SpineOut : August 14
Want to be a pilot and do dardevil stunts? As the RAAF’s elite formation aerobatic display team, the Roulettes perform breathtaking displays, using only hand-eye coordination to fly at speeds of up to 590 kilometres per hour. The six Roulettes may experience up to 4.5G (or 4.5 times the normal force of gravity) during a display in their PC-9/A aircraft. When the Roulettes are not showcasing their skills, they teach qualified RAAF pilots to become flying instructors at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria. up,upandaway In 1909 this feisty French born woman demanded her friend, aviation expert Charles Voisin, teach her to fly. On 22 October 1909, de Laroche went to the Voisin brothers’ base of operations at Chalons, 140 km east of Paris. Voisin’s aircraft could seat only one person, so she operated the plane by herself while he stood on the ground and gave instructions. After she mastered taxiing around the airfield, she lifted off and flew 300 yards. In 1910 she changed history by becoming the first woman to receive a pilot’s licence. Baroness Raymonde de Laroche Felix Baumgartner broke the speed of sound, reaching an estimated speed of 1,342.8 km/h while jumping from the stratosphere, which makes him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall. Felix climbed to 139,045 metres in a helium-filled balloon on the morning of October 14, 2012. This is exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket powered airplane. Felix broke two other world records: highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight. Felix’s entire trip back to Earth lasted 9.09 minutes, with 22 seconds of that time in freefall (without drogue, a parachute designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, to provide control and stability). Countless millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live on television broadcasts and live streams on the Internet. When his parachute opened members of the ground crew cheered and viewers around the world heaved a sigh of relief. Truly daring Watch the video of the supersonic jump.