Aviators from around the world are making their way to North
Carolina this week, to celebrate the first 100 years of powered
flight. AOPA members will be well represented with one of the
largest contributions to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
While AOPA will be joining other exhibitors with temporary aviation
displays, as an Official First Flight Centennial Sponsor, AOPA's
major contribution will have a lasting impact.
"Our contribution is about ensuring the future and inspiring the
next generations of aviators," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"AOPA members have given the nation a state-of-the-art pilot
facility at First Flight Airfield right next to the Wright Brothers
Memorial, which will serve generations of pilots and visitors to
For those who can't make
In the United States, almost every man, woman and child can tell
you who the Wright brothers were. But ask, "Who was Alberto
Santos-Dumant" and you're likely to get a lot of empty looks. Ask
that same question of anyone in Brazil, however, and they'll tell
you right away: He invented the airplane.
It's a common misconception, widely held in Europe just after the
turn of the century. Santos-Dumont, an eccentric aviation
enthusiast back when there wasn't a whole lot of flying going on,
pioneered personal flight. He kept a dirigible tied to a lamppost
in front of his Paris apartment. On November 12, 1906, he made the
first public powered flight in an aircraft he called the 14-Bis. It
traveled in controlled flight about 722 feet. Because the Wright
brothers flight was conducted in pri
The fuselage of the prototype Warrior (Aero-Marine) Centaur has
been moved to the company's assembly hangar at Sanford Airport (ME)
where the power plant assembly (Lycoming IO-540 J2B) and other
systems are being prepared.
The company calls it "a long awaited milestone and a welcome
It's opening day for the National Air and Space Museum's newest
facility, the long-awaited Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles
Intentional Airport (VA). Vice President Dick Cheney, who dedicated
the extension, called it "a monument to the many great achievements
Cheney said the museum clearly is worth the 30 mile drive from the
Smithsonian's main campus in Washington (DC). "I've been looking
forward to coming here for a tour," Cheney told the crowd at
Thursday's dedication ceremony. "I'm extremely impressed by what I
saw this morning."
They were glass negatives of the Wright brothers' famous first
flight and for years, they were hidden away in the archives of the
Library of Congress. Now, they've been digitized and are available
As the world gears up to celebrate the first century of powered
flight, you might be wondering what the second century will look
like. In a word: Challenging.
"Aeronautics is not mature. We barely take advantage of it in our
daily lives," says Mark Moore, one of NASA's top thinkers on future
flight. "We haven't achieved the Wright brothers' dream."
Pressure from key members of Congress and AOPA's Washington
staff has forced the US Forest Service back to the table to discuss
the future of backcountry airstrips in central Idaho.
The Forest Service had wanted to close four airstrips, Dewy Moore,
Mile-Hi, Simonds and Vines, located in the Frank Church-River of No
Return Wilderness but is required by law to obtain the approval of
Idaho's Division of Aeronautics before any such closure. The state
denied approval. So instead, the Forest Service planned to restrict
access at the four strips to "emergency use only."
Let's just say the FAA isn't happy with the idea.
The Cumberland Times-News reports the Potomac Highlands Airport
Authority is thinking about allowing four "autocross" events at the
Greater Cumberland Regional Airport next year, an event that could
pad the airport's coffers, but might not sit well with the FAA.
The Bay County Commission (BCC) in Panama City (FL) has approved
a land-use plan one for the proposed relocated Panama City - Bay
County International Airport on 4,000 acres in western Bay County.
The measure was adopted by a vote of 3 to 1.
But the airport isn't built yet. A number of additional regulatory
steps remain before it becomes final, including additional review
by the Florida Department of Community Affairs to determine if it's
in compliance with state law.