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Learning How to Fly

by on Feb.02, 2017, under General

Great 14 minutes video from FlightChops on learning how to fly, with a discovery flight.

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The Friends of Aviation Website is getting refreshed and renewed!

by on Feb.01, 2017, under General

The original purpose of creating the 501 (c)3 non for profit organization “Friends of Aviation”® was for this group to be a central point where aviation minded people could meet and get connected up. We have a big following on Facebook with more than 20,000 members. You can join our group by clicking on this link.

We are currently working on getting our blog and website updated and our organization reorganized so that we can better accomplish our purpose.

If you are interested in participating in our activities and writing articles for our website or blog, please contact me at [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Join us on Facebook:

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Flying Cars – a Dream turning into a Reality

by on Feb.07, 2013, under Aviation, General

Have you ever been stuck in your car in a traffic jam on the way back from work, thinking that there must be some way to get away from the traffic?

How would it be to be able to fly above it all? The dream of flying cars has been around for a long time. In Science Fiction movies, such as “The Fifth Element”, we constantly see different concepts of the flying car. Isn’t it true that if we can dream it, we can make it?

While flying cars have long been a stable of fantasy and science fiction, in actual fact there have been many notable and successful attempts to make a vehicle which is both roadworthy and capable of aerial flight over the years.

It is only in recent times that technological advancements have made such cars much more practical and although the days in which there is a flying car in every garage are still not here, it is clear that the near future holds endless possibilities in this area.

There will be a series of articles on the Friends of Aviation website on the subject of Roadable cars and flying vehicles within the next two months. Within the next decade, the world will launch into a series of new aerial vehicles that will revolutionize personal travel and enable tens of thousand if not hundreds of thousand new individuals to take to the skies.

Here is a quick overview of a few of the companies and the flying cars which are in development today.

 

TERRAFUGIA:

 

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(Photo: Courtesy of Terrafugia®)   

This is a business based in the US and formed by former students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is currently in the process of creating a “roadable” aircraft called the Transition ,which it hopes will be suitable for individual ownership, acting as a personal vehicle for the road or the air. What makes the Transition a significant improvement over older designs is that its wings can be retracted in half a minute, making it ready to use on the road in the blink of an eye. It is expected to hit the private market at some point in 2011, although prototypes have undergone thorough testing.

To use the Terrafugia Transition it will be necessary for the driver to take it by road to their local airport. It has a flight range of up to 500 miles with room onboard for two people. The cost of ownership is likely to be in the region of $150,000, although the firm has yet to confirm pricing and a Sport’s pilot`s licence is essential for flying this or any other of the flying cars.

Visit www.terrafugia.com to follow the progress on this project.

MAVERICK

  The Maverick from I-TEC is an interesting roadable    aircraft currently in development which attempts to offer even greater operational diversity by being able to go off-road when it is on the ground. It takes the form of a converted dune buggy which has an integrated propeller and a parachute system which will allow it to be dropped into some of the world`s most inhospitable regions to examine fuel pipe lines and check up on remote communities.

 

 

 

THE SWITCHBLADE

Image result for switchblade samson

Developed by Samson Motorworks, the Switchblade is a concept vehicle which has three wheels, wings arranged in a scissor design and rotary engines which mean that the propeller need not protrude when the craft is at ground level. At the moment the Switchblade is still at the prototype phase but it is expected to reach 110 mph on the roads and up to 200 mph when in flight mode. The owner will not have to store wings or accessories at the airport, as was the case with older planes, because everything is designed to retract out of harm`s way when a flight is over. A particularly cool feature of the Switchblade is that even when it is on the ground the body will bank and rolls as the car turns, simulating the feeling of flight.  Visit www.samsonmotorworks.com to follow the progress on this project.

THE BUTTERFLY – SKY CYCLE

The Butterfly is an intriguing aircraft which is in essence a gyroplane that comes in a number of different designs and is intended for one or two passengers. Most models look very much like something from a James Bond film, with one propeller enabling lift while another dictates the direction and provides forward momentum. When on the ground the vehicles are designed to act like large motorcycles with light frames and three wheels providing stability and balance. The manufacturer intends that these types of flying motorbike will be suited to individuals as well as law enforcement organisations who need nimble, versatile vehicles which can get into any location with ease.

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Entrepreneurs and Aviation – Living Legends of Aviation.

by on Jan.25, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General, Video of the day

Each year at the Living Legends of Aviation event, the awards of “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year” and the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur” are given out.

