AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 14, Number 45c

November 7, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Kick-Off to a Great Week!
Obviously it takes more than the price of fuel to keep people away from the AOPA Expo in San Jose, California! And clearly the word has gotten around about Lightspeed's newest headset, the Zulu. Attendees have been coming into Lightspeed's booth (#226) saying they're ready to move up to Zulu. Click here to see what all of the excitement is about.

See for yourself why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's "Headset of the Year" 2008.

» Lightspeed Aviation, maker of the Zulu ANR headset,
is an official sponsor of AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 coverage
Visit them at booth #226 for a Zulu demonstration!
Washington Insiders Tell AOPA Expo: Be Patient, GA back to top 

Aviation Off D.C. Radar

The economy will, of course, dominate the discussions in Washington, D.C. over the next while and that means some pressing issues in the aviation world will have to wait their turn, a panel of D.C. insiders told delegates to AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif. on Thursday. "I don't think anyone gives a darn about aviation," Steve Alterman, president of the Cargo Airlines Association told the first general assembly of the organization. He said he doubts, for instance, that FAA reauthorization will be decided within the next year and the much-needed modernization of the air traffic control system is likely to languish. Alterman was on a panel with National Air Transportation Association President Jim Coyne, former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and former Department of Transportation Inspector General Ken Mead. Mead had some critical comments about the modernization effort so far.

He said the so-called NextGen system "is more of a slogan more than anything else." Coyne predicted that once the economic issues settle some, the environmental impact of aviation will be a primary issue and that includes focus on phasing out 100LL, the last petroleum product that contains lead. "I don't think it's going to happen overnight, but it's clearly something that's coming down the pike. Garvey said another priority of the new administration should be peace with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "That relationship has to be repaired," she said. All the panelists agreed that the Obama administration will be less concerned with airborne security threats as it tightens sea and surface transportation security.

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.

Purchase by December 31, 2008 and receive a complimentary pair of Bose in-ear headphones ($99.95 value). Learn more and order.

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

» Bose Corporation is an official sponsor of
AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 coverage. Please visit them at
booth #1320 to see the Bose Aviation Headset X® in action!
Relief for Thielert Engine Owners back to top 

Diamond's Thielert Problems Ease

Owners of Thielert diesel engine-powered Diamond aircraft have received some welcome relief in the cost of maintaining their aircraft and more is on the way. At a news conference on Thursday at AOPA Expo, Diamond Aircraft CEO Peter Maurer said the insolvency commissioner overseeing the restructuring of the engine maker now realizes that sale of the company depends on its ability to support the product. Therefore, the cost of many maintenance items that skyrocketed under the insolvency process, have been reduced and Thielert has started looking at ways to reduce those costs even more with lifetime extensions on gearbox clutches and other parts that require expensive scheduled replacement. As Diamond's own efforts to alleviate the issues of its customers materialize in the coming year, the cost effective utility of its diesel-powered DA42 and DA40 aircraft should be reduced.

Diamond continues to pursue certification authority to provide maintenance kits for Thielert engines and it's expecting certification of the Austro replacement engine early next year. Retrofits will be available for Thielert-powered aircraft and all newly-produced diesel DA40s and DA42s will have the Austro, which will be built by a company owned by the same principals in Diamond. Meanwhile, a DA42 with Lycoming IO-360 engines is nearing certification and can be retrofitted at a later time with the new diesels.

Inflight. Every Flight.
XM WX Satellite Weather has quickly become the leading way to fly for pilots across the country. And now, with Aviator Pro, the brand-new weather data package from XM WX, pilots have an even better reason to fly with the datalink weather leader — inflight and every flight. Click here to learn more about XM WX's new suite of weather data and Aviator Pro.

» XM WX Satellite Weather, the top provider of pilot wx data,
is an official sponsor of AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 coverage
Please visit them at booth #908 to learn more.
Certifications Old and New back to top 

Cirrus Celebrates 10 Years

Cirrus Design marked the tenth anniversary of the certification of its SR20, which happened at the 1998 AOPA Expo, with the announcement that the aircraft is getting some SR22-like upgrades. The less powerful entry-level Cirrus has always been less popular since the SR22 was introduced and now accounts for less than 20 percent of sales. But with tough times dominating discussion everywhere, the company has offered the Garmin Perspective panel, with optional enhanced vision as an option in the SR20 for less than $300,000. Meanwhile, the development of the Vision jet continues unabated, despite market- related layoffs and production cuts for the current aircraft.

