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Aviation Products

Get the scoop on the latest in aviation products and services. Read aviation product reviews on everything from handheld gadgets to the newest panel-based instruments.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honeywell Bendix/King AV8OR


GPS and weather in your hands



Honeywell Bendix/King AV8ORBy now, almost every pilot has had some experience with a portable GPS unit, and the AV8OR does everything that you’ve come to expect from these devices, and more. Bendix/King’s new MFD integrates GPS, navigation database, graphical terrain and XM weather into a single portable device. The affordable unit’s list price is $799, and the XM WxWorx weather receiver add-on is available for an additional $523 (though, through the end of 2009, the AV8OR includes a $200 rebate coupon for the receiver). The AV8OR has a beautiful, bright 4.3-inch diagonal display with 480x272-pixel resolution. The touch-screen interface is easy to use and provides excellent tap and double-tap access to information.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

April 2009 Readback


Surfing The Skies!



readbackOn January 25, the extreme worlds of aerobatics and surfing were united in the skies over the break at Morro Bay, Calif. Kevin Eldredge, owner of SLO Air, the exclusive distributor of the new Sbach 300 and 342 Xtreme aerobatic aircraft from Germany, flew loops, rolls and hammerheads with world-class surfers Chris Ward and Gavin Sutherland. Also participating was Tutima Academy, going inverted with Ben Freelove in a Pitts S-2B. The first-of-its-kind event was sponsored by VedaloHD Performance Sunglasses, Azhiaziam American Aerial Wear and S.O. Productions to commemorate the launch of the new WardoHD signature line of sunglasses.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Garmin 696: A Giant Leap Ahead


In a remarkable paradigm shift from past portable GPS devices, Garmin produces a larger knee-pad version with new talents



garminIf you hadn’t noticed, the Garmin 696 is bigger. Anyone who has seen the advertising for Garmin’s new world-beater 696 GPS navigation unit knows it’s a definite departure from Garmin’s traditional philosophy of thinking small. Garmin entered the market back in 1989 by producing a small, high-quality, portable GPS unit; but the new system’s most obvious talent is simply its size. (In fact, the 696 isn’t the first larger-format Garmin portable GPS.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JH Audio Aerous VX-Series Headsets


In-the-ear sound for audiophile aviators



tech talkFor most pilots, aviation headsets are a necessary evil. They protect your hearing from long-term damage due to engine noise and make it easier to hear passengers, other pilots and ATC on the radio. But most do so by clamping down hard over your ears to block out sound; if worn for more than a few hours, they can give you a headache. I started with the generic passive headsets sold at my flight school, and when I started making long cross-country flights (up to 10 hours in a day), I upgraded to somewhat lighter and more comfortable automatic noise reduction (ANR) models. With those, the clamping pressure is less, the background noise is cut down, and it takes longer for me to get a headache—but I still get it.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

March 2009 Readback


A Diamond In The Rough



readbackIn spite of the difficult economy, Diamond Aircraft has announced large new orders. Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology has added nine new Diamond DA20-C1 aircraft to its flight-training department. Parks College, founded in 1927, was the first certified school of aviation in the United States.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Headset How-To


Today, aviation headsets sport more features than ever before. Use this guide to navigate your way through the headset jungle.



headsetAsk any two pilots what the best headset is and you’ll get two distinct answers, each with solid claims to back it up. There are scores of headsets on the market, and the different features of each model make choosing the correct headset a quagmire of myth, hearsay and fact.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Choosing Your Handheld


What to consider before you purchase a GPS, EFB or NAV/COM



handheldPilots today are increasingly dependent on electronic navigation and communication equipment: GPS for navigation, satellite radio for weather avoidance and VHF for voice communications (since September 11, no pilot can seriously think about flying in controlled airspace without one).
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

January/February 2009 Readback


Hannes Arch: 2008 Red Bull Champ!



read backPaul Bonhomme of Britain scored a victory in the final race of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Perth, Australia, on November 2, 2008, but Hannes Arch of Austria was crowned 2008 World Champion after finishing third.
Saturday, November 1, 2008

