Once in a while we allow some of the inmates at FTN Towers to climb on to their soap box and get something off their chest. Normal service will be resumed in the next issue…
Dec10

Once in a while we allow some of the inmates at FTN Towers to climb on to their soap box and get something off their chest. Normal service will be resumed in the next issue…

I, Robert A week can be a long time in politics, a lifetime in Silicon Valley, but rarely a significant period of time in the aerospace industry. Sometimes, however, there are exceptions. Around mid-November an e-mail pinged into the inbox at FTN Towers with an announcement from Airbus that they are setting up a new Airbus China Innovation Centre in Shenzhen, widely considered to be the ‘Silicon Valley’ of China (it says here). The...

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At last – a certified DC-3 flight simulator
Oct24

At last – a certified DC-3 flight simulator

Here at FTN Towers we’re used to reporting the latest news of advanced simulators being bought by flying schools and other training organisations. We’ve even been known to have a go in simulators from time-to-time (and it’s not true that an FTN staffer once described a particular simulator as being more realistic than the actual aeroplane it was representing). Even so, the news that that the Dutch CAA has certified a DC-3 simulator as...

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Fearless, daring and intelligent – and I’ve got the bars to prove it
Oct19

Fearless, daring and intelligent – and I’ve got the bars to prove it

At a flying school frequented by this squawker some years ago, the wearing of epaulettes by the flying school staff was eschewed. As a ‘grass roots’ flying club, teaching private pilots exclusively, it was deemed somewhat gauche to be seen parading round the clubhouse in full piloting regalia, resembling a Bolivian Tank Commander in full dress uniform. Instructor identification was deemed obvious by the general swagger and 1,000-yard...

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Still pushing the envelope…
Sep29

Still pushing the envelope…

Whilst talking of pushing the boundaries, word reaches us that General Aviation aircraft are still setting new records – long after most of us thought there was nothing new to aim for in the field. Congratulations are due to Steve Hinton Jr and his team who have set a new record for piston-powered, propeller-driven aircraft by tearing around a 3km course in a highly-modified P-51 Mustang at an average speed of a fraction over 531mph,...

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Anyone remember the Dukes of Hazzard?
Aug25

Anyone remember the Dukes of Hazzard?

So, hands up everybody who hasn’t dreamed of flying inverted under a bridge once in a while?… Not just us, then? But, as there may be young and impressionable readers out there, FTN can only condemn the antics of one LeRoy Moore Jr. of Mount Vernon, Kentucky who apparently did precisely that, at Laurel Lake, not so long ago. Its maybe not surprising that the law took a dim view and after being charged with unlawful low level...

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Blackbushe is 75
Jun12

Blackbushe is 75

Not looking a day over, well, 50 anyway, Blackbushe Airport to the west of London is celebrating its 75th birthday and to mark the occasion an anniversary festival is being held at the airfield on the 1st and 2nd July. Although virtually all airfields of any size have some sort of story to tell, Blackbushe has a particularly rich history and a more important place in the history of post-war civil aviation in the UK than many will...

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