Archive for the ‘aircraft’ Category

Remembering When You Could Regularly See Russian Acrobatic “Yak” Aircraft in the Skies of the Bay Area

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

This Russian-made Yak-50 acrobatic airplane used to be seen all over the skies of the San Francisco Bay Area – buzzing Mount Tam in Marin County, checking out anti-abortion rallies along San Francisco’s waterfront, that kind of thing.

But here’s your take-away: These things had a working life of just 50 hours back in Mother Russia, as the stress of all them 9G loop de loops and whatnot led to bad things, such as “main spar collapse.” Ouch.

Anyway, looks like fun:

Circa 2005, Marin County, Canon 300mm 2.8L IS + 2x extender

Chinese-Backed ICON Aircraft Wants to Build Carbon Fiber Seaplanes in Vacaville? Really? No, Really?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

I can’t see this ending well.

This outfit really, really reminds me of CODA Automotive.

Anyway, here’s the news of the day, California’s Cow Town will soon be California Aircraft Production Town, maybe, someday:

ICON Aircraft to Bring Hundreds of Advanced Manufacturing Jobs to Vacaville, California

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – ICON Aircraft has announced that it will relocate to the City of Vacaville in Northern California, located approximately fifty miles northeast of San Francisco. Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, the company will begin operating in a 140,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Vacaville airport, also known as the Nut Tree Airport. ICON intends to consolidate aircraft manufacturing, sales, training, service, and corporate headquarters at the new location. The move follows an extensive nationwide search for a site that would enable ICON to co-locate all divisions. The move stands to create hundreds, and eventually thousands, of advanced manufacturing-related jobs, while providing economic impact on the region that has been independently estimated to exceed $350 million.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20140514/87590

“The selection of Vacaville as ICON’s new home is a major milestone for the company and a significant economic win for the residents of the region,” said ICON CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins. “The move will play a major role in achieving our goal to not only deliver the best consumer Light Sport Aircraft in the world, but also a comprehensive flight training and operating experience that our customers and employees will absolutely love. The site we have chosen has a rare combination of key elements that makes it an ideal fit for ICON at this next stage of growth. The decision to stay in California and relocate to Vacaville, located in Solano County, would not have happened without the proactive, tireless effort of the airport officials, City of Vacaville, Solano County, and the Governor’s GO-Biz office over the last several years. This has been an impressive demonstration of local, regional, and state cooperation that ultimately made it possible for ICON to remain in California.”

“To say we’re pleased with ICON’s selection of Vacaville would be an understatement,” said Vacaville Mayor Steve Hardy. “We have much to offer ICON, as well as other businesses, and this seems like such a natural fit to us. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with this world-class operation.”

Supervisor John Vasquez added, “ICON will be the needed catalyst to ensure the long-term success of the Nut Tree Airport. Solano County, the City of Vacaville, as well as the North Bay region will benefit from this project. I am thrilled ICON is coming.”

ICON chose the site in Vacaville because of the business-friendly local government, accessibility to a vibrant, talented labor pool, existing facilities adjacent to the airport, and outstanding weather and local conditions for year-round flight operations and training. The site also allows easy access to compelling recreation destinations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Wine Country, and Sacramento for visiting customers as well as employees. Finally, the San Francisco Bay Area represents a strong cultural fit:  ICON was founded in Silicon Valley, and the company culture draws heavily on the entrepreneurial drive embodied by the area.

ICON’s move also stands to have a significant positive economic impact on the region, according to an independent study. The study concluded that the move would directly and indirectly create hundreds, and eventually thousands, of jobs in advanced manufacturing as well as many other disciplines. The annual economic impact on Vacaville and Solano County is estimated to exceed $350 million through wages paid, local purchases made by ICON, and increases in employee and visitor spending, as well as sales and property tax revenues to the city and county once the company is at full production rates.

ICON will continue to manufacture production aircraft at its existing facility in Southern California before transitioning to the facility in Vacaville. The first customer aircraft is scheduled to be completed in early 2015.

For more information, visit www.iconaircraft.com.

For information on careers in Vacaville, visit www.iconaircraft.com/vacavillejobs.

ABOUT ICON AIRCRAFT:
ICON Aircraft is a consumer sport plane manufacturer founded in response to the new sport flying category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2004. ICON’s first plane is the A5, an amphibious sport aircraft that fuses outstanding aeronautical engineering with world-class product design. It has won some of the world’s most prestigious design awards and has inspired a global following. The company has received more than 1050 order deposits and has started manufacturing components of the first production aircraft. ICON Aircraft’s facilities are in Southern California, a hotbed for automotive design and aerospace engineering.

ABOUT FAA LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT & SPORT PILOT CLASSIFICATIONS:
In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft. These airplanes enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly in lower altitude, uncongested airspace, during the daytime, and in good weather. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, undercutting the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot License by about 50%. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has described the new rules as “the biggest change in aviation in 50 years.”

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140514/87590

SOURCE  ICON Aircraft

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….

Flying Over San Francisco on Hershey Bar Wings in Cotton Candy Skies: Youtube Video Shows Flight Above the Fog Layer

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Let’s take a flight in an early-1970′s Piper Cherokee PA-28-180 Archer:

Donald Trump Really Really Wants You to See His New (Actually It’s Quite Old) Boeing 757 – Funny Video

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Well, somebody’s got to work for Donald Trump, I s’pose. Here’s lovely Amanda Miller showing off Donald Trump’s latest wing bling.

