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A New Twist On Skywriting 149

Nugget writes "The advent of Internet-based flight tracking technology enables an entirely new kind of skywriting. Gulfstream Aerospace sent up one of their $50M business jets today on an 8.5-hour test flight spanning 11 states for the sole purpose of leaving their mark on the Net in the form of a flight track that spells out 'GV' (the nickname of the Gulfstream V aircraft being flown) when viewed online."
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A New Twist On Skywriting

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  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @07:37AM (#17919014)
    Well if you've got to send up a plane empty to do some flight testing, I guess it's a pretty good result if you can sucker the world's media into giving you global coverage about your company on the side!
  • Re:Hmmmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @08:01AM (#17919140)
    As long as your not in restricted airspce you can fly in what ever circle you want. the sky is like the water, while there are "lanes" they are loosely defiend and fill a fraction of the total area in which one can fly.
  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @08:19AM (#17919238) Journal
    "On a New York-to-Denver flight, a commercial jet would generate 840 to 1,660 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger. That's about what an SUV generates in a month." -- jet-pollution-usat_x.htm []

    NYC to Denver: 1629 miles -- html []

    "4508 09322 GEP DPR RECAP MLS LWT BZN DBS FFU HVE RSK ALS PUB DVV RLG DVV PUB TBE LAA SNY RAP LBF ANY OVR HARPI" -- well I don't know how many miles that is. Cheers,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @10:36AM (#17920448)
    "4508 09322 GEP DPR RECAP MLS LWT BZN DBS FFU HVE RSK ALS PUB DVV RLG DVV PUB TBE LAA SNY RAP LBF ANY OVR HARPI" -- well I don't know how many miles that is.

    That route is 3871.5 nautical miles according to DUATS.
  • Re:Lookup in the Sky (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sacarino ( 619753 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:24AM (#17921034) Homepage
    On the sidebar, there's a Flight/Tail # input box. You'd put your airline's ICAO/IATA code in there along with the flight #

    For instance, DAL1237 (or DL1237) will give you Delta flight 1237 from Atlanta (ATL) to Orlando (MCO)

    A quick and dirty lookup is at this website [], although you can find 'em all over the place
  • Re:Hmmmmmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sacarino ( 619753 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#17921338) Homepage
    You might wanna check the altitude again.

    While your point in general is correct about VFR flight, this guy was cruising at FL400 - Class A airspace [].

    He would definitely had to have an IFR plan on file, otherwise he'd get a message from the tower to call a phone number when he landed... and that would be the end of his days as a pilot. That's assuming he didn't have a fighter come along to say hello beforehand.

    I would have liked to hear DEN Center asking wtf they were up to when it came time for that little loopy bit and back-track for the bottom of the "G"
  • Re:Hmmmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Wednesday February 07, 2007 @11:53AM (#17921444)
    The FAA does not approve flight plans. Pilots file them with the FAA. Flight plans are optional unless you fly IFR. Even IFR flight plans can be cancelled at any time, at pilot discretion. Ultimately, even if a flight plan is filed, it is not opened (activated) unless the pilot wants to do so. If a flight plan is not opened within two hours after the filed start flight time, it is automatically expired from the system. In some cases, it can be recovered up to three or four afters after, preventing a refiling...but don't hold your breath. Refiling is probably easier in most cases.

    The primary intent of a flight plan is simply to allow the FAA to intelligently dispatch resources in case you fail to close your flight plan. Basically, they want to know where they should call before they start searching air ports. If that fails, they need to know where to tell other pilots, CAP, rescue, etc., to start looking at your flight path. So on and so on. That way rescue escalation can proceed in a cost effective manner. Without a flight plan, in the event a mayday can not be sent, chances are the FAA wouldn't even know to start looking for you.

    Contrary to popular myth, there are lots of places, even in the US, which do not have radar coverage at all altitudes. As such, a flight plan becomes an important safety net.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas