NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
|This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Oregon Aero |
MARY DILDA RELIES ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE FLYING
The crowds at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In will
experience the aerobatic magic of Mary Dilda again this year, and she credits Oregon Aero for helping her to concentrate when performing. She uses an Oregon Aero Pilot SoftSeat Cushion,
Aviation Helmet Upgrade, and Shock-Absorbing Insole Inserts. Oregon Aero also has upgraded her headset. "It's the most comfortable gear I've ever worn," says Mary. "All of these products have helped
remove pain or discomfort inside and out of the airplane. Now I can completely concentrate on my performance without worrying about physical stress." Visit Oregon at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Building A, Booth #A-040-042 or check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
How It Sounded In The Tower
With the weekend on its way and the sun finally blazing down in all its Florida exuberance, Sun 'n Fun started to live up to its name yesterday
as the clouds disappeared, Wednesday's relentless winds died down, and the sky filled with airplanes. "Move! Move! Move!" was the mantra on the tower frequency, as a breathless controller tried to
keep the flow going, with arrivals and departures all crowding onto the same busy runway. "Taxi! Taxi! Taxi! As fast as you can without taking off!" And squeak-squeak, there's a little red taildragger
touching down and racing by on its front gear, a "mixmaster" hot on its heels, a gallant (certified) Seawind going around, a Cirrus on short final, while a tall yellow crane plucks a sorry warbird by
the tail from the grassy verge, where it ran afoul of the runway edge. "No rubbernecking! Move, move, move! YOU, doing the 360, don't EVER do that again!" Just listening to the radio was enough to
scare any sane person out of the sky, but the pattern stayed busy till it was time to shut down for the two o'clock airshow. The wisest visitors were those who found a grassy spot by the turnoff from
the taxiway, settled in with a cool drink and a shady hat, turned off the radio, and simply watched and listened and soaked in the sun as airplane after airplane after airplane rolled by, props
spinning, canopies ajar to catch a fresh breeze, pilots intent, all shapes and sizes and colors and sounds, gleaming under the bright blue sky.
Lycoming-Inspired Superior Vantage Uses Mogas...
The first GA engine certified to run on unleaded automotive gasoline is a reality. Superior Air Parts officials told a packed Sun 'n
Fun news conference their Vantage O-360 (aspirated) and IO-360 (injected) engines will happily sip mid-grade 91 Octane mogas. Keith Blockus, who was in charge of development of the engine for the
Coppell, Texas-based company, said the 180-h.p. mill went through "one of the most documented test programs" ever conceived for an engine and they're confident in the longevity and reliability of the
engine whether it runs on 100 LL, unleaded or a mix of the two. The revamped engine has a bit of a track record, however--it's a retooled, re-engineered and improved (says Superior) of the venerable
Lycoming 360. To combat the pre-ignition problems that can crop up with car gas, Superior developed special tools to detect detonation and combat it. Blockus said the mogas option not only addresses
the long-predicted demise of leaded fuel, it opens markets in areas of the world where avgas might as well be extinct because it's not available.
Now, Superior isn't the first to launch a certified autogas engine project but the most recent entrant in that market was conspicuously absent from the sunny grounds of Lakeland Linder Regional
Airport. Bombardier, which created a major stir at last year's AirVenture in Oshkosh with the introduction of its V-6 GA engines, was a no-show at Sun 'n Fun. Deadline pressures prevented us from contacting Bombardier for
comment on the Superior announcement but we will be in touch. Meanwhile, Superior's PR data on the Vantage says its competitors (who have also been its bread and butter as a parts manufacturer for 30
years) have every reason to be concerned about the Vantage. In fact, Superior predicts Continental and Lycoming will drop prices and launch campaigns to remind their existing customers that "original
parts are better." Superior's press release says customers will see through the OEMs' claims and be willing to pay more, if necessary, for the technical enhancements of the new engine. At the same
time, however, Superior claims its new engine will be "priced competitively" with comparable Lycoming and Continental engines.
