• Aviation
    History of Aviation in a Nutshell
    History of Aviation in a Nutshell

    Many people erroneously believe that the Wright brothers made the first aircraft. While the plane they flew in Kittyhawk was certainly the first fully automated aircraft to achieve sustained flight, it definitely wasn’t the first aircraft ever. We hope to do away with little misconceptions like this which seem to plague our favorite topic in the world. However, to give you an exhaustive history of aviation would take a lot of time and space that we just don’t have right now. A brief summary of key events, points in time and facts related to the field is definitely something that we can give to our readers though.

    While the rickety plane Orville and Wilbur put together is certainly one of the most unique aircrafts in the history of aviation, it does not mark the beginning of the field. For one, people have been using hot air balloons to float around in the sky for hundreds of years now, as far back as 1783 when Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier achieved the first unmanned balloon flight in Annonay, France. The craft was unmanned, but would you climb into something if you had no idea whether the thing would fly or crash and burn? Smoke was used as a lifting agent initially, because hot air wasn’t yet understood.

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  • Aviation
    Some Interesting Aviation Facts
    Some Interesting Aviation Facts

    We’ve already covered a short history of aviation in another post, but there are so many interesting facts we had to leave out that we wanted to make another little piece to talk about some of them. Specifically, there are at least four facts about aviation that most people, even those who are dedicated to flying and aircraft, probably don’t know. We’ve compiled this short list here to tell anyone who will listen, so if you wanted something interesting to bring up the next time you’re having a conversation with someone, by all means allow us to furnish you with some talking points.

    Airlines come and go these days with companies merging, being bought up or simply collapsing under the heavy burden of bankruptcy. But did you know that the oldest airline in the world, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, or KLM for shirt, still exists today? KLM has been flying people and products around the world for decades now, since the company had its first successful flight from Amsterdam to London on May17th, 1920. The fact that Royal Dutch Airlines is still in operation is a testament to the success of the Danish people when it comes to aviation and flight.

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  • Aircrafts
    Our Favorite Unique Aircrafts Throughout History
    Our Favorite Unique Aircrafts Throughout History

    What makes an aircraft unique? Well, having features that other aircraft don’t is one way to stand out from the crowd. Coming from certain time periods when flight wasn’t as common as it is today is another way for an aircraft to be unique. Though some readers could probably guess a few of the planes on this list, we still want to talk about our favorite unique aircrafts throughout history, a couple of which will probably surprise you. In no particular order, here are the five.

    Have you ever heard of the Nemuth Parasol? Well, this unique aircraft built by students of Miami University came into existence back in 1934, during the sort of golden age of aviation when people knew they could fly, but were still trying to figure out the best way to design aircraft. This machine looks every bit the same as a traditional plane, except that it has no wings, at least not in the traditional sense. While the design was functional, the Parasol looks like something out of a science fiction book even today, in 2016.
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  • License
    why-you-should-get-a-helicopter-pilots-license
    Why You Should Get a Helicopter Pilot’s License

    If you ask someone what you can do with an airplane pilot’s license, you will probably get several answers. They might say that they plan to fly commercially, join the Air Force, or fly small private planes at different airfields in the area.

    But if you ask someone what they could do with a chopper pilot’s license, you might get a few blank looks. However, being a heli pilot can not only make you a lot of money… It sets you apart from other people who don’t have that sort of flight education! Here are a few reasons that you should get your helicopter pilot’s license!

    1. Since it is Difficult, Few People Do It

    Becoming a helicopter pilot can be expensive, and the training is difficult. There are some ways to get around the expense, such as joining the military reserves, but those cost time. But this is an advantage! Since learning to pilot a chopper is harder than learning to pilot an airplane, fewer people try to do it. That means less competition for you! And less competition means more money for the person that is able to do it, not to mention better jobs!

    1. The Jobs Are Thrilling

    This isn’t to say there aren’t interesting jobs available for airplane pilots; crop dusting and stunt flying can be a blast! But with helicopter flying, the jobs options get much better. For example, you can take a job flying EMT flights for hospitals! This means you are one of the first to land at sites where people need to be medevaced, and you save people’s lives! You also can be a pilot that flies over forests looking for fires or for lost people… And often large companies hire heli pilots for transport, so you have the opportunity to fly over massive cities.

