Wind and Gusts

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Aircraft designers crafting more bird-like wings

Article | Oct 04, 2012

At the cutting edge, aeronautical engineers are exploring ways to move forward by turning back the clock, making airplane (and unmanned aerial vehicle) wings more bird-like.

Dimple aerodynamics: A hole in one?

Article | Sep 20, 2012

Can golf ball dimples improve the aerodynamics of airplane wings? An article in the Journal of Aircraft theorizes that the dimples could expand the wing's boundary layer.

New take on ‘X’ plane wins NASA grant

Article | Sep 05, 2012

Cleared for Mach 2 after departure, this supersonic jet of the future would yaw 90 degrees and put a new set of wings into the wind.

Fly Well: Memory loss

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

At 11:30 a.m. in Potomac Park, Washington, D.C., on May 14, 1918, President Wilson, amid large crowds, waited for the Curtis Jenny engine to start for the inaugural airmail flight.

Proficient Pilot: Look, Ma, no rudder!

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

On one fine day in the mid-1950s, a pilot was departing Santa Monica, California, in a Model 18 Twin Beech that had just been returned to service after extensive maintenance.

Wx Watch: Mega-storms, on the prowl

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

Convection that lurks night after night

Texas engineer and son take aim at human flight prizes

Article | Jun 14, 2012

Decades after Larry McNay, then 16, helped build and launch the Gossamer Albatross on its historic 1979 hop over the English Channel, he is preparing his son, 13, to power and pilot a new design. Cash prizes and Olympic dreams are on the line.

The Wright stuff: How to tame a horse

Article | Jun 14, 2012

The spruce-and-fabric structure pitched and bobbed in the coastal wind like a giant kite. Supported only at her ankles, hips, and elbows, AOPA Editor-Web Sarah Brown looked out over the dunes and mentally prepared to launch head-first off a hillside.

Wind turbines cause safety, access concerns for airports

Advocacy | May 10, 2012

The adverse effects of 52 wind turbines on the Kessel VOR-DME in West Virginia do not justify decommissioning the navaid and weakening the area's aviation infrastructure, AOPA said.

Fly like a fighter: Weird wind

Fly like a fighter | May 07, 2012

An aircraft cleared for takeoff took a little longer on the takeoff roll, but after becoming airborne, it climbed to 30 feet agl and leveled off slightly. Then it stayed at 30 feet agl, passing the departure end of the runway and continuing at that low altitude for at least another half mile.

Fly like a Fighter: Crosswind controls

Fly like a fighter | Apr 10, 2012

The Air Force Academy had guidance for the Diamond DA40 of maximum wind for takeoff (26 knots), maximum wind for landing (35 knots), and maximum wind for taxi operations (35 knots). Former Air Force instructor Larry Brown suggests all pilots should all have their own limits for the airplanes they fly.

Wx Watch: The whys of wind

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

The airport is quiet. No taxiing, no runups, no one in the pattern, no one on the radio. And the weather is good VFR. What's going on? Chances are, a look at the windsock will give the answer.

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

I remember sitting on a runway with a flight review student, years ago, waiting for a takeoff clearance. The crosswind was exceptionally gusty

Technique: Wind warrior

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

You just made the best landing of your flying life. So how come no one's applauding?

FAA issues notice of policy on new airborne wind energy systems

Advocacy | Jan 26, 2012

The FAA is asking for public participation as it integrates an emerging technology known as airborne wind energy systems into the National Airspace System.

Stratos jet undergoes wind tunnel tests

Article | Aug 24, 2011

A one-fifth-scale model of Stratos Aircraft’s Stratos 714 very light jet has just completed five days of testing in the University of Washington's Kirsten Wind Tunnel, the company reports.

Answers for Pilots: Hurricanes

Article | Aug 01, 2011

It's August and we're right in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began in June. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicts a 65 percent chance of an above normal season. Of course, while the weather experts can forecast probable activity, they can't predict the location of landfall until the storm track has been established, and even then, storms have been known to deviate from their projected path. So, for those aircraft owners who live on or near the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Caribbean Sea, having a hurricane plan for your aircraft is essential.

Member Guide

Article | Aug 01, 2011

2011 sweepstakes—your last chance Be sure your AOPA membership is current as of July 31, 2011, in order to be eligible to win this year’s sweepstakes airplane, a completely refurbished Cessna 182—the Crossover Classic. Increase your chances to win by enrolling in AOPA’s safe, secure, and convenient automatic annual renewal (AAR) program and you’ll receive five additional sweepstakes entries.

Safety Pilot:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Do the current FAA Practical Test Standards (PTS) measure what’s needed in today’s flight environment? I have a standing wager that no one has yet taken: If all pilots merely flew to the current private pilot PTS just as they are written today, the number of accidents would plummet—no need for further “tinkering.” See if you agree.

Landing Insights: From the Trenches

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

According to my logbook, I've just completed my 4,600th landing. Looking back on them, only a few fall into the "difficult" column and that’s the way it should be.

Stratos building wind tunnel model

Article | Jan 07, 2011

Stratos Aircraft engineers in Bend, Ore., have done the math and believe they have the right design for the Stratos 714 single-engine personal jet, but they want to confirm those computations in the wind tunnel first. A wind tunnel model should be ready for testing by summer.

Spoiler alert

Article | Jan 01, 2011

Turbofan airplanes are so aerodynamically clean that pilots can have difficulty slowing down and going down, especially at the same time. These aircraft do not have the drag created by windmilling propellers, which is why they typically have twice the glide ratios of piston aircraft.

Proficient Pilot

Article | Dec 01, 2010

The other day I read an article by Ross Detwiler in the October 2010 edition of Business & Commercial Aviation. The article conveyed a concept so simple in principle yet so profound in potential benefit that I immediately decided (at the risk of appearing plagiaristic) to pass it along to readers of this column.