The UAV Market Takes Off Amid Rising Military Applications

A UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is a small pilotless aircraft, which is either controlled by a remote or an app. The global unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) market is poised to register a CAGR of 9.27%, during 2018-2023 (the forecast period) as per a report by a market intelligence firm. Military expenditure is the primary driving…

A UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is a small pilotless aircraft, which is either controlled by a remote or an app. The global unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) market is poised to register a CAGR of 9.27%, during 2018-2023 (the forecast period) as per a report by a market intelligence firm.

Military expenditure is the primary driving factor of the global UAV market. UAVs have the capability of reducing collateral damage while hovering, searching, identifying, and striking targets, which makes them an asset for the military.

These vehicles use aerodynamic forces to navigate and perform desired functions. Drones can reach, travel, and traverse areas and facilitate ease of operations in areas where it is arduous for humans to maneuver. They are used to carry small payloads, perform delivery and minor services, carry video and static cameras for photography and videography, and perform commercial and military surveillance and operations.

Segmentation by application:

Based on the application, the military UAV segment accounts for more than 80% of the market. The ability of these UAVs, to aid in ISR missions, aerial surveillance, and tactical operations, is accelerating its adoption. However, the commercial & civil segment is programmed to register the highest CAGR according to the market intelligence firm .

Segmentation by class:

Based on the class, the small UAV segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The demand for small UAVs is constantly increasing, due to opportunities in commercial applications as well as their potential battlefield usage.

Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR during 2018-2023 (the forecast period). Also, North America dominates the global UAV market, due to the increased UAV application in military, homeland security, and commercial areas.

Recent developments include BAE Systems working on UAVs with stealth capabilities. These are based on a new concept that removes conventional moving parts to provide greater control as well as reduce weight and maintenance costs.

Entry of new players is getting difficult in the defense segment due to the uncompromising safety, and regulatory policies and requirements. Moreover, the market is highly competitive but consolidated with only a few vendors, who dominate the shares of the market. Tough there is a huge scope in the market the various factors effecting are so huge restricting new firms to enter the market.

Some of the key market players featured in the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) market include AeroVironment, Israel Aerospace Industries, 3DR, DJI, Textron, and SAAB.

Air Freight – An Easy Way To Shift

Overview Air freight is the shipment and transfer of goods via an air carrier that may be commercial or charter. Such shipments can travel out of commercial and passenger aviation gateways to anywhere the planes can fly and land. The global air freight market report is segmented by aircraft type and freight item. The aircraft…


Air freight is the shipment and transfer of goods via an air carrier that may be commercial or charter. Such shipments can travel out of commercial and passenger aviation gateways to anywhere the planes can fly and land. The global air freight market report is segmented by aircraft type and freight item. The aircraft type segment is further segrated into express, all cargo, ad hoc cargo & charter carrier, and combination. The freight item segment is further segmented into pharmaceutical, machinery & electrical equipment, aircraft spare part, and others.

Market Dynamics

The increasing economic activity and world trade is the one of the most important economic drivers for the global air freight market. Although the economic conditions have been modified over the past few years, they have recently started to improve. Air freight has remained an indispensable tool for the transport of time-sensitive commodities, like perishables, high-value, low-weight goods, including consumer electronics, high-fashion apparel, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, and high-value intermediate goods, such as auto parts.

The global air freight market grew by 6.9% Year-on-Year in 2017, which is more than its five-year average growth rate. The APAC region held the largest market share with more than 40% of the total market in 2016 and it increased by 7.5% YoY, with China leading with 15% of the total market share, and which, is expected to continue in the future. Mature markets, like North America and Europe, have started to recover from the global economic meltdown and are showing promising signs of growth. This is evident from their growth rates, which are 8.7% and 8.5%, respectively.

The rising fuel prices have a complex effect on this market and air transport has become more expensive. However, it is also driving the need for more efficient planes, which has created a market for advanced cargo-only flights. Of the current global cargo fleet, 61% have been converted from old passenger flights. However, this is changing gradually and will have a positive impact on the market, as the performance, efficiency, and reliability of new, purpose-built freighters are expected to outweigh the low purchase prices for converted large freighters in the long run, especially for intercontinental operations, where high cargo density, larger payloads, and extended range are critical.


The report analysis looks into the current composition of the cargo fleets of various major airlines around the world, segregating them on the basis of size, like wide-body aircraft, very large aircraft, and narrow-body aircraft, across the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The market has been segmented on the basis of aircraft and freight item.

Aircraft Fasteners – How Are Fasteners Used in Aircrafts?

Fasteners: The fastener is a hardware device that mechanically connects two or more objects together. Fasteners can also be used to shut down a container such as a bag, box. They may also involve keeping together the sides of an opening of flexible substance, connecting a lid to a box / vessel, etc. Fasteners can…


The fastener is a hardware device that mechanically connects two or more objects together. Fasteners can also be used to shut down a container such as a bag, box. They may also involve keeping together the sides of an opening of flexible substance, connecting a lid to a box / vessel, etc. Fasteners can be of many types like Bolt, Nut, Screw.


Then bolt is also a form of (sewing machine) fastener with an outbound male thread. Bolts are used in a wide variety of head designs. These are designed to capture with the tool used to screw up them. The most general / usually used Bolt today is the hexagonal head.


The nut is also one variety of fastener with a threaded hole. Nuts are almost always used in coincidence with a mating bolt to fasten two or many parts together. The two collectively are kept together by a mixture of their threads friction, a slight extend of the bolt, and contracting of the parts to be held together. The most usual shape of Nut is hexagonal.


The screw is also one form of the fastener and at times similar to a bolt. It is generally made up of metal, and characterized by a circular ridge known as a male thread. A screw is an inclined plane fold around a nail. Some screw threads are designed to mate with a complementary thread, known as a female thread. The most general uses of screws are to hold an item / thing together and to position item / thing. The screw will generally have a head on one side that contains a specially formed shape that allows it to be turned with a tool. The most general tools for driving screws include screwdrivers. The head is generally larger than the body of the screw which keeps the screw from being operate in depth than the length of the screw and to give a bearing work surface.

The Some of the applications of the fasteners are:

1. It is used in Sheet-metal assemblies.
2. It is used in Aircraft.
3. It is used in Air conditioners.
4. It is used in Engineering Field.
5. It is used in cold storage.
6. In Engineering Field.
7. In kitchen equipment.
8. In the Lighting industry.
9. In Office furniture
10.In Railways.

The Some of the advantages of the fasteners are:

1. It is Corrosion Resistant.
2. It is having Strength.
3. It is Cosmetically Appealing.
4. It is Largely Non-Magnetic.
5. It is Reasonably Inexpensive.
6. It is Readily Available.
7. It is ROHS Compliant.
8. It is Ease of manufacturing.
9. It is Ease of assembly and transportation.

