Category Archives: Flying

The Feeling Of Flying Radials

jdoumis_de593e5750718b60aa217b56b446f83d6c79d958-0For private pilots and aircraft owners, the motivation behind this pursuit can be personal, but it can also be practical. Along with a love of aeronautics, pilots are also in tune with engine performance, as this does impact the overall experience. For owners of small commercial fleets, a focus on safety and efficient performance can often be the deciding factor in terms of what type of aircraft and what type of engine will provide the strongest asset.

Continue reading The Feeling Of Flying Radials

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Are The Skies Getting Too Crowded?

Are The Skies Getting Too Crowded?As aircraft enthusiasts and pilots are finding a greater demand for their commercial services, a number of changes have been witnessed in the airspace. This includes a greater volume of small aircraft that navigate the skies, along with larger commercial and military airplanes. However, these actions also require the registration of flight plans with the FAA, in order to maintain both safety and the proper operation of aircraft. Continue reading Are The Skies Getting Too Crowded?

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Careers In Aviation, From The Ground Up

Careers In Aviation, From The Ground UpAn interest in flying and mechanics can turn into a growth oriented career for many individuals. Becoming an aircraft mechanic not only fills a demand for quality technicians in the industry, but it also offers people an engaging career that incorporates mechanics and inspiration. This can become even more viable for many people as a degree and licensing are not a requirement for employment. Continue reading Careers In Aviation, From The Ground Up

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Air Force Pilots and Navy Pilots: What’s the Difference?

Air-Force-Pilots-and-Navy-Pilots-Whats-the-Difference2-448x198Air Force pilots and Navy pilots perform a valuable service to our country, but each branch of the military provides a different type of protection. Air Force and Navy pilots are no exception to that, as each type of pilot performs a different function.

Training and Missions 

Air Force pilots and Navy pilots share some similarities. They receive similar training and, in fact, often train together. However, Navy and Air Force missions are different. Navy pilots usually respond faster to missions as they are often stationed on aircraft carriers, located closer to areas where they are needed. Because Air Force pilots consider their home base an Air Force base, the response time often is longer.

Aircraft Size 

One difference between Air Force pilots and Navy pilots is the size of the aircraft they fly. Navy pilots use smaller aircraft more suitable for takeoffs and landings on the deck of an aircraft carrier, while Air Force pilots handle larger aircraft. The smaller aircraft used by the Navy pilots are also more suitable to the types of missions involved.

Pilot Wings 

Whether the pilot is an Air Force pilot or Navy pilot, once they are certified to fly, they are given wings as a badge. The type of wing distinguishes the branches of the military. Air Force pilots earn silver wings with a large shield on the design. Gold wings given to Navy pilots not only have the large shield but an additional small shield connected to a big anchor. Gold wings are given to the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

Both Air Force pilots and Navy pilots provide an invaluable service to the country as part of the military. For more information on aviation, visit us at www.covingtonaircraft.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest aviation news.

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So You Want to be a Spitfire Pilot?

A spitfire pilot is best known for performing tactical movements during air combat maneuvering, also known as dogfighting.  Many pilots used these maneuvers to gain positional advantage over opponents, either offensively or defensively.  On occasion, the maneuvers are neutral, where both opponents work toward an offensive position, or may help facilitate escape, known as disengagement.

Spitfire-800x198Although a Spitfire is a common type of plane used in dogfights, many refer to all who engaged in such maneuvers as spitfire pilots.  The basic fighter maneuvers began during World War I and, due to the lower power of the aircraft, the most common type of engagement was the Lufbery, which involved two fighters chasing each other in a circle.

Basic Maneuvers

The basic maneuvers used by a spitfire pilot include tactical turns, rolls and other actions designed to get above or behind the enemy fighter.  Pilots are trained using the same type of aircraft, and during the training, pit their skills against each other.  During combat, the maneuvers are adjusted based on the type and number of aircraft involved and weapons systems.

Basic Maneuver Principles 

There are several principles involved in basic maneuvers.  These include:

  • Energy Management – Pilots are faced with many limiting factors. Some are constant, such as gravity and drag, and some vary, such as turn radius and turn rate.  A spitfire pilot learns to manage the energy of the aircraft to minimize these limiting factors and gain the advantage over the enemy.
  • Turn Performance – Pilots must turn the aircraft at its best sustained turn rate in order to maintain adequate energy, but in combat situations may need to make unusual adjustments.
  • Lead, Pure and Lag Pursuit – Lead pursuit by a spitfire pilot is designed to provide closure even if the opponent they are chasing is faster.  Pure pursuit also provides closure, but not as quickly, while lag pursuit stops or reduces closure.
  • Out-of-Plane Maneuver – Spitfire pilots use turns to make the aircraft harder to track, and an out-of-plane maneuver enhances the effect, diverting the fighter into a new plane of travel.