Joe Clark, who was the recipient of this award last year, covers the subject of entrepreneurship and aviation in the following video, which was shown at the Living Legends of Aviation event this year (2011). You can watch the video by clicking here or on the picture below. It was produced for the Living Legends of Aviation by Inventive Productions and starts out with the following statements from Mr Clark;

“I think that aviation attract entrepreneurs. At least it certainly did in my case. Why, you know, entrepreneurs and aviation are almost one and the same.”

“Almost everyone I’ve known in my life in aviation has been an entrepreneur; people like Bill Lear, Clay Lacy, Steven Udvar-Hazy. They all kind of started without very much and had big dreams.”

“Entrepreneurs have a lot of drive and most entrepreneurs have a lot of failures getting to the top and so, you know, they have the ability to look back, learn from their mistakes and move forward.”

“An entrepreneur in my mind is someone who has a dream or an idea and has such focus that no matter what the obstacles are, they press ahead and make it happen.”

“Most people in aviation, they have such a passion for it they don’t feel they are taking a risk and most people I’ve seen in aviation, unlike a lot of other businesses, they don’t start out to make a lot of money, they just love what they do and if it happens it happens!”

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Living Legends of Aviation 2011

by on Jan.22, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General

Beverly Hills, 21st January 2011 Friends of Aviation Press Release:

Last night on January 21st many Hollywood and aviation celebrities gathered for the 8th annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This event, which by many is considered “the Oscars of Aviation” is all about recognizing and honoring individuals with great and significant contributions to the field of aviation.

With the challenges for the aviation industry of recent years, this event plays an important role, not only to recognize individuals with great achievements as aviators and entrepreneurs, but also to highlight everything that is made possible through the work of aviation. This includes humanitarian efforts, rescue operations and the role of aviation in enabling commerce to take place.

Rather than just being a “star studded” event, many Hollywood and Aviation celebrities are passionate about aviation and attend this gathering to help pushing the message of keeping the dream of flight alive and to make it real to people that aviation is not just something for a few select individuals but plays an important role in today’s society.

The current 70 people who are now part of the Living Legends of Aviation are people of remarkable accomplishments, in aviation. Members include entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record breakers, astronauts, pilots who are now celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots.

John Travolta – Photo Credit: Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

John Travolta, the Ambassador of Aviation is himself a Legend of Aviation and started flying at the age of 17. He presented the newest Inductee Mr M Laurent Beaudion, the CEO of Bombardier with his award. His accomplishments to bring aviation forward are nothing short of remarkable.

Sean Tucker, the award emcee, always has an enthusiasm for aviation that is contagious to anyone he gets in contact with. From a reliable source, and from what I have seen with my own eyes, he is probably the greatest aerobatics pilots currently flying at air shows – a true professional in his field.

Actors and Pilots Harrison Ford and Kurt Russell gave out several recognitions at the event. Harrison Ford has done a remarkable job to introduce people and our youth to flying and is a great proponent and spokesman for aviation. Awards included the “Legacy Award” given to Pat Epps, Atlanta, Georgia.

Captain “Sully” Sullenberger awarded Captain James Lovell, Apollo 13 Commander, the “Captain Cool Award”. Sully mentioned that the only thing he really had in common with Mr. Lovell was that they both landed in water, but on the other hand, Mr. Lovell was supposed to!  Buzz Aldrin was in attendance as well, the second person to put a foot on the moon.

Lynn Tilton

Delford M. Smith who founded Evergreen International Airlines was given the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year Award”. Clay Jones, the “Aviation Industry Leader of the Year” and Lynn Tilton, the first woman to achieve the “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Frank Robinson, founder of Robinson Helicopters, was acknowledged for his role in creating what ended up becoming the most popular helicopter in the world.

Bob Hoover, a true Legend of Aviation in his own right presented the Freedom of Flight Award to his fellow aviator and congressman and national hero, Sam Johnson.

After the event many celebrities gathered on the 8th floor of the hotel, mingled with guests and and shared stories about aviation with those who attended.

Harrison Ford with Captain Sully and other guests

Harrison Ford with Nick Rahkonen, President Friends of Aviation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall a great and very memorable event . We at Friends of Aviation are already looking forward to next years event.

The spirit of the event and aviation overall can appropriately be summed up with what Del Smith quoted in his acceptance speech; “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

I believe that this is something that all great dreamers and achievers do know and have in common as a reality!

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Moments Like These – Some of What Makes Gliding Awesome

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Video of the day

Image of Black Mountains Gliding Club with snow on the mountains

Soaring really catches the essence of what aviation and flying is all about. I personally started flying gliders back in Sweden in the late 1970’s and some of my most memorable experiences in aviation have been from the years I was soaring from a small flying club in Trollhattan, Sweden.

