Stop windfarms, build a heliport
Concerned citizens of Benzie County in Michigan are setting up heliports in a bid to curb onshore windfarm development in their area. One town, Joyfield, could soon have up to eight licensed public heliports. It would give the settlement of 800 souls more heliports than the rest of Michigan combined.
According to the Traverse City Record Eagle, turbines can't be built near heliports for safety reasons. The article explains:
"Obtaining a public heliport permit is neither complicated nor expensive. It involves a one-time $25 application fee, a flat piece of grass and a drawing based on an official, US geographical survey.
"The owner also has to provide a phone for public use; parking area, sanitary facility, and sign on the road. The sanitary facility could be an outhouse or portable toilet."
The tactic has serious implications for the onshore wind-turbine industry. Local residents are divided.
"It seems pretty fishy to me," says Susan Zenker, who lives near one of the proposed heliports. "I know all of the people who have applied, and as far as I know not one of them has a helicopter."
Thanks to Peter Martin for this physics-defying revelation in a Times piece about the new aircraft carrier of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, the Liaoning. "The PLA navy fighters have only recently been fitted with the braking equipment to bring them to an immediate stop upon touchtown." Have the pilots been informed? wonders Peter.
Can it be true? Ryanair - the carrier that is to customer care what French gossip magazines are to royal privacy - has opened a shop in Manchester where passengers can talk to real airline staff without paying a face-to-face surcharge.
But don't worry, Michael O'Leary hasn't gone soft. The frugally appointed former florists is a typical piece of guerilla marketing by the budget carrier. It is renting the property temporarily to promote its new Manchester services. Like Ryanair's cheapest fares, it will be gone in a few weeks.
When fast jets were Frightning
Mach 2 was a way of life for the RAF's Lightning pilots, making them the envy of their fast-jet jockey contemporaries. But the English Electric jet didn't earn the nickname "Frightning" for nothing, as a new book by Peter Caygill testifies.
Lightning Eject (£19.99, hardback, Pen & Sword) examines what Caygill describes as "the dubious safety record" of the supersonic fighter.
There was a 6% chance that a Lightning pilot would suffer an engine fire and a one in four that he would not survive the experience - even F6 XR760 (pictured above) was lost due to one, although pilot Flt Lt Bob Bees ejected safely.
Caygill puts you in the cockpit as he chronologically recounts the incidents and accidents of what was surely one of the 20th century's most exciting fighters. A must-read for all Lightning aficionados and companion to Caygill's Lightning from the Cockpit.
This unfortunate typo on a Gatwick airport screen caught the eye of one of our sub-editors (frankly, we'd have been disappointed if it hadn't).