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EAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.

A Better New Year?

By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor - Bits and Pieces, Board Member - EAA Canada Council

January 2022 – It's 2022, and we're all wondering what the new year will bring. Will the Omicron variant shut us all down again, just as we were resuming flying and meeting our friends at the airport? Will our chapter meetings continue to be held on Zoom? Only time will tell but one thing's for sure: our Canadian winter is the ideal time to focus on those basement projects that can make our summer flying more enjoyable. Do you have project plans under way? What are you planning to do? How about writing about it?

Our readership must have hundreds of small or large tasks planned over the winter and your friends would like to know about yours. Why not start now? You could simply send an email to newsletter.EAACC@gmail.com with a couple of photos sent as attachments and we'll do the rest. Don't forget to include your EAA membership number if you have one, and any chapter affiliation you might have. Your fellow readers like to know that kind of stuff. The more formatting you do in your article, the more we have to undo, so please keep it simple. Our stats on how many people read which articles lean heavily in favour of brief descriptions of the neat trick or gizmo that you picked up. It's what we do when we look around someone else’s hangar, isn’t it? “Hey, what's this? It's really neat.”

If you have a rebuild about to go for that first flight, why not let us know?

United Airlines 737 Max 8 loaded with renewable fuel
United Airlines 737 Max 8 loaded with renewable fuel.

On a personal note, as a British-born employee of GE for over 30 years, I'm proud to remember that it was GE that collaborated with Frank Whittle on the first working jet engine development, the W1, and starting the GE Aviation division producing jet engines. This event, over 80 years ago, followed earlier contracts building turbo-superchargers for piston-driven aircraft, allowing aircraft to maintain power at altitude. My son-in-law flies for United Airlines, so on another personal note his airline made history by carrying out the first commercial flight using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on one of it's two CFM engines. CFM is a 50-50 partnership between GE and the French company, Safran Aircraft Engines. There were 115 people onboard the aircraft which probably explains why only one of the engines was using SAF. Technical confidence in the fuel is one thing, but public confidence if you're on the actual aircraft is quite another. The fuel itself is known as “drop in” because it's chemically identical to standard jet fuel, even though it never came from an oil well.

: Contributors to the event posed for a history making photograph
Contributors to the event posed for a history making photograph.

With the commercial aviation market looking at using sustainable aviation fuel, maybe we'll see a replacement for 100LL in our lifetime.

I'm pleased to receive the newsletter from Chapter 55 south of the border in Mason, Michigan. The now ex-president, after contributing four strong years, made some closing comments that I'd like to share.

  • It's vital to get young people involved and to do that, you need activities that they like and want to get involved in. Otherwise our chapters just wither over time.
  • You need a programs director on the chapter board who specifically sets up a calendar of events. It doesn't need to be the same person every time, but each event needs to have a clear go-to person that will make the event happen.
  • A good target is a dozen or so events, whether they be trips, barbecues, karaoke nights, or whatever.

Drew Seguin hasn't actually retired very far. He's the new treasurer. Thanks to his chapter for sending me their newsletter each month.

Thanks again to our contributors this month. Why not become one yourself?

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