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Volume 9, Number 31bJuly 30, 2003

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MAKE OREGON AERO YOUR OSHKOSH OASIS FOR THOSE ACHING FEET. You will really feel a noticeable difference walking around Oshkosh (and elsewhere!) with a pair of Oregon Aero SoftSole™ Inserts. The inserts eliminate foot pain and relieve fatigue. Thousands of U.S. military personnel are using them. We have men and women’s sizes for walking, running, standing for long periods and for those with foot injuries or other medical conditions. Visit us at Oshkosh in Building C 3137 to purchase the inserts and other products that eliminate pain, reduce noise and improve impact protection. Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at

Here in sunny Oshkosh, Wis., the dew point is low, spirits are high, and the field is fast filling with airplanes arriving from every corner of the sky. "This nice weather is really bringing people in," said EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski, early yesterday morning. Camping spots were already up to 99-percent full before the show even started and rumor has it that the number of visiting aircraft on the grounds is the highest it has ever been. All day, vendors busily served visitors in search of flight gear and steak burgers, while an assortment of unique aircraft packed into AeroShell Square at the center of the show. Hundreds queued up for a chance to climb into the cavernous innards of Airbus Industries' monstrous Beluga, while nearby, admirers studied the graceful lines and perfect proportions of the one-of-a-kind single-seat Hughes 1B Racer replica. Toss in the steady roar, whine, and growl of aircraft flying overhead, plus thousands of safe arrivals, and you have a near-perfect opening day for EAA AirVenture 2003.See AVweb and AirsideTV streaming video coverage of the flightline and Aeroshell Square.

Enjoy the first installment of AVweb/AirsideTV’s free steaming video coverage of AirVenture 2003. AVweb readers will enjoy this video supplement to our Oshkosh coverage including an interview with Bombardier’s VP of Aircraft Engines, the media event announcing the pilots selected to fly the Wright Flyer replica in December and some great aircraft footage from the show grounds. Pay-per-view subscribers will get a front row seat for Tuesday’s Wright Flyer pilot selection ceremony, an interview with famed X-15 pilot Scott Crossfield, a few words with EAA President Tom Poberezny and a close look at some of the aircraft taking residence at AirVenture’s Aeroshell Square.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB? TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features like standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. Add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. OSHKOSH SPECIAL: One month FREE trial or free set-up. For a FREE online demonstration go to

When the introduction of personal jets made a splash at Oshkosh three years ago, we expected 2003, the centennial of powered flight, to be the year of the engine -- the jet engine. Surprisingly, it’s the piston engine that seems to be attracting the spotlight, with the unveiling of details on Bombardier’s new line of six-cylinder powerplants and a surprise appearance by a new four-cylinder engine from Honda and Teledyne Continental. This joint venture between the Japanese automaker and Mobile-based Continental has long been rumored, but neither company hinted that the engine would make its debut at AirVenture 2003. It did and we’ll admit we’re intrigued. More...

First, Bombardier, whose Rotax engines are well-known to the experimental aircraft community. Recall that back in May we reported that the Canadian-based recreational products conglomerate announced it would market two new aircraft engines, the normally aspirated 220-hp V220 and the turbocharged V330T at 300 hp. Both are 120-degree V designs, with single overhead cams, water cooling, fuel injection and what Bombardier calls "true FADEC" or full authority digital engine controls. They're also geared with 5000- to 6000-rpm engine speeds reduced to cruise prop speeds below 2000 rpm. Displacement for both models is a sparse 189 cubic inches. That much we knew. What surprised us at a Tuesday-morning news conference is how economical Bombardier claims the engines will be. More...

If the numbers hold up to further scrutiny, Bombardier appears to have achieved something of an efficiency breakthrough for geared, high-rpm engines. (For operational comparisons, Dolzer says those numbers translate to 13.5 to 14 GPH in the Arrow, which is obviously a higher fuel burn than the Lycoming-powered version but at a higher altitude and true airspeed, thanks to the higher horsepower.) Even more impressive -- again, if it pans out -- is that Bombardier thinks a 2000-hour TBO will be quickly achievable if not available at the introduction of the engines, which is planned for 2005 through a combination of OEM and STC applications. More...