For some reason, this not-so-fresh video clip shows up on YouTube when searching for the term San Francisco  - I don’t know why.

Anywho, for DJT to call this nearly quarter century old ride “quiet” is a laugh riot. Yes Donald, it’s quiet compared with your former half-century-plus-old Boeing 727, but that’s about the best thing you can say about the matter.

Trumpy didn’t think his old airplane was heavy enough, so he had plenty of gold added inside. Is that a good thing?

And why such a small “home theatre” screen?

And Amanda, how much extra do you get paid over what you’d get working for an actual human being? Something to think about.

And Donald, what about Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico?

The peanut gallery:

what song is that?

That chick looks so stiff and uncomfortable…. Fail

OMG I want to bang that girl so bad it hurts!!!! owie!!!

mafia guy airplane

dang i hate gold but I REALLY wanna go on there if i wanna go to England!

POINT / COUNTERPOINT: TechCrunch on “AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes

“Law prohibits private pilots from profiting from passengers so you only pay for your share of the cost of the flight plus a 20 percent fee to AirPooler”

UH, THE PILOTS _ARE_ PROFITING FROM PASSENGERS, ARGUABLY.

The Federal Aviation Administration also bars private plane pilots from advertising flights, which is why AirPooler is careful to never promote any specific flights.

THIS IS STARTING TO READ LIKE A PRESS RELEASE, TECH-CRUNCH!

It’s hired as its general council the former assistant chief council of regulation of the FAA to make sure it doesn’t break the law.

ALTHOUGH OF COURSE IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT AIRPOOLER WILL BE FOUND TO BE OUTSIDE OF THE REGULATIONS – OF COURSE HIRING ANY PARTICULAR PERSON DOESN’T CHANGE THIS FACT. ALSO, “assistant chief council” SHOULD BE “COUNSEL,” AS THE DUDE COUNSELS PEOPLE – THAT’S HOW YOU REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE

So why the hell would you want to get in a stranger’s airplane? Because the alternatives, namely driving and commercial air travel, can be a nightmare.

OF COURSE CRASHING AND BURNING CAN BE A GENERAL AVIATION “NIGHTMARE” AS WELL, RIGHT?

It says to fly from Palo Alto to Tahoe using AirPooler it would take about an hour and cost $50.

ABOUT AN HOUR _AND SOMETHING_, MORE CORRECTLY, RIGHT?

Fifty-five percent of pilots in a small survey in Boston said they’d even add additional flights to take AirPooler passengers.

UH, THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND LIKE AN AIR TAXI TO ME

Lewis admits the core challenge will be gaining consumer mind share and convincing them AirPooler is safe and simple, which it might not be.

WELL, HOW REFRESHING. YES, GENERAL AVIATION ISN’T ALL THAT SAFE, INDEED. PLUS FIVE FOR GRYFFINDOR!

Luckily, prop planes are relatively safe compared to other transportation methods, and the planes can glide back to the ground in case of an engine failure.

WTF? MINUS 20 FOR GRYFFINDOR HOUSE! PROP PLANES ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE COMPARED WITH OTHER TRANSPORTATION METHODS. IN MOST GA MISHAPS, THE AIRPLANE AINT “GLIDING” WHEN IT TOUCHES GROUND. GENERAL AVIATION IS AT LEAST AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE _LESS_ SAFE THAN DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY*

Still, accidents are most common with pilots with fewer than 100 hours of experience.

WRONG! IRL, ACCIDENTS ARE MORE COMMON WITH PILOTS WITH _MORE_ THAN 100 HOURS OF EXPERIENCE.

As more of our formerly prized possessions like albums and photos get digitized, society is putting a higher and higher value on experiences.

WHAT?

ALL RIGHT, THAT’S MOST OF IT.

*OF LOVE, IN A PINK CADILLAC.

Rutan Aircraft Safely Perched Atop Hiller Aviation Museum, Where It Can No Longer Pose Any Danger to Pilots

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Know Better Your Annoying Helicopters Above the Western Addition: Robinson R44, the Republican Chopper

Friday, March 21st, 2014

This is a Robinson R44, which is powered by what amounts to a large Subaru engine. Most choppers can’t throw a rod and then crash but your smaller Robinsons can.

Anyway, it looks like a toy because it kind of is:

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Now myself, I can’t say that choppers bother me, you know, myself. But there was an incident last week involving a real helicopter, one that’s mostly blue, one that’s labeled N700N or something similar. I said to myself, boy that’s going to wake some people up and piss them off. Which it did.

And oh yes, make sure to never fly in choppers unless you have a good reason to. Choppers isn’t safe.

 

Pilot Embarrassment: A Missed Approach Above SFO

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The pilots in this Delta Connection Compass Airlines Embraer 175 or whathaveyou had some kind of issue trying to land at SFO so they gave up by climbing and circling ’round for another try:

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Which is no big deal, but it’s a kind of failure so it’s a bit embarrassing so sometimes pilots don’t follow the rules and try to force the plane down and that’s how something like Asiana 214 occurs.

It’s human nature.

The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner I’ve Ever Seen – JAL JA821J – To SFO from Haneda Tokyo International Airport

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure, Boeing didn’t do a good job with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries.

OTOH, if you want to get to the city of Tokyo, it’s nice to be able to fly on in to Haneda instead of big old, far away Narita International.

Presenting your fuel-efficient, little-giant, wide-body Boeing 787: 

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