AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 26a

June 23, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Discover the Thrill of a Family Getaway
Discover that the best family vacation photos aren't taken through the window of a minivan. In a brand-new Cessna Stationair, every single weekend becomes your chance for a family getaway. Without ever hearing the dreaded words "Are we there yet?" Call 1 (800) 4-CESSNA. Or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.
 
Flying For 75 Cents An Hour back to top 
 

Electric Power For Experimentals, Perhaps LSA's

Randall Fishman won last year's AirVenture Oshkosh Grand Champion Ultralight and Innovation award for his ElectraFlyer Ultralight, but his latest project at this year's AirVenture may win even more attention from the ranks of certificated pilots. Fishman has about six flights on his ElectraFlyer-C. With real-world experience behind him, plus calculations in front of him, Fishman believes he may have in this aircraft a single-place experimental that can fly at about 70 mph for up to one hour on batteries alone -- provided the pilot chooses to land with a half hour's power in reserve. Maximum endurance under power (calculated, and to be proven by further flight testing) is expected to be near 90 minutes. Fuel cost for that flight? Less than 75 cents. The aircraft is scheduled to be front and center at AirVenture Oshkosh this year, but Fishman told AVweb last week that his eyes are on a bigger prize -- a larger, more powerful, electric LSA.

Fishman's goals include plans to offer a 40-hp electric motor, plus a controller and battery solution for use in highly efficient light sport aircraft ... pending approval of and standards for electric motors in LSAs. He's currently seeking sponsors, and the manufacturer of a highly efficient, very lightweight airframe with which to partner. Until then, expect Fishman's ElectraFlyer-C to be on display this year at the epicenter of AirVenture Oshkosh -- AeroShell Square. Fishman told AVweb over the weekend that, for now, interested customers should also be interested experimental aircraft builders. He presently supplies "the complete electric propulsion system and battery packs for builders to apply to their projects," plus the support of his knowledge. He does not yet offer a turnkey solution to your electric-flight dreams, unless you're interested in trike flying.

As it is, Fishman's ElectraFlyer-C is the pairing of his 29-pound, 18-hp electric motor and regenerative-braking-capable controller package with two lithium polymer battery packs (that together weigh 78 pounds), adapted to an airframe that began life as a Moni motorglider. The Moni is a highly efficient all-aluminum (and discontinued) design with an 18:1 glide ratio and a 27.5-foot wingspan. Fishman says his highly modified version, registered as the ElectraFlyer-C, weighs in at just under 380 pounds with "full fuel," offers a confirmed 60-percent increase in thrust over the Moni, has made engine reliability a non-issue and practically eliminates vibration and engine noise. By AirVenture, Fishman believes the ElectraFlyer-C will have proven it can climb at better than 500 fpm, cruise at 70 mph, stall at 45, and fly under power for approximately 90 minutes (or 60 minutes if landing with the equivalent of a legal day VFR fuel reserve). A portable 110-volt charger can refill the tanks (as it were) in about six hours and more powerful chargers (220 volts) can do the job faster (two hours) where suitable outlets are available.

NOTE: According to Fishman, following the first test flight, pilot Joe Bennis' first words were, "I want one." And after speaking with Fishman last week, it seems one person making the trip to Oshkosh this year just might have that option. See also http://www.electraflyer.com/.

 
Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin: A New Beginning for General Aviation
As a pilot, you sit in a cockpit and experience the world in ways others can only imagine. As leaders in technology and innovation, Cirrus and Garmin sat in the cockpit together and imagined how to redesign the flying experience. Together they have re-imagined the pilot-airplane interface, and as a result, revolutionized general aviation. See the result at CirrusDesign.com.
 
Flying Frontiers back to top 
 

PiperJet Testing 'Imminent'

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Piper officials say the first engine start of their proof-of-concept PiperJet very light jet is "imminent" and it'll be flying by no later than this fall. In a podcast interview with AVweb on Friday, VP of Sales Bob Kromer said the first aircraft's airframe has been through all the static testing required before first flight and easily handled the +3.8g and -1.5g loads that will be the aircraft's normal design limits. Kromer, a former engineering test pilot, said development of the proof-of-concept aircraft went smoothly and the jet is now out of the jigs, sitting on its gear with all systems ready.

