Brazil Trade Delegation At SNF »

When you think of Brazil and airplanes, you automatically think of Embraer, but that aerospace giant isn't the only player in the South American market. A number of smaller companies ply the aircraft trade and a couple of them are represented this week at Sun 'n Fun by a trade delegation from the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Sergio Luiz Gargiani, president of an industrial trade board representing Santa Catarina, said Wednesday that the state is offering extensive incentives to attract aerospace industry to Brazil, including tax breaks and land grants. "We are just starting, but we have very good background, working in high technology companies, in software, in electronics so now we are moving into aircraft to put together these technologies," Gargiani said in this podcast interview with AVweb on Wednesday . More

ATP Options Up To 100 Piper Airplanes »

Airline Transport Professionals flight school has agreed to buy 15 Archer TX single-engine airplanes from Piper Aircraft, with options for up to 85 more, the companies announced Wednesday at Sun 'n Fun. These will be the first single-engine Pipers in ATP's fleet as the school transitions to predominantly Piper training aircraft. All of the new ATP airplanes will be equipped with Garmin G500 avionics. "This large follow-on fleet transaction clearly shows continued confidence on the part of ATP in Piper Aircraft," said Piper CEO Simon Caldecott. The flight school previously bought 30 Piper Seminoles, in 2011. More

Diamond Introduces DA40 XLT »

Diamond Aircraft is showing its latest model, the DA40 XLT, with an all-new interior, at the Sun 'n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., this week. The upgrade is the first major overhaul to the interior in over eight years, company spokesman Jeff Owen said in a news conference Wednesday morning. The changes include deluxe leather seats with improved lumbar contours and a special sun-resistant coating that can produce substantial reductions in seat temperatures, plus sun visors, more cup holders, and more storage spaces for phones and tablets. "These things really do make a difference" in the comfort of everyone on board, Owen said. More

SocialFlight Expands Reach, Gains Media Partners »

SocialFlight, a free mobile app that aims to bring pilots together by providing an easy source of information about aviation events, has grown to 15,000 users since its launch just nine months ago, founder Jeff Simon said at Sun 'n Fun on Tuesday. The app has also evolved to version 3.0. "We're adding 1,000 users a month," Simon said, "and the database users are adding 10 to 15 events a day. What we hear from users is, 'I'm flying more.'" Simon said he hopes the app will help the pilot community to grow and encourage pilots to fly more often, by making it easy to find a nearby event to fly to. Simon also announced that AVweb , Kitplanes , and General Aviation News have signed on as partners to bring SocialFlight's utility to their readership, both in print and online. More

Flight Design Pushes Back C4 Program »

With a fundamental review of the FAA's Part 23 aircraft-certification regulations in the works, Flight Design's management team said on Tuesday they will extend the development timeline of their C4 four-place certified aircraft to take advantage of the expected changes. Flight Design's revised schedule expects first flight of the proof-of-concept airplane about a year from now, with certification from the FAA and EASA to follow about a year to 18 months later. Top managers from Flight Design are serving on the FAA rulemaking committees that are rewriting the regulations, and the company said the revised Part 23 is expected to double the level of safety while cutting certification costs in half. The company plans to sell the C4 for $250,000, and has deposits for about 80 of the airplanes. More

Piper Sells 35 Trainers To CAE Fleet »

Piper Aircraft has sold 35 single-engine and twin-engine training aircraft to CAE, which will add the airplanes to the Oxford Aviation Academy fleets in Phoenix, Ariz., and Oxford, U.K., the companies announced Tuesday at Sun 'n Fun. The agreement includes firm orders for 22 single-engine Archer TX training airplanes and 13 twin-engine trainers, as well as parts and service. Deliveries will start this spring. All of the aircraft will be equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics suites and Garmin traffic advisory systems. The airplanes will also be equipped with CAE-designed flight data analysis and cockpit video recording systems. More

Sagetech Rolls Out Impressive New ADS-B »

Sagetech, a company little known among general aviation pilots, has introduced a new portable ADS-B box at Sun 'n Fun that combines weather, traffic and a compact, sophisticated AHRS with synthetic vision. If it sounds like this gadget can turn your iPad into a basic EFIS, that's exactly what it does, according to Sagetech. Measuring about two inches square and an inch or so high, the Clarity is powered by an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery and from a perch on the glaresheild -- or perhaps elsewhere in the aircraft -- the Clarity transmits its data through a dedicated wireless network, similar to other ADS-B devices already on the market. It works with about five popular tablet apps, including WingXPro. More

More ADS-B From Sporty's »

As yet more portable ADS-B products hit the market, Sporty's Pilot Shop is out today with a second generation of its hot-selling Stratus. The new device is being produced in a partnership between Sporty's, ForeFlight and Appareo, which developed the hardware. More

Coming Up In Lakeland -- Blue Skies And Lemonade »

Every airshow, no matter where or when, has its share of challenges, and hopefully its share of good luck, too, and this year's edition of Sun 'n Fun, in Lakeland, Fla., seems to have plenty of both. No military jet team will appear to split the sky with a pure booming roar, thanks to the federal sequester. No military aircraft at all will make it to the show, but Sun 'n Fun CEO John "Lites" Leenhouts has no gripe with that. "I understand that, I was in the military, and when you have to cut back, you cut down on the stuff that's not mission-oriented," he told AVweb on Monday. He said the organization put out a call to warbird fliers around the country to come to the show and fill in that void, and quite a few are flying in from around the nation. "Our vintage ramp is fuller now than it was last year, two days in," Leenhouts said. "The campground is fuller. This year looks to be a banner year." More

Light Sport Counts Up Its Impact »

The president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association says the industry has been underreporting the impact of the LSA sector on aviation as a whole and is remedying that with new numbers. Dan Johnson told AVweb at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., that his group took a conservative approach to reporting LSA numbers by relying solely on completed registrations with the FAA. That, he said, left out whole segments of the industry that are legitimate contributors to its overall contribution. "We've been kind of underreporting the size of the community," he said. In fact, he said, there are about 8,000 light sport aircraft flying in the U.S. More