AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 30c

July 25, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Share Your Thoughts on Aviation Headsets
Pilots have many choices when considering aviation headsets. So we'd like to know: What features lead you to purchase? How do you choose between brands? In short, we want to know what's important to you.

Please take a few moments to complete our survey and help influence the future of the aviation headset industry. Go to survey.
Top News back to top 

Sonex Explores Alternative Engines

On Tuesday morning at EAA AirVenture, Sonex Aircraft made public its AeroConversions division's E-Flight Initiative, which started in 2006 with the intention to pioneer alternative energy research and development for sport aircraft engines. The unveiling included a proof-of-concept 80-hp-equivalent electric powerplant installed in a Sonex Waiex airframe and news that the company is testing an AeroVee 2.0 engine that will run on E85 (a blend of up to 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline). According to Sonex, the E-Flight Initiative has three major areas of focus -- electric power, ethanol fuel and engine efficiency enhancements -- that take a diverse approach to the problems of rising energy costs and environmental effects of burning fossil fuels to provide near, intermediate and long-term "green" powerplant solutions. Addressing the first focus area, Sonex has developed a prototype brushless DC cobalt motor that is the size of a coffee can but weighs only 50 pounds.

The 270-volt, 200-amp AeroConversions motor is modular and scalable -- the core's design has modular sections that can be reduced to a lower-output, smaller (shorter in length) motor or vice versa. Sonex has also developed a proprietary electronic motor controller and lithium-polymer battery system to run the AeroConversions electric engine for about one hour under normal flight conditions. First flight of the electric-powered Waiex is expected by year-end. Meanwhile, Sonex has begun testing to optimize the AeroConversions AeroVee 2.0 to run on ethanol-based fuels, which burn cleaner than fossil fuels. The piston engine is equipped with a versatile carburetor and an ignition system that allows the engine to be configured for higher-compression ratios to optimize the performance for ethanol-based fuels. Testing has already begun on an AeroVee engine run at a higher compression for E85 and other blends, Sonex said.

Powerplant Developments Introduces Three-Cylinder Engine for GA Market

A three-cylinder, opposed piston two-stroke diesel engine may seem like a strange configuration, but Derek Graham, chairman of the U.K.-based Powerplant Developments, says the design has been around in aircraft since the 1930s. His engineering team believed the concept could be updated with new technology and deliver a high weight-to-power ratio. "Everyone wanted an engine that would deliver 100 horsepower at a 150 pounds, but it was thought to be impossible," he said. The new Gemini engine delivers 100 hp at 166 pounds installed, according to Graham. "And the design eliminates the need for a camshaft, valve gear and cylinder head joints -- three main causes of unreliability and high maintenance costs of older-generation piston engines," he said.

Timothy Archer, president and CEO of the company, said the engine will be marketed to the experimental market by next spring, and then for the LSA market via the ASTM process by the end of next year. Both FAA and EASA certification are planned for the future. In addition, larger versions of the engine, including a four cylinder, are possible.

The New WSI InFlight® Cockpit Weather System
Introducing the new WSI InFlight® AV-300 datalink weather receiver and the all new AV-350, a cockpit weather system capable of receiving both WSI's aviation weather content and SIRIUS Satellite Radio entertainment. It's just the latest innovation from WSI, the most trusted name in aviation weather. For more information, click here.

» Visit WSI in booth 2123 (Hangar B) at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Aspen Unveils Common PFD/MFD Platform

Aspen Avionics on Tuesday morning at EAA AirVenture introduced the Evolution Flight Display system glass cockpit system for certified general aviation aircraft. The system is not only modular, expandable and upgradable, but the company says is easy to afford, install and own. According to Aspen, the evolution line includes three primary flight display (PFD) models starting at $5,995 and two models of multifunction displays (MFD) starting at $4,995.The Evolution system enables aircraft owners to upgrade their primary flight instrument "six pack" to glass cockpit technology all at once, or in stages. “At Aspen Avionics, we believe that installing the latest avionics technologies and safety advances in GA aircraft shouldn’t have to mean emptying your bank account,” said Vice President of Marketing Doug Cayne. “And you shouldn’t have to throw out the old every time you want to add something new.” Starting with a common hardware platform containing a miniature solid-state air data, attitude and heading reference system (ADAHRS), the EFD1000 slides easily into existing three-inch instrument panel holes, requiring little to no panel modification or mounting of heavy remote boxes.

Different software loads turn each EFD1000 into one of three levels of PFD or an MFD. The first EFD1000 is typically installed as a PFD, replacing the old attitude indicator and directional gyro (or HSI. A second EFD1000 can replace the altimeter and VSI and be configured as an MFD. A third unit can offer a second MFD to gain even more capability. Since the hardware is common, an EFD100 configured could be an MFD could revert to PFD mode in case of a failure of a PFD. The three PFD versions of the device will be available in the fall, while the MFD versions will ship next spring.

