Monday, March 1, 2004
Mar-Apr 2004 On The Radar
|What 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.|
|Garmin G1000 in a Cessna Skylane|
Alan Klapmeier, president and CEO of Cirrus Design, has been a driving force behind the shift to glass and welcomes the change as a milestone: “The good news is that the new technology that is changing and growing many industries can have the same effect on personal aviation. As with the Windows operating system on PCs, a user-friendly instrument panel dominated by a large PFD (primary flight display) opens the world of aviation to a wider audience. One hundred years from now, the introduction of low-cost, intuitive PFDs will be seen as the innovation that sparked new growth in the GA industry.”
And Now The Jet Set
If you’re tuning in for an update on the latest episode of “All My Fanjets,” the exciting new soap opera on the race for new personal jets, here you go: There’s at least one new character that’s entered the picture, and the possibility of a secret second.
Honda long rumored to be sniffing the airplane business, announced the development of the HF118 Turbofan Aircraft Engine. The FADEC-controlled compact kerosene burner has been in testing since 1999 and was developed ostensibly to power the company’s still-experimental and “we’re not sure we’re even gonna make this” business jet, the HondaJet. The car company’s ideas call for a six-seater with a projected max cruise of 420 knots.
Avocet Aircraft unveiled the ProJet, a six-to-eight-seat twin expected to start delivery in late 2006. The new jet comes from Cleveland-based Jet Partners’ UltraJet Division, in partnership with Israel Aircraft Industries. The single-pilot $2-million ProJet is projected to cruise at 365 knots and have a 41,000-foot ceiling.
And if you’re one of the thousands of pilots who have put their money down, here’s how your bet is looking since the contenders left the gate.
|Aircraft ||Price||Certification Date||Max Speed||Max Op. Alt. |
|Eclipse 500 ||$975,000 ||1Q 2006||375||FL410 |
|Cessna Mustang ||$2.395M||mid-2006 ||340||FL410 |
|Adam 700 ||$1.995M||4Q 2004||340||FL410 |
|Avocet ProJet ||$2M||4Q 2006||365||FL410 |
|Diamond D-Jet ||$850,000||1Q 2006||315||FL250 |
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