Klapmeier said the concept aircraft can go a lot faster than the 300 knots targeted by Cirrus as the comfortable speed for the final product. That, he said, means there's room to improve the slow speed performance of the aircraft. The big passenger-side door touted in the concept has been eliminated for weight reasons and wing configuration tweaked for the same reason. He said that although times are tough, the industry will recover. "I'm still very optimistic about the future of the industry," he said.

Epic Comes Home

After flirting with Canadian and Russian certification for its composite aircraft, Epic Aviation says it will certify its products in the U.S. CEO Rick Schrameck told a news conference at AOPA Expo on Thursday that it will certify its first aircraft, the turboprop Escape, in Bend, Oregon under the auspices of the Seattle FAA office. He said that problems with the foreign certifications notwithstanding (and aircraft seized in the Georgian conflict and high building costs in Canada), the current economic problems also helped make the decision to certify in the U.S. He said that certification inspectors now have time to do the Escape certification as activity in the market declines. Schrameck said the market decided his choice to certify a turboprop, rather than one of the jets his company is also developing.

He said he was surprised when customers said they wanted a capable turboprop rather than a jet but the lower cost, better fuel economy and much lighter training requirements (no type rating required) have renewed interest in turboprops. The Escape is pressurized. seats up to six, has a 1,000-horsepower Honeywell TPE331-10 engine and will cruise at 350 knots. He expects to have a type conforming aircraft in a few months.

Untie Your Dreams at 235 Knots
Leave the runway at 1,400 vertical feet per minute. Climb to 25,000 feet. Cruise at 235 confident knots. Nothing releases a pilot's passion for flight like the Cessna 400, the world's fastest fixed-gear aircraft. It's more than speed that makes the Cessna 400 such a pleasure to fly. There's the sophisticated stylish cabin, glass cockpit, side-stick control, and the head-turning gorgeous looks. Looks like Cessna is in the fast business. Go online for all the details.

» Cessna Aircraft, the company behind the speedy Cessna 400,
is an official sponsor of AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 coverage.
Visit them at booth #417 to see your dream aircraft in person!
Avidyne's Comprehensive WX Package: More Details back to top 

Avidyne's Entegra Weather Series Closes the Weather Gap

For the past half decade, as aviation weather datalinked to the cockpit has become standard equipment for U.S. pilots, European pilots could only look on in envy. At AOPA in San Jose this week, Avidyne Corp. announced that weather envy is no more with the introduction of what it calls its Entegra WX Series. This new product combines four weather sensor choices -- datalinked weather via Sirius Satellite Radio, narrowcast on-demand datalink through the Iridium low-earth-altitude satellite system, onboard lightning detection with Avidyne's TWX670 system and, last, an onboard weather radar system. Obviously, this is a complex system, requiring two datalink receivers -- the MLX770 receiver handles Iridium data, and the MLB700 does Sirius duty. Currently, display options are Avidyne's latest versions of its popular EX500 and EX5000 MFD products. Eventually, display options may be expanded to include portables and EFBs.

Since Iridium coverage is essentially worldwide, although radar and other weather availability varies by country, WSI provides the weather products for the system.

For more information on the Entegra Weather Series, check out this podcast with Avidyne's Dan Schwinn and for information on prices and specs, see Avidyne.com.

Ever Wish You Could Flip a Switch and Turn IFR Visibility into VFR?
To find out more, go to True Flight.

» True Flight brings the most information to your displays and
is an official sponsor of AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 coverage.
Opinion & Commentary from AOPA Expo back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Hard (But Friendly) Times at AOPA Expo

Many of us had girded our loins for tough times and downbeat spirits at this year's AOPA Expo, but AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles found a more cheerful atmosphere, despite the times. Read about his experience in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

New 2009 Aircraft Spruce Pilot Shop Catalog Now Available
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty has published a new, full-color, 88-page pilot supply catalog available at no cost. Products include: handheld GPSs; headsets; intercoms; flight bags; laminated check lists; folding bikes; oxygen systems; windsocks; survival gear; flight jackets; Scheyden eyewear; weather indicators; Jeppesen and ASA training products; aviation software and simulators; charts; videos; books; and much more. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE, or visit online.

