AVwebFlash - Volume 19, Number 8b

February 21, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Anyone Want to Build a Vision Jet? back to top 

Cirrus Hiring For Jet Production

The total number of Cirrus employees has grown to about 570, with roughly 50 jobs added over the past six months and, according to the company, it is seeking more workers to reach its goals for a 2015 launch of its SF-50 Vision Jet. "We're hiring, without question," Cirrus spokesman Todd Simmons told sctimes.com, and Cirrus' website backs up the claim. The site lists roughly 65 job openings (some involving multiple positions) at Duluth, Minn., that range from assemblers to engineers and from painters to administrators. The company claims to have 525 orders for its five-plus-seat single-engine jet, which currently lists for $1.96 million. The company says it will announce updated details about its Vision Jet program, soon.

Pricing for Cirrus' SF-50 Vision Jet increased this past July from $1.72 million to its current mark, $1.96 million. Most of its orders were acquired before the price jump, and the company says it doesn't expect to be adding many more orders in the near term. The company's jet design was promoted as early as 2006, and made a public debut at EAA AirVenture 2008, in Oshkosh, Wis. Global economic difficulties and a change of ownership at the company led to some questions about the jet's future. However, new Cirrus owner China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. has reportedly made a roughly $100 million investment in the program. Now, Cirrus' SF-50 Vision Jet stands a chance to become the first design to fill the personal single-engine jet niche market, with Diamond's D-Jet still standing as a potential contender for that crown. Diamond said last July that it hoped to achieve certification in about 18 months -- or 2015 -- the same timeframe now targeted by Cirrus.

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Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the
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Come join Aircraft Spruce in Puyallup, Washington (booths 127-128) on February 23 from 9:00am to 5:30pm and February 24 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversized products), and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff on site to answer all questions. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
Getting Dreamliners Back in the Air back to top 

Boeing To Move On 787 Battery Fixes

FAA officials and Boeing executives will meet in Washington, D.C., Friday to discuss a proposal that includes short- and long-term solutions to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's apparent lithium ion battery problem, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The Journal's unnamed sources say proposed fixes for the grounded 787 fleet include things like enhanced checklists, the installation of fireproof containers around the batteries and a battery redesign. The FAA has declined comment. Other reports Wednesday stated Japanese investigators found wiring problems related to the lithium battery that caught fire aboard an ANA 787, but that U.S. investigators found no similar problems with a JAL 787 that also had a battery fire.

Boeing has halted deliveries of the airliner while seeking an approved fix to resolve problems that caused two battery fires on the jets -- one on a JAL 787 parked at Boston's Logan airport and another that took place on an airborne ANA 787 on Jan. 16. Production of the Dreamliner is continuing. The ANA incident was soon followed by actions that grounded the entire fleet of 50 Dreamliners operated by eight carriers, worldwide. United Airlines, which operates six of the jets, says it expects its 787 fleet to remain on the ground at least through March. Carriers that had planned to rely on the jets are now being forced to seek alternatives. Meanwhile, Airbus, which had considered using lithium-ion batteries on its upcoming A350, has stated that it will incorporate heavier conventional batteries into its design. That aircraft is due for launch next year.

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Aviation, Technology, and the Law back to top 

X-Plane Creator Expects Court Battle

A company called Uniloc is suing X-Plane flight simulation software creator Austin Meyer for patent infringement and Meyer claims the results of the suit -- regardless of who wins -- may curb his creation of new products. The suit centers around a mobile flight simulation app that Meyer created. Meyer says the threat of similar suits will likely deter him from designing new apps for the android market unless changes come to how patent suits are litigated. He hopes that by fighting the suit he might instigate those changes. Meyer, who spoke with AVweb, Wednesday, recently created the Xavion app for iPad. Xavion is designed for use in certified aircraft and is a less capable version of the VP400, a product he helped design for use in experimental aircraft. The VP400 interfaces with onboard systems and delivers pilots synthetic vision and highway in the sky technology. It may also be capable of landing an aircraft equipped with an autopilot. Meyer says auto-land capability is not the VP400's intended use but that the feature could prove useful in certain emergency situations. Our conversation with Meyer includes details about X-Plane; Xavion as well as the VP400; and the lawsuit.

Podcast: X-Plane Innovations and Patent Lawsuits

File Size 18.2 MB / Running Time 19:57

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Our conversation with X-Plane creator Austin Meyer ranged from flight simulation to synthetic vision highway-in-the-sky iPad apps, avionics for experimental aircraft that could theoretically land real planes, and patent-trolling lawsuits that cripple innovative, successful companies for the benefit of unscrupulous plaintiffs.

