AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 29b

July 17, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
NEW! Zulu with Panel Power!
With the new Zulu: P (Panel Power) headset, Lightspeed has raised the bar in performance, comfort and crystal-clear audio quality, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset — and no batteries needed! The Zulu: P uses the same LEMO plug that you may already have installed. The Zulu: P also comes with built-in Bluetooth. No one else offers this much in a total headset package. Click here for more information.

» Try Lightspeed's Zulu and compare it to other premium brands
at booths 2019-2020 & 2023 at EAA AirVenture
 
After the VLJ Revolution Comes ... the VLPJ? back to top 
 

Stratos Aircraft Plans Very Light Personal Jet

When Diamond Aircraft announced plans to offer a single-engine "personal jet" a few years ago, it's likely no one could predict the market nerve the Austrian/Canadian company had touched. There are now at least six aircraft in the same general genre under development and a Bend, Ore. company, Stratos Aircraft, entered the running on Wednesday with a four-place design, the Stratos 714, it says will go 1,500 nm at 400 knots, in sleek looking, $2 million carbon-fiber package pushed by a Williams FJ-44. It also coined a new acronym for its entry, the VLPJ, or very light personal jet. No other aircraft, certified or announced, can claim to achieve the speed, range and utility that make the Stratos 714 a practical, owner-flown Very Light Personal Jet (VLPJ).

"No other aircraft, certified or announced, can claim to achieve the speed, range and utility that make the Stratos 714 a practical, owner-flown Very Light Personal Jet (VLPJ)," the company news release says. It predicts first deliveries in just 18 months, well ahead of Cirrus's Vision SJ50, which is undergoing preliminary flight tests and isn't expected to go to the first customer until 2011. The company will have a booth at EAA AirVenture.

 
Aircraft Spruce at the Annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008!
Join the Aircraft Spruce team at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in Booths 1022-1029 on July 28th to August 3rd, 9am-5pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products) and a helpful staff to answer all questions. Don't forget your complimentary copy of the new 2008–2009 Aircraft Spruce Catalog! Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.

» Visit Aircraft Spruce for your catalog and show specials at booths 1022-1029 at EAA AirVenture
 
Light Sport Amphib Takes to the Sky .. and the Water back to top 
 

Icon LSA Amphibian's First Flight

The Icon amphibious light sport aircraft flew for the first time last week, the company announced on Tuesday. It launched from a lake in Southern California. "Everything went as well as an initial test flight possibly could go," said Jon Karkow, lead engineer and test pilot, who in the past worked on the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer project. "The aircraft flew exceptionally well and met or exceeded our design expectations... I was especially pleased with the water handling." The company said it expects to continue to test and modify the aircraft for another year or so before building a pre-production prototype for certification purposes. The aircraft has attracted considerable attention with its nifty electric wing-folding design, which has been demonstrated on a mock-up. The flying prototype features a manual folding wing. Both the prototype and the mockup will be exhibited at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh on July 28.

The Icon is made of carbon fiber and is powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS engine, which can run on either auto gas or avgas. Estimated price for the standard model is $139,000, with deliveries expected to begin in late 2010.


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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 2090 at EAA AirVenture
 
FAA's Help for Homebuilders back to top 
 

FAA Releases Proposed Guidance For 51% Rule

The homebuilder community has been waiting anxiously for a few months now to see what the FAA would come up with in its promised "guidance" for interpreting the rules that guide the construction of amateur-built aircraft. The policy, released on Tuesday, mandates more stringent oversight of amateur-built certification by the FAA, said EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, but at first glance, he added, it seems to contain no shocking surprises. "We urged the FAA to preserve the amateur builder's privilege to design, build, and fly an aircraft of any airworthy design, without limitations on the aircraft's complexity, power, size, performance, or other specifications," Lawrence said. "We've retained that essential privilege." The FAA policy notice calls for more stringent scrutiny of the construction process, requiring the amateur builder to provide clear evidence of a hands-on contribution to the project. It also proposes that the FAA may require an amateur builder to fabricate a minimum of 20 percent of an aircraft and assemble a minimum of 20 percent, and asked for comments on that proposal. EAA will petition the FAA to extend the brief 30-day window that was designated for a comment period.

