Arlington Composite Squadron Welcomes Discovery

Arlington Composite Squadron members were among the many who followed the path of Space Shuttle Discovery today as she was carried from Kennedy Space Center to Dulles Airport on the way to her new home at the National Air and Space Museum.  The following movie and photos were taken at the Udvar-Hazy Center. (The video was auto-edited by YouTube to remove some of the shaking.)

Aircraft Systems Expo for Arlington Composite Squadron

On 18 February 2012, members of the Arlington Composite Squadron traveled to Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, MD to get a look “under the hood” at a single-engine aircraft.  Cadets and senior members had the opportunity to look at some of the aircraft systems up close.  The squadron is grateful to 1st Lt Dan Frattin for making an aircraft available for this event.  Pictures from the event will be posted when available.

Arlington Composite Squadron IT Update for February 2012

Since I don’t have a lot of IT news this month, I thought I would take a moment to point out a couple of software tools that will be of interest to CAP members.

First, I would like to thank Capt Seldon Morgan, our squadron Aerospace Education Officer, for finding OpenVSP. OpenVSP is a parametric aircraft geometry tool that has been under development by NASA for quite some time and has recently been made available as an open source project, free for use.

According to the OpenVSP website (, “OpenVSP allows the user to create a 3D model of an aircraft defined by common engineering parameters. This model can be processed into formats suitable for engineering analysis.” The program is available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms, and comes with a number of built in models, including the Cessna 182, which is one of the aircraft types flown by the National Capital Wing.

We are considering whether to use the software package as part of an Aerospace Education activity, so I invite you to take a look.

I would also like to remind you of CAP’s access to STK, also known as Satellite Tool Kit. Developed by Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), STK is a modeling and mission analysis application for space, defense, and intelligence applications. The basic application is free, and is available at CAP also has an agreement with AGI for STK licenses. For more information, please see this page on the CAP Members web site. There is also a PDF file with specific information on obtaining a license that can be downloaded here.

We are also interested in using STK for an Aerospace Education activity, so please give it a try! We would appreciate hearing from any senior members, cadets, or parents with any STK experience. Please contact me or Capt Morgan if you have any comments on either of these packages or are interested in learning more. As always, feel free to contact me with any IT issues.

Happy Birthday, Civil Air Patrol!

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Civil Air Patrol on 1 December 1941.  I, for one, am proud to be associated with our squadron, our wing, and the Civil Air Patrol.  Semper Vigilans!


CAP 70th Birthday