| Apr. 30, 2007
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 glass-cockpit retrofit for Cessna 300- and 400-series, portable cabin air conditioning, training DVDs and much more.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
Sporty's Power Supply
Sporty's Power Supply provides consistent, regulated power to your airplane on the ground so you can train on your new avionics before flying. The Power Supply comes complete with appropriate connector in either the 3-pin style or single-pin Piper style. One end of the Power Supply plugs into a standard 110 volt outlet, while the other end plugs into your airplane's external power outlet.
The Power Supply is also a great tool to recharge your airplane's battery and its light weight (just 8 lbs.) means you can take with you in your airplane. It might save a jump when traveling away from home.
The Power Supply comes in a carrying case with optional personalized embroidery (up to six characters) and is available for $399.00 in 12-volt and 24-volt versions. You can order from Sporty's Web site.
Avidyne Envision Flight Deck Retrofit
Avidyne Corporation and Southern Star Avionics have developed the Envision integrated flight deck for retrofit installation in most Cessna 300- and 400-series aircraft. Envision modernizes the Cessna piston-engine twins with situational awareness and safety systems in an integrated flight deck.
The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) platform aircraft is a 1982 Cessna 414A. This is the third twin-engine aircraft implementation of Envision following the Alliant integrated flight deck developed by Avidyne and S-TEC for King Air 200 and King Air 90 series turboprop aircraft.
Avidyne and Southern Star Avionics have also introduced the Envision retrofit system for 2002 and earlier Cirrus Design SR20 and SR22 aircraft with traditional instrumentation.
The Envision system for the Cessna twins includes an Avidyne EXP5000 primary flight display (PFD) and an Avidyne EX500 multi function display (MFD), and interfaces to popular autopilot, GPS, traffic, terrain, lightning, radar and other systems.
Pricing for the Envision integrated flight deck for Cessna 300 and 400 Series aircraft begins at about $30,000 for the EXP5000 PFD and about $9,000 for the EX500 MFD. For options and pricing or more information, visit Avidyne.
Instrument Flying "By the Numbers" DVD
Author John Eckalbar's latest production is a cockpit video shot in a Beech A36 Bonanza, where the author demonstrates the power settings, pitch attitudes and aircraft configurations that work to add simplicity and precision to handling an airplane on instruments.
The video provides in-flight demonstrations to answer questions like:
- What pitch attitude should you use on a missed approach?
- What power setting works best on an ILS?
- When should you drop the gear on approach?
- What's the best way to arrest your descent at the MDA?
This 46-minute DVD is about the hands-on, stick and rudder basics of flying on instruments and is available for $48.50 from the author's Web site.
Aerovation Products Pilot's Hat
Aerovation Products has designed a hat specifically for the cockpit. The Pilot's Hat features a longer bill with a sun-blocking underside, wide sweatband, low profile on the cap and a structure-less lining that is comfortable on your head. It is also bottomless, rivet-less and contains no metal. Although it looks a little bit like a baseball cap, The Pilot's Hat was built from the brim up for the pilot.
The Pilot's hat is available in 18 stock colors and you can add N-number embroidery. The Pilot's Hat is available directly from Aerovation Products.
Sporty's Arctic Air
Sporty's Pilot Shop has introduced Arctic Air, a portable air conditioning unit. This system works by blowing ambient air across a coil cooled by ice water. The cool air is then blown into the cockpit, providing a comfortable air temperature even in the hot summer sun and without adding humidity to the air.
To use the Arctic Air, place the unit in the airplane (on a seat or baggage compartment), fill it up with ice and plug it in to the cigarette lighter. The unit operates on two settings -- high and low -- and will provide approximately three hours of cooling on the low setting. On the high setting, the Arctic Air can lower the temperature as much as 35 degrees.
Because the Arctic Air is portable, no STC is required. The unit's fan does not interfere with the radios, and there is no compressor so the unit draws less than 5 amps. Upon landing, a drainage tube allows you to leave the Arctic Air in the airplane and empty the water out onto the ground.
