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Aviation Going Green

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General, Green Aviation, Video of the day

CriCri

Electrical Cri Cri

The first electric Cri-Cri airplane was airborne Thursday – for all of seven minutes. The all electric aircraft, jointly developed by EADS Innovation Works, Aero Composites Saintonge and the Green Cri-Cri Association, made its official maiden flight at Le Bourget airport near Paris on Thursday, Sept. 1.Â

“This aircraft flies very smoothly, much more quietly than a plane with conventional propulsion”, said Didier Esteyne, who piloted the all-electric Cri-Cri. “But we are still at the beginning and have a lot to learn.”Â

Click here or on the picture above see a video if its maiden voyage flight. (The narration is in French, but even if you don’t speak the language, it is still worth watching.)Â

The Cri-Cri was originally designed in the early 1970’s by a French aeronautical engineer, Michael Colomban, as the smallest twin-engine airplane in the world.

His goal was to build a very small and economical plane powered by two engines, that would be capable of flying even some aerobatic maneuvers. He also wanted not to exceed his budget over 1000 USD, including two engines, which was quite hard to believe even in early 70s.

At only 4.9 m (16.1 ft) wingspan and 3.9 m (12.8 ft) length, it has become a well known airplane around the world. It is a single-seater, which can even be transported on top of a car. It sort of reminds you of a model airplane on steroids.

Construction time took around 1500 hours for the first airplane and it became a reality in 1973, when it was given the name “Cri-Cri” after Michel Colomban’s daughter, who was often called “Cri-Cri”.Â

The airplane has now been modified and expanded into a 4-engine aircraft with electrical and environmental friendly motors!  The plane has lithium batteries and four electric prop motors that don’t emit carbon dioxide like standard aircraft.

 The Cri-Cri is made relatively lightweight to compensate for the weight of the batteries, the company said. It is CriCri2capable of 30 minutes of cruising and will fly at about 68 mph.Â

There is currently a lot of effort being put into making aviation environmentally friendly. Besides the Cri-Cri, there are also larger projects in the works.

The photo below shows a project currently being worked on by MIT, for an airplane which is estimated to use 70 % less fuel than a conventional aircraft and is designed to carry 180 passengers. The aircraft is referred to as the “double-bubble”. The design uses long, skinny wings, a small tail and – hence the name – replaces the traditional cylindrical fuselage with a two partial cylinders placed side-by-side.

For more information on this project, you can visit MIT’s website http://web.mit.edu/press/2010/green-airplanes.html

 

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Ready to book your ticket for space? Just contact Virgin Galactic.

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Space flight, Video of the day

Image result for spaceport america drawing

Spaceport America, currently under construction in New Mexico. Click on the picture above to watch a short video about it.

If you are ready to venture into space and have the resources to do so, you can now book your ticket. Sir Richard Branson wants to make it possible for everyone to experience space flight. The Virgin Galactic website announces: “Book your place in space now and join around 340 Virgin Galactic astronauts who will venture into space. Tickets cost $200,000 and deposits start from $20,000. If you are interested in discussing your reservation with us directly please fill in the booking form and we will be in touch as soon as possible to answer any questions you may have. Or you can contact one of our Accredited Space Agents around the world. They have been specially selected and trained by us to handle all aspects of your spaceflight reservation.”

So the dream of space flight is now within reach for anyone who is willing to pay the price! Spaceship Two, designed by the the engineering genius Burt Rutan and his team in the Mojave desert, is now undergoing its test flight stages. Once this project is fully launched, they are hoping to get the ticket price down to approximately what it would cost you to buy a new car.
Image result for spaceship two

After successfully having concluded the SpaceShipOne project, SpaceShipTwo was designed, built and presented to the world in the Mojave desert, in California in December last year.

Upon completion of the test flight stage, those with tickets will be taken up for flights above the atmosphere. This may be as early as 2011.

Sir Richard intends to run the first flights out of New Mexico before extending operations around the globe. Just like its predecessor SpaceshipOne,  it is a rocket plane that is lifted initially by a carrier vehicle before blasting skywards.

