The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
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CONCORDE: SUPERSONIC RACE HEATS UP, AGAIN
Imagine a supersonic airliner that flies almost three times faster
than Concorde did, uses less fuel and is much quieter. Well, that's
what engineers in a cooperative effort between French and Japanese
aerospace industry associations envision as the next incarnation of
supersonic travel. "Three-year research activities are planned for
technologies related to composite material structure, reduction of jet
engine noise and other areas which can overcome the difficulties
unique to supersonic flight," said a Japanese government statement.
The collaboration between France's Aerospace Industries Association
and the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies was announced at the
Paris Air Show. More...
PROVEN FOR SUPERSONIC BIZJET...
And while supersonic travel for the masses (relatively speaking) is
getting a fresh look, Mach 1 or better for the privileged few is
looking increasingly viable. Reno-based Aerion says
there are enough deep-pocketed (and time-short) customers for its Mach
1.6 (over the ocean) bizjet that it can move forward with the project
and potentially have aircraft in service by 2011. Before Aerion can
tackle the sound barrier, however, it has to overcome the significant
regulatory, technological and financial challenges of launching such a
project. It's looking for "risk-sharing partners" among suppliers and
manufacturers to get the plane to certification and production.
NASA AND RUTAN TEST SPACE DRONE
And while others dream of fast airplanes, a test bed for future
innovations in that direction took flight in a unique collaboration
between government and the private sector in Mojave, Calif., Tuesday.
As AVweb told you last month, NASA and one of its most
high-profile critics, Burt Rutan, have teamed up (along with the
Defense Department and Boeing) to test the X-37 space drone. Those
tests took flight on Tuesday as Rutan's White Knight, the mothership
for SpaceShipOne in last October's successful completion of the Ansari
X Prize competition, carried the X-37 aloft for the first time.
RECONDITIONED 20XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED
When new, these headsets had a list price of $439.
Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 20XLs for
$300. 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 R20XL at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/recon/avflash.
TACKLE BLUETOOTH "WIRELESS" HEADSETS...
The wireless wave has hit the cockpit with at least two manufacturers
now offering headsets that aren't tethered to the panel. Both use
Bluetooth technology to free you from cords that inevitably get
tangled in shoulder straps, wrapped around the yoke or otherwise get
in your way. But that's where the similarity ends for these
out-of-the-gate headsets from Panther Electronics and Peltor. Panther's is an earpiece (in your ear)
system that claims 46 dB of passive noise reduction and weighs only
1.5 ounces. Peltor's is a conventional (over your ear) headset that
claims 25 dB of passive noise reduction. More...
Convenience always comes at a price but, for the Panther models anyway
(Peltor's Web site doesn't list prices), the cost is in line with many
other top-of-the-line headsets, ranging from $464 to $777. Panther's
earpiece can also be used with cellphones while Peltor says its device
works up to 50 feet from the adapter/transmitter, meaning you can
start monitoring traffic or get the ATIS before strapping in ... so
long as the radio is on. Both manufacturers claim crystal-clear
reception and transmission. The companies say their wireless headsets
are compatible with a wide range of radio models (read: check their
compatibility lists). More...
TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM|
YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
looking for that "envy of many pilots" single (such as a Bonanza) or a
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Aircraft Sales does it all and has done so for over 65
years boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in
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financing, or sales consulting to award-winning service and avionics
centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive
network of 36 FBOs Always looking to purchase quality
turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft. One call to (800)
259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/avflash.
DENIES REPORT OF RUSSIAN PLAN(E)S
Eclipse Aviation is strongly denying a report in at least two Russian
publications that it intends to build airplanes there. The stories,
one in the Izvestia Daily and one in MosNews quoting the Izvestia report (our Russian's
a little rusty and we couldn't find an English version of Izvestia),
claim to quote the president of Aviastar, which makes Tupolev airliners, as saying
that the plant will be up and running as early as next year. "We will
be able to re-equip the plant in six months," Aviastar's Victor
Mikhailov is quoted as saying. Despite the matter-of-fact nature of
the stories and the widespread use of attributed quotes, Eclipse
claims there's not a shred of truth to the reports. "This story is
completely false," Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom told AVweb.
"Eclipse Aviation is not and never has been in any discussions or
negotiations with anyone relating to Eclipse 500 final assembly or
producing sub-assemblies for the Eclipse 500 in Russia."
