AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 17a

April 27, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums? — YES
The Return of Premium Term policy available through Pilot Insurance Center features fixed premiums and guarantees to return the total of all premiums at the end of the policy. No aviation exclusions. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
 
Top News: Ottawa Airport Suffers Heavy Wx Damage back to top 
 

Storm Damages 22 Aircraft In Ottawa

photos courtesy of
Rain Aviation Blog
Click for more photos

The front that's hammered the central part of the continent for the past couple of days took a particularly vicious toll on an airport in Ottawa, Canada. On the same night that members of Rockliffe Flying Club were celebrating their annual black-tie Wings Dinner on Saturday night, a destructive weather system ripped through the flight line only yards away on their airport grounds. As they left the dinner, they were greeted by a debris field of aircraft and parts mixed with uprooted trees, a smashed clubhouse, trashed storage boxes, and two inverted aircraft, each of which was left blocking access to the airport's taxiway. According to the Rockcliffe Flying Club Manager Simon Garrett, at least 22 aircraft were damaged by the severe storm, half of which appear to be probable write-offs.

"The destruction was unbelievable," said Garrett. "I wasn't sure how we'd get operational again." The spontaneous efforts of over 80 club members had the airport back in operation by noon on Sunday; however, the club's entire fleet has been grounded pending inspection of damages to their aircraft. Included in the list of aircraft casualties were five or six ultralights that were "torn apart" and tossed halfway along the airport's flight line from where they'd been parked and picketed. Damage to the club's fleet will also force cancellation of all instructional flights until inspections can be carried out. So far, weather specialists haven't determined exactly what hit the airfield, which traces its aviation roots as far back as WW1. A fast-moving cold front appears to have been the culprit in creating what's speculated to have been either a tornado, a squall line or a localized microburst.

Click here to view photos.

 
3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
New for 2009, Cirrus Aircraft shakes the lineup with a new way to spec out your new Cirrus. SR20, SR22, and Turbo models are now available in three well-equipped trim levels - "S," "GS," and "GTS"; Known Ice Protection is ready to go on SR22 and Turbo models; or choose an all-new premium interior and exterior upgrade package dubbed "X-Edition." Visit CirrusAircraft.com for details.
 
AVweb's CAFE Symposium Report back to top 
 
Editor's Note:
The 2009 CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium held at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, Calif. on April 24 covered the latest in motors, controllers, batteries, chargers, new designs, prototype performance, and the long-awaited announcement of the $1.63 million Aviation Green Prize. Sponsored by Foundation Capital, nearly 150 guests, speakers, academics and participants from all over the world met to make this the largest event of its kind, so far. Mike Francis attended the event on behalf of AVweb.

CAFE Foundation Electric Airplane Symposium: $1.63 Million Prize In Green Challenge

Individuals, companies, schools and virtually anyone else are invited to apply to take part in the CAFE Foundation's Aviation Green Prize Challenge. The grand prize is $1.63 million. The so-called "100 mpg race" will take place in northern California in July of 2011, giving participants the time they need to devise a flying machine that will meet the requirements of the race. The essence of the race, announced at the symposium, is to cover a 200-mile closed course at least 100 mph and 100 mpg at 4,000 feet without running out of fuel before taxiing across the finish line. There must be two people on board and the aircraft will have to meet safety standards.

Competitors must submit design proposals and 12 participants will be chosen to actually fly in the race. It will begin and end at Charles M. Schulz Airport in Sonoma County. There will be two races on successive days. There's a speed race and a fuel efficiency race, each covering 200 miles. The aircraft must achieve at least 100 mpg (200 seat miles per gallon) and average at least 100 mph in both races to qualify for the grand prize. The winner will have the highest aggregated score on the two races. If none of the teams meet the minimum requirements, a consolation prize of $153,000 will be awarded to the top-performing team.

Sailplanes Lead The Way

There was an undercurrent of consensus at the symposium that successful electric airplanes will be similar to sailplanes, at least in the short term. Indeed, there are successful self-launching sailplanes that use electricity, although small internal combustion engines are much more common in the self launchers. A live motor, propeller, and controller demonstration was provided by Greg Cole, chief designer of Windward Performance LLC, Manufacturers of the SparrowHawk self-launching sailplane.

