Happy New Year!          If you’re going out to celebrate tonight, be very careful – there is a lot more flying to be done in 2011!

Here are the aviation stories I’d like to pass along this week:

The early development of the airline industry. .
This is a Washington Post review of a new book by Sam Howe Verhovek, titled The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World. It chronicles the early days of airline competition and introduces the early aircraft and the people who got the airline industry started. Available from Amazon.

Myths about airline travel
This is an article from Cleveland.com that covers three common myths in airline travel – when is the best time to buy your ticket, the restrictions about talking on your cell phone and the infamous Rule 240.

Airline travel etiquette – an oxymoron?
This is an article from the African site Citizen Daily. It describes a new device for sale called the Knee Defender that actually prevents the person seated in front of you on an airplane from reclining their seat into your lap.

Movie clip found depicting 1933 National Air Races
A 12-minute movie reel has been found that appears to depict personalities and racers involved with the 1933 National Air Races. A 17-second clip from the film is shown on the site, labeled Jimmy Weddell – one of the racers participating at Los Angeles that year. the remainder of the reel contains footage of the actual races. It has been reviewed and authenticated by researchers at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

What every pilot should have in his storage locker
A Federal Way, WA aviation buff has managed to collect the parts for and reassemble the front half of the airplane he flew in Southeast Asia. You have to admire the guy’s perseverance.

Should being extremely tall be considered a disability?
This has been in the news quite a bit lately, even making the morning news/talk/variety shows, whatever you call them. It seems that the seat pitch (spacing) on Spirit’s airplanes is not quite enough for someone taller than average. Result? The crew told the passenger he could stand for the duration of the flight.

Something for you to do at the office between those pesky meetings
From Models Aviation, ten tips for making paper airplanes.