February 25, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Aurora Flight Sciences at Manassas, Va., will equip this Diamond DA42 to operate with or without a pilot. Flight trials are set for this summer.
Its first mission will require a pilot and will involve radar mapping of the Greenland ice pack. Whenever the aircraft is to be used in a civilian airspace system, it will have a pilot. If military missions are involved, the pilot might want to stay on the ground. At the moment, the company has no military customer. Modifications will be paid for by Aurora. However, the company did hint in a press release that it has “roughly the same payload and range performance as the MQ-1 Predator UAV.”
The Aurora aircraft was originally used by Diamond as a prototype for the DA42 multipurpose platform program.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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