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Volume 9, Number 43bOctober 23, 2003

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

Actions speak louder than rumors and if there was any question Sino Swearingen would survive the tragic loss of its chief test pilot and an aircraft, the company appears to have answered it with an even more determined development effort. The San Antonio, Texas, firm announced this week that a replacement SJ30-2 test aircraft for the one lost last April 26 had its maiden flight Oct. 17. The April 26 crash, during high-speed flutter testing, killed pilot Carroll Beeler. The NTSB hasn't ruled on a probable cause, although the preliminary report says the pilot was unable to correct an uncommanded roll to the right during flutter testing. The new plane will resume the aerodynamics, stability/controls and performance flight-test program that was being carried out at the time of the crash. Another conforming model is undergoing systems and engine testing and a third example will be added in a few months for autopilot, interior and function/reliability testing More...

As Sino Swearingen launched a new test aircraft, Eclipse Aviation announced it was retiring its first test aircraft, which has told them all it can about the low- and medium-speed handling of the Eclipse 500. The test plane flew a total of 54 hours in 55 flights using a pair of Continental target drone engines for power. Eclipse is awaiting development of the Pratt and Whitney Canada PW610F engines that will ultimately (certification is targeted for early 2006) provide the ponies for the 500 but, in the meantime, decided to test various aerodynamic and handling qualities. There weren't any major surprises in the program and no significant redesigns are forthcoming. "This airplane has not only enabled our engineers to validate all of the aerodynamic data that was predicted in the wind tunnel, but has also given us the valuable information we need to start building our certification and production aircraft," said CEO Vern Raburn. More...

Perhaps the most unconventional of the so-called personal jets hasn't left the drawing board yet but those attending the National Business Aircraft Association convention earlier this month got to "fly" Aviation Technology Group's Javelin. The two-seat twinjet looks (and may perform) more like a fighter than a bizjet but its proponents claim there's no better way to get from your breakfast meeting to a lunch appointment hundreds of miles away. ATG unveiled the Javelin's flight simulator to give potential owners a glimpse of what the airplane might be like to fly. "Typically this level of engineering simulator use occurs after actual flight tests are underway," said CEO George Bye. For those who prefer the looks of the F-5 -- and an aircraft that has flown and is currently available in kit form -- there's always the ViperJet. More...

LIGHTSPEED HEADSETS ARE FIRST TO: Give you over 30 hours of battery life on just two AA batteries; Give you intelligent auto shut-off; Integrate a music/cell phone jack conveniently located on the control box; and Offer customers a trade-UP program so they can always keep current with the best LightSPEED products and accessories. Thousands already know what headsets are first...LightSPEED. Hear the difference at AOPA Expo Booth #226, or find all LightSPEED models at

Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) says the work it's doing on emergency parachutes for light jets could one day put a canopy over some airliners. Vice President Dan Johnson said BRS, best known for the chute it developed for Cirrus, has a NASA contract to develop a system that would handle the much higher speeds and loads on aircraft like Cessna's new Mustang or the Eclipse 500. Neither of those companies is currently interested in putting parachutes on their planes but Johnson said NASA really wants the concept developed as part of its Highway in the Sky scenario. He said several companies, which he can't disclose, are taking part in the project. The biggest technological challenge in developing parachutes for jets is the comparatively high speeds at which they can operate. More...

Johnson said there's nothing new about huge parachutes being used for big, heavy things like airliners. The space shuttle's solid rocket boosters weigh more than a Boeing 737 and are recovered with parachutes. Tanks and other military hardware are also dropped safely. Johnson said applying the bizjet technology to airliners is a logical next step for the company. "We find that to be a technically doable thing," he said. However, marketability is the other side of the equation and flying in an airliner with a parachute is bound to cost more. Johnson said there may be enough nervous flyers out there to provide a market for a service that has an easily identifiable (if not quantifiable) safety edge at a slightly higher cost. More...

