Cirrus Design announced that its fleet surpassed a milestone of two million flight hours with just more than 3,500 aircraft. Cirrus likened this mileage to more than two round trips to the sun, or more than 15,000 trips around the world. “When we began development of the SR line, it was our intention to produce a product that gives our customers great utility, based on comfort, performance and, most importantly, safety,” said Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier. “Achieving the two million flight-hour mark demonstrates our commitment to our customers and determination to grow the industry.”
At the Dubai AirShow, the Dubai Aerospace Enterprises Flight Academy took delivery of two SR22 aircraft as part of a long-term agreement with Cirrus to provide aircraft for flight training. “We aim to make our planes, and the lifestyles associated with them, available to customers in the Middle East and envisage the market will grow healthily over the next few years, especially in the private-aviation sector,” commented Cirrus’ Managing Director of International Sales John Bingham. DAE Flight Academy Director William Roe added, “We conducted an exhaustive comparison of training aircraft available, and the Cirrus SR22 provided the best platform for our innovative training curriculum.” Visit www.cirrusdesign.com.
PlaneSmart Aviation has teamed with T Bank, a preferred lending institution, to offer financial products to purchasers of PlaneSmart’s fractional aircraft shares of Cirrus SR22s. The arrangement provides funding for the share without collateralizing the airplane, a key stumbling block that has made fractional-share financing difficult in the past. “We’re pleased to see professionally managed shared-ownership programs like ours be accommodated by the mainstream financial community,” said PlaneSmart President Jeffery A. Cullen. “In a fractional-share environment, you want your airplane free of liens and encumbrances, and this agreement allows us to accomplish both while making shared ownership more attainable to many.” Visit www.tbank.com and www.planesmart.com.
DUAT On Your Phone
A beta version of DUAT mobile is now available for mobile-phone users. Pilots can check weather graphics, get METARs and TAFs, file flight plans, check flight-plan status and close VFR flight plans. The DTC DUAT portal works with a variety of Web-enabled phones and PDAs and has a similar interface to the computer-based DUAT portal. Several enhancements are forthcoming, including the ability to get a standard weather briefing and check TFRs. Get connected at www.duat.com/mobile.
Quest Aircraft announced the successful first flight of S/N002, the second production Kodiak aircraft. It flew for about an hour on November 6, 2007, and joins S/N001 and the Kodiak prototype in the fleet. “The successful flight of our second production airplane is another milestone for the Kodiak program,” said Quest Aircraft CEO Paul Schaller. “This has been a remarkable year for Quest, and we couldn’t have come this far without a lot of hard work and dedication.” The Kodiak received FAA Type Certification on May 30, 2007, and Quest has been working with the FAA to achieve its production certificate. To follow the progress, log on to www.questaircraft.com.
Build A Plane Auction
The nonprofit organization Build A Plane, which helps instructors teach science, technology, engineering and math by building airplanes, has launched an online eBay auction as an ongoing fund-raising effort. All proceeds go directly to support the organization’s charitable aviation education efforts. “Build A Plane has more than 70 projects in schools across the United States, where kids are learning by building real airplanes,” said Build A Plane President Lyn Freeman. “The proceeds from this unique fund-raiser will help us continue to help kids.” Place a bid at www.buildaplane.org.
The Aircraft Electronics Association and Texas State Technical College are offering 10 new scholarships through the AEA Educational Foundation, bringing the total number of scholarships to nearly 40 for the 2008–2009 academic year. These are valued at more than $100,000 and are intended for students pursuing careers in avionics or aircraft-maintenance industries. Scholarships will be awarded in late April at the 51st annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show in Washington, D.C., during which a silent auction will take place. At last year’s convention in Reno, Nev., the auction raised $35,000 for the Foundation. Applications are due by February 15; apply at www.aea.net/scholarship.
Flying On Renewable Biodiesel Fuel
On October 2, 2007, Green Flight International completed the world’s first jet flight powered by 100% biofuel. Pilots Carol Sugars and Douglas Rodante landed in Reno, Nev., in an L-29, rated to fly on a variety of fuels, making it ideal for testing biodiesel in jet engines. The flight was a precursor to Green Flight’s around-the-world trip, scheduled for this year. Rodante started Green Flight in April 2006 as a platform for future development in the use of environmentally friendly fuels. Said Rodante, “By implementing even a small amount of biodegradable fuel into our transportation system, we can significantly reduce the CO2 and NOx that contribute to global warming.” Visit www.greenflightinternational.com.
Deliveries of the LSA SportCruiser have been on a roll. In October, John Davis of Sarasota, Fla., took delivery of the 40th SportCruiser delivered this year; Jim Burwell of Huntsville, Ala., placed his order for the 101st SportCruiser sold this year; and Moe Craddock, in Ferris, Texas, purchased two SportCruisers to use in his flight school. More info is available at www.sportaircraftworks.com.
