Fun Aviation

5 Great American Aviators

Airplanes against cloudsIn the wake of Independence Day, it is a good time to remember all of the Americans who have made this country great. A number of exceptional U.S. citizens made a huge impact in aviation throughout history and contributed to its ongoing growth and success.

Let’s learn a little more about these great American aviators.

Bessica Raiche (April 1875 – April 1932)

A Wisconsin-born renaissance woman who broke the mold of how women in the early 20th century were supposed to behave, Bessica Raiche routinely wore pants, was an accomplished linguist and musician, and became the first American woman to make a solo flight in an aircraft (that she and her husband built by hand!). In 1910, Bessica was awarded a diamond-studded gold medal, inscribed “First Woman Aviator in America” at a dinner in her honor hosted by the Aeronautical Society of America. Bessica and her husband went on to build two more airplanes and became known for their innovative use of light-weight materials such as piano wire instead of heavy iron wire.

Amelia Earhart (July 1897 – July, 1937)

A Kansas-born record-breaker and pioneer in American aviation history, Amelia Earhart is most known as the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, her Atlantic crossing wasn’t the only important flight she made. She was also the first pilot to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland in 1935, the first person to fly solo between Los Angeles and Mexico City, followed by a solo flight from Mexico City to Newark. A best-selling writer, she contributed books about her experiences as a pilot and helped form The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

Charles Lindbergh (February 1902 – August 1974)

This Michigan-born emerged suddenly into world fame as the result of a solo, nonstop flight made from New York’s Long Island to Lebourget Field in Paris, France. The distance was nearly 3,600 miles in a single seat, single-engine monoplane called Spirit of St. Louis. The distinction of this flight was that Lindbergh was the first person in history to be in New York one day and in Paris the next. It was a record-setting flight that took 33.5 hours.

Jacqueline Cochran (May 1906 – August 1980)

Florida-born Jacqueline Cochran was considered one of the best racing pilots of her generation. She was an important contributor to the wartime Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The only woman pilot to compete in the 1937 Bendix race and the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic in 1941, Jacqueline’s best claim to fame is as the first female aviator to break the sound barrier in 1953. Referred to as the “Speed Queen” by Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline held more distance, altitude, and speed records than any other pilot at the time of her death.

Noel Wien (June 1899 – July 1977)

Another Wisconsin-born aviator, Noel Wien learned to fly as a barnstormer in Clarence Hinck’s Federated Fliers Flying Circus. It is thanks to Wien that Alaska now has a higher ratio of aircraft and pilots to residents than any other state in the U.S. In the 1920s, Wien saw a need for pilots in Alaska and played a major role in making aircraft the primary mode of transportation in the vast state over the next 50 years. Noel was the first American to fly north of the Arctic Circle and he made the first commercial flight between Fairbanks and Nome, Alaska. He ultimately was the first to fly year-round service through the dismal Alaskan winters — all without a radio, virtually no paved landing strips, and hand-written maps.

Let’s remember all of the exceptional American aviators who paved a path of success for our generation!

Messages In the Sky: The Skywriting Trend Resurges

heart of love in the skyWhen messages started showing up in the sky above New Orleans in late April, the public was baffled, intrigued, and above all else — delighted. Turns out, a New Orleans businessman named Frank Scurlock, hired Kentucky-based skywriter Nathan Hammond to ‘paint’ the cheery and uplifting messages in the sky as random act of kindness.

Over 10 days of gorgeous weather, Hammond and Scurlock colluded over conference calls to determine the content and location of each day’s positive messages (three times a day). The messages spelled out “LOVE”, “FREEDOM”, “RELAX”, and true to the heart of New Orleans, “JAZZ”. Smiley faces and hearts also appeared in the sky.

