As the market comes to a boil, three finalists are vying to become the first certified Very Light Jet
We’re about to find out if the Very Light Jets (VLJs) will be the dominant force in general aviation that some people predict. CEOs Jack Pelton of Cessna, Vern Raburn of Eclipse and Rick Adam of Adam Aircraft think it will. Within only about 18 months, we’re liable to see three different models of VLJs certified and delivered to the market.
For a pilot who has owned them all, only one stole his heart
Speed is a mission in itself; in fact, speed is the essence of flying. The faster you go, the faster you go faster, or at least most of us want to. Terry Williams of Fort Worth, Texas, goes faster than the majority of us in his Mooney 252.
The Force behind the Diamond DA42 Austrian invasion
Okay, perhaps it’s true other countries outdo the USA when it comes to manufacturing automobiles, computers and TV sets, but there has never been any serious competition with America’s general aviation airplanes. Companies such as Piper, Cessna, Beech, Mooney, Maule, Cirrus, Lancair, American Champion, American General, Commander and Grumman-American have accounted for the vast majority of light aircraft sales in the last half-century.
This snappy little four-seater was so far ahead of its time, it’s hard to beat the amount of fun you can have flying it!
Every pilot loves the Tiger. It’s hard not to. The airplane is one of the ultimate concessions to fun flying, a sporty, eager, little single with just enough practical application to justify it in the minds of those who would never buy a pure fun machine.
Now, there’s no argument whether or not LSA designs will become a reality
As some pilots may have heard, the FAA finally handed down its completed rulemaking regarding light sport aircraft (LSA) and sport pilots this past April 15 (perhaps, more than coincidentally, tax day) at the Sun ’n Fun Air Show in Lakeland, Fla. The LSA regulations were several years in the making, the consummation of extensive lobbying efforts by virtually all of aviation’s alphabet groups. In fact, the final rules reflect extensive input by the EAA and AOPA, an example of what can happen in that rare instance when the government actually listens to the people it represents.
The industry’s largest producer of aftermarket cylinders and parts sets its sights on the certified engine business
Superior Air Parts, Inc. (www.superiorairparts.com), knows the value of getting the “little things” right because that’s what its business was founded on. In 1967, it manufactured little piston-engine replacement parts, like valve guides, gaskets and piston rings for the USAF. It wasn’t long after, when the opportunity to provide these parts to the general-aviation (GA) market appeared, that it moved into the commercial sector.
Take the Beech Duke, add turbines, and you get that magical number
It’s a magic number and one not often seen in turboprop corporate aircraft. A bare handful of propjets can touch 300 knots in cruise—the Piper Cheyenne 400LS, Commander 1000, Mitsubishi Solitaire, Beech Starship and King Air 350, and the Socata TBM 700.
This new sport trainer gets even better the second time around
The Symphony 160 was introduced five years ago by OMF Aircraft of Neubrandenburg, Germany, which established a Canadian manufacturing subsidiary, OMF Canada, in 2003, located in Three Rivers, Quebec. Through no fault of its Canadian subsidiary, the parent company declared bankruptcy and the Symphony design was left stranded in the murk of litigation. After negotiating an almost unimaginable morass of legalities, several of the original OMF Canada team has emerged with the rights to bring the high-tech two-seater back to market.
Mike Jones is a mild-mannered businessman, but in Reno, NEV., he’s some kind of Superman!
If you’re like me and would not consider missing the Reno Air Races every September, you have to have noticed the increasing popularity of the sport class. The Reno Air Races have survived for years with only four classes of competition: sport biplanes, Formula One, T6 and unlimiteds—the latter, by far, being the top draw of all.
They’re the best-kept, money-saving secrets in town
Many of them are airplanes you don’t see on every ramp, but pilots in the know almost universally regard them as “sleepers,” flying machines with more than their share of talent. In some cases, they were overshadowed by faster or more powerful models. In others, economic forces doomed them to relative obscurity.
When you’ve been around the coolest airplanes in the world, which one would you choose for yourself?
Suppose you know a guy who’s a graduate of the Lockheed Skunk Works. I’m sure you have one of these guys at your local airport. One of those guys who spent most of his life building the world’s fastest, highest-flying, nearly invisible airplanes. The kind of guy who built extreme airplanes— airplanes that nowadays are famous, but during their operational life, he couldn’t even brag to his wife about. One of those “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
It’s here—the most popular airplane in the world now comes with a glass panel
When Garmin premiered its G1000 do-everything glass-panel avionics system in mid-2003, the package was perceived as an extremely talented collection of electronic wizardry obviously intended for high-end general-aviation aircraft. Glass panels have been available on airline and corporate aircraft for years, but the G1000 expanded the technology to general aviation.