Aircraft Spruce Annual East Coast Super Sale & Fly-In!
Aircraft Spruce East will be holding their Annual East Coast Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 8:00am to 4:00pm in Peachtree
City, Georgia. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of
your favorite vendors, and a complimentary shuttle will be offered to and from Falcon Field Airport. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or
Teledyne Continental says it's bullish on piston-engines that burn Jet A and today in the company's Mobile skunk works, it took the wraps off the project for a group of visiting journalists. It's a
230-HP four-cylinder, four-cycle design that's readily scalable to a six-cylinder version with up to 350-HP, a power range that will clearly match TCM's products on the gasoline side. Certification
of the four-banger is planned for 2011, according to TCM's Johnny Doo, with the six to follow as early as 2013.
Continental hinted at a diesel project and we expected an announcement last year at EAA AirVenture. Because it didn't happen, we assumed TCM had delayed or dropped the project, but it was in fact
exploring an innovative option: Rather than developing a clean sheet engine, it bought the diesel technology from a European company that has already certified it. Continental declined to name the
company, but there are only two choices and since our photos reveal an engine that looks suspiciously like the SMA SR305, we're gonna go with that choice.
But according to Doo, this isn't a co-branding or sales agreement, but a licensing arrangement that allows Continental to run with the project, driving the developmental line forward as it sees
fit. The SR305 has proven to be a good performer and durable, but SMA hasn't pushed aggressively to sell it to either OEMs or the aftermarket. TCM will presumably address that.
Doo told us TCM bought existing technology rather than clean sheet its own design primarily to speed the time to market, which the company sees as critical. Centurion (nee Thielert) SMA and Diamond
have proven the diesel market and now Continental wants a piece of it. TCM's version of this engine is undergoing intensive test cell trials and is flying in a Cessna 182. Doo says Continental is
aiming for a price premium only slighter higher than its avgas engines. Fuel specifics are in the .36 SFC range.
Continental is moving forward with its research to pitch 94UL as a replacement for 100LL avgas, which the EPA seems serious about regulating out of existence. At the company's Mobile, Alabama test
center, TCM is running detonation tests of 94UL and on Wednesday, it gave visiting journalists a preview of the project. TCM's Bill Brogdon told us on Tuesday that 94UL is essentially 100LL without
the tetraethyl lead added as an octane enhancer. He says engines certified to operate of 80/87 octaneand that's a lot of engineswill have no trouble making rated power with 95UL.
Similarly, says Continental, even its higher power turbocharged large displacement, low-compression ratio engines can run the lower octane. The problem engines are higher compression variants that use
8.5 to 1 compression ratios. Brogdon told us these engines may tolerate a diet of 94UL by tweaking the timing or developing affordable knock detection and variable timing. Another option, he says, is
reduce compression ratio but increase displacementre-engining with a IO-550 to replace an IO-520, for instance. Whether the owners of aircraft with these engines will nibble on that remains to
In the meantime, Continental is in a consortium pushing forward with eventual ASTM approval for 94UL, at least for Continental engines. According to sources outside of Continental, only one company
is skeptical of 94UL as a drop-in replacement for 100LL and although no one is naming names, we take that to be Lycoming. Timeline? About two years of further testing, says Brogdon, then
another year or so for ASTM approval.
TCM said more than a year ago that it wanted to get an aerodiesel into its product line, and now it has one. The company bought diesel technology already developed from a European
source and is forging ahead with its own program.
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So TCM has bought into the diesel game by purchasing the intellectual rights to the SMA design. Can this possibly be made to work? Paul Bertorelli isn't 100% convinced, but in the latest
installment of our AVweb Insider blog submitted while Paul is on his way home from kicking tires at TCM's Mobile, Alabama press summit he admits that TCM makes a good business
case for it.
Last week, we asked AVweb readers how they feel about sharing airspace with unmanned aircraft (UAVs).
According to our poll, the majority of you aren't too keen on it: 56% of you said, Until UAVs can match the judgment and flexibility of pilots in the cockpit, leave them to the
military. At the other end of the spectrum, 5% of you were willing to phase them in at night and see how they do, and 9% were O.K. with just letting them in, arguing that their
electronics, combined with ground control, probably make for safer operations than what we have.
Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to
NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.
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Centurion Aircraft Engines says it has extended the life of its 2.0 liter diesel aircraft engines to 1,500 hours and eliminated a requirement to ship the engines to its German headquarters for a
1,200-hour inspection. The engines previously had a TBR (time before replacement) of 1,200 hours and there are still a few things that need replacement at that interval, including a belt, hoses and
coolant. Under the life extension plan, the company had previously mandated that the 1,200-hour inspection be done at the factory but it's now allowing service centers to do the work, which takes
about an hour. Removal and replacement of the engine takes about 13 hours, not to mention the time, expense and aggravation of shipping the engine to Germany under the old rules. "A particularly
important aspect for fleet operators in this regard is the reduction of the aircraft on ground (AOG) period," the company said in a news release.
Centurion is now working on getting the TBR to 1,800 hours. Centurion picked up the pieces from the failure of Thielert Aircraft Engines, which became insolvent two years ago. The insolvency caused
serious service disruptions for Thielert engine owners, most of them Diamond Aircraft customers. Diamond has since certified its own diesel engine, the Austro, to replace the Thielerts.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisors Topic: Emergency Procedures
Sometimes things just go wrong. Are you prepared? Increase your odds of success during unforeseen emergencies with these tips on handling critical situations.
May 15, 2010, is national Learn to Fly Day, which means that participating flight schools, airports, flight instructors and aviation enthusiasts across the country will host Learn to Fly seminars
completely free of charge. Hundreds of venues across the country are expected to host Learn To Fly events, Saturday, in what may be the largest push for pilots in recent memory. This year, Learn to Fly Day has been organized and sponsored by EAA volunteers in conjunction with AOPA, Remos Aircraft, and PilotJourney.com, which
provided presenters with standardized materials. Those materials include a "press here to play" presentation package to serve as the foundation for Saturday's organized events. While it's too late for
you to receive a package and host your own event, you can still visit the Learn To Fly Day website to find a catalog of every participating
events listed by state and venue, plus a link to free tickets (which are required to attend). You can also attend
AVweb first told you about Learn to Fly Day back in February when we also interviewed, Gary Bradshaw,
the founder of PilotJourney.com. PilotJourney exists as a gatekeeper for quality flight schools, not just on learn to fly day, but every day.
It is a resource and starting point for aspiring pilots. In February, Bradshaw told AVweb that the nationwide effort is volunteer supported, open to all, and participation was encouraged. His
enthusiasm was bountiful.
May 15 is International Learn to Fly Day, and there's a push on to interest girls in aviation, since only about six percent of the pilot population is female. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with
Lt. Col. Maryse Carmichael, the new commanding officer of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, about pursuing your aviation dreams.
For Those Who Love to Fly, It's the Best Coverage on Earth
Other aircraft insurance companies claiming better protection and superior service have come and gone. But Avemco® has proven it by remaining a leader in
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Two recent developments are good news for expanding access to general aviation airports, AOPA said this week. In Tennessee, the state legislature has approved a bill that will provide liability protection to owners of private airfields who open their facility to the public. "I think this is
going to open a lot of doors," said AOPA Southeast Regional Representative Bob Minter. "The fun of flying is no better than at a small grass strip." The new legislation, once signed into law by the
governor, will allow "recreational noncommercial aircraft operations" under the same kind of rules that govern public use of private lands for hunting or fishing. Also, the FAA recently said it will
allow through-the-fence access at an Oregon airport, a change to the hard line the agency has taken to such requests for the last couple of years, AOPA said.
