Features

Fuel Projects Move Forward, But Slowly »

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. Click here to read the full article. --> More

The Job Market May Be Bad; What About The Applicants? »

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. More

The Coming SocialFlight Revolution? »

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. Click here to read the full article. --> More

Experiencing The Eclipse -- Flying, Maintenance, Training »

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. Click here to read the full article. --> More

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