Just months ago, government security agencies were contemplating a ban of electronic devices larger than a cellphone from airliner cabins, but this week, the FAA is calling for the opposite. In a paper filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the FAA said its tests show that large electronic devices such as laptops can cause fires that could overwhelm the the fire suppression system airline baggage holds are equipped with. The paper said such a fire could be serious enough to result in a hull loss.
Citing a lack of FAA guidance or industry expertise in training pilots for low altitude operations, Icon Aircraft has created guidelines for pilots flying the A5 and is preparing a low-altitude training course for pilots who want to go lower than the guidelines provide. “Our goal is to take a proactive, leadership role in the flight training process and we have developed our own low altitude guidelines from lessons learned over decades of military, seaplane, and bush flying,” says company CEO Kirk Hawkins.
Virgin Galactic is about three months away from launching into space, founder Richard Branson said at a business forum in Finland recently. He added that he expects to fly into space about three months after that. The company has said it expects to start launching flights for paying tourists by the end of next year. The carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, and the passenger vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, are based at Mojave, where they are undergoing flight tests.