MORE DRUNKEN JOYRIDE
Security workers at Westchester County (New York) airport watched
early Wednesday as beer cans fell from the cabin of a stolen C-172 as
the 20-year-old student pilot and his two 16-year-old passengers
extricated themselves from the cabin following a 4:15 a.m. taxiway
arrival. While the 20-year-old does not hold a valid pilot's
certificate he did manage a blood alcohol level of .15, according to
the New York Times, and so nearly doubled the legal limit (for
piloting an automobile). Authorities collected the "pilot" and charged
him with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and possession of the
aircraft stolen from a Danbury Municipal (Connecticut) airport flight
school. Authorities believe the student pilot may have had at least
seven hours of flight instruction. More...
COMMITTEE WANTS FAA FUNDING BOOST
Congress appears to be loosening the purse strings for the
cash-strapped FAA. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development has approved
$14.4 billion in spending for the FAA for the 2006 fiscal year. That's
up $877 million (about 6 percent) over last year. Whether it's enough
to quell the numerous funding-related issues that cropped up during
the past six months or so is another matter but initial reaction seems
hopeful. The National Business Aviation Association notes that $25
million has been allocated to hire 600 new air traffic controllers
while the General Aviation Manufacturers Association is cheering the
restoration of staffing and budget levels in the seemingly always
manpower-short Aircraft Certification Service. More...
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put
to full effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000
feet. With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia
400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before. Set the
throttle to 80% power and cruise at 235 knots that's faster
than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease
the power back and increase range to standard-setting
levels. A company official recently flew an unmodified
Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a
distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts.
Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/avflash
FOLLOW 737'S MISSED-RUNWAY LANDING
Canada's Transportation Safety Board suggests poor lighting, tired
pilots and the wrong autopilot selection were behind a near-disaster
at Edmonton International Airport on Feb. 25, 2004. The TSB, which
investigates, but does not pass judgment on, aircraft mishaps, said in
its report that the crew of the First Air Boeing
737 landed beside the runway instead of on it, in part because they
had only runway edge lighting for guidance in deteriorating
visibility. The plane ran beside the pavement for 1,600 feet before
the pilots steered it back on the runway, taking out a runway light,
four taxiway lights and a sign along the way. No one was hurt but the
plane was damaged. More...
HOLDS HANDS-ON LSA DAY
There was a get-acquainted session of sorts at AOPA headquarters in
Frederick, Md., earlier this week and those who shook hands and traded
business cards hope that GA will be stronger because of it. Airplanes
that are, or will soon be, registered as Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)
were flown to Frederick so that AOPA staffers could meet the people,
kick the tires and fly the airplanes that some say will revolutionize
(and revitalize) GA. The event was coordinated in cooperation with the
Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association. LSA airplanes can be flown
by those who qualify for a Sport Pilot certificate, which only
requires a driver's license as proof of medical fitness for those who
have not been denied medicals in the past. More...
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'Net,
and it's chock full of new features. A simpler, more powerful
menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.
NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new
WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone
has available. Put NexRad maps centered on every US airport,
satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide,
METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation
weather that's ready when you need it on the tarmac, in the
run-up area, or at unattended grass strips. SPECIAL:
AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription
rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.
WITH AND AGAINST THE WIND
There's nothing like a good tailwind to help you get in the record
books. But what's interesting about this speed record was that a
record was set in both directions. The National Aeronautic Association has formally
recognized the March 20 round trip, by David Riggs and Jeff Acord,
from Los Angeles to Phoenix in an L-39 "Wild Child" as record-setting
on both legs -- even though the return trip took 60 percent longer
than the outbound portion. The still-air maximum speed of the former
single-engine two-seat subsonic Soviet bloc trainer/fighter is about
450 mph but Riggs and Accord made the eastbound hop at 561.2 mph in a
time of 39 minutes, 58 seconds. On the way back, against the wind, it
took them 1:01:24 at a speed of 365.3 mph. Looks like an average speed
of 463.25 mph (and we don't know if that's a record).
PILOT INSPIRES YOUTH
There are not many low-level-approved aerobatic pilots who didn't
start flying until they were in their mid-30s but Michael Hunter had a
good reason for starting late. As an insulin-dependent diabetic, he
wasn't allowed in the cockpit -- any cockpit -- until the FAA relaxed
its medical regulations in 1997. Hunter, now 41, is on the show
circuit in his Laser 230 but he needs some high-tech help to ensure
his blood sugar is correct during the rigors of a performance. An
on-board system continuously checks his glucose levels and administers
insulin every three minutes. Hunter is using his profile to encourage
young diabetics to pursue their dreams through Flight for Diabetes, the group he started to
inspire young people. More...
AIRCRAFT IS LOOKING FOR A NEW OWNER DURING AIRVENTURE!
Lake Aircraft series is the only FAA-certified single-engine
amphibious airplane being produced in the world today. The
complete line of Lake Aircraft inventory and tooling with FAA
Type Certificate, STCs, engineering data, documentation, historical
information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity
will be sold at auction during AirVenture 2005. The
auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation
Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The inventory (in
its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to one able
buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity. For
additional information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed,
call Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their
web site (Higgenbotham.com) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hig/avflash.
