The Weekender is on the road after Thanksgiving and found a few places to stop on SocialFlight. All pilots (current and non-current) are invited to share their experience with budding aviators at the St. Louis Science Center, where the Gateway Eagles will host nine simulator stations to introduce visitors to flying the Cessna 172. More
Lockheed Martin has moved a step closer to FAA certification for its hybrid airship design, the company said last week. Lockheed worked with the FAA's certification office in Seattle for more than a decade to develop a plan to allow a nonrigid hybrid airship to operate as a commercial aircraft, since the FAA had no existing regulations to cover the category. Two years ago, the FAA created a certification pathway. Now the FAA has approved Lockheed Martin's plan showing how its design will meet all of the certification criteria. Lockheed Martin now plans to achieve certification and start delivering operational 20-ton airships as soon as 2018. More
A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 was shot down Tuesday near the Syrian-Turkish border by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16 fighter jets, officials said. Various accounts have disputed whether the aircraft was above Syrian or Turkish territory at the time, and a U.S. official, speaking off the record to the Los Angeles Times, said if the jet did cross into Turkish airspace, it was only for a few seconds. The crew reportedly ejected before the crash, but Russian military officials said at least one of the pilots was killed. More
Blue Origin, the space company headed by Jeff Bezos, has succeeded where every other effort has failed — on Monday, the company launched its unmanned New Shepard suborbital space vehicle from Texas to 329,839 feet, then the crew capsule separated and landed under a parachute, and the rocket module also made a safe, powered, vertical landing. It's the first time a rocket has been recovered intact and reusable after a space vehicle launch. More
Ascension Air, which operates a fleet of Cirrus SR22 aircraft from its bases in Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, now is offering jet cards and time shares for the Eclipse 550 jet. "Our new Eclipse 550 Contrails program will bring personal jet transportation to a growing segment of aviators who want the flexibility and benefits of flying their own jet, without the worries of full jet ownership," said Ascension Air CEO Jamail Larkins. "Our professional owner-services team offers easy fleet access, on-site concierge services, professional aircraft management, a safety pilot, and streamlined scheduling." More
There aren't any, so you have to learn the systems same as everyone else. If there's any magic to it, it's frequency of use. More
Michael Iocca of Modesto, CA kicks off our latest batch of reader-submitted aviation photos. Click through for more incredible shots.