Top New Products


The Coolest gadgets for the cockpit and beyond



top new productsOne of the best things about EAA AirVenture, more than any other aviation gathering, is the sheer number of cool things you’ll find, whether cruising the fly market for tools, sheet metal and bungee cords, or stalking through the hangars for treasures and things you never knew you’d need. We’ve found some incredibly clever products; many that you may not have sampled yet. Prices run the gamut of ranges, but the items are all worth a look. When you go to Oshkosh, you never know what you may come home with!
Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tech Talk: Spot Satellite Personal Tracker


It could save your life



tech talkMy first exposure to the Spot Satellite Messenger came on a rainy March afternoon when air show pilot Gene Soucy arrived at the NAS Meridian Air Show in Meridian, Miss., where we were both performing. Gene got out of his Showcat biplane, shook my hand and said, “hello,” then pulled a little orange device out of his pocket and hit a button. He explained that he had just checked in with his coperformer, Theresa Stokes, by sending her a message that he had arrived safely. I asked the obvious question, and he said, “It’s a Spot, man, you need to get a Spot.”
Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 2008 Readback


Electric LSA Are Charging Up



Randall Fishman’s ElectraFlyer-C monoplane can fly for 1.5 hours on 75 cents of lithium-polymer battery power. Fishman aims to wed one of his larger motor-battery power packs with a two-seat aircraft.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 2008




Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nov-Dec 2008 On The Radar




On July 30, 2008, a wave of excitement washed over the crowds at Oshkosh. Fifteen hundred miles away, in Vero Beach, Fla., the PiperJet had made its maiden flight, spending an hour aloft and reaching 10,000 feet. Since then (at this writing), the PiperJet has made 18 additional flights and spent about 34 hours in the air as test pilots Dave Schwartz and Buddy Sessoms focus on exploring stability, control and handling throughout the envelope.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tech Talk: Garmin G600 Glass Panel


Retrofit glass for steam-gauge six-packs



tech talkJust a few years ago, state-of-the-art instrument panels for GA aircraft included a traditional “six-pack” of flight instruments connected to a panel-mounted moving-map GPS. Those panels look dated in comparison to modern glass panels, which replace all flight instruments with a single primary flight display (PFD), and provide moving-map and other functions on a companion multi-function display (MFD).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

December 2008 Readback




Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has granted CubCrafters’ CC18-180 Top Cub type certification, which allows new, certified, ready-to-fly Cubs to be delivered to customers in Australia for the first time. The Top Cub was certified in the States in December 2004; it received type certification from Transport Canada in early August, and has now been approved on floats and wheels in Canada and Australia. (On September 8, the first Canadian-registered Top Cub was delivered to owner Bernard Brossard in Montreal, Quebec.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

December 2008




Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Analyze This


Today’s engine analyzers can help you lower costs and fly more safely



No matter how modern an airplane’s engines and systems are, predictable power is ultimately a pilot’s personal responsibility. We rely on engine instrumentation to ensure safe flight, but we also like to optimize engine operations (for example, speed, distance or lifetime economy). The right information, reliably transmitted and interpreted, can save money and time, and prevent awkward situations.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Control Vision Anywhere Map XP & ATC


Portable moving maps with weather



For years now, Control Vision has offered GPS moving-map software on portable devices based on assorted versions of Microsoft Windows. When I first looked at Anywhere Map, it ran on a Pocket PC and required cable connection to an external GPS; the result was a nice (but small) color moving-map display.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 2008 Readback


The PiperJet Takes Flight



On July 30, 2008, the PiperJet made its first flight from Piper’s headquarters in Vero Beach, Fla. “Today marks the beginning of a new era for Piper Aircraft as the company literally takes flight into a whole new realm of performance, luxury and capability,” asserted Piper President and CEO James K. Bass.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Flight Management Systems




Airline and bizjet pilots have been using flight management system (FMS) technology for almost 30 years, but it’s new to general aviation pilots. From the beginning, the FMS has appeared to the pilot as a control unit with at least two features: a keypad to enter waypoints and an alphanumeric display to show navigation and performance data. That’s still true for most FMS displays, though some now provide graphical features, and not all GA installations include a keypad. The FMS can also drive navigation instruments (or the PFD on a glass panel).