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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.

Friday, February 1, 2008

February 2008 Readback

readbackCirrus 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.”
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Staying Safe

A guide to gadgets that will keep you and your passengers secure

staying safeRemember when CB radios were actually useful? Like CBs and just about everything originally intended for emergency purposes, many of the safety items listed in this article are for situations of distress, where life, eyesight or organ health is in danger. Let’s all be careful and professional when using PLBs (personal locator beacons) and ELTs (emergency locator transmitters).
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

January 2008 Readback

readbackLiberty announced the closing of a major debt financing, arranged by Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain), which will allow the company to expand its production capacity. “The decision to raise finance was based on the strong worldwide demand for Liberty’s XL2 aircraft,” said the General Manager of Kuwait Finance House, Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat. “The finance is important, as it gives strength, stability and resources to Liberty, which will culminate in Liberty’s further success in aircraft sales.”
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Buyer’s Guide: The Active Pilot’s Flight Bag

Consider one of these exciting new products

garmin gpsFlight bags have certainly changed over the years, but what has changed most is what today’s pilots consider “must have.” My first flight bag was a military flying suit with pockets everywhere, each stuffed with some necessity.
Saturday, December 1, 2007

December 2007 Readback

readbackBritish race pilot Paul Bonhomme was victorious at the penultimate stop in the 2007 Red Bull Air Race World Series. More than 50,000 spectators gathered around the San Diego Bay as competing pilots sped around a challenging course marked by inflatable pylons. Bonhomme’s finishing time was 1:23:80; placing second was U.S. pilot and last year’s series winner Kirby Chambliss at 1:24:69, only fractions of a second behind. This year’s series champion will be determined in November at the final race in Perth, Australia.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Handheld Avionics

Using portable gadgets to fly safer

handheld avionicsI’m sold on the concept that using portable avionics in the cockpit will make the flying experience safer and more convenient. As a flight instructor, I teach in aircraft with large differences in avionics, ranging from the latest and greatest in glass panels to ships with no radio or electrical system. Regardless, it’s always comforting to have my trusty Garmin GPSMAP 496 along for the flight to help with situational awareness and to have the latest weather at my fingertips.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 2007 Readback

readback opener After introducing the 300 Knot Club, Columbia began to receive photographic evidence from aircraft owners of groundspeeds in excess of 300 knots. The company has subsequently inducted these pilots into the club. “The 300 Knot Club is simply a way to celebrate what a purpose-built speedster can accomplish in the hands of a skilled aviator,” said Columbia Aircraft VP of Sales Randy Bollinger.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nov-Dec 2007 On The Radar

XLS+ Completes First Flight

xls+ first flightThe latest version of the world’s best-selling business jet model, the Citation XLS+, recently completed its first flight. “With the flight progressing as planned and the aircraft performing as expected, this first flight was a great success,” said Cessna Citation XLS+ Program Manager Kevin Steinert. “The integration of the new Collins Pro Line 21 and Pratt & Whitney’s FADEC-equipped engines went smoothly, and we look forward to continuing this program on schedule.”
Monday, October 1, 2007

October 2007 Readback

oshkosh 2007More than 560,000 visitors and 10,000 airplanes flocked to Oshkosh, Wis., for EAA AirVenture 2007. There was something for everyone, including daily air shows featuring performers such as the Red Barons, Patty Wagstaff and Michael Goulian.
Saturday, September 1, 2007

Products to Watch

Fly Faster, Smarter, Better And Safer

I love the aviation industry; it’s always innovating and producing newer and better things to help us fly faster/smarter/better/safer, etc. When Plane & Pilot asked me to subjectively investigate “what’s cool and what’s new,” I jumped at the prospect. So, here’s our take on what’s new, what’s cool and what’s on the horizon.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sept-Oct 2007 On The Radar

cirrus personal jetOn June 28, Cirrus Design Corporation finally lifted the veil on “the-jet,” the much-anticipated clean-sheet design for its “personal jet.” “We’re calling it a ‘personal jet’ not because of its size, but because it’s a natural extension of our SR22 line,” said Cirrus cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier. “Like the SR22, the-jet is designed to be owner flown, and it will be loaded with innovative features, including the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. While it’s technologically advanced, it’s also designed to be exceptionally easy to fly, offering customers the opportunity to grow into yet another lifestyle change with Cirrus.”
Sunday, July 1, 2007

