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Volume 10, Number 32b -- August 5, 2004

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

OSH USHERS IN THE YEAR OF THE GLASS PANEL
Whether by coincidence or design, a loose theme usually develops at EAA AirVenture (unrelated to the stated theme hung on the show by its organizers) and this was the year of the glass panel. Most major piston single and twin manufacturers had something to say about glass cockpits at this year's show (except Cirrus, which has been all-glass for more than a year) and, in most cases, the gauges we puzzled over as student pilots are giving way entirely to electronic representations of the same gauges, plus all the other information that can be superimposed, flashed or highlighted on the screens. Click through for "who" carries "what." More...

...SYNTHETIC VISION NEXT...
We can't help but wonder, then, when accessible, affordable and justifiable synthetic-vision systems will become the show watchword. Chelton introduced the first GA-oriented synthetic-vision system at last year's show but it's still a little pricey ($75,000) for most owner-pilots. In fact, it seems like GA applications of new technology such as synthetic vision are caught in the middle between the relatively risk-free R&D advances in the experimental market (ranging below $5,000) and the over-the-top bells-and-whistles systems developed for the military. But it seems those military versions, if you walk in front of the wrong end, might just give you a permanent tan ... not to mention a respectable half-life. We did see some offerings on the grounds at OSH. More...

...MORE ON THE DRAWING BOARD
At the other end of the spectrum are a couple of systems being developed by NASA and the military that (we hope) will trickle down to GA in the future. Gulfstream, which became the first GA manufacturer to certify an enhanced vision system to give aircraft lower ILS numbers (so to speak), is partnering with NASA to develop combination head-up and head-down display systems that include "advanced multi-scan weather radar, advanced sensors, a voice recognition system and cockpit displays with computer-generated images of the terrain." Like Chelton's already-available system, the NASA gear combines a terrain database and GPS navigation to provide the virtual view of the world outside. Another system under development is less dependent on wizardry and more on wattage. More...

RECONDITIONED 25XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599. Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 25XLs for $350. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In addition, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. Go online for more information and to purchase an R25XL at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.

CESSNA, UNION HOLD TALKS
Just as the long-awaited recovery in the aviation business is starting to take hold, Cessna and its largest union have started bargaining toward a new contract. According to a story in the Wichita Business Journal, the union is aware of the delicate nature of the business as it begins talks. "Remember, it only takes one more stupid act to throw this critical and sensitive industry into turmoil," said Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (and author of rather candid quotes). The current contract expires in September. More...

BOEING SEES AIRLINE FLEET DOUBLING
As it rolls up its sleeves to duke it out with Airbus for market share, Boeing is predicting the world's fleet of airliners will double in the next 20 years to 35,000 aircraft (and you've got trouble getting a clearance, now?). And the Chicago-based plane-maker says the most growth will come at the low end of the market. In its 2004 Current Market Outlook, Boeing sees the biggest market in single-aisle airliners (perhaps a not-so-curious correlation with the sort of airliners with which it's had recent success), which it predicts will command 59 percent (14,770 aircraft) of the market. Curiously, it's predicting that only 21 percent of sales will come from twin-aisle mid-size aircraft, like its new 7E7 Dreamliner. Regional jets are predicted to satisfy 17 percent of overall demand while large aircraft (like Airbus's A380) have a minuscule (3 percent) of the future market (790 planes), according to Boeing's built-by-Boeing crystal ball. More...

WIRELESS WAVE ON THE WAY UP
It's beginning to look like a huge range of wireless services will soon be commonplace on airliners and perhaps general aviation isn't far behind. Lufthansa inaugurated high-speed Internet access on its flights with Boeing's Connexion system earlier this year and now it looks like competition is coming via systems that will not only provide broadband Web services, but on-demand entertainment and even homeland-security functions. Heck, we'd be happy with permission to use our cellphones. More...

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AFTER OSHKOSH
"In our estimation, the X PRIZE is about to be won," X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis said at a press conference at Oshkosh on Saturday. "But that's not the end -- it's the beginning of the X PRIZE Cup, which will be an annual event." Diamandis said the private space teams that have been working to develop new technology trying to win the X PRIZE will meet at an annual gathering in New Mexico to compete in races for new cash prizes. The event will include a Public Spaceflight Exposition. Twenty-seven teams from seven countries registered to compete for the X PRIZE, and more are expected for the X PRIZE Cup competition. More...

THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW RULES
What will really change on the morning of Sept. 1, when the new Sport-Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft rules take effect? The one thing we could find, with help from EAA info analyst Charlie Becker in the AirVenture Sport Pilot tent, is this: If you want to fly a standard-category aircraft that qualifies as a light-sport aircraft, such as certain Aeroncas, or Luscombes, or Pipers, or Ercoupes -- EAA has a long list of dozens of airplanes that qualify -- you can burn your current third-class medical or let it lapse, show up at the airport on Sept. 1 with only your valid driver's license, and fly as a Sport Pilot. That means day VFR only. More...

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THE ANGEL AT OSHKOSH
While people were poring over Diamond's Twin Star in its front-and-center location at Oshkosh AirVenture last week, almost as much attention is being paid to a newly certified twin parked in the camping area a half mile from show center. The Angel Aircraft Corp. Model 44 would look a lot like many other piston twins except the 300-horsepower Lycomings are pointed backward. Closer inspection reveals a foot-thick wing at the leading edge with full-length flaperons. The Angel was designed by a missionary pilot who needed something to get into short, unimproved strips while packing a big payload. We're not sure why the props are behind the tires, either, but extensive tire guards clearly indicate designers' attempts to ensure the unimproved portion of a strip doesn't get kicked back into whirring blades. More...

LYCOMING: DEBUT OF ROLLER TAPPETS
New roller lifters (cam followers) were announced by Lycoming and Superior for most Lycoming applications. Roller-tipped lifters are used widely in the automotive world to reduce internal friction, but the benefit for aircraft is improved longevity. Both companies said the rollers are in development programs that should last through fall. Lycoming plans to introduce the lifters as part of "phased design improvements" to its engine line. More...

NON-OWNER (RENTER) PILOTS EXPOSED: PILOTS ARE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE
for losses involving rented or borrowed aircraft. You rent an aircraft on a beautiful day to fly around the patch for a couple of hours. It's time to land, and you get caught in a crosswind. The aircraft is damaged. Fortunately you are okay, but the airplane is in bad shape. Who is responsible for the plane's repair expenses and the FBO's lost revenue? Far too often, it's YOU — uninsured renter pilot. Get the comprehensive coverage you need by calling AVEMCO today. For as little as $215 annually you can have liability and aircraft damage (hull) coverage. Call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online NOW at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

PILOT PRIMER LAUNCHED AT OSHKOSH
A new book launched at AirVenture aims to take some of the mystery -- and fear -- out of becoming a pilot while at the same time extolling its virtues. You Can Fly, by Master CFI Greg Brown and author and editor Laurel Lippert, is like an introductory guide to becoming a pilot, laced with plenty of biased enthusiasm on why it's such a good idea. "There wasn't anything like this out there," said Lippert, whose husband Tom provided the photographs for the book. Lippert said she speculates many prospective pilots reject the notion when they pick up the heavily technical flight school manuals to see what they're in for. More...

RYAN REACHES OUT FOR MORE
If your plane is equipped with the Honeywell KGP-560 EGPWS or the L-3 Avionics WX-500 Stormscope Weather Mapping Sensor, you now have the option of hooking in the Ryan Multi-Hazard Display (MHD). Ryan International execs announced at AirVenture that the new interfaces will soon be available, allowing pilots traffic, terrain or lightning activity on a primary view and two thumbnail views simultaneously. The MHD is a dedicated panel display that gets rid of some of the clutter pilots have found with their moving map, communication and navigation overlays. The 9900 BX MHD retails for $20,900. More...

SCOPED OUT NEW AVIONICS AT OSHKOSH & FOUND THEM WAY ABOVE YOUR BUDGET?
By shopping for used avionics, you CAN afford those improvements and needed safety features for your airplane. Bennett Avionics is your used avionics specialist, with years of serving customers with quality products and professional service. Don't spend more than you have to on avionics; go to the Bennett Avionics EXPERTS at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.

PLAN YOUR PAINT SCHEME THE EASY WAY
The largest designer of airplane paint schemes in the U.S. is now offering a service for aircraft owners who need a little help instead of a lot. Scheme Designers has launched www.aircraftcolor.com, a Web site with a database of more than 3,000 airplane paint schemes. For $39.95, you can use the site for 30 days, saving, downloading and printing as many of the paint schemes as you would like. (You can download drawings of different types of aircraft free.) The full service, which buys you pages of paint plans down to the smallest detail, runs from $450 to $950. But Scheme Designer's CEO Craig Barnett knows that there are a number of aircraft owners who either can't or won't spend that. "This [aircraft color] is a good tool for those people who can't justify that," he said. After you choose a paint scheme you like, you can either take it to your paint shop to complete or Scheme Designs will draw up the plans for you for an extra fee. More...

ON THE FLY…
Here's a new air show for the calendar, especially if you like Mustangs...
The FAA is backing off on a plan to require babies to be secured during flight...
A couple of crashes have left seven dead and two injured...
A Cessna 421 carrying Kansas Fish and Wildlife authorities hit a deer...
Embraer will build the U.S. military's next spy plane. More...

COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON ASO!
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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #8: Overhaul Overdone
When an instrument, accessory or other appliance stops working on our airplanes, we generally get it overhauled or exchange it for an overhauled exchange unit, right? Wrong, says AVweb's Mike Busch, who argues that overhaul is often unnecessary and a big waste of money, and offers several illustrative cases-in-point.

More...

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 to newstips@avweb.com. 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...

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AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know if you're happier with the round analog gauges on older instrument panels, or just more familiar with them. Flat panels are taking over, but because most of us don't buy or fly new airplanes, most of us aren't all that familiar with them. These incredibly capable boxes are out there right now — but is it a good thing for you? PLUS: Results of our pre-Oshkosh "QOTW," "Are CFIs overpaid?" (Hoo-boy, wait until you see the results of this one!) More...

DA42 TWIN STAR CERTIFICATION: LOTS OF FIRSTS
Diamond's DA42 Twin Star marks some significant milestones: First Aircraft Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); first piston aircraft to incorporate new propulsion, avionics, and airframe technology; first modern jet-fuel/diesel-powered twin-engine aircraft; and first certified application of the fully integrated Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. Visit Diamond online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Yowza! "POTW" submissions usually drop off during an air show, but AVweb readers kept up the flood of photos during last week's EAA AirVenture. Way to go, guys — you sent us so many photos that we can't, in good conscience, roll two weeks' worth of entries into a single contest! Instead, we're presenting last week's winners today — and we'll deliver a second, bonus "POTW" gallery on Monday! (Is it just us, or is there something eerily appropriate about Tim Loehrke winning this week's contest with a photo of the lightest-of-all-possible-aircraft? Talk about LSAs... .) More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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AEROMEDIX.COM ADDS AVWEB COLUMNIST JOHN DEAKIN'S BOOK TO SITE
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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