EAA AirVenture 2013: You Gotta Be There!
Enjoy daily world-class air shows plus two sensational night air shows; witness the first U.S. public flights by Yves "Jetman" Rossi; see 2,500-plus show planes; camp with 40,000 fellow
enthusiasts; rock to the classic sounds of Chicago; choose from hundreds of forums and workshops; peruse what's new from 800 exhibitors ... Only in Oshkosh and all in one week!
A documentary film called TWA Flight 800 is attracting attention through its claims that the NTSB's four-year investigation into the 1996 crash included intentionally falsified information and a
phony conclusion, and that the case should be reopened -- but some key players are, so far, unimpressed. Tom Stalcup, the documentary's co-producer, says the movie does not explain the explosion of
the jet. He told CNN the documentary presents "solid proof that there was an external detonation" and "radar data shows an asymmetric explosion coming out of that plane," contrary to the findings of
investigators. He says the documentary includes six former investigators and eyewitness accounts, and the producers say they intend to file a petition asking the NTSB to reopen the case. TWA Flight
800, a Boeing 747-131, exploded in the air over southern Long Island on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 onboard. Investigators determined the cause of the explosion was a fault common to several other
explosions. In response to the documentary the family member of one victim was direct in his criticism of the filmmakers.
"Personal self-fulfilling motives by exploiting those who died on TWA800 is nauseating," Matt Zimkiewicz, who lost his sister to the flight, told ABC news. Zimkiewicz said both he and his family
had "full faith and confidence" in the NTSB's findings. The NTSB determined that "the crash occurred as the result of a fuel/air explosion in the airplane's center wing fuel tank," and the
ignition energy "most likely" entered the tank through the fuel quantity indication system wiring. (PDF)
The NTSB stated that neither the location of the ignition within the tank, or "the ignition energy release mechanism," could be determined from the available evidence. It
also stated, "There was no evidence of a missile or bomb detonation." Asked why the government would hide a "real" reason for the crash, Stalcup said he refused to speculate. Sources at the NTSB
stand by their conclusions and say they are open to any new evidence.
The NTSB's computer models predicted that, on average, an aircraft would suffer a similar fuel tank explosion every four years. In May 1990, a Philippine Airlines 737-300 had suffered a center-wing
fuel tank explosion. In 1996, Flight 800 exploded. In March 2001, a Thai Airways 737-400 exploded while sitting on a hot ramp at Bangkok. In 2006, a Boeing 727-200 suffered a fuel tank explosion in
its right wing while the aircraft was on the ground at Bangalore, India. Multiple Airworthiness Directives were issued by the FAA for different Boeing models to address the problem many years after
the TWA explosion. Each gave operators years to address the issue. In 2012, some of those directives met
formal opposition from airline trade groups, which sought to delay implementation, citing cost concerns.
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Bell Helicopter introduced a new five-seat, entry-level helicopter at the Paris Air Show this week. The aircraft was developed to meet performance targets set by an advisory council of customers
who will operate the aircraft for utility, training, private use, and law enforcement. "The SLS [short light single] class is both extremely competitive and price sensitive, so we collaborated with
customers to incorporate their mission needs in a high-performance, high-value helicopter at a very competitive price," said John Garrison, Bell CEO. The helicopter will feature a high-visibility
cabin with large cabin doors, a flat floor, and five forward-facing seats. It will cruise at 125 knots for up to about 360 nm and carry a useful load up to 1,500 pounds, the company said.
The new aircraft will be powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R FADEC engine. Avionics have not yet been specified. It is expected to fly for the first time next year and will be "priced to compete,"
the company said.
Bendix/King myWingMan Navigator App Does the Flight Plan for You
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Last week, a group of Czech engineers flew a hybrid bicycle/multi-copter by remote control, but this
week, another take on the flying-bicycle concept -- one that's already flown with live human pilots -- turned up in the news. This one is basically a lightweight powered-parachute with a bicycle
attached as a means of traveling from your garage to your launch site. For a powered parachute, the launch site doesn't have to be much more than an open field. The folding bicycle tows a two-wheeled
trailer that holds the fan. An optional tent creates an all-in-one door-to-campsite recreational vehicle. Its British creators have spent two years developing and test-flying a prototype, and now have
launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hope of developing a production line.
"One of the biggest barriers to flying is cost," says Yannick Read, one of the aircraft's designers. "One of the beauties about the flying bicycle is that it's accessible and it's affordable." John
Foden, co-designer, said, "We wanted something that we could ride and fly out of our backyard." The flying bicycle, called the Paravelo, is aimed to appeal to people who want to explore the outdoors.
