Straight & Level 15 October

Trans-world airliner
Peter Martin was intrigued by our DC-3 story in Straight & Level from our 1 October issue, which suggested a Dutch training company is targeting “the handful of carriers that are still flying the old Douglas transport around the world”.
“Glad to hear the old girl is still going strong,” he says. “But how long does it take to fly a DC-3 around the world, and are they ETOPS equipped?”

Proud Bird flies
Sad news for fans of The Proud Bird, the famous restaurant on the approach to runway 24L at Los Angeles International that has a collection of historic aircraft on its lawn. It is closing after 48 years as a venue for spotters, pilots and business functions.
Unfortunately, these fans do not seem to be plentiful enough. The owner has told landlord Los Angeles World Airports the business is no longer viable.

Death metal
Pilot, MRO magnate and heavy metal megastar Bruce Dickinson is outraged at claims he is behind a company that manufactures “drones”.
The accusations were made on a South African website and repeated in various media.
The Iron Maiden and Cardiff Aviation frontman was indeed an early investor in Hybrid Air Vehicles, a UK developer of unmanned airships which worked with Northrop Grumman on the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle for the US Army. It would have provided troops in Afghanistan with overhead surveillance capability, but the project was scrapped.
A spokesman for Dickinson says he remains a “supporter” of HAV and that, while the military are often first adopters of “far-sighted technological advances”, most missions carried out by hybrid aircraft are benign.
That will be unlike most of Bruce’s songs, then, which include such delightful ditties as Bring your daughter to the slaughter, Die with your boots on and Number of The Beast.
Love and peace, man!

Gripen yarn
Still on anti-war protestors, Switzerland’s young greens are unhappy with their nation’s latest military acquisition, judging by this poster (which translates as sh** on the Gripen).
Pity the Junge Gruene don’t know their military aircraft well enough to spot that the fighter is a Boeing F-15. So much for national service.

gripen protest

Sex in the air
How sexy is aviation? Aviation’s libido-raising potential had passions racing at the recent World Routes Strategy Summit.
“We are a sexy industry and remain a sexy industry,” insisted the deputy CEO of… er… Aeroflot. Angela Gittins, director general of ACI World, was having none of it. Aviation’s very success meant it was no longer sexy, she claimed, but she added: “I’m not so sure being unsexy is a bad thing.”
Maybe Michael O’Leary was right: the industry really is full of aerosexuals.


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