As EAA AirVenture 2012 winds down, we make time for one last tour of the grounds and take in the spectacular nighttime air show.
Ultralight Electric Glider Debuts At Oshkosh By Mary Grady Randall Fishman, who's been bringing various electric aircraft to EAA AirVenture for the last five years or so, turned up this week with his latest creation, a one-seat, battery-powered motorglider ultralight. The aircraft flew for the first time just last week, Fishman told AVweb on Friday. "It took off in about 150 feet, and it handles really well," he said. The sleek little aircraft is for sale with a choice of battery packs good for up to one or two hours of flight. The battery also can be recharged by the folded prop while the airplane is soaring. Fishman said the motorgliders, which are built in the Czech Republic, are available for sale at a starting price of $59,000.
EAA Launches Eagle Flights For Adults By Mary Grady EAA launched its new Young Eagles program for adults, branded simply as Eagle Flights, this week at AirVenture, with a dual flight in a T-6 flown by EAA President Rod Hightower. The first flight went to Diane Thornton, an educator affiliated with the Boy Scouts' Aviation Explorers program. "When I was growing up, my dad flew a plane in support of his business," she told the media gathered on the ramp, "but our mother didn't like the idea of her kids going flying." Thornton said she only got to fly with her father once, and that experience left a lasting impression. Jeff Skiles, who leads the education program at EAA, said the ongoing effort to attract new adults to aviation "will be a major focus for EAA going forward."
Embraer Launches PR Assault For Attack Plane By Russ Niles Embraer launched a public relations assault at AirVenture Oshkosh to shore up its bid to supply the Air Force with light, fast and impressively destructive aircraft for its Light Air Support competition. Embraer and its U.S. partner Sierra Nevada Corp. had its top executives at a news conference earlier in the week to press its case for the A-29 Super Tucano in a second attempt to secure the $1 billion deal. There was also a Super Tucano on display and fully staffed at the Embraer booth all week. "The Super Tucano has been proven in combat," said Taco Gilbert, CEO of Sierra Nevada. The news conference also announced that Embraer and Sierra Nevada had reached a deal with Boeing to allow the aircraft to be equipped with GPS-guided JDAM missiles that are standard issue for the fourth-generation tactical aircraft that the Super Tucano emulates.
The action out at the flightline has calmed down just enough for us to tear away from the main grounds and head out to EAA's Seaplane Base for a few photos with floats.
King Schools, New Advanced Releases By Glenn Pew Flight training syllabi for the Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Instrument Instructor Refresher, Crew Resource Management, and Part 135 Initial and Recurrent online training courses are the among new courses announced this week by King Schools. The company says its Part 135 training courses are crafted to fit smoothly into operators' own pre-existing training packages. And its syllabus programs are designed to sharpen the learning curve by clearly defining common goals shared by both instructor and student. Together the new products push the company toward a new landmark for products created.
FlightLink Records Radio Calls By Jeff Van West Lightspeed Aviation's FlightLink is a free iPhone/iPad app for folks with a Zulu 2 headset that records all intercom and ATC communications as you fly. You can scroll back and replay any part of the recording, and search a library of recordings from previous days. The iPad version also has a scratchpad for writing notes.
DeLorme inReach Targets Pilots By Jeff Van West Mapmaker DeLorme's inReach messenger/tracker uses the Iridium satellite network to send position reports and text messages from almost anywhere on earth. The handheld device can send pre-determined text messages with an up-to-date position included. Pairing it via Bluetooth with an iPhone or Android device allows for custom text messages or short emails. It can also send SOS messages, including detailed information in a text message, that will initiate a search and rescue. The SOS isn't automatic like an ELT, and the service isn't cheap.
An Eclipse Jet Just For Veterans By Mary Grady Eclipse Aerospace unveiled a specially painted Total Eclipse jet and presented it to the Veterans' Airlift Command at EAA AirVenture this week. The jet was donated by an anonymous patron, and Eclipse then contributed more than $500,000 worth of upgrades to convert the airplane into "one of the finest Total Eclipse aircraft ever produced by EAI," the company said. "The airplane will initially go to work in the Chicago area," Eclipse CEO Mason Holland told AVweb at Oshkosh. "But it won't really be based anywhere. It will go wherever it's needed." Eclipse pilots around the country have volunteered to fly it on missions in support of wounded veterans and their families, Holland said.