The system is modular -- the bicycle can be used on its own, and folds up for carrying on a bus or subway. Docked with the two-wheel trailer, the system can carry "all the equipment you need to ride,
fly, and camp," the designers say. The bicycle and trailer can be detached and the fan can be carried like a backpack for foot-launched flying. Fully rigged, the aircraft can fly for up to three hours
at about 25 mph.
Continental Motors Extends TBOs Up to 400 Hours!
TBOs are increased on our Gold Standard Factory-produced engines. The majority of engine models manufactured after February 2012 beginning with serial number 1006000 will see TBOs increase by 200
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Until this week, Yves Rossy was the only human to have flown the jet-pack that he designed, but now there's a second flyer, after two years of training. Vince Reffet on Monday became the second
person to fly the Jetman wing, and Rossy's Facebook page promised that soon there will be news of a Jetman Team. Reffet, 28, is an experienced skydiver, BASE jumper, and instructor from France. Rossy
is scheduled to make his first public flight in the U.S. at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh next month. Also, on Tuesday, Rossy posted a short video titled "Close Encounters," showing a jet-powered flyer in
the air with at least two parachutists.
Rossy previously flew in the U.S. in 2011 when he made a successful flight over a section of the Grand Canyon, but the public was not allowed to view that flight. He flies using a tapered wing made
of Kevlar and carbon fiber strapped to his back, powered by four small turbine engines. He controls thrust with a hand-held throttle and controls his flight path through body movement. He deploys a
parachute for landings. Rossy also plans to fly an exhibition at the Reno Air Races in September.
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.*
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In 2011, Didier Esteyne and EADS debuted a tiny, single-seat, aerobatic electric-powered Cri-Cri at the Paris Air Show and this year returned with the E-Fan, a twin ducted-fan, electric-powered,
aerobatic, tandem-seat trainer project. The project is co-funded by the French civil aviation authority and other government entities. Aside from shrouded propellers the design incorporates a wheel
motor to more efficiently drive the aircraft over taxiways and early in the takeoff roll. E-Fan employs multi-cell lithium ion battery packs housed in the wing roots that, Esteyne estimates the power
pack is easily capable of driving 20 kilowatt motors for one hour's flying at 110 mph cruise. The plane is still in development and has not yet flown, but the developers have big plans.
In its current configuration, the aircraft has a 31-foot wingspan and would have a maximum weight of 1,212 pounds, fitting inside LSA weight parameters. The project has seen the aircraft through
taxi tests and is expected to take flight for the first time this fall. The airplane's developers say they ultimately hope to see the E-Fan certified for production as a trainer and general aviation
aircraft. Regulations for electric aircraft would have to be set in place, first.
While EAA and Sun 'n Fun weren't happy about paying for their own controller staff for their airshow events, at least they had the resources to do it, which isn't true for many smaller events
around the country. At Columbia Airport in Tuolumne County, Calif., the 47th annual Father's Day Fly-in never happened last weekend, due to the cost for the FAA to staff a temporary tower. "We don't
have the money," airport supervisor Jim Thomas told the local Union Democrat
news. An "airport appreciation day" was held instead, with airplane rides, a pancake breakfast, and a barbecue. In addition, many local airshows have been cancelled due to the unavailability of
military aircraft, especially the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.
In Rhode Island, the annual June airshow hosted by the National Guard since 1991 was cancelled when the Blue Angels were grounded. The event, which is free to the public, has raised more than $1.5
million for a local children's hospital. At least 64 airshows across the country have been cancelled due to the lack of military participation, according to John Cudahy, president of the International
Council of Air Shows, and the number is still rising. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., has introduced a measure that would require the U.S. Department of Defense to reconsider its blanket prohibition on U.S.
military support and involvement in airshows, ICAS said this week. "Airshows in the United States have a $1.5 billion economic impact on the communities in which the events are held," Cudahy said.
"That impact has been significantly reduced this year Needless damage was being done to our industry and it's encouraging to see our elected leaders taking proactive steps to correct this
Weather with Perspective XM WX Satellite Weather gives you onboard perspective on the weather. Graphical data like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more enhance your situational awareness and are compatible with the
industry's leading MFDs, EFBs, glass cockpits, and now the iPad. Additionally, flexible subscription options ensure you get the dataset that's right for you.
See the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather online at XMWXweather.com/aviation.
There's nothing like a global recession to kill the buzz around new airplanes and gadgets, but they seem to keep cropping up. This week, we have a 1,430-lb. personal jet, two flying
bicycles, and electric taxiing for airliners. What's going on?
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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The FAA says it will pick a 100LL replacement, after years of testing. But it hasn't determined the selection criteria, and, in any case, why doesn't the free market have a role? That's the
question Paul Bertorelli is asking on the AVweb Insider blog.
