AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 14b

April 5, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! AEA Convention Sounds the Klaxons back to top 

AEA Opens In Washington: A Mix Of Determination And Optimism

The Aircraft Electronics Association opened its 55th annual trade show and exhibition in National Harbor, Maryland, just across the Anacostia River from Washington, D.C. with a mix of determination and optimism. In this video intro to the show, AEA president Paul Derks told AVweb—and the opening session of the event—that it's time for the industry to stop apologizing for imaginary sins and to take back the market momentum it enjoyed before the economic downturn in 2008.

Although show attendance has suffered since then, there are clear indications that buyers are coming back into the market, a sentiment we heard echoed throughout the hall on Wednesday.

Video: AEA Opens in Washington, D.C.

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

The 55th annual Aircraft Electronics Association convention opened in Nations Harbor, Maryland this week with good attendance and new product introductions. AEA President Paula Derks gave AVweb an overview.

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Question of the Week: Has the Aviation Industry Lost Its Edge?

The Aircraft Electronics Association launched its convention in Washington with a rallying cry to the industry to be progressive and to be proud of what it does.

If the aviation industry is broke, will an attitude adjustment fix it?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

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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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AEA 2012: Top Video back to top 

Video: Avidyne and Aspen Join Up on Autopilot Interface

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

Avidyne and Aspen are collaborating to make the Aspen Evolution EFIS system compatible with Avidyne's DFC90 autopilot. Tom Harper explains the details in this video coverage of the Aircraft Electronics Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Video: Got Back-Up? Aspen Avionics Does

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

Aspen Avionics showed its new back-up EFIS at the Aircraft Electronic Association show in Washington, D.C.

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AEA 2012: Moving Them Bytes Around the Cabin back to top 

Guardian Combines CO Detection and Bluetooth for iPad

As if to bookend Garmin's decision to release a major app for tablet computers, another company, Guardian Avionics, has developed a clever box that distributes GPS data into the cockpit through a wireless Bluetooth link. Guardian is best known for its extensive line of sophisticated carbon monoxide detectors, but in this podcast, company owner Ash Vij told us that now Guardian has combined CO detection and GPS bluetooth capability in a single box.

The $995 Aero454 receives position data from an in-panel Garmin GPS such as a GNS430 or G1000 and then relays this via Bluetooth to up to three iPads in the cockpit. It can also crunch and display the in-panel GPS's active flightplan data and display that on various popular apps. Currently, the Aero454 is integrated with FlightGuide's navigation app but Vij says Guardian is working on integration for Foreflight and WingX nav apps as well.

Podcast: Guardian Transmits Nav Display to iPad

File Size 3.7 MB / Running Time 4:05

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Guardian Avionics has introduced a Bluetooth transmitter that takes the output from a Garmin GPS and sends it to up to three iPads in the aircraft. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spoke with Guardian CEO Ash Vij about the product at AEA 2012.

Click here to listen. (3.7 MB, 4:05)

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AEA 2012: Garmin Pilot for Your Tablet PC back to top 

Will Apps Kill The GPS Portable? Garmin Says No

At Sun 'n Fun, Garmin announced a new product that not-so-subtly acknowledges that the burgeoning tablet computer market represents real competition for Garmin's core portable GPS market. Garmin's new product, called Pilot, evolves the former Pilot MyCast product into a full featured navigator for tablets with the look and feel of Garmin's GTN series navigators and its some of its recent portables, such as the GPSmap 796. We asked Garmin's Jim Alpiser at the Aircraft Electronics show in Washington, D.C. if this signals the beginning of the end for big ticket portable GPS. "We recognized that the tablets on the market today are very attractive for a lot of reasons. It allows, number one, to get a giant display in the cockpit and get charts on there," Alpiser told us in this podcast recorded at the AEA show. "But Garmin portable GPSs are still the most feature rich devices that you can get your hands on and fly behind. I can show you a dozen different things you can do on a Garmin GPS portable that you still cannot do on a tablet device," he added.

