Globe with the words Around the Pattern cured around the top half.

Flying Stories for December 28, 2012


I hope you all had a good Christmas holiday – and that Santa brought you at least one item you can use in your flying activities.

Now your assignment is to have a safe and sane New Year’s celebration.  Maybe since the new year rings in on a Monday night the celebrations will be more subdued – but I doubt it.  Have a great time but be careful out there!

Not much new on the Swift front. I have all I need to complete the annual inspection – except reasonable temperatures. I have mentioned before that my hangar is not heated. The high temperatures each day for the rest of the year are supposed to be at the freezing mark. It doesn’t look good for winter flying this year.

Boeing 307 Stratoliner
Boeing 307 Stratoliner.
Photo Credit: D.Miller/Armchair Aviator | Flickr:CC

I’m not sure how many of you have heard of the Kickstarter Program. It is set up to allow individuals or organizations to pitch their ideas or projects to potential investors through the internet. This is usually done with a video and accompanying text explaining what they are trying to accomplish. Individuals who think that the idea/project has merit can click on one of several buttons to donate to the project to help the project move along. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERTAND THAT THE ACTIVE WORD IS DONATE.  There is no guarantee that the project will ever be completed or the product will ever be developed and offered for sale. Often the donate buttons offer items in return for the donations – usually associated with the product to be developed. No matter how much you would like to have one of the proposed items and you provide the maximum donation there is no guarantee that you will receive anything in return.

Having said that, I received an unsolicited email today pointing to a Kickstarter project to develop a documentary film around one of the only remaining Boeing 307 Stratoliners. There were only 10 of these planes built. One is still in flying condition – the one that the Boeing employees restored for a second time and donated to the Air & Space Museum a few years ago (after putting it into the water in Seattle on an early flight after it’s first restoration). The only other surviving fuselage is from a plane once owned by Howard Hughes. It was ultimately turned into a private yacht and is moored at a marina in Florida. Louis Trueba of TruebaMedia has established a Kickstarter Program for his effort to film a documentary on the history of the airliner-boat. You can find the kickstarter project here.  And an article from BornRich about the boat here.

I’m not saying that I endorse the project, I just thought you might be interested  in finding out that it exists.

Here are some fairly recent articles that you may have missed:

Learn to fly, beat the crowd
This is from Fosters Daily Democrat in Dover, NH. Conner Makem is a reporter for Fosters and, as he describes himself, a semi-frequent traveler. He found himself dreading the commercial flying experience. He was invited recently to take a flight lesson at a local airport – here he describes the experience and compares it to his average commercial flight…

Wright factory to be preserved
This is from AOP Online. Thanks to the auto industry the original Wright Aircraft factory buildings are still standing – the oldest original aircraft factory buildings in the world. The National Aviation Heritage Alliance in Dayton, OH has taken title to the buildings and plans to restore them as part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park…

The ultimate paper airplane.
This is from the RadioTimes in the U.K. James May has always been fascinated with airplanes. “That fascination with flight is wonderfully apparent as May supervises a project for his Christmas Toy Stories special – to build a model balsa-wood glider and fly it 22 miles over the English Channel to France.” At the end of the article he gives instructions for folding his Ultimate Paper Plane.

This is from General Aviation News. Here is your first (that I have seen) wrap up of the aviation trends we saw this year and what we may see in 2013. The article by one of GAN’s editors discusses the purchasing trends seen by Sporty’s Pilot Shop over the past year. I hope the comment about taildraggers proves true…

Top 10 Air Safety Institute products of 2012
This is from the AOPA website. The AOPA Air Safety Institute(ASI) provides videos, articles and courses to pilots and prospective pilots. This article is a list of the top ten ASI products of 2012 – the most often watched/read content that they produced. Some are videos, some are webcasts answering questions posed to ATC representatives and one is a set of training flash cards. You do not have to be an AOPA member to access the material.