Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed
The new Zulu headset looks different because it is different. Made with magnesium, stainless steel, and four types of composite plastics, it's extremely durable and yet weighs just over
13 ounces. Rather than concentrating purely on cutting decibels, Lightspeed engineers looked at how pilots perceive noise at different frequencies. You get broader noise attenuation over the
entire audible range. Zulu has more total noise cancellation than any headset on the market.
Click here for a
dealer near you.
ATG, which hopes to one day see production of its tandem-seat twin-turbofan executive Javelin jet, announced yesterday that it will halt the jet's development. "Due to circumstances beyond ATG's
control, it is unlikely that adequate funding can be secured in a timely manner," the company said through an e-mail Tuesday. It seems a 12-month search to secure funding for the high-performance
business jet/military trainer has come up short, and the company says plans for its future will be decided "after proper communication with our strategic business partner."
In January, ATG announced that Action Aviation had placed firm orders for 40 Javelin jets worth $120 million for delivery over a period of eight years from certification. The $2.75 million Javelin
jet had been designed to cruise near 500 knots and stall near 90 knots, powered by two 1800-lb-thrust Williams FJ33 engines providing a long-range economy cruise near 1,000 nm.
Available Now at Aircraft Spruce The Kelly E-Drive Aircraft Starter
There is no longer a need to replace overload devices (shear pins) after a kick-back event. Kelly Aerospace's E-drive is unaffected by kick-backs, saving hours of service time and replacement costs.
The engine and starter are both protected by a proprietary torque-limiting clutch drive design, using absolutely no automotive aftermarket parts! Kelly products are now available through Aircraft
Spruce. Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or
Despite the recent decision by organizers of the Texas Fly-In (aka the Southwest Regional Fly-In) to cancel next year's event, no other regional fly-ins are expected to fold, EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski told
AVweb on Tuesday. He said that in the past, the regional fly-ins -- which are individually managed events with various kinds of ties to EAA, but are not run by EAA -- have been helped by EAA to
get insurance. They could apply for policies "under our umbrella," Knapinski said, though they paid for coverage themselves. That model has now become unworkable, and EAA is working with the regional
fly-ins to help them negotiate their own individual coverage with insurers.
Adam, Cirrus, Diamond, Liberty ...
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Despite a NOTAM, a remark in the ATIS and signs in the terminal building, a few pilots including some locals have attempted to land at the Easton/Newman Field Airport (ESN), in Maryland,
without a clearance from the new control tower, which opened Nov. 15. Airport Manager Mike Henry told AVweb that controllers monitor the airport's common traffic advisory frequency to herd
approaching aircraft that are not talking to the tower, which does not yet have a radar feed from the Potomac TRACON (terminal radar approach control). Henry said a pilot based at ESN recently landed
on Runway 15 while the tower was working traffic on Runway 4. Fortunately there was no incursion, but the pilot did get an official slap on the wrist, according to controllers.
The tower won't appear on any charts until Feb. 14, when the Class D airspace kicks in. Right now the airport is Class G at the surface but FAR Part 91 requires pilots to establish two-way
communications with any control tower regardless of the airspace it's in. A source at the FAA's National Flight Data Center told AVweb that the chart update could be delayed if any operational
problems arise over the next few weeks. If so, Easton would continue to be depicted in magenta with a note that the airspace is Class D by NOTAM.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced on Wednesday that she will appoint an aviation "czar" to coordinate regional
airspace issues and address the problems of congestion and delays in New York's busy airspace. The czar will serve as director of the newly created New York Integration Office. Some new measures will
be put in place now and others are in the works for next summer. "These new measures will cut delays, protect consumer choice, support New York's economy, and allow for new flights as we bring new
capacity online," Peters said. The strategies will include new takeoff patterns at Newark and Philadelphia International Airport, a cap on operations per hour at JFK International Airport and allowing
shorter flights to operate at lower altitudes to open more room for long-haul flights at higher altitudes.
Peters also said the FAA and Defense Department will open military airspace to commercial flights over the Atlantic seaboard from the evening of Dec. 21 to the morning of Dec. 26, and from the
evening of Dec. 28 to the morning of Jan. 2. In addition, western military airspace will be opened from Dec. 21 to the morning of Jan. 2 to help accommodate flights in and out of southern California.
"These Holiday Express lanes in the sky will give airlines the wiggle room they need to avoid backups, evade weather, and dodge delays," Peters said. Similar "express lanes" that were opened during
the Thanksgiving travel period were met with some skepticism; it's unclear if they had any real impact on air travel congestion.
What Is the True Age of an Aircraft?
