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The Top Headlines From AVweb's
Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AS ECONOMIC BAROMETER: THE RECESSION IS OVER
Maybe it's a subtle ticking upward in the economy, or maybe it's the new
sport-pilot rule, or maybe it's the weather -- sunny
with a breeze, not too hot, not too humid (for Oshkosh). Whatever the
cause, the mood here in Oshkosh is inescapably upbeat, the crowds are
thick, the campgrounds are full, the aircraft parking grounds are full
(or close to it) -- well past the usual for a Tuesday afternoon (and
summarily putting last year's showing to shame). "The south lot
yesterday was at row 150 of 155," said EAA's media relations man, Dick
Knapinski and it was clear just walking by that the "north 40" was by
Tuesday filled near (or to) the brim with aircraft. The general feeling
is not only are there a lot of people here for so early in the week, but
a lot of them are not the traditional diehard faithful -- they are
curious newcomers, which of course bodes well for the future of sport
aviation. ...Did we mention the first installment of our OSH image
galleries? Don't worry, we're still working on them.
OREGON AERO SHOCKBLOCKERS SHOE INSERTS SAVE
YOUR FEET AT OSHKOSH
The EAA reports that "If you were to
walk past ... not down ... each row of airplanes [at Oshkosh], you would
cover 5.2 miles!" Treat your aching feet to comfort with a pair of
Oregon Aero ShockBlockers Shoe Inserts, which absorb
more shock than any other insole guaranteed. Visco-Kinetic
Polymer provides the best available shock absorption and the
custom-designed fabric is high-wicking, low-friction, and extremely
durable. You can find ShockBlockers at Oregon Aero's booth
in Building C (#3137-3140), or purchase them
before your visit online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
FROM OSH: LSA, THE RULES ARE HERE ... NOW WHAT?
Companies planning to sell Light Sport Aircraft don't seem to be
frustrated with the delays already suffered; they seem universally
upbeat about the opportunities that may await them. "This is all good,"
said Rob Rollison, of Rollison Light Sport Aircraft. He's has been
carting LSA-qualified planes from show to show for the past three years
and he says it will be at least December before the proper regulatory
infrastructure is in place to allow him (and his competitors) to sell
factory-complete airplanes. "They don't N-number themselves," he said.
Rollison is planning to sell three European-built aircraft in the U.S.
ranging in price from 40,000 Euros (about $48,000 at current exchange
rates) to 70,000 Euros ($84,000). We did see LSA aircraft offered in the
high twenties -- the range of available aircraft that fit the category
is impressive. More...
Dick Koenigsberg, of SkyRanger Aircraft, said that in the first day of
Air Venture he talked to more non-pilots than he's seen at previous
shows. That tells him the new rule is generating interest in people who
perhaps haven't considered aviation as a recreational pastime because of
the expense and all the licensing requirements. Koenigsberg said that
while it's important to get the regulatory framework up and running,
it's equally important to market Light Sport to the masses of people who
have money to spend on spare time pursuits. At about $24,000, the
British-built SkyRanger is about the cost of a few snowmobiles, personal
watercraft or ATVs. We wonder if proud owners will want to fight for
hangar space for their aircraft (many of the designs have "fabric"
wings) ... or if they'll care to endure the associated costs.
WHAT MUST HAPPEN, FIRST
Once the rule takes effect on September 1: the industry must establish
consensus standards for each LSA type (airplane, powered 'chute, trike,
etc.), the FAA must adopt those standards, and the manufacturer must
factory-build the aircraft in accordance with those standards, the EAA
said. For imported LSAs, the aircraft must be eligible for an
airworthiness certificate in its home country. Homebuilt aircraft
operated as sport aircraft will be designated Experimental LSA, and
cannot be operated for hire. The new LSA designs are expected to
originate in the kitplane and ultralight worlds, Poberezny said. So far
the certificated manufacturers (busy packing their aircraft with Garmin
and Avidyne flat-panel displays) have not expressed overt interest in
going there. More...
THE CESSNA SKYHAWK GOES GLASS
Cessna Skyhawk will be available with the cutting-edge Garmin
G1000 glass cockpit. The G1000 is the most advanced flight deck package
ever installed in this class of aircraft and features a primary and
multi-function display, GPS with terrain mapping, satellite weather and
radio, and many other exciting components. It's a Skyhawk so
state-of-the-art, you'll have to see it to believe it. Stop by the
Cessna AirVenture exhibit (booths
#143-156), or, for more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cse/avflash.
DATALINK: BREAK OUT THE BLACK BOXES
Live weather in the cockpit -- and not the kind that appears like
measles on a sferics gadget -- has long been a must-have for aircraft
owners and AirVenture 2004 suggests that it's becoming increasingly
affordable. And it's also increasingly confusing to sort through all the
options, price points and data plans -- not to mention minor warfare
over which platforms will display the weather. The big surprise for
owners prowling the booths for new developments in weatherlink came from
WSI, which stunned everyone -- including Garmin -- by announcing that
its satellite-based weather datalink service would be available for the
popular GNS430 and GNS530 navigators. (See www.wsi.com and www.garmin.com). Click through for much
GARMIN'S "BIGGEST WEATHER NEWS SINCE NOAH"...
