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Next Step to Space
Allen, Rutan Announce Stratolaunch Systems for commercial space launches

Burt Rutan, homebuilt aviation and private space flight icon, reunited with entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in Seattle Tuesday, December 13, to announce what they called "a revolutionary approach to space transportation: an air-launch system to provide orbital access to space with greater safety, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility." Stratolaunch Systems, like their SpaceShipOne (SS1) collaboration seven years ago, uses a mothership to lift a vehicle to altitude, release it, then return to Earth as the launch vehicle rockets into space. While SS1 was proof of concept, Stratolaunch Systems is commercial application. 

Read more and watch video

EAA Multimedia

Sirocket Twin-Jet Ultralight
It's called the Sirocket and it looks and flies like the name implies. Called a single-seat deregulated (SSDR) aircraft in the UK, the modified Sirocco microlight features two twin Jetcat P200SX large scale model turbines, each producing 52 pounds of thrust. Builder Dave Stephens has almost eliminated the wing dihedral and shortened them by 8 feet. Its first flight reached nearly 60 knots, but aileron flex prevented an attempt at the max speed of 80. Watch the video 

Other multimedia posted this week:

 Hints for HomebuildersInstalling a Ground Adjustable Propeller
 Video: Jeff Skiles Thanks Young Eagles Volunteers
Webinar: Airspace and Communication Essentials
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News & Views from EAA December 16, 2011    Volume 11, Number 58
A LOOK BACK AND THE VIEW AHEAD
Rod Hightower
EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower sat down this week for a 10-minute chat regarding where EAA stands at the close of 2011, what challenges are ahead for GA in 2012, and other things ranging from the coming Eagle Flights program to what to look for at Oshkosh next summer. Watch the video here
AMERICAN PATRIOT MUSTANG BRINGS WOUNDED VETERAN HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
VetFor the first time in more than two years, Private First Class Shawn Williams, of Wichita, Kansas, is home for the holidays as Cessna Aircraft Company's Citation Mustang American Patriot flew its third Veterans Airlift Command mission this week. Williams, who was injured in Afghanistan in June of 2011, was greeted by his family, the local American Legion Riders, and several hundred Cessna employees. Read more
Left Seat

SMALL AIRCRAFT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM - WHAT HAPPENED?
Mac's Blog
In the mid-1990s NASA created a program to revive general aviation and transform piston airplanes into reliable transportation machines that could be safely operated by pilots without thousands of hours of experience. The hope was to create a small aircraft transportation system (SATS) that would allow people to travel with convenience and predictability between the thousands of airports in the country that are not served by scheduled airlines.

The general aviation industry applauded. Richard Collins and I scratched our heads. We used our airplanes for transportation and essentially matched the schedule reliability of the major airlines, which was a bit of a challenge then, but not that difficult now. What would SATS do that we didn't?

Continue reading | Subscribe to Mac's Blog | Recent posts

IMPORTANT SPORT PILOT EXAMINER CLARIFICATION PUBLISHED
Dual instructionEAA leads efforts for rule correction
EAA's push for a rule correction for sport pilot Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs) has brought a successful outcome, as the FAA this week is publishing updated rules that will allow more DPEs to be available for sport pilot certification. Read more
LETTER TO PROTECT PUBLIC-USE RECREATIONAL AND BACKCOUNTRY AIRSTRIPS
House General Aviation Caucus co-chairs Sam Graves (R-MO) and John Barrow (D-GA) have written to Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands subcommittee, warning that the closure of public-use recreational and backcountry airstrips could be unintended consequences of H.R. 1505, the National Lands and Federal Security Protection Act. Bishop is also a member of the GA Caucus. Read more
EAAERS FIT THE SCALED PROFILE
Company in a hiring mode

ScaledWith several enormous projects looming, including this week's announced Stratolaunch carrier aircraft and the Virgin Galactic/SpaceShipTwo project, it's accurate to say that Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, is hiring. Although the company is always looking for good talent, it's especially true now, says Elliot Seguin, project engineer and flight test engineer at Scaled. "If you're interested in working in the private space industry, there's no better place than Mojave right now," he said. Read more
BOOSTING GA SAFETY THROUGH TYPE CLUB COALITION
Type Club On December 8, EAA welcomed Tom Turner from the American Bonanza Society and John Lohmar from the National Stearman Fly-In to the Aviation Center. Those two men lead the Type Club Coalition, which EAA originally developed with type clubs to meet the goals of the FAA's Transforming GA Five-Year Safety Initiative. Read more
SIGN-UP FOR 'CHEROKEES TO OSHKOSH' OPENS NEW YEAR'S DAY
Cherokees
Attention Piper Cherokee owners: Registration for the 2012 Cherokees to Oshkosh group flight and mass arrival at AirVenture Oshkosh is set to begin on Sunday, January 1, 2012. Organizers are looking to build on last year's 24-ship mass arrival, which you can read about here.

