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General Aviation Modifications

Modifications for general aviation allow you to increase your plane's speed and trim weight, and make other changes to truly personalize your flying experience. Customize your aircraft with the professional modifications from Plane & Pilot and Pilot Journal Magazines.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Increase Your Power


A roundup of modification and conversion options for your engine



Increase Your PowerThere are many things in aviation that we'd all like more of: more runway in front of us, more altitude below us, more speed, more fuel in the tanks, more legroom for passengers, more useful load and more engine power all come to mind.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Way Of Active Winglets


It’s not cheap, but it adds performance and safety to a variety of airplanes



The Way Of Active WingletsFortunately, airplanes don't deal much in real mousetraps, but every once in a while, someone comes along and invents a better one.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Choice Aftermarket Stops for Turboprops


Put new life in your legacy turboprop or bring a high-performance piston into the jet age! Aftermarket specialists can upgrade your engines, retrofit your interior, install a glass panel and more.



Choice Aftermarket Stops for TurbopropsAmerican Aviation Inc. American Aviation at Coeur d'Alene Airport in Idaho offers modifications for Beechcraft King Airs, Piper Cheyennes and Cessna Conquests.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Something Xtra Special


Upgrading Legacy Bonanzas the factory way



Something Xtra SpecialFor years, GA manufacturers have left the upgrade aftermarket to STC (supplemental type certificate) holders and mod shops—the entities that developed or acquired an approved process of altering a certificated aircraft, and aircraft repair stations that specialize in installing STC upgrades, respectively.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It’s The Little Things: Refurbishing On A Dime


A dozen ideas to upgrade your airplane without breaking the bank



It’s The Little Things: Refurbishing On A DimeWith recent news of declining new-aircraft sales, it's pretty clear that we may be in it for the long haul when it comes to a full economic recovery.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saddling Up A Colt


A novice rebuilds a Piper classic



Saddling  Up A ColtIt's not the biggest, strongest or fastest stallion in the paddock. But the spirited two-place Piper Colt PA-22-108 serves as a perfect mount for pilots seeking a trusty, uncomplicated steed over a high-strung, pricey thoroughbred.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A New Lease On Flying


Retrofit avionics can add a lot of capability for not a lot of money



A New Lease On FlyingHe hasn’t been out of GA for very long, but as far as the developments he’s missed, nothing comes close to the strides made in avionics over the last few years.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ElectriFly 2010


Electric flight is no longer an “if” but a “when”



ElectriFly 2010In 2007, a quintessential “garage inventor” named Randall Fishman showed up out of nowhere at Oshkosh AirVenture with an electric-powered ultralight—and quietly turned the aviation world on its ear.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

FADEC Comes Of Age


Simplifying engine management with Teledyne Continental



FADEC Comes Of AgeFace it. Computers are taking over the world. Like it or not, more and more of those functions we used to perform manually are being accomplished faster and more efficiently with electronic assistance.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Upgrade Your Plane! Part II


A new panel



Upgrade Your Plane! Part IIWhile having a modern, state-of-the-art panel may be a dream, this is no dream article. Given today’s economy, we’re taking a practical look at the best real-world solutions for getting maximum functionality without having to sell a kidney for financing.
Monday, November 2, 2009

Upgrade Your Plane! Part I


Part I: A new exterior



Upgrade Your Plane! Part IFrom time to time, Plane & Pilot embarks on a proverbial aircraft-upgrade project and chronicles the progress for the enjoyment and edification of readers.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Power Trip


King Air Upgrades Spur Aftermarket Action



Power TripWith heavy in- and outbound Philadelphia and New York traffic passing overhead, it’s a challenge getting cleared to climb directly to FL280 from Queen City Municipal Airport (KXLL) in Allentown, Pa.
Monday, September 1, 2008

Project 182, Part III


Exterior Makeover!



project 182Renovation on N9771H is complete! In “Project 182, Part I” [April 2008], we covered the modernization of the aircraft’s avionics panel. We took care of the interior in “Project 182, Part II: Redressing A Skylane” [June 2008], and in this final edition, we address the exterior.
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Redressing A Skylane: Project 182, Part II


