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

Two Dead, 11 Injured In Balloon Fire »

Two people died and 11 were injured after a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed in the Vancouver, B.C. suburb of Surrey on Friday evening. Bill Yearwood, of Canada's Transportation Safety Board said a fire started in the balloon's basket shortly after it lifted off on a tethered flight with 12 passengers and a pilot on board. "The crew loaded 12 passengers and was preparing to launch when a fire erupted. The pilot asked the passengers to get out of the basket," Yearwood told Associated Press . "The balloon was tethered at the time, but then broke and came loose. They were all trying to get out." All but two of the passengers escaped and horrified family members watched from the ground as the balloon pulled the flaming basket about 400 feet high before the basket broke loose and dropped into an RV park, trailing smoke and flame. More

Press Release: FAA Certifies Alakai's Engine Trend Monitoring System for Cirrus Aircraft »

In a press release, Alakai Technologies Corporation announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installation of the company's Engine Trend Monitoring System (ETMS) on Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. The certification also applies to Alakai's Digital Flight Data Recording System (DFDS) software which, when combined with the ETMS, effectively provides the popular Cirrus piston-engine aircraft with a "black box" recorder, currently not required on aircraft with fewer than 10 seats. More

Press Release: Hartzell Introduces Proprietary Propeller De-Ice Product Line »

Hartzell Propeller Inc. is introducing its own line of Hartzell-designed propeller de-ice components, with plans to support the entire catalog of Hartzell propellers that feature de-ice capability. The new Hartzell de-ice components will replace previous, third-party manufactured de-ice parts, including de-icer boots, wire harnesses, and slip rings. More

2006 Year In Review »

Brisk sales, new airplanes, no hurricanes -- despite troubles in the towers, some tragic flights, and worries about the future, overall a pretty good year for general aviation. Here's our year-end review of the news. More