Trivia Testers : The One and Only

Question: There are 5268 public-use airports in the US, according to AOPA’s latest database. Only 526 of them have a control tower. The vast majority of those airports having a control tower also have more than one runway. A few however, have just one. How few?

  1. 3
  2. 5
  3. 15
  4. 75

Answer: D. Out of 526 towered airports in the US, 75 have just one runway. (Also, 15 of these 75 have a runway longer than 8069 feet.) However, only three of these are 24-hour ‘big airport’ operations. These are Lindbergh in San Diego, Pease in New Hampshire, and Harrisburg International. (There are two other ’24/7′ towered one-runway airports: one 2200-ft strip in Alaska, and one in the Mariana Islands near Micronesia.)

Subject: Fire and Rain (sorry, JT)

Question: True or false: Large forest fires can often occur under ‘cloudy skies’.

True. And they often do. Clouds need heat, and moisture, and a forest fire sure supplies both! These ‘forest fire’ clouds even have a name: pyrocumulus. Moisture released from vegetation (and then driven up by the heat), combined with smoke particles, are what forms them.

Subject: Asymmetry

Question: Airplanes have various left turning tendencies, and designers have come up with some clever ways to counteract them. What is one that was first used during WWII, and which has hardly ever been used since?

  1. a canted engine mount
  2. a canted vertical fin
  3. unequal wing lengths
  4. cyclically varying propeller pitch

Answer: C. The Macchi Mc.202 Folgore was designed by Mario Castoldi over 60 years ago with a feature that one would expect of Burt Rutan (and in fact which he has used on Proteus): the left wing is longer than the right (in the case of the Folgore, by about eight and a quarter inches). Choices A and B are quite common; choice D is common, too—but on helicopters.