Redbird Moves On Flight Training By Glenn Pew The same company that five years ago introduced modern attainable full-motion general aviation flight simulators to flight schools is set to broaden their influence. The company currently has more than 300 simulators working in flight schools and has expanded its attention to training curriculum. Redbird Skyport at San Marcos, Texas, is the company's training facility and research center. On October 22-24, it will host industry representatives to detail the results of its data mining and research regarding specific ways to improve the efficiency of flight training both for flight students and training providers.
AVweb's daily coverage of the 2012 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gathering (AOPA Summit 2012) in Palm Springs, California concludes with a gallery of photos from the show.
Van's To Build 'Fly-Away' RV-12s By Russ Niles The world's most successful manufacturer of kit planes is tentatively entering the OEM market with an initial run of 12 deluxe copies of its RV-12 LSA. In a podcast interview with AVweb at AOPA Summit in Palm Springs, Van's Aircraft founder and president Dick VanGrunsven said it was a market the company was thinking about when it launched the RV-12. The first run will not be built at the company's Aurora factory. They will be built by kit completion specialists Synergy Air. Orders will be taken in November and first deliveries are expected in the new year, VanGrunsven said.
Winglets For All? By Russ Niles An Idaho company says it has come up with a way to allow virtually any aircraft to benefit from winglets without affecting the certified load limits of its wings. Tamarack Aerospace President Nick Guida said the patented "active winglets" the company has developed will allow the installation of winglets on hundreds of aircraft types whose wings were not engineered to handle them. The key is turning the effect of the winglets on and off when necessary to mitigate the potential for winglets to overstress wings.
Expedition/Bigfoot Certified By Russ Niles Despite the economy, specialty aircraft continue to enjoy strong sales and a Canadian company is celebrating the FAA certification of its "next generation" line of bush planes. Found Aviation has a Bigfoot model on display at AOPA Summit. It's the conventional-gear version of the Expedition introduced a few years ago and spokesman Drew Hamblin said it's a serious performer in the back country with all the comforts of a nice cross-country aircraft.
A Plan To Rejuvenate The Industry By Glenn Pew AVweb publisher Tom Bliss Thursday gathered representatives from major engine and avionics manufacturers, mod-shops and more to discuss a plan to modernize the general aviation fleet and offer like-new aircraft at lower-than-new cost. Bliss' concept would seek to create standardized programs for updating popular existing airframes with new engines, avionics, interiors and paint. The end result in Bliss' vision would be like-new aircraft offered with full warranty, insurable for their full value, and supported by lenders. The meeting served both as a formal introduction to the fundamentals behind the concept and as an open forum to discuss the ideas and concerns of attendees.
Bonanza Upgrades From Hawker Beechcraft By Glenn Pew Hawker Beechcraft Systems has an in-house program to upgrade Bonanza aircraft with new avionics, new engines and new ergonomics as part of its Xtra program. Upgrades range in cost from the tens of thousands to roughly $100,000 and offer improvements in comfort, speed, range and style. Upgrading the air conditioning alone can add knots to cruise speed, shave roughly 40 pounds off the aircraft's empty weight, and offer "set and forget" convenience from taxi to shutdown.
Flight Service Improvements By Glenn Pew Director of Lockheed Martin Flight Services, Jim Derr, spoke with AVweb Thursday to discuss new tools rolled out this week to aid pilots in their flight planning and flight plan filing through AFSS.com. The web portal offers pilots the ability to create profiles based on the aircraft they fly, routes of flight and frequent destinations. It also offers a free Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS) that can provide a pilot with warnings if conditions arise (including, among other things, TFRs and severe weather) that affect his or her route of flight.
Flight To Foster Education By Russ Niles There is a trend in education that Think Global Flight hopes to reverse, using aviation as the messenger. The organization intends to launch a circumnavigation flight in a Cirrus SR20 G3 in September of 2013 in a bid to encourage students all over the world to take the "STEM" subjects in school and keep science and technology moving. In a podcast interview, spokesman Guy Robinson said test scores in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are low and getting lower, especially in the U.S., and the organization hopes to help reverse that trend with some aviation inspiration.
Three Rs Launch Today At AOPA Summit By Russ Niles A wide range of aviation companies will be represented in AVweb's launch of its Three Rs Affordable Aircraft Initiative to boost the refurbishing and remanufacturing sector of the industry. "We expect about 15 participants for [today's] round table discussion [at AOPA Summit] in Palm Springs," said AVweb Publisher Tom Bliss. The discussion will be held in the executive boardroom of the PSP Hilton Hotel next to the Palm Springs Convention Center starting at 2 p.m. Thursday. Check out this podcast for a preview.