AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 18, Number 37a

September 10, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! New Leadership at NATA back to top 
 
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New NATA President Pledges Cooperation

The National Air Transport Association's new president is pledging close cooperation with NBAA, AOPA and other aviation organizations as he settles into the job. Tom Hendricks, a former Delta Air Lines chief pilot, came to NATA from Airlines For America (A4A and formerly known as the Air Transport Association) and although his group is oriented toward jet-fuel-burning enterprises, he said in a podcast interview there is plenty of common ground between his and others' aviation groups.

Hendricks said he's been warmly received by the other organizations and he's looking forward to NATA's being involved with issues in Washington and wherever else they may crop up. He noted that air transportation is a fundamental need to the economy and social structure of the U.S. and part of the job is making sure people understand just how much they rely upon it.

Podcast: New NATA President Takes Over

File Size 5.3 MB / Running Time 5:45

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Tom Hendricks came up the airline side but is pledging cooperation with GA groups. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles.

Click here to listen. (5.3 MB, 5:45)

 
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Remembering Bob Odegaard back to top 
 

Bob Odegaard Killed In Practice

Experienced warbird and airshow pilot Bob Odegaard was killed Friday when his Super Corsair reportedly failed to recover from an aerobatic maneuver and crashed in Valley City, N.D. Odegaard was practicing for an airshow scheduled for Saturday. The show was cancelled. Odegaard owned an FBO in Kindred, N.D., but was perhaps best known for his warbird work.

The Super Corsair was one of only 10 built and had a four-row 28-cylinder Wasp 4360 engine that delivered 3,500 takeoff horsepower. Only two were left and Odegaard owned them both. They were developed to counter Kamikaze aircraft in the late days of the war in the Pacific. Odegaard's most famous aircraft might be Duggy, a former Canadian Department of Transport DC-3 painted bright yellow with a smile below the cockpit. Odegaard used Duggy as a means of outreach for young people interested in flying.

 
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(Another) End of an Era back to top 
 

Endeavour's Retirement Flight

The NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour is headed for retirement at the California Science Center and new details about the Shuttle's trip from Kennedy Space Center to LAX could create widespread photo opportunities. Endeavor is scheduled to leave Kennedy at dawn on Sept. 17, atop a modified 747 transport. It will fly over Florida's Space Coast, NASA's Stennis Space Center near St. Louis and Endeavor's assembly plant in New Orleans. It will head next to points in Texas, including Clear Lake and Galveston, before putting down at Ellington Field near Johnson Space Center, outside of Houston. The next leg is scheduled to begin Sept. 19, carrying the vehicle to Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, followed by low-level flyovers at White Sands Test facility near Las Cruces, N.M. Its final stop of the day will be at Edwards Air Force base in the Mojave Desert. Sept. 20, for Endeavour, begins and ends in California.

On Sept. 20, the Shuttle will leave Edwards for LAX but it will take a circuitous route. It is expected to first be carried north to the San Francisco Bay area, flying as low as 1500 feet at Moffett Field. It will then fly past multiple landmarks in local cities, including San Francisco and Sacramento, before heading south. Residents of the Los Angeles Basin should expect to see the vehicle make at least one pass near area landmarks before heading for landing at LAX. Final delivery of the vehicle to the California Science Center will be by land. The Shuttle's girth is forcing trees and power poles to be cut and moved, respectively. Some local residents are not pleased with those near-term changes, fearing that loss of trees will affect their property values, but the Science Center says it has a plan to address that. The Center will be paying for the move and the cutting down of trees. But its spokespeople have said the Center will be planting two new trees for each one cut.

 
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Gulfstream's Impeccable Timing back to top 
 

Gulfstream G650 Hits Positive Market

Marketed as the "most technologically advanced" business aircraft with the largest, "most comfortable" cabin in its class, Gulfstream's G650 has earned its type certificate and is entering a business jet market that has seen a half-year surge. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last month released figures for the first six months of 2012, finding that business jet deliveries are up 13.1% year over year. Some analysts cited improvements as high as 20 percent with an even higher resurgence in Europe. The fly-by-wire G650 will enter that market as Gulfstream's standard-bearer for performance, range, speed and comfort. It has not reached this place without challengers and adversity.

During testing on April 2, 2011, a G650 test aircraft crashed at Roswell, N.M., killing two pilots and two flight test engineers. The aircraft was one of five jets then participating in the FAA EASA certification program. The NTSB has not released its final report on the crash. Among its achievements, the G650 is on track to briefly hold the title of world's fastest production civilian aircraft, speeding along at .925 Mach. It recently lost the overall crown to an upgrade to Cessna's Citation X, which now reaches .935 Mach, but the G650 has beaten that jet to certification. The G650 offers a low cabin altitude of 4,850 feet for occupants flying at FL510 and for pilots it offers "the most advanced flight deck in general aviation," according to the company. Gulfstream's G650 is expected to see delivery soon. The jet can cruise for 7,0000 nautical miles carrying eight passengers and four crew but can be configured to accommodate up to 18 people. And it will do that out of 6,000-foot strips. Presently, the G650 carries a price tag of roughly $65 million per copy, and a waiting list for deliveries stretches years into the future.

