ICON Is Here
When Vern Raburn talks, people listen. Recently, the visionary behind the Eclipse VLJ was talking about a new light-sport amphibian, the ICON A5. Raburn is an adviser for start-up ICON Aircraft, which aspires to create a sport aircraft that will “do for recreational flying what personal watercraft did for boating.”
Think Jet Ski, car and motorcycle—with wings. Designed by Kirk Hawkins, an engineer and former F-16 jockey, the A5 would make James Bond envious. The sleek, easily trailered (with folding electric wings) amphib should prove no lightweight in the sky either. The engineering and development team comes from Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites. The sexy, carbon-fiber, composite waterbird seats two and will float/roll to your dock or hangar starting at $139,000, perhaps by 2010. All-up weight is cited at 1,430 pounds with a 105-knot max speed and a 300 nm range; the aircraft is powered by the 100 hp Rotax 912 ULS. Flight-testing hasn’t begun yet. More information is available at www.iconaircraft.com.
Auto Gas For Lycoming
Lycoming announced an unleaded automotive gasoline approval program for its standard compression ratio O-360 and IO-360 product lines. Unleaded 93 AKI automotive gas conforming to either Euro Norm EN228 (in Europe) or ASTM D4814 (in the United States) will be the basis of this Lycoming-specified fuel. Aircraft certification approval must be obtained separately to permit operation with this fuel. Program approval is expected by fall 2008. Learn more at www.lycoming.com.
“The-Jet” Flies & Gets Its Official Name
The most highly anticipated aircraft in Cirrus’ history, “the-jet,” made its first flight on July 3. The 45-minute flight was conducted from Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minn., and the aircraft performed flawlessly. It looked spectacular in its red and white paint (the model and mockup have been displayed in gold and white). A week later, the single-engine personal jet received its official name, “Cirrus Vision SJ50.” Backed by more than 400 deposits of $100,000, the Cirrus Vision should begin deliveries in 2011. Visit www.cirrusdesign.com.
Fractional Ownership Of Mooneys
With US Aviation Group’s National Fractional Ownership Program, six pilots split the cost and expenses on a new IFR-equipped Mooney Acclaim Type S. US Aviation arranges checkouts, scheduling, storage and maintenance. “All the pilot has to do is show up and fly,” said Justin Shelley, US Aviation’s director of aircraft sales. “It’s a perfect solution for the owners of small businesses. Fractional ownership puts a high-performance aircraft within financial reach of many pilots who are enticed by the simplicity of the concept.” Visit www.usaeroplex.com.
Michelin Gets Military Medal
The U.S. military recognized Michelin Aircraft Tire Company as one of the government’s best suppliers with a Best Value Medal Award at a special honors dinner held on June 3. Brett Carnes, director of Michelin’s North American military sales, accepted the silver medal. “Michelin is committed to providing the right tire at the right place at the right time in support of our military men and women around the globe,” said Carnes. Visit www.airmichelin.com.
Mooney In Brazil
Mooney received certification for the Model M20TN Acclaim and Acclaim Type S from the ANAC, the Brazilian aviation certification authority. “Brazil represents a strong potential market for Mooney,” noted CEO Dennis Ferguson. “It’s the country with the second-largest general aviation fleet in the world. We have more than 30 Mooneys currently operating there. This certification means that owners of Acclaims in Brazil can register and base their airplanes in-country, and they won’t be required to fly the aircraft out of the country every 60 days, as is currently mandated for foreign-registered airplanes. We’re in the process of establishing a local Mooney representative and will begin pursuing the approval of the Ovation very soon,” he added. Learn more at www.mooney.com.
Tecnam Acquires CAG
Italy-based Tecnam has purchased Composite Aeronautic Group (CAG) of Spain. Tecnam expects to use CAG’s facilities to double its light, single-engine aircraft production by the end of 2009. The move will also increase production space for the P2006T, a four-place twin in final certification with the EASA and FAA. The acquisition comes as the design for a new aircraft is being completed by Tecnam. Visit www.tecnam.com.
Kirby Chambliss Crowned Fastest
Crowds topping 750,000 witnessed American pilot Kirby Chambliss battle for first place at the Detroit, Mich., stop of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race World Series. His winning time of 1:12.08 was mere fractions of a second behind series points leader Paul Bonhomme (1:12.23). “I went out and just flew as hard as I could,” stated Chambliss. “Winning is always great, but it makes it more special to win on U.S. soil.” Follow the series at www.redbullairrace.com.
