Aviation News


Aviation Going Green

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


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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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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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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Bob Hoover – Aviation Legend

by on Aug.26, 2010, under General

Bob Hoover is truly a legend of Aviation.

He possesses an ability to make airplanes do things that they were never intended to to and do it with breath-taking precision. If you never witnessed one of his displays, go to the video below and see what he can do while rolling a Shrike Commander, which is not intended to be an aerobatic plane. You will be truly amazed!

Even if this video was made quite a few years back, you never get tired of watching it or hearing the modest statements from one of the greatest pilots who ever lived. He is now in his late 80’s but you can still see him around quite frequently speaking at air shows and sharing his experinces from his very rich life. 


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When Glendale Ruled the Skies

by on Aug.21, 2010, under General


Glendale, California used to be the aviation capital of the world in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Famous aviation personalities such as Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes regulary flew out the Grand Central Air Terminal, which at the time was the main aviation hub on the West Coast. Here is an excellent documentary about the Glendale Air Terminal and its history.

Part 1: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t48-hPRB2Y

Part 2: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvlW9_ThtSU&feature=related

Part 3: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh59dmZbadc&feature=related

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Edwards Air Force Base – a unique fly-in opportunity!

by on Aug.20, 2010, under General


The Air Force Flight Test Center is hosting the first ever fly-in to one of our historic dry lakebeds at Edwards Air Force Base on the 1st of October, 2010.This is also a “Flight Safety Event”.  Only 100 aircraft will be selected to land at the event and will be picked using a lottery system. Those not selected to fly-in will be able to drive to the lakebed. The full information about the vent can be found on the website for Edwards Air Force Base by clicking this link.

Aviators will be given several presentations discussing Edwards’ current programs and the history of women in aviation.

Those people who wish to drive in to the 2010 Lakebed Fly-in can also take part in the event. They must register online for a parking pass and will pay for lunch on-site. Those who are not registered or do not have a parking pass will not be allowed into the event.

To register for the fly-in lottery drawing, or to drive-in to event, go to www.flighttestnation.com and click on the 2010 FTN Lakebed Fly-in link on the home page.

Location of Seminar:
Edwards AFB, Rosamond Dry Lakebed
305 E. Popson Ave.

Edwards, CA 93524

(The below article and description of the dry lakes has been excerpted from the Public website for the Edwards Air Force base and is being republished with their permission. It gives an overview of the area and how it is an essential part of the US and World Aviation History. The full article can be found by clicking this link:

About the Dry Lakes

Edwards Air Force Base, on California’s Mojave Desert about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, has two unique natural resources that help make it the premier flight test facility in all the world; Rogers and Rosamond dry lakebeds.

Rogers Dry Lake is the largest of the two and has been used since 1977 as the landing site for many space shuttle test and operational flights. But both lakebeds have been used for emergency and test landings of aircraft for more than 40 years. And these natural flat surfaces have literally saved hundreds of aircrew lives and aircraft valued at millions of dollars because they offer a broad expanse of hardened clay on which to land aircraft in emergency situations.

Rogers Dry Lake has been declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, because of its role in the development of the nation’s space program and in the development of aerospace systems.

Rogers has a surface of about 44 square miles and is the lakebed next to which the main Edwards complex has been developed. There are seven “drawn on” runways crisscrossing the surface of Rogers, with the longest 17/ 35 extending 7 1/2 miles.

The main Edwards concrete runway is also located next to Rogers Dry Lake and combining this runway’s 15,000 foot length with a 9,000 foot lakebed overrun gives pilots with an inflight emergency one of the longest and safest runways anywhere in the world.

Rosamond Dry Lake, serveral miles southwest of Rogers, offers 21 square miles of smooth flat surface which is also used for routine flight test and research operations and for emergency landings.

The lakebeds are among the lowest points in Antelope Valley and collect seasonal rain and snow runoff from surrounding hills and also from the San Gabriel Mountains to the south and the Tehachapi Mountains to the west.

At one time the lakebeds contained water the year around, but changing geological and weather patterns are void of vegetation and contain water only after infrequent rains or snow falls.

The flatness of the lakebeds was revealed following a measurement of the Rosamond lakebed surface which has a curvature of less than 18 inches over a distance of 30,000 feet.

The history of Edwards AFB and the military’s use of Rogers and Rosamond lakebeds goes back to the early 1930s when Army Air Corps aircraft from what is now March Air Force Base, Riverside, Calif., flew over the lakebeds for bombing and gunnery practice. During World War II, facilities were established adjacent to Rogers Dry Lake then called Muroc Dry Lake to train bomber and fighter crews for duty overseas.

During the early 1940s, the base was chosen as the site to flight test the nation’s first jet aircraft, the Bell XP-59A Airacomet. As the flight test program progressed, it became evident that the lakebed coupled with year around flying weather was an ideal place for all phases of aircraft testing and permanent facilities began emerging.

In 1949, what was then called Muroc Army Air Field was renamed Edwards AFB in honor of Capt. Glen Edwards, copilot on the YB-49 jetpowered flying wing which crashed near the base June 4, 1948.

The Air Force Flight Test Center was activated at Edwards in 1951, and with the increased number of flight test programs carried out at Edwards in recent years, the natural surfaces of Rogers and Rosamond dry lakebeds have taken on even greater roles as emergency landing sites and sites for test and research.

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When Art meets Aviation

by on Aug.19, 2010, under General

When Art meets Aviation – the new Icon Sports Aircraft

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Rob Bach and His Pietenpol

by on Aug.19, 2010, under General

Rob Bach and His Pietenpol

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Lunken Terminal

by on Aug.15, 2010, under Aviation, Aviation News, General

Here are the murals at Cincinnati Lunken Terminal … LUK.


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