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.

Canada Aviation Museum

February 9, 2009 by  
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In Ottawa, Ontario

The Canada Aviation Museum is dedicated to the history of aviation. Though it places an emphasis on Canada’s role, the museum celebrates aircraft and aviation achievements all over the world.

The museum’s collection includes 130 aircraft from all time periods, including the P-40 Curtiss, Consolidated PBY-5A, de Havilland Twin Otter, Hawker Hurricane XII, and Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet. In addition to the impressive number of airplanes on display, the Canada Aviation Museum also has thousands of books and periodicals, technical manuals, and more than 35,000 research images.

The Canada Aviation Museum offers several workshops with 30 variations of aviation programs for kids. “Adventures in a Bush Plane” and “Earn Your Pilot’s Wings” are just two of those offered. Some of them, such as the “Earn Your Pilots Wings program” are interactive. Included as part of the activities, children are encouraged to sit in the cockpit of a real airplane.

The museum also offers the “Night Flight Sleepover Program” for children ages 5-18. For adults, programs include the Vintage Flying Experience during which a privately operated charter company provides an exciting sight-seeing trip in a de Havilland Canada Chipmunk.

“Let There Be Flight” is an exhibit dedicated to Orville and Wilbur Wright and their aviation achievements. “The People in Aviation Exhibit” features, “High Flyers: Canadian Women in Aviation”, highlighting women pilots and their contributions to the world of aviation.

The Canada Aviation Museum is located at 11 Aviation Parkway in Ottawa, Ontario. Visit the museum’s Website for more information.

The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday except on holidays, Remembrance Day (November 11) and school breaks. Regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Between May 1 and Labour Day, hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Christmas Day, but open on New Year’s Day.

FAA Mandates Black Box Upgrade

March 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Usually orange in color to make it easier to find in the event of a crash, the Black Box, containing a cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder, has proven invaluable in analyzing the cause of many airplane disasters. Some nine years after the National Transportation Safety Board put forth recommendations for the improvement of the Black Box, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is mandating that existing equipment be replaced with more up-to-date technology.

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New Hawker 750 Certified

February 18, 2008 by  
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The Hawker aircraft have been extremely successful in the aviation industry, with the Hawker 800 series being very popular. Expanding the Hawker range and allowing customers a choice according to their needs and specifications, led to the design and production of the Hawker 750. On 8 February 2008, the Hawker 750 was certified and Hawker Beechcraft Corporation has proudly begun filling orders for their customers. The Hawker 750 has brought a fresh and economical new aircraft to aviation.

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Steve Watson’s World Speed Record

November 7, 2007 by  
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The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) recently honored Steve Watson for his 2006 record-setting flight in an open cockpit biplane. The 2,577 mile airplane flight from Norwood to San Diego was completed in a record time of 40 hours and 31 minutes.

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Bombardier’s Global Vision Flight Deck

October 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Features

Aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier is raising standards in cockpit design and technology with the release of its new Global Vision flight deck, which is to be used in the Global 5000 and Global Express XRS airplanes. London Air Services, a leading charter service provider, will be the first customer to receive aircraft fitted with the Global Vision flight deck.

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Taking Off with MS Flight Simulator X

April 2, 2007 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

I’ve decided to go for my instrument rating so I’m in the process of upgrading my Microsoft flight simulator software and hardware. Okay, I admit it – it’s just an excuse to buy some new toys. At least, it started out that way.

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F-35 Lightning II Passes One More Test Flight

February 12, 2007 by  
Filed under News

In early January, Lockheed Martin reported that the F-35 Lightning II successfully passed its second round of flight tests. The tests were conducted at the company’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The stealth fighter will eventually replace many of the aircraft, such as the A-10s, F/A-18 Hornets, F-16s, and AV-8B Harriers currently in service for the United States military. The F-35 Lightning II is also slated to replace the United Kingdom’s Sea Harriers and Harrier GR-7 aircraft.

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No Guns in Cockpits on Airplanes

September 1, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

The Federal Flight Deck Officer program, in which flight crew members are authorized to have a gun in the cockpit, doesn’t seem to be catching on. I was never in favor of it in the first place. The thought of bullets hitting innocent people, causing depressurization with shots through the fuselage, not to mention the avionics equipment that keeps the plane aloft, scares me. A stun gun makes better sense.

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Mooney Unveils New Airplane

March 15, 2006 by  
Filed under News

Mooney will deliver the first of their new M20 TN Acclaim in the fourth quarter of 2006, their first new plane in more than ten years. The single-engine aircraft cruises at 230 knots, the fastest Mooney plane ever produced. It has a ceiling of 25,000 feet, but can exceed 200 knots even at a lower cruising altitude of 10,000 feet. This makes the Acclaim the fastest airplane in its class.

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