| Oct. 16, 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 an aircraft engine calendar, a weight & balance visualizer, a cargo/pilot bag and more.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
Aircraft Spruce Has All Tempest Products
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty is now a factory-authorized distributor for the full line of Tempest aviation products. Included in the list of products are fuel pumps for Lycoming and TCM engines, replacement parts for Bendix and Slick magnetos, Cat's Eyes cap flashlights and new as well as overhauled vacuum pumps.
The Tempest list also includes oil filters featuring a magnetic filtration system that attracts metallic particles too small to be caught in the filter media. The oil filters are available individually or in six packs, which are complimented with a new Tempest oil-filter can cutter. The full line of Tempest products are in stock at both Aircraft Spruce distribution centers in the United States, in Corona, Calif., and Peachtree City, Ga.
For more information visit the Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Web site.
VFLITE Weight & Balance Visualizer
Using the new VFLITE Weight & Balance Visualizer, pilots can learn to quickly calculate the weight and balance of their favorite aircraft and save configurations for later use. The system allows pilots to visualize the loading condition from a profile view, arm, and moment charts. The software uses input boxes to select exact weights, and includes weight and balance references and training tutorial. The "My Presets" feature allows you to store weights for passengers, baggage, and favorite fuel levels. Once they're stored, simply drag them from the list and drop them on the seats or fuel slider.
You can also purchase additional aircraft modules for all of the aircraft that you fly.
The Windows program comes with a free weight and balance tutorial to help you master the fundamentals. Simply enter the aircraft data using intuitive input buttons or typed text, and the program provides: Total Weight, Moment View, Arm View, and Aircraft Profile View. If the aircraft is out of limits, simply click on the fields to change the weights. The chart of aircraft arm or moment is graphically displayed.
Note that buyers can select the base program or additional programs. Make sure that you do not buy the entire program when returning for additional modules. Also, buying an aircraft module by itself will not work.
There is an online demo on the VFLITE Web site, and the program costs about $40.
WaterField Cargo Bag
WaterField Designs has created a line of bags that pilots are finding useful as a flight bag. The Cargo is constructed primarily of industrial-strength, water-resistant, ballistic nylon and comes with either black ballistic, leather, or Indium material on the front flap. The bag can be carried like a briefcase from two leather-lined handles or can be worn across the chest using the adjustable shoulder strap.
The Cargo bag has a large main compartment and 12 organizational pockets:
- The main compartment has room to carry a headset, a kneeboard, plotters, a logbook and a full-sized or electronic E6B. It is accessible through a top zipper so there is no need to lift the front flap to reach these items.
- An internal side pocket fits a WaterField SleeveCase, a convenience for the increasing number of pilots who carry laptops. Those who fly without a laptop use this pocket to carry extra charts or calculators.
- The opposing side has four internal pockets to organize a GPS, a pocket-sized E6B, extra timers and fuel samplers, and personal items.
- An internal snap-hook keeps keys handy.
- The full-length exterior back pocket allows quick access to important charts.
- A side pocket keeps a pilot's flashlight or handheld within easy reach.
- The diagonal, front, zipper pocket and two hidden pockets underneath the front flap provide for additional storage.
With the choice of a buckle used in para-gliding harnesses or a commercial airline seat buckle to secure the front flap, Cargo users sport an original bag.
The WaterField Cargo bag comes in three sizes; prices for the large Cargo range from $209-$249; the small Cargo is as low as $169. For more information visit the WaterField Web site.
FlightLITE LED Personal Illuminator
The FlightLITE LED Personal Illuminator is a headset dome-mounted flashlight that weighs just 18 grams. The overdriven Nichia LED module features a parabolic reflector and focusing lens to provide a bright and uniform beam pattern, with no hotspots -- just pure and even lighting.
Featuring a useable continuous runtime of over 36 hours (according to the manufacturer), FlightLITE illuminates your field of vision, with no distracting side flare. FlightLITE lights anything you look at while keeping both hands free. FlightLITE includes lithium batteries, which will last from months to years when used occasionally.
FlightLITE comes with two illumination colors: bright white for general tasks, and red for situations when night vision needs to be maintained. The AvShop special price is about $22.
When attaching the FlightLITE to your headset, the dura-lock "coin" should be placed in the front lower half of the ear cup. This allows the FlightLITE to flex at the angle needed to clear the dome of the ear cup, giving a better aimed light.
For more information visit AvShop.
Hilton Software WingX 2.0
Hilton Software has released WingX 2.0 for the Pocket PC, adding a number of new features to the original WingX software. Using image processing and compression technology, WingX compresses NACO charts almost 10x while maintaining clarity with enhanced night-vision capability. For example, all of California's charts can be stored in main memory on practically any new Pocket PC, and all the charts in the U.S. can easily be stored on a 512MB storage card.
