Pilot Journal
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.
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on the radarSergeant Piper
It was 20 years ago today that Piper taught the world to play—with cabin-class, pressurized singles. New Piper is celebrating the second decade mark of the PA-46 airframes with deals on commemorative Mirages and Meridians sporting a fresh paint scheme and enhanced interior. The company also has bundled some of the more popular options into discounted packages, including the Meggitt Magic Single Side EFIS System, the Honeywell Integrated Hazard Avoidance System (IHAS 8000), Flight Information System (FIS weather data link) and more. For more information, contact New Piper Aircraft, Inc. at (772) 567-4361 or log on to www.newpiper.com.

The Malibu/Mirage/Meridian success in demonstrating the viability and desirability of big cabin singles helped spawn the turbine market as well. Last year, EADS Socata unwrapped an upgraded TBM700, the C2, which offers more creature comforts and an increased useful load. Pilatus has sold the competing PC12 exceptionally well in the United States and overseas, and at least two more contenders—the Ibis Ae270 and the Grob Ranger 160—are ready to join the market within the next calendar year.

on the radarThe Evolution Continues
Cirrus has begun shipping the SR22 G2, a new and improved version of its wildly popular 310-hp composite. Production enhancements have allowed for an anticipated increase in both useful load and speed. The new G2 also has a sexy new luxury-car interior with French-stitched perforated leather seats and a leather-wrapped side yoke and throttle. The Duluth, Minn., manufacturers also took the opportunity to redesign the cowling and add a six-point engine mount to reduce engine vibration and a high-tech Hartzell Scimitar Select propeller.

But it’s also looking like Cirrus aircraft aren’t the only things continuing to evolve. The rapid changes in general-aviation aircraft and avionics are sending the Federal Aviation Administration to Duluth. Two hundred fifty FAA inspectors will visit Cirrus for a familiarization program of next-generation aircraft. One hundred twenty-five flight ops inspectors will get ground and flight familiarization in the SR22, while another group of airworthiness inspectors will learn about composites, advanced avionics and the ballistic recovery system. Cirrus has more than 20 years of composite manufacturing experience and spearheaded the move toward big cockpit displays. See more on the Cirrus Design Website at www.cirrusdesign.com.

Training For A King
The Recurrent Training Center has added a King Air simulator to its program. The school operates as a full FAR Part-142 school. RTC offers a four-day initial training course for King Air drivers and a three-day Annual Recurrent Course with a new King Air cockpit simulator and a 170-degree-view field. Instructors train pilots for BE200, BE90 and BE100 models. For an appointment or training schedules, contact RTC at (800) 727-1014.


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