September 2012 Aviation Articles

Kentucky Department Of Aviation Hosts "Aviation Day" 2012


- The mission of the Kentucky Department of Aviation is to provide a safe and secure air transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity, and preserves the quality of our environment and communities.

         “Aviation Day” was an absolute sell out this year! On September 22, 2012 the Kentucky Department of Aviation and the Kentucky National Guard hosted a warm and welcome, family oriented “Aviation day” out of Capital City Airport in Frankfort, Kentucky. The idea for this event was originally inspired by the Boone National Guard and the transportation cabinet of Kentucky, specifically the Department of Aviation. These groups came together in hopes of finding an event that might inspire families as well as the youth and teach them about aviation. “We want to get folks interested and involved in aviation” says the assistant director of The Kentucky Department of Aviation; Mr. Scott Shannon.

          This event was entirely free for all to attend and offered free flights for the youngsters ages 8 – 17. $10.00 flights were also offered to any and all grown-ups attending with hopes of flying. All proceeds that were collected went to the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education and these flights were made possible thanks to generous donations as well as a group known as the Young Eagles. There was much to see and do including the many various aircraft that were set up for display. Of these aircraft, the airport provided civilian, private as well as military airplanes and helicopters for viewing and touring. It felt like walking into a wealth of knowledge as blatant as a brick wall; this event had it all! The Civil Air patrol was also on site recruiting volunteers, as well as the National Guard. Even the humane society decided to join in for the fun and contributed with adopt-a-dog programs.

         The very first “Aviation Day” was held in the fall of 2002 and became an annual event until 2008. Now, thanks to all of the aviation fans in our community Aviation Day is back with a bang! Flights were made, and people were absolutely engulfed into the aviation world. The Civil Air Patrol even recruited my father. Capital City Airport will continue with its high hopes for success as they continue to pose fantastic opportunities for students to delve into the wild world of aviation head first. According to Mr. Scott Shannon, children just aren’t given the same opportunities that they once were in the aviation career field. “We want to change that, we want our students to experience flight in real life and we want to encourage them to experience this in a general aviation aircraft while continuing to educate them.” What better way to do that then host an annual aviation day where the doors are always open and the entry is always free?

If this event sounds like something that interests you, get involved! Aviation Day needs people that are hungry for knowledge and inspired by the aviation world!

For more information regarding next year’s event contact Mr. Scott Shannon:

Scott Shannon
Assistant Director,
Capital City Airport Division
90 Airport Road
Frankfort, KY 40601

Telephone: 502.564.0520
FAX: 502.564.0172

Do You Know What You Don't Know?

Within aviation, there are a lot of specific disciplines with highly specialized knowledge: pilot, A&P Mechanic, scheduler/dispatcher, medical examiner, air traffic controller. All these folks have significant education and depth of knowledge within their specialties. But, if you take us outside our area of specialization, it is amazing how much we don't know. 


How does a zipper work?


While we all use them quite successfully, do you understand the mechanics of it?  It is the same with buzz words and jargon. We may use them regularly, but when you dig into it, we me not all have the same understanding. 


"NextGen" may make sense to many as it describes our future airspace navigation and control. But when you ask what getting ready for NextGen really means, we differ in our depth of knowledge.

Psychologists call this the illusion of explanatory depth. We think we know what we know, but we really don't have the depth of knowledge that leads to understanding. This can lead to difficulties when recommending and evaluating aircraft.


The pilot is quite skilled at looking at the performance parameters of the various aircraft. What is the range and payload that we need to carry? Can this aircraft handle icing conditions? How much runway do we need?


The A&P can go into depth about a progressive maintenance schedule and how it might impact your flight schedule. What sort of tooling does the aircraft require? What do you need to stock for spares? 


The scheduler/dispatcher will have a good understanding of what the executives like and don’t like, Will the 6 foot 3 inch CEO will feel claustrophobic in a small jet? Which infrequent traveler still expects to carry a steamer trunk full of clothes on an overnight trip?


