Solar-powered aircraft could offer a low-cost way to train future pilots, if the partners developing the Sun Flyer succeed in their ambitious plans. A technology demonstrator–a PC-Aero Elektra One–for the Sun Flyer solar-powered airplane made its first flight earlier this month in Munich, Germany, and can be seen at EAA AirVenture 2014 at the Redbird Flight Simulations display (Booth 320). While the Elektra One technology demonstrator didn’t fly with solar panels, the panels will be installed on the Elektra that is on display at AirVenture.
On a blustery day on a deserted beach near Nags Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, two brothers began humanity’s controlled adventure away from the surface of the Earth that continues to this day.
Pilots visiting the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., near Kitty Hawk will soon have more than a minimalist line shack in which to prepare for their outbound flight.
No one has kept the Flyer aloft for more than a minute, not even the Wright brothers. So the crowd clapped politely after watching this latest crash. “C’mon, it’s all ones and zeroes. You can’t do any harm,” teased Microsoft executive Bruce Williams as he invited all comers, including the ample security force, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to drop to their bellies and swivel their hips on the Flyer simulator.
It was late on an autumn night as I swung the car into the rough lane that leads to our house. A few feet beyond the mailbox post, the headlights caught something in the grass. At first it could have been a rabbit standing tall, but closer inspection revealed it to be a magnificent bird, most likely a Peregrine falcon but possibly a gyrfalcon, and it had chosen our lane as a resting place on its migratory route.
The two buildings that house the offices of the FAA in Washington have been named after the Wright brothers. The structures are situated along Independence Avenue, separated from each other by 7th Street.
Flight’s second century began Dec. 17, 2003, at 10:35 a.m., 100 years to the minute from Orville Wright’s momentous launch of the first powered airplane. Much fanfare, including participation by the President, attended the marking of that moment at Kitty Hawk, N.C., last month.
OK, first about the photo. We promise this will be the last time we’ll show the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., and the Wright Flyer in the pages of AIN, at least until 2103. But we just couldn’t resist running a photo of an airworthy Wright airplane reproduction next to a business jet, albeit a mockup.
President Bush participated in the events at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on December 17 to mark the 100th anniversary of manned, powered flight, and although the weather exercised its right to rain on the great parade, the spirits of the 35,000+ people in attendance remained high.
December is the month that aviation honors the Wright brothers for their contributions to aviation, and we certainly all owe them for what they accomplished. However, there was another person at Kitty Hawk who made a great contribution toward powered flight. Lest he be forgotten, I thought a little history would help inform those who might not be aware of Charles Taylor and his many accomplishments.
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