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Aerospace Education Program moves to new headquarters at Bowman Field

by GlobalAir.com 12. February 2015 10:57
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Louisville, Kentucky - Air+Space Academy, America’s leading provider of aerospace educational programs for students in grades 9-12, is establishing the national headquarters for the program in the Hangar 7 complex at historic Bowman Field. The program was first established in 2010 by educator Dr. Tim Smith as the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education and based out of Frankfort. Over the next five years, the program grew and expanded to include more than thirty schools in Kentucky and Tennessee. As the program continued to grow, the need arose for a permanent headquarters to house the program staff, educational and training activities, and aircraft that have been donated to the program.

“We are thrilled with the Hangar 7 property and location,” said Dr. Tim Smith, Executive Director of the program. The location is highly visible and accessible, there is room to grow, and right out our back door we have access to one of the premier general aviation facilities in America. We are excited to bring our program here and to bring new life, energy, and activity to Bowman Field and to the Louisville community. We owe a big thanks to LRAA for making this possible.”

Hangar 7, which was originally housed an Army Reserve Aviation unit, has been empty for a number of years. The structure, which can be accessed from Cannons Lane, has a combination of outdoor, office, and hangar space. While facility is in need of a major renovation, the program is making minor improvements and will operate from the facility while contributions are raised to do a complete makeover and create a 21st century aerospace education facility. It is anticipated that this process will be complete in the next two years.

Originally a regional project, the Air+Space Academy is now offering it program to schools across the country. In a ceremony held February 10th, 2015 at Hangar 7, members of the AOPA executive team and the mayor’s staff will join the board, staff, teachers and students of the program to officially kick off and celebrate this nationwide initiative. The program is nationally recognized as one of the most effective tools for teaching skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and producing career and college ready graduates.

Hangar 7 will serve students, teachers, administrators, and instructors from the program on a local, regional,and national level. Participants from all around the country will come to Louisville and Bowman Field to participate in training programs, competitions, aircraft maintenance and restoration, simulator flights, satellites launches, flight training, summer camps, as well as day to day after school programs for students in the local area.

National Air+Space Education Institute is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization based in Louisville, Kentucky and is the nation’s leading provider of aerospace education programs for students grades 9-12 that develop and promote study and proficiency in the STEM subjects, produces college and career ready graduates, and is training the next generation of aerospace professionals. Their new website is in development at www.airandspace-ed.org.

Editor's Note: Welcome to the neighborhood!

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Aviation History | Airports | News | Press Release

A Conversation with the Next Generation of Pilots

by Ray Robinson 26. August 2013 10:14
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The Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education (KIAE) is a one-of-a-kind endeavor, currently networking 20 high schools in the state to provide students direct experiences in aeronautical engineering, flight, aircraft maintenance, and space systems. When I asked Tim Smith, Director of Frankfort High School’s Aviation program and CIO for KIAE, why this was important, he said, “Programs like these will lead to more students enrolling in post-secondary opportunities in flight/aeronautics, aircraft maintenance, aeronautical engineering, space systems engineering, aerospace computer engineering, air traffic control, and aviation management/operations. Another important element of expansion is that potential grant opportunities and other sponsorships examine viability and scale of the initiative. So, it is important to show its implementation in a variety of environments. In short, the more students that are studying aerospace, the more that will enter the workforce.”

Three of their students got to experience a different end of the spectrum when they rode along with a gathering of Yakolevs at Bowman Field in Louisville, KY (just outside GlobalAir.com’s office). See more on the gathering itself here. I spent a few minutes with Michael Dahl, Jason Smith and Seth Padgett just before they climbed into their respective cockpits for a bit of formation flying.

Michael Dahl climbing into a Yak to experience formation flying.

GlobalAir: What inspired each your interests in aviation?

Michael Dahl: My uncle took me flying in an open-air cockpit bi-plane right here at Bowman Field when I was 11 years old, and that summer I flew on a commercial airliner on our vacation to California - all that exposure to flying in a short amount of time got my attention. When I found there was an aviation-related program at Frankfort High School, I made sure to get involved!

Jason Smith: My mother often took me to the airport as a baby to let the sounds of aircraft calm me, so I’ve been interested a long time! I knew after seeing “Top Gun” that I wanted to be a fighter pilot – I even dressed like Maverick for Halloween once.

GA: You’re too tall to play Tom Cruise!

