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Best Aviation and Aerospace Museums

Interested in aviation? Books and articles are great ways to learn more, but one of the best ways is to visit a museum to get some hands-on experience! Not only are museums more engaging, but they also provide you with invaluable experiential learning through seeing and doing. Museums exist to feed our curiosity and educate ourselves and future generations, and perhaps this list of some of the best aviation and aerospace museums in the country will inspire you to take flight.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – Washington, DC

The National Air and Space Museum boasts 60,000 artifacts in its collection, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first successful aircraft. As one of the largest and most visited museums, it has reason to make it onto our list as one of the best. Visitors can sate their curiosity by viewing everything from pilot uniforms and spacesuits to engines and equipment. The satellite Udvar-Hazy Center is home to the Discovery shuttle and the Enola Gay bomber.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – Cape Canaveral, FL

If your love of aviation takes you to outer space, then the Kennedy Space Center is the perfect place for you. The center has a multitude of offerings, from numerous artifacts to astronaut training simulators. Visitors can learn more about NASA’s past and present work here. One of the most exciting things to experience at the Kennedy Space Center? If you’re lucky, you may get the chance to witness rocket and shuttle launches.

National Museum of the US Air Force – Dayton, OH

As the name would suggest, this museum’s focus is on military aviation. The National Museum of the US Air Force is the world’s largest and oldest aviation museum, and what’s more, it’s completely free to visitors! Among the things on display are a Missile Gallery and a Space Gallery. Exhibits here feature World War II, the Korean War, the Southeast Asia War, and the Cold War.

Museum of Flight – Seattle, Washington

The Museum of Flight is dedicated to teaching visitors about the importance of flight. With tens of thousands of artifacts, an interactive cockpit exhibit, and a 3D movie theater (and so much more), there is a little bit of everything pertaining to air and space under the roof of this museum.

Air Zoo – Kalamazoo, MI

Air Zoo is part museum and part indoor amusement park, providing a unique experience, especially for families with children. The historic air and space crafts and artifacts bring you up close and personal to these flying machines. If you’re looking for a thrill, book a bi-plane ride between July through September.

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Top facts on air-to-air refueling

While it doesn’t happen as often with commercial airlines, Scott Beale maintains that one of the biggest breakthroughs the aviation industry ever enjoyed is air-to-air refueling. While the concept first emerged in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was successfully done in an official capacity.

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Today, with the advancement of refueling technology, probe-and-drogue and flying boom systems are the main avenues for air-to-air refueling. The probe-and-drogue system is easier to use, while the flying boom makes air-to-air refueling a lot quicker, albeit with the need of a human operator for the boom.

Air-to-air refueling has been a huge help, especially in long distance flights. And with the technology constantly evolving, larger planes will soon take to the skies to refuel. Currently, the Stratotanker sits at the forefront of air-to-air refueling. However, Boeing has been developing its own refueling plane with a 120,000-pound fuel capacity.

Scott Beale also mentions how air-to-air refueling may in fact be the future of commercial air travel, with a number of airlines already adopting aerial refueling in many of their long distance flights.

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What do you think of air-to-air refueling? Would you choose a flight that requires air-to-air refueling over one that requires you to stop over in another airport? Feel free to share your thoughts with Scott Beale in the comments section below.

Scott Beale is an aviation professional whose expertise in commercial sales and marketing of aviation products, government contracting, FAA certifications, maintenance report operations, and startup operations has led the companies he piloted to achieve revenue growth and various certifications. For related posts on travel and aviation, go to this link.

Airlines need social media engagement to create brand equity

Most global airlines now understand the value of harnessing their social media presence, if they are to engage fliers and build lasting relationships. While this endeavor does mean having more real-time engagements and leaving the comfort zone of the corporate world, it’s nonetheless needed in this digital age for the maintenance and enhancement of brand equity, says aviation expert Scott Beale.

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Still, though many are already locked into some form of social media engagement, some are looking for more innovative campaigns and initiatives. KLM has its “Meet & Seat” service where fliers are allowed to choose seats beside passengers based on similar interests, as indicated in their social media profiles. British Airways, on the other hand, uses a Facebook app called “Perfect Days,” which encouragers travelers to share their itinerary and travel wish list on the social media site.

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Studies show that, for the world’s leading airlines, the volume of social media communication today ranges between 60,000 and 1 million Facebook followers and 15,000 and 20,000 tweets. And though these numbers are expected to grow even more in the coming decade, there’s still much to be done before airlines can become truly competent in social media engagement and customer relationship management in general. A larger, more robust resource pool is needed to respond to the increasing waves of customer posts and queries and concerns.

Scott Beale adds that a more strategic approach might be most advisable to attain brand equity. One way to do this is for airlines to partner with providers composed of social media professionals who are adept in the new technology platform.

Aviation professional Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for over 20 years. He is highly proficient in commercial sales and aviation products marketing, government contracting, and business startups. More on Mr. Beale and his work here.

What lies ahead for drone technology

2019 is seen by many industry experts as the year drones become more widely accepted. Though the technology has been around for quite a while, drones have yet to be fully embraced, says aviation expert Scott Beale. But more and more startups and established companies are beginning to commit to the flight of drones.

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For one, the programming needed is catching up with the technology, even as more innovative businesses are showing bigger businesses how the application can be maximized. From the incorporation of more robust AI to spectrum analysis apps, new platforms are coming out in support of the needed software to further drive drone technology and harness its potential.

