This Weekend's Crazy Video

I realize this is the second somewhat crazy aviation video I posted lately. I promise I'm not some adrenaline junkie or anything, but some of these are just too much fun not to post. I definitely don't recommend trying this at home, but it sure looks cool.

There are a couple practical notes to glean from this though:

Ridge Soaring!

Ridge Running from Bo Lorentzen on Vimeo.

When I first heard about flying gliders I thought it sounded boring: no engine, slow-flying airplanes taking very short flights. Luckily, I got the opportunity to try it anyway. I found it to be anything but boring. Even the clunkiest gliders (like my beloved SGS 2-33) don't feel slow when you're in them. The challenge of planning to make it back to the runway and get your landing right the first (and only) time is a thrill. The best part though is finding some type of lifting action that can keep your plane in the air for more than a couple tenths. This video got my heart racing! It shows a truly exciting type of lift-riding called ridge soaring.

How to shear the nose gear off a Piper...

I thought for sure the pilot would have gone around by about the twelfth bounce... but no. If I didn't know better I'd think they were trying to break the nose gear off! Oh and did anyone else find themselves repeating the words flare over and over?

Great Flyby Videos

If you can make it past the "Top Gun" clip at the beginning of the video, the remaining 10 flyby's are AMAZING. The gentlemen at 2:17 has balls of steel!

One Big Airplane

I just can't get over how big the B-36 is... 230ft wingspan with 6 turning and 4 burning engines! SAC is also a great movie if you haven't watched it, basically an excuse to showcase some serious Airpower.

Looks Like Fun...Someday

An article at discusses a pretty interesting sounding aircraft: the SmartFish. the blended wing design immediately suggests a quest for greater efficiency. The capabilities they're boasting their plane is capable of are pretty amazing. The SmartFish website says the technology could be applied from anything to small UAVs to business jets to midsize business jets.

So, is this one of those eternally under development concepts or a potential leap in aircraft design?

Russia debuts its first 5th Generation Fighter

Russia unveiled its newest fighter, and their first 5th Generation fighter, the Sukhoi T-50. The T-50 marks a new page for Russia in aircraft development sporting both stealth and touted super cruise capability.

Russia is developing the aircraft not only for internal bolstering of their air force but as a potential export. India has expressed interest in the new fighter as it is the only 5th Generation fighter aircraft available on the market today. The US's F-22 Rapter is a 5th Generation fighter, but it is not currently offered for export and the EU's Eurofighter Typhoon is considered a 4.5 Generation fighter with similar, not all the capabilities, to be classified as a true 5th Generation aircraft.

Island hopping anyone?

Have you ever dreamed of island hopping though the tropics? It is a personal goal of mine. One of the most interesting approaches in the islands of the America's is the approach to the airport on Saint Barthelemy island

The beauty of the island is guarded by many challenges on the short 1600' usable strip. Two of the largest challenges are the bay on one side of the and a hill with a steeper grade than a standard approach on the other. For those of us preparing to fly there one day (I didn't say one day real soon) AvWeb has prepared a short clip showing some general tips to make your trip safe and relaxing.

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