Multiple models of the Arctic Air are available, including 12-volt and 24-volt; small, large and direct-vent models. The average weight of the Arctic Air is 10 pounds when empty and 50 pounds when filled with ice and water. Prices for the Arctic Air range from $495 to $625 and the entire line can be viewed at Sporty's.
LetsFly.org Light Sport Cooperatives
LetsFly.org has formed four new light sport aircraft (LSA) cooperatives located in Kentucky, California, Idaho and Utah. They offer a less-expensive way to own and fly a new LSA with an initial investment of $2900. The addition of these cooperatives pushes LetsFly to over 250 cooperatives, which LetsFly claims makes them the largest aviation cooperative in the country.
For information visit LetsFly.org Cooperatives.
Aviat Husky with 200-Pound GW Increase
Aviat Aircraft has received approval for a 200-pound increase in gross weight for their Husky design. With the increase to a maximum of 2,200 pounds, and several new options for propellers, the Husky has advanced from the model A-1B to the A-1C.
Huskys with the 180 and 200 horsepower engines are affected by the gross-weight upgrade. FAA approval currently covers all Huskys with regular or tundra tires, skis, and those aircraft used for banner or glider-towing operations. Floatplane operations are still pending, but are expected soon.
Incorporating a gross weight increase in the Husky design required beefing up the two main and tailwheel gear components. The angle of incidence for the horizontal stabilizer was lowered to preserve the flight handling characteristics associated with the earlier model. Appropriate changes were made to the flight manual and the tachometer was replaced with a different model.
By simply making changes to the flight manual, all Huskys produced since December 2006 can be redesignated as a Husky A-1C. Some of the electronic tachometers may require adjustment or replacement. (They already have the beefed-up main and tailwheel components.) Earlier models, produced after the elimination of aileron spades in January 2005, can be upgraded with an STC process. These aircraft would require new gear components in addition to the manual supplement and tachometer adjustments.
For more information visit Aviat Aircraft.
ImagineAir Air Taxi
ImagineAir has launched an on-demand, air taxi service to hundreds of community airports across the southeastern United States. Using a fleet of new Cirrus SR22-GTS aircraft, ImagineAir now provides regional travelers personal air travel that is less expensive than charter.
ImagineAir uses an online reservations system that allows customers to instantly price and book flights on the company website. There are no aircraft repositioning charges, pilot waiting fees, or other hidden expenses associated with other charter services. Additionally, there are no price penalties for last-minute flights with ImagineAir. The cost is the same whether the flight is reserved six months in advance or with only a few hours notice.
Starting in 2008, ImagineAir will expand its fleet to include Eclipse 500 very light jets (VLJs), which can accommodate up to five passengers and fly 1300 miles non-stop.
Inside the Circle Blog Novel
AVweb's Brainteaser author Paul Berge has a new aviation/adventure, historical novel with an innovative publication system.
Inside The Circle is set in Middle America in post-Prohibition 1937. The protagonist, Kate Strauss, is a commercial pilot slowly going broke. Down to one mechanic, one old biplane and about 62 cents in cash reserves, she agrees to "temporarily" skirt the law to make a few less-than-legal dollars in an aerial numbers racket. The story crisscrosses the continent from Hollywood to Chicago to Elizabeth, N.J., with a few tight airstrips in-between.
Inside The Circle, rated PG-13, is unique in several categories, but what readers may enjoy most is the price: Free. Yup, Inside the Circle is a blog novel -- meaning all 21 chapters are posted online for anyone to read.
To read Inside The Circle by Paul Berge, go to the book's Web site
King Schools Cleared for Flying the Garmin G1000 Update
Pilots can now learn to command new features of their Garmin G1000 with an updated and expanded version of King Schools' Cleared for Flying the Garmin G1000 course. This newest KING G1000 course now has additional lessons and questions covering Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), XM Weather, enroute and approach holding, and
OBS lessons as well as expanded coverage about setting fuel information, bearing pointers, updating the Jepp database, and course reversals including procedure turns.
