Flying is fun no matter what the season, but there’s something especially satisfying about getting a bird’s-eye view of autumn colors in their fleeting glory. Some years are better than others for spotting fall leaves–our dry summer in the Northeast did not produce the kind of spectacular colors you see here. Nonetheless, fall is a great time for flying.—Jill W. Tallman
Archive for the ‘Photo of the Day’ Category
With all of the turmoil surrounding Hawker Beechcraft these days, it’s time to pause, take a breath, and look at one of Beech’s most beautiful offerings: the Staggerwing. “For most pilots, the Beech Staggerwing reigns as the classic to beat all classics,” says AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne in his October 1999 pilot report. And he’s right. Instantly recognizable–almost as much as the Piper Cub–the airplane was formally known as the “negative stagger Beech,” but you and I (and everybody else) just call it the Staggerwing.—Jill W. Tallman
Italy-based manufacturer Tecnam arrived on U.S. shores with Light Sport aircraft offerings the P92 Echo Super (high wing) and the P2002 Sierra (low wing). Its next offering was a bit of a departure: a light twin that flies behind two four-cylinder four-stroke liquid-cooled 98-horsepower Rotax 912S3 engines. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne dubbed it “an economy light, light twin” in his April 2010 pilot report. Horne noticed a similarity between the P2006T and the Partenavia line of high-wing twins, and said that’s because Partenavia designers also conceived the P2006T as well as the Vulcanair.—Jill W. Tallman
The gorgeous Piper Super Cub shown here is in trail on a photo shoot over over the modest hills near the Virginia-Maryland border. Its pilot, Nate Foster, was just 17 at the time of this photo shoot–starting his senior year in high school. And that’s not the most interesting part. Nate had returned just a few weeks prior from a cross-country that took him from Maryland to California in that very same airplane. You can read about Nate’s trip in the January 2011 Flight Training (and see another photo of Nate with the gigantic taped-together sectional chart he used to plan his trip).—Jill W. Tallman
This hybrid Experimental combines aspects of the DGA-15 and the famous DGA-6 racer. Its builder, Bruce Dickenson, dubbed it the Dickenson-Howard DGA-21. The 21 comes from 15 plus 6. It lives at Santa Paula Airport in Southern California, where Dickenson put together his project without blueprints. The airplane has wooden wings and are built from a spruce bar, birch ribs, and mahogany covering. Read much more in the March 2011 AOPA Pilot ( http://www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/2011/march/feature_howard.html ), where you can also view a video of the airplane’s test flight.—Jill W. Tallman
Put the Mustang II next to an RV7 and you might think the two are from the same company. But there are subtle differences. (Hint: Check the shape of the wing and the canopy.) The Mustang II will soon be able to demonstrate its flying capability against an RV7, as AOPA Pilot editors recently put the two aircraft in a head-to-head competition. Stay tuned!—Jill W. Tallman
Many of the volunteers who signed on to become military pilots in World War II took primary training in a Stearman Kaydet. The rest were trained in the Fairchild Cornell and the airplane you see above–the Ryan STA-3KR Recruit, aka the PT-22. Pilots who know the PT-22 say it made a better trainer than the Stearman or the Fairchild, because it was more demanding and less forgiving. Barry Schiff flew the PT-22 for the June 2008 AOPA Pilot magazine. Here, Mike Fizer photographed Jay Becker’s 1942 PT-22–an Oshkosh Grand Champion–flying off the coast of Santa Monica.
Some airplanes turn heads on the ramp. This one undoubtedly makes all the boaters’ heads swivel–even those who are accustomed to seeing Piper Cubs on floats. The Beriev Be-103 is a light ampibian aircraft that hails from Russia. Some Facebook commenters expressed confusion about the placement of the wings, which are close to the water. Barry Schiff, who flew the airplane for AOPA Pilot magazine, says it performs and handles extraordinarily well on water. Those wings displace water to help keep the airplane float and take maximum advantage of ground effect during takeoff and landing–no flaps needed. Read more in Barry’s pilot report in the October 2004 AOPA Pilot.