While drone technology is certainly disruptive, it is starting to infiltrate more industries. It shouldn’t take long before larger organizations flex their proverbial muscles and take advantage of their bigger investment clout. And this will manifest itself in more challenging e-commerce programs as the 2020s near.

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Practical applications of drone technology in shipping and delivery is already in the works. Amazon was recently just given legal permission to use drones for carrying packages below 400 feet and weighing up to 1.5 pounds. In agriculture, drones will prove crucial for mapping 3D images of fields for soil analysis, as well as for spraying crops and determining their relative health and density, adds Scott Beale.

Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than 20 years, successfully growing businesses which he both acquired and founded. He has led various aviation firms in attaining revenue growth. More on Scott and his work here.

Electric planes are beginning to take to the sky

In a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it was stated that aircraft have been responsible for about 8% of the entire greenhouse gas emission of the country’s transportation sector. This alarming development, coupled by a global demand for a greener aviation, is a huge reason why some manufacturers are beginning to consider building electric planes, says aviation professional Scott Beale.

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A conventional jet airplane has an engine that draws in air through the front, a compressor for squeezing it, and fuel that’s sprayed in and lit, allowing for the burning of gases and the plane’s thrust. An electric plane, on the other hand, relies on batteries that provide power to an electric motor which spins the propeller.

However, while electric planes are definitely more efficient, they tend to be slower as the battery-reliant (often lithium-ion) process allows for far less thrust. In any case, there should be huge improvements in aviation technology in the coming decade, from reductions in operating costs and fossil fuel burning to emissions. In fact, NASA already has a prototype electric propulsion plane in the X-57.

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There’s also the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2, which successfully circumnavigated the globe at average speeds of 47mph. Even Airbus has already revealed a two-seat electric plane that travels at speeds of 136mph.

In truth, the idea of using electric motors has been around since the World War II, when B-29 bombers used this technology to power the planes’ gun turrets. For now, a more concerted effort is needed to get greener and completely embrace electric aircraft. But their reign is imminent; not only a greener but a quieter way to fly should arrive sooner than projected, adds Scott Beale.

Aviation and aerospace professional Scott Beale is skilled in commercial sales and aviation products marketing, government contracting, and business startups. More on Mr. Beale and his work here.

Three Important Skills Pilots Develop From Flying

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More and more, businesses are understanding that some of the most valuable skills an employee can possess have very little to do with their job title or position. For instance, a potential recruit that knows how to use a certain type of software might also lack good people skills and they might fare more poorly than someone who lacks that same software knowledge but has great people skills. There are some careers and experiences that create higher-than-average success rates, both in business and in life. One of these is being a pilot. Here are three important skills pilots acquire from flying.

The ability to stay cool and calm under pressure

There are very few situations people find themselves in that are genuinely and legitimately life-or-death scenarios. Pilots are quite literally in a life-or-death situation every time they fly. When anything goes wrong, a good pilot realizes that panicking will not solve anything. Pilots have to be able to set their panic aside and think calmly and rationally to solve their problems.

Decision-making skills

Most of the time, people have to make decisions before they have a full and complete picture of the problem. Sometimes, people act too quickly or rashly and just make things worse. In other cases, they become paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision and fail to act at all. Pilots have to do their best to assess the situation as best they can, then quickly run through any and all options available to them. They then must make a decision and act on it swiftly. In addition, they have to remain open to making course corrections as more information presents itself.

Humility

Many people think that confidence is the opposite of humility but it is not. It is possible to be confident and humble at the same time because the opposite of humility is arrogance, not confidence. You can be confident without being arrogant. The more skill a pilot gains, the more confident they become, but they are also keenly aware that their lives and those of any passengers are at the mercy of forces beyond their control. While there may be some pilots that are arrogant, it generally only takes a few life-threatening moments or incidents to instill some humility in them. Making it through those same moments will give them more confidence, but it will end up being tinged with humility at the same time.

This article was originally published on ScottBealeAviation.net.

How software technology introduced stellar improvements to airplane maintenance

In his time at the aviation industry, Scott Beale has seen a number of innovations assisting pilots, airline companies, and aircraft manufacturers in assuring the safety of air travel. The latest technology has constantly played a major role in aviation.

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One of the most crucial areas in which technology has affected aviation, Scott Beale notes, is airplane maintenance.

Maintenance of aircraft is a major part of airline operations. Commercial airplanes are checked before and after every flight, since nothing is more important than passenger safety. Airplane mechanics and engineers know that there are too many factors and conditions exerted on these gigantic machines. Every major part should be in good working condition before leaving the ground.

Today, there are various software installed in airplanes that allow for crew to inspect and perform diagnostics in-flight. Some airlines have even developed software so that specialists can check—from a mobile device—if there are any problems with any major airplane part. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, one of which is aircraft maintenance during a flight.

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This makes flying a lot safer since pilots can decide, based on real-time data feeds on their palms about the condition of all parts of the plane, whether or not to proceed should any problem arise with the flight.

Scott Beale, for one, is extremely excited to see what other innovations are in development for the aviation industry.

As its CEO from 2011 to 2015, Scott Beale piloted the successful business turnaround of Aerodynamics Inc., increasing the company’s profitability by means of new business and diversification efforts. To know more about the latest technologies in airports and aviation, visit this website.