Now add in the senior executives, legal and tax folks. How do we acquire the aircraft? What about taxes, depreciation, maintaining trade-in value, leases, management agreements...


In the case for business aircraft, there isn't room enough to go into every instance of how we in aviation misunderstand the Senior Executives and them, us. But, when communicating about the aircraft, its capabilities, and costs, we need to have an understanding of the fact that we may not have all the information about the business to understand why they make the decision that they do. And they don't understand the aircraft as much as we might believe. So we need to do our best to explore the gaps in knowledge and be open to new concepts. Do not assume just because the CEO had an aircraft at their former company that they understand crew rest, maximum range, and sales and use taxes on the plane.

To properly go through the acquisition of an aircraft will require folks with many disciplines. And it would help if you have at lease one person on the team who knows what they (and others) don’t know. 


When we are working with a client regarding their options for an aircraft, or with the aviation department in their justification for a replacement of the current aircraft, it helps to understand not only their measurable requirements such as payload, trip length, etc. but to also understand their culture and depth of knowledge about business aviation.

Oh, how does a zipper work?

History In The Making For Ms. "Memphis Belle"


“We Used To Call It Luck” - Wayne Tabor

         On a non-stop flight from Brazil to Africa, Wayne Tabor is 21 years old. He is riding on the right side of the Boeing B-17, alert at all times because their carrier is under attack. He is a waist gunner and completely exposed as his squadron is rapidly approaching enemy boarders. He will complete 30 missions in a matter of 72 days averaging out to a rugged 6 missions per day over Nazi occupied Europe. Everything seems to move at the speed of light until you hear a “THUMP,” and then another “THUMP” all at once you realize, “these guys are trying to kill us!” Brace yourself as the enemy aircraft approaches you at 400 mph, too fast to rebut the blow; too fast to shoot down. “But fighting doesn’t solve anything” says Tabor “More than 26,000 lives were lost, 26,000 stories were never told. It’s just not worth it.”

          Tabor’s squadron eventually completed so many missions that they were grounded. Wayne Tabor stepped up and out of that Boeing B-17 and he did not return. That all changed September 24, 2012 when 93 year old Wayne Tabor made his way to Clark County airport and ventured back on to this aircraft after 72 years. “It brought back a lot of really good memories!” he stated with sheer certainty. “Whenever you watch television now-a-days, you see all of these crazy reality shows! THIS he said, while pointing to the B-17; fighting a war in this aircraft is the ultimate reality.”

         Upon meeting the pilot of this novel aircraft I quickly learned of the true value that has been invested here. The Pilot’s name was Mr. Ray Fowler; turns out he is an extremely successful and well rounded pilot. Mr. Fowler has been flying B-17 aircraft for 12 years now and everyday is a new adventure. “It never gets old” he declares. This beautiful four engine aircraft belongs to a 501(c)(3) non-profit flying museum known as The Liberty Foundation. Any funds that are generated immediately go back into this aircraft, simply offsetting the aircraft’s high cost of maintenance. The mere interest of the people is what keeps this aircraft alive and on tour. Thanks to the prevailing interests and generous donations of aviators throughout our country, this historic aircraft is still in flight today. Without the help of others, the Memphis Belle would surely be silenced and permanently placed in a museum.

         The Liberty Foundation’s Memphis Belle is in fact, one of only 13 remaining B-17’s that still fly today, as most of them were lost in European combat during the war. Lucky for us, this particular “Memphis Belle” was built toward the end of the war and never personally experienced any combat. It has however been painted to exactly match the original, historic “Memphis Belle” B-17 that flew countless missions with the 91st bomb group of the mighty 8th Air force; the first B-17 to complete 25 missions. Interestingly enough, The Liberty Foundation’s Memphis Belle happens to be the very same Memphis Belle that was hired for the filming of the Memphis Belle movie in England, 1989.

