Team Aerodynamix

While I’ve always maintained that physical ability — better known as stick-and-rudder skill — should take a back seat to “judgement” when determining where a pilot is worth his or her salt, there’s no denying that some of us are aviators while others are simply airplane drivers.

That’s not to denigrate those who pilot simple aircraft, aren’t instrument rated, or don’t get into the air that often. On the contrary, I’ve witnessed truly artful flying from low-time pilots who didn’t have two nickels to rub together and were as far away from, say, formation aerobatics as you could get.

But it’s hard to argue with beauty and skill demonstrated by groups like Team Aerodynamix. Check out this video, for instance. Not only are they zipping around in formation, but they’re performing formation aerobatics, at night, in exceptionally large groups, in airplanes that they built with their own hands. I don’t care where you’re from — that’s impressive.

  4 comments for “Team Aerodynamix

  1. September 7, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Ron,
    Well said! I saw these guys in action at OSH12 and it was impressive, of course I’m a little biased. πŸ™‚
    Brent

    • September 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Biased? You?? Never.

      It occurs to me that you’re one of the people I could easily see being a part of Team Aerodynamix. Might be a fun goal for you to pursue, eh? πŸ™‚

  2. Rob Ray
    September 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Strongly agree Ron. However comma, formation flying at airshows is one thing, impressive formation accomplishments quite another. Most of the truly amazing formation flying past or present will never get seen by the public and the heroic accomplishments never lauded. It’s going on 24/7 at obscure places around the world from Pilots willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for what they are doing. Not for money or have some laughs or even to get noticed at an airshow, but for God and country. Night aerobatics? Try laser guiding a 500 pound bomb through a 3X3′ window in downtown Bad guy Land at 3AM while flying off someone’s wing at 500 Knots plus, while lights out wearing NVG’s, and…while being shot at, praying the troops on the ground 300 ft away survive the “danger close” explosion. But I digress…The list goes on. Not raining on your parade, Just sharing a side of aviation most people know little about…Nice blog. Smokey

    • September 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Your points are well-taken, Rob. The military definitely does some impressive and important things with formation flying in difficult circumstances. However, they also have invested millions of dollars in training, the finest equipment, huge support infrastructure, and so on. I don’t say that to minimize what they do, just to illustrate that it’s a different kind of flying.

      What makes Aerodynamix so cool is that they are doing this on their own dime with airplanes they built with their own hands just for the love of the game. I suppose they have that in common — they aren’t doing it for money.

      To put it another way, it’s like the difference between Rutan’s SpaceShipOne and NASA’s shuttle. The latter was obviously more capable and accomplished, but that doesn’t mean SS1 didn’t achieve something revolutionary when you consider the small team, miniscule cost, and civilian nature of the program.

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