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Competition for Bombardier's better idea will likely come from Honda and TCM who, with little fanfare and advance warning, planted a new prototype 225-hp, four-cylinder FADEC-controlled engine in a corner of the Continental booth. Unlike the Bombardier designs, this engine is a horizontally-opposed design but also water-cooled. Departing from the Japanese preference for overhead-cam designs, the Honda/TCM engine has pushrods with four valves per cylinder. More in keeping with traditional aircraft engines, its displacement is 370 cubic inches. How are they getting 225 hp out of that? With a 9.5-to-1 compression ratio and a modified version of the Aerosance FADEC that uses automotive-style sequential fuel injection. More...

And while some of the biggest names in aviation engines serve up their version of the future for aircraft engines, a virtually unknown South Carolina company has its own ideas of what a high-horsepower piston engine should look like. And Nagel Engines' prototype is not like anything we've seen before. "Well, you can't make something you say is different and have it looking like everything else," is Will Nagel's homespun response to queries about the 444 Twelve, which he says gets 150 more horsepower for the same weight as a Lycoming TIO 540, costs less, lasts longer and is easier to fix and maintain. Nagel and his development team started with a clean sheet of paper on this design. More...

TELEDYNE CONTINENTAL MOTORS AND HONDA–A NEW POWER SYSTEM ON THE HORIZON? For the first time in public, Teledyne Continental Motors, in association with Honda, are showing off a mock-up of their new FADEC-controlled, 225-horsepower class piston aircraft engine at AirVenture in Oshkosh. The engine has been going through flight testing at Continental's Mobile, Alabama headquarters and this week will be on display at the Teledyne Continental Pavilion adjacent to Exhibit Hangar C. Come by and see the future of GA power at AirVenture 2003.

On Monday, AVweb told you that the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) was thrilled with the latest version of the FAA reauthorization bill now working its way through Congress. Yesterday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) had a different take: "Aviation Safety Up For Sale To The Lowest Bidder," read the headline on their press release, which said the bill would allow the FAA to hire part-time contractors to run dozens of towers. Yesterday's report from AOPA saw things differently: "House, Senate conferees prohibit ATC privatization," it read. So is this glass half-full or totally empty? The bill is still in flux, but later this week AVweb will chat with FAA chief Marion Blakey and DOT head honcho Norm Mineta here in Oshkosh. We'll sort it all out. Hopefully. More...

The last major company to enter the mini-jet race appears on track to be the first to deliver one. Adam Aircraft's A700 twin jet flew for the first time on Sunday and its first cross-country flight might be to EAA AirVenture 2003. "We hope to have it here at the end of the week," President Rick Adam told a news conference at Adam's display area Tuesday. The main focus of the conference was on the progress of the six-place A500 push-pull piston twin (which is proceeding according to plan and should be in customers' hands later this year) but Adam's almost-offhand reference to the jet project quickly dominated the questioning by reporters. More...

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE TODAY AT OSHKOSH? WSI, the Trusted Leader in Aviation Weather, is publishing a free website of WSI aviation weather for the region surrounding Oshkosh leading up to and during AirVenture 2003. The site offers surface prognostics, satellite imagery and WSI's industry leading NOWrad® Radar Summary. If you are attending AirVenture visit WSI at Booth 3090-91 for up-to-the-minute weather conditions for the show, or go online where the site will be available through the event and for a short time thereafter at

Well, never accuse the Mooney Aerospace Group of being afraid to try something new. The company, which started life as AASI, developing the now-abandoned push/pull, turboprop, canard-ed JetCruzer, then bought the assets of bankrupt Mooney Airplane Company, announced Tuesday it's going to build light-sport aircraft. The Mooney Toxo, a two-place sport aircraft with a Rotax engine, will be built at Mooney's Kerrville, Texas, plant as soon as the new LSA category is brought into law. That will make Mooney the first of the mainstream U.S. manufacturers to announce an LSA project, and it's using a proven platform. Spanish manufacturer Construcciones Aeronauticas de Galicia (CAG) has built 20 of the speedy composite planes, which (oddly) are faster than the LSA regulations allow. More...