Through-the-fence agreements allow the owners of homes and businesses on private property access to airports. They have always been difficult to arrange, but in the last year or two the FAA has
sought to terminate existing agreements and ban any new ones. AOPA said this week its efforts to persuade the FAA to take "a more reasonable and balanced approach" are paying off. "AOPA continues to
work with the FAA to strike a balance that protects airports and those based on the airport while accommodating those individuals who want residential access at airports where it would be a benefit to
the airport," said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro. Independence State Airport in Oregon is next door to an airpark community where many homeowners have hangars and
can taxi from home to the airfield. The EAA and ThroughTheFence.org have also been working with the airpark homeowners to help ensure
their continuing access to the runways. Pecoraro said the decision in Oregon is just one step in a continuing process. "This issue is not a sprint, but a marathon, and will take time," he said. In a
letter (PDF) to the Oregon Department of Aviation, the FAA said the decision was based on existing
policy, and "we are in the process of reviewing this policy to determine if it should be changed." The Oregon case yielded "constructive information" which may impact that review, according to the
Landowners in search of a wind-power site first install meteorological towers, or met towers, to collect wind data, and these towers may be a hazard to pilots, the FAA said this week. The towers
can be up to 260 feet tall, and no lighting is required if they are less than 200 feet high. They can be erected very quickly and may remain on the site for just a few days, but most will stay for a
year or longer. "At this time there is no standardized notification system in place to indicate when and where these towers are erected," the FAA said. They are not posted in any Airport Facility
Directory or Notams unless they interfere with airport operations.
Most of the towers have guy wires that extend up to 200 feet from the base of the tower. This FAA PowerPoint (PDF) shows how difficult it can be to spot one of these tall, skinny towers from the
air. Because of the lighting requirement, most of the towers are just under 200 feet AGL. Pilots who routinely fly low-level missions can get more information from a team of pilots who work for the
Department of the Interior, who have been gathering data on low-level hazards, including met towers. Their contact information is included in this PDF that was distributed by the FAA Safety Team.
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The FAA is mulling over major changes to the rules for certifying small aircraft, and the public is invited to chime in at a meeting to be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 8 and 9. "Specifically, we
would like feedback from manufacturers, pilots, owners, mechanics, instructors and anyone else with an interest in the small airplane industry," the FAA said. The Scottsdale meeting is one of several
that will be held around the country, and follows a similar event in Wichita, Kan., in February. The FAA wants to reorganize Part 23 so it's based on airplane performance and complexity, instead of
the current divisions based on weight and propulsion. "New small turbine engines, composite airframes, and lightweight digital electronics offer part 23 airplanes the operational capability and
performance of traditionally larger part 25 airplanes," the FAA said in its certification study. "The slow, simple Part 23 airplanes have suffered as the standards have shifted toward more complex
More details about the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate and a PDF of the Part 23 study can be found here. The FAA's official notice about the Scottsdale meeting can
be found here. Attendance is open to the interested public, but since space is limited, anyone who would like to go is
asked to notify Lowell Foster, FAA Regulations and Policy, by phone at (816) 329-4125 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
An Airbus A330-200 crashed on approach to the Tripoli airport in Libya on Wednesday morning, killing 103, with only one survivor, a child from the Netherlands. The volcanic ash from Iceland didn't
seem to be a factor in the region, according to news reports. Visibility at the time of the crash was reportedly hazy, with a cloud layer at 300 feet. The airplane was delivered to Afriqiyah Airways
last September and had accumulated about 1,600 flight hours. It was on final approach to the airport's main runway, approaching from the east, when it hit the ground near the runway threshold and
broke apart. Investigators have retrieved the airplane's voice and data recorders.
Pictures of the debris field show widely scattered small fragments of the aircraft. Libyan officials said they did not suspect terrorism. Afriqiyah Airways was founded in 2001 and is fully owned by
the Libyan government. The airline operates only Airbus aircraft and has passed all of its recent safety inspections. It is not included on the European Union's list of 300 banned airlines. More than
half of the passengers were Dutch, with others on board from the U.K., South Africa, and Libya.
