| Jun. 30, 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 Bluetooth headset, leather flight bags, GPS training courses and much more.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
Panther Electronics Micro Ear Bluetooth Headset
A new Bluetooth Aircraft Headset is now available from Panther Electronics. The 1.5-oz. molded-earpiece system replaces conventional headphone systems. According to the manufacturer, the noise reduction beats most, if not all, the ANR (Active Noise Reduction) conventional headsets currently available.
Panther's Cranial Audio Transmission System (C.A.T.S.) is lightweight, replacing the heavy, over-the-head headphone technology. The noise reduction rating (NRR) with custom molded earpieces is reported to be up to 46 dB.
The C.A.T. System comes with a video and a simple to use kit for making your own ear impressions for the custom ear pieces. Included in the system is the 9-ounce controller, which can clip to the aircraft, and is completely self-contained with volume control and internal gain control that can be adjusted to optimize transmission performance.
The Bluetooth boom microphone is fitted behind one ear for comfort and stability, with the receiver transducers embedded in each earpiece. When the flight is over unplug the earpieces and connect the Bluetooth system to your cell phone for hands-free operation while driving your vehicle.
The controller has a limited lifetime warranty, and the earpieces and cords are warranted for one year. The Bluetooth 2001-BT Headset sells for $777. For more information, visit the Panther Electronics Web site.
Glasair Sportsman 2+2 Video
Glasair Aviation has developed a new DVD video presentation featuring their Sportsman 2+2. Filmed and edited by Scott Guyette and Robb McAllister of EAA's television department, the 18-minute program features air-to-air footage showing the aircraft on floats, regular tires and tundra tires. Viewers get to see the Sportsman taking off and landing as a trike, taildragger and floatplane.
Ted and Tom Setzer, who participated in the design of the Sportsman, provide commentary on primary features of the design that enhance its safety, utility and performance. They also address the kinds of mission profiles that are possible with the aircraft. The video shows how a buyer can take advantage of Glasair's Customer Assembly Center and within three weeks have a near-complete airframe on its main gear, with the engine and prop in place. Those who opt to use the CAC can expect to have their aircraft completed and on the flight line within three months.
Copies of the Sportsman 2+2 can be ordered through Glasair's Web site. They are free.
Sporty's Leather Flight Bags
Sporty's patented Flight Gear bag collection is now available in leather. The two new pieces are crafted of black calfskin.
Sporty's Leather Flight Gear Bag is the classic design that will accommodate lots of flying gear. With five exterior pockets (two padded headset pockets, zippered storage pouch and two quick-access chart pockets) the Flight Gear Bag also includes a detachable shoulder strap.
The Leather Headset Case is perfect for those pilots with less to carry. Two padded interior sections accommodate headsets, GPSs, flight computers and more. Exterior pockets provide quick access to charts, flashlights, pens or fuel testers.
The Leather Flight Gear Bag is available for $125 and the Leather Headset Case is available for under $50. All Sporty's Flight Gear may be ordered at Sporty's Web site.
ARM Aerospace Aero-Lift Options
ARM Aerospace has introduced several new options designed to enhance the operation and utility of their Aero-Lift (What's New, Jun. 2004). The Aero-Lift effectively doubles aircraft storage capacity in existing hangars with high ceilings.
The wide-wheel scoop option increases the width of the scoops by 20% making it easier to dock aircraft and also making it possible to accommodate larger tundra tires. A high-speed drive option allows for faster travel time to full height or to floor level, increasing the speed of ascent or descent by 33 percent. Limit switches at the top and bottom of the lift will automatically stop travel when a specified height is reached. Finally, a new tail-clearance option increases tail clearance from the hoist by an additional 4 inches, making loading and unloading easier and quicker.
All of the new items, other than the limit switch, can be retrofitted to existing Aero-Lifts or ordered as part of a new unit.
For more information, see the Web site.
FAA Garmin GNS-530/430 Training Program
The FAA has developed a free, online training seminar for the Garmin GNS 530 and 430 panel-mount GPS units. The program consists of six units, each of which takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour tom complete. The program takes you through the pages of the GNS-530/430, and demonstrates the correct data entry method to get the desired information and to comply with ATC instructions.
The course is offered in three formats: one for Real Player users, one for Windows users, and one for FAA internal users. They suggest that you print the first page in order to obtain the instructions and the table of contents.
