AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 31a

August 2, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Superior's Chinese Comeback back to top 

Superior Airparts Returns with Chinese Funding

Superior Airparts, which has been operating in bankruptcy since 2009, announced that it has made a partnership deal with a Chinese technology group to both revitalize the company's U.S. operations and to also build a factory in China. The Chinese plant will build Superior's 180-HP Vantage engines for the Chinese and Asian markets. The new company will be called Superior Aviation, Beijing and the U.S. operation will a subsidiary. Tim Archer, who ran Superior's marketing and sales for several years, will be the company's new CEO.

In a press release sent to AVweb on Sunday, Superior said Archer will oversee day-to-day operations for Superior including directing the completion of the 14,400 square foot state-of-the-art piston engine production facility in Beijing. That company will also be the sales arm for Superior's line of PMA parts, including cylinders, also for the Chinese and Australasian market.

Does this inflow of capital mean that Superior will revitalize its parts business in the U.S.? That's the plan, according to Superior publicist Dale Smith, although schedule for the ramp up was given.

"Let me be 100-percent clear on this point," Archer said in the press release, "Superior Air Parts U.S. is the flagship of this organization's global efforts. Superior's U.S. headquarters will serve as the central point for the engineering, development, FAA certification and production of our new-generation engine products." Further, he said the company plans "an aggressive new product development program."

Superior Aviation, Beijing is described as the general aviation divisions of a joint venture between Weifang Tianxiang Technology Group and the People's Republic of China.

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HondaJet: Anticipation Still High back to top 

HondaJet Update

Honda Aircraft Company has concluded electrical-system checks of its first conforming flight test HondaJet, and its first static test aircraft is ready to endure static structural testing in August. Successful completion of power-on tests means that Honda can begin integration of the avionics and electrical systems and begin assembly of what they call "the most advanced glass flight deck available" in a light bizjet. Meanwhile, the static test aircraft has been fitted with more than 1,800 strain gauges. It will be physically tested by 61 hydraulic actuators at Honda's Greensboro, N.C., facility, which also includes an environmental chamber. Honda says the facility can simultaneously "prove static and fatigue strength under various flight and ground load conditions." The proof-of-concept aircraft has already flown more than 500 hours, reached 420 knots and 43,000 feet ... and the grounds of AirVenture Oshkosh, where it is on display this year. If coming tests go as planned, Honda anticipates a first flight of its first conforming flight test aircraft, later this year. But there's a chance a few of you may see the concept jet fly sooner.

The proof-of-concept jet will be making an appearance at Lexington, Ohio's, Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio IRL race on Aug. 8. Aside from that, your best bet is watching its flight path on FlightAware.com. As for facilities, Honda expects that its 250,000-square-foot HondaJet production facility will be completed by early 2011. It will include Flight Safety International Level-D, full-motion flight simulators, and serve as a training center "for all HondaJet pilots and crew," according to the company. The production jet will be outfitted with a Honda-customized Garmin G3000 flight deck with 14-inch displays and dual touch-screen controllers. The flight deck will include "integrated avionics functionality featuring split screen MFD capability, satellite weather, graphical synoptics, digital audio and optional synthetic vision," according to Honda. The company has attracted "well over 100" orders for the $4.5 million, GE Honda HF120-powered HondaJet, and hopes to meet its first delivery date in the third quarter of 2012.

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Latest Incentives from Cessna back to top 

Cessna Offers Mustang "High Sierra" Package, Mentor Pilots

Cessna is showing a Citation Mustang at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this week with their latest upgrade package, called "High Sierra." The interior features premium leather, hand-woven carpeting, and high-quality sidewalls and cabinetry. "The option package also includes synthetic vision for the G1000, two years or 400 hours of turnkey maintenance, and the Jepp-view chart upgrade," Cessna's Jim Perry told AVweb at the show. "Plus locking fuel caps, which you might not think is a big deal, but it's a very popular option," he said. The package comes for $75,000 on top of the $3 million Mustang base price. Cessna also rolled out a new program to provide mentor pilots for new owners

The "Ease into the Saddle" program will make Cessna corporate pilots available to new Mustang owners transitioning from a single-engine or turboprop airplane. They will act as coaches to help familiarize buyers with Mustang operations and procedures before they go off to FlightSafety for intensive training. Cessna has delivered more than 300 Mustangs to owners around the world.

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More Aircraft We Saw at AirVenture back to top 

The South Korean CirruCorvalis

Korean manufacturer KAI aims to make the KC-100 South Korea's first FAA-certified aircraft, and offer it as direct competition to top-end Cirrus and Cessna Corvalis turbocharged piston models, by 2013. What the KC-100 brings to the party is nearly full carbon-fiber construction, a cabin that adds one or two inches in width over Cirrus and Corvalis designs, an Avidyne Entegra II panel, plus standard TKS ice protection, air conditioning and oxygen. As that package suggests, the KC-100 intends to provide for a good life in the fast lane at high altitude. Powered by a FADEC-controlled TCM TSIOF-550-K turbocharged engine, KAI plans to deliver cruise speeds of about 190 knots, a maximum range of 1,200 nautical miles, and a useful load of at least 1,100 pounds. The manufacturer did not bring a prototype to AirVenture (it's due for completion in early 2011), but they did have a presence, and expect a first flight by late summer next year.

The KC-100's current design includes twin gull-wing doors and outer-span wing cuffs along with cowl and windscreen lines that invoke thoughts of a Cirrus. However, the company maintains that the aircraft's planform is still subject to change as modifications are made to best meet target specifications. Pricing hasn't been set but the company is currently hoping to come in near $600,000, with a full-plane parachute offered as an option. As prototyping progresses, KAI has begun seeking partners to act as support centers in the U.S.

Pipistrel Four-Seater: Efficiency And Speed

In a conversation at Oshkosh Friday, Pipistrel confirmed to AVweb that we should expect their coming hybrid-driven four-seater to cruise at 200 KTAS, while burning less than 10 gallons per hour. And we should expect to see it unveiled before July 2011. Discussion of the aircraft's powerplant suggest something like a Lycoming four-cylinder around 200 hp, but "will presented by Pipistrel with an electric motor system." We've seen images of the official low-wing T-tailed design. Along with a high-aspect-ratio wing that's tapered from the back, it's what we'd comfortably call next-generation Pipistrel. "Every line serves a function," a Pipistrel engineer told us, "whether to reduce wind noise in the cockpit, or for pressure recovery. There is no form on the aircraft that is not shaped for maximum efficiency." That means advanced composites and compound curves. While weight restraint flows right down into the titanium landing gear, it doesn't appear Pipistrel plans to cut corners on creature comforts.

The company is holding our tongue on specifics, but expect the aircraft to leverage efficiency through design in all facets of its composition and ergonomics. When all is said and done, it seems the four-seater's specifications may land it firmly in top-end Cirrus and Corvalis territory, though likely at lower altitudes and at close to half the fuel burn. We'll see how that translates into reality, but the company has a strong record when it comes to efficiency. Pipistrel's Virus SW100 can already carry two occupants at 147 knots on 100 hp and less than five gallons per hour when fitted with an adjustable prop. But that configuration is only available to the U.S. market by way of the experimental category. The company's modeling says the four-seater should need 160 available horsepower to achieve 200 knots, and that the real-world result of that equation should be certified and on sale perhaps as early as late 2013. The company has not yet talked about pricing.

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Insurance Endorsement for Forward Vision back to top 

Forward Vision EVS Gets Insurance Backing and Premium Discount

The Forward Vision EVS (Enhanced Vision System) has apparently earned the respect of Aggressive Insurance. Aggressive has announced they will provide a credit of 5 percent applicable to both liability and hull coverage premiums for aircraft equipped with the certified EVS. Better yet, aircraft equipped with EVS, a parachute and airbag systems can earn an insurance credit of 15 percent.

Aggressive insurance went as far to say that when the EVS system is appropriately installed in the aircraft, "the pilot's ability to maintain situational awareness is extended and strengthened." They also specifically mention AmSafe airbag systems and the BRS Ballistic Recovery System parachute as benefits to flight safety.

The Forward Vision EVS uses an infrared-enhanced camera mounted on the airframe and displays the outside image on a cockpit display for no light, low light and restricted visibility conditions. The system can see through darkness, smoke, smog, and provides visual assist in fog, rain and snow. The Forward Vision EVS is STC-approved for over 165 models. The latest STC approval includes the Robinson R44 helicopter and Piper recently announced the system for their Malibu Mirage and Matrix aircraft. Other applications include Beechcraft King Air, Cirrus SR22, and Cessna Caravan to name a few.

It's easy to see why the system has gained the respect of insurance companies like Aggressive since it can help to prevent night time spatial disorientation, inadvertent entry into IMC when VFR, CFIT, midair's, runway incursions and other accidents around the airport environment.

The EVS image can be displayed on later-model MFD's including the Garmin G1000, Sagem and Collins Pro Line and on a variety or portable monitors mounted on top of the aircraft glareshield. For more information visit Forward-Vision.net and AggressiveAviation.com.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: AirVenture 2010 OSH Min-Blogs — Final Thoughts

Tired of reading about avgas? AirVenture has left resident blogger Paul Bertorelli in a cheerful mood, so how about a few reflections on professionalism, running a solid show, and how he's jump at the chance to fly in those cluster balloons.

Read it all — and share your thoughts on the show — at the AVweb Insider blog.

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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Osprey Pilot Buck Kozlowski at EAA AirVenture

File Size 5.4 MB / Running Time 5:54

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U.S. Air Force pilot Buck Kozlowski, who flies the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, explains what it's like to fly the aircraft, which is "not the best airplane and not the best helicopter in the world," he says, but has unique qualities that make it valuable to the armed forces.

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More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

EAA AirVenture 2010 Complete Coverage Round-Up

If you subscribe to our AVwebAudio newsletter, watch your inbox for a special issue recapping all of our media coverage from EAA AirVenture 2010 — not only podcasts, but videos, blogs, and photo galleries, too.

This special issue will hit inboxes tomorrow (Tuesday), so now would be a good time to add AVwebAudio to your subscription (if you don't already get it). To do so, just visit AVweb.com/profile and choose "Update E-mail Subscriptions." From there, you can add or drop any AVweb newsletters.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Wisconsin Aviation at Dodge County Airport (KUNU, Juneau, WI)

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

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Under Our Wings, Reward Yourself a Latte || Click to Get Your 

We heard from many readers who were diverted on their journey to Oshkosh this week and discovered other FBOs along the way. The most popular FBO we heard about, though was Wisconsin Aviation at Dodge County Airport (KUNU) in Juneau, Wisconsin.

Jon Dean was the first to bring this FBO to our attention:

When over 190 aircaft arrived un-planned thanks to the closure of OSH for arrivals, Tim and his team (Mary and Josh) were truly amazing. They got everyone tied down, allowed us all to camp, got transport, helped with finding food — Domino's actually delivered to my plane on the far side of the field! — made coffee, and organised shower and head facilities. And with all this, they levied no charges at all, just the regular top off with gas! ... They then helped organize transport for all of us stranded there to get to OSH some 45 nm north.

The best part of this story? Most of the readers who told us about Wisconsin Aviation have already made plans to fly into KUNU next year as part of their AirVenture pilgrimage!

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!

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Spidertracks Aviator

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Spidertracks Aviator 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, August 6, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Lukasz Shaded of Atlanta, GA, who won a Zaon PCAS XRX in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from Zaon)

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"

The October day when the tables turned in Des Moines, Iowa:

"Citation Two Bravo Charlie: Runway 31, cleared to land."

"Cleared to land, Two Bravo Charlie."

"United Eleven Eight Four: Runway 31, cleared for take-off."

There was some delay, and United couldn't go, so tower rescinded the take-off clearance and told United to hold short of the runway for the landing Citation.

"We're across the holdshort line."

Tower (left with no option) :
"Citation Two Bravo Charlie, go around."

"Going around — and Tower? Call the hangar at 555-XXXX when we get on the ground."

Wayne Whitfield
Des Moines, Iowa

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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.