Greenwood Aviation Expo 2014

June 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The Greenwood Aviation is all about “Flying, Family and Fun!” as is clearly evident by the schedule of events set to take place on 21 June 2014. Between 8:00 and 11:00 there will be General Aircraft Arrivals, Military Aircraft Arrivals, and Car and Bike Show Arrivals, while between 9:30 and 11:30 the Kids Fest will be in full swing. Other features of the day include the arrival of Tinker Belle, a demo by the Northwest Fire Dept, a GCSO Demo and the Car Show Award Ceremony. The Airshow Begins at 14:10 – so be ready for the aerial action. For more information visit

Date: 21 June 2014
Venue: Greenwood County Airport
City: Greenwood
State: South Carolina
Country: United States

Aviation in the Film Industry

July 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

Have you ever wondered how film crews manage to capture footage inside the cabin and cockpit of an airplane, where space is often very limited? Or how they film those airport terminal and runway scenes without bringing an entire airport to a standstill? Based in Pacoima, Los Angeles, Air Hollywood is the world’s largest film studio dedicated to aviation, providing a full range of services to the motion picture, television and commercial production industry in the United States and far beyond its borders. Established in 1998, Air Hollywood has played an important role in hundreds of productions, from big budget feature films through to low budget student productions, providing everything from a full film set to historic and modern stock film footage.

Following the tragic events of 9/11 it became very difficult, if not impossible, for film and television crews to obtain permission to film at an airport anywhere in the United States, and Air Hollywood became an even more valuable resource to the film industry. The studio’s set-up and services are so comprehensive that they have been used by production companies as far away as Japan, but also attract business from around the United States, with the majority of their business coming from Hollywood. Their mockups and sets include cockpits and sections of passenger seating and toilets with removable ceilings and walls for easy camera access. Special effects like turbulence can be created and their props and soundstages can be adapted to portray various parts of an airport, such as check-in, security and baggage claim.

A fairly new service offered by Air Hollywood is the K9 Flight School, providing training for service and companion dogs so that they will be able to handle the sights and sounds of an airport, the interior of an airplane and even the sensations of taking-off, landing and turbulence. It is estimated that one in six adults in the United States is afraid to fly, and people with a fear of flying (Aerophobia/Aviophobia) will benefit from Air Hollywood’s Fear of Flying Program, designed by top medical and airline professionals. The program includes a day of simulated travel, including the experience of turbulence in flight, and counseling from an experienced certified therapist, thereby empowering the participant to handle the real deal with confidence.

Wing Nuts Flying Circus 2013

June 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

This family-fun event features the Aeroshell Acrobatic Team, Michael Kennedy, John Mohr, John Klatt, Red Bull Helicopter and the Texas Flying Legends. For more information visit

Date: 13 July 2013
Venue: Tarkio
State: Missouri
Country: United States

Sir Frank Whittle – Innovative Aviator

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Sir Frank Whittle was an RAF officer attributed for starting the Jet Age. Born in Coventry on 1 June 1907, Whittle was accepted into the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1923. By 1928 he was a qualified pilot officer. By working alongside his father, Whittle learned much about engineering from a young age and it greatly interested him. Combining his love for flight and engineering, Frank Whittle began to develop revolutionary ideas.

Prior to graduating as a pilot officer, Whittle wrote a brilliant thesis. Entitled “Future Developments in Aircraft Design”, the thesis put forward that airplanes could achieve high speeds and long ranges only if they fly at high altitudes. In order to do this, he determined that rocket propulsion and propellers driven by gas turbines were necessary.

While studying at the Central Flying School to become an instructor in 1929, Whittle began developing the turbo-jet engine idea. This involved a gas turbine moving a plane due to the jet caused by hot exhaust gas. The Air Ministry rejected his idea. Nonetheless, Whittle patented the turbo-jet in 1930.

In 1932 Whittle began attending the Officers’ Engineering Course. He averaged 98% in his exams, so the RAF sent him to study Mechanical Sciences Tripos at Cambridge University. At the time he was also working on his turbo-jet engine. With the assistance of some friends and investment bankers, Power Jets Limited was established in November 1935. Whittle had to overcome a number of development issues, along with working hard to promote his ideas. In two years (normally it takes three), Whittle completed his Tripos, but was given another year at the university to conduct research. He now began to gain government backing for his project, though this brought its own challenges, it also provided him with access to top technicians and graduates.

