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Thursday, January 31, 2019

DOAV Partners with Youth Academy for Aviation Career Exploration Day

     It was an honor to have the Upsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Inc. Youth Academy at The Virginia Department of Aviation hangar on Saturday, January 26th for the Aviation Career Exploration Day.
     The students and chaperones were able to participate in aviation lesson plans, watch videos that explained aviation history and tour the different education stations set up in the hangar by the DOAV staff. Betty Wilson, Public Relations Manager, provided three different hands-on science lessons about air flow and showed the group how to use an aeronautical chart for flight planning. Aviation Technicians, Jeff Taylor and Greg Gilmour, showed the students various tools and parts of the aircraft so they could better understand how everything works together. They also talked about safety while allowing the students to get a hands-on lesson about maintaining the aircraft. Kim Wells, Public Relations Specialist took photos during the event, provided the guests with a goody bag and also provided educational assistance. Alton Jordon, an Engineer who has his private pilot’s license, demonstrated how drones can be used and explained his engineering role with the airports.  Andrew Crider, Customer Relations Specialist who also has his private pilot’s license, explained how to preflight aircraft and showed them how flight controls work. DOAV Pilot, Greg Dextor spoke about aviation career and airspace and, assisted by Pilot Claiborne Craig, gave the guests a tour of the agency’s airplanes.
     A big thank you to Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam for interacting with the kids and adults to explain the importance of choosing a career you love. We truly appreciate Virginia National Guard for landing their Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk on the ramp and allowing everyone to get inside and learn about military aviation. We were also lucky to have Richmond International Airport (RIC) Fire come by with their firetrucks to do a water demonstration. In addition to the outdoor activities, RIC police brought over a patrol car. The crowd really enjoyed touring the vehicles learning about various careers and how they interact with aviation. We hope to do more events like this in the future! For more photos, visit our Facebook page (@VirginiaDOAV).
Governor Ralph Northam posed with the group in front of the agency's King Air.
Photo taken by Kim Wells

Friday, January 25, 2019

Boeing’s experimental autonomous aircraft first test flight took place in Virginia

     Boeing successfully completed the first test flight yesterday of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, utilized Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will continue testing to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation. 
The PAV prototype completed controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes. This transition phase is typically the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.
     Powered by an electric propulsion system, the PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, with a range of up to 50 miles (80.47 kilometers). Measuring 30 feet (9.14 meters) long and 28 feet (8.53 meters) wide, its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight.
     “This is what revolution looks like, and it’s because of autonomy,” said John Langford, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Flight Sciences. “Certifiable autonomy is going to make quiet, clean and safe urban air mobility possible.”
     The reason Boeing’s efforts here are notable is because, simply put, there are no electric-powered aircraft, or even gas-electric hybrid aircraft, in commercial operation today. Flying requires an incredible amount of energy, and present battery technology just doesn’t offer the power-to-weight ratio needed to achieve liftoff. Most experts predict that it will be years, if not decades, before the technology catches up.
     “Boeing was there when the aviation industry was born and in our second century, we will unlock the potential of the urban air mobility market,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt. “From building air vehicles to airspace integration, we will usher in a future of safe, low-stress mobility in cities and regions around the world.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

 Photo Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2018 Virginia Aviation Photo Contest winners! Their artwork will be featured in the annual aviation calendar that will be available later this month. This annual photo contest proves that Virginia really is for flying lovers. Each year, a person can submit up to 12 photos that were taken in Virginia and we are very excited to have received such a variety of photos despite all of the rain that fell last year. The contest was broken down into 2 categories and the winners are listed below. The deadline for photo submissions this year is October 14th so keep taking pictures across the Commonwealth of Virginia and submit your photos to be featured in the annual aviation calendar.

Aerial First Place, Chad Weaver
Aerial Second Place, Nancy Lewis
Aerial Third Place, Alexander Peters

Aircraft First Place, Bonnie Jones
Aircraft Second Place, Bonnie Jones
Aircraft Third Place, Nancy Lewis
Aircraft Fourth Place, Alex Hrapunov
Aircraft Fifth Place, Ryan Kelly

Aircraft Sixth Place, Chad Weaver
Aircraft Seventh Place, Nancy Lewis

Aircraft Eighth Place, Alex Hrapunov