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Volume 14, Number 34a
August 18, 2008
Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
As a Cirrus owner, you join a lifestyle that takes safety very seriously. Whether flying for pleasure or business, you always fly smart and safe. Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is designed to help by giving you more time and information to make better decisions, reduce workload, and improve your overall flying experience. Cirrus Perspective adds more ability to experience the Cirrus lifestyle fully and leave anxiety out of your flight plan. For complete features, go online.
Top News: The Wild Blue Green Yonderback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Europe's Clean Sky initiative is targeting a 50-percent reduction in CO2 emissions, an 80-percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 50-percent reduction in perceived noise levels (all from baseline year 2000 levels) to be met by the year 2020. The plan involves research intended to demonstrate smart wing technologies based on natural and hybrid laminar flow research, active load control and materials development to conclude in flight demonstrations. Powerplant integration will be considered with specific attention paid to the impact of airframe flow fields on propeller efficiency with "open rotor configurations on the airframe, and innovative empennage design," according to engineerlive.com. Development of the demonstration aircraft is expected to evolve, but the initial design will be a direct-drive pusher design -- a point from which to diverge. Contributing members include universities and research centers as well as the European Commission and industry names that include Rolls-Royce, EADS, Eurocopter and others. Aviation emissions account for approximately 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, according to aircraft manufacturers, and by some estimates jet engines are today 70 percent more environmentally friendly in that regard than they were 40 years ago. More...

Poisonous seeds found in the nut of the jatropha plant contain 30% - 40% oil that may be refined at a significantly lower cost than crude oil and will soon supplement Jet-A to feed one of four engines powering an Air New Zealand 747 -- test flights are currently scheduled for November. Boeing, Air New Zealand, Rolls-Royce PLC, and agricultural experts in Hawaii are all part of the program. The plant apparently grows well in warm environments with little care (it's a weed), and with jet fuel prices up roughly 70 percent since one year ago the weed could soon be a popular site at every airline executive's vacation home. One hectare of jatropha can produce up to 500 gallons of fuel, which experts say is multiples better than a hectare of corn. Analysts predict jatropha fuel could be produced at about $43 per barrel (versus crude oil's roughly $125 per barrel) and without adverse effects on food supplies or farming (versus corn or sugarcane-based ethanol). More...

When Is the Last Time You Reviewed Your Life Insurance?
Annual reviews of life insurance needs can help determine if you lack important coverages — or if you can save on existing policies. As a pilot, you are likely paying more for life insurance than you should be. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
Fuel Prices? Who Needs Fuel?back to top 

Randall Fishman's public AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 demonstration (see AVweb and Kitplanes video interview, here) of his virtually silent, nearly vibration-free and fillup-less single place ElectraFlyer-C (capable of flying for an hour and a half on 75 cents worth of lithium-polymer battery power) is just the tip of the iceberg. Fishman is seeking partnership with a suitable airframe manufacturer of an existing light efficient two-place aircraft in which he can install a larger electric motor. Meanwhile, Greg Cole (previously chief engineer of research and development at Lancair), who recently created the 36-foot span, 155-pound carbon composite Sparrowhawk sailplane (soon available for about $73,000 with electric power), is working toward a two-place "Goshawk" electric-powered sport aircraft that aims to cruise at up to 115 knots on 21 (electric) horsepower for about an hour. Cole and Fishman are both American pioneers funding their own projects, but overseas, the European Union has contributed about 20 percent of a reported $2.3 million applied to the development of Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel's two-place side-by-side self-launch electric motorglider. More...

"Automated on-board energy aware planning" is being developed by the U.K.'s Roke Manor Research to allow autonomous gliders to find naturally occurring lift and sustain unpowered or prolong powered flight, according to a report in ElectronicsWeekly.com. Ultimately, aircraft equipped with software and hardware that actively processes video feeds of cloud conditions and surface type (cool grass, or hot pavement) data would be processed along with other elements (models assessing weather and predicting vertical air movement due to thermal and orographic lift) to identify thermals and share that information with similar aircraft nearby. With that information, a virtual and real-time lift map could help produce waypoint sequences for use by integrated flight management systems aboard the aircraft as they hopscotch from lift-point to lift-point along a route. More...

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Hawkers Over Iraq?back to top 

Seeking full-motion video reconnaissance platforms, the Air Force "is quietly rushing to field more than three dozen" twin-engine propeller-driven aircraft to provide that capability "on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan," according to Inside The Air Force. The report from InsideDefense.com says that according to a July briefing from Air Combat Command, the Air Force would use the aircraft in a program called "Project Liberty." Aircraft considered for the task would likely be modified Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350s carrying video and communications equipment, according to the report. However, Hawker Beechcraft this weekend told Kansas.com that the company does not have a contract to provide aircraft. The plan as reported called for collection of the aircraft at a rate of about two per month beginning in 2008 and deployable within a year. More...

Management at Hawker Beechcraft last week staffed some production-line slots with engineers and salaried workers in order to support production while its machinists strike. The company last week passed its 12th day of work stoppage following the Machinists Union rejection of an Aug. 2, three-year contract offer. Beechcraft Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Schuster said that the company is not running at full strength, but that the company was "pleasantly surprised" -- presumably that it is able to conduct business at all with 4,700 workers at the company's Wichita location currently represented by the striking union. The company says more than 1,000 of those workers remain on the job. Meanwhile, the union is confident it can use the tight labor market to leverage its position, "The qualified workers just aren't there," Machinists Union spokesman Bob Wood told The Wichita Eagle. At least for now, the company (which offers aircraft ranging from the "super-midsize" 14-seat-capable Hawker 4000 business jet to the G36 Bonanza) appears to be on solid financial footing. More...

Lycoming® — The Engines of Choice
Lycoming® produces the most complete line of horizontally opposed, air-cooled four-, six-, and eight-cylinder certified aircraft engines available, with power ranging from 100 to 400 HP. For homebuilders, air race and aerobatic pilots, and others looking for non-certified engines with Lycoming dependability, Lycoming offers custom-built Thunderbolt Engines. Lycoming piston engines have a reputation for reaching or exceeding TBO. For more information, please visit Lycoming.com.
News Briefsback to top 

Liberty Aerospace, which promotes its XL2 as the only FAA-certified piston-engine aircraft equipped with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), has entered a distributorship agreement with Piper-Germany, which will sell and distribute the Liberty XL2 in Germany, Austria and the U.K. Liberty said in a press release that it "looks forward to continued exponential growth in both national and international markets," and hopes to capitalize on current economic conditions by offering the XL2, which it calls "the most economical IFR certified aircraft in production." Liberty says it has done very well this year and made the move to address a "need to increase its sales and support structure overseas." Together, Liberty and Piper-Germany will focus on marketing the XL2 to the two-seat training/touring market. More...

Eclipse Aviation founder and former CEO Vern Raburn wants nothing more to do with the company and will not accept a post promoting the airplane internationally. Raburn issued a press release late last week saying he has some irons in the fire and will let his "media friends" know what he's up to. Meanwhile, his former company is essentially asking the media to stop asking so many questions about its future. In an unusual statement on Thursday, the company denied unpublished rumors that the company was moving out of Albuquerque. The statement reads, in its entirety:

Today, Eclipse Aviation confirmed that the executive management team is working diligently to develop a plan to achieve operational excellence. We are evaluating every aspect of the company and we will announce a plan to profitability by the end of the month. Eclipse also confirms it has no intention to move its production facilities outside of the United States in contrast to some current media speculation. Eclipse will not be releasing any further information or conducting interviews surrounding this media alert at this time.

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

The EAA's major annual fundraiser included the participation of Harrison Ford, John Travolta and Arnold Palmer and yielded $2.88 million, with proceeds to benefit EAA's programs "to inspire youth, provide education, and preserve aviation history." EAA announced in a release last week that the AirVenture event attracted more than 1,000 attendees "bound together by a common passion for flight," according to EAA President Tom Poberezny. Major contributors included Palmer and Ford as well as Cessna Aircraft Chairman Emeritus Russ Meyer, Cessna President Jack Pelont and his wife Rose, and Florida-based highway contractor Bill Bachshmidt. EAA has partnered with ConocoPhillips and Embry-Riddle to advance development of educational and experimental activities designed to help young people pursue their interests or careers in aviation. "I didn't come to flying until I was 53 years old," said actor Harrison Ford, who has donated time to participate in helicopter rescue missions in Wyoming. "But it has made me feel young and challenged again and given me an opportunity to give back." More...

