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ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT AND 100 MPG AIRPLANES
The second annual
Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) held late last month offered a lot of
theory and some progress. For now, the tone at EAS may suggest
development of electric aircraft could follow the path of electric cars,
and see their most immediate practical incarnations take the form of
gas/electric hybrids. Boeing, which this year flew a small fuel cell
aircraft, has one research group targeting a hybrid that could fly 300
miles per charge. That initiative is connected with a navigational
control package that aims to take the work (fun?) out of flying and make
it accessible to individuals without special training. That offering may
appear sometime in the next few decades. Later this year, however,
expect Pipistrel to offer its "world's first two seater self launching
glider powered by electrical means." In August the CAFE (Comparative
Aircraft Flight Efficiency) foundation will host a contest to test the
practical application of current designs and award $50,000 to the most
efficient aircraft. More...
SMOOTH FROST MAY NOT BE OK
The FAA has proposed to change its
regulations regarding operations with "polished frost" on an aircraft's
flying surfaces ... just in time for summer. Frost polished to make it
smooth would no longer be permitted as the FAA has determined it poses a
threat to safe flight. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) officially
applies to parts 125, 135, and certain part 91 operations. Though the
FAA previously recommended that aircraft manufacturers could offer
recommended procedures for polishing frost, no current manufacturer has
issued any recommendations for polishing or operating with polished
frost, and the FAA stipulates that "polished frost" is an "ambiguous"
term. Plus, the FAA has correlated at least 11 accidents with
circumstances involving individuals who crashed shortly after takeoff
after attempting to smooth frost on the aircraft's wings. According to
the FAA, nine of the 11 accidents would not have been prevented by the
newly proposed rule because those accident aircraft were not operating
under regulations that would be affected by the proposed rule.
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INAUGURATES COMMERCIAL JET MANUFACTURER
Corp. of China (CACC) was inaugurated Sunday, having been bolstered by a
$2.72 billion cash infusion, almost one-third of which comes from the
state. The company is expected to be involved in the development of the
90-seat ARJ21 regional jet, which rolled off the production line last
December, should be test flown later this year and may be the first
commercial regional jet developed and produced by China. Deliveries are
scheduled for 2009. The aircraft's initial specifications "indicate that
it's a bit heavier" than current offerings from other manufacturers,
according to Teal Group aviation analyst, Richard Aboulafia, and may be
built without extensive use of lightweight composites. Still, "they
might be able to establish a presence in the business over the next 10
to 20 years," he told the International Herald Tribune. Airbus has
forecast that China will need more than 2,600 new passenger jets within
the next two decades. More...
GETS FAA APPROVAL FOR GARMIN WAAS
Mooney's Acclaim Type S,
Ovation 3, and Ovation2 GX have earned FAA approval to use Wide Area
Augmentation System (WAAS)-aided navigation and Safe-Taxi technology via
amended Type Certificate. The systems work with the Garmin G1000
avionics' GPS to ease pilot workloads in instrument conditions and
better manage high traffic environments both in the air and on the
ground, according to Mooney. Deliveries of WAAS-approved Mooney aircraft
with the Safe-Taxi software upgrade will begin immediately. Upgrades to
earlier aircraft are expected to become available in the second quarter,
after Mooney establishes its pricing structure for retrofit packages.
Mooney says the move to WAAS meets with the company's determination to
provide aircraft that are built with the ability to safely and
efficiently perform in the same environment as turboprop business
aircraft. Working in Mooney aircraft, the WAAS system can interface with
the Garmin GFC700 autopilot and also generate a virtual glide path for
more than 3,000 straight-in GPS and RNAV approaches already in the
aircraft's navigation system. More...
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AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY FIRST QUARTER CHECK-UP
uncertainty in the U.S. economy is having an effect," specifically on
the spectrum of piston aircraft, according to General Aviation
Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce. This
year, Q1 piston-powered airplane shipments dropped 28 percent to 399
from 544 for the same period last year, according to GAMA's report.
However, turboprop shipments were slightly higher and business jet
shipments rose dramatically -- by more than 40 percent. In sum, total
industry billings reached all all-time first-quarter high, up more than
16 percent over last year's. The divergent trends may be partially
explained by worldwide economics. Accounting for 67 percent of piston
deliveries last year, the North American market is an important player
in worldwide figures and a downturn in that economy has broad effects.
However, growth is strong in markets outside of North America and a good
footing in multiple markets may ultimately provide some stability for
those manufacturers best able to adapt to worldwide demand. The turbine
segments showed impressive gains as did market share outside of the U.S.
and North America. Economic stimulus in the form of bonus depreciation
may be having a positive impact on aircraft sales, this year.
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BEAR AIRSHOW PILOT SURVIVES MODESTO CRASH
Rob Harrison Saturday crashed his Zlin 50LX while performing at Modesto
airport, and though one witness told a local ABC news channel, "the
plane just went all to pieces," Harrison, 66, survived the impact with
serious injuries. The pilot, nicknamed "The Tumbling Bear," was
performing a rolling maneuver at low level near the end of his routine
when the aircraft touched the ground and slid for about 100 feet before
coming to rest on its side, relatively far from spectators. A crowd of
about 4,000 people witnessed the crash and stayed to watch
remote-control aircraft perform following Harrison's evacuation by
helicopter to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. Harrison was reported
Sunday to be resting in stable condition. Details of his injuries were
not released. More...
