From the June 2017 Issue

Diamond Gasses It: New Singles Planned

Diamond Aircraft CEO Christian Dries is nothing if not a pragmatist, albeit an adventurous one. At April’s Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, he showed both sides of the same coin when he announced three new single-engine piston models, one powered by an untried new gasoline engine from Lycoming. The latter even he concedes is an admission of sorts. The diesel engines Diamond has championed for 15 years haven’t fared well in the high-performance single-engine market simply because the power options haven’t been there.


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Airbag Seatbelts: Pricey, But Effective

We’ve long urged aircraft owners to retrofit shoulder harnesses for all seats of their airplanes if at all possible. The simple reason is that a restraint system that keeps your head and upper torso from smacking into the instrument panel or seat in front of you during an accident sequence is the single most effective mod you can make to your airplane to radically increase the chance of everyone aboard surviving an accident.

Letters From Readers: June 2017

There are very good reasons for not permitting the use of portable ADS-B Out devices and to retain the TSOs as they currently exist. Starting in 2020, ADS-B will be the primary mode of ATC surveillance, and will largely replace the current ATCRBS (ATC radar beacon system, with portions of the ATCRBS retained as a backup). Portable ADS-B Out devices suffer from some major limitations, including reliability of powering, RF radiation pattern nulling and attenuation resulting from the antenna being inside the aircraft. There’s also the lack of connection to the aircraft static system.

Cirrus SR20 Re-engined: Simpler, Lighter

For the 2017 model year, Cirrus released the G6 SR20, which gets both an avionics upgrade and a new IO-390 Lycoming engine. Cirrus said its decision to re-engine the entry-level SR20 is significant for a couple of reasons. For one, it plans to aggressively market the aircraft to fleet operators who’ve expressed a strong preference for a four-cylinder Lycoming over a six-cylinder Continental. Moreover, the IO-390 substantially reduces weight, while also stretching the TBO for high-use operations.

O2 Concentrators: Inogen Aviator Is Tops

There are good reasons to make oxygen available at altitudes less than those recommended by the FAA. Face it, unless you’re using a pulse oximeter on every flight (we certainly don’t when flying at lower altitudes), you don’t really know how your physiology is reacting on a given day. We think blood oxygen saturation is an important biometric to keep on top of.

Oil System Upkeep: Control Heat and Flow

The oil system on most light aircraft engines is simple and mostly effective. Most systems are of a wet sump, low-pressure design. Typically, the oil reservoir (or sump) is located within or attached to the lower part of the crankcase and oil is continuously returned by gravity to the sump after the oil has done its job of lubricating and cooling.

Garmin G5 DG/EHSI: Low Cost, STC Limited

As a follow-on product to the STC’d G5 electronic attitude indicator, Garmin’s G5 electronic directional indicator is taking sizable criticism because the instrument doesn’t interface with autopilots. While Garmin says this is a temporary limitation, it’s easy to understand the backlash. After all, the G5 EHSI is intended to replace mechanical, vacuum-driven DGs—many of which work with the heading channel on a variety of existing autopilots. But looking to the future—as in the coming months—there’s a bigger story here.

Cessna 185

These days, there is no shortage of aircraft marketed as backwoods utility machines. The short list includes Maule, CubCrafters, Aviat and American Champion. But in the world of working airplanes, Cessna’s long-discontinued 185 is often regarded as one of the most capable. You don’t have to spend much time around a 185 to understand its reputation as the airborne version of a four-wheel-drive, three-quarter-ton pickup truck, easily able to haul heavy loads into and out of short, unimproved strips.

Building 51 Percent Of A Turboprop

With some new flagship piston singles flirting with the $1 million mark, it’s logical that qualified buyers are eyeballing the entry-level turboprop single market. That could give Texas-based Evolution Aircraft (previously Lancair, before it was sold last summer) more opportunity to sell its Evolution Turboprop experimental airplane kits.

Download the Full June 2017 Issue PDF

With some new flagship piston singles flirting with the $1 million mark, it’s logical that qualified buyers are eyeballing the entry-level turboprop single market. That could give Texas-based Evolution Aircraft (previously Lancair, before it was sold last summer) more opportunity to sell its Evolution Turboprop experimental airplane kits. If you think the average new Cirrus, Cessna TTx or Mooney owner doesn’t have time to build an airplane, you may be right. But building an Evolution isn’t like building a typical homebuilt in the garage.

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