New Seminoles For ATP
Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) accepted the delivery of two factory-new Piper Seminole PA44s. ATP ordered five new Seminoles earlier this year and expects to receive the remaining aircraft by August. ATP’s fleet now includes 140 flight-training aircraft. Visit www.atpflightschool.com.
AirShares Elite Purchases iFly
AirShares Elite has acquired iFly, the world’s first exclusive aero club, extending AirShares Elite’s Southern California market and expanding iFly’s network of Los Angeles and San Diego members. It will operate a fleet of Cirrus SR22-G3s in Southern California, providing even greater utility to iFly members, who previously flew a fleet of Cessna 350s. AirShares Elite will provide access to its transition training program to iFly members, enabling them to begin flying its fleet of Cirrus aircraft. To learn more, visit www.airshareselite.com.
A Cleaner, New Look For Your Airplane
Sporty’s Composite Hubcaps improve an airplane’s appearance while smoothing the flow of air around its landing gear. These new hubcaps cover hard-to-clean rims and provide easy valve-stem access. A large access door makes it unnecessary to remove the hubcaps to check tire pressure. Sporty’s Composite Hubcaps are STC’d and can be installed on an aircraft in less than five minutes. Attached with stainless-steel fasteners, the hubcaps help keep an airplane’s wheels and bearings clean. They’re designed to fit Cleveland 6.00 series wheels with recessed hub nuts. The 7.25-inch hubcaps are available for several models of aircraft, including Beech, Cessna, Commander, Maule, Mooney and Piper. Learn more from Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS.
ASA’s newest DVD ground school, Helicopter Fundamentals, guides students through the important concepts of helicopter flight. The award-winning production features explanations that come to life with in-flight demonstrations and 3D animated graphics. Aerodynamics are covered in detail and include cockpit point-of-view footage, which helps viewers experience maneuvers from the pilot’s perspective. Use Helicopter Fundamentals to prepare yourself for the FAA Knowledge Exams. For more, contact ASA at (800) 272-2359.
Simulated Testing Center
Prepware.com allows pilots and AMTs to hone test-taking skills before actually heading to the testing center. Applicants can use the tests to acquire a test sign-off from ASA staff. Additionally, AMT applicants can use the certificate of completion to get an endorsement from their local FSDO. Practice exams are available for all aircraft category and test types. Features include realistic test simulation and actual FAA questions for your certificate or rating. Performance graphs allow students to identify problem areas, focusing their study methods. Review explanations and answers for the entire test, and see grades for each subject. For more information, contact ASA at (800) 272-2359.
Sporty’s has partnered with Winslow Life Raft Company, one of the most respected names in survival equipment, to provide general aviation pilots with the finest life vests available. Every Winslow Vest meets FAA TSO-C13f, and has either one or two completely separate air cells activated by independent CO2 cylinders. When inflated, the vest provides 37.5 pounds of buoyancy. A water-activated light aids rescuers in locating the wearer. Both the Single Cell and Twin Cell Life Vests come in an easy-opening pouch, and can be donned in seconds with the quick-fit buckle. Because the vests come in a sealed pouch, they don’t require recertification for 10 years. Used extensively by flying clubs, fleet managers and corporate flight departments, these vests are essential equipment for overwater flights. Whether it’s a trip to the islands or just a short hop over the lake, a life vest for every occupant is cheap insurance. Order by calling Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS.
Save Space As You Manage Your Flight
Traditionally, pilots keep flight records, take notes of special instructions given by ATC and track vital flight statistics on a writing surface mounted on the thigh. With a pilot’s large workload and the confined space of a contemporary cockpit, flight resource management is vital for both safety and comfort. 2H Innovations’ ArmBoard provides an ergonomic and space-saving writing surface that’s as natural to wear as a wristwatch. Regardless of how large or small the cockpit is, the ArmBoard truly frees up much needed space. For more information, contact 2H Innovations at (866) 735-9276.
Enhanced IFR Preparation
Version 9.5 of ASA’s On Top IFR Simulator introduces new features that enhance the simulation experience and make it more realistic. The program offers pilots the opportunity to refine critical instrument skills before putting them to test in actual flight. On Top 9.5 has improved flight-control interface, allowing users more control over the program’s response to their flight-control (yoke/joystick) inputs. Pitch and roll sensitivity can be fine-tuned independently, giving pilots greater control over how the aircraft feels. Dual-monitor support is new to On Top 9.5. For more information, contact ASA at (800) 272-2359.