Warbirds Over Hondo 2015

April 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

Aerial Acts, WWII Aircraft, UH-1 Huey, Motorcycles, Circle Track Cars, Drag Race Cars, Show Class Mustangs are all part of this annual family-fun event. Gates open at 9am with the program kicking off at 10:30. For more information visit www.warbirdsoverhondo.com

Date: 16 May 2015
Venue: South Texas Regional Airport
City: Hondo
State: Texas
Country: United States

Riverside Airshow 2015

February 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Events

Featuring more than 200 acres of displays – military aircraft, helicopters, warbirds, military vehicles, classic cars – this exciting event is ideal for a family outing. Now in its 23rd year, the Riverside Airshow 2015 features aerobatic performances and aerial displays by Chuck Coleman, Jon Melby, Dr Frank Donnelly, john Collver and his T-6 Texan, Justin Time SkyDivers and more. For more information visit www.riversideairshow.com

Date: 28 March 2015
Venue: Riverside Municipal Airport
City: Riverside
State: California
Country: United States

Buckeye Air Fair 2015

December 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The Buckeye Air Fair program includes aviation demonstrations; aircraft displays; the Arizona SciTech Festival; a Kid’s Zone; and demonstrations by Buckeye Police and Fire. Visitors can also visit the Lauridsen Aviation Museum and there will be food vendors, booths, entertainment and more. Admission is FREE and includes entrance to the Lauridsen Aviation Museum and a car show. For more information on this family-fun event, please visit www.buckeyeairfair.com

Date: 21 Feb 2015
Venue: Buckeye Municipal Airport
City: Buckeye
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Visit the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg, ID

October 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

Located in Rexburg, Idaho, the Legacy Flight Museum opened to the public in 2006 offering visitors the opportunity to examine up close some of the historical aircraft that were built to protect the country’s freedom. Started by local aircraft enthusiast John Bagley, the museum collection grew to include a dozen aircraft, all of which are maintained in pristine condition and are airworthy. Every second year the museum hosts an air show with many of the museum’s aircraft taking to the skies, along with aerobatic pilots and their own airplanes. But these classic aircraft are not only dusted off and flown every two years, they are a familiar sight in the skies above Rexburg throughout the year.

The Beechcraft Staggerwing D17S was considered in the 1930s to be a top-of-the-range airplane designed with business executives in mind. With its upper wing further back than the lower wing, each Staggerwing was built by hand and powered by a 450 HP Pratt and Whitney radial engine. When the airplane first hit the market, it was during the depression and considered to be pricy at between US$14,000 and US$17,000, but by the time World War II came around Beechcraft had sold 424 Staggerwing aircraft. The airplanes speed and durability also made it popular in the new sport of air racing. It won the 1933 Texaco Trophy Race, and in 1937 Jackie Cochran set a women’s speed record of 203.9 mph, reaching an altitude of more than 30,000 feet and finishing third in the 1937 Bendix Trophy Race. British diplomat Capt. H.L. Farquhar flew around the world in a Beechcraft Staggerwing Model B17R in 1935, covering a distance of 21,332 miles. Visitors can get a close look at this fantastic airplane that made its way into the record books a number of times.

Another legendary airplane on display is a P-51D Mustang fondly dubbed ‘Ole Yeller’, previously flown by legendary pilot Bob Hoover. Widely considered to be one of the founders of modern aerobatics, Hoover has numerous military medals, and is listed as the third greatest aviator in history in the Centennial of Flight edition of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Other airplanes on display at the Legacy Flight Museum include a Grumman TBM-3 Avenger, a North American T-6 Texan, a Howard DGA-15, an L-52 Grasshopper, a P-63 King Cobra and an O-1 Bird Dog. The Legacy Flight Museum is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and From Labor Day to Memorial Day on Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm weather permitting.

Aviation Nation 2014

October 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

Open house at the Nellis Air Force Base is the largest freee public event in Nevada. Visitors can expect to see aerial demonstrations by a host of aircraft, including A-10 Warthog, A6M Zero, AT-6 Texan, B-1 Lancer, B-25 Mitchell, CJ-6 Yak, C-45 Expeditor, F4U Corsair, F8F Bearcat, F-16 Falcon, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning, F-86 Sabre, as well as the US Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron. For more information visit www.nellis.af.mil/aviationnation/

Date: November 8 & 9, 2014
Venue: Nellis AFB
City: Las Vegas
State: Nevada

Aviation Innovator Rex Buren Beisel

September 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Designed by American aeronautical engineer Rex Buren Beisel, the Vought F4U Corsair was the first fighter aircraft with the capability of exceeding a speed of 400 mph in level flight carrying a full military load. The single engine aircraft was used extensively in World War II, allowing the Allied forces to dominate the skies in the Pacific. Between 1940 and 1953, the number of F4U Corsairs built by Vought across 16 models totaled 12,571, but because demand for the aircraft outstripped Vought’s production capacity, F4U Corsairs were also built by Goodyear and Brewster, with the prefix of FG for Goodyear and F3A for Brewster identifying the manufacturer.

