True cooperation is the key.
A variety of sources detailing the Wright brothers’ research methods and conclusions prior to the successful first powered flight note their study of birds.
From that study, they observed and identified the ways soaring birds changed their wings’ shape to control the flight path. That data led to conceiving and implementing wing warping, mimicking the birds they observed.
Never mind that wing warping isn’t as efficient or mechanically simple as ailerons, flaps, and other devices humans now use to change a fixed wing’s shape. The important part is the Wrights observed how birds established and maintained control, and transferred that knowledge to a mechanical object. [Read more…]
Q: Because of medical problems, my IO-720 has not run in six months. While always hangared, the hangar is sometimes damp. The question is what to do in re-starting? Do we open it up and clean, or change the oil often? [Read more…]
In many ways I’m a creature of habit. Of course, some habits are more obvious than others. For instance, I eat every day. More than I need to, in fact. That’s a habit. Not a particularly good one, and not one that I am proud of, but it is a habit, so I include it on my list.
Another is that I write my General Aviation News column every Monday morning. You can count on me being at my desk bright and early, putting fingers to keyboard in an attempt to find some nugget of truth, or insight, or entertainment to share with you.
Today, that didn’t happen. It’s late afternoon now. I frittered away my morning in search of excellence. And I’m happy to say I may have found it. [Read more…]
The nation appears almost hypnotized by the ongoing spectacle of this year’s presidential debates. Sometimes these highly watched broadcasts have real substance to them, but many describe them as political theater, an apt term when a clash of personalities drives ratings as much as discussion of important current events. [Read more…]
In this political season, like every political season, we see divisions forming.
In many cases those cracks in the American facade happen between people who would be better served by a united force.
Each candidate has their followers. Every point of view has an advocate. Parties square off for battle, often over problems that will only be exacerbated by the head-on assault.
This is nothing new. It happens on a major scale every four years, to a lesser extent every two years, and to a diminishing degree annually. But it happens, as it always does, and we as a people are worse for the bickering.
Aviation can and does rise above all this petty caterwauling. [Read more…]
Deep within the hearts and souls of those who fly is a desire to repeat the experience. Whether our last flight was three days ago, three years ago, or three decades ago, the flame still burns. We want to fly. We occasionally dream of flying. And we plan to one day, someday, fly again. [Read more…]
“The department continues to be bullish on new technology,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a Feb. 24, 2016 release about the FAA’s efforts to expand the safe integration of unmanned aircraft. “We recognize the significant industry interest in expanding commercial access to the National Airspace System. The short deadline reinforces our commitment to a flexible regulatory approach that can accommodate innovation while maintaining today’s high levels of safety.” [Read more…]
I once told a friend that my first passenger on earning my private pilot license would be my brother-in-law and not my spouse, because flying my spouse would put too much pressure on me. At least I knew that much about myself.
So it was with that in mind that I queried NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System database. I used the simple directive “spouse.”
The 40 NASA reports obtained from that query revealed that having a spouse has a major impact on us. And by “us” I mean pilots, controllers, and mechanics.
Simply put, having your spouse on your mind can greatly affect your judgment, in both predictable and unpredictable ways. [Read more…]
What do the 1929 Powder Puff Derby, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, the adventures of an airplane fanatic, the de Havilland Mosquito, and drones all have in common?
All of these topics — and many more — have recently crossed my desk over the last few weeks. [Read more…]