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Volume 14, Number 49b
December 4, 2008
 
Holiday Special! Get $100 Off a Panel Power Zulu
Lightspeed has lowered their price from $900 to $850, plus they'll give you a $50 mail-in rebate. Give your special pilot everything dreams are made of: performance, comfort, and crystal-clear audio, with more total noise cancellation than any other headset, plus built-in Bluetooth. Purchase from an authorized Lightspeed dealer by December 31st, 2008. Click here to see why Zulu is Aviation Consumer's Headset of the Year for 2008.
 
Pushing Ahead, Scaling Backback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

CIRRUS VISION JET UPDATE
Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier and Mike Van Staggen, vice president for advanced development, briefed the press on Wednesday on the status of the Vision single-engine jet program, and revealed new details and updates about the design. Klapmeier stressed that the jet is aimed directly at the personal-transportation niche, not the corporate or air-taxi segments, and the needs of that market strongly drive the design decisions that are being made as the program evolves. Test pilots have put about 120 hours on the aircraft, and so far the jet is performing as expected. The entire CG envelope has been checked, in-flight engine re-starts were done, and stall tests are under way. Aerodynamic design is being tweaked, with the help of computer models, to improve performance, and the angle of thrust on the engine has been adjusted, with significant results. For the production version of the jet, the right side door will be eliminated, to reduce weight, and an emergency egress hatch will be added. An illustration of the production version shows the nose will be slightly sharper and the belly a bit roomier. The wing-root fairing has been adjusted, and the tail sweep reduced. A larger ventral fin is about to be tested, and a dual fin might also be tested, Van Staggen said. Maximum payload will be 1,200 pounds, with 400 pounds available with full fuel. Klapmeier said the trade-off of fuel and weight took into account input from customers who say they will often fly alone and were willing to trade off payload to carry more fuel. The jet will fly about 1,100 nm at max cruise of 300 knots. More...

CESSNA ISSUES LAYOFF NOTICES TO HUNDREDS OF WORKERS
Cessna on Monday notified over 500 workers that they have 60 days left to work, then they will be out of a job. The jobs are being eliminated at Cessna's plants in Wichita, Kan., and in Bend, Ore., where the Cessna 350 and 400 are built at the former Columbia plant. An additional 150 workers chose voluntary layoff packages. The company said last month the staff cuts would be necessary because some customers have deferred delivery for 2009, so the expected rate of production will have to be slowed. Cessna employs about 12,000 people in Wichita and about 420 in Bend. Hawker Beechcraft also recently announced a cut of 490 people, about 5 percent of its workforce; and Piper said it will reduce its workweek to save the company money but retain jobs. Mooney laid off staff last month, and Cirrus also announced layoffs in September, affecting about 8 percent of its workers. More...

 
Introducing AV8OR™ from Bendix/King by Honeywell
The AV8OR is the portable and affordable GPS built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR uses aviation software and symbology pilots understand. Its 4.3-inch touch screen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, go online.
 
Planes & Politicsback to top 
 

AOPA TRACKING INCOMING WHITE HOUSE TEAM
With lots of changes ahead for key Washington offices that affect general aviation, staffers from AOPA are busy working to ensure that the new appointees know exactly what GA pilots are concerned about. "We're meeting with members of the transition team and preparing briefing papers to be sure that the new administration is aware of our concerns and priorities," Andy Cebula, AOPA's executive vice president for government affairs, told AVweb on Wednesday. President-elect Barack Obama's choices for secretary of transportation and FAA administrator will have a big effect on the political and regulatory climate in which pilots will fly for the next four years. Cebula said he expects the DOT position will be filled later this month, but the FAA slot may take longer. He also said that with changes ahead for the Department of Homeland Security, he's hopeful that the much-maligned Large Aircraft Security Program, which currently is a proposed rule, will be modified substantially or perhaps scrapped altogether. "There's hope there for dramatic change," he said. However, he noted that GA is far down the list of DHS concerns, and it may be some time before Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has been nominated to be the new DHS Secretary, finds time to address GA matters. He also noted that in meetings with the transition team, AOPA has made clear that user fees are the number-one issue for GA pilots. More...

