AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 19, Number 1c

January 4, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Today's Exclusive Feature back to top 
 

The Coming SocialFlight Revolution?

The fresh bloom of interactive applications available on portable devices today is changing how pilots fly, but if SocialFlight.com has its way it may also be changing why you fly -- and for all the right reasons. SocialFlight's creators have lofty goals. They aim to improve your business connections, your social life, your flying life, and ultimately drive sustainability if not growth in the statistically shrinking GA segment, all free of charge. It's sunshine and roses level stuff. But here's the twist: according to Jason Clemens, vice president of marketing for Where2 Interactive (SocialFlight's developer), "between summer 2012 and January 2013, we got 12,000 pilots signed up." And if the business provides those users with what it intends to provide, SocialFlight could deliver real gains for GA. Even more important, because of its business model, the effort may not have to become profitable for its developers, or anyone else, to still grow and provide a sustained and increasingly useful service for pilots and the GA community as a whole.

So What Is It? Clemens' answer drew a line from the poetic to the practical, which further defines the driving principles behind SocialFlight. "Passion is the reason for existence. Most people have one -- anything from motorcycles, to skiing, to cars, to collecting … whatever. But whether it's the pace of life or the economy, it's harder and harder for people to immerse themselves in their passions. So, how can we make it easier? That's what we're about -- making it easy."

At its core, SocialFlight is an event aggregator … a database. It actively seeks out, collects and retains information regarding every pilot-oriented event about which it is informed, or that its employees can find through active search. It creates and presents (online, via email, and through its app) organized collections of those events. The events can be displayed in list form, or on a map, and might include everything from a local individual's public invitation to stop by for hangar talk, to FAA organized TRACON tours, to safety seminars, to EAA Chapter pancake breakfasts … even a manufacturer's invitation to fly their latest model. Essentially, SocialFlight aims to collect aviation-relevant events that pilots are passionate about and present them in a simple straightforward way to its members. To make that potential barrage of information more useful, it also provides users with tools to keep the events organized and make sure they're relevant to the user's interests. Members can set parameters that triage and sort the events by date, distance from a location, type of event, and a group of other user-specified parameters. By the start of 2013, SocialFlight had collected and presented some 4,000 upcoming aviation events for its 12,000 members. But its creators see more purpose to the free product, they aim to make money, and both of those things could actually help you.

Click here to read the full article.

 
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From the Pages of Aviation Consumer Magazine back to top 
 

Angle of Attack: Now Available for Everyone

As long as you don't require flap-position sensing, an AoA system is a minor alteration. But the FAA may relent on more integrated systems soon.

We're told that somewhere there's an Israeli air tactics manual that contains the line, "Speed is life." Good thinking for fighter pilots, but down here in the more mundane world of GA, it's probably more appropriate to say, "Angle of attack is life."

AoA sensors in GA airplanes are as rare as $4 avgas, so we use airspeed as a proxy to get the right angle for approach and landing. One problem with airspeed is that most of us only know the right airspeed for gross weight at sea level on a standard day. If we're light, we tend to come in fast and curse the floating landing that ensues. The other end of the problem is getting too slow, or pulling the plane into a high-g-loading stall far above the wings-level stalling speed. The result when at low altitude can be grisly.

Oddly, there have been at least four companies offering reasonably priced AoA detectors for over 15 years. They're flying in experimental aircraft and plenty of certified birds. Some new interest from the FAA in the safety payoff of AoA indicators may shake things up, even though there hasn't been a policy change yet.

Click here to read the full article.

 
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Fantasy or Reality?
IFR magazine helps you sort the facts from the fiction. Realistic, practical tools for the IFR pilot.

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Today's Exclusive AVweb Podcast back to top 
 

Podcast: 2012 -- The Year That Wasn't; What of 2013?

File Size 5.5 MB / Running Time 6:02

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If 2012 was the year that wasn't for general aviation sales, then 2013 is the year that could be. AVweb spoke with aviation industry analyst Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group. Aboulafia said that modest gains expected in 2012 never really materialized outside of heavy iron sales, but there may be reason to hope that shifting financial conditions might begin to lift the industry's smaller players in 2013.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (5.5 MB, 6:02)

 
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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:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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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