The policy is sure to get plenty of attention at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, including an in-depth discussion at an EAA/FAA joint forum at 1 p.m. on opening day, Monday, July 28, in Pavilion 9. EAA said it will provide more information as the analysis continues and developments ensue. Click here for the full text of the FAA notice.

 
Sensenich: Right on the Nose ... Again!
For more than 75 years, Sensenich has been the industry's fixed-pitch prop leader. No surprise Sensenich leads the way again with new composite propellers for light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, plus Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. Call (717) 569-0435, or click here to learn more.

» Find the right Sensenich Propeller for your aircraft at booths 4145-4147 at EAA AirVenture
 
Better Tech Building a Safer Future (We Hope) back to top 
 

Raytheon to work with NASA on US NextGen

Raytheon is leading a research team of industry experts that will examine the impact of new classes of aircraft on America's next generation air transport system – NextGen. Four new classes of aircraft, very light jets, super heavy transports, UAVs and supersonic transport will soon enter already overburdened skies.

"In ten to 20 years we expect more than one billion passengers will travel annually by airplane and thousands of new consumer jets will fill the skies," says Andy Zogg, Raytheon's vice president of airspace management and homeland security. "We are committed to working with NASA and our partners to help address the complex tissues facing the modernization of our air transport system."Raytheon's research will augment NASA's simulated model of the national airspace system to see how the new aircraft will impact NextGen.

FAA Mandates Fuel-Tank Changes For Airlines

U.S. airlines are already reeling from high fuel prices and a slack economy, and on Wednesday the FAA dropped a $700 million cost into the mix -- that's the estimate to retrofit about 3,000 airliners with fuel-tank systems intended to prevent explosions like the one that destroyed TWA Flight 800 in 1996. New aircraft will be required to have the systems. "Our intent today is to close the door on fuel-tank explosions," said FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell at a news conference announcing the new policy. FAA engineers and scientists have developed an inerting system that works -- "Something early on people said could not be done," said Sturgell. The NTSB, which has listed such systems on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements since 2002, welcomed the decision. "The NTSB congratulates the DOT and the FAA on this important safety achievement," said NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker.

"From tragedy we draw knowledge to improve safety and today's announcement represents a significant step toward avoiding future aviation accidents of this nature." The new rule should have gone further, though, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents the FAA's aircraft certification engineers. "NATCA recommends the FAA extend the flammability requirements adopted today for center wing tanks and other fuel tanks inside the airplane to [include] wing tanks," according to a NATCA news release. TWA Flight 800 was en route from New York to Paris when it exploded and broke apart above the Atlantic Ocean near Long Island, killing all 230 souls on board.

 
What You Don't Know About Charts Can Hurt You — Or Worse
Instrument flying and aeronautical charts are inextricably linked. From SIDs to IAPs, this interactive course will get you up to speed on instrument charts and how to use them effectively in the system. Covering everything from departure procedures to approach plates, it's a comprehensive look at the world of IFR charts — both NACO and Jeppesen. Begin the IFR Insight Charts course today!

» Look for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation at booths 164-166 at EAA AirVenture
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Search Resumes For Missing Adventurer Steve Fossett

A team of searchers is back in the mountains of Nevada this week, hoping to find an answer to the mystery of Steve Fossett's disappearance. Fossett, a well-known pilot and adventurer, vanished last September while flying near a friend's ranch in a Super Decathlon. An extensive aerial and ground search, plus worldwide efforts using satellite imagery, failed to turn up any trace of Fossett or his airplane, and in February a court declared him legally dead. The new search team of 12 mountaineers, led by Canadian adventurer Simon Donato, will cover a rugged area on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada where Fossett was last seen. By traveling on foot, the searchers hope to explore hard-to-reach areas that have not previously been checked. They plan an eight-day search. To follow their progress online, go to their Web site, which is updated daily.

