AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 15c

April 14, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Top News: No, It's Not an Epic — Not Quite back to top 
 

Kestrel Debuts At Sun 'n Fun

A British company is hoping to take the best from its brief association with Epic Aircraft and deliver a certified single-engine turboprop that they claim has more range, speed and payload than other aircraft in its class. Farnborough Aircraft contracted with Epic to do the aerodynamic work on the Epic LT but the two companies parted ways in 2005. While Epic went on to develop the kit-built LT, Farnborough, after some legal entanglements were resolved, created the Kestrel, which is 27 percent larger than the LT and headed for the certified market. "We have no interest in the kit-built market," CEO Adrian Norris said. He also said it's possible that Liberty Aircraft will build the aircraft in Florida.

Norris said the Kestrel is build from the same type of carbon fiber as the Liberty XL two-place aircraft and the two companies have formed a good working relationship. The company is privately funded and is expected to announce more financing in the coming year with an eye to getting the certification process under way. There's no set target for certification but Norris said it will take about three years after the financing is in place.

Kestrel Turboprop

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

On the show line at Sun 'n Fun is a largish single-engine turboprop that looks like an Epic — but it isn't. It's the Kestrel turboprop. Here's AVweb's report on this intriguing aircraft.


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Latest King Air Is Loaded for Bear back to top 
 

King Air 350i Debuts At Sun 'n Fun

New at Sun 'n Fun this year is Hawker Beechcraft's latest iteration of the King Air, which has been in production in various forms since the 1960s. The 350i has no substantial upgrades in engines or avionics over the last version, but the cabin has had a total makeover that brings it up-to-the-moment for the digital age. Slick controller devices mounted into the armrests control the cabin environment, from dimming the LED lights to darkening the windows to operating an iPod dock or a high-definition video monitor. Plenty of USB ports and electrical plugs make it easy for passengers to bring their work on board, with fold-out tables for everyone. Eight roomy seats in double-club formation are easy to reposition or remove for a variety of missions.

The $6.6 million 350i was recently certified by both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency. Deliveries started last December. The twin turboprop is powered by two PT6A-60A engines by Pratt & Whitney Canada. It has a range of up to 947 nautical miles with full payload.

King Air 350i Cabin Tour

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

Hawker Beechcraft's King Air has been in continuous production longer than any other turboprop in history. The latest variant, the 350i, emphasizes cabin amenities, and this detailed video from AVweb tells the complete story.


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FAA Safety Team: Stand Down for Safety back to top 
 

FAA Safety Stand Down Set For Saturday

Event Search
Aviation safety seminars and events sponsored by the FAA Safety Team
© Courtesy of Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation, Inc.

Pilots around the country are invited to participate in a Safety Stand Down organized the FAA Safety Team this Saturday, April 17. A special Stand Down event will be held at Sun 'n Fun, in the FAA building, with a daylong schedule of events, including a talk by popular aviation educator Rod Machado. "Pilots around the country, in every state, will find an event going on nearby this Saturday," said Randy Prine, FAA FAASTeam Program Manager. "Most of them will have a pancake breakfast or other social event, with about four hours of safety seminar." The event will focus on four areas that have been identified as factors in a majority of general aviation accidents: owner-performed maintenance, approach and landing, surface deviations, and risk management.

Pilots can find an event scheduled nearby via the newly redesigned FAA Safety Web site — or use the FAASTeam event finder embedded to the right in this very story. (Hint: Enter the ZIP Code for Lakeland, Fla. — 33811 — to pull up a list of FAA seminars at Sun 'n Fun this week!) This handy widget is always accessible on the AVweb home page; just scroll down about halfway down the page and find it in our Pilot Resources section.

Pilots can also take free online courses at the new Web site, which is a popular feature, Prine said. The courses can help fulfill requirements to qualify for recognition under the FAA's Wings safety program.