A long history

Skywriting, originally called ‘smoke casting,’ first appeared in 1922 when a pilot demonstrated writing a phone number in the air over Times Square. Operators at the hotel that owned the phone number received nearly 50,000 calls in three hours as the number floated across the sky. While skywriting is a rare art these days, it was considered the pinnacle of advertising less than a century ago. The technique is relatively simple, but it takes a significant amount of skill to do well. Engine-heated paraffin oils are mixed with the plane’s exhaust to produce fluffy streams that expert pilots can loop and turn to spell letters and shapes on the canvas of the sky.

Today’s skywriting pilots are allowed to fly at level altitude while skywriting, and they turn off their radios to pay attention to their art, communicating only with local air traffic control. A message has to be pointed in the right direction, positioned correctly in relation to the wind, and of course spelled correctly.

Why the skywriting over New Orleans? Frank Scurlock seems to be a true Good Samaritan. According to his co-worker Charla Miller, the man behind the message was concerned with the increased violence as of late and wanted to remind people that good exists. Turns out, that sentiment runs in the family —Scurlock’s father is credited with inventing the bouncy house!

Reports indicate that the bill for the skywriting has been over $20,000 so far, but Hammond recently hinted he would be decorating the sky over Baton Rouge once again sometime soon. So keep your eyes on the sky to see what new delights skywriting will bring.

Contact L & L International if you need assistance in purchasing or selling a private jet. 
You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1.305.754.3313, or visit us online.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Aviation

ConfusionYou may think you know a lot about air travel, but let’s put that claim to the test. If you want to impress your aviation pals at your next get-together, take note of these nine interesting and little-known facts about aircraft:

  1. Commercial airline pilots and copilots never eat the same meal. Why? In the event that one of them gets food poisoning, the other will still be well enough to fly the plane. It makes you look at the airport food a little differently, doesn’t it?
  2. You lose about two cups of water from your body for every hour you spend flying. Most of the moisture is lost through breathing, and dehydration is a common complaint among passengers on long flights.
  3. Flight attendants have significant levels of first-aid training. They really are safety personnel and will likely be the first to assist you in an in-flight medical emergency.
  4. Statistically, flying is still the safest form of transportation after the elevator and escalator. In the rare event of a plane crash, you have a 96% chance of surviving.
  5. The word “stewardess” is the longest word in the English language that is typed exclusively using the left hand on a keyboard. (Go ahead and try it!)
  6. A commercial aircraft door will not open in flight — it can’t because it is actually bigger than the door frame itself and it’s designed to open inward, toward the cabin. To open the door while the plane is flying would require the equivalent strength needed to lift a 2,200-pound weight.
  7. Only 5% of the entire world’s population has ever traveled by aircraft; however, more than 80% of people claim to be afraid of flying.
  8. Ever wondered why so many people prefer V8 juice as an in-flight beverage? The ability to taste salty flavors is hindered by cabin pressure. So the juice, which is very high in sodium content, actually tastes sweeter in the air than it does on the ground.
  9. Most aircraft that fly internationally display their home country’s flag painted on or near the tail and facing forward on the left side of the plane, backward on the right side. This is because it imitates how a flag would look if it were hoisted on a pole above the plane during flight.

Contact L & L International if you need assistance in purchasing or selling a private jet. 
You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1.305.754.3313, or visit us online.

Love Flying? Have an iPhone? You Need Bionic Bird

Remember the rubber band-powered toy flying bird of your childhood? The original mechanical flying bird, called Tim, is a classic toy designed around a simple, ingenious concept. And thanks to Edwin Van Ruymbeke, descendant of Tim’s inventors, there’s a new “species” in the mechanical bird world: Bionic Bird.

Van Ruymbeke, an aeronautic engineer who worked for his family’s business, conceived the Bionic Bird concept years ago. Recent advances in technology, including electronics miniaturization, lightweight materials, and smartphones, finally made it possible for Van Ruymbeke to fabricate and produce Bionic Bird, which he launched in December 2015.

