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The best of the best and the just plain bizarre will this week shed all semblance of humility to usher in the next generation of aircraft, avionics, and aviation hopefuls. There is perhaps no other event in the aviation world so full of products and promise(s) for general aviation as AirVenture Oshkosh. The market (that's you) will decide what stays and what goes and AVweb plans to bring you -- the ultimate judge -- all the facts, the flops and the fantasies.
Special Coverage Breakdown: Just for AirVenture, AVweb will be offering...
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This Week, Airplanes Aplenty...
All the general aviation world is already streaming into EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, setting up and getting ready for the official opening tomorrow morning. Cirrus Design is showing off its new SRV, a VFR-only version of the company's SR20 model, priced at $189,900. Cirrus is also announcing the conversion of its fleet to all-glass cockpits, and a Centennial Edition of its SR22 will be unveiled at the show. Beechcraft also will display a Centennial Edition of its Bonanza. Mooney will debut its 50th Anniversary Ovation 2DX, plus new paint schemes for all of its planes. Light jets will be lacking as Cessna's new Citation Mustang will make the rounds in mockup only and Eclipse is not expected to have an actual airplane at the show either. Cessna's mockup will be nicely outfitted though, with a new Garmin G1000 avionics panel. Cirrus is also announcing two new retrofit options for current owners: air conditioning for the SR22, and a supplemental semi-portable oxygen system available for all Cirrus models. The Cessna piston lineup will feature the Skyhawk SP, Turbo Skylane, Turbo Stationair, and Grand Caravan. Jets will include the Citation CJ1 and Citation CJ2.
....New Choices For Homebuilders....
While all the big manufacturers appear in force at AirVenture, the heart of the show (and it seems the field from which all good things come) is the experimental and kitplane fleet. New Glastar is showing off its all-new aircraft, the "Sportsman 2+2," a taildragger that can be converted to tricycle gear, floats, or skis. Two optional rear jumpseats can accommodate pax up to five feet tall. Award winning designer John Monnett, Jr.'s Sonex Ltd. will unveil two new designs: the Xenos, a two-place, all-metal motor glider, and the Waiex, which meets the known criteria for the FAA's yet-to-be-real Light Sport Aircraft category. Glastar's Sportsman is being marketed as a kind of aerial SUV, able to carry two pilots, full fuel, and 300 pounds of outdoor gear. The prototype is outfitted with 26-inch tundra tires and is powered by a normally aspirated, 180-hp Lycoming O-360, swinging a Hartzell 80-inch constant-speed propeller, for a cruise of 130 knots. The company claims float takeoffs will only require nine to12 seconds of water dancing before liftoff. There is much, much more to see at AirVenture, and AVweb's staff is already on site, ready to bring you all the sights and sounds and news from the field.
...As Weak Economy Grinds Along
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported on Friday that 1,031 units (aircraft delivered) for the first half of 2003 represents a drop of 13.8 percent from the same period last year. Shipments of single-engine piston airplanes actually were up 1.4 percent over the same period last year -- from 663 to 672. Riding that trend, Mooney, whose plant was shut down just a year ago, is now building aircraft at the rate of about five per month, and last week the company said they expect to be at seven per month by January. Tiger Aircraft made an offer to pay $2.8 million to buy a controlling interest in Commander Aircraft's parent company, Aviation General, The Oklahoman reported last week. Commander filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last December, and has been operating in a limited mode since then. The investment, if OK'd by the courts, would enable Commander to resume full production as soon as September, the company said. Overall, "The positive news is that single-engine piston shipments are holding steady," said GAMA CEO Ed Bolen.
TURNING UP THE POWER FOR GENERAL AVIATION AT AIRVENTURE 2003 The technology that will power general aviation aircraft through the skies for years to come is showcased this week at AirVenture 2003 in the Teledyne Continental Pavilion adjacent to Exhibit Hangar C. Teledyne Continental Motors, in conjunction with Honda, have a brand new piston engine on display. Aerosance has added more aircraft types to their STC list for the PowerLink™ FADEC technology. Teledyne Mattituck Services has a brand new engine for the experimental aircraft marketplace. And Gill Battery has added STCs to its already long list of aircraft applications for their Original Equipment Batteries. There's a lot happening at Teledyne Continental Motors and this week you can see it all at AirVenture 2003 in Oshkosh. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm
FAA Reauthorization Bill OK With GAMA...
