AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 45c

November 12, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Bendix/King by Honeywell KFD 840
The KFD 840 Primary Flight Display is now certified and available from your local dealer today. To mark the occasion, initial pricing is set at an unprecedented $11,995 MSRP. The KFD 840 makes flying easier with features like an expansive 8.4" diagonal LCD and wide horizon, much larger than other systems. It includes a solid-state attitude sensor that outperforms the competition. And the KFD 840 protects your investment with the newly certified flight director and enhanced graphic features. Click here for more information.
AVflash! Shining a Light on Flight Training back to top 

Training Needs A Tuneup

A survey expert who recently earned his private pilot certificate says the industry isn't exploiting the cool factor of being a pilot to keep students in training. Mark Benson, CEO of APCO Insight told a news conference at AOPA Summit in Long Beach that the whole sense of community and belonging that pilots feel among pilots could be an important promotional tool for the industry to retain student pilots. Jennifer Storm, who is heading up AOPA's Flight Training Student Retention Initiative told AVweb in a podcast interview that the survey data provides important insight into what student pilots want from schools."The research says that there's a huge element of the specialness of being a pilot that we're not especially tapping into," she said. Storm also noted that student pilots want value for the money and a sense that flight schools or independent instructors are actively trying to save them money rather than running up the bill.

Benson said the industry needs to attract committed and involved CFIs to ensure students remain engaged and that message came through clearly in the extensive research his firm did on the subject of student pilot retention for AOPA. He said instructors who are simply "building time" necessary to apply for pilot jobs are a major turn-off for students. "You would be amazed at how many people believe that the instructor didn't care whether they passed or failed," he said. "They were just building time." The information gleaned from the study was shared with CFIs and flight school owners who attended a pre-Summit event. The CFI boredom factor was discussed as was the need for flight schools to ensure that CFIs are properly paid and have the training materials they need. Although most student pilots, even those who quit, considered their training a positive experience, many commented on the lack of professionalism, organization and motivation of their instructors.

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A Completely New Take on an Old Standby back to top 

Electric 172 Aimed At Training Market

Bye Energy says its electric-powered Cessna 172 will be much more than an airshow curiosity. In fact, the company told AVweb that it hopes to revolutionize the Part 23 training market with the aircraft. "Our clear focus is mainstream aviation," company president George Bye said. "It's ideal for training." Bye said the aircraft will be a two-place with an endurance of two hours on a combination of battery power, solar and power reclaimed from wing tip devices intended to capture vortex energy in flight and by the push on the prop during descent. He said the company intends it to be "the point of entry for new pilots."

Bye said the 172 is the ideal platform for the aircraft because it's already the most popular training aircraft in the world. By making it electric, operating costs drop dramatically (they're predicting $5-$10 an hour in energy costs) and the TBO of the 180-horsepower, 42-pound engine is estimated at as much as 25,000 hours. The resulting 172, which the company hopes will fly in early 2011, will look a little different. The cowling will be tapered for the much smaller motor and that means virtually all the prop's thrust will be used for movement, rather than the significant amount that is used for engine cooling in current models. The conforming aircraft will have a six-bladed composite prop but the proof of concept will have a conventional two-blade prop. The weight shed by getting rid of the piston engine and the fuel it needs will be taken up by lithium ion batteries and the weight and balance is not expected to change.

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Up Close and Personal with Robinson's R66 back to top 

Robinson Helicopter's New Turbine, The R66

A newly certified five-place Rolls-Royce turbine powered helicopter is now available from Robinson, which hopes to fit the aircraft into the market between its own very popular piston R44 and more expensive light turbine heli's. The turbine blends vastly improved high altitude performance and load carrying capabilities with a moderate increase in fuel burn.

The R66 burns about 22 gallons in the same hour its piston sibling burns closer to 15. As company president Kurt Robinson told AVweb Thursday, aside from the added capability and some nuances specific to turbine helicopter operation "the aircraft actually handles very similar to an R44" ... it just does it with a 300-horsepower Rolls-Royce turbine.

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Veterans Day at AOPA Summit: Visiting with Fifi back to top 

Fifi's First Long Cross-Country In Six Years

The Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) freshly re-engined B-29 Fifi is the only airworthy example of its kind anywhere in the world and it was on display as part of AOPA's Summit at Long Beach Airport's Airfest, 2010. AVweb caught up with the aircraft's crew chief, Dave Miller, who flew in on the rare bomber as flight engineer and also logged some stick time.

The aircraft is running on four new custom engines that are a cross between the R-3350-95W and the R-3350-26WD. They were installed through two years hard work of volunteers and thanks largely to the financial backing of Jim Cavanaugh. CAF plans to take Fifi on tour -- and they're giving rides.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Roll Your Own — The Age of DIY Services Is Here

The recent election is almost certain to accelerate an already established trend — fees for all kinds of aviation services. You've already been paying them for a while, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog — but as government spending tightens and privatization of services increases, you may be paying for some of them a la carte in the future.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Giving Back, Moving Forward

In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady is appreciative of the time and labor invested by the town of Talkeetna, Alaska in a Build A Plane restoration project — but why, she wonders, did it take Build A Plane's involvement to galvanize the community when there was clearly so much willingness and passion there in the first place?

Read more and join the conversation.

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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

AOPA Study Says to Accentuate the Cool

File Size 5.3 MB / Running Time 5:45

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Student pilots want to be part of the pilot club. But as AOPA's Jennifer Storm told AVweb's Russ Niles, they expect professional training without being gouged, too.

This podcast is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and Phillips 66 Aviation.

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

A Part 23-Certified Electric 172

File Size 5.9 MB / Running Time 6:25

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Bye Energy says there's a big market for an electric Cessna 172. President George Bye spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles.

This podcast is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather and Ultra Electronics' Flightline Auracle.

Click here to listen. (5.9 MB, 6:25)

Take the 'Radio Communication' Safety Quiz || AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI)
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: B-29 Superfortress 'Fifi' Spends Veterans' Day at AOPA Summit

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

AVweb talks with Dave Miller, flight engineer and crew chief for Fifi, the Commemorative Air Force's B-29 Superfortress bomber — the only airworthy B-29 in the world — at AOPA Summit, Long Beach, California on Veterans Day 2010.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

This video is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather and Ultra Electronics' Flightline Auracle.

Video: Robinson's R66 Turbine Helicopter

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

That's right: Robinson Helicopter Company has a certified turbine offering — the five-place R66 Turbine, to be exact. Company president Kurt Robinson shares some details.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

This video is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and Phillips 66 Aviation.

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Thursday Redux back to top 

A Second Chance at Yesterday's Headlines

Due to technical difficulties, some of you may not have received yesterday's edition of AVwebFlash until later in the day than you're used to getting it. If you're the type who checks your e-mail in the morning and doesn't loop back to see what you've missed, be sure to visit our online archive to catch all the stories from our first day of coverage of the AOPA Summit in Long Beach.

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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 an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot 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 Sunday, November 28, 2010. (That's a couple of days later than our usual Friday deadline, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.)

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

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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.

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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:

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.