 
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Five Charities, $50,000 back to top 
 

Lightspeed Reaches Out to Non-Profits

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Lightspeed Aviation is inviting customers and all pilots to help promote worthy aviation-related causes through its Lightspeed Aviation Foundation charitable program. Lightspeed has selected 20 non-profit aviation charities to be potential beneficiaries of a unique online charity drive. At a news conference at Sun 'n Fun 2010, Lightspeed CEO Allan Schraeder said the purpose of the drive is to promote aviation, draw more people into it and make it better for the planet. The company is putting up a minimum of $50,000 to support at least five non-profits accomplishing those goals tub there's an important interactive aspect.

Lightspeed has selected 20 organizations it thinks meets those goals and is asking any pilot to vote for the group it thinks is most worthy. The top five selections will each receive at least $10,000 each. Those who buy Lightspeed products in the next year can augment those totals or ensure the 15 groups not selected get something. Purchasers of a Zulu can direct $50 to the charity of their choice while those who buy a Sierra or Mach 1 will send $25.

 
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Come see us at Sun 'n Fun Booth D-16 or click here to learn about the rebate online.
 
Latest and Greatest Come to Flight Design, Piper back to top 
 

Flight Design Details New Model Features

At their Sun 'n Fun news conference on Tuesday, Flight Design revealed more details about their upcoming new model, the CTHL. The aircraft was developed in Europe mainly to meet the needs of glider towing. It will be equipped with a turbocharged 115 HP Rotax 914, a 12 percent larger wing for added lift, a larger stabilator, and a full-aircraft parachute as standard equipment. The model will cost an extra $14,000 over the standard CTLS. "We think a great use for this airplane in the U.S. would be as a floatplane," said Flight Design USA CEO Tom Peghiny. So the aircraft will also accommodate optional Clamar amphibious floats. The new model should be available later this year.

Also talking in the press tent was Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design in Europe. He said the company has now received both type certification and a production certificate from China, which will allow the company to make sales there, though the airplanes will continue to be built in the Ukraine. "The CTLS LSA is now the first and presently the only LSA aircraft that is certified and allowed to be operated in China in this new class," Betsch said. India, Australia, and many other countries have great potential for GA to grow, he said. "I think a quite good market is coming up," he said. Additionally, new rules to certify sport pilots are expected to be enacted in Europe sometime this year, which Betsch also saw as a positive development for LSA manufacturers. Peghiny also added that the company is continuing its research on a hybrid powerplant and hopes to fly it for the first time sometime this year.

Piper To Expand Production, Offer Synthetic Vision

Piper CEO Kevin Gould said at Sun 'n Fun on Tuesday he's "encouraged" by the current economy, and his company will expand production by more than 75 percent this year, compared to 2009. Gould wouldn't hazard a guess, however, how long it might take to return to 2008 levels. Since production in 2009 declined by about two-thirds compared to 2008, even a 75-percent improvement shows there is a still a long way to go. Nonetheless, Gould and other Piper execs were upbeat, noting that the company's owner, Imprimis, is "in it for the long haul." Piper also announced that Forward Vision Systems' EVS-100 and DVS-600 Enhanced Vision Systems are now available for installation in the Malibu, Matrix and Mirage models.

The company also plans to offer a system for the Meridian as soon as it is available to work with the Meridian's higher performance envelope (up to 30,000 feet). Gould said Piper has hired 60 engineers to work on the PiperJet project, and they recently completed the Preliminary Design Review, which showed that the design is on track to meet its performance goals. Soon the crews will start to build the first conforming production prototype.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Aircraft Sales — Is There a Better Way?

Wayne Fischer of Mooney is wondering about that. At Sun 'n Fun, Paul Bertorelli spoke to Fischer, who mentioned that the current downturn might reset the thinking on business plans for general aviation manufacturers. Maybe lower volume based on sales driving production is the better way to go.

