Our comprehensive 2015 Buyer’s Guide features aircraft for all kinds of pilots, from light-sport planes and single pistons to turboprops and jets. Senior Editor Bill Cox rounds up all certified single and twin airplanes on today’s market, as well as airplanes best suited for adventure, be it backcountry flying or aerobatics. Contributor John Hayes reviews the current turbine market, with a few new entries to the roster this year, and the future outlook, as several newcomers head closer to certification. Marc Lee covers more than 50 light-sport aircraft, including a special feature on gyroplanes—an often-overlooked segment of general aviation. Look for a full buyer’s guide to popular gyroplanes in our next issue.
As with past years, we’re seeing a larger variety of headset models and new tech features. In the Headsets Buyer’s Guide, Marc Lee explains how to select the best headset for your flying mission. Our matrix charts feature more than 55 active and passive headsets with complete details.
Have you ever dreamed of living next to your plane? James Wynbrandt’s Buyer’s Guide to Airparks covers a varied collection of fly-in communities around the country. There’s Big South Fork Airpark in Oneida, Tenn., which boasts an on-site equestrian facility, and Piney Creek Airpark, also in Tennessee, with luxurious custom log homes.
For this month’s pilot report, Bill Cox flies a modern-day open-cockpit biplane, the Waco YMF-5D. It still retains the same vintage feel as the original 1935 model, but is constructed with new materials, such as a composite MT propeller, and the cockpit is decked out with Garmin avionics. All in all, there have been more than 300 new improvements over the original. Bill reports on his flight with Waco Classic Aircraft demo pilot Bob Wagner, calling the airplane a gentle and forgiving “flying panda.”
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