Whether you’re flying to one of your favorite vacation spots, or to a remote airstrip high in the mountains, aviation travel is an experience unto itself. Browse our aviation travel section and capture the atmosphere of adventure flying.
“I will go fast until the day I die.”—Bobby Unser, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion
There were surprises. It only took one question to kick off a discussion that took nearly three utterly fascinating hours to unravel. And some of the statements he made were truly outside the image and expectations I had brought to the interview.
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is with just a little extra preflight planning
When the chance came to fly a Cirrus across Europe, it would be an understatement to call it a chance of a lifetime. For years, it had always seemed to me that Europe was the perfect place to have a small, personal airplane. You can fly from almost anywhere to anywhere else in western Europe on a single tank of gas.
General Paul Tibbets and Enola Gay navigator Dutch Van Kirk look back on one of the most famous moments in history
Paul Tibbets joined the Army Air Corps at Fort Thomas, Ky., in 1937. In 1942, Tibbets joined the 97th Bomb Group in the Bolero Mission, ferrying B-17s, P-38s and C-47s from Bangor, Maine, across Greenland and Iceland to the European Theatre. He flew the B-17 Flying Fortress with the 340th Bomb Squadron Bombardment Group in Europe and later flew missions to support the Allied invasion of North Africa.
After drawing and building airplanes all his life, this genius’ designs are getting out of this world
Before pilot Brian Binnie soared and flew right into world history aboard SpaceShipOne on October 4, 2004, team leader Burt Rutan had a little advice for his old golfing buddy. Just after 6 a.m. inside a hanger at Mojave Airport in California, Burt leaned into the bug-like spacecraft’s cockpit and said, “Use the driver. Keep your head down and swing smooth.”
Taking full advantage of being a pilot in Central America
Bob and Jill Blettner flew from Wisconsin down to Key West, Fla., in their Cessna Centurion to meet Thierry Pouille for the first time. Jimmy and Diane Jones came from Georgia in their C-206. Don and Arlene Stoppe flew their Seneca from New Hampshire. Philippe Harsch arrived from Paris, and Marc Cotte from Johannesburg, South Africa. All came for a single reason: to join in a fast-growing activity in general aviation—escorted adventures with Thierry Pouille and his company, Air Journey.
Red Bull has combined low-level aerobatics through a slalom course of pylons to give birth to an exciting new type of in-your-face race—all in the backdrop of Reno, Nevada!
Reno 2004: The single red and blue airplane comes screaming downhill from 1,000 feet toward the twin pylons, passes through the center of the short gap between them and starts the race. Then, inexplicably, the airplane does an 8 G pull up to vertical, rolls past a wingover to inverted and dives straight back down toward the ground. It’s called the Red Bull Air Race, and it’s a type of competition no one in the U.S. has seen before.
Once again, a new wave of attention has focused the spotlight on one of America’s most brilliant and mysterious aviation figures
This past December 2004 marked the release of a new movie called The Aviator, which is directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the pre-1950s life of Howard Hughes. Although it’s an entertaining film, it probably raises more questions than answers for those interested in the reality of Howard Hughes’ life as an aviator.
Amidst a massive military aircraft launch, 150 aviation photographers gather to perfect their craft
There it sits, waiting, a latency of brooding power. It’s like the unprocessed image on a digital memory chip. Family: American warbird. Genus: Lockheed Stealth Fighter. Species: F/A-22 Raptor. You can feel the deadly purpose rise from its gold-tinted canopy and cool, gray skin, like the heat waves that shimmer the Vegas Strip in the distance.
Four generations of a flying family keep the tradition going
Jimmy Leeward really never had much of a chance. His parents eloped in an Aeronca C-3. The couple settled down on a grass strip outside of Tarentum, Pa., and as soon as Jimmy could walk, he was at the airport, cleaning and eventually working on many airplanes. Of course, he, too, would become a pilot.
Sixty-seven years later, the mystery behind the disappearance of Earhart and her Lockheed Electra might soon come to an end
Lady Lindy always knew how to captivate a crowd. And today was no different. She, famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart—nicknamed for her comparable achievements to another celebrated aviator, Charles Lindbergh—stood in front of her airplane amidst a throng of people who were eager to witness her attempt at yet another record-breaking flight—to become the first person to fly around the world at its widest route, near the equator.
Airplanes support a 1,000-mile sled-dog race through the toughest terrain on the planet
The sun isn’t up yet and Gary Chamberlain is already on the phone, talking to flight service. The news isn’t good. Circle City, a small checkpoint along the sled-dog race route based on the banks of the Yukon River, is reporting 20 to 30 knots of crosswind with blowing snow, the ceilings are low, and the temperature is stuck at 57 degrees F—below zero.
A pilot in the wilderness re-learns the lesson that the most dangerous animal on earth is man
For Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns, it had been a mostly sleepless night. Straight winds of more than 100 miles an hour were not uncommon in remote southeast Russia, and the storms that came with them could last for days. Their tiny homebuilt cabin perched on the tundra was barely a refuge from gusts of air that found their way through the tiny imperfections in the walls, the roof and even the floor, bringing with them deposits of snow, dust or rain. At first light, their worst fears were confirmed: The wind had put their airplane on its back.
Named Double Vee for the victory over Europe and discrimination, this Texan is the only remaining AT-6 once assigned to the Red-Tailed Angels
Their legacy is one of courage in the face of a variety of adversaries—fierce anti-aircraft artillery fire, swarms of enemy fighters, some of the worst weather in Europe and constant derision and discrimination from many of their own comrades in arms during World War II.
John Trefethen, whose name graces one of Napa Valley’s premier wineries, is standing inside an oak barrel room of his historic winery on his 600-acre vineyard. Neatly dressed in jeans and a mustard-yellow silk shirt, Trefethen is regaling his listeners with some hangar talk about a crop-duster that used to land on the one-lane entrance road when the winery started in the early ’70s. In those days, Trefethen was flying his Cessna 182 out of the Napa Valley Airport 10 miles away, causing the crop-dusting pilot to scratch his head.
A groundbreaking spacetelescope—and a passion for flying small airplanes—bond these NASA/JPL Spitzerteam members
At first, it might seem a bit odd. In a control room in NASA’s JPL laboratory, scientists and engineers sit, waiting for the next data stream from the world’s most advanced space-imaging telescope, Spitzer. Instead of lofty conversations about the bits and bytes beaming back to Earth to decipher the mysteries of the cosmos, the conversation could likely be about airplanes.