Several members of the audience had to hang on to their chairs, tables, and plates during the demonstration and the motor was running at a fraction of its rated 15-Kw performance. The entire assembly is capable of retracting into the fuselage of the aircraft, for true sailplane operations. it is designed for two self launches up to 5000 feet before requiring a recharge.

Batteries Improve But Need To Improve More

Michael Dudley of the NASA Ames Research Center provided a presentation of electric aircraft power system requirements. He said NASA is actively investigating electric propulsion as a viable option for some aerial applications but it has a long way to go before it can match the energy storage efficiency of fossil fuels. The internal combustion engine has three times the energy density of even the most sophisticated battery-electric system currently available. He said that situation is unlikely to change in the short term because an "improvement factor" of 20 is required to make lithium ion battery systems even come close to conventional engines. Motor technology seems to be advancing more quickly.

Various speakers at the symposium described advances in motor power-to-weight ratios and there are some truly impressive developments. There are motors that are actually small and powerful enough to be housed with the propeller and Steve Neu has developed a motor four inches long and two inches in diameter capable of a peak output of 10 Kw or 13.4 horsepower. Vans aircraft is developing a hybrid system using a gasoline engine in combination with an electric motor.

 
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.
 
Sun 'n Fun Wrap-Up, Part 1 back to top 
 

Sun 'n Fun Wraps On An Up Note

"We came into this week not knowing what to expect," said John Burton, president of Sun 'n Fun, in a wrap session with reporters on Sunday. "And we're all relieved -- we made it through this week safely and successfully." The week got off to a bit of a slow start, he said, partly due to weather that delayed some flights, and partly due to cost-saving tactics by vendors. "Less than half of our exhibitors had checked in by last Sunday," he said, which was unusual. For a vendor, cutting their show time short by a day or two can be a substantial savings. Overall, this year's show hosted 500 exhibitors, down a bit from last year's record of 522, but pretty close to the usual number of 505 to 510. Reports about sales activity were mixed, but Burton said each vendor is surveyed as they leave the show and he expects to have those numbers soon.

"Visitors were down about 5 percent overall," he said, which he added was not surprising given the uncertain economy. One accident occurred, when a Sport Cruiser ran off the edge of the grass runway at Paradise City, but the passenger was unhurt and the pilot survived. Burton added that last year's appearance by the Thunderbirds may be repeated in 2010, with the Blue Angels to follow in 2011, but those plans are not yet confirmed. The weather at the site was "outstanding" all week long, and Saturday crowds were substantial, Burton said. A lot of eyes were on this show hoping to find some signs of how the economy is going, he said, and his feeling was that overall the show provided positive news that people were still coming to the show and still willing to spend.

Seawind Is Back In Business

The company that has been working for over 10 years to bring the Seawind amphibian to the certified market is back up and running, Seawind President Dick Silva said this week. "The Seawind people don't know how to give up," the company said in a news release. A year and a half after the only prototype was lost and the test pilot was killed in a crash, the company has reorganized and found new funding to re-hire staff and complete certification of the airplane.

Silva said a group of investors has joined with a number of customers to provide the funding needed to resume the project. "It will take us about three months to complete the second flight-test aircraft, which was about two-thirds finished when we ceased operations," Silva said. A thorough investigation found no in-flight failure or any other issue with the aircraft, the company said. Over 80 copies of the experimental version of the Seawind are flying.

Related Content:
AVweb's Russ Niles interviewed Silva about the company's status last summer.
Click here for the podcast.

 
Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
 
Sun 'n Fun Wrap-Up, Part 2 back to top 
 

Arion LSA Introduced At Sun 'n Fun

Among the new products introduced at this week's show is the Arion Aircraft Lightning LS-1, a sleek little S-LSA airplane derived from an earlier kit model. Pete Krotje and Nick Otterback, co-owners of the Tennessee company, said they first developed the airplane as a kit, and their goal was to build something fast and fun to fly, with great looks and snappy but docile handling qualities. They've delivered about 82 kits since 2006 and 42 are flying, so they decided to go ahead and develop an LSA version that they could sell ready to fly. The LSA model is about 20 knots slower than the kit version, to meet LSA standards, but otherwise is much the same. The base price is $93,900 and goes up to about $120,000 with all the options and a glass panel.

