AirplaneGeeks 337 Sky Jinks in the Jet Age

Convair 880

A replacement for the T-38 jet trainer, FAA releases proposed regulations for small UAS, the world’s largest airport terminal is planned for China, changes to airline rewards programs, great aviation stories, and discussions about pilot reliance on automation and the Delta refinery.


Steve Taylor is a graduate of The Citadel with a degree in civil engineering. He served six years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force with service in Vietnam flying a C-130. Following a long flying career, he retired as an international airline captain. Along the way, Steve has flown the J-3 Cub, T-37, CV-880, DC-9, B-727, B-767, and L-1011. Steve’s autobiography, Wheels Up: Sky Jinks in the Jet Age, tells great true-life stories.

Steve has been a solo ocean sailor and holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. He has owned and operated a commercial construction company and is a Coastal Master Naturalist.


Northrop surprises with new design for U.S. Air Force trainer

The U.S. Air Force wants to replace the T-38 Talon with a new two-seat jet trainer. The T-X program anticipates at least 350 planes and Northrop Grumman has a prototype that they plan to fly this year. Its a clean sheet design.

FAA Releases Details of Proposed Rule 107 for Small Drones

The FAA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for commercial use of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds. These unmanned aircraft must be operated within visual line of sight, under 500 feet AGL, and during daytime hours only. Operators would be required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating. Public comments can be made online at the website referencing Docket FAA-2015-0150.

Max and David provide an initial reaction to the NPRM in Episode 81 of The UAV Digest.

Zaha Hadid unveils plans for “world’s largest” airport terminal

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for its Beijing New Airport Terminal Building, which it says will be the world’s largest. Reportedly, the 7.5 Million Square Foot facility is to be completed in 2018.

Southwest the latest airline to scale back rewards program

Effective April 17, Southwest rewards points will depend on the destination, time, day of travel, demand, and some other factors. Other airlines are making changes too: Delta Air Lines switched from miles traveled to dollars spent. United Airlines plans to switch to a similar plan.

Airplane of the Week

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Cessna 172.


Listener Mike’s homebuilt Sonex in Stow, Massachusetts:

Sonex in Deep Snow

Sonex in snow

C27J Spartan

C27J Spartan by James


Convair 880 Rollout Day image by San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive via Wikimedia Commons.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


5 thoughts on “AirplaneGeeks 337 Sky Jinks in the Jet Age

  1. Jay Green

    interesting read on the Drones. seems as though flying drones has more regulations in place in order to make the public happier and creating less controversy. a vision sight of 500 feet may make it difficult to utilize its capabilities

  2. Mathew

    I have just purchased the e-book Wheels Up: Sky Jinks in the Jet Age. So far it has been a fantastic read, with much more than just aviation stories for a lot of variety. Very much well worth the price if anyone is considering it.
    Great episode again guys, thanks from all the way down here in Australia.

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  4. Ruben

    “The FAA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for commercial use of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds.” I think this is overdue!

  5. maxflight Post author

    Ruben: The FAA has been working on the NPRM for years, and we’re all really glad it’s out. You can find the NPRM, links to the Docket with other information, and a link to where you can submit comments by going to: (It redirects to the page but it’s easier to remember). You can listen to David and me talk unmanned at

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