| Mar. 10, 2005
What's New -- Products and Services
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you a book on night flying, a density altitude thermometer, vortex generators for Stinsons and much more.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
State Tax Guide for General Aviation
Conklin & de Decker has released the 2005 State Tax Guide for General Aviation. This guide covers taxes and fees imposed on general aviation in the 50 United States. It shows how sales and use taxes apply to aircraft sales, ownership, leases, parts and labor. Also, common exemptions from the state sales and/or use taxes are explored such as common carrier, occasional sales, fly-away and trade-in credits. Registration fees, personal property taxes, jet fuel and aviation gasoline taxes are included as well. In addition to tax information, contact information for the Departments of Revenue and Aviation in each state is provided.
Operators, accountants, dealers, brokers, aviation law professionals and others will find the Guide a necessary tool to plan without surprises. The CD-ROM enables you to search the database by exemption, tax type or state and do a side-by-side comparison.
Subscribers can also download timely state tax updates as they occur. Because the majority of the state legislatures are only in session for a few months a year this can cause rapid changes in their tax laws. Users of the software can continuously check for updates via the program on their computer by clicking on the "download updates" button on their screen.
A one-year subscription is $250 and includes the CD-ROM and updates throughout the year. See the Conklin & de Decker Web site for details.
"Sunset to Sunrise" by David Robson
There is new book on night flying available: "Sunset to Sunrise" by David Robson, deals with the aesthetics and problems in flying that arise with the sunset. Night flying requires different techniques, a change in perspective and a new list of considerations than daytime operations. Ground references change, distance perceptions change, there is a need for more instrument reading and even the most experienced pilots can be challenged by night flying conditions, especially when climbing out of remote airstrips or when flying in the mountains.
David Robson lays out a sensible approach to identifying problems associated with flying in the dark and he offers practical solutions to those issues. He addresses such topics as flying on instruments, weather, human factors like night vision, FARs relating to night flying, preflight preparations, aircraft and airport lighting, cross-country planning and navigating, takeoffs and landings and emergency situations.
The book is a soft-cover edition, 208 pages, and it sells for under $20. It can be ordered from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty or direct from the publisher, Aviation Supplies & Academics.
Density Altitude Thermometer
Density altitude can reach critical levels, seriously affecting aircraft performance especially during the summer months. Now it's easy to estimate density altitude prior to takeoff with Sporty's Density Altitude Thermometer. Measuring 18" in diameter, this large, easy-to-read thermometer displays temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. Based upon the current temperature and field elevation, the thermometer will also display the estimated density altitude.
All you have to do is specify your airport's field elevation when ordering and a custom decal is affixed to the thermometer to display the estimated density altitude for your airport.
This device is a great enhancement to any airport, and transient pilots will find it especially useful upon departing an unfamiliar field where performance is critical.
The Density Altitude Thermometer is available for about $35 from Sporty's Web site.
Micro Vortex Generators for Stinson
Micro AeroDynamics has received an STC for Micro Vortex Generator kits for the Stinson 108 through 108-5 models. According to the manufacturer, the kit provides the classic airplane with an 8% reduction in stall speed, improved aileron response, and a reduced takeoff and landing roll.
In addition to the Stinson, Micro Aerodynamics now holds VG STCs for over 500 other models of aircraft.
The Micro VG Kit for the Stinson consists of 68 vortex generators that are attached aft of the leading edge of the wing. Another 32 VGs are positioned under the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer. Adhesive is used to secure the bond and templates along with illustrated instructions make for quick and easy installation.
The VGs, which are only 1/4" high and an inch long, are curved to accommodate airfoil contours. Their placement has the effect of keeping the boundary layer attached to flying surfaces, allowing for higher angles of attack and lower stall speeds. Their effect on ailerons, rudder and stabilator improves handling and flight characteristics in the slow-speed range. They do not affect high-speed cruise speed and do not collect ice.
Manufactured under an FAA PMA, using aircraft grade 6063-T6 aluminum, the VGs are alodined and ready for painting. The complete kits sell for under $700, and can be painted to match the aircraft's color for an additional fee.
Visit the Micro AeroDynamics Web site for details.