    1. It’s More Tricky, and Therefore More Rewarding

    Flying a helicopter is really hard. There are so many ways for it to go wrong; with a plane, you just need to send it in a given direction. With a helicopter, you need to keep an eye on all the systems as you hover, turn around, or do anything… It takes a lot more mental effort to make sure you don’t do anything bad with a helicopter. Not to mention if you ever do anything that involves landing in dangerous areas you need to know how to land in places that are not very helicopter-friendly.

    But once you learn how to do all that, it is so rewarding to execute a perfect landing. It’s like the first time you execute a successful saxophone solo with a sax from Wind Plays… It just feels so good! Learning to do something difficult just has so much more mental reward to it than doing something easy. So if you’ve never been convinced that being a chopper pilot was a good job.

  • Airlines
    things-many-people-dont-know-about-cargo-airlines
    Things Many People Don’t Know About Cargo Airlines

    The general public is familiar with passenger airlines but not with cargo airlines. Some even find cargo airplanes quite mysterious.

    When you go the airport, you rarely see cargo aircraft doing their thing. Usually, these airplanes are parked at a different bay, far from passenger terminals so people can hardly ever see them.

    As a proud cargo pilot, I have heard quite a number of interesting questions from the curious public. Now, let me shed some light on the similarities and differences of cargo and passenger airlines.

    A cargo and passenger airplane is basically the same except that the cargo airplane has more room for shipment. You can expect to see boxes, crates, and even pallet collars – go check http://kronuscollars.com/ if you haven’t seen one.

    Inside the flight deck of a freighter and a passenger airplane, you could hardly distinguish any difference. The front office is actually the same. Flying a cargo plane is also same as piloting a passenger plane. Both of these aircraft require the same experience, license, and FAA Type Rating.

    things-many-people-dont-know-about-cargo-airlines-1The major difference between these two types of airplanes is outside the cockpit. The most obvious difference lies with the door. A freighter obviously has a larger door as compared to passenger airline. This allows the quick loading and unloading of the shipment from the main deck. The curved doors under the main deck create extra space, allowing the lower deck to be loaded with more cargo. As can be expected with a freighter, every space is utilized for payload.

    The variant of the Boeing 747 used by cargo airlines has a very special cargo door. It has a very large nose that when it is raised; it can accommodate very large loads such as vehicles, military tanks, and even smaller aircraft.

    Inside the cabin, the familiar arrangement that you expect to see on a passenger airplane, such as seats, windows, and overhead storage, are all gone. It’s just an empty vacuum that is specially engineered for the efficient loading and unloading of freight. The interior is far from the convenient and luxurious interiors that you see in passenger airlines. The main deck has several rollers and latches where containers and pallets are latched into position.

    Air freighters follow a strict schedule. Every minute counts, so cargo pilots need to be quick and agile. One full load can equate to thousands of customers whose shipments are expected to arrive at specified time. Usually, cargo jets have one or two stops.

    Once at the airport stop, they are carefully inspected and fuel is reloaded. Experienced ground crews do things quickly, imagine NASCAR pit stops. After all the necessary checks are performed and passed, the freighter is given a go. It then heads to its destination to get the shipment delivered as scheduled.

    Another main difference between the cargo and passenger airlines is that the former normally only has two crews – the Captain and the First officer. For some longer cargo trips, up to four crew members are on board the flight. In a regular passenger flight, you can expect a number of flight attendants, co-pilots, and other crew members. That’s not the case for cargo planes.

  • History
    would-you-believe-pilots-shoot-guns-while-flying-in-the-air
    Would You Believe Pilots Shoot Guns While Flying In The Air?

    From Torpedo Bombers to Lockheed P-38 Lightning to the infamous Enola Gay, the role of airplanes in warfare can never be overstated.

    Airplanes saw it first major entry into warfare during World War I. It was invented in 1903 by the Wright Brothers, and just a decade after, the First World War erupted. And in no time, the ingenious invention would soon be dragged to the fray.

    Initially, aircrafts played a minor role in warfare, but, around the end of the era, air force has become a crucial part of the military.

    Early missions of the air force

    Airplanes were first instrumental for reconnaissance missions. The armed forces used this new mode of transport to determine the movement of enemy and their positions.

    Considered as the most important contribution of airplane during the war occurred at the First Battle of Marne were Allied forces spotted a gap in the German front lines. With this valuable piece of info, the Allied forces took chance of the opening giving them a chance to split the opposing army and pushing them back.

