| Feb. 6, 2006
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 PDA software, RVSM altimeters, folding bikes and more.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
Voyager Flight Software System and WingX
Seattle Avionics Voyager Flight Software System 3.0 and Hilton Softwares WingX Pocket PC application can now share flight plans.
Users can create flight plans with Voyagers SmartPlan Premier flight planning module and transfer them to WingX on the Pocket PC for in-cockpit use. Once on WingX, users can use WingXs Dynamic Flight Navigator to step through each leg of the flight of the Voyager wind-optimized flight plan.
Voyager 3.0 is an integrated flight software system comprised of individual software modules that work together to cover all aspects of flying: pre-flight planning, in-flight moving map/situational awareness, IFR procedure management, and more. Customers choose the modules that fit their needs and they integrate together into one seamless application. Modules may be added individually or in any combination as needs change.
In addition to the new WingX support, Voyager 3.0 can export flight plans to most Garmin and Lowrance handheld GPS units, Anywhere Map from Control Vision, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Voyager runs on most desktop PCs, laptops and tablets running Windows XP.
WingX is a Pocket PC application that incorporates a weight and balance module with over 450 pre-defined aircraft models, a route planning module, full access to A/FD information, a complete set of GA FARs, instructor endorsements, and more. WingXs database includes all U.S. airports, navaids, fixes, and intersections, and can be quickly updated wirelessly. With this latest release, Hilton Software has added color-coded weather to WingX. WingX runs on most Pocket PCs, Pocket PC Phone Editions, and Mobile 5.0 devices.
For more information, see the Seattle Avionics Web site and the Hilton Software Web site.
Chicken Wings -- The First Book
If you enjoy reading the humor of Chicken Wings on AVweb, you'll want to check out a whole book filled with the adventures of Chuck, Julio and the rest of the Roost-Air gang.
If you haven't met them before, the Roost-Air Crew includes:
- Chuck the pilot, who flies everything, tells stories, and fears ATC (and they, conversely, fear him);
- Julio the mechanic, who can fix everything Chuck flies (and breaks);
- Sally the secretary, who can make a killer cup of joe but really doesn't know anything about aviation; and
- Hans the boss, who owns the place but only because he inherited it.
The book is 85 pages long and retails for about US$15. To purchase it in North America, go through one of the major publishing retailers such as Amazon.com. European customers and retailers can purchase the book directly from the Chicken Wings authors. You can also find it at some pilot shops throughout the world.
Innovative Solutions & Support RVSM Altimeter
Innovative Solutions & Support has secured FAA TSO approval on the Integrated Air Data Display System (IADDS), a new air data product designed to support easier installation and certification of legacy business jet aircraft for RVSM compliance. The new system is a direct derivative of the Air Data Display Unit (ADDU), but utilizes new technology to improve performance and cost.
Greater memory capability has been added to permit smart lighting control, multiple SSEC curve capability, and other aircraft-specific configuration data.
Through its many partners, IS&S has secured Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for over 32 business aircraft. According to the manufacturer, more than 3,000 aircraft are flying with the IS&S RVSM solution.
For more information, see the Innovative Solutions & Support Web site.
AOPA Zulu Time Watch from Sporty's
This latest version of the popular AOPA watch is made by Timex for AOPA and has dual time zones. The AOPA Pilot Chronograph features a 100-hour chronograph, alarm, 24-hour countdown timer, hourly chime, 12- or 24-hour time, month/day/date, and luminescent hands.
The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and has an all-day Indiglo display on the digital portion and a special night mode for the analog face. It is available with a stainless steel or leather band and either a black or red/blue logo.
The AOPA Pilot Chronograph with leather band is available for about $70 while the stainless steel band version is available for about $80 from Sporty's Web site. A portion of the sale of each AOPA Pilot Chronograph is donated to AOPA.
Customized Ear Molds for LightSPEED Mach 1 Headset
LightSPEED Aviation and Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation have teamed to offer pilots -- using LightSPEEDs Mach 1 headset -- personalized ear molds that stay precisely in place.
Customized silicone ear molds are an optional feature for Mach 1 customers, and provide comfort while blocking out ambient noise. A certified audiologist ensures the earpieces are fitted perfectly for each pilots unique ear canals.
The extremely light Mach 1 headset is an in-the-ear headset that also connects to a host of accessories -- including cell phone and music interfaces. Custom ear molds are fully compatible with LightSPEEDs Mach 1 headset and are available immediately.
For more information about the Mach 1 and customized ear molds, please visit the LightSPEED Web site.
Windjammer Folding Bicycle
The new Windjammer Folding Bicycle is motorized and capable of speeds over 25 mph on flat roads. It can carry operators weighing up to 300 pounds, and it folds up into a tight package that will fit into most aircraft baggage compartments, car trunks, boats or RVs. Without fuel, the bike weighs only 44 pounds. The Windjammers 33cc motor gets up to 200 mpg and develops 1.8 hp. The wheel rims are made of double-wall aluminum construction for durability.
Available in yellow or red, the Windjammer has a half-gallon fuel capacity. The motor operates as a two-stroke with an oil/fuel mixture of 25:1. When the engine is turned off, the vehicle can be operated as a regular bicycle. Powerful V brakes on the front and rear wheels provide braking action. A large, padded seat along with full front and adjustable rear suspension make for a smooth, comfortable ride.
In folded configuration, the bike is 31 x 32 x 15; stretched out, it expands to 63 x 42 x 13. The Windjammer is available for about $900 through retailers such as Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.
Zaon Flight Systems Portable Collision Avoidance System XRX
Zaon Flight Systems has released the PCAS (Portable Collision Avoidance System) XRX, a small portable traffic device which gives range, relative altitude and bearing of up to three surrounding aircraft.