These are just a few of the maneuvers a spitfire pilot uses during dogfights during combat.  Visit us at www.covingtonaircraft.com for more information about radial and turbine engine overhauls, maintenance, and repair.  You can also find us on Facebook and Linkedin.

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The Most Unique Planes on the Planet: Aviation Enthusiast Planes

A few days ago we talked about the mythical Pool Plane, John Travolta, and Donald Trump’s gaudy plane.  Today we talk about some of the real deal stuff, the stuff us aviation enthusiasts care about! Happy Flying!

Enough with the jet-set celebrities, here are some planes that are really unique.

sr-71-blackbird-photo-from-lockheed-martinIn the history of aviation, there have been many attempts to make it fly faster, fly higher, and be more efficient while doing it.  Some of the greatest planes started out as being “unusual.”  The SR-71 Blackbird looked like no other plane when first introduced.  The Mach 3+ aircraft was used as a reconnaissance plane because it could fly higher than any fighter and faster than surface-to-air missiles.  By the way, the engines that can carry a plane this size, that fast and that far?  They’re Pratt & Whitney, of course.

Did you ever have one of those foam toy airplanes that looked pretty good and flew?

70663main_proteus_lgWell, take two of those, take the tail off of one and the nose off the other, glue them together so you have a nose and tail with two sets of wings, then run it over with your bike a couple of times and it will resemble the last of our unique planes worth mentioning.  The Proteus was designed by Burt Rutan, president of Scaled Composites LLC, based in Mojave, Calif.  This very unusual looking aircraft is intended for very high flight (59,000 to 65,000 feet) at up to 18 hours a flight.  Designed to be a telecommunications relay platform, other uses are seen as use for scientific atmospheric study, launching small satellites and earth monitoring.  Designed to be usable from many airports with little support, it can be flown by two pilots or remotely.

Going faster, further and longer is the dream of many airplane designers.

It is little wonder that many of them begin with a Pratt & Whitney power-plant.  Pratt & Whitney is the most dependable engine in the world, with some models that can perform for up to 8000 hours before required overhaul.  That is like driving a car engine more than a half a million miles.  At Covington Aircraft, we specialize in the PT6A turbine and R-985 and R-1340 radial engines for corporate, commercial, and agricultural aircraft.  We are also a Pratt & Whitney Canada authorized Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility.  We carry a complete line of engine parts and strive to give you the fasted turnaround at a competitive price.  Committed to Integrity, Dependability, Affordability, and Quality Service, Covington Aircraft has been keeping planes flying since 1972 and is a full-service, world-class facility.

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Great Places to Fly: North America

In our last post we covered Great Places to Fly around the world! Well today, we are going to focus on great places to fly in North America!  Again, let us know your most favorite places to fly in the North America in the comments below!

North America also shares some great destinations and scenic flight paths.

There is no shortage of great places to fly in our own back yard, either.  When one thinks about the deserts of the Southwest, the Grand Canyon, the shore of California, the mountain ranges both East and West, Niagara Falls, the Great Lakes shorelines, and the East Coast city sights, there are many places to fly and enjoy the view.  Listed below are a couple of favorites.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

houseboats-on-the-rideau-canal-ottawa-ontario-canada

Airport: Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport (YRO/CYRO), Airport-Marina Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  2 paved runways, automatic lighting, no tower.  For more information, click here.

Landing at the Rockcliffe Airport located on the South shore of the Ottawa River on the Northeast of this historic and picturesque city is a rare experience.  The airport is owned by the Canadian Aviation Museum, which is located on the site, and run by the Rockcliffe Flying Club.  Ottawa is a gorgeous city any time of year, but in the winter months, the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s longest skating rink.  With the cold Canadian air, the lights of the city and friendly faces all around, this can be one of the most wonderful experiences in life.  Landing in the Rockcliffe Airport also lands you close to the Prime Minister’s residence and only 5 miles from downtown.

