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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
ON THE A500'S TYPE CERTIFICATE...
Aircraft CEO Rick Adam hosted a live Web seminar on Tuesday, with
an update on the status of his company's A500 centerline twin and the
A700 light jet. The just-shy-of-$900,000 (in 2003 dollars) A500 piston
twin received its FAA Type Certificate (TC) in May, and "We're all
thrilled here," Adam said. The first customer delivery is set to take
place at Oshkosh, in late July. At this time, the TC comes with
substantial restrictions for the aircraft -- daytime VFR only, no
baggage, maximum of three occupants, avoidance of icing conditions, a
12,500-foot operational ceiling, and a (presently) very short airframe
life limit, for example. However, all the testing has been completed,
Adam said, and it's just a matter of getting all the paperwork through
the FAA. A chunk of that will be done in July and the rest in
September, he said (though the icing program will come later), at
which point the restrictions will be removed, and customer aircraft
will be retrofitted and upgraded. More...
TOWARD THE ADVERTISED PRODUCT...
The icing test program, however, is slated for next winter. And the
July and September dates for TC amendments depend on getting all the
necessary interaction with the FAA completed. "The FAA budget cutbacks
are putting stress on manufacturers," President Joe Walker said in a
follow-up call with AVweb yesterday. Inspectors are not always
available to do the required work. For example, "Last week, we had to
fly the airplane to Boston, because the FAA staff we needed to work
with didn't have the budget to come to Denver," he said. The initial
TC also limits the airframe to 250 hours total. Walker said the
company will start further fatigue testing in August that would push
the limit up. More...
A700 JET FOLLOWS ALONG
The company is shifting now from development mode to manufacturing
mode, Adam said. That means adding staff and working to fill orders.
The company is ready to build about one airplane a month, but it has
the capacity now to build up to six a month. Orders are in for 71
airplanes. Development is continuing with the A700 twinjet, Adam said,
and the prototype now has logged 259 hours. They are working with the
FAA to develop a certification plan for the jet, and once that's done,
they can start to work through it. They are hoping for certification
in 2006. Adam has 50 orders for the jet. More...
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A DC-3 with two pilots and one passenger aboard made an emergency
landing, clipping trees and sliding 100 yards on a street in a
residential neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Monday, without
impacting homes or (directly) injuring anyone one the ground. After
the left engine caught fire shortly after takeoff the crew decided
they wouldn't be able to return the airplane and its 3,200 pounds of
granite cargo to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, or make the beach.
The crew told The Associated Press they decided "to drop the nose and
take what [they] could get." They aimed for "the biggest, widest spot"
of a (previously) tree-abundant and quiet section of Northeast 56th
Street, hoping the trees would help dissipate energy during the crash.
The results were impressive. More...
CRASH DOMINO EFFECT...
In a bizarre turn of events, two
airplanes crashed on the same runway in northern Kenya last week.
First, at about 1 o'clock Friday afternoon, a Hawker-Siddeley 748
cargo plane landed with its gear up, and left wreckage strewn on the
Lokichokio airport's only runway. The airport was closed. About an
hour later, a Hercules L-100 cargo plane from Angola arrived at
Lokichokio, and it was turned away. The pilot responded that he didn't
have enough fuel to get to another airport, and would attempt to land
on the portion of the runway that was clear of debris. The pilot
landed hard, bending the airframe, and the Herc rolled forward into
the debris field. Wreckage of both aircraft was then strewn across the
whole runway. Nobody was hurt, but the airport had to be closed for
two days. More...
THE HIGH PRICE OF A GOOD TIME
"Aw [expletive] we're gonna hit houses, dude." The NTSB has released
new information -- including cockpit voice excerpts (see NewsWire) --
related to the Oct. 14 fatal crash of a Pinnacle Airlines regional
jet. The pilots were flying an empty Bombardier CL-600-2B19 and hoping
to "have a little fun" when they decided to climb to the jet's maximum
altitude at FL410, according to transcripts from the Cockpit Voice
Recorder (CVR) that the NTSB released this week. The two were ferrying
the 50-seat jet from Little Rock, Ark., to Minneapolis on Oct. 14. A
controller questioned the jet's model and altitude told the pilots,
"I've never seen you guys up at 41 there." The crew responded, "Yeah,
we're actually ... we don't have any passengers on board, so we
decided to have a little fun and come up here.'' Minutes later, the
pilots told controllers first that one and later that both engines had
AIR SHOW -- LIGHT JETS, NEW CONCORDE
While the Paris Air Show, held every other June at Le
Bourget, is mainly about big airliners and beefy military aircraft,
there's a fair amount of news there for the lighter, GA end of the
industry. Among the latest out of Paris this week, Grob, a German
light-plane manufacturer, introduced the first test model of its new
"utility jet," a 10-seater built to operate from
unimproved runways. The jet has a roomy, quick-change cabin that can
also accommodate cargo loads up to about 2,500 pounds. Aviation Technology
Group introduced the Javelin Mk-20, the military-trainer version
of its two-seat very-high-performance Javelin Executive Jet. The
prototype of the civilian version has recently started taxi tests. And
then there's talk of a 300-pax supersonic successor to the Concorde...
IN SPACE -- AN UPDATE
the space company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has released
some details about its future plans, as it works with
the FAA to gain approvals to develop its site in Culberson County,
Texas. The company's reusable launch vehicle (RLV) would carry three
or more passengers to 325,000 feet, propelled by hydrogen peroxide and
kerosene. The RLV would be operated by an onboard computer system,
with no ground control, and it would launch vertically from a concrete
pad and land vertically in an area nearby. Blue Origin intends to
perform unmanned RLV test flights from the proposed facility
beginning, at the earliest, in the third quarter of 2006.
