Two groups of high school students have completed the Two Weeks to Taxi program at the Glasair factory in Arlington, Wash., building two copies of the four-seat Sportsman, the company said on Tuesday. The students were chosen to participate after creating their own aircraft design that was judged by a panel from GAMA. "It was a remarkable experience for everyone involved," said GAMA CEO Pete Bunce, who worked side by side with the students during the two weeks. "The kids were focused, hard-working and enthusiastic. They were involved in every aspect of the build, and mastered tasks such as bucking rivets, installing windows, connecting the panel, wiring the engine and linking the controls." The program was co-sponsored by Build A Plane.
The maneuver by an Airbus 319 crew over Michigan on Monday, briefly diving the jet in response to a TCAS warning, may seem routine to aviators, but it's been getting a lot of coverage in the mainstream press, citing terrified passengers and jostled flight attendants. "Screaming passengers feared the plane was going to crash," says The Associated Press story. No passengers were injured, but luggage bins fell open, drinks spilled, and a couple of flight attendants hit their heads. The FAA said at their closest point, the Airbus was within 400 feet vertically and 1.6 miles horizontally from a skydiving jump plane operating VFR over southern Michigan.
The first new copies of the Cessna TTx, which the company calls "the world's fastest commercially produced and certified fixed-gear single engine aircraft," have been delivered, Cessna said on Monday. The all-composite, turbocharged four-seat aircraft evolved from the Corvalis (previously Columbia) line. The cockpit features sidestick controls and debuts the Garmin G2000 avionics suite, with dual 14.1 high-definition displays and touchscreen controls. Top speed is 235 knots, powered by a 310-hp Continental TSIO-550-C engine, and range is 1,250 nm. Cessna said pilots who transition into the airplane will be provided additional training, "due to the additional horsepower and capabilities of the aircraft."
Last week at our local airport (CYKF), the automated AWOS/ATIS was out of commission. So one of our well-known ATC guys (Dave Clark, who was working ground control at the time) was heard on the ATIS frequency stating:"The automated AWOS/ATIS is currently unavailable. Winds are light and variable, and vis is CAVOK; runway 14 is in use, altimeter 29:95."The pilot ahead of me taxiing out called ground and said:"Waterloo Ground, this is Cessna CXYZ with information DAVE!"The ground controller (Dave Clark) immediately broke up, and we all had a good chuckle.T. G. Bennettvia e-mail
>>> AVWEB FUEL FINDERCURRENT PRICE FOR 100LL: $6.02 (up 1¢ from last week)CURRENT PRICE FOR JET A: $5.42 (up 1¢ from last week)Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav, based on prices from the past 2 weeks. Changes are relative to last week's prices. /TEXT_ONLY-->AVweb's latest blue ribbon goes to the FBO at Cullman Regional Airport (Folsom Field/K3A1) in Vinemont, Alabama.AVweb reader Christopher Leonard brought Cullman to our attention:This is a great airport! Ben Harrison, the assistant airport manager, was out in front to greet us when we arrived. That doesn't happen very often elsewhere.In addition, I had an experience where they really shined in terms of customer service: I inadvertently left my iPad in a rental car there and called the next morning when I realized it was missing. The person I spoke with at the front desk immediately went and tracked it down, and then Ben took it over to the UPS Store for me, got me in touch with the person at the store while he waited so I could arrange shipping back to me, and then stayed to ensure that everything was all set with the package before leaving. This is fantastic service!Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Four people and a dog died following the midair collision of a Cessna 150 and a glider over a campground in British Columbia Saturday. Wreckage fell onto the campground, which was packed for the Canada Day holiday weekend, but there were no injuries on the ground. The accident occurred near Pemberton, a small town near the Whistler ski resort. The communities are about 60 miles north of Vancouver.
With more than five years of work behind it, a replica of The Lark of Duluth (a 1913 Benoist flying boat) has officially received its airworthiness certificate from the FAA, clearing it for first flight, the Duluth Aviation Institute said Thursday, and also a centennial celebration. The Institute recognizes the two-seat aircraft as "the world's first 'commercial' airplane" and says "January 1, 2014, marks the 100 year anniversary of commercial aviation." The organization also says it managed to see the airplane FAA approved on the 100-year anniversary of its first flight in Duluth. The original aircraft was intended to fly passengers for hire and did so on Jan. 1, 1914, in Florida, and for at least three more months that followed. Now, pilots and vintage aircraft lovers will have a few chances to see it again.
Pilot Jonathan Trappe, who has crossed the English Channel flying his unusual cluster of small helium balloons, now is in Maine waiting for the right weather to launch across the sea. Trappe spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady about how he is preparing for the flight, what challenges he expects, and how you can track his progress after launch.
Florida-based fractional Avantair employs about 500 people, is the target of a class-action lawsuit, and Wednesday said that it is furloughing pilots and workers while seeking financing to keep its aircraft and continue operations. Last summer, a company Piaggio Avanti turboprop lost its left elevator during flight and landed safely with passengers on board. And the company has grounded its entire fleet twice in the past eight months to conduct safety reviews. As the company was filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Wednesday, employees learned through a company letter that they would not be paid for their work since June 8.
Mid-1970s Decathlons are good buys on the used market. They're fun to fly and affordable to own. And if you fancy some gentleman's aerobatics, so much the better. Chis Cook has been working on restoring a 1977 8KCAB and here's his report.
