The First 700 Tickets on Virgin Galactic’s Space Flights Have Been Sold. Sir Richard Branson says he has sold 700 tickets for trips on his Virgin Galactic spaceflights and he reckons it will be ready to launch within a “matter of months.” Branson told the Institute of Director’s annual convention that ticket sales, which reportedly cost £125,000($200,000) each, have helped fund the project to the late stages.
$21 a Gallon for Avgas in the Congo. If you think the price you pay for avgas is expensive, General Aviation News has an article about the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a Christian ministry organization operating a fleet of 136 airplanes in some of the most isolated places in the world, and how they often pay more than two or three times the price of avgas in the USA (around $6). In fact, avgas is currently $21 a gallon when its available in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
What Happened to the Fuel Tanks Jettisoned by US Aircraft During the Vietnam War. The Aviationist has posted some pictures to show you what has happened to some of the several thousand external fuel tanks jettisoned during the Vietnam War during combat, to evade SAMs or to simply lighten the load a bit:
The RAF Bids Farewell to the VC10 Air Refueling Tanker. AIN Online has reported that the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has bid farewell to the VC10 air refueling tanker, a type that has been in British military service for 47 years. They numbered 28 at their peak and also performed in passenger, cargo and aeromedical airlift transport roles. AIN Online has also posted a slideshow showing the aircraft in action here.
London City Unveils Expansion Plans. London City has submitted £200 million expansion plans to allow the airport to double annual passenger numbers from the current three million to six million by 2023. Plans include a terminal building and bigger parking stands for the larger aircraft which are expected to start using the airport from 2016.
Proposal to Re-establish Controlled Airspace at the London Southend Airport. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that due to the recent growth of Commercial Air Transport (CAT) passenger flights at LSA, they have concluded that the re-establishment of controlled airspace is appropriate to enhance the safe operation of CAT flights arriving to and departing from London Southend Airport. You can read more about the proposal here.
Drone Package Delivery in China. Finally, Gizmodo has reported that Shenzhen, China-based SF Express is testing drones to help the company deliver packages to remote locations where trucks can’t. The SF Express experiment is one of the more prominent examples of drone delivery and its navigation system is apparently smart enough to allow courier services to simply type in an address with the drone carrying the package right to it.