TRAINING AIRCRAFT CRASH KILLS TWO
An Extra 300L operated by
Aviation Performance Solutions LLC (APS) crashed Friday, killing two
aboard. APS offers upset recovery and spin training. APS instructor Jim
"Clap" Clapper was killed in the crash along with another pilot
identified by a local CBS news affiliate as "an experienced commercial
pilot." Clapper is a former F-4 and F-105 pilot. He had 20 years and
1,400 hours experience flying competition aerobatics, with 8 years
flying competitive unlimited aerobatics. In 1995 Clapper was Arizona
State Champion -- Advanced Aerobatics. Clapper was employed with the
school as an instructor in aerobatics, upset recovery and spin training.
The aircraft was returning from a training flight when it crashed
approximately eight miles east of the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in
Arizona. "The type of maneuvers they were doing during that flight were
very basic, nothing advanced," said Paul Ransbury, president of APS. "It
is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy,"
he said. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who
were involved in this tragic accident and their families."
ON NASCAR CESSNA 310 CRASH
"I don't give a sh-t about that.
I'm taking the airplane." Juan Solis, an aircraft mechanic, told the
NTSB the now-deceased Michael Klemm, an ATP certificated pilot with more
than 10,500 hours flight time, spoke those words on July 10, 2007, about
the accident aircraft (a NASCAR-operated Cessna 310R) prior to his fatal
flight, according to a report released Friday by the NTSB. The flight ended
approximately 10 minutes after it began when the aircraft, which was,
according to witnesses, trailing smoke, impacted two homes, killing
Klemm, along with Dr. Bruce Kennedy (the husband of International
Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy). The death toll on the
ground added three others -- including an infant and a four-year-old
girl. Klemm's comments are associated with his knowledge of a problem
with the aircraft's radar, though the extent of that knowledge remains
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AND MARRIAGE, PERFECT TOGETHER
When was the last time you
heard that? For AVweb reader Jeff Goosetree, it seems to be the
case. Goosetree currently flies 30- and 40-series Lear Jets out of
northwest Arkansas, but maintains his earlier-won CFI. Currently, he is
in the process of teaching his girlfriend, Maria, to fly, but on May 3
took a carefully planned deviation from the course book. Jeff arranged
for Maria's first cross-country flight to fly west into the sunset,
headed for the couple's favorite Italian restaurant. He even made sure
to request some extra time with the crew car for the evening's dinner.
Then, while en route in a 172, with Maria flying, Jeff began talking
about their life together with her 8-year-old daughter, Halle. It was
about halfway through the flight when, with ring in hand, "I managed to
get up on one knee in the seat and proposed." More...
THE FLY ...
Irish helicopter pilot rapped for landing on city
Smoke may have obscured Jim LeRoy's view in fatal crash
Airport sale items worth millions. More...
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TOMORROW ARRIVED EARLY? SWIFT ENTERPRISES' JOHN ZIUKOWSKI ON THE
COMPANY'S NEW SYNTHETIC AVFUEL
As you may have read recently
on AVweb, Swift Enterprises has unveiled a new general aviation
fuel that it says will be less expensive, more fuel-efficient, and
environmentally friendlier than any on the market. Swift promises their
new synthetic fuel can replace standard petroleum fuel (100LL) and
provide a greater effective range while costing about half as much to
produce. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli caught up with Swift's John
Ziukowski to find out more. More...
VIDEO: PATTY WAGSTAFF INTERVIEW AND FLIGHT
Ride along with Patty Wagstaff as she
flies her airshow routine at Sun 'n Fun 2008, courtesy of AVweb's
Glenn Pew. Or, if you're easily queasy, just close your eyes and
listen to our post-flight interview with Patty about how it feels to fly
the maneuvers and what it's like to perform. Special thanks to our
friends at Bose Corporation and Aircraft Spruce & Supply Co., whose
good people stepped up when we needed them and helped make this video
happen. And very special thanks to Patty's main sponsor, Cirrus Design,
maker of the airplanes that changed the industry. (Click through to
Is Your Certificate at Risk?
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%. The
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provides protection in a variety of
situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan
gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by
and an annual review of key aviation documents. Call
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OF THE WEEK: QUALITY AVIATION (KFBL, FARIBAULT, MS)
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Quality
Aviation at KFBL in Faribault, Mississippi.
reader Rick Lemon made a day stop at Quality while touring a
nearby college with his daughter and wife:
Quality] met me at the plane and provided a courtesy car for the day.
The car itself was fun a recycled police car, so you couldn't
open the back seat door or the window from inside. While I was gone, a
thunderstorm blew in and Jerry put my plane in a hangar to avoid any
possible hail damage. He refueled the plane even though it's advertised
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
Heard on 121.5 on December 1, 2001 in
the Frederick/Hagerstown, Maryland area (near Camp David or
"Air Force on 121.5, Cherokee One Two
Air Force (my guess is this was the AWACS
are some F-15s near me. They do not answer my calls."
"F-15s do not have VHF capability; F-16s
Near Hagerstown; I am doing some photo
"You are probably violating expanded
P40 and they are escorting you out."
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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