 
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"Surely You're Not Serious ..." back to top 
 

Film Service: Airplane! Funniest Film Today

Lovefilm, a European film subscription service with two million members, says its research has found that the 1980 movie Airplane! produces three laughs per minute, making it, by the company's accounting, the funniest movie of our time. Lovefilm's members are based in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The company created a list of ten comedies collected from the votes of those members. Airplane! then beat out nine other films including The Hangover and Monty Python's Life of Brian as measured by laugh counts among a Lovefilm member audience. Airplane! has previously been recognized by the U.S. Library of Congress. But according to Lovefilm, by the measure of actual votes in its survey, Airplane! lost out.

From the list of ten, the majority of members actually voted Life of Brian as "funniest." However, "our research shows that for laughs a minute the hilarious aircraft-based satire of Airplane! beats the Monty Python epic hands-down," Lovefilm's Helen Cowley told Telegraph.co.uk. In late December, 2010, Airplane! was selected along with movies that included The Exorcist, The Empire Strikes Back and The Pink Panther to be preserved by the Library of Congress. The Library each year chooses 25 films to be included in the National Film Registry. The films are counted as national treasures for their cultural or historical importance. "I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley."

 
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Remote Control back to top 
 

Fly By Brainwave (With Video)

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A Chinese team of researchers has developed a system for controlling a quadcopter using brain signals and has suggested that further development could create a system that allows disabled pilots to act as pilot in command of their own aircraft. And there could be other applications. The system works by using an electroencephalography (EEG) headset that picks up brain activity and relays the data via Bluetooth to a laptop. The computer translates the information into flight commands and sends the signals wirelessly to the quadcopter. The team's headset is commercially available and limited in its abilities so, for now, commands are limited, creative, and not especially intuitive. Though not specifically addressed, the concept might sooner bring additional functionality to able-bodied pilots, as well.

A "pilot" can control the quadcopter by thinking "right," which, according to NewScientist.com, is the command used to move the vehicle forward. The other commands are similarly creative. The command "Push" makes it climb and pilots can make the vehicle rotate clockwise by thinking "left." Thinking "left hard" translates into a command for takeoff. Blinking four times and clenching teeth directs the vehicle to take pictures with an onboard camera and descend, respectively. In its present incarnation, the vehicle sends a continuous video stream back to the laptop from its onboard camera. (Video at right.) In that configuration its purpose, as promoted by its designers, is to allow disabled users to view the world with a new perspective and from different vantage points that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to access. But over the long term, the Chinese team of researchers said they hope that continued research may lead to a world in which "disabled people can use brain [control] to drive a plane in which they are seated, and go anywhere they want to go."

Drones As Art

Drones are a fact of life and since art imitates life it's perhaps no surprise that the capabilities that make them so useful can also use them to create something like what Ars Electronica Futurelab did at the Cloud in the Net festival in Linz, Austria, earlier this month. The company used 49 Hummingbird quadrotor UAVs, each carrying a variety of lights. The control system synchronized the flight patterns and light displays to create some pretty amazing 2D and 3D presentations. According to CNET, the quadrotor display is just the beginning for the aerial expression of ideas, art and even sculpture, assuming the authorities permit it.

For instance, MIT's FlyFire project envisions hundreds or even thousands of drones flying in formation to form the dot matrix of just about anything that can be imagined. Artistic expression aside, the commercial application of that technology seems considerable for advertising or even communications.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: No Time? No Kidding

Cost is a big reason that many owners have reduced their flying hours. But so is lack of time. No surprise there, either, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. You probably don't know anyone who's working fewer hours than they did a decade ago, and neither do we. Modern life puts so many demands on the 24-hour day that flying gets bumped to the bottom of the to-do list. Plus, some additional thoughts on the passing of Neil Armstrong.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: GTO Aviation (KM33, Gallatin, Tennessee)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to GTO Aviation at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33) in Gallatin, Tennessee.

AVweb reader Ronald Goro explains how GTO has worked tirelessly to promote aviation at their airport:

GTO Aviation is a relatively new FBO at Sumner County Airport. In the last year, they have done more for the area and promoted aviation to its fullest. They have put on a Warbirds Aviation Day — a big sucsess — and also an RV Aircraft fly-in. Lots of great-looking planes.

In June, [they held] an all-Tennessee fly-in, [which drew] lots of vendors as well as new and old aircraft, light sports, and biplane rides. At all of these events, gas prices are very cheap — like, $4.99 a gallon!

The EAA has their great breakfast at all the events, and lunch is usually catered. They also have two bands going. It is just a great friendly atmosphere all the time, and anyone can check out all the planes and really get close to aviation like the old days. Hopefully it will just keep on growing.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

 
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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

One day I took a friend's son up for a flight in my Cessna 150. As we flew around the area, I explained, "One of the things we have to do is look out for other airplanes."

As I was scanning the skies, I found a plane off in the distance and pointed it out to the young boy. "Do you see the plane over there?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied. "Is it one of ours?"


Ron Hogle
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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