» Aircraft Spruce & Specialty is at the AOPA Expo in San Jose.
Visit them at booth #1534 to pick up a copy of the new catalog.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Podcast #4: Avidyne's Entegra WX Series Serves Up a Buffet of Weather Data, for Everyone

File Size 8.2 MB / Running Time 8:59

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Eager to stay on the cutting edge of cockpit information systems, Avidyne Corp. has come to this year's AOPA Expo with an incredibly comprehensive suite of weather tools. The Entegra WX Series combines the power of Sirius-based datalink weather, Iridium-based satellite info, an onboard weather radar, and Avidyne's TWX670 lightning-detection system. On top of all those features, it's cost-conscious and useful for pilots outside the U.S., too. Avidyne President Dan Schwinn explains how that's possible.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation's Aviation Headset X™.

Click here to listen. (8.2 MB, 8:59)

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Podcast #5: Flight-Planning with FlightAware

File Size 9.3 MB / Running Time 10:08

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

FlightAware isn't just for tracking any more — now you can plan and file your IFR flight online. CEO Daniel Baker explains the benefits of using FlightAware.com as your one-stop destination for flight-planning.

This podcast is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation, makers of the Zulu ANR headset.

Click here to listen. (9.3 MB, 10:08)

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Podcast #6: More On the Garmin GPSMap 696

File Size 6.3 MB / Running Time 6:53

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Vendors at AOPA Expo are moving Garmin's new GPSMap 696 nearly as fast as they can get them and Garmin's booth is jammed with would-be buyers. One question that we've heard from several readers is why the 696's approach plates aren't geo-referenced. Does Garmin have plans to do that? Not immediately, says Garmin's Jim Alpiser, who explained that the NACO charts Garmin used in the 696 don't have the necessary geographical data for geo-referencing. AVweb spoke to him after the show opened Thursday morning, and you can here the details of that interview in this podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather, the premier weather provider for pilots.

Click here to listen. (5.9 MB, 6:27)

Trade-A-Plane Features Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Hourly
With thousands of hourly updated Classifieds, a Product & Advertiser Index, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Aviation Weather, Trade-A-Plane gives you everything that keeps you flying. Order your Trade-A-Plane subscription by calling (800) 337-5263, or go online.

» Trade-A-Plane is at the AOPA Expo in San Jose.
See the latest issue and ask about a subscription at booth #326.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Video #4: Outgoing AOPA President Phil Boyer (Part 2 of 3)

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

Departing Aircraft Owners And Pilots Association president Phil Boyer talks to AVweb and Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli about his 17 years working on behalf of pilots. (Part 2 of 3.) (Video by Glenn Pew.)

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.

This video is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

AVweb's AOPA Expo 2008 Video #1: Meet the Garmin 696

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

Meet Garmin's 696 portable GPS, making its debut at the AOPA Expo in San Jose this week. AVweb and Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli walks you through the basic functionality of the unit and helps you get acquainted with it. (Video by Glenn Pew.)

This video is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather.

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.

Avoid Unintentional Stalls and Spins — No-Cost Online Course!
Getting a handle on aerodynamics doesn't have to involve dry textbooks and dense equations. AOPA Air Safety Foundation's no-cost interactive online course, Essential Aerodynamics, provides need-to-know concepts to help you upgrade your aerodynamics skills quickly and easily. Complete this fun, challenging course in less than an hour on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation web site. Click to get started.

» The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is at the AOPA Expo in San Jose.
Ask about this and other online courses at booths #1121 & 1123.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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.

Does Your Aircraft Insurance Provide $5,000.00 in Legal Costs?
When you insure with Avemco®, you get up to $5,000.00 in legal defense costs if the FAA or civil authority takes pilot certificate enforcement action against you for a covered loss or accident. To get your no-cost quote, call Avemco at (888) 241-7891, or click here to visit us online.

» Avemco Insurance Company is at the AOPA Expo in San Jose.
Visit them at booth #416 to find the coverage right for you.
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/.

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.

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.

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