Sporty's SP-400: "Better Than Some Panel-Mounted Gear"
That's what The Aviation Consumer said in their latest review of portable aviation radios. And: "Sporty's SP-400 shines ... . Its performance is clearly
exceptional." It's the ultimate backup radio, with full ILS display, flip-flop COM, and much more.
If you're talking to air traffic controllers this week, you're going to hear some new directions from ground control: starting Wednesday, June 30, "taxi to" will no longer be used when issuing taxi
instructions to an assigned takeoff runway. Controllers are now required to issue explicit instructions to cross or hold short of each runway that intersects a taxi route. Instructions to cross
multiple runways will not be issued; you will be cleared to cross each runway one at a time. This applies even to inactive or closed runways. The only exception: At airports where the taxi route
between runway centerlines is less than 1,000 feet apart,
multiple runway crossings may be issued, but only after ATC has received approval to do so. In effect, every hold line now is considered a "stop sign."
If you need more information, you can go to the FAA order changing the procedures (PDF), which provides
official details, or to this condensed runway safety notice (PDF),
which is meant for pilots, and clearly spells out the changes. You can also watch a brief video that succinctly explains and illustrates the new rules. To sum it
up, the FAA says: "Never cross a hold line without explicit ATC instructions. If in doubt, ASK! You may not enter a runway unless you have been: instructed to cross that specific runway; cleared to
take off from that runway; or instructed to position and hold on that specific runway."
Aircraft Spruce at the 2010 Arlington Fly-In
Visit the Aircraft Spruce booth in Arlington, Washington (booth #55) on July 7-10 from 9:00am to 6:00pm and July 11 from 9:00am to
3:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to answer all your questions.
Call Aircraft Spruce at 1 (877) 4-SPRUCE or
The Red Bull Stratos team this week reported progress in its effort to send a skydiver to 120,000 feet in a capsule beneath a helium
balloon. Felix Baumgartner, who hopes to make a record-breaking jump from the edge of space, completed a series of test dives last month from about 26,000 feet, wearing the pressurized spacesuit he'll
need for the flight. The test dives proved that some adjustments made to Baumgartner's gear after earlier tests had been effective. "I'm super satisfied with the result today," Baumgartner said. In
another series of tests, he also practiced stepping off from the capsule as it was suspended above the ground, and tried some bungee jumps from 200 feet while wearing his spacesuit. Dr. Jonathan
Clark, medical director of the project, says the planned flight is not just a publicity stunt but a serious scientific endeavor. "We're doing this as a demonstration that an upper-atmospheric bailout,
freefall and re-entry are possible," he said.
Art Thompson, the mission's technical director, said the bungee jumps were an important test. "You wouldn't normally think of a bungee jump in terms of prepping for a high-altitude jump," he said,
"but it gives Felix the sensation of what it's like to step off and try to control his forward rotation." The tests took place in Lancaster, Calif. The record jump is expected sometime later this
year, and it will be broadcast live over the Internet. The current free-fall record has been held since 1960 by USAF Col. Joe Kittinger, who leapt from 102,000 feet. Now Col. Kittinger is helping the
Red Bull team. For a video report from the team about the recent tests, click here.
A proposed rule intended to curb noise by requiring helicopters to use specific routes when operating along the north shore of Long Island has met with broad disapproval from industry groups and
pilots. The rule was published in the May 26 Federal Register and sought comment prior to June 25. It got them in the
form of 910 public
submissions. The FAA says the rule's intent is to "maximize utilization of the existing route flown by helicopter traffic along the north shore of Long Island and reduce the noise impact on
nearby communities." Comments from NBAA called the rule "unsafe, unwise and unnecessary." HAI said the rule "has no merit, safety or airspace utilization enhancement, nor benefit for aircraft
operators or the communities of Long Island, and is absent any technical, safety, and operational analysis." And the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) urged the FAA to "withdraw its proposal
According to the ERHC, early comments, including those from HAI, NBAA, AOPA, GAMA, NATA, expressed opposition and sought an extension to the comment period, which the FAA denied. In the words of
commenter Nadine Fetsko, "It's unconscionable that the FAA would actually consider implementing this in the absence of any sound studies, radar returns, or any quantifiable data that support the
premise that a major issue exists." The alphabet groups are hoping to work with the FAA to mitigate noise concerns in a manner that does not regulate local noise-abatement procedures for helicopters.