PILOTS! MARV GOLDEN IS YOUR ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR PILOT SUPPLIES From Apparel to Headsets to Watches find everything you need at Marv Golden Pilot Supplies. OCTOBER SPECIALS: Receive a cigarette lighter adapter at no cost with any Icom IC-A5 or A-23; reduced price on LightSPEED Twenty 3G headsets; and, NEW Pulsar Tech Gear Flight watches from Seiko at discounted prices. For these any much more go to

New hopes have sprung that the graves of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, may next spring be confirmed "found," ending a 66-year-old mystery. Earhart and Noonan went missing in 1937 on a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland for a fuel stop in what was to be the last leg of a round-the-world flight. The (latest) key to the mystery might be in the wartime memories of an 81-year-old war veteran from Alabama. Saint John Naftel was with the 2nd Marine Division on Tinian in 1944 when a man who claimed to have participated in the burial of the flyers pointed out to him the burial site on the island of Tinian. More...

For the first time, Boeing may launch a new aircraft design with a non-U.S. carrier. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways may be the first to fly the 7E7 Dreamliner. In the past, Boeing has always worked closely with a U.S. airline in development of an airliner but cash-strapped airlines don't have the need or interest to get involved with the massive project now. According to the Journal, that sent Boeing looking offshore for potential launch customers and "serious" talks have been held with the Japanese carriers. Boeing has been coy about the future of the Dreamliner project but the Journal said the Japanese dialogue "is the most concrete sign yet of just how determined Boeing is to build the new model." As one project comes to life, the end of the line is coming for another familiar Boeing. More...

An Israeli company has come up with a fully automatic missile detection and decoy system for airliners that fits into three shoe-sized boxes. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) unveiled the Flight Guard system to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Airlines and governments have been investigating anti-missile systems for airliners since an Israeli airliner came under an unsuccessful attack last year. The IAI system is fully automatic and uses flares to decoy heat-seeking missiles. An array of antennae distributed throughout the aircraft detect incoming missiles. More...

DIAMOND ENGINEERS REDESIGN DA40 PANEL TO OPTIMIZE FORM AND FUNCTION Diamond's DA40 is the platform for the first certified installation of Garmin's new integrated glass panel. The G1000 offers better situational awareness by rolling the functions of conventional panel-mounted instruments into two 10-inch sunlight-readable displays, including digital audio, a WAAS-capable IFR GPS, VHF navigation with ILS and VHF communication, 8.33-kHz-channel spacing, Mode S, solid-state attitude and heading, a digital air data computer and optional weather and terrain data all hooked up to a Bendix/King KAP two-axis autopilot. The jet-style, laser-etched polycarbonate overlay adds the final high-tech touch. For more information on the DA40, and Diamond Aircraft's other innovative aircraft designs, stop by AOPA Expo Booth #156, or go online at

Carol Ann Garratt is back home in Florida, wiser and poorer, after a 41,000-mile flight around the world in her Mooney M20. Garratt took off from Kissimmee in early February with two goals in mind: to raise money for research into Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS) and to fly her father to a family reunion in New Zealand. She doubted the wisdom of the adventure while flying through a tropical storm near Samoa but most of the trip was relatively uneventful, she said. Garratt flew west on the trip. Most round-the-world flyers go east to take advantage of prevailing winds. She raised $12,000 for ALS but estimates the trip cost her $25,000. More...

What its supporters say is the oldest continuously operating military air base in the world could become condos and cul-de-sacs soon. Point Cook Airfield, in Melbourne, Australia, was where the Royal Australian Air Force was born in 1913 and it operated as a training base until 1992. An earlier attempt by the Australian government to sell it off as surplus real estate was blocked by public outrage, but that didn't discourage the cash-hungry bureaucrats. A new plan is on the table that would retain a small portion of the airport as a heritage site but sell off the majority of the prime real estate. Aviation fans down under are having none of it. More...

The FAA is calling on the country's best and brightest to cut noise and pollution around airports. Administrator Marion Blakey announced that seven U.S. universities will conduct research into all aspects of the broad-ranging topics with the goal of a cleaner and quieter environment at airports. They're part of the FAA's new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Aircraft Noise and Aviation Emissions. There are also 18 companies and other institutions taking part in the research. Purdue University, in Indiana, will tackle some of the most vexing questions to plague airport planners. More...

