First Flight

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Pilot Briefing: New York to Tokyo in two hours

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

If Richard Lugg has his way, the next generation of supersonic civilian aircraft will shoot through the sky powered by engines that turn out a massive electrical charge, much of it converted into thrust with megawatts left over to silence the sonic boom.

Ownership: Opening the rental skies

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

You're vacationing in a sunny place--let's say the Florida Keys--and you can't help but dream about how nice it would be to fly along the coast. But you have no airplane on this trip, and your schedule doesn't really allow for the half-day it likely would take to get checked out at the local FBO.

Proficient Pilot: Another nail in the coffin

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

Thirty-two years ago I wrote a feature article titled, "Death of an Airport" (August 1981 "AOPA Pilot"). It described how the city council of Santa Monica, California, had been conducting a war of attrition against aviation users in an unveiled attempt to close one of the oldest airports in the country.

Connecticut officially recognizes Whitehead as first to fly

Article | Jun 27, 2013

Connecticut has enacted a law recognizing Gustave Whitehead, not the Wright brothers, as the first to fly.

Connecticut takes a side on first flight debate

Article | Jun 12, 2013

Connecticut lawmakers have voted to recognize Gustave Whitehead as the first pilot to achieve powered flight. The bill awaits the governor’s signature, and marks the latest round in a newly revived debate.

Foundation Focus: Giving back

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

I’ll admit it. As president of the AOPA Foundation, I spend a lot of time asking people like you to give--your money, your time, and your commitment.

Proficient Pilot: Reflections, 1963-2013

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

My first magazine article, “Why Not Really Learn to Navigate,” appeared in these pages exactly 50 years ago (June 1963).

Beaver Checkout

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

Turning final for a water landing on a placid lake, the de Havilland DHC–2 Beaver seems perfectly matched to its purpose.

Last of the Old vs. First of the New

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

The Cessna 172 learned a lot of new tricks when production resumed in 1996 (for the 1997 model year). But is it all that much better than the less expensive 1986 172P that marked the end of the old production run? The 1997 model year now costs roughly double the cost of a 1986 model. Is it worth it?

The Unlikeliest Astronaut

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

Alone in the sleek, composite shell of an experimental spacecraft he helped build, suspended beneath the broad wings of the 'White Knight' carrier airplane, test pilot Mike Melvill is glad to finally get busy.