Bolo's a certified (or is that certifiable) airplane pilot!
Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been,
and there you long to return. -- Leonardo DaVinci
I think most pilots feel the same way. You should have seen the Grin on my face after I soloed... I think it took hours to ebb. If you were wondering about the title of this page, it's a reference to the memorable poem High Flight by John G. Magee.
I recently found another quote that has my seal of approval, and I think a certain amount of how I think about flying:
I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things ...
-- Antoine de St.-Exupery
Oops ... My flying web page became so long I wanted to be able to access the individual sections faster. Unfortunately this just takes up more space! Once I reorg some of the info into seperate web pages I hope this will be cut back down to a reasonable size.
One of the reasons that I don't fly these days is that I find it quite difficult to get ahold of an airplane to fly! My schedule is chaotic, and if I manage to schedule an airplane in advance (typically two weeks), either the weather is bad or something on the airplane is broken that prevents flying it. This was never a problem when I owned an airplane. Certainly, it could be broken, but we maintained it quite well and chances of that were low. And, the availability was quite high. As a result I flew a lot. And I miss that. I was looking at airplanes recently, and discovered that the price of an Piper Arrow, an airplane I really like to fly, had increased from about $50,000 to $75,000!!! That makes in almost unaffordable to me.
In September, 2000 I attended an EAA Builder's Conference to learn about welding, sheet metal, and fiberglass construction techniques. I like learning about things, and this seemed a good overview on those things. However, an unanticipated side-effect of going to the conference was seeing a bunch of home-built aircraft! And it got me to thinking ... a bit, so I am lightly considering building an airplane.
Here is information about engines and home-built aircraft that are relevant to building an airplane:
I'm somewhat of a fan of the Wankel rotary engine. It seems the best compromise between a piston engine and a turbine; you get rid of all the reciprocating motion.
Flying is not all technology, though many think so. Heck, I'm a gearhead and I think there is more to flying than physics and technology. There is more there -- philosophy and beauty and grace. I've pulled out these references to make them easier to find.
I'd like to say that I'm a great pilot or the greatest pilot. I don't think I am, and am often dissapointed in myself, for I find that I could be doing something better. ... But I try to do better every time I fly. Maybe I'll have the perfect flight one day ... and perhaps another Not every day though, for that would mean that I have stopped learning.
There are a wide variety of owners and pilots associations out there. I strongly recommend these groups for obtaining type-specific information about aircraft. They have the knowledge of maintenance techniques, service problems, and typical flying techniques to help you keep and/or fly a particular airplane to its best.
These groups are oriented towards a particular type of model of aircraft. I seperated them out from the above list to make things easier to locate in each -- too many organziations and TLAs intertwined.
This started out as individual aircraft but I've expanded it to include info about aircraft types. Also checkout the Warbird section for information on that particular type of aircraft.
Websites of aviators or aviation-related people that I've stumbled across. Some of these are here just because I stumbled across them, others because I know of the person's work in aviation.
It looks like the FAA has been switcho-chango-ing their website since I filled in this section. Some of these links need updating; I've left them here so I can remember the kinds of things I want to look for.
What is a Warbird? The traditionalists would label it as a ex-military aircraft, usually dating from the Vietnam War, Korea, WWII, or before. Others would only label Warbirds as big recip. engine WWII/Korea aircraft.
To me, to an extent, a Warbird is a larger airplane from the era before Jet Aircraft took over the skies. Everything from the lowly North American T-6 Trainer to the Queen of the Skies, the mighty Lockheed Super Constellation. Toss in a few Jet aircraft, such as the vaunted F-86 Sabre Jet and you have fine start. There are also newer aircraft with horizontally opposed engines or turbo-props that fit in too, such as the Siai-Marchetti SF-260 or the OV-10a Bronco.
I would hope to own a warbird some day so that I can fly and keep a piece of history going, and be responsible for it. It takes a lot of funds, and until then ... I can only dream, and perhaps gather some flight time in other people's warbirds.
Larry Bartlett's Videos include on on owning a Cessna 195. Hmmm, it would often be convenient to attach notes to individual list entries. But, how to do that w/out breaking up the ease of using the list?
Yeah, I know aircraft ownership is just a dream. So every once in a while I still dream about it :)
So far this list is of companies that repair more exotic jewelry ... such as radial engines and parts for older aircraft. Or they restore airplanes.
It started with avionics, and now some gyro instruments are slipping into this section as well.
You may wonder why I've included some model-helicopter oriented AHRS systems here. The deal is that these guys are doing full autopilots with the same kind of hardware used for an EFIS. They also talk a lot about converting the sensor output to meaningful data, and doing it with truly minimal CPU horsepower. Very neat, and something to remember ... the entire world isn't made of bloatware.
This is more for handheld and GPS receivers than dedicated avionics, which would be found above. These might go well with the EFIS systems, though :)
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator for my original IBM-PC. That was long before I had an airplane. I thought that it flew horribly, but none the less it was interesting to try and fly it. I was even able to land it on and off, but didn't have any great success. When using it I flew more by the instruments than looking out the window, since it wasn't very good.
Over the years I would get new versions of Flight Sim as they were released. Better graphics, a larger scenic database, choices of aircraft (747 anyone?) made it more interesting, but it was still so-so. At least the 747 was easier to fly than the Cessna 172.
I picked up SubLogic's JET when it came out, and still have fond memories of it. Launch into the sky and try to do air-to-air combat with manuevers I read about in books about aerial combat. And, of course, high speed flight through the hangars :). It was fun and interesting to fly, and I spent a lot more time with it than with flight sim.
Later, when it came out, I purchased SubLogic's ATP and later the full-USA Scenic and Navaid database. This flew very well, in my opionion, much better than Flight Sim. Later, when I was working on my instrument rating, I would use this to work on practicing my instrument scan. Certainly the systems were more complicated than those on my Cherokee-140, but it flew like an airplane, and the weather features and capability to do navigation with the navaids was great practice for flying an airplane!
I also tried some other, combat-related, flight sims such as F-19, and F-15. They were OK to bomb targets and do air-to-air duels with and get to play with neat toys and weapons load-outs, but they were mostly just a game ... about flying!
Recently I've been thinking about purchasing a good IFR simulator to keep my IFR skills sharp even when I'm not flying a lot. They say that the first thing that you loose when you don't fly IFR regularily is the scan, and I've observed that first hand. I'd also like something that I can fly real approaches in, and that will do simulated instrument failures so I can practice them. Instrument failures during flights with a CFI are rather apparent, but real instrument failures are supposed to be insidious and confusing and rather more difficult to detect.
Of course, the danger with using a simulator is that I might spend some time I would really go flying in to use the simulator. My hope is that I will use the simulator in addition to flying a lot, so that I will spend even more of my time on aviation related things!
Most of the things mentioned here are Palm Pilot specific. However, PocketPC applications have started working their way in. I'm not a fan of anything to do with Microsoft, but many people are developing good aviation software and systems for the platform.
You can also refer to the Palm Section of hardware info about palm size devices.
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