NASA

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Back to a supersonic future

Article | Apr 26, 2012

When they lower the boom, we may get the word from a general aviation pilot who directs research that is blazing new trails and solving old riddles in aerodynamics.

Many pilots play roles in next chapter of spaceflight

Article | Apr 26, 2012

A successful test of parachutes that will safely ease the Orion manned spacecraft to landing was overshadowed by the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery on April 17. In Houston, the Arizona desert, and elsewhere, Orion's test and development crew, many of them pilots, were focused on the future.

Shuttle spotting: ‘Discovery’ lands at final home

Article | Apr 18, 2012

The space shuttle 'Discovery' appeared over the treeline atop its carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, to an eruption of applause from thousands of visitors who lined the parking lot of the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center April 17 to witness its last flight.

NASA, SpaceX express cautious optimism for April 30 launch

Article | Apr 16, 2012

Two weeks ahead of the first planned attempt to rendezvous a commercial spacecraft with the International Space Station, all systems are go, and officials from NASA and private contractor SpaceX are keeping their fingers crossed.

Curiosity, midway to Mars, adjusts course

Article | Apr 04, 2012

The Mars rover Curiosity is back on course after NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory executed a fancy bit of space aviation in late March.

NASA rockets will spread a ghostly glow

Article | Mar 08, 2012

The interaction of wind and charged electrical particles 60 to 65 miles from the surface has been associated with satellite failures and radio communication interference. NASA wants to better understand why.

Astronaut with GA roots prepares new generation of explorers

Article | Feb 27, 2012

The main engines lit six seconds before liftoff, filling the space shuttle Discovery with a low rumble. Liftoff was instant. NASA astronaut Nicole Stott's second trip to space was a highlight of a space flight career launched, in many ways, by a Skybolt.

NASA games designed to spark aviation interest

Article | Feb 01, 2012

NASA has launched two free games aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers and aviators--an air traffic control game adapted for Apple iPhone and iPad devices, and a multi-player space and technology trivia game hosted on Facebook.

Air Mobile Joe

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Ariana, born in Haiti, came to the door of the Cessna Skymaster nicknamed Ti Burik and paused; that first step is a big one for any 6-year-old. Joe Hurston, her adoptive father, lifted her from the airplane to the tarmac where she shyly stood. After meeting her 14-year-old brother, Peter, I stooped down and said, "I saw you on TV!" She looked at the ground.

Swamp Pirates

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

The Sikorsky X2 team is honored for speeding

Musician’s flying anthem soars

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Singer-songwriter Ansel Brown couldn't help but put his feelings into music about the family of aviators he acquired when he married Lisa Wixom Brown.

NASA flights test air quality above I-95 in Maryland

Article | Jul 01, 2011

NASA is informing pilots that it has begun a series of low-altitude research flights along the I-95 corridor in the Baltimore/Washington Cecil County area of Maryland.

Out of space

Article | Oct 01, 2010

“Houston, Atlantis is in the roll.” Space shuttle Commander Ken Ham announces that the orbiter, Atlantis, has just started its trademark maneuver, made during every space shuttle launch shortly after leaving the launch pad. And just a second later he utters the word that spells trouble for him and his crew for the next several minutes: “Helium.” “Roger, roll,” comes the call from mission control.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2010

In the summer of 1969, NASA made the crew of Apollo 11 one of the best space-flight deals of the last century. According to Craig Nelson, in his wonderful book, Rocket Men, NASA Administrator Thomas Paine told the Apollo 11 crew that if they got into trouble on their lunar landing mission, they shouldn’t hesitate to abort.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

John S. Yodice is an active pilot who flies a Cessna 310 based in Maryland.

Test Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

GENERAL A pilot flying over a desolate, remote part of the country notices a downed airplane that apparently is the result of an accident. How would he know if that aircraft had already been reported and identified? From reader Dan Stroud: What unusual side effect did the astronauts of NASA’s Apollo missions experience when drinking water produced by the fuel cells? Ten gallons of avgas plus four quarts of oil cost $60.20.

Wx Watch: Ice bridging redux

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

What timing! Shortly after the December 2008 “Wx Watch” (“Icing Facts and Myths”) came out, the NTSB issued a Safety Alert. The topic: ice bridging, which is a controversial phenomenon that may or may not exist, depending on who’s talking.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

Jet power for your body JetPack International is close to developing a hydrogen peroxide-power jetpack that will fly you around for nine minutes. It will cost $200,000, training included.

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.

Letters

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2008

Mooney Acclaim Type S: A Piston Rocket As a former executive at Columbia Aircraft, I read Ian Twombly’s story on the Mooney Acclaim Type S with interest (“Mooney Acclaim Type S: A Piston Rocket,” September AOPA Pilot). Obviously, keeping that number-one speed ranking for the Columbia 400 was important to us but the simple reality was that aircraft we were building during 2006 and beyond were not meeting book specifications, so we had already (privately) lost that race before the Type S came to market.

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

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.

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.