Visiting Rotax and Pipistrel

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We paid two memorable visits after AERO ended and I’ll tell you a little about each one … but first … While I was at Pipistrel in the office of boss Ivo Boscarol, he received word that Matevz Lenarcic had reached the North Pole on his flight reported earlier. Congratulations on this achievement; a long flight across the North Atlantic remains. Godspeed!

The two visits were to Rotax Aircraft Engines and to Pipistrel. These two are not geographically far apart and work closely. Each spoke highly of the other and both companies are highly impressive places to visit.

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Summer’s coming: Cool it, fellow pilots!

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Across the northern U.S. states and across much of Europe it was a lousy, cold, snowy winter. It seemed everyone I spoke to at AERO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, complained about the crappy winter and their laments mirrored those from America’s northlands. However, the weather appears to be going directly from winter to summer. It was warm in Slovenia when we visited Pipistrel and it’s now getting hot across much of the USA.

That’s great, perhaps, as it foretells an active flying season. However, as the weather warms, it can get mighty hot in the cockpit and not only because you’re on short final on a gusty day in a responsive LSA.

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Go negative…or work together?

It is true that a pilot of one type aircraft may not know much about nor (therefore) care much about another type aircraft. Ultralight pilots and turbine pilots may not seem to have much in common. Sailplane pilots and crop dusters, likewise. Powered parachute enthusiasts seem on the opposite side of the spectrum from airline pilots.

Yet, regardless of our interests — or even the country in which we live — pilots as a whole are more alike than different in one critical way: [Read more…]