Posts Tagged ‘EAA’

“Doc” is ready and waiting…and waiting

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

A dataplate for Doc, the friendly Wichita B-29 bomber, was affixed to the aircraft this week symbolizing the volunteer team’s declaration that restoration is complete. One of the women chosen to help rivet the dataplate to the aircraft was 92-year-old Connie Pazacioz whose job during the war was to rivet together aircraft like Doc–she’s one of the original Rosie the Riveters. What’s needed next is FAA airworthiness approval, and so far that has taken months. You could write it off as the FAA just being careful until you look at a special requirement just for Doc, not the nation’s other B-29 Fifi. The volunteers have been told they must use a certified flight engineer, while Fifi can use any trained and “approved” flight engineer. There is only one certified flight engineer in the country, and he will be busy with Fifi flights in June and July. Doc must fly 20 hours before beginning its mission to honor those who sacrificed, including women like Connie. Having a second set of eyes from the FAA helps assure Doc is safe, but a requirement just for Doc? Meanwhile there will be lots of activity at McConnell Air Force Base Friday as Doc runs its engines for dynamic balancing of the propellers–the final step to fly. Someday.

EAA confirms Jetman negotiations

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Slow flight for Grand Canyon cameras.

Slow flight for Grand Canyon cameras.

EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski has confirmed that talks have taken place to have Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who flies with a wing on his back and a prayer in his brain, perform during EAA AirVenture 2013. His only flight controls are, like Superman, his body and a throttle for his jet engines. By adjusting his legs and moving his arms, he can perform a loop when and where he likes. He has flown in formation with a Douglas DC-3.

Landing at the Grand Canyon

Landing at the Grand Canyon

There are still details to complete, including an agreement with Rossy’s main sponsor, Breitling. “I am optimistic,” said Knapinski. Known as Jetman, the airline pilot uses four JetCat P200 jet engines intended for model airplanes. In this country, JetCat distributors grit their teeth and hope no one will attempt to copy Rossy’s carefully engineered flights. The engines are intended to power model airplanes, not humans. In Germany, where JetCat is headquartered, the company is an enthusiastic sponsor.

Rossy has flown down the Grand Canyon after the FAA classified him as an airplane. As this is written, he is preparing to perform at air shows in New Zealand. He has enough kerosene mixed with five percent turbine oil to fly 10 minutes. He averages 107 knots but has gone faster. When it is all over, he pops his Parachutes de France Spectra 230–another fine sponsor–and steers to a target on the ground. If he needs to dump the wing, it has its own automatic parachute, but usually he lands with the 66-pound wing still attached. The wing’s takeoff wing weight, accounting for the mixture of fuel and oil, is 121 pounds.

Rossy aims for his Grand Canyon target

Rossy aims for his Grand Canyon target

An FAA official in Milwaukee said Rossy’s act must still be approved for an AirVenture appearance. Previous approval by the FAA for Rossy to fly the Grand Canyon has no bearing on the AirVenture decision, the official said. However, starting the flight at a high altitude and ending with a pinpoint parachute landing are generally reassuring factors to FAA officials.

Amanda Franklin honored in video

Monday, June 6th, 2011

EAA has published this tribute video to Amanda Franklin, who died of her injuries after a March 12 accident.

Jetman sought for AirVenture

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Schedules seem in conflict at the moment, but EAA is negotiating with the staff and sponsors of Yves Rossy, the former airline pilot who straps a wing with four model-airplane jet engines to his back, to make an appearance at EAA AirVenture. Negotiations date back at least as far as November when EAA officials first said they were trying to get Rossy to fly at AirVenture. The chief sponsor is Breitling, which may have other plans for Rossy during the time AirVenture takes place July 25 to 31.