The crown jewel of New Piper Aircraft’s piston singles, the Mirage, has made its debut with the all-glass Avidyne Entegra panel. Its first cousin, the turbine-powered Meridian, made the conversion earlier, making the Vero Beach-based aircraft manufacturer all glass, all the time.
Of course, the PA46 airframe has evolved since its introduction in the 1980s and has steadily grown more efficient. Newer Mirages have two notable features. There’s the Flight Into Known Icing package, which comes standard and includes a heated windshield, a hot prop, and boots on the wings and tail. Another much applauded improvement is the addition of speed brakes. Early Malibu models offered a high-gear operation speed that created enough drag to put the nose down. The brakes, however, make speed management much easier, especially coming and going out of high-traffic airports. Learn more at www.newpiper.com.
|Sino Swearingen SJ30-2|
About a year ago, Sino Swearingen announced certification of its lickety-split SJ30-2, the first “clean sheet” jet certification in almost 45 years. Now, the company is busy filling orders; it’s adding 220,000 square feet to its San Antonio factory as well as 850 new jobs (which doubles the work force). Sino Swearingen claims that more than 300 of the new single-pilot business jets are on order; the company expects to build a hundred per month once the new facility is operational. The jet has seven seats on board and is expected to have a max speed of about 486 KTAS. For more, log on to www.sj30jet.com.
The ATG Javelin (the only very light jet that looks likes it’s doing Mach 3 even when it’s standing still) has received final modifications on its way toward certification. Most of the tweaking was done on the wing. Designers increased the wingspan by just less than two feet and the wing area by 29 square feet. Aerodynamicists predict a five to seven knot decrease in stall speed, bringing the aircraft’s magic number down to 90 knots. This and a handful of other modifications have brought the Javelin’s projected cruise speed down to about 500 knots. Darn! It could have been such a fun airplane. Find out more at Aviation Technology’s Website www.avtechgroup.com.
After showing off the new 237-knot, turbonormalized Acclaim at Sun ’n Fun, the Kerrville Kids have started the drumrolls for the 310 hp Ovation3. As the name implies, the new Mooney is a derivation of the popular Ovation2, with just a few more horses under the hood. The normally aspirated Teledyne Continental IO-550-G A/P engine develops 310 hp (about 30 more than the Ovation2), which results in a nine-knot increase in airspeed. Mooney now reports a 197-knot max cruise for the Ovation3 and claims the plane is the fastest normally aspirated single. The company also touts the Acclaim as the fastest turbo-normalized single. Visit Mooney’s Website, www.mooney.com, to learn more.
You’d think that Mooney’s Kerrville, Texas-based factory would be the facility most likely to report a hailstorm. Recently, however, a record- and windshield-breaking frenzy of hailstones the size of golf balls dumped onto, into and all around the Columbia Aircraft factory in Bend, Ore. Trouble is, the company had a lot of new Columbia models sitting outside when the freak storm blew through, and when it was all over, 66 aircraft had been damaged. The damage was all cosmetic, but customers will now have a wee bit more waiting to do before they get their airplanes. Columbia is giving each customer $5,000 worth of free fuel and a chance to win as much as $25,000 worth of fuel as a thank you for the extra wait imposed by Mother Nature. Learn more at www.flycolumbia.com.
At last, the Seawind amphibian is in flight testing. The first complete conforming prototype is in the air and should pave the way for final certification and customer deliveries “by the winter,” the company reports. “Much of the work to satisfy the feds is already complete,” spokesman Bill Poirier says; however, spin testing has just begun. For more, visit Seawind’s Website at www.seawind.biz.
The American Legend Aircraft Company has built, well, another legend, the Legend Combat. The Sulphur Springs, Texas, manufacturing facility is the birthplace of the wildly successful Legend Cub, the light sport aircraft classic cub-homage. A few months ago, they introduced the “Combat,” another two-place tube-and-fabric LSA, this time with a military paint scheme. Both aircraft come with a variety of standard features, including doors on both sides, an electrical starter and an American-made 100 hp Continental O-200 engine. Options include choices on interiors, avionics, wheels, floats, props and more. See it all at www.legend.aero.
World-famous Flabob Airport in Riverside, Calif., will be the new home for Renaissance Aircraft, makers of the Luscombe 8. The company plans on producing the classic Luscombe and another version that will qualify as light sport aircraft. Initially the LSA will be a taildragger, but in time, it will also be offered as a nosedragger. The original Luscombe will come with a Lycoming O-320 up front, while the sport pilot version will have a Continental O-200. To see the Luscombe, log on to www.luscombeaircraft.com.
Canadian-based Symphony Aircraft Industries, makers of the two-seat Symphony 160, have initiated a financial restructuring process, aka bankruptcy, as it’s called in America. Symphony is seeking protection from its creditors while it tries to raise capital. During the restructuring period, the company plans on finalizing the paperwork to offer an Avidyne Entegra glass panel. The Website is www.symphonyaircraft.com.
If you think the two-seat market is tough, try the one-seat market. German aircraft manufacturer Extra is building a special single-seat Extra 300SHP for air show wizard, Michael Goulian. The totally redesigned aerobatic monoplane made its world debut in Berlin this summer, then showed up again at Oshkosh, Wis. Look at the whole line of Extras at www.extraaircraft.com.
|Royal Turbine Duke|
CubCrafters, the folks who’ve been making “new” cubs for some time now, have been given S-LSA airworthiness certification for the Sport Cub. The company already has a substantial number of orders and will begin deliveries almost immediately. Visit their Website at www.cubcrafters.com.
Rocket Engineering, which produces the hugely successful Malibu JetPROP, finished their partnership with Northwest Turbine LLC to receive FAA certification on the Royal Turbine Duke. The company takes Beechcraft Dukes and trades the piston engines for Pratt & Whitney PT6-A turbines. The modification allows the pressurized six-place twin to take off in about 1,000 feet and climb at more than 3,500 fpm. The Royal Turbine Duke cruises at 300 knots for a range of more than 1,000 miles. Deliveries on the “new” Dukes have already begun. Take a look at the aircraft at www.rocketengineering.com.
|The Johnson Sikorsky|
In 1928, Herbert Fisk Johnson (think Johnson’s Wax) built a Sikorsky flying boat and used it to explore the Amazon. The result? The discovery of carnauba wax, which ultimately made the Johnson family business into one of America’s most successful. In 1997, the company built an exact replica of the amphib. The original had fallen victim to some bad luck in 1938 and settled on the bottom of Manokwari Bay in Indonesia. Incidentally, the recently discovered original may once again see the light of day.
And while that airplane is old, it’s not as old as Cliff Garl. He’s 91 and just successfully soloed a few weeks ago in Arlington, Wash. Hats off to you, sir.