L-3 Avionics has received STC and TSO authorization from the FAA for its SmartDeck Integrated Flight Controls and Display System. The STC has been awarded for the Cirrus SR22-G2, and L-3 will offer the STC through authorized dealers for retrofit. The system’s menu structure is designed to support pilot functions in three clicks or less, making pertinent flight information more rapidly accessible. SmartDeck includes a display dedicated to flight-plan management and communication information in its standard configuration. As announced at last September’s NBAA convention, L-3 is partnering with Cirrus Design to customize SmartDeck for the development phase of “the-jet.” For more, visit www.l-3avionics.com and www.smartdeck.com.
Red Bull Air Races
The fierce competition between British pilot Paul Bonhomme and American pilot Mike Mangold came to a head on May 4 in San Diego, Calif., as Bonhomme claimed his second win of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race season. More than 120,000 fans attended the two-day race as Mangold attempted to pull in a first-place finish on American soil. “Here in San Diego, it’s an interesting track,” said Bonhomme. “You have to be consistent in every set all the time. Today we saw some tight flying, and I had to work very hard to get this spot.” Mangold placed second with a time of 1:19.24 and American Kirby Chambliss rounded out the podium with third place at 1:17.61. To follow this year’s series, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Diamond Q1 Results
Against a backdrop of lagging overall piston sales—down 28% according to a recently released report by GAMA—Diamond delivered 101 units in the first quarter of 2008. “101 units puts us in a solid second-place position in total number of piston aircraft delivered,” said Heike Larson, Diamond’s VP of sales and marketing. “Outperforming all others and coming a close second only to Cessna is a bittersweet success. Had it not been for a disruption of supply of Thielert engines, we would have produced a total of 118 aircraft in Q1 and been able to claim the number-one spot in piston deliveries.” For more information, visit www.diamondaircraft.com.
WAAS On Mooney Aircraft
The use of WAAS navigation and SafeTaxi has been certified by the FAA on Mooney’s Acclaim Type S, Ovation3 and Ovation2 GX. Mooney will immediately begin delivering aircraft with the WAAS system and the SafeTaxi software upgrade. For those who wish to add the capability to their airplanes, Mooney is working on a retrofit package and pricing structure for aircraft produced prior to April 30. Learn more at www.mooney.com.
New Liberty Dealership
Liberty Aerospace has announced Liberty Southeast as its Southeastern U.S. dealership. This new dealership is based in Greensboro, N.C., at a brand-new, 33,000-square-foot facility. Liberty Southeast has acquired three demonstrator models and has placed an order for four new Liberty XL2 Vanguard Editions. For more information, visit www.libertyaircraft.com.
Avidyne In Europe
Avidyne announced the opening of a new International Customer Support Center and OEM sales office in Weißenhorn, Germany. Avidyne-Europe will provide customer support services to European customers, distributors and limited service centers. Learn more at www.avidyne.com.
CAPT & Bangkok Airways
Jackson Group Consultants entered into a joint venture with Thailand’s second-biggest airline, Bangkok Airways, to produce a new flight school (called Bangkok Flight Academy) based on the Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) Program model. Scheduled to open on November 1, 2008, the state-of-the-art facility is 88,000 square feet and will hold up to 400 students. Learn more at www.jacksongroupconsultants.com and www.bangkokair.com.
Carbon Cub Kit
CubCrafters announced the Carbon Cub Kit, equipped with either a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 or a 100 hp Continental O-200, and available as an E-LSA Kit or an experimental amateur-built kit. Each kit is offered in three subkits: Fuselage Kit, Wing Kit and Finishing Kit; all are available in various stages of completion. “We have retained the excellent flying qualities of the Cub, but redesigned every part of every assembly to be stronger, lighter, safer or easier to build,” said Chairman Jim Richmond. “We’ve come up with an extremely clean design that reduces the total number of parts in the airplane by 50% compared to the Super Cub.” Visit www.cubcrafters.com.
Economy’s Silver Lining
Wondering how you’ll get your flying in with all the gloomy economic news? Here’s a tight-budget answer: the X-Air LS. Descended (and much improved) from the 1980s Weedhopper ultralight design, the side-by-side LSA seats two and smashes the $100,000 price point with a sledgehammer—list price is $46,900. The X-Air company will even finance purchase over 10 years with a 20% down payment and monthly installments of $460. The fabric-covered aircraft is powered by an 85 hp Jabiru 2200. It cruises at 90 mph, stalls at 39 mph and has a payload of 502 pounds. Range is 300 miles. Contact www.x-airlsa.com.