Mooney FITS Scenario Based Transition Training
The training syllabus developed by Flight Training, Inc., of San Antonio for the Garmin G1000-equipped Mooney Ovation2 and Bravo models has received recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for meeting the new FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) for technically advanced aircraft. The five-day flight-training package is included with the purchase of each new Mooney airplane. Flight Training, Inc., is the exclusive, factory-authorized flight training provider for the Mooney Airplane Company.
The course, entitled Mooney FITS Scenario Based Transition Training Syllabus, includes two days of academic instruction and three days of practical flight experience. The first day is devoted to aircraft systems management. The second day focuses exclusively on the Garmin G1000 avionics suite and incorporates instruction on a desktop simulator. The final three days feature scenario-based flight training where students receive instruction in aircraft handling and maneuvers, situational awareness and decision making as part of actual, real world flights.
The FAA/Industry Training Standards program is a partnership between the FAA, industry and academia designed to enhance general aviation safety. The program has established specific requirements that emphasize convenience, accessibility, and relevance to emerging technologies and the National Airspace System.
Details are available from Mooney and from Flight Training, Inc..
Flying is Freedom T-Shirts
The third annual "Flying is Freedom" T-Shirts have been released by AvShop. Choose white with a 3-color flag design or black with a stylized star. The shirts themselves are heavyweight Champion T's for ideal wearability and durability. Available for about $15 from AvShop.
FlightNotes Logbook Software
Computer Integration Associates has introduced FlightNotes, a new flight logbook software for Windows-based computers.
The main user interface screen shows only the aircraft you have flown and the airports you have used and your flights with the command buttons in the bottom right of the screen. It is also true a lot of General Aviation flights use the same aircraft and take off and land at the same airport, so after setting your Quick Entry Preferences, all you have to do is enter the date, number of landings, total time and any comments. FlightNotes uses your preferences to fill out the rest of the flight entry. Using Quick Entry, you can easily log a "hundred-dollar hamburger" flight in seconds.
FlightNotes has many reporting functions to help you pull information about your flying, both past and present. You can quickly generate a Flight Summary of all your time, or just the last 30, 60, 90 days or for a specific month/year. You can find out how much time you have in a specific type of aircraft or a single airplane. Want to know your history of instrument or cross-country flight? No problem, those reports are included as well. They have also included a Private Pilot and Instrument Pilot requirement report to aid you along the way to those tickets. These reports will compare your flight accomplishments to the FAA requirements and tell you how much you have left in each category of flight. It will also add up your total landings and landings in the last 90 days for all classes of aircraft in both day or night operations and tell you if you are current to act as Pilot in Command.
You can download the software, as well as get more information, from the FlightNotes Web site. The download of FlightNotes is the full program that runs in demo mode until registered, for a fee of about $50, including free upgrades. In demo mode you are limited to 25 flight entries and many of the report functions are disabled. Should you decide to purchase FlightNotes, there is no need to re-install the application or your flight information.
ARINC Direct Westbound Oceanic Clearances
Business aviation customers of the ARINC Direct data link service can now receive westbound oceanic clearance via data link on the busy North Atlantic routes. The new westbound service went live February 9, and complements ARINC Directs existing eastbound service.
Westbound clearance delivery is immediately available to customer aircraft equipped with Teledyne Telelink RMU or Universal Avionics Unilink CMU avionics, which are compliant with the ARINC 623 standard. ARINC plans to extend the new westbound clearance delivery service capability to users of additional avionics systems in the near future.
ARINC Direct data link customers will incur no extra charge in using the new westbound clearance delivery service, as it is covered by their subscriptions. Operators should contact the ARINC Direct business center for full information.
AeroSuper UV Protectant and Polish
AeroSuper has introduced AeroSuper UV Protectant and Polish, which is of special interest to the ultralight aviation community. This product is formulated specifically for use on aircraft with painted or dyed fabric coverings, including Dacron, Polyester, Mylar and painted cotton aircraft surfaces. A combination of UV, blockers, absorbers, and reflectors, along with special fabric conditioners make this the ideal protectant/polish for aircraft applications. AeroSuper UV also works on vinyl and plastic surfaces. This protectant/polish helps block, absorb, and reflect the suns damaging UV rays.
The product also contains special dust repellents to help keep surfaces dust-free longer. AeroSuper UV will be available around mid-March 2005 and will be packaged in 12 oz., 32 oz, and one gallon sizes. Larger quantities are available through special order for commercial airlines and air-carriers.
For more information, check out the AeroSuper Web site.
Want more? Check out What's New from other months.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.