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|"Information Wants to Be Free?" Maybe So for
REIN IN AERONAV'S FEE PROPOSAL
The powerful Senate
Appropriations Committee has rapped the knuckles of the FAA over its
handling of proposed changes to the delivery of online navigation
information services and suggested more congressional oversight on the
implementation of those changes. The committee, whose report must be
approved by the full Senate and House, says AeroNav, the arm of the
agency that publishes navigation and airport information, should
immediately restore the 17-day advance availability of the next
iteration of online publications, which it abruptly reduced to 24 hours
last year. The change made it difficult if not impossible for
third-party online navigation information providers to fully update
their data bases before the effective dates of the new charts. "The
committee is concerned that these changes may conflict with the FAA's
mission to provide timely and accurate information for pilots in the
interest of safe and efficient navigation," the committee said. It also
warned against using online products as a cash cow to make up for lost
revenue from diminishing paper chart sales. More...
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ANNOUNCES WHERE THE DRONES ARE
The FAA has responded to a
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by releasing two lists it says
include all public and private entities that have sought authorization
to fly drones over the United States. The suit was brought by the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The lists include both the
Certificates of Authorization issued to public entities and the Special
Airworthiness Certificates issued to private operators. EFF has posted
the entities to an online interactive map and says "these lists leave
many questions unanswered." Separately, a pair of congressmen has sent a
letter to the FAA requesting its plans to protect the privacy of U.S.
citizens regarding drone operations. More...
TIME FOR FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR
Harrington Bishop, 64, former
safety inspector at Teterboro Flight Standards District Office, was
sentenced Wednesday to one year of prison time for accepting
unauthorized payments from pilots after giving them check rides. Bishop,
also a former Air Force pilot, was not authorized to grant licenses or
participate in checks on his days off. But over seven years he scheduled
rides (mostly for military pilots looking for civilian certificates) and
accepted tips of $300 under those conditions, the court found. Bishop
operated most of the flights out of Flying W airport in Medford, N.J.,
and nearly every pilot he tested passed. Along with the prison term, he
has been ordered to pay the government $70,000 in restitution. Bishop
did offer an explanation for his behavior. More...
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INSIDER BLOG: AERO 2012 -- SMALLER, BUT PLENTY OF NEW
This year, for the first time, Aero Friedrichshafen
became an annual show, and as a result, it was a bit smaller than usual,
according to veteran exhibitors. But on the AVweb Insider blog,
Paul Bertorelli's summary reports on plenty of new stuff, including the
Cirrus jet announcement, the stunning Pipistrel Panthera and more LSAs,
ultralights and autogyros than we could even count. Attendance at Aero
hovers around the 33,000 mark, but it's a potent audience of people who
are seriously interested in aviation. More...
FAST-Flight: The Cure for
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KRAFT: COMPETITION MAY MAKE 100LL REPLACEMENT COST
Although no replacement for 100LL has yet been
identified, Lycoming's Michael Kraft thinks it's possible that multiple
competitors could enter the market with different fuels meeting the same
specifications, thus fostering price competition. In this
podcast recorded at Aero 2012 in Friedrichshafen, Germany,
Lycoming's Kraft said that although it hasn't released its formal
report, the FAA's leaded fuel transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee
will recommend a transition process that could, conceivably, have
several competitors providing different sources of unleaded fuel to the
market that meet the same performance specification. More...
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ANNOUNCES ROBOTIC HELICOPTER
Tapping into its evolving
expertise in airborne sensing systems, Diamond Aircraft CEO Christian
Dries said Thursday at Aero Friedrichshafen that the company will soon
be testing a robotic helicopter, the Hero. The aircraft is intended for
the military and commercial airborne sensor and reconnaissance market
but it won't be just another UAV. In this
podcast from Aero, Dries said the aircraft will be capable of not
just autonomous flight, but also a degree of artificial intelligence and
flight judgment. "It's a little bit beyond a regular unmanned aircraft,"
Dries said. More...
SHARES DA52 MAIDEN FLIGHT STATS
It was only flown up to
12,000 feet and cruised at 190 knots TAS within the pre-defined limits
of its one-hour flight test, but Diamond Aircraft's five-plus-person
DA52 twin could soon offer "a lot more," according to the company.
Powered by two 180-hp turbo-diesel Austro AE300E engines, the aircraft
took off without flaps in less than 900 feet with a five-knot headwind.
It climbed to altitude in less than nine minutes at an initial rate of
1,700 fpm, flying at gross weight. Performance was constricted for the
test flight, and more technology is coming. Christian Dries told
AVweb that the DA52 will be among Diamond's first to be offered
with optional fly-by-wire controls. More...
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EXTENDS ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME
improving rapidly, the chief problem with electric aircraft remains
endurance due to limitations on battery capacity and weight. At Aero
Friedrichshafen last week, a German company called PC-Aero showed off
the latest iteration of its approach to solve the endurance problem --
solar assisted flight. In this video, PC-Aero's Calin Gologan showed
AVweb the company's second-generation electric airplane, the
single-seat Electra Solar One. Because of its low drag, the airplane
draws minimum power from its onboard batteries, but to supplement that,
says Gologan, the wings and tail surfaces are covered in efficient
photovoltaic cells that can provide up to 1.2 Kw/hr against a total
requirement of 2.5 Kw for the airplane. More...
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SHOWS ITS NEW ENGINES
ULPower, a company based in Geluveld,
Belgium, showed off its new six-cylinder powerplants at Aero
Friedrichshafen last week. UL is becoming more known in the kit airplane
and experimental markets for its low-power four-cylinder engines. As
Patrick Denorme explains in this AVweb video, it's now taking a
run at the higher-power six-cylinder market. More...
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MESSERSCHMIDT BF 109 SIMULATOR
If you could fly a
Messerschmitt Bf 109, how cool would that be? A simulator is the next
best thing. In this AVweb video from Aero 2012 in
Friedrichshafen, Germany, we get a sim tour from Hans Schmid.
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2012 PHOTO GALLERY: RC FLYING AREA
There are literally hundreds of airplanes
on display in Friedrichshafen this week but how could the Aero
2012 organizers fit hundreds of airplanes in a single hangar? Discover
the answer as Paul Bertorelli pauses to take a break from shooting video
to wander the radio-controlled airplane display. More...
2012 PHOTO GALLERY: GYROS
Before we pack up and head home from Aero
2012 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, here's one last photo gallery
showcasing some of the gyros we took in during the show.
OF THE WEEK: LUX AIR JET CENTER (KGYR, GOODYEAR,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lux Air Jet
Center at Phoenix/Goodyear Airport (KGYR) in Goodyear,
AVweb reader Cathy Page told us about her
in to park, [and the] line guy was right there. Before we even got out
of the plane, he had it chained down. I asked him about fuel prices I
had seen online, and he assured me they would honor whatever was posted.
We walked inside and asked the desk if they could top off our plane
while we met a business acquaintance. Then the line guy who parked us
asked if we needed anything. [We told him] a ride to find the person we
were to meet (who is slightly lost) would be great. He grabbed a golf
cart and took us to find our guest. We had a little business to do and
used the pilot lounge to finish up. We found out as we paid our fuel
bill from the desk that the line guy who had been so helpful earlier was
in fact the owner of Lux Air. How nice to see the hands-on from
Thank you, Tim. Thank you, Lux Air, for great
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
During the late 1970s, a Royal Air Force
"Belfast" strategic freighter approached on final to Chicago
O'Hare. (What's a Belfast? Read on!) Callsign: "Ascot
"Chicago tower, Ascot
"Ascot, say your aircraft
"Ascot 1234 is a
"Uhhh, what in heck's a Belfast,
"It's a big 4-turboprop freighter
bit like a pretty C-132."
you're cleared to continue behind the landing 737. Do you have that
"Ascot 1234, affirmative to
"Chicago Tower, this is United
"United 123 Chicago, you're cleared to
continue behind the landing Belfast."
"United 123, don't you
know a Belfast when you see one?"
Chicago (and United) could be
forgiven for not knowing what in heck a Belfast was: Only 10
were ever built. But we (53 Squadron, Royal Air Force) flew them all
round the world, and we loved 'em ... .
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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