Since last year, four pilots have been learning to fly the earliest Wright airplanes so they could advance to the Wrights' 1903 Flyer in time for this December's centennial celebration. Veteran test pilot Scott Crossfield, first to fly Mach 2, has been overseeing their training. "It's one of the most challenging programs I've worked on," he told reporters yesterday. The early aircraft are notoriously difficult to handle. Yet all four of the pilots, Crossfield said, showed extraordinary ability and dedication. Choosing only two to fly at Kitty Hawk "was one of those things I wish I didn't have to do," he said. In the end, he named engineering professor Kevin Kochersberger and airline captain Terry Queijo as the Wilbur and Orville stand-ins. More...

EXCITING NEW PRODUCTS FROM ASA! 2004 Pilot Test-Preps and Maintenance Test-Guides are now available, and a NEW Commercial version of the Virtual Test-Prep DVD Ground School Series joins the already popular Private and Instrument courses. ASA offers a complete line of aviation products for pilots and maintenance technicians from textbooks and checkride essentials, to the Flight Timer and On Top PC simulator. Don’t miss out, see ASA at AirVenture Booth 2076, or online at

Ken Keith announced at Oshkosh that his team will assume management control of Extra Aircraft beginning August 1, resume production of the aerobatic Extra 300 and seek certification of the $1.5 million, pressurized, six-seat, turbine-powered, 235-KTAS-on-20-GPH (with a 1,700-pound useful load) Extra 500. The Extra was nearly wiped off the map by the convergence of a slow economy, slow sales and the Lycoming 540 series crankshaft shortage that saw an end earlier this year. According to the new management team, Lycoming's work to resolve the crankshaft problem stopped the delivery of Extra aircraft for seven and a half months. "That really hurt us badly," said Oliver Oechsle, a member of the new Extra Aircraft. L.P. More...

The last-ditch, final-straw, by-a-thread effort to save Meigs Field may have found an unlikely poster boy in the form of a 63-year-old banner tower from Maine. Richard Randell put his 58-year-old Piper Super Cruiser onto the grass beside the torn-up runway at Meigs after an electrical failure Monday Randell was on his way to EAA AirVenture and was expected to arrive Tuesday after his airplane was fixed. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said there was a tentative plan to park the Super Cruiser (subject to Randell's permission) beside the Friends of Meigs' campaign tent just off AeroShell Square. More...

FLIGHT TRAINING REBATE FROM OMF Earn a new FAA rating, fly one of general aviation's most exciting new aircraft and save money, all at the same time, with OMF Aircraft's new Flight Training Rebate. OMF and its distributors are offering a $2,000 rebate to anyone who purchases a Symphony 160 between July 28 and August 15, 2003, and a new FAA rating in their Symphony 160 within two years. To learn more about OMF's flight training rebate, stop by OMF's AirVenture outdoor display next to the entrance to Building D, or call 1-866-OMF-1600, or visit

The long and winding road to the Smithsonian got a little longer for the Boeing 307 Stratoliner on Tuesday. The one-of-a-kind airliner was supposed to arrive at EAA AirVenture Tuesday morning before heading to Washington for permanent display next week, but EAA volunteers said carburetor problems prevented it from making the trip from the Seattle area to Oshkosh. The plane was ditched in a Seattle bay last year after it ran out of fuel and has undergone a second restoration. There's no word on when it will make the trip. More...

AVweb invite's you to browse the grounds of OSH in our AirVenture Image Galleries.



We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Almost half (46 percent) of those responding felt WAAS will provide all of the benefits promoted by the FAA, while 43 percent said they won't fully believe the system works until actually seeing it operational. Only 5 percent had neither faith nor trust in the FAA's promises.

To check out the complete results, including comments, go to


This week, we would like to know your thoughts on foreign air carriers. Please go to to respond.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers. More...

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RYAN'S NEW WEBSITE NOW ONLINE! Ryan has just released a new website. The navigation is friendly and easy to use. The products featured give you the most up-to-date information available. Ryan invites you to see what's new like the Ryan Multi-Hazard Display at their AirVenture Booth #1052-53, and visit online at

SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION CONSUMER AND SAVE! Plus, get FREE access to the "", subscribers-only, website packed with ratings and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, aviation products and accessories. If you want to enjoy greater confidence when you buy and when you fly , start your Aviation Consumer subscription now at

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PILOT'S AUDIO TAPES HELP YOU BE A BETTER PILOT! Cassette tapes such as "Are You Ready for an Emergency", "Managing Your Fuel Supply", Getting the Most Out of ATC", and more. Don't miss out. Order your selections online at

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