New back-up instrument systems for general aviation

The loss of primary flight instruments in IMC is one of the most dangerous situations that a pilot can face. Traditionally, general aviation pilots have handled this situation by using the “partial panel” technique, which is difficult. AVweb has video overviews of two new digital systems that provide back-up flight instrumentation.

Mid-Continent Instruments SAM

L-3 Trilogy


Photo of the week

Photo of the week

Curiosity self-portrait, based on a composite of several images.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Photo of the week


A stunning composite image of the United States taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite.


Navigation software for interplanetary flight

Here’s a link to a fascinating article on the ground-based software application that JPL uses for interplanetary navigation.

Intriguing new propulsion concept for space launch

Engineers at Reaction Engines in the United Kingdom are working on a radical improvement in propulsion for space launch. The engine liquifies atmospheric oxygen and uses it to burn liquid hydrogen from onboard tanks.

It’s axiomatic that advances in propulsion technology are the principal source of improved vehicle performance. Any technology that can use atmospheric oxygen instead of on-board oxygen to launch a vehicle into space is going to greatly reduce the weight of the vehicle. But the tradeoffs will be cost, complexity and the added weight of an airbreathing, winged, reusable vehicle.

Neuron makes first flight

The Dassault Aviation Neuron, a technology demonstrator for a low-observables unmanned strike aircraft, had it’s first flight today at the flight test center in Istres, France. Here is the company press release in French.

Dassault Aviation photograph

Dassault Aviation photograph

USS Enterprise inactivated

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was inactivated today after 51 years of service. The Enterprise was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and had an illustrious combat and operational record.

CVN-65 was the eight US Navy ship to be named Enterprise. Her predecessor was CV-6, which was the outstanding US Navy aircraft carrier of World War II. The unbuilt CVN-80 will be the next ship to bear that name.