IF YOU TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR AIRCRAFT'S APPEARANCE AEROSHELL CAN HELP AeroShell, the name you trust for lubricants, introduces a line of aircraft polish and cleaners designed specifically for general aviation aircraft. AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased in a convenient leak-proof kit bag designed for any carrying and storage. The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket polish and cleaners along with applicator pad and cleaning cloths. Shine and protect your aircraft with AeroShell Flight Jacket products. Go by AOPA Expo Booth #520, or order online at

The Cessna Twins Spar Corporation will address Cessna 400-series ADs...
Express Aircraft Company LLC has been sold after the death of its president Larry Olson...
Aircraft Manufacturing and Development is offering start-up dealerships for its Alarus aircraft...
Hundreds of pieces of Concorde memorabilia are in an online auction that begins in early November...
Construction workers found 26 World War II bombs at Palembang, S. Sumatra's airport...
Five young women have become the first to be accepted into pilot training in China. More...

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


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Ground Effect
Wingtip vortices have caused lots of problems for aircraft, but there is another side to them. AVweb's Linda Pendleton explains how wingtip vortices affect your own plane.

Some Great, Cheap Electronics for Pilots
Long GA flights require special planning and, sometimes, special equipment. During a recent transcontinental trip, Mike Busch had the opportunity to fly with some new electronic gadgets -- each priced well under $1,000 -- and found them too terrific not to share. More...

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

We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Bob Eeuwes, of Markham, Ontario. His picture captured the last visit on the Concorde to Toronto. This winning photo seems fitting as we celebrate the last flight of the supersonic airliner this week. While not economically viable, the Concorde changed air travel forever. Great picture, Bob! Your AVweb hat is on the way.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to More...

We received over 200 responses to our question last week on unusual attitudes training. Over half (54 percent of those responding said they had received unusual attitudes training as part of their primary flight-training curriculum. Fourteen percent indicated they have participated in specialized course, while 18 percent have not but would like to do so. Only three percent said they had no interest in this type of training.

To check out the complete results go to
This week we would like to know your thoughts on the Concorde. More...

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"WHEN PROCEDURES COUNT" MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE! MORE IN NOVEMBER'S IFR REFRESHER: "So You Want to Fly Fast?, new training responsibilities when moving up"; "Pitfalls of An Easy IFR, small problems may mature into real problems"; "You Have to See to Avoid, with Mode-S Terminal Information System"; "Ten Steps to Proficiency"; and "In the Path of Isabel". Whether you fly IFR regularly or irregularly, IFR Refresher is a must-read. Subscribe at

GOING TO AOPA EXPO? GO BY & THANK THOSE WHO BRING YOU NO-COST AVFLASH! AVflash sponsors appreciate knowing you are a subscriber. Print out the sponsors list at

PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE GIVES AWAY POCKET FLASHLIGHT AND ISSUES at their AOPA Expo Booth #613. While the booth, enter to win a Flightcom Denali ANR headset in a prize drawing sponsored by Plane & Pilot and Pilot Journal. Or order both online at

TWO NEW PRODUCTS FROM SACRAMENTO SKYRANCH-THE GATS JAR AND REJEX The GATS JAR is the only fuel analysis tester to separate non-petroleum contaminants and thereby purifying water and debris from contaminated avgas and jet fuel allowing extracted fuel to be put back into the aircraft and not on the ground. REJEX is a thin-film polymer coating that reduces adhesion of bugs, oil, grime and more to any aircraft surface and lasts for months. See these and other fine products at

FLYING MAGAZINE'S NOVEMBER ISSUE TAKES A PHOTO LOOK OF THE OSHKOSH SHOW And reports on: Gulfstream's G200 super-midsize business jet; a cockpit redesign for the King Air 350 and 200 models; and Embry-Riddle's new training program for regional airline pilots; plus all the Flying news, notes and opinions that makes Flying #1. Stop by and receive a copy of Flying magazine at AOPA Expo Booth #213, or order your subscription online at

COME BY AND SAY "HELLO" TO AVWEB AT AOPA EXPO AVweb personnel will be at Booth #502 during the AOPA Expo, October 29-November 1, in Philadelphia. 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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