Bionic Bird includes three components: the bird itself; a standalone, egg-shaped charger; and the Flying App, a Bluetooth 4.0 app that remotely controls the bird. The app is currently available for the iPhone 4S and 5 and iPad mini; the company plans to release an Android version of the app as well.

Van Ruymbeke designed Bionic Bird to be lightweight enough to stay aloft and flap its wings like a real bird. Bionic Bird weighs only 10 grams — slightly more than one-third ounce. The device charges fully in 12 minutes, enough to power 10 eight-minute flights, the company states. Bionic Bird mimics a real bird so well, it can beguile cats and fly among actual birds.

Bionic Bird’s creator plans to enhance Bionic Bird to enable more precise control and stable flight and eventually outfit the bird with an HD video camera with live retransmission. At about $117, Bionic Bird isn’t as pricey as some gadgets — but for those who love flight, the entertainment it provides might well be priceless.

Holiday Vacation Plans? Check Out an Airplane Movie!

Movie production clapper boardFor many people, the end-of-year holiday season is a time to snuggle up with friends and family and enjoy the long evenings. This year, consider skipping the tired holiday movie marathon and enjoy an aviation-themed movie night instead. Flight films are popular because of the familiar themes — riding in or piloting a plane — and because movies that take place in airplanes can be thrilling, hair-raisingly terrifying, or even romantic.

The following are some of the most popular flight-themed movies:

  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1966) is a story of a cargo plane that goes down in the Sahara, only to be rebuilt from the wreckage through the efforts of one of the survivors, a German aircraft designer.
  • A hilarious spoof movie, Airplane! (1980), is a classic that starts out with ex-military pilot, Ted Striker, following the love of his life, a flight attendant, onto a commercial flight in an effort to win her back. The hero, who is afraid to fly, must overcome his fears and land the plane.
  • When Russian terrorists take the U.S. president and his family hostage aboard Airforce One (1997), the action gets tense as the president must work to defeat his captors and save his family 30,000 feet in the air.
  • The fear of flying is nothing compared to sharing an aircraft with some of American’s most dangerous criminals. In Con Air (1997), a group of hardened criminals hijack an airplane and one, who is on a flight home, must step in and stop them if he is to return to his family.
  • In the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a man who impersonated a Pan Am pilot in the heyday of commercial flight, Catch Me If You Can (2002) presents a fascinating drama of an expert con man and the FBI agent determined to catch him.
  • The title of Snakes on a Plane (2006) speaks for itself. A mob boss releases deadly, poisonous snakes on a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles that carries a witness ready to testify against him. Viperous chaos ensues.
  • When the isolation of continuously flying back and forth across the country gets to be too much, the life of a jaded business traveler, who knows his way around an airport better than his own home, is exposed in the affable comedy Up in the Air (2009).
  • The gripping drama Flight (2012) is the story of a veteran pilot who successfully lands a commercial plane following a terrible malfunction. When a subsequent investigation reveals that the pilot, previously seen as hero, had alcohol in his blood, the story takes an interesting turn.

Which aviation-themed film is your favorite?

Contact L & L International if you need assistance in purchasing or selling a private jet. 
You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1.305.754.3313, or visit us online.

Groundbreaking African American Aviators

February is Black History Month and to celebrate the amazing contributions African American aviators have made to aviation history, we wanted to celebrate some influential black pilots in history.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman (Jan. 26, 1892–Apr. 30, 1926) was the first black female pilot and the first African American to hold an international pilot license’s license. Coleman learned to fly in France in a Nieuport Type 82 biplane. Upon returning to the U.S., she quickly realized that to make a living as a civil aviator, she would have to become a stunt flier. So she launched a successful career in exhibition flying.

Eugene Jacques Bullard

Eugene Bullard (Oct. 9, 1895–Oct. 12, 1961) was the first black American military pilot and one of just two black combat pilots in World War I (the other being Ahmet Ali Çelikten). As a teenager, Bullard stowed away on a ship bound for Scotland to escape the racial discrimination in America, but at the outbreak of World War I, enlisted in the 1st Regiment of the Foreign Legion, since volunteers from overseas were allowed to serve in French colonial troops.

