Archive for May, 2011
UPDATE: Commander Premiere Aircraft has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and is looking for a new buyer.
Update 6/10: Schedule slips — Terrafugia said it will not have one of its prototypes done in time to fly for EAA AirVenture. Instead, the earliest a test flight could occur is March 2012, and deliveries will occur no earlier than late 2012.
Pilot Judy Wexler, looking poised and competent (while the engineering students jumped around out of nervous excitement, I’m guessing), was able to get the craft off the ground and hover for several seconds–long enough that the team has filed for a world aeronautical record. View the video here.
The shuttle program was still a novelty back in 1984, when I was credentialed as a newspaper photographer for STS-41D: the maiden flight for Discovery, and only the shuttle program’s 12th mission. While I was on the Cape for both scrubbed attempts in June 1984, I missed the launch itself in August (one of the shuttle’s three engines had to be replaced, resulting in a two-month delay).
About 13 years later, however, I did get to see a shuttle launch, when I was able to sneak away from an NBAA convention in Orlando for a couple of hours. It’s something you feel more than see, as the shock waves roll in–a long time after you watched the shuttle lift off. This is something to experience, and you have one chance remaining.
Today’s shuttle statistic: The solid rocket boosters burn 11,500 pounds of fuel every second. OK, another “Wow.”