Knowing The Relevance of Fixed Base Operators on Commercial Airports

For the uninitiated, FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator – a term that's extremely relevant in both the general and commercial aviation sectors. The aviation industry is propelled by a number of companies and service providers, many of which are focused on helping different parties with vested interests. FBO basically cater to the needs of…

For the uninitiated, FBO stands for Fixed Base Operator – a term that's extremely relevant in both the general and commercial aviation sectors. The aviation industry is propelled by a number of companies and service providers, many of which are focused on helping different parties with vested interests. FBO basically cater to the needs of general aviation, and depending on their profile, they may work with commercial carriers and other individual companies that require on-airport services. In this post, we will talk about FBOs and how their services are important and pertinent for the sector.

The need for FBO

It is very hard to generalize the scope of work done by Fixed Base Operators, primary because their roles at different airports can vary tremendously. They are, however, extremely important to the aviation customers they serve. As mentioned, an FBO may choose to work with a regular commercial airline, or they may be involved in airport maintenance as approved by the airport sponsor along with the overseeing regulatory authority. FBOs are important because they provide a critical service, the supply of aviation fuels, at the airports they serve. Their services help in maintaining standards and services at an airport, and they can serve commercial carriers as well as the general aviation public. Many FBOs are described as full service, meaning they provide additional services such as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) in addition to the core FBO services of aircraft handling, fueling and hangaring. It greatly depends on the nature of the airport and local demand for services.

Things to expect

FBOs serve in different roles. Almost all FBOs provide the core line services of aircraft handling, fueling and hangaring. Most also provide facilities with amenities for the flying public and flight crews, including general aviation terminals with customer service desks and seating areas, flight planning and pilot lounges and rest areas, and other amenities. When it comes to commercial services, FBOs at many regional airports will provide commercial handling and fueling where there is not enough commercial service to rise to the level of a stand-alone third party provider. Although somewhat less frequent, FBO personnel can also provide some above wing services such as passenger ticketing, check in and gate agent services.

Working with a FBO

If you are an airport sponsor or someone who needs assistance with airport businesses, you should be careful about how you choose the best FBO management service. Expertise and experience matters the most in this sector, given that the cost of operations is getting higher as demand for higher service levels and better facilities continues to increase. You need a team that knows your business goals and can offer dedicated assistance with complex aviation logistics. As a prospective client, you should carefully diligence their experience and capabilities, and you should always be able to contact their references. FBOs are great at overcoming challenges, but working with the right service provider who understands your needs and meets your expectations is critical.

Check online now to find the best FBOs in business.

The Tupolev Tu-144 Supersonic Transport

1. Tupolev Tu-104: While the three major US, European, and former-USSR powers all designed supersonic transports, that of the latter was actually the first to fly. But its development was complicated and it ultimately ended in failure. Seeking to increase speeds and reduce travel times on scheduled routes, all of which were flown by Aeroflot,…

1. Tupolev Tu-104:

While the three major US, European, and former-USSR powers all designed supersonic transports, that of the latter was actually the first to fly. But its development was complicated and it ultimately ended in failure.

Seeking to increase speeds and reduce travel times on scheduled routes, all of which were flown by Aeroflot, the country stepped up to pure-jet technology with its first such airliner, the Tupolev Tu-104, when it first flew in prototype form on June 17, 1955.

The low-wing monoplane, incorporating many of the elements of the military Tu-16 twin turbojet bomber to reduce development time, featured a glazed nose navigator's station, a 35-degree swept wing mounted with significant anhedral, dual wing root buried, 14,881 thrust -pound Mikulin RD-3 or AM-3 eight-stage, axial-flow turbojets, and quad-wheel main undercarriage units that retracted into wing underside fairings. Although initial capacity was 50, 70-passenger Tu-104As and 100-passenger Tu-104Bs, in five-abreast configurations, followed.

Inaugurated into service on September 15, 1956 on the Moscow-Umsk-Irkutsk route, it severely reduced flying times over the piston types it replaced.

“At the time of its entry into service, the Tu-104 was the only turbojet-powered transport in airline service,” according to John Stroud in “Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945” (Putnam and Company, Ltd., 1968, p. 199), “the de Havilland Comet 1 and 1A types having been withdrawn from service in 1954. It was not until the autumn of 1958 that BOAC introduced Comet 4s and Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-120s.”

Like the countries in the West, the former Soviet Union believed that a supersonic transport was the next logical development of commercial aviation.

2. Myasishchev M-52:

The foundation for a Russian supersonic transport was laid by the Myasishchev Design Bureau's M-52 intercontinental bomber. Powered by four Solovy'ev turbojets, two of which were pylon-mounted to the high, swept wings and two of which were attached to their tips, it was intended for at least Mach 2 cruise speeds.

Although the only example ever built publicly appeared in Tuscino in 1961, or a year after the design bureau which had given birth to it was abolished, commercial feasibility studies of it had been concluded. While its high-wing configuration was considered inappropriate for passenger-carrying services and its range was insufficient for such operations, this logic, at least in the Soviet Union, was sounder than may at first be considered, since both the turboprop Tupolev Tu-114 and pure-jet Tu-104 had been civil versions of, respectably, the Tu-95 and Tu-16 bombers.

3. Tupolev Tu-144:

An all-new supersonic design was clearly needed. Because Myasishchev's proposal was inappropriate and Ilyushin was preoccupied with rectifying the problems with its Il-62 long-range, pure-jet passenger aircraft, Tupolev, the country's long established military and commercial manufacturer, was selected to produce it.

The result, the Tu-144, was one of the few aircraft up to this time initially and exclusively designed for commercial operations.

Powered by four 38,500 thrust-pound engines, the aircraft featured a 188.5-foot overall length, an 83.10-foot span of its delta wing, and a 330,000-pound gross weight. Although still only in prototype form and resembling, as expected, Concorde in configuration, there were several differences between the two.

The fuselage, first and foremost, incorporated 18 percent of titanium in its construction to cater to the expected expansion and contracting cycles that resulted from the frictional heat buildup and internal pressurization, and it was wider, with a flatter cabin floor, for five-abreast coach seating. Its single-droop nose, deflecting to the 12-degree position, distributed top windows.

In planform, its double-delta wing featured an ogival or s-shaped leading edge and trailing edge elevons, but was devoid of camber or twist with a flat bottom.

Its NK-144 turbojets, grouped in barely separated pairs, were air inserted through its six-foot rectangular inlets on the leading edge and stretched across more than 17 feet to its exhaust pipes at the trailing edge.

Undercarriage controlled of a two-wheeled, aft-retracting nose unit and two 12-wheeled, forward-retracting main units mounted outboard of the engine ducts and rotating 180 degrees before settling into their airfoil bays.