Click here for an AP video about the search. If this search is not successful, another team, led by mountaineer Robert Hyman, plans a similar effort in August. Hyman plans to lead 15 searchers to scour an area just east of where Donato is looking.

AOPA Joins Effort To Fight Fuel Prices

AOPA says that about three-quarters of its members have scaled back their flight time due to the high cost of fuel. In an effort to take action, AOPA has joined a coalition called Stop Oil Speculation Now (S.O.S. Now). The S.O.S. group sent e-mails to millions of airline customers over the last week, alleging that "normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation." AOPA President Phil Boyer acknowledged that for AOPA to join forces with the airlines makes for "strange bedfellows." However, the S.O.S. effort is drawing support from many quarters, he said, such as labor groups, bus and trucking associations, and members of Congress. "We're all frustrated with these high prices, and this is a step in the right direction to do something about it," Boyer said. "We hope that it ultimately creates a national energy policy that Congress can adopt." EAA said it will "continue to explore measures aimed at containing the cost of personal flight" but stopped short of joining the coalition.

"Speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again," reads the S.O.S. e-mail. "A barrel of oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs."

On the Fly ...

Officials in Miami say they are talking with a German aircraft manufacturer, which they would not name, about building a new facility at the Opa-Locka Airport that would create over 400 jobs and serve a "niche aviation market." If the project materializes, it could launch by the end of this year...

A brand-new, taller control tower for Wittman Field in Oshkosh, Wis., opened this week, just in time for EAA AirVenture. The tower is twice as tall as the old one...

The FAA this week posted a new online video promoting its NextGen air traffic control project...

NASA is working on a new fiber-optic-based sensing technology that could help make it possible for pilots to change the shape of a wing during flight.

 
Piper Matrix — Piper Compelling
Click here for more information on the new Matrix, Piper's next generation of cabin-class sophistication. Compellingly priced at $757,000.

» Discover the Matrix and other Piper Aircraft at booths 72-75 & 79-82 at EAA AirVenture
 
Share Your Opinions with Us back to top 
 

Question of the Week: VLJs Are One Thing, But Is the Age of the Single-Engine Jet Upon Us?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

EAA AirVenture is almost here! In just over a week, we'll be poking around classic airplanes, asking questions about new technologies, and sharing high fives with fellow aviation buffs in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. To celebrate the season, last week we asked how you're planning to get to the show.

Reader responses ranged all across the board, although the two largest segments of our readership said they're not going this year (29%) or are flying themselves (27%).

For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

"Personal jets" are all the rage these days, but this week we want to know how you think they'll fare over the long term.

How many single-engine jets do you think will be available in 10 years?
(Click to answer.)


Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

Survey: How Is Flight Service Doing Now That They Supposedly Have the Bugs Worked Out?

Our sister magazine, IFR, is asking pilots nationwide how their experience with Lockheed Martin Flight Service has affected the way they do their preflight prep. We'd love to hear your thoughts on how LockMart is doing these days.

The survey takes just a few minutes. Click here to take part.

(The results will appear in a future issue of IFR magazine. 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.

 
You Could Win a Refurbished Piper Archer II!
Enter AOPA's "Get Your Glass" Sweepstakes today and triple your chances of winning. Simply join AOPA as a new member or renew your existing membership, and you're automatically entered in the sweepstakes contest. Enter to win a plane now.

» If you aren't already, become an AOPA Member at booths 164-166 at EAA AirVenture
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Across the Pond #19: Report from Europe

This month's column reports on good news for flying licenses, calls to action from Holland and BBGA and a deaf flight instructor.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Raise the #@!$% Fares (Part II)

Last week, the major airlines sent a letter to their customers blaming oil speculators for high prices. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks they're giving customers the runaround, asking them to become junior lobbyists and urge Congress to crack down on oil speculators instead of demanding a consistent, practical national energy policy. Read what Paul has to say about this on the AVweb Insider blog.

 
Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator Sale
For a limited time only, while quantities last, Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator models are available at a special price of $299,950. The aircraft also qualify for special 2008 tax incentives. You can enjoy owning a Diamond DA40 and write off up to 93% of the purchase price. Visit Diamond Aircraft now for more information.

» Experience the Diamond Aircraft DA40 at Combo L at EAA AirVenture
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: St. Petersburg Flying Service (KSPG, St. Petersburg, FL)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to St. Petersburg Flying Service at KSPG in St. Petersburg, Florida.

AVweb reader Shaina Lotu writes:

I've never met a more user-friendly FBO. This FBO has an extremely competitive fuel price for how much service they offer ... [and] they have a brand-new terminal and are located right in downtown St. Pete.

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!

 
Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?
A: SAMM

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.

» Attend one of Mike's six Savvy Aviator technical sessions at EAA AirVenture Forums Plaza at Oshkosh
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: F-16 Intercepts Jet & Turboprop Legally Flying Through MOA

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

Last March, AVweb told you about a close encounter between two private aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12 and a Beech Premier and an F-16 in an Arizona Military Operating Area (MOA). AOPA has obtained the radar video and audio from the incident, and AVweb Video Editor Glenn Pew has put them together in an enlightening package.


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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Exclusive Video: Cirrus The-Jet -- First Flight

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

July 3, 2008, Cirrus Design marked the first flight of its jet offering. The aircraft, currently dubbed "The-Jet" successfully flew for 45 minutes. AVweb's Glenn Pew has video of the flight.


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

 
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!
 
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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 ***

There's nothing quite as satisfying as downloading a couple hundred megabytes' worth of AVweb reader photos and sitting down with a cold iced tea to rifle through them! There's plenty to see this week, with photos hitting a wide range of interests and coming from all across the globe. (And hey, Australia — did someone pepper the countryside with AVweb leaflets? Not only did we get shots from some of our favorite Aussie regulars this week, but found quite a few new names from the "Land of Wonder" in our box, too.)

medium | large

copyright © Gary Plummer
Used with permission

Morning Mist

This image from Gary Plummer of Burlington, Ontario (Canada) was one of the first we laid eyes upon this week, and it set the tone for all the photos that were to follow. Despite some stiff competition (and nearly not making it to the Top Five, if you can believe that!), Gary's shot is our "Picture of the Week," and we'll be sending Mr. Plummer one of those keen AVweb ball caps we're always going on about as thanks for sharing his pics with us.

 

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copyright © J. E. Butts et. al.
Used with permission

'Cirrus One, 3-2-1 Break!'

Jon Butts of Whiteley, Hants (U.K.) submitted this photo shot by Jamie Hunter of Aviacom Photography. Jon was one of six pilots who flew formation recently and allowed Jamie to snap plenty of great shots.

In fact, Jon told us where to find a few more, and we may share those at a later date ... !

 

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copyright © Christian Hauser
Used with permission

'Stop! This Is the Police!'

Christian Hauser of Gross-Enzersdorf, Lower Austria snapped this photo of an Austrian police 'copter "seemingly closing in on a culprit," but disillusioned us when he wrote that the pilots were really "just approaching [the] landing pad at Vienna International Airport to disembark a passenger."

 

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copyright © John von Linsowe
Used with permission

Summer Job

Here's a slightly unusual attitude, courtesy of Metamora, Michigan's John von Linsowe. John also gave us a pun we couldn't turn down (brace yourselves), noting that his son Justin* has "'landed' a great summer job towing banners."

* Apologies if Justin's not your son, John. We didn't write it down in our notes, and we honestly can't remember — though we're pretty sure that was a good guess!

 

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copyright © Pete Howell
Used with permission

Evening Arrival

We've seen so many sunset photos that our hearts would have long ago hardened to them if not for the incredible vistas that AVweb readers somehow manage to slip into our submission box every week. This time around, it's Pete Howell of St. Paul, Minnesota who gets the thanks for reminding us to take a moment to savor life's small joys.

Thanks, Pete!

   

As has been par for the course lately, there are far too many great photos to run them all here, so please be sure to check out the bonus pics in our slideshow on the AVweb home page. You'll be glad you did. (And don't forget you can click on those slideshow images to view them at full-size.)

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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:
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, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.

 
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.