Negotiators from the U.S House and Senate got together on Friday and came up with a final version of the four-year, $59 billion FAA reauthorization bill that has GAMA gushing. "The conference bill is extraordinarily positive," said GAMA President Ed Bolen in a news release. The bill, known as the Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, authorizes significant funding for the FAA, clarifies the FAA's management structure, establishes a $100 million fund to reimburse general aviation for losses resulting from the September 11 attacks, calls for the return of GA ops to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and more, says GAMA. Next step is for the full House and Senate to vote on the bill and send it to President Bush.
...From VORs To GPS, FAA Delivers Transition "Roadmap"
The FAA on Friday released a "roadmap" that it says will allow the development of air traffic procedures pilots can use with onboard technology to navigate to any point in the world using only geographic coordinates. "With its high degree of precision, Required Navigation Performance -- or RNP -- allows us to fly more planes, more closely and more safely than ever before," Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news release. RNP and RNAV airspace and procedures, coupled with increasing aircraft fleet usage of GPS, will form the foundation for moving toward a satellite-based air traffic management system in the U.S. -- within two decades -- the agency said. The roadmap identifies three phases of the transition: by 2006, implement RNP and RNAV procedures in all phases of flight; by 2012, RNAV becomes the primary means of navigation in U.S. airspace; and by 2020, operators use RNP and RNAV procedures in all areas. A minimal operational network of ground-based navigation aids will remain in place.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB? TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features like standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. Add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. OSHKOSH SPECIAL: One month FREE trial or free set-up. For a FREE online demonstration go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy
Late last week, Garmin International announced it will acquire UPS Aviation Technologies (UPSAT), a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, for $38 million in cash. Garmin spokesman Pete Brumbaugh said the company could not yet release many of the details, but they will discuss the deal at an AirVenture press conference. The deal seems to give Garmin a strong hold on the soon-blooming certified WAAS-enabled GPS market. The WAAS-enabled, STC-approved UPSAT CNX-80 is now shipping, making GPS ILS approaches a reality and opening up thousands of airports in IFR conditions. UPSAT, headquartered in Salem, Ore., has been involved in the development of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology and WAAS navigation systems. UPSAT will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin International and will change its name to Garmin AT Inc., when the deal is finalized. UPSAT also builds panel-mounted GPS navigation systems, multifunction displays and other aviation navigation and communication technologies. The deal is scheduled to close sometime before the end of September.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, who took over the helm from Jane Garvey last September, makes her first visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this week. Blakey will appear at the perennial "Meet The Administrator" event on Thursday morning. The open session includes an often-boisterous and always-interesting question-and-answer period. Thursday evening, Blakey will present the 2003 National General Aviation Awards to the Flight Instructor, Maintenance Technician, Avionics Technician, and Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year. On Friday, she will present an airworthiness certificate to EAA for its 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction, authorizing its commemorative flight this December at Kitty Hawk.
In its second-quarter report last week, Raytheon Co. said government and defense sales are up 7 percent. Raytheon, headquartered in Lexington, Mass., is the parent of Raytheon Aircraft Co., which builds Beechcraft and Hawker piston planes and bizjets. Raytheon Aircraft delivered 26 piston aircraft in the quarter, compared to 20 in the same period last year. The entire Beechcraft product line will be on display at EAA AirVenture, starting tomorrow, including the Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron, the King Air family -- the 350, B200 and C90B -- as well as the Premier I, which is making its second appearance at Oshkosh. Raytheon also announced Friday it has acquired Honeywell Aerospace and Defence Services (HADS), a unit of Honeywell, in Australia. HADS provides avionics maintenance and other support services to the Australian Defence Forces. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
EXCITING NEW PRODUCTS FROM ASA! 2004 Pilot Test-Preps and Maintenance Test-Guides are now available, and a NEW Commercial version of the Virtual Test-Prep DVD Ground School Series joins the already popular Private and Instrument courses. ASA offers a complete line of aviation products for pilots and maintenance technicians from textbooks and checkride essentials, to the Flight Timer and On Top PC simulator. Don’t miss out, see ASA at AirVenture Booth 2076, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect
Trying to imitate birds that conserve energy by "surfing" on the wakes of other birds in V-formation flight, NASA surfed an F/A-18 in the wingtip vortex of a DC-8 late last month, and recorded a 29-percent fuel savings. NASA said last week that the airplanes flew at 25,000 feet with a separation of about 200 feet nose-to-tail. Earlier experiments with two F/A-18s showed only an 18-percent fuel savings. While many bird species have figured out that formation flight benefits them, NASA noted that nowhere in nature do you find large and small birds cooperating to achieve this apparently greater efficiency. Related information is available on the NASA Dryden Web site.
