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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News
Coverage At AVweb's
COMES BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
AVweb's special coverage of the
Sun 'n Fun air show in Lakeland, Florida, continues. Watch for more,
Once the undisputed leader in high performance, Mooney was not
too long ago sent to the canvas by that vexing mix of product liability,
recession and management unable to overcome the challenges of the day.
It soon re-emerged as the bastard child of a promoter's nightmare, and
seemed destined to fall again and maybe for good. But now it's back ...
Bigtime. Mooney CEO Gretchen Jahn made clear that her team believes
Mooney is a manufacturer for the ages and is no longer content to rest
on the laurels of 130 speed records and 11,000 aircraft sold. We told
you Monday there were rumors of a new Mooney. Tuesday we found out what
that meant. Mooney has mated its basic planform with a new engine and
says the offspring leaves composite upstarts wallowing in its
slipstream. Simply put, if Jahn wasn't reading the glass displays wrong
on the way to Sun 'n Fun, the new turbonormalized Mooney Acclaim may
soon look to claim title as the fastest certified piston single out
there. It may also have the longest legs. More...
KTAS, 25,000 FEET, 20.6 GPH
Jahn flew the plane from
Kerrville, Texas to Lakeland, Florida and told the large crowd of media
(and the just plain interested) that those were the numbers she got. She
also said that because the plane is a prototype, they expect performance
to improve once the 280-hp, Continental TSIO 550G is tweaked to make the
most of its new home. The speed is important because it's exactly one
knot faster than Columbia Aircraft's posted maximum cruise for its
fixed-gear turbo 400 model. AVweb has received several
unconfirmable emails from obvious Mooney fans who claim Jahn is actually
soft-peddling the performance of the Acclaim and that 250 KTAS is closer
to its real enroute speed. But wait for this one to play out. The
aerodynamically inclined will tell you that kind of math is very hard to
achieve. More solid is the fact that Mooney packs the Acclaim with a
built-in plumbing for oxygen and plans to offer the the aircraft with
what it says is the only FAA-approved flight into known icing package in
its class. More...
Avidyne Offers Complimentary XM WX Subscription with
EX500 MFD PurchaseAvidyne
is offering a 12-month
subscription to XM's Aviator LT satellite weather service at no
additional cost with the purchase of an Avidyne EX500
multi-function display (MFD) between April 1 and June 30, 2005. The
offer provides further incentive for pilots to upgrade their aircraft
panels with Avidyne's popular MFD featuring full-overlay moving map,
multi-channel datalink, and the highest resolution display available.
Stop by Avidyne's Sun 'n Fun booth (#D-043-044), or go online for complete details
Visit Avidyne at Sun
'n Fun Booths #D-043-044
FACTORY REBUILT, PRODUCT LINE GETTING MAKEOVER
fewer more compelling hard-luck stories out there than Piper's recent
history. But with "concrete bunkers" to replace its hurricane-ravaged
buildings, new airplanes on the way (including -- somewhere in the
distance -- the long-awaited jet), a seemingly re-energized de-unionized
and united front office and factory floor, and a healthy increase in
sales, Jim Bass, the company's new CEO, told a news conference Tuesday
at Sun 'n Fun that the death watch for Piper is over. "This is a great
American story," he said without a hint of corniness to a jaded press
corps that had dutifully covered previous pronouncements of this sort
with a healthy dose of skepticism. But Bass, in his "first outing" since
taking over the company six months ago, gave some rapid-fire reasons for
optimism as he touted his Piper as "the grand old lady of the ball."
BACK TO BASICS IN VERO BEACH
Bass, who replaced the popular
Chuck Suma as CEO last fall (there was a bomb scare at the plant on the
day of the announcement) said his first priority was to "concentrate on
the employees and management." Whatever he did seemed to strike a chord
with the workers and last week the National Labor Relations Board
accepted a vote to decertify from their union. "We are coming together
as one Piper team," the energetic Bass told the news conference. In
fact, he repeatedly called the sprawling Vero Beach facilities the
"Piper campus" The company is back to full production strength with more
than 1,000 employees and sales are up between 25 and 30 percent. As if
to hammer the stake through the heart of any remaining doubters Bass
added with gusto, "and we're hiring!" More...
PIPER PRODUCTS ON THE WAY?
Bass told the news conference that
Piper is revamping its product line. For the past couple of years, the
sole topic of news conferences has been the announcement that one or two
Piper models was being outfitted with Avidyne Entegra glass cockpits.
True to form, Tuesday's press conference started with the announcement
that the Seminole, the last(?) of the steam gauge Pipers, was getting
glass. But Bass also detailed Piper's aggressive winter recruiting
campaign (depicting palm trees on the beach) aimed at attracting
engineers and designers from Detroit and Wichita. It seems the next
generation of Piper aircraft, needs another thirty design engineers,
another 10 manufacturing engineers and some fifty production workers.
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. Visit Bose at Sun 'n Fun Booths #E-014 &
LEGEND SEAN D. TUCKER OK AFTER BAILOUT
Details were still
sketchy at our deadline, but yesterday morning at about 10:30 Sean D.
Tucker was practicing a routine in Red River Parish, La., when the
airplane had a problem, and he had to bail out. Expected to fly the
Columbia 400 at the Sun 'n Fun this weekend, at least one early report
said Tucker "flew out of the Red River Parish Airport to practice his
routine for a weekend air show." The same report identified the crash
aircraft as "the Challenger Aerobatic Bi-Plane." According to early
reports, Tucker experienced a loss of elevator control not long after
takeoff. He was able to establish a climb with trim and troubleshoot for
about 10 or 15 minutes. Once the decision was made that a safe landing
wasn't possible, he "flew until it was empty," according to Karl Koeppen
who was quoted by local
news as a spokesman for Tucker. The performer abandoned the airplane
at about 8,500 feet over an uninhabited area. Tucker's exit didn't go
smoothly and he momentarily got hung up on the tail of the airplane, but
freed himself and landed safely under canopy. At our deadline, there was
not yet confirmation or cancellation regarding his plans to fly this
'NEW' NAVION ON THE WAY
The first "zero-time" Navion to be
built in 30 years is expected to be on the grounds at Sun 'n Fun today.
According to an email from Navion Aircraft International's Wes Sanda,
the plane was to have arrived in Lakeland last night from the factory
(yep, that's the right word) in St. Paul, Minn. Details are a little
sketchy about the aircraft and we're not sure what the company's
definition of "zero time" is since the FAA registry gives the
manufacture date of the aircraft as 1947 but we'll track it down today.
Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S.,
standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane
site that is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263
and mentioning this AVwebFlash
, or subscribe
Trade-A-Plane at Sun 'n Fun Booths #A-001-003
COBRA ON SCHEDULE
Somewhat Navion-like but altogether new,
the Cobra is a 4/5 place very roomy, very comfortable looking aircraft
that may also offer great visibility a 1000nm range and 155kt cruise
speeds. Useful load for the 200hp version is 1105 pounds (there's a
315hp version that can carry 1260 lbs at 175kts). Evektor America is
billing the all-metal retractable low-wing as a luxurious cruiser with
the "widest cabin in its class" (51.1 inches). The Vut 100 Cobra is
slated for full FAA Part 23 certification my next summer's (2007)
AirVenture, but the company says positions for first U.S. deliveries are
available, now. "Deliveries should start early next year, with FAR-23
certification approximately 6 months later," according to the company.
If absolute room and comfort are your game, this may be one to watch.
TIMES AT AVIDYNE
Corp. made the most of this week's aviation gathering to announce a
slew of new products and services. The company's TAS600 series of
Traffic Advisory Systems is now approved for retrofit installation in
the Garmin G1000 flight deck. The TAS provides verbal alerts on the
position of other transponder-equipped aircraft within a range of up to
21 nm. The TAS is also available in new packages with a multifunction
display that incorporates a moving map with lightning, terrain,
obstacles, and weather info. The company also announced a new warranty
option that will give customers a replacement unit when products are
returned for service. And there's more. More...
Headset by LightSPEED: Quietness of a Full-Size
LightSPEED introduces the MACH 1
in-the-ear platform with tiny digital speakers giving you the rich sound
of a concert hall. The "born to be worn" MACH 1 packs a lot for its
size. Featherweight boom contours to your face, picking up your voice
with crystal clarity as you talk with ATC or on your cell phone. To
order, contact a LightSPEED
dealer or call (800) 332-2421
(PST business hours). Click here
to view the 60-second MACH 1 video, or
(better yet) try it out at Sun 'n Fun booths D-052-053 and D-075.
Try it out at Sun 'n
Fun Booths #D-052-053 & 075
CONVOY CUTE AS CAN BE
One after another, squeaking onto the
runway under the hot Florida sun, a seemingly endless stream of bright
yellow Cubs arrived at Sun 'n Fun Monday afternoon. They kept coming....
for half an hour... then another half hour.... and finally, after an
hour and a half, all 108 Cubs had landed neatly, and taxied off to park
wingtip-to-wingtip on the grass next to the warbird ramp. Cubs have
always had their fans, but they seem to be growing ever more popular,
with several manufacturers bringing out new designs inspired by the
original Piper classic. This week at Sun 'n Fun, American Legend Cub
is showing off for the first time its Legend Cub Special, a variant of
of its two-place sport aircraft. More...
FULL SPECTRUM OF GPS'S -- IN COLOR
Garmin's 396 offers an uber-impressive handheld
color moving-map gps in a unit that is terrain-aware, capable of
imitating a full panel of flight instruments, and brimming with more
features than most average pilots might safely use while attempting to
concurrently control an aircraft. An offering for those who tend to shop
in another price point entirely (under $500) Lowrance's Airmap 600c brings color and terrain awareness to
the less indulgent masses. Shown off at their booth at Sun 'n Fun, the
brightly colorful screens of Lowrances latest offerings drew crowds in
the middle of the afternoon, on a Tuesday. For those who believe the
best isn't always the most capable, but simply what's best for your
needs the range of handheld gps offerings is growing fast. Not good
enough? How about synthetic vision for your pda? More...
Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified
piston-powered aircraft with PowerLinkTM FADEC
as standard equipment.
FADEC is now also available
for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including
the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your
aircraft into the state-of-the-art online
. Visit TCM at Sun 'n Fun Booths
Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All
Selling an aircraft can be a challenging
odyssey. Aircraft owners need to: locate a broker with national
resources to sell for top dollar; select and utilize the most effective
advertising; access no-cost, no-obligation finance pre-qualification;
consult aviation tax experts; and obtain insurance quotes with higher
liability limits. Columbia Aircraft
has created a tool to assist
pilots and aircraft owners of all brands. Check out their web site
Visit Columbia Aircraft
at Sun 'n Fun Booths #MD-020B & C
up, Friday: Don't miss the first part of our interview series with
FAA administrator Marion Blakey.
Online, now: Hear FAA
spokesman Greg Martin in his own words as air traffic control contract
negotiations reach new levels of dissonance. Listen to an update on the
possibility of user fees for general aviation as Jane Garvey talks to
Senators, hear Columbia's plan to stir up the air show this week at Sun
'n Fun; NTSB's call for action as CRJ's show a potential for fire; the
passing of The Great Escape pilot, and more. AVweb's latest audio
newscast is available today. Click here to
If you missed AVweb's Friday interview with Diamond
Aircraft's Peter Mauer, find it online, here.
to AVweb audiocasts and receive them automatically, or check
this spot each Monday and Friday to download them individually for
listening on your iPod, while sitting at your computer, or traveling
with any MP3 player. More...
FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher
Clinic (FIRC) from ASAAttention, flight
Wouldn't it be nice to renew your flight instructor
certificate from the comfort of home? ASA
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic
everything you need to renew your flight instructor certificate for 2
more years. Features over 11 hours of professional DVD presentations,
supported with internet-based evaluation and course tracking. You don't
need to be online for the entire duration of the course. For complete
details, visit ASA's web site
. Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booths
OF THE WEEK: BANYAN AIR SERVICE, FORT LAUDERDALE
AVweb's "FBO of the
Week" contest is sponsored by Aviation
Safety magazine, the monthly journal of risk management and
Thanks to all the pilots and AVweb readers
who took time to nominate their favorite FBOs in our "FBO of the Week"
contest. Today's ribbon finds its target in Florida.
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to BANYAN AIR SERVICE at FXE in Fort Lauderdale,
Jim Alkire wrote us to say, "WE FLY OUR CESSNA 180
INTO FXE FOR OUR ANNUAL CRUISE VACATION AND HAVE REPEATEDLY RECIEVED
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AND PROFESSIONALISM FROM BANYAN. OUR RENTAL CAR IS
PULLED UP TO THE PLANE AS THE PROP STOPS. THEIR LINEMEN SEEM GENUINELY
HAPPY THAT WE ARE THERE..."
Keep those nominations
here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and
another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors
Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices.
, and you could see up to a 20% cut in your
aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's
engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call
, or order a
kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine
Visit ASA at Sun 'n
Fun Booth #A-065
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/
Low-Cost Digital Replacement
proudly announces the
availability of their all-new Value Series plug & play line of
digital transponders. The Value Series is designed for the
cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series plug & play transponders
include the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the
AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a
replacement for the KT76/78). Coming
Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug & play
replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. For more information,
Narco Avionics online
. Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-082
APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS, WHO BRING YOU
TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
Attending Sun 'n Fun This Week?
Visiting AVweb's Sponsors!
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the news -- twice a week -- at no cost to you. Please stop by their Sun
'n Fun booths to say "thank you" for their support. Click
here for a list of AVweb sponsors attending the show and where to
Stop Wondering -- Or Worrying -- Where Your
Friends and Family Are!
Do you have friends or family
flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will
your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find out where in
the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb
subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of
$9.95 a month. Sign up.
Light Plane Maintenance Magazine Saves
Owners Big Money!
With your subscription to Light
Plane Maintenance, you will join thousands of savvy general
aviation owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly
issue brings tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can
perform yourself, legally and easily. Order
online for big savings from the regular rates.
Order a CO Guardian CO Detector in the Hope
You'll Never Have to Use It!
Models from portable to
panel-mount units. Order online.
Visit CO Guardian at Sun 'n Fun Booth
Power Flow's Short Stack Approved for Cessnas,
Grummans, & Pipers
Power Flow Systems,
manufacturers of FAA-certified tuned exhaust systems, has a new "short
stack" exhaust pipe for Skyhawks, Cardinals, Piper PA-28s, and Grumman
AA5 series aircraft. The new STC'd short stack looks better while still
providing up to 23 more available horsepower. For more information on
the right tuned exhaust system for your aircraft, visit Power Flow's
booth at Sun 'n Fun or go
Flow Tuned Exhaust Systems at Sun 'n Fun Booth
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles,
products, features, and events featured on AVweb,
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Today's issue was written by news writer AVweb's Newsteam (bio).
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