    Airplane bombers

    would-you-believe-pilots-shoot-guns-while-flying-in-the-air-1As the war intensified, modest airplanes were used to drop bombs on strategic enemy installations. Initially, the planes carried small bombs and were vulnerable to ground attacks.

    In fact, ground soldiers could shoot down an airplane with a regular rifle – although air rifle models reviewed here at http://riflejudge.com/ wouldn’t be able to down a WWI fighter plane.

    But as airplane engineering and technology become more developed, WWI military airplanes became more agile and were now equipped with faster long-range bombers. It also allowed loading of larger, heavier bombs.

    Gunfights in the air

    With both the Allied and Axis forces looking to take advantage of the air space, firefight was soon brought in the air. Enemy pilots began shooting with pistols and rifles or throwing grenades at each other while flying above ground. It was useless and downright laughable shooting aimlessly while on flight.

    Soon, planes were equipped with a machine gun, usually mounted at the front of the plane. This gave the pilots better control and also rid the need for a co-pilot when flying the aircraft.

    Dogfights

    It was the Germans that first invented a device known as the “interrupter” which basically syncs the propeller with the machine gun. It just took a few years for other air forces to use this invention. Now equipped with machine guns, the pilots have literally brought firepower to their hands and in the air. These firefights were called dogfights.

    There are a lot of pilots and aviators who were very skilled in dogfights. Some have even become famous for their courageous exploits. In the military force, these distinguished fighter pilots were nicknamed “flying aces.”

    Some of the popular fighter aces are:

    • Manfred von Richthofen also called the “Red Knight” of the German air force;
    • Eddie Rickenbacker of the US Army Air Service who is considered the “ace of aces” in the American squadron;
    • Albert Ball of the British Army and a wartime celebrity in the United Kingdom;
    • William Bishop of Canada’s Royal Flying Corps and dubbed by the German pilots as the “Hell’s Handmaiden” for his prolific fighting skills;
    • Werner Voss of the German air force and was also the closest competitor of the Red Baron;
    • Georges Guynemer of the French squadron.

    Through the years, we’ve seen how aircrafts and its pilots has become a defining asset in the military force. From being a transport vessel for reconnaissance missions, the air force now plays a major role in almost all the activities of the armed forces – whether it is in military offensive during wartime or humanitarian missions during peacetime.

  • Aviation
    so-you-wanna-be-a-pilot-1
    So You Wanna Be a Pilot?

    Being a pilot is a fun and rewarding job, but it’s not all a bit cakewalk; not by half! Being a pilot means that the lives of hundreds of people are in your hands at all times, and you and your co need to run systems that look as complex as your average spacecraft. On the other hand, you get to fly above the clouds for a living, see places all around the world, and sit down and look at the view for most of your job! There are both pros and cons, but it is worth it to me. Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to become an airline pilot!

    First, you need a 4-year college degree. If you plan to fly for a small regional airline you won’t need the full college degree, but it’s unlikely you’ll get the job without a degree at all. However to fly for someone like Delta or Southwest, and 4-year degree with a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) preferably in aviation is the way to go. The exception to this general rules is if you served in the military, and preferably the air force. This shows that airline you are willing to do what it takes to learn.

    so-you-wanna-be-a-pilot-1Next, work on your reflexes! You will have to become ADD; you need to look at so many instruments at once, absorb that information, and react to it. It takes a special kind of person to do this; it’s like watching a drummer play a massive drum set and never miss a beat.

    Next is the actual aviation school. To get your private pilot’s licence you will need to complete 40 hours of supervised flight. Next, to get a commercial licence you will need to get over 250 hours of direct, cross-country, and simulated flight.

    Most airlines prefer that you have no less than 1500 hours of flight experience before you fly for them. Once again, the military is an option. You can enter the Air Force or Navy reserves and get trained for a year, then go back to civilian life. In case of emergency they would call when they needed you.

    One more option is to try and get a job at a small regional airport. They almost always need pilots, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a job somewhere. After that you should be able to parlay your regional airline position into an even better job somewhere else for a major airline!

    The key is that you need to practice. Just like a drummer mastering an instrument from Barking Drum, you need to keep on learning the skills involved in flight. That way you will be hireable and companies will snatch you up!

  • Airports
    Airplanes and Airports
    Airplanes and Airports

    Airplanes and airports are inseparable tandems. If your career requires frequent flying, you most definitely have harnessed a tremendous amount of patience. Airport delays are not the most exciting part of travelling and flying. Fortunately, there are airports that have a full line of amenities to make the wait more bearable. Most airports have duty-free shopping malls, entertainment centers, relaxation areas, and many other conveniences. But what could be better than taking in nature inside the airport halls?

