In-flight video at the site. Place your order here. Expected cost "will be about the same as a high-end motorcycle or car," according to the FAQs. I know this routine! When rationalizing buying a small airplane to my family, I avoided referring to "dollars" and instead tried to get away with the luxury-car counting-unit too. The FAQ list also includes, What happens if the engine stops? The answer involves a parachute.
2) Courtesy of USA Today, a sane statement from a TSA official! The TSA's John Sammon, referring to possible changes in policy in light of the terrorist crash of a small airplane into the IRS office in Austin last month, said: "It may simply be a confirmation that for very small planes you're not going to see a lot of casualties." Obviously even one casualty is too many; obviously too, anti-IRS and anti-institutional violence of any sort is no joke. But to be sustainable, a security policy must make sensible tradeoffs of risks and rewards; in a free society, it must also reflect a sensible long-term balance between security and liberty. You could entirely eliminate the risk of airplane hijackings or bombs if you didn't let anyone fly; you could entirely eliminate gun deaths if there were no guns; no risk of car bombs if there were not cars; etc. Panglossian that I am, I will take Mr. Sammon's comment as the dawn of a new age of sensible balance coming out of the TSA.
3) Courtesy of The Guardian, news that DARPA, the Pentagon's advanced-research body, is close to tests of a scheme to make jet fuel out of algae. This has obvious advantages over making jet fuel out of crude oil from petro-dictatorships. It has a less obvious advantage, which is that algae absorb about as much carbon when growing as their fuel releases when burned, for a much lower net-carbon impact. And unlike the benighted ethanol-subsidy program -- winner of a "stupidest policy ever" contest -- growing algae doesn't compete with growing crops for food. I hope this turns out to be feasible.
4) What the hell: courtesy of Crunch Gear and Sky News, let's wind up with another New Zealand candidate for "interesting" ways to fly. It's a home-built flying hovercraft.
I can't embed the three-minute video, but it is worth going to the site to watch. The young woman reporter who takes a ride on this thing is lot more risk-tolerant than I have ever been, in either my reporting or my aviating life. Or perhaps more naively trusting. Either way, she ends up having an unexpectedly
This article available online at: