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NASA Researcher on CBS "60 Minutes"

An internationally-known aviation researcher at NASA's Langley Research Center was featured on the CBS News program "60 Minutes" Sunday, April 17, at 7 p.m. ET.

CBS reporter Bob Simon interviewed Dr. Bruce Holmes at Langley earlier for a story titled "Highway in the Sky." The "60 Minutes" piece explored modern day aviation pioneers who are trying to invent new kinds of flying machines that may permit people to pilot their own personal air vehicles.

Reporter Bob Simon (right) interviews NASA's Bruce Holmes

Image above: CBS News "60 Minutes" reporter Bob Simon (right) interviews
NASA's Bruce Holmes. Credit: NASA/Jeff Caplan
+ View 60 Minutes story

NASA has been developing technologies for small airplanes that may also be adapted for personalized air travel. Before becoming Langley's chief strategist, Holmes led the Small Aircraft Transportation System or SATS project, a public-private partnership working to make small planes safer, more reliable and easier to fly.

"The first wave in the transformation of air travel is coming fairly soon to an airport near you … in the next year or two," said Holmes. "It's the ability to hail a 'jet cab' and take it to your destination."

SATS 2005 logo

Image to right: SATS 2005 Technology Demonstration logo.
+ Read more about the demonstration

Later this year a number of SATS equipped aircraft will demonstrate operating capabilities that will allow these new classes of aircraft, including very light jets and other advanced small planes, to use neighborhood airports to fly people from place to place. That means a family will be able to go to their community airport, take a plane to grandma's neighborhood airport 600 miles away and never have to go through a major hub to change planes or get on a highway. Most Americans live within a convenient 30-minute drive of one of these small community airfields.

The SATS technology demonstration is set for Danville Regional Airport in Danville, Va., June 5-7.

Kathy Barnstorff
NASA Langley Research Center