The pilot of a replica biplane died when the aircraft reportedly spun during a mock dogfight at Old Rhinebeck in upstate New York, Sunday. Witnesses said the aircraft entered a spin and crashed near the historic airfield. The pilot was not immediately identified. More...

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.
Reader Voicesback to top 

AVMAIL: AUG. 18, 2008
Reader mail this week about the TSA and GA airports, VLJs, and lots of comments about ATC policing duties. More...

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. What have you heard? 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.
New on AVwebback to top 

If you want to protect your engine and get better cruise speed, pay attention to that other cockpit control during your high-performance aircraft checkout. More...

All eyes are on Russia and its former Soviet sister nations this week — and that has to be giving pause to some Western aviation companies that have strong ties to the Russian market. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles ponders what may be going through the minds of some major players in the industry in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. More...

Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for used aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for you — on ASO. Visit ASO.com today!
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Kitplanes Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook wraps up his series of conversations on the FAA's new homebuilt rules. This time, Lancair President Joe Bartels shares his insights on the needs, wants, and ultimate aims of homebuilding — and how the FAA can accomodate them.

This podcast is brought to you byWxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather, official weather provider of EAA AirVenture ... More...

Among the AVweb readers we were lucky enough to meet at Oshkosh this summer was John von Linsowe, a semi-regular contributor to our "Picture of the Week" contest and Cessna 140 owner who shares his passion for flying with fellow members of his 120/140 club. Under duress, John admitted to having a few videos of the Club doing its thing on YouTube and even agreed to send us a link after the show. While we probably won't make it to Dayton, Ohio for the group's September 25-28 shindig, this video gives us pangs of regret. (Click through to watch.) More...

This year at EAA AirVenture we brought you fourteen video reports over the course of seven days. We realize the news was flying fast and furious during the show, so just in case you missed any of our reports, you can catch them all here. (Click through to watch.) More...

New! Jeppesen Avionics Knowledge Library — Garmin G1000 IFR Training
The Jeppesen Garmin G1000 — IFR Procedures training is an advanced, extensive computer-based training program developed with Garmin teaching skills to master the operation of and confidently fly the G1000 in IFR conditions. Learn: How to pull up and fly instrument procedures; how to load and activate approaches including RNAV and GPS; all the new WAAS-enabled approaches; and how to perform course reversals, fly holding patterns, and execute missed approaches. Call Jeppesen at (303) 328-4274, or visit online for more information!
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Althought it's still a relatively new FBO, Air 51 in Lexington, Kentucky keeps popping up on our radar. The latest recommendation comes from AVweb reader Don Hagedorn, who calls this popular pit stop the "best FBO I have ever visited," prompting us break with tradition and make Air 51 our "FBO of the Week" for a second time.

Don writes:

We were delayed due to weather ... when returning to Columbia, SC from Oshkosh on 2 August. Their great staff went out of their way to take care of my 13-year-old nephew and make him feel welcome while we waited. Fine staff, great facilities, reasonable fuel prices, and wonderful amenities. Plus, my nephew was especially thrilled by the TV in the men's room. (Ah, simple pleasures!)

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!


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The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


An exchange overheard while flying over the Mojave Desert:

Joshua Approach:
"Bonanza 50Y, traffic two o'clock, five miles. Unmanned aerial vehicle has you in sight."

50Y (me):
"50Y looking. If he's 'unmanned,' how can he have me in sight?"

Joshua Approach:
"Oh. He's got a T-38 spotter plane, so really it's a flight of two ... . Now you're three o'clock, three miles."

Yeah, I was kidding. I know they have cameras and instrumentation. But I still don't have them in sight."

Joshua Approach:
"They're passing behind you now. No factor. And we usually reserve the 'I can't see him' jokes for the F-117s that come through here."

Marc Zorn
via e-mail


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!
More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 

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/. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Mariano Rosales
Jeff van West

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.

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