Tag Archives: MITRE Corporation

455 Kitfox Aircraft

We talk with Kitfox Aircraft about kit-built airplanes. Also, a digital co-pilot for GA, the Stratolaunch airplane, Middle Eastern airlines shun Qatar, an aviation-themed playground, the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force wants mandatory budget caps removed, and President Trump wants the U.S. air traffic control system privatized. We also have a very informative listener recording about pulling through and hand propping radial engines.

Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport

Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport


Kitfox Aircraft is owned and operated by John and Debra McBean from the Homedale Municipal Airport (S66) in southwest Idaho. The McBean’s were builders before they owned the company and they often helped other builders with their projects. John McBean holds commercial and instructor ratings and we welcome him to the Airplane Geeks podcast.

Also joining us from Kitfox is Brandon Petersen who joined the team in 2012 as the wing builder. His role has evolved over time. You can find his fingerprints on the company social media posts, videos, wings, and fiberglass products that are shipped to builders around the world.

The original Kitfox Model I was introduced at Oshkosh AirVenture in 1984 by Denney Aerocraft. The modern Kitfox has stayed true to the concept of the original design – it’s a fun, comfortable, and affordable airplane that can be easily built without any special tools or training.

Kitfox Aircraft is introducing the Kitfox Speedster at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2017. Based on the Series 7 platform, it offers a bigger fuselage, higher gross weight capability, a shortened wing, and a cleaned up and faired airframe. This allows the builder to get up and go fast without giving up a whole lot of the STOL characteristics of the airplane.

The plane going to Air Venture will display a new brightly colored paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs. It pays homage to the original Speedster with a modern twist. Kitfox has arranged with Kyle Franklin to perform with the Speedster in the air show. Kyle’s late father Jimmy flew the original Speedster.

Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,

Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,

Find Kitfox Aircraft on Facebook, and YouTube.

Aviation News

Could General Aviation Use a Digital Co-Pilot?

Researchers from Mitre Corp.’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development have developed a “Digital Copilot.” The concept is that general aviation single-pilot flight operations would benefit from a tablet app that monitors and communicates safety-critical flight information to the pilot.

The Gigantic Stratolaunch Aircraft Emerges From Its Hangar in the California Desert

The Stratolaunch is a twin fuselage, 385-foot wingspan aircraft designed to carry a launch vehicle as part of an air launch to orbit system. What is not called Stratolaunch Systems Corporation was officially announced in December 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan.

Mideast airlines halt Qatar flights as Gulf crisis escalates

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, and have broken off relations with that country. As a result, Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Gulf Air are discontinuing flights in and out of the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Qatari government called this “unjustified and based on baseless allegations.”

Aviation-themed playground coming to Stafford airport

Stafford Regional Airport in Virginia is building a playground around an aviation theme. Two nonprofits are making this happen: EAA Chapter 1099 and Rappahannock Aviation Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Stafford, Virginia focused on community outreach programs and initiatives that educate and inspire youth in aviation.

New Air Force head calls for end to defense budget caps

Dr. Heather Wilson was the first female military veteran elected to a full term in Congress. More recently, the US Senate confirmed her nomination as U.S. Secretary of the Air Force on May 8, 2017. Wilson has now asked Congress to remove the mandatory budget caps of the Budget Control Act.

Trump pushes Congress to privatize air traffic control

President Donald Trump urged Congress to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system.

Listener Recording

Keith Shaddox explains hand-turning and hand-propping radial engines.


Stick & Rudder Aviation – Founded to provide Kitfox tailwheel flight training.

Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s 27th World War II Weekend

Midway hero honored 75 years later

Thaba Tholo game in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Wings Over Avgeeks in Jennifer’s Tales From the Terminal blog.

F-22 thrust vectoring nozzles

NOW That’s What I Call Remote Working

GE9X: The world’s biggest fan of ice


Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.


AirplaneGeeks 273 – Flight Safety

Photo by @nzaircraftfan

Guest Kevin Hiatt is CEO and President of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents.

We talk about the recent International Aviation Safety Summit: approaches (stabilized and otherwise), tactical safety and strategy, and a presentation from BEA on the lengthy AF447 investigation and the (inaccurate) suggestion by some that they were covering up for AF and Airbus.

Also from the Summit: Data gathering and sharing, and safety culture, including from the airline perspective. Dave Barger, Jetblue CEO, described how safety is one of the Jetblue five values.  Scott Winter, Assistant Professor of Aviation Sciences at the College of Aeronautics at Florida Institute of Technology presented on runway excursions.

Other topics we covered: NextGen ATC, where that’s going, and the impact on safety. The role of data in the future of flight safety world-wide. Flight Safety Foundation is working with the Mitre Corporation to take safety from a reactive mode (investigating accidents and implementing changes to prevent recurrence) to predictive mode using data to pinpoint areas that warrant examination to reduce future risk.

Before joining the Foundation, Kevin was the Vice President for Corporate Safety and Security at World Airways. Kevin was also with Delta Air Lines for 26 years in a variety of positions, including Chief Pilot at the Atlanta International Pilot Crew Base.

 The Week’s Aviation  News:

By Daniel from Sydney Australia

By Daniel from Sydney Australia

In This Week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is taking a break this week so PCDU’s Western Australia correspondent, Ben Jones (aka Jonesy) joins Steve for this report.

In the news, it’s Melbourne Cup week which, although a horse racing event, provides aviation enthusiasts a feast of extra aircraft and aircraft movements to check out.  One Melbourne based helicopter pilot didn’t enjoy the festivities quite so much when her Bell 206L flipped onto its side and crashed as it went to depart a local executive shuttle point in the city’s north.  Luckily, she escaped the wreckage with little more than a finger injury.

Qantas maintenance staff at it’s beleaguered Avalon base have approached the company with an offer to take three months off without pay, in a desperate bid to save the facility from closure.  It appears the company is determined to progress the closure plans however, as it continues to reduce it’s Boeing 747 fleet.  Avalon is the current home of Qantas 747 maintenance in Australia.

Ben tells us about local Perth-based participation in this year’s annual World Flight Australia, a virtual airline event that raises much needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.



This episode’s photos are provided by our listeners. Thanks to @nzaircraftfan for the Mustangs and Daniel from Sydney Australia for the Cessna 182 in flight!

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

Audio Transcription:

As a special for this episode, we have an audio transcription by rev.com.