Few things can make my hair stand on end just by existing. Certain types of jet noise, however, will immediately cause my usually straight face to break out into a big stupid grin and send a chill down my spine.
Couple the fantastic noise of military jets with the awe-inspiring close formation flying of groups like the Black Diamond Jet Team, and you’ve got a recipe for happiness. The noise, the sights, and smell of jet fuel, and the inevitable summer sun all combine to create a perfect moment of Airshow Zen.
Unfortunately, the airshow industry is under assault from the FAA. There are rumors swirling that the FAA will be charging a minimum of $5k for an airshow waiver, which applies to everything from Oshkosh to your local airport’s summer festival. FAA is also trying to charge large events like Airventure and Sun n Fun for the use of federal air traffic controllers, which is odd as the fuel taxes generated at large fly-ins are already pretty hefty and any pilot who’s a U.S. Citizen has already paid for the use of the National Airspace System. This is the advent of user fees, something I would personally like to keep at bay.
If you’re like me and you want to keep experiencing Airshow Zen it is super critically important that you stay on top of current events in aviation, and leverage the power of organizations like EAA and AOPA to lobby on our behalf. Send a letter to your congressman, call your representative’s office, be active in the aviation community. Only by working together can we keep our National Airspace System open and accessible to the everyman.
No, it’s not the final Aviation Photo of the Day; while all good things must come to an end I plan to be publishing Airplanology for the foreseeable future. Rather, it’s a photo taken on short final, flying my trusty Piper into runway 11 at 06C on a beautiful late-summers day.
Due to some changes in the overall financial picture here at Airplanology HQ, I’ve been unable to fly as much as I’d like to recently*. My supply of enthralling new material has therefore been running a little low. That said, all things pass, and I foresee myself being airborne again soon enough. There’s a new Arrow down at Northwest Flyers with my name on it…next time I fly I can finally get my high power/complex endorsement out of the way!
*I’ve never flown as much as I’d like to; just less than usual now I suppose.
After a brief absence (due to an exceptionally arduous long weekend at work) I am back and better than ever!
Today I bring you a photograph taken on a memorable flight in Maine. It was overcast but silky smooth, one of those winter days where the overcast tames the sky and the cool air makes your wings happy.
My friend and I flew out over central Maine, to the seacoast region near Brunswick and then out towards the mountains in western Maine. Maine is an expansive state, but in the Piper the distances seemed negligible…
Flying over Thompson Lake, the water was just as still as the air. The photo doesn’t do the view justice, and if I take a thousand flights over the lake it may never look quite the way it did on this flight.
The privileges of the pilot are many; but one of the best has to be seeing the world from on high in a way that few people ever will.
Over the last several years, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Drones, in the popular parlance – have become more and more part of the world of flight. With the advent of Predators, Reapers, quadcopters, and more, the 2010′s are shaping up to be the Decade of the Drone.
We’ve already seen huge, clunky, overgrown-RC-airplane drones. The next step in drone tech is biomimetic drones: drones that fly like bumblebees or mosquitoes or birds. Don’t scoff and say it’s too far-fetched to happen, because as the folks at sUAS News will tell you, the robot-bird future is NOW.
This thing looks legit. On close inspection the wings do seem to have a sort of unnatural, marionette-like motion to them; but at a glance, this thing would pass for a generic gull-size avian.
Normally, I’d wax poetic about the awesome powers of engineering and the marvel of flight and whatnot; but in light of the recent revelations regarding the NSA and the near-complete erosion of American civil liberties, I’m not really in the mood.
Next time you see a bird, smile; you’re being watched.
Posted in Avgeek, Aviation, drones
Tagged avgeek, Aviation, birds, drone, dystopia, dystopian future, ferroornithology, robot, robot birds, spy tech, sUAS, UAV