Avidyne and WSI Get Sirius About Weather

Avionics maker Avidyne and weather provider WSI have teamed to provide Sirius satellite-radio-delivered weather information to aircraft. Under the agreement, Avidyne's Safety Systems Group in Columbus, Ohio, is developing and manufacturing WSI’s new AV-300 data receiver and AV-350 data/audio receivers, and the MLB700 receiver specifically for Avidyne EX500 and EX5000 multifunction displays. Meanwhile, WSI is providing its InFlight weather service via the Sirius satellite network for the datalink receivers. According to Avidyne, the AV-300 and AV-350 systems will be compatible with a wide array of multifunction displays and available as upgrades to existing WSI AV-100 and AV-200 receivers. The MLB700, which is available in a $4,795 data-only version or a $5,495 data/audio combo, is schedule to start shipping in the third quarter. All of the Avidyne datalink receivers use advanced chipsets that improve receiver performance and reception and eliminate interference from ground-based signals. The AV-350 and data/audio version of the MLB700 come with a remote controller to select audio programming from the more than 130 channels of Sirius sports, news, talk, and commercial-free music programming that can be heard through an aircraft's audio system.

WSI's InFlight graphical weather product includes NOWrad radar mosaic and radar summary showing current cell height; movement and forecast movement; icing levels; and datalink lighting strike plots. The system also shows winds and temperatures aloft, TAFs, graphical and textual METAR, AIRMETs and SIGMETs and PIREPs. Avidyne said two weather data product packages will be offered -- the $39.99/month Avidyne Performance package and $29.99/month Avidyne Essentials package. "This is a great and productive partnership between two leaders in general aviation," said Avidyne President Dan Schwinn. "Our combined resources will help give pilots in all segments of GA a powerful new set of tools for improved situational awareness, safety and comfort."

End Pain and Fatigue with Oregon Aero® SoftSeat™ Cushion Systems
A comfortable seat is more than a luxury when it helps pilots fight fatigue and focus on flying. Oregon Aero® offers the Portable Universal SoftSeat™ Cushion System that can be used in aircraft, cars, and boats. Visit Oregon Aero® in Building C at AirVenture to try out the Portable Universal SoftSeat™ Cushion System, or visit OregonAero.com online.

Note: Lumbar support, shown in photo with cushion, is highly recommended and sold separately.

» Visit Oregon Aero in booths 3137-3141 (Building C) at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Mooney Getting on Its Feet

After a flurry of product announcements in recent years, Mooney Airplane Company is concentrating on turning the resulting orders into black ink. CEO Dennis Ferguson told the media at EAA AirVenture on Tuesday that the product line is set for the foreseeable future as the focus turns seriously to "getting Mooney on its feet financially." The venerable Kerrville, Texas company has been through several ownership changes, including a brief period as a public company, and has struggled financially, but Ferguson says he's optimistic about the future. The Acclaim, a turbocharged version of the M20 that was introduced in the spring of 2006, has enjoyed particular success, with 50 copies delivered since last November.

Ferguson said a revamped management team is concentrating on manufacturing processes and other efficiencies designed to make the company profitable in its current form. Once that's accomplished (no timeline was offered), he said the company can entertain new product development. He said the light sport market is "really interesting to us," but did not say if it's something that will be pursued. Likewise with a future jet -- it's something they're thinking about."We have to get our feet on the ground and make money, and then we can put our heads in the clouds," he said.

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the sixth consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2006 Headset Preference Survey.

Buy today and receive a Garmin® Geko 201 handheld GPS. Learn more and order.

» Visit Bose Corporation in booths 173-176 at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Thielert Plans Increased U.S. Presence

"We have no new engine models in the works," Frank Thielert said at EAA AirVenture on Tuesday morning. But a lot of work is under way to expand the U.S. service network, improve the TBR of the Centurion diesel engine and secure additional STCs so the engine can be mated with more airframes. "The trend is definitely toward diesel, especially in Europe," Thielert said. "We're certain that the diesel trend is real and right." When he flew into Paris Le Bourget several weeks ago, Thielert said there was no avgas available there, and it is the biggest GA airport in all of Europe. He said that as more engines are returned to the factory for replacement, each one is torn down and inspected, and as the database builds up, that statistical information about engine wear can support a change in TBR. Currently the engines are replaced after 1,000 hours of use.

Thielert also said that all future deliveries of the Centurion will be as complete firewall-forward kits. Systems are very complex, he said, and by delivering entire systems he believes they can avoid interface problems like the battery issue that caused an engine failure and prompted an AD for the DA42 Twin Star recently.

Grab Hold of the Sky. And Never Let Go.
The Cessna Skycatcher. Introducing an aircraft from a company that needs no introduction. The very latest technology. Unprecedented affordability. Extreme flyability. Click here to catch the excitement.

» Visit Cessna Aircraft in booths 143-156 at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Electronic Charts Now Approved for Part 91

Jeppesen spokesman Todd Krawczyk told media at EAA AirVenture that the FAA has formally recognized electronic charts for use in Part 91 operations and cleared up all the ambiguity that has been his industry's biggest marketing impediment. The FAA issued Advisory Circular 91-78 on Monday that gives specific guidance to Part 91 operators on the use of electronic charts. "This just completely clears things up," Krawczyk told AVweb. In a nutshell, electronic charts in Class 1 and Class 2 electronic flightbags can be legally used in all phases of flight in lieu of paper documentation. The AC suggests (but doesn't require) back up, but it says that back up can be another source of electronic charts and doesn't have to be paper, although it's pretty easy to print out the electronic charts.

Krawczyk said previous FAA language on electronic charts dealt with commercial operators, and his company and pilots were left to extrapolate those rules for use in Part 91 operations. "It resulted in a lot of confusion and uncertainty," he said."It's one of those things that's been holding the industry back."

Avidyne's New MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver Really Delivers!
Avidyne's MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver delivers aviation-quality datalink graphical weather from WSI InFlight® and audio entertainment from SIRIUS® Satellite Radio. With the MLB700, you get WSI's industry-leading NOWrad® radar mosaic displayed on your EX500 or EX5000 MFD for the most up-to-date and highest-quality aviation weather available and over 130 channels of music, sports, news, and talk radio right through your aircraft's audio system. See for yourself at Avidyne's AirVenture booth, or click for more information online.

» Visit Avidyne in booths 2098-2101 at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

NATCA President Pat Forrey Testifies on Working Conditions

The president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) told the House aviation subcommittee on Tuesday morning that while the group supports modernization efforts, the bricks and mortar that house that equipment and controllers are from the Stone Age. Patrick Forrey described problems ranging from toxic mold to condensation on tower windows that contribute to making controllers' jobs even tougher than they already are. "Unfortunately, the aging air traffic control facilities that house these advances have gone unchanged," he said. "More importantly, the maintenance and basic structures are not keeping pace with the rest of the industry and this is weakening controllers’ ability to operate."

Forrey said some of the problems present serious health hazards to workers. Several facilities have had recurring problems with toxic mold and when efforts were made to get rid of the mold, workers were exposed to harsh chemicals that made some of them sick. He said climate control systems work poorly in most facilities, sapping controllers' concentration from working in too-cold or too-hot conditions. Unfortunately, the temperature problems are not restricted to older facilities. He said the temperature ranges between 50 and 100 degrees at the new tower at Addison, Texas.

Wishes Do Come True!
Ever wish you could fly every approach like it was sunny and VFR?
Click here.

Happy Flying,
True Flight
(866) 443-3342
Contact Us back to top 

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Spinning Normal Category Aircraft — What Is the Risk?
Aside from aircraft certification requirements that normal category single-engine aircraft be fully recoverable within a one-turn spin, what really is the risk of doing spins in them? If you feel this way, please follow the link below on this topic.

Integrate 10,000 hours of specialized upset recovery expertise into your safety training today. Call (866) 359-4273 or read more on Spinning Normal Category Aircraft.
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening back to top 

AVweb's AirVenture 2007 Podcast #3: Cessna's Keeping Busy (Maybe Too Busy?)

File Size 6.8 MB / Running Time 7:27

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

It's busy at this year's EAA AirVenture, and nobody's been busier than Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. With the announcement of the company's Light Sport Aircraft (which is being well received), does Cessna have some time to pursue other projects? AVweb's Russ Niles found a relatively quiet place at AirVenture to ask Pelton about Cessna's current projects and the future of its Next Generation Piston airplane.

Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine, Is Celebrating 70 Years
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original (and only) place to look for parts to repair an airplane. It's still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services. Call (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource.

» Visit Trade-A-Plane in booths 1121-1124 at AirVenture for a complimentary copy
AVweb Exclusive Video back to top 

Exclusive Video: Sonex Electric-Powered Flight, AirVenture Oshkosh 2007

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Electric-powered aircraft may be closer than you think. John Monnett and Sonex have initiated their own "e-Flight Initiative." We sat down with Monnett for an inside look.

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Exclusive Video: Epic Victory Demo Flight at EAA AirVenture 2007

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

The new Epic Victory taxied into AirVenture Monday morning, and we were on hand to grab a few quick clips of it during the demo flight on Monday afternoon.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Bonus Video! Aviation Consumer Vacuum Pump Review: Wet vs. Dry

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Are wet vacuum pumps as good as their owners seem to say they are? Aviation Consumer recently set out to find the answer to that question. In this video product review, you can get a look at the inside of a wet pump and decide for yourself if the claims are true.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.
Bonus Video back to top 
FLITELite™ Reinvents Light ... Once Again
FLITELite, aviation's LED innovator, introduces the next step in headset technology — a new intercom-powered, hands-free LED flashlight built into the headset microphone without loss of audio system quality, factory installed by AVCOMM Communications. Never lose your flashlight again. And the FLITELite never requires batteries. FLITELite controls are hands-free; just a gentle touch with your lip to turn it on — give it a kiss, and conquer the night. More details online.

» Visit FLITELite & AvComm in booth 223 at AirVenture
Names Behind The News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by Contributing Editors Glenn Pew (bio) , Mary Grady (bio) , and Russ Niles (bio) and Editor-in-Chief Chad Trautvetter (bio) .

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

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