It wasn’t the worst weather for a test flight I’d ever seen, but by late afternoon, the North Carolina air was bumpy, and I’d already had a long day, which started at seven with a training session in the HondaJet sim. The bumps, I soon realized, were a great test. Anybody can fly an airplane more »
Layoffs and production delays for controversial LSA amphibian
Signs of troubles with ICON Aircraft proved telling, as the Vacaville, California-based company announced on Wednesday that it would delay the program by about a year. ICON president Kirk Hawkins said the issues were due to “manufacturability” problems with the design. He said the delay would allow the company to solve those manufacturing issues and more »
The airfoils and flight control surfaces of the future might be very different than what we’re used to. Think engines, lots of them, and bird wings.
If you’ve been around aviation for any length of time, you know a few stories about so-called revolutionary aircraft that sounded too good to be true. Turns out, most of the time, they are. So, stop me if you’ve heard the one about the airliner that cruises at 600 mph, but lands on a 3,000-foot runway. more »
Why this next-generation powerplant is everything owners and pilots have been waiting for
Late last year at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, GE introduced its new turboprop, simply called (in GE’s current preference for brands over numerical designations) the Advanced Turboprop, and it did so with an air of understatement admirable in this age of the hype machine. Brad Mottier, the head of GE’s remarkably successful and more »
The term “hybrid” gets used a lot these days, even when it doesn’t really fit. Of course, most people hear the term and think of a car with a combination drive system: an electric motor assisted by a small gasoline engine to take up the slack and charge the batteries if need be. In aviation, more »
How to look at the process in a way that cuts through the haze and gets you in a plane that’s best suited for what you really need
With many of the big decisions in life, and buying an airplane is definitely one of them, it takes a bit of discipline to make decisions that balance practicality and emotion. That’s understandable, as those kinds of decisions, from buying a house to deciding on a new job, revolve around some of our most important more »
Four companies are vying to put their flat panels in this legendary (and seemingly indestructible) turboprop twin. Which glass cockpit is right for your King Air?
When a veritable parade of avionics manufacturers, including the biggest names in the business, all decide to create retrofit flat-panel avionics systems for one family of airplanes, you can guess that there’s some real opportunity there, and you’d be right. The airframe in question is the Beechcraft King Air and the companies looking to put more »
Why you don’t really need fancy mods to fly faster
One of the most common questions I hear from readers at shows such as Sun ‘n Fun, AirVenture and the old AOPA conventions has long been, “Why won’t my airplane perform to book specs?” The majority of folks seem to feel the manufacturers are simply exaggerating their products’ performance, in some cases, wildly so. Perhaps more »
The airplane we flew for this report was a full production-conforming HondaJet outfitted with the Garmin G3000 integrated flat-panel avionics suite with two touch-screen controllers. Features include a three-screen panel, digital color weather radar, ADS-B Out and ADS-B In (an option), standby digital multifunction primary display, dual digital flight control with envelope protection, speed control more »
The 2016 Mooney Acclaim Ultra we flew for this report is the first Acclaim Ultra off the production line. It’s equipped with the Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck with dual redundant 10.4-inch displays, dual digital ADAHRS, ADS-B, GFC 700 flight control system and the Mid-Continent self-powered standby instrument. Price as flown: $689,000 Engine: Continental TSIO-550-G more »
Can Pipistrel’s fuel-saving magic translate to a high-performance personal plane?
“Four seats, 200 knots and 1,000 nm.” These were the magic numbers CEO Ivo Boscarol set as a challenge for the collective minds of Pipistrel’s research department one morning in 2007. Faster, farther and−yes−cheaper: a huge challenge for an ultralight manufacturer. It was left to the brilliant Tine Tomazic, a young engineer who was just more »
With the 2020 mandate looming, options abound as time grows short
While GPS navigation transformed general aviation in 1995, all eyes are now on the federal ADS-B mandate that will go into effect January 1, 2020. “ADS-B” is the acronym for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, which is a whole new way of tracking and controlling aircraft using satellites instead of ground-based RADAR. ADS-B is a key component more »