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Sales of general aviation aircraft didn't drop as dramatically in the first quarter of this year as they did the year before, but nonetheless, sales are down by 15 percent overall compared to the
first quarter of 2009, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported on Monday. Worldwide, a total of 390 GA airplanes were delivered. "These numbers are being released on the heels of Europe's premier business aviation show, the European
Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition [EBACE], where many of our manufacturers noted that the market seems to be stabilizing," said GAMA President Pete Bunce. "Reported flight activity from
the FAA and Eurocontrol is on an upward trend and the used aircraft inventory is slowly decreasing. However, these first-quarter figures reveal that our industry is far from a recovery." Some GA
manufacturers did report slight upticks in deliveries.
Cirrus Design, for example, rose from 39 to 53 deliveries, and Piper reported an increase from 22 in 1Q09 to 30 in the same period this year. Diamond saw a decline from 49 to 35. Cessna delivered
135 aircraft in 1Q09 and 80 in the latest quarter. The piston airplane segment overall was down 7.3 percent in the first quarter, with 166 units delivered, compared to 179 airplanes in the first three
months of 2009. The turboprop segment delivered 60 units, down from 89 units during 1Q09, for a 32.6 percent decrease. Business jet shipments fell 14.1 percent in the first quarter with 164
airplanes delivered, compared to 191 in 1Q09. GAMA said the continuation of bonus depreciation will be crucial to help the industry increase production and bring back lost jobs. Bunce said, "We
join with the rest of the manufacturing sector in calling upon the U.S. Congress to approve bonus depreciation for products ordered in 2010." The Obama administration has shown strong support for the
initiative, he added. The complete 1Q10 report (PDF) and the 2009 report (PDF) are both posted online.
With electric airplanes continuing to gain favor, the fifth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium was held recently, and here's a video report from Kitplanes magazine editor Marc
Cook. In case you haven't been paying attention, there has been broad progress in battery technology and endurance, motor weight, and power and charging systems. This video summarizes the high
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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We saw plenty of great FBO stories this week, but none that wowed us so much as AVweb reader Liza Kummer's story of above-and-beyond service at Danville/Boyle County Airport Board, located at Stuart Powell Field (KDVK) in Danville, Kentucky:
We landed late at night enroute from Penn to Texas and stayed at the fabulous Hampton Inn. The lady with Sharon's Car Service Danville did not have taxis waited an hour for us at the
airport! It looked like we were going to be unable to fly the next day because of a scary-looking squall line with forecasts of hail. I called the FBO early in the morning and asked if they could
hangar my plane. J.W. [Lynn] sent his son Nathan to the hotel to pick up the keys! After thoroughly researching the weather, we were able to plan a path to avoid all those nasty orange and red radar
echoes and decided to forge on before the squall line hit. J.W. sent Nathan back to retrieve us from the hotel! It was raining now, and they retrieved my plane from the corporate hangar, filled the
tanks at the self-service for me, pulled the plane close to the FBO to avoid getting wet, handed me an umbrella for my pre-flight, and gave us bottles of water for the flight. We felt like royalty.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I'll definitely plan a stop there on my next cross-country flight back to PA. Good luck to Nathan on getting his private pilot's ticket. (Oh yeah,
J.W. is also a CFI!)
Win a Get-It-All Training Kit from King Schools 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
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Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time May 21, 2010.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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 ***
Submissions return to normal this week following the flood of post-Sun 'n Fun submissions and the vacation week everyone logged to recover from the show. Now who's ready to
start getting us jacked up for Oshkosh? We're an excitable bunch, so all it will take are a few of your photos.
"There are a few of us out here who still fly steam gauges," writes "POTW" semi-regular Ron Horton of Ft. Mill, South Carolina;
"the NuLite rings sure help to light them up at night." Ron snapped this shot on clear night when the 496 seen here didn't have much heavy lifting to do ... .
We can almost smell the bratwurst in this AirVenture photo from Kevin Brennan of Rochester Hills, Michigan. The young man (with anything but
lunch on his mind) is Kevin's grandson, basking in his first air show.
Steve Trebing of Mooresville, North Carolina (just up I-77 from Ron Horton!) knows how to find the silver lining in a storm cloud. Here he put the
gathering rains at this year's Sun 'n Fun Fly-In to work for him, catching a few stray rays of sunlight falling on this Lockheed 12 displayed at the show.
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.
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.
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Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
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