Tuskegee Airmen

The first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces, the Tuskegee Airman, were subject to the Jim Crow laws during World War II as the American military was still racially segregated. All black military pilots trained in the U.S. received their training at Moton Field and the Tuskegee Army Air Field near Tuskegee, Alabama, where they got their name. The budding pilot program received a big publicity boost when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited in March 1941 and flew with the black chief civilian instructor, C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. After landing, she cheerfully pronounced, “Well you can fly, all right.”

War accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen include:

  • 1,578 combat missions
  • 112 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground, 148 damaged
  • 950 rail cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles destroyed
  • 1 destroyer put out of action, 40 boats and barges destroyed

Out of the 992 pilots trained in Tuskegee from 1941-1946, 355 were deployed overseas and 84 lost their lives to combat or accidents.

Currently African Americans make up just over 2% of commercial airline pilots in the U.S. and the number of black female pilots is less than 1%. FedEx is among the leaders in employing female pilots — with over 300 — but has only one African American female pilot.

This month, let’s celebrate all the African American pilots who have changed aviation history, and continue to do to this day!

9 Things We’re Thankful for at L&L

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, we wanted to stop and reflect on a few things that make L&L and the private jet industry so great. We’re lucky to be an active part of such an exciting market, and we’re thankful for all the opportunities business jets bring to the table:

  • Speed. Our time is valuable, and our clients’ time is really valuable. Bizjets make sure business deals aren’t put on hold for traffic jams, long security lines, or cancelled commercial flights.
  • Family. Jet travel allows us to be more efficient at work and spend fewer nights away from home — and less time at work means more time with family and friends. Not to mention that, with private air travel, family and friends may be able to come along for the ride!
  • Experience. Since 1995, we’ve had the opportunity to grow and work with the best and brightest in the industry. We’re thankful we get to continue sharing our expertise with our partners, friends, and associates around the globe.
  • Flexibility. With more than 5,000 airports in the U.S., a private jet can take you anywhere. And whether your baggage includes liquids, oversized equipment, or something that barks or meows, it’s comforting to know that you can bring it on board without concern.
  • Connectivity. Whether you’re taking off from Timbuktu or soaring high above the Rocky Mountains, new advances in on-board Wi-Fi and videoconferencing solutions mean never having to disconnect.
  • History. The history of jet travel may be short compared to other forms of transportation, but it’s fascinating and chock-full of innovation! There are a number of industry leaders, trend-setters, and visionaries that have helped pave the way to a where aviation is today. We’re lucky to have so many resources and museums for researching and learning about them.
  • Customization. Private jet travel means having things your way. From food to amenities, a jet is a luxurious second home or office in the sky and it can be customized to even the most discerning tastes.
  • Innovation. Today’s jets are smarter, faster, and can go farther. Plus, have you seen some of the perks introduced in the latest bizjets? One word: sunroof.
  • Clients. L&L works with some of the best owners, brokers, dealers, service providers, manufacturers, and jet aficionados in the world. Period.

Thanks for your business and support over the years. We hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving full of family, food, and of course — flight!

Celebrate National Aviation Day

Monday, Aug. 19, will be the 74th National Aviation Day in the U.S. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed National Aviation Day would be celebrated each year on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday. Wright and his brother Wilbur, the Fathers of Modern Aviation, made that famous first flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. The brothers likely had no idea how big an impact their invention would have on the world.

Aviation is a vital part of the economy in the United States. The industry supplies jobs in its own right, but it also is a key role in the movement of other businesses and industries.  Just look at some numbers from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation 2011 Report:

  • 793 million people moved through U.S. airspace
  • $562.1 billion worth of freight shipped around the world.
  • 2 million jobs related to aviation industry
  • contributed more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy

After their first successful flight, the Wright brothers began filling contracts for airplanes in Europe and the United States. Much of their business was based on government contracts, which they courted in the early years of their plane development. Orville took over the family business when his brother died in 1912. More interested in the research and development of aircraft than the business side of the operation, Orville sold the company by 1915.

