"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the crown for first humans to land on another planet, just as the Wright Brothers did with flight more than a century ago now.

As a species we have conquered flying and flight continues to evolve - with massive help from one of the world’s premier space agencies. After wind tunnel testing in Ohio, NASA’s quiet supersonic transport (QueSST) X-plane is on target to start flight tests in three years time. The X-plane wears its engines on top of the fuselage to shield human ears from the boom sound experienced when the sound barrier is broken. NASA aims to counteract the ban on supersonic flight by civilian aircraft over populated areas.

There'd be no evolution without pilots (for today) so US flight training school ATP has taken another 130 Skyhawk 172 types from Textron Aviation, augmenting the 15-unit order it placed in 2016.

There is plenty uncharted territory on earth, too, and Canada’s CHC Helicopter launched its super-medium helicopter programme by leasing three new Leonardo AW189s and two Airbus Helicopters H175s from GECAS’s Milestone Aviation Group for operations in the North Sea and Australia.

In terms of mechanical breakthroughs, flight and space travel can only now evolve, albeit at a pace unthought of only a few decades ago. However, where aviation can really make another massive impact is on our own planet today. Pilots and planes can - and do - ensure that the hungry are fed, with initiatives, such as the world food programme, which has another breakthrough commitment: to eradicate hunger by 2030. You can donate at www.wfp.org

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 10th August 2017 | Issue #428