Why the fastest normally aspirated piston single in the skies is also the best non-turbo Mooney ever
We were getting a leisurely start to our Wednesday, as I trimmed up the plane and settled back in my seat, watching the surf-sandy central California coastline slide by to our right and the Channel Islands, hazy blue in the morning Pacific haze, 20 miles out across the sound, drift behind us on the left. more »
Do you know the manufacturers of these aviation doppelgängers?
Can you identify the manufacturer of each unusual plane below? Be careful! Many of them often get mistaken for different aircraft. Looking for more ways to test your aviation knowledge? Check out our Quiz Archives!
Beautiful Mustangs from some of the world’s greatest air-to-air photographers
If you were to ask a representative sample of American pilots to name a handful of beautiful airplanes, the North American P-51 Mustang would be on almost everyone’s short list. I know because I’ve been asking that question for years now. What makes an airplane beautiful—for that matter, what makes anything or anyone beautiful—is largely more »
A roundup of the new autopilots that are changing the retrofit game
Over the past couple of decades, we’ve come a long way in understanding the nature of the risk we face when flying, especially when flying in instrument conditions, and the role that automation can play in that overall risk picture. We’ve also realized the importance of recognizing where a pilot’s performance might fall short and more »
This potentially do-it-yourself job can make starting your engine so much easier
You know the sound. You get in your vehicle, put the key in the ignition, turn the key, and hear the starter turn over in a slow, ow, ow, ow growl…until it dies. You have a dead battery, and you need a jump to get going. So you jump it. Once you have it started, more »
The Mooney Ovation Ultra we flew for this report is the 2017 certification model. It features the Garmin G1000 NXi with integral keypad, GFC700 digital autopilot, dual solid-state attitude and air data sensors, traffic and terrain awareness utilities, Garmin ESP envelope protection, Garmin ADS-B In and Out, Sirius XM weather and entertainment, and more. Price more »
Our inaugural recognition of the best new planes of the last 12 months
Here are the winners of the 2017 Plane & Pilot Plane of the Year, but before announcing the winners, a few words about what this is and how it happened. Once upon a time, it was easier to assemble of field of contenders, what with the slow rate of new airplane introduction we’ve seen these more »
We recently asked you, our readers, for some help filling the last spot on our list of the ten most beautiful general aviation airplanes around. The response was amazing, but left us with a bit of a problem—tallies for the top four most-voted-for planes—the Piper Aerostar, Rockwell Commander, Piper Comanche and Spartan Executive—were too close more »
We recently published our list of the nine most beautiful planes in GA history, leaving it one short of a Top Ten so you, our readers, could nominate the final plane in the list. The response to our call for your nominations was phenomenal. And after tallying the hundreds of votes we received by email more »
We go through the process step by step and look at five popular options for owners on a budget and for those with a budget
Sometimes getting around to doing something isn’t as much a matter of planning or decisiveness as it is pure circumstance. Such was the case for me when I got the message that it was time to do some transponder work on my vintage Cherokee. Like many VFR pilots, I request flight following whenever I fly more »
When CubCrafters of Yakima, Washington, built a Light-Sport Aircraft version of the classic Cub design and installed the industry’s most powerful engine, it resulted in the company selling a lot of planes. It’s still selling a lot of planes. It’s not the only LSA maker selling what are often referred to as Cub clones. There more »
The airplane flown for this report was the first production model in the United States. It was outfitted with all equipment as seen in the accompanying photos with commonly ordered avionics (a wide variety is available and can be installed in the USA). Exterior paint and interior finish are standard for the Outback Shock, though more »
For builders of Experimental airplanes, building a wiring harness can be a daunting task. Good news—professional help is available
For those of you who have actually finished an amateur-built plane, you get the old saying that the last 20 percent of any big job takes half the time. When it comes to homebuilding, that last 20 percent of the job is typically associated with installing the engine, applying paint and, yes, installing avionics. That more »
The Cub is such an icon of light aviation that it’s easy to forget some important things about the actual airplane
The Piper Cub is coming up on 80 years young. Expect to see lots of them, plus a number of Cub-related special events, at this year’s Oshkosh AirVenture. As you know if you’ve been reading my views on things for very long, I’m not a big fan of anniversaries, but if there’s a purpose to more »
There are a lot of amazing-looking airplanes in the general aviation universe. We pick the nine most beautiful ones. You get to pick the tenth.
It’s no secret that we pilots love airplanes, though the reasons why we do are, well, not so much mysterious as wide ranging and, at times, hard to pin down precisely. We love airplanes for what they are, where they can take us, and for reasons that are more related to aesthetics than utility. We more »
Legendary aviation photographer Jim Koepnick’s AirVenture photos will blow you away.
Even though we’re less than halfway through it, this year’s Oshkosh AirVenture has been one for the ages. There are some incredible airplanes…see them here…for sure, but even more than that, this year’s show has been characterized by an enthusiasm for personal flying, from ultralights to single-pilot jets, that defies easy understanding. Despite challenges for more »