Features

GA Fly-by-Wire: Diamond Says Three Years »

Fly-by-wire control system are standard issue in military aircraft -- including drones -- and in major new transport aircraft. Within three years, Diamond says it hopes to offer such systems for light aircraft and it's further along the developmental road than we imagined. Click here to read the full article. --> More

The Unstable Training Environment and The Coming Pilot Shortage »

Congress has mandated a 1,500 hour minimum flight time requirement for scheduled air carriers next summer, and unless FAA regulations come along to supersede it the "impending pilot shortage" that even the general media  has latched on to could become a reality sooner than later. When regulation outpaces thinking, and policy is made without concern for data, supply and demand often get thrown out of whack. In this case, it's reasonable to assume that if this 1,500 hour rule is fully implemented, it will cost prospective pilots far more money and time to become professional airline pilots. And fewer and fewer pilots will enter the pipeline as many sensibly opt out of the arduous quest to reach the arbitrary 1,500 hour mark. Click here to read the full article. --> More

Frasca: The Benefits And Pitfalls Of Simulator Training »

Simulators can affect the time and cost of flight training, and the pace of technology makes it easier than ever to access them, but if you listen to Frasca -- which has more than 50 years of experience in the simulator business -- access shouldn't be the only concern. Frasca has been in business since the mid-1950s. And, today, the company's approach focuses on two key factors: The ability of students to transfer learned skills into the cockpit; and the ability of both the school and student to maintain an acceptable financial condition throughout the process. In short, Frasca believes that when it comes to getting the most from simulator training, one size does not fit all. More

A GIFT With Wings »

What compelled 45 women from Anchorage to Chesterfield, N.H., to trek to Vernon, Texas, a tiny north-Texas town where there are more trucks than cars? All had heard about a unique program called Girls in Flight Training (GIFT) Academy that provides free ground and flight instruction for women in all stages of flight training. The second annual event was held Nov. 3-10 at the Wilbarger County Airport. More

Q&A With ForeFlight's Tyson Weihs »

The apps market is a young, fast-paced, booming, and rapidly evolving segment of the aviation industry that isn't just transforming how pilots get information, it's starting to affect how manufacturers build their products. Some of today's most popular apps include Garmin Pilot, WingX Pro, and ForeFlight, which produces popular flight planning and in-flight support apps for the iPad. We sat down this week with Tyson Weihs, the thirty-six-year-old co-founder of ForeFlight and asked how things are changing at his company, where they're headed, and why. Click here to read the full article. //--> More

Is Redbird Just Plain Better? »

What do you get when well-funded individuals who made their fortunes as corporate efficiency experts apply themselves to the mission of improving flight training? You get Redbird. In five years since its birth, Redbird has gone from zero to number one in its market niche. It has put more than 300 active-motion flight simulators into general aviation pilot training centers. It has introduced a compelling price for performance argument within the flight training segment. And it has wrapped all that in an attractive package that doesn't just improve learning efficiency for students, it also draws more of them to flight schools. It's not just a simulator; it's a sales tool. And with it, Redbird is on its way to creating the perception that if you're not offering a Redbird simulator, you're behind the curve. If that feeling becomes pervasive, Redbird won't just lead the market, it will be the market. Maybe it already is. Whatever the case, where Redbird is may not be as important as where it's going. Click here to read the full article. --> More

OpenAirplane: More Flying, Less Hassle »

Aviation entrepreneur Rod Rakic's idea for OpenAirplane has earned the support of some big names in the aviation industry who believe it could simplify access to aircraft, improve pilot safety, increase profits for flight schools and FBOs, and generally boost the aviation industry -- all by changing how we rent airplanes. OpenAirplane is nearing its public rollout, expected before year-end. If the concept catches on, Rakic believes it won't just put more pilots in the air more often, it will also lower accident rates for a segment of the industry that is notoriously worse than average. And it might just make him rich. Maybe. But Rakic's idea isn't revolutionary or even all that new. His approach might be. And, so far, that's made all the difference. Click here to read the full article. --> More

Nextant's New Math -- A New Model For GA? »

The idea of creating a business jet that outperforms the competition is standard fare, but actually pulling that off while selling the jet for less is a head turner; enter Nextant Aerospace. Since October 2011, Nextant has been delivering the world's only FAA-certified remanufactured business jet, the 400XT. The company is currently working to improve output to 40 aircraft per year as it seeks to fill demand for more than 80 orders (and counting) already on the books. To say that Nextant's approach represents a paradigm shift in aircraft production may be hyperbolic; but saying that the company's product is superior may be statistically demonstrable. It may also be good reason to suspect that others may follow. Right now, this is a success story. And looking forward, how Nextant did it may be just as important as why. More

Public Benefit Flying Groups, NTSB Meet At Oshkosh »

On Tuesday morning, about 20 representatives of various public benefit flying groups met with representatives of the NTSB at EAA AirVenture to talk about how they plan to address the concerns expressed by the safety board in a letter issued last month . Rol Murrow, chairman of the Air Care Alliance, told AVweb the meeting was productive, and the NTSB was responsive to the group's suggestions. "They are not recommending new regulations," Murrow said. "They believe the solution lies in working with the groups." Murrow said three main areas were addressed at the meeting, and response from NTSB representative Timothy Burtch was positive. More

Press Release: Eclipse Aviation Achieves FAA Certification of Avio NG »

Press Release: Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), announced that it has received certification of Avio NG from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration system, exclusive to the Eclipse 500 VLJ, provides centralized control of virtually all Eclipse 500 systems and avionics functions. Avio NG significantly reduces pilot workload by simplifying tasks, generating useful information and acting as a virtual copilot. More