Want to count yourself among the likes of Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Stanley Hiller or Alan Bristow? They are all now or have been Twirly Birds, a group of helicopter pilots formed in 1945 for camaraderie on a grand order. Twirly Birds have just one thing in common: they’ve all soloed a helicopter or vertical-lift aircraft more than 20 years ago. If you meet these qualifications, join the group for their annual meeting at 5 p.m. today, the opening day of Heli-Expo 2014, in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom Northeast.
On June 3 the Air and Space Museum, located here in the historical buildings of the former Le Bourget airport passenger terminal, held the grand opening of the restored “Salle des Huit Colonnes” (“Hall of the Eight Pillars”) in art deco style–the spectacular heart of the 1,100-foot-long building. The restoration is part of a €25 million ($32 million) project encompassing the institution’s entire premises.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen received this year’s Charles Lindbergh General Aviation Diploma from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) last Tuesday. The award is given for significant contributions to the progress and success of GA in either air sport or transportation, or in the work of international bodies concerned with GA. “[Ed] has had a major, positive impact on the world’s general aviation community for well over a decade and is a most worthy recipient of the Diploma,” said Jonathan Gaffney, president of the National Aeronautic Association, the U.S.
After a moment of silence in respect for members lost in the past year, Jim Kettles, vice president of the venerable Twirly Birds brought to order the association’s annual meeting. It’s tradition, he explained, for the Twirly Birds to convene their meeting during Heli-Expo.
French aerospace manufacturer Safran has partnered with a historical archeology association on a mission to rewrite the history books. The group seeks to find incontrovertible proof that a French aircraft (l’Oiseau Blanc) flown by pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli successfully crossed the Atlantic 12 days before Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The aircraft has never been found, but in some accounts witnesses claim to have heard the sound of a laboring aircraft engine over Maine.
On Oct. 21, 1927, pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh stopped at Atlantic Aviation’s Wilmington, Del. facility on his way from Atlantic City to Philadelphia. Now, 82 years later, Atlantic (Booth No. 5115) is focusing on a bit of history at this year’s NBAA Convention by exhibiting an aircraft registry dating back to 1929. The document was signed by Amelia Earhart, Lindbergh and Admiral William “Bull” Halsey.
In the early 1930s, when many women were expected to stay home and tend to the needs of their families, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was exploring the world with her famous aviator husband Charles and making her own mark in aviation history. Lindbergh served as her husband’s copilot, navigator and radio operator on many of his long-distance flights and documented their adventures in several books.
On November 14, New York City-based Swann Galleries will auction a letter and flag carried by Charles Lindbergh on his historic 1927 New York-to-Paris solo flight.
Dassault has launched a major extension of the Charles Lindbergh Hall, the Falcon 7X final assembly line at its Bordeaux Mérignac production site in France. The extension adds 260,000 sq ft and means the facility will be able to accommodate another 14 Falcon 7Xs. Construction started in November last year and the new building should be operational early next year.
When World War I ended in 1918 it had cost some nine million lives, and about 15,000 of those lost were airmen. While that might not seem to be a significant percentage, the numbers testified to aviation’s loss of innocence. It had played its part in a brutal conflict, and was no longer simply the recreational adventure it had been before the outbreak of hostilities in 1914.
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