New Aerospace Academy Opens At Sun 'n Fun »

The Central Florida Aerospace Academy now has a new home on the Sun 'n Fun campus, which was formally dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning. The 58,000-square-foot building features classrooms, a media center, a cafeteria and an engineering lab, and can serve up to 500 students. The school aims to help students prepare for careers in aviation and aerospace. "I hope this building serves as a launching pad for CFAA students to become more actively involved in aviation and, in doing so, build a pathway for successful careers and successful lives," said John C. Ray, whose Aviation Education Foundation provided $7.5 million for the project. More

Lightspeed Adds Upgrades To Zulu Headsets »

The popular Zulu headset now has several new added features, Lightspeed Aviation said this week at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. The innovations, some of which are patent-pending, include microport  vent technology that provides greater consistency in the active noise reduction capabilities, and a new lighter design for improved fit and less side pressure. A dual aperture disc microphone adds more voice clarity and improved noise canceling, Lightspeed said. Dealers are taking orders now for the new headsets, which will start shipping by early July. More

Piper Reports Progress On Jet, Shows Mockup »

Piper brought a mock-up of its Altaire single-engine jet to Sun 'n Fun this week, and reported that the program is on track for first flight of the conforming prototype in 2012. "We now have 175 engineers at work on it, and production parts are being cut for the first four conforming test articles," said company spokesman Randy Groom. The jet, powered by a Williams FJ44-3AP turbofan, features a roomy cabin with club seating for four plus two up front. Performance targets aim for cruise speed up to 360 knots and a 1,300-nm range. "We are completing our new production facility for 2012," Groom said, "and adding new dealers around the globe." More

EAA Seeks Wider Audience, Adds Lane Wallace »

EAA wants to reach beyond the faithful and bring new converts into general aviation, EAA President Rod Hightower said at Sun 'n Fun on Tuesday. "How do we reach out to the non-flying public?" Hightower asked. One way he proposes is to expand the audience of the organization's Sport Aviation magazine, which currently is available only by mail to members. Soon the magazine will appear on racks in pilot shops, and plans are in the works to further expand the title into the wider world, Hightower said. Signing on to help with that effort is longtime Flying contributor Lane Wallace, who will bring her "Flying Lessons" column to EAA. "Reaching out to the world at large, I'm all about that," Wallace said. "It's not about the plane -- it's about where it can take you." More

Updated Corvalis Has Touch-Screen Panel »

Cessna has announced a major upgrade of the Corvalis high-performance single, featuring the "first touch-screen-controlled glass flight deck ever designed for a piston aircraft," the company said in a news release. The new Intrinzic panel was designed by Cessna but is based on the Garmin G2000 and features two 14-inch wide HD screens that transmit touch commands via an infrared grid under the glass, rather than the normal surface resistance sensors. "We've taken an airplane with incredible performance and made flying it even more natural and instinctive with Intrinzic," said CEO Jack Pelton. "This interface is so advanced, it's the same as what you'll find in the upcoming Cessna Citation Ten business jet. More

Spring Rains Challenging for Sun 'n Fun Launch »

As exhibitors prepped for opening day at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., on Monday, a huge frontal system spread rain and wind across the region, slowing down their efforts and keeping the pattern mostly quiet. Nonetheless, by Monday evening, all of the major exhibitors were set up and ready to welcome visitors for Tuesday's opening day. Weather reports showed a chance of rain and thunderstorms at about 40 to 50 percent for the next few days, with clear weather expected for Friday and the weekend. The mood among exhibitors so far seems to be cautious, as aircraft sales haven't yet shown signs of robust recovery. But for those ready to buy, Sun 'n Fun is the season's first big general aviation show, with some of everything on site, from ultralights to light sport aircraft to turbines and light jets, plus all the latest avionics and pilot gear. More

Sun 'n Fun 2010 Coverage Round-Up »

The Sun 'n Fun Fly-In kept us busy on our annual trek to Lakeland, Florida this year. In case you missed any podcasts from the show (or videos or news coverage), Tuesday's special issue of AVwebAudio has the full run-down. Click here for the full coverage recap. More

New From Legend: Smart Cub With G3X Cockpit »

American Legend Aircraft Company is now offering its Cub LSA with the Garmin G3X multi-function display, which was designed for the light sport and experimental market. The G3X was first released about a year ago and the company has continued to add new features and functionality. The G3X system features a seven-inch display with full primary flight display functions, such as attitude/directional guidance, plus electronic engine monitoring and detailed moving-map capabilities. The Legend Smart Cub G3 instrument panel also includes a Garmin SL-40 Com, GTX 327 transponder, and PS Engineering PM1200 intercom. The first customer delivery of a Smart Cub G3 is expected by the end of the month, Legend says. More

First "Learn To Fly Day" Coming Soon »

"We're asking every pilot and aviation enthusiast to introduce someone new to aviation on Learn To Fly Day ," EAA's Ron Wagner told AVweb at Sun 'n Fun this week. "It's coming up soon ... May 15 ... and pilots around the country are making plans to participate." Participation can be as simple as inviting a friend or neighbor to visit the airport or go for a flight, or as robust as planning a weekend-long community festival, as one group in Louisiana is doing, Wagner said. "This is not just an EAA initiative," he added. "It's aviation-wide." There are so many barriers to discovering the world of flight today, from fences to finances to fear of the unknown, Wagner said. "If each of us just got one person interested, the aviation community would double." More

Electric Flight Update From Sun 'n Fun »

Randall Fishman, who's been flying electric-powered aircraft for a few years now, brought his Electraflyer-C to Sun 'n Fun this year for daily showcase flights. He also brought along the slick two-place Electraflyer-X he's been working on, and kept it on display all week in the Lindbergh Foundation tent. He said the X model will fly for the first time in May or June this year and he plans to offer a kit version of the airplane. Fishman also brought a sample of the new electric motor he's been working on, which generates 20 hp continuous with a single rotor, which will be available for sale soon. He's also working on 40- and 60-hp models with two or three rotors, all on a single shaft. The motor can power ultralights and motorgliders. Fishman also talked about other new projects he's working on, and his assessment of the potential of electric flight, in an AVweb podcast available here . More