Mission To The Edge Of Space
Pilot Felix Baumgartner will attempt to become the first person to break the speed of sound with his own body. He plans to ascend in a capsule lifted by a helium balloon to the upper reaches of the stratosphere. From at least 120,000 feet, he’ll launch a free fall that could exceed Mach 1, and then parachute to earth.
At a briefing for the Red Bull Stratos mission, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who in 1960 launched a stratospheric jump from 102,800 feet, and whose records Baumgartner aims to break, introduced the Austrian pilot. “People have been trying to break my records for 50 years, and many have died in the attempt,” Kittinger said. “But I believe that with our unique assets, an extraordinary mission team, the dedication of Red Bull, and Baumgartner’s outstanding skills, Red Bull Stratos will succeed.” The mission is expected to launch from North America in 2010. Visit www.redbullstratos.com.
L-3 Joins Haiti Relief Effort
Todd Scholten, L-3 Avionics Systems’ chief pilot, and Mark Linsley, an L-3 aftermarket business development representative, contributed to Haiti’s earthquake relief efforts by transporting medical supplies in the company’s King Air C90. L-3 Avionics and its sister division, ACSS, have donated a total of $25,000 toward six to eight relief flights. “The employees of L-3 Avionics Systems are a very caring and generous group, and these flights represent their commitment to help[ing] others in need,” said L-3 Avionics President Jay LaFoy. Visit www.L-3avionics.com.
1st AmphibCub Delivery
American Legend has made the first customer delivery of a Legend AmphibCub to Dick Parsons, a retired commercial airline pilot. Parsons has flown more than 700 hours in the Legend Cub, a fraction of the number of hours he has logged in heavies on transcontinental routes. The AmphibCub LSA is configured with amphibious aluminum floats from Baumann Floats. Visit www.legend.aero.
Entegra Release 9 Selected By WMU
Avidyne and Brown Aviation Lease have extended their partnership with Western Michigan University. WMU’s fleet of 26 Cirrus aircraft will be outfitted with Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Displays. “We’ve been flying with Avidyne’s Entegra systems on our fleet of Cirrus aircraft for the past five years, and we really appreciate the ease of use and safety the system provides,” said Captain David Powell, dean of WMU’s College of Aviation. Visit www.brownaviationlease.com, www.wmich.edu and www.avidyne.com.
New Lubricant From Shell
Shell Aviation introduced AeroShell Oil Sport Plus 2, a dedicated two-stroke engine oil for LSA. This oil is specifically developed for light, very light and ultralight two-stroke engines (such as Rotax air- and water-cooled engines), as well as premix and separate oil-injection systems. Visit www.shellaviationstore.com.
Blackhawk’s 500th Engine Sale
Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrated two milestones at its Montreal headquarters, honoring Blackhawk Modifications for achieving 500 PT6A engine sales and recognizing a special 250th Blackhawk customer. The honoree, Dan Rogers of Franklin, N.C., was Blackhawk’s 250th customer. Mr. Rogers uses his Cheyenne II to reach customers of his company, DuoTech Services, which provides services to military and civilian agencies. As a Veterans Airlift volunteer, he also uses his aircraft to connect seriously wounded vets with their families. Visit www.blackhawk.aero and www.veteransairlift.org.
Purdue Gets Cirrus SR20s
Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology has purchased 16 2010 Cirrus SR20 aircraft. “The collaboration between Purdue University and Cirrus Aircraft launches a new era of next-generation collegiate aviation education. In approving the acquisition, university trustees and officials noted the necessity for Purdue to maintain a globally preeminent aviation technology program,” said Dr. Brent D. Bowen, professor and head of the Department of Aviation Technology. Visit www.cirrusaircraft.com and www.purdue.edu.
Unmanned Flight At K-State
The FAA has issued a certificate of authorization to Kansas State University to fly the PowerCat, an unmanned aerial vehicle, above Crisis City. Crisis City is an emergency-response training area that’s part of the Great Plains Joint Regional Training Center. The PowerCat is a fully autonomous, gas-driven, small helicopter. Visit www.salina.k-state.edu/uas.
|Warning To All Aviation Operators
By Budd Davisson
|A gentleman recently contacted me about sending his 19-year-old son from another country to learn aerobatics. We e-mailed for a month, working out arrangements, and he told me he’d have a colleague in the States send a cashier’s check for the training costs. I fly a lot of foreign students, and this isn’t an unusual arrangement. In retrospect, however, the language and other details were a bit out of the ordinary.