HondaJet to be debuted at AirVenture...
U-2 pilot died in Middle
EADS picked Mobile as tanker building site...
and FAA run online survey on Sport Pilot...
Liberty XL2 got
IFR type inspection authorization. More...
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 email@example.com. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
SERIOUS SURVIVAL KITS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUS ABOUT
Aeromedix.com is the exclusive distributor for
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and tested by a survival instructor, each Pro Survival Kit is
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currently being used by Navy SEALs, Force Recon Marines, Navy
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) techs, and Army and Air Force
Special Forces personnel. Doug Ritter of Equipped to Survive
gives these survival kits the highest rating of excellence on the
market. To order, call Aeromedix.com at (888) 362-7123, or go
online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #51: Lost
Communications -- NORDO -- Part 2
You've made it almost all the
way to your destination, in the clouds and lost comm ... what now? How
do you get down, and how does ATC figure out what you're going to do
once you decide? AVweb's Don Brown is as confused by the rules as you
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/
PILOT GETAWAYS YOUR FLIGHT PLAN FOR
Pilot Getaways starts their May/June
adventure in Ashland, Wisconsin (Lake Superior's hometown); stops for
horses and history in Saratoga Springs, New York; lands in peaceful
Priest Lake, Idaho; spends some time on the beach in Marathon, Florida
(Heart of the Keys); enjoys fly-in dining at the Outrigger Restaurant
in Palacios, Texas; and makes a final touchdown in Oroville,
California for some lakeside activities. Plus, this issue reviews
"Choosing a Propeller." With your subscription to Pilot
Getaways, you too can plan your flying adventure. Order online
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, it's the beginning of summertime. We could burden you with
deep-reaching thoughts, or we can give you a question to set you free.
So here goes: There are as many reasons as there are shades of blue,
but if you had to pick between these ... why fly? PLUS: Results of
last week's question on pilots, life insurance, and aircraft
SEE CLEARLY METHOD IMPROVES & STRENGTHENS VISION
The See Clearly Method does this without
the risk or expense of laser surgery. Developed by award-winning
optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based
on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in
WWII. As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to
actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that
this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally."
Call (800) 881-7934 for a no-cost informational video, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Submissions dipped just a tiny bit this week but quality
certainly didn't. Of 52 pictures submitted to this week's "POTW"
contest, 37 were in our "final contender" pile. The happy side effect
is a fantastic crop of pictures to share with AVweb readers. As
always, our first-place winner (Lee Wonnacott of Crystal, Michigan)
takes home an official AVweb baseball cap for his efforts. To get a
shot at the top spot (and one of those nifty caps), don't forget to
submit your own photos. More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|OREGON AERO FROM AERONCA CHAMP TO ZENITH
No matter which letter of the alphabet the name of
your aircraft begins with, you can fly pain-free with an Oregon
Aero Seat Cushion System. Oregon Aero makes painless, safer
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aircraft like the Champ to new homebuilt models like the Zodiak and
even jets. You can send or bring your seat to Oregon Aero,
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staff. Would you like to see how we do it? See photos of the upgrade
process and find out how Oregon makes aviation seats painless and
safer at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/SCS6-05/avflash.
|FLYING RENTED OR BORROWED AIRCRAFT?|
only one thing worse than paying to repair an aircraft knowing
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Liability coverage up to $1,000,000 and Aircraft Damage Liability
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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
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to say about GAMIjectors. Find out how GAMIjectors pay for themselves
and save fuel when installed in your aircraft. Go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.
|REFURBISH WITH McCAULEY FOR EXCELLENT RESALE
Your airplane is an investment. Increase the
resale value with McCauley propellers. McCauley
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AVIATION DIRECTORY FROM AvBUYER.COM|
IS SIMPLE, FAST, & IT
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is
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|CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO
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EXHAUSTION AND STARVATION ACCIDENTS ARE INEXCUSABLE &
But pilots still find new and inventive ways
of running their airplanes out of gas. Aviation Safety
goes over some life-saving tips in the July issue. Also included in
this issue: "Size Doesn't Matter" all aircraft generate wake
turbulence; "Big City IFR"; "Finding Shop Errors" finding
maintenance-related problems before you fly; "The Air Up There"
experiencing hypoxia in an altitude chamber; "Too Much Baggage"
what can happen; plus the always eye-opening "Squawk Box." Order your
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|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the
book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read,"
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flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method
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|PUT AVWEB'S HALF-MILLION DAILY HITS TO WORK FOR
AVweb users can offer their aircraft, parts, and
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We Welcome Your
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