Another great and scenic destination, Anchor Point, Alaska.

northpoint-alaska

Airport: Homer Airport (HOM/PAHO), 210 Sterling Hwy., Homer, AK 99603, (907) 269-0767.  1 paved runway, 6701 foot, lighted, and an active commercial flight status (average of 136 flights a day in 2006), hours vary through the year

More than just a town in Alaska, is the Anchor River Lodge.  Situated at the mouth of the Anchor River and the Cook Inlet, the lodge sits on a bluff overlooking the Cook Inlet with Mount Iliamna in full view across the inlet.  The lodge suggests that first-timers to Alaska land in Anchorage and make the 3.5 hour drive down the spectacular Kenai Peninsula.  Featuring all the latest comforts you would expect anywhere, they will make sure you have the time of your life.  There is a lot to see and do in the area.  On the waterfront by the lodge is even a sandy beach.  The salmon and trout fishing are reported to be exceptional in the Anchor River.

Great places to go where the destination is only a part of the journey.

All of these destinations are sure to provide you with plenty to see on your way.  But, as always, make sure your aircraft is up to the trip.  Have your plane completely checked out before taking on a trip in unknown country.  Remember, it doesn’t matter where it happens; there are no good places to have mechanical trouble.  Give us a call. We are Covington Aircraft, and we are an authorized Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility for Pratt & Whitney Canada.  We also perform services such as airframe inspections, scheduled maintenance, and even track your maintenance for you.  We carry a complete line of engine parts and do all we can to give you the fasted turnaround at a competitive price.  We specialize in the overhaul maintenance and repair of the PT6A turbine and R-985 and R-1340 radial engines.  

Contact Us – Call (918) 932-3993

 

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Great Places to Fly: Around the World

Welcome to our “Great Places to Fly” series from Covington Aircraft. Part one will focus on great places to fly around the world.  Feel free to read our suggestions, but please leave your favorites as a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter to leave your thoughts! So saddle up into the cock pit, pick your destination, and once you get there, relax, enjoy, read a book or two, and create some lasting memories!

The first thing you have to decide is, “Do I want a great flight, a great destination, or both?”

This world is a beautiful place.  There are few better ways to see it than from the cockpit of your own plane.  Airline traffic is set to routes; if your plane passes over something interesting, great!  Flying your own bird means that, within the parameters of your flight plan, you can make decisions on what you want to see.  There are also many fantastic destinations that are well worth the trip, whether it is for shopping, sightseeing, natural beauty, or a sportsman’s holiday, there are many places from which to choose.

Europe, in a paragraph?

To try and cover Europe, or any continent, in one paragraph is silly.  The best one can hope for is to relate ideas rather than full descriptions.  There are many great destinations and flights over, across and in the European continent.  What it comes down to is, what do you want to accomplish with your flight?  The following are a few locations and what there is to see.

Pembrokeshire_Coast_National_Park-1Pembrokeshire National Park, Pembrokeshire, U.K.

Airport: Haverfordwest (Withybush) Airport (HAW/EGFE), Fishguard Road, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 4BN – 2 paved runways, 5000 and 3608 feet, no lights, no scheduled control.  Access the website here.

Pembrokeshire National Park:  Taking up a full one-third of the Welsh County of Pembrokeshire and all of the seacoast, Pembrokeshire National Park offers many activities along its rugged and scenic coastline.  There is a wealth of hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, cottages and campgrounds from which to choose.  The airport is located in the middle of the green rolling county and within easy access to all that there is to offer.

The Greek Island of Kasos.

Airport: Kasos Island Public Airport (KSJ/LGKS), Kasos, Greece – 1 paved runway, 3221 feet,  lighted, contact for control and landing fees and diplomatic clearance.

The-Greek-Island-of-KasosThe island municipality of Kasos is a collection of islands that are the southernmost islands in the Aegean Sea.  The airport is located in the main settlement of Agia Marina, which is where the majority of accommodations can be found.  Lodging can be had for very reasonable prices.  The island of Kasos is literally a mountainous island holding up the beaches that surround the shoreline.  There are even different types of beaches, ranging from large to small pebbles of many colors, to desert beaches.  The cuisine is varied and interesting due to its proximity to Crete and Italian influences.  There is little arable land on the island, much of the fare is caught fresh from the surrounding seas as well as brought in from the surrounding areas.  Off the beaten path, easily accessible and with the full Greek flavor.  The flight through the islands is some of the most picturesque in the world.

So, take your journey around the world, getting your passport stamped along the way! Remember, before you leave, make sure your engine is in tip top shape! If you ever need our services, give us a call and we are there for you!

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