All Piper Cherokee clubs and owners groups are invited to participate. Space is limited based on returning participants enthusiasm, so don't wait to register. For more information and to register, visit the Cherokees to Oshkosh website.

SEE ALUMINUM OVERCAST ON PAWN STARS
Pawn StarsThose of you who watch the History Channel's hit show Pawn Stars are in for a treat Monday, December 19, as EAA's B-17 will be featured on one of the show's segments. (No, we're not trying to sell or pawn the airplane!) During the October 11-12 tour stop for Aluminum Overcast at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), members of the show's cast were invited to the airport to see the airplane. They decided to incorporate that visit into the show, according to the show notes, which read, "The Old Man takes the day off to tour a World War II era B-17 bomber." Tune in Monday at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST for the episode premiere! 
GOOGLE EXECS WANT TO RESTORE, USE HANGAR ONE
Hangar OneThree top executives at Google have offered to cover the $33 million cost of preserving the iconic Hangar One on Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, but the executives also want to hangar their eight private jets there, according to a report from Mercury News. Built in 1932 for the U.S. Navy's USS Macon airship, the monstrous structure measures 1,138 feet by 308 feet and is nearly 200 feet tall. NASA, the hangar owner whose Ames Research Center is located on Moffett Field, is reportedly mulling over the offer from CEO Larry Page, co-founder Sergey Brin, and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Google headquarters is in Mountain View. Read more
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT FLIGHT'S MOST FAMOUS PHOTO
1903 FlyerThis Saturday, December 17, we'll celebrate the 108th anniversary of the 12-second flight that changed the world; Wilbur and Orville's seminal aviation accomplishment in the 1903 Wright Flyer. The flight was immortalized in the famous photograph taken by Coast Guardsman J.T. Daniels, using Orville's Gundlach Korona box camera. We've all seen this photo many times, but Vintage Aircraft Association Executive Director H.G. Frautschy, who also serves as the editor of Vintage Airplane magazine, says there's much more to the photograph than you might be aware of. Click here to learn what you may not have known before. 

EAA celebrates the first flight anniversary Friday evening at the sold out Wright Brothers Memorial Dinner, featuring Bob Cardin retelling the amazing story of the P-38E Lightning Glacier Girl.

DIGITAL CHART FEES IN YOUR FUTURE?
KOSH SectionalEAA is keeping a close eye on any FAA fees on digital aviation charts that could affect aviators. This week, the FAA's AeroNav Services department conducted its second FAA-Industry meeting to discuss the potential of charging the public fees to obtain digital chart products. This meeting provided the first glance at the FAA proposal and the process they intend to use to establish any potential fees. Read more
YOUNG EAGLES FLIGHT PLAN: A FIVE-STEP PROGRAM FOR FUTURE AVIATORS
EAA Young EaglesThe Young Eagles Flight Plan is a five-step journey that provides youth ages 8-17 with a pathway to a pilot certificate. A Young Eagles introductory flight is Step 1, with Step 2 being a free EAA Student Membership. Step 3 is Sporty's Complete Flight Training Course, a free two-part ground school that preps students for flight training, which is followed by the first flight lesson, Step 4 in the journey. If students decide flying is for them, Step 5 offers flight training scholarships to support their dreams. Read more
LIGHTSQUARED GPS CONTROVERSY CONTINUES
Interference tests show problems; company offers deal to FCC