SS2 is built for a crew of two and has room for six passengers. The launch plane will also be able to carry passengers for those who would like to see their loved ones getting launched into space! Sir Richard himself intends to be on the launch craft to see his mother going to space.

About 300 individuals are reported to have signed up for a flight so far. The New Mexico authorities are investing almost $200m in a facility in Upham. It will have a 3,000m (10,000ft) runway and a suitably space-age terminal and hangar buildings.

“We’re going where no one has gone before”, Branson stated a few years ago, “there’s no model to follow, nothing to copy. That is what makes this so exciting.”  The dreams and “can do” attitudes of Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan has made it possible for many of us to now start thinking about space travel.

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Aviation Event with Bob Hoover

by on Sep.02, 2010, under General

Image result for bob hoover

If you are in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas, mark your calendars in red for Saturday, October 9th. Aviation Legend Bob Hoover will be the Grand Marshall at the event “A Salute to North American Aviation”, which is being held at Zamperini field, Torrance. The event is being put on by the Western Museum of Flight. Click here to get all details about the event.

Mr Hoover is a true legend of Aviation, as covered in an earlier blog this week. He is now in his late 80’s but still very active and in high spirits. No less an authority than Jimmy Doolittle considers Hoover “the greatest stick and rudder pilot who ever lived”. In the 1990’s, Chuck Yeager called Hoover the best pilot flying.

Born in 1922, he soloed at age 16 and went on to become a fighter pilot in WWII, during which he was shot down and served more than a year as a German prisoner of war. He escaped from the prison, stole a German fighter plane and made it back to allied territory in that.

He was selected at the back up pilot to Chuck Yeager, when he broke the sound barrier in 1947. In 1950, he became one of the chief test pilots for North American Aviation and, subsequently, for the merged NAA-Rockwell. Hoover retired from the aviation industry in 1986 but continued appearing in air shows after that. Click on the photo above or on this link to watch an 8 minute interview, where he describes parts of his very rich life in an interview that was done last year.

The Museum Director, Cynthia Macha, to the left with Chuck Galbasin from the City of Torrance are doing the final planning for the upcoming event, which will be a very memorable occasion.
If you have not visited the Western Museum of Flight and are in the Los Angeles area take the opportunity to do so. It is well worth doing it! Located at Torrance Airport, 3315 Airport Drive, they are open 10am-3pm Wednesday through Sunday.

The Western Museum of Flight is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to preserving and displaying aircraft history and artifacts of southern California’s aviation heritage. The Museum’s educational programs give children an opportunity to see and touch the airplanes that made aviation history history.

The collection includes warbirds, aircraft and target drones, piston and jet aircraft engines, aircraft components, aircraft ejection seats, World War II instruments, aircrew accessories, and an extensive model aircraft collection. This area is very rich in aviation history. More details about them can be found at their website: http://www.wmof.com.

 

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The Flying Yacht!

by on Aug.31, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News

London, England (CNN) — Need to get your superyacht from the crystal-blue waters of the Caribbean to the glamorous Mediterranean in a hurry? Not a problem when your luxury vessel transforms into a sleek jetplane at the click of a button.

That’s exactly what Yelken Octuri’s “Flying Yacht” design would do if built. Octuri, a French cabin designer for Airbus, has combined his knowledge of aircraft design with his love of the seas to create the outlandish concept yacht.

Although currently rooted in the realm of science fiction, the “superyacht with wings” has garnered much attention, with Octuri’s designs recently exhibited at Paris’ Air and Space Museum. It’s just one of a number of futuristic concepts by the designer, who aims to push the boundaries of aviation design.

He told CNN: “My approach when I started was not really to make something feasible. The main idea was to generate innovative concepts.

“For me it was just a fantasy project. Most of the futuristic aircraft concepts out there are all the same. I wanted to avoid that and create something original — to inspire new ideas.”

But Octuri’s ideas might not be as far-fetched as they seem: A number of engineers and aircraft designers have approached Ocuri to talk about realizing his concept.