It certainly will let you see the big rain out ahead of you, but the WSI
announcement took a bit of the glow off Garmin's announcement that it
will offer its own XM-based
receiver -- the GSL69A -- for the MX-20 multifunction display. (Confused
yet?) XM includes real-time NEXRAD imagery, METARS, TAFs and TFRs. But
Garmin's receiver won't play weather on the 430/530 boxes. While Garmin
works on an XM receiver that will work with the 430/530 series, its
concern is that WSI's product will eat into any further sales of the
Orbcomm-based GDL49 product and may stunt growth of the XM-based
receiver that Garmin will probably introduce next year.
AVIDYNE STEPS UP
Speaking of XM Radio, Avidyne announced
that it would offer an XM-based datalink option for buyers of its EX500
multifunction display. Avidyne's first datalink effort was based on
Orbcomm technology similar to that used by Garmin -- it was met with
mixed reviews. The XM variant--which will co-exist with the Orbcomm
receiver--promises faster, more reliable weather downloads. Retail price
for the XMD-076 receiver is $3750 but EX500 owners will get a special
discount price of $1575 if they buy by September 30th, 2004. The welcome
news for all companies using XM came in the form lower prices that
promise to break the datalink market open with lower monthly charges.
TO LAUNCH FOR X PRIZE IN SEPTEMBER
Scaled Composites is ready to
launch SpaceShipOne from
Mojave on September 29 in hopes of winning the $10 million X Prize, the X Prize Foundation
announced yesterday. But designer Burt Rutan and astronaut Mike Melvill
may have competition: the da
Vinci Project team, based in Toronto, Canada, plans to roll out its
completed Wild Fire spacecraft for a public unveiling on August 5. That
team is expected to also launch in pursuit of the space prize this fall.
Teams are required to tell the foundation of their launch plans 60 days
in advance. To win the $10 million, SpaceShipOne will need to make a
second flight within two weeks, by October 13. The public is invited and
encouraged to attend both events at Mojave. More...
GOVERNMENT RESCUES SEAWIND
Loan guarantees from the Canadian government have ensured the
long-awaited (and frustrated) certification of the Seawind amphibian can go ahead,
possibly as early as next year. Company President Dick Silva told a news
conference at Air Venture that the money enabled the Quebec-based firm
to overcome some technical certification issues regarding the materials
and bonding used in the all-composite airframe. "We're breaking new
ground," he said. Transport Canada is the regulatory authority but it is
working hand-in-glove with the FAA and certification in both countries
will take place simultaneously. The production Seawind has only subtle
differences from the 64 kits that have been built so far.
'CHUTE GOES TURBINE
It may be the slowest jet-powered aircraft ever built but we bet it will
climb. Powrachute, which builds
lots of the familiar reciprocating engine-type chutes has, with the help
of jet guru Les Shockley, strapped a former helicopter turbine to a
basically standard powered 'chute frame and is hoping to fly it for the
first time at Air Venture, maybe today. "One of our competitors
criticized us for not being innovative," chuckled company president
Eddie Johnson, who said the FAA (quite understandably, we venture) is
having a close look at the paperwork necessary to put the chute in the
air. Among the innovations on the engine is a shroud that mixes cool air
with the exhaust gases to prevent the canopy (and bystanders) from
INSURANCE GETS FRIENDLY WITH SMALLER BIRDS
As of yesterday, pilots wanting to fly airplanes they don't own have
access to insurance coverage through EAA Aircraft Insurance. The plan, a
venture of EAA, Falcon Insurance Agency and Global Aerospace, is called
the EAA Non-Owned Insurance
Plan. "EAA is committed to protecting the freedom of flight for its
members, and the right insurance coverage is a part of that," said EAA
President Tom Poberezny. The new offering includes liability insurance
of $1,000 to $100,000 for operations and damage to non-owned birds as
well as medical coverage of up to $100,000 per person.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE AN INSURANCE POLICY THAT PAYS YOU BACK
The Return of Premium Term product through the
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) features a level death benefit term
plan with fully guaranteed level premiums for the first 15, 20, or 30
years and is also guaranteed to pay back all of your premiums at the end
of the policy. PIC works closely with leading insurers to develop life
insurance policies specifically designed for pilots. All of our
insurance products offer full coverage with NO aviation exclusions and
are provided by A+ rated (A.M. Best) insurance companies. For a
personalized quote, speak to the PIC pros at AirVenture Booth #2065-66, call (800) 380-8376, or
visit online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.
ANNOUNCEMENT: MORE OF A SHORT STORY...
