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Aeryon Double Success in Police Drone Sector

A Canadian drone company already a leader in police-driven UAV tech scored two victories recently that will no doubt launch it higher into the growing public-safety sector. Last week, Aeryon Labs unveiled an on-site option for its cloud-based, real-time video/data streaming platform, AeryonLive. The new system add-on will allow public-safety agencies to operate drones without […]

The post Aeryon Double Success in Police Drone Sector appeared first on DRONELIFE.

Source: Quadcopter/Drone newsAeryon Double Success in Police Drone Sector

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Learn how to use 4 hidden features in Garmin Pilot with new video tips

garmin-glide-ring

It hasn’t taken long for today’s aviation EFB apps to become fairly similar in their core capabilities, offering flight planning, weather, digital charts and in-flight navigation. Each app has some powerful hidden features when you dig deeper, and Garmin is right at the top when it comes to offering some unique capabilities that increase both utility and safety when using the app.

Glide range ring

How to set personal weather minimums

Nearest functionality

Trip planning enhancements

Garmin Pilot is available as a free download and includes a 30-day free trial. You can purchase full access to the app here.

Videos are courtesy of Garmin Aviation. Check out more helpful tips on their YouTube channel.

Source: Ipad appsLearn how to use 4 hidden features in Garmin Pilot with new video tips

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Picture of the day: Rise Above the holidays

tuskegee-card

Want to add an inspirational flair to your 2016 holiday greeting cards? Now available from the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Squadron are holiday cards that share the inspiration of the Tuskegee Airmen. All proceeds go to support the squadron’s education and outreach programs, including its Rise Above traveling exhibit.

tuskegee-card

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comPicture of the day: Rise Above the holidays

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Reno: Air racing from the grandstands

Voodoo rounds the home pylon for the final lap in the Unlimited Gold Race. With Steven Hinton at the controls the plane took first place this year with a speed of 460.306 miles per hour. While the second place plane wasn’t even close, that wasn’t true of all the races this year. In the T-6 Gold race, only a 20th of a second separated the first and second place planes. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

As if on cue from an invisible orchestra conductor, everyone stands. Thousands of men, women, and children. As one, they turn their heads to the southeast, faces to the sky.

No, it isn’t for the national anthem. It’s for the start of the Unlimited Gold Race at the National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada.

A scratchy radio transmission is patched through the public address system: “Gentlemen, you have a race.” And with that, six beefy, big-engine ex-World War II fighter planes roar overhead and onto the racecourse.

“Gentlemen: Start your engines,” is the command that starts each race. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

It’s the grand finale of a day in the sun for the crowds, who took in 14 races on the last day of the five-day-long event, along with performances by a Pitts, an acrobatic Bonanza, a jet-powered racecar, and the Blue Angels.

The race contests included tinny Formula One planes, swift biplanes, Sport Class racers, snarling T-6 Texans, thundering jets, and power-mad unlimited race planes: P51 Mustangs, Hellcats, Yak-11s, and Sea Furies.

Anyone who thinks air racing is a dying sport hasn’t been to Reno. I promise you, air racing is alive and well, and people still love air races.

Lots of people.

Full house: The grandstands and ramp boxes were packed for the 53rd Reno National Championship Air Races. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Full house: The grandstands and ramp boxes were packed for the 53rd Reno National Championship Air Races. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Not All Air Races Are Created Equal

For quick background, there are five different types of air racing.

First, there’s straight-line cross-country air racing like the AirVenture Cup or the all-ladies Air Race Classic. Some cross-country races use the class system so that planes of similar performance compete against each other; others use a handicap system to level the playing field.

The second type of air racing is European, which also uses a handicap, but one that determines launch order, with all the planes arriving at the finish at nearly the same time — the first across the line is the winner.

The third kind of racing is the Sport Air Racing League races I fly Race 53 in: Short circular cross country speed-order races with planes of similar performance competing in categories and classes.

This year’s Reno air races are the 53rd Annual. That number ring a bell? It’s pure coincidence, but 53 happens to be the race number of our own Air Racer in Residence— and correspondent for this year’s National Championship Air Races—William E. Dubois. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

This year’s Reno air races are the 53rd Annual. That number ring a bell? It’s pure coincidence, but 53 happens to be the race number of our own Air Racer in Residence— and correspondent for this year’s National Championship Air Races—William E. Dubois. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

The fourth kind is the Red Bull Air Race with its aerobatic low-level coliseum course, one plane at a time.

Reno air racing is the fifth kind. It’s more like a horse race. The planes race each other in real time around a course entirely visible from the grandstands. But unlike a horse race, the race isn’t a single lap, but either six or eight laps, depending on the heat.

