Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pilatus presents PC-24 twin jet flagship

A world première at the "European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition" (EBACE) in Geneva today: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd unveiled the PC-24, the world's first "Super Versatile Jet".

The entirely newly developed PC-24 sees traditional Pilatus values of versatility, efficiency and Swiss precision brought together in a business jet for the very first time. This innovative development by the Swiss aircraft manufacturer marks the creation of a new segment in the business aviation market: the PC-24 is the first business jet worldwide with the ability to use very short runways, paved or unpaved, and a cargo door as standard. The jet also boasts an enviably spacious cabin which can be configured to individual require ments. Thanks to these features, this aircraft is truly a "Super Versatile Jet".

Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, remembers: "Over ten years ago, we started asking our PC-12 customers what they would like to see in the next Pilatus aircraft. The answers were always the same: Further and faster – whilst retaining the much appreciated strengths of the PC-12, such as the ability to use very short runways. It was a huge challenge for our development team! We are all the more proud to be a ble to unveil an aircraft with exactly those qualities today: the PC-24."

PC-24 cabin with night light

The PC-24 will offer its future owners a combination of performance and versatility unrivalled by any other business jet. The cabin interior will be available in a wide choice of different configurations ranging from an executive layout with 6-8 passenger seats to a commuter setup with room for up to 10 passengers, or even combi-versions with ample space for passengers and cargo, right through to special installations for emergency medical flights.

The PC-24 reaches a maximum speed of ~425 knots (787 km/h). The maximum range with 4 passengers is 3,610 km. The PC-24 is powered by two Williams FJ44-4A turbines, each of which produces 15,124 kN
of thrust.

The avionics system draws on a completely new Pilatus concept: the "Advanced Cockpit Environment" (ACE™) system, developed especially to reduce cockpit workloads. Even in the basic version, the "Pilatus ACE" offers four 12-inch screens, the SmartView™ synthetic vision system, TCAS II, IRS, LVP and the option to complete flight planning procedures on the screen itself, in graphical

Work on the prototype in Stans is in full swing. The roll-out is scheduled for the third quarter of 2014. The PC-24 will take off on its maiden flight towards the end of 2014. Certification by the European (EASA) and American (FAA) authorities is planned for early 2017 and the first aircraft will be delivered immediately thereafter. The PC-24 programme was approved by the Board of Directors of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in summer 2012 and is financed entirely from company funds.

Schwenk has no doubt that the PC-24 will be just as successful as the PC-12, of which over 1200 models have been sold to date: "Very importantly, the PC-24 is a completely new development – not a 'me too product'. Specifically, there is no other business jet on the market with the same credentials and qualities as our new jet. Once again, we aim to fill a market niche and I am confident we will do so successfully.

I am proud that we are able to develop such complex aircraft for the worldwide market here in Switzerland. I am sure our future customers will be every bit as enthusiastic as I am about the PC-24 – the world's first 'Super Versatile Jet‘!"

The list price (price basis 2017) is approx. USD 8.9 million. First orders will be taken at EBACE 2014.


Monday, May 20, 2013

IWC Schaffhausen again presented the IWC Filmmaker Award in Cannes

Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen hosted another of its glamorous evening events during the Cannes International Film Festival. At an exclusive "For the Love of Cinema" dinner at the magnificent Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes, IWC celebrated with Friends of the Brand and other world-famous celebrities including actors Naomi Watts, Eric Dane and Christoph Waltz, top model Karolina Kurkova, gallery owner Tim Jefferies, musicians John Helliwell and Aloe Blacc as well as MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM driver Lewis Hamilton. Highlights of the evening were the presentation of the IWC Filmmaker Award to well-known screenwriter Alan Trustman and a private concert by Jamiroquai at the after party.


Australia's love affair with Toyota LandCruiser

Australia's love affair with Toyota LandCruiser is stronger than ever with the Cruiser family now accounting for almost one out of every five Toyota vehicles sold in this country.

The Cruiser range - 200 series, Prado, FJ and 70 series - contributed 38,767 sales last year, or more than 17.7 per cent of Toyota's 218,167 market-leading tally.

As a franchise in its own right, the Cruiser family would have taken 10th place in the Australian market.

Last year's total was an increase of 36.6 per cent over the previous year when the Cruiser clan was responsible for 28,377 units, or 15.6 per cent of all Toyota vehicles delivered by its dealers.

The share of Toyota sales attributable to these highly regarded off-road vehicles has risen this year to 18.8 per cent, delivering 12,230 units out of Toyota's 64,947 total.

Toyota's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said demand for the Cruiser family included city dwellers wanting a luxury SUV, regional and rural customers requiring a durable off-roader and specific sectors such as mining where ruggedness was mandatory.

"Toyota is extremely proud of the capabilities and reliability of its LandCruiser family and we are very fortunate to have such an extremely loyal customer base that continues to support us with their buying choices," Mr Cramb said.

"Our strong national dealer coverage is instrumental because there are some parts of rural and outback Australia where people tell me the only vehicles they see regularly are LandCruisers," he said.

"This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it underlines the enviable reputation LandCruiser has developed as the 'king off the road', particularly in some of the harshest country a vehicle will encounter."

The 200 series and the 70 series wagon together command more than three-quarters of sales in the upper-large SUV segment.

As the perennial leader of the segment, Toyota last month achieved a share of 87.2 per cent - remarkably strong in a two-cornered contest.

Last year, sales of the LandCruiser 200 series wagon jumped 31 per cent to 8,089 registrations.

This year, they have continued to rise - up more than 13.1 per cent to 3,033 units, supported by improvements to safety, comfort and convenience.

