AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 15f

April 12, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Purchase by May 3, 2008, and receive a complimentary pair of Bose in-ear headphones ($99.95 value).

Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.

» Try out the Headset X™ and other Bose Corporation products at booth SNF-009 at Sun 'n Fun
 
Turbulent Times Force Thielert, CFO Grosser Out back to top 
 

Thielert Ousted As CEO

Diesel aircraft engine maker Thielert AG's board of directors has removed founder Frank Thielert as chief executive amidst a cash crisis that's prompted a sell-off of shares to raise $24.4 million Euros to cover immediate needs. The company's shares have plummeted in value in recent months in response to a court decision that nullified its financial statements for the years 2002-2005. The engine maker's shares dropped to 3.17 Euros in trading Friday. Last July they hit 25.22 Euros. The board has also removed Chief Financial Officer Roswitha Grosser. "Anyone who was surprised has been sleeping for the past weeks," Jochen Klusmann, an analyst at BHF Bank in Frankfurt told Bloomberg News. "The bottom line is the company has booked relatively high sales and profit, but never has had good cash flow."

After the court ruling last month, Thielert delayed release of its 2007 financial statements saying it needed more time to do them. That caused a freefall in share value and precipitated the current crisis. We'll have industry reaction from Sun 'n Fun in coming issues.

 
Avidyne Introduces FMS900w Flight Management System
Avidyne's new Entegra FMS900w WAAS-enabled GPS/NAV/COM Flight Management System (FMS) is designed to reduce single-pilot IFR workload. The FMS900w provides fully-redundant, state-of-the-VHF and TSO C146b Gamma 3-compliant turbine-class FMS capability for all general aviation aircraft. Utilizing a fully-modular architecture, the FMS900w is an enhancement to Avidyne's Entegra Integrated Flight Deck platform and designed specifically to take advantage of Entegra's large-format displays and Byteflight peer-to-peer databus architecture. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.

» See Avidyne technologies in action at booths D-069-070 and N-028 at Sun 'n Fun
 
Old Favorites, New Options back to top 
 

Liberty Aerospace Upgrades the XL-2: Enter the Vanguard

While the training aircraft market in the U.S. more or less holds its own, it's booming in other parts of the world, especially in China and in India. Melbourne, Florida-based Liberty Aerospace has been riding the wave with its sophisticated two-seat XL-2. At the Sun 'n Fun show, Liberty's CEO Keith Markley, told us about an improved version of the XL-2 called the Vanguard.

It sports a higher gross weight, toe brakes-replacing the original XL-2's finger brakes-and the new Evolution EFIS from Aspen. The Aspen unit will be standard equipment, but the finger brakes will remain an option for those who prefer them. Markley also told us that work is proceeding apace on a new factory in China, where Liberty has agreed to produce at least 600 aircraft for the China training market. We wondered if any of those aircraft will find their way into the Chinese version of general aviation. Not just yet, says Markley. Demand for commercial pilots in China is staggering and private aviation is still on the horizon.

Related Content:
Keith Markley talks about the XL-2 Vanguard (audio podcast)

CubCrafters Adds Floats, Adjustable Prop To LSA Options

CubCrafters has certified its Sport Cub to fly with Baumann 1500 Straight Floats, chairman Jim Richmond announced at Sun 'n Fun on Friday. At gross weight, he said, the Cub launched from the water in less than 8 seconds. "I was not prepared for the performance we have seen with this airplane. Light weight does wonderful things," Richmond said. The Cub on floats starts at $141,500. Richmond also announced that the new Sensenich ground-adjustable, carbon-fiber prop is now available for all Sport Cubs, either as an option on new models or as a retrofit kit. It takes only about five minutes to make the adjustment, Richmond said. The pitch can be optimized for cruise or flattened for more power and maximum climb performance on skis, floats, or tundra tires. The prop is also about 10 pounds lighter than the standard metal prop.

Richmond told AVweb that sales activity has been a bit slow over the last few months, which might be an effect of the overall economic situation. But he added that interest has picked up in recent weeks as spring arrives. The company already has sold one airplane at this week's show and expects to sell at least one more, Richmond said, "so that's a good sign."

