Friday, March 02, 2012


Subject: 787

University Develops Swarming Drones (With Video)

Subject: University Develops Swarming Drones (With Video)


University Develops Swarming Drones (With Video)

February 10, 2012
By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor

A research team at the University of Pennsylvania has successfully demonstrated close formation work among large networked groups of autonomous vehicles, and the results are visually captivating. The SWARMS project ( (Scalable sWarms of Autonomous Robots and Mobile Sensors) involves a team from the university's general robotics, automation, sensing and perception lab. Work there on autonomous multicopters has led to demonstrations of the vehicles performing obstacle navigation and precise maneuvering while flying in large formations and operating as a group of networked autonomous vehicles. In plain English, you'll want to watch all 16 of them autonomously fly a cross-over figure eight pattern at 1:22 in the video.

The entire article may be viewed at




Incredible four minute footage of a desperate Spitfire vs. ME-109 dual. You feel like you are there! Amazing computer work blended in with real photography.  Notice the distance between aircraft when the firing begins - I'd say about 20 meters (yards) - biggest problem is not getting hit by wreckage flying past you.
Also an interesting factual story that most of us did not know. History is rarely 'over'.
Now sit back and strap on your parachute harness ... it is the Summer of 1940 over the skies of England. Listen to the perfect 'purr' of the Rolls Royce Merlin ...
Watch this full screen. It's very well done.  [BTW, the Brit is the guy with the mustache.]
Click on the link below:
Sound ON. 

Real Tuskegee Airmen Helped 'Red Tails' Take Flight : NPR

Subject: Real Tuskegee Airmen Helped 'Red Tails' Take Flight : NPR

The Red Tail Squadron | Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen

Subject: The Red Tail Squadron | Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen

Fwd: Eagles Nest Project Open House In North Vernon Indiana

Subject: Eagles Nest Project Open House In North Vernon Indiana

To All aviation contacts,

Please share the attachment and below information with others within your contacts regarding this amazing and inspiring program.

Thank you for your support of our aviation community!


The below message is from Bob Kelly, Eagles Nest Coordinator


This is an open invitation to visit the Eagle's Nest Project nearing completion at Jennings County High School, North Vernon, Indiana.

Background:  An Eagle's Nest Project is a group of high school students building a Van's RV-12 aircraft within their school.  It is supported by Friends of the RV-1, a 501(c)(3) public charity headquartered in Texas.
Eagle's Nest Projects are available to schools and other youth groups at a discounted price, and are supported by Van's Aircraft, as well as FoRV-1.  Eagle's Nest One is at JCHS, as will be Eagle's Nest Two.  ENPs are working to become accredited school classes, offering both HS and college credit.  Other projects will be starting soon both locally and nation-wide.

The best chance to visit the JCHS project will be Wednesday, Feb 8, from
5:30 until 8PM at the JCHS gymnasium.  This is during the school Open House, and the school has graciously given us half of the gym.  This will be the first (and perhaps only) time that the plane will be displayed at the school with most components--such as the wings and tail--in place.  The students will not be working on the plane and will have time to discuss the project.  Many interested people will be there, and we would like to count you in that number.  A representative of Friends of RV-1 will be there!

JCHS is located on the south side of U.S. 50, less than a mile west of highway 7.  We are less than five miles from OVO (North Vernon Airport) and transportation can be arranged to and from the school.  Keep in mind the main runway at OVO is closed, leaving 15 and 33 with a length of 2100 feet.

If the Open House is not a convenient time for you, almost any Tuesday or Thursday evening, 3 to 6 PM, should work.  We will be having work sessions on these evenings until perhaps mid-March, when we will move finally to OVO to complete the plane. You are welcome any time.  To schedule a visit during a work session, contact Bob Kelly, (812) 392-2860.


Begin forwarded message:

From: "EAA Chapter 59" <>
Date: January 26, 2012 11:00:37 PM EST

Subject: FW: Raffle

Please distribute to your members

Raffle Flyer Attached

You need not be present.
The max number of tickets is 1500. There are fifty prizes and 50 draws.
The ticket will not be removed from the drawing after drawn.
It is possible to win multiple prizes.
The N number for the Wag-Aero Sport Trainer is N459TX
Those that I have email addresses for, will receive a report listing the winners.
Others will be called if they win and can request a report.

