| Jul. 24, 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 Palm software, cleaning products, online 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.
AeroPalm Plan is a Palm-PDA system that is available either as a software or as a complete aviation handheld GPS solution. It performs general aviation flight planning calculations, the calculations that you would usually perform with a ruler, a protractor and an E6B calculator. It presents the information as it is required in order to file a flight plan.
Aero Palm Plan stores the data for flights so that you can refer back to previous trips (or modify them for new trips).
AeroPalm Plan is based on the concept of a flight, consisting of four components.
- Flight description
- Weight and balance calculation
- Flight plan
Each of these components has an associated form. The information that you enter on these forms is automatically stored in the flight database. The number of flights that can be kept is limited only by the total memory on the Palm handheld.
AeroPalm Plan's E6B also provides a number of E6B functions. Crosswind and headwind components can be calculated using the Cross Wind form; simply enter the wind and the runway. Density altitude and true airspeed can also be easily calculated.
The temperature can either be the true temperature or the indicated temperature (AeroPalm Plan will compensate for the air compressibility).
The Winds Aloft Form can be used to calculate the winds just by entering the track, heading, airspeed and groundspeed.
For more information visit the Aero Palm Web site.
Composiclean Cleaning Products
Composiclean is a company recently formed to provide products to properly clean and detail composite, aluminum and fabric-covered aircraft. They have a full line of professional-quality aircraft friendly products. The Composiclean line ranges from detergent concentrates and spray wax to MicroFiber detail cloths and many conditioners and accessories in-between.
Their flagship products are: Bucket-Wash, neutral pH wash concentrates with carnauba wax and UV protection; Super Spray-Wax, a neutral pH spray cleaner/wax that can be applied with the Power Sprayer; and View Polish, a foaming aerosol windscreen cleaner that is also a bug remover for windows and leading edges.
The manufacturer says that, although these products were extensively tested on composite aircraft, they have also been tested to be safe and effective on all other aircraft surfaces, inside and out.
For more information visit the Composiclean Web site.
In-Flight Entertainment for Avidyne EX500
Avidyne Corporation and Heads Up Technologies, Inc., have added XM music, news, sports and entertainment audio programming to both new and existing Avidyne EX500 multi-function displays (MFDs) with XM WX Satellite Weather datalink. Using a Bluetooth wireless remote control and display, the XM audio option lets pilots and passengers select from more than 170 channels while keeping the MFD free for vital flight operations.
To add XM Audio in a new EX500 installation, buyers will purchase a Heads Up XMD076A combination weather/radio receiver. To add XM audio to an existing EX500 with XM WX Satellite Weather, buyers will purchase a XMR050 radio receiver, which can be daisy-chained to the antenna-out port on previously installed XMD076 weather receivers. Both systems include the XMC050 Bluetooth wireless remote control, with a display that shows the category/channel name, channel number, artist name, song title or program information, plus presets, signal and battery strength.
Pricing for the XMD076A with XM WX Satellite Weather and XM Audio for new EX500 installations is $5,120, which includes the XMC050 Bluetooth remote. Pricing for the XMR050 with XMC050 Bluetooth remote to add XM audio to an existing XM WX-only installation is $2,185. Antenna costs and XM service charges are additional.
For more information on the XMD076A or the XMR050, visit the Heads Up Technologies Web site. Distribution of the Heads Up products are handled by DAC International.
ASL CamGuard Engine Additive
CamGuard is an additive package formulated to address corrosion, wear, deposits and seal degradation in piston engines. It is compatible with and designed to improve the performance of all oils including mineral-based, semi-synthetic and fully synthetic types. According to the manufacturer, CamGuard is especially useful for infrequently used engines including aircraft, marine, motorcycles, emergency equipment, backup generators, classic and antique vehicles, agricultural and all seasonal equipment.
For more information visit the CamGuard Web site.
EAA Auto Fuel Alcohol Test Kit
With more states welcoming and even mandating ethanol in motor fuels for automobiles, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is helping pilots who use auto fuel in their airplanes stay safe with a new alcohol test kit available through EAA.
The addition of ethanol to auto fuel creates chemical properties that are harmful to aircraft engines and fueling systems. It is critical for aircraft owners using auto fuel to know if the gasoline being used in their aircraft is pure. Some states do not require the marking of gas pumps indicating ethanol is present in the fuel, so EAA recommends that all auto fuel be tested before fueling an aircraft.
EAA's auto fuel Alcohol Test Kit allows a pilot or aircraft maintenance technician to make preventative tests on auto fuel, even before fuel is purchased for an aircraft. Pour water and then auto fuel into the included test tube and shake it to mix the contents. When the mixture has settled within five to 10 minutes, a gauge on the test tube indicates whether the water level has risen. An increase in the amount of water on the gauge indicates that alcohol is present in the fuel. The gauge will also indicate the percentage of alcohol.
EAA's auto fuel test kit is $15, including shipping and padded insulation for the test tube.
For more information visit the EAA Web site.