Hall Of Fame
Sporty’s chairman, Hal Shevers, was inducted into the National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame in November 2007 at the Eagle Hangar of the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction. As an instrument flight instructor since 1961, Hal was recognized for his pioneering work establishing three-day ground schools and his lifelong commitment to providing quality aviation educational materials for pilots of all experience levels. Visit www.sportys.com and www.nafinet.org.
Tempest And Robinson
Robinson Helicopter selected Tempest to supply its spin-on oil filter. Introduced in 2005, today’s oil filters from Tempest feature many improvements, including a magnet that provides a secondary filtration system to capture and detect fine ferrous particles, as well as a PC housing that prevents catastrophic failure of the filter in the event of a weld fracture on the bypass valve. Tempest Vice President of Sales & Marketing John Herman said, “We’re pleased that a company as highly respected as Robinson has selected our product as its oil filter of choice.” Visit www.tempestplus.com and www.robinsonheli.com.
Heated Seat Cushion
Flying in an old aircraft on a cold and wintery day can be brutal. Old heaters often work intermittently and take a while to warm the cabin. Keep yourself warm with this Heated Seat Cushion, which operates on your plane’s 12-volt lighter socket, uses four amps and features an adjustable thermostat. An adjustable fan in the front flap circulates air through hundreds of tiny vents in the microfiber and mesh materials. Comes with a seven-foot, 12-volt cord. For more information, contact Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS or www.sportys.com.
Updated Indestructible Plotter
If you’ve checked a low-altitude en route chart lately, you’ve likely noticed that they’ve been reconfigured—there are now 36 charts with nine mileage scales. Updated to work with all of these changes, the Indestructible Instrument Plotter conveniently measures distance and courses and calculates holding-pattern entries on any FAA Low Altitude Enroute Chart. The eight-inch-long Instrument Plotter has 10 easy-to-read mileage scales and a compass rose. The holding-pattern diagram can be overlaid on the chart to easily and accurately determine holding entries in seconds for both standard and nonstandard patterns. The Plotter can slide into a shirt pocket and is made of Lexan, so it won’t warp or break. It comes with a lifetime guarantee and is acceptable for use during FAA written exams. For more, contact Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS or www.sportys.com.
An Ergonomic Flight Timer
The ASA Flight Timer has been created with pilot functionality in mind. It’s ergonomically designed and engineered for reliability, ease and convenience. It features a large, easy-to-read LCD backlight display; a digital notepad for squawk codes or frequencies; three simultaneous timer options; audible and visual alarm modes; a fuel timer; an approach timer that allows pilots to store up to 12 different approach times; and an intuitive push and rotate dial for quickly and easily setting times. Pilots can accurately calculate time to the next waypoint, fuel tank changes, turns in holding or an instrument approach with complete confidence; it’s applicable to both VFR and IFR flights. The timer meets the needs of all aviators, from student pilots working on their first cross-countries to flight instructors and seasoned veterans. For more, contact ASA at (800) ASA-2FLY or www.asa2fly.com.
Pedal Cars and Retro Collectables offers heavy-gauge steel pedal planes for kids, which are inspired by the 1941 Steelcraft U.S. Army Patrol Plane. Decked with chrome, the planes feature lead-free, baked enamel and a bright powder coat with a durable, chip- and rust-resistant finish. Sturdy, high-traction, solid rubber tires combine with the direct pedal spring to turn the propeller when kids pedal, making this a “real flying experience.” Free shipping is available for the continental United States. For more, contact Pedal Cars and Retro Collectables at (877) 703-2613 or www.pedalcarsandretro.com.
Aircraft Comparison Database
Conklin & de Decker’s Aircraft Performance Comparator Version 2.5.0 is the most comprehensive aircraft-performance comparison tool available. Users can easily overlay and compare aircraft interiors and exteriors, along with critical performance data that comes directly from the manufacturer’s approved aircraft flight and performance manuals. Databases are conveniently grouped by jets, turboprops, helicopters and pistons. For more info, contact Conklin & de Decker at (508) 255-5975 or www.conklindd.com.
New Flight Simulators
Redbird Flight Simulations has just released two new simulators. The Redbird FMX is a versatile motion simulator, and the Redbird SD is its nonmotion counterpart. The FMX is the first full-motion AATD that doesn’t require a trade-off between functionality and price. The SD serves as an excellent alternative to our FMX model for training environments where space is at a premium. Both feature a greater-than-220-degree visual display and an interchangeable cockpit system. The Redbird simulators are currently awaiting AATD certification. For more information, contact Redbird Flight Simulations at (512) 301-0718 or www.redbirdflightsimulations.com.