Flying by the seat of your pants is more comfortable and fun when you’re nestled into a supercomfortable seat surrounded by first-class furnishings



project 182Someone in the aircraft refurbishment business once said (or should have said), “The paint may be what you see, but the interior is where you live.” So it is with Plane & Pilot’s Project Skylane. Since buying the 1981 Cessna 182 on the East Coast three years ago as a fixer-upper, we’ve done equal shares of research, hand-wringing and procrastination. Eventually, we had no choice but to actually give birth to the project. As a result, we’ve finally managed to finish the panel, paint and interior.
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Flying With Speed Brakes


Speed brakes can ease the process of descent and landing, and they can even decrease engine wear and tear on piston aircraft



speed brakesI was flying with a buddy in my Mooney, returning from a Saturday hamburger flight. We’d come home from the desert via the tall road, high-jumping to 10,500 feet to clear the San Jacinto mountains on the short 120 nm hop back to Long Beach, Calif.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Project 182, Part I


Let’s say you own a 1981 Cessna Skylane with adequate avionics, an old paint job and a pedestrian interior, but want to increase capability and safety. What would you do first?



project 182Here at Plane & Pilot, we seem to enjoy lavishing full rebuilds on old Skylanes. Back in the late ’70s, I found and negotiated the purchase of a 1963 Skylane for the magazine as a reader project airplane. A few years ago, ex-editor Lyn Freeman purchased our current project airplane, yet another C182.
Friday, December 1, 2006

Accelerating A Mooney


Power Flow’s tuned exhaust system works



Accelerating A MooneyOkay, I admit it. I was a hot-rodder as a kid. Shortly after I was old enough to drive, a buddy and I began campaigning an old Ford on the second-gear, stock-car circuit around Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. Later, I raced a Triumph TR3B and an Austin Healey 3000 in Sports Car Club of America gymkhana events around New Mexico. I didn’t win very often, but I had great fun in the process (until I realized how much money it was costing me).

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Compress Your Power


Turbocharging. Is it worth its weight and heat?



Let’s say you live in Wichita, Kan., where the highest terrain is about 1,600 feet. Normal aspiration should be adequate to cover virtually any situation, right?

Thursday, December 1, 2005

What Makes Airplane Tires So Special?


We went to Michelin for a short course



What Makes Airplane Tires So SpecialAirplane tires are a breed unto themselves. A tire on your car has it easy compared to one on an aircraft. Your car doesn’t drive along a sun-baked, 120-degree F taxiway, then climb into sub-zero temps several miles above the Earth, hanging in a 100-mph wind, then come down and smash onto the ground at 80 miles an hour, maybe even bouncing a few times. Not just any tire is up to the mission.

 

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Straight Talk From Thielert Aircraft Engines


Its new diesel aircraft powerplants are bringing Jet A to GA



Straight Talk From Thielert Aircraft EnginesThe diesels are coming…the diesels are coming—to general aviation, that is. And the company that’s leading the charge isn’t one of general-aviation engines’ “big two.” No, it’s a relatively small company that has its sights clearly set on relieving your dependence on avgas.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The Need For Speed!


The narcotic that pilots will pay almost anything for



The Need For Speed!Go ahead, admit it. When you read all of those pilot reports, you skim them, looking for the cruise speed, then go back and read the rest. It’s a natural thing. We all love the idea of going fast. But how fast is fast? And is there such a thing as fast enough?
Monday, August 1, 2005

Straight Talk From Superior Air Parts


The industry’s largest producer of aftermarket cylinders and parts sets its sights on the certified engine business



Straight Talk From Superior Air PartsSuperior Air Parts, Inc. (www.superiorairparts.com), knows the value of getting the “little things” right because that’s what its business was founded on. In 1967, it manufactured little piston-engine replacement parts, like valve guides, gaskets and piston rings for the USAF. It wasn’t long after, when the opportunity to provide these parts to the general-aviation (GA) market appeared, that it moved into the commercial sector.