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Volume 10, Number 31b -- July 28, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... King Schools

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

AIRVENTURE 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. More...

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.

LIVE 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...

...DEFINING THE MARKET...
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. More...

...AND 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
The 2005 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.

WEATHER 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 More...

...DRIES 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. More...

...AND 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. More...

MAKE A DIFFERENCE! TAKE THE AVIATION HEADSET SURVEY TODAY!
It's an election year, and what better way to warm up your voting voice then to tell the industry what's important to you concerning aviation headsets! Do you want more features, improved comfort, better service, or something else? You get to decide, to let your voice be heard. Take this 3-minute survey online now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/iexp/avflash.

SPACESHIPONE 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...

CANADIAN 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. More...

SAFIRE CUSTOMERS: ECLIPSE HAS AN OFFER FOR YOU!
Simply transfer to Eclipse your refunded Safire deposit of $8,000, and we'll reserve an Eclipse 500 in your name. It’s that easy. We encourage Safire customers to learn more about this special offer by visiting http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/eclipse/avflash.

POWERED '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 melting. More...

FALCON 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. More...

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE AN INSURANCE POLICY THAT PAYS YOU BACK YOUR PREMIUMS?
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.

EPIC 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...

...FAST 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. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
Congratulations to Liberty Aerospace on becoming the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Talk to the TCM pros at AirVenture Booths #3110-3112 and #96-102 to find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.

AIRVENTURE 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 results. More...

BUSINESS AVFLASH
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s 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/ More...

OSHKOSH ATTENDEES! SIGN UP FOR A DAILY SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY
From Scheyden fan Quinn Lake comes this quote: "I have found these sunglasses to be very comfortable as well as good-looking. I have received many compliments about the design from friends and co-workers." Join the Scheyden fan club by signing up for a daily giveaway at AirVenture Booth #2003-04 (PilotMall), or go online to participate in the current giveaway offer at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email tonewstips@avweb.com. More...

AEROSHELL EXCITES OSHKOSH CROWD & HELPS YOUNG EAGLES PROGRAM
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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SHOPPING DEALS

ATTENDING OSHKOSH? Don't Forget to:

(1) Print Out and Take Our Official Sponsors List with You

(2) Stop By Our Booth and Meet the Editors

STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Do you have friends flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the plane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb members can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO IFR REFRESHER NOW AND SAVE!
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it! IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today and you'll enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrref/avflash.
SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
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 — PLUS —
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 HIGH PRICE
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.
SPONSOR NEWS
NOW ON CD — PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE!
Turn 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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