| Jan. 7, 2008
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 flight jacket made from water-buffalo leather, a book on rigging aircraft, a simulator for Eclipse jets 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 Water Buffalo Jacket
A classic, aviator-style flight jacket is available in water-buffalo leather, a unique material renowned for its durability, warmth and great looks. This Safari Jacket is crafted from nearly eight pounds of water buffalo leather that has a "battle-scarred" look and a velvety soft feel.
Modeled on the famous Navy G-2 jacket from World War II, the Safari Jacket is ideal for even the coldest days. The jacket features a high-quality cotton lining, a heavy brass zipper with leather pull-tab, wool cuffs and waistband, along with side-entry handwarmer pockets, an inside snap pocket and top-entry zip pockets. A bi-swing back provides extra comfort.
Complementing the Safari Jacket are the Safari Duffle Bag and Safari Shaving Kit, both also crafted from water buffalo leather.
The Safari Jacket is available for $249. The Safari Duffle Bag is available for $199 and the Safari Shaving Kit for $49. All Sporty's products may be ordered from their Web site.
Airplane Rigging Book
Aircraft rigging is a diverse subject that starts during construction of the aircraft. In its most basic form, rigging makes an aircraft safe to fly and allows one to extract the most from the aircraft by reducing drag or changing performance in some flight regime.
Small rigging changes can have drastic effects on performance; increasing it in some areas while reducing it in others or at the very least may making the airplane easier or more difficult to fly. These differences are the main reason that two identical aircraft have a 10-knot difference in speed or a 150-fpm difference in climb rate. A little twist here requires a little roll to compensate, and a little yaw to compensate for that and so on. This book is about understanding those relationships and applying cautious techniques to maximize control authority and to help optimize the safety and performance of your aircraft.
For the mechanic, there are techniques provided here to be useful in daily shop operations. Troubleshooting rigging problems can be a frustrating and drawn out process. A rigging change needs to be followed by a flight test to determine the results. Usually this requires the aircraft owner to participate and the process can drag on over days or weeks. The methods given here will result in the fastest and most efficient solution to rigging problems.
For the homebuilder, the techniques, tools, and procedures given in this book may be used during and after the construction process. Some of the techniques given produce more precision than might be needed, but are useful for taking repeatable measurements when experimenting with the rig.
Airplane Rigging is available in print and e-book format from AVweb Bookstore.
Sporty's AeroTherm Engine Pre-Heater
Sporty's has improved the AeroTherm Engine Pre-Heater. The AeroTherm Deuce doubles the heating power of the original model.
Rather than using propane (and the accompanying tanks to be hauled around and refilled), the AeroTherm Deuce uses two 800-watt heating elements. A thermostat maintains the desired temperature automatically. The Deuce can be kept plugged in all winter to keep the engine warm or can be used as a traditional preheater.
When it's plugged in, the AeroTherm Deuce supplies 20,000 BTUs of heat at 210 degrees F to the engine compartment. It then draws the same heat out of the compartment and back through the heater, constantly increasing the heating temperature.
If used as a preheater, the engine will be warm enough to start in about 45 minutes. Or, it will heat completely (including oil) in two hours at 0 degrees F outside temperature.
Weighing 11 pounds, the AeroTherm Deuce comes with two hoses, a nylon suspension band that allows the unit to hang from the prop of your aircraft, a carrying case and four sponges to seal the engine intakes. It's portable enough to take with you.
The AeroTherm Deuce Electric Engine Preheater is available for $499 and may be ordered at Sporty's Web site.
Flightstats Global Airport Flight Delay Index
FlightStats has created a new global airport flight delay index reporting system available now on its Web site. The delay index gives travelers a clear indication of the likelihood of disruptions in their travel plans at a glance. The system monitors delays and cancellations at airports worldwide and assigns a "delay index" ranging from 0 (little or no disruption) to 5 (severe disruptions) for each major airport. Users can then click through for details on specific flight status and create email and text message alerts to stay informed. The score is calculated and republished every 30 minutes.
An airport's flight delay index reflects its current on-time departure performance adjusted for delay severity and cancellations. Delay index scores appear as an overlay on country, regional, continental and global maps so travelers can see current conditions anywhere they expect to travel. Pop-up windows appear when specific airports are selected that provide detailed scoring, an indication of the index's trend (better or worse), and links to get current status information on individual flight arrivals and departures.
Until now, the only data available to travelers concerning system-wide disruptions at airports came from the FAA's airport delays map. However, it provides no information for travelers beyond North America. FAA data includes no indication of cancellations or delays for reasons other than air traffic control directives. On Dec. 10, 2007, for example, the FAA map showed "FAA on time" for the Kansas City Airport (MCI). FlightStats assigned MCI a delay index of 5 (as bad as it gets). While there were no air traffic control delays at MCI that day, nearly 15 percent of the flights there were cancelled and many were severely delayed due to harsh winter weather throughout the Midwest.
