Cessna 152 vs. LSA: Vintage Wins the Day By Staff Report On the flight training line, ancient 152s can still be more profitable, chiefly because LSAs lack a mature parts chain and repair support infrastructure.
AOPA's Flying Clubs Initiative, Where It's Going By Glenn Pew AOPA started on this project about one year ago, announced its intentions publicly at AOPA Summit last October, and is now setting out on an effort to grow the nationwide collection of 650 independent flying clubs into 1,000 networked aviation cooperatives.
Building A Better Bonanza By Glenn Pew It cruises easily at better than 165 knots, can carry six (provided at least two aren't large), and has a range of 1,000 miles. The pilots who fly it generally love it, and the pilots who don't generally respect it. Samples can be found on the used market today in decent shape and for less than $150,000 -- a price that undercuts some higher-end LSAs. It's an aircraft with decades of history and a following to match. But this is aviation. Pilots always want more. Fortunately, the aftermarket for Bonanza owners offers many ways to grow.
Simulator Training: How Important Is Motion? By Glenn Pew Flight simulation is a part of nearly every pilot's curriculum, whether he or she is just starting out, staying current, or landing a type rating. But the type of simulation and its benefits (especially when it comes to motion) is often the subject of controversy -- maybe for good reason.
The Return of Anti-Detonation Water Injection (ADI) By AVweb Staff The only reason leaded avgas still exists is to deliver high octane cheaply and the only reason for octane is to prevent detonation in high-power, high-compression engines. But octane isn't the only way to quench detonation, something engineers have known for years. Injecting a water-methanol spray into the combustion chamberso-called anti-detonation or anti-detonant injection (ADI)was once a common technique for military aircraft when octane wasn't available or when aircraft designers wanted excess power in bursts, even when burning high-octane fuel. It was also used in civil transport applications. If it worked 60 years ago, why not now? That's exactly what Air Plains is proposing in its resurrection of ADI STCs developed by Todd Petersen during the 1980s, when mogas as an alternative fuel was in vogue.
Who's Working Against Your Favorite Apps By Glenn Pew The app revolution has changed more than the cockpit; it's displacing dedicated handheld gps units, giving panel mount avionics a run for their capability (at a deeply discounted price), and challenging the FAA's chart distribution systems. In other words, relative to the still slow economy, it's a booming industry that's changing how a segment of the aviation economy functions. It's not just bringing more capability into more cockpits, it's challenging the way some big entities make money -- and that might soon be changing things for you. For this article, we spoke with one of the biggest names in the business, Hilton Goldstein, of Hilton Software LLC (maker of the WingX app) to find out what makes a winning app and the very big forces that could soon challenge them all.
Fuel Projects Move Forward, But Slowly By AVweb Staff While the EPA continues gathering data on lead emissions toward a 2017 deadline on tighter air pollution standards, development to find a 100LL continues apace, although no clear winner is in sight. Meanwhile, the FAA has initially funded a new fuels program oversight office called AIR-20 whose job is to set up certification and testing standards for candidate fuels. AIR-20's work will be funded by a combination of government funds and contributions from private industry.
The Job Market May Be Bad; What About The Applicants? By Glenn Pew The business of matching aviation jobs with qualified applicants can provide a different perspective on the broader health of the aerospace industry. We spoke with one source in that position who is seeing some positive movement with jobs but believes the longterm prognosis isn't good. And, if he's right, the problem might not be something that an upturn in the economy is going to fix.
The Coming SocialFlight Revolution? By Glenn Pew The fresh bloom of interactive applications available on portable devices today is changing how pilots fly, but if SocialFlight.com has its way it may also be changing why you fly -- and for all the right reasons. SocialFlight's creators have lofty goals. They aim to improve your business connections, your social life, your flying life, and ultimately drive sustainability if not growth in the statistically shrinking GA segment, all free of charge. It's sunshine and roses level stuff. But here's the twist: according to Jason Clemens, vice president of marketing for Where2 Interactive (SocialFlight's developer), "between summer 2012 and January 2013, we got 12,000 pilots signed up." And if the business provides those users with what it intends to provide, SocialFlight could deliver real gains for GA.
Experiencing The Eclipse -- Flying, Maintenance, Training By Glenn Pew Certification functionality and bankruptcy issues, plus a fair does of malaise, plagued many early adopters of Eclipse jets, but there are 263 jets in the wild now reaching a combined 200,000 total flight hours -- and the new Eclipse ownership experience has changed. The early Eclipse experience was a master class in "the pioneers get the arrows." Many production slot holders took those arrows in the form of shifting performance targets and missed development goals. Others lost their substantial deposits, altogether. In the end, the jet proved underpriced when introduced and the original company suffered, accordingly. The Eclipse jet concept may have been born from significant positive aspiration for general aviation. It was executed, some might argue, with significant hubris. But that was before.