         The Liberty Foundation’s World War II Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Memphis Belle” is taking to the skies over Louisville, Kentucky on its first ever national tour. The Liberty Foundation’s B-17 is now on tour providing visitors with an exciting opportunity to take a step through time and learn more about the men and women who gave so much to protect our country. The Memphis Belle will be on tour for the next few weeks, making flight “missions” possible, without being shot down from the sky (we hope). With each “Mission” curious aviators will be invited to take wing in this historic aircraft where participants will receive a pre-flight safety briefing that contains historical significance of the aircraft as well as a spectacular scenic air tour around the city. During this flight, passengers will be encouraged to move freely about the cabin in order to enjoy the unique opportunity of visiting the various positions of a combat crew.

         Over the next few weeks the B-17 flight experience will also be available in the Indianapolis, Indiana, followed by St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Public flights will begin in the mornings, followed by ground tours in the afternoon; the hours of operation are from 10am to 5pm each day. Your “mission” will take roughly 45 minutes to complete with approximately half an hour in flight. B-17 flights are $410.00 for Liberty Foundation members and $450.00 for all non-members. Passengers can become a Liberty Foundation Member for $40 and will in turn receive the member discount for all family and friends.

This is your invitation to take part in this upcoming weekend’s mission. The Liberty Foundation’s Boeing B-17 Memphis Belle will be in the Louisville, Kentucky area September 29 – 30, 2012 and it will be located at the Clark County air port in Sellersburg, Indiana. Have you gone for a flight in this aircraft previously? Tell us about it in a comment below! We would love to hear your stories!

Clark County Airport (KJVY)
Aircraft Specialists FBO
6005 Propeller Lane
Sellersburg, IN 47172

Call 918-340-0243 and schedule your flight today! To view the full schedule: follow -

Bombardier Ponders Smaller Learjet 85 Derivative

Article By: Curt Epstein
As progress continues on the construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85, the airframer said this week that it sees a niche for a smaller follow-on model of the all-composite midsize jet. “I think there is an opportunity between the 75 and the 85,” Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs told journalists this week during a media event. “Our entire notion all along has been that you can come up with a platform and then you spin that to other things.”  
Bombardier continues construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85 and plans to have a full airframe assembled and achieve power on by year-end. (Photo: Curt Epstein)

Bombardier has invested heavily in its composites production facility in Querétaro, Mexico, which supplies 85 percent of the composite content for the new Learjet 85. The fuselage components for the first flight-test airframe, as well as most of those for the complete aircraft structural test (Cast) article, are in the process of being joined at the Bombardier Learjet plant in Wichita. The company plans to have a full airframe assembled and achieve power on by the end of the year. It expects the Learjet 85 to enter service later next year.

When pressed for a possible launch date of a smaller derivative of the Learjet 85–possibly to be dubbed the Learjet 80–Acs deferred, citing Bombardier’s already extensive product development schedule. “The point will come downstream where we can have these other conversations,” he said.

Photos Leaked Of Second Chinese Stealth Fighter

Article By:
Aircraft Has Similarities To F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor

Photos leaked Sunday out of China suggest the country is developing a second stealth fighter that has similarities with both the F-35 Lighting II and the F-22 Raptor. The photos were leaked as U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is visiting China.

The first photos of a shrouded new airplane showed up in video clips on the Internet in June. It is reportedly being built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), and may be in direct competition with the J-20 airplane being developed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The jet's designation is not clear, having been called 'J-21', 'J-31', and 'F-60' on various sites on the Internet. Observers say it appears to be similar in shape and size to the F-35, but also has contours reminiscent of the F-22. The Australian newspaper said that Chinese hackers had been able to mine design data after breaking into a computer system belonging to BAE Systems, which could account for some of the similarities.

The new jet has a twin engine configuration, which could give it a higher takeoff weight than the F-35 ... or it could be indicative of design inefficiencies or a lack of faith in domestic engine design.

Neither the new airplane or the CAC J-20 is beyond the prototype stage, according to the WSJ, and their capabilities are far from being determined. But it is clear that China is working on advanced fighter aircraft, and may have introduced competition in defense contracting into the mix.

(Image credit:

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