In the face of continuing criticism from Congress and GPS users over a proposed plan for a nationwide broadband network, LightSquared has offered the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a deal to relinquish part of its proposed spectrum in exchange for unfettered access to the remaining section. Read more
Sportys
NORAD READY TO TRACK TRAFFIC FROM NORTH POLE
SantaA phone number misprint in a Sears Roebuck & Co. ad in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area led children to call the forerunner to NORAD hoping to speak to Santa. The air defense staff nimbly adapted, checking their radars and giving kids updates of Santa's progress that night and every Christmas since. This year the tradition continues as NORAD uses four different systems including radars, satellites, the online Santa cam network, and airborne fighter jets. Santa fans can follow his worldwide journey live via Google Earth. Read more
EARN YOUR REPAIRMAN (LSA) INSPECTION RATING THROUGH EAA SPORTAIR WORKSHOPS
EAA SportAir Workshops
EAA SportAir Workshops is holding its "Repairman (LSA) Inspection-Airplane" course in Frederick, Maryland, January 21-22, 2012. Hosted by EAA Chapter 524 at Frederick Municipal Airport, this FAA-approved, 16-hour course will prepare you for a 50-question test. Successful completion of the test (score 80 percent or better) will allow you to perform the annual condition inspection on any experimental light-sport aircraft you own. The class is limited to 16 students and takes place both Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. The EAA member price is $299. For more information, or to sign up, click here.
NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR TONY BINGELIS, SPIRIT OF FLIGHT AWARDS
Is there an extraordinary tech counselor in your chapter? Or a pilot whose accomplishments and dedication to aeronautics have "flown under the radar"? They could be candidates for two awards presented annually at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the Tony Bingelis Award and the Spirit of Flight Award. Read more
MILITARY DEMO TEAMS ANNOUNCE 2012 SCHEDULES
Military teamsIt's not even the holidays yet, but the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the Navy's Blue Angels, and the Army's Golden Knights are already thinking of spring. The three demonstration teams recently released their updated 2012 schedules and chances are they will be flying or performing somewhere near you. The Canadian Snowbirds have three new pilots, the RAF Red Arrows have resumed training after an accident last month, and the Malaysian air force has a new team that flies the EXTRA 300L. Read more
HANDS-ON AVIATION ACTIVITIES AT EAA'S KIDS DAYS
kidsdaysHands-on aviation activities will give children a holiday-break treat at EAA's Kids Days, held daily from Monday, December 26, through Saturday, December 31, at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. From 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. each day, the museum's younger visitors can enjoy a variety of aviation-related activities that will educate and spark their curiosity in flight. Read more
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FEDERAL PAVILION AT AIRVENTURE
Video
Want to learn more about the features and attractions of EAA AirVenture's Federal Pavilion? The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, whose Aviation Department head Greg Rolle is the new chairman of the AirVenture International Federal Partnership, has produced an informative video promoting the pavilion, which is located near the flightline just west of Homebuilders Headquarters. In its 22nd year, the Federal Pavilion hosts more than a dozen federal government agencies from the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas that either provide a service to GA or operate GA aircraft. Click here to watch the video.
CLASSIC J-3 CUB, EAA 2012 AIRCRAFT SWEEPSTAKES GRAND PRIZE
Giveaway part of Cub's 75th anniversary celebration at AirVenture
Sweepstakes Cub
The legendary Piper J-3 Cub takes center stage for the next nine months as the grand prize for the 2012 EAA "Win the Cub" Aircraft Sweepstakes. The EAA Sweepstakes supports EAA's aviation education programs. In a change from past years, entry forms will be available beginning this week through EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012, taking place July 23-29. All prizes will be awarded in random drawings at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh at 5 p.m. on September 10, 2012. Read more
EAA'S PLANNED GIVING WEBSITE HELPS YOU USE YOUR IRA LIKE NEVER BEFORE
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is still in effect and makes it easier than ever for individuals who are 70-1/2 or older to support their favorite charitable organization. Individuals can make a contribution from their IRA of up to $100,000 without being taxed for the withdrawal. Learn more, including how planning can help you reach your goals, secure the future for your family, and provide impact to EAA, on our planned giving website. Read more
THE PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER: TICKETS TO EAA HOPS & PROPS 2012
Taste some of the finest microbrew beers around amid a world-class collection of aircraft at EAA Hops & Props 2012, on March 3, 2012, at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This annual event brings together specialty beer sampling, live music, and delicious food from Oshkosh area restaurants for one unforgettable evening. Admission price includes museum entrance, a commemorative tasting glass, a professionally prepared tasting guide, and much more. You must be at least 21 years of age to attend. Ticket sales are limited so order tickets online or call 800-236-1025. Proceeds support EAA AirVenture Museum programs offered free to the Oshkosh community, such as Christmas in the Air and Wings on Strings.
A.E.R.O. The In-Stock Company
Nose to Nose
Nose to NoseInspired by a discussion in our forums, we asked for your take on texting while flying. While 34 percent said that you thought it would be okay, the remaining 66 percent think it's just a bad idea.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION came up in light of news that the U.S. Air Force was making dramatic cuts to its demonstration team budgets, meaning that we'll see far fewer USAF airplanes flying at air shows in 2012. 

