Category Archives: Aircraft

The Fastest Woman On Earth Attempt -and- Where Will Our Future Pilots Come From?

(Originally posted Aug 1, 2015 on as /archives/10506)

Here’s a video about becoming the fastest woman on Earth

I dig land speed record videos.

What’s with the fighter-pilot-oxygen-mask?

Is it for cooling (not oxygen) like on a racing helmet?

Pilots use oxygen to fly unpressurized planes at high altitudes. Why do that? If there’s a stronger tailwind up there, then they can save time and fuel. I read a story about a check-delivery-pilot that did this, but became oxygen-deprived by mistake. Most military flying requires oxygen masks too.

A commercial pilot is not what many people think it is.

(The rest of this post is USA-centric.)

The people that fly for the airlines, need an Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL). The ATPL requires 750 to 1500 hours (depending on your training) of flying. The people that we usually call “commercial pilots”, are actually ATPs. The commercial pilots license is different.

Where will our future pilots come from?

That check-delivery-story reminded me of my concerns about where the USA will get its future pilots.

How does a pilot get 750 to 1500 hours of experience, which is just one of the requirements for the ATPL?

  • Delivering our checking-acount-checks from bank-to-bank at night. The “Check 21 Act” of 2003, made it legal to send scans of checks. So no more “flying checks”. Two-billion dollars of flights (per year?) are now gone: “poof”.
  • Fly as an airline co-pilot, but now they also need an ATPL (as-of July 15, 2013).
  • As a flight instructor
  • Charters
  • Corporate aviation
  • Plane rental, but that’s expensive; 1500 hours costs $112,500 to $600,000. (at $75 to $400 per hour for small non-turbine planes).
  • The military
  • Etc.

Without check deliveries, and non-ATP co-pilots, where will get enough pilots with enough hours? I have no idea, but it will become a problem without some future change.

For More See:

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USA Rules for Model Aircraft (Planes, Drones, Helicopters, Etc.)

(Originally posted on /archives/10835)

Short Story

  1. Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) members may continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines, even if in some cases those conflict with the FAA’s rules.
  2. All model aircraft users, with radio controlled aircraft over 0.55 lbs. (aeroplanes, quadcopters, helicopters, drones, etc.), need to register with the FAA at https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ .
By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Background

It’s called “UAS” registration, but all model airplanes over 0.55 lbs. come under this umbrella.

Congress specifically excluded the FAA from regulating model airplanes flown by AMA members, as part of the “2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act“, section 336, which is law.

No matter, FAA officials saw YouTube videos of people doing dangerous things with flying toys, and proceeded to impose the new regulations on everyone.

Recently, the FAA agreed that AMA members are allowed to follow the AMA’s Safety Guidelines, even if those conflict with the FAA Safety Guidance. That’s consistent with section 336.

What part was a concern? The no flying over 400 feet part. There are model airplane competitive events that would be unflyable under that rule, and there are model airplane competitive events that would be more-dangerous under that rule. Also: there are model aircraft flying events that are actually held at airports (famously: Joe Nall Week) .

You Must Follow This Ever-changing List of Temporary Flight Restrictions (traditionally communicated as NOTAMS)

AMA Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code

FAA Safety Guidance

  • I will fly below 400 feet
  • I will fly within visual line of sight
  • I will be aware of FAA airspace requirements: www.faa.gov/go/uastfr
  • I will not fly directly over people
  • I will not fly over stadiums and sports events
  • I will not fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • I will not fly near aircraft, especially near airports
  • I will not fly under the influence

AMA FAA FAQ

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Great Photos of Margaret Hamilton: a Computer Programmer and Rocket Scientist

(Originally posted on Aug 9, 2015 as /archives/10518)

WIRED magazine recently published a story about Margaret Hamilton (2015-10-13).

I was born in the 60’s. Since then we had the space age. Then we had an information age. Now biology is where science is making the big leaps. It is sad that people are denying all-that-we-know about the foundation of that science.

Here are photos of Margaret Hamilton. “She eventually became the director and supervisor of software programming for Apollo and Skylab.” So there you go: great photos of a computer programmer, and rocket scientist. Cool.

Margaret Hamilton standing next to listings of the actual Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) source code.
Margaret Hamilton standing next to listings of the actual Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) source code.
Margaret_Hamilton_in_action
Hamilton during her time as lead Apollo flight software designer.

License: NASA-created images are in the public domain.

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Walkaround: Cessna Bird Dogs and Piper AE-1

(Post date: 2016-08-30.)

I usually only accept my images when they “make a good picture”. These walkarounds have a different priority. In this case it’s to get as much detail as possible for modelers: free flight, paper, RC, styrene kits, all types.

This post is for the Cessna Bird Dog and similar warbirds (including a Piper AE-1). The bird dog was most famously used in Vietnam to find targets. There were Airforce pilots in large propeller planes, and fast jets, but then there were the people that flew these tiny little airplanes at low level, while being shot at, to find targets, and downed pilots.

If you have any interest in these airplanes, or the soldiers that flew them, then you need to read Mark Berent’s books. He was there. The books are excellent.

If you would like the highest resolution versions of these copyrighted images, or prints, then please let me know, and I will upload them to Redbubble.com or 500px.com.

N3752L

Airplane Model: (1962?) Taylorcraft DCO-65
N3752L - TAYLORCRAFT DCO-65 - Left

N4763E

Airplane Model: 1951 CESSNA 305 D
Engine Type: Continental O-470 A&C65 Series
N4763E - 1951 CESSNA 305 D - Instrument Panel

N3044L

Airplane Model: Piper AE-1 (1942 Piper J5C)
Engine Type: Lycoming O-235-C

This one’s an ambulance (with a mannequin in it). To see what the ambulance looks like with the top closed, see the background of the first N50573 image below.

The bird dogs are related to the Cessna 170, this one’s related to the Piper J5 Cub.
N3044L - 1942 PIPER J5C - Ambulance

N50573

Airplane Model: 1942 Taylorcraft DCO-65
Engine Type: Continental A&C65 Series
N50573 - 1942 TAYLORCRAFT DCO-65 - Birddog - Right

N50573 - 1942 TAYLORCRAFT DCO-65 - Birddog - Front and Filter

N50573 - TAYLORCRAFT DCO-65 - Left Distance

N50573 - 1942 TAYLORCRAFT DCO-65 - Birddog - Left

 

 

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