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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.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

10+ Most Useful Cockpit Gadgets

A buyer’s guide to the latest must-have gear for aviators

10+ Most Useful Cockpit GadgetsAlmost every pilot searches for the right tools to make any flight a safe and enjoyable one. Whether it’s a gizmo that enables us to enjoy that short $100 hamburger flight or a portable piece of equipment that can save us baggage space during long cross-country treks to the backcountry, we’re always in need of that extra-special something that will make our trips a whole lot easier and the ride a whole lot more fun.
Sunday, May 1, 2005

May-June 2005 On The Radar

on the radarFinal numbers for general aviation’s 2004 financial year have been released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and the news is great. Piston singles sales hit a 20-year high. “Bonus depreciation, coupled with the continuing growth of the U.S. economy helped make 2004 a turning point for our industry,” says GAMA chairman Jim Schuster.
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Mar-Apr 2005 On The Radar

on the radarAn unusual rash of activity has come out of Washington, D.C., this year that affects all pilots. Changes in regulations, aviation services, airspace and even outer space have, thus far, been the hallmark of 2005.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004

AvMap/Navigation’s EKP-IV GPS

A portable, WAAS-enabled solution with a mighty big screen

AvMap’s EKP-IV—which is an enhanced version of its predecessor, called the EKP-IIIC—can most likely best be described as the Rolls-Royce of portable GPS units for in-cockpit use. It’s bigger than your average handheld, standing at 4.75x7x1.5 inches, and it’s a bit pricey—but both the money and size buy a couple of other things that usually aren’t available in any other portable GPS units of which I’m quite aware, perhaps because the company has seriously taken into account its customer’s suggestions and comments.
Monday, November 1, 2004

Nov-Dec 2004 On The Radar

on the radarAfter nearly a decade of many birthing pains, the new sport pilot’s license as well as light-sport aircraft category has become a reality. The new 4,700 pages added to the FAA rules and regs went into effect on September 1st of this year, and while no one quite knows what’s next, aviation’s general consensus is positive.
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Garmin GPSmap 296

Terrain comes to portable GPS

I count myself lucky that I’m allowed to fly with virtually all the new portable GPSs, and I’m just as amazed as you are when avionics manufacturers continue to find new worlds to conquer. Just when it seems there’s nothing new left to be done, someone does it.
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Sept-Oct 2004 On The Radar

on the radarIf you’ve been wondering if this tsunami of new technology that’s been threatening to forever change the way we fly is just a passing fancy, the news is now clear: Every major airframe manufacturer has announced they’re presently or will shortly begin shipping airplanes featuring glass panels. Cessna Aircraft Company (www.cessna.com) just received the FAA’s blessing to begin delivering Garmin (www.garmin.com) G1000-equipped Skylanes, both turbocharged and normally aspirated models.
Sunday, August 1, 2004

Mastering The Panel-Mounted GPS Part 1: VFR Use

Bendix/King, Garmin, Chelton? At first glance, they all seem so different, but are they really? It turns out they have a lot in common.

Learning to use even one of the modern IFR-approved GPS maps, let alone several of them, is challenging. Understanding the capabilities of a device requires as much class time as learning how to operate it. The how can be very different from unit to unit, but the what is surprisingly similar.
Thursday, July 1, 2004

July-Aug 2004 On The Radar

on the radarAt its annual Aviation Forecast Conference, held recently in Washington, D.C., the Federal Aviation Admin-istration (FAA) released its forecast for general aviation (GA) from fiscal years 2004 through 2015. The FAA defines “general aviation” as “a diverse range of aviation activities and includes all segments of the aviation industry, except commercial air carriers and the military.” The report gives us the FAA’s perspective on everything from single-engine piston aircraft to corporate jets, gliders and even homebuilt airplanes, both now and over the coming 12-year period.
Saturday, May 1, 2004

