Last month NASA made the first flight of an experimental “wing warping” Boeing F/A-18 flying testbed. In 1903 the Wright Brothers used wires connected to their control column to twist the wings of their Flyer, changing the airfoils’ shape to provide differential lift to control bank. NASA calls the 21st century version of wing warping the “active aeroelastic wing,” or AAW.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
With the Republicans retaking control of the Senate when the 108th Congress convenes early next month, some recognizable names will be moving back into the leadership positions they were forced to vacate when former GOP Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont became an independent and allied with the Democrats in the middle of last year.
The Reno Air Races were back on form this year as some 180,000 people trekked to Stead Field in mid-September to watch 128 aircraft compete in six race classes for a record $800,000 in prize money. Last year’s event was canceled early in race week due to September 11.
The FAA has given $20 million to the FAA Center of Excellence for General Aviation, a research and training facility at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Daytona Beach, Fla. campus. The money will be used in the advancement and study of such areas as ATC, Free Flight, composite materials, avionics, crashworthiness and survivability.
There may be some pilots who fly airplanes solely because it’s a soft ride to a bloated paycheck, and they may think EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., is only about little airplanes that “aren’t serious.” But most pilots don’t.
Shipments of new general aviation airplanes manufactured throughout the world totaled 1,766 units in the first nine months of 2002, down 16.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Turboprops took the biggest hit: from 284 delivered in the first three quarters of last year to 170 in the same period this year, a decline of 40.1 percent.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has opened its membership to include non-U.S. manufacturers, a major shift for the association and its future influence in the worldwide business aviation community. The move was not unexpected. For the last 10 years GAMA has been getting more and more involved in international business aviation issues. Also, the mergers in the 1990s of non-U.S. manufacturers with U.S.
The resilience of general aviation was never more in evidence than at EAA’s AirVenture in late July, when an estimated 750,000 airplane buffs made the annual pilgrimage to east central Wisconsin for the 50th time.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) has named Washington the “Most Innovative State” this year for developing an online pilot-registration program that funds search-and-rescue projects and maintains and preserves GA airports.
After recent visits to three Florida airports under pressure either to close or severely restrict operations, National Air Transportation Association president Jim Coyne termed the “town hall” meetings successful.