Posts Tagged ‘aircraft’

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

Know Better Your Bay Area Air Traffic Control Towers: NASA – Meatball Insignia 1958 to 1975 and 2002 to Present

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Read and learn about the past and present NASA insignias.

Whenever I ask permission to buzz the tower, Air Boss Johnson is all, “That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.” You know, or some other excuse. I hate when that happens.

Someday, I’ll be Air Boss.

NASA Color Insignia Colors:

NASA RED

PANTONE® 185
Process 0C,100M, 100Y, 0K
RGB 252R, 61G, 33B

NASA BLUE 

PANTONE® 286
Process 100C, 060M, 0Y, 0K
RGB 11R, 61G, 145B

Fly It Like You Stole It – Sailing High Over the Western A

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

My, what a long contrail you have…

Click to expand

So This Is What a Temperature Inversion Layer Looks Like – Welcome to Los Angeles, Cough Cough

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Here’s the View from Seat 6AAugust 2012 Over a Trapped Layer of LA Smog:

Click to expand

Wow.

I want to live in los angeles
Not the one in los angeles
No, not the one in south california
The got one in south patagonia

Wow: Seeing San Francisco From Above the Mission District Through “Omni-Vision” – Rear Window, Cessna Skyhawk

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Hey man, nice shot.

Via singlespeeder2007:

Click to expand

Viewing notes:

Hey, can you guess which street in San Francisco was remade to be a firebreak, you know, around 1906? Sure you can. Just look at the photo. You see, it, unlike the useless, quarter-mile long, Octavia Boulevard “Livable Streets” experiment, is wide for a reason. 

Omni-Vision – This referred to the rear windows on some Cessna singles, starting with the 182 and 210 in 1962, the 172 in 1963 and the 150 in 1964. The term was intended to make the pilot feel visibility was improved on the notably poor-visibility Cessna line. The introduction of the rear window caused in most models a loss of cruise speed due to the extra drag, while not adding any useful visibility

National Transportation Safety Board Holds Tesla Automotive Employee Responsible for Fatal Air Crash in Palo Alto

Monday, November 28th, 2011

(As always, If You Assume That Any Given Plane Crash is Due to Pilot Error, You’ll Probably Be Right.)

Here’s an article about the new NTSB report.

Does it make sense to commute to Los Angeles for work, assuming you had a pilot’s license and an airplane? I don’t know.

Does it make sense to listen to the advice of your air traffic controller concerning the advisability of taking off into heavy fog, even if you don’t have to? Yes it does.

Is there a reason why pilots are told to turn over the Bay after takeoff? Yes there is.

Oh well.

Here’s what people down Palo Alto Way are saying.

And here‘s the “chilling recording” from a SpotShotter tower. (It’s about what you’d expect, with crashing noises and the yelling of the day care center kids who saw the crash.)

The former N5225J, a Cessna 310R with relatively new, perfectly-fine-at-the-time engines: 

(I’ll tell you, I don’t know why our federal government subsidizes Tesla Automotive (and for that matter, General Monkeybusiness in Detroit). Was Tesla paying for the avgas that this Cessna was burning? Does Tesla reimburse CEO Elon Musk for the jet fuel that he burns as he joyrides around the world, as is his wont? I think Tesla used to, but I don’t know about these days. You know, for an electric car company what’s produced not a whole bunch of electric cars, Tesla seems to burn up a lot of petroleum…)

Anyway, here’s the summary – the whole thing you’ll find after the jump.

NTSB Identification: WPR10FA136

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA

Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2011

Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N5225J

Injuries: 3 Fatal.

The pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility instrument meteorological conditions, and shortly after takeoff, struck a power pole and power lines before impacting terrain. Review of recorded air traffic control tower (ATCT) transmissions revealed that the pilot was initially given his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees and climb to 3,000 feet. Shortly after verifying his IFR clearance, the pilot received his IFR release from the ATCT controller and was informed that the runway was not visible to the controller. The controller further informed the pilot that takeoff was at his own risk. Shortly after, the controller notified the pilot that he had two minutes for his IFR release, before it expired. The pilot stated that he did not hear a “cleared for takeoff” instruction from the controller. The controller responded that he could not clear the pilot for takeoff, due to not having the runway environment in sight and that “the release is all yours and it’s at your own risk sir.” The pilot acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to take off. One witness, who was adjacent to the accident site, reported that she observed an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” left of her position. The witness stated that she continued to watch the airplane fly in a level or slightly nose up attitude until it impacted power lines.

Accident site evidence was indicative of a level impact with a power pole about 50 feet above ground level (agl) and at a high airspeed. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. Examination of the airframe, engines and propellers disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Weather conditions reported five minutes prior to the accident were wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 1/8th mile, fog, and vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. Weather conditions recorded by the ATCT 11 minutes after the time of the accident were visibility 1/16th mile, fog, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl.

Local law enforcement provided recordings from a sound recording system, which captured the accident sequence. The recordings were coupled with airport surveillance radar to interpolate a flightpath for the airplane. The interpolated flightpath indicated an approximate 45-degree left turn shortly after departure to the area of initial impact with the power pole and power lines. A sound spectrum study determined both engines were operating near full power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s failure follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.”

(more…)

Better Know Your Local, Historic, U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers: “Rum, Vodka, Wiskey” Aboard Alameda’s USS Hornet (CV-12)

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The previous U.S.S Hornet (CV-8) made it about a year before being sunk in WWII, so the Navy recycled the name for CV-12, the museum ship we have berthed in Alameda these days.

That’s your Lesson of the Day.

Now, pour yourself a drink:

Via Monica’s Dad – click to expand

Know Your Two-Seat, Russian, Yakovlev Yak-52 Acrobatic-Training Aircraft Above San Francisco

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Remember that Yak-50 what used to buzz about the bay area? Good times. (See below for some shots taken from the East Peak of Mt. Tam.)

Well this is better, this one’s a Yak-52 (Як-52). Hurray!

(It probably killed fewer pilots per hour than the single-seat Yak-50, so that’s nice.)

As seen from Land’s End:

Click to expand

(In Soviet Russia, plane kill you!)

What kind of crazy airplanes will Mother Russia send over next?

“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, babe: 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:

Click to expand

Canon 1D Mark II with 300mm 2.8 IS I and 2x extender – ISO 400 and lots of digital zoom:

Happy trails.”

The Hollywood Hills, as Seen from the Trip Down to LAX

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Here they are.

Do you see the big sign?

Click to expand