Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trappe Pilots The "Up" House

How cool is this....
Reprinted formn AVWEB


March 5, Jonathan Trappe, like some sort of aerial Willy Wonka, has again taken to the sky in a unique aircraft (this time for a National Geographic special) -- a likeness of the cartoon house from the Disney Pixar movie "Up." "It is certainly the strangest aircraft I have flown," Trappe told AVweb Friday. "But, more than that, it may be one of the strangest aircraft to have ever flown." The roughly 4,400-pound aircraft flew under 282 eight-foot-diameter (at ground level) helium-filled balloons. Trappe says he calculated gross lift for the craft at close to 5,400 pounds. The "house" took off from a private ranch east of Los Angeles, flew for one hour and ten minutes, reached an altitude of 10,500 MSL, and due to variable winds, landed about 10 miles from where it started. Of course, Trappe envisions grander possibilities. The aircraft was very well-equipped, Trappe said, adding "This had the capability to fly across the country on a multi-day flight."

When Trappe flew from AirVenture Oshkosh in 2010 -- click for video -- he and his minimalist rig (basically a paragliding harness and eight bags of ballast) were suspended under 50 balloons. This time, he carried 68 bags of ballast worth about 1,700 pounds, a co-pilot, plus batteries, a Mode-S transponder, radios, rigging and even life vests. Hence, the 282 balloons and roughly 83,000 cubic feet of helium. The National Geographic special called "How Hard Can It Be?" suggests the project was completed, start to finish, in two weeks, which is true if you ignore the planning Trappe began in June of last year. The mission was to prove it could be done and that became crystal-clear at 10,500 feet, so Trappe and his co-pilot came back down. Trappe says the flight from Brian Ranch (CL13) first encountered winds from the south, then from the east, then west. The house landed 10 miles total east of where it launched near western Mojave. The area is well-suited for experimental flight and, as Trappe said, "We're a little more experimental than most."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

House of Representatives Approves SEMA-Supported Legislation to Repeal 1099 Reporting

SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 9 House of Representatives Approves SEMA-Supported Legislation to Repeal 1099 Reporting Requirementin Breaking NewsGovernment Affairs

After months of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation removing the costly 1099 reporting requirement from the health care law passed last year.

After months of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation removing the costly 1099 reporting requirement from the health care law passed last year. H.R. 4, the “Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act,” was adopted after SEMA and other small business organizations advocated strongly on behalf of the provision. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for action.

Under this legislation, businesses will no longer be required to issue 1099 forms to all vendors from whom they buy more than $600 worth of goods or services in any year, beginning in 2012. The provision has garnered widespread opposition on Capitol Hill, and President Obama called for its repeal during his State of the Union address. The requirement was intended to prompt vendors receiving 1099 forms to declare and pay taxes on the income. SEMA was a leader among small business organizations in supporting the repeal and was invited to participate in a press conference with the bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) urging support for the legislation.

SEMA will continue to urge support of the 1099 requirement repeal in the United States Senate. For more information, contact Dan Sadowski, Congressional Affairs Manager, at 202/783-6007, ext. 19, or e-mail dans@sema.org.