First flying from Moscow's Zhukovsky Airfield after executing a 25-second acceleration roll-which marked the world's first commercial supersonic flight of any design-the prototype, number 68001, remained airborne for 28 minutes, with its landing gear extended the entire time. Unpressurized, it internally transported flight test equipment.

Although no photographs were released at the time, it is believed that a second airframe, numbered 68002, was damaged during its own flights and a third, 68003, was used for static testing.

Fuel thirsty and range deficient, the type, requiring consistent, 100-passenger load factors to even meet breakeven costs, indicated the need for an intensive redesign of a production version, which more closely reflected Concorde.

Stretched, the fuselage, now with a 215.5-foot length and sporting 34 as opposed to the previous 25 windows, facilitated accommodation of up to 140, and its droop nose, of greater length, introduced side windows.

Two canards, installed on the upper fuselage immediately behind the cockpit, extended out- and forward to improve the aircraft's low-speed handling characteristics.

The composite swept, full delta wing, 94.5 feet in span, offered variable camber and sculpting and a circular underside.

The engines, with square inlets, were repositioned further outboard and there was greater separation between their pairs, while the main undercarriage units, of shorter length, retracted into them.

Range, with a 33,000-pound payload, was projected as 2,000 miles.

Numbered 77101, the first prototype of this extensively redesigned version first flew in August of 1972, while the second, 77102, was the first exhibited in the West at the 1973 Paris Air Show. Its pride was short-lived, however.

During a demonstration flight on June 3, the aircraft made a low pass with its canard surfaces and undercarriage extended, before executing a steep, afterburner-augmented climb. Appearing to experience a stall at 3,000 feet, however, it preceded a dive, abruptly leveling off only a few feet above the ground, at which point the right wing to turn off at the root.

Spitting flames from its engines, it rolled and the other wing dislodged itself from the structure. Exploding and plummeting to the earth, it affected, killing the six crew members on board, eight on the ground, and damaging more than a hundred buildings in Goussainville, France.

Although no official cause was ever found, it was believed that the Tu-144 attempted to land on the wrong runway, beginning a go-around when the error was discovered, which placed it on a collision course with a Mirage fighter. Diving to avoid it, it was projected to g-forces beyond the airframe's capacity and too little altitude remained in which to recover. Its structural failure was therefore not attributed to any design flaw or deficiency.

After operating cargo and mail root providing flights between December of 1975 and 1976, the Tupolev Tu-144 entered scheduled service on the 2,400-mile segment between Moscow and Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, on November 1 of the following year, operating 102 such services with an average of 70 passengers, before they were discontinued on June 6, 1978. The aircraft logged 181 airborne hours, of which 102 were at subsonic periods.

Despite its extensive redesign, it had failed to rectify its shortcomings. Still excessively fuely, it was only able to cover the 2,400-mile route with half its payload capability, attained by deliberatively leaving its half unoccupied, and the cabin noise level, caused by the engines and the air conditioning required to counteract the external , skin friction created heat, was intolerable.

The succeeding Tu-144D, fitted with uprated, more economic Koliesov RD-36-51A turbines, while offering hope when it first flew on May 23, 1978, fared little better. A fire in the left engines, propagating to the fuselage, left insufficient power to reach an alternate airport, causing the aircraft to careen into a field and explode. Of the five crew members aboard, two were killed and three were injured.

Although the type began route provides flights on the 3,480-mile sector from Moscow to Khabarovsk on June 23 of the following year and it covered the distance in three hours, 21 minutes, it never proceeded to scheduled status. The noise, fuel consumption, and range parameters of supersonic flight could not be transcended for commercial operations, leaving the one prototype, the two pre-production, the nine production Tu-144s, and the five production Tu-144Ds as the only testaments to this fact.

4. Tupolev Tu-144LL:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) teamed with US and Russian aerospace industries over a five-year period to conduct a joint international research program to develop viable technology for an early-21st century supersonic transport that would resolve the obstacles plagued by the three Boeing 2707, Aerospatiale-British Aerospace Concorde, and Tupolev Tu-144 actual and still-born designs.

Conduced as part of NASA's High Speed ​​Research (HSR) program and managed by the NASA Langley Research Center, the project was initiated after the June 1994 agreement was signed by US Vice President Al Gore, Jr. and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chemomyrdin.

Cornerstone of it was the last Tu-144D, constructed in 1981 and sporting tail number 77114, which itself never entered commercial service, but logged 82 hours, 40 minutes during research and test flights. Originally powered by four Koliesov RD-36-51 turbojets, which provided it for a maximum Mach 2.15 / 1,450-mph speed at a 59,000-foot service ceiling, it had a range of less than 2,500 miles.

Modified for the joint program to Tu-144LL Flying Laboratory standard, it was retrofitted with four 55,000 thrust-pound Kuznetsov, afterburner-equipped NK-321 turbofans originally produced for the Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bomber, resulting in a Mach 2.3 speed and 3,500 nautical mile range with 224,000 pounds of fuel at a 410,000-pound maximum take off weight.

Other configurations including the addition of thermocouples, pressure sensors, microphones, and skin friction gauges to measure the aerodynamic boundary layer, an emergency crew escape system, and a Damian digital data collection system that replaced the earlier analog one.

The first of the two-phase program, running from June of 1996 to February of 1998, entailed two ground engine and six flight experiments, which required 19 airborne sorties to complete, from the Zhukovsky Air Development Center near Moscow, and involved studies relating the aircraft exterior surface, the internal structure and powerplant, temperatures, boundary airflows, interior and exterior noise, airfoil ground effect characteristics, and varying flight profile handling characteristics.

The second phase, taking place between September of 1998 and April of 1999, entailed six losses, which not only facilitated greater understanding of the original six airborne experiments, but also provided analysis of fuselage and wind deflections, angles-of-attack, sideslip angles , and nose boom presses.

Although no bonafide US supersonic airliner designs have been established, with those appropriate for the business jet segment more likely to precede them, these Tu-144LL aerodynamic, structural, acoustic, and operating environment experiments may pave the way for long-range, higher- capacity, economic fight that minimizes ozone layer deterioration, and the ground-experienced sonic boom.

Article Sources

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website.

Stroud, John. “Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945.” London: Putnam and Company, Ltd., 1968.

The Boeing 2707 Supersonic Transport

The 2707, Boeing's contender for a supersonic transport, may seem like ancient history now, but it was advanced then in both concept and technology. Perhaps it was too much so. Because the jet race had already been won by the UK with the de Havilland DH.106 Comet and the then-designated USSR with the Tupolev Tu-104,…

The 2707, Boeing's contender for a supersonic transport, may seem like ancient history now, but it was advanced then in both concept and technology. Perhaps it was too much so.