The FAA will now consider its response to the comments received.
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It's only big enough for the pilot, and barely that, but EADS proudly showed off its new version of the Cri-Cri, a French
homebuilt design from the 1970s, at the Green Aviation Show at Le Bourget Airport in Paris last week. The airplane is built from composites to reduce weight, and uses high energy-density lithium
batteries to power four electric motors. The company said the electric Cri-Cri will fly for 30 minutes at about 60 knots, and first test flights will begin soon. The Paris show also hosted plenty of low-energy airships, gliders, and trikes. Also last week, the FAA said it will give $125 million to five aerospace companies to help them develop new eco-friendly
technologies that will reduce jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise.
Those companies -- Boeing, GE, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls Royce -- will use the funds for research into sustainable alternative aviation fuels, lighter and more efficient engines, and
advanced wing surfaces. They will also look at open rotor and geared turbofan engines, the FAA said. The FAA's goal is to reduce aviation fuel consumption 33 percent by 2015.
Pipistrel's "revolutionary four-seat aircraft project" may be an all-composite 200-KTAS low-wing with a 200-hp hybrid powerplant slated for
debut before 2012. Lexus Magazine sent a writer to Slovenia to visit Pipistrel and wrote of Pipistrel, "Plans
are well under way to create a four-seat hybrid aircraft by the end of 2011." A separate publication states, "The company is currently designing its first four-seater aircraft that will travel at 400
km/hour (248 mph)." Of that aircraft Tine Tomazic, in research and development for Pipistrel, has said (PDF),
"Whereas all the airplanes that can achieve this speed require at least a 300 horsepower engine, our calculations show that we can do this with a much smaller 200-hp engine." It's possible the hybrid
and 200-KTAS aircraft describe two separate applications, but only one four-seater design has been discussed by Pipistrel. And it appears to have a debut date intended to meet up with a 2011 NASA
challenge. Pipistrel said in May of 2009 it "will be introducing many new technologies never
before used in aviation" at the event. Of the technologies embraced by the design, the hybrid concept has been seen before (Flight Designs unveiled an electric hybrid Rotax 914 at Oshkosh last year). But many key elements of Pipistrel's program will likely be
bred from its adoption of an advanced software program from Dassault Systems.
Pipistrel says it is making use of mechanized aerodynamics and production design that begins with Dassault Systems' CATIA 3-D modeling software. The company is using the software to
leverage "dramatic improvement with respect to weight, noise and fuel consumption." CATIA, according to Pipistrel, makes the mechanized production of complex shapes simple and decreases production
cycle times by more than 25 percent. "Instead of people producing shapes," says Tomazic, "machines are producing much more precise shapes and there are no more mistakes with testing." Pipistrel began
development of the four-seater in 2009, when it invested the almost 1 million euro it made that year in profit into the project. It will embrace the company's main philosophies, best summed up by engineering for maximum possible use of energy efficiency, minimum possible air
resistance, and largest possible safe payload, combined with the least amount of noise, pollutants and environmental contamination. Current currency exchange rates have reduced the cost of Pipistrel's
currently available aircraft for American buyers, bringing savings of roughly $12,000 from 2009
to 2010 and setting the Pipistrel Sinus (a cousin to the award-winning Virus) below $100,000.
Same Price. Better Warranty. Best Value.
TCM now offers a longer factory warranty for the same fixed engine price.
