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Aviation News

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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Living Legends of Aviation Event

by on Jan.21, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, General

8th Annual ‘Living Legends of Aviation’ ® Awards to Honor Captain James Lovell, Delford M. Smith, Lynn Tilton, Clay Jones, Congressman Sam Johnson, Frank Robinson, the Doolittle Raiders and others.

Beverly Hills, CA “ The 8th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards, presented by Learjet, will be held on January 21st at the Beverly Hilton.

Considered the most prestigious and important recognition event of aviation, it’s an intimate, memorable, and historic evening of entertainment. Morgan Freeman, the “Voice of Aviation” presents the “Flown West” tribute to the Legends lost. John Travolta, the Ambassador of Aviation, will present the newest Legend inductee, M. Laurent Beaudoin. Harrison Ford will present a special Aviation Legacy Award to Pat Epps. Sean Tucker, the awards emcee, will be assisted by Kurt Russell, as Tom Hanks recognizes Captain James Lovell, commander of the Apollo 13 mission, and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger will present the “Captain Cool Award.” Bob Hoover will present the Freedom of Flight award to fellow aviator, congressman, and true national hero Sam Johnson. Meet Delford M. Smith, the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur”, Clay Jones, the “Aviation Industry Leader of the Year”, Lynn Tilton, the “Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year” and other truly remarkable individuals of extraordinary accomplishment.

The ballroom at the Beverly Hilton accommodates the 70 Legends, their guests, and a small number of other attendees.

This year’s expected celebrity/Legend attendees include: John Travolta, Captain James Lovell, Laurent Beaudoin, Bob Hoover, “Sully” Sullenberger, Kurt Russell, Clay Lacy, Morgan Freeman, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Tom Cruise, Joe Clark, Maj. Gen. William Anders, Cliff Robertson, Lynn Tilton ,Tony Bill, Dr. Forrest Bird, Carroll Shelby, James Raisbeck, Linden Blue, Barron Hilton, Sir Richard Branson, Harrison Ford, Gene Cernan, Julie Clark, Dick Rutan, Pat Epps, Greg Herrick, Dieter F Uchtdorf, Alan Klapmeier, Bruce McCaw, Lorenzo Lamas, Col. Max Moga, Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter, Tom Poberezny, Mike Melvill, Vern Raburn, Si Robin, Frank Robinson, Sean Tucker, Steven Udvar-Hazy, Emily Howell-Warner, Patty Wagstaff, Kermit Weeks,Treat Williams, Michael Dorn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Selleck.

For more information please visit www.livinglegendsofaviation.org (Event Sold Out)

About Living Legends of Aviation:
The “Living Legends of Aviation” are 70 admirable people of remarkable accomplishment in aviation including: entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record breakers, astronauts, pilots who have become celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots. The Legends meet yearly to recognize and honor individuals that have made significant contributions in aviation. Living Legends of Aviation is a registered trademark.

About Kiddie Hawk Air Academy:
The Legends event is produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a non-profit 501(c)(3) qualified organization. Kiddie Hawk introduces kids ages 5 thru 11 to flight with the Kiddie Hawk Trainer. The Kiddie Hawk Trainer allows kids to take their first flight lesson with the sophistication of motion and control of real flight, piloting their airplane, albeit just a few feet off the ground. Kiddie Hawk follows the students as they progress, making scholarships available as Kiddie Hawk pilots enter actual flight training. The Kiddie Hawk program also introduces youngsters to other aviation related careers.

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Why We Fly!

by on Jan.11, 2011, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Green Aviation, Soaring

Note: The following article by Andrew Walter is a great account of what the experience of soaring and flying is all about. If you are new to aviation and soaring, read the footnotes and definitions at the bottom of this article before going on.

WHY WE FLY by Andrew Walter

Many people wonder why I spend most of my time looking up into the sky. I don’t really look for anything particular; I just like to look up into the vibrant blue sky and its liquid mountains that make such a beautiful scene. I always dream and think about flying above the clouds, for far above in the sky, it’s not the same world as it is on the surface of Earth. To be honest, the beauty of flying cannot be fully put into words.

The beauty of flying is unimaginable, the clouds right in your face, if not below you, and the ground far below you. I look down and see the bustling city, all the cars in a traffic jam, and yet here I am just floating past high above. I love looking down on the farm land and all of the rivers and streams as they start to turn golden from the evening sun. There are just so many things that make flying beautiful. From flying high above the clouds where it is absolutely stunningly beautiful, or flying low to the tree line in out in the middle of nowhere chasing the deer. There is simply too much about the beauty of flying that it really cannot be put into words.

People have always asked me why I love flying so much. People always ask me what is it about flying that makes me so addicted to it. To this day, I haven’t been able to find answer to that. There are just simply too many things that words cannot describe, too many things that one has to just experience in order to be able to understand. A lot of times I was picked on for flying, although I think part of it was jealousy. I guess people for some reason always seem to want to poke fun at something they simply cannot understand.

