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FAA Invests $40 Million In Aviation Technology Research
The FAA has committed $40 million to support research into alternative jet fuels and new aircraft technology at 14 universities around the country, from Boston to Honolulu, the agency announced on Friday. Research and development efforts will focus on NextGen environmental goals for noise, air quality and fuel savings. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the agency wants to increase energy efficiency in the National Airspace System by at least 2 percent per year, with a target of 1 billion gallons of alternate jet fuel in use by 2018. Read More
Early Details Of U.S. Pilot Crash In China
First reports regarding the fatal crash of a Lancair 320 piloted by U.S. pilot David Riggs while flying in northeastern China for a movie state that he was attempting to "waterski" the aircraft across the surface of a lake, on its wheels, in bad weather. Chinese officials said Wednesday that a substantial portion of the aircraft had been recovered from the lake, as was the body of his 18-year-old translator, but Riggs' body was not immediately found. The flight departed a local airport at approximately 1:40 p.m. local time and the weather at the time "was bad," according to Chinese official Xu Jiuquing. Read More
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Boeing 787-9 Takes First Flight
The stretched version of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the 787-9 can carry 290 passengers (40 more than the 787-8) over a greater distance and took its first flight, Tuesday, at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The jet landed with no significant squawks and the is ready to continue flight testing this week without the need to address outstanding issues, according to the company. The first flight included several test scenarios including a check of the stick shaker system. Roughly 40 percent (almost 390) of the more than 930 Dreamliners ordered are represented by the 787-9 version. But some 50 orders are for an even larger version. Read More
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Stability Issues Thwarted Transatlantic Attempt
Despite two years of planning, when balloon pilot Jonathan Trappe approached the rugged coast of Newfoundland 12 hours after launching his cluster-balloon system from Caribou, Maine, last Thursday, he said it was clear that he had no choice but to land -- his weather forecast promised a landfall in Europe in less than 100 hours, but he was unable to stabilize the aircraft's altitude. "Tremendous, Beautiful, Magnificent Failure!" he wrote in an email to his crew and supporters, from Newfoundland, on Sunday. The system rose as high as 23,000 feet, and descended almost to the surface of the sea, and he was using too much ballast in fruitless efforts to establish control. "I can't make it to Europe," he wrote. Approaching the coast, shortly after sunset, he saw mountains ahead in the dark, descended into treetops, cut away his balloons, and landed safely in a bog. Read More
Video: Jonathan Trappe Launches from Maine to Cross the Atlantic in a Cluster Balloon System
On the morning of September 12, 2013, Jonathan Trappe ascended from a field in Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to be the first pilot to fly a cluster balloon system across the Atlantic. Twelve hours later, he landed in Newfoundland. Read More
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FAA: All Airlines Must Inspect Honeywell ELTs
The FAA said on Tuesday it will issue an Airworthiness Directive to require airlines to inspect Honeywell ELTs by January 14, "to prevent an electrical short and possible ignition source." The AD will be "identical" to one issued last month by Transport Canada, the FAA said. Canada issued the order in response to the fire on board a Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow airport in July. The FAA already had required inspections of the ELTs on 787s, but the new AD will extend the inspections to all aircraft operated by U.S. airlines. Read More
Weight Exemptions Hard To Get: LAMA
The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) and LAMA Europe are recommending Light Sport aircraft manufacturers think long and hard before they apply to the FAA for a weight exemption for their products. The agency allowed Icon a 250-pound weight increase for its A5 amphibian to allow it to incorporate structures Icon says will make the resulting aircraft spin resistant. Icon says it only plans to use 80 pounds of the exemption cushion. The rare exemption naturally led other manufacturers to wonder whether they might be able to get one but FAA Small Aircraft Directorate director Earl Lawrence told LAMA's meeting at AirVenture the decision was made to address the carnage from spin/stall accidents and really nothing else. Read More
Embry-Riddle Testing Airport Security Vehicle
Students and faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have developed a robotic vehicle that can take care of the monotonous task of airport security patrols. The Ford Escape Hybrid has been equipped with an autonomous control system that allows it to scoot around the airport to detect any kind of security or safety breach. It's being tested at Daytona Beach International Airport. Read More
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week

Are you subscribed to our weekly newsletter devoted to business aviation? Delivered mid-week on Wednesday mornings, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, products, and industry leaders that make headlines in bizav world.

Add it to your AVweb subscription by visiting the AVweb profile center and clicking on "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

Just in case you're not taking advantage of AVwebBiz, here are a couple of the stories you missed this week.

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Cessna Unveils Military Jet
Cessna unveiled a twin-engine military interceptor/utility jet that CEO Scott Ernest told his local Rotary Club will diversify the company's product line and provide a relatively inexpensive alternative to traditional fighter aircraft in some roles. The Scorpion was built in secret over the last 18 months by Cessna engineers at a facility in Wichita. Read More
First Flight For Bombardier CSeries Jet
Bombardier launched its CSeries flight-test vehicle on its first flight Monday morning in Montreal. The all-new narrow-body jet is designed to carry up to 149 passengers. The airplane already has proved disruptive in the airline industry, according to analyst Michael Boyd. "That's what caused Boeing and Airbus to redesign their airplanes," Boyd told Reuters. "The CSeries, on paper, was so superior in terms of economics that you have two global companies that had to jump from what Bombardier did." The flight had been delayed several times, but on Monday morning the weather cleared to provide a clear blue sky for the ceremonial event. Read More
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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.
Cessna Builds a Fighter
Well, a tactical aircraft, at least. With the Pentagon not asking for such a thing, is Cessna banking on foreign sales right out of the starting gate? Either way, it's a risky venture for a bizjet company whose last military experience was 40 years ago. 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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AVweb's Newstips Address

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something the flying world might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via e-mail here. (Or send them direct to Newstips at AVweb.com.)

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European Pilot Selection and Training (EPST), a founding member of IAFTP, has announced that it will offer its flight training organization customers a 20% discount on EPST selection services (pilot handling skills testing and/or pilot attitude testing) for all current and future students if they become IAFTP Corporate Members and implement the IAFTP eCV™ program when it is available. See this PDF for details.
Video: Calle Hedberg -- The Flying Hobo
Many round-the-world pilots are in a hurry to get the trip done, but Calle Hedberg of Capetown, South Africa is taking a different route. He has eight months to do the trip in his kit-built Ravin 500, and he plans to savor every moment. AVweb's Russ Niles flew with him after he got a float endorsement in Kelowna, British Columbia. Read More
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Picture of the Week
Brian Snider of Alliston, ON (Canada) went all the way to Croatia to bring back our latest blue ribbon photo. Read More
Meet the AVweb Team

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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The Enduring Allure Of Adventure
Humans love to seek out new experiences, and that goes for aviators too. Read More
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Video: Bendix/King KSN770 Flight Trial
The Bendix/King KSN770 retrofit FMS trickles down from the Honeywell Apex integrated flight management system. It has a flexible feature set and an open architecture. Read More
Video: Redbird's Redhawk Diesel -- A Detailed Look
At AirVenture, the really cool airplane wasn't from an airplane manufacturer but from Redbird, the guys who build motion simulators. They showed off a nicely refurb'd Cessna 172 with a diesel engine from Continental, and they invited us to come fly it at their San Marcos, Texas Skyport. So we did. In this video, we offer a detailed analysis of the Redhawk, along with a closer look at the airplane's performance and cost figures. Read More