NewsWire Complete Issue

August 1, 2004
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Cessna Aircraft — Single Engine

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.

Cessna Single Engine — Official Sponsor of AVweb at EAA AirVenture 2004
King Schools Online — Official Sponsor of AVweb at EAA AirVenture 2004
Insight Express Headset Survey — Official Sponsor of AVweb at EAA AirVenture 2004
Oregon Aero — Official Sponsor of AVweb at EAA AirVenture 2004
Eclipse Aviation — Official Sponsor of AVweb at EAA AirVenture 2004

Oshkosh Targeted By Terrorists?

Aw, it's probably nothing. But, then again, it must be something. Unarmed Civil Air Patrol (yes, CAP) sentries sprouted around the control tower at Wittman Regional Airport Sunday in response to some kind of increased security posture at EAA AirVenture. EAA media relations man, Dick Knapinski later told reporters a threat of some kind had specifically named Oshkosh. And so, the grassy compound that surrounds the tower and is a favorite vantage point for air show spectators Sunday was off limits. AVweb staff were also told of security dog patrols going through the hangars and exhibits and there were definitely more federal folks (TSA, Customs, FAA security) patrolling the grounds in ATVs and on foot (at least it sure looked that way to us). At any rate, an FAA special agent declined to discuss the situation as did a TSA representative but they left little doubt that something was up. The show itself was not visibly altered, however. Even the big, noisy pyrotechnics display went ahead.

HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT WEATHER DECISIONS QUICKLY AND WITH CONFIDENCE!
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Cirrus Becomes Bestseller

Edges Cessna In Second Quarter Sales

Alan Klapmeier is the first to admit it's probably a temporary thing (there are significant technicalities involved), but the CEO of Cirrus Design also doesn't mind enjoying the distinction of running the top selling GA aircraft company in the world. Cirrus knocked off Cessna for top spot in sales in the second quarter according to stats compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. This week, Cirrus sold its 350th new plane of '04, pushing the company to an average of 40 planes produced per month. Those numbers are more than 200% better than the same period in 2003 and more than 100 aircraft over the company's year-to-date target. "We think the aviation world is looking pretty good," said Klapmeier, whose company sold 129 airplanes in the second quarter. Cessna sold a total of 114 airplanes (including bizjets and Caravans). However, Klapmeier acknowledges a technicality likely launched Cirrus into first place and he's not expecting to be there long. Cessna and Diamond Aircraft both saw sales of their higher-end piston-singles shrink in the second quarter because they were waiting for FAA certification of the dozens of Garmin G1000 glass cockpit versions that had been ordered. Finished airplanes sat on the ramp for weeks and months waiting for that all-important paperwork and the planes didn't start heading to customers until after the end of June. Klapmeier said it's doubtful he could keep up with Cessna for the rest of the year, anyway, because his production of 542 aircraft is already sold out for the year and Cessna is predicting it will build about 600 planes.

What's more, if storm clouds are coming, Cirrus plans to fly around them. At some point in the near future, date and time unsure, Cirrus plans to offer customers satellite broadcast datalink weather. The XMWX option will be a package that will include satellite weather information from XM and instant lightning detection from StormScope. Weather updates will include NEXRAD, METAR, AIRMET, SIGMET, TFR and possibly other capitalized acronyms...

...Downturn Is Over, Says GAMA

Meanwhile, GAMA is calling the miserable slump the industry has experienced over the past two years, "over." Although piston sales dropped by about four percent overall (again, likely attributable to the G1000 certification issue) GAMA President Ed Bolen said all segments should end the year on the plus side. "The recovery is well under way and should continue through the balance of the year," he said. A key factor in the recovery will go before Congress in the fall. Bonus depreciation on capital assets purchased by companies ends at the end of the year but a bill to extend the time limit for aircraft (because of their long build time) for a year has been passed by the Senate and House. It needs passage by a joint conference committee and then the conference version must be passed by both to become law. Congress is recessed for August but GAMA will be lobbying for a quick turnaround on the bill. "Prompt passage of the tax bill is GAMA's top legislative priority," said a GAMA press release.

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.

It's Not An Air Show Without An Air Show

Masters of Disaster Rock The House...

Speaking of different, awesome and amazing (choose your adjective), AirVenture 2004 visitors have been willing spectators to an airshow routine that can only be described as NASCAR on steroids with (intentional) explosions. In August of 2002, airshow veterans Jimmy Franklin, Jim LeRoy, and Bobby Younkin came up with a concept called the "X-Team Masters of Disaster." We do not know whether large quantities of beer were involved in this brainstorming session, but the Masters of Disaster seems like something dreamed up by good friends who also happen to be great sticks with a tremendous history of air show performances. The routine opens with the warning that 90% of the act is unchoreographed, and is followed with a recorded message talking of the time when "machines roamed the earth unencumbered... opposed only by the annihilation known as the FAA." What comes next is pure, unadulterated, stand-up-and-scream mayhem ... even for the normally been-there, seen-that Oshkosh crowd.

