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Volume 9, Number 40aSeptember 29, 2003

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

Airplanes may be engineering marvels and things of beauty to those who fly them -- but to some folks, they're noisy, they pollute the air, and even fewer want an airport in their backyard. Those are the harsh facts that the aviation industry had better face in the next few decades if it wants to survive, according to a report by the National Research Council (NRC) that was released last Tuesday. The report, sponsored by NASA and the FAA, said the demand for air travel is still expected to grow; in fact, the report projects it will double over the next 10 to 35 years. At the same time, the rate of technological change in aeronautics lags as it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve substantial technical advances to reduce noise and emissions. More...

The NRC report concludes that radical change is needed to meet the demands ahead. "Business as usual, in the form of continued, evolutionary improvements to existing technologies, aircraft, air traffic control systems and operational concepts, is unlikely to meet the needs for air transportation that will emerge over the next 25 to 50 years," said the report. The pace of technical progress needs to be boosted to keep up with consumer demands, or the industry will fail to achieve its potential. Among the technological needs cited by the report are a more advanced air traffic management system, sensors to detect wake vortices, synthetic vision and cockpit-warning enhancements, and better systems for enhancing the interaction of humans and machines. Not a bad Christmas list, really. More...

Taking one step toward the future, the FAA announced last week it has established (and will help finance) a "Center of Excellence" program based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to research ways to address noise and emissions issues. The FAA said those problems "may represent the single greatest challenge to the continued growth and prosperity of civil aerospace." The center will conduct basic research and engineering development and will develop prototype solutions, focusing first on noise. Other partners in the program include Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, and several other universities, plus a host of industry players, including Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter, and Sikorsky. More...

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The FAA last week issued a notice of concern about cracks that have been found in the vertical fin attachment brackets of some Cessna 150/152 series airplanes. The Airworthiness Concern Sheet (ACS) is distributed to type clubs and pilot groups for input as the FAA mulls whether the issue needs to be addressed by a proposed Airworthiness Directive. The ACS proposes to mandate inspections of these parts initially within 100 hours of time in service and every 1,000 hours of time in service thereafter, or as specified in the Cessna Service Bulletin that is now being written. The FAA says it has become aware that maintenance technicians are finding cracks in the vertical fin attachment bracket in Cessna 150/152 series airplanes. More...

The number of reports has risen from four in the 1970s to six in the 1980s to 12 in the 1990s, the FAA said. The number is already 12, so far, in the first few years of this decade. In addition, cracks in both the stabilizer spar and its reinforcement are being reported, the FAA said. If these cracks are allowed to go undetected, the vertical and/or horizontal tail assembly could possibly separate from the airplane, the FAA said. The Airworthiness Concern Process is a cooperative information-sharing initiative between the industry and the FAA intended to increase industry participation in the development of airworthiness issues before (or in lieu of) a proposed or final Airworthiness Directive for an aircraft. See AOPA's Web site to learn more about this program. More...

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The French engine-builder SMA received Supplementary Type Certificates this month from the French aviation agency, DGAC, that OK its Jet A-burning diesel SR305-230 piston engine for installation on the C-182 and the F182 (produced by French aircraft manufacturer Reims Aviation Industries). FAA validation is expected to follow shortly, according to SMA. A flight demonstration tour will begin by the end of October, with stops in the United Kingdom and across Europe, using a 182 owned by Aviation sans Frontieres, the first to be fitted with the engine. SMA says its engine will go 3,000 hours before overhaul, and is easy to maintain, reliable, user-friendly, and good for the environment. More...

The Angel Aircraft Corp., a little company based in Orange City, Iowa, last week received a Production Certificate from the FAA for its twin-engine, pusher-prop, STOL, eight-seat Model 44. "We have six aircraft in the production line now, and we have a demonstrator model flying," sales rep Jerry Waddell told AVweb on Saturday. The special introductory price, with a basic IFR package, he said, is set at $690,000. "The main use of this aircraft is to carry heavy loads, operating from short, unimproved strips," he added. The Angel twin will be on display in Orlando at the NBAA conference coming up October 7-9, Waddell said, and he hopes to find some buyers there for those airplanes now in production. More...

Pilots of long-haul flights into Sydney, Australia, last week were met with the news that not enough jet fuel was available to fill their aircraft. Fuel at the major port was rationed for several days, and at least 18 flights were diverted to other airports for fuel, adding hours to already-long intercontinental routes. The shortage was blamed on delayed shipments coinciding with lower-than-normal production from local refineries. Supplies were expected to return to normal over the weekend. "It is certainly a bit embarrassing," industry consultant Peter Harbison told Dow Jones Newswire. "You don't really expect to have this happening in a sophisticated commercial environment." More...

DICK KEYT DEPENDS ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE COMPETITIVE FLYING Dick Keyt can’t afford pain and discomfort when piloting his one-of-a-kind monoplane, the Polen Special. He counts on his custom designed seat cushion system and helmet upgrade from Oregon Aero to give him an additional edge in competitive flying. Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at

It's a long way from strapping a couple of nifty little rocket engines onto a Long-EZ and wowing the crowds at Oshkosh to developing new space technology for the U.S. military, but that's what the upstarts at XCOR are working on these days and what they have always intended to do (along with space-tourism development). The Mojave, Calif., company announced on Friday that it is making swift progress on a $750,000 project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a flight-configured prototype rocket engine propellant pump. It reached a milestone in the program, XCOR said, when it successfully operated the motor section that drives the pump to contract specifications. More...

It seemed a dubious dream from the start -- to assemble a fleet of vintage aircraft and fly them along a 4,000-mile route to re-create a chapter from the Golden Age of Aviation. But last Wednesday, the spunky airplanes of the National Air Tour buzzed out of the sky right on schedule, to land in Ypsilanti, Mich., where they had launched more than two weeks earlier. Along the way, dozens of pilots and crew shared their love of flying with thousands of curious onlookers, and together experienced an adventure to remember. "We have told the story behind the original National Air Tours to millions of people at the stops, over the Internet, and through the media," said Greg Herrick, president of the Aviation Foundation of America, the nonprofit group that organized the tour. More...

Every October, Albuquerque, N.M., hosts its biggest event of the year -- the International Balloon Fiesta, which this year almost lost its "international" element, thanks to a recent ruling by the FAA that would have grounded many foreign pilots. On Thursday, Fiesta officials said they had secured a waiver from the FAA from a regulation, issued earlier this month, that says foreign pilots must pass a flight review before being allowed to fly in U.S. airspace. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to certify all of the 40-some foreign pilots expected to participate in time for this year's Fiesta, which will be held October 4 - 12. More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT YOUR AIRCRAFT'S FUEL BILL BY 20 PERCENT! If you're tired of being grounded by sky-high gas prices, install GAMIjectors. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine at

Swallows delayed more than 100 flights at Beijing last week...
Results for the 2003 US National Aerobatic Championships are online...
Challenger fly-in celebrated the 20th year of Quad City Ultralights....
Tickets going fast for First Flight Centennial in N.C. Dec. 12-17...
Aircraft builder William Turner died last week in California at age 81. More...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Daniel Blythe, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to Rules and information are at


GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB? TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. Add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration go to

CEO of the Cockpit #24: Air TV
Picture it: An airliner dodging thunderheads, with the pilots jamming to rock music in their headphones. It's the opening sequence of a new TV sitcom about airline pilots. Think it can't happen -- that real pilots doing real flying isn't funny to the public? Neither does AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit.

The 2003 National Air Tour: A Travelog (Part 2)
The National Air Tour ended in Dearborn, Mich., last Wednesday, after an amazingly successful trip. AVweb's Brent Blue finishes his travelog (begun in Part 1) with more photos and more stories.


RYAN AND CAREERS IN AVIATION TEAM UP AT NBAA 2003, OCTOBER 7-9, ORLANDO Enter to win a ride in an L-39 Fighter Jet. Go Vertical compliments of Ryan International and Careers in Aviation! Sign up at NBAA Booth #3964. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Ryan International brings you the best in TCAD technology at

Approach : Heavy 123 : Hold straight and level!

Heavy 123: Holding straight and level.
At least, that's assuming my First Officer can hold straight & Level... More...

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WAS ICING THE CULPRIT IN THIS ACCIDENT SCENARIO? What caused a Cessna to "tip" 90 degrees to the left, with the right wing straight up in the air? The pilot had made a radio call that there was trouble and had been warned about the possibility of icing. But, was icing the culprit in this accident scenario which resulted in the loss of four lives? Details in the September issue of NTSB Reporter. Learn from others mistakes. Order your subscription today at

"THE SAFEST WAY TO CATCH A KILLER" ISN'T JUST CO GUARDIAN'S MOTTO It refers to deadly carbon monoxide. CO Guardian has models from portable units to panel-mount units with solid-state sensors and temperature sensors, EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference, are built in the USA, and FAA certified. Go online for the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft at

DON'T BE GROUNDED ONCE YOU FLY INTO AN AIRPORT, USE YOUR HANDYBIKE! Trans-Plata's folding 17-pound HANDYBike can relieve you from expensive rental cars and cabs. This German-engineered, all-aluminum, racing-inspired bike folds so small that one for each passenger can be carried in a Cessna 172. Details and ordering information on the HANDYBike, and other TransPlata products at

COME BY AND SAY "HELLO" TO AVWEB AT THE NBAA SHOW, ORLANDO, OCTOBER 7-9 AVweb personnel will be at Booth #935 during the NBAA Convention and Trade Show, Orlando Convention Center. And don't forget to tell friends and colleagues about no-cost AVweb/AVflash subscription. They can sign up online at

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