LAS VEGAS AIRPORT SEEKS FEDERAL OK TO BAN EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT
Commissioners in Clark County, Nev., on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to their local director of aviation to lobby for federal legislation that would enable him to ban experimental aircraft from local airports. The effort is in response to the crash of a homebuilt Velocity near North Las Vegas Airport in August. The airplane struck a house, killing the pilot and two people on the ground. Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA Western-Pacific Region, released the following statement in reaction to Tuesday's meeting: "We believe Congress acted wisely in giving the FAA sole authority over civilian airspace throughout the United States. It would cause tremendous disruption -- even chaos -- to air traffic operations nationwide if every local community were allowed to arbitrarily decide which aircraft could and could not land at local airports." EAA's Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, gave the proposal little chance of succeeding. More...

 
Aircraft Spruce — Your Holiday Buying Source
In Aircraft Spruce's Pilot Supplies web site section are gift selections sorted by price and product type to help with your holiday purchases. View in dollar increments for gifts from $30 to $500. View based on product type for a wide selection, including desk pen sets, headsets, clocks, mugs, apparel, games, key chains, and much more. Gift-wrapping service is available for only $4.50. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online.
 
High-Concept High-Techback to top 
 

HARASSED BY HURRICANES? SEND IN THE F-4S
A researcher at the University of Akron in Ohio says he may have found a way to suppress potentially damaging hurricanes -- send in a couple of F-4 fighter jets to fly supersonic loops around its eye while it's still at sea, and the resulting sonic booms will break it apart. A patent application filed by Prof. Arkadii Leonov and his colleagues states that "two F-4 jet fighters flying at approximately Mach 1.5 are sufficient, [in theory], to suppress, mitigate and/or destroy a typical-sized hurricane or typhoon." The airplanes must follow a specifically designed trajectory, so as their wake propagates downward it both counteracts the hurricane's rotation and increases the air pressure near the eye of the storm. "This creates high-level local disturbances that can eliminate, reduce and/or mitigate a major rotational aspect of a hurricane/typhoon, thereby disrupting and/or eliminating the functioning of such a weather feature," says the patent application. One scenario shows the two aircraft flying an elliptical track about 200 miles long, intercepting the eye of the storm and spiraling down into it until fairly close to the ocean surface. The sonic booms have the potential to be very efficient at this task, and the flight would not cause any harm to the jets or pilots, the application says. More...

TIRED A380 PILOTS COMPLAIN THAT AIRLINER IS TOO QUIET
Pilots who are trying to catch some sleep between shifts on the Emirates Airbus A380 have complained that noise from the cabin keeps waking them up, because the airplane itself is so quiet they can hear all the crying babies and flushing toilets. "We're getting a lot of complaints. It's not something we expected," Emirates spokesman Ed Davidson told Flight International. "On our other aircraft, the engines drown out the cabin noise. [On the A380] the pilots sleep with earplugs but the cabin noise goes straight through them." The problem is most noticeable on the Emirates A380s because they chose to put the crew-rest area at the back of the main cabin, while Singapore Airlines and Qantas have placed it right behind the cockpit. Extra insulation is not a solution because it would add extra weight, Davidson said. The airline may experiment with lightweight noise generators that would create ambient sound to mask the cabin noise, according to Flight International. More...

 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 
 

AUTO COMPANIES SELLING OFF FLIGHT DEPARTMENTS
On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company said it will sell all five of its corporate jets, and General Motors said it will sell off the leases on its fleet. "We don't use them that much anyway," GM spokesman Mike Meyerand told ABCNews. "It saves us a lot of money to get out of this business." The companies also are hoping the move will regain some of the PR ground lost when they flew via private jet to Washington last month, hats in hand, looking for government bailouts. Executives at Ford and GM also said that when they appear before Congress this week, they will make the 500-mile trip from Detroit by car. More...

EUROPEAN SUPERSONIC BIZJET TESTS ADVANCE
An effort to develop an environmentally acceptable supersonic business jet by a group led by Dassault continued last week. Russia Info Center says a model of the HISAC Environmentally Friendly High Speed Aircraft is undergoing testing at Russia's Central Institute of Aerohydronyamics. Engineers are looking at the aerodynamics and potential sonic boom signature of the eight-to-16-seat aircraft, which, in its test stage, sports a canard that make it look like a sleeker, smaller version of the XB-70 supersonic bomber of 45 years ago. More...

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/. More...

 
Precise Flight: Hidden in Plain Sight
With design capabilities as varied as the number of aircraft models available, it's easy to find at least one device manufactured by Precise Flight in the cabin, cockpit, or body of any aircraft on the market. In fact, integration is a key characteristic of Precise Flight's operating code. Learn more online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

A LITTLE GOOD NEWS - VENDOR SALES UP, BUILD-A-PLANE AUCTION
Amid all the economic doom and gloom, we're glad to serve you a helping of upbeat positive news. First, Aircraft Spruce said this week that its sales at last month's AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif., were its best ever in 20 years at the show, with a dramatic increase over 2007. "We were very pleased with the attendance at Expo and the enthusiasm and optimism we saw among general aviation pilots," said Aircraft Spruce President Jim Irwin. "Sales were brisk across all product lines at the show, and were especially strong among the latest portables, such as the Garmin GPSMAP 696 and the Honeywell AV8R GPS." The latest Garmin gizmo has pilots excited, you can check it out in detail via our recent AVweb video. Also, more positive news this week from Build A Plane, the folks who collect ragged old airplanes and unfinished projects and give them a new mission teaching school kids about aviation. They have just launched this year's fundraising auction on eBay. Items up for bid include stick time in an Eclipse 500 jet, Patty Wagstaff's flight suit, a ride in a B-25 bomber, a Honeywell AV8TOR MFD and even a 1949 classic Model A35 Beechcraft Bonanza. More...

ON THE FLY ...
XCOR Aerospace is now selling tickets for flights into space, for $95,000 each...
Pilots CarolAnn Garratt and Carol Foy launched their world flight record attempt on Tuesday...
NBAA launched a redesigned Web site on Tuesday, with a new look and enhanced navigation...
Teachers in Space has extended its deadline till Dec. 4. More...

 
Business Executives! Mark Your Calendars for February 3 & 4, 2009 in London, England
Active Communications' Efficiency in Aviation forum will provide a unique platform for senior aviation executives to discover, consider and discuss innovative management, operational and technical strategies to achieve greater cost and fuel efficiency. AVweb is a media partner for this forum. As an AVweb subscriber, sign up by December 12, 2008 and receive a special 15% discount. Call Melanie Mulazzi at +44 (20) 7981-2504, or click here to contact her via e-mail.

Details online.
 
New on AVwebback to top 
 

ACROSS THE POND #23: REPORT FROM EUROPE
Our European correspondent Liz Moscrop says hello to the Skycar, goodbye to Tempelhof and good luck to Prince Harry. More...

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG: REASONS TO LOVE A PARADE
We talk about GA outreach as much as anyone (maybe more), but this Thanksgiving, AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli put his money where his mouth is by parading up and down the street dressed as — well, check out the AVweb Insider blog for the photo. More...

 
Win a Garmin GPSMap® 696! Complete a Survey by December 10th
We want to collect the views and opinions of aircraft owners and potential owners in purchasing new aircraft over the next 3-5 years. This is your opportunity to influence how the General Aviation industry should develop in the future. Click here for an opportunity to win!
 
Reader Voicesback to top 
 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: IS SHEDDING FLIGHT DEPARTMENTS THE RIGHT MOVE FOR FORD, GM?
Two of the Big Three automakers are now selling off their flight departments in response to the Capitol Hill P.R. disaster the auto industry suffered when CEOs arrived for potential bailout hearings aboard private bizjets. Do you think Ford and GM should have sold off their business jet fleets?

Plus: Last week, we asked what should happen to Eclipse; click through to read see what AVweb readers had to say on the subject. More...

 
Cut the Cost of Aircraft Ownership by At Least 50% — Or More!
With most pilots flying under 75 hours out of 8,766 yearly hours, co-ownership is the smart-money way to own. The Aircraft Partnership Association helps find co-owners for any type of aircraft, anywhere, for any reason: to purchase, to add to an existing co-ownership, or to form any kind of co-ownership—partnership — cooperative, fractional, or club. Individual memberships are at no-cost! For more information, call (972) 334-0403, or visit online.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: AVIDYNE ENTEGRA INTEGRATED FLIGHT DECK (RELEASE 9)
Avidyne has upgraded its Entegra Flight Deck. Join us as we have a look, courtesy of Paul Bertorelli and Glenn Pew. (Click through to watch.) More...

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: HONEST, THAT ONE-WINGED LANDING VIDEO REALLY IS A HOAX
On Oct. 29, Ric Lee sent us an amazing, actually unbelievable, video of an aerobatic airplane losing a wing in flight and landing successfully. We were initially amazed, then became skeptical, and finally, in our AVweb Insider blog, explained some of the reasons this dramatic video could be nothing more than an (ultimately very successful) attempt to create a viral video that flashes the name of a skateboarder clothing line in front of millions of viewers. Trouble is, people by the dozens keep sending us the video and urging us to present it on our site. Our video editor, Glenn Pew, spent some time illuminating the glaring shortcomings of this admittedly clever hoax and put them together in a single video. We should have thought of this a month ago ... . (Click through to watch.) More...

 
Diamond Aircraft Raffle:
Great Gift Idea for the Pilot Who Has Everything!

Win a Diamond Star DA40 XLS! Only 5,000 tickets will be sold to benefit Wings of Dreams, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Help Wings of Dreams complete their aviation museum and warbird restoration facilities at Keystone Heights Airport, Florida (42J). Target drawing date (if 5,000 tickets are sold) is February 22, 2009. Void where prohibited.

For more information, visit WingsOfDreams.org.
 
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. What have you heard? More...

GOT A MOMENT? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD WITH AVIATION CONSUMER'S MAINTENANCE SURVEY
Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants your opinion on aircraft maintenance. If you'd like to participate, click here to complete a short, confidential survey.

(The results will be used in an upcoming Aviation Consumer article on managing your maintenance. For subscription information, click here.) More...

 
Tired of High Fuel Costs? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call GAMI at (888) FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: JOHN H. BATTEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KRAC, RACINE, WI)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at John H. Batten International Airport (KRAC) in Racine, Wisconsin.

We've heard quite a few nice things about Batten Airport recently, but one of the earliest comments came from AVweb reader A. M. Radel, who wrote:

The fantastic service that I experienced at KRAC should be used as a benchmark for every FBO across the U.S. The professionalism and low fuel prices made me a believer that there is still pride and personal care in aviation companies. Don't be foolish and overlook this FBO if [you are] able [to visit them]!

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!

More...

 
Virtual Flying in Some of the World's Great Airplanes
Classic Cockpits is a series of high-quality DVDs that put you into the pilot's seat of some of the world's great airplanes. Be there for engine start, checklists, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and more. Titles currently available are: Flying the Legendary DC-3, Flying the PBY Catalina, and Flying the de Havilland Vampire. Makes the perfect holiday gift!

Click on the individual titles for complete descriptions, and click here to order all DVDs online.
 
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
 

PICTURE OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
Greg Soaper of Fullerton, California has submitted some awesome pics over the last couple of months, and we couldn't have been happier to see his name on this week's top photo. If you submit a photo and don't see it here in the weekly "POTW" round-up, don't be discouraged! We get more pics each week than we could possibly run here or in our home page slideshow — and some of our favorite submitters are people whose names keep cropping up, week after week and month after month, without ever getting to shine in the spotlight. If that sounds like a good description of you, at least take a little consolation in the fact that you've brightened up our week — especially the 3 a.m. parts where nothing seems to be going right, and our only recourse is to roll up our sleeves, grit our teeth, look at a few reader photos, and dive back in. In other words, we were remiss when we didn't say it last week: Thanks for the photos. Your pics are still our favorite bit of putting together AVweb. (So please keeping sending them!) More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

More...