Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

January/February 2014 Readback

Mooney Is Back!

After a five-year hiatus from manufacturing single-engine airplanes, Mooney announced that it will restart manufacturing in January 2014 at its headquarters in Kerrville, Texas. New funding from Soaring America Corporation, a California-based company, will provide necessary capital to relaunch and sustain the legendary brand. Details of the financial arrangements will remain confidential. The company will continue to manufacture the Acclaim Type S and the Ovation series. "It's a new day for Mooney. And with a new investment group that is committed to the future, we're expecting to make a strong move in the industry," noted Barry Hodkin, Chief Financial Officer for the company. The company is projected to recruit up to 100 people within the first year of operation. Visit

Speed Record Set With King Air 350ER

Beechcraft was officially recognized by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) for a speed record set by its Beechcraft King Air 350ER. NAA President Jonathan Gaffney awarded the company with the official certificate at the 2013 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition. The King Air 350ER demonstrator aircraft set the record for "Speed Over a Recognized Course" during an October 28, 2012, flight at 331.08 mph for a 1,863.97 nm route from San Diego, Calif., to Orlando, Fla. It's a new world record, sanctioned by both the NAA and the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) in Switzerland. "This recognition signifies not only the speed of this aircraft, it also solidifies the high-performance reputation and the multitude of capabilities of the King Air 350ER as we continue our growth in the worldwide special mission market," said Dan Keady, senior vice president, Special Missions. The demonstrator has been fitted with a surveillance mission console, high-density seating for military transport missions, and two medical sleds and a medical storage cabinet for air ambulance missions. Visit"

Wipline 3450 Floats Approved in India

Wipaire received approval for Wipline 3450 floats on the Cessna 206H in India. Indian authorities have validated Wipaire's Supplemental Type Certificate SA01185CH for float installation, as well as Supplemental Type Certificate SA39CH for the landing gear advisory system. Wipaire also holds Indian approvals for Wipline 7000 floats installed on the Quest Kodiak. Visit

Red Bull Air Race Returns

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship returns beginning in February 2014 with a seven-race World Championship staged in six countries, on three continents. Of the seven races, two will take place in the U.S.: Dallas/Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway on September 6-7 and Las Vegas at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 11-12. "We're delighted to announce that the new Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be launched on February 28th in Abu Dhabi (UAE)," said Erich Wolf, CEO Red Bull Air Race GmbH, at a recent news conference in Malaysia. "The Red Bull Air Race is one of the most exciting sports the world has ever seen. We've all worked very hard over the last three years fine-tuning some of the safety aspects and bringing the sport to a new level. We never took our eye off the target and neither have these fantastic pilots or the great fans around the world." For 2014, there will be a number of technical improvements to increase safety, including standard engines and propellers for all pilots, changes to the lightweight nylon pylon material and raising the height of the pylons that the pilots pass through from 65 feet to 80 feet. Visit

First Citation Mustang For India

Cessna Aircraft delivered the first Citation Mustang destined for service in India. IRM Limited, one of the largest integrated travel and travel-related financial services company in India, took delivery of the Citation business jet during a ceremony at the Cessna delivery center in Independence, Kan. The ceremony was attended by B.V. Suresh, the Executive Vice President of IRM Limited. The first Mustang in India will be based at the company's facility in Ahmedabad, capital city of Gujarat State. Brad Thress, Cessna senior vice president of business jets, said: "The Mustang is a great fit for IRM Limited, and perfect for operation in India out of Ahmedabad. From the West Coast, passengers have non-stop access to practically every part of India. The Mustang can get in and out of places that might be tough for other aircraft to access, thanks to its short-field performance and a full-fuel range of 1,150 nm." Visit

50th Cowling For XP42A Upgrade

Blackhawk Composites has completed production and delivery of the 50th carbon-fiber composite cowling for Blackhawk Modifications' XP42A engine upgrade for Cessna Caravan and Grand Caravan aircraft. Blackhawk Composites' build-to-print shop builds parts from pre-impregnated composite materials and composite tooling. It also performs assembly and painting on site and is supported by A&P mechanics on staff, as well as the engineering capabilities of Blackhawk Modifications. Blackhawk Composites' FaroArm Platinum six-axis coordinate-measuring machine with laser scanning enables it to inspect component and to perform reverse-engineering. Visit and

Polished Aluminum TBM 850

Daher-Socata showcased a 2013 TBM 850 Elite Model with a polished aluminum exterior finish at this year's NBAA convention in Las Vegas. The special treatment consists of a bare metal finish across most of the airframe, complemented by grey metal paint on the fuselage bottom and for the composite parts, along with a powerful matte black tail. Adding to the TBM 850 Elite's very special look is its full black onyx cabin interior with carbon-fiber fittings. To meet this customer personalization request, the standard primer coat had to be removed off the already treated skins, which involved over 250 man hours of hand work. This was followed by the application of polishing compounds to bring about a high-lustre finish, that was subsequently completed by a final polish phase performed by a U.S. specialist in California. A key element in the treatment was its polish paste, replacing the factory-standard anti-corrosion application that usually involves a primer coating and several layers of white paint. Visit


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