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Merry Christmas!

 Wow, Santa has some trouble with a 737... hope the reindeer made out ok! There’s good news though, cuz while it’s fun to pretend, truth is Santa isn’t real, so there’s really nothing to worry about. 

 So, now’s a good time for me to say Merry Christmas to you!  I might also point out that we don’t call it Santamas, we call it Christmas for a reason.  And that reason is one that I believe to be very, very true.  

 Christmas is really about Jesus, a time to acknowledge the birth of the Savior.  I know you might not believe as I do.  It’s not my job to change what you think.  But it is my job to be a witness to what I've experienced. 

 I have experienced Jesus to be everything He says He is in the Bible, and truthfully that’s what keeps me going.  I hope the love Jesus offers is the love you find this Christmas!


Caption Contest #3 - We Have A Winner!

  Steve Tupper steps up to the plate (or maybe out on the wheel?) to knock Ryan Keough off his winning streak in the caption contests.  Nice job Steve!  I've got another copy of the pop-up aviation book titled 'Flight' to send your way for your efforts.

 I'm gonna try soon to add a feature to this game where after the submissions are made, we'll take a day and have everyone vote via a poll to see who wins.  That way nobody will get mad at me, thus removing any desire to kick me in the shins : )



Perfect Paper Airplane!

 I was looking for a cool paper airplane to make when I found some instructions on the net on how to make this one. Looked pretty sweet, so I gave it a try. It took me a couple tries, and a lot of ‘pause and play’ to get it figured out, but wow, what a great looking airplane, and it flew pretty nice too.

 Then I thought, hmmm, I bet it would look even nicer with some snazzy AirPigz graphics on it.  About 2 hours later I had a pattern made with graphics, and lines in key areas to make it easier to build. That’s when I knew that I should share this little guy with the world!

 The only modifications I made were to add both a paper clip and a staple.  The extra weight of the clip really gives this design some great penetration, and the staple helps hold it all together much better… that's especially good for the graphics.

 So, now you have a fun little project: print the pattern from the PDF file link below, then, watch the slick YouTube video that I made of the folding process. It might take a couple tries to get a good one, but hang in there, you're gonna want this - it really seems to be the perfect paper airplane!

 A couple quick things to note:  When you print the pattern, be sure to set the ‘page scaling’ to ‘none’ (as the screenshot below shows).  That way the lines will wind up in the right spot on the page where they’ll do you some good : )

 And then, let me know if you like this little paper airplane with the AirPigz paint job!  Leave a comment, send me a picture via email, let me know about it on twitter… I’d just like to know if you found this to be a fun project and if I should try to come up with more like it. Merry Christmas!


(be sure to set the page scaling to 'none' before you print) 

And then you're ready to watch the video instructions!




'Caption Contest' #3 Begins Now - Ends Tuesday Evening 12-23-08

 The last ‘Caption Contest’ felt like it drug on a bit, so to speed it all up a little (and not interfere with Christmas eve) game #3 will end Tuesday evening at 8pm EST.

 It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with some funny ideas on this one! Don't forget, the winner will get a used aviation book from the extensive AirPigz aviation library :) 

 The Rules:

1)  No more than 3 submissions per person. 

2)  Make your submissions in the 'comments' section. 

3)  Game ends Tuesday at 8pm EST. 

4)  Keep it clean!

The winner will be picked and posted within an hour of the end of the game.  Looking forward to more great captions from everyone, and wishing you all a Merry Christmas!


A380 Bathroom: Loo With A View

Photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo

  It’s a Monday and it’s the first full day of Winter, so I figure starting the day off looking at a toilet kinda makes sense.  But wait, that’s not just any toilet, nope, that’s the luxo-loo from an Emirates Airbus A380 and it comes with a nifty little window that’s certain to brighten up your day.

 I guess it is pretty nice to finally have a bathroom window that you’ll never have to worry about who might be able to see in!

 If you’ve had a chance to ride an A380, any airline, leave a comment to give a little feedback on what you thought... is it as nice as it seems?


