Archive | March, 2009


Not Talking Turkey when vulture meets windscreen

A picture from the Broward County Aviation Department in Florida shows the outcome of a collision between a Cessna 402 and a 20lb turkey vulture after the aircraft departed the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last month. According to the Miami Herald’s account of the incident, the pilot had climbed to an altitude of about 600ft […]

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Got less Goose: Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan

Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan, the engine of choice for Mitsubishi’s regional jet and Bombardier’s new C-series jets, will break sound and fuel consumption barriers, but it could also help with the ever-growing threat from Canada geese. The 7-20lb birds were the culprits in the downing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River […]

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Boeing reveals fold-away flying car

Move it on over, Terrafugia; Step aside, Sampson SkyBike… Boeing has applied for a US patent (#20090081043) for its own ”roadable” aircraft, or flying car. Its an autogyro with a scissor-type, deployable main rotor (that looks to be asymmetrical) that the company says is better than competing storable and transportable designs in which the rotors fold at the hub […]

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Northrop patents canard B-2(ish) design

Northrop Grumman today (24 March) received approval for a US patent for an “ornamental design” for a flying wing aircraft with canard. Bill Sweetman, on Av Week’s Ares blog, sheds some light on a similar patent for the aircraft, sans canard.    

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Honeywell hones the “electronic bumper”

Honeywell Aerospace has completed its work with Sikorsky and Sierra Nevada Corp as part of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) “Sandblaster Program”, and in the process has provided a glimpse of the future of computer and sensor-aided vision, systems that will help pilots safely takeoff and land in any environment, hence the so-called […]

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Will these aspersions get me to heaven?

A proposed “order” from Federal Aviation Administration set to run in tomorrow’s (19 March) Federal Register got me running for my American Heritage College dictionary. There in the 10-page report was a word that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the context of aerospace journalism. The order itself has to do with the FAA […]

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Terrafugia posts video of flying car first flight

  Terrafugia has revealed that its Transition roadable aircraft achieved first flight on 5 March. The company is holding a press conference at 9:30 am in Boston this morning to discuss. Meanwhile they’ve posted three videos on their website… Video 1 – First camera angle Video 2 – Alternate camera angle Video 3 – Interview […]

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Cirrus Chute Save – Update

  Several late breaking updates to Sunday’s Cirrus save   I’m told there were no problems with the engine in Sunday’s accident. While there may have been a mechanical distraction, spatial disorientation in instrument conditions was more likely the main factor that put the aircraft into an attitude from which the pilot felt that pulling the parachute […]

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Cirrus chute tally: 18 activations, 30 saves

The pilot of a Cirrus SR22 who departed the Montgomery County Airpark (GAI) in Maryland Sunday afternoon can count himself among the 30 people “saved” by the aircraft’s rocket-powered parachute system, according to my count. A photo from clearly shows 55ft chute in the aftermath of Sunday’s deployment. I see from the Cirrus owners and pilots association […]

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One giant step for the roadable aircraft?

I just received an invitation from Terrafugia, a company run by some very smart ex-MIT types who are developing a “roadable aircraft”. Yep. A flying car. Not just a paper project, but a vehicle just as real as Molt Taylor’s AeroCar from the 1950s. As of Christmas, Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich had said the composite Transition […]

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