Take the Air Safety Foundation's new online course Aging Aircraft to learn what factors affect aircraft aging and how to mitigate their risks. You'll get invaluable
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Dick Rutan has piloted many challenging flights, including going around the world nonstop in his brother's Voyager aircraft, but this Tuesday he
had a close call while flying one of the simplest airplanes around -- a Cessna 150. "It was sudden, catastrophic and inexplicable," Rutan told The Associated Press. A cylinder blew, and "the engine was totally destroyed." Rutan, who was
flying by himself from Mojave to Palm Springs to attend a memorial service for a friend, landed safely on a small road near Victorville about 9:30 a.m. Rutan said he was flying at about 1,000 feet
when the engine died -- the AP said it was "fortunate" that he was so close to the ground, but pilots reading the story would likely wish for more altitude when the engine fails.
Rutan has faced plenty of dangerous flights in the past. He ejected from a burning F-100 in Vietnam, parachuted from a disabled balloon, and abandoned an airplane that broke through thin ice and
sank at the North Pole. He told the AP he was lucky that he had clear skies and a good landing spot available when the 150's engine blew. "If I had been over the clouds and had to land on a mountain,
my chance of surviving would probably be zero," Rutan said.
AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists.
Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more
flexibility than they've ever thought possible.
To see for yourself,
The National Aviation Hall of Fame has named its Class of 2008,
honoring four individuals for their aviation achievements. The 2008 class of inductees includes Col. Clarence "Bud" Anderson, USAF (Ret.), veteran WWII triple ace and experimental test pilot; Herbert
Kelleher, co-founder, former CEO, and Executive Chairman of Southwest Airlines; the late William A. Moffett, architect of naval military aviation; and Sean D. Tucker, champion aerobatic air show
performer and instructor. The new members are selected by the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprising over 130 air and space professionals nationwide.
The four will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame July 19, in Dayton, Ohio. The annual Dayton Air Show takes place that same weekend. For reservations for the Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony,
call 937-256-0944 ext.10. Seats are $150 per person. For more information visit the NAHF Web
Aviation pioneer Burt Rutan has been known to speculate that it won't be long before flying is practically obsolete, since computers will be able to deliver a virtual-reality experience that would
satisfy many of the needs that now require travel. We can all get a taste of that today, since those of us who were unable to attend EAA's fifth annual EAA Wright Brothers Memorial Dinner in the
AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., last Friday, can now watch the entire hour-and-a-half speaking program with a click of
the mouse. Rutan, the scheduled speaker, was unable to attend due to illness, but astronaut Brian Binnie from Scaled Composites filled in.
Binnie is "no pinch-hitter," Rutan said in a statement. A graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md., Binnie has more than 4,600 flight hours in 59 aircraft types. He said
there will be a news announcement from the Virgin Galactic project next month. Wil Whitehorn, Virgin Galactic CEO, said recently that the
final designs for both SpaceShipTwo and White Knight II would be unveiled in January, and the White Knight carrier aircraft will be flying by July.
Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike Busch has completed his very successful Savvy Owner Seminars for 2007. In 2008, he'll be conducting four more in Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Norfolk. Sign up for one of these classes
and learn how to save thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. Do it before your next annual inspection! For complete details (and to reserve your space),
While general aviation is a great tool for personal transportation and business, it can also open up a world of adventure. For Peter Claeys, regional director for Cirrus in China and Southeast Asia,
flying a Cirrus SR22 into airports where no Cirrus has gone before is just part of his job. "My role for Cirrus is to develop the business in China," he said, seeking out good sites for new sales and
service centers. On some of those trips, he took along as copilot Jim Fallows, a writer for The Atlantic Monthly who is currently based in Beijing. Fallows has posted some stories and pictures from
their flights at his blog, well worth a look.
Fallows owned an SR20 that he sold last year when he moved to China, so the opportunity to fly along with Claeys was welcome. "Peter had to get the plane from Japan, where it had been used for
demos, down to Taiwan, where he had other demo flights scheduled, and then later to Macau," Fallows told AVweb last week. "So on the principle that it's nicer to take a long trip with a copilot
than not, he asked if I wanted to come. And on the principle (on my side) that this would be fun, I said yes." Check out Jim's stories here and here.
Next week in New Zealand, the first Air Sports Live event will feature 10 different competitions, including paragliding, skydiving,
helicopters and hot air ballooning, all set against a spectacular alpine backdrop. Event organizers promise "high-adrenalin viewing," with skydivers competing in a race around pylons, helicopter
pilots performing "phenomenal stunts" and dramatic high-G aerobatics. If you can't be in New Zealand for this extravaganza, you can watch many of the competitions via online video. Some of the videos are pay-per-view, but still cheaper than an airline ticket to the antipodes. This week, glider competitions
are under way, and next week, the 10-sport event will run Dec. 27 and 28.