Our Wag Aero Sport Trainer is now complete and has been given an airworthiness certificate. We will be flying off the hours in the next weeks. The airplane is a beautiful piece of workmanship, completed by experienced builders who spent time as though it was their own. Check our website, to see more pictures and current information about the plane.

We have sold 360 tickets as of this date. A new date has been set for the drawing, which is April 7th, 2012, the first Saturday in April. We really did not want to do this, but the purpose of the build, was to help our chapter out financially and we cannot justify a drawing at this date. If by chance we sell enough tickets prior to that date, we may opt to have the drawing sooner.


EAA Chapter 59

Fwd: "Super Bowl NOTAM - Indianapolis, IN" -

Subject: "Super Bowl NOTAM - Indianapolis, IN" -

<>    FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education    
Super Bowl NOTAM - Indianapolis, IN
Notice Number: NOTC3475

2/4708 NOTAM --- For futher details and sectional chart refer to

Beginning Date and Time :    February 05, 2012 at 2130 UTC  
Ending Date and Time :    February 06, 2012 at 0459 UTC

Area A  
Airspace Definition:  
       Center:    On the BRICKYARD VORTAC (VHP) 108 degree radial at 10 nautical miles. (Latitude: 39º45'36"N, Longitude: 86º09'50"W)  
       Radius:    30 nautical miles  
       Altitude:    From the surface up to but not including 18000 feet MSL  
Effective Date(s):  
       From February 05, 2012 at 2130 UTC (February 05, 2012 at 1630 EST)  
       To February 06, 2012 at 0459 UTC (February 05, 2012 at 2359 EST)  
Area B  
Airspace Definition:  
       Center:    On the BRICKYARD VORTAC (VHP) 108 degree radial at 10 nautical miles. (Latitude: 39º45'36"N, Longitude: 86º09'50"W)  
       Radius:    10 nautical miles  
       Altitude:    From the surface up to but not including 18000 feet MSL  
Effective Date(s):  
       From February 05, 2012 at 2130 UTC (February 05, 2012 at 1630 EST)  
       To February 06, 2012 at 0459 UTC (February 05, 2012 at 2359 EST)

No pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM (except as described).


   Except as specified below and/or unless authorized by ATC in coordination with the Domestic Events Network (DEN):

   1.    All aircraft operations within the 10 NM ring area listed above are prohibited except for approved law enforcement, military aircraft, air ambulance, and regularly scheduled commercial passenger and all-cargo carriers operating under one of the following TSA-approved standard security programs: Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (AOSSP), Full-All Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (FACAOSSP), Model Security Program (MSP), Twelve Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) All Cargo Only, or All-Cargo International Security Procedure (ACISP) and are arriving into and/or departing from 14 CFR Part 139 airports.
   2.    For operations within the airspace between the 10 NM ring and 30 NM ring listed above, known as the outer ring: all aircraft operating within the outer ring listed above are limited to aircraft arriving or departing local airfields, and workload permitting, ATC may authorize transit operations. Aircraft may not loiter. All aircraft must be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan with a discrete code assigned by an air traffic control (ATC) facility. Aircraft must be squawking the discrete code prior to departure and at all times while in the TFR and must remain in two-way radio communications with ATC.
   3.    For operations within this TFR, all emergency/life saving flights (air ambulance/law enforcement/firefighting) and DOD flights must coordinate with the FAA at the Super Bowl Air Joint Operations Center (JOC) prior to their departure at 317-327-2510 to avoid potential delays.
   4.    The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, tethered aerostats/balloons, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, seaplane/amphibious water operations, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), sightseeing operations, maintenance test flights, and utility and pipeline survey operations.
   5.    The restrictions in this NOTAM supersede FDC NOTAM 9/5151.
   6.    Any person operating an aircraft within this TFR who becomes aware of an inability to comply with the requirement to continuously squawk the ATC assigned transponder code must immediately request control instructions and comply with all instructions from ATC. If unable to contact ATC, pilots must exit the TFR by the most direct lateral route.
   7.    FAA recommends that all aircraft operators check NOTAMs frequently for possible changes to this TFR prior to operations within this region.
   8.    The System Operations Support Center (SOSC), is the point of contact and coordination facility for any questions regarding this NOTAM and are available daily from 0600-2300 eastern, phone 202-267-8276.

