NASA’s super pressure balloon hit a new milestone on Tuesday, completing its first circumnavigation of the globe after 14 days, 13 hours and 17 minutes of flight. Flying the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) payload, the 18.8 million-cubic-foot balloon departed from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand, and flew at 53.85 knots, at an altitude of 110,170 feet.
With the July 15 deadline for the passing of an FAA reauthorization bill swiftly approaching, a handful of prominent aviation groups have banded together, drafting a letter urging Congress to put aside its differences for the good of the aviation community.
While critics have, for decades, scoffed at the idea of flying cars, that attitude is beginning to change. Toyota jumped into the flying-car arena by filing a patent for a “shape morphine fuselage for an aerocar” in 2014. The giant autobuilder claims the new aerocar will easily morph from a road-hugging automobile to an airborne vehicle.
It was a policy that never made a lick of sense in the first place, and now it’s going away. The FAA yesterday issued a final policy on “non-aeronautical use of hangars” that purges terms like “incidental use” and “insignificant amount of space” from the document. As a result, the FAA will consider the construction of amateur-built or kit-built aircraft as an “aeronautical activity” permitted under the guidelines.
As notam warnings for potential GPS interference continue for flight operations during portions of June near the U.S. Navy’s China Lake Air Warfare Center in the western Mojave Desert, the FAA on Saturday alerted operators to a specific threat, one the agency said could affect flight-stability controls for Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft.