Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

A home-made plane

An evening pause: Another example of someone who decides he wants to do something, and then goes out and does it. This STOL (short take-off and landing) home-built plane, dubbed Draco, was apparently a big hit in the small plane community. Sadly, in September the plane was totaled (no injuries) during a take-off with strong cross winds (video here).

Hat tip Cotour.

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  • Andrew

    Good Grief.

    Apparently we are unaware that there is an entire INDUSTRY dedicated to manufacturing KITS to build REAL AIRPLANES. Here is the magazine for that industry,
    My faves, partly because they can be made CHEAPLY are these.

  • Alex Andrite

    The STOL bush pilot competition videos out of Alaska are a real treat. Look them up.
    My son in Fairbanks, a detail construction carpenter, worked for a family who had their back country home and outbuildings built by him and the team.
    During winter months, they would truck then “snow mobile” huge multiple sleds of building supplies off and onto the building site, across hard frozen tundra, marsh, and lakes. Then during spring and summer they would get flown in to the site, lake landing or short gravel sand bar landings, to complete the construction.
    He would always take his job site dog along, a beautiful husky mix. But had to put him in a large burlap bag while flying in. Husky loved the sled rides, but got pretty tight when he saw the airplane.

  • Mike Borgelt

    Also look up, the organisation that started for homebuilt airplanes.
    You can build not only WW1 “replicas” But actual useful traveling airplanes like the Van’s Aircraft series and the Bede BD-4 amongst many others. You’ll find aircraft in wood, aluminum or composites including pressurized turboprops capable of 300+ knots in the flight levels.
    My wife and I have owned a BD-4 for 20+ years and flown it all over Australia.

    When you’ve looked at Draco and how it is built realize that Mike Patey is one half of a set of twins and his brother has just as much energy and enthusiasm for airplanes as he does.

  • V-Man

    Draco may be down but might not be out. Mike is currently working on Scrappy, a highly-customized Carbon Cub with a race plane engine(!), but in one of his recent videos, he indicated that he will rebuild Draco afterward, with even more extreme modifications. Can’t wait!

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