It’s a sport for pilots and spectators alike.

First-time Spectator

This year was my first visit to Reno, and I found that aviation was not only in the air, but everywhere on the ground as well. Even my rental car, a Ford Mustang convertible (hey, you didn’t expect me to cover the pinnacle of air races in a Kia, did you?) had a “ground speed indicator” instead of a speedometer.

Mustang ground speed indictor: If you think a P 51 Mustang goes faster, you’re right. This is the “speedometer” from a Ford Mustang. Even the rental car fleet was in an aviation frame of mind at Reno this year. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Mustang ground speed indictor: If you think a P 51 Mustang goes faster, you’re right. This is the “speedometer” from a Ford Mustang. Even the rental car fleet was in an aviation frame of mind at Reno this year. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Speaking of the ground, the grounds at Reno stretch in a narrow band for over a mile on the south side of Runway 08-26, with the race hangars and pits at one end and static displays of military aircraft at the other. In the middle are the grandstands, rising up off the tarmac like a linear baseball stadium.

Running the whole length of the event are vendor booths selling everything from official merchandise to toy airplanes, T-shirts, aviation jewelry, art, and food and drink: Deep fried Twinkies, burgers, chicken finger baskets, beer, and $3 water bottles.

In addition to official merchandise, there was an array of creative T-shirts being sold by vendors to let fans showcase where air racing fits into their lives. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

In addition to official merchandise, there was an array of creative T-shirts being sold by vendors to let fans showcase where air racing fits into their lives. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

The towering main grandstands, with 30 rows from top to bottom, are a permanent fixture at the Reno-Stead airport, but the general admission grandstands, nearly as large and in three sections, are temporary structures set up for the week.

Pits And Ramp

The pits are the section of the ramp where pilots and crews ready their planes. With a simple extra ticket (called a pit pass) fans can get up close and personal with the race planes and chat with their crews. A quick glance at the race program shows that there were around 145 planes entered in this year’s races, which include a series of elimination heats over four days.

Race pits: Pit passes let race fans get up close and personal with their favorite planes and talk to the pilots and crews. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Race pits: Pit passes let race fans get up close and personal with their favorite planes and talk to the pilots and crews. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Concrete barriers separate the pits from the race ramp. The ramp is where engines come alive. Planes are towed from the pits to the ramp by tugs, their pilots and crews arranged on their plane’s wings like knights of old sitting atop their steeds, off to battle.

Riding to battle: Pilots and crews sit on the wings of the unlimited racers as they are pulled out of the pits. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Riding to battle: Pilots and crews sit on the wings of the unlimited racers as they are pulled out of the pits. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Reno racing is known for its politics, egos, and money. And at the top, there’s no doubt that’s true. Buying, feeding, and maintaining a P-51 Mustang is not for the faint of wallet (which is why most of the Unlimited race planes have corporate sponsorship). But what surprised me was that there was a place for more “ordinary” folks as well, with RV-8s, Rockets, Lancairs, and Glasairs.

But no Ercoupe class.

Fandom

I’m not much of a sports nut. I don’t follow basketball and have never watched the Super Bowl. My mother thinks she failed as a parent because I never know who’s playing in the World Series.

But I knew in my heart (and from my emails) that people still love air racing as much as they did in the 1920s and 1930s when they turned out in droves for the National Air Races in Cleveland. What I hadn’t appreciated is the depth of that love for the sport and the level of knowledge the average fan has.

Listening to snippets of conversations as I moved about the grounds and grandstands, it was clear the sport was closely followed. Fans knew details of airplanes, airplane performance, and modifications from previous years. They speculated on the personalities and strategies of the racers.

Section 3 fans, in their distinctive orange garb, are known for their enthusiasm. And for their rowdy behavior. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Section 3 fans, in their distinctive orange garb, are known for their enthusiasm. And for their rowdy behavior. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

And they proudly wore their colors. T-shirts are the wardrobe of the air race fan. Many wore shirts showcasing their favorite plane: P-51 Mustangs, Corsairs, Yacks, Hell Cats. Others, a specific racer: Rare Bear, Czech Mate, Saw Bones, Dreadnought, Mrs. Virginia.

Still others displayed their loyalty to the sport itself, wearing official Reno shirts of years gone by, some quite faded. One elderly gentleman had a hat so festooned with annual race pins there wasn’t space for even one more.

