Updated: 10/19/06; 8:06:37 PM

 Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Long Flight

Doc Searls posted on Boeing 777-200LR setting a distance record for a commercial jetliner by flying from Hong Kong to Heathrow over North America. The long range capabilities of these aircraft are truly amazing, however, whether the passengers are actually capable of that length of flight remains an open question.
 Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Air Racing

Its a little known fact that air shows are incredibly popular and annually attract more visitors then any professional sport. Somebody out there appears to have figured this out and we are starting to see some very interesting airplane racing competitions around airshows.

If you have been to the Reno Air Races in the past few years, you have seen the L-39 Albatros jets race (400mph+). The tricky part is keeping them in view while they are blasting around a course that is miles and miles long. The unlimited class is still the most fun - watching the highly modified WWII fighter planes roar around the pylons.

Then there are the Red Bull Air Races - the final race of the season is taking place during Fleet Week in San Francisco this weekend where the contestants perform aerobatic maneuvers (knife edge through pylons, under bridges etc) while racing around a course near the city marked with 40ft tall inflated cloth pylons.

Now rocket planes. If you like things that fly, it doesn't get much better than this.
 Monday, September 12, 2005


A pilot friend sent me a great little snippet with the tongue-in-cheek question of how much to would cost to fuel this baby. The answer is that it takes about 24,000 gallons of JetA at roughly $5/gal. So when they pull up to the pump and say, "fill-er up" - the bill comes to about $120,000. (Of course that does not include the dry hourly operating rate.)

A sweet ride for two...

Every Silicon Valley tech giant has to have his jet. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have settled on a Boeing 767 as their personal jet, and it's currently down in Dallas getting interior work done, or at least that's according to Jeff Nolan, over at SAP Ventures, who told us that he'd bumped into a guy in the aviation industry who said as much. In April, we reported that Chief Executive Schmidt sold his ownership interest in his jet, which he had owned for several years and let the company use for business trips. In February, he purchased another jet, and the Google board agreed to reimburse him $7,000 an hour for its use.
 Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Don't Try This in Our Atmosphere Kids

I am amazed what the astronauts are going to do to repair the shuttle in space prior to its return. Its the height of ingenuity when you can find, diagnose, test, and repair a problem on a vehicle that complex in flight.

 Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Restoring the Warbirds

Excellent NY Times article on warbird restorations.

 Thursday, June 2, 2005

Boeing Blog

Another very cool aviation inspired blog - The Boeing Flight Test Journal

 Thursday, May 12, 2005

Nellis Airshow

Several fantastic pictures from the Nellis Airshow. Everything from first looks at the F-22 Raptor to a very cool Fairey Firefly all the way to "Precious Metal" - an aircraft that started life as a P-51 Mustang (the tail and radiator scoop still look familiar), but the fuselage and cockpit were substantially modified for air racing. Most notable it has two contra-rotating three-bladed propellers that were taken from a British Shackleton marine patrol aircraft. I saw this plane at the Reno Air Races a while back and its amazing. I have to put this airshow on my list for next year.
 Monday, April 25, 2005

Getting from Here to There

Aerial Taxis really are getting closer. An announcement from Dayjet. Maybe they will let me fly the right seat...

 Thursday, March 3, 2005

Around the World in 67 Hours

Steve Fossett and Global Flyer flies around the world. He is back in Kansas after a non-stop, solo flight around the world. If he had gotten into trouble, all he really had to do was click those ruby red slippers... Amazing.

 Thursday, February 17, 2005

Tired of Narita Airport...

Japan's ultra-modern int'l airport opened today in Nagoya. Its the airport built on an artificial island and its Japan's third major international airport.

 Tuesday, February 8, 2005

More on the Cirrus Icing Accident

A Placer County sheriff's search and rescue crew has found the body of a pilot and wreckage from the airplane he was flying Sunday night, a spokesman for the sheriff said today. The plane, which was headed to Oakland from Reno, was located on the back side of Mount Lincoln in the Sugar Bowl ski area, Placer County sheriff's Capt. Rick Armstrong said today. Armstrong said the sheriff's office has secured the scene of the wreckage and will wait until Tuesday, when officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive, to remove the man's body and to investigate the scene.

The plane, reportedly a four-seat Cirrus SR22, left Reno around 6 p.m. Sunday. About 15 minutes later, the pilot notified air traffic controllers that his wings were icing and that he was "going down,'' the sheriff's office reported. At that point, the plane was approximately 16,000 to 17,000 feet in the air, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker. It was the last contact the FAA had with the pilot. Around 1:45 a.m., a snow-grooming worker at the Sugar Bowl ski area called 911 and said he found a parachute and parts of an aircraft, according to the sheriff's office. A search crew responded to the scene, found the parachute and parts of the plane. The pilot's body and the remainder of the plane were found around noon today, Armstrong said.

 Monday, February 7, 2005

Cirrus Crash

A Cirrus apparently went down near the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in Tahoe. Resort personnel found some wreckage and pieces of the plane's parachute (from the CAPS system). There does not seem to be much else to report.

 Friday, January 7, 2005

Global Flyer

Global Flyer is ready and will attempt the first solo, nonstop, non-refueled around-the-world flight piloted by Steve Fossett. (Also noticed that the Wichita Business Journal has an RSS feed.)

 Thursday, January 6, 2005

Laser Man

Patriot Act used to quell laser pointer terror. Don't look now [The Register]

Obviously, the author of this article isn't a pilot. Who cares what law was being used to prosecute someone stupid enough to shine a powerful laser on a plane at night. If you are VFR or IFR and you lose your ability to see either the instruments or your ground reference, you can become disoriented very quickly. Spatial disorientation, close to the ground, usually has fatal results for everyone on board. If you are a passenger, you just have to hope the auto pilot is engaged.

 Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Turbulence - No Kidding

Unfortunately, I didn't see this PIREPs until I was back on the ground after an abortive attempt to fly to Half Moon Bay (HAF) for lunch. Made it over the hills and then turned back. There were some big potholes in the air out there. My two favorite comments are in the PIREPs below:

Palo Alto CA (Palo Alto Arpt Of Santa Clara Co) [PAO]: pilot report
from Palo Alto CA (Palo Alto Arpt Of Santa Clara Co) [PAO] to 13 nautical miles on the 085[infinity] radial of San Jose [SJC VOR] at 12:29pm PST (2029Z), at 7,300 feet a Cessna Cessna 195(LC-126) reported moderate to severe turbulence surface - 073 ... " DEP Palo Alto CA (Palo Alto Arpt Of Santa Clara Co) [PAO] turbulence along Bay @ 015 . negative over Mt. HAMILTON . negative . ROUGHEST I had in 62YRS " "almost took a wing off"