A video was produced, which is a great display of what soaring is all about by an airline captain/soaring pilot from the UK, Matt, at a flight from Talgarth airfield in Wales.

Talgarth airfield is home to a small but active gliding club, set 970 feet above sea level in the stunning scenery of the Black Mountains halfway between Hay on Wye to the east and Brecon to the west.

With soarable conditions on most days, they have longer average flight times than any other soaring clubs in the UK. Regardless of wind directions, the area offers conditions where you almost always can fly off the mountain ridges or fly mountain waves. This is great for a glider pilot or for anyone who wish to get trained in this type of flying.

Click here or on the photo above to see this great video of his flight with a Cirrus sailplane, which shows ridge flying at the end of the day in late October.

The video shows a flight from Talgarth (Black Mountains Gliding Club) in Wales and captures some of the essence of what makes gliding such an awesome sport. Soaring in the late afternoon as the sun sets, in wave or on a ridge is truly magical, and low level, high speed runs along a ridge are pure main line adrenaline.

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First Looping Accomplished for Jetman!

by on Nov.06, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

Yves Rossy performs a loop over Lake Geneva in Switzerland today. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/Reuters

News item from www.jetman.com. Friends of Aviation kindly thanks Yves Rossy for being able to repost his news article on our website. Click on the photo to the left to watch a video of this very unique and spectacular flight.

“Yves Rossy, alias Jetman, successfully realized today at 10:03 am (Swiss time) his first looping in front of a hot-air balloon piloted by Brian Jones above Bercher.

The Swiss Yves Rossy took off from Bercher at 9:45 am (Swiss time) this morning on board of the hot-air balloon “Esprit Breitling Orbiter”, piloted by Brian Jones, to reach an altitude of 2.400 meters in 18 minutes. His wing on his back, the 4 jet-engines turned on, he jumped out of the balloon’s basket.

He flew a few minutes to stabilize his wing and find the optimal angle to begin two loopings. Jetman executed a rotation in front of the balloon. Then, he deployed his parachute to land in Denezy (VD).

This flight has been achieved with Yves Rossy’s new wing, smaller (2 meters instead of 2.5 meters) and without unfoldable parts. This new prototype, designed by Yves and the RUAG Company, possesses a better aerodynamic profile and more stability. Two years after crossing the Channel, these technological evolutions allowed Jetman to perform his first acrobatics in the air.

The hot-air balloon in front of which the flying man accomplished his achievement is named “Esprit Breitling Orbiter”. On its board, the British balloonist Brian Jones, winner of the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999, manoeuvred with precision the balloon in order to make Yves Rossy’s looping possible.

This first stunt permits more and more freedom to the flying man whom uses only his body’s movements to steer himself in the air. Yves Rossy’s words after his landing: “It was fantastic! The flight went well, despite a little problem when starting my engines. I was able to do my two loopings and I am very happy!”

More articles about the modern “aviation pioneer” Yves Rossy and news items and videos are available on his website www.jetman.com. A worthwhile website to bookmark! We are looking forward to his next project, which is to cross the Grand Canyon with his jetwing.

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The International Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta 2010

by on Oct.13, 2010, under General

The International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was held October 2-10 this year with more than 700 participating balloons. Attending the event is a great way to experience the very uplifting world of ballooning.

A great ballooning event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Knapp with his “Wounded Warrior” balloon showed a great cause by taking up wounded soldiers for flights. He is a board member of the Balloon Federation of America and part of the Board of Advisors for Friends of Aviation.

Click here for a news account of the project and people he helped. Stay tuned for a more complete account and more photos from this great event on this blog.

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Airplane or a Bird? No, “It is Jetman Yves Rossy!”

by on Oct.02, 2010, under General

Image result for jetman

Fiction or Fantasy? No what you see is real!

Yves Rossi from Switzerland became the first and only aviator in history to fly with a jet propelled wing, when he launched on his first flight with the initial version of his wing in 2006 in Switzerland. With a background in the Swiss Air Force as a jet fighter pilot, and as a former Captain of Swiss International Air Lines, Yves has always been passionate about aviation. He always had a dream to fly in the most natural possible way.

Yves experimented with sky surfing and wingsuits but was not fully satisfied with this as a natural way to fly and developed a way of flying a jet propelled wing.

He has been featured in National Geographics and other international publications and TV programs and in September this year made his debut in the US. At the Jersey International Air Display on September 9th he demonstrated his very unique concept of human flight!

An HD video was produced of his flight which you can see by clicking here or on the photo at the top of this article.