THE BEST HEADSET IS THE ONE YOU ALREADY
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You can easily install the upgrade kit yourself in any headset. Find
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CARS CREEPING CLOSER
A team of engineers got a lot of attention when they bolted some wings
onto a $100,000 Panoz Esperante sports car and got it (briefly) off
the ground, for a Monster Garage episode that aired this week. But
meanwhile, the real flying car may be quietly under development in the
garages of a few homebuilders, in the form of road-worthy gyrocopters.
Sean Cooper, of Concord, Calif., says he's gotten the OK from the
state to drive his gyrocopter on the roads -- but only if he takes off
the rotor first, which is (currently) about a 20-minute job. Still,
Cooper told SiliconBeat.com he has driven the gyro to the
airport, which is just a few blocks away from his home, then flew to
San Jose, took off the rotor, and drove to his office ... very slowly.
QUEST FOR A HI-SPEED HELI
Helicopters can perform amazing vertical feats, but their Achilles'
heel has always been forward speeds limited by the retreating blades'
ability to create lift. Usually, the machines max out at about 170
knots. Efforts to increase forward speed have previously resulted in
degraded hover performance. While Bell inches its Bell/Agusta 609
tiltroter's nacelles toward full airplane mode, Sikorsky Aircraft announced this month it plans to
build and test a demonstrator for a new class of helicopters that will
cruise at 250 knots (Bell's 609 aims for 275) while meeting or
exceeding all the usual vertical flight capabilities of rotorcraft and
without using tilting rotors on wingtips. The demonstrator will
feature a coaxial design (two counter-rotating rotors on the same
vertical axis) and a pusher prop to supply auxiliary propulsion.
Sikorsky plans to build and fly its X2 Technology Demonstrator
helicopter at its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary by the end of 2006.
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PILOTS SEEK MORE TIME FOR LSA TRANSITION
The U.S. Ultralight
Association (USUA) on Tuesday asked the FAA to give ultralight
pilots and instructors two extra years to transition to the Sport
Pilot rules and for ultralight aircraft to transition into Light Sport
Aircraft. The USUA also asked that the training exemptions that allow
the use of two-seat ultralights for training purposes also be extended
for two years. "This additional time is necessary to allow the
industry sufficient time to develop to the point where it can take
advantage of the benefits of the Sport Pilot rule," according to the
petition. The changes would move the deadlines
back to Jan. 31, 2009, for transitioning pilots, and would allow the
use of two-seat ultralights for training until Jan. 31, 2012.
BAXTER DIES AT 81
While his hometown media in southeast Texas remembered Gordon Baxter
as a "local icon" and "legendary radio talk-show host," he was known
to aviators around the world as the author of "Bax Seat," his
well-loved column that ran on the back page of Flying Magazine from
1971 to 1998. Baxter wrote about airplanes, the people who fly them,
the airports where they live, the romance and adventure of it all.
"We'll all miss him," Flying Senior Editor Tom Benenson told
AVweb on Tuesday. "He was always a gentleman and always knew
how to tell a story. ... I enjoyed his work from almost the time I
could read." Baxter died Saturday in Beaumont, at age 81, leaving
behind his wife, nine children, 16 grandkids, and 11 books.
Two-seat Viperjet mkII first flight on Sunday, in Pasco,
Female BA pilots won right to reduced hours to care for
Musketeer N2358Z was stolen from Elk Grove, Calif.,
A NASA astronaut made history Tuesday, testifying from
Ada (Okla.) Air Expo, June 24-25, warbirds and
New DVD of Glastar's Sportsman 2 + 2 available free by
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part
of our team. More...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #95 -- A New Sport
Welcome, Sport Pilots, to aviation -- an exclusive club
open to anyone who dreams far above the madding crowd's ignoble ground
life. Before you touch the heavens, however, review some old- and new
cartoon adventures of Chuck and the rest of the Roost-Air FBO continue
this week as Chuck gets in trouble again with ATC. A new strip every
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know how well covered you are: Do you have
insurance? PLUS: The somewhat surprising result of last week's survey
on flat panels vs. round gauges. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Sunny skies, heart-pounding action, and even a little piece of history
round out this week's reader-submitted pictures. Strap in and prepare
yourself for another non-stop visual feast, as we bring you the best
of over 70 "Picture of the Week" contenders. We'll start you off with
this week's number one photo a clear summer day and an exciting
landing, courtesy of Hartwell, Georgia's Jeremy King.
|Sponsor News and
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|ONLY AT AUCTION! LAKE AIRCRAFT WILL BE SOLD AT
The owners of the Lake Aircraft line of
amphibious airplanes have chosen the auction method of marketing to
select a new owner for their Lake Amphibian production line.
This comprehensive sale will include the FAA Type Certificate and
associated STCs, engineering data, all documentation, historical
information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity. The
inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to
one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity.
The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation
Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For additional
information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed, call
Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their web
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|LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT
Narco Avionics proudly announces the
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|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
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MACHADO BOOKS, TAPES, AND CDs AVAILABLE ON AVWEB!|
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|APPROACHES, APPROACHES THERE'S NO IFR PILOT
ALIVE WHO HAS HEARD ENOUGH|
Magazine understands that. The July issue of IFR brings
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a little foresight goes a long way. Also included in this
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Guys in Columbus" no, not the Space Shuttle the tower;
"Downlink on the Fly" other uses for that NEXRAD box;
"Combining IFR and VFR" know when to mix and how to make the
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We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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