VistaNav Adds Approach Plates and VNAV Guidance

Along with EFIS displays, synthetic vision devices seems to be the must-have technological innovation of Sun 'N Fun 2008. With its VistaNav product, Mercury Computer Systems stunned users of cockpit tablet computers with a sophisticated, easy-to-use software package that runs nicely on machines like Samsung SSDs and the popular Motion Computing platforms. At Sun 'n Fun this week, the company announced VistNav 3.0, which adds an improved approach plate viewer and vertical guidance for descents and approaches. VistaNav already has impressive FLIR capability and sensor-originated synthetic vision using a terrain database. When configured as a Class I EFB, the system include an inertial navigation unit and a WAAS-capable GPS receiver with Bluetooth wireless interface. With the new 3.0 release, the software now supports the popular Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile SSD tablet PC. See VistaNav in booth 95 (Hangar D) and on the web at VistaNav.com.

 
Inflight. Every Flight.
XM WX Satellite Weather has quickly become the leading way to fly for pilots across the country. With flexible display solutions from aviation's biggest names and the accuracy-assured data of WxWorx onboard, datalink weather from XM WX has been embraced by pilots and the industry alike. It's simply the best way to soar with confidence — inflight and every flight. Click here to learn more about XM WX Satellite Weather.

» See why XM WX Satellite Weather is the official weather provider of Sun 'n Fun
when you visit WxWorx at booths C-024-025 and N-036 at the show
 
"Peace of Mind" Products from Sun 'n Fun back to top 
 

Avemco Offers New Coverage For CFIs, Fine-Funes LSA Plans

General aviation needs more good instructors, Avemco President Jim Lauerman said on Friday at Sun 'n Fun, but insurance costs have been a barrier for many experienced owner/pilots who have earned a CFI ticket and might like to teach on an occasional basis. Now Avemco is offering customized liability coverage that will make it possible for those CFIs to take on students, Lauerman said. He also said that Avemco is analyzing data from its light sport aicraft coverage, and is passing on information to the LSA community to help improve training. "We've found that the light wing-loading of LSAs requires a greater emphasis on low-speed directional control," he said. Once the data analysis is complete, a few months from now, he expects it will lead to differentiation in the LSA insurance market. "We've been lumping them all together," Lauerman said, "but will end up with probably three different categories of LSA."

Lauerman also announced that Avemco will lend support to the FAA Wings program to promote safer piloting, and to Build A Plane, to help get young people excited about GA and keep the community growing. The company also is supporting a research project at the University of Illinois that aims to find better ways to educate pilots about safety and airmanship. Cirrus Design is also involved in that program.

Related Content:
Jim Lauerman goes into specifics about the new policy category for CFIs who fly their own airplanes (audio podcast)

Sporty's DVD Aims To Help Passengers Relax

Sporty's Pilot Shop is offering a new "Introduction to Flying" DVD program that aims to help passengers feel more at ease in the cockpit. Passengers will learn about what the pilot is doing and why, and also will learn how to be helpful in the cockpit and how to cope with an emergency. The program is also available via download from the Sporty's site. The company also said this week that its popular Flight Gear bags have been redesigned, with five different products each optimized for a specific type of pilot. Each bag is reinforced to hold up to 200 pounds, and prices have been cut. The company also announced the date for this year's popular Open House event at their headquarters in Batavia, Ohio. The fly-in to Clermont County/Sporty's Airport is set for Saturday, May 17.

Seminars, airport tours, industry exhibits, and hot dogs will be offered to all. The event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free.

 
Discover the Thrill
You are here when you discover that the thrill of hanging 10 has nothing on hanging around Cloud 9. In a brand-new Cessna Skyhawk, you too will discover life in a brand-new way, whether you're learning to fly or fulfilling the lifelong dream of owning a new Cessna. Call 1 (316) 517-6056, or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.

» Be there with Cessna Single-Engine at booths SNF-001-005 at Sun 'n Fun
 
Best of Light Sport at the Show back to top 
 

New LSA Mall Greets Sun 'n Fun Visitors

This year, when visitors walk through the gate onto the Sun 'n Fun grounds, they don't have far to go before they can start shopping for -- or at least starting to dream about -- their next airplane. Right inside the gate, 18 shiny new Light Sport Aircraft are arrayed, wingtip to wingtip, along the grassy lawn on either side of the main walkway. "We definitely hit a home run when we scored this location," said Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, who organized the project. Visitors can quickly assess a wide variety of different airplanes -- high-wing, low-wing, floats, taildraggers, and more -- talk to the company representatives, and find out where to go on the field to find each company's full-size exhibit. "It's great for the customers, and it's great for the manufacturers, too," says Johnson. Although LSA sales have slowed a bit recently, as the national economy has stalled, airplanes at the Mall were selling, he said.