Since Piper announced the project two years ago, Kromer said they've taken 203 firm orders and there are numerous prospective customers. "They're just waiting for that first flight," he said. More than 1,000 employees at Vero Beach, which was recently confirmed as the continuing home of the company, are also on pins and needles. The PiperJet has a tail-mounted engine that the company says will improve overall efficiency. The aircraft is expected to have a cruise speed of about 360 KTAS with a ceiling of 35,000 feet and a range of 1,300 nm.

Diamond DA40XL Flies 2250 NM Leg

A Diamond Star DA40XL successfully flew a 16-hour, 52-minute, 2250=nm nonstop leg from Japan to Nome, Alaska, as part of an around-the-world flight that began May 11 at Diamond's London, Ontario, facility. The trip for new owner Marc Aurel Lehman was facilitated by an extra fuel tank and the company of Karl-Heinz Maxwitat. On an adventure that took them through Croatia, Greece, Kuwait, Dubai, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Alaska and Northern Canada, the two men added 150 flight hours to their logs and witnessed more than 20,000 nautical miles of world geography. With the aircraft's return to London, it will now enjoy some factory maintenance and a G1000 upgrade to take advantage of the Garmin's synthetic vision technology and digital sightseeing. Following the upgrade, Lehman has planned a flight to Europe that should include stops in St. John's and the Azores. “Piloting an around-the-world flight has been my dream since I received some flight training lessons for my birthday in 2004,”said Lehman ... who now seems due for a new dream.

The DA40XL is not currently listed on Diamond's Web site. The DA40XLS is a four-place, low-wing composite aircraft powered by a 180-hp Lycoming IO-360 that normally carries 50 gallons for up to 785 KTAS while burning 10 gallons per hour. It is advertised by Diamond as the "most fuel efficient aircraft in its class."

 
Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
The truth is most people do not. Studies show that 40% of adult Americans have no life insurance whatsoever and over 50 million people in this country lack adequate life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center can help you protect your family with full-coverage life insurance and no aviation exclusions. PIC specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with the life insurance protection they need. For a personalized quote, call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
 
Safety and Liability back to top 
 

Concerns Lead To Cancellation Of Red Bull Race

Moving the location of the course "compromises the safety and quality of the race," according to Red Bull, and so the race originally scheduled for July 5 and 6 in Stockholm, Sweden, will not take place. The Red Bull Air Race World Series has thrilled crowds worldwide with its high-energy display of extremely precise low-altitude racing that pits each pilot's time against the others' as they fly through a course of inflated pylons. So far, the race has been free of any serious accidents. Pilots enter the course near redline and routinely pull close to 10 G's while flying. Red Bull hopes to continue its safety trend but a late change to the race's location in Stockholm prompted series officials to cancel operations there, suggesting there are some situations that persuade even the best pilots in the world not to fly. Close attention to the news release from Red Bull, which states that both safety and the "quality" of the race would be affected by the move, suggests that at least two variables led to the cancellation. But speaking for Red Bull, Bernd Loidl, CEO of the air races, said "safety is paramount for an event of this scale and we are proud of our strong safety standards and track record of 33 successful races around the world."

Stating his regrets for the cancellation, Loidl said that Red Bull will make "every effort" to "replace" the race later in the season. The next stop on a world tour that has this year already seen races held in the San Diego and Detroit will be the Dutch city of Rotterdam, July 19 and 20. If you haven't already seen it, feel free to watch our behind-the-scenes video with Red Bull race pilot Michael Goulian, who walked us through the 2007 race in San Diego. As always, contact Glenn Pew if you need a higher-resolution version.

Insurance Woes Halt Canadian Introductory Flights

Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has announced that due to complications with EAA liability insurance requirements it has imposed a temporary suspension of all its introductory flights. The notice, announced in May, was "amplified" in COPA's June newsletter to clarify that, "Under no circumstances should COPA Flights carry out any other forms of group introductory flights, at this time, and until further notice." That includes all COPA group introductory flight events -- not just those associated with EAA Young Eagles flights. All group flights must cease until further notice. In the past, an agreement with EAA had allowed COPA to conduct the flights. But according to COPA, EAA has "reviewed its liability insurance and tightened up on the requirements, resulting in a policy that only EAA members can fly Young Eagles Flights." COPA says EAA now requires it to name EAA as an insured party on its insurance and meeting that requirement has proven more difficult than expected.