Flying the U-2

Subject: Flying the U-2

U-2 Dragon Lady
This is quite interesting for pilot types.

Unfortunately this is long, but it is remarkable what the U-2 can do.

High Flight, by Barry Schiff

Maj. Dean Neeley is in the forward, lower cockpit of the Lockheed U-2ST,
a two-place version of the U-2S, a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft
that the Air Force calls "Dragon Lady.." His voice on the intercom
breaks the silence. "Do you know that you're   the highest person in the
world?" He explains that I am in the higher of the two cockpits and that
there are no other U-2s airborne right now. "Astronauts don't count," he
says, "They're out of this world."

We are above 70,000 feet and still climbing slowly as the aircraft
becomes lighter. The throttle has been at its mechanical limit since
takeoff, and the single General Electric F118-GE-101 turbofan engine
sips fuel so slowly at this altitude that consumption is less than when
idling on the ground.  Although true airspeed is that of a typical
jetliner, indicated airspeed registers only in double digits.

I cannot detect the curvature of the Earth, although some U-2 pilots
claim that they can. The sky at the horizon is hazy white but
transitions to midnight blue at our zenith. It seems that if we were
much higher, the sky would become black enough to see stars at noon..
The Sierra Nevada, the mountainous spine of California, has lost its
glory, a mere corrugation on the Earth. Lake Tahoe looks like a fishing
hole, and rivers have become rivulets. Far below, "high flying"
jetliners etch contrails over Reno, Nevada, but we are so high above
these aircraft that they cannot be seen.

I feel mild concern about the bailout light on the instrument panel and
pray that Neeley does not have reason to turn it on. At this altitude I
also feel a sense of insignificance and isolation; earthly concerns seem
trivial.  This flight is an epiphany, a life-altering experience.

I cannot detect air noise through the helmet of my pressure suit. I hear
only my own breathing, the hum of avionics through my headset and,
inexplicably, an occasional, shallow moan from the engine, as if it were
gasping for air. Atmospheric pressure is only an inch of mercury, less
than 4 percent of sea-level pressure. Air density and engine power are
similarly low. The stratospheric wind is predictably light, from the
southwest at 5 kt, and the outside air temperature is minus 61 degrees

Neeley says that he has never experienced weather that could not be
topped in a U-2, and I am reminded of the classic transmission made by
John Glenn during Earth orbit in a Mercury space capsule: "Another
thousand feet, and we'll be on top."

 Although not required, we remain in contact with Oakland Center while
in the Class E   airspace that begins at Flight Level 600. The U-2's
Mode C transponder, however, can   indicate no higher than FL600. When
other U-2s are in the area, pilots report their   altitudes, and ATC
keeps them separated by 5,000 feet and 10 miles.

 Our high-flying living quarters are pressurized to 29,500 feet, but
100-percent oxygen   supplied only to our faces lowers our physiological
altitude to about 8,000 feet. A   pressurization-system failure would
cause our suits to instantly inflate to maintain a   pressure altitude
of 35,000 feet, and the flow of pure oxygen would provide a
physiological altitude of 10,000 feet.

 The forward and aft cockpits are configured almost identically. A
significant difference   is the down-looking periscope/driftmeter in the
center of the forward instrument panel.   It is used to precisely track
over specific ground points during reconnaissance,   something that
otherwise would be impossible from high altitude. The forward cockpit
also is equipped with
 a small side-view mirror extending into the air stream. It is used to
 determine if the U-2 is generating a telltale contrail when over hostile

 Considering its 103-foot wingspan and resultant roll dampening, the U-2
 maneuvers surprisingly well at altitude; the controls are light and nicely
 harmonized. Control wheels (not sticks) are used, however, perhaps because
 aileron forces are heavy at low altitude. A yaw string (like those used on
 sailplanes) above each canopy silently admonishes those who allow the
 aircraft to slip or skid when maneuvering. The U-2 is very much a
 stick-and-rudder airplane, and I discover that slipping can be avoided by
 leading turn entry and recovery with slight rudder pressure.