Johnson said he expects the LSA Mall to continue at that prime site at Sun 'n Fun for the foreseeable future. He added that the LSA infrastructure nationwide is continuing to grow, and more sites are offering training and maintenance facilities. "Our goal is to have 300 places in the U.S. [for LSA training] by the time Cessna gets in the game, in 2009-2010," he said.

IndUS LSA Flies With Diesel Engine

Saturday at Sun 'n Fun, the IndUS Aviation folks, who were the first to get their airplanes certified as LSAs, will show off their latest achievement, an LSA that flies with an ASTM-certified diesel engine. "Now our technology can go worldwide," IndUS President Ram Pattisapu told AVweb on Friday. In many parts of the world, he said, diesel and jet A are the preferred fuels, while avgas and even motorgas are hard to come by. "We're an American company, based in Dallas," Pattisapu said, "but we want to sell to the global market." Here in the U.S., as well, interest in the engine alternative is high; the engine typically burns up to 25 percent less fuel than gasoline engines at the same power setting, and can run on biofuels as well. The WAM-120 is a three-cylinder, two-stroke liquid-cooled engine of inverted configuration with pressure-fed lubrication and an integral sump. It weighs no more than traditional avgas engines, the company says, and is easy to install.

Pattisapu said the diesel-equipped airplane will sell for around $125,000. For more information about the IndUS diesel aircraft and to join the online discussion, visit the Kitplanes blog.


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Precise/Cirrus Fixed Oxygen Is Now Available as an SR22 Retrofit
Because every SR22 deserves the best, we have acquired STCs for the G2 and G3 Models. The Precise Flight Certified Fixed Oxygen System, unique in its clean and simple integration into the aircraft, is making its way "standard" on the industry's leading airframes. Click here to find out more about the Precise Fixed Oxygen System.

» Learn more about the Precise Flight Fixed Oxygen System at booth C-057 at Sun 'n Fun
 
Changing Hands in Changing Times back to top 
 

Court Approves Adam Sale To Russian-Backed Firm

A Colorado bankruptcy court has approved the sale of the assets (and some liabilities) of Adam Aircraft Industries to AAI Acquisition Inc. for $10 million. The company is a subsidiary of Russia-based Industrial Investors, which, according to a company release, owns Russian air taxi operator Dexter and what it calls a business jet airline called Velvet Club. Although Adam has both a piston and jet design, Industrial Investors seems to be leaning toward getting the A700 very light jet off the ground. "We plan to revive Adam Aircraft's operations, including continuing the process of certification for the A700 jet," said AAI VP Dmitry Shokhin. While the company's own aircraft operations would seem a natural extension of the business plan for the Adam acquisition, AAI says it expects the A700 and A500 to stand on their own.

"Industrial Investors expect the new acquisition to hold its own ground as the manufacturer of very light jets for air taxi and general aviation markets," the release said. After AAI cut its original deal with the bankruptcy trustee, at least one creditor suggested the company was thinly capitalized. Industrial Investors claims to be a private equity management company managing $3 billion in assets and says former Colorado Governor Bill Owens is a director of one of its companies.

Frontier Airlines Keeps Flying Through Bankruptcy

Frontier Airlines says customers weren't inconvenienced (any more than usual) on the first day of operations under a Chapter 11 (restructuring) bankruptcy. The Denver-based carrier announced it had filed for Chapter 11 early Friday and then got to work serving more than 29,000 passengers on 405 flights. According to the company, none of its flights were cancelled and three-quarters were on time. The company says it filed for bankruptcy over an issue with its major credit card processor.

Frontier says the credit card company threatened to substantially increase its holdback of customer receipts and that would have precipitated a cash crisis. The airline expects to continue operating as normal (maintaining aircraft, keeping the schedule, paying its bills and paying its employees).

