Almost every day, my news tickler pops up with another story about a company that is introducing their idea of a personal VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle. Judging by the news, the skies around cities are going to get really crowded by the end of the week.
With that in mind, the Mothership in OSH has announced that it will be featuring cutting-edge innovation at Air Venture 2019 at its new “Urban Air Mobility Showcase.” https://www.eaa.org/airventure/eaa-airventure-news-and-multimedia/eaa-airventure-news/eaa-airventure-oshkosh/02-28-2019-Cutting-Edge-Innovation-at-AirVenture-2019s-New-Urban-Air-Mobility-Showcase
Their press release has been widely picked up by aviation media. (I actually received a notification from “Flying” before I got it from the EAA, and I’m not even a subscriber.)
Not a moment too soon (and as if we don’t have enough acronyms) a company with their own HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicle) has done some forward thinking. With everyone getting into the act, it occurred to thinkers at a hive named Zeva, that rooftop parking is soon going to be at a premium. To solve a problem that doesn’t exist yet but will the day after tomorrow, they’ve come up with the “SkyDock” which will allow you to park your HAV just outside your office window on the 83rd floor of the Willis Tower. That is likely to take some of the thrill out of looking down from the “Ledge” on the 103rd floor.
If it’s inconvenient to make it out to Tucson to see Pima’s Boneyard, no worries. There is one that’s considerably closer to home. One of the country’s biggest small aircraft salvage yards is in Bates City, Missouri, where 81-year-old Terry White has been salvaging airplanes since 1956. His 170 acre property has its own runway and is home to over 2,000 airplanes in various stages of disassembly and/or decomposition. Terry related that one of his more memorable request was for the fuselage of a 6 – 8 passenger aircraft and came from a guy who wanted to use it as a tree house for his kids. If you’re contemplating a stop to look around, Terry does offer tours, but on a
limited basis. Plan to do so soon, because Terry’s thinking about retiring. https://fox4kc.com/2019/02/27/one-of-the-countrys-largest-aircraft-salvage-yards-calls-bates-city-home/
You may be aware of the term “train spotting,” (the hobby, not the movie) which requires enthusiasts to stand around for inordinate amounts of time waiting for trains to pass so they can take pictures of them. Now, as I’ve just discovered, Plane Spotting is a thing too. As you might expect, it involves standing around for inordinate amounts of time while looking up. There are actually web sites about how to do it properly and guide books to the best spots to, uh, spot airplanes. It suddenly occurs to me that I have spent an alarming amount of my life gazing at aircraft passing overhead and all this time I might have been earning points or something! On second thought, I was probably doing it all wrong. http://www.airportspotting.com/spot-airport-spotting-guides/
Finally, if the icy weather has left you trying to explain to your dog exactly why you need to keep spreading salt on the driveway, just show him/her/it this video of a very lucky airplane driver: https://www.9news.com/video/news/watch-this-airplane-slide-on-ice-at-the-salida-airport/73-6f460f1f-4f75-4510-a70b-144ba22fb57b