Kodiak Flight Training Underway
Four pilots have completed the Initial Training Course for the Kodiak since Idaho-based Quest Aircraft received FITS approval for its program, designed in-house, earlier this year. “We looked at several options for providing initial Kodiak training and concluded that it made the most sense to do it ourselves,” said Quest President & CEO Paul Schaller. The Kodiak, which received FAA type certification on May 30, 2007, features rugged aluminum construction that combines STOL performance with a high useful load. For more, visit www.questaircraft.com.
Technologically Advanced Eyewear
Serengeti Eyewear, produced by Bushnell Outdoor Products, offers an expanded lineup of aviator sunglasses. Seven distinct lens options are available within Serengeti’s 30-plus styles, which are engineered to perform in nearly all conditions. The Drivers Gradient line counts a special tint—a unique brown shade developed to balance a wide scope of environmental light—among its pilot-friendly features. Gradient tinting makes the lens darker at the top, lighter at the bottom, offering a clear view of the instrument panel or dashboard with a brief downward glance. Photochromatic technology adjusts to changing light conditions and will never wear off or out because it’s engineered into the glass. The high-quality lenses are matched by Serengeti’s meticulous attention to a comfortable fit. For more information, contact Serengeti at (800) 423-3537 or at www.serengeti-eyewear.com.
A Magnetic Pick-Up Tool
The Mag-It magnetic pick-up tool by SteelMax is a wand-like probe that quickly and easily picks up steel filings and shavings from drill presses, lathes and metal surfaces. Use it to remove items like screws that fall into an aircraft fuselage and are impossible to reach with your hands. Once removed, the metal scraps and parts can be dropped from the tool with a slide-action lever that demagnetizes the probe’s tip. Available with 10-inch and 15-inch wands, the Mag-It is a useful addition to your aviation toolbox. For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at (866) 4-SPRUCE or at www.aircraftspruce.com.
Automate Your Flight Records
An accurate, automatic and convenient system for collecting and managing flight records, TimeTrac consists of a computer installed onboard your aircraft that receives data from your existing GPS (or LORAN) and sorts flight data for management and analysis. TimeTrac automatically creates flight logs and eases the record-keeping process; it records power-up, takeoff, landing and power-down on every flight. The software links to the computer via a serial port and stores and manages downloaded flight legs and other data; it can accommodate up to 400 pilots, 100 aircraft and thousands of individual component timers. It’s approved by the FAA for installation in more than 700 GA aircraft. For more information, contact P2 Aviation Technology at (888) 921-8359 or at www.p2inc.com.
Easily Accessible Aircraft Manuals
At one point or another, you’ve probably experienced difficulty in locating an aircraft information manual. Sporty’s has partnered with major aircraft manufacturers to offer factory-original manuals. Information manuals are available for more than 150 different aircraft, ranging from Skyhawks and Cherokees to Bonanzas and Senecas. Use them to review limitations and performance before a flying lesson or when transitioning to a new airplane. Pilots who rent multiple airplanes can rely on these manuals when they don’t have immediate access to a specific model’s POH. Cessna, Piper, Diamond and Beech manuals are available (prices range from $29.95 for a Diamond DA20 to $139.95 for a Beech A36). For a complete list of aircraft information manuals visit sportys.com/infomanuals. All Sporty’s products may be ordered by calling (800) SPORTYS or by visiting www.sportys.com.
Airplanes + Soda Pop = The Perfect Drink
For those who love airplanes, an aviation-themed soda machine is a fun addition to a home, office or hangar. The machines can be adorned with any aviation company or manufacturer logo, photos of warbirds or vintage aircraft—whatever suits your fancy. In addition to restoring vintage soda machines with the familiar Coke and Pepsi motifs, Denver-based American Soda Machines (ASM) customizes these beverage icons, tapping into America’s love affair with these relics. For more than five decades, soda machines have been a fixture of American life. The three primary styles of soda machines are sliders, round tops and square top . While ASM restores and sells all three of these types, the square tops provide the best “canvas” for customization. The machine can vend either bottles or cans. For more information, call American Soda Machines at (800) 448-6888 or visit www.americansodamachines.com.
One For Two!