A contest sponsored by Lightspeed and CloudAhoy is inspiring general aviation pilots to draw in the sky. Contestants make line drawings using the path of their airplanes, recorded using CloudAhoy, a smartphone based GPS flight tracking app. The concept, on a larger scale, was popularized in the last few years by jet aircraft manufacturers who used the extremely long flights required for certification, particularly ETOPS testing, to sketch out a shape with their radar track.
After complaints from members about discriminatory fuel pricing and high ramp fees at airports with only one FBO, AOPA is putting some muscle into finding ways to force FBOs to lower their fees. Earlier this week, AOPA convened a panel of FBO owners, airport managers, and GA pilots to discuss ways to fight the fees.
Two brothers in Seattle, working as Egan Airships, have built a drone that combines features from both fixed-wing aircraft and blimps to create an aircraft that can hover, take off and land vertically, and fly at up to 40 mph. The 28-foot-long aircraft weighs less than 55 pounds and uses a patented streamlined envelope design, rotational wings and an extended tail. The Plimp aircraft is expected to be commercially available by early next year, the company said.