Is this the right way for the USAF to save money?  Vote now!

WEBINARS: HOW TO BAIL OUT AND SURVIVE!
This webinar explores all aspects of a bailout including mental attitude, preflight preparation, getting out of your aircraft, deploying your parachute, and landing safely back on earth. You'll also learn other steps you can take to increase your chances of surviving a bailout and even how to choose the right parachute for you.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CST unless otherwise noted, and they require registration. To find out more about upcoming EAA Webinars and to register, visit the webinars page.

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for their generous sponsorship of our webinar programs. 

ENROLLMENT OPEN FOR 2012 EAA AIR ACADEMY SUMMER CAMP
Enrollment is now open for the 2012 EAA Air Academy summer camp sessions. The EAA Air Academy immerses youth ages 12-18 in aviation through classroom discussions, hands-on workshops, tours of the EAA facilities and museum, actual flight instruction in a Cessna 162 SkyCatcher, and a flight in a Bell 47 helicopter. The registration fee includes all instruction, materials, meals, and lodging in the beautiful EAA Air Academy Lodge, located at Pioneer Airport on the grounds of the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Learn more
EAA MERCHANDISE: YOUTH AVIATION GIFT SALE - SAVE UP TO 30 PERCENT, PLUS FREE SHIPPING
EAA MerchandiseDo you have a future pilot in your household? Spark their imagination and inspire them with one of EAA's unique aviation gifts made just for kids. ShopEAA.com features aviation apparel, airplane kits, books, toys, and educational materials for youth of all ages. Best of all, you'll save up to 30 percent on select items from this collection when you shop between now and December 21. Plus, you'll receive free shipping on your entire order, no minimum order required. Just type in the coupon code HOLIDAYSHIP when you check out. Shop online or call toll-free, 800-564-6322.
DEAL OF THE WEEK: SAVE $10 ON BRIGHTLINE PILOT BAG - PLUS FREE SHIPPING
Deal of the WeekSave $10 when you buy a Brightline Flight Bag from ShopEAA.com before December 21. Order one before December 19 and you'll also receive free shipping. The Brightline Flight Bag is tall enough to carry paper charts and secure enough to protect an iPad. It holds one or two headsets, can be zipped apart into two smaller halves, and keeps you organized in the air with 25 specially designed pockets and color-coded zippers. To receive free shipping, type in the coupon code HOLIDAYSHIP when you check out. Pick one up now online or call toll-free, 800-564-6322.

(Free shipping offer applies to standard domestic orders only and excludes propellers. International orders will receive 30 percent off their quoted shipping price. Orders must be placed by 12 p.m. CST on December 19 to receive free shipping and to have the items before December 25.)

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Enter your photos now for the March Photo Contest!

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Ongoing Discussions

AeroInnovations

If you have suggestions or submissions for EAA’s weekly AeroInnovations column, please send them to AeroInnovations editor Bob Waldron.

Demon Drone Flies Without Flaps

Demon Drone Flies Without Flaps

The Demon UAV, in winning a 2011 British aerospace innovation award, was described as “the world's first aircraft to gain 'mastery of the air' without using flaps.” A collaborative design/build/fly effort by BAE Systems, Cranfield University, and others, the Demon uses fluidic control to direct the propulsion thrust and to change the way air flows over its lifting surfaces. Parts of this technology demonstrator aircraft were created using additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing.

Solar-Powered HALEs: Alternative to Satellites

Solar-Powered HALEs: Alternative to Satellites

High-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) aircraft, especially those powered by the sun, may one day be low-cost workhorses performing some tasks currently done by extremely expensive satellites. A new solar-powered HALE from Germany’s Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics recently had its maiden flight. The aircraft has a wingspan of more than 75 feet and is designed to fly more than 9 miles high with flight times measured in months rather than hours or days. 

