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 NASA Flies 10-Engine Electric Drone

NASA has successfully flown a remotely piloted aircraft powered by 10 electric motors that can take off vertically, then rotate its wing and fly like an airplane. The aircraft, which weighs about 62 pounds, has a 10-foot wingspan, with eight motors on the wings and two on the tail. "During the flight tests we successfully transitioned from hover to wing-borne flight like a conventional airplane then back to hover again," said Bill Fredericks, aerospace engineer. "Now we're working on our second goal -- to demonstrate that this concept is four times more aerodynamically efficient in cruise than a helicopter."


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 Commemorative DC Flyover Set For Friday

Organizers are calling this Friday's flyover of the nation's capital "one of the most diverse arrays of World War II aircraft ever assembled," with 56 aircraft in 15 historically sequenced formations flying 1,000 feet above the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. The flyover is being held to honor the large number of veterans expected to gather at the WWII Memorial for a ceremony on Friday morning. For those not in the capital city, the event will be broadcast live on the Internet, with the ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m. and the flyover at 12:10.


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 Short Final

Last Friday morning, I was en route to Sun 'n Fun. The weather at KLAL prevented canceling IFR and joining the Lake Parker VFR arrival. As I (along with several other aircraft) was issued a holding clearance at LAL VOR to wait my turn for the ILS runway 9 approach, I was reminded just how oblivious some pilots are. ... A pilot came on the very busy TPA approach frequency and said, with all seriousness: "N12345 requesting multiple approaches to Lakeland." ... Kudos to the professional controller, who simply responded: "Negative. We have Sun 'n Fun going on today." ... To which the pilot responded: "O.K. How about Winter Haven?" -- Al Rice


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 FAA Mandates 787 Electrical Reboots

The electrical systems on Boeing 787s need to be shut down and restarted before they reach 248 days of continuous power, the FAA said on Friday, to prevent a "loss of all AC electrical power, which could result in loss of control of the airplane." The airworthiness directive was issued "straight to final rule," without a preliminary notice, and is effective immediately. The FAA said it was informed about the problem by Boeing, and the manufacturer is working on a software upgrade that will address the issue.


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