Alpiser says the tablets are obviously capable products and Garmin thinks many pilots are choosing to fly behind both tablets and portables. Even though buyers are responding to tablets in droves, many still complain that they're too large for a small cockpit, while portables are optimized in both features and size for the cockpit. When we asked if Garmin has any major product introductions planned in 2012, Alspiser wasn't specific, so we'll be keeping our eyes open at EAA AirVenture in July.

Podcast: Garmin's Tablet Navigation Unveiled

File Size 5.6 MB / Running Time 6:05

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Garmin has responded to the surge in tablet cockpit apps with a fully functional navigation system for tablets. Garmin's Jim Alpiser spoke with AVweb's Paul Bertorelli at AEA 2012.

Click here to listen. (5.6 MB, 6:05)

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AEA 2012: Trig's Compact Radios back to top 

New Comm Radios From Trig

Given all the excitement over tablet apps and big-screen EFIS, the lowly comm radio has become a lost ball in high grass. But Trig Avionics, a U.K.-based company, has introduced two new comm radios that fit into a standard instrument hole with a remote box that can be mounted just about anywhere in the aircraft. At the AEA show in Washington, D.C., Trig's Andy Davis gave AVweb a briefing on the new radios in this podcast.

The new radios are aimed at light sport aircraft or antiques or any other type of aircraft that has limited space behind the panel. "It's a very conventional VHF radio. It has a standard flip-flop and a dual watch feature where you can listen to the standby at the same time as the active," Davis told us. The radios also have a built-in, two-place intercom, a 6-watt nominal transmitter output and will run on 14 or 28 volts. List price is around $2000, according to Trig.

Podcast: Small Radio for Small Panels from Trig

File Size 3.1 MB / Running Time 3:20

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Trig Avionics has developed a full-featured VHF radio designed for aircraft with limited panel space. Trig's Andy Davis explained the system to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli at AEA 2012.

Click here to listen. (3.1 MB, 3:20)

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Meanwhile, in the World of Rules & Regulations ... back to top 

FAA Offers Webinars On UAS Changes

Last month, the FAA said it plans to establish six test ranges to start integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System, and last week, the agency said it will offer two webinars with more information about its plans and a question-and-answer session. The two identical webinars, which are meant to provide more information for those who might want to comment on the proposal, are scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to noon EDT, and Wednesday, April 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT. Each webinar will include a discussion of the proposed changes and a question-and-answer period. Online pre-registration is required to attend.

The FAA said it intends to choose the six test sites from proposals submitted by government agencies, private institutions, and other organizations. The sites will be used to help develop certification standards and traffic requirements for unmanned flight operations by government and private operators. By 2015, the FAA hopes to have drones fully integrated into the national airspace. The changes are spurred by language in the FAA reauthorization bill. Comments on the proposal will be accepted until May 8. The FAA's proposal, the request for comments, plus information on where to send them is available online.

EAA/AOPA Medical Proposal Open For Comments

Anyone with an opinion about the recent exemption request from EAA and AOPA that would enable more pilots to skip their third-class medical renewals now has a chance to comment on the official federal docket. The two advocacy groups are encouraging pilots to post their support for the change, and posted a guide (PDF) to help with the process. "Comments should be substantive, significant, specific, or supported," the guide says. The exemption would give pilots who fly recreationally the option to participate in a recurrent online education program and self-assess their fitness to fly, instead of renewing their third-class medical.

If the FAA agrees to allow an exemption to the rules, pilots would be able to fly thousands of qualifying GA aircraft with just a driver's license, a pilot certificate, and a certificate of completion (within the last 24 months) from the online course. The course would be free to anyone, not just EAA or AOPA members, through AOPA's Air Safety Institute. Other details can be found in the groups' 41-page proposal (PDF). Last month, AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with Kristine Hartzell, AOPA's manager of regulatory affairs, for more details about plan, the strategy behind it, and what happens next. Click here to listen to the podcast.