Read about Wayne Fischer's ideas and Paul's reactions on the AVweb Insider blog — then share your own comments.

 
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Lightspeed Aviation || Change Your Mind
Come by Lightspeed's Booth Today and Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Charity
The five that have the most votes will each receive no less than $10,000 from the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. Every pilot can vote at the show or online. Also, find out about Lightspeed's hot Sun 'n Fun Zulu special running April 13-18 at the show. Can't make the show? The special's also available through any Lightspeed dealer nationwide. Learn more at LightspeedAviation.com.
 
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Embraer Update

File Size 3.0 MB / Running Time 3:19

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Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

AVweb's Russ Niles speaks with Embraer's Clint Clouatre about the company's light jet programs and the current market.

This podcast is brought to you by Conoco-Phillips and Bose Corporation

Click here to listen. (3.0 MB, 3:19)

Thomas Norton of Norton Aviation

File Size 5.3 MB / Running Time 5:45

WX WX Satellite Weather || Vital as Vision Lightspeed Aviation || Change Your Mind

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Norton Aviation, based in Sarasota, Fla., offers personalized training for pilots transitioning into light jets like the Eclipse, Mustang, or Phenom. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli caught up with Thomas J. Norton at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland for some insight into the challenges and rewards of learning to fly a single-pilot jet.

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

Click here to listen. (5.3 MB, 5:45)

 
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Dick Jackson's Fabulous S39

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

Before he built helicopters, Igor Sikorsky designed and built well-regarded fixed-wing aircraft, including Dick Jackson's fabulously restored S-39 amphib. Jackson brought his S-39 to Sun 'n Fun 2010, and AVweb took a tour.


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This video is brought to you by Bose Corporation and Conoco-Phillips.

Spot's New Messenger Model

WX WX Satellite Weather || Vital as Vision Lightspeed Aviation || Change Your Mind

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

As 121.5 MHz ELTs are being phased out, aircraft owners are looking for alternatives. One of these is the Spot satellite messenger device. It's not technically an emergency beacon, but it can provide similar functions. At Sun 'n Fun 2010, the company showed us its new model.


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

 
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WX WX Satellite Weather || Vital as Vision
As Vital As Vision
Never fly blind again when you sign up today for one of XM WX Satellite Weather's Aviator LT, Aviator, or Aviator Pro data packages. Enhance your situational awareness with products like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more when you make XM WX a permanent part of your cockpit today. Come see the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather at booth C-024 during Sun 'n Fun 2010 or visit us online at XMWxWeather.com/aviation.
 
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 
 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win Scheyden Frames and Flight Gear

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win Scheyden Dual RX frames and Flight Crew Ensemble flight gear as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time April 30, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.


Congratulations to Jack Feiden of Wichita, Kansas, who won an XM WX Satellite Weather Receiver from WxWorx in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from WxWorx)

 
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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.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

 
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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.

 
BOOTHS AT
Where to Find Our Sponsors at Sun 'n Fun 2010

B-004-B-009Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
C-053AirFleet Capital
SNF-008AOPA Air Safety Foundation
D-016-017Aspen Avionics
C-055-056Avemco Insurance
C-071-072, N-026Avidyne
C-092-095Bendix/King by Honeywell
A-076Big South Fork Airpark
C-040-042Bosch/Telex
SNF-009Bose Corporation
SNF-001-002, SNF-004-005Cessna Aircraft
N-083, N-088Conoco-Phillips
MD-023B, MD-024CDiamond Aircraft
E-021-024Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
B-036-037FlightPrep
A-065General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI)
C-034Kitplanes
MD-009ALancair
D-051-053Lightspeed Aviation
D-039-042Lycoming Engines
MD-007BMooney Airplane Company
MD-017BPilatus
MD-014B, MD-018C, MD-019BPiper Aircraft
MD-027CRemos Aircraft
A-001-003Trade-A-Plane
C-065-067Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM)
C-024-026, N-036WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather