Chip Yates does not like sitting still. Just a day after piloting his electric-powered Long EZ airplane to over 200 miles per hour – making him the fastest electric-airplane pilot in the world – he had to disassemble the airplane, pack it up and drive 2,000 miles east to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Here at Airventure, Yates continues to be busy answering questions about his record-setting run. And perhaps one of the more surprising answers is that Yates is a not a veteran test pilot. He just got his license in June and has about 58 hours of experience, including the record-setting run last week.
When the electric vehicle pioneer bought the used airplane it had a 118 horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine that is fairly standard for a Long EZ. Over the course of several months Yates and his team pulled the four-cylinder engine out of the Long EZ. They then pulled the 193 kW (258 hp), liquid cooled electric motor out of his record setting battery powered motorcycle and mounted it to the back of the Long EZ.
With the very well used (Yates calls it “abused”) lithium polymer battery back from the motorcycle in the back seat, the Long EZ was being prepared as a test bed for some of the technologies Yates needs to develop for his transatlantic flight. But after setting speed records for an electric motorcycle, first up for the Long EZ was a speed run.
This is Comic Store Heroes, a wild and wacky adventure into the subculture of comic book super fans, where dreams are everything… and with a bit of faith and spandex, they really can come true.
Amid the dark and dangerous shadows of New York, the real life Gotham City, shines a bright light that lures comic fans from every corner: America’s largest comic store, Midtown Comics. While dealing with eccentric super fans, daily battles for geekdom supremacy, men dressed as bananas, and one million customers a year, boss Gerry is also preparing for the biggest day of his comic year – New York Comic Con. And it’s just six weeks away!
So he’s put his main men, Thor “The Marketeer” and Alex “The Negotiator” on the case. Thor has to track down a comic celebrity to appear at the store’s Comic Con booth, while Alex has to buy 10,000 old comics from super-collectors to then sell at the Con as well as completing a personal mission for his boss: finding Gerry’s elusive holy grail comic, “Hot Stuff, The Little Devil No.1″. This was the first comic Gerry ever read as a kid, and without it Midtown Comics wouldn’t exist. As an incentive, Gerry has offered Alex a cash bonus if he finds it. But it’s gonna be a hell of a challenge – it’s one of the rarest comics in the world!
We were promised jetpacks! Well, they exist. I flew one last weekend, and it was awesome. Video of my flight with Jetlev Southwest is below. – Danny Sullivan
For Father’s Day 2012, my family got me a 30 minute flight with Jetlev Southwest. Best present ever. I got the hang of it fairly quickly and was even able to do things like “The Submarine,” where you dive under the water and come back up. They’re based in Newport Beach, and you’ll find more info here: http://www.jetlevsouthwest.com
In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead.
The image shows Schmitt on the left with the lunar rover at the edge of Shorty Crater, near the spot where geologist Schmitt discovered orange lunar soil. The Apollo 17 crew returned with 110 kilograms of rock and soil samples, more than was returned from any of the other lunar landing sites. Now forty years later, Cernan and Schmitt are still the last to walk on the Moon.
Hundreds of humans have flown in space. Only 40 women (54 as of 2012) have made the journey — including Eileen M. Collins, who commands the Space Shuttle Discovery on NASA’s historic return to flight. NPR explores the long road that women like her have trod into space:
1960-1962: Ladies in Waiting
Twenty-five women report to the Lovelace Clinic, the aviation medicine hub that tested the Mercury 7, America’s first astronauts. There they undergo the same stringent tests endured by the men. All of the women are professional pilots. Several rank among the most distinguished pilots of their time, and many of them outperform the Mercury 7.
Lovelace dubs the 13 who pass the tests the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (FLATs), and they are scheduled for training to become the “Mercury 13.” Just days before reporting to the Naval Aviation Center in Pensacola, Fla., the women receive telegrams canceling their training.
Two of the women — Jerrie Cobb and Janey Hart — campaign in Washington, D.C., to resume the training program. In July 1962, they testify before a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, but the panel decides that training female astronauts would hurt the space program. The FLATs never fly in space.
June 16, 1963: First Woman in Space
Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space. She spends more time in space than all of the astronauts of NASA’s Mercury program combined…
The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
The highly-experienced Massachusetts Guardsmen, who typically have several years more experience than their active-duty counterparts, would be ready “should Iran test the 104th,” said wing commander Col. Robert Brooks.
…it’s the methods above that the U.S. dogfighting armada would likely use to wipe out the antiquated but determined Iranian air force if the unthinkable occurred and fighting broke out. The warplanes are in place. The pilots are ready. Hopefully they won’t be needed.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, capitalizing on the tremendous success of their Animal Planet TV show, “Whale Wars,” has now taken on a new battle. With the Japanese fleet’s Antarctic hunt finished for the season, the skull-and-crossbones crew have turned their attention on the Faroe Islands with a new show: “Whale Wars: Viking Shores”
In the Faroe Islands, the oceangoing conservation outfit is not hectoring a faceless, corporate, government-subsidized commercial whaling outfit with massive factory ships that kill whales in the name of “research.” On this grouping of 18 small islands in the North Atlantic, a Danish protectorate situated between Iceland and Scotland, the people kill pilot whales by hand, on the shore, as part of a traditional hunt called the “Grind,” (pronounced “grinned”) which residents say is thousands of years old.
The Grind is not pretty, and “Viking Shores” pulls no punches. The Faroese send boats out into the ocean to find pilot whales, which are cetaceans not as large as the fin or minke whales hunted by the Japanese, but are slightly bigger than dolphins. Then they herd the mammals toward one of several dozen beaches on the islands, where residents lie in wait. As the powerful creatures beach themselves in panic, hunters wade into them with long curved hooks and slaughter the whole pod in a bloody frenzy. The Faroese eat a lot of pilot whale.
As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.
The drone industry, estimated worldwide at $5.9 billion annually, will expand to $11.3 billion by 2021.
During the past 10 years, drones have become a vital military tool in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a platform to attack terrorists without risking pilots’ lives and giving ground troops a chance to see their opponents from the air.
Congress passed bills in December and February that ordered the FAA to create six test sites for flying unmanned aircraft alongside regular planes. The agency must also complete a plan for integrating unmanned flights into the aviation system by Sept. 30, 2015.
Unmanned aircraft could be used for photography, police surveillance and monitoring pipelines and power lines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has special permission to use drones.