 When approaching its service ceiling, the U-2's maximum speed is little
 more than its minimum. This marginal difference between the onset of stall
 buffet and Mach buffet is known as coffin corner, an area warranting
 caution. A stall/spin sequence can cause control loss from which recovery
 might not be possible when so high, and an excessive Mach number can
 compromise structural integrity. Thankfully, an autopilot with Mach hold
 is provided.

 The U-2 has a fuel capacity of 2,915 gallons of thermally stable jet fuel
 distributed among four wing tanks. It is unusual to discuss turbine fuel
 in  gallons instead of pounds, but the 1950s-style fuel gauges in the U-2
 indicate in gallons. Most of the other flight instruments seem equally

I train at 'The Ranch'

 Preparation for my high flight began the day before at Beale Air Force
Base  (a.k.a. The Ranch), which is north of Sacramento, California, and was
 where German prisoners of war were interned during World War II. It is
home to
 the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which is responsible for worldwide U-2
 operations, including those aircraft based in Cyprus; Italy; Saudi
Arabia; and South

 After passing a physical exam (whew!), I took a short, intensive course
 in high-altitude physiology and use of the pressure suit. The 27-pound
 S1034 "pilot's protective assembly" is manufactured by David Clark (the
 headset people) and is the same as the one used by astronauts during
 shuttle launch and reentry.

 After being measured for my $150,000 spacesuit, I spent an hour in the
 egress trainer. It provided no comfort to learn that pulling up mightily
 on the handle between my legs would activate the ejection seat at any
 altitude or airspeed. When the handle is pulled, the control wheels go
 forward, explosives dispose of the canopy, cables attached to spurs on
your boots
 pull your feet aft, and you are rocketed into space. You could then free
 fall in your inflated pressure suit for 54,000 feet or more. I was told
 that "the parachute opens automatically at 16,500 feet, or you get a

 I later donned a harness and virtual-reality goggles to practice steering
 a parachute to landing. After lunch, a crew assisted me into a
pressure suit
 in preparation for my visit to the altitude chamber. There I became
 reacquainted with the effects of hypoxia and was subjected to a sudden
 decompression that elevated the chamber to 73,000 feet. The pressure suit
 inflated as advertised and just as suddenly I became the Michelin man.
I was
 told that it is possible to fly the U-2 while puffed up but that it is

 A beaker of water in the chamber boiled furiously to demonstrate what
 happen to my blood if I were exposed without protection to ambient
 above 63,000 feet.

 After a thorough preflight briefing the next morning, Neeley and I put on
 long johns and UCDs (urinary collection devices), were assisted into our
 pressure suits, performed a leak check (both kinds), and settled into
a pair
 of reclining lounge chairs for an hour of breathing pure oxygen. This
 displaces nitrogen in the blood to prevent decompression sickness (the
 bends) that could occur during ascent.

 During this "pre-breathing," I felt as though I were in a Ziploc bag-style
 cocoon and anticipated the possibility of claustrophobia. There was none,
 and I soon became comfortably acclimatized to my confinement.

 We were in the aircraft an hour later. Preflight checks completed and
 engine started, we taxied to Beale's 12,000-foot-long runway. The single
 main landing gear is not steerable, differential braking is
unavailable, and
 the dual tailwheels move only 6 degrees in each direction, so it takes
a lot
 of concrete to maneuver on the ground. Turn radius is 189 feet, and I
had to
 lead with full rudder in anticipation of all turns.

 We taxied into position and came to a halt so that personnel could remove
 the safety pins from the outrigger wheels (called pogos) that prevent one
 wing tip or the other from scraping the ground. Lt. Col. Greg "Spanky"
 Barber, another U-2 pilot, circled the aircraft in a mobile command
 to give the aircraft a final exterior check.