The folks at Piper Aircraft have been upbeat about the economy, projecting a 75-percent gain in sales this year, but that optimism stumbled a bit on Monday when the company announced it will shut
down for a week in August to save money. The brief hiatus "will leave us with our current workforce intact," Steve Johnston, vice president of human resources, told TCPalm. That strategy "will allow us to take advantage of any upside potential in orders between
now and the end of the year," he added. The layoff applies to all staffers, including executives, with the exception of those working on the PiperJet program and a few critical business functions,
Piper, based in Vero Beach, Fla., has hired about 300 workers over the last year, after cutting back to under 600 workers in the depths of the downturn. Company officials said they still expect to
see the 75-percent gain in sales by the end of the year and don't anticipate any further shutdowns. But Johnston added, "We are continuing to watch the recovery carefully." Piper's deliveries in the
first quarter of this year showed a 40-percent gain over the same period last year. The recovery has been bumpy across the industry, with slow gains in aircraft sales seeming to have stopped the
downslide, but few signs of a robust return to growth.
What's the best birthday gift for a 102-year-old? Whatever she wants -- and Myrtle Carroll wanted to go for a ride in one of the little airplanes she enjoys listening to from the porch of her home
near the Platte Valley Airport and Vintage Aero Flying Museum in Fort Lupton, Colo. Carroll had only been flying once before in her life, and never in a small airplane. But she loves the sound of the
engines buzzing nearby, and when a friend asked if she'd like a ride for her birthday, she said, "Well, yes, I would." On Sunday, Mark Holliday, the museum's chief pilot, who is also the husband of Carroll's caretaker at the assisted-living home, Marilyn Taylor, took her for a spin in the back seat of a Cessna 182. "When you're
102, if you want to fly, you should be able to fly," Taylor told the Greeley
Carroll said the launch felt like a parade, with all the well-wishers seeing her off. And once she returned, Holliday asked if the flight was not too bad. "It wasn't bad at all," she said. "Not bad
PiperSport Pure Piper. Pure Fun. PiperSport. Once again, Piper has opened up the sky for more to experience the thrill of flight, shining a new light on the light sport industry. Advanced avionics, roomy interior, and
affordable price all backed by a legendary company.
The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (big PDF) that would impose extra icing certification
requirements on Part 25 (transport category) aircraft that weigh less than 60,000 pounds and would also amend rules for larger aircraft. The rule has been in the making since the 1994 icing-related
crash of an ATR 72 in Roselawn, Ind. For smaller aircraft, the rule focuses particularly on ice caused by supercooled large
droplets, which can coat surfaces beyond the normal ice protection systems on existing aircraft. "These regulations will help ensure future aircraft can operate safely in some of the toughest
icing conditions," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in statement.
The NPRM will also affect engine certification. Turbine engines will have to be able to handle icing conditions that have been the cause of uncommanded shutdowns. The agency estimates the annual
industry-wide cost of compliance will be $71 million. The comment period on the NPRM ends Aug. 30.
There's a chance the Boeing 787 will make its airshow debut at this year's AirVenture Oshkosh. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski has confirmed that Boeing has been invited to show off its latest design
and is considering the idea. "The Boeing folks have an open invitation to join us, and we have had discussions about them attending," Knapinski said Tuesday. He noted that the participation of the
Dreamliner and its extent will depend on the aggressive flight-test schedule Boeing has set for the aircraft. The schedule hit a minor setback last week when "workmanship issues" were discovered in
the horizontal stabilizers of the five test aircraft.
The aircraft resumed flying Sunday and Monday after a three-day stand down. The 18 787s on the production line were also inspected. "Some airplanes have issues with improperly installed shims and
the torque of associated fasteners," the company said in a statement. The horizontal stabilizers are built by Alenia-Aeronautica.
Labor politics continues to prevent passage of the FAA's funding reauthorization. The Senate passed its version of the bill some time ago but the House remains stalled on a provision that would
make it easier for FedEx employees to unionize. The House voted Tuesday to extend the current funding authorization of the FAA for a month. It was due to run out on Friday. The one-month extension of
the current reauthorization might suggest the matter is inching to the upper priority levels in the House, but at least one Capitol Hill publication suggests there's little interest in reconciling the
differences between the House and Senate bills.
CQ Politics says the bill is barely on the legislative radar if the process thus far is any
indication. "The reauthorization bill has never been formally sent to conference, and as a result negotiations have been conducted informally, mostly at the staff level," the publication says. It
characterizes the outstanding disagreements as "member-level" issues. The FedEx amendment was introduced by Sen. James Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It
would put FedEx employees under the authority of the National Labor Relations Act, the same legislation governing UPS employees. Under that legislation, employees have the ability to organize local
unions while, under the Railway Labor Act, which governs FedEx employees, employees can only organize nationally.
