For all their dazzling screen displays and computational wizardry, glass cockpits can be complex to learn and challenging to operate. Avidyne, which introduced the glass cockpit to general aviation in 2003, aims to change all that with its Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Deck, which is now nearing FAA certification.
A flight down Florida’s east coast is replete with tropical playground panoramas, but the million-dollar view isn’t enough at the moment to pry my eyes from the dual IFDs (Integrated Flight Displays) of Avidyne’s new Entegra Release 9, installed in the company’s Cirrus SR22.
Headsets are funny things. Even though there are scores of them on the market and their job is essentially the same, each headset has its own “personality” and unique feel. Among professional headsets, I’ve found that the “right” one is different for each individual wearer and is a matter of personal preference. It was with that fact in mind that I opened the package containing the brand-new Peltor ANR 9500 digital headset.
Unrestricted U.S. FAA certification of Embraer’s smallest jet, the Phenom 100, was awarded in December 2008, and the first delivery was made to James and Elizabeth Frost on December 24 in São José dos Campos, Brazil. “Surprises” in the final certified operating specs were an improved range (1,178 nm with four aboard), shortened max performance field requirements (now 3,125 feet at MTOW under standard conditions) and a 301-foot improvement in landing distance, among others. EASA certification is expected in Q2 2009, with European deliveries to begin shortly after. Visit www.embraer.com.
By now, almost every pilot has had some experience with a portable GPS unit, and the AV8OR does everything that you’ve come to expect from these devices, and more. Bendix/King’s new MFD integrates GPS, navigation database, graphical terrain and XM weather into a single portable device. The affordable unit’s list price is $799, and the XM WxWorx weather receiver add-on is available for an additional $523 (though, through the end of 2009, the AV8OR includes a $200 rebate coupon for the receiver). The AV8OR has a beautiful, bright 4.3-inch diagonal display with 480×272-pixel resolution. The touch-screen interface is easy to use and provides excellent tap and double-tap access to information.
On January 25, the extreme worlds of aerobatics and surfing were united in the skies over the break at Morro Bay, Calif. Kevin Eldredge, owner of SLO Air, the exclusive distributor of the new Sbach 300 and 342 Xtreme aerobatic aircraft from Germany, flew loops, rolls and hammerheads with world-class surfers Chris Ward and Gavin Sutherland. Also participating was Tutima Academy, going inverted with Ben Freelove in a Pitts S-2B. The first-of-its-kind event was sponsored by VedaloHD Performance Sunglasses, Azhiaziam American Aerial Wear and S.O. Productions to commemorate the launch of the new WardoHD signature line of sunglasses.
The Pilot’s Manual: Access To Flight by the Aviation Theory Centre (ASA, 2009, ISBN: 9781560277347). The most comprehensive pilot textbook available covers all of the aeronautical knowledge and skill needed to earn a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating, using today’s glass-cockpit technologies. Detailed prose and illustrations prepare readers for all the tasks required more »
In a remarkable paradigm shift from past portable GPS devices, Garmin produces a larger knee-pad version with new talents
If you hadn’t noticed, the Garmin 696 is bigger. Anyone who has seen the advertising for Garmin’s new world-beater 696 GPS navigation unit knows it’s a definite departure from Garmin’s traditional philosophy of thinking small. Garmin entered the market back in 1989 by producing a small, high-quality, portable GPS unit; but the new system’s most obvious talent is simply its size. (In fact, the 696 isn’t the first larger-format Garmin portable GPS.
For most pilots, aviation headsets are a necessary evil. They protect your hearing from long-term damage due to engine noise and make it easier to hear passengers, other pilots and ATC on the radio. But most do so by clamping down hard over your ears to block out sound; if worn for more than a few hours, they can give you a headache. I started with the generic passive headsets sold at my flight school, and when I started making long cross-country flights (up to 10 hours in a day), I upgraded to somewhat lighter and more comfortable automatic noise reduction (ANR) models. With those, the clamping pressure is less, the background noise is cut down, and it takes longer for me to get a headache—but I still get it.
Caravan: Cessna’s Swiss Army Knife with Wings by J.D. Lewis and LeRoy Cook (ASA, 2008, ISBN: 9781560276821). The Caravan does it all: bush flying, geophysical exploration and mapping, patrol, air ambulance, military, sightseeing, corporate, commuter airline, skydiving, cargo and missionary and humanitarian trips. In this book, find coverage about the Caravan’s colorful history, its innovative-yet-conventional more »
In spite of the difficult economy, Diamond Aircraft has announced large new orders. Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology has added nine new Diamond DA20-C1 aircraft to its flight-training department. Parks College, founded in 1927, was the first certified school of aviation in the United States.
January/February 2009 Garmin 696/695 Checkout DVD (Sporty’s, 2008, ID# D696A). This new program shows you how to use all the powerful features of the just-released GPSMAP 696 or 695, and offers tips for easier in-flight navigation. The DVD will give you advice on extending battery life, using shortcuts, creating flight plans and more »
Today, aviation headsets sport more features than ever before. Use this guide to navigate your way through the headset jungle.
Ask any two pilots what the best headset is and you’ll get two distinct answers, each with solid claims to back it up. There are scores of headsets on the market, and the different features of each model make choosing the correct headset a quagmire of myth, hearsay and fact.
What to consider before you purchase a GPS, EFB or NAV/COM
Pilots today are increasingly dependent on electronic navigation and communication equipment: GPS for navigation, satellite radio for weather avoidance and VHF for voice communications (since September 11, no pilot can seriously think about flying in controlled airspace without one).
Paul Bonhomme of Britain scored a victory in the final race of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Perth, Australia, on November 2, 2008, but Hannes Arch of Austria was crowned 2008 World Champion after finishing third.
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 »
November 2008 Sporty’s Instrument Proficiency Check DVD [Sporty’s, 2008, ID# D551A] Completely updated and revised, this DVD includes, among other things, expanded coverage of WAAS technology. With information on preflight and aircraft systems, navigation, approaches, emergencies and weather reports and forecasts, this DVD covers everything from initial IFR flying down to the latest regulation changes. more »
On July 30, 2008, a wave of excitement washed over the crowds at Oshkosh. Fifteen hundred miles away, in Vero Beach, Fla., the PiperJet had made its maiden flight, spending an hour aloft and reaching 10,000 feet. Since then (at this writing), the PiperJet has made 18 additional flights and spent about 34 hours in the air as test pilots Dave Schwartz and Buddy Sessoms focus on exploring stability, control and handling throughout the envelope.