Plastic Planes, Part Three: The Lancair Columbia 300 »

Three all-new composite, four-seat, IFR singles are available on the U.S. market: The Diamond DA40 Star, the Cirrus SR-20 and the Lancair Columbia 300. Other than the composite materials from which they are made, each is different: Different powerplants, different equipment and different markets. AVweb's Dave Higdon managed to put the three through their paces all in the same week. In this second pilot report of a four-part series, he tackles the Lancair Columbia 300. More

Plastic Planes, Part Two: The Cirrus SR20 »

Three all-new composite, four-seat, IFR singles are available on the U.S. market: The Diamond DA40 Star, the Cirrus SR-20 and the Lancair Columbia 300. Other than the composite materials from which they are made, each is different: Different powerplants, different equipment and different markets. AVweb's Dave Higdon managed to put the three through their paces all in the same week. In this second pilot report of a four-part series, he tackles the Cirrus SR20. More

Plastic Planes, Part One: The Diamond DA40 Star »

Three all-new composite, four-seat, IFR singles are or soon will be available on the U.S. market: The Diamond DA40 Star, the Cirrus SR-20 and the Lancair Columbia 300. Other than the composite materials from which they are made, each is different: Different powerplants, different equipment and different markets. AVweb's Dave Higdon managed to put the three through their paces all in the same week. In this first of a four-part series, he tackles the Diamond DA40 Star. More

Leza-Lockwood's Air Cam: Low and Slow Is No Sweat in This Two-Seat Twin »

And now for something completely different: the Leza-Lockwood Air Cam. The Air Cam looks like a twin-engine ultralight with a serious glandular problem. Instead, it's an experimental-category/amateur-built kitplane specially designed for aerial photography and videography hence the name over terrain where two engines are a distinct advantage. AVweb's Dave Higdon put the Air Cam through its paces. Here's his report. More

Adam Aircraft's M-309: Pushing and Pulling a Dormant Market »

Except for a couple of examples from New Piper and one from Raytheon, there's nothing new going on in the new-manufacture piston twin market. Instead most of the action is in the light-light jets under development and in the turbine-powered single market, which seems to have dislodged piston twins as the next rung in the ladder from high-performance piston singles. One company has set out to change that: Adam Aircraft Industries brought their full-size M-309 prototype to AirVenture and announced it is offering initial delivery positions for 2003 through the end of August. AVweb Executive Editor Jeb Burnside met with company officials to discuss their project. Here's his report. More

Adam Aircraft's M-309: Pushing and Pulling a Dormant Market »

Except for a couple of examples from New Piper and one from Raytheon, there's nothing new going on in the new-manufacture piston twin market. Instead most of the action is in the light-light jets under development and in the turbine-powered single market, which seems to have dislodged piston twins as the next rung in the ladder from high-performance piston singles. One company has set out to change that: Adam Aircraft Industries brought their full-size M-309 prototype to AirVenture and announced it is offering initial delivery positions for 2003 through the end of August. AVweb Executive Editor Jeb Burnside met with company officials to discuss their project. Here's his report. More

The Sun Shines, But Not on Eclipse Alone: Other Small Jet Companies Show Their Wares at AirVenture »

While the recently-announced Eclipse is the newest small jet to be announced in a fancy fashion, it is by no means alone: Others are way ahead of it in the certification process. While the economy remains stable and bizjet manufacturers are selling new airplanes to fractional ownership companies as fast as they can make them, several new small jets are being developed are in various stages of development, including one that you can buy today, but only as a kit. Among them are the VisionAire Vantage, the Century Jet 100 and the Maverick Twinjet. All are competing for the light-light bizjet market, which their makers hope will still exist by the time their dreams emerge from the FAA's labyrinthine certification process. AVweb's Liz Swaine raises the question of whether any of them will be able to attract enough investment to see them through that process. More

So You're Going to Buy a Kitplane ... »

One of the reasons many make the pilgrimage to AirVenture each year is to check out the latest developments in the kitplane and experimental industry, by definition the most vibrant and dynamic segment of general aviation. All too often, however, starry-eyed pilots find themselves paying more attention to their heart than their head when making the decision to commit themselves to buying into and building an aircraft from plans or from a kit. AVweb's Glenn Pew has been there, done that. In a previous life, he worked for a kitplane manufacturer and, in his current life, he is working on his own kitplane in the meager amount of spare time that we allow him. Glenn presents some things to think about before committing yourself to a kitplane. More

Darwin's Proof: Beech Pistons Continue to Evolve »

Quick quiz: What new-manufacture general aviation airplane has been in production for almost 55 years? It's the Beech now Raytheon Bonanza, the latest versions of which are clearly descended from that original V-tail design. But today's offerings reflect what evolutionary not revolutionary change can bring to improve an award-winning design. New, finely-tuned engines, state-of-the-art avionics and interior appointments as fine as any piston-powered airplane round out the package. And, as Dave Higdon writes in this AVweb Pilot Report, the handling qualities, utility and efficiency that made the Bonanza and its descendants one of the most desirable owner-flown airplanes continue to this day. More

Eagle 150B: Canards for Our Times »

It's from Australia. It's made from Kevlar and a carbon-fiber honeycomb, has three lifting surfaces, a canopy, a center-mounted control stick and a TCM IO-240B kicking out 125 ponies. One of the things the Eagle 150B doesn't have is a small-plane ride, due to its forward-mounted canard, main wing and aft-mounted stabilizer. Is the Eagle 150B the "better mousetrap" that designer John Roncz hoped for? Check out this pilot report by AVweb's Dave Higdon and see for yourself. More