Preparations for production of the Cirrus Vision SF50 jet are bringing changes to the company's Grand Forks, N.D., facility that will affect SR-2X series aircraft as well, Cirrus said Thursday. The company's expansion includes the addition of an autoclave facility that will move some previously outsourced production "in-house." Cirrus expects the autoclave to go online in mid-August, producing spars for both SR-2X series aircraft and the Vision SF50 jet and saving the company time and money over outsourcing. But customers may be more interested in the SF50 certification schedule.
Australia's aviation accident investigation agency, the ATSB, Thursday released its final report on an uncontained engine failure that occurred November 4, 2010, on a Qantas Airbus A380 over Indonesia and severely damaged aircraft systems. Investigators concluded that an oil pipe in the jet's Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine had been "made with a thin wall section" that "did not comply with the design specifications." That pipe cracked, investigators concluded, led to an oil fire that eventually caused one of the engine's turbine discs to separate from its drive shaft. The disc then over-accelerated, broke apart and burst through the engine casing "releasing other high energy debris" tha damaged the aircraft's structure and caused a "multitude of system failures." The jet was carrying 469 people out of Singapore at the time and returned to the airport safely. Rolls-Royce issues a statement, Thursday, supporting the ATSB's conclusions and saying in part, "On this occasion we clearly fell short."
One of the largest and most prized collections of rare warbirds is being sold off because owner Jerry Yagen says he can't afford it anymore. (Click here for a PDF list of the inventory.) Yagen, who recently added the world's only flying Mosquito fighter bomber to his stable of 44 warbirds, says he's always pouring money into the aircraft and he can't do it any longer. "[I] just can no longer afford to subsidize the operations of these airplanes. There are a few interested parties," Yagen said in an email to AVweb. Yagen's B-17 "Chuckie" an a Focke-Wulf 190 were bought by the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon.As we reported earlier this year, Yagen asked EAA for financial help to bring aircraft to AirVenture 2013 but EAA said it could not set that precedent. Yagen told the Virginia Pilot he's already sold four vocational trade schools associated with his aviation enterprises in Virginia and the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, near Virginia Beach, may also be shuttered.
AVweb introduced readers to Chip Yates in April, and his quest to retrace the steps of Charles Lindbergh, flying more than 3,500-miles across the Atlantic -- but in an electric aircraft -- is making progress, but is hampered by funding. The engineer's project currently exists as plans calculations and projections. Among them, Yates proposes to build an electrically-powered twin motor aircraft that otherwise has the physical appearance of a sailplane in canard configuration. Yates calculates his 100-foot wingspan airplane will have a sailplane-respectable lift to drag ratio of 35:1 and the ability to carry 26,000 pounds of its own airframe and batteries. As we told you in April, his design is not solar powered and he would undertake the 3,500-plus mile oversea route with the clear understanding that his battery pack only has capacity for 700 miles. Yates' solution to that mathematically impossible range dilemma is that he would not be flying "alone." If successful, this project would not be Yates' first "first."
Honda hopes to begin deliveries of HondaJet aircraft as early as next year and said in a Tokyo interview, Tuesday, that its aviation business is on track to become profitable within fives years after that. Honda has kept order numbers close to the vest, saying its order books are full for at least two years, and maybe three. It has not said how many jets that represents. Tuesday, Michimasa Fujino, president of Honda Aircraft said he expects sales to top 80 jets annually within a few years.
Two people died doing low-level aerobatics with a wing walker this week, and Jonathan Trappe is ready to launch across the North Atlantic in a boat suspended by hundreds of small helium balloons. Should the government be involved?Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if innovation is still alive in the aerospace industry; click through to see the breakdown of answers.
In the far northeast corner of the U.S., near the small town of Caribou, Maine, cluster-balloon pilot Jonathan Trappe is getting ready to fly his unusual lighter-than-air system across the Atlantic. He has put together a system of 370 small helium balloons, and he plans to fly in a small boat suspended beneath the cluster. He has acquired the helium he needs to inflate the system, and now will await favorable weather. "We are on-site and aim to be ready to fly anytime in July, August, or September," Trappe posted on his Facebook page. Col. Joe Kittinger, who was the last pilot to launch from the U.S. and cross the Atlantic in a gas balloon, in 1984, has been helping with the expedition and plans to be in Maine for the launch, Trappe told AVweb in an email this week.
Two of the electric aircraft produced by Yuneec International, a Chinese company, will now be produced and sold by a new company called GreenWing International, the companies announced on Tuesday. GWI will sell the single-seat eSpyder ultralight and the two-seat e430, and also will provide support for the fleet. Yuneec first exhibited its electric airplanes at AirVenture in 2009, and this year, GWI will bring several eSpyder aircraft for ground display, and will fly the aircraft daily from the runway in the ultralight area.
Canadian businessman Ian Cotton is selling his almost-flyable Sea Harrier on eBay. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about how the jump jet made it to his driveway in Red Deer, Alberta.
A Canadian businessman says he doesn't have the time to enjoy it so he's selling his Sea Harrier jump jet on eBay. Ian Cotton, of Red Deer, Alberta, is hoping to get $1.5 million for the ex-Royal Navy aircraft. He bought the fighter from the British government four years ago and imported it to Canada with an eye to getting it into taxiing condition. To that end he bought another fuselage for spare parts and a flight-worthy Pegasus engine. He said the aircraft is in excellent condition and needs only a few parts to fly but it's being sold as a static display aircraft only. "I can provide an itemized list of the parts needed," he said in an interview with AVweb.