Clarity SV: The ADS-B Receiver with Attitude
It's stunning like having a back-up EFIS panel on your iPad or tablet. Clarity SV is GA's most sensitive ADS-B/GPS-WAAS/ADHRS with ADI/HSI depiction and 3-D synthetic vision. Its wi-fi
connection lets your apps display no-cost NEXRAD radar, weather, and traffic for better situational awareness weather or not.
To see our video, click here.
Safran and Honeywell have unveiled an electric taxiing system for airliners that is expected to save millions of gallons of fuel and make airports much nicer places. According to France 24 the companies collaborated on the system, which puts
electric motors on the main wheels to allow pilots to maneuver on the ground without using the main engines. The system is virtually silent and the weight penalty is more than compensated for by the
smaller fuel load it allows aircraft to carry. It's estimated that about 5 percent of jet fuel is burned before takeoff and after landing and taxi times are on the increase at airports all over the
world. The companies are demonstrating the system on an A320, which is actually at the upper end of the target market.
The system is aimed primarily at airlines with short-haul routes because the fuel burn during taxi is a bigger portion of the overall use on a short flight. The companies estimate the market at
about $5 billion. Other electric taxi systems are under development. Israel Industry Aerospace and Airbus are developing a detachable tug that is remotely controlled by the pilots and KLM is designing
a system with an electric motor on nosewheel airliners.
Flaris, a Polish company, introduced its prototype single-engine personal jet at the Paris Air Show this week. The all-composite airplane reportedly has begun taxi tests and first flight is
expected soon. It weighs about 1,430 pounds and can carry five people. Top speed is over 375 knots, according to the company website, and the range is 1,350 nm. It can fly from grass strips as short
as 820 feet. It glides well, the company says, and comes with a ballistic parachute that's packed in the nose. Also, the wings can be removed for easier storage. The cockpit features Garmin avionics.
The engine is by Pratt & Whitney, but the company told a French news site they are still considering other options. Flaris said it plans to start production next year and has set a price of about $1.5
The airplane is the first aviation project undertaken by Metal-Master, a family-run business established in 2000 that manufactures parts for European automobile production. The chief designer is
Andrzej Frydrychewicz, who also designed the Wilga, Kruk, and Orlik airplanes.
Frank Thielert, founder of Thielert Aircraft Engines, which produced Centurion diesel engines for the aviation market, last week was jailed by a judge in a German bankruptcy court who reportedly
considered him a "flight risk." According to the Google translation of a story in the Hamburg Abendblatt newspaper, the judge said Thielert faces several years in
prison if convicted on charges that investors in his company were "systematically deceived." The Thielert AG company went public in 2005 and declared insolvency in 2008.
The court said Thielert and several other defendants misrepresented the company's economic situation to potential investors, making it out to be more positive than it was. More than 3,500 of the
diesel aircraft engines have been delivered around the world. A separate company, Centurion, provides service to the fleet.
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Track Up with Garmin Pilot
With new dynamic navigation maps in Garmin Pilot, you can now choose Track Up map orientation to see what lies ahead. You can also configure maps by turning on or off different
airspaces, airports, and other features. Garmin SafeTaxi® airport diagrams are integrated right into the map, as well. Plus, you can now annotate procedures to
highlight approach minimums, jot down frequencies, and more.
Click here for more information.
An extraordinary assembly of Merlin-powered warbirds took to the skies over Hamilton, Ontario on Father's Day weekend, providing sights and sounds not experienced in decades. The star
of the show was Jerry Yagen's recently rebuilt de Havilland Mosquito (the only one of its type flying), and it flew in formation with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Lancaster, alongside two
Spitfires and two Hurricanes. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Mosquito pilot Mike Spalding of the Military Aviation Museum.
It turns out there's money in Russia, and people want to fly sophisticated airplanes into places where the runways suck or don't exist. Diamond has risen to the challenge with its
DA40 Tundra edition. Paul Bertorelli recently had a flight demo in the airplane and prepared this video report.
Aircraft Financing Doesn't Have to Be Difficult
No matter the reason for purchasing an aircraft, AOPA Aviation Finance Company, LLC can help AOPA members find the right financing for new and used general aviation aircraft. Our friendly loan
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AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
(KAUS) in Austin, Texas.
AVweb reader Diane Myers let us know about their outstanding service:
We always park at Atlantic in Austin. Large airport means more expensive fuel, but their service is outstanding. Two years ago, we needed maintenance on Sunday after Thanksgiving. They called out a
mechanic. He was out of town but called his co-worker to drive out to the airport to fix our problem. Great service!
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Aspen Avionics Introduces ADS-B Solutions
Designed to work with what you already have in your panel, Aspen's affordable NextGen ADS-B solutions provide an easy, cost-effective path to increased situational awareness and meeting the
FAA's NextGen mandate. Try our simple ADS-B solution finder to get started, at
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Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings
and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo here? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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