AVweb Flash

  • Headset manufacturer Lightspeed Aviation says it's expanding its aviation philanthropic efforts by focusing in-kind donations of headsets to scholarship and learn-to-fly programs. At a press conference at Sun ‘n Fun 2018 in Lakeland this week, Lightspeed CEO Allan Schrader says past donations have been funneled into compassionate giving, but now the company is interested in stimulating aviation growth.

  • Sun ‘n Fun President John “Lites” Leenhouts announced on Monday that the Air Force has sent the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team to fill the vacant performance spot left when the Thunderbirds cancelled their scheduled performance last Thursday. The cancellation was due to the loss of Thunderbird pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno in a training accident last week.

  • What better way to learn how to fly than in a taildragger Cub? That's the idea behind a new organization called Kids Fly Cubs, which is working to set up learn-to-fly promotions using Legend Cub serial number 1 loaned by American Legend, the Texas-based company that has been manufacturing updated Cubs for more than a decade.

  • Piper announced this week that its M600 turboprop and piston twins will soon be available with angle-of-attack systems from Safe Flight. The systems will be offered as options by the third quarter of 2018, Piper CEO Simon Caldecott said in a press conference at Sun ‘n Fun. The Safe Flight system, which is STC’d for several other aircraft, has a display indexer mounted on the glareshield that’s designed to be visible in all phases of flight.

  • Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, has completed its first supersonic, rocket-powered flight, the company announced last week. The aircraft was carried to about 46,500 feet above the Sierra Nevada mountains by the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft, then released. After a few seconds of glide, Unity’s rocket motor engaged, accelerating to Mach 1.87.

  • At Sun 'n Fun 2018 in Lakeland, Florida, Garmin is showing its new line of portable weather and traffic receivers. The GDL50 series—which includes the GDL50/51/52 models—is the company's next-generation portable unit that replaces the GDL39 ADS-B receiver.

  • Boeing’s HorizonX division, which supports new business ventures, is now a partner at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Research Park, ERAU has announced. HorizonX will join the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex, located next to the Daytona Beach campus, which aims to help new businesses bring new enterprises to market.

  • Terrafugia, the Massachusetts-based “flying-car” company, said on Tuesday it has created 75 new jobs in the last year and plans to add 50 more by December. The company was recently acquired by Zhejiang Geely, a Chinese conglomerate, which provided the resources for the company to expand its operations and hire new workers.

  • As Sun ‘n Fun opens Tuesday, Bose announced a new noise-cancelling in-ear headset called the ProFlight Aviation Headset. The new product, Bose’s first aviation headset since the A20 was introduced in 2010, is aimed at the cabin class and turbine market, whose cockpits have lower noise levels.

  • Last week’s fatal accident of a Thunderbirds F-16 outside Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, has led to the cancellation of the aerobatic demonstration team’s appearance at the Sun ‘n Fun fly-in in Lakeland, Florida, which opens Tuesday. The training accident claimed the life of Air Force Maj. Stephen Del Bagno. Sun ‘n Fun President John “Lites” Leenhouts told AVweb the Department of Defense may instead send a demonstration team consisting of an F-16 Viper and an F-35 Lightning II.

  • Months before the fatal helicopter crash into the East River that killed five passengers, pilots for the company operating the tours had warned management about unsafe conditions and harnesses that could make escape difficult. According to a story in The New York Times, the pilots "repeatedly requested more suitable safety gear" and one pilot warned managers that "we are setting ourselves up for failure."

  • Fresh from showing its M600 turboprop for the first time at Chile’s FIDAE exposition, Piper is touring the airplane throughout South America and seeing signs that the aircraft market is waking up. Piper’s Latin American sales executive, Dan Lewis, told AVweb that the company has tripled its sales forecast for Brazil and demand in the northern cone of South America looks promising.

  • As commonplace as flying with a tablet has become, you still have to put the thing someplace. At Sun ‘n Fun this week, Guardian Avionics is showing off additions to its line of panel-mounted racks for the popular iPad and iPhone. On Tuesday, Guardian’s Ash Vij will conduct a forum on using tablets and smartphones as capable EFISs.

  • This week's letters drew a flood of comments on our April Fools spoof about the FAA extending the ADS-B deadline by 20 years. (Just in case you missed the memo, the deadline is still 2020.) Some readers howled at the joke, some thought it in poor taste. We also heard some opinions on taking lessons in electric airplanes and a comment on how the Coast Guard trains its pilots to ditch.

  • In a week during which five military crashes killed seven service members, an article in the current issue of Newsweek raises questions about funding, training and maintenance in U.S. military aviation units. “The number of service members killed in noncombat aviation was 37 in 2017—almost double the 19 who died in 2016,” the piece states. “If 2018’s rate of accidents continues, this year could be higher still.”

  • The NTSB and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University officials are working together to determine what caused the PA-28R-201’s wing to fall off in mid-flight last week. The resulting accident killed two: Zach Capra, an ERAU student, and an FAA designated examiner, John S. Azma, conducting a checkride. Flight training resumed on Thursday for all aircraft at ERAU except the PA-28s. They remain grounded until inspections are completed.

  • The Collings Foundation’s iconic B-24 sustained minor damage in a bizarre incident that shut down a runway at Dallas’ busy Love Field this week. The aircraft was on a takeoff roll when debris, possibly concrete from the runway, entered the cockpit of the historic World War II bomber, hit the copilot in the hand. It was then flung out of the aircraft.

  • At a time when changing perceptions about flight safety have pilots more interested in whole aircraft parachute systems, BRS Aerospace is expanding their network of approved installation centers for chute retrofits on Cessna 172s and 182s.

  • The FAA is looking for a few companies to supply near real-time processing of airspace authorizations for drone operators. The idea behind the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system is that it will streamline the approval process for routine Part 107 drone flights below approved altitudes in controlled airspace.

  • A U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16 crashed on Wednesday morning during a routine aerial demonstration training flight near Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas. The pilot was killed in the accident. According to a U.S. Air Force statement, the cause of the crash, which occurred at the Nevada Test and Training Range, is under investigation.

Pages