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This Is Why Everyone Should Have A Super Cub!



Help The Rocket Racing League Shoot For The Stars

Photo: Mike Rollinger
Rocket Racing League Online Store

 With the 10-14-08 announcement that the Rocket Racing League has been granted a flight demonstration 'Experimental Exhibition Certificate' from the FAA, RRL moved one giant step closer to giving us all the chance to see these hot little flying machines in regular action.

 The pic above shows the Rocket Racer at Oshkosh, and if you were there to see it, you know this thing screams out loud!  And hey, you just gotta love all that fire coming out the back too : )

 Speaking of Oshkosh… the sweet RRL hat pictured is now on sale over at the RRL Online Store.  Now would be a really good time to show your support of this ground-breaking effort to expand the world of rocket- powered flight. 

 RRL is currently in the process of selecting 8 venues from the more than 20 approved by the FAA for their 2009 Exhibition Season.  If all goes as planned, 2010 will then mark the start of the first official race season for the Rocket Racing League!



Funny 'Caption Contest' #2 Is On! Ends 12-17-08

 The AirPigz funny ‘Caption Contest’ is on again with game #2.  Put your wacky cap on and come up with a great caption for this pic.  To give you more time, the best caption will be chosen Wednesday evening 12-17-08, and the winner will get a slightly used 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 Wednesday at 8pm EST. 

4)  Keep it clean!

 The winner will be picked and posted within an hour of the end of the game.  Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!



You Must Buy This Blue Angels DVD Set

 Shortly after posting the 2009 Blue Angels performance schedule link, I realized I had caught a really bad case of Blues fever!  So, I tore through the house til I found my 2 disc DVD called 'Blue Angels A Year In The Life' and I let Media Center take me on this terrific journey... again.

 This 2005 DVD set is the next best thing to being able to see the Blues in person.  With almost 3-1/2 hours of exceptional video shot over an entire year looking behind the scenes at what it takes to get the team ready for and into show season.  If you have any interest at all in the Blue Angels, you must buy this DVD set!  If you hurry, there's still time to get it shipped for Christmas.  Believe me, whether it's for you or a gift for someone else, this video experience is gonna be a huge hit!

 You can find 'Blue Angels A Year In The Life' at Amazon at a price that's extremely reasonable, especially considering that it's 2 discs with great packaging.  This video is the perfect winter primer to get you ready to see the Blues in person this next summer.  Merry Christmas!



2009 Blue Angels Schedule Now Available

 It’s gotta be one of the toughest jobs in the world, but absolutely one of the best too.  A Blue Angels pilot: driving a blue & gold F/A-18 Hornet at up to 700mph and as low as 50 feet in front of millions of spectators across America.

 I can’t imagine a more difficult and demanding job than flying 30,000 pounds of military jet at high speeds and as close as 2 feet away from several more!  And then, doing it day in and day out… all the while representing the United States Navy. There's only one thing that could compare, doing the same thing for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon!

 The Blue Angels 2009 air show schedule has just been made available.  You can easily find it at the official Blue Angels website.  Now is a good time to plan your summer schedule around an awesome Blue Angels performance. 

 The Thunderbirds 2009 schedule isn’t available yet, but should be soon. Watch for lots more AirPigz coverage of both teams, especially looking closer at just how much training, discipline, and skill is required to fly for the best of the best.

 And, if you have 10 minutes to spare, go watch the HD video of 'One Six Right' creator  Brian Terwilliger’s ride with the Blue Angels.


Balloons? Yep, And Please Don't Miss The Point

 Yeah, it’s just a pretty picture of balloons, but they’re kinda special to me.  I took this picture with my right hand while holding the balloons in my left.  They were used in the party for my Mom’s 80th birthday a couple years back.  She lives on the West Coast where I was born, though I've been in the Midwest most of my life.

 The sky was a bold blue on that day in the northern California sky, and those balloons were a fabulous splash of color, just like they are in the picture.  But I’ve got this picture here, now, for a different reason.

 If you’re anything like me, a helium filled balloon is pretty cool because of one simple but amazing thing: it represents flight.  When you’re a little kid, and someone hands you a balloon, instantly your minds opens up to: 'what if I could fly.'  The balloon is “lift”, and you can feel it. It’s the power to overcome gravity, and it’s in your hand!