The flight delay index is free and is found on the Flightstats Web site.
Flighttime Radio Show
The Flighttime Radio Show has started broadcasting Saturday mornings from 9:00 until 10:00 Eastern time live online here and in Jacksonville, Fla., on AM 1320 WBOB. Shows will be archived at Flighttime Radio. Milford Shirley and Brian Kraut will be the show hosts.
Flighttime is dedicated to the joy of flying and airplanes. Topics will include airplanes, flying, ultralights, helicopters, gliders, hang gliding, aviation history, skydiving, aerobatics and many other topics. Guests will include flight instructors, air-show pilots, aircraft manufacturers and people from all types of businesses involved in aviation. Listeners will be not only pilots, but also aspiring pilots, airplane lovers, and people from all walks of live that have an interest in flying and airplanes. Listeners will be invited to phone into the show to discuss any topics related to aviation.
Show sponsorships and advertising are still available. The show is also available for syndication in other areas.
1/5-Scale WWII Fighter Replicas
Mustangs Unlimited has created 1/5-scale aircraft replicas that can be used as either a weather vane, hangar art or home décor. "If your house is big enough, some of our clients prefer mounting these airplanes right inside their homes," says Rick Stodola, owner of Mustangs Unlimited.
The airplanes are individually crafted of fiberglass with a propeller that turns in the wind. Each aircraft weathervane is painted to the buyer's specifications in whatever pattern or colors are preferred. The wing span is 7 feet; the fuselage is 6 feet long and each plane weighs 45 pounds.
Since each aircraft weathervane is custom created, approximately three weeks is required for delivery. The aircraft will arrive in a box with the wings off. Some assembly is required, but can normally be accomplished in approximately one hour.
Prices vary depending on the paint and customization required, but begin at $1825. An unpainted version (with decals supplied) is available for $1450. Shipping is additional. For more information, visit this Web site.
Commercial Level Simulations AVIO NG (Eclipse 500) Simulator
Commercial Level Simulations (CLS) has created the world's first PC-based proficiency and training aid for the AVIO NG platform. The first CLS_VLJ delivery comes just behind Eclipse Aviation receiving FAA certification for the AVIO NG avionics in the Eclipse 500 on Dec. 20, 2007.
The CLS_VLJ is designed to give pilots and owners the opportunity to practice for their initial and recurrent training safely and cost-effectively. The CLS_VLJ package is a "turn-key" solution, which has been pre-loaded, configured, and tested. The package includes:
- CLS_VLJ Software
- Touch-screen 42-inch LCD monitor, which allows the pilot to interact with the aircraft without using a computer keypad or mouse;
- High-performance, dedicated PC, with state-of-the-art CPU and graphics card;
- Custom seat-assembly ergonomically correct to the Eclipse 500;
- Custom flight stick, molded and based on the Eclipse 500 flight stick;
- Expert Eclipse mentor pilot review, and commentary implementation;
- Throttle quadrant;
- Rudder pedals;
- 30-day software standard support;
- Manufacturer warranties for all hardware equipment;
- Simulation 6-month or 12-month support package (optional cost); and
- On-site simulation assembly and instruction (optional cost).
Purchase price is $17,000, with a discount to $15,000 for the first 10 units sold. More info available from the CLS Web site.
AvShop TravelMate is a natural, non invasive solution for motion sickness associated with plane, boat, car, and thrill-ride discomfort. The TravelMate uses painless electrostatic pulses to gently stimulate nerves inside the left wrist known to affect the nerves stimulation the stomach and the brain.
The Travelmate is available for about $80. For more information, visit the AvShop Web site.
Alliant Flight Deck for Cessna Conquest II
Avidyne Corporation and S-TEC Corporation have received an STC from the FAA to retrofit the Alliant Integrated Flight Deck into Cessna Conquest II (C441) twin-engine turboprop aircraft.
The Conquest II is the third model that combines Avidyne's Envision series of retrofit integrated flight deck products and S-TEC's IntelliFlight 2100 Digital Flight Control System, joining Beechcraft's King Air 90- and 200-series airplanes.
The Alliant Integrated Flight Deck package for the Conquest II includes dual-redundant Avidyne EXP5000 10.4-inch PFDs, Avidyne EX500 multi-function display MFD, the S-TEC IntelliFlight 2100 digital autopilot, Mid-Continent two-inch standby instruments, and interfaces to most popular traffic, terrain, lightning, radar and radar altimeter systems.
In addition, the Alliant package comes standard with Avidyne's CMax electronic charts and the ability to interface with the MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver. CMax electronic charts display Jeppesen's approach charts and airport diagrams on the EX500 MFD. The optional MLB700 provides high-speed datalink WSI InFlight weather service via the SIRIUS Satellite Radio network. The Avidyne TAS600 Traffic Advisory System is also installed on the certification airplane. The MLB700 and TAS600 options are offered at a discounted price with the purchase of the Alliant Integrated Flight Deck.
More info available from the Alliant 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.