Younkin in his big biplane Samson, LeRoy in his Pitts and Franklin in his jet-powered Waco all take off together and fill the sky with noise and smoke as pyrotechnics blow on the ground below. The unplanned acrobatics in the sky seem to bring the planes heart-stoppingly close to each other, and the sky soon goes IFR from the smoke. After several minutes, one or more of the Shockley jet trucks appear out of the wall of smoke, adding more noise, heat and flames. If Masters of Disaster comes to an airshow near you, pay whatever the admission charge is. If they appear at AirVenture '05, drop anything you are doing and come to see them. We promise you that the Masters of Disaster will rock your world, and may change the way you look at airshows in the future.

...Looking Ahead To Reno With Red Bull

If you think there is nothing new under the sun in air racing, time to think again. Red Bull (the energy drink) is putting some new fizz in the fun. The company has announced the debut of the new Red Bull Air Race -- a race combining low and fast racing with aerobatic manuevers -- during the Reno Air Races in September (apparently hundreds of miles per hour sixty feet off the ground wasn't interesting enough). Four American pilots, with aerobatic ace Kirby Chambliss taking the lead, will square off against four European champions with the goal of being the fastest to make it through a tight, pylon-marked course ... while completing a set of pre-determined aerobatic maneuvers such as vertical rolls, knife-edge passes, half rolls and a spot touch-and-go landings.

Skipping maneuvers, dangerous flying, and hitting a pylon results in time lost. "It's a style of racing that's never been seen before in the U.S.," says Chambliss, who won a U.K. event this year by .03 second. "We're right up in your face." The race was developed in 2003 by Hungarian aerobatic champ Peter Besenyei, also a former race winner and a member of this years' European flying contingent. "Combining racing and aerobatics makes this an extremely dynamic race," says Red Bull's Steve Pegram. No doubt. The second round of the '04 series will be flown August 20 in Budapest, Hungary, over the Danube River. Red Bull will be webcasting the race live in the U.S. at 1:30 p.m. EST. The World Champion will be crowned at Reno. Be there -- either in person or via the web -- or be de-energized. www.redbullairrace.com

TRY AN OREGON AERO™ AVIATION HEADSET UPGRADE AT OSHKOSH
If you are tired of flying with pain caused by your headset, Oregon Aero has a painless, quieter solution that we install right at our Oshkosh booth. We offer Custom Aviation Headset upgrades for practically every brand and model of headset. Components include the Oregon Aero™ SoftTop™ Headset Cushion, SoftSeal™ Ear Cushions, SoftSkin™ Ear Seal Covers, the HushKit™ Passive Ear Cup Noise Attenuation Kit, and the MicMuff™ Microphone Cover. You’ll get pain-free flying, reduced overall sound pressure, improved intelligibility and transmission clarity, and cooler, drier ears. Stop by Oregon Aero's booth in Building C (#3137-3140) or purchase online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

Homebuilts In Space

Rutan Road Show...

Aircraft designer Burt Rutan and his lead astronaut, Mike Melvill, arrived on the field Thursday in a Beech Starship, and drew an overflow crowd that night to AirVenture's Theater in the Woods, where they showed for the first time the cockpit video from Melvill's SpaceShipOne flight in June. The two told the story of their spectacular supersonic flight above the atmosphere, showing clips from a Discovery Channel documentary that will be released later this year. The 18-minute video featured shots from cameras attached to the tails of both the spaceship and the White Knight carrier aircraft, and inside the cockpit with Melvill.

"Be quiet during this part," Rutan advised the audience at a forum the next day, "and you can hear the sound of the M&Ms bouncing against the interior of the fuselage." The audience got a glimpse of the incredible view from the top of the spaceship's flight, to a curving horizon 950 miles away, beneath a deep black sky. The scene of an FAA official presenting astronaut wings to Melvill brought the crowd to their feet for a rousing ovation.

...And The X Prize Goes To...

Rutan said his plans are in place to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize in early October. He will launch on Septermber 29, and fly again five days later, allowing enough time to make three attempts if necessary within the required two-week time frame. The X Prize Foundation is selling tickets to the event for $20 each, at their Web site. "We expect 100,000 people at Mojave," X Prize director Peter Diamandis said at a Saturday press conference at Oshkosh. Diamandis said the launch will be broadcast live on the Internet, around the world. He also said that Rutan's team has left open the possibility of taking passengers on their second flight. There is a list of prospective passengers.

"There is a list," Rutan said at his Friday forum. "Paul Allen [the project's financial backer] and I are very close to the top of that list." The only modification the ship would need to be passenger-ready is to unbolt the video equipment from the back seat. Safety belts are already in place.

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.