A Cessna Citation 525 bizjet ditched last Tuesday morning, just a few hundred feet from shore near the town of Coupeville, Wash. "This was just a huge roar ...then I heard a big kabloom and big kaplunk!" local resident Sue Koleada told KOMO TV. The pilot, James Ray, 80, and his companion, Helcia Graf, 73, and their yellow Labrador retriever swam away from the jet and were picked up by nearby boaters. Other than minor cuts and bruises, all were fine. Less than two hours after the crash, the three headed home to Ketchum, Idaho, in a rental car. The 525 was climbing out of Victoria, B.C., at FL330 when Ray "stated a problem" with the jet and requested the closest field, according to the FAA's preliminary report. A salvage crew will recover the jet.
FLIGHT TRAINING REBATE FROM OMF Earn a new FAA rating, fly one of general aviation's most exciting new aircraft and save money, all at the same time, with OMF Aircraft's new Flight Training Rebate. OMF and its distributors are offering a $2,000 rebate to anyone who purchases a Symphony 160 between July 28 and August 15, 2003, and a new FAA rating in their Symphony 160 within two years. To learn more about OMF's flight training rebate, stop by OMF's AirVenture outdoor display next to the entrance to Building D, or call 1-866-OMF-1600, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/omf
Twenty-seven top pilots began competition Saturday in Anderson, S.C., in the six-day U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship...
AOPA is taking names ... nominations are welcome for the Certified Flight Instructor, Aviation Maintenance Technician, and Avionics Technician of the Year awards. Nominations for the FAA Safety Counselor of the Year are also open. Click here to download a nomination form from the Air Safety Foundation, in PDF format...
USA Today's online education site named NBAA's AvKids.com a "Best Bet" for its resources for teachers and schoolchildren. More than 25,000 AvKids Activity Guides have been downloaded from the site...
Dayton, Ohio's Inventing Flight celebration attracted 650,000 visitors, exceeding expectations, but revenues fell short by several million dollars nonetheless, the AP reported last week...
The FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center, in Atlantic City, N.J., will conduct a vertical drop test of a 32-passenger ATR 42-300 aircraft this Wednesday. The 35,000-pound aircraft will be the largest ever dropped at the technical center...
The FAA last week named Castle Airport, Atwater, Calif., as this year's GA airport that will receive funds from the Military Airport Program, which helps convert military airports to civilian use. The funds will be used to improve utilities, rehabilitate hangars and improve roads. Each year 15 airports are selected, including one GA field.
I was in the pattern at FXE one night and I heard an aircraft taxiing out from Banyan Air Service tell the tower that he saw some debris on the taxiway. As the aircraft got closer the pilot said it looked like a pair of goggles on the taxiway. Discussion then ensued between the aircraft, the tower and the security guard in a truck being vectored to the location, about what type of goggles, Scuba, Snoopy type Flying goggles, Foggles etc. Once it was established that they were flying goggles or foggles the controller asked if any other debris was sighted and the pilot said no but he would be on the lookout for any doghouse parts or a beagle on the run.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE TODAY AT OSHKOSH? WSI, the Trusted Leader in Aviation Weather, is publishing a free website of WSI aviation weather for the region surrounding Oshkosh leading up to and during AirVenture 2003. The site offers surface prognostics, satellite imagery and WSI's industry leading NOWrad® Radar Summary. If you are attending AirVenture visit WSI at Booth 3090-91 for up-to-the-minute weather conditions for the show, or go online where the site will be available through the event and for a short time thereafter at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Martin Myer, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.
New Articles and Features on AVweb
CRM From The Instructor's Viewpoint
Flight instructors are in a unique position to observe the habits of pilots, especially CFIs who teach two-pilot crews in simulators. AVweb presents a review of some common Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) issues.
