B-Model Sonex Excites, Reminds Me of Heroes

Never fly the 'A' model of anything."

If you're been involved with aviation for very long, you're probably familiar with these famous words attributed to Ed Thompson. While we like to joke about how wise they are, the truth is that most of us are probably so desperate to get into the air that we'll fly whatever we can get our hands on.

Cobalt in Detail - David Loury the Patient Dreamer

I recently wrote an article about the announcement of the Cobalt Co50 Valkyrie. It's a gorgeous airplane that promises to top the piston single market with a speed of 260 knots...and it seemed to appear out of nowhere as a working prototype.

VSS Unity Unveiled, Christened, Endorsed by Stephen Hawking

Warning: If you love science, aviation, or spaceflight, the video above may bring tears to your eyes. It includes footage from the ceremony on February 19th, 2016, where Sir Richard Branson officially unveiled Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Unity.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Can Land Too

Just over a month ago, Jeff Bezos' space tourism company, Blue Origin, successfully landed the booster stage of a rocket after launch. This was a major step toward making space travel more affordable. Elon Musk's company SpaceX has just taken that advancement a step further by landing the booster stage of a Falcon 9 rocket after launching a payload into orbit.

Aviation Bull for All Our Friends!

A few months ago I wrote an article aimed at helping military pilots convert their logbooks to civilian standards, specifically in preparation for airline interviews. I had occasion to share it with a group of pilots on Facebook and received a lot of positive feedback. The moderators of that group thought enough of the post to include it in their quarterly newsletter, The Pilot Network Quarterly. You can read my article in TPNQ, along with past editions of the newsletter for free on iBooks.

Proof That The Great Pilot Shortage Is Real

Remember when you took the SAT or ACT and started getting flyers in the mail from colleges all over the country? It's flattering at first, but as more and more flyers start to pile up, you start to wonder how desperate those colleges must be. I applied to (and got hired by) a major US airline last year. Apparently my name got sold to someone because I've started receiving flyers from regional airlines.

The flyer I got in the mail yesterday shocked me. It offered me a $50 Amazon gift card if I'd just show up to an interview.

Rimowa/Junkers F-13: Useless and I Don't Even Care

When someone asks: "What makes airplanes fly," the running joke is to answer: "Money." While a lot of people and companies are able to earn a living in aviation, there's no doubt that it's expensive. We're doing a lot to try to reduce the costs of flying because we're worried that the pilot population is shrinking too much. We're using new regulations and new technology to make aircraft more efficient and it's absolutely paying off.

However, everyone once in a while someone decides to throw economy and advancement out the window and do something wild with aviation. The example I just ran across is the luggage company, Rimowa. They're going to resume production of the Junkers F-13. In this day and age, that airplane is almost completely useless...and I'm thrilled by what they're doing!

Affordable Aviation: Outstanding Flying Club Resources

If you're like me, part of being a pilot is aspiring to own an aircraft. There's something to be said for knowing you have access to an aircraft of your choice, at any time on any day. It's nice to be intimately familiar with it's handling qualities and avionics (or lack thereof,) and to know exactly how it's been treated by the last person to fly it. Aircraft ownership is a wonderful thing, but it's not without its difficulties. Taking care of an aircraft is a lot of work and it's relatively expensive.

Cost is probably the most commonly-blamed reason for the overall decrease in the number of pilots right now. Owning an airplane has the potential to decrease the hourly cost of flying, but only if you plan on spending a great deal of money on flying in a given year.

If you're looking for affordable aviation and aspire to own an aircraft, then a flying club might be a great way for you to go. If you're interested, AOPA just released a great set of resources for starting a flying club.

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