Bohannon Misses Record

Bruce Bohannon figures he missed setting an altitude record by about three feet on Saturday ... that's how much the tall Texan plans to add to the wingspan of his already highly modified RV-4 to take another crack at the absolute altitude record for piston aircraft, likely in October. Bohannon coaxed the Flyin' Tiger to 45,500 feet over EAA AirVenture, 4,500 feet of his goal of 50,000 feet and half a mile shy of the current record, held by an Air Force B-29. It was also more than 2,000 feet lower than Flyin' Tiger's own best performance and that had Bohannon perplexed. "I was more shocked than anyone," he said. "We had more power and a lighter airplane." In addition to adding some wing area, Bohannon plans to further shave the weight of the airplane but not until every bolt and fitting on the engine is checked to see if there was some kind of leak or adjustment that threw the big Lycoming out of whack.

Bohannon's technical crew spent most of Thursday and Friday replacing a broken turbocharger that had, in turn, damaged some exhaust parts. Famed test pilot Scott Crossfield stopped by Sunday to offer his advice (get the weight down) and to steer Bohannon away from spending too much time exploring some meteorological theories about the failed attempt. Bohannon had been told that the troposphere is thinner in the north than in the south and that might have starved his engine sooner. Just in case, the next attempt will be from Texas and if he makes it Bohannon says he'll take a year off from "the record-setting business." Instead, he wants to see if he can make the Flyin' Tiger go ballistic and be able to climb straight up. "There are a lot of reasons to think it's possible," he said.

Narco's New Entry Takes Aim at King

Narco is high on a new digital transponder that they say is better and cheaper than a popular manual unit sold by a major competitor named after royalty. Narco's new AT165 Transponder was TSOed by the FAA just last week. It all happened so fast that the company had no time to issue a press release or do the manufacturer dog-and-pony at AirVenture. But word is getting around and the new transponder is featured prominently on the company's Web site. The unit features a one-touch code entry knob, multiple timers with alarm output, and altitude display with visual and audible altitude hold warning. The new unit will be sold by both NARCO and its dealers and will retail for $1450-$1475.

CURE FOR THE COMMON KNEEBOARD
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Mooney: New Look, New Attitude, New Options

"We have already taken more orders this year than we sold last year," Mooney Airplane Company (MAC) Managing Director Tom Gray told the media. For those who don't make it to OSH but are still interested in a Mooney, the new Garmin G1000 panel and a list of comfort and performance upgrades will be available even after the show has ended. Anyone who buys a plane during the show will reap the reward of up to two years of free fuel. There are currently five Mooney models available, ranging from fast to faster -- the Ovation, Bravo DX and GX and the Ovation 2 DX and GX. A stock Ovation DX flew 978 nautical miles from Kerrville to Oshkosh non-stop at an average speed of 191.5 knots. A new Bravo DX was faster. The DX flew from Olathe, Kan., to OSH at an average speed of 200 knots. The first delivery of G1000-equipped Mooneys will take place in September.

Piper Offers Additional Perks

The Avidyne FlightMax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck, a system that comes chock full of workload-reducing items will now be available to you and your new Piper. The new glass cockpit is an option in the entire PA-28 line, which includes the Warrior, Archer and Arrow, making cockpits in the smaller birds as advanced as those in the much pricier Saratogas and Piper 6X and 6XT. The FlightMax Entegra system contains two 10.4-inch displays, including an EXP5000 primary flight display (air data and altitude/heading reference) and an EX5000 multi-function display (moving map, flight plan info, terrain contours and engine indication system). The EMax Engine Indicating System and Datalink Weather systems are available options. Plan to spend $32,000 in your new Piper for your Avidyne FlightMax, $4,985 for the engine indication center, and round it out with $3,880 for the Weather Data Link. www.newpiper.com

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and now much more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier. WxServer gives you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information such as the NEXRAD, METAR, TAF, and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings, fuel availability, and quick-dial links to FBOs, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates, and CFIs can sign up for the WxServer Referral Program at no charge! 10-Day No-Cost Trial. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

Gippsland Gets Paperwork, Looks To U.S. Market

Gippsland Aeronautics officials are seriously considering shifting some of the manufacturing on their Oz-built GA8 Airvan to the U.S. Right now the company is spending $20 -- $30 thousand dollars to ship the "virtually 100% American parts" to Australia where they are put together, then take the plane apart, containerize it and send it back to customers in the U.S. "Just doesn't make economic sense to do it that way," Gippsland CEO George Morgan told AVweb. Gippsland is pushing the plane as the intelligent (and FAA certified) alternative to a big Cessna, claiming double the useful load and space as the Cessna 182 and 206, but the same operational cost. Morgan hopes a lot will start happening now that the company has the official FAA certification for the GA8 AirVan firmly in hand. Though Morgan and company were presented with the official production certificate at AirVenture, they actually earned it in 2003. "All the years of design and development, and the end result was the fax machine spits out a long piece of paper [the FAA certification]." says Morgan. Oshkosh was the first place the two sides could meet face-to- face for the official paper pushoff. The big thing about certification, obviously, is that the GA8 can be sold and operated commercially in the States. Several have already been sold to the Civil Air Patrol and are being delivered now. Market-driven options such as a cargo pod and possibly an autopilot, a turbocharged version, floats and a winterization kit with tundra tires will be offered in the future. www.gippsaero.com