Because the jet race had already been won by the UK with the de Havilland DH.106 Comet and the then-designated USSR with the Tupolev Tu-104, the US was left without choice if it wished to turn the tides in the supersonic sector, especially since the same two countries were preparing to launch such designs of their own, respectively in the form of the Aerospatiale-British Aerospace Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144 in the early 1960s.

Consensus in this early pure-jet period was that supersonic airline travel would be the next logical evolution of the subsonic one.

Submissions to fill this segment were made by several aircraft manufacturers in the United States. Boeing, for example, considered a Mach 1.8 aircraft, accommodating 227 passengers. Lockheed's concept was more ambitious and radical. It produced a design proposal incorporating an airfoil-shaped fuselage and a double compound delta wing projected to achieve Mach 3 speeds. Capacity, however, was not like that of Boeing's aircraft at 218. Designated NAC-60, North American's concept strongly resembled the military B-70 Valkyrie, itself a supersonic design with canards, a composite-swept delta wing, and four aft-mounted engines grouped in pairs. It was also slated for the Mach 3 speed realm.

Boeing's 2707-100, numerically considered the first of the second supersonic generation of airliners after its 707, was absolutely selected on December 31, 1966. Unlike the UK and USSR aircraft, it was intended, from the outside, to eclipse the boundaries of traditional configuration, structure, and speed, offering an extended service life.

Featuring titanium construction to withstand the 500-degree Fahrenheit structural temperatures generated by the friction of its intended, 1,800-mph / Mach 3 cruise speed, it spouted a variable geometry delta wing, which pivoted on screw jacks and titanium bearings to cater to the extreme velocity variations, ranging from low subsonic approach speeds in the extended position to high supersonic cruise ones in the retracted one. Trailing edge flaps were fitted for the former portion of flight.

The tailplane, with separate vertical and horizontal surfaces, was otherwise conventional.

Power was to have been provided by four General Electric, wing-underside attached engines.

A full-scale wooden mockup of the supersonic airliner, intended to carry 300 passengers, was built.

Although the 113 optioned orders placed by 26 worldwide airlines appeared promising in June of 1967, the ambitious design had exceeded the technological expertise to transform it into reality. Aside from the inherent instability it demonstrated during wind tunnel tests, the weight of the swing-wing aircraft was prohibitively excessive, carrying a 40,000-pound penalty, so leaving less available for the fuel needed to provide the range that carriers thought.

The immediate passenger capacity / payload reduction and / or fuel / gross weight increase solutions proved obligated.

Supersonic flight, other than in the limited, high-altitude military form, was little understood at the time, especially for routine, scheduled commercial operations, and obstacles found far beyond the drawing board of the design teams. Public reactions, sometimes bordering on hysteria, for instance, including protests concerning the sonic boom, its resultant property damage on the ground, the exclusion of overland flights (which reduced the potential airline market of the aircraft), the rise in world temperatures, the melting of the polar caps, the destruction of land- and ocean-dependent flora and fauna, and the reduction in radiation protection from the ozone layer.

Bureaucratically, the program was continuously delayed by airframe and powerplant reassessments and the granting of the necessary governmental funding of the design.

Because the type, as envisioned its initial version, failed to offer acceptable payload and range capabilities, a second, the 2707-200, was proposed. Although it featured an elongated fuselage and tu-144-resembling canards above and behind the cockpit, it weighed in at 750,000 pounds, which was 25 percent higher than envisioned and greater than that of a 500-passenger 747-100, and therefore failed to meet the FAA's finalized design submission deadline.

Even its 23,000-pound weight reduction program placed its gross weight 52,000 pounds above the target.

While its radical, swing-wing feature was technologically feasible, it failed to offer the needed parameters, because Boeing was unable to integrate the pivots, engines, and undercarriage in an efficient engineering package.

Forced to abandon this variable-geometry airfoil concept, it produced a third version, the 2707-300. Featuring a 268.8-foot overall length, it incorporated the fixed, supersonic standard delta wing planform utilized by Concorde and the Tu-144, with a 141.8-foot span and an 8,497-square-foot area. The horizontal and vertical tailplane, with a 50.1-foot height, remained conventional.

Powered by four 60,000 thrust-pound General Electric GE4 / J5P turbojets, it offered double the capacity and one-third more speed than its UK and USSR competitors, however, and was intended to transport 234 passengers 5,000 miles at 1,890-mph speeds at 60,000 -foot service ceilings. The prototype's 640,000-pound gross weight was expected to increase to 710,000 pounds on production aircraft.

Simplicity, coupled with a size reduction and the elimination of the variable geometry airfoil's weight and aerodynamic obstacles, resolved in lower production and unit costs, which, in turn, Boeing believed would have attracted greater sales. That figure was then envisioned as being as high as 500.

In October of 1968, or five months before Concorde first flew, the definitive 2707-300 was chosen as the US's supersonic transport design and construction of its prototype carried in September of the following year, provisioning it as the third airliner in its class to enter the market. But it never would.

Continually subjected to a design and development program that was, at times, even more turbulent than Concorde's, it cooked for survival.

The obstacles, as being of early 1960s commercial supersonic technology, were numerous and insurmountable, including escalating research and production costs, increasing gross weights, decreasing ranges and payloads, rising seat-mile costs, excess fuel burns and engine noise, the need for higher than subsonic fares, and the fear that first class passengers would switch to the higher-speed transport, leaving the conventional, subsonic ones without the yield on which they depended for profitability.

Limited in route application, the type could only be economically viable with high load factors on very long range routes.

Innovative technology, it had become unexpectedly handsome, could not support the supersonic concept on a commercial level. Yet, blinded at times by the need to recapture the title lost during the subsonic race and that “pride-goeth-before-a-fall” dynamic necessitated by the desire to regain national prestige, the program remained aloft with the continued, albeit obstacle -ridden, granting of federal funds.

Part of this buoyancy, needless to say, was airline interest in the product, but, as occurred with Concorde, this began to wane, since they were already financially strapped with orders for widebody 747s.

Public, government, and aircraft manufacturer doubts concerning the 2707-300's ability to ever economically achievable its fore-claimed noise, payload, and range design goals caused declination confidence to coincide with diminishing enthusiasm for the concept.

Presidential support for a supersonic transport program fluctuated broadly. Escalating development costs spawned by increasing technological hurdlers and requiring additional governmental funding only asserted in increasing opposition to it. Because Tupolev seemed unable to solve its own Tu-144 problems and Concorde's fuel-burn addressed in initial sales of only ten aircraft to Air France and British Airways (a number too small to pose any competitive threat), continued 2707-300 funding could no longer be justified.

On March 18, 1971, therefore, the House voted against it, echoed several days later by the Senate. Although supporters attempted to restart the program by rechanneling the $ 85.3 million for its termination into further development, and although the House itself voted in favor of this action on May 12, the Senate rejected it five days later.