I always think about that time when I was able to fly on the Friday when we had our homecoming football game. I remember walking through the halls of my school hearing everyone so excited about the game. I remember the jocks getting all cocky, the cheerleaders getting all pepped up, everyone just excited about the game. I remember when that final bell rang, everyone headed to the parking lot and off to McDonald’s or some other place to eat before the game that night. I was probably the only car that left that went the opposite way to the airport.

As I arrived at Botsford Airfield I remember seeing the Grob 103 sailplane sitting in the staging area and I figured I might as well take her up for a flight. There weren’t many club members around, none of which anyway wanting to fly, so I headed out to the Grob to do a pre-flight*. I could hear car horns in the parking lot of the stadium which was only about one or two city blocks away.

After I finished the pre-flight I was ready to be towed to the launching area. As I was being towed out I was walking the wing down the runway, looking into the sky for any signs of lift, which luckily seemed to be all over the place. We reached the end of the runway and I pulled the release handle to hook up the towing rope and with a little help got the glider pointed down the runway. Aaron was there to launch me and as I was opening the canopy of the glider I remember him joking saying “There’s a lot of lift up there. I was up for about an hour and a half today, just be back before sunset”.

As I got myself seated in the glider I could hear the announcer at the game start to speak, but I didn’t bother listening in, for I had started the checklist. Aaron had signaled the tow plane to start up. I heard the crowd at the game start to get wild and cheer. With a sputter and bang that Piper Pawnee* came to life and started taxiing* over, while not far away a football was being placed on the field. I felt the tension in the towrope as the slack was being taken out for takeoff when I was hooked up. I looked over at Aaron and gave him the thumbs up and waggled my rudder*, I was ready to go.

Image result for piper pawnee and glider on ground

The tow plane throttled up and we shot down the runway. I lifted off shortly, but still flying close to the ground as the tow plane build up more airspeed. Two city blocks away, our team was running on formation for kickoff. The ball was kicked high into the air as the tow plane and me lifted off and climbed out together.

It didn’t take too long to climb to 3,000 feet which was my planned release altitude. I pulled the release and felt the rope snap out. Following standard procedure I turned to the right as the tow plane did his thing. I was now flying free.

I looked down and saw the game, and realized that everyone from my school was there, only 3,000 feet below me. But yet here I was, the only one, who was flying above. The only one of all those kids who escaped gravity and climbed above which gave me a sense of satisfaction. In my head I heard kids voices say “shut up Andrew and just go fly your plane or glider whatever you call it”. But at his point in time, it didn’t matter, because I was flying, and it’s something that few get to do.

That flight was maybe the first time I realized how special flying really is. There are not too many people who will ever get a pilot’s license, or let alone even get their hands on the controls, which to me is a shame. I think that everyone should at least get a chance to at least fly a plane, even if only for 20 minutes. Ever since that game I had taken many of my fellow classmates flying, all of which loved the experience.

Every person I have taken up into the sky has seemed to have gotten a better understanding of why so many people, yet so few of us love flying. And those who I have asked me what it is like to fly, who I have taken flying, understood why I can’t describe its beauty, for flying is not something that can be put into words. Not to mention that of all the people I have taken flying, seven of those people have looked into getting a pilot’s license, or getting a glider rating.

I think that just by letting people know what it is like to fly, and give people that experience and taste of flight, we could save aviation as it is. Airports are closed every year, and to me it seems fewer and fewer planes are pulled out of the hangars to fly every year. If only people were able to taste flight, I think everyone would be shocked at how many people actually would fall in love with flying. So let this be a message to all pilots, the next time you want to fly, take someone with you who has never flown, and help them understand why we fly.

Definitions:

Pre-flight: To check an aircraft for airworthiness and safety before flight.

Piper Pawnee – a type of powered aircraft, which is commonly used for dust cropping and for towing sailplanes.

Taxi: To move slowly on the ground or on the surface of the water before takeoff or after landing, i.e. “an airplane taxiing down the runway”.

WHAT IS SOARING:

Image result for soaring planes

Soaring can be defined as the act of flying through the air without the aid of an engine and by using updrafts in the air to get up higher. You can see birds doing this all the time. A Glider or a Sailplane is a type of aircraft that achieves this type of flying. Sailplanes ordinarily get off the ground with the help of a tow plane, which is a powered airplane that pulls it up with a long rope.

There is also another type of launch whereby a winch on the ground gets used to help the aircraft gain the initial altitude.

Once up to altitude the sailplane releases from the rope and then flies freely. Finding thermals (rising warm air columns) or other types of updrafts is part of the challenge and fun of flying sailplanes, but by doing this the pilot gains altitude and prolongs his flight.

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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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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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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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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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