The 200 series has become the first vehicle in the Toyota range to adopt trailer sway control - a driver assist technology designed to help control a towed vehicle that has been unsettled by crosswinds, bumpy roads or sharp turns of the steering wheel.

LandCruiser 200 has also gained knee airbags for the driver and front passenger in GX and volume-selling GXL model grades, bringing the total number of airbags to eight.

All LandCruiser 200 series models attract a five-star ANCAP safety rating with GX and volume-selling GXL grades now fitted with eight airbags, including two that offer protection for the driver and front-passenger knees. Upper models have 10 airbags.

The classic FJ Cruiser has received a sales boost of 10.6 per cent this year and has benefited from gaining a sub-tank that more than doubles its driving range plus the addition an off-road cruise-control system, CRAWL Control.

LandCruiser Prado continues as the best-selling vehicle in the large SUV segment following a record 17,045 registrations in 2012.

Prado recently became the first vehicle in its segment to post 200,000 sales in Australia with its popularity growing since it debuted here in 1996.

Over the past decade, customers have bought an average of more than 14,600 a year - making Prado a significant contributor during a period in which Toyota has been the overall market leader.

Toyota's tough 70 series range has also contributed to the company's growth so far this year.

Sales of the pick-up and cab-chassis workhorses have risen two per cent in the four months to the end of April, which comes on top of solid growth of 21.3 per cent in 2012.

Toyota increased the appeal of the 70 series range last year with the introduction of a double-cab variant.

Toyota is now on its way to an 11th straight year as the market leader in Australia, and its 17th year overall at the top.

It is the only brand with market share in double figures, achieving 19.9 per cent for the month of April 2013.

Toyota has sold 64,947 vehicles so far this year - 1,000 more than the corresponding period in 2012 and in excess of 30,000 sales ahead of any other brand.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rare photos of London Blitz 1940 (Time/Life)

Amazing clarity in these brilliant pics
Until a few years ago, photographs from the World War II were only seen in grainy black and white.
The brunt of the attacks on London by the Nazis was between September 7, 1940 and May 10th 1941.
The attacks on Britain were carried out continuously for 76 nights and killed over 40,000 people.
These terrifying attacks did not break the spirit of the Brits and people pressed on with their lives, as
You can see in a couple of photos. If you have followed the history of World War II, you will recall that
On July 19th 1941 Sir Winston Churchill launched his V for Victory . . .__ campaign. On the 70th
Anniversary of this campaign, with the advent of digital and other technologies, new color images of
The horror of destruction inflicted by the Nazi bombings of London have emerged. These powerful
Images show a brief example of the real horrors the Nazis did all across London and the neighbourhoods.

Now see these photos of the horrors of those bombings!


Clearing up: Workers remove rubble from a building decimated in a heavy German air raid during the Blitz.
Wallpaper inside the shattered bedrooms can even be seen in the gap left in the row of houses.

Standing tall: The spire of the Central Criminal Court - better known as the Old Bailey - rises defiantly while all Around it buildings have become jagged shells in a landscape scarred by the relentless German bombings.

On the night of October 14th 1940, a bomb penetrated the road and exploded in Balham Underground station, Killing 68 people. A No 88 bus travelling in black-out conditions then fell into the crater.

In this extraordinary picture, the double-Decker bus is still visible amid crumbling tarmac and bent girders left
In an enormous crater caused by a bomb which landed in the middle of a Balham high street, south London ..

Ablaze: Firemen battle to control flames raging through a town house ravaged by a direct hit in 1940, while right, This eerie image shows a London road deserted and covered in rubble after an air raid.

Preparing for battle: A noticeably young ground crewmen prepare a Spitfire in a field outside of London during the height of the Battle of Britain . In the foreground a group of pilots pause to discuss tactics.

Stiff upper lip: A man determined to keep a sense of normality reads a book on a park bench as a moored barrage balloon, Designed to scupper air attacks, floats in the background and a second, right, soars above.

The random nature of the bombing is clearly demonstrated here as a church, right, remains untouched while a vast swathe of buildings close by were reduced to rubble.

Wreckage: Workers wielding pick-axes and shovels are tasked with clearing away the remains of bombed building that would have once stood next to this Central London church.


Yes, it was horrible in London during the blitz, but the English got their own back, with interest. (below) Dresden 1945.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lamborghini 50th Anniversary – Grande Giro

Lamborghini 50th Anniversary – Grande Giro

Sant’Agata Bolognese, 2 maggio 2013 - A convoy of 350 Lamborghini super sports cars will leave from Milan on 8 May, as the biggest reunion ever of cars from the House of the Raging Bull start their Grand Tour as part of Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

The tour will pass through the beautiful landscapes of Lombardia, Toscana, Lazio, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, stopping over in Forte dei Marmi, Grosseto, Roma, San Giustino Valdarno and Bologna, where they will arrive on 10 May in the afternoon.

On Saturday 11 May the Lamborghinis will depart again for Sant’Agata Bolognese, for the final celebrations of the 50th anniversary.

The convoy will be more than 4.5 km in length, with a dramatic combined power of more than 190,000 hp. It will be a true open air exhibition of all the models that wrote the history of the brand. From the first car produced in 1963, the 350 GT, it will include the entire model range right up to the current Gallardo and Aventador models. Drivers and co-drivers will arrive from all over the world: with 65% men and 35 women, their ages range from 22 to 75 years old, underlining the passion for the brand that stays from one generation to the next.

The first rendezvous is in Milan, on 7 May at 10.00 am, when the Lamborghinis will be parked at the parc fermé in Piazza Castello, and from there will leave the following day to Bobbio.

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