Fifteen percent of the first 2707-300 airframe had been cut at the time and a 296-foot stretched version, to accommodate 321 passengers, was then envisioned.

All three US, UK, and USSR programs had been plagued by unprecended opposition to new technology that many believed would have been detrimental to the atmosphere, the earth's environment, and humanity. Because of its tremendous technological leak, exploding development costs, and irresolvable engineering difficulties, it never became the hoped-for reality in the US and, after a few route providing flights, the Tupolev Tu-144 itself was drawn from service in the USSR.

That only one such supersonic aircraft, Concorde, ever entered the planned sector, that it only accounted for a competent of sales to the carriers which Governments represented, and that the exorbitant fuel costs required to sustain its speed all indicate that, while a commercial design was then technologically feasible, that It was not economically feasible.

Understanding Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Management Better

The aviation industry is growing at a substantial rate, which certainly is good news for pedestrians, from passengers and airport sponsors to institutional investors and aviation service providers. Of course, the industry runs on services in many different segments, and one of the major services provided is MRO, or Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul. In this…

The aviation industry is growing at a substantial rate, which certainly is good news for pedestrians, from passengers and airport sponsors to institutional investors and aviation service providers. Of course, the industry runs on services in many different segments, and one of the major services provided is MRO, or Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul.

In this post, we will describe the kind of work that these service providers offer with regards to aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul management, and why this sector matters for operational success.

The need for MRO services

Regardless of the location, facilities and other services offered at an airport, the aviation industry depends on one major aspect – operational aircraft. Aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul management is all about aircraft servicing and management. Commercial airlines and private operators prefer to delegate maintenance tasks to specialized companies offering aviation maintenance. These companies have the necessary operational expertise and experience and also have a great depth of capabilities through their training, tooling and authorizations. These services are critical as projecting and managing maintenance schedules will determine whether aircraft will be operational and available to meet their mission requirements. With today's increasing demand, MRO service providers are pertinent, necessary, and extremely relevant to keep aircraft and their passengers moving on schedule.

What do MRO management services offer?

As MRO service providers grow, the need for professional management increases as well. In most cases, maintenance and repair work is dependent upon a number of different requirements and regulations, and the nature of contracts with end users varies considerably. Owners and operators are focused on cost control, quality, and minimizing the downtime of their assets. They also seek to source more services from single source providers, eg MRO companies with a breadth of capabilities and authorizations which allows for more services to be provided during a single maintenance event.

Demand for aviation MRO services is driven by mandatory maintenance, which occurs on fixed flight hour, time-based or activity based intervals. The combination of an aging fleet coupled with increasing utilization underpins the increasing demand forecast for the next 5-10 years. The need for aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul management will continue to increase, and as aircraft utilization continues to grow the need for such services will become more prominent in years to come. Consequently, it is important to choose a company that has the necessary experience and expertise for your particular maintenance requirements to meet your mission profile and keep your aircraft and passengers moving.

Mid-Nineties Memories of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Although the types of aircraft at Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome have changed over the years because of weekend usage, maintenance, refurbishment, and the need to enter and exit semi-retirement, certain ones were synonymous with both air show and year. This article takes a look at a mid-1990s one. Passing through the covered bridge time…

Although the types of aircraft at Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome have changed over the years because of weekend usage, maintenance, refurbishment, and the need to enter and exit semi-retirement, certain ones were synonymous with both air show and year. This article takes a look at a mid-1990s one.

Passing through the covered bridge time portal, I entered the rolling grass, barnstorming-reminiscent air field on an October Sunday in 1996. Immediately beyond the ticket booth was the Curtiss Model D biplane on a small grass patch, not far from the Aerodrome Canteen and striped yellow-and-white tent.

Nosed into the short fence were aircraft that represented the pioneer, World War I, and Golden Age eras of aviation beneath a crystal blue sky, the first in a series of successful weekends to have afforded such ideal weather, while the surrounding trees were autumn- tinged and -torched auburn, lemon, and lime. The original, wall-devoid hangar, indicated by the “Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome 1” design, was across the field and the first, I later learned, that aerodrome founder Cole Palen, who philosophy was to “keep the dream alive” by keeping even century-old airplanes in the sky, was the first he built.

The aromas of the Aerodrome Canteen, as always, beckoned me for lunch, which usually consist of a hamburger piled high with fried onions, sliced ​​tomatoes, and pickles, from the “free fixin's” bar and a side of shoestring French fried potatoes.

The Sunday “World War I” air show, as opposed to the Saturday “History of Flight” one standard took place between 1430 and 1600 and the optimum view of it was from the bench seats in the middle of the field, across from the wood stage.

It began, as both did, with a vintage fashion show, which audience volunteers changed into period dress in the red, track-cradled caboose, and the atmosphere, setting the stage for the early-1900s, was enhanced by several early-20th century functioning vehicles-in this case, a 1909 Renault Touring Car, a 1911 Baker Electric, a 1914 Ford Model T, a 1916 Studebaker, and a 1929 Franklin.

Although the air show itself featured audience-attracting features, characters, and antics, such as Rocket man, the oversized bicycle, the Delsey dive, the balloon burst, a parachute jump, the Black Baron, Trudy Truelove, Madame Fifi, and mock dogfights , the stars on the aerial stage were the aircraft, which were either original airframes or reproductions with original engines.

From the World War I era, these included the Avro 504K from Great Britain, the Nieuport 11 from France, the Fokker Dr.1 triplane and D.VII with its seven Swabian paint scheme from Germany, and the Curtiss JN-4H Hispano-Suiza engine-powered Jenny from the US today.

There were also several from the Golden Age era.

The first of these was the Pitcairn Mailwing. Catalyst for the design was the January 29, 1927 award of Contract Air Mail (CAM) Route 19, between New York and Atlanta, to Pitcairn Aviation, which elected to employee a fleet of PA-5 Mailwing aircraft it itself produced. Based upon its predecessor PA-4's configuration, it incorporated an enclosed, fireproof, 26-cubic-foot forward cockpit capable of carrying up to 500 pounds of express, yet could maintain a center-of-gravity that only varied by an inch if it were left empty.

Powered by a 220-hp Wright J5-9 engine, it sported a 33-foot upper and 30-foot lower wing, which collective area was 252 square feet, and the aircraft, with a 2,620-pound gross and 1,008-pound useful weight , could climb at 100-fpm and reach speeds as high as 131 mph in level flight.

Rolled out of its Bryn Athyn factory six months later, on June 17, it spotted its black fuselage and golden wings, which were staggered and the lower of which incorporated dihedral.