The following index applies to the timeline of this podcast:

  • Click play for the introduction and discussion of the X-Plane flight simulator and its capabilities.
  • Advance to 5:27 for specifics regarding the VP400 safe-landing avionics product
  • Skip to 9:48 for the Xavion iPad app of similar capability
  • Skip to 11:50 for details regarding the difficulties faced by businesses like Meyer's when patent lawsuits arise

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (18.2 MB, 19:57)

iSpO2 from Masimo || Track and Trend 
Your Blood Oxygen & Pulse Rate
Masimo Introduces a Pulse Oximeter for
iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

From the leader in hospital pulse oximetry comes the world's first pulse oximeter for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that measures during movement and low blood flow to the finger. The iSpO2 allows you to noninvasively track and trend blood oxygenation (SpO2), pulse rate, and perfusion index – for sports and aviation use.* Click here for more information.

* Not intended for medical use.
New Ways of Thinking back to top 

FAA Moves Ahead On Drone Test Sites

The FAA will move forward with plans to establish six test sites for unmanned aerial systems, Administrator Michael Huerta said on Friday. "We expect to learn how unmanned aircraft systems operate in different environments and how they will impact air traffic operations," he said. "The test sites will also inform the agency as we develop standards for certifying unmanned aircraft and determine necessary air traffic requirements." The site selections are expected by the end of September. Last November, Huerta had delayed the test-site selection, citing privacy concerns.

Proposals will be accepted from state and local governments, universities and other public entities to develop the six sites. In selecting the sites, the FAA said it will consider geographic and climatic diversity, infrastructure and research needs, population density and air traffic density. The FAA also said the program will "require ensuring that privacy is appropriately protected." The public is invited to review the proposed privacy policy (PDF) and comment on it. Michael Toscano, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said the announcement is "an important milestone on the path toward unlocking the potential of unmanned aircraft, and creating thousands of American jobs." States across the country are eager to develop a test site, Toscano said, "because they recognize the incredible economic and job creation potential it would bring with it." AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli recently explored the issue of the drone future; click here for his analysis.

Spy Blimp Axed?

A new hybrid air vehicle built by Northrop Grumman and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. for the U.S. Army flew for the first time last August, but the project now has been cancelled, according to a recent report in Wired. The remotely operated airship, which is about 300 feet long, is capable of carrying up to 2,500 pounds of payload, and was intended as a reconnaissance vessel that could be deployed for weeks at a time in advance of ground troops. "Due to technical and performance challenges, and the limitations imposed by constrained resources, the Army has determined to discontinue the LEMV [long-endurance multi-intelligence vehicle] development effort," Army spokesman Dov Schwartz told Wired in an email last week.

According to Wired, the ship never flew again after its first flight, and doubts had arisen regarding its capability to meet the requirements for the program. A technical analysis in 2011 questioned whether the blimp could actually stay aloft for the 21 days Northrop claimed, according to Wired. Northrop said it had built the ship and flown it in just 24 months, "a considerable accomplishment for a vehicle of this scale and complexity." The successful first flight, the company said, "demonstrates the readiness of hybrid air vehicle technology to serve military needs." Wired added that with U.S. troops preparing to leave Afghanistan, the rationale for continuing with the blimp program has evaporated.

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Women at the Final Frontier of Flight back to top 

Global Event Celebrates Women Of Aviation

For the fourth year, Women of Aviation Week Worldwide will be held during the week of March 8, which is International Women's Day. From March 4 to 10, aviators around the world will celebrate women who fly and invite women to learn more about aviation and go for a flight. Many airports and aviation museums will host open-house events especially for women and girls, and the organization also holds a photo contest and art contest. This year's event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first spaceflight by a woman, with the theme "Women and space." Listings of events can be found at the group's website.

Valentina Tereshkova, a skydiving enthusiast, was chosen from among 400 applicants as one of five women to participate in Russia's space program. She was trained in engineering and took flying lessons, and completed another 120 parachute jumps. On June 16, 1963, she became the first woman to travel to space, aboard Vostok 6 for a three-day mission. She was alone in the small spherical spacecraft, and when it returned to the atmosphere, she parachuted back to the planet surface. Since then, 55 women have traveled in space, representing 11 percent of all astronauts around the world. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Mireille Goyer, the driving force behind Women of Aviation Week Worldwide, in October; click here to listen to that podcast.

Avidyne IFD540 & IFD440
The Easy-to-Install IFD440 & IFD540 with Hybrid Touch
The IFD440 & IFD540 are plug-and-play replacements for GNS430 and GNS530 Series navigators, providing powerful NAV, COM, and Map capabilities. Featuring a Hybrid Touch user interface, these new systems allow pilots to perform virtually all functions using dedicated knobs/buttons or via the touchscreen interface.