Ultra-Realistic Helicopter Flight Simulator

Ultra-Realistic Helicopter Flight Simulator

The Cicaré SVH-3 helicopter flight simulator is “the real thing” – about as realistic a learning environment as you can get for the first 10 hours of helicopter flight training. It consists of a standard two-seat helicopter platform, allowing the beginning pilot to get used to the controls that lift the helicopter and hover close to the ground. The primary advantages over takeoff and hover training in an operating helicopter are greatly improved safety and up to an 80 percent reduction in flight time costs.

Glider UAVs Hit Target From 30 Miles Away
Glider UAVs Hit Target From 30 Miles Away

The U.S. Navy CICADA (Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft) Mk.IIIs are autonomous low-cost glider UAVs that proved to be very good at reaching their planned landing zone in recent flight tests. The CICADAs were launched from 30 miles away at 57,000 feet and landed, on average, within 15 feet of the target. The reconnaissance and surveillance glider airframe is simply a printed circuit board also serving as the autopilot, and the only flight sensors are a gyroscope and GPS receiver.

SIERRA Aircraft to Help Save Firefighter Lives

SIERRA Aircraft to Help Save Firefighter Lives

Better information about a forest fire’s location, intensity, and direction it’s moving can save firefighters’ lives. The SIERRA (Surveillance for Intelligent Emergency Response Robotic Aircraft) UAV was test flown at a live forest fire and demonstrated its ability to navigate autonomously with its GPS, send video to firefighters as it flies over the fire, and merge data from its flight with Google Earth images, NOAA weather data, and fire-prediction software. When fully operational, the SIERRA system will not only save lives, but also will save money and help put out forest fires more quickly.

AeroInnovations aims to highlight developments that have potential to impact the future of aviation.  EAA does not necessarily endorse the ideas, products, services, or views contained therein.
HINTS FOR HOMEBUILDERS: INSTALLING A GROUND ADJUSTABLE PROPELLER
Hints for HomebuildersBrian Carpenter, of Rainbow Aviation, shows us how to properly install a ground-adjustable propeller. The guidelines are for Sensenich, but apply to multiple propeller manufacturers. Watch the video
TIMELESS VOICES: DALE KRAMER
Timeless Voices of AviationDale Kramer comes from a flying family - his father owned a Globe Swift for many years that he later sold in order to purchase a Cessna 150 in which his four children could to learn to fly. Dale began flying and quickly earned his private pilot certificate on his 17th birthday. He became fascinated with soaring and spent the next few years focused on pursuing glider time and enrolling at the University of Toronto to study aeronautical engineering. In 1977 he visited the EAA Oshkosh convention with his dad and fell in love with the ultralights he saw on display there. He purchased a Superfloater glider kit and with the help of Ed Sweeney, designer of the Gemini Hummingbird ultralight, added a couple of small engines to it. The hybrid craft flew, but Dale knew he could come up with something better. Taking inspiration from the Superfloater design, Dale built from scratch what was to become one of the most successful ultralight designs of the era - the Lazair. Between 1978 and 1985, Dale sold more than 2,000 Lazair ultralights. When the liability crisis hit general aviation, Dale quit manufacturing the Lazair and moved on to other design work, including a heavy lift airship. He maintained his interest in small aircraft, though, and at the beginning of 2011 began converting one of his Lazair ultralights to electric power. He brought the completed machine to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2011, where he drew large crowds with his daily flights, proving the practicality of electric flight. Watch the video
 
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Where Are You Flying This Weekend?
There are 18 fly-ins and events over the next two weekends in the EAA Events Calendar. Find one near you or add your event!

Q & A: I just bought a Pietenpol, and in the aircraft logbook an entry was made that Phase I testing has been completed. Do I need another inspection to enter Phase II?

Answer: No, the logbook entry is sufficient to attest that the aircraft is controllable and has no unsafe characteristics. The only time another inspection would be required to enter Phase II operations is if the operating limitations document specifically required that it be done. In all cases, always follow the operating limitations requirements as written for your aircraft regarding testing, normal operations, and inspections.

Have a question?
To ask a question regarding government issues, e-mail EAA Government Relations. For questions about registration, airmen, aircraft and medical certification, safety records, performance, or any other matter, e-mail EAA Member Services.


EAA Desktop Calendar
EAA Free Desktop Wallpaper

December 2011
Ed Darcy took this photo of Eric Atkins’ Helicycle, Eagle R&D’s kit helicopter, north of Waterbury, Connecticut. According to Ed, who shared the R-44 photo ship with Eric’s dad, Carl, “It was a very emotional flight for Carl as he flew alongside his son and a helo he helped build.”

