Jetman Yves Rossy sat with AVweb Friday at AirVenture to discuss what it's like to "be the airplane" as he flies with a six-foot-wing and four microturbines strapped to his back. Rossy explained that his motivation for development of the wing had nothing to do with publicity, but "to be free in the air" and to address his personal dream of flight. "An airplane is a compromise," Rossy said, adding that he wanted to "go back to the root, back to the dream, back to the pure flight -- not reinvent another airplane ... Be the airplane." Sponsorship has added a new dimension to that dream and Rossy said that future performances could be enhanced by "Jumbotron" monitors streaming video from his wing, his launch helicopter and other vantage points. Rossy is a small object to observe with the naked eye from the ground at an airshow, and he expressed to us that he does not want to fly below 2500 feet -- an altitude he sets as his own safety margin. He does, however, have an idea.
Rossy described his ideal airshow performance, saying it could take place in a venue similar to the Grand Canyon, where he could fly along the face of a cliff. The audience could observe from the top of the cliff while he flew a few hundred feet from the cliff face while still maintaining his 2,500 foot vertical safety margin. "My safety ... and that's my life. It's minimum 2,500 feet. So, I don't want to go down lower than that ... just, and kill myself in front of a crowd. Safety first!" As for regulatory challenges posed by the FAA, Rossy said it was difficult for innovators like himself to work within preset limits. "Innovation by definition ... you have to break the rules. If you stay in the rules you will never innovate." Addressing our camera, Rossy directly asked the FAA to be innovative in the legal aspect, and to "follow and prepare the possibility for technical innovation. It should be a boost; not a brake." He is currently training his first Jetman pupil, and imagines a day when a squadron of Jetmen will fly together.
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At AirVenture 2013, Jetman Yves Rossy made his first North American appearance, flying a custom-made personal wing fitted with four microjet engines. AVweb interviewed Rossy between shows on Friday afternoon, and, in this exclusive video, we cut in some stunning aerial and ground footage provided by Rossy's sponsor, Swiss watchmaker Breitling. Rossy describes what it's like to fly his powered wing at speeds up to 190 MPH after launching himself from the skid of a helicopter flying at about 5,500 feet over Oshkosh.
Garmin's New $1,199* Comm Has Pilots Talking
Providing an all-in-one comm radio and stereo intercom solution for experimental and light sport aircraft owners, Garmin's new GTR 200 will be generating plenty of talk at this year's EAA AirVenture. Standing just 1.35 inches tall, this space-saving radio combines a powerful 10-watt transmitter with such innovative features as: 3-D audio separation, advanced auto-squelch, stereo music input, best-in-class standby frequency monitoring, optional remote "flip-flop" frequency entry, on-screen frequency identification, and much more. Check it out at Garmin.com/experimental.
The director of Disney's latest blockbuster animated movie says he hopes the knowledgeable audience at AirVenture Oshkosh finds it both inspiring and entertaining. Planes director Klay Hall said in an interview with AVweb the movie, which weaves a classic tale of grit, determination and a little luck overcoming adversity and various antagonists, was a lot of fun to work on and he hopes that translates for the AirVenture crowd. The movie officially opens Aug. 9 but a special preview screening was arranged for Aug. 2 at AirVenture's Fly-In Theatre. It was scheduled to be screened at 8:30 p.m.
Hall said the actors voicing the characters became enthralled with their roles and Anthony Edwards, the vocal chords behind fighter plane Echo (Val Kilmer is his wingman Bravo), recently got his pilot certificate so he was particularly excited about the role. Hall said there have been expectations raised about the movie's ability to inspire a new generation of pilots and he hopes that happens.
Aspen Avionics Introduces ADS-B Solutions
Designed to work with what you already have in your panel, Aspen's affordable NextGen ADS-B solutions provide an easy, cost-effective path to increased situational awareness and meeting the FAA's NextGen mandate. Try our simple ADS-B solution finder to get started, at AspenAvionics.com/EasyADSB.
Bendix/King KT74 ADS-B Transponder
Is it time to upgrade your transponder? The ADS-B-compliant Bendix/King KT74 meets 2020 requirements, is low-cost, is easy to install, and fits into your existing panel. Suiting your needs now and in the future. It's never been so easy to plan ahead. Click here to learn more.