COPA's former ability to provide introductory flights came via permit, but has been complicated by legal and insurance variables introduced by the USA, Canada and the UK (specific to COPA's underwriter). When an agreement is reached that is acceptable to COPA's underwriter and affordable for COPA, liability insurance may be extended and the flights may resume.

 
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. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
A Step Forward, A Step Back back to top 
 

GAMA Goes Green

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has established an Environment Committee to represent general aviation in the theater of environmental policy and government and to ensure participation in research and policy making. Speaking for GAMA, GAMA Chairman and Cirrus chief Alan Klapmeier, said "it is imperative that the entire industry focus on its common objective of rational, science-based environmental policies that allow all sectors to grow even as they reduce their environmental impact." GAMA intends to become a leader in providing environmental data from which analysis can be gleaned. It has selected Steven Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, based in Montreal, to chair the new committee. Ridolfi also serves as a GAMA board member and was selected for his "unique blend of knowledge and experience," according to Klapmeier. GAMA president Pete Bunce added that aviation's carbon footprint has improved. "The general aviation manufacturing industry has a powerful record of technological advancements that has brought about a 50 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption of business jet engines since they were first introduced during the 1960s," said Bunce. According to Bunce, the general aviation industry "is committed to mitigating its collective impact on the environment." The key is affecting change without imposing constraints on the industry's growth, or jobs.

NATCA: FAA And Controllers Agree Even Less

A new work rules proposal offered to the nation's air traffic controllers by the FAA, while discussion of trainee attrition rates took place in Washington, proposes "to resolve even fewer of the outstanding articles" and refuses to change position on "the most important issue: air traffic controller pay bands," according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). As a result, NATCA has rejected the FAA's offer, Doug Church, NATCA director of communications, announced Friday. In a written response to FAA acting administrator, Robert Sturgell, NATCA president Patrick Forrey called the FAA's gesture "just another tactic to delay the only true resolution," which he says would be "a return to good faith negotiations" and a collective bargaining agreement that could be ratified by NATCA's membership. Forrey invites Sturgell to meet for negotiations and outlines an eight-point strategy with the goal of reaching a voluntary agreement or binding decision via an objective arbitration board.

 
JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
GPSMap 495 and 496 have AOPA Directory and terrain. 496 includes automotive directions and XM weather and music. Have an old GPS? Do not let it lose its value! Call (800) 323-5966 for the current value.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA), West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
 
Higher, Farther, Faster back to top 
 

New Turbine Cleaner, More Efficient

The gas turbine engine is due for an overhaul and Engineers at Purdue University have reached the testing stage of the wave rotor combustion turbine, a new generation of gas turbine engines. They say the engine is about 15-20% more efficient and could cut carbon dioxide emissions in aircraft by 20 percent or more over traditional gas turbine engines now in use. According to NASA, the wave rotor combustion turbine derives its efficiency from a rotating core that is exposed to hot and cold flow which keeps its mean temperature considerably lower than the peak cycle temperature. Leading the project is Razi Nalim, P.E., Ph.D., associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). “Our goal is to design an alternative to the gas turbine application that is just as reliable, but cleaner, more efficient, and more powerful," said Nalim. "It will not only help reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in traditional applications like airplanes and power generation, but a lighter, more efficient engine may allow Boeing to design an aerospace plane to carry us all the way to outer space and return safely to earth.” To further assist the development of this new technology, IUPUI has recieved a $200,000 award from the Rolls Royce Corporation to continue the design and testing process. Dr. Nalim and his team expect to be operational by the end of the year with a test rig to help prove the benefit of the concept. "Jet engine technology is pretty mature," said Nalim. "To make a really big improvement you need to make a pretty significant change."

 
Aviation Headsets: Share Your Thoughts and Be Entered to WIN!
What is important to you when considering aviation headsets? Your opinion counts. Take a few minutes to answer some questions on what features lead you to purchase and how you choose between brands, and you can be entered to win a $100 Sporty's gift card. Click here now to complete this short survey and help influence the future of the aviation headset industry.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

AVmail: June 23, 2008

Reader mail this week about the future -- and price -- of 100LL, aircraft registrations, diesel engines and more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

Do You Like the Headset You Own? How About Telling Us About It?

