Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Philippine-Made Aircraft: Defiant 300

The Defiant 300 is a trainer aircraft prototype developed in the late 1980s. The aircraft, constructed from wood and fiberglass, was powered by a 300-horsepower Lycoming engine. The landing gear was taken from a Beech T-34. The development cost about 40 million

Only one prototype was built, in 1986. The two-seater aircraft made its first flight in 1987, flying for about an hour. It was designed by Capt. Panfilo Villaruel, and was built by the Philippine Aircraft Development Corp., the Philippine Air Force and PASF. Later the program was canceled due to lack of support from the government.

Villaruel, who later became the Air Transportation Office head, was shot during an ill-fated takeover of a control tower of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in November 9, 2003. 

[sources 1, 2

First Filipino to Fly

The first Filipino to fly in an airplane was the Igorot chieftain named Gagaban. He flew in a Red Devil biplane piloted by an American pilot named Lee Hammond. The historic flight took place over Luneta Park on February 12, 1912, during the 1912 Manila Carnival.


A Crater Named Balagtas

The surface of the planet Mercury is pock-marked with numerous craters, and the International Astronomical Union names them after famous artists and writers. 

One Philippine writer was immortalized with a crater on Mercury named after him - Francisco Balagtas, which was the pen name of poet Francisco Baltazar. He wrote, among others, the opus Florante at Laura

The Balagtas crater is about 98.82 kilometers in diameter, located at 22.6 ° center latitude and 12.75 ° E longitude. 


Wolfram Alpha

[Pictures are screenshots from USGS (top) and Wolfram Alpha (bottom)]