The PCAS XRX displays quadrant bearing information, as well as relative altitude and range, all from inside the cockpit and without the need for external antennas. The detection window is scalable with a maximum range of 6 nm, and altitude of +/- 2500 feet. The unit is 3.9" (100mm) wide, 3.6" (93mm) deep, and 2.7" (69mm) tall. The majority of the height is for the enclosed antenna array.
The PCAS XRX tracks up to 10 aircraft and displays the top three threats with all three axis of information. Unlike TIS-based systems, which rely on ground-based RADAR only, XRX works independently of any system and can deliver comparable results from Mode C transponder transmissions. Close traffic is announced by two levels of voice alerts heard through the pilot's headset, as well as audible beeps.
The PCAS XRX is available for about $1800 from online avionics retailers such as AvShop, .
Traffic Pattern Approach Computer
The Traffic Pattern Approach Computer helps you figure out how to approach, enter and fly the traffic pattern of uncontrolled airports.
The computer works with your GPS unit to help you visualize your approach to the traffic pattern, select a traffic pattern entry, navigate to a point from which to make the traffic pattern entry and fly the traffic pattern. The only GPS programming required is setting up your GPS for direct-to navigation to the airport of intended landing.
In order to help you visualize your approach and provide positional awareness in relation to the runway and traffic pattern, the computer provides a scale Approach Diagram representing the area within a 10-mile radius of the center of the runway. Starting at the outer boundary of the diagram are color-coded lines illustrating the available approaches from all points around the airport.
The Traffic Pattern Approach Computer is available for about $20 from Innovative Pilot Aids.
BRS Parachutes for Symphony Aircraft
Ballistic Recovery Systems has received an STC from the FAA to install parachute systems for the Symphony SA 160.
Symphony becomes the first manufacturer of two-place aircraft to offer the parachute installation as a factory option. The installation is lighter in weight and optimizes center of gravity compared with previous models. Additional improvements include the BRS deployment handle cover, which has a safety latch that keeps the handle in clear view and allows for quick and safe release by either the pilot or the passenger.
For more information visit the Symphony Aircraft Web site.
Electronic Facilities and Airport Directory
The Electronic Facilities and Airport Directory (eFAD) is an airport directory that allows you to view airport information, weather, and more from your PC, PDA, and/or XHTML mobile phone.
eFAD provides detailed U.S. airport and NAVAID information (public & private), weather (METAR +decoder, NEXRAD, TAF, AIRMETS/SIGMETS, Winds Aloft, 25+ weather charts, NWS Outlook, RVR, PIREPs), NOTAMs, TFRs, SUA/MOA, STMPs, Sun & Moon Information, FAA airport status, NTSB reports, tail numbers, 13,000+ approach charts and diagrams, user comments, E6-B, dictionary (6,000+ terms), Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), traffic statistics, location maps, travel information (taxi, rental cars, hotels, motels, and restaurants) and much more. For those who prefer paper or don't have a personal digital assistant (PDA), eFAD can also print kneeboard-sized reports from a PC.
Introductory pricing (until November 30 th 2005) is $69.95 per year (around 19 cents per day). FBOs can offer eFAD to their customers by purchasing an FBO license.
You can try the software for free for 15 days by downloading from the Production Software Web site; after that, the cost is about $80 per year.
Sporty's Flight Timer
Sporty's new Deluxe Flight Timer can be used for timing total flight time, fuel burn or instrument approaches. Sporty's Deluxe Flight Timer has large numbers and wide buttons are easy to press, even with large fingers or in turbulence.
Backlit for night flying, two independent timers count up or down. An alarm for each timer, along with dual, red, flashing LEDs, announce the timer's expiration so pilots don't have to rely on hard-to-hear audio alarms. The clock displays local time in 12-hour or 24-hour format plus Zulu time.
Sporty's Deluxe Flight Timer is available for $25 at Sporty's Web site.
AOPA ASF Airspace Flashcards
Whether youre a flight instructor, a seasoned pilot, or a student still trying to make sense of todays complex airspace environment, the latest offering from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is just what you need.
Airspace Flash Cards help pilots and instructors learn or teach the different types of airspace. Each of the 20 cards includes a full-color example of how the airspace is charted, a description of its characteristics and a question for discussion.
The set includes the four most common types of airspace most pilots are likely to encounter (Classes B, C, D and E), as well as other more restrictive airspace that requires special attention when planning and then taking a flight, such as restricted or prohibited airspace, special conservation areas and national security areas. Questions on each card and supplemental questions available online (www.asf.org) are designed to spark discussion between an instructor and a student, or between pilots reviewing airspace requirements.
A free, downloadable version of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Airspace flash cards is available online at the Air Safety Foundation pages at the AOPA Web site. You will download a 2 Mb Adobe PDF file, which you can then print as needed. The pages are printed so that you can simply fold each page in half and create the flashcards.
Mountain High ALPS FaceMask
The Mountain High ALPS FaceMask enables the GA pilot to fly (for flight operations at pressure altitudes up to 25,000 feet) with safety and comfort, as well as have clear crisp voice communications.
The ALPS fits comfortably with no polyvinyl bag to deal with. The MH ALPS FaceMask Series can be used with all the MH oxygen systems from the constant flow to the EDS Pulse-Demand series as well as most other oxygen systems. The MH ALPS FaceMask Series is available in three sizes: small, medium and large.
The prices are $110 for the MH ALPS FaceMask and $350 for the MH ALPS M FaceMask that has an electronic, ambient noise-canceling microphone.
Additional information and links on the full line of Mountain High aviation oxygen equipment can be found at the Mountain High 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.