When the check arrived, it was for a higher amount than we had agreed upon. He said his colleague had made a mistake, and requested that I send him the overage by Western Union to defray the costs of his son’s airline ticket. We deposited the check, and took out the overage. At this point, I learned that the country from which the student was coming, and to which the overpayment was being transferred, was the Republic of Benin, a poor recent democracy in West Africa. I had my bank investigate the cashier’s check, and as I suspected, it was bogus. The whole thing came close to hitting us for several thousand dollars. It’s tough enough to make a buck in aviation, even without people trying to rip us off. If it feels wrong, which this one did, it probably is wrong—proceed accordingly.
Cut from Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft, MotoArt’s fuselage frames allow you to display photos of your friends and family in an actual passenger fuselage window. Frames are available in original, satin or polished finish, and each unit comes with a wire hanger for wall mounting. Contact: MotoArt, (310) 375-4531, www.motoart.com.
DRE adds to its family of high-quality aviation headsets and intercoms with the new DRE-1000W headset. The 14.5-ounce PNR headset offers 24 dB of hearing protection and features an electret mic, dual volume control, comfortable foam ear sales and cotton cloth ear covers. The DRE-1000W comes with a three-year factory warranty and is offered in black or white. Contact: Aircraft Spruce, (877) 477-7823, www.aircraftspruce.com.
Focus On Flying
For decades, pilots have had to lean down and forward into the instrument panel and control yoke to reach the flap handle. Most people can’t even see out of the airplane while they’re leaning forward and down to get the flaps. EZ Flap solves that problem by putting the flap control at the correct distance from the pilot. The device is FAA approved for Cessna 170 through 185 aircraft, and soon, Piper PA28, PA20/22 and PA18 aircraft. Contact: Aircraft Spruce, (877) 477-7823, www.aircraftspruce.com.
Protect Your Logbook
Available in two sizes and in leather or fabric, Sporty’s Flight Log Case/Organizers are equipped with see-through vinyl pockets for your pilot certificate and medical. Mesh pockets and an interior compartment hold sectionals, en route charts, expense logs and other papers. Also included are a pen/pencil holder and card holder. Contact: Sporty’s, (800) SPORTYS, www.sportys.com.
Goodbye Vinyl, Hello Leather
Store, protect and organize your loose-leaf charts in style with Sporty’s Bonded Leather Chart Binder. Measuring 10.5x6x2 inches, the rugged binder will last for years and is for use with loose-leaf FAA charts. Contact: Sporty’s, (800) SPORTYS, www.sportys.com.
Mobile Flight Planning
With the introduction of ForeFlight Mobile 3, ForeFlight builds on its flagship product and adds to its line of intelligent aviation software. The new iPhone/iPod app adds a redesigned user interface and hundreds of new features, including HD Nexrad Slip Maps, future flight-plan filing and a flexible download manager. ForeFlight Mobile 3 is available as a free download at the iPhone App Store, www.foreflight.com/ itunes/mobile. Contact: ForeFlight, (866) 701-6529, www.foreflight.com.
World’s Fastest Tiedowns
Hook-N-Pull Tiedowns require only one hand to use, and feature reinforced aluminum bars and closed-end, steel “S” hooks that are cadmium-plated for weather resistance. The tiedowns are made with three-strand nylon rope, available in 1⁄2- or 3⁄8-inch diameters. Contact: Aircraft Spruce, (877) 477-7823, www.aircraftspruce.com.
The Seeker 200 Video Borescope Inspection System allows for inspection of otherwise inaccessible aircraft parts. Instantly view findings on a 2.4-inch color LCD screen. Standard probe length is one meter; probes of up to five meters also are available. Extension tools, a nine-volt battery and a carrying case come with the unit. Contact: Aircraft Spruce, (877) 477-7823, www.aircraftspruce.com.