JS: (laughs) Well, this was a while ago. Then I got involved with the aviation program at school. I was also motivated by learning about the various mission aviation programs that exist when I was at Oshkosh, so I’ve also become interested in contributing there.

Seth Padgett: I was born in Germany, so I’ve been on aircraft since I was a child flying back and forth to visit family. I became more seriously involved through an aviation camp where we did flight planning, and from there Tim Smith turned me on to the KIAE program in Frankfort.

Jason Smith receiving a safety briefing on riding along in the Yak.

GA: What have been the biggest obstacles for each of you in pursuing your pilot’s licenses?

MD: I was always concerned about “what if there’s a problem during flight”? I had to tell myself to get past it and stop being afraid to try.

JS: For me, it’s the number of hoops you have to jump thru, plus the financial burden. But, even though it’s a cliché, you truly can do anything you set your mind to do.

SP: It’s so much easier to get a driver’s license – take a test, drive an instructor around, and you’re done. Earning your pilot’s license is such a time investment; it’s easy to get discouraged. You have to remind yourself that you will get there, just be patient and stay focused!

GA: We, in the aviation industry, already know that bringing youth to aviation is vital to growing the industry. So what would you want to share with kids your age that may be interested, but intimidated, by flying?

SP: Statistically speaking, flying is very safe. When you see how many check-ups and tests you have to do to become a pilot and take care of your aircraft, you’ll see there’s nothing to be intimidated by.

MD: If you’ve never flown before, or are scared of flying, find an airport and see if anyone is willing to take you up and experience it for yourself. Learn more about airplanes & how they work - that’s how I got hooked!

JS: I agree – get up and fly! Talking about it isn’t enough!

Seth Padgett scoping the taxi path as they maneuver for takeoff.

GA: Lastly, what do you plan to do with your licenses – personal enjoyment, or career aspirations?

MD: Right now, mostly personal enjoyment. It’s still a little early for me to look beyond to career options.

JS: I mentioned earlier about being a fighter pilot and doing missionary work – which requires mechanical knowledge as well, so I’m putting focus there too.

SP: I’d like to fly for the Air Force initially. Afterward, I’ll likely transition to flying for services like UPS, FedEx, Delta – many options! But also personal enjoyment for sure!

Shortly after our conversations, all six pilots met and discussed formations, with the three boys listening intently. The students then met with the pilots of their Yaks and got personal instructions for their safety and knowledge about occupying the second seat. I marveled at the focus they all had on the task at hand as I snapped a few pictures – my presence wasn’t even registering anymore. They were now sponges, soaking in everything about the aircraft they were climbing aboard!

A few gallons of avgas were added, the Yaks (and their accompanying Cessna 172R and Christen Eagle II) taxied out and took to the air. I managed to catch a couple of passes over Bowman Field before I had to leave for another appointment, so I didn’t get to stick around to get their impressions afterward. But I think it was safe to assume that it was nothing but joy and excitement all around!

Watch the Yaks, 172 and Christen Eagle taxi out for takeoff!

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Aviation Technology | GlobalAir.com | News

Exploring the “Despicablimp”

by GlobalAir.com 7. May 2013 09:20
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Ray Robinson, West Coast/International Sales Manager at GlobalAir.com

   One of the many great pleasures of being located directly on the Bowman Field Airport (KLOU) is the fantastic opportunities that we have to see rare things! Spring time in the beautiful state of Kentucky means just one thing; Kentucky Derby time! The entire month of April is devoted to airshows, parties on the river, concerts, marathons, and so much more all in celebration and leading up to the first Saturday in May. This is the big day! During this time, here at Bowman field, we’ve got first row seats to all of the best action in aviation. Not only do we get the opportunity to watch planes come in and take off in preparation for the various ceremonies, but we also get opportunities to meet with and watch stunt flyers as they practice for Thunder Over Louisville, (an annual airshow/fireworks display that kicks off the Derby festival in mid-April.) Sometimes, if we’re lucky we can even catch footage of planes as they swoop in and snag the banners that they promote high above Churchill Downs. All of this is fantastic; however, our favorite parts are the special times when we get to see brand new, different and unique sides of aviation – like the Despicablimp.

   The Despicablimp is traveling across the nation promoting the summer release of “Despicable Me 2”, the animated movie starring the voices of Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig and Russell Brand. Arguably, the most popular features of the movie are the Minions, which are small, yellow creatures that wear goggles and overalls. These characters are the comic relief that bring comedy to each and every moment they are on the screen. So, what better way to get the word out than with a giant floating minion?