Sean D. Tucker, aerobatic champion and legendary air show performer, has taken over the honorary chairmanship of the EAA's Young Eagles program. He replaces Chesley Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, the airline pilots known for ditching an A320 in the Hudson River after losing both engines. "It's my second full-time job," Tucker said. "That's how committed I am to this legacy." Tucker said he will spread the word about Young Eagles as he flies on the air show circuit, and also will make personal visits to EAA chapters to take kids flying. "I love sharing the magic of flight," he said. "It's uplifting, inspiring, empowering."
The Young Eagles program was launched in 1992, and so far has taken 1.8 million kids for a free introductory flight. Young Eagles have flown in more than 90 countries, by more than 42,000 volunteer pilots. The honorary chairman post was previously held by Cliff Robertson, Chuck Yeager, and Harrison Ford.
Weather with Perspective XM WX Satellite Weather gives you onboard perspective on the weather. Graphical data like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more enhance your situational awareness and are compatible with the industry's leading MFDs, EFBs, glass cockpits, and now the iPad. Additionally, flexible subscription options ensure you get the dataset that's right for you. Come see the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather at booths 3037-3039 during AirVenture 2013 or visit us online at XMWXweather.com/aviation.
Continental Motors is apparently wasting little time in investing in improvements to increase TBRs and gearbox replacement intervals on the Centurion diesel line. With its deal to acquire the former assets of Thielert Aircraft Engines not even two weeks old, Continental said this week at AirVenture that it will field an improved gearbox for the Centurion line that will extend inspection/replacement cycles from 300 to 600 hours.
Continental’s Rhett Ross said on Monday that the new gearbox uses a dual mass flywheel design that eliminates traditional friction-plate parts in favor of massive metal parts. Austrian diesel maker Austro uses similar technology for its engines. Ross said Thielert had actually developed the new gearboxes some time ago but simply never had the resources to file for the appropriate approvals.
“I give great credit to the employees and management who kept the company together and supported fielded engines, but there was no extra money for development to do the engineering work and regulatory filings that are required. Basically, we were frozen in time for five years,” Ross said.
With a major injection of capital from the China-based AVIC International, such approvals are on the front burner, as is extending the engine TBRs from a maximum of 1500 hours to at least 2000 or 2400 hours.
“I think the data is there to do that, but we want to increase the pace we’re going to do this at, so we’re going to add to the field data by also lining up units in our test cells so we can run them 24/7 and just move this along a little bit faster,” Ross said.
Continental is also getting busy with potential partners and diesel customers. Earlier in the week, Redbird Simulations announced the Redhawk diesel conversion project that will use a Centurion 2.0 and an Italian company called Vulcanair revealed a strategic partnership with Continental to develop a four-seat, high-wing aircraft using one of Continental’s diesels. Ross said Vulcanair has the kind of global experience its looking for developing aircraft specifically suited for diesel technology.
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A collision late Thursday night between two F-16C Air National Guard jets based out of Joint Base Andrews Naval Facility, 10 miles outside Washington, D.C., briefly left one pilot in the ocean after a successful ejection off of Virginia, while the other was able to fly his jet back to base. The pilot who ejected was rescued by the Coast Guard after they received an automated distress signal at some time after 10:30 pm. Both pilots were treated at the base's medical facilities and one has already been released. The other was reportedly transferred off base for treatment of his injuries, which appear to be non-life-threatening.
A National Guard spokeswoman said that she did not immediately have details on the extent of the damage suffered by the jet that safely returned to base, the Baltimore Sun reported. The Coast Guard tracked the ejection seat beacon, and found and recovered the downed pilot with an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at about 12:30 a.m. Early reports differed in their accounts regarding the time when the distress signal was acquired but sources appear to agree the ejection occurred before midnight. The search was initiated when the jet's automated Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking beacon was received by the Coast Guard's 5th District Command Center. The cause of the apparent midair is under investigation.
Is Your iPad "Cockpit Ready"?
iPad must be secured, viewable, and operable with one hand to be useful during critical phases of flight. There are many choices. Mounted windshield/suction, yoke, or panel. Kneeboards single-leg or lap desk. What is best for you? To learn more about making your iPad "Cockpit Ready," click here.
Visit us! Hangar B (Flagship Store), booth 2144; Hangar A, booth 1153
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Mike Blyth of The Airplane Factory flew one leg of 14 hours, bucking headwinds over open water, with his son in the Rotax-powered Sling 4 metal kit-built aircraft, to arrive at the show grounds of AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. Blyth and his son flew with an extra 40-gallon fuel tank in the back seat and 80 gallons in the wings, which Blyth says could keep the Rotax 914 UL turning through 20 hours of flight if they needed to divert for weather during an overseas leg. The standard kit aircraft is a 4-seater with a 1000-pound useful load and a fuel burn of less than six gallons per hour. The long flight isn't the first or the longest for the Sling family of aircraft. The two seat Sling2 went much farther in 2009.
After one year spent testing the prototype Sling2 -- which is available as an amateur-built experimental or an E-LSA, Blyth and his business partner James Pitman decided to take it for a global circumnavigation. The Sling2 is powered by a Rotax 912- or 914-series engine and normally has a range of about 800 nm. Fitted with extra tanks the team spent 40 days and nights logging 220 hours of flight time across more than 24,000 miles of earth. Several legs of the journey crossed more than 2,000 miles of ocean, flying east to west. The Sling4 is an evolution of that aircraft and is built to carry four people at about 120 kts over 800 nm on 46 gallons.
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Mike Blyth of Airplane Factory flew one leg of 14 hours over open water with his son in the Rotax-powered kitbuilt Sling4 four-seat light airplane to arrive at the showgrounds of AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.
Clarity SV ADS-B Receiver: See Us at Oshkosh Booth #2067
It's stunning like having a back-up EFIS panel on your iPad or tablet. Clarity SV is GA's most sensitive ADS-B/GPS-WAAS/ADHRS with ADI/HSI depiction and 3-D synthetic vision. Its wi-fi connection lets your apps display no-cost NEXRAD radar, weather, and traffic for better situational awareness weather or not. To see our video, click here.
Amid all the noise and smoke of the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, an interlude featuring two eSpyder aircraft from GreenWing was notable for its silence. The single-seat aircraft, which resemble monowing ultralights, flew over show central, low and slow, executing gentle turns driven by battery-powered electric motors. The aircraft were recently certified in Germany as light sport aircraft, but the U.S. LSA rules don't allow for electric powerplants. GreenWing, based in California, is offering the eSpyders for sale as experimental amateur-built airplanes, at $40,000 for a quick-build kit. The eSpyder's battery can supply flight times up to one hour, "enough to go for a quiet, relaxing sunset flight after work, without bothering the neighbors," as LSA advocate Dan Johnson said, narrating the flight demo from the announcer's booth.
At a news conference on Thursday at Oshkosh, GreenWing spokesman Eric Bartsch said the availability of the eSpyder kit means "electric aviation is here -- this isn't theoretical anymore -- this is something I can buy." The GreenWing company, based in California, is a spinoff of Yuneec, the Chinese company that developed the airplane. Bartsch noted that "Yuneec has a lot of manufacturing capabilities" and already has started production on the eSpyder aircraft, which will be ready to ship by the end of this year. He added that the company hopes the U.S. light sport aircraft rules will evolve to allow electric powerplants within a year or so, so the eSpyders can be sold factory-built. The company also is ready to manufacture the e430, a two-seat electric-powered airplane that also would qualify as an LSA in the U.S. if the rules change to allow for electric powerplants.
The Next Little Thing in Aviation SkyCraft Airplanes is happy to introduce the SD-1 Minisport to the LSA market. The SD-1 redefines what is possible for the budget-conscious pilot with its 118-mph cruise speed, 1,400-fpm climb rate, removable wings, and 575-mile range. Included standard on the aircraft are Dynon Glass Avionics, nav and strobe lights, ELT, radio, and an auxiliary port for your iPod. Total hourly operational cost: $12. Total Airplane Cost: $54,850. Click here to visit our web site.
At EAA AirVenture this week, AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with GreenWing spokesman Eric Bartsch about the company's products and their plans for the U.S. market. The California company, a spin-off of China-based Yuneec, is now selling an electric-powered aircraft as an experimental amateur-built kit. Bartsch said the company is ready and eager to provide more electric-powered aircraft as soon as U.S. regulations allow.
Levil Technology's Line of AHRS/ADS-B Receivers Just Got Better!
