Best of the Web

Remembering the Apollo 1 Tragedy. The Aero Experience blog has reminded us that January 27th was the 45th anniversary of the tragic fire that destroyed the Apollo 1 spacecraft and killed 3 astronauts at Cape Kennedy Launch Complex 34. The Apollo 1 tragedy led to a number of design changes that ultimately made manned spaceflights and moon missions safer.

WASP Collection to Be Digitized. On another historical note, the Winged Victory Women in Aviation Webzine has mentioned an article (WASP collection coming to digital domain) noting that the Texas Woman’s University has announced that it had received a $100,000 gift from an anonymous donor to continue the digitization and preservation of the The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) collection. The WASP collection contains photographs, letters, diaries, postcards, uniforms and artifacts from women who were part of the organization between 1942 and 1944.

LSAs Are Earning Respect. Meanwhile, AVweb has posted a podcast interview with Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), who talked about the Light Sport sector and how its earning a respected place in the general aviation.

Aerial Photos of the Bay Area and Northern California. John Ewing of Aviation Mentor has posted a number of great shots of the Bay Area, the coastal range and Northern California. The photos included plenty of clear skies along with a few shots of the coastal fog rolling in.

FAA Changes Prompt Chart Provider Shutdown. In the wake of new fees for digital chart products being on the horizon in the US,, a California producer of wire-bound books of charts, has already shut down because the FAA’s AeroNav program office cut the lead time on the release of digital charts from 17 days to one day prior to expiration. Meanwhile, AOPA officials are continuing to meet with FAA officials to preserve pilots’ access to aviation charts.

Tools for Airport Snow Removal. For pilots and airport employees in colder climates, Vincent, the blogger behind the Plastic Pilot blog, has a guest post about the tools needed for adequate snow removal or for dealing with icy conditions in general at airports.

New Ways to Prevent Ice Buildup. In addition, General Aviation News has reported that research scientists at Battelle are working on a new way to reduce or prevent icing on aircraft through the use of carbon nanotubes. Apparently, Battelle’s anti-icing technology deploys carbon nanotubes into the aircraft’s coating. Hence, its lighter than traditional ice protection systems and can use much less power plus it’s applied using simple painting methods so that it can be sprayed on a variety of curved surfaces.

Lockheed Martin F-35′s Glass Cockpit. Finally, David Cenciotti has posted a screenshot to give people an idea of what the Joint Strike Fighter glass cockpit looks like. Apparently, its filled with high-tech features expected of the latest tablet computer or smartphone – including full touch screen, HOTAS, voice activated commands and system monitoring with all information displayed on a “portal” that makes the most advanced and expensive 5th generation aircraft ever built “amazingly easy to fly.”

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