To improve operational understanding of the GNS-530/430, the seminar employs scenario-based demonstrations and explanations of the various navigation procedures performed with the GNS-530/430.
The seminar is available from this Web page.
CharterX Announces Trip Board
CharterX has released the CharterX Trip Board, a new online service designed to connect buyers and sellers to fulfill trip requests. Charter operators can view the Trip Board listings and submit quotes to buyers who have posted trip requests. Unlike trip auction systems, the Trip Board will enable charter buyers to choose the best provider for a trip based on a variety of factors.
The CharterX Trip Board will be available to over 3,000 air charter industry professionals who are current members of the CharterX Industry XChange, an online air-charter marketplace. The Trip Board will augment the Industry XChange's existing online air charter information services including aircraft, empty leg, transient, geographic and company name search tools. Over 40,000 trip requests are processed through the CharterX network each month.
For more information, see the CharterX Web site.
Aeromedia Savvy GPS Pilot Course
Although pilots can achieve adequate proficiency on an IFR-certified GPS on their own, doing so is time-consuming and often frustrating. The Savvy GPS Pilot training course allows students to go from novice to savvy GPS users in just two days.
Aeromedia instructors use the unique "Ground School in a Box" teaching technique. Students learn the relevant theoretical and regulatory knowledge and apply it by practicing instructor-led, hands-on exercises. This course has been accepted by the FAA as an industry-conducted recurrent training program and is eligible -- with additional flight training -- for premium credits from Avemco through its Safety Rewards program.
Training is available for the Garmin GNS 430/530, the Apollo GX 60/50, and the King KLN 94. Two-day seminars (a pre-requisite to flight training) are offered every month in Las Vegas, Nev. Other locations are available upon request for groups of six or more students. The $349 course fee includes the course workbook, lunch each day, a flight bag tag, and a completion certificate valid for the seminar requirement of the FAA Wings program.
For more information, see Aeromedia's Savvy GPS Pilot Web site.
LandVoyage.com Online Sectional Charts
LandVoyage.com, an online mapping services company, has now released aeronautical charts for the entire continental U.S. The aeronautical charts are available as part of the LandVoyage.com subscription service.
LandVoyage.com has acquired (from the National Aeronautical Charting Office -- NACO) and processed the entire collection of digital raster charts including all of the Sectional Charts as well as the Terminal Area Charts.
LandVoyage.com receives automatic updates of the aeronautical charts directly from NACO every 28 days. The aeronautical charts available for LandVoyage.com are for visual-aid purposes only and are therefore not recommended for navigation.
The new aeronautical charts can be used with the existing nationwide LandVoyage.com data library, including aerial photos, satellite images, USGS topographic maps, FEMA flood maps and BLM public land maps. LandVoyage.com subscribers also have access to unique drawing and measuring tools in order to customize maps.
For more information, see LandVoyage.com.
"The Lindbergh Syndrome" Book
"The Lindbergh Syndrome: Heroes and Celebrities in a New Gilded Age" is now available. It uses Charles Lindbergh's 1927 New York to Paris flight as a frame of reference for a study of the political, media, and cyclical (Gilded Age) forces that transformed Lindbergh from a shy aviator who thought of himself as a scientist into a celebrity icon against his will.
In seeking an answer to the question, "Where have all our heroes gone?" it compares Lindbergh's fate with the historical anonymity of Nungesser and Coli, French fliers who disappeared during a Paris to New York flight in the same month that Lindbergh succeeded.
The book can be purchased directly from the publisher Wheatmark, or at Barnes and Noble.
"So You Want to Fly Seaplanes" DVD
The latest DVD from Sporty's "What You Should Know" series can help you get your feet wet when it comes to seaplane flying.
In "So You Want to Fly Seaplanes," you'll travel to the famous Jack Brown's Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, Fla., for a complete look at what flying seaplanes is all about. Climb into the back seat of a Piper J-3 Cub on floats for a pilot's eye view of all the maneuvers required for the FAA checkride. Learn different taxi techniques, how to read the wind and water and how to master water takeoffs and landings.
Along the way, you'll get real world tips to help advance your skills from noted seaplane instructors Jon Brown and John Rennie. This DVD also includes interactive extras including a float diagram, wind and water chart and several internet links for additional information.
"So You Want to Fly Seaplanes" is available for about $30 from Sporty's.
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.