December 2008 Attitude Flying with Dick Rutan: Volume One of the Aviator Series DVD (Fly Right Films, 2008, ISBN: 89708600200). Three years in the making, the Aviator Series made its premier at AirVenture 2008 with Volume One, in which Rutan explains, dissects and demonstrates the challenges and secrets of precise instrument flying. more »
Just a few years ago, state-of-the-art instrument panels for GA aircraft included a traditional “six-pack” of flight instruments connected to a panel-mounted moving-map GPS. Those panels look dated in comparison to modern glass panels, which replace all flight instruments with a single primary flight display (PFD), and provide moving-map and other functions on a companion multi-function display (MFD).
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has granted CubCrafters’ CC18-180 Top Cub type certification, which allows new, certified, ready-to-fly Cubs to be delivered to customers in Australia for the first time. The Top Cub was certified in the States in December 2004; it received type certification from Transport Canada in early August, and has now been approved on floats and wheels in Canada and Australia. (On September 8, the first Canadian-registered Top Cub was delivered to owner Bernard Brossard in Montreal, Quebec.)
For years now, Control Vision has offered GPS moving-map software on portable devices based on assorted versions of Microsoft Windows. When I first looked at Anywhere Map, it ran on a Pocket PC and required cable connection to an external GPS; the result was a nice (but small) color moving-map display.
On July 30, 2008, the PiperJet made its first flight from Piper’s headquarters in Vero Beach, Fla. “Today marks the beginning of a new era for Piper Aircraft as the company literally takes flight into a whole new realm of performance, luxury and capability,” asserted Piper President and CEO James K. Bass.
Today’s engine analyzers can help you lower costs and fly more safely
No matter how modern an airplane’s engines and systems are, predictable power is ultimately a pilot’s personal responsibility. We rely on engine instrumentation to ensure safe flight, but we also like to optimize engine operations (for example, speed, distance or lifetime economy). The right information, reliably transmitted and interpreted, can save money and time, and prevent awkward situations.
October 2008 Flying the SR-71 Blackbird: In the Cockpit on a Secret Operational Mission by Richard H. Graham (Zenith, 2008, ISBN: 9780760332399). Able to fly at three times the speed of sound and at altitudes above 80,000 feet, the SR-71 is among the most technologically advanced aircraft ever produced. Retired SR-71 pilot and squadron leader more »
Airline and bizjet pilots have been using flight management system (FMS) technology for almost 30 years, but it’s new to general aviation pilots. From the beginning, the FMS has appeared to the pilot as a control unit with at least two features: a keypad to enter waypoints and an alphanumeric display to show navigation and performance data. That’s still true for most FMS displays, though some now provide graphical features, and not all GA installations include a keypad. The FMS can also drive navigation instruments (or the PFD on a glass panel).
Flying by visual reference—regardless of the visibility
Over the past decade, new technology that promises to make instrument flying almost as easy as (and arguably even safer than) flying visually has been introduced into the general aviation (GA) fleet. Synthetic vision takes the idea of an artificial horizon and expands it to an artificial view of the outside world, allowing pilots to fly by visual reference even in the clouds.
Better airplanes and scenery for your home computer
You may view a home flight simulator as akin to a game. True, simulators can be fun to play with, but X-Plane is much more than a game. Twelve years ago, I bought X-Plane 1.0, the work of one pilot, aeronautical engineer and programmer, Austin Meyer.
The most highly anticipated aircraft in Cirrus Design Corporation’s history, “the-jet,” made its inaugural flight on July 3. The 45-minute flight was conducted from the company’s headquarters at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minn. The aircraft performed flawlessly. Designed with the Cirrus signature full-airframe parachute system, the aircraft looked beautiful in its red and white paint (the model and mock-up have been displayed in gold and white), and its roof-mounted Williams FJ33-4A-19 put a 1,900-pound blast through the “V” of the distinctive tail.
When Vern Raburn talks, people listen. Recently, the visionary behind the Eclipse VLJ was talking about a new light-sport amphibian, the ICON A5. Raburn is an adviser for start-up ICON Aircraft, which aspires to create a sport aircraft that will “do for recreational flying what personal watercraft did for boating.”
September 2008 Instrument Procedures Tutorial by David Howarth (ASA, 2008, ISBN: 9781560277132). This interactive software tool graphically illustrates the practical application of instrument concepts. A complete how-to system on instrument flight, navigation, procedures, emergencies and more, theprogram offers a four-hour software tutorial and a full-color manual. Around The World With LBJ: My Wild Ride As more »
August 2008 Anne Morrow Lindbergh: First Lady of the Air by Kathleen C. Winters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, ISBN: 9780230604117). Best known as the wife of legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was an accomplished writer and pilot in her own right. Winters sets to restore Lindbergh to her rightful place in aviation history in more »
July 2008 SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History by Dan Linehan (Zenith Press, 2008, ISBN: 9780760331880). Written by an aviation writer who witnessed its launch, SpaceShipOne chronicles the development of the world’s first commercial manned space program. Included are hundreds of photos, a full account of the history makers who got SS1 into the air and a more »
L-3 Avionics has received STC and TSO authorization from the FAA for its SmartDeck Integrated Flight Controls and Display System. The STC has been awarded for the Cirrus SR22-G2, and L-3 will offer the STC through authorized dealers for retrofit. The system’s menu structure is designed to support pilot functions in three clicks or less, making pertinent flight information more rapidly accessible. SmartDeck includes a display dedicated to flight-plan management and communication information in its standard configuration.
Bendix/King strikes back with its Integrated Communication Navigation Display
For many years, Bendix/King (a division of Honeywell) had a virtual lock on avionics in general aviation (GA). Get in a 20-year-old airplane with a panel that hasn’t been upgraded and you’ll probably find at least one Bendix/King NAV/COM, ADF, transponder or audio panel (on many airplanes, you’ll find a complete Bendix/King radio stack). Even today, many used airplane ads list “King panel” or “King radios” among their selling points.
June 2008 The Complete G1000 Course DVD (ASA, 2008). This new course is an interactive, computer-based intro to the G1000. With it, you can learn glass, increase safety and earn credit toward flight-review requirements under the FAA’s WINGS—Pilot Proficiency Program (www.faasafety.gov). Pilots completing the “Basic Phase” of the WINGS program need not seek the flight-review more »