The fans were of all ages. Some so old they could barely walk. Some so young they were still at their mother’s breast (literally). Some children ran through the grounds, arms stretched wide, turning their bodies into airplanes; others danced with die-cast metal planes, holding the toys high above their heads, engine noises coming from their lips.

reno_4

The joy of flight: A young boy flies a toy airplane between race heats at the National Championship Air Races. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Fathers explained the finite details of aircraft to their offspring, sometimes in excessive detail. In other cases, 11-year-olds corrected their fathers. The crowd was equal parts X-chromosome and Y-chromosome, and the ladies were no less enthusiastic.

Some fans were pilots, but most of the people I talked to were not. They simply loved the sport. The action. The noise. The smoke. The competition.

All of this is even more remarkable when you consider that being an air race fan is not a cheap undertaking. My press pass got me in pretty much everywhere (except the cockpit, damn it), but it was a different story for my 14-year-old son Rio, my copilot on this trip. Sunday entrance, general admission with pit pass, was $75.

Reserved seating is even more expensive. “Box” seating is available for groups. Now mind you, there are no catered air-conditioned skyboxes here. Boxes are roped-off groups of sun-drenched chairs on the ramp in front of the grandstands.

In fact, there’s an appalling lack of shade at the Reno air races. With two exceptions, the clubs: The Chairman’s Tent and the Checked Flag Club. A daily pass to the Chairman’s Club is $110, which doesn’t include entry to the races, but does include shade, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and real bathrooms (there are hundreds of porta potties on the grounds, but long lines stretched from all of them. Hint: The shorter lines are found in the pit potties). The Tent has a splendid view. Given the cost of airshow food, you could come out ahead by joining for a day.

I will when I go back next year.

Shade is at a premium at Reno. Here members of the Chairman’s Tent escape the sun. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Shade is at a premium at Reno. Here members of the Chairman’s Tent escape the sun. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

The Checkered Flag Club is a bar in a hangar, and a smaller member-only grandstand, along with a close-in parking lot (and shuttle service). Limit 225 people. $850 for the week, but you still need to purchase a general admission ticket, too.

Back In The Stands

The Merlin sings its distinctive high-pitched hiss, the radials give off their throaty roars. The line of six planes wavers, funneling down into a train as they close in on the first pylon.

The planes become fast-moving blurs on the far side of the course, light glinting off their canopies like diamonds. They fade to mere specks, then start growing in size again as they thunder down speed alley toward the grandstands again. One by one, they flash along in front of the grandstands, turning at show center, showing their bellies to the crowd, who shout encouragement to their favorite pilots.

Voodoo, a highly modified bright purple, lime green, and red 75-year-old Mustang P51D piloted by Steven Hinton is running away with the race, actually passing the two slowest planes on the course. As Voodoo streaks past the home pylon a white flag goes up. It’s the last lap.

Voodoo rounds the home pylon for the final lap in the Unlimited Gold Race. With Steven Hinton at the controls the plane took first place this year with a speed of 460.306 miles per hour. While the second place plane wasn’t even close, that wasn’t true of all the races this year. In the T-6 Gold race, only a 20th of a second separated the first and second place planes. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Voodoo rounds the home pylon for the final lap in the Unlimited Gold Race. With Steven Hinton at the controls the plane took first place this year with a speed of 460.306 miles per hour. While the second place plane wasn’t even close, that wasn’t true of all the races this year. In the T-6 Gold race, only a 20th of a second separated the first and second place planes. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

It’s no contest anymore. The fastest loser (the second place plane) isn’t even in Voodoo’s prop wash. Some of the fans get up and sneak out of the grandstands to try to beat the impending traffic jam. Not me. I’m riveted to my seat. The checkered flag is waving. Voodoo rounds the last pylon, levels off, flashes by the stands and pulls sharply up into the clear blue sky.

Reno tradition: Race winners parade in front of the crowd on an antique fire truck. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

Reno tradition: Race winners parade in front of the crowd on an antique fire truck. (Photo by William E. Dubois)

And it’s over.

Until next year.

For full results of the races, go to AirRace.org

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comReno: Air racing from the grandstands

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Black Dart: U.S. Navy Tests Ship-based Anti-drone System

The U.S. Navy is testing a virtual net it hopes can both detect and splash rogue drones before they become a clear and present danger. During an exercise last week, missile destroyers USS Lassen and USS Jason Dunham checked out an anti-drone capability sensor system in the Gulf of Mexico that tracked quadcopters launched by […]

The post Black Dart: U.S. Navy Tests Ship-based Anti-drone System appeared first on DRONELIFE.

Source: Quadcopter/Drone newsBlack Dart: U.S. Navy Tests Ship-based Anti-drone System

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