“To that time, air mail planes had been like mail trucks, ponderous and purposeful, strictly utilitarian in appearance, heavy on the controls,” according to Frank Kingston Smith in “Legacy of Wings: The Harold E. Pitcairn Story” (Jason Aronson , Inc., 1981, p. 109). “By contrast, the black-and-gold Pitcairn was a poem aloft, twisting and turning in effortless flight, light and quick on the controls, a scintillating performer, yet obviously with the strength to handle turbulent conditions.”

Subsequently awarded Contract Air Mail Route 25, between Atlanta and Miami, on November 19, Pitcairn Aviation historically covered the Eastern seaboard.

Much in demand, the Mailwing was ordered by other carriers to operate their own mail routes, including Colonial Air Transport from Boston to New York, Texas Air Transport, and Clifford Ball.

Old Rhinebeck's example represented the slightly stretched PA-7. Built to cater to ever increasing mail transport demand, this Super Mailwing, incorporating reasonable line pilot recommendation, began as the 50th PA-6 on the production line, but introduced a modified forward fuselage profile to augment increased in flight speed and stability, a two -foot increase in length to 23.9 feet, a rounded rudder and wingtips, a 240-hp Wright J6-7 engine, a 42-cubic-foot mail compartment, a 630-pound payload, and a 3,050-pound gross weight, as opposed to the PA-5's 2,620.

Another Golden Age type in the air show circuit, despite with origins across the Atlantic, was the de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth.

It can trace its roots to the “solution” Sir Geoffrey de Havilland thought to the two previous light sport planes he designed, but which failed to provide the performance he conceptualized, including the single-seat, low-wing DH.53 Humming Bird monoplane of 1923 and the two to three-seat DH.51 biplane of two years later.

The latter served as the foundation of a scaled-down, dual-place biplane designated the DH.60 Moth appropriatively powered by a 60-hp engine that optimized it for instructional and cross country flying. Highly successful, it was produced in the thousands between 1925 and the mid-1930s.

Employing a Gipsy engine, whose development took place at the end of the decade, the succeeding DH.71 was a diminutive, single-place, low-wing monoplane with a span of all of 19 feet, but it could achieve service ceilings of 19,191 feet and speed records of 186.47 mph. Most importantly, however, was the fact that it was the first design to carry the “Tiger Moth” name.

Sparking a series of iterations and modifications, it culminated in the definitive DH.82 Tiger Moth after its prototype, registered G-ABRC, first flew on October 26, 1931 and the Royal Air Force adopted it as its basic trainer. One hundred thirty five were built.

An order for 50 of an improved version followed in late-1934. Designed DH.82A, it was powered by a 130-hp Gipsy Major 1 engine, incorporated two tandem open cockpits, and featured swept, staggered wings mounted with dihedral. With a 1,825-pound gross weight, it could climb at 635 fpm, achieve a 104-mph speed, and had a 14,000-foot service ceiling.

Although the type was delivered to civil-operated Elementary and Reserve flying schools, its usefulness was only beginning. With the outbreak of the Second World War, production was unprecedented. After 1,424 DH.82As were built, assembly was transferred from Hatfield to Morris Motors, Ltd., in Cowley, Oxford, in 1941, where an additional 3,433 aircraft were built, followed by 1,533 in Canada, 132 in New Zealand, and 1,095 in Australia.

After the war, the market was scheduled with this former military trainer.

“From then on the Tiger Moth was engaged in a wide variety of aerial work,” according to AJ Jackson in “The de Havilland Tiger Moth” (Profile Publications, 1966, p. 12), “including instructional flying, glider towing, dropping parachutists, or banner towing all over the world, but it will be remembered chiefly for its pioneering work in establishing agricultural aviation as a new and thriving industry. ”

Two of the Tiger Moms to have performed in Old Rhinebeck's weekend air shows were owned by the now late-Bill King and Mike Maniatis.

Another mid- to late-1990s staple in Old Rhinebeck skies was the Great Lakes sport trainer, registered NC304Y.

Built by the Great Lakes Aircraft Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, in early-1929 to serve as a small, dual-seat trainer, it was a single-bay, fabric-covered biplane powered by an 85-hp Cirrus II inline engine designed the 2-T-1, which first flew in prototype form that March.

As a highly maneuverable airplane, it held the world record for the number of contractual outside loops-a total of 131-in its 2-T-1a guise.

Because of its popularity, it was re-produced in 1970 and then in 2011, incorporating new construction materials, from spruce to Douglas fir to metal, and significantly uprated instrumentation and engines.

“Versions of the Great Lakes and Baby Great Lakes have been built by various companies and individuals since the golden era, underlying how much these beautiful machines still mean to modern generations,” according to Mike Vines in “Return to Rhinebeck: Flying Vintage Aeroplanes” (Airlife Publishing, Ltd, 1998, p. 57). “(The) Great lakes 2T-1MS, NC304Y, serial number 191, dating from 1930, started life as a 2-T-1E powered with a four-cylinder inline inverted ACE Cirrus Hi-Drive engine of 95 hp. a Menasco Private 125 hp makes it exclusively a 2T-1MS model. NC304Y was always a great favorite of Cole's … ”

Yet another Golden Age staple was the Travel Air, whose Model A was produced by the Travel Air Manufacturing Company established in 1925 in Wichita, Kansas.

Designed as an improved, metal-framed successor to the previous wooden Swallow, it featured a fabric-covered, steel tube fuselage, dual tandem open cockpits (although a bench seat in the forward one could theoretically accommodate two passengers), and staggered, N -strut braced wings. Augmenting its performance, however, were features characteristic of Germany's World War I Fokker D.VII fighter, including overhung, horn-balanced ailerons and rudders that served to counteract aerodynamic resistance during flight surface deflections, increase aircraft response rates, and provide lighter pilot control feel. They also cave the type its characterical vertical tail “elephant ear” appearance.

Because of its construction simplicity, reliability, capability, durability, efficiency, and performance, it outsold all rival types during the 1920s and 1930s, only seriously competing with Waco's own designs, and it found numerous applications, from stunt flying to barnstorming, air racing , sport and bush flying, and air taxiing. Along with the Stearman Kaydet, it was the most extensively used crop duster.

Also often in Old Rhinebeck's air show skies was Gene DeMarco's “Lucky 7” Stampe SV.4B.

Based upon the initial SV.4 built by Stampe et Vertongen in Antwerp, Belgium, that flew in 1933, this two-place, highly swept wing biplane trainer was powered, PO5 engine. Fitted with a 145-hp de Havilland Gipsy Major X or Blackburn Cirrus Major X engine, its SV.4B counterpart, with a 27.6-foot wingspan and 194.4-square-foot area, had a 1,697-pound gross weight. Its maximum speed was 116 mph and its service ceiling was 20,000 feet.

Although its production was modest, accounting for 35 airframes before World War II and 65 after it, its acquisition by Stampe et Renard, along with the license-built examples of the SV.4C in France and Algeria with 140-hp Renault 4-Pei powerplants, solved in another 940 produced between 1948 and 1955 to fulfill the need for a French primary trainer.

