New Flight Planning App from PilotMall.com. PilotMall.com, Inc. has recently released its Flight Computer iTunes app which can act as a simple timer or calculator as well as easily convert between Nautical, Statute and Metric measurements. The app is available for US$6.99 and for more information, visit PilotMall.com.
New Flight Bag From Sporty’s. In addition, Sporty’s has introduced a redesigned Flight Gear Mission Bag which can be customized with Sporty’s MyBag system allowing users to personalize or expand their flight bag with a variety of snap-on accessories. Optional accessories include a Transceiver Holder for US$14.95, a Sunglasses Holder for US$9.95 and a padded headset case for US$18.95 while the bag itself costs US$62.95. For more information, visit Sportys.com.
Adopt a Relief Aircraft. On a different note, its been one year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti with relief efforts still continuing by various missionary organizations. However, General Aviation News noted that you can “adopt” a plane for as little as US$1 a day and your donation will help to cover fuel and maintenance costs for “your” MAF plane. For more information, visit MAF.org/Adopt.
Book Review: From Props to Jets. If you are looking for winter reading and you are interested in the evolution of the airline industry, General Aviation News has a review of “From Props to Jets: Commercial Aviation’s Transition to the Jet Age 1952 to 1962” by Jon Proctor, Mike Machat, and Craig Kodera. The 160 page hardcover coffee table book is filled with black and white photos documenting the history of the airline industry and is available from SpecialtyPress.com and other online booksellers.
Book Review: Heart of a Lion. In addition, General Aviation News has posted a review of “Heart of a Lion: The Story of Janet Lee Hutchinson Simpson” by Connie Donaldson which tells the unlikely but true story of an early aviation family who took off to explore the 48 USA states and the rest of the world with a pet lion cub. Ultimately, the family crashed off the coast of Greenland in 1932 with the search and rescue mission being covered by the world’s media. The 265 page book is available from HighPitchedHum.net and online booksellers.
NTSB Study: Airbags Increase Safety. On a safety note, General Aviation News and the Wall Street Journal have noted that the USA’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have adopted a study that concluded that general aviation airplanes with airbags provide additional protection to pilots and passengers during accidents involving survivable forward impacts. The study had examined 88 accidents that involved airbag-equipped airplanes and found no instances where the airbag caused harm in properly restrained occupants. The complete safety study will be made available in a few weeks on the NTSB website.
The Damned Hunchback vs Royal Navy in WWII. On an interesting historical note, David Cenciotti has written a lengthy post about flying the S.79 “Sparviero” – one of the most famous Italian aircraft of WWII that was nicknamed “Gobbo Maledetto” (Italian for “Damned Hunchback”) due to its distinctive fuselage “hump.” The aircraft was used for both transport and for dangerous torpedo runs against British shipping in the Mediterranean.
Online Tour of the National Museum of the US Air Force. And finally, aviation and military history buffs should check out the new 360 degree online tour being offered by the National Museum of the US Air Force that will be rolled out over the coming months. Already, the first phase of the tour is complete and covers the Air Park and Memorial Park, along with views of the Presidential, Research & Development and the Early Years Galleries. For more information, visit NationalMuseum.af.mil.