January 1, 2006
GENERAL A pilot often wore gloves when landing and/or taxiing one type of popular pioneer airplane but not because he needed protection from cold or fire. What type of airplane was it? Eugene Jacques Ballard served throughout World War I as a combat pilot in the French Flying Corps and received numerous decorations including the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor.
- A pilot often wore gloves when landing and/or taxiing one type of popular pioneer airplane but not because he needed protection from cold or fire. What type of airplane was it?
- Eugene Jacques Ballard served throughout World War I as a combat pilot in the French Flying Corps and received numerous decorations including the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor. What made him unique?
- From reader Hal Fishman: State within 4,000 feet the highest altitude ever reached by a propeller-driven airplane.
- What type of aircraft did Federal Express (now FedEx) use when it inaugurated service on April 17, 1973?
- With respect to GPS and other forms of long-range navigation, what is a "wayline"?
- From reader George Shanks: Col. Paul Tibbets' last bombing mission was when he flew the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, which dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. What was his first?
- Who wrote the following: A map in the hands of a pilot is a testimony of a man's faith in other men.... A map says to you, "Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not." It says, "I am the Earth in the palm of your hand. Without me, you are alone and lost."
- What was the first airplane in which a Lycoming engine was installed and flown?
TRUE OR FALSE
- The first successful man-carrying balloon flight was made on November 21, 1783, and was particularly hazardous because buoyancy was generated by fire and the balloon was made of paper.
- Tropical storms become hurricanes when their steady-state winds reach 74 mph or greater. This is the minimum wind speed required for a discernable eye to develop.
- Like Gulfstream IVs and Vs, space shuttle orbiters are not equipped with a standby magnetic ("whiskey") compass.
- The world altitude record in a hot air balloon is
- 65,000 feet.
- 72,000 feet.
- 79,000 feet.
- 86,000 feet.
- Fifty-seven stars are used in celestial navigation. The brightest of these as seen in the night sky is
- Alpha Centauri.
- From reader John Grasberger: The first person to receive an international airmail letter was
- Thomas Edison.
- Benjamin Franklin.
- Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.
- Wilbur Wright.
TEST PILOT ANSWERS
- The single-place Aeronca C-2 had no brakes but did have large buggy-style, main landing-gear wheels and a tail skid. The pilot sat so low that he could grab both wheels to slow the airplane — a real hand brake — or drag on one wheel to turn the airplane (as when slowing or turning a wheelchair).
- Born in Georgia, Ballard was denied entry into the U.S. Army Air Corps because of his race. In France, he became known as the "Black Swallow of Death" and was the world's first black combat pilot.
- AeroVironment's Helios, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), had a wingspan of 247 feet and 14 solar-powered DC motors. It reached 96,863 feet on August 13, 2001, and broke the altitude records for propeller and jet-powered airplanes.
- It was a Dassault Falcon 20 named Wendy after the daughter of FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith. FedEx eventually had 33 Falcons.
- A "wayline" is a line through a waypoint and perpendicular to the course leading to that waypoint. An aircraft is abeam the waypoint when crossing the wayline.
- During his first airplane ride (at the age of 12) and as part of an advertising promotion, Tibbets threw Baby Ruth candy bars with paper parachutes attached from a biplane over the Hialeah Race Track near Miami.
- This passage was in the 1942 book West With the Night, by Beryl Markham, a pioneer pilot and first to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west (from London to Nova Scotia in 1936).
- Lycoming's first aircraft engine, the 215-horsepower nine-cylinder R-680 radial, was installed in a Travel Air biplane and flew for the first time on April 3, 1929.
- False. The Montgolfier brothers' balloon was made of cloth. It was lined with paper and coated with alum as fireproofing. The several sections were held together by 2,000 buttons.
- False. Adm. Sir Francis Beaufort devised the Beaufort Wind Scale in 1806 according to how wind affects the sea. A hurricane was defined by a Beaufort (or Force) 12 wind, which is 64 knots (74 mph) or more, the speed at which the air becomes filled with foam, and the sea becomes completely white with driving spray.
- True. Flux-gate compasses are used by Gulfstream IV and V pilots as backups. Orbiter crews use a star tracker.
- (a) Per Lindstrand of the United Kingdom set this record on June 6, 1988, in a Thunder Colt Balloon over Laredo, Texas. Gas (helium) balloons have gone higher.
- (d) Sirius comes from the Greek word Seirios, which means searing. Known as the Dog Star, it is twice as bright as any other star in our night sky. The best known, Polaris, the North Star, is relatively dim.
- (b) The letter was written in England in 1783, carried across the English Channel by two balloonists making the first international flight, and delivered in Passy, France.
Visit the author's Web site ( www.barryschiff.com).