 I knew that the U-2 is overpowered at sea level. It has to be for its
 engine, normally aspirated like every other turbine engine, to have enough
 power remaining to climb above 70,000 feet. Also, we weighed only 24,000
 pounds (maximum allowable is 41,000 pounds) and were departing into a
 headwind. Such knowledge did not prepare me for what followed.

 The throttle was fully advanced and would remain that way until the
 beginning of descent. The 17,000 pounds of thrust made it feel as though I
 had been shot from a cannon. Within two to three seconds and 400 feet of
 takeoff roll, the wings flexed, the pogos fell away, and we entered a
 nose-up attitude of almost 45 degrees at a best-angle-of-climb airspeed of
 100 kt. Initial climb rate was 9,000 fpm.

 We were still over the runway and through 10,000 feet less than 90 seconds
 from brake release. One need not worry about a flameout after takeoff in a
 U-2. There either is enough runway to land straight ahead or enough
 (only 1,000 feet is needed) to circle the airport for a dead-stick
 and landing.

 The bicycle landing gear creates little drag and has no limiting airspeed,
 so there was no rush to tuck away the wheels. (The landing gear is not
 retracted at all when in the traffic pattern shooting touch and goes.)

 We passed through 30,000 feet five minutes after liftoff and climb rate
 steadily decreased until above 70,000 feet, when further climb
occurred only
 as the result of fuel burn.

 On final approach Dragon Lady is still drifting toward the upper
limits of the
 atmosphere at 100 to 200 fpm and will continue to do so until it is
time to descend.
 It spends little of its life at a given altitude. Descent begins by
 the throttle to idle and lowering the landing gear. We raise the spoilers,
 deploy the speed brakes (one on each side of the aft fuselage), and engage
 the gust alleviation system. This raises both ailerons 7.5 degrees above
 their normal neutral point and deflects the wing flaps 6.5 degrees upward.
 This helps to unload the wings and protect the airframe during possible
 turbulence in the lower atmosphere.

 Gust protection is needed because the Dragon Lady is like a China
doll; she
 cannot withstand heavy gust and maneuvering loads. Strength would have
 required a heavier structure, and the U-2's designer, Clarence "Kelly"
 Johnson, shaved as much weight as possible-which is why there are only two
 landing gear legs instead of three.. Every pound saved resulted in a
10-foot increase in ceiling.

 With everything possible hanging and extended, the U-2 shows little desire
 to go down. It will take 40 minutes to descend to traffic pattern altitude
 but we needed only half that time climbing to altitude.

 During this normal descent, the U-2 covers 37 nm for each 10,000 of
 altitude lost. When clean and at the best glide speed of 109 kt, it has a
 glide ratio of 28:1. It is difficult to imagine ever being beyond glide
 range of a suitable airport except when over large bodies of water or
 hostile territory. Because there is only one fuel quantity gauge, and it
 shows only the total remaining, it is difficult to know whether fuel is
 distributed evenly, which is important when landing a U-2. A low-altitude
 stall is performed to determine which is the heavier wing, and some
fuel is
 then transferred from it to the other.

 We are on final approach with flaps at 35 degrees (maximum is 50 degrees)
 in a slightly nose-down attitude. The U-2 is flown with a heavy hand when
 slow, while being careful not to overcontrol. Speed over the threshold is
 only 1.1 VSO (75 kt), very close to stall. More speed would result in
 excessive floating.

 I peripherally see Barber accelerating the 140-mph, stock Chevrolet
 along the runway as he joins in tight formation with our landing
aircraft.  I
 hear him on the radio calling out our height (standard practice for
all U-2
 landings). The U-2 must be close to normal touchdown attitude at a
height of
 one foot before the control wheel is brought firmly aft to stall the wings
 and plant the tailwheels on the concrete. The feet remain active on the
 pedals, during which time it is necessary to work diligently to keep the
 wings level. A roll spoiler on each wing lends a helping hand when its
 respective aileron is raised more than 13 degrees.

 The aircraft comes to rest, a wing tip falls to the ground, and crewmen
 appear to reattach the pogos for taxiing.