Avionics Training Unlimited GPS Courses
Pilots can access on-demand, interactive GPS training courses through Avionics Training Unlimited's new online training center. A series of free and low-priced courses on various topics are available, most of which can be completed in an hour or less. These courses focus on intermediate and advanced topics for both VFR and IFR pilots.
Courses such as "IFR Departure Procedures with the Garmin 430/530" and "Missed Approach Procedures with the Garmin 430/530 - What Your Instructor Never Told You" will challenge the experienced pilot, while the free "Garmin GNS480 Course-To Function" and "Garmin GDL69 Graphical Metar Shortcut" courses are geared toward all experience levels. The courses are interactive, with quizzes and challenge questions included throughout each course. New courses are available each month.
Customers can purchase and download the courses from the company's online training center. The courses are installed and run on the user's PC, and are Windows-compatible; Mac versions will be available in future releases.
"Wings in Focus: Piper PA-28 Series" DVD
There are thousands of aviators and enthusiasts around the world, who own, have owned, have piloted, or just love the Piper PA-28. Now there is a special DVD program devoted to this ever-popular aircraft.
Wings in Focus: Piper PA-28 Series was issued in June 2006 and is the first in a collection that will profile popular light aircraft. It recounts the history of the aircraft, which is still in production after well over 40 years, including interviews with Karl Bergey of the original design team, and key individuals at New Piper Aircraft today.
It tells the story of the various derivatives in turn: the 150, 160, 180 then Archer; the 235, Dakota and Turbo Dakota; the 140 Fliteliner and Cruiser; the Warrior; and the Arrow.
Wings in Focus - Piper PA-28 Series is available from the Wings In Focus Web site.
Dorcliff-Aerocrafts Pilot Buddy
The Pilot Buddy is a pilot actuated safety and restraint system for hand-propping and tail tie-down. A 100 hp piston engine with climb propeller can produce about 500-700 pounds of thrust. The Pilot buddy is therefore constructed to meet and exceed that load for purposes of positive restraint.
The entire device and storage package weighs less than 2 OZ, and fits in the palm of your hand. Both the restraint loop (12 feet) and the release lanyard 18 feet) are constructed of 750 pound test line. The Swing Latch Shackle release is test certified to 800 pounds tensile strength for operating loads. The Swing Latch mating ring on the restraint loop is a ring with a tensile strength of more than 750 pounds.
Cost of the ready-to-use package is $33 per unit. For more information visit the Dorcliff-Aerocrafts Web site.
ICG Aircraft Cordless Phone System
International Communications Group (ICG) is upgrading its aircraft satellite communication offerings with a new cordless phone handset.
Based on digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) technology, the new ICG cordless phones have been modified for compliance with requirements for fire retardency and emissions on aircraft. The installation includes a custom-designed cradle that provides charging current and latches the handset firmly in place, and a base unit that is typically mounted in a hidden, non-metallic area. One or more cordless systems can be installed in the cabin, each providing a private telephone circuit connected to the aircraft's cabin telecommunications unit (CTU) or ICG Iridium system via a standard two-wire telephone circuit or directly to an aircraft satellite communication terminal via the four-wire audio circuit.
The ICG cordless systems incorporate active noise reduction to minimize the effects of cabin noise as well as an automatic handset shut-off circuit to preserve battery power when the aircraft is not running. The systems are available as either two-wire or four-wire models with a choice of prime power options, 28VDC and 115VAC. ICG also provides a bulkhead-mounted magnetic stripe reader that can be connected to the cordless handset circuit for credit card calling.
The new cordless phone systems operate with all models of ICG cabin CTUs and ICG Iridium systems, and existing installations can be easily field upgraded with the new phones. The new DECT model replaces the ICG 2.4 GHz cordless system, which is being discontinued.
For more information visit the ICG Web site.
Sporty's Pilot's Spotlight
Sporty's Pilot's Spotlight is ideal for preflight inspections. This LED flashlight features an optical lens to produce a more focused beam for precise illumination. The unique design ensures no fading or dimming. Maximum light output is provided throughout the entire battery life (over 10 hours).
With all-aluminum construction and knurled grip, Sporty's Pilot's Spotlight has a lifetime warranty. Measuring 5 inches and weighing just under 6 ounces, it uses three AAA batteries (included) and is water resistant. A carrying strap and nylon pouch are included.
The Focused Beam Flashlight is available for $29.95 and may be ordered at Sporty's Web site.
"Airways and Airwaves" Book
Few pilots can resist good aviation humor, and that can be found in spades in a new book by Captain (ret.) David Gwinn. Airways and Airwaves is a collection of dozens of stories, hundreds of jokes and an uncountable number of gut-busting laughs.
You'll find many of the traditional quips and cliches that have floated around the internet for years (and mimeograph machines for years before that) -- who knows, maybe Dave really did start some of them? -- but mostly it is filled with his own experiences, whether on the receiving end or delivering end of a prank or an outlandish point of view about the joys and sorrows of airline life.
Airways and Airwaves is available from Dave's Web site for $25.50 including U.S. shipping -- a bit more for international orders.
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.