Although it may look like a Lyoming 360-series engine, Superior claims its new engine is much different on the inside, where it counts. Blockus said they re-engineered just about every part of the
decades-old design, improved materials throughout and made it breathe, oil and run better. Blockus said they decided to "stick to the basics" in offering only two versions of the engine to start. A
full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system is on the drawing board as is a turbocharged version. Now that the engine is certified (production certification is expected by the end of the
year), CEO Chuck Denman said the focus shifts to marketing. The press kit suggests an unnamed aircraft manufacturer will soon announce plans to equip its planes with the Vantage. Denman said they will
target OEMs and the STC market with installations for Cessna 172s and Piper Cherokees topping their list. The press release says OEMs have driven the Vantage project through their desire for a better
|YOU + AVEMCO'S SAFETY REWARDS PROGRAM = GENERAL AVIATION HEALTH|
Find out more at Sun 'n Fun
Booth #C-055-056. Your participation in Avemco's Safety Rewards Program will make you eligible for up to 10% credit on your Avemco premium, and you'll make a contribution to OUR industry's future.
The Safety Rewards Program is designed to address risk management issues, starting with the "Practical Risk Management for Pilots" series of courses produced by John and Martha King. Additional
credits can be earned by completing recurrent training that goes beyond the FAR minimums and addresses "real world" pilot problems. For complete details, visit AVEMCO's Sun 'n Fun Booth (#C-055-056)
or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
More Than An 'Air Show'...
While the main fairway -- filled with exhibits and banners and tents, things to look at and things to buy -- is crowded with visitors, the low-key flight lines around the edges are where the true
heart of the show is found. Here are the thousands of airplanes flown in by loving pilots and their families and friends, polished and pampered, many of them built or restored by hand, and each of
them the pot of gold at the end of somebody's rainbow. Art Culver, a retired American Airlines pilot from North Carolina, spent 10 years building his sleek Seawind amphibian. "I can see why some
people never finish," he said. "You just have to keep going and going, and not think about it, till finally one day you run out of parts, and you're done." The fact that he's done seems still to be a
surprise to him. He's been flying it for four years now, and he's taken it to Canada and competed in the AirVenture Cup races. It's still pristine, and yesterday [Thursday] he was up on top of the
wing, checking the oil level. "I just can't see it," he said, squinting to read the wet dipstick in the bright glare, and a friend on the ground laughed. "Why don't you fly with dirty oil, then, like
the rest of us?"
On the far side of the field, Ron Karwacky sits in the sun, sheltered from the wind by the fuselage of his polished aluminum 1952 Cessna 195. "I soloed in this airplane," he says. He bought the plane
for $15,000 in 1983 and recruited a few friends to help with the restoration work. The beefy taildragger is great for cross-country flying, he says. It cruises at about 165, and he got to Florida from
southern California in two days and 12 and a half hours of flying, with a 30-knot tailwind. Karwacky said he has about 1,900 hours total time, just about all of it in taildraggers, and he and his
plane are both VFR-only flyers. "I fly for a hobby only," he said. He plans to retire soon from his career as a backhoe operator and relocate to Arkansas. "Well, I'll have to only half-retire if I
want to keep the airplane," he said. And judging by the spitshine, the scrapbook of pictures stowed in the cockpit, the meticulous attention to detail, he probably does want to keep that airplane.
Not every pilot that comes to Sun 'n Fun flies in, though. In the Type-Club Tent, four guys are hanging around the table assigned to the Ercoupe Owners Club. Thirty-two alleged Ercoupe owners have
signed in so far on the clipboard. So how many Ercoupes are on the field, a visitor asks? They look at each other. "I think there might be one," says John Wright Jr. "I saw one over by the campground,
seems to me," says John Wright Sr. Between them, the two own "at least seven Ercoupes ... two in the garage, one in the driveway, one in the hangar, and parts enough for three -- at *least* three,"
they say. But it was "too far to fly," as apparently it is for all but the most rare and intrepid Ercoupe owners. "They just want to bore holes in the sky," says Wright Jr. "Besides, if they fly here,
they have to leave the motorhome behind, and that wouldn't work." But there may be at least one more Ercoupe on the field: "There's one at the museum," offers one of the club members, "all polished up
|RYAN INTERNATIONAL OFFERS 9900B TCAD AT NEW LOW PRICE OF $7,990|
The 9900B TCAD
(Traffic Collision Alerting Device) bridges the gap between TIS (Traffic Information System) and TAS (Traffic Advisory System). It provides real-time information that operates in any type of radar
environment and is unaffected by the limitations of TIS, which operates only in select approach radar sites. The 9900B will interface with many manufacturers' Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and offers
a cost-effective upgrade path to the 9900BX (TAS) system. For more details, go by Ryan's Sun 'n Fun Booth (#D-071-072) or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ryan/avflash.
New owners of soon-to-be-certified (the same phrase was used in 2003) Seawind amphibs won't have to worry about getting their $300,000 aircraft insured. They'll be doing it themselves.
Seawind, a Canadian company that hopes to produce certified versions of the distinctive homebuilt, is organizing an insurance cooperative among owners to keep those costs down. Sales manager Vince
Parisi said there just isn't enough historical data for insurance companies to fairly assess the insurance premiums for a design like the Seawind so the company has opted for the self-insurance
scheme. Under the plan, owners will put up a bond and pay initially high premiums. As the fleet builds and the economies of scale take over, the premiums will drop and the bond money will be returned.
Parisi said owners will have to take regular recurrent training and maintain their proficiency. Owners who don't plan to use the aircraft on water will get a lower rate. He also stressed the insurance
plan will be strictly non-profit. "We are in no way trying to set up an insurance company," he said. "We are only doing this to sell airplanes." Parisi said Transport Canada certification should come
by the end of the year and deliveries should start in 2005.
One manufacturer attracting lots of attention on the exhibit line was the Czech Aircraft Works, or CZAW, a five-year-old company with American
ownership, that builds American airplanes with American materials, but does it all in the Czech Republic with Czech workers. They were debuting the prototype of their first in-house design, a two-seat
aluminum-hulled amphibian priced at $78,500 (for the first 50, at least) and designed expressly to conform to the FAA's potential Light
Sport Aircraft rules. It first flew on March 11. Company president Chip Erwin was sitting in the airplane yesterday and growing hoarse from talking about it nonstop. "We should be ready to deliver
by the end of this year," he told AVweb, and if the LSA rule isn't ready when they are, they'll deliver the airplane as an Experimental. "We have a seven-day build school," Erwin said. According to
company representatives, graduates of the school can receive an FAA repairman certificate if they apply for one. The company told us the FAA just wants builders to learn ... but not necessarily to pop
every rivet and turn every nut. The same build center has been manufacturing Zenair aircraft under license -- they've built more than 500 of them.
The exhibit also featured a tall sign spelling out the mission and philosophy of the company, such as: "We don't finance our product development with customer deposits." The first 20 delivery spots
were held with $10 deposits -- though that has gone up to $500 now. "I don't even want the money," Erwin said. "I just want to sell those positions. ...You haven't seen us showing a mock-up year
after year, or computer models, or any of that. Here we are introducing our design with a prototype that we've already built and already flown." A second prototype is in development by the company's
"Frog Works" design team, incorporating some modifications learned from testing the first, including a larger rudder and a lighter canopy. That second copy is expected to be what they need for
production. CZAW also manufactured airplanes under contract to OMF, and Erwin said he is already negotiating with the new owners in Germany to continue that relationship. The new amphibian, called the
Lake Sport (CZAW is the European distributor for LanShe's Lake Renegade), has repositionable tricycle gear, removable wings, dual controls, five watertight compartments, a Rotax 912ULS (914 also
available), and burns under five gallons of fuel per hour. Besides that, we think it's kinda cute.
|COMPLIMENTARY STUFF & NEW PRODUCTS AT LIGHTSPEED'S SUN 'N FUN BOOTH|
Get out your
show map and put a big dot on Booth #D-051-053 to remind yourself to stop by LightSPEED's booth for your complimentary promotional gift. Sure, you'll have to demo a headset first, but do you
really need another excuse to sit in our egg-ceptional listening booth? How about this all LightSPEED headsets are now equipped with cell/satellite phone jacks! That should do it. See you at
the show! The new cell/satellite jack feature is also available online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
Today at Sun 'n Fun Lancair has received ceremoniously (or will receive, dependant on when you read this) FAA certification for their 310 hp turbocharged Columbia 400. What we knew, but were before today unable to share is that the madly capable, top of its class, 235 knot at 25,000 feet super cruiser may also prove itself the most
docile aircraft of its performance class. Lancair Vice President of Engineering, Tom Bowen, explained the outboard wing cuffs designed to keep the ailerons flying while the inboard section of the wing
is stalled, enlarged rudder (a visually imperceptible difference from the 350) and added ventral strake to add yaw stability and assure rudder authority should the pilot manage to stall the aircraft;
and the reduced-area elevator designed to prevent deep stall entry at altitude. Still, the idea we heard again and again, is safety through performance.
Designed as a high altitude go fast, go far aircraft the 400 is equipped with an Avidyne FlightMax Entegra, dual Garmin 430s, plus autopilot and traditional gauges (to back up the glass panels). One
item not yet finalized is the aircraft's de-ice system. The de-ice system the company is currently pursuing would be a low-profile, low weight electric system armed by the pilot to turn on when it
sees a certain temperature. Heat would be applied cyclically through the system while a core area is kept hot. The idea, says Lancair, is to leave the pilot with a system that, for the most part,
requires very little management -- especially when compared to pneumatic boots or quantity-dependent chemically based systems -- and gets the pilot through the weather for a long flight above the
weather. The aircraft will begin delivering next month and a new hopefully-retrofittable certified de-ice system may be available for September. Otherwise, the aircraft may carry a more traditional
system. (Pressurization may follow...)
The future of the Symphony aircraft line, which has been in limbo since OMF GmbH, the German parent company, declared bankruptcy in December, should be decided in the next week or two, it was
announced at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. "One way or another, the line is going to be re-launched by somebody, shortly," said Paul Costanzo, the former president of OMF Aircraft, which had just opened a
factory in Quebec last September. The North American assets of OMF Aircraft are now up for bid, and Costanzo has formed a group called
Symphony Aircraft Industries to try to buy the company and re-open at its former site. Forty-four orders are on the books, Costanzo said. Tuesday was the deadline for bids, and SAI and four other
companies were invited to submit offers. The creditors are anxious to see the company back in business and its work force re-employed, he said, so he expects action fairly quickly. The German company,
OMF GmbH, already has been sold off to a German components manufacturer, SMW, which is new to aviation, Costanzo said. He added that SMW is focusing on moving forward with the 135D model, a diesel
two-seater, which should have JAA certification by September. The company also produces the Symphony 160 two-seater, and has completed the preliminary design of a four-seat version, with an expected
North American certification date of 2006. If his group's bid is successful, Costanzo said, they would independently build the Symphony line for the North American market, under a complex set of
agreements with SMW, but the two companies would be separate entities. He also said that while the company is for sale, he and his team have continued to answer the phones and provide customer
|DIAMOND AIRCRAFT SHINES AT SUN 'N FUN WITH THE NEW DIAMOND STAR DA40-FP!|
showing its new Diamond Star DA40-FP at Sun 'n Fun Booth #MD-023B-024C. This fixed-pitch version of the popular DA40-180 Diamond Star addresses the requirements of high utilization operators.
The FP has been designed to lower both acquisition and operating cost, minimize inspection and maintenance times, and maximize dispatch reliability. The cost savings relate mainly to the change of the
powerplant with a carburated Lycoming O360A4D 180hp engine, driving a fixed-pitch metal Sensenich propeller. You have to see the DA40-FP to appreciate these, and many more, innovations. Go by
Diamond's Sun 'n Fun booth, or visit them online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
Paying for insurance is one of those necessary evils that all pilots hate (until they need it), but at least for this year, those insured by Avemco
won't see their bills going up. So said company officials at a press conference at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. The company also has cut its rates on some of its renters' insurance policies by up to 8
percent. Avemco also said it is offering more options for renters, plus discounts for pilots who complete approved training courses. Meanwhile, the folks at EAA said this week they have an insurance plan all ready to go for sport pilots and owners of light-sport aircraft -- as soon as such things bloom into existence. "EAA knows that
to fully promote these new flying opportunities, there needs to be the necessary protection for those who participate," said Bob Warner, EAA executive vice president, during a media briefing at Sun 'n
Fun. The plan is offered by Falcon Insurance.
A six-year battle over the future of a 60-year-old aircraft design should be on its way to settlement. As AVweb previously reported, Renaissance Aircraft, of Cape Girardeau, Mo. has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Arizona-based Don Luscombe Aviation History Museum and its former president, Doug Combs
over the type certificate for the venerable Luscombe 8F. On Thursday, an Arizona bankruptcy court was to decide whether a deal between Renaissance and the bankrupt Luscombe group would settle the
differences and allow Renaissance to get on with producing a modern, souped-up version of the aircraft that some credit with bringing affordable aviation to the masses in the 1940s. "We're going to be
all part of the same family, all working together," predicted Renaissance President John Deardon. "It's been a big waste of time and a big waste of money." Deardon didn't want to discuss the legal
issues but he was happy to talk about the airplane, which he said is a fun way to fly despite its 60-year-old pedigree. Luscombes originally came with 50 hp engines--the new one has up to 180. That
makes it climb up to 2,000 fpm and tear along at more than 130 knots. With the legal entanglements cleared, it should be easier for the company to attract the capital it needs to get into production.
Renaissance has a $2.7 million judgement against Combs and Deardon said he intends to collect what he can. Stay tuned....
|FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE|
FlightMax EX500 provides the best value MFD/Datalink solution available for G.A. And it's the easiest to use. To prove it, Avidyne has put together a new FlightMax EX500 trainer which allows you to
"fly" user-defined flight plans and retrieve "datalinked" graphical weather and TFRs all along the route and randomly access virtually all pages and functions of the EX500, just as you would on
the real product. See the FlightMax EX500 at Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-043-044, or download your no-cost EX500 Training Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.
Better weather at Sun 'n Fun Thursday (blinding sun) translated into many more images captured over the past two days: turbine Bonanzas (the conversion can costs three times more than the plane, but
they sold very well for Malibu/Mirage line), a 700-plus-hp turbine Lancair (you'll know it when you see it), very rare and vintage biplanes, warbirds, ultralights, experimentals, Bruce Bohannon and
his 380hp Exxon Flyin' Tiger (Bohannon expects this year to shatter his old record time to climb to 30,000 feet by attaining the altitude in well under 15 minutes) and much more... In other words,
enjoy Gallery 1, Gallery 2 and Gallery 3...
The Savvy Aviator #4: Debunking TBO
Engine TBO (time between overhauls) seems to be one of the most misunderstood concepts in aviation maintenance. There are lots of TBO-related old wives tales that are widely believed by owners and
mechanic alike, and they can cost owners a great deal of money. Mike Busch endeavors to clear up these misconceptions, and explain what TBO really means.
|GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB?|
TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online
aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your
members happy. You can also add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy/avflash.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that
make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
|BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?|
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Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT PILOTS WANT TO PROTECT AND SHINE THEIR AIRCRAFT
AeroShell Flight Jacket products are
specifically designed for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning
cloths. Visit Shell at Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-085-089 and order the best in protection, and shine from a company you know and trust (AeroShell) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your
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selection, allowing you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six editions: Lite (no databases); Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; Jet; and Full (includes all four databases).
Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/avflash.
WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD
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AIRSPORT AVIONICS CELEBRATES THE SUN 'N FUN
FLY-IN WITH A SPECIAL OFFER
AirSport Avionics has a special price on their Portable Altitude Alerters 'til April 25th. Take $100 OFF any of the AirSport PRO or IFR Altitude Alerter models.
AirSport Alerters work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Modes A and C. No Installation Required. Safety is affordable with AirSport Avionics! Details
and ordering information at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.
COMM 1 ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE NAV & VOR/NDB SIMULATOR TRAINING PROGRAM
Comm 1 Radio Simulator programs contain comprehensive
tutorials and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges with ATC which you can experience from the safety and privacy of your computer. Build skills and confidence on the ground while saving
money and aggravation. Select the programs right for your flying needs by visiting Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-061, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY
MITCHELL IS A MUST-READ!
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to Paris, the U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the world. Countries that tried had failed, and
pilots had died. Could the United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This award-winning hardcover book by Spencer Lane tells it all in great detail. Special autographed copies are available for
AVweb subscribers only at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.
SKYGUY OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY BANK!
Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a
genuine leather flight bag for $29. With these prices, you can order as gifts and for yourself! Go online now and order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyguy/avflash.
AVIATION CONSUMER GIVES PILOTS UNCLOUDED REVIEWS OF PRODUCTS!
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PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH:
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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?_____________________________________
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