AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 30d

July 28, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Cessna Aircraft || Makers of the Cessna Caravan
More Versatile than a Swiss Knife
For more than 25 years, operators have relied on the Caravan models to meet the most demanding mission parameters. To which the Caravan replies, "Bring it on." Its confidence is backed by a remarkable dispatch reliability rate of over 99 percent and exceptional payload capabilities from its 675-horsepower engine. And when you consider the versatility, configurability, and sheer ruggedness of the Caravan line, the applications are virtually limitless.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 78-82, 100-116
A Big Engine for a Big Airplane back to top 

Gippsland Picks Rolls Royce For New Model

Mahindra Aerospace/Gippsland Aeronautics has announced that it has chosen Rolls Royce M250 turboprop for its new GA10 Airvan. The GA10 is a 10-passenger version of the eight-passenger GA8 utility aircraft, which is in service around the world. Gippsland was an Australian company that was bought by Indian conglomerate Mahindra in 2009 and the Indian company has begun production there. The prototype of the GA10 is expected to fly this year and first deliveries are expected in 2013. In a podcast interview, Mahindra/Gippsland projects manager Gerhard Jordann said the new aircraft will fill a niche in the market.

Jordann said the aircraft fits neatly between large piston single utility aircraft, like the GA8, and the smallest turboprop aircraft in that class. The result, said Jordann, will be an aircraft that can use short, rough fields and deliver economical dollar-per-passenger-mile figures. The deal signed with Rolls-Royce also allows Rolls to look at the potential of using its RR500 engine, which is still under development, in future Mahindra aircraft.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 476
Piper Altaire to Fly Next Year back to top 

First Conforming Copy Of PiperJet In The Works

Piper Aircraft has started to build the first conforming flight-test copy of its Altaire single-engine jet, the company announced this week at EAA AirVenture. Assembly will start in August. Over the rest of this year and next, workers will build an additional four test aircraft, with first flight of the conforming prototype in 2012. The company is currently spending $5.6 million to upgrade its facilities in Vero Beach, Fla., for production, final assembly, completion and deliveries. "The advantage that Piper has over other manufacturers with an interest in a single-engine jet is a solid underlying commitment by Imprimis, the owner of the company, to appropriately fund the program and see it through to successful completion," said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger.

Piper has nearly 200 engineers and production staff working on the jet program. At Oshkosh this week, the company is displaying a mockup of the jet, along with a lineup of its aircraft, including the Meridian turboprop, the piston Mirage and Matrix, a multi-engine Seminole and the single-engine Archer LX. They also are introducing the first buyer for their Ready, Set, Fly program, which includes free flight training for new buyers. Jon Roberts, of East Greenwich, R.I., bought a Piper Archer LX and plans to train in Marshfield, Mass.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 259
Pipistrel Pushes Efficiency Envelope back to top 

Taurus G4 Aims For 400 Passenger Miles Per Gallon

They won NASA challenges for efficiency in 2007 and 2008, produce a two-seat aircraft that cruises at 147 knots on 100 hp, and now Pipistrel aims to achieve 400 passenger miles per gallon (equivalent) in their Taurus Electro G4. Pipistrel claims the twin-bodied G4 (two Taurus Electro G2 motorglider fuselages connected by a common75-ft wing) is the heaviest manned electric-powered aircraft ever built. It weighs in at 1.5 metric tons (more than 3,300 pounds), including 800 pounds of people, more than 1,100 pounds of lithium polymer high energy density batteries and supporting technology, plus the airframe. There are no plans to create a commercial product from the G4. The plan is to use it to win NASA's Green Flight Challenge, scheduled for Sept. 25 - Oct. 3, 2011, and then adapt the powerplant for another airframe -- one that is intended for commercial production and a 200 knot cruise.

NASA's Green Flight Challenge charges entrants with beating an equivalent fuel efficiency of 200 passenger miles per gallon (miles per gallon multiplied by passengers carried) while achieving 100 mph or better over 20 miles. Pipistrel hopes to double the mark. It will be using a NASA equation to convert battery use to gallons for the sake of the competition. If the company achieves its goal, the 80kW water-cooled motor and powerplant system proven in the G4 will be further developed for use in the company's Panthera airframe. Unlike the G4, the Panthera is conventional in appearance, but similarly mated to an efficiency optimized airframe. Panthera is expected to fly for the first time in December 2011, powered by a Lycoming IO-390. The company is targeting EASA certification of the Panthera in 2013, with deliveries to follow in the second half of that year. Pricing for the aircraft is expected to fall in at roughly 300,000 Euros (currently about $430,000). Following the piston-powered Panthera, Pipistrel says it will develop a hybrid-electric powered version and an all-electric version capable of 215 nautical miles in cruise.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 283-287
An Airplane That Needs Its Own Truck Commercial back to top 

Evektor's New Turbine Twin In Testing

Evektor introduced at AirVenture the new high-wing twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6-powered 9-14 passenger workhorse, the EV-55 Outback, that it says can haul 4,021 pounds of cargo in and out of 2,300-foot unpaved strips and cruise at 220 kts. The aircraft first flew June 24. requires 2,000 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle when the runway is at 6,560 feet MSL and the temperature is "ISA+20 degrees Celsius." It marks Evektor's 20th year in airframe production and the company's third certified airframe currently in production, joining ranks with a 315 hp (also available with 200 hp) four place and a very popular LSA.

Evektor is the manufacturer of the SportStar LSA, which has seen more than 1,000 deliveries, according to the company, and was the first aircraft to earn an S-LSA certificate. The company also produces the four seat Cobra aircraft with either a Lycoming IO-360 or IO-580-B1A engine. The company bills that plane as an "outstanding touring machine." With the EV-55, Evektor's objective is to compete in the $2 million piston-twin and single turboprop markets, adding the edge of formidable high, hot and humid performance afforded to it by twin PT-6 turbines. The company hopes to find eager markets in South America, Africa and Asia, where the company says operators can take advantage of the aircraft's abilities to handle underdeveloped infrastructure. The EV-55 is still in testing and a second flight test article -- a conforming aircraft -- will be in production this autumn.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 2145-2148
The Changing Face of LSAs (And GA) back to top 

How LSAs Could Influence Part 23

Manufacturers may push the FAA to rewrite Part 23 type certification standards, basing their appeal on the perceived success of the Light Sport segment's ASTM "industry consensus standards," Dan Johnson said at AirVenture, Wednesday. Johnson is chairman of the board and president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) and said that possibility is one of many arising from new and developing ties between LAMA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Johnson says there is growing recognition that consensus standards have proven to be safe, workable and very economical in the LIght Sport category -- they have facilitated entry of new designs, and are gaining acceptance as a worldwide standard.

The LSA industry has brought 120 models of aircraft to market from 86 manufacturers over six years, Johnson said. The hope is that similar standards could be adopted for Part 23 certification, bringing similar benefits to the general aviation market. Johnson argued that could allow manufacturers to focus more capital on product development and improvements and less on the costs of individual certification approvals for each country where they see demand. "This means manufacturers can go where they find demand and sell their products without the need for extensive approvals," (and their associated costs) Johnson said. ASTM standards for LSAs have basically been accepted by the European aviation regulatory branch, EASA; Australia has done the same and Brazil may be next, Johnson said. Meanwhile, LAMA has earned a letter of support from the FAA for organizing its own library of technical safety information. LAMASafety.org is a repository of LSA safety information, from service bulletins to service alerts and service notifications. It actively collects that material as it becomes available, serving as a vault for the original information. Meanwhile, visitors to LAMASafety.org are directed to manufacturer's websites for the information, allowing those manufacturers to control how that information is presented.

LSA Rule Revisions Underway For IMC, Electric Motors

Committees from the light sport industry continued their work on Wednesday at EAA AirVenture to modify the ASTM rules to allow for electric propulsion and to sort out some complex issues regarding LSA flight in instrument conditions. The groups have been meeting periodically to discuss both topics and are gradually making progress. Oliver Reinhardt, of Flight Design, proposed a simple system that would clarify parameters for "basic IMC operation" to allow LSA aircraft to fly in IMC as long as they avoid severe-weather conditions. A working group focused on electric propulsion, which also met on Wednesday, hopes to finish most of its work within a year or so.

Adam Morrison, vice chairman of the ASTM LSA committee, told AVweb the group has already completed the development of a standard for electric propulsion units. The next step is to document the details of how such a system would be incorporated into an aircraft. That should be ready by this time next year, he said. After that, the FAA needs to modify its regulations to allow for electric propulsion. Electric motors were never deliberately excluded from LSA standards, he said, but at the time the standards were written, they simply weren't available. The details surrounding the LSA/IMC rules are complex, and don't apply to most LSA aircraft that are already flying. (Click here for more about this issue from Dan Johnson.) The groups will meet again in Tampa, Fla., this November to continue their work.