Offering the most compatibility with your favorite apps and uncontested AHRS performance, the iLevil SW has been known as the most flexible AHRS/ADS-B system in the market. Levil Technology is now introducing the iLevil AW, featuring internal pressure sensors that measure indicated airspeed, pressure altitude, and VSI when connected to the pitot-static system of a homebuilt or light sport aircraft. Check out the iLevil at AirVenture Oshkosh or visit our web site here.
The NTSB has finished posting its series of five short safety videos aimed at general aviation pilots and mechanics this week, just in time for EAA AirVenture. The Safety Alerts aim to address the most common causes of fatal accidents in the GA fleet. The newest one, published on Tuesday, aims to reach GA mechanics. "If every mechanic could spend some time as a safety investigator, I believe those experiences would remain with them for a lifetime," says NTSB investigator Mike Huhn in the video. Since that's not possible, though, he says, "A good way to learn from others' mistakes is to study accident reports." Huhn also adds that there often is not enough redundancy in performing maintenance work in the GA world.
The other four videos cover maintenance issues from the pilot's viewpoint, risk management and decision-making, flight in reduced visibility, and low-altitude stalls. The full series is posted here.
Weather Where You Want It the Most In the Cockpit!
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Can't make it to AirVenture this year? Photo galleries of the people, products, and planes that make Oshkosh a pilot's paradise will pepper our coverage throughout the week, courtesy of eagle-eyed aviation photographer Mariano Rosales.
See the Difference
Introducing Mobile FliteDeck VFR our new intuitive, easy-to-use app that delivers the data you need, when you need it. Paper charts can't do that. Neither can a scanned picture of a chart on an iPad®. So spend less time fumbling with charts and applications and more time heads-up, enjoying what you love flying. See us at AirVenture® in front of hangar A on Knapp St. for a demo. Or click here for more.
There's so much to see and touch at AirVenture that your eyes may tire of looking and your button-pushing finger can get a little stiff. That doesn't deter the AVweb team, however, as they poked, prodded, and otherwise product-tested their way through some of this year's most interesting products in a series of "Product Minute" videos.
Upgrade Your External GPS Receiver for the iPad & iPhone
The Bad Elf GPS Pro was designed for use in multi-crew jets and provides strong GPS reception even with heated windshields. Supports up to five iPads/iPhones simultaneously with a 16+-hour battery life. Works great with ForeFlight, Jepp FD, and WingX. Flying worldwide in GA singles, Fortune 50 fleets, and charter aircraft even airlines! Visit us at EAA AirVenture (booth #B-2125), or click here to learn more.
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Join Us in Welcoming the S1 Family and Win an iPad Mini
Visit Sennheiser at AirVenture (Booth #288) and join us in welcoming the S1 Family of aviation headsets. The launch of our new S1 NoiseGard with state-of-the art analog noise cancellation technology marks the completion of the S1 Family. Try out the S1 NoiseGard or our groundbreaking S1 Digital with digital adaptive noise reduction and give yourself a chance to win a new iPad Mini. Learn more.
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I have this recurring fantasy that I’d like to work for the FAA for a couple of days just to give someone a break. If I could pick the days, it would have been the ones where the FAA was reviewing Yves Rossy’s plans to fly a routine in the airshow at AirVenture this week.
The rumor had been circulating—and it appears to be true, more or less confirmed by Rossy himself—that whatever inspector was assigned to the delicate task of protecting the show-going public apparently deemed Rossy to be a four-engine turbojet meat missile. He was actually told he’s really a jet aircraft and would require the appropriate ratings and waivers to appear in the skies over AirVenture. In an ultimate abandonment of common sense, Rossy was evidently advised he would need a 30-minute fuel reserve, despite having only a 10-minute endurance to begin with, and that he was enjoined from carrying passengers or discharging skydivers. Seriously? Could any bona fide representative of the federal government actually be that dense? (This is a rhetorical question to which the answer is intuitively obvious.)
“Innovation, by definition…you have to break the rules. If you stay within the rules, you will never innovate because in the rules, you are doing something existing,” Rossy told our Glenn Pew during an interview.
“So that’s a message I give to the FAA. Try to be innovative also in the legal aspect. This legal aspect should prepare for the possibility of innovation. It should be a boost, not a brake.”