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NWS Upgrades Boost Aviation Weather Forecasting
The National Weather Service has begun a series of major upgrades to its computing power that should provide a "quantum leap" in forecast capabilities, the agency said recently. "Whizzing through 213 trillion calculations per second, newly upgraded supercomputers ... are now more than twice as fast in processing sophisticated computer models to provide more accurate forecasts further out in time," NWS said in a news release. "These improvements are just the beginning," said Louis Uccellini, director of the NWS. "They lay the foundation for further computing enhancements and more accurate forecast models that are within reach." Read More
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NavWorx Certifies ADS-B Receiver
As the ADS-B mandate draws nearer, the market for certified ADS-B equipment is heating up. This month, Texas-based NavWorx announced that it has just obtained FAA TSO approval for its ADS600-B, a Universal Access Transceiver that provides both ADS-B In and Out capability and meets the 2020 mandate. Read More
Question of the Week

Each week, we poll the savviest aviators on the World Wide Web (that's you) on a topic of interest to the flying community.

Visit AVweb.com to participate in our current poll.

Click here to view the results of past polls.

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NASA Drops Helis For Safety
NASA announced Wednesday that it had teamed up with the U.S. Navy and the FAA to drop a CH-46E helicopter fuselage into the ground as part of an effort to improve the safety and performance of helicopters and construction techniques. A second test will take place next summer, subjecting to the same forces a CH-46E airframe modified with composite airframe retrofits. The test was observed by researchers, and also by 40 cameras (including some recording at 500 frames per second) and computers collecting data from 350 instrumentation points. Read More
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Aeros: First Flight Soon For New Airship Design
Aeros said this week its 266-foot-long lighter-than-air cargo aircraft will make its first flight in the "coming weeks." The company, based in Los Angeles, has been working on the Aeroscraft design since 2007, and began "float-testing" the aircraft early this year. The ship now in the works is a "proof-of-design engineering vehicle," the company said. The purpose of the flight-testing is to evaluate the pilot interface, system operation and controllability, as part of the company's program to develop the Aeroscraft model ML866, which will be about twice as big as the current aircraft. The test vehicle uses an "innovative variable buoyancy management system," the company said. Read More
Russia's Sixth-Generation Fighter Rumors
Loosely based on comments made by the former commander-in-chief of the Russian air force, Army General Pyotr Deynekin, rumors have emerged that Russia's next long-range assault jet will likely be unmanned, but it's not coming very soon. The General said that a sixth-generation program is in the works and told RIA news agency it "most probably" will be unmanned. Currently, the Russian military is awaiting its fifth generation heavy attack jet, the PAK-FA, which is not expected to enter service before 2016. Russia hopes that jet will be virtually undetectable by enemy radar and extremely maneuverable if engaged in a traditional dogfight. Read More
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Air Force Tests 'Drafting' Flight To Save Fuel
Recent tests using two U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft showed that flying in formation could potentially save the Air Force up to $10 million per year in fuel costs. The test flights, conducted in July, departed from Edwards AFB in California and flew to Hawaii and back. The trailing aircraft's autopilot software was tweaked to enable it to maintain the optimum fuel-saving position, about 3,000 to 6,000 feet behind the lead aircraft. "Maintaining position in the [fuel-saving] formation is no more task-saturating for the aircrew than flying at cruise," said Maj. Kyle Clinton, one of the pilots who flew the trailing C-17. The tests demonstrated in-flight rendezvous, day and night operations, and several hours of flight on autopilot, the Air Force officials said. Read More
Japanese Airline Buys Miami Flight School
Pan Am International Flight Academy, based in Miami, Fla., has been bought by ANA Holdings, the parent company of All Nippon Airways, the companies announced last week. All Nippon Airways said it plans to expand Pan Am into Asia, providing training to other Asian airlines, partner firms and subsidiaries. "With air travel expected to double within the next 30 years, with much of the growth occurring in Asia, the company is poised to capture opportunities and create an additional source of steady revenue for the airline," according to Pan Am's news release. The purchase price was $139.5 million. Read More
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Online Courses Offer Advanced Aviation Education, For Free
If you're interested in airplanes and wish you knew more about aerodynamics -- or air traffic control, space policy, satellite engineering or airline management -- you can study all of those topics and more, for free, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, via their OpenCourseware website. Each course features a syllabus, readings, video lectures, and projects that you can complete at your own pace. The courses don't include any instructor support, classroom interaction, or certification, so learners must be self-motivated. If you prefer more structure, MIT also offers MOOCs, or massive online open courses, together with Harvard, at the EdX website. These courses run on a schedule and offer active discussion forums, and students can receive a certificate when they complete all the coursework. Read More
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AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

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AVweb 
Insider
Not Bullish on AoA Indicators (Yet)
The latest wave of group think in aviation is washing over angle of attack indicators. Several companies are producing them. But unless the industry gets serious about training to use these gadgets, they may not have much effect. Read More
Video: Electronics International Unveils New Multi-Purpose Instrument
While old airframes may keep soldiering on, the instruments and radios in the panels usually don't. At AirVenture this year, Electronics International rolled out a new instrument designed to replace older instruments, including tachometers, engines instruments, and other indicators. In this video, EI's Tyler Speed gives us a quick product tour of the new CGR-30P. Read More
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Vertical Market Advertising
Video: NexAir Piper Saratoga NX Refurbishment
Boston area NexAir Avionics offers partial and complete refurbishment and customization programs for Piper Saratoga aircraft, including the retrofit of Avidyne's R9 integrated avionics suite. Pricing starts at roughly $90,000 for the R9 alone and can top nearly $500,000 for a complete refurbishment. Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano took a look at the NX aircraft at AirVenture 2013. Read More
Video: PS Engineering's PAR200 Multi-Function Audio System
There's a need for affordable audio system upgrades for basic aircraft. PS Engineering attempts to answer the call with the PAR200 -- a three-in-one system that combines an advanced audio panel, a stereo intercom, and a remote comm radio. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano takes a look at the unit during it's introduction at AirVenture 2013 at Oshkosh. Read More