New Tiltrotor Aircraft Seeks FAA Approval

May 13, 2014 by  
Filed under News

The value of military aircraft with both short takeoff and landing (STOL) and vertical takeoff and landing capabilities (VTOL) was recognized by the United States Department of Defense decades ago, prompting the collaboration between Boeing Helicopters and Bell Helicopter in 1983 to develop a tiltrotor aircraft. Although the resulting CV-22 Osprey took its first flight in 1989, it took many years of design adjustments and flight testing before the tiltrotor aircraft was used in the field by the United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps in 2007. Since then the Osprey has proven to be invaluable both in combat and rescue operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Libya.

Until now tiltrotor aircraft have been restricted to military service, but helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland hopes to change that with their new AW609 tiltRotor aircraft which recently successfully completed ten flight hours focusing on wind-milling and autorotation – a process where the rotors of the aircraft in helicopter mode turn in response to air movement as the aircraft descends. This feature will assist the AW609 in landing safely in the event of the aircraft’s engines failing completely. Reporting on the test flights of the AW609 prototype, which were monitored by the FAA at a facility in Arlington, Texas, an AgustaWestland spokesperson noted that the aircraft’s performance exceeded expectations based on the engineering simulator.

A second prototype of the AW609 is being tested at facilities in Samarate, Italy. With more than 650 flight hours, the aircraft have demonstrated their ability to cruise at speeds of up to 275 knots at maximum takeoff weight of 16,800 pounds and reach altitudes of 25,000 feet. Currently being assembled, a third prototype will be used for ice testing and certification, while a fourth prototype is planned for the development and integration of the latest avionics.

The Anglo-Italian company is working towards gaining FAA certification for the AW609 in the year 2017. In anticipation of FAA approval, AgustaWestland is reportedly planning manufacturing facilities to fulfill orders it already holds, as well as setting up a full flight simulator for training commercial pilots.

Yuma Air Show 2014

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The lineup of performers for the 2014 Yuma Air Show includes the F-35 Lightning II; F-5 Tiger II; AV-8B Harrier; MV-22 Osprey; Chuck Aaron; Jacquie B and more. For more information on this exciting event, please visit

Date: 15 March 2014
Venue: MCAS Yuma
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Military Aircraft

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Since the earliest days of airplane development, military divisions from all over the world have recognized the advantage of air superiority. Even before fixed wing aircraft were used for defensive and offensive missions, hot air balloons were employed for reconnaissance work. As late as World War II, balloons were used in the skies of Great Britain as a defensive measure against German aircraft.

Many modern armies use military airplanes not only for destroying enemy targets, but also for peace-keeping missions, search and rescue missions, enemy surveillance, weather surveillance, forward air control, training, and much more. Even after an aircraft is retired from active military service, it may be used as part of a reserve force. Afterwards, the aircraft may be adapted for civilian use as a passenger plane, cargo plane, or even for firefighting. Depending on the aircraft and its intended civilian purpose, little or no modification may be necessary to convert the plane from its original military configuration.

The world of aviation is exciting, and that’s largely due to its continual development. In fact, the history of military airplanes is long and fascinating. From the bi-planes and tri-planes of World War I to today’s modern jets and the spacecraft vehicles of tomorrow, there is much to learn and appreciate.

Because military forces generally have more money to invest in aircraft development as compared to civilian companies, the fastest and most well equipped aircraft are military airplanes. However, none of the advancements made would have been possible without the sacrifices of those who dreamed and built such aircraft, and by those who tested and flew them in service. Many pilots have paid the ultimate price so that the rest of us could reap the benefits of such magnificent aircraft.

As aviation technology continues its march toward the future, one can only wonder what types of military aircraft will fill the skies and the space between planets. What will they look like, and how fast will they fly? And what capability will they have that we can’t yet even imagine?

If you are a current or former military pilot and would like to submit an article about your experience or a story about any military or any other aircraft (whether military or civilian) featured in this or other section of, then contact us so we can help you share your stories and knowledge with other veterans, military pilots and aircraft enthusiasts.

The 2008 NAS Oceana Air Show

September 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Airplane lovers will be thrilled and excited at this year’s NAS Oceana Air Show. The air show is proudly presented by the men and women working at Naval Air Station Oceana and takes place almost every year. The 2008 NAS Oceana Air Show promises to be bigger and better than ever!

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The 2008 EAA AirVenture

July 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Every year thousands of aviation enthusiasts gather for the annual EAA AirVenture convention. The EAA is a grass-roots aviation organization that has long been dedicated to the concept of making aviation accessible to everyone, while making it fun and ensuring that it is safe. The AirVenture convention is just a natural extension of their goals and this incredible convention has been held on the last week of July every year since the original fly-in took place in 1953.

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