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New Airplanes: Giving Them the Shakedown back to top 

Motorglider Autoland A Success

German motorglider manufacturer Stemme has demonstrated an automatic flight control system that is under development for airborne sensor versions of its aircraft. The LAPAZ system will eventually be able to take control of a flight from takeoff to landing and on March 22 it put a STEMME S15 right on the centerline of the runway at Neuhardenburg, near Berlin. The "pilot assistance system," as Stemme refers to it, is designed for flights with a pilot on board. An enhanced version will be installed in unmanned aerial vehicle versions of the aircraft. The system also has a "gust alleviation system" to minimize the effect of rough air during sensor missions. The March 22 flight tested the flexibility of the LAPAZ system as well as its precision.

After a conventional takeoff with project head and test pilot Lothar Dalldorff at the controls, LAPAZ took over and first took the aircraft on a low pass down the centerline. As it was getting set up for landing, the wind changed and the system had to be reconfigured for a landing from the opposite end of the runway. The system, monitored by Dalldorff, established the aircraft on a five-degree glide and flared at the right moment for a soft landing on the main gear and automatically deployed the air brakes. The system has been tested repeatedly since the first landing, said STEMME officials.

Solar Impulse Aims For 1,500-Mile Flight

It has already set three world records and now the solar and battery powered aircraft Solar Impulse will attempt a two-day flight covering 1,500 miles flying out of Switzerland for Morocco. That flight is scheduled for May or June. The aircraft will stop in Spain so the crew can switch pilots and won't use a single drop of fuel during the flight. Solar Impulse has already set endurance and altitude records during an earlier 26-plus hour flight and another record earned in 2010 for manned flight powered only by sunlight. The Solar Impulse team is stepping up toward significantly higher goals.

The aircraft has a 208-foot span that carries more than 3,500 pounds. Solar cells on the wings collect power for four electric motors that drive the aircraft to roughly 43 miles per hour. Excess energy is stored in batteries for use at night. Ultimately, the builders of Solar Impulse aim to prove the system's potential by flying it around the world. They have tentatively set 2014 for that trip. This Switzerland-to-Morocco trip "will serve as a dress rehearsal" for that flight. It allows the team to gather real-world experience operating with international airports and integrating into traffic patterns. Morocco was chosen as a destination in part because the country plans to build five solar complexes generating a total 2000 megawatts of power by the year 2020, according to the Solar Impulse team.

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Stay Occupied When You're Not Flying back to top 

Air Racers 3D Movie Opens Today

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A new 3D film currently scheduled for a handful of IMAX theaters offers unique visual perspectives of the Reno Air Races, good engine noise and a bit of aviation history. The film loosely follows Steve Hinton, Jr.'s 2009 bid to succeed his father's record as the youngest pilot to win the Unlimited Gold championship at the races in the modified P-51, Strega. Filming was done at 2009 and 2010 Reno race events and was completed in June 2011 with specially staged air-to-air shots. The final product leaves out mention of the September 2011 crash that killed pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 spectators, injured 74 others, and destroyed the modified P-51 Galloping Ghost.

TThe movie begins with computer-generated footage involving wartime P-51s in action. It introduces historic footage (in 2D), briefly covers aviation's roots as relevant to air racing, and evolves into an introduction to what we know as the modern Reno Air Race event, including select airshow performances. For those, some of the air-to-air filming offers airshow enthusiasts a new visual perspective on aerobatic flight routines, including flights by the Snowbirds, Kent Pietsch and the late Greg Poe. The film avoids deep technical details and sometimes layers music over engine noise but also captures in-cockpit speed and sound while giving a glimpse behind the scenes at the races. The current show schedule is here.

Brainteasers Quiz #170: Hands Off My Airspace!


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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Diamond Flies Its New DA52

Diamond reported Tuesday that its new DA52 twin completed its first flight, with Diamond CEO Christian Dries and test pilot Ingmar Meyerbuch at the controls. The DA52 is essentially the cabin of the DA50 SuperStar, which was proposed a few years ago, paired with new wings and two 180-HP Austro AE300 engines. The engines are manufactured in a new facility adjacent to Diamond's factory in Weiner Neudstadt, Austria. According to Diamond, the aircraft took off at a gross weight of 3,900 pounds and climbed to 12,000 feet in nine minutes, for an average two-engine climb rate of about 1300 FPM. On the initial flight, the aircraft achieved a true airspeed of 190 knots with no abnormalities, Diamond said.

The DA52's large cabin will accommodate up to five people -- or six, if some passengers are small or are children. The cabin is wide, with staggered seating in the rear portion. AVweb saw the aircraft being assembled during our visit to the Diamond factory in March. Dries promised then that the airplane would fly on April 3 and appears to be as good as his word. "This is the best prototype aircraft I have ever made a maiden flight with," he said this week, "and the performance exceeded all my expectations. I'm very proud of my team, headed by managing director Manfred Zipper, who realized this program in less than six months." The DA52 will be shown at the Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, later this month. AVweb will post full coverage of the show.

PAL-V Roadable Gyrocopter Flies In Europe

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PAL-V, a personal air and land vehicle, has been in development in the Netherlands for several years, and recently achieved its first flight, the company said on Monday. A folding pusher prop provides power and the auto-rotating rotor provides lift. On the road, the vehicle accelerates like a sports car and handles like a motorcycle, according to the company. Several flights were conducted over the last two weeks, the company said. Robert Dingemanse, CEO and co-founder of PAL-V, said he is now inviting investors to help support development of the aircraft. "We know there is a lot of interest for the PAL-V," he said. "Prior to announcing these test flights, we were already approached on a daily basis by potential customers and dealers wanting to be part of this exciting project."

The vehicle complies with existing regulations for air and road traffic in all major markets, the company said, and in the U.S., operators will require a sport pilot certificate to fly it. It takes off and lands at low speed, is easy to control, and won't stall, according to the news release. The maximum flight range is about 300 miles, and on the ground, it can drive for 750 miles. It runs on gasoline and versions will be available that use biodiesel, the company said. Maximum speed is 110 mph on the land or in the air. The video was posted on YouTube on April 1, which raised the question whether it's a fake; however, the company has been known to be working on the project for several years.

First Flight For Terrafugia Prototype

Terrafugia's production prototype of its Transition street-legal airplane took flight for the first time just over a week ago, the company announced on Monday. The first flight took place in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Friday, March 23, the company said. The flight lasted for eight minutes, staying in the airport vicinity, and reached an altitude of 1,400 feet above ground level. The flight "demonstrated the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft," the company said. An earlier version of the airplane flew in 2009, providing data that helped in the design of the current prototype. The current version is scheduled to complete the flight testing required to qualify as a light sport aircraft, with first deliveries expected within a year. Click here for video from the flight -- and the drive to the airport. (MP4 file)

The brief first flight demonstrated the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft, the company said.  Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich said the flight showed that his team can accomplish "what had been called an impossible dream." Six phases of flight testing are planned, with two test articles. The design will be capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single-car garage, and flying with unleaded auto gas. AVweb spoke with Dietrich about the program at AOPA Summit in September; click here for the video.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

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All the News from Sun 'n Fun back to top 

Sun 'n Fun 2012: News Coverage Round-Up

AVweb attended the 38th annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida from March 27 to April 1, 2012 — and brought back an assortment of news and interviews. Click here for a handy index to all our coverage from the show, including podcasts, videos, and blogs.

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.

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Flightways Columbus (KCSG, Columbus, Georgia)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Flightways Columbus at Columbus Metropolitan Airport (KCSG) in (you guessed it) Columbus, Georgia. "The entire staff on more than one occasion has gone way beyond to make sure that I was happy," writes AVweb reader Matt Hinkle. "These guys really know what customer service means!"

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!

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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