Volume 28, Number 27a, June 28, 2021
FAA Approves Virgin Galactic For Commercial Passenger Spaceflights
The FAA has upgraded Virgin Galactic’s commercial space transportation operator license to allow the company to carry paying passengers to space. It has been reported that Virgin Galactic currently has over 600 reservations for its planned commercial passenger spaceflights with ticket prices running between $200,000 and $250,000. The licensing update[…]   Read this article
If The Wright Brothers Started In The Age Of Electric Airplanes
Kitty Hawk—The Wright Cycle Exchange announced today that it has firm commitments from several airlines to purchase 50 Wright Flyer machines with options on 100 more. The airline companies will be announced as soon as such companies have actually started and it can be determined what an airline actually is,[…]   Read this article
The (Sometimes) Crazy World Of Covering Electric Aircraft
To say that electric airplanes are a hot item now is to give understatement a bad name. New ones appear almost weekly. In this interview video, AVweb talks to Miles O’Brien, who recently completed and aired an hourlong NOVA film on electric airplanes for PBS. O’Brien and AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli[…] Read this article

FAA Says 777X Not Ready For Certification
The FAA has told Boeing not to expect certification of the 777X until possibly the end of 2023, citing numerous design and test issues including an “uncommanded pitch event” last December. The Seattle Times got to read a letter sent to Boeing on May 13 in which the local FAA[…] Read this article

FAA Urged To Do Gender-Neutral Rewrite
An FAA committee is recommending the agency adopt gender-neutral terminology systemwide to purge its millions of pages of regulations, reports and correspondence of terms like cockpit, airman and even NOTAM. The FAA Drone Advisory Committee Task Group 10, which was co-chaired by AOPA President Mark Baker and Patricia Gilbert, executive[…] Read this article

Poll: Would You Fly In An Electric Air Taxi?
So-called urban air mobility is a hot topic in aviation now but no one really knows if it’s just the fad du jour or a real, budding industry. This week’s poll asks if you would consider riding on one of these contraptions when and if they’re ever certified and available. Read this article

Report: No Explanations For UAP, But They Threaten Flight Safety
In a report long on probablies and possibles, the Director of National Intelligence said this week that dozens of sightings of unidentified aerial phenomenon have no plausible explanation but do represent a threat to flight safety and national security. “Most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects given[…] Read this article

Five Dead In Balloon Crash - Updated
Four people died at the scene and a fifth died later in a hospital after a hot air balloon touched powerlines and crashed in Albuquerque early Saturday. Witnesses told local media the balloon brushed the powerlines about 7 a.m., knocking at least one down. An image taken by a bystander[…] Read this article

Canadian Military Wants S-92 Software Changes After Fatal Crash
The Canadian military is reportedly asking Sikorsky Aircraft to revise the flight director software in its CH-148 Cyclone, a military version of the S-92, after a crash off Greece last year. It’s the same platform being developed as the next generation Marine One for presidential and VIP service. The Canadian[…] Read this article

Families Settle Kobe Bryant Crash Suit
The often-tortuous post-crash litigation process has been cut short in the Kobe Bryant accident aftermath after the families of the deceased passengers settled their suit against pilot Ara Zobayan and aircraft operator Island Express Helicopters. The families, including Bryant’s widow and mother of their teenage daughter who was killed in[…] Read this article

Top Letters And Comments, June 25, 2021
Second Look: Why Light Sport Aircraft Suffer So Many Crashes It seems that the main issue for light sport comes down to perception versus reality. The original light sport concept was basically a larger version of ultralights. But, manufacturers immediately started to make them grown-up airplanes in a smaller package.[…] Read this article

Industry Round-up, June 25, 2021
This week, AVweb’s news roundup uncovered reports on an aviation summer camp, a new repair station authorization, the rebranding of an aerospace engineering company and the return of a fuel promotion. Texas-based US Aviation Academy (USAA) is hosting its second annual Aviation Discovery Summer Camp for high school students ages[…] Read this article