Download this wallpaper image from the EAA website, where you can choose among several different resolutions to suit your screen - including three wide-screen sizes ... or select an image from the archive.

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On the Flightline - General Aviation News

EASA APPROVES GARMIN GTN TOUCH-SCREEN AVIONICS
Garmin received the European Aviation Safety Agency’s validation of the U.S. Supplemental Type Certificate for the GTN 650 and GTN 750 series touch-screen avionics. With the validation, the avionics are certified and approved for installation in hundreds of makes and models of European-registered GA aircraft. The GTN 650/750 series combine multi-function display features with touch-screen data entry and integrated radio tuning, as well as optional remote transponder control. The GTN 750 series can also optionally support remote audio processor control. Other new capabilities include graphical flight planning with victor airways and high-altitude jet routes and the ability to display European electronic terminal procedure charts with optional Garmin ChartView (750 series only). For more information, click here.

DYNON, POCKETFMS LAUNCH AERODATA FOR SKYVIEW
Dynon Avionics and PocketFMS introduced new worldwide AeroData for Skyview, including all airspace, airports, runways, frequencies, obstacles, and waypoints. Coverage encompasses Europe, North American (including Canada), Australia, and New Zealand. AeroData for SkyView is updated every 28 days with the most current information. It is available as a one-year subscription for $155, and only one subscription is required per panel - even those with two SkyView displays. For more information, click here.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR EMNL AWARDS
The Elsie MacGill Northern Lights (EMNL) Awards is currently accepting nominations for its fourth annual awards. Named after the first female aircraft designer, the award’s mission is to recognize excellence and inspire women to enter the aviation and aerospace industries in Canada. The EMNL awards honor outstanding women in aviation and aerospace who have demonstrated determination, perseverance, leadership, and courage throughout their careers. The award has expanded and will now honor women in four separate categories: Flight Operations/Maintenance, Business, Government, and Rising Star. Honorees will be presented with their awards at the gala ceremony and dinner in September 2012. For more information, click here.

NASA’S NEW CUSTOM INTERNET RADIO STATION
NASA’s mission of discovery and exploration will be showcased in a custom-produced Internet music radio station called Third Rock – America’s Space Station. The station, being developed and operated at no cost to the government through a Space Act agreement, launched December 12 with a New Rock/Indie/Alternative format. Third Rock can be reached from NASA’s homepage, and will soon be available through NASA iPhone and Droid mobile applications. For more information, click here. To listen, click here.

PILOT'S CHART VIEWER A NEW FREE SECTIONAL CHARTS APP
Pilot’s Chart Viewer, now available for the iPhone and iPad, is a free app intended for pilots who only fly locally and don’t need a high-end system. Currently, only sectional charts for the continental U.S. are available, but others will be added if there is demand. The app features a custom high-performance display engine that provides very fast scrolling and zooming along with the brightest and sharpest charts available. It doesn’t require a wireless connection when in flight, and downloaded charts are fully functional in airplane mode. For more information, click here.

LAW ENFORCEMENT LSA SHOWN TO PUBLIC
Sheriff One, the new Flight Design CTLE operated by the Tulare County California Sheriff’s Department, was recently shown to the public. The new model, which will be shown at the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in 2012, will do about 95 percent of what a helicopter can do, short of landing and taking off at a single point. CTLE cameras can remain focused on a single object, such as a car, parking lot, or house, while the plane circles. A spotlight with a mile-long range and a video screen lets the tactical flight officer in the right seat view what the camera sees. For more information, click here.

BUILD A PLANE, FLY TO LEARN TO FLY VIRTUAL AIRPLANES
Fly to Learn and Build A Plane have formed a cooperative alliance to use STEM education software to build virtual airplanes. The program will culminate in an Aviation Challenge, in which students compete using their digital planes against one another in regional and national competitions. Fly to Learn has developed a classroom curriculum that is paired with the world’s leading flight simulator software, X-Plane. Kids learn the basics of aviation, and apply what they’ve learned to build a virtual airplane and fly it via X-Plane simulation. Build A Plane and Fly to Learn are working together now to create the rubrics allowing schools across the United States to fly their virtual airplanes in competition. The efforts will initially focus on middle schools before expanding to elementary and high school versions of the program. For more information, visit the Fly to Learn and Build A Plane websites.

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