April 14, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
|This special Sun 'n Fun issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Oregon Aero
If you are tired of flying with pain caused by your headset, Oregon Aero has a painless, quieter solution that can be installed right at the Oregon Aero booth in Building A at Sun 'n Fun. Oregon Aero offers 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 enjoy pain-free flying; reduced overall sound pressure; improved intelligibility and transmission clarity; and cooler, drier ears. Stop by Oregon Aero's booth in Building A or purchase online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
Visit Oregon Aero at Sun 'n Fun Booth #MD-009A
A small company from Osceola Mills, PA, Innodyn, Inc intends to prove its line of 165, 185, 205 and 255 hp, less-than-$35,000 turbines will soon run in customers' aircraft (at 60,000 rpm) and eventually well past their 5,000-hour projected TBO. According to the company, the 188 pound turbine spins an MT or NSI electric prop at closer to 2750 rpm through a 12-part planetary gear reduction while burning roughly seven gallons (of almost anything combustible) per hundred horsepower per hour. We were hoping to see (read: told to expect) first deliveries this past February, but Innodyn, Inc. instead brought four "production" model turbines to Sun 'n Fun ... albeit, free of airframes (look again for those -- attached to airframes -- at OSH). For optimists: the company has been making progress, granted more slowly than advertised, but it seems they're doing the work. For pessimists: you don't have to invest.
According to the company, its constant rpm engines run with a patented fuel control system and one lever (pitch) control. The engine's computer control system adjusts power to maintain 2750 rpm with whatever pitch the pilot selects. The engine has flown in an RV-4 and is now flying in an RV-6, a helicopter and a SuperCub, but a production model has yet to show its mettle in a very public and very accessible way. Innodyn is currently taking orders and believes it could produce more than 20 turbines per month, but don't expect that just yet. Over the next few months, Innodyn plans to move its main office and will work to establish firewall forward kits (that will likely weigh in close to $7,000). Yes, there are some important blanks yet to be filled. Expect things to move slowly. Expect us to follow closely.
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Pilot Insurance Center is an Official Sponsor of AVweb at Sun 'n Fun 2005
The big Epic LT single-engine turboprop is flying in Lakeland this week, and CEO Rick Schrameck said there is a lot of interest in the design. The six-seat carbon-fiber airplane has a big, powerful, graceful look, and strong performance specs with 350-knot airspeed, 1,600-nm range, and 1,350-pound payload. It's being sold as an Experimental aircraft. The airplane is assembled at Epic's facility in Bend, Ore., where the new owner gets full factory support while contributing the FAA-mandated 51-percent effort. "The FAA is very comfortable with the way we do it," says Schrameck. "We've taken the Experimental category about as far as you can take it." It takes the owner about four to six weeks of time, and the complete project can be ready-to-fly in about four months, he said. The LT runs with a Pratt & Whitney PT-6, up to a maximum certified ceiling of 31,000 feet. It debuted at Oshkosh last summer, just a year after the design was announced. It sells for about $1.2 million.
Meanwhile, the Epic Jet will be flying later this summer, Schrameck said, and debut before the end of the year. "Our first customer delivery is in December, so we have to make that," he said. The six-seat twinjet will follow the same development model as the LT, being introduced first as an Experimental with extensive builder-assistance at the factory. Schrameck plans to seek FAA certification for both aircraft. The company is growing and will open an expansion of its facility in Bend in mid-May, he said.
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Visit P2 Inc. (with Eastern Avionics) at Sun 'n Fun Booths #C-043-045
It's loud, and it slurps fuel at 125 gallons per hour, but it's ready to fly, and you can even slide the canopy open in flight and get a suntan. There's a place in Calhoun, Ga., you can today go, write a check, and buy yourself a fully certified, four-passenger, pressurized twin jet, plus get change from your half-mill. It's the Paris Jet, a 50-year-old design originally built in Europe as a military trainer (read: it's aerobatic, too). Your Aircraft Source (YAS) has about 20 of them for sale, and is working to get more. They are totally refurbished with optional Chelton avionics. The engines are available new or used. "I've sold four in the last four months," Greg Webster, director of marketing and training for YAS, told AVweb on Wednesday. "And from the leads I have already, I expect to sell three or four more from this show." Webster said that two of his last four customers were pilots waiting for new Cessna Mustang and Eclipse 500 jets. "They can build time in this jet for the next couple of years, and it makes it much easier and cheaper for them to get insurance when they get their new jet," he said. "Then they can sell this one and get their money back." The jet can carry about 800 pounds in the cabin, flies at 320 knots, and has 950 nm range with NBAA reserves. With round dials on the panel, the price is $498,000, and the glass Chelton avionics are available at $611,000. Webster says a relatively low-time GA pilot with about 750 hours can get insured in this airplane for about $11,000 to $13,000.
