Flying » Exit

October 2, 2015
Illustration of jet with passengers.
Turns out the group were just six miles up when three of their members wrote their 1966 hit “Eight Miles High.” Here’s why the song title lifted them higher.
July 27, 2015
True airspeed indicator
My friend Hugh has a highly developed scientific mind, and when he sees something about aviation that piques his interest, he often calls me for details. One question—“How fast is it?”—seems as if it ought to be pretty simple, but my answers often leave him frustrated. How can speed be so complicated?
July 19, 2015
Though it failed commercially, the Starship paved the way for more advanced composite aircraft.
These days, everyone in the aviation field talks about composite aircraft. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is made mostly of carbon fiber composites, and the percentage of composite content in new business jet designs is on the rise. Over time, carbon fiber may, indeed, replace metal as the material of choice for aircraft. But how did we get here?
May 12, 2015
Pilot and copilot in a business jet cabin.
There’s new talk of eliminating copilots. Bad idea, says our columnist.
March 22, 2015
When Coppola asked for a paint-free airplane, it wasn’t as simple for Daher-Socata as just skipping the paint shop. (Photo: Chad Keig)
Today, few airplanes fly “naked.” Francis Ford Coppola’s TBM 850 is one that does.
January 25, 2015
Recent developments in weather radar have significantly improved safety, and also improved efficiency in flight planning and avoiding turbulence. (Photo: Mark Phelps)
Knowing with confidence and precision where bad weather is makes for more than just safer flying.
October 8, 2014
“This is business aviation at its best—so many people giving their time and talents to such a worthy cause.” —Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the NBAA. (Photos: Mark Phelps)
The Special Olympics Games have profoundly impacted millions of people. Aircraft owners and operators help make the events possible.
September 1, 2014
Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft CEO
Rather than downplay the HondaJet’s unconventional look, with its over-the-wing engine mount (OTWEM), the manufacturer has chosen to embrace it. The new ad campaign features a series of clever images that suggest the frontal shape of the developmental jet, with appropriately positive connotations. Knowing the history of the HondaJet’s development, I love it.
July 2, 2014
In the 1960s, McDonnell Douglas designed an unusual small jet, the four-engine Model 119. Though it received a provisional type certification, it never went into production.
Some people tried to convince Charles Lindbergh that he shouldn’t attempt his 1927 New York-to-Paris flight in an airplane with only one engine. His response was that two engines would double his odds of having an engine failure. In the graveyard humor of pilots, the saying goes, “The second engine will take you directly to the scene of the accident.” So Lucky Lindy chose a single Wright J5 Whirlwind to power the Spirit of St. Louis, and the rest is history.
April 13, 2014
Many repeat customers learn to love the view out the big window up front. And it's not just pilot wannabees. (Illustration: John T. Lewis)
Hopscotch Air, a small charter operator that uses five-seat single-engine Cirrus light airplanes, just celebrated its fifth anniversary, a notable accomplishment in this economy. The company—which focuses on short flights, primarily within a 300-mile radius of New York City—serves destinations throughout New England and as far south and west as Washington, D.C., and most of Ohio.




“Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them. ”

-Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh