Reason There Are So Few Active Flights for Velocity A/C?


#1

Velocity, Inc. makes a homebuilt kit for a very efficient 4-5 seat single engine airplane in normally aspirated and turbocharged models. I am considering building one due to its speed and useful load. It has sold many kits over the past several years and there are photos for 23 of them on FlightAware. However, as I check the link for active Velocity flights, very few seem to be flying nationwide based on the FAA aircraft designator code for Velocities, VELO.

Does anyone know why so few active flight seem to be noted on FlightAware? With the number of Velocities you see at Oshkosh and Lakeland airshows, it seems bizarre that so few flight plans are filed and activated nationwide.

On checking regularly, these seem to be the last arrival times for activated flight plans of Velocities on FlightAware. The * indicates relatively active aircraft.

051825Aug11* flightaware.com/live/flight/N936RL
050657Aug11* flightaware.com/live/flight/N21VA
032107Aug11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N424DS
010243Aug11* flightaware.com/live/flight/N767SD
311919Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N222TZ
301345Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N188HL
292048Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N929X
282136Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N648CH
282018Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N789PP
212023Jun11* flightaware.com/live/flight/N55AJ
202108Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N55XL
172326Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N173DT
051417Jul11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N697RG
201951Jun11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N541SW
212120May11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N541SW
192159May11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N821TM
101842Apr11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N274JP
201853Mar11 flightaware.com/live/flight/N2087M
160152Dec10 flightaware.com/live/flight/N131MM
031952Oct10 flightaware.com/live/flight/N44VF
111419Sep10 flightaware.com/live/flight/N52BZ
181713Jul10 flightaware.com/live/flight/N94KL
082130Jun10 flightaware.com/live/flight/N202VA
181436Sep09 flightaware.com/live/flight/N93DV


#2

A few possible reasons I can think of:

  • There’s not really that many of them: ~560 per wikipedia, which is about the same size as Southwest’s fleet.

  • They don’t really fly that much: Southwest has maybe half their fleet in the air at a given moment during the day, but their planes are flying ~450 hours a month. If the average VELO flies 4 hours a month, you’d expect about 0.5% of their fleet in the air at a given time during the day, or 3 aircraft.

  • They’re flying VFR: we don’t track VFR anymore.

  • They’re getting pop-up IFR clearances after departing from small airports: we don’t track these as reliably as flights that get IFR clearances on the ground departing from towered fields.


#3

That would explain it. I didn’t realize some active flight plans were excluded. It seems like FlightAware does pick up some VFR flights that are getting flight following. I ran across this paragraph from Mark Riley’s (owner) blog re N929X’s VFR flight home from Oshkosh on July 29, 2011, which is on FlightAware.

“We climb to 9,500 on course for home. We have 440 nautical miles to go and the [wx] system extends just to our north for most of the way with tops to 50,000 feet. We pick our way between the clouds at 200 to 235 knots for an hour and 45 minutes. The miles slip behind us amazingly quickly at these speeds. Soon we are in Western Pennsylvania with home showing on the far side of the map. We have flight following the whole way, so the flight shows up on Flightaware.com. We are finally confident we will make it all the way.”

FlightAware is a great service. Thanks!


#4

N929X is my Velocity. I fly VFR but get flight following on long trips. I have flown it to Oshkosh twice, to New England, Florida and the Bahamas. I think many Velocity pilots use the system the same way. Links to many builder’s blogs, including mine, can be found on www.Velocityaircraft.com.