Pilot Journal
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Nov-Dec 2005 On The Radar

on the radarThere’s excitement in the air in both Albuquerque, N.M., and Wichita, Kan. Final certification for the Eclipse 500 and the Cessna Mustang is almost in sight, and soon, all of us will get the first hints of just how deep the water is for the very light jet (VLJ) aircraft market. At the recent EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., Eclipse flaunted two of its conforming prototypes, and Cessna debuted its Mustang, direct from Wichita, with CEO Jack Pelton at the controls." />

on the radar
Sino Swearingen SJ30-2
on the radar
Diamond DA42 Twin Star
on the radar
Malibu Power & Propeller-modified Piper Malibu
on the radar
American Champion High Country Explorer
on the radar
on the radar
Quest Kodiak
Diamond Aircraft won United States certification of its impressive DA42 Twin Star. The all-composite, jet-fuel-burning four-seater has been shipping to European customers for months, but U.S. certification has lagged behind. Diamond expects to begin American deliveries before the year’s end.

The Diamond DA42 Twin Star comes standard with the Garmin G1000 glass panel and features two TAE Centurion diesel engines, which sip a miserly eight gallons an hour (both engines combined) at 60% power and 12 gph at 80% power. A second version of the DA42 Twin Star with Lycoming 100LL avgas engines is planned for release this month. For more information, call Diamond Aircraft at (519) 457-4021 or log on to www.diamondair.com to see what the company has to offer.

Malibu Goes Digital
Malibu Power & Propeller is developing a turbocharged FADEC-powered Piper Malibu. The test aircraft is turning in a 2,000-fpm rate of climb. The company uses a Hartzell three-blade composite propeller, and adding FADEC to the Continental TSIOF-550 produces more power on the upgraded six-seater. Setting optimal power and best economy mixture is reduced to merely pushing a button. Malibu Power & Propeller also is working on an improved electrical system with a dual buss, dual battery, dual alternator and emergency buss tie. Next on its list is to improve the Malibu’s alternate induction air box for icing flight and a single-lever power control to manage the engine and prop. Contact Malibu Power & Propeller at (612) 386-8214 or log on to www.malibumods.com for more information.

Car Gas Champ
American Champion Aircraft Corporation announced the certification of the new High Country Explorer. The 180 hp backcountry high-wing is a derivative of the Citabria and is certified to run on both 100LL and unleaded automobile gas, thanks to a brand-new engine from Superior Air Parts. Its four-cylinder Vantage Engine is the first that is certified to run on both types of fuel. The High Country Explorer has a fixed-pitch prop, lighter aluminum landing gear and vortex generators that help in delivering a 370-foot takeoff roll. Call American Champion at (262) 534-6315 or log on to www.amerchampionaircraft.com for more information.

Asian Tigers
Tiger Aircraft received certification from China for its AG-5B, opening the door for the snappy little four-seater to enter what many imagine as the next big general-aviation boomtown. Tiger is busy setting up a distribution network, the precursor for Tiger flight-training facilities in China. Current plans call for airframe manufacturing to remain in Martinsburg, W.Va. Contact Tiger at (877) 80-TIGER or log on to www.tigeraircraft.com for more info.

The Quest Is Near

The Kodiak, a 10-place, single-engine turboprop, is pushing 300 hours of test flight out of its Sandpoint, Idaho, birthplace. With a projected price tag of $1.1 million, Quest Aircraft expects certification of the Kodiak in early 2006. Call Quest Aircraft at (208) 263-1111 or log on to www.questaircraft.com for more info.


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