If you build it…

The two at the front There was something curiously logical about a movie star who made his name riding horses lending a small wooden ship to a pair of corporate heavyweights, so they could change the course of aviation.  The afternoon that Boeing’s Bill Allen and Pan American’s Juan Trippe spent cruising Puget Sound aboard John Wayne’s Wild Goose in 1965 has become part of … Continue reading If you build it…

Smarter Learning

‘Smart flight training’ doesn’t just mean glass cockpits and electric airplanes. With ‘Skynotes’, career educator and CFI Amy Labus-Olson is re-casting instruction as an up-to-date education service. From the ground up There’s an old saw that says you’re not ready to fly until the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the aircraft. Okay, so the rise of digital devices has made that problem … Continue reading Smarter Learning

The way a pilot feels

Oilman, industrialist, investor, visionary… William T Piper has as much right to claim the title ‘Father of General Aviation’ as anyone. His long insistence on making aircraft that were cheap to buy and easy to fly brought thousands of people into flying. What’s more, his insightful strategy of making learning to fly as cheap as possible is a lesson in GA promotion that’s as instructive … Continue reading The way a pilot feels

the Lift Equation

Feature image: © Ivan Cholakov | Dreamstime.com Like so many ‘first times’, my initial encounter with the lift equation was a fairly short and messy affair. My flying instructor wasn’t given to long preflight briefings in any case – and, to be fair, we’d agreed I would mostly do my own theory study. A wave of panic So imagine my surprise when I found myself facing … Continue reading the Lift Equation

Jenny lessons

The Curtiss Jenny hardly needs an introduction. Designed for Glenn Curtiss by Benjamin Thomas, who had worked at Sopwith Aviation, the original JN1 was a heavy, underwhelming performer. The subsequent JN2 and JN3 improvements weren’t much better. However, Curtiss hit gold with the JN4. Mild-mannered, manoeuvrable and robust, the definitive JN-4D variant made up the bulk of a 6,813 airframe production run. An estimated 95% of … Continue reading Jenny lessons