July-Aug 2007 On The Radar

pilatus aircraftThe year 2006 was the best for Pilatus since the company was founded. They recorded a double-digit increase in number of aircraft sold; additionally, sales and operating income have been on an upward curve for the past four years. More than half the company’s sales (51%) were generated in North and South America, and more than a quarter (29.2%) in Europe, followed by Asia (9.2%), Australia (7%) and Africa (3.6%). In 2006, 102 aircraft were manufactured—13 more than in the previous year. With 90 aircraft, the PC-12 represented the highest proportion, followed by seven trainer aircraft and five Pilatus Porter PC-6s.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May-June 2007 On The Radar

on the radarThe prototype Next Generation PC-12, which is slated for certification at the end of 2007, has completed its first transatlantic journey from Switzerland. On its way to the United States, it stopped in Iqaluit, Canada, for a series of cold-weather trials before continuing on to Pilatus’ North American headquarters in Broomfield, Colo.
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Mar-Apr 2007 On The Radar

on the radarTo mark the 75th anniversary of Beechcraft and the 60th anniversary of the Beechcraft Bonanza, Raytheon Aircraft Company is rolling back prices on 2007 Beechcraft Barons and Bonanzas.
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Great Handheld Gadgets!

Glass-cockpit functionality in a carry-on package

Great Handheld GadgetsMost airplanes in the general aviation fleet were built more than 20 years ago and have old-fashioned “steam gauge” panels that induce glass-cockpit envy among pilots who get a peek at the latest flight decks from such companies as Avidyne, Chelton and Garmin. Fortunately, there’s an amazingly simple cure: A wide range of carry-on gadgets are available that provide glass-cockpit functions in a handheld package. In this issue, we briefly cover more than a dozen products that span the gamut, from simple digital E6B computers to full-function portable multi-function displays!
Friday, December 1, 2006

Face Weather With More Confidence

The Garmin 396 is a powerful handheld weather tool

Face Weather With More ConfidenceThe trip was to be a long one: Watsonville, Calif., to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was supposed to take about eight hours, but the weather conspired to lengthen the trip to almost 10 hours. We planned to make one stop in Denver for refueling. It was typical western summer weather, which meant expectations of thunderstorms from midday on, so the Rockies were going to be problematic from a weather standpoint. As it turned out, so was much of the remainder of the trip.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Mercury Computer Systems VistaNav

Glass-panel functionality comes in a portable package

If you’re like me—a pilot who mainly flies airplanes with “steam gauge” instruments that look increasingly out of date—you probably salivate over the glass flight decks that are common in new airplanes. Even the latest (smallest) singles from Cessna and Piper have them. And while it’s possible to retrofit similar hardware in older airplanes, for most of us, the cost (in the high tens of thousands of dollars) is prohibitive.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Nov-Dec 2006 On The Radar

on the radarCessna received full FAA type certification for its Citation Mustang, making it the first official entrant into the highly anticipated very light jet market. “This is an immense achievement,” said Cessna Chairman Jack Pelton, “marking another point in history when Cessna has led the aviation industry into new territory.”
Friday, September 1, 2006

Sept-Oct 2006 On The Radar

on the radarThe 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.
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

TKS Ice Protection

Flying year-round becomes a possibility with the TKS Ice Protection system

TKS Ice ProtectionPublishing an aviation magazine can be a lot of fun, especially when the assignment is to refurbish an airplane like a 1982 B36TC Bonanza, our most recent project plane. If you’ve been reading Plane & Pilot over the last few years, you’re probably familiar with this plane from the August and September 2003 issues. At that time, we pulled the best equipment on the market to retrofit the 20-year-old aircraft. The idea was to showcase all the emerging technology for high-performance, piston-engine aircraft.