The LS-1 climb rates exceed 1200 fpm, and cruise performance is 120 knots at the normal 2850 rpm on the Jabiru 3300 engine, with fuel burn about 5 gph, according to the company. The company embarked on a rigorous testing program to find ways to slow down the Experimental Lightning to LSA standards. Extra wing area was added to bring wing loading and stall speeds into compliance with the applicable standards. Vacuum infusion, RTM molding techniques and other advanced composite techniques are utilized to create a sturdy airplane while keeping the weight down. Except for the Australian Jabiru engine, all components of the LS-1 are manufactured in the U.S., the company says.

Cubcrafters Premieres Beefy New Super Sport Cub LSA

CubCrafters announced a few weeks ago a new design, the Super Sport Cub, and this week the aviation public is getting a first look at the airplane, here at Sun 'n Fun. Front and center at the CubCrafters booth, the airplane is attracting plenty of attention. It is not yet officially LSA compliant -- CEO Jim Richmond said approval for the CC340 engine is still a few weeks away -- but he is confident the airplane will meet all the parameters required to be sold as an S-LSA. The airplane has "very impressive performance," he said, and is able to climb to 8,500 feet in about five minutes. The Cub burns 5 to 6 gallons per hour for a range of about four hours. He said CubCrafters worked closely with ECI to keep weight down in the new engine, and also worked with other experts and consultants to reduce weight in a range of components, to meet the LSA weight limits. The exhaust system, for example, weighs in at about six pounds, a goal that at first he was told wasn't possible. Even the paint scheme was designed to save weight, making a 12-pound difference, he said.

 
Sensenich Expands Its Revolutionary Line of Propellers for Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft
Lighter in weight, easier to navigate and less expensive to fly, Sensenich's composite props are also stronger than similar props. Their carbon construction allows the propeller's weight to aerodynamically optimize flight and minimize its susceptibility to harmonic vibration damage. Pitch-adjustable, their built-in stops ensure selection of the most efficient pitch. Click here.
 
Sun 'n Fun Wrap-Up, Part 3 back to top 
 

AirplanesDirect Aims To Be Aviation's Amazon

A new vendor at Sun 'n Fun this year is AirplanesDirect, an online company that is working to bring advanced Web tools like those used by Amazon and other online sales sites to the aviation marketplace. The site aims to provide buyers and sellers of aircraft with an interactive site that supports live chat, video uploads, photo galleries, and other features such as an acronym decoder that will help buyers who may not be sure what HSI or SOH means. "We're removing the communication barriers between buyers and sellers, taking advantage of the Internet to enable real-time interaction," said MP of marketing Joey Maxwell. This week, the company's team is not only showing the system to all comers, they are collecting input on a whiteboard from visitors who have suggestions what they would like to see on the site. Version 2.0 is already in the works, they said. The company is based in Asheville, N.C.

Cessna Offers New Options For Flight Training

The nationwide network of 275 Cessna Pilot Centers will work with a new AOPA program to help student pilots access financing for their flight training, Cessna announced this week. The program can help students access up to $25,000 in loans for training. "The AOPA program is a great opportunity for people who have always wanted to learn to fly, but felt the cost was a barrier," said Tom Aniello, Cessna VP of marketing. The company also is offering a new configuration of the Skyhawk for flight schools, replacing the rear seats with a single, forward-facing seat placed just behind and in the middle of the pilot and co-pilot seats. The new position makes it easier for a second student to ride along in back on training flights and get a better view of the flight deck, allowing the student to be more involved in the flight. The configuration change also adds 27 pounds to the useful load.

Cessna also said it is making plans to host a flight instructor safety stand-down May 30-31 in St. Louis, Mo. The company will preview the event during flight instructor forums this week at Sun 'n Fun. The 18-hour course will serve as a flight instructor refresher clinic and also a training event for new instructors. The course will focus on using new technology to enhance aviation safety.

