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President Obama has signed into law the Small Airplane Revitalization Act, a measure that is designed to streamline certification of new aircraft and simplify the modification of existing aircraft. The new law directs the FAA to change Part 23 by the end of 2015 to create "twice the safety at half the cost" in terms of certifying new aircraft and, just as importantly, adding modern avionics and other equipment to the current fleet. Read More
Despite a quick and loud uproar from pilot advocacy groups about planned changes in sleep-apnea assessment by medical examiners, the FAA moved forward this week with its new policy, publishing a "Fact Sheet" online. In the new Fact Sheet, posted on Tuesday, the FAA says it is "not changing its medical standards related to OSA [obstructive sleep apnea]." However, the FAA is "considering requiring AMEs to calculate the BMI for each pilot and air traffic controller using a formula provided by the FAA." Applicants with a BMI of 40 or more must be evaluated for OSA. "Anyone diagnosed with OSA must be treated before they can be medically certificated, which is not new," the Fact Sheet states. However, requiring AMEs to calculate the BMI and then require a sleep assessment based on that calculation, would be new. The FAA also notes that pilots diagnosed with OSA must apply for a special issuance medical certificate. Read More
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Two years of research and 57 prototypes have led to a prototype smartphone-controllable paper airplane now seeking to become available on multiple platforms with the help of a Kickstarter.com campaign. Inventor, pilot and aviation enthusiast Shai Goitein’s third-generation product includes a tiny electric motor, a battery that lasts up to 10 minutes in flight, a control unit, and an integrated controllable rudder (the rudder is new with version 3.0). Aspiring paper airplane pilots attach the unit, called the PowerUp 3.0 Smart Module, to a paper airplane of their own design and control it via bluetooth and a smartphone app. The project’s Kickstarter campaign page includes videos that show off the aircraft’s controllability. It also shows Goitein has already well exceeded his pledge goal. Read More
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For aircraft, increases in aerodynamic efficiency often translate to increases in economic efficiency, and NASA’s “bug team” has recently concluded tests on eight different coatings designed to reduce bug accumulation for that very purpose. The team flew NASA Langley’s HU-25C Falcon jet through low altitude flight this past summer in Virginia. The flights included multiple departures and landings in order to subject the aircraft to maximum bug densities (generally observed below 1000 feet). And for each test, researchers affixed coated surfaces to the aircraft’s wings along with uncoated panels, allowing them to make direct comparisons regarding their efficacy. Read More
A jellyfish and an owl have inspired researchers recently with new insights about how to fly more efficiently and with less noise. The oscillating movement used by jellyfish underwater can translate into aerial capabilities, as proven by a tiny hovercraft built by Leif Ristroph, a mathematician at New York University. The tiny 3-inch-wide prototype, which he demonstrated at the recent meeting of the American Physical Society, in Pittsburgh, hovers using four small petal-like wings that open and close. The machine "achieves self-righting flight using flapping wings alone, without relying on additional aerodynamic surfaces and without feedback control," Jaworski said. At the same meeting, engineer Justin Jaworski of Lehigh University said the mechanics of owl wings may help design quieter airplanes. Read More
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Composite props may be the latest shiny object to make airplanes go, but most of them have wood cores, and the basic wooden prop is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a tour of Sensenich's prop factory in Plant City, Florida to see how these products are made. Read More
This week, China moved forward with expanding access to their air space for general aviation operations. Ed Smith, vice president of international affairs for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, chats with AVweb contributing editor Mary Grady about what that news means for the industry. 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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China has taken a major step toward opening its airspace for general aviation operations, Reuters has reported. The government said that effective Dec. 1, companies and individuals flying in a private jet or helicopter no longer need to have their flight plans pre-approved by the military. Flights will still need to be OK'd by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and civilian aircraft must stay out of designated no-fly zones. The change should make it much easier for North American companies like Cessna and Bombardier to sell jets in China, Reuters noted. Read More
Textron, the parent company of Cessna, is getting ready to fly the prototype of the Scorpion light attack jet it's developing with a company called AirLand Enterprises LLC. The joint venture hopes to have the Scorpion flying by Dec. 5. Read More
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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.
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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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

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb web site readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss:

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AVweb 
Insider
Surely you aren't, but trust me, there are quite a few out there running loose. Avoid becoming one by paying your bills on time. Read More
David Clark DC PRO-X
Owners who are new to Garmin's GTN750/GTN650 and G500/G600 avionics systems may not realize that the company offers a training course at their Olathe, Kansas factory support center. Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano recently took the class and reports on it in this AVweb video. Read More
ALT
Responding to the growing demand for ADS-B-capable equipment, BendixKing is rolling out a new Mode-S transponder called the KT-74. AVweb got a tour of it at AirVenture last July. Read More
Be a Hero, Make World History! || 
ThinkGlobalFlight.com
With a cruise speed of around 270 knots and a price tag of nearly $5 million, the 2013 Pilatus PC-12NG isn't the fastest or the least expensive single-engine turboprop on the market. It is, however, arguably in a class of its own. That's because it has a cabin that can carry 1,200 lbs. of payload while carrying over 400 gallons of fuel, the ability to operate from unpaved runways, and a huge 53x52-inch cargo door. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano takes a look at the airplane. Read More