 Landing a U-2 is notoriously challenging, especially for those who have
 never flown taildraggers or sailplanes. It can be like dancing with a lady
 or wrestling a dragon, depending on wind and runway conditions. Maximum
 allowable crosswind is 15 kt.

 The U-2 was first flown by Tony Levier in August 1955, at Groom Lake (Area
 51), Nevada. The aircraft was then known as Article 341, an attempt by the
 Central Intelligence Agency to disguise the secret nature of its project.
 Current U-2s are 40 percent larger and much more powerful than the one in
 which Francis Gary Powers was downed by a missile over the Soviet Union on
 May 1, 1960.

 The Soviets referred to the U-2 as the "Black Lady of Espionage"
because of
 its spy missions and mystique. The age of its design, however, belies the
 sophistication of the sensing technology carried within. During U.S.
 involvement in Kosovo, for example, U-2s gathered and forwarded data via
 satellite to Intelligence at Beale AFB for instant analysis. The results
 were sent via satellite to battle commanders, who decided whether attack
 aircraft should be sent to the target. In one case, U-2 sensors detected
 enemy aircraft parked on a dirt road and camouflaged by thick, overhanging
 trees. Only a few minutes elapsed between detection and destruction. No
 other nation has this capability.

 The U-2 long ago outlived predictions of its demise. It also survived its
 heir apparent, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The fleet of 37 aircraft is
 budgeted to operate for another 20 years, but this could be affected
by the
 evolution and effectiveness of unmanned aircraft.

 After returning to Earth (physically and emotionally), I am escorted
to the
 Heritage Room where 20 U-2 pilots join to share in the spirited
 of my high flight. Many of them are involved in general aviation and some
 have their own aircraft.

 The walls of this watering hole are replete with fascinating memorabilia
 about U-2 operations and history. Several plaques proudly list all who
 ever soloed Dragon Lady. This group of 670 forms an elite and unusually
 close-knit cadre of dedicated airmen.

 Bill Evelyn
 When in doubt ... go faster.

Sense of flying/falling - 147mph

Heartrate at start 150bpm - heartrate inflight: 170bpm....

Great insights into this airborne madness!!

Be sure to go to full screen once you've started the clip...

You have received a YouTube video!

You have received a YouTube video!

Fwd: Wing Cracks Found On Some A380 Wing Rib Feet

Wing Cracks Found On Some A380 Wing Rib Feet

Engineers' Union Says All Aircraft Should Be Checked Quickly, Airbus And Airlines Downplay Safety Risks

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) has called for the inspection of all A380s flying for Qantas and other carriers after small cracks were found in the wing-rib attachments in some airplanes. The online news site reports that Qantas discovered the cracks on one of its airplanes undergoing "extensive repair," and Airbus confirmed that the problem has cropped up in five superjumbos. Along with the Qantas airplane, one Emirates aircraft and two belonging to Singapore Airlines have wing-rib attachment cracks. The fifth airplane is a development platform belonging to Airbus.
Airbus and the airlines all say their flagship airplanes are completely safe to fly. Airbus said it will be issuing a service bulletin later this month requiring airlines to check the jets for the problem during their scheduled four-year heavy maintenance. The ALAEA, however, said the inspections should be done "as soon as possible."
The Associated Press reports that Singapore Airlines says its two A380s have already been repaired, though no specifics of the procedure were given. The airline said the cracks were found on "a small number of wing rib feet," which are the attachment points for the wing skin to the substructure. The ALAEA called the repairs a "band-aid" approach to the problem.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Airbus'  chief engineer Charles Champion said the cracks were less than a centimeter in length, and  told the paper that safety was not an issue because "there are so many ways for the loads to travel within the structure of the wing." He said that all A380s would be inspected "over time ... within the next four years. Some of them before."
Champion said that the cracks have nothing to do with the loads placed on the wings. He said the cracks were "very random." He said some airplanes had several cracks along both wings, while some had almost none.
EASA reportedly has no plans to issue an AD for the cracks, which Champion said shows that it is a "non-event."