With reusable boosters and a payload of almost 67 metric tons, the first successful launch of the Falcon Heavy opens some interesting doors for space travel...including a new definition of 'flying car'
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world, launched for the first time this week. Powered by three Falcon 9 engine cores generating an astounding 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, the rocket took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on February 6. The two reusable side cores landed successfully more »
A long-term deal for trainers with a surprising emphasis
Piper has been focusing on the training market in recent years after the company under previous leadership had turned its attention primarily to transportation airplanes. And while the M600 and Piper’s other PA-46-series models are still a critical part of the business for the Vero Beach, Florida, plane maker, the trainer business is picking up more »
The AD will mandate inspection of all affected planes and their repair, if necessary. Here’s why it’s survivable and why some planes might not even be affected.
Last week, the FAA issued a proposal for an AD that would affect thousands of Cessna aircraft from five models, the 172, 182, 206, 207 and 210. It could have been worse. Here’s why. The AD is based on a Cessna service bulletin that calls for the inspection of the lower forward cabin doorpost bulkhead more »
New self-piloted urban transport design passes early hover tests with flying colors
The first flight of Airbus’ Vahana lasted just 53 seconds and hit a maximum altitude of 16 feet, but its success brought home just how serious many companies are about the flying taxi model for the future of urban travel. The Vahana is electric-powered and autonomous, with room for a single passenger. Like most similar more »
Flight of the second prototype marks an important step toward certification
Epic Aircraft’s second E1000 prototype took to the skies for the first time last week. Prototype number two—called FT2—is a fully conforming model which will be used, according to Epic, to test out pretty much everything on the aircraft from avionics and fuel systems to reliability and operations. The first E1000 prototype flew in December more »
The non-TSOed avionics maker announces a new aircraft years in top-secret development
Meet the Vashon Ranger, a new LSA that’s ready to roll after years in top-secret development. The airplane is the pet project of Dynon Avionics owner John Torode, who has a liking for all-metal planes with high wings—he’s got a Beaver and a 185 on floats. Five years ago, Torode hired aircraft developer Ken Kruger, more »
The one-of-a-kind, three-engine 110 is scheduled to make an appearance at this year's AirVenture
As the biggest aviation get-together in the country, EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, always attracts some interesting airshow performers. This year’s list is starting to take shape and it includes such adventurous entries as a Yak-110. For those of you who are scratching your heads, you’re not alone. We weren’t entirely sure what it was more »
De-icing fluid is a must for many winter operations in cold climates, but what happens to it after it's been used?
Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about where the de-icing fluid goes when it runs off the plane. That said, clearly it doesn’t just disappear…which brings up the question of how to safely deal with the leftover chemicals. Rather than just dispose of the used fluid, one company, Inland Technologies, has been recapturing more »
The popular light aviation winter show in Central Florida runs January 24-27
For aficionados of the light stuff, 2018 officially kicks off in Sebring, FL, on Wednesday, the first day of the Sebring Sport Aviation Expo. The show, now in its 14th year (yeah, we were surprised too!), has been growing over the years while still maintaining its attendee-friendly atmosphere. Sebring is a show where attendees can more »
Certification light at the end of the tunnel for the diesel powerhouse?
The Graflight V8 diesel engine from EPS is coming, though the company says that the engine will certify in 2018, about a year later than it had originally planned. The program delay was the result, says CEO and co-founder Michael Fuchs, of software development complexities that he says are a function of the engine being more »
Winter doesn’t have to mean leaving the plane in the hangar, especially if you happen to have a plane equipped with skis. Though we usually think of it as the off season for fly-ins up north, there are still opportunities to pack some snow boots and a good pair of preflight gloves and meet up more »
Recently passed legislation includes new regulations for several other drone activities as well
With the FAA recently reporting its 1 millionth UAS registration, it’s no surprise that discussions about drone regulation are getting even more serious. Several states, including most recently New Jersey, have already enacted laws governing how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can be flown within their borders. Many others are working on similar legislation. The New more »
If you’ve flown into ICT a lot, as we have, it’ll be a tough adjustment
Pilots who’ve flown into Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport (KICT), which most pilots still call Midcontinent, are so familiar with the approaches to Runways 19L and 19R that it almost defies imagination that the experience is going away. But it is. As pilots, we have cause to know a bit more about the Earth’s magnetic field more »
Company known for its crop dusters teams up with a noted drone manufacturer to tackle wildfires
When it comes to airborne delivery systems—be it crop dusting or firefighting—Thrush Aircraft has plenty of experience, which makes the company’s recently announced a plan to begin development of an unmanned tanker aircraft for fighting wildfires particularly interesting. Even more interesting is that the company will be collaborating with UAS manufacturer Drone America for the more »
The hard-luck design gets a new lease on life as the Discovery XL-2
The Liberty XL-2 is back in the air after its current owner, Discovery Aviation of Melbourne, Florida, announced that it had sold a pair of the trainers to a flight training organization in South Korea. The two-seat single had been out of production since 2008. The XL-2, to editorialize just a bit, is a cool more »
Interim administrator is a former airliner industry insider
The outgoing FAA administrator, Michael Huerta, had his last day at work on January 6th. Though an official replacement has yet to be named, deputy administrator Daniel Elwell has stepped into the role of acting administrator, and his elevation casts doubt on the continuing strong relationship between the FAA and general aviation. Elwell was appointed more »
The city of Santa Monica’s plan to shut down its historic, iconic, gem of a GA airport took a small step forward as part of a big step backwards
The City of Santa Monica opened Runway 3/21 for business late last year, and as you’re no doubt aware, it’s a lot shorter than it used to be. The shortening was approved as part of a backroom agreement with the FAA that will allow the city presumably to shut down the airport at some future more »