AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 10b Thurs., March 6, 2003
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by GARMIN
International. From takeoff to touchdown, GARMIN is changing
the course of aviation: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin.
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated
News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_10b/complete/183144-1.html.
TCM, HONDA JOIN FORCES IN GA ENGINE PROJECT...
On Monday, Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) and Honda Motor Co. announced they will join forces to study the feasibility of producing a next-generation piston aircraft engine for the GA market. Honda says it has developed a prototype piston engine with "the technical potential for being significantly advanced over currently available engines in terms of weight, fuel efficiency, power output and emissions." The water-cooled, four-cylinder engine is designed to run on unleaded auto gas, Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith told AVweb yesterday. "The engine is undergoing bench-testing now," he said, "and will have its first test flight soon." The aircraft it will fly in is yet to be determined, Smith said. More...
...AS CAR MAKERS TRY TO SPROUT WINGS
While TCM has long been a household name in aviation, the same can't be said for Honda -- though that could be changing. As AVweb previously reported, Honda in recent years has worked on several GA powerplant designs, including piston, turboprop, and turbofan engines. Since 2000, the company has also been researching and developing more cost-effective piston aviation engines. And Honda is not the only Japanese car maker exploring the market for winged transportation devices. Toyota flew its Toyota Advanced Aircraft (TAA) project successfully last fall, albeit amid a shroud of secrecy. Will Honda be building an airplane of its own to wrap around that cute little engine? Spokesman Smith had no comment on that yesterday. More...
AIRPORT MANAGER PROTESTS IFR APPROACH CLOSURE
The manager of a private airport in Texas says the FAA was out of line when it cancelled all eight IFR approaches to his field as of Feb. 8, cutting traffic by one-third. Woody Lesikar, of West Houston Airport, about 13 miles west of Houston, said local FAA officials allowed him inadequate time to address their concerns and refused his request for a 90-day extension. The FAA gave him one month to cut down trees to meet obstacle-height restrictions, Lesikar said, but those trees are on private property. "I can't go on private property and start cutting down trees," said Lesikar. Bill Shumann, an FAA spokesman in Washington, D.C., told AVweb that Lesikar was first told to cut the trees in April 2001. More...
...AND FAA SAYS STANDARDS MUST BE UPHELD
Lesikar said two other Houston-area airports recently had IFR approaches cancelled and he estimates at least 200 private, public-access airports with instrument approaches are also at risk nationwide. "When GA aircraft have to fly IFR into the major airports because they don't have other small airports to fly IFR into, that's when you will hear some squawking by the airlines," Lesikar said. FAA spokesman Shumann said the FAA is just doing its job. "There is no national campaign to end IFR approaches at small airports," he said. "There are standards that any IFR approach must meet." More...
ECLIPSE SAYS, "SHOW ME THE MONEY"
Now that it has dealt with its engine-replacement predicament, Eclipse Aviation has moved on to deal with another part of its jet program that always requires attention: fundraising. The Albuquerque-based manufacturer needs a total of about $300 million to move its Eclipse 500 jet through the FAA certification process. Eclipse has already raised $238 million of that. "We are just starting another round of funding," Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn told the New Mexico Business Weekly this week. "I'm pretty optimistic right now. A lot of people want to invest, but until we could nail down a new engine it would have been stupid for us to try to raise more money." More...
CESSNA'S CARAVAN LINE FEELING THE SLUMP
Like most aircraft manufacturers, Cessna Aircraft Co. is experiencing a tough time for sales, and that translates to not enough work to go around. All production workers on the company's turboprop Caravan line will be furloughed for three weeks in May, and 125 jobs will be cut, The Wichita Eagle reported this week. The cutbacks follow a round of 1,200 jobs lost in February and about 800 last October. Cessna built 80 Caravans last year, and expects to sell fewer in 2003, though no numbers were available. More...