   We spoke with blimp pilot Allan Judd to get an idea of what life with “Stuart,” the Despicablimp, was like. Surprisingly, one word that he never Judd compared his Blimp to was aircraft. “This is much more like piloting a submarine; imagine an upside-down picture with the sky as the ocean, and the land as the surface” he states.

   Judd gave us a simple 101 lesson over how the blimp works. “The helium in the envelope displaces around four tons of air – this makes it buoyant. We simply fill and empty a bladder inside the envelope, called a ballonet; this controls the balloon’s lift and pitch. This can be compared to that last bit of helium that’s added to mylar balloons that you may purchase from flower stores. It is this last bit of helium which will remove all wrinkles from the edges.” For thrust, the 150 ft. long blimp is propelled thru the air by two Lycoming 10-360 engines with additional oil coolers.

   What determines whether or not a blimp will launch? “Whether or not we can successfully bring it back to safe harbor,” says Judd. “If the weather conditions are such that we can’t hook back up to the mooring mast, then we will not be launching.” And the mooring mast is incredibly sturdy – the stakes that hold it are over 3 ft. long and are screwed deep into the ground. When the blimp is secured to it, it can withstand 100 mph winds.” If the pilot and the Mast Headsman (the man that releases and connects the blimp to the mooring mast) determine that the conditions are not good, they don’t fly.

   The Despicablimp crew includes 15 members on site, each of which have different jobs managing the day-to-day aspects of prepping the blimp including, launching and securing it to the mooring mast, and driving the equipment to the next landing spot. Much like a submarine crew, they do everything together while they are on the road. There is also another crew of 15 stationed at the company’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida. This crew handles the behind the scenes work, such as arranging hotel accommodations as well as schedules for the on-site crew.

   I would like to thank Allen Judd and the entire Despicablimp crew for taking some time with us on their busy day. Not only did we learn about the functionality and science behind the scenes, but we were actually invited to sit in the pilot’s seat and given the full tour. Plus we recorded an amazing video of the blimp taking off and circling back – make sure to watch that as well!

Don’t forget to see Despicable Me in a theater near you; due to hit the box office July 3, 2013!

For more information on the Despicablimp:

Despicablimp Command Center - www.despicablimp.com

Despicablimp Twitter feed - twitter.com/Despicablimp

Despicable Me 2 official site - despicableme.com

How Blimps Work - science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/blimp.htm

For more photography, visit our Facebook page!: www.facebook.com/GlobalAir

(Additional reporting by Keely Mick)

Jim and Matt

Allen Judd as he teaches Ray a few "Blimp 101 Fundamentals."

Jim and Matt

Meet "Stuart!"



Piper Cherokee lands on Louisville expressway

by GlobalAir.com 8. October 2010 09:28
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A Piper Cherokee owned by a Fisherville, Ky., man crash-landed on a busy freeway Thursday night, just south of Bowman Field Airport (LOU) in Louisville, Ky.

Local TV station WHAS-11 reported that the aircraft attempted to land at Louisville International Airport (SDF) while low on fuel and was diverted to Bowman.

It landed on the westbound lanes of the Watterson Expressway before coming to rest off the right shoulder of the road.

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GlobalAir.com | News

WHAS Crusade for Children Aviation Poker Run -- THANK YOU!!

by GlobalAir.com 28. June 2010 14:23
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This past weekend’s Aviation Poker Run to benefit the WHAS Crusade for Children raised more than $1,500.

 

The images above are of Noah and D.J. Stickler, two teens helped by the Crusade, who took turns flying a Piper Cherokee. WHAS 11 has video of their experience here.

 

GlobalAir.com, along with Eagle Aviation, give thanks to the following companies and organizations for their support. Here is to making it even bigger and better next year.

 

A Taste of Kentucky

Aero Club of Louisville

Alley Theatre

Bearno’s Little Sicily

Buckhead Mountain Grill

Central Bank

Crown Trophy

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Edgewood

Goodyear Tires

Hooters

Jeff Ruby’s

Kentucky Derby Museum

King Fish

Kroger

Le Relais Restaurant

LouisvilleMojo.com

Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Louisville Bats

Louisville Screen Print

McCauley Nicolas

Robinson Technical

University of Louisville Athletic Department

UPS

Wells Fargo

WHAS-11 TV

WHAS Crusade for Children

Wildwood Country Club

Thanks!

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