 
AOPA's Aviation Summit
Don't miss the AOPA Aviation Summit, the premier annual aviation exposition — a completely new take on AOPA's annual gathering. Come to Tampa on November 5-7, 2009 to experience everything general aviation has to offer: hundreds of exhibits, aircraft on display, expanded training opportunities, and great social events! This event has something for everyone: aviation enthusiasts, student pilots, private pilots, and professional pilots. If you have a passion for flight, you won't want to miss it! Visit AOPA.org/summit for details.
 
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.

 
Jeppesen Pilot Training
Smart pilots never truly fly solo. For 75 years, pilots have taken their aviation partner along for the journey — Jeppesen. Pilots (and future pilots) look to us for the tools and training they need to fly safely and effectively. Throughout your career flight path, you can count on Jeppesen. Choose the learning tools best for you with our integrated system. Learn more at Jeppesen.com/pilottraining.
 
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Pilots N Paws at Sun 'n Fun

File Size 3.0 MB / Running Time 4:24

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Just over a year ago, John Wehrenberg joined with old friend Debi Boies to form a non-profit organization that helps volunteer pilots connect with animal shelters that need to transport pets to new homes. At Sun 'n Fun 2009, Wehrenberg told AVweb's Mary Grady how the organization got started and how it works.

Click here to listen. (3.0 MB, 4:24)

 
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and services for these general aviation aircraft. Go online for exhibitor and attendee details.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: Martin Jetpack Shows Improved Controllability

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

At last year's AirVenture, the Martin Jetpack was easily the most anticipated and hyped product. But the sort-of jetpack only sort of flew, with spotters keeping a close eye on it. Martin has shown the vehicle will fly without external assistance in this latest video, but as AVweb Video Editor Glenn Pew explains, the latest demonstration may not answer all those questions from Oshkosh.


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.

Want to see more shots of the Transition in flight?
You can view the raw video footage here.

 
Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Magnolia Aviation (Eaker Field, DUA, Durant, OK)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Magnolia Aviation at Eaker Field (DUA) in Durant, Oklahoma.

AVweb reader Laura Stephens, of Nolan Avionics, had plenty of great things to say about Magnolia:

The Airport manager is a very caring and sweet individual. He would do anything for you and doesn't mind going above and beyond the call of duty. Although Durant's terminal building is old ... Dwayne keeps it nice. His father and brother are the mechanics on the airport, so if you have any problems, they are always there to help. Also he helps out the local Avionics shop by allowing their overflow to be stored in the community hangar at no charge. If Nolan Avionics ever needs a plane moved, he jumps right on it. The airport is home to a local University flying program, and so the traffic is heavier than normal at a small airport, but he handles it with grace and professionalism.

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.
 
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 ***

Yes, it's the edition of "POTW" we promised before Sun 'n Fun — finally here at last! We had a bumper crop of submissions right before the show, so we've got five great shots here and more than a dozen more in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Be sure to check them out when you're done here.

medium | large

Used with permission of Mario Cardama

Christ

Mario Cardama of Rivadavia, Argentina kicks things off with a sublime image that could only come from one place in the world.

medium | large

Used with permission of Larry Gilbert

Saturday Fun

Larry Gilbert of Titusville, Florida gets the weekend started.

medium | large

Used with permission of Harrison Smith

Airplanes for Animals

Harrison Smith of Central, South Carolina brought a smile to our face with this photo.

medium | large

copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

"What Time Does the Air Show Start?"

Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin snapped this man at last year's AirVenture as he "takes a break under a million-dollar sun shade."

medium | large

Used with permission of Matthew Decker

Beached in the Cove

Matthew Decker of Grand Forks, North Dakota flies us hom with a little seaplane whimsy.


You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!

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.

 
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

I heard this blooper on Albuquerque Center frequency:

Airliner:
"Albuquerque, Big Bird One Two Three level at 280 and would like to continue climb."

Center:
"I show 280 as your requested altitude."

Airliner (without hesitation) :
"Me too. I'll have to ask my captain about that."

(The subject was dropped.)

Art Friedman
via e-mail

 
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

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West
Mariano Rosales

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.