Innovation takes many different forms, whether through automotive evolution, technological advancements, or even the application of rubber bands. Yes, rubber bands. The innovative spirit knows no limits and the innovative spirit is on display at the Mojave Air and Space Port this weekend.
In 1935, the Mojave Airport opened as a modest, rural airfield, and was primarily used by the gold and silver industries. World War II had an effect on many air and manufacturing spaces and the Mojave Airport was no exception. After World War II, the Airport became an enduring hotspot for innovation. Today, more than 60 companies utilize the space to test and design cutting edge aircraft. Amelia Earhart is famous for her solo flight around the world, but the aircraft that accomplished the feat without stopping was tested at the Mojave Airport: The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.
The name Virgin Atlantic may bring to mind many different things: its CEO Richard Branson, affordable flights across the pond, and the record breaking GlobalFlyer. In 2005, the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer set a world record by circumnavigating the globe, without stopping to refuel, in 2 days, 19 hours, and 1 minute. The aircraft later set another record by logging the longest distance aircraft flight in 2006, traveling over 25,700 miles in 76 hours and 45 minutes. These feats accomplished by Virgin Atlantic’s GlobalFlyer would not have been possible if not for the innovative spirit incubated at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
Entrepreneurship is often a driving force behind innovation, and the founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, knows quite a bit about both. When speaking about entrepreneurship and innovation, Branson offers some advice to aspiring startups. First, he believes that it is important to learn from, but not duplicate, someone else’s model of success. Second, he believes that it is important to build on a city’s strengths. “If people in your region have special expertise in a particular area, their talent should be at the center of your effort.” Finally, Branson believes that entrepreneurs launching promising startups will face adversity and it is vitally import to continually support new businesses.
The Mojave Experimental Fly-In kicks off on Friday, April 15, 2016 with a Rubber Powered Airplane Endurance Competition. Teams will have 90 minutes to construct their rubber-band models, after which the endurance test is conducted. The flying object that travels the longest is crowned the victor. The main event begins on Saturday and all manner of innovative and inventive aircraft will soar through the skies of the Mojave Desert. Following the Main Event, an awards ceremony is held celebrating the Experimenter of the Year, the Best Build, Best Test, and Best Design.
Innovation is often the byproduct of a soaring imagination. This weekend at the Mojave Experimental Fly-In, innovation will be on display in the form of not only advanced aircraft, but rubber bands. You may even find a certain innovative new 3-wheeled vehicle there, as well. Here’s the link to show information: www.mojaveflyin.com