    Here are three airports that have some nice gardens for traveler and aviators to take delight while waiting for the flight.

    First in our list is the O’Hare Airport in Columbus, Ohio. This busy airport features one of the most modern, urban gardens in the country. Located at a seemingly unused nook of the airport’s ORD Rotunda Building, between Terminal 2 and 3, is an a 900 square foot of vertical aeroponic garden. The high-tech urban garden uses the latest indoor garden technologies, much like the LED grow lights found at Plantozoid.com.

    It looks very much like a DIY project which could hopefully inspire others to follow. The plants – a variety of edible flowers, herbs, greens and herbs – are grown in a series of vertical PVC towers equipped with high-powered lights. The signage below shows where the produce is delivered. The very nutritious plants are nourished by a nutrition-rich solution that flows within the columns. There is definitely no soil used in this garden. Water is also re-circulated so it is very efficient.

    Second is the Changi Airport in Thailand. This international airport was among the first airports to introduce gardens in their design. As early as 1980s, Changi Airport already has a sizeable space dedicated for its 250 plan species and some 500,000 plants. The nursery alone can produce 3,000 plants every month.

    Making your stay even more pleasant are several ‘green’ attractions like the orchid with koi pond, the butterfly garden and the colorful flower garden. You can walk further to reach the impeccably manicured outdoor garden which showcases sunflowers and cacti.

    Third is the Incheon Airport which offers not just one garden but seven! This encapsulation of nature gives off a very relaxing ambiance amidst the bustling airport. Each of these gardens has a distinct character – cactus, flowers, pine trees, local flora. Many of these plant species are not naturally found in South Korea so it is only in this airport where you can see them. A vast portion of the garden is located at the ground floor.  On the second floor is an almost 2,000 square meter garden that features over 150 plant species that include herbs, flowers, bamboo and ferns. These gardens are free for all to enjoy so take time to unwind and relax here while waiting for your boarding time.

    While many airports offer cozy, modern relaxation areas, sometimes it’s good to take a break from all the modernity and just return to beauty of nature. What could be more relaxing than a ‘green’ airport!

  • Aircrafts
    maintaining-visibility-in-the-air-1
    Maintaining Visibility in the Air

    Believe it or not, maintaining visibility in the air may be even more important for a pilot than being able to see the strip or pad where they plan to land their machine. Of course, if you take the landing out of the equation like with a quadcopter, then being visible in the air is definitely an important thing. Many aircraft, both large and small, feature lights that blink and flash to reveal their position to other aircraft which may be flying in or around the same air space – but again, when talking about smaller, unmanned craft, the standard lights they come with may not be enough to get the job done.

    That’s why it can be a great idea to add some of your own lights to a flying machine after-market. The only issue with this is weight, because a greater mass means the machine needs to work that much harder to get into the air and stay there, and if a flying machine is too heavy, it won’t be doing any flying at all. So, the solution needs to be lightweight, portable and easy to use, so you don’t have to perform too many modifications that could cause potentially harmful side effects for your flying machine. Enter LED lighting right here to fix this issue.

    LED light bars especially satisfy all of the conditions listed here for what makes good aviation lighting. They are lightweight, you can literally just slap them onto wings or some other flat piece of the aircraft with the use of a good adhesive, and they don’t require you to drill any holes or make other permanent modifications to your flying machine in order for them to work. So, if you’re a fan of flying remote controlled quadcopters, then you might want to check out http://lightbarreport.com/ to see a few examples of what we’re talking about here.

    Reflective tape is another option that’s even lighter than any LED setup, but such stuff only works if there’s a decent light source nearby to reflect off the tape in the first place. If you’re flying in low visibility conditions, like at night, then that light probably isn’t around, so that tape is pretty much useless for those times. You could always hold off on flying until daylight hours, but why do that when there’s no need?

    Of course, there are other ways to make your flying machine stand out without attaching anything to it. If you have the equipment for it, you can use spotlights to illuminate a dark sky and give yourself a nice, bright place in which to fly around, where it would be impossible for other aircraft to miss seeing you. This solution is kind of unrealistic though, because it’s a lot more expensive and resource-intensive than the LED bars, or even the reflective tape. If you’re committed to the tape though, at least it would work better under conditions like these.

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