Aerocomp flew its new kit-jet into the show. The jet has accumulated 43 flight hours since its first flight last June, said company President Steve Young, and it's been signed off so they can fly people in it besides the test pilot. The interior is not finished yet, and the start system still needs some tweaking, but he says they're satisfied that it's ready enough to start taking orders. The big six-foot tall cabin can fit up to nine seats, and it's single-pilot ... operable. With "full everything," the price is about $866,000. Base price -- for the kit -- with engine but minus interior and avionics is just $449,000. The company is developing a factory-assist builders' center, says Young. For now they are delivering the kit with parts in "a high state of completion." Any homebuilder who can tackle a Glasair or Lancair can handle this jet, he said. "It's the same thing, just bigger." A turbo-prop is in the works. There is plenty of factory support, but owners should be prepared to invest about 3,000 hours along with all that cash. For now, Aerocomp plans to offer the jet as a kit only, Young said, with no immediate plans to seek certification. The jet uses a single AI-25 bypass engine, built by Nanchanko in Russia and is used in the L39 Albatross and Yak 40. It will produce up to 3,400 lbs. of thrust. There's a market out there for about 2,500 kit jets over the next 10 years, Young estimates.
|CONFUSED ABOUT DATALINK WEATHER?|
UNDERSTANDING DATALINK WEATHER AT SUN 'N FUN
WSI Corporation is offering a no-cost Seminar Series on the topic of Datalink Weather. Created with the pilot in mind, these seminars will instruct on the proper use of datalink weather systems in the cockpit. Close attention will be paid to the exact nature of data products now available on various systems ask your own questions about datalink at WSI's premiere presentations: 10:00 AM April 12 and 17th at Sun 'n Fun. For more details, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi/snf/avflash.
To help you get to Sun 'n Fun, WSI offers a no-charge Sun 'n Fun Weather Web Site. See what the conditions are in Lakeland right now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi/snf/wx/avflash.
Visit WSI at Sun 'n Fun Booths #A-040-042
The story of the twin-engine P-38 fighter known as Glacier Girl is well-known by now, but the airplane this week is making its first appearance at Sun 'n Fun. It's been opening the daily 2 p.m. airshow with dramatic low fly-bys, climbing out steep and banking hard to show off that distinctive profile with the double tail booms and sounding ... fantastic. The World War II-era airplane was recovered from beneath the Greenland ice cap in 1992, and after 10 years of restoration, flew again in October 2002. Glacier Girl is made up of 80 percent original parts, project manager Bob Cardin told AVweb yesterday. It took two hours and 40 minutes to fly it to Lakeland from its home base in Kentucky, where it spends most of the year in a museum.
While the new-generation airplanes with their glass panels and satellite datalinks are awesome machines, the fact is there are still thousands of pilots hand-flying their little puddlejumpers behind round dials. They're pre-planning flights on paper sectional charts, and getting their weather before they leave the ground. To help those pilots out, Enflight.com offers a newly upgraded online service with pre-flight briefings, weather information, route planning, and flight-plan filing all packaged with easy-to-read graphics and organized according to your own pre-set criteria. Enflight develops its own applications with a staff of senior pilots and software engineers, and does contract work for DUATS and AOPA. The service costs $59.95 a year and can be accessed online and via wireless devices.
