Pilot Journal
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.
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Quest Aircraft Company in Sandpoint, Idaho, is test-flying a new turbine single. The fixed-gear Kodiak uses a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 to develop a maximum of 750 hp and can be configured to carry heavy loads or up to 10 passengers. Quest plans for the certification to occur during the first quarter of 2006. The Kodiak will come with a price tag of about $1 million. For more, call Quest Aircraft at (208) 263-1111 or visit www.questaircraft.com.

After 14 years and 80,000 hours of restoration, the B-17, called Liberty Belle, flew for the first time in nearly four decades in Kissimmee, Fla. The historic bomber has undergone several major face-lifts since her roll-out from the Lockheed-Vega plant in Burbank, Calif., in May 1945. The B-17 now is the flagship for Liberty Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to give history a future by honoring our veterans, educating our youth and preserving our aviation heritage. The Liberty Foundation is making plans for its National Tour of the 14th Flying Fortress this year. Call the Liberty Foundation at (912) 384-1068 or log on to www.libertyfoundation.org.

But only one new airplane shows just how fun it is to be a virgin—the GlobalFlyer. While Richard Branson waits for Scaled Composites to deliver the civilian spacecraft, Virgin Atlantic executive Steve Fossett expects to take the Rutan-designed Model 311 around the world in 80 hours. Like its predecessor, the Voyager, and its cousin, the White Knight, the GlobalFlyer is a trimaran with two huge external booms that hold the landing gear and 5,454 pounds of fuel on either side of the pilot’s cockpit. The powerplant is a single Williams jet engine. Thanks to computer innovation since the round-the-world flight of the Voyager, the GlobalFlyer is said to be so aerodynamically perfect that the only practical way it can descend is with the use of drag ’chutes. The flight is scheduled to begin and end from a 12,000-foot runway in Salina, Kan. Visit www.globalflyer.com for more info.

on the radarMagic In A Box
Garmin’s 500-series panel-mounted GPS has added one more item to its list of talents, thanks to a recent nod from the FAA. The GNS 530 and GNS 500 now feature TAWS. Current owners can up-grade their systems for $8,000. A new GNS 500 with terrain capability costs $22,500. The Garmin system graphically depicts the surrounding terrain and obstacles in bright yellow and red, relative to the aircraft’s position.

The GNS 530 box also is WAAS-upgradable and now includes IFR GPS, COM, VOR, LOC, glideslope and a color moving map, all rolled into one. A huge Jeppesen database (which can be updated with a front-loading data card) contains all airport, VOR, NDB, intersection, FSS, approach, DP, STAR and SUA information. The boxes get even better when coupled with traffic, lightning detection and weather interfaces, like the Ryan TCAD, TIS from the Garmin GTX 330 mode-S transponder or the Goodrich SkyWatch, Stormscope WX-500 as well as the Garmin GDL 49 datalink transceiver. With the use of the FDE prediction program, the Garmin GNS 530 may be used for oceanic or remote operations. For more information, contact Garmin International at (913) 397-8200 or see www.garmin.com.

on the radarAre You Sirius?
In-flight entertainment just gets better all the time, and the new PXE7300 is the perfect testament. The single unit from PS Engineering combines a CD, MP3, and AM and FM radio all at the touch of just a finger. If you add the Sirius Satellite Radio remote receiver, you’ll have cross-country access to 100 commercial-free channels of streamed digital audio.

The PME7300 is certified for installation in more than 400 aircraft. The CD, MP3, and AM and FM radio package costs $1,495, and the Sirius receiver (PSM7390) adds another $800. The satellite reception requires an additional antenna (AT2300) for $309, while a Sirius radio subscription is about $10 a month. It’s worth a “Sirius” look if you spend time in a cockpit. For more information about the product, contact PS Engineering at (800) ICS-AERO or log on to www.ps-engineering.com.


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