Following development of the W1 turbo-jet engine, work began on the more powerful W2. Whittle encountered some problems with the Air Ministry. Despite this, in May 1941, the allied’s first turbo-jet, the Gloster E28/39, took to the air. Power Jets introduced the W1X to General Electric in the U.S.A, after they expressed an interest. The Americans created the Bell XP-59A Airacomet, which had its first flight in October 1942. Frank Whittle designed the Rolls Royce Welland engine that was used in a British jet fighter called the Meteor by 1944.

Power Jets was nationalized in 1946 and Frank Whittle decided to join RAF’s Gas Turbine section. In 1948 Whittle was knighted, and also retired from the RAF. During the 1950s he assisted various aviation companies as a consultant, later moving to the U.S.A. A true visionary, he continued to write articles throughout his life. Sir Frank Whittle OM, KBE, CB, FRS, FRAeS passed away in August 1996.

The Flying Heritage Collection

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Located in a 51,000 square foot hangar at the southeast corner of Paine Field in Everett, Washington State, the Flying Heritage Collection offers visitors the opportunity to view an extraordinary collection of historic aircraft. Privately owned by American billionaire and philanthropist, Paul Gardner Allen, the collection highlights an era of great advances in aviation during the 1930s and 1940s and includes combat aircraft from World War II – a time when the boundaries of technology were pushed with a sense of urgency in a battle for dominance of the skies.

With a passion for history and aviation, and the financial means to do so, Allen started his collection in the late 1990s. As the collection grew, he decided to have the aircraft restored and put on display for the public. Visitors will be delighted to discover though, that this is not a museum of static displays, but the aircraft are restored to take their rightful place in the air. During the summer months, different planes from the Flying Heritage Collection are taken out to be flown. On “Free Fly Days” aviation enthusiasts can watch these vintage aircraft take to the skies, take the opportunity to chat to the pilots, and glean some gems of information from the on-site military aviation historian, Cory Graff.

A dedicated team has painstakingly restored the aircraft of the Flying Heritage Collection to a level of authenticity seldom seen. Seeking out original vendors to reproduce components no longer available – from paint, to cockpit equipment to specialized cotton-coated wiring – the team has made every effort to remain true to the original aircraft. This has included examining old factory drawings, and researching manufacturing techniques of the time. The history of each of the aircraft has been compiled, including details on its manufacture, where it was deployed, combat it may have been involved in, post-war activities it may have been used for, various locations it was used and what repairs were carried out.

A recent addition to the Flying Heritage Collection is the only operating example of the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 German WWII fighter. Having been partially disassembled to facilitate road transport, the aircraft was restored for viewing by the public on the weekend of 23 April 2011. The Fw-190 is scheduled to fly along with the collection’s American P-51 Mustang fighter on 18 June, and with the Bf-109 on 6 August 2011.

It’s Healthier to Fly than Drive

September 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

I don’t like to write about airplane crashes. For one thing, they’re depressing. I also don’t like to write about them because too many people out there are already afraid of flying, and I don’t want to add to their anxiety. Flying, in my opinion, is one of the most fun things you can do. Another reason I don’t write about plane crashes is because dying in one is much less likely to happen than dying in a car crash, so again, why alarm people?

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Learning to Fly

March 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Features

So much of our American culture revolves around flying – think of all the songs that mention it and the sayings we use– “Fly like the wind,” or “Go fly a kite”. But what if you want to actually learn to fly? How hard is it to get a pilot’s license? The answer mostly depends on how much money and effort you’re willing and able to put into it. There might be other obstacles to overcome as well. I came into flying later in life, well after my youthful fearlessness had worn off. That meant I had to overcome two fears of mine – dying and emptying my wallet.

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Flying Solo for the First Time

February 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

I was terrified to take my first solo flight a few years ago. Sure, I worried about my personal safety, but mostly I was afraid of embarrassing myself. What if I bent the airplane? I thought of all the students before me who had managed to keep it in one piece. Leave it to me to make the Big Mistake. Death would have almost been preferable.

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Mountain Flying

November 13, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

Mountain flying offers the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery, but it also presents the pilot with additional challenges. They include the possibility of increased turbulence, limited or non-existent emergency landing locations, boxed-in and narrow canyons. And just like when you’re hiking in the mountains, help may be far away or impossible to reach. For all these reasons, it’s essential to learn proper mountain flying techniques before you even take off from the airport.

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Airplanes: Floatplane Season

October 20, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

My favorite time of the year is floatplane season. It’s when a handful of my neighbors land and take off several times a day on the river behind my Yukon cabin. They fly homebuilt aircraft as well as classics like the Piper Super Cub and Cessna 182. I’m often at the big picture window with my binoculars announcing to no one in particular, “That’s the outfitter again, coming in to load up another group of fisherman.” Or, “Must be 15 knots out there. Look at him– he’s on the step already!”

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