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 »
Can an innovative approach to regulations spark a GA renaissance?
We’re on the cusp of a major policy and regulatory shift that will accelerate the adoption of new technologies, from electric propulsion to autonomous vehicle operation, in general aviation, and likely will profoundly affect your flying experience in the future. You can see hints today of what the new approach heralds in the recent appearance more »
With a second door and an entirely new interior feel, the fastest production piston single on the planet feels like a whole new plane
It was a bright early spring day in the Hill Country of central Texas—well, it wasn’t really spring, but in Texas, a nice winter day feels decidedly spring-like. Which is nice when you’re exploring unheated hangars or wide-open expanses of tarmac. In addition to being pleasantly warm, it was bright on the Mooney ramp, too, more »
Fast, slick and certified, CubCrafters XCub is a clean-sheet, next-gen Part 23 taildragger with an attitude and a blue-skies future
Pulling the nose up, the forward visibility still surprisingly good for a tandem taildragger, I put the needle of the airspeed indicator—yes, there’s still a needle—right at best rate of climb, 70 mph—yes, there are still miles per hour, too. Mindful that this is the clean configuration stall speed for a lot of singles, I more »
The Pipistrel Panthera we flew for this report is a factory prototype outfitted with an Experimental Lycoming IO-390 four-cylinder engine of 210 hp. The to-be-certified Panthera will likely be equipped with a six-cylinder 260 hp Lycoming IO-540, so these specifications are only preliminary. SPECIFICATIONS Projected base price: $470,000 Engine: Lycoming IO-390 Seats: 4 Horsepower: 210 more »