Yet another frequent player in mid-1990s air show skies was the Davis D-1W. Tracing its roots to the V-3, it was produced by the Davis Aircraft Corporation, which was established by Walter C. Davis after he purchased and merged the Vulcan Aircraft Company and the Doyle Aero Company. Acquiring the rights for the Vulcan American Moth, he produced a parasol monoplane modified by engineer Dwight Huntington and certified on September 6, 1929.

Although the improved Davis W-1 that appeared two months later, on November 8, offered promise, the Wall Street Crash of 1929, along with a fire that destroyed the company's hangar and production facilities, forced it to cease operations.

Featuring a rectangular, fabric-covered, welded steel tube fuselage and a single 30.2-foot high, two-spar parasol wing strut-braced to the lower fuselage, the Davis D-1W was powered by a 125-hp, seven-cylinder, air-cooled Warren Scarab radial engine. Primarily employed in private and sport flying venues, it had a 1,461-pound maximum weight, 142-mph speed, and a 480-mile range.

Aircraft N532K regularly flew at Old Rhinebeck.

“The Davis D-1W, dating from 1929, would have been fitted originally with a 110-hp Warner radial, since the 'W' design,” according to Vines (ibid, p. 127). “It is in fact now powered by a 125-hp Warner powerplant. This classic sport airplane was conceived by the Vulcan Aircraft Company as the American answer to the success of de Havilland's Moth series of biplanes in England. They came to greater prominence when ex-auto maker Walter Davis acquired the manufacturing rights, but due to the economic climate of the time, only about sixty of these beautiful parasol-winged monoplanes were built. ”

None of the World War I air shows of the nineties and even those in the next decade were complete without Stan Segalla, who was dubbed “the flying farmer” and who flew a 1947 PA-11 Canary yellow Piper Cub registered N4568M.

A World War II veteran who flew at Old Rhinebeck in the summer and taught the art of aerobatic maneuvers in a Decathlon 180 in Venice, Florida, in the winter, he owned some 39 single-engine airplanes, taught more than 10,000 pilots, and logged in excess of 21,000 hours in more than half a century in the sky.

While aircraft always took center stage at the aerodrome, it was he, as a person of comedic skill, who did, his act always beginning with an ignorant, “anonymous” staff member in disguise chasing the Piper Cub, which, controlled by Segalla, circled and escaped his capture on the ground. The antics in the air, maneuvers, and single-wheel and pinpoint landings embarked the ultimate man-and-machine merge, as the aircraft became nothing short of an extension of him.

One of the original Cole Palen team members who molded and morphed the vintage aviation experience for novice spectators, he retired in 2008 and slipped the surly bonds of earth eight years later at 91-years-old.

“A fixture at the aerodrome since its inception,” according to an Old Rhinebeck statement, “Stanley could always be found on Sundays hamming it up in the crowd, before yet again managing to get away in the Piper Cub and wowing the spectators. character 'One-Shot-Gatling' was popular through the air show's early heyays, piloting the Avro 504K in support of Sir Percy in the everlasting saga that played itself out every weekend in the skies over Rhinebeck. him with his experience and skill at the controls of anything he flew. He loved to give rides before and after the shows to any takers, often putting them through a full routine in his Cub or Decathlon, always a smile on the passenger's face when he brought them back to the flight line. ”

While Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's pioneer aircraft took center stage in its Saturday “History of Flight” air shows and its World War I designs did in its Sunday “World War I” performances, these 1920 and 1930 aircraft, which often partook of both, could have merited a “Golden Age Air Show” of their own.

Article Sources:

Jackson, Aubrey Joseph. The de Havilland Tiger Moth. Leatherhead, Surrey, England: Profile Publications, 1966.

Smith, Frank Kingston. Legacy of Wings: The Harold F. Pitcairn Story. New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1981.

Vines, Mike. Return to Rhinebeck. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing, Ltd., 1998.

Temporary Barnstormer at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Tinged by the fall air and beckoned by the crystal blue dome of the sky at Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in early October, I made my way past the snack stand and the new field gift shop to the Biplanes Rides Booth, reserving one of the four passenger seats on Hudson Valley Air Tours'…

Tinged by the fall air and beckoned by the crystal blue dome of the sky at Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in early October, I made my way past the snack stand and the new field gift shop to the Biplanes Rides Booth, reserving one of the four passenger seats on Hudson Valley Air Tours' New Standard D-25 open-cockpit aircraft.

My ticket, now at an even $ 100 and a significant increase over its $ 25 1995 price, would ensure me space on Flight HV 007, which departed at 1215. Although unofficial, the flight number was deviated from the fact that it was the seventh ascent of the day.

I would be accompanied by a young couple, who would share the forward of the two bench seats, and a white bearded man, who would join me in mine behind them. The pilot, of course, with his own cockpit, was situated behind all of us.

The sign at the departure terminal-translated as “outside Rides Booth” -advised, “New Standard D-25, American, 1928, engine – 220-hp Continental. design. It carried four paying passengers, was easy to fly, operated out of the smallest fields, and used modern (1928) construction techniques.

It was not entirely correct. The passenger total was only accurate several years ago and its single D-25, registered N19157, had since been joined by a second, N176H, which I would fly for the first time today, my other Hudson Valley aerial sightseeing flights having occurred in 1995 , 2000, and 2006.

Field-settling after its previous circuit, it taxied to the booth and disgorged its quadruplet of passengers, before the next four, armed with the pre-departure safety briefing and clad in helmets and goggles, were permitted to travel the grass to the two- step “ramp” positioned at the lower wing's trailing edge. Turn-around time of this now 89-year-old airplane could be measured in minutes.

Following the root walking strip of the black-fuselage, orange-wing biplane, which engine turned and sputtered the entire time, I stepped into the cockpit-and into the Golden Age of barnstorming. Claiming the left of the two rear bench seats (2A) and extending my seatbelt, like a metal handshake, to that of the passenger's next to me in 2B, I intimately interconnected it with his. Shared bench seats meant shared seatbelts.

The assault of the ears and nose, even with its propeller in idle rotation, ruled in an instant immersion into late-1920s, cabin-devoid technology. So fierce was the slipstream, that my nostrils could not ingest the air and the throaty sputter of the engine was deafening. I had, like on my other open-cockpit occasions, hoped to experience this era of aviation through my senses. Perhaps I was-and I was still on the ground no less.

If its idle setting was a snooze, then its throttle advance resolved in a rude awakening. Brake-released, the biplane preceded its sprint over the grass toward the runway's threshold, which, in this case, was the field's south end, turf-blanketed hill, surmounting it and swinging around to its right, in a 180-degree turn, on its tailwheel.