The course covers VFR and IFR operations, navigation, communications, loading and activating instrument approaches, departure and arrival procedures, displays of aircraft systems, getting weather in the cockpit, what to do when things go wrong, and best operating procedures.
Interactive questions following each lesson test G1000 knowledge and teach G1000 procedures. With the King Schools G1000 procedures trainer built into the questions, students actually operate a simulated G1000 on their computer to practice using the G1000 as they will in the airplane.
Cleared for Flying the Garmin G1000 contains 9 CD-ROMS and runs approximately five hours before interactive questions. The student can print out a course completion certificate for the checkout instructor, FBO or insurance company. The price is $249. To order visit King Schools.
SLM AircraftCostAnalysis Update
SLM has updated their AircraftCostAnalysis program for analyzing aircraft cost. This program can prepare aircraft budgets, cash flows for senior management, and aircraft sales prospects, and can calculate the investment return on revenue producing aircraft.
The recent additions to AircraftCostAnalysis benefit the corporate operator as well as sales organizations and companies operating revenue-producing aircraft. Prepare precise aircraft budgets. Compare the cash flow of keeping your current aircraft with the cash flow of trading for a replacement aircraft (new or used).
When no depreciation remains on your current aircraft, are you better off keeping your current aircraft or trading? You don't know until you run the numbers. How will trading aircraft impact your budget and cash flow? Compare the cost of different ownership methods: whole aircraft ownership, managed aircraft with or without charter, shared ownership, fractional ownership, or charter usage.
The program works with any type aircraft and is totally automated after the user provides the inputs. All reports are produced automatically.
Additional information and copies of AircraftCostAnalysis reports can be ordered from AircraftCostAnalysis.
Hilton Software WingX 2.0 Update
Hilton Software has updated its WingX 2.0 software for the Pocket PC. The company's SmartTaxi technology has been upgraded and improved to display warnings at practically all public U.S. airports. In addition, WingX 2.0 now offers animated weather images including NEXRAD, precipitation, storm motion, and cloud bases. WingX is also now fully compatible and optimized for a wide range of Pocket PCs and Pocket PCs including Windows Mobile 5.0 and VGA devices.
The Airport page has runway layouts for about 18,000 U.S. airports. SmartTaxi is enabled at roughly 4,000 airports. When the aircraft gets close to a runway and/or on a runway, WingX will both visually and audibly warn the pilot(s).
The Weather images now includes animated, local radar images where the user can configure the animation speed and ause between loops, the A/FD page now includes full airport/navaid remarks and Sectional info, and nd the Route page now has victor airways.
WingX 2.0 is Windows Mobile 5.0 and VGA-optimized, internet and GPS-enabled and runs on Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices running Mobile 2003 and Microsoft Mobile 5.0 devices such as the Cingular 8525, Treo 700wx, and HP iPaq.
WingX 2.0 is available for download from Hilton Software. WingX 2.0 costs $129.95 for the Premier Edition and $79.95 for the Pro Edition. The Pro Edition does not include the charts, weather images, Tools Dial and newer features. A free demo version is also available to try out the software.
Flying The PBY Catalina DVD
One of the world's few remaining operational PBY-5A Catalinas is featured in Flying the PBY Catalina, the latest DVD from Classic Cockpits, a series that takes viewers into the cockpits of some of the aircraft from the golden age of flying.
The newest DVD provides a pilot's-eye view as members of the Catalina Club of New Zealand fly ZK-PBY, a PBY-5A Canso amphibian, off the waters of Lake Taupo in New Zealand's north island. Multiple cameras take viewers into the cockpit for all aspects of flight, and also provide spectacular views from the Catalina's unique blisters during water take-offs and landings, while close-range air-to-air shots add extra dimension. There is also a tour of the cockpit and cabin, and Brett Emeny, a Cat Club training captain, gives insight into the skills required to operate the aircraft off the water.
The company says a third DVD in the series, Flying the De Havilland Vampire, will also be released soon. You can order the Catalina DVD from Classic Cockpits.
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.