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Low, slow, and comfortable

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

With hardly a change in engine sound, the giant Zeppelin gently floated straight up, marking the start of the first U.S. commercial Zeppelin flight in 70 years and confusing me.

Turbine Edition: Acquisitions

Article | Oct 01, 2008

For the guy who has everything OK, Father’s Day rolled around again and you, once again, committed the buy-him-a-tie copout. Now nears a landmark birthday.

Turbine Edition: Turbines Around the World

Article | Oct 01, 2008

What’s your idea of the dream adventure of a lifetime? It probably involves flying a high-performance, luxury airplane to exotic lands on a leisurely schedule, staying at five-star hotels along the way. And what about having agents setting up your flight plans, securing overflight permits, providing your meals, and giving you tours of scenic and historic locations as well? Turns out that such an adventure can indeed be yours—for $55,000 per head.

Pilots: Dorothy Cochrane

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

“I never expected to be writing history...teaching it, maybe, but not recording and writing it.” Yet that’s exactly what this lucky lady does as curator of general aviation for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Dorothy Cochrane’s rise to curator began when she moved to Washington in the late 1970s with her husband, a contract engineer.

AOPA Project Pilot: Students and mentors

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

Mentor Elizabeth Gehman As a single, stay-at-home mom, Elizabeth Gehman felt like she needed something to help get her involved in the community, and keep her brain stimulated. She isn’t interested in pursuing Japanese, even though she studied the language at the American University in Washington, D.C.

AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes: Uber Upgrades

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

It’s time to go glass. After months of work from Oxford Aviation on the beautiful cosmetic appointments, and Penn Yan Aero on the new powerplant behind AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer, it’s finally time to begin work on the airplane’s instrument panel.

Flying on the Fourth

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Believe it or not, there are days that I don’t want to fly. I know, I know, it’s hard to fathom, but hear me out.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Smithsonian aviation photos to tour next year Unlike the movie, Carolyn Russo’s Night at the Museum was real, and there were many nights while she took photographs for her book and museum exhibit called, “In Plane View: Abstractions of Flight.” Both contain abstract images of museum aircraft. You can do it, too.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2008

British plane spotters take Arizona skies During a visit to Tucson, Arizona, an AOPA Pilot writer/photographer team found four British visitors waiting in the lobby of a flight school. Scenic flights? No, these were plane spotters, a hobby enjoyed by thousands of enthusiasts worldwide.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2008

The best of the best Members vote for the best AOPA Pilot covers from the past 50 years A magazine’s cover is in many ways its prime identity. It’s the first glimpse of what’s to come after the issue arrives in the mail.

Gallery of Legends

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

Photography by Mike Fizer Fifty-one “legends” in the history of the North American P-51 Mustang came to Columbus, Ohio, in September to be honored at The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends. Lines at the 100-foot-long autograph tent were often 130 feet long, especially when Bob Hoover began his session.

Cross-Country at Record-Setting Speed

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2007

My world record Put yourself in aviation history By Alton K. Marsh Bruce Bohannon, the guy who won 30 world records aboard his Exxon Flyin' Tiger, once told me he had seriously considered breaking my world speed record.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Here's how you fly the Vomit Comet: At 30,000 feet dive until the modified McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9) hits 350 knots, pull the nose up 60 degrees — that's 1.8 Gs — until you reach 240 knots, then unload. Repeat 40 times and call it a day.

A Waco for Miss Johnston

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Connie Johnston's father was very good at finding gold and zinc; that's why her childhood was spent on a luxurious estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. The family fortune eventually allowed "Miss Johnston," as Waco factory supervisors referred to her, to buy an extravagant airplane in the middle of the Great Depression and live the life of an adventuress in search of social status.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Summer Williams is what you might call a triple threat: She's a NASA engineer, she's logged 19 years as a dancer and cheerleader, and, as you can probably discern from her appearing on this page, she's also a private pilot. She took her first flight as a 10-year-old native of tiny Anthony, Kansas, on a commercial airliner.

'Spin Doctor' Bill Kershner dies at 77

Article | Sep 01, 2007

'Spin Doctor' Bill Kershner dies at 77 Pilot, flight instructor, and aviation author William K. Kershner, 77, died January 8 in Sewanee, Tennessee, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2007

Phil Boyer has served as AOPA's president since January 1, 1991. In her continuing quest to "sell" the agency's financing proposal, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey recently stated, "You know, GPS is the law of the land in virtually every other business and logistic situation that we have.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2007

GENERAL The Canadian-built robotic arm, Canadarm2, on the International Space Station weighs almost 2 tons. Why does it need to be so strong and heavy when the items that it moves are weightless in orbit? Why is it a good idea to have available a very small quantity of water when draining fuel during preflight inspections? From reader Bob Lippincott: After France fell to Germany in 1940, the Royal Canadian Air Force received North American NA-64 Yale trainers (T-6s with fixed landing gear) originally destined for the French Air Force.

The Liberty Challenge

Article | Jul 01, 2006

Liberty Aerospace officials once marketed their XL2 as a sporty cross-country airplane. They have now recast its message as an economical airplane based on the company's claims for operating costs (called "rebranding" in the marketing game).

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

Extreme airshow series The new Association of Competition Airshow Pilots (ACAP) began its 12-city eXtreme Airshow Challenge tour in April in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The idea behind the series is to couple a normal airshow with two segments devoted to extreme flying performances by seven pilots and have a panel of judges determine the winner.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Mothballed airliners take on new life The old saying that "one man's junk is another man's treasure" holds true in the Mojave Desert. Parts from old airliners have been turned into everything from fine art to furniture.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

Introducing the dawn of private-spaceflight regulation Normally when the FAA issues a proposed rule, it comes with a rather unexciting title. But this one is a bit more provocative: "Human space flight requirements for crew and space flight participants." Published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2005, the rule is laying the groundwork for Joe Pilot to become Joe Astronaut — or at least Joe Big Bucks to become Joe Passenger.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2006

At airshows up and down the East Coast, folks walk past Charlie Kulp unaware that he is a well-known, almost legendary airshow performer. There's nothing about him or his 1946 Piper J-3 Cub that screams for attention or notice.

Capturing Sunlight

Article | Dec 01, 2005

"Feel that? I'll bet that's the trop." "Yeah, that's probably it." Bill Rieke, chief of aircraft operations at NASA's Glenn Research Center, is hand-flying a Learjet 25 from the right seat and Kurt Blankenship, the center's senior pilot and safety officer, is flying left seat as we pass through 37,000 feet about 50 miles east of Detroit. We're flying a solar-cell-calibration mission to collect data on the cells' performance.