“The feedback I’ve been getting tells me, with more thinking, this project could be made. Of course it is a very specialist market. Maybe some parts will need to be reworked to consider the aerodynamics and structure, etcetera, but it could work,” he told CNN.

According to Octuri, the 46-meter “Flying Yacht” transforms from superyacht to glamorous jetplane thanks to its mobile masts. When on the water the four masts, each reaching a height of 40-meters, can be individually oriented through a double-jack system — ensuring optimal positioning regardless of wind direction.

The Flying Yacht

When it’s time to take off, the masts are lowered to become horizontal wings. Sails are stored in compartments located inside each mast — a design feature Ocuri took from existing superyacht “The Maltese Falcon.”

On board, the vessel doesn’t skimp on luxury. There are two main decks — the lower deck houses the main room, kitchen and toilet, while the upper deck contains three plush bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom.  (If you would like to read the full CNN article with additional photos click here)

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Soaring over the Swiss Alps

by on Aug.31, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

For those of you who are interested in finding out more about soaring or sailplanes, this is an excellent video that shows soaring over the Swiss and Austrian alps.

If you would like more information about soaring, Soaring Society of America has an excellent website, www.ssa.org, which gives a lot of good information about the sport of soaring and how to learn flying sailplanes.

Click on the photo or here to enjoy our Video of the day!

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A Great Aviation Video

by on Aug.29, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

The video of the day is a wonderful and very relaxing video of the Mirage 2000. It has some of the greatest aerial camera work I have ever seen and is one of my favorites. The footage is from the filming of Les Chevaliers du Ciel (English title “Sky Fighters”) which was filmed in co-operation with the French Air Force. This film used real footage. The filming of these flight sequences seen in the movie were mainly done from the air, as opposed to Top Gun where most of the filming was done from the ground. To achieve this, one of the Mirage’s external fuel tanks was modified to fit a camera.  Tracking shots were done from a hired US Lear Jet. Additionally, jet aircraft are not allowed to fly over Paris. As a result of this, all the Paris filming had to be done on the actual Bastille Day (14 July) for which the filming crew got special permission.Watch it and give your feedback. If you have suggestions of any other videos that should be featured on our website, email us.

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Sky Dancer F/A 18 Hornet Swiss Air Force

by on Aug.28, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

Our video of the day is a great video of the Swizz Air Force F/A 18 with clips taken from a film by film maker Lionel Charlet. The  film really captures a lot of the beauty of flying a military jet, as well as flying over the alps. The McDonnel Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather fighter jet, designed to attack both ground and aerial targets. The Hornet is used by the Swiss Air Forces since January 1996. The F/A-18 is a twin engine, mid-wing, multi-mission tactical aircraft. The Hornet is capable of extremely tight turns over a large range of speeds. The Swiss Air Force purchased 26 C models and eight D models. In October 2008 the Swiss Hornet fleet reached the 50000 flight hour milestone. If you have a video you would like to nominate for the video of the day, send an email to [email protected] with the link.

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Vintage Ford Tri Motor Offers Flyers a Glimpse at Aviation’s Past

by on Aug.28, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News

A vintage Ford Tri Motor Aircraft from 1929 was featured on the News today.

Click on the picture or on this link to watch the News clip to learn more.

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Landing on the Los Angeles 405 Freeway

by on Aug.27, 2010, under General

An American Airlines DC-10 crash lands on the 405 freeway in LA. This film is a fictional account of a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Probably the single most amazing aspect of 405 is that this film was not created by an army of special effects artists. It was not a project that took years to complete. And it did not cost a million dollars to create. In fact, 405 was created about 10 years ago by just two people, in only three months, with the only expense being their time and personal home computers. Visit www.405themovie.com to see how film makers Bruce Branit and Jeremy Hunt made this amazing film. Click on the picture or on the link, Landing on the 405 Freeway to watch this 3 minutes long film.

If you have an aviation video you would like to see in our video library, please email me at [email protected]. We plan to add hundreds of videos to it over the next few weeks and you will be able to vote on your favorite videos. Looking forward to your replies and suggestions.

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