Still trying to think of a good reason to fly to Sun ‘n Fun this weekend? Here is one. For the 1st time ever in North America, Red Bull Air Racing will host a demonstration with Master Class race pilots Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss. The demo will include the 80 foot high pylons, tours, virtual reality sims, and more. Weather permitting, the demonstration will be held the afternoons of April 8, 9, & 10th.
The age of supersonic flight is returning to commercial aircraft. Aerion, based in Reno, NV, has confirmed an order for 20 AS20 aircraft by Flexjet. Using carbon fiber technology, the AS20 will have a 30-foot long cabin and hold 8-12 passengers. It will travel at speeds of up to MACH 1.5 or 990 mph. This cuts 3 hours off a transatlantic flight and 6 hours for a transpacific flight. Fuel burn will be high at 1,000 gallons per hours. Aerion, working in conjunction with Airbus, hopes to have the aircraft ready for flight in 2021 and FAA certification by 2023. The last Concorde supersonic flight was in 2003.
March 1, 2016 marks the end of an era for the Boeing 727. The first B 727 ever manufactured took it last flight, roughly 15 minutes, from Paine Field to the Museum of Flight in Washington. United Airlines donated the aircraft to the museum when it was retired in 1991, and it has been under restoration since that time. United took possession of the aircraft in 1961 and flew 3 million passengers. The B 727 was the first airplane where Boeing sold over 1,000 aircraft and ultimately 1800 were produced.
So what do the Namib desert beetle and prevention of airplane wing icing have in common? Apparently a lot. As pilots we know that icing conditions and ice forming on the leading edge of a wing are particularly hazardous conditions. Virginia Tech scientists studied the Namib desert beetle that lives in one of the most arid regions of the world. They found that a patterned surface, similar to the one found on the beetle’s back, not only controlled the build-up of ice, but also prevented the spread of ice.