May-June 2004 On The Radar

on the radarAfter being shoved out of the spotlight for the last year by the new gaggle of personal jets, the pistons are back. Liberty Aircraft’s XL2 earned final certification from the FAA, becoming the first GA aircraft to come direct from the factory with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Developed by Teledyne Continental, FADEC puts power management into the hands of a computer, resulting in a 15% to 20% fuel economy.
Thursday, April 1, 2004

SureCheck TrafficScope VRX

Portable collision avoidance

techtalkFor those of us who routinely fly in busy airspace, the need to constantly “keep your head on a swivel” competes for our attention with ATC instructions, terminal area charts and instruments on the panel. The folks who fly “heavy iron,” on the other hand, have had options like TCAS (Traffic Alert/Collision Avoidance System) for more than 20 years, which they can rely on for warning of other aircraft on a collision course. But the cost of such a system (which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars) has been prohibitive for most of the GA fleet.
Monday, March 1, 2004

Mar-Apr 2004 On The Radar

on the radarWhat began only a few years ago as a little more than a tease, glass cockpits have made their way to the general-aviation mainstream. Steam gauges are giving way to dream gauges. Upstarts Lancair and Cirrus were the first to show up with the big display screens in certified aircraft and neither has looked back. Last year, Cirrus announced it would sell only glass-paneled SR20 and SR22s, and immediately began shipping its aircraft equipped with the Avidyne Entegra.
Monday, March 1, 2004

Buyer's Guide: The New Headsets

Whether it’s passive or active, this year’s models offer plenty of “oomph” for your ears

lightspeedOver the last decade, headsets have become a mainstay for almost all aviators. A continuing flow of information on potentially damaging noise levels has led to greater headset use, and any doubt we may have had can be challenged by an idle conversation with an older pilot who has experienced hearing loss due to a lack of hearing protection. Cockpit noise not only can result in damage to the eardrum, but high ambient noise also can cause pilots to experience fatigue. Whatever the reason for wearing headsets, few people now argue against their merits.
Sunday, February 1, 2004

Buyer's Guide: Gotta-Have-It Cockpit Gear

A few pieces of equipment make cross-country flying easier and more relaxing. Here are suggestions on what to bring to make far-reaching flights pass in a flash.

Believe it or not, there are still lots of pilots out there who are flying without a GPS. There are many portables, such as the Airmap 500, Garmin 196 and 295 and the Skymap IIIC, that will not only make flight navigation easier, but also help you find a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant or the best fishing spots around town.
Thursday, January 1, 2004

Emergency Locator Transmitters

How they work and why things are about to change

Like most of you, I've been flying with one or another ELT for years, hoping I'd never have a reason to use one. In truth, I took them for granted, assuming the technology would save my life if it ever became necessary.
Thursday, January 1, 2004

Reader's Choice Awards

Wednesday, November 30, -0001

NASA Debuts Global Hawk For Earth Science

Global HawkPlane & Pilot visited NASA Dryden Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Mojave, Calif., where NASA and Northrop Grumman Corporation unveiled the first Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems to be used for environmental science research. Heralding a new application for the world’s first fully autonomous aircraft, NASA plans to use the Global Hawk for Earth science missions that require high-altitude, long-distance airborne capability.
Wednesday, November 30, -0001

Headsets: Choosing The Right Tool

Technology and individuality drive this year’s headset selection

Headsets: Choosing The Right ToolThe year 2013 brings with it subtle changes in the headset world. Aviation leader Peltor has been bought by 3M Corporation, and their aviation line has all but disappeared.
Wednesday, November 30, -0001

Fab Fall Mini Roundup

A new powerplant, LSA, air-conditioner, avionics and iPad apps for your Santa’s list

Fab Fall Mini RoundupOur latest offering of gadgets and goodies to carry you through your holiday season and sugar plum-fairy fantasies.
Wednesday, November 30, -0001

NextGen ADS-B Update 2014

Time to plan an upgrade: It’s cheaper than you think

NextGen ADS-B Update 2014I've been covering the development of ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast) technology for quite a while, and my advice to readers has been the same as what I was planning.