As the Beacon Turns #66: Artful FLYING -- A Journey of a Thousand Miles
Flying can be beautiful, and pilots can be artists. Not just the skywriting types -- but anyone who has a passion to be better, to pay attention, and to seek out ways to be a true aviator without trying to impress others. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles is on that journey.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) WANTS YOU TO COMPARE AND SAVE! Compare and save on your life insurance with PIC's exclusive rate plans designed for pilots. For the month of July, call or visit PIC's website for a quote and they will pick up the tab on a one-year subscription to Flying Magazine. There is only one Pilot Insurance Center. A+ RATED CARRIERS. NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS. FAST SERVICE. Go by PIC's AirVenture Booth 2065-66, or call 1-800-380-8376, or browse http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife
VISIT AEROMEDIX AT OSHKOSH FOR BIG SAVINGS ON OUR GREAT PRODUCTS!! Aeromedix is bringing their entire line-up of quality products to AirVenture this year, and everything is discounted! Aeromedix will have the popular E-Ox portable oxygen systems for less than $200, Nonin FlightStat pulse oximeters at their lowest price ever, ReliefBand anti-nausea devices, and the new 406 Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) from ACR Electronics, all at special Oshkosh prices! Go see Aeromedix at Booth 3002/3003 and take home everything you need for a great summer, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi
AVIONICS WEST NOW OFFERS HANDS-ON TRAINING ON THE NEW UPSAT GNX80 You'll be setting behind a real CNX80 and MX20. Learn the product before you fly it or attend Avionic West's class to see if the CNX80 is the product for you. Garmin GNS 430/530 classes offered also. Sure, vendors at AirVenture offer some great deals in avionics but we offer the same low prices and you don't have to fight the crowds to reap the rewards. Avionics West has the all new Lowrance AirMap 500 in stock and at an introductory price. Also, find great prices on the Garmin GPSMAP 196 and the accessories. For more too-low-to-advertise prices, call 805 934-9777, or send an email to
FOR AVWEB SUBSCRIBERS ONLY! SPECIAL SAVINGS ON FIRST FLIGHT GEAR! Shop for First Flight Centennial apparel and collectibles online, by entering promotional code "AVWEB" for a 10% discount on everything. While there enter the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17. Other prizes include commemorative watches and more. Order, enter the sweepstakes, and secure VIP events seating at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF YOUR AUTOPILOT It is acknowledged that the JFK, Jr. crash may have been prevented had he received adequate training in the use of his autopilot. ElectronicFlight Solutions will release the CompleteLearning™ Autopilot Module for Bendix/King KAP 140, KFC 225 and S-TEC 55 at EAA Venture 2003. An autopilot can be your best friend in single-pilot, high-workload situations, yet the FAA does not mandate any form of autopilot training in order to earn a rating. The Electronicflight CompleteLearning interactive autopilot training software is an industry’s first. Order now and get the pre-Oshkosh special pricing of $125 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/index_pilotshop.html
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FREE HEADSET WITH ANY COMM 1 RADIO SIMULATOR PURCHASE! Fly confidently by training with Comm1 audio INTERACTIVE CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally. Build skills and confidence on the ground to saving money and aggravation. Comm1's new line of INTERACTIVE navigation training CD-ROMs are perfect for visualizing WHERE and WHAT the aircraft is doing. See all Comm1's programs at AirVenture Booth 3095, or go online to order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1
HOWARD FRIED'S FINAL "EYE OF EXPERIENCE" SERIES AT SPECIAL PRE-PUB PRICE You only have two more weeks to take advantage of the pre-publication price of $21.95, regular $24.95, on the last of the "Eye of Experience" series at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fried
FREE AUTOGRAPHED KLYDE MORRIS POSTER WITH ANY PURCHASE of Klyde Morris apparel and other kool stuff. See Klyde and all his kool stuff at AirVenture Booth 802, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kms
BE A PILOT & JEPPESEN TEAM UP TO OFFER PROSPECTIVE PILOTS FREE LOGBOOKS The Be A Pilot program offers prospective pilots an introductory flight lesson for $49. With support from Jeppesen, a long-time leader in training supplies, when a participant redeems the Be A Pilot flight lesson certificate they will receive a FREE logbook. Introduce someone to flying at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot
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WITHOUT TWO WORKING MAGNETOS, YOUR FLIGHT IS LIKELY TO BE TOAST! Yet mags aren't often inspected correctly-or at all. Find out about the proper way to do magneto inspections in the upcoming August issue of LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE. The advice offered could be a lifesaver. Get your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm
SUPPORT THOSE WHO BRING YOU FREE AVFLASHES! Stop by and tell AVweb sponsors how much you appreciate their support of your FREE AVflash issues. AVweb will be in AirVenture booth 4144-45. For a list you can print out and take with you go to http://www.avweb.com/shopping/sponsors.html
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