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a survey on conducting an extensive customer survey on headset quality, performance and comfort. We would love to hear from readers everywhere about their headset experiences. The survey takes just a few minutes.

Click here to take part.

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

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.

 
Is Your Certificate at Risk?
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%. The AOPA Legal Services Plan 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 the Plan and an annual review of key aviation documents. Call (800) USA-AOPA, or go online to enroll.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Leading Edge #19: Designing Your Flight Review

The FAA-mandated Flight Review has some pretty basic requirements, but you can help your instructor make it more useful and meaningful for the flying you do.

Click here to read.

AVweb Insider Blog: Aviation Regulators Need To Embrace Technology

Live-saving aviation technologies are available--if only the road from tech to flight deck wasn't so long and slow. In the latest installment of our informative and opinionated AVweb Insider blog, contributing editor Mary Grady is as baffled as the rest of us with the frustrating gap between inspiration and implementation.

Read more.

 
Between Wheels Up and Wheels Down, There Is One Important Word: How
As the team managing the FAA AFSS system, Lockheed Martin serves nearly 90,000 general aviation pilots every week. Providing timely, accurate information and helpful service 24/7. From weather forecasts to en route information, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, ensuring flight safety in the National Airspace System is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference. Click here for more.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

How to Get Trained as a Flight Attendant to Work in the Private Corporate World

File Size 10.5 MB / Running Time 11:29

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

With the explosion of corporate aviation, many staffing companies and corporate flight departments are turning to placement services like Fly Contract to find contract flight crews and flight attendants. But where do apiring flight attendants go for training if they don't have an airline background? AVweb's Mike Blakeney speaks with Mary Lou Gallagher of Beyond & Above flight attendant training to see what it costs and what it takes to enter this lucrative and glamorous side of aviation.

Click here to listen. (10.5 MB, 11:29)

Video of the Week: Float Plane Takeoff from a Moving Trailer

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

While we certainly don't recommend this, it does make for an interesting video. Lee Hilbert and Scott Ross found themselves with a Cessna 120 (O-290) on Edo floats miles from the nearest lake, and rather than tow it to the water, they came up with an interesting solution to get the Cessna airborne:


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Exclusive Video: B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Crash Technical Report

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

The crash on takeoff of a 509th Air Wing, Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, February 23 operating at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was caused by water in the aircraft's sensors, according to an Air Combat report issued Thursday. Specifically, moisture in three port transducer units "distorted data introduced by a B-2 Spirit's air data system" which led to flawed information entering the bomber's flight control computers. The aircraft was reacting to inaccurate airspeed and a "perceived" negative angle of attack. This resulted in an "uncommanded 30 degree nose-high pitch-up on takeoff," according to the Air Force.

The video has more detail, but you can also click here for the full story.


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
AVweb Bookstore Features Downloadable Jeppesen Training Manuals
AVweb Bookstore offers Jeppesen (and other) maintenance and pilot training manuals in e-book and book format, letting customers choose how to receive content. E-book advantages including complete search ability, no-cost and instant delivery, and storing hundreds of volumes on a laptop or mobile device. Attention, international customers — no import taxes or fees! For a complete list, call (800) 780-4115 or go online.

 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Aeroflight Executive Services (BFI, Seattle WA)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aeroflight xecutive Services at BFI in Seattle, Washington.

AVweb reader Andy Couch explained how Aeroflight delivered that all-important personal touch:

As I taxied to the FBO, a lineperson came out to meet me and directed me to a tiedown; I didn't have to wander about the ramp, looking for a place to park. The lineperson helped me with my baggage and with my ground transportation. When I returned to the FBO a few days later to depart, I used both the computer-based flight planning services the FBO made available and the FBO's telephone to contact Flight Service. ... I was treated as if I were Bill Gates flying my personal bizjet instead of a piston-engine GA driver who purchased only 54 gallons of 100LL.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

 
Aviation Consumer, the Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell the Truth
Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

En route from North Platte, Nebraska to Cedar Rapids, Iowa I overheard the following:

Cessna:
"Minneapolis Center, Cessna 12345, request flight following to Omaha."

Center:
"Cessna 12345, Minneapolis Center. Say position."

Cessna:
"I'm almost on the Kansas border."

Center:
"That's a fairly wide state. Can you narrow it down for me?"

Keith Reed Marion
Iowa

 
More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 
 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

 
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.