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Booths at EAA AirVenture: 190, 3037-3039
Photos from AirVenture back to top 

EAA AirVenture 2011: Photo Gallery — Day Four

click for photos

With AirVenture in full swing, there are more crowds for intern Adam to navigate — but that hasn't slowed him down from seeing the best and brightest Oshkosh has to offer. Nor, for that matter, did a few rain showers.

Click for photos.

True Flight's Flight Cheetah FL 650 || Featuring HELM X650 Technology
Introducing the FL 650 Display
True Flight's FL 650, utilizing the new HELM X650 by Helm Navigation LLC, can be used as either a panel-mount or portable device in any aircraft. Featuring an ultra-bright 1,000 NIT screen and the most comprehensive list of capabilities of any display out there.

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... Or see an FL 650 at Val Avionics' booth (#3074) in Building C at AirVenture.
Booths at EAA AirVenture: See it at Val Avionics' booth (#3074)
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Podcast: New Airplane from Mahindra/Gippsland

File Size 3.8 MB / Running Time 4:10

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Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

A supersized version of the Gippsland A8 Airvan will be powered by a Rolls-Royce turboprop. AVweb's Russ Niles talks with Gippsland's Gerhard Jordann about it.

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

Click here to listen. (3.8 MB, 4:10)

Podcast: Joseph Maynard and Ty Jones, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

File Size 5.2 MB / Running Time 5:38

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From the show grounds at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli talks with Joseph Maynard and Ty Jones of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University about their fleet of Diamond airplanes and the pros and cons of their experience with various engine choices, including Austro, Thielert, and Lycoming.

This podcast is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather and Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (5.2 MB, 5:38)

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Today's Small Aircraft Video ... back to top 

Video: The Navy's First Airplane

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

Retired Navy pilot Bob Coolbaugh had a vision: In 2008, he set out to build a replica of the first aircraft to make an arrested landing on a ship (an intentional arrested landing, anyway) in time for the 2011 Naval Centennial of Aviation. He knew the design was not an easy bird to manage in even in the best of conditions and was even told he'd kill himself in the first five hours. With the help of some friends, he completed his replica 1911 Curtis Pusher and has accumulated over 80 hours — and about 2,500 miles — flying it from air show to airs how. It's an exhausting bird to fly, but Coolbaugh says exposing people to the earliest roots of aviation makes it all worthwhile.

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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 Bose Corporation.

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... And Today's Large Aircraft Video back to top 

Video: Farmers Airship Visits Oshkosh

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One for Fun, Use Both to Get Double Points (Reward Yourself Twice as Fast) Zulu.2 || More Quiet, More Comfort, More Clarity

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

It's bigger than a 747, but you could outrun it in a stiff wind. Here's the world's biggest airship.

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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 Phillips 66 Aviation and Lightspeed Aviation.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: OSH Notebook

As AirVenture 2011 shifts into cruise mode, AVweb is on-site at Wittman Field in Oshkosh. Paul Bertorelli uses the AVweb Insider blog to share some random observations, not the least of which that Congressional hijinks on the FAA budget is causing real ramifications in the aviation industry.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Fuel Discussions at AirVenture?

Yes, there will be some, but compared to last year, the process has gone underground. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says the FAA's ARC committee appears to have made progress and will report on that this week — but it would be altogether better if the deliberations were open to the public and press.

Read more and join the conversation.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Survey: Have You Had Your Airplane Painted Recently?

If so, Aviation Consumer would like to hear about the results. Did the shop do a good job? Did it deliver on time? And what about the price?

To take our survey, just click here, and it will take you right to our survey page.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 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.

Where to Find Our Sponsors at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (booth numbers)

476, 1022-1029, 4066Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
2145-2148Aspen Avionics
1159-1160Avemco Insurance
293-294, 2098-2101Avidyne
283-287Bose Corporation
78-82, 100-116Cessna Aircraft
3005General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI)
1040-1042Hartzell Engine Technologies
3083Hilton Software/WingX
1071-1072JP Instruments
259Lightspeed Aviation
277-282Lycoming Engines
476Phillips 66 Aviation
2065Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)
229-234Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM)
3118Travers Aviation
3074True Flight (at Val Avionics' booth)
190, 3037-3039WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather