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» Visit Cessna Aircraft in booths 143-156 at AirVenture
We've Seen the Solo Concept But What about
Eclipse held its second press conference of the week at EAA AirVenture on Wednesday morning to talk about the Eclipse 500 very light jet program, but CEO Vern Raburn is clearly still enamored of his
brand-new single-engine Eclipse Concept Jet. "The response to the ECJ has just been spectacular," he said, in opening the conference. "It has far, far, far exceeded our expectations." The most common
reaction from pilots who climb into the cockpit of the mockup, he said, is, "They say, 'This is the airplane I always wanted.' It elicits a very emotional response. It's staggering." Raburn then went
on to update the progress on the Eclipse 500 twinjet. New copies of the 500 now on the assembly line will be delivered with a new color weather radar system made by Japan Radio Company, instead of the
now-former Honeywell system. The JRC system will be more accurate and more reliable, he said. Also, Raburn said S/N 00038 will be auctioned off online via eBay, and whoever places the winning bid can
take the jet home the next week, as soon as they deliver the check. Bidders must place a refundable deposit of $5,000. The auction opens at July 30 at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. on August 10
The auction will provide an opportunity to buy an Eclipse 500 without having to wait until 2009 for a delivery position. "We'll let the market decide what that could be worth," Raburn said.
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
Please take a few moments to complete our survey and help influence the future of the aviation headset industry.
Go to survey.
General aviation groups are expecting an expensive and vicious campaign of misinformation from the country's major airlines as the bills addressing FAA reauthorization move closer to resolution.
"Airlines are attacking general aviation," National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen told a packed house at a forum on the impact of user fees proposed in the Senate bill currently
under consideration. "We are the enemy as far as they're concerned." Bolen was joined by EAA President Tom Poberezny, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce and AOPA President
Phil Boyer. Those attending were urged to contact their Congressmen and senators to try and ensure the final version of the bill, which varies widely between the Senate and the House, emerges with no
apparatus to collect user fees. In the Senate bill, a $25 "modernization surcharge' is included for IFR flights by turbine aircraft, along with major cuts in taxes for airlines. The House bill
increases taxes for all aviation sectors but doesn't allow for a billable fee, a crucial difference in the minds of the GA leaders.
The leaders reiterated the stance that allowing even that nominal fee would create a system for collecting all sorts of fees in future. The spokesmen also told attendees to expect an onslaught of
advertising aimed at creating the incorrect impression that general aviation, particularly corporate jets, are responsible for the increased incidence of delays and flight cancellations at airports.
Boyer said the groups can't hope to manage the advertising budgets of the top 18 airlines and cargo carriers but they can target their resources in the home states of critical members of both sides of
the government. And they're also getting the impression that the public isn't buying the airlines message that GA is to blame for the delays. He said they can look out the windows when they travel and
see for themselves that there are hardly any GA aircraft at the busiest airports. Boyer said timing appears tight for the government to pass reauthorization legislation before the current
reauthorization expires at the end of September so it's important that measures be taken to ensure the status quo remains until the matter is formally resolved.
Kelly Aerospace announced this week that it is recalling about 200 faulty turbochargers manufactured in March 2007 because of
out-of-balance turbine wheels. Sources told AVweb this week that at least three of the turbine wheels have separated from the turbocharger shaft and one resulted in an emergency landing in
Reno, Nev. The affected turbochargers were installed on Cirrus SR22s, Columbia 400 and Mooney Acclaim aircraft, all using Continental engines. The Cirrus aircraft have turbonormalizing systems
provided by Tornado Alley Turbo of Ada, Okla. Tornado Alley told us it has already replaced or will soon replace the defective turbochargers from its own stock. For more information, see the Service Bulletin.
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» Visit WSI in booth 2123 (Hangar B) at AirVenture
Cubcrafters has launched a next-generation version of its popular SportCub with the introduction of the SportCub S2 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Although it retains the character and presence of a
J-3 Cub, the S2 is a fully modernized version of the venerable two-seater. It's also 25-pounds lighter than its predecessor, allowing for installation of optional gear while keeping within the
890-pound empty weight limit of the LSA category. Among the new features available on the S2 are electric trim, full glass panels, airbag seatbelts and tire options up to a massive 31-inch Tundra
tire. Flaps, which used to be optional, are now standard.
Cubcrafters is sticking with the 100-hp Continental 0-200 engine, which delivers a cruise speed of about 100 mph and fully-loaded takeoff roll of about 300 feet. Of course, it's the legendary
slow-speed handling that allows it to shine as a backcountry airplane, but the company says it's a reasonable cross-country airplane with vastly improved creature comforts, including a new
"We want to ensure that as our segment of the industry grows, that customers are protected," said David Lee, president of AirShares Elite, as he announced the formation of a new industry group, called
the Professionally Managed Aircraft Association, at AirVenture on Wednesday. "We want to establish optimal, not minimal, standards for safety and
customer service." Lee has joined with Jeff Cullen of PlaneSmart! Aviation and Andrew DeMond of iFly to create the new association. All three provide fractional ownership of technically advanced
aircraft. "We're all competitors," said Lee, "but we are joining together to establish a code of conduct, education and consumer advocacy. We also are reaching out to aircraft manufacturers." Their
companies make aircraft ownership available to many more pilots, Lee said, and provide a key component in the growth of the GA industry overall. All are welcome to apply to join the association, he
A new Web site for the group , which will provide resources and info for consumers, is expected to launch in a few weeks, Lee said.
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» Visit Oregon Aero in booths 3137-3141 (Building C) at AirVenture
Virgin Galactic President Wil Whitehorn can't guarantee it, but if at all possible SpaceShipTwo will be here at EAA AirVenture next summer. "But if not next year, definitely in 2009," he said.
Speaking at a forum on Tuesday morning, he said the ship is under construction at Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif., and will start test flights early next year. It will carry six paying passengers
and two pilots some 62 miles above the earth, so the craft will be much larger than SpaceShip One. A larger version of White Knight, the airplane that carries the spaceship to altitude, is also under
construction and will start test flights next April. Alex Tai, who is developing the training program for future passengers, said the spaceship's controls and systems will be kept as simple as
possible. He added that the two pilots will really fly the ship, not just be "Spam in a can" while the aircraft flies itself.
Tai also gave an update on plans for the experience that space tourists can expect. Each passenger will undergo three days of training that will include simulated G forces and simulated
zero-gravity exercises. In flight, interior sounds of ship systems will be kept to a minimum so passengers can experience the true silence of space, he said. Whitehorn said the ultimate goals of Burt
Rutan and Richard Branson, who have partnered in The Spaceship Company, extend beyond providing space tourism. "We need to find more efficient ways to operate in space," he said, including methods to
deploy satellites, collect solar power and develop new industries. He added that the company has 200 travelers signed up at $200,000 each, but the goal is to reduce the price to about $75,000 to make
the experience available to more people.
Pilots of older aircraft worry about the future availability of 100LL avgas, and environmentalists are not happy with the ecological impact of leaded fuel. To satisfy both concerns, inventor Tom
Ehresman of Colorado is working on an engine modification that would allow avgas-burning engines to convert to diesel or Jet-A. That is just the kind of innovation the Lindbergh Foundation seeks to
support -- new aviation technology that preserves the health of our natural environment. The grant of $10,580 reflects the amount that Charles Lindbergh spent to build the Spirit of St. Louis.
Ehresman hopes the award will help to attract more investors, and if he has the financial support, he could have a working prototype in two or three years. The retrofit kit could go to market for
about $6,000 or so, he estimated.
His system would remove the magnetos, spark plugs and fuel injection system from the 100LL engine and replace them with a diesel injection pump and nozzles. The vent system of the airplane would
also need to be modified, he said. The award, which is financed by Lycoming Engines, was announced at AirVenture on Wednesday. Applications for next year's Lindbergh-Lycoming grant are open until
November 1, go to LindberghFoundation.org for more information.
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Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton has joined the board of directors of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association after serving for several years as a behind-the-scenes advisor. Cessna
Vice President of Marketing Tom Aniello said Cessna is at the table to help, not dictate. "It's not our intention to come in and dominate," he said. Pelton was unable to attend the LAMA press
conference at EAA AirVenture. Cessna's announcement of a light sport aircraft just before AirVenture, followed by Cirrus's announcement that it, too, would join the fray, has changed the dynamics of
the the LSA sector overnight, and LAMA Chairman Dan Johnson said having two mainstream general aviation players enter the market will have a profound effect on its future.
LAMA also expanded its representation to Europe with the addition of German ultralight and gliding leader Joe Konrad. Konrad will represent the association at various legislative and lobby
organizations. There is already a process under way to harmonize standards and regulations for these types of aircraft. "These are worldwide standards we are working toward," Johnson said.
What Is a Skidded Turn Traffic Pattern Stall?
In this article, we will take you through a hypothetical traffic pattern turn where everything seems to go wrong. Then we will dabble a bit in aerodynamics in order to understand the pilot actions
necessary to produce a skidded stall and the intuitive (but incorrect) reactions that can lead to disaster ... .
Although it's been all but forgotten, the Junkers Jumo engine was one of the most successful powerplants of World War II. But did you know it was a two-cycle diesel? A UK company called
Powerplant Developments is seeking to develop a new LSA engine based on the same operating principles used in the Jumo. In this podcast, the company's chairman, Derek Graham, explains how the engine
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
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, takes a hard look at the Light Sport Aircraft sector in this month's issue. Is it time to buy?
What about parts and service? Some of those answers came from Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and a leading expert on this new aircraft category. We caught up
with him at EAA AirVenture after Cirrus and Cessna both announced their entry into the Light Sport market, as Johnson talks about the impact of those announcements on the industry.
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.
With Marion Blakey approaching the end of her term as FAA Administrator, we
asked AVweb readers to rate her performance on the familiar grade-school
scale of A, B, C, D and F.
To no one's surprise, Blakey didn't score so well, garnering an F from
92% of the more than 7,500 respondents. (We'd make a quip about who's
going to sign that report card and return it to the G.A. community but we
still have to "Meet the Administrator" on Thursday at Oshkosh.)
You can view a complete breakdown of the responses
here. (You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already
participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week at Oshkosh, Eclipse revealed a big surprise a
four-place single-engine jet with a sexy v-tail and sleek good looks.
What's your opinion of it?
Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to
NOTE: This address is
only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send
"QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.
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» Visit Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) in booth 2066 at AirVenture
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to TAC Air at KAPA in Denver, Colorado.
AVweb reader Scott Brooksby raves about the service at TAC Air:
"These guys were great; their self-serve fuel prices were great, and they loaned us a crewcar to go to dinner. When we first arrived, they took us to our hotel. When we left two days later, they
had the airplane near their door, ready to go. Awesome."
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
AOPA Member Pilots: Share Your Love of Flying!
If you're an AOPA member pilot, you're encouraged to become an AOPA Project Pilot Mentor! It's an easy and fun way for experienced pilots to help students get started and earn their
ticket to fly. It requires very little time and could be the extra boost an aspiring pilot needs. So join the team at AOPA and help secure the future of GA.
Go online to become an
AOPA Project Pilot Mentor now!
» Visit Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) in booths 164-166 at AirVenture
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news
tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? 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. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.
Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine Operators ASA, the industry's leader in aviation supplies, software, and publications, offers the ROTAX Engine Introduction DVD with tips and techniques for trouble-free operation of Light Sport
Aircraft (LSA) with the ROTAX engine. This DVD also provides an introduction to the specific concepts important to maintaining the ROTAX 912.
Go online for complete
details and bonus features!
» Visit Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA) in booths 2075-2078 at AirVenture
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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version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.