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    OSHCast 2008 Aero-TV Daily Update: Day Two!

    Aero-TV Network

    by Aero-TV Network

    Welcome to Aero-TV's Daily Update from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for Tuesday, July 29th, 2008. If Tuesday's AirVenture highlights had a theme, it might be aerospace fantasies come to life. Given the level of excitement over the Martin Jetpack exhibited by executives of the Experimental Aircraft Association, it was a little surprising to see them caught off-guard by the size of the crowd in AeroShell Square gathered to see it. EAA estimated 5-thousand people, but whatever the number was, it delayed the scheduled 9:30 demo by about a half-hour. Shortly after 10am, the secret of the Martin Jetpack's claimed 30 minute endurance on 5 gallons of fuel became obvious. There is no jet in Jetpack. The unmistakeable sound of a two-stroke gasoline engine made it clear how the two ducted fans creating vertical thrust are driven. Even if it's not technically a jet, the craft was a huge hit. Martin's booth was mobbed all day after the demo. Glenn Martin says he's hopeful another flight can be arranged later this week, perhaps on a runway, where more than just the first few rows of spectators can see the machine hover. Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of the founding of NASA in 1958, and the agency is celebrating with special displays at AirVenture. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin appeared on Tuesday, and very directly countered a recent storm of criticism toward the agency. Among his comments, Griffin said, quote - "This is rocket science. If we knew how to do it, it wouldn't be exploration." One day after unveiling their next private spaceflight mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, in Mohave California, an event shared with viewers at Oshkosh via closed-circuit video, Burt Rutan and Sir Richard Branson appeared together in person at AirVenture's Honda Pavillion to make a stunning announcement. The Rocket Racing League was making news again Tuesday. This time, it was no taxi test. Just after 2:30pm, former NASA astronaut Rick Searfoss took off for a demo flight. Despite threatening clouds which imposed a ...