Make the Easy Choice.
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Survey Polls Crew On Air Rage

An Eastern Michigan University undergrad has launched a survey on a topic that gets plenty of media attention (especially if celebrities are involved) but, as far as he's been able to determine, has never been independently studied. Robert Chapin says the survey is designed to poll flight crew members on the incidence of air rage. "Your participation in this study will help us to better understand the effects of passenger misconduct," Chapin says in his preamble to the survey.

Although it's often treated humorously or as an oddity in news, passenger misconduct is a costly and disruptive issue that can also profoundly affect the front-line crew members who have to deal with it. Although the survey is primarily aimed at airline crews, it does not exclude GA and anyone with an unruly passenger experience on a private aircraft is welcome to take part. Chapin, a commercial pilot who is now getting an instructor rating, said he hopes to publish a paper on air rage based in part on the survey results.

Database Brings Pilots, Recruiters Together

ATP Flight School has opened a database aimed at helping pilots find jobs and also to help airlines find pilots. PilotPool.com allows pilots who want to join the airlines to register and keep their qualifications updated so that they may be considered by airline recruiters monitoring their progress and that of others registered on the site. As the pilots reach significant milestones in training and experience, the recruiters are notified. "As a provider of training to over 4,200 pilots every year, we know it is important to help our customers get contact with potential employers," said Vice President Jim Koziarski. "At the same time, we know how important it is for airlines to access data on pilot supply and training pipeline. PilotPool.com brings these two sides together."

The flight school launched the site in 2011 but it was in beta form and was only available to its own students. Now that the site's form and function have been finalized, ATP has opened it up as a free tool for anyone in the industry. "With concerns of hiring shortages, solutions for finding good quality pilot candidates are needed," the company said in a news release. "Many airlines are unable to see candidates until they have met hiring minimums and send in their resume, which delays finding eligible pilots and prohibits a forward-looking hiring process."

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.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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Useful Tips for Managing an IFR Emergency
Watch this fast-paced program by PilotWorkshops, where you will experience a real-world IFR emergency. Learn how to manage this frightening situation to a safe outcome and review a life-saving procedure that can get you out of a jam.

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Our friends at Sennheiser are giving away an $1,100 S1 Digital Headset to one lucky viewer of the video, so be sure to enter after you watch!
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: Ever Had an Unruly Passenger?

Robert Chapin, an undergrad student at Eastern Michigan University is polling pilots of all stripes on the incidence of air rage on aircraft they're flying. Has it ever happened to you?

Have you ever flown with an unruly passenger?
(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?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
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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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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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Sometimes, Man Shouldn't Fly

Ever have a day when you just can't find your rear end with both hands? Hey, it happens. So why not go flying? That's what resident blogger Paul Bertorelli did last weekend, and, as far as we know, he stayed off the evening news.

Read his whole confessional (and join the conversation) on the AVweb Insider blog.

Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: Audio Authority's Flexible Power Unit

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

More owners and pilots would probably invest in ground power units for starting and running avionics in the hangar if the things were just more flexible. One that is comes from Audio Authority, which, besides being a GPU, also doubles as a battery tender. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano gives us the lowdown on this versatile unit.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

Video: Yves Rossy's Jetman School (Without the Jets)

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

A video released Feb. 8, 2013, by Jetman Yves Rossy suggests the skydiving innovator may be on the verge of marketing an unpowered version of his strapped-on wing and opening a school to teach people how to fly it. Rossy has piloted another version of the wing with four micro-turbines attached to its underside delivering power. He has flown that version across the English Channel and a section of the Grand Canyon. Rossy describes the unpowered version by saying it can achieve a "glide angle" of 4.5. English is not Rossy's first language and a glide angle of 4.5 would translate to a glide ratio of roughly 13:1 -- substantially better than a Cessna 172. It's possible that Rossy's use of the term instead indicates the wing's glide ratio. Rossy says he's flown his gliding wing in excess of 150 mph, he has demonstrated aerobatics while flying it and believes there is much more potential for his unique brand of flight. Rossy is meticulous in his flight preparations, studying terrain, angles of flight and walking portions of the route when able. It is not yet known if his apparently proposed school will train the same pre-flight planning.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Saugeen Municipal Airport (CYHS, Hanover, ON)

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

Our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Saugeen Municipal Airport (CYHS) in Hanover, Ontario (Canada).

AVweb reader Philip Englishman's been treated well there and has high praise for the airport FBO:

Saugeen Municipal is a great gateway to Canada with customs available with your Canpass. The superb restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday and is famous for its breakfasts and lunches. The best part about this airport is the inhabitants on site, who will be more than happy to show you what they are constructing and flying. Over 400 pilots visit here for one day annualy to take part in the Rust Remover safety seminars to get ready for the flying season. So come north to enjoy the hospitality, great Bruce Peninsula scenery, and great flying adventures beyond the U.S. border.

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

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

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].

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.

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.