Pilot Journal
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.
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on the radar Stimulating Simulating
But the race for more and better personal transportation isn’t limited to the pure jets. Demand for the larger twins and single-engine turbines has heated up as well, causing a boom in simulator training. SimCom just finished renovations in their Scottsdale, Ariz., facility to make room for a new “virtual” Pilatus PC-12. The company regularly conducts simulator flight training for Beech Barons, Dukes, Cessna twins, Socata TBMs, Aerostars, King Airs, Malibu/Meridian/Mirages, Piper twin drivers, as well as the who’s who of major airliners. But the demand for virtual flying is no longer just for jet jocks.

SimCom used actual PC-12 airplane parts to make the turbine single’s cockpit indistinguishable from the real McCoy. The panel is identical to the current production aircraft, with a Honeywell KMD-850, KLN-90B GPS and Garmin 530. The 180-degree wraparound visual-motion cueing system can reproduce just about anything you want, day or night, VFR and instrument meteorological conditions. The need for simulator training is big enough to support a second SimCom PC-12 simulator in Orlando, Fla., as well as pure jet, prop jet and piston training centers in Miami, Fort Pierce and Vero Beach, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Dulles, Va.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Phoenix, Ariz. For more info, contact SimCom at (800) 272-0211 or log on to www.panamacademy.com.

on the radar Cessna is reacting to the big interest in turbine singles by adding creature comfort to their wildly successful Caravan series. Suitors can include the Yingling Oasis interior when they order a new aircraft, adding first-class digs to an already impressive load-carrying capability. With leather and cabinetry, video screens for in-flight entertainment and AC power to run your laptop, the new STC for the Oasis interior pushes the C-208 out of the weight-lifting championships deep into executive/personal transport competition. Log on to Cessna’s Website at www.cessna.com for more information.

on the radarThe Ultimate Single-Pilot Jet
Despite all the fanfare, there’s a late entry in the category from aviation zeitgeist Burt Rutan that may just take the cake. The GlobalFlyer, a single-engine, one-person pressurized jet is designed to fly around the world nonstop, without refueling. The oddity measures 114 feet from wingtip to wingtip and is powered by a Williams Jet FJ44-3 ATW jet engine, drinking from 17 different gas tanks. Don’t expect Rutan to accept your deposit for a delivery position quite yet. GlobalFlyer’s raison d’etre is to provide billionaire Steve Fossett (think ballooning) a shot at yet another aviation world record. For more information, log on to www.globalflyer.com.


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