Organizers say it will be the largest multi-air-sport event ever all in one place.
Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah
State University have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite.
Go online for
information on all Diamond Aircraft.
The distinctive Lockheed Constellation, with its graceful curves and triple tail, represents a golden age of flight to many aviators, but now the U.S. will lose three of the remaining fleet to a buyer
in Europe, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Maurice Roundy, of
Auburn, Maine, tried for years to restore at least one of the Starliners to airworthiness. He kept two of them on his property near the airport and the third was kept at Fantasy of Flight, Kermit
Weeks' aviation museum in Polk City, Fla. The airplanes were sold Tuesday at auction for $748,000, the AP said. The buyer was a division of the German airline Lufthansa, which once flew the Connies.
Intentions for the aircraft were not announced but the group has restored aircraft to airworthy status in the past.
Over 800 Lockheed Constellations were built in the 1940s and 1950s, but few exist today.
Canada's defense department this week said it will modernize and upgrade its fleet of Aurora maritime patrol aircraft to keep them flying through at least 2020.
Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series 3 Now Available NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 3 is now available for gift-giving or for your own collection, along with Series 1 and 2. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal
medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of the F-22 Raptor on the reverse. Series 1 reverse shows SpaceShipOne, and Series 2 reverse shows the Eclipse 500.
merchandise section to view and order.
If You Need a Tax Deduction, This is the Perfect Cause IRS & FAA Approved! Build A Plane (BAP) the non-profit organization helping children learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics by building real airplanes is in need of aircraft
donations. Any aircraft, or aircraft component, is valuable to a high school program. For complete details, call Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321, or
click here for the
With more and more stories on AVweb focusing on runway
incursions, aging pilots, and overworked controllers, it's hard not to
ask yourself Is overall aviation safety headed for a decline?
Last week, we put that question to AVweb readers, and an
incredible 73% of respondents said yes, NATCA and the NTSB are right;
there are too few eyes watching too many airplanes crammed into
For the complete breakdown of answers,
(You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already
participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
It's a safe bet that (almost) all AVweb readers are big proponents of the GA lifestyle, but is that really where the future of aviation lies? As 2008 approaches, are we closer than ever to
Jetsons-style aircraft for the everyman or is flying getting so complicated and expensive that it's best left to the professionals?
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news
tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Flightstar at Willard Airport (CMI) in Savoy, Illinois.
AVweb reader Geoffrey Morsell recently dealt with some "winter weather" in that area and heaps praise on the team at Flightstar for helping him cope:
I arrived at CMI just prior to a week-long freezing rain event. We were scheduled to be in CMI for three days, and as luck would have it the forecast was correct; during our stay everything was
coated with ice! On the morning of our scheduled departure, I called to request the aircraft be placed in a heated hanger to remove the ice coating. To my surprise, the CSR informed me that the
plane had been put in a heated hanger several days ago in anticipation of our depature!
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Only Five Shopping Days Left Here's a Gift Idea for the Pilot on Your List
From AVweb's Holiday Marketplace: Aerovation's original pilot's hat, made of comfortable, washable 100% cotton. 1/2"-longer bill and no button on the top so you can wear
your headset in comfort!
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes
hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share
with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo
that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our
"Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?
Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
With wint'ry weather, twinkly lights, and holiday cheer
all around us, nothing made us happier than finding an electronic
submission box stuffed to overflowing with holiday-themed photos this
week. Since this is our last chance to share the seasonal cheer,
here are some of our favorites from AVweb readers.
Thomas L. Rudolf of Middletown, Ohio
explains that this particular light display can be found in a city park
by Middletown's Hook Field (MWO). "Appropriately," writes Thomas,
"Santa has arrived by helicopter."
Yep, the big man in the red suit showed up a few times in this week's
batch of photos. He looks a little overdressed at Virginia's
Tangier Island Airport (TGI), but in the spirit of the season, he still
made time to pose for Piotr Kulczakowicz
of Chevy Chase, Maryland.
(For the record, Santa seems to own quite a few Cessnas and
helicopters, but he didn't show up in any ultralights this year.)
Trevor Kudrna of Anchorage, Alaska
serves up a winter wonderland (and an off-the-beaten-path location for a
landing). No Santas, twinkling lights, or religious symbols here
but tell us you wouldn't love string a few blue-and-white lights on
those snow-capped trees, eh?
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several
photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit
them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing
print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on
us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights:s: Please take a moment to consider the
source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest.
If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed
authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain,
send us an e-mail.
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AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
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