Yves has had many unique flights with his jet wings and what he has accomplished so far is nothing short of amazing.

In September 2008, close to 100 years after Louis Bleriot’s flight across the English Channel, Yves followed the path of Bleriot and made an amazing 10 minute long flight from the Coast of England to Cain in France. This was broadcast live to 165 countries and made headlines all over the world.

On July 2nd, 2010, during the Breitling Flying days in Buochs, Switzerland, Yves Rossy presented his formation and precision flight abilities by flying together with and around the Breitling Wingwalkers. After jumping out of a Pilatus PC-6 at an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483-feet), Rossy made his way down to two Boeing Stearman wingwalker biplanes, which were waiting for him at an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,280-feet). Rossy flew alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers for more than six minutes separated by distances of only a few meters.

Image result for jetman breitling wingwalkers

 

Rossy was born on August 27th, 1959 in Switzerland. After attending an airshow and admiring military jets when he was 13, he decided that was what he wanted to do. He succeeded in becoming a military pilot, was assigned on the Hawker Hunter, and later Mirage III. After his career in the Air Force, he has worked as a captain with Swiss International Air Lines on commercial flights on Boeing and Airbus airliners.

A true example of what a man can accomplish when he follows his dreams!

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Reno Air Races 2010 – the final results

by on Sep.20, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

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Due to high winds on Sunday afternoon, officials for the Reno National Championship Air Races had to cancel the final race – The Breitling Unlimited Gold Race because of winds gusting out of the southwest to 35 mph.

This was the first time the Gold Race was cancelled in its 47 year history.

“It was a safety issue,” stated Mike Houghton, CEO and President of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our pilots.”

23-year-old pilot of Strega, Steve Hinton, from Chino California, was awarded the title based on the winning of the unlimited Gold qualifying race on Saturday.  It was his second consecutive title in the race and the ninth overall for the “Strega” Mustang.

“It’s more than kind-of disappointing,” Hinton stated. “Every one of these crews up here work hard 365 days a year to come out and show what you’ve done with the airplane and to compete.

“As the racing process goes, you’re building up to Sunday, so what we used yesterday or what Rare Bear used yesterday isn’t necessarily all we had,” he said. ” We were saving it for Sunday and when you don’t get to go out there and use what you built up all year, it’s a major disappointment.”

The pilot or Rare Bear, John Penney, who has been an Unlimited Gold champion four times, also agreed: “It’s very disappointing,” he said. “We had all kinds of issues during the week with our oil pressure system, our water and oil cooling system, and we thought we had everything settled down now, so we were anxious to get up there and give it a shot. We’ll have to wait until next year.”

It was considered by the organizers of the air race to postpone the race until today (Monday), but due to logistical problems this was deemed prohibitive. More than 2,500 volunteers help put on the air races, many from out of state, and many with jobs they must resume today.

Due to the strong winds, the T 6 Class Gold race also had to get cancelled. Dennis Buehn from Carson City had the fastest qualifying time on Saturday in his airplane Midning Miss III and by that won the Gold medal.

In the Super Sport Gold Race earlier on Sunday pilot George Giboney his Thunder Mustang, the Rapid Travel. He made a hard landing and his plane cartwheeled off the runway. It was a frightening moment from everyone and there was a huge relief in the crowd, when it was announced that Giboney had walked away from the crash. Click on the photo below for a link to a video showing the accident.

Giboney got some lacerations to his head and leg, but his injuries were considered minor at the hospital where he was treated.

Mike Dacey of Pismo Beach, Calif., won the race, posting a speed of 374.052 mph, and he was definitely ahead of John Parker of Reno, who finished at 355.993 mph.

In the Jet Class, Curt Brown of Hudson, Wisconsin., won his third consecutive title with his L-29 jet “Viper” which he took around the pylons at 515.582 mph.

In the Sport Class, Jeff LaVelle of Mukilteo, Washington., won the  Reno gold championship for the first time.

In the Biplane Class, Tom Aberle of Fallbrook, Calif., got his third consecutive gold title in the Biplane class. He flew his modified Mong Sport “Phantom.”

In Formula 1, Steve Senegal of San Bruno, Calif., won his second gold title in the past three years during very windy and blustery conditions.

Conditions were challenging with the winds and in spite of the disappointment with no final Gold Race, we whole heartedly agree that safety is the number one concern. The participating pilots are way too valuable to warrant taking any risks. We are already looking forward to the 2011 Air Races – less than a year away….

The spectacular Canadian Snow Birds had a great show on Sunday afternoon against a cumulus clad sky.

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