More Tailless Aircraft - Fantabulous Gyro Stabilized X-36 R/C Video

 This ultra-slick R/C X-36 model is awesome beyond belief!  This crazy thing has no vertical surfaces except for the ‘little fin’ that gets servoed up in emergency situations.  This is genius(!) plus probably massive amounts of trial and error all wrapped up into one fantabulous piece of backyard electric flyer.   

 Flight stabilization is achieved via gyros that appear to feed input into about a zillion control surfaces… and into the fully vectored thrust from two electric motors driving props!  It’s simply a stunning technological achievement!  The flying qualities look excellent too.  You must watch this video right now!


Look Ma - No Vertical Fin AND No Pilot!  X-47B


 Moving really fast out of the 1930's of the last post and into what looks like it should be the 2030's, here's the Northrop Grumman X-47B.  The Naval UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) was just rolled out on 12-16-08 in Palmdale, California.  The X-47B is designed not only to operate in combat conditions and fly off of aircraft carriers, but to do so without any vertical surfaces and no pilot onboard!  The times, my firend, they are a changin'. 

 First flight isn't expected for quite a while yet, and the flight test program is scheduled to last 3 years.  Sea trials are set to take place in November 2011.

 The aircraft pictured at top is the first of two planned demonstrators of the overall concept. The photo illustration below gives a good view of the overall planform.  More info on the expected X-47B performance and flight capabilities when it becomes available.



Restoration Watch: Luscombe Phantom

 You might not agree with me here, but I believe that some things designed by the mind of man come closer to a ‘universal perfection’ than others.  It’s my firm belief that the 1934 Luscombe Phantom is one of them.  Maybe you’re just like me and agree that everything about the Phantom is off-the-scale awesome!

 And as cool as many of the flying machines are today, can you possibly beat what was going on in the 1930’s?  It’s almost unbelievable how many stunning designs (that also have great performance) came from that time period. Much more about that later when AirPigz looks more closely at the amazing aircraft designs from the depression era of the 30’s.

 Right now, it’s a good time to focus on the Phantom in the more recent pic above.  It’s currently owned by the guys at Pietsch (say peach) Aircraft in Minot, ND, and they’re about to give it a complete restoration. There’s only a handful left of the 22 Phantoms built, so anytime one gets restored, it’s a big deal.  We hope to follow the progress of this beauty as the work gets under way.

 The Phantom has a rep as a mean airplane on the ground.  Some of it seems deserved, some not.  We’ll talk more about that later, as well as a cool personal story I have from the 90’s that relates to N272Y, the first Phantom built, seen here way back in the day in the second photo.

Pietsch Aircraft: restoration, airshows and more:



Caption Contest #2 - Ve Hass Za Vinna!

 Caption Contest #2 is in the bag and it has a peculiar similarity to game #1 cuz the same guy won this one too, congrats to Ryan Keough!  Trust me, there's no corruptication going on here, this guy's just got a gift for this stuff!

 He's also gonna get a little prize for his efforts.  The nifty little pop-up book titled 'Flight' will be heading his way soon.  Please don't despair if you didn't win, I'm here to thank you all for playing.  I think this game has a lot of potential to be very entertaining, especially as more people hop on.

I'd also like to encourage you all with a few simple words... try harder and get better!  (Don't get mad, I'm just having fun).  Game #3 will fall off the turnip truck Monday morning, watch your step.



WhiteKnightTwo Catching Some Sun

Photos: Alan Radecki

 Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo, the rather unuasual looking jet-powered launch vehicle for the upcoming SpaceShipTwo program is getting ever closer to first flight.  The 4-engine Scaled Composites design with a 141' wingspan is being built and tested at the Mojave Air and Space Port.     

 You can expect a lot of upcoming coverage of the promising private space program as well as many of the other cool things happening at Mojave in the near future.  But I also want you to know that these pix came from the really nice blog 'Mojave Skies'.  Check it out to see some great coverage of what's been happening at Mojave.