Born in San Jose, California, on October 24, 1893, and raised in Cumberland, Washington, Rex Buren Beisel earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Washington, while at the same time working at various jobs. Upon graduation Beisel completed a civil service examination in mechanical engineering which led to a job offer in the US Navy’s Bureau of Construction and Repair, and later at the Bureau of Aeronautics in 1917 where he served as a draughtsman. Although he had no previous aeronautical experience, and limited access to relevant data, he started designing wing floats, pontoons and hulls for seaplanes with such skill that he was soon assigned to major aeronautics projects, and in 1919 became one of the few aeronautical engineers in the United States.

In 1923, Beisel went to work as Chief Engineer at the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company where he designed award winning airplanes, among which were the N2C-1 Fledgling and F8C Helldiver. In 1931, as Assistant Chief Engineer at Chance Vought, Beisel designed the SBU-1 and SB2U Vindicator bombers. He was soon promoted to Chief Engineer and was head of the design team that produced the legendary Vought F4U Corsair. He became General Manager of Vought Aircraft in 1943, during which time he oversaw the relocation of the company from Stanford in Connecticut to Dallas, Texas, and move that included huge quantities of equipment and 1,300 employees and their families. He was promoted to Vice President of Vought’s parent company, United Aircraft Corporation in 1949, retiring a few years later. Rex Buren Beisel died on January, 26, 1972, in Sarasota, Florida, at the age of 78, having made an indelible and noteworthy impression on aviation history.

Hagerstown Wings and Wheels 2014

August 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

This family-fun event offers the opportunity to see a wide variety of vintage aircraft, historic military vehicles, experimental aircraft and a civil air patrol aircraft display. Children between the ages of 8 and 17 years can enjoy free Young Eagle flights. The Pegasus Radio-Controlled Model Airplane Club will also be at the event. For more information visit www.wingsandwheelsexpo.com

Date: 21 September 2014
Venue: Hagerstown Airport
City: Hagerstown
State: Maryland

Rochester International Airshow 2014

July 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The program for this exciting two-day event includes the USAF Thunderbirds; Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team; Bill Gordon Red Baron Stearman, John “Skipper” Hyle T-6; Scott Yoak P-51 Quick Silver; and Jet Aircraft Museum Mako Shark. For more information visit www.rocairshow.info

Date: 16-17 August 2014
Venue: Greater Rochester International Airport
State: New York

FAA Faces Multiple Challenges in Drone Regulation

July 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

As drone technology advances, the call for regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by various parties is becoming more urgent. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been given a deadline of September 2015 to compile rules and protocols to regulate the use of UAVs in American airspace, but recent reports suggest this deadline will not be met as the regulatory body attempts to address all issues related to the use of drones. Drones come in all shapes and sizes, and are designed for a variety of uses, making it impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all set of rules to their use. The FAA anticipates that there will be as many as 7,500 active UAVs in US skies within five year’s time, with tens of billions of dollars being invested in drone technology worldwide.

For the FAA to regulate drones to the extent that aircraft are regulated, they would need to set standards and certification for drone designs and manufacture; mandate and approve technology to avert collisions between UAVs and airplanes; set standards for air-to-ground communication; establish criteria for training drone controllers; and a host of other complex factors.

Many are concerned that unregulated civilian, industry and commercial drones pose serious safety and privacy issues. Currently, commercial use of drones in the US is prohibited by the FAA, but when it comes to hobbyists the rules are not clear. In early July two drones came perilously close to colliding with a New York Police Department helicopter near the George Washington Bridge. The incident took place after midnight and had it had not been for the quick thinking of the helicopter pilot, could have turned out badly. As it was, the pilot followed the drones along the Hudson River to where they landed and NYPD arrested the operators of the drones, charging them with first degree reckless endangerment. Their lawyer compared their actions as being similar to flying a kite, as the UAVs apparently do not have the ability to fly above 300 feet, a claim that onlookers dispute as an unnamed source noted the drones in question can reach heights of 5,000 feet. Nonetheless, the owners of the UAVs appeared unaware of the risks involved in their newfound hobby – and therein lies one of the challenges the FAA will need to consider as they draft regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States.

Historic Aircraft: Memphis Belle

June 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

Constructed in early-1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine, in September of that year, the legendary Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Memphis Belle has a long and fascinating history. The aircraft was second B-17 to carry out twenty-five combat missions in World War II with her crew intact. After her missions in France, Brittany, Netherlands and Germany, Memphis Belle returned across the Atlantic to carry out a war bonds promotion in the United States. Today, Memphis Belle is undergoing an extensive ‘face-lift’ at the National Museum of the USAF situated at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

The B-17’s name Memphis Belle was accompanied by artwork of a woman originally drawn by pinup artist George Petty and reproduced by 91st Bomb Group artist Tony Starcer. The name was in honor of pilot Robert K. Morgan’s girlfriend from Memphis, and inspired by the name of a riverboat in the film Lady for a Night. The aircraft’s nose art would eventually include an image of a bomb for each mission, along with eight swastikas representing the number of German aircraft downed by the Memphis Belle crew. Moreover, the names of the crew were stenciled on the aircraft at the end of her tour of duty.

After the war had ended, the Mayor of Memphis, Walter Chandler, arranged for the purchase of Memphis Belle where in 1949 she was put on display at the National Guard armory. Left outdoors for the next three decades, the B-17 was vandalized by souvenir hunters and battered by the elements. Various restoration and preservation efforts in the years following the 1980s were largely unsuccessful and in October 2005 the historical aircraft was sent to the National Museum of the United States Air Force for restoration – a process which reportedly may take up to ten years to complete.

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