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Have You Ever Gotten the Short End at Trade-In Time? REVENGE Pilatus just authorized its dealers to offer you more for your aircraft trade-in than anyone else. But you'll have to hurry. They can only offer these prices for a limited time when you trade
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It's all about the avgas. The clock is ticking on 100LL, and many are worried that there may be a 100 octane crunch in the days before a new fuel standard solidifies. We're curious
if the thought keeps you awake at night.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Ascend to New Heights
Engineered from the ground up, the all-new Ascend headset by Telex is finely tuned to provide superior performance in a bold new design.
For the past two weeks, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli has been mouthing off about the lack of industry progress toward a 100LL replacement fuel. We asked him to put up or shut up, so in the
latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, he is. He's offering to personally pay the travel expenses for any one member of the Coordinating Research Council or the industry's FAST Fuels
Committee to actually look at GAMI's G100UL run in the test cell and to also fly with the fuel. Maybe then someone can tell us if this stuff is real or not.
IFR's Jeff Van West watched the unveiling of Cirrus Aircraft's new turbo model at the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association annual migration last week and was left wondering: Why? This new
model leaves some important questions unanswered, especially for buyers thinking they're buying something they might not actually be getting.
Over 18,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong! GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air
ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888)
go online for complete
Sound travels at about 760 miles per hour, or 340 meters per second and about 661 knots on an average day at sea level. And sometimes, you can almost see it. Going close to that speed
through air can cause some unusual visual effects. This compiled footage includes F-14s, standard and Blue Angels F-18s, plus the SR-71 and an Atlas Rocket launch. AVweb contacted sources at
NASA to research the phenomena.
Correction: We originally misidentified the Cessna Pilots Society as a different type group entirely. It was the CPS who held their Get-Together at KSUT, and we
appreciate all the folks (both those who made it and those who couldn't) taking a moment to drop us a note with the correction.
The Cessna Pilots Society descended on North Carolina en force for their annual CPS Get-Together, and quite a few of them were impressed
with the friendliness and efficiency of services at Oak Island's Brunswick County Airport (KSUT).
Dave Williams was the first CPS member to nominate KSUT, but he was followed by about a dozen others throughout the week who sung the praises of an FBO that
"handled a whole flock of CPS fliers like it was an everyday event" (Daryl Medd), "wrote the book on hospitality and service" (Jim Epting), and offered "better services at their self-service pumps
than most do at full-service!" (Ed Abrams). For his part, Dave told us how "Howie Franklin and his crew provided us with the best service and hospitality an FBO could offer. All of our wants and
needs were handled quickly and professionally. Thanks, Howie!"
And that sounds like a top-notch operation deserving of recognition as AVweb's "FBO of the Week"!
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy
changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly,
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Win a Zaon PCAS XRX 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 Friday, July 16, 2010.
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.
Summer is in full swing! The virtual submission box for our weekly photo contest is swollen to near-bursting this time 'round, which makes choosing a winner tough. Still, we've
soldiered on, and we're pleased to dub this shot from frequent contributor Paul W. M. Oor of Nieuwegein, Utrecht (Netherlands) our "Picture of the
So who are we looking at? It's the RNLAF solo display team, and Paul tells us the show they put on at Military Airbase Gilze-Rijen EHGR for the recent open day was every bit as
eye-catching as their distinctive paint scheme.
We just missed Father's Day, but it looks like George Kovacevic of Jamul, California scored major dad points by setting up a balloon ride for his
daughter's high school graduation. (Hey, that's a good idea! Why didn't we think of that?)
"I just had to go to make sure she was safe," writes George. Well, of course ... .
Remember this T-6 from a couple of weeks ago? You may not recognize her at first, but Xavier
Marshall of Carson, California has finished the paints, and here she is, done up "in Navy markings to honor Ensign Jesse L. Brown."
Want more? Check the slideshow on AVweb's home page for nearly two dozen more reader-submitted pics.
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.
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
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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