07:40 AM
I think that airlines will run all-electric power in the future.

JayMahon
02-25-2019, 07:46 AM
No, it's here, it's now....

https://youtu.be/r-VJLz65QhM

One accident with one of these robot pilots and the civilian blowback will be so bad they'll ban these for the next 50 years.


I think the sh!t will hit the fan so to speak in 2022-2023 to 2030. The bulk of the retirements happen then. My buddy who is at AA in training department says no way can they keep up. AA has no idea how to fix it. UA is planning for 2.5 year upgrades later from 2020 on. It's going be a wild decade. Last time this happened was 1962-1969.


I won't lie, as a career change coming into aviation, I couldn't be happier about this 'problem'. Maybe doing something about the six figure barrier of entry and the painfully low pay during CFI years would help. It's a cost/benefit analysis and no one is arguing the payoff after the CFI years is decent. I just think a lot of folks aren't willing to take this risk.

If I didn't love flying, I probably wouldn't take it either. How few people ever get exposed to flight in the first place where they may make this leap later on in life? I mean REAL flight, hands on the yoke... not just looking out of the window of a high altitude schoolbus. My hope is that the solution is in private flight.

Making private flight affordable is going to require new inexpensive airframes with engines that accept standard fuel (cheaper) and maybe even use hybrid electric technology like some of our ground vehicles have adapted over the last 15 years. I don't see it happening, but it would solve the problem.

BoilerUP
02-25-2019, 08:13 AM
I think that airlines will run all-electric power in the future.

We'll all be using Google Transporter Services, getting beamed-up to where we want to go, before battery technology will be advanced (and light and safe) enough to power aircraft of any size for any duration...even if they somehow start with a hybrid system using a Jet A-powered APU to provide power.

galaxy flyer
02-25-2019, 08:14 AM
Using sugar cane as feedstock, US biofuel would require plowing up the entire state of Texas, corn would require nearly the land in Alaska. Not likely, but possible.

GF

Rahlifer
02-25-2019, 08:39 AM
Using sugar cane as feedstock, US biofuel would require plowing up the entire state of Texas, corn would require nearly the land in Alaska. Not likely, but possible.

GF

There’s several varieties of algae that have been used to create biofuels. That would be the most likely option to pursue considering the stuff can grow just about anywhere.

rickair7777
02-25-2019, 09:20 AM
We'll all be using Google Transporter Services, getting beamed-up to where we want to go, before battery technology will be advanced (and light and safe) enough to power aircraft of any size for any duration...even if they somehow start with a hybrid system using a Jet A-powered APU to provide power.

Yes batteries are good for short-range only.

Theoretical max specific energy of chemical batteries is about 1000 WH/Kg. That's pure chemical equations with no accounting for physical structures or real-world losses. There is absolutely no room for improvement there, chemistry is a very well-defined science, there aren't going to be any big breakthroughs on basic molecular chemistry.

Current practical specific energy for batteries is about 200-250 WH/Kg. That's for the battery cell itself, it's lower at the pack level because of the container and structure weight.

Jet A has a specific energy of about 12,000 WH/Kg. So right now batteries are about 50 times heavier than Jet A. If you get battery tech closer to it's theoretical chemical max (impossible to get all the way there but maybe close), batteries would be over ten times heavier than Jet A for the same energy availability. That's the hard limit, unless you can change the laws of physics.

Hybrid can probably work, engines can be optimized (smaller) for cruise flight with battery boost for T/O and emergencies. That will get you some improved efficiency, but the weight of the hybrid system actually eats up a big chunk of the savings. So that won't get rid of jet fuel, just one of several technologies to reduce consumption a bit.

All electric power can probably be made to work for short regional flights of about an hour, after that the battery weight kills the proposition. The tech is barely there, the economics are not.

Longer flights in large aircraft will need liquid hydrocarbon fuels until fusion becomes available (in about twenty years, if you get that joke).

The best future battery tech for airplanes (and other vehicles) which I've seen is a concept where the battery "active ingredient" is a liquid which is circulated through a fixed catalyst structure to extract electricity. This should prevent or minimize battery aging over cycles, and make it quick and easy to recharge the battery between trips (you drain and replace the liquid). This might get battery specific energy close to the chemical max (still an order of magnitude short of kerosene though).

rickair7777
02-25-2019, 09:24 AM
Using sugar cane as feedstock, US biofuel would require plowing up the entire state of Texas, corn would require nearly the land in Alaska. Not likely, but possible.

GF

There’s several varieties of algae that have been used to create biofuels. That would be the most likely option to pursue considering the stuff can grow just about anywhere.

He's right, algea is probably the way to go. Can grow it anywhere there's sunlight, it's infinitely scale-able, and the production density is pretty high IIRC. A few other transportation modes will continue to need liquid hydrocarbon fuels as well... trains, ships, and probably long-haul trucks.

You can also make fuel via industrial processes (using CO2 from the atmosphere for carbon-neutrality). But bio fuel uses sunlight, not grid power, to drive the process so it's probably going to be cheaper. And unless your grid power is nuclear, there's a carbon footprint at the power plant.