LIGHTSPEED EXPANDS TO TWO LOCATIONS AT SUN 'N FUN
Visit LightSPEED at Sun 'n Fun Booths #D-052-053
It looks like an oil filter and it acts like an oil filter but makers of the Tempest Original Aviation Spin-on Oil Filter say this is no ordinary oil filter. In fact, according to spokesman John Herman, this oil filter represents the first technology change in the industry in more than 30 years. The filter incorporates a small, but powerful magnet that traps ferrous particles but doesn't affect instruments. And unlike other magnets that have been tried on oil filters in the past, this one keeps its magnetism at high temperature. "It'll go up to about 450 degrees [F]," he said. The company claims the filter adds extra protection for Continental engines in particular. Filters on Continental engines have an internal bypass valve that allows oil to circulate if the filter becomes obstructed. Continental specifications call for the relief valve to open at about 10 to 14 psi of back pressure. Herman said that until now, no filter manufacturer has been able to meet that spec and their relief valves have typically opened at less than the specified pressure. "That means they could have been going into bypass without you knowing it," he said. That translates to unfiltered oil circulating in the engine. The company claims its new filter is the only one to meet Continental specs. The company doesn't make any claims about extended engine life and nor does the filter extend the time between changes because that's up to the engine manufacturer. For fleet operators, the filter is available in six or 12 packs.
Despite a tangle of legal problems, at least one eviction and continued bad blood between various factions, a California man vows that the Luscombe tail dragger will live on. "We're going to get it into production one way or another," said John Dearden, president of Renaissance Aircraft. Dearden's design is a souped up and modernized version of the all-metal high wing, first introduced in the 1940s. He has the type certificate and all the tooling. What he needs now is a place to build it. Renaissance was set up in a municipally-owned hangar at Cape Girardeau, Mo., but was unable to meet its first bond payment for the city-financed building. Instead of giving the company more time, city fathers asked Dearden to leave and he went to California to regroup. He said there are now three communities vying for the future factory, two in the Southwest and one in the Midwest but he declined to give more details. "Until we have something on paper, we don't really want to discuss it," he said. Dearden said the company's problems can be traced to legal battles with the former holder of the type certificate which used up millions of dollars of capital funds. Dearden said he has judgments totaling about $3 million in his favor and he's planning to collect the money and use it to start building airplanes. In the meantime, through a spinoff company called Team Luscombe, Renaissance has started manufacturing and supplying new parts for the existing fleet of airplanes.
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO FL250
Visit Lancair at Sun 'n Fun Booth #MD-009A
Never-say-die recordseeker Bruce Bohannon has been trying for a year or so now to push his highly modified RV-4, the Exxon Flyin' Tiger, up to 50,000 feet, and keeps coming up short. "We bolted an extra 18 inches onto each wing, and there were no gains at all," he said Wednesday morning at a Sun 'n Fun press conference. He and his team kept trying, tweaking the prop and the aerodynamics, and made multiple attempts with little progress. At one point, Bohannon said, they were about to accept that maybe 47,500 feet is just as high as you can get in an RV-4. But that didn't take, so now former astronaut "Hoot" Gibson is working with Bohannon to design a new wing extension that will add 8 feet to the end of each wing, stretching the wingspan from 22 to 38 feet. "And if that doesn't work, we'll start over with a totally new airfoil," Bohannon said. Sounds like they are not going to give up till they get there. Future attempts though, will be made from Bohannon's home field in Texas, not in front of crowds at an airshow. The logistics are just much easier at home, he said. Bohannon so far has set 30 world records with the Flyin' Tiger.
AVweb's Sun 'n Fun galleries number one, number two, and number three are up...
The Seawind amphibious kitplane is about 75 percent of the way through its certification process, company President Richard Silva said at Sun 'n Fun. The airplane is aiming for concurrent certification with both Transport Canada and the FAA, he said...
Beechcraft is changing the names of the new versions of its Bonanza A36 and Baron 58 that are equipped with the Garmin 1000 integrated avionics, they are now the G36 and G58...
Mooney donated a one-of-a-kind Mooney Tiger to the Florida Air Museum at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday.
Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com.
GAMI CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING FUEL
Visit GAMI at Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-065-066
The Savvy Aviator #17: But It Just Came Out Of Annual!
When an IA signs off an annual inspection, most owners assume the aircraft is airworthy and safe to fly. That's usually true, but not always. In this month's Savvy Aviator column, AVweb's Mike Busch offers a particularly egregious example.
ASA MEETS THE NEEDS OF SPORT PILOTS
Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-059-061
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MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Visit Narco Avionics at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-082
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
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