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Sunday, January 1, 2006

Year In Review


A salute to the most important developments and events of 2005


Ready or not, here comes a new year in aviation. And if 2005 is any indication of what we can expect, 2006 should be nothing less than remarkable. In the last year alone, general aviation (GA) has seen an unprecedented boom in new types of aircraft, pilots and technology. So here’s a recap of what made 2005 special— highlighting the most important developments—with an exclusive look at what we can anticipate in 2006.

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2005 - Year In ReviewReady or not, here comes a new year in aviation. And if 2005 is any indication of what we can expect, 2006 should be nothing less than remarkable. In the last year alone, general aviation (GA) has seen an unprecedented boom in new types of aircraft, pilots and technology. So here’s a recap of what made 2005 special—highlighting the most important developments—with an exclusive look at what we can anticipate in 2006.

Certi-Flyable
Newly certified aircraft made their appearance in 2005. Diamond Aircraft received FAA certification for two on its fleet. The first was the DA42-TDI Twin Star, featuring two jet-fuel-burning TAE Centurion 1.7 turbo diesel engines and a Garmin G1000 glass panel. The second was the DA40-FP, a fixed-pitch version of the DA40-180, which is equipped with a carbureted 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A4M.

After more than 1.5 million man-hours, Adam Aircraft finally achieved certification of its A500 centerline twin in May 2005. The carbon-fiber twin is powered by two Teledyne Continental TSIO-550 powerplants and features seats rated to 26 G’s, side-stick controls and airbags at the crew station.

2006 Outlook
Adam plans to manufacture six A500 aircraft per month by 2006 year-end and expects certification of its very light jet (VLJ) contender, the A700, in 2006.

American Champion Aircraft also joined the newly certified aircraft ranks. Its new High Country Explorer, a derivative of the Citabria, was certified during the latter part of 2005. The 180 hp backcountry high-wing flier runs on both 100LL and unleaded automobile gas.

2006 Outlook
American Champion expects certification of a new aircraft, the Ultimate Adventure, using Superior Air Parts’ 180 hp Vantage Engine and a smaller-diameter composite MT prop. American Champ is also planning to enter the light sport aircraft (LSA) market, probably by bringing back the Citabria 7EC with a Continental O-200 engine. The company will also offer a JPI EDM-930 engine analyzer as an option for its entire fleet.

Maule Air Inc. unveiled its latest addition to the family, the M-4-180V, a two-seat STOL aircraft. It’s an updated version of the original M-4 model and features Maule’s latest flap design, including its minus-seven-degree flap setting, a full gyro panel and GPS/comm with a moving-map display.

2006 Outlook
Maule plans certification of its M-9-230 diesel, a 200 hp five-seat, four-door aircraft powered by a Jet A SMA SR305 engine.

Other 2005 aircraft developments: The Tiger AG-5B and the Diamond DA40 received Chinese type certification, and the Liberty XL2 received its FAA IFR certification.

The Glass Menagerie
Glass panels have continued to play a starring role in all aircraft, and Avidyne (maker of the FlightMax Entegra) and Garmin (manufacturer of the Garmin G1000) are clamoring to add new OEMs to their list. In 2005, Avidyne has managed to cinch the deal with New Piper, which chose the Entegra to be installed in both the Meridian and Mirage. The Entegra will be offered in the two-seat Symphony SA 160 as well, and the company included a flight director and TAWS function on Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. It also released its MultiLink capabilities, which features XM WX and a two-way messaging service; CMax, which showcases Jeppesen’s JeppView digital approach charts; and weather radar.





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