Less than one year after the plane was announced and just over a year
since the company was formed, the epic tale of the Epic LT 6-place jetprop is
turning out to be more of a short story with the possibility of a very
happy ending. It was announced at OSH '03, flown just days before OSH
'04, and is sitting on the grounds of AirVenture now attracting admiring
looky-loos ... proof, says company officials, that the sleek plane is
much more than a dream on a piece of paper. The Epic business plan is
unique. The first 17 aircraft will be sold in the experimental category.
Buyers will come to the Epic manufacturing facility, currently located
in Bend, Ore., and work side-by-side with the Epic team to satisfy the
FAA's 51% rule for amateur-built aircraft. More...
TO BUILD AND SPEEDY, TOO
In addition to the ease of build, Shrameck is also pleased with the
flight parameters. "So far, every test has been optimum," a visibly
emotional Shrameck told the media at AirVenture. Epic believes 350 knots
is attainable at Flight Levels up to 310 (which puts this turbine in the
same ballpark as the freshly flown Aerocomp
Comp Air kit jet). But the big selling point is that the plane will
be able to fly full of fuel, full of passengers and with lots of luggage
... at the same time. Empty weight is 3308 lbs and gross is 7040, giving
the Epic a payload of 3600 lbs. Epic will use the information gathered
during the building of the 17 experimental aircraft to push forward with
its production certificate and eventual manufacture and certification,
which is some $28+ million and a number of months down the road.
CUP RACE RESULTS
For those in a big rush to pass the 407 miles between Dayton, Ohio, and
AirVenture... The Unlimited Class was won by Jack Watson flying a
Glasair II RG to the tune of 185.25 miles per hour. The Sport Class saw
Keith Phillips' SX-300 streak past at an average speed of 244.43 miles
per hour, edging Rog Logan in a Lancair Legacy at 241.65 miles per hour.
Formula RG Class was ruled by Richard Keyt in the Polen Special Class at
233.19 miles per hour followed by a very tight group of five aircraft
each running faster than 205 and slower than 209.1 miles per hour. Click through for full 2004 AirVenture Cup race
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else, too. Submit news tips via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AEROSHELL EXCITES OSHKOSH CROWD & HELPS YOUNG EAGLES
AeroShell will once again be distributing the
Flying Cow Posters and selling Flying Cow T-shirts to benefit the Young
Eagles program. In addition, the AeroShell cow, Amoolia (a real
lady), will be making her appearances on Friday and Saturday from
10am-2pm outside Hangar D. She will be available for photos, and each
person will receive a commemorative photo compliments of Canon with all
proceeds going to the Young Eagles. So moosy on down to AirVenture Booth #4085 in Hangar D, pick up a
poster, buy a T-shirt, and say hello to Amoolia. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.
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ATTENDING OSHKOSH? Don't Forget to:
|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
Do you have friends flying in tonight? A business
colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you
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|SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN
Pilotmall.com is offering a complimentary soft
leather ID holder with a stamped airplane on the cover (a $19.99 value)
with any order of Pilotmall's quality leather flight bags, backpacks, or
Scheyden sunglasses. Stop by AirVenture Booth
#2003-04 to see all the Pilotmall.com products. Show your
style and save now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.
|POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST SYSTEM OWNERS! POWER FLOW DEBUTS
NEW POLISH KIT|
Go by Booth #1050
during AirVenture and take a look at the new
polish kit for your Power Flow external muffler. Shine and show
off that Power Flow your airplane is proud of the way it
makes it perform! Also available online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
|AIRSPORT ALTITUDE ALERTERS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT
complimentary shipping. AirSport Avionics
is the only manufacturer of Altitude Alerters that work by listening to
everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode
A (squawk code) and Mode C (altitude) a double benefit!
AirSport Alerters are completely portable and don't require
permanent installation. OSHKOSH SPECIAL: $100 discount on all
models, with complimentary ground shipping. Offer ends August 10th.
Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.
|GUARDING AGAINST KILLER CARBON MONOXIDE DOESN'T COME AT A
CO Guardian has carbon monoxide detector
models from portable units to panel-mount units. Each unit's solid-state
sensors and temperature sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent radio
interference) are built in the USA and FAA-certified. Go by AirVenture Booth #3064 to select the model right
for your flying needs, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
|NOW ON CD PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE!|
your boring ground time into "FLIGHT TIME" with Pilot's Audio
Update, the monthly pilot's CD program. Order today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/paucd/avflash.
|AVWEB IS KICKING INTO HIGH
GEAR at AIRVENTURE 2004 in OSHKOSH!
If you plan to attend AirVenture, stop by
AVweb's booth #1007-08 and meet our editors. ou'll find a complete
schedule online at http://www.avweb.com/news/osh2004/187681-1.html.
Also, many of our advertisers will be
exhibiting. Print out our list to stop by and say "thanks" for bringing
AVweb and AVflash to you at no-cost. You can find our guide to AVweb
advertiser booths at Oshkosh here: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oshkosh.
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