Thanks to the Wright brothers and other early aviation pioneers, we have safe, reliable, and nearly-always available air travel. Take time this year to celebrate aviation in the U.S. Many aviation museums are offering discounted admission to special programs throughout the weekend. You’ll be able to learn more about the history and the men and women who have been integral in the development of modern aviation.

USAF Thunderbirds Have Quiet Air Show Season

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the famed Thunderbirds team, the air demonstration squadron of the U. S. Air Force. While this would normally be air show season for the 12-man group, the shows for the rest of the year were canceled due to sequestration, as of March 1. Two weeks ago the group was allotted some training hours to take to the skies, but they won’t be expected to be performing their famed shows again until possibly sometime next year.

How much do you know about the USAF Thunderbirds?

Named after mythical birds mentioned in Native American lore, the Thunderbirds were formed in 1953. They’ve called Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada home since 1974. In the squadron’s 60 year history, 325 Thunderbird pilots have flown in front of more than 300 million people. They don’t just perform in the U. S., either. Nicknamed “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” the team has performed all over the world, including a European Goodwill Tour in 2007.

Officers joining the squadron sign up for two-year stints, during which they spend hours of practice time learning the iconic routines. The routine is action packed, and it shows off the ability of both the officers and the F-16C Fighting Falcons they fly. Some routines have the pilots flying as close as 18 inches from each other! There are eight formations used during the show, and the signature rolls and loops are performed at speed of up to 700 mph.

Missing the adrenaline packed Thunderbirds show? Check out YouTube for a variety of Thunderbirds videos including a video of the entire hour-long show. Or drive your own Thunderbird home thanks to Ford. They recently unveiled a USAF Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT. The edition has undergone performance enhancements and sports a paint job that mimics the design seen on the Thunderbirds’ F-16Cs. The car will be put up for auction on Aug. 1 to benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagle group.

10 Reasons Dad Deserves Private Jet

Father’s Day is Sunday and it can be tough to try to buy for the dad who has everything.  But since the man gave you everything, you’ll want to find him the perfect gift. Instead of another tie he won’t wear or another gadget he won’t use, why not really wow him this year? Get him his own private jet! The bizav industry is full of private jet options that are perfect for dad.

Here are 10 reasons you should buy dad his own jet this year:

  • Easy to travel to see his grandkids. He won’t have to find a cheap flight or enough time to drive across the country. Now he can jump in his plane and see his grandkids whenever he wants!
  • He bought you your first car, so it’s only fair that you buy him his first jet.
  • He can visit all the places he’s talked about seeing all these years. He can jet around to Wrigley Field, the Grand Canyon, and Disneyland and still make it home for the weekend.
  • He won’t have to worry about baggage overage fees for his tackle box, golf clubs, and hunting gear like he would on a commercial flight.
  • You know he’ll get you awesome souvenirs from his travels, so you’re winning in this deal, too.
  • Remember when he got you that pony you always wanted when you were 7? This is the perfect way to pay him back.
  • The guy is worn out from teaching you all those sweet football moves, and he deserves to travel in luxury.
  • When he falls asleep during the flight, his snoring won’t disturb other passengers (just the crew).
  • Great bragging rights to his buddies. Oh, their kids got them a juicer? His kid got him a jet. He wins.
  • He deserves it. He’s been an awesome dad, and you’d do anything to pay him back for everything he’s done for you.

Private and corporate jets are a great way to get more done in your personal and professional life. If you are ready to get Dad a jet for Father’s Day, we’ll help you find the right one. But if you aren’t ready to make that purchase for dad, don’t worry. We know he’ll love you no matter what (even if you do get him another tie).