 So now, when you look at these balloons, any balloons, I hope you can also see behind them the amazing world of flying machines, fixed wing and rotary, powered and unpowered, lighter than air and even rockets. 

 But maybe even more important, when you see the world of aviation all around you, when you fly or even just ride in a flying machine, any kind of flying machine... I hope you can see it in the same way a child sees the balloon.  Full of wonder and full of dreams.

 Being able to get our feet off the ground isn’t a 'right', it’s a very special privilege.  I hope we never forget that. 

 And consider stepping into this weekend like a child holding a balloon: full of wonder and innocence. A lot curious and a little bit daring.  And if you’re really smart,  you’ll never go back to being an adult :) 


7L87: What's Up With The Number 8?

 Apparently the number 8 not only has powers beyond our wildest imagination, but it also doesn’t seem to like commercial aircraft very much either.  Really, think about it.  What else could it be that would cause a well experienced, highly successful mega company like Airbus to literally deliver the A380 two years behind schedule.

 And now, seems that pesky number 8 is not letting up on its attack on Boeing.  Sad but true, but now Boeing says that the 787 project has new delays and it appears that first flight won’t be til 2Q 2009, and first delivery now slides to 1Q 2010.  Umm, that’s essentially two years behind schedule. I’m tempted to call the Dreamliner the 7L87 from now on… and hoping I never have to go this route: 7∞7!

 Don't misunderstand, I’m a huge fan of the 787 project, and I really like that Boeing is sticking their neck out a mile with it.  That’s exactly the same kind of attitude that brought us the game-changing 747, and I’m confident that the 787 is going to stand the test of time very well in the end.  But for the sake of National pride, our economy, and the world of aviation, I just wish they’d get the thing done!   

 Seriously tho, I would like to add my greatest respect to the people who design, engineer, and build aircraft at this level.  The effort is enormous, the complexity is staggering, and the pressure is high.  No matter where you are on the globe, if you're involved in this process, I want to encourage you.  Thank you for what you do, and don’t ever give up!


Lowest, Slowest, Shortest Range Jet... Oh Yeah!

Photo illustration of the production version of the Cirrus SJ50 Vision jet


The Cirrus jet at Oshkosh 08... less than a month after making its first flight


 Hmmm... lowest, slowest, shortest range jet?  Doesn't exactly sound like the best thing for a jet airframers CEO to say about their biggest product in development.  But the reality is, according to Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier, that the Cirrus SJ50 Vision jet is actually shaping up to be a great performer.

 The first 120 hours of flying have shown that the production version should be able to achieve a high speed cruise of 300 KTAS.  Pretty impressive when you consider just how roomy the cabin is.  Did you climb in that static display at Oshkosh?  Wow is that thing ever huge on the inside!  

 Several design changes are being incorporated as they move toward the production aircraft.  The illustration at the top shows some of these differences.  Some subtle changes are being made to the front end to make more room for the nose gear and control systems, as well as a smoother transition into the windshield.

 The fuselage will get a more circular cross section, and there won't be a door on the right side.  Instead, there will be an emergency exit in its place.

 The Williams FJ33 engine mounted in the piggy-back position is getting a redesigned exit nozzle to adjust the thrust line in an effort to minimize pitch changes with power changes.

 And the V-tail is having some of the sweep removed, which for a variety of reasons will actually lead to a weight reduction.  The ventral fin is also being tweaked.

 More updates coming soon on this impressive aircraft.  Til then, check out these links for more info.



Caption Contest #1 We Have A Winner!

 All in all, the first ever AirPigz 'Caption Contest' went quite well... with several entries and no rules violations!  The winner is Ryan Keough with the caption shown here.  Nice work Ryan.    

 Looks like this game is a keeper.  I'll think thru some extra details and try to set up a regular schedule for it too.  Toss me an email if you have any thoughts or comments and thanx for playin'.


Dead Stick Take-Off Is Both Peaceful And A Rush!

 I originally found out about this video a couple months ago from Max Flight at the Thirty Thousand Feet website.   It was a mighty awesome experience then, and still is today! 

 Looks like the perfect combo of 'peaceful' while also making the ole heart pound out loud too!  I especially like the transition from the kinda bumpy take-off roll (with landing gear noises being transmitted into the fuselage structure) to the wind-noise only flight.

 This vid is definitely worth the 3:58 investment of your time.