RTW In A (Sort-Of) Light Sport Airplane

The scariest moment -- so far -- for round-the-world flyer Matevz Lenarcic was when he looked out from the cockpit of his little Pipistrel Sinus motorglider to see a pair of Russian MiGs. "The communications are not so good in Russia," he told AVweb at Oshkosh on Saturday, in a bit of polite understatement. Despite two years of preparation, Lenarcic has been dealing with lots of paperwork hassles and various communication glitches as he travels around the globe from his home country of Slovenia. "But the world is very beautiful," he said, "and flying in a little airplane is the way to see it." The little motorglider, built in Slovenia, has been modified for the trip, but in its standard form would qualify as a Light Sport Aircraft.

Lenarcic, a photographer and author, said the trip is his own personal project, and will take him about two and a half months. Everywhere he's gone, people have been very kind. "The world is not so terrible, not so ugly as some people might want to show us," he said. "It makes you wonder why all the wars are necessary." From Oshkosh, Lenarcic plans to head south toward Brazil, and then decide whether to head for home via the South Atlantic and Africa, or head back north and cross from Canada. For your own taste of Lenarcic's view of the beautiful world from his Pipistrel, check out his online photo galleries.

PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE INVITES YOU TO JOIN THEM FOR A WEEKEND
of flying fun and aviation education at the Technology For Pilots Seminar September 25-26, 2004 in Burbank, California. In addition to an airport full of new aircraft with the best in avionics to test, one free seminar class qualifies as part of the FAA's WINGS Program. Over 25 seminar classes to be held on the latest from Garmin, Avidyne, WSI, Baja Bush Pilots, FCI Emergency Maneuver Training, Honeywell, Seattle Avionics, Jeppesen, Lowrance Avionics, Control Vision, WxWorx, IMAPS, Avemco Insurance, Paperless Cockpit, and more. Be among the first 100 people to sign up for the Technology For Pilots Seminar and receive two days for the price of one! (One day is $49, and two days is $89.) Hurry — seats are going fast. For more details (and to sign up), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Drop us a line. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com.

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/

"TEST DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING CENTER!
The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is a two-day 737/300 familiarization course designed for any U.S. pilot, especially those interested in airline careers. Presented exclusively by ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours of ground school, one hour in the 737/300 FTD, and two hours in the 737/300 full-motion simulator. Earn the optional "High Altitude Endorsement," too! Register for any 2004 class by September 1 and earn a $40 discount off the $435.00 course fee by mentioning AVweb! For details, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/atop/avflash.

AVweb's AirVenture Oshkosh 2004 Image Galleries

Don't fret. We'll be back to our usual offerings of Short Final, Picture Of The Week and Question Of The Week, this ... week. We hope you enjoyed the show and our 2004 image galleries.
Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

SHOPPING DEALS

BEFORE YOU LEAVE 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

PRICELESS PEACE-OF-MIND FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH!
Sign up now for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. It's the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight over the U.S. and Canada. Simply enter an N-number to track a flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs. The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month. Subscribe now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
"My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs." "General Aviation Modifications' (GAMI) injectors pay for themselves with the fuel savings. A big bonus is how much smoother the engine runs." "Customer service is just that — SERVICE!" These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors. To find out how to save fuel and time by buying injectors that pay for themselves, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.
WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD BE!
It's all too easy with today's tightened rules and enforcement. Join the smart pilots who trust Aviation Safety to keep them aware and in the air. Discover this informative, instructive monthly that sharpens your savvy and air readiness. Subscribe now for big savings from the regular rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/avflash.
POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST SYSTEM OWNERS! POWER FLOW DEBUTS 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! Available now 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.
SPONSOR NEWS
FOR PILOT'S WHO DON'T GET TO FLY AS OFTEN AS THEY WOULD LIKE
Introducing Pilot's Audio Update, the monthly CD program that turns "lost" time into an advanced aviation seminar. Order now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/paucd/avflash.
LAST CHANCE TO VISIT AVWEB at AIRVENTURE 2004 in OSHKOSH!
  • Before you pack up and leave Oshkosh, stop by AVweb's booth #1007-08 and meet our editors. You'll find a complete schedule online at http://www.avweb.com/news/osh2004/187681-1.html.

  • Also, many of our advertisers are exhibiting during this last day of the show. 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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