The SmartTaxi feature adds safety while taxiing to and from the runway. WingX will not only show the aircraft on the airport diagram, but will also warn the pilot, both visually and audibly, that the aircraft is approaching a runway, or that the aircraft is on a runway and how much runway lies ahead.
WingX 2.0 is GPS enabled, has an integrated help system, and has a fully automated software updating system. WingX 2.0 will run on Pocket PC 2002, Mobile 2003, and Microsoft Mobile 5.0 devices.
Also, Hilton Software and AVweb have entered an agreement whereby AVweb podcasts can be played on the new WingX 2.0. The experience is much better than simply firing up a browser. WingX runs on a Pocket PC, so pilots can carry it around with them at airshows, on the bus, etc. WingX will "batch download" the podcasts and allow the pilot to listen to them even with no Internet connection.
WingX 2.0 is available for download now at Hilton Software's Web site starting at about $80, with options for chart subscriptions at $50 more.
Sennheiser HME 43-K Headset
Sennheiser's new HME 43-K for pilots of airline and business jets is designed to be a lightweight but high-quality headset.
At only 3.35 ounces, the HME 43-K is very light. Soft padding in both of the extra-large ear pads and the adjustable headband make for a safe and comfortable fit. The noise-compensated condenser microphone can be worn alternatively on the left or on the right and has a 300-degree radius. In addition, the pilot can adjust the microphone sensitivity according to his or her needs.
The HME 43-K is supplied complete with a windshield for the microphone, a cable clip and a pouch for storage and transport. Every HME 43-K comes with a two-year guarantee. The suggested retail price is $235.
For more information visit the Sennheiser Web site.
Sporty's Tool Kit for Pilots
Sporty's Trip Saver Tool Kit was designed by Sporty's staff of pilots and aircraft owners to help pilots address minor maintenance issues.
The Tool Kit contains many of the items a pilot would need to make a quick fix on an item that doesn't require a mechanic:
- 12-bit screwdriver
- Safety wire pliers
- Safety wire
- 8-piece hex set
- 6-piece miniature screwdriver set (great for avionics)
- Needle-nose pliers
- Blunt-nose pliers
- Adjustable wrench
- Vice grips
- Channel lock pliers
- 9-piece combination wrench set
- Duct tape
- Wire brush
- Inspection mirror
- Tire pressure gauge
- Ratchet with socket (sized for most spark plugs)
- Cable ties
- Spark plug gapper
Small enough to fit under a seat, the Tool Kit comes in a carrying bag and weighs just under 12 pounds.
Sporty's Trip Saver Tool Kit is available for about $100 and embroidery of up to three initials on the bag is available for another $10. All Sporty's products may be ordered at Sporty's Web site.
Power Flow Tuned Exhaust For Diamond DA-40
Power Flow Systems has earned FAA STC approval allowing owners of Diamond DA-40 aircraft to retrofit their Lycoming engines with a tuned exhaust system. Currently the system is only available for those models with the MT propeller. FAA Certification work is in progress for Diamonds with the Hartzell propeller.
Power Flow's Tuned Exhaust System can extract up to an additional 23 horsepower from a Lycoming engine rated at 180 hp, which translates into as much as 8 knots faster cruise, a 15 percent increase in the rate of climb, a savings of 1.2 GPH at current cruise speeds, a reduction in the takeoff roll and up to a 25 percent increase in cabin heat. (All data are from the manufacturer.)
The tuned exhaust does a more efficient job of drawing exhaust gases out of the cylinders, reducing cylinder head temperatures and improving the air/fuel mixture flow. The complete kit for the Diamond sells for under $5000.
For more information on the Diamond DA-40 system and Power Flow systems for other aircraft models, visit the Power Flow Web site.
Calendar of Great Aircraft Engines 2007
The Calendar of Great Aircraft Engines 2007, covering the period from World War I through the 1980s, is packed with information, photos and line drawings.
Well-known engines such as the Curtiss D-12, Junkers Jumo 205, LeRhone Rotary, Pratt & Whitney R-1535 and Rolls-Royce Dart are included, as are noteworthy ones such as the ABC Dragonfly, Cosmos Jupiter, Junkers Jumo 222, Lycoming O-1230, Napier Cub, Rolls-Royce Buzzard, and U.S. Army Air Service W-1A. A description and brief specification accompanies each month's featured engine.
The calendar measures 11" x 17" and contains both photographs and line drawings. The price is about $10 and can be ordered from the Weak Force Press 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.