 
Welcome to Jeppesen E-Charts
Jeppesen Electronic Charts — or e-charts — are here. They're compliant and replacing paper charts worldwide. E-charts will make your flying faster, safer, and better. Whether you display your electronic charts in the cockpit or print them out and use the paper, e-charts are easier to carry, easier to use, and easier to revise than traditional paper charts. You'll spend more time flying and less time preparing to fly. Learn more about the many benefits of switching to electronic charts by visiting Jeppesen online.

» See Jeppesen e-charts in action at booths C-017-021 at Sun 'n Fun
 
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Liberty Aerospace Upgrades the XL-2: Enter the Vanguard
(Recorded Live at Sun 'n Fun 2008)

File Size 9.9 MB / Running Time 10:49

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

At the Sun 'n Fun show, Liberty CEO Keith Markley told us about an improved version of the sophisticated XL-2 trainer called the Vanguard. It sports a higher gross weight, toe brakes — replacing the original XL-2's finger brakes — and the new Evolution EFIS from Aspen. Hear about it all in this podcast.

Click here to listen. (9.9 MB, 10:49)

This podcast brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

Avemco: New Policy Allows CFIs to Instruct in Their Own Airplanes
(Recorded Live at Sun 'n Fun 2008)

File Size 6.0 MB / Running Time 6:34

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Some CFIs who are also aircraft owners make a little money on the side by instructing in their own airplanes, although insurance policies don't cover them for the risks. Avemco's Jim Lauerman told AVweb in this podcast that the company will soon introduce a specific policy product to address this tiny niche of the market. Premiums will be a fraction of the expensive commercial policies FBOs and flight schools have to buy, but Lauerman believes it won't affect those businesses measurably.

Click here to listen. (6.0 MB, 6:34)

This podcast brought to you by Bose Corporation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

 
Make Plans Now to Attend a 2008 Savvy Aviator Seminar
Mike will be conducting Savvy Aviator Seminars in Chicago, Las Vegas, Norfolk, and Santa Maria. 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, click here.

AVweb founder Mike Busch has been selected by the FAA and supporting aviation organizations as the National Maintenance Technician of the Year. Busch will be presented his award at a ceremony during EAA AirVenture.
 
New on AVweb: SnF Coverage Continues Online back to top 
 

Exclusive Video from Sun 'n Fun 2008:
Aircraft Engine Monitor Xerion AuRACLE CRM2120 Preview

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Xerion Avionix showed at Sun 'n Fun the AuRACLE CRM2120 cockpit resource management system that will soon offer piston-twin owners the a single-unit certified replacement for all their primary engine instruments. The company currently produces the certified CRM 2100 for piston singles. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli spoke with Xerion's Eric Hathaway about the products:


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This video brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather and Bose Corporation.

(Video by AVweb's Glenn Pew and Aviation Consumer editor-in-chief Paul Bertorelli.)

AVweb's Sun 'n Fun 2008 Galleries: Taking in the Sights

gallery ONE | gallery TWO | gallery THREE | gallery FOUR

CLICK FOR LARGE IMAGES
EACH IMAGE WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW


Expedition


Pegasus Quik — Sunset Landing


Eurofox


Eurofox Cockpit


Gary Ward


North American


Lucky


L-19 Bird Dog


Pegasus Quik on the Ground


Mike Keenum & Riff Raff


Rochelle School of the Arts Tour Group


Sadler Vampire LSA


Sting Sport


XAir LS


Aspen EFD on Display


Dan Gryder & Herpa DC-3

gallery ONE | gallery TWO | gallery THREE | gallery FOUR

AVweb's Blog Buzzing with Activity During Sun 'n Fun

AVweb's only official blog is packed with off-the-cuff reviews, personal experiences, and fun diversions from our contributors on the ground at Sun 'n Fun. Look for new posts from our own Paul Bertorelli and Kitplanes magazine contributors Rick Lindstrom, Marc Cook, and Amy Laboda — all of whom are enjoying the sights, sounds, and gadgets at Lakeland.

Read more.

 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Got Cylinders? Tell Us About Your Service History

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on aircraft engine cylinder products. If you've done an overhaul during the past several years, the magazine's editors would like to hear from you on how the cylinders have performed.

Just click on this link to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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

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? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.