Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013

On November 27, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Small Airplane Revitalization Act (SARA). The bill authorizes the FAA to issue a final rule that advances the safety and continued development of small airplanes by adopting changes to 14 CFR part 23 (i. e. smaller Normal, Utility, Acrobatic category airplanes). Among the objectives of the future rule are to (1) establish a regulatory regime for small airplanes that will improve safety and reduce the regulatory cost burden for the FAA and the aviation industry, (2) establish broad, outcome-driven safety objectives that will spur innovation and technology adoption, (3) replace current, prescriptive requirements under part 23 with performance-based regulations, and (4) use consensus standards to clarify how the safety objectives of part 23 may be met using specific designs and technologies.

Micro-nuclear magnetic resonance gyro

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has developed and demonstrated a new micro-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Gyro (micro-NMRG) prototype for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), providing precision navigation for size- and power-constrained applications. Micro-NMRG technology uses the spin of atomic nuclei to detect and measure rotation, providing comparable performance to a navigation-grade fiber-optic gyro in a small, lightweight, low power package.

Textron to acquire Beechcraft

Textron Inc., the parent company to Cessna and Bell Helicopter, announced that it will acquire Beechcraft. Bringing together Cessna and Beechcraft, two traditional general aviation powerhouses based in Wichita, is an industry milestone.

B-52H MITO launch

B-52H MITO launch from Minot AFB in 2009

KC-97 refueling a B-47

B-58A Hustler

The B-58A Hustler was really a lousy aircraft: expensive to operate and maintain, unsafe and too short-legged to be useful in its intended role as a strategic bomber. Oh, but it was fast, and it was beautiful! This period video extolls the virtues of the Hustler.

B-52H flight

B-52 crew members from the 96th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB conduct an aerial training mission.

Video credit: Staff Sgt. David Clark, 3rd Combat Camera Squadron

Photo of the week

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On December 24, 2013, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, participates in the second of two spacewalks, spread over a four-day period, which were designed to allow the crew to change out a faulty water pump on the exterior of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, whose image shows up in Hopkins’ helmet visor.

Image Credit: NASA

Earthrise

Earthrise

45 years ago today, perhaps the most renowned photograph in history was taken by the Apollo 8 crew.

Image credit: NASA

Here is a fascinating video about how the iconic photograph was taken.

50th anniversary of the Deep Space Network

50th anniversary of the Deep Space Network

The rockets and spacecraft get the attention, but without the Deep Space Network, they would be deaf and lost.