There was no take off clearance. There was no radio with which to provide it. Nor was there any other ground traffic with which to be concerned.

A full throttle advance, opening the fuel's arteries and pumping the aircraft's engine with life-exploding plasma, induced the airplane into gravity-aided momentum down the hill, at the bottom of which its tail rose in horizontal stabilizer flight, enabling the wings to do the rest and generate lift.

The slipstream created by the rotating propeller and the increasing air speed, hopelessly unrestricted by the tiny Plexiglas windshield, pounded my face and served as such an onslaught to my nostrils, that they ironically failed to accept, despite the overabundance of air, the very substance that was needed by my lungs.

It certainly reached the wings, however, its increased speed inversely countered by its reduced pressure and enabling the biplane to jump off the rolling grass strip. Dual wings signified double the amount of surface area and its lift-generating capacity. Surrendering to the cold, brisk, crystal blue, it passed the line of aircraft seemingly tucked into a preserved pocket of history on the port side in the form of a Caudron G.III, an Albatros D.Va, and a Fokker Dr.1 triplane.

Surmounting the north end of the field and briefly banking to the left, the D-25 triumphed over the size-decreasing verdure of the Hudson Valley. Norton Road, now a ribbon narrower than the type used in package wrapping, passed under the port wing. Viewed from a different and downward perspective, it was the road from which I had looked up at this very airplane as I had approached the aerodrome, which now receded behind my left shoulder.

Having transcribed the earth's physical boundaries, the D-25 sliced ​​through the blue tinged with an autumn bite, its orange, strut-interconnected, fabric-covered wings passing over the still mostly green tree and farmland patches only often highlighted by a lemon sentinel.

A pause facilitated my internal contemplation, both of the four-person cabin and my location in it on previous Surreys into Cole Palen's barnstorming skies. I currently employed my original seat-that is, the one on which I had been introduced to the element-exposed era of air travel back in 1995. In the forward, right of the two seats-1B-had sat Jose, one of my Farmingdale State University Aviation History Course co-students and next to him in 1A, Christian, as I recall, another in our class. I replaced Jose on my next two aerial inmates in 2000 and 2006 and my mother had sat next to me on both of them.

Now I theoretically sat behind her-or at least her seat-but, since she left the physical plane some 20 months earlier, I could only include her on my present flight by coming as close to the surly slip of earthly bonds and soaring of which her soul was now assuredly capable. It was up here now with me, I knew.

Cole Palen himself, founder of his famous aerodrome, eclipsed the line between the physical and eternal dimensions two years before that initial fight in 1995, and, after graduation, I never saw Jose or Christian again. Well, at least I still had myself.

The wind, perhaps echoing them all, wrestled with the engine for sound dominance, but, despite the latter technically won, both roared and hind in their own way. Could the open-cockpit experience have been just as authentic without them? I doubt it.

Skirting the fringes of the Hudson River, an azure snake that interspersed the verdant topography, the D-25 banked left before reaching the steel, erector set resembling Rhinecliff Bridge, signaling an all-too-soon return to the field.

Its shadow, a ground reflected silhouette, jumped through the farm geometries below like a boundless spirit and certainly bore the imprint of Cole.

Riding the invisible air currents, the biplane initiated a series of sharp s-turns, its wings swaying and protesting with each maneuver and its airspeed fluctuations registering as audible wind intensities.

Passing perpendicularly over the green swatch that was Old Rhinebeck's barnstorming airfield at 500 feet, the D-25 arched around in a descending left turn in a power-reduced, gravity-pulling approach, specifically diving toward the tree clusters obstruction its south end.

Passing over the hill, it arrested its descent rate at some 100 feet above the ground, flaring and abruptly snatching the gravel path traversing the field with its two wheels and allowing the resistance of its grass to drain it of its momentum.

Swinging around to the left with a burst of power, it taxied back to the Biplane Rides Booth benefit the intense noon blue.

Releasing the buckle of the seatbelt I had shared with the man I never knew, but with what I had occasioned, kindred-spirit glances in the air, I climbed out of the cockpit of the still-spurting biplane and down the wing root to the ground-and back into 2017.

Aircraft Cleaning To Get Easier In The Future – Plane Washing And Debugging

Let's face it, it's hard to get bugs off the leading edges of helicopter blades, corporate jet leading edges and aircraft tail sections. It's the aircraft cleaner's worst nightmare to see an aircraft sitting in the sun while all those crashed bug guts bake into the paint. Yes, in an aircraft cleaners dreams our nightmares…

Let's face it, it's hard to get bugs off the leading edges of helicopter blades, corporate jet leading edges and aircraft tail sections. It's the aircraft cleaner's worst nightmare to see an aircraft sitting in the sun while all those crashed bug guts bake into the paint. Yes, in an aircraft cleaners dreams our nightmares are Bugs, Bugs and more Bugs, and yes, the occasional bird strike too, guts everywhere, that's simply no fun. Now then, there is a new method and technology being developed which might be a god's send for us plane washers. So, let's discuss this shall we?

There was an interesting article in NASA Tech Briefs recently (September 2017 Issue) titled; “Aircraft Cleaning To Get Easier In The Future – Plane Washing And Debugging,” which noted:

“NASA Langley Research Center, in collaboration with ATK Space Systems, has developed a method to reduce insect adhesion on metallic substrates, polymeric materials, engineering plastics, and other surfaces.The method topographically modifies a surface using laser ablation patterning followed by chemical modification of the surface. This innovation was originally developed to enhance aircraft laminar flow by preventing insect residue buildup, but the method provides a permanent solution for any application requiring infection adhesion mitigation as well as adhesion prevention of other typical environmental contaminants. ”

Although this new technology method helps the laminar airflow over the wings, blades, airfoils and control surfaces for better aircraft performance, lower stall speeds and overall safety, the benefits for the aircraft cleaning company employees is golden. It means we will use fewer chemicals to remove the bugs, thus, taking off less wax meaning no need to recoat so often. It also means less elbow grease spent debugging. Fewer man (woman) hours means more profit and less cost, all contributing to a more successful aviation services company.

When I discussed this with the researchers, they'd never considered the benefits to aircraft cleaning companies, which quite frankly surprised me, as it is a huge problem. Scraping bugs also means removing a little paint coating each time, historically costing the aircraft owner in expensive repaints or touch ups on the leading edges of all surfaces. My questions to all this is how tough is this new method? The researchers assured me it is just as tough as the paint surfaces, if not better, than most aircraft use now, perhaps much longer thinking too.

What other applications would this technology be good for? How about Wind Turbine Blades, allowing less frequency of cleaning, or how about bullet trains allowing for better airflow less wind resistance which at the higher speeds really matters as the coefficient of drag curve starts to head vertical. Think on this, especially if cleaning off bug guts is something that really bugs you as much as it does me.