FUTURE UNCERTAIN FOR BA CONCORDE
British Airways (BA) is considering grounding its sleek supersonic Concordes, it was widely reported last week. "We're looking at when Concorde should retire," a BA spokesman told the Daily Telegraph. Sales for seats aboard the flagship of trans-Atlantic travel have suffered from a poor economy, changing travel trends and some highly publicized problems. BA, concerned about loss of revenues in the event of a Iraq war, could make a decision by the end of the year. So far Air France, the only other airline to fly the Concorde, has spoken of no such plans. More...
TRANSPORT CANADA GETS AN ID LESSON
Transport Canada should perhaps brush up on aircraft identification. The aviation agency has finally acknowledged that a Bell CH 136 Kiowa is not a "copy or direct equivalent" of a Bell Jet Ranger. And while that distinction probably wouldn't even make a decent Trivial Pursuit question, it certainly made a lot of Kiowa owners happy, because it meant they could register their military-surplus helicopters for recreational use. The helicopters had been grounded by a rule meant to protect the market for civilian manufacturers. More...
AVIATION RESEARCH BOOST REQUESTED
As aviation industry leaders were asking the U.S. Senate last week to spend more money on research, NASA was quietly getting ready to close down a major safety research facility. Representatives of industry and universities urged the Senate Aviation Subcommittee to support increased government funding for aviation technology to prevent the loss of industry and jobs to other countries. Meanwhile, not far away, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., researchers were winding up their work at the Impact Dynamics Research Facility, where for decades the crashworthiness of dozens of aircraft was tested. More...
PROPOSED BILL WOULD AID THE AIRLINES DURING WAR
For some time now, analysts have agreed that a long-term armed conflict with Iraq would be devastating for the airline industry. Some key members of Congress are drafting legislation to give the airlines a financial boost in the event we jump into a full-scale war. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) is leading this effort with the drafting of a bill that includes reopening a federal loan guarantee program to cover rising fuel prices, as well as provisions on war-risk insurance. More...
WASCALLY WABBITS WORRY MIAMI
Miami International Airport officials have been told to hop to it and find a modern-day Elmer Fudd to take care of a problem that "Bugs" the FAA and airlines. Hundreds of black-tail jackrabbits have taken over the green space between the runways at MIA. And that's resulted in some "harey" landings and takeoffs in the past year. And although your average jackrabbit is no match for a jumbo jet doing 150 knots, the mess such encounters leave behind results in a major hazard to aircraft -- the roadkill attracts turkey vultures. More...
ON THE FLY...
Airline Training Academy in Orlando Fla., apparently closed...
EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk to unveiled its Wright Flyer at DCA...
A 100-foot-tall replica of the Wright Flyer proposed near Dayton...
Blue Angels will star at Air Show 2003, March 29-30 in Alabama...
Boeing's shares fell to an eight-year low last week...
A computer glitch prompted the cancellation of hundreds of flights in Japan.
AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 90 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Vincent Jacobson, of Yakutat, AK. His photo, titled "Yakutat Beach", gives us a front row seat for this remote beach landing. Vincent admits hadn't even noticed the shadow of the plane in the picture until it was downloaded on his computer. Great picture Vincent! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw.
AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 1000 responses to our question last week on non-towered airport traffic pattern entries. Almost half (48 percent) of those responding fly the traditional 45-degree downwind entry into these airports. A small group (2 percent) of our respondents prefer the crosswind entry technique, while 15 percent claim it all depends on the particular airport's location.
To check out the complete results, please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on crosswind landing techniques. Thanks to Donna McGinnis for suggesting this week's topic. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, this address is ONLY for suggestedQOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Steve Cawley, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
Say Again? #21: ATC 103 -- VFR Cross Country
Although he has a certain affection for VFR traffic passing through his airspace, AVweb's Don Brown is sometimes surprised by what pilots know (or, more importantly, don't know) about the services an ARTCC can and cannot provide. Even experienced, professional pilots can learn things for when the weather is CAVU.
Segments Of The Approach
Do you want to understand the segments of an approach? It's simple -- just design a fictitious IAP from scratch and you'll never forget.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about the Cirrus safety study, wake turbulence, the FBI plane mistaken for terrorists and more.
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