Global warming aside, oil will "run out" eventually (ie become less and less economical), and this would mitigate some of the geo-political dynamics associated with petroleum reserves and production... anyone who needs liquid fuels can grow as much as they need.

The technology appears practical, just needs a jump start to reach large economies of scale. Easier than building high-speed rail which is still quite slower than airplanes. But I guess if you're "unwilling to work", you won't be in any real hurry to get anywhere.

dera
02-25-2019, 12:50 PM
Using sugar cane as feedstock, US biofuel would require plowing up the entire state of Texas, corn would require nearly the land in Alaska. Not likely, but possible.

GF

So, plow the states of California, Florida, parts of the midwest, and most of the Northeast. Country would be better off, and problem would be solved. :D

galaxy flyer
02-25-2019, 02:09 PM
I He's right, algea is probably the way to go. Can grow it anywhere there's sunlight, it's infinitely scale-able, and the production density is pretty high IIRC. A few other transportation modes will continue to need liquid hydrocarbon fuels as well... trains, ships, and probably long-haul trucks.

You can also make fuel via industrial processes (using CO2 from the atmosphere for carbon-neutrality). But bio fuel uses sunlight, not grid power, to drive the process so it's probably going to be cheaper. And unless your grid power is nuclear, there's a carbon footprint at the power plant.

Global warming aside, oil will "run out" eventually (ie become less and less economical), and this would mitigate some of the geo-political dynamics associated with petroleum reserves and production... anyone who needs liquid fuels can grow as much as they need.

The technology appears practical, just needs a jump start to reach large economies of scale. Easier than building high-speed rail which is still quite slower than airplanes. But I guess if you're "unwilling to work", you won't be in any real hurry to get anywhere.

Yes, algae only requires the state of Kansas to meet US consumption rates as of today. Or most of New England. I have 8 acres for a $100,000 an acre, take it or leave it.

I have a friend in oil field equipment business, Guyana and Suriname are the new “elephants”-5-10 billion barrels each. We ain’t running out soon.

gf

Mesabah
02-25-2019, 02:24 PM
There really is no point, China cares not for the environment, so it doesn't matter what we do.

rickair7777
02-25-2019, 04:34 PM
I

Yes, algae only requires the state of Kansas to meet US consumption rates as of today. Or most of New England. I have 8 acres for a $100,000 an acre, take it or leave it.

I have a friend in oil field equipment business, Guyana and Suriname are the new “elephants”-5-10 billion barrels each. We ain’t running out soon.

gf

I haven't seen or done the math on production volume vs. required acerage, there is a minimum acerage per output unit based on sunlight density (varies with latitude and annual cloud cover).

But I don't think it would be practical to replace all oil use with bio fuel, just talking about that stuff which absolutely cannot be run off the grid or batteries... mainly airliners and maybe merchant ships. If it comes to a crunch trains and even highway trucks don't need liquid fuel.

I'm sure we can keep extending oil use for a very long time with a combination of new reserves and extraction tech. I think the political winds will be the problem.

ecam
02-26-2019, 09:54 AM
Interesting discussion you guys are having. After a little over 3 decades in this industry I've seen a lot of ups and downs. I agree that pilot interest is fading. Youngsters aren't interested in this industry. Yet all of the baby boomers are retiring. The pilot shortage hit the regionals a few years ago, but they threw money at the problem. My friends tell me most of the regionals have stopped hiring at least temporarily. I work for a large ULCC and I talk to my FOs daily many who have apps out at all of the legacy carriers. I even know some Airbus captains who are trying to move on to bigger and better. I'm sure the other LCC/ULCC airlines are the same. Most hiring predictions I see only include military and regional pilots. As other have said above theres a whole bunch of corporate and 135 pilots out there too who still want a shot. I have buddies in recruiting departments for almost every major airline. The numbers I hear thrown around these days are 6000 qualified applicants on file. It's widely accepted these same 6000 have applied to all of the major/legacy carriers. With retirement rates spiking between 2020-2024 its likely the supply will run out around 2023. They have accepted this. I've seen estimates that only 11,000 regional pilots are qualified and able to move on due to failures, legal trouble, age, whatever. That 6000 stops being replenished pretty quick. But if you add in the other industry pilots its still sustainable. It seems that the legacy carriers don't hire many LCC/ULCC pilots for some reason. Maybe they are older or have skeletons. Maybe they are just seen as damaged goods. But my point is that the big 6 will always find pilots to hire somewhere, and when they run out they will turn to ab initio. It's the regionals and LCC/ULCC airlines what will feel the hurt in 2022 and beyond. Consolidation and recession may take care of that too.

When I started my career the sky was the limit. Then came the recessions of the 90s and 2000s, 9/11, furloughs, bankruptcies, carrier shutdowns, mergers. I'll retire in a few years off an Airbus, but it's been a wild ride. The youngsters who waltzed right into their dream job have no concept of what some of us went through and even speak of us in vain. I really hope their career turns out better. Everyone is one shutdown war or recession away from being me. Technology may even replace us in their lifetime. I think this uncertainty keeps a lot of tire kickers out of flight school.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1