From the July 2014 Issue

Socata TB-20/-21 Trinidad

It may not be the fastest airplane to sport a big Lycoming, but on pure style points, it has no equal.

Current Issue

Replacement LED Lights: Long Life, Efficiency

It takes a while for otherwise common technologies to filter down to aircraft applications. And so it went with LED lighting, with welcomed advantages.

Turbine Upgrades: Training Required

Despite an overall slow market, there is a steady growth in owner-flown turboprops and jets. TBM has no shortage of buyers for its hot new 900, Maibu owners are stepping up into JetProps and Meridians, Baron pilots are buying King Airs, Cirrus owners hold delivery slots for Vision SF50 jets, turboprop owners are looking at under $1 million price tags for nicely equipped Citation IIs and writing checks, and everyone seems to be salivating over Eclipses.

Gear of the Year: RedHawk 172 Trainer

Every summer we look back at the editorial year for products and services that stand out for value, innovation and credibility. While this wasn’t a bad year, we weren’t overwhelmed with products that we consider game changers. Still, there were a select dozen that were worthy of our editors’ choice award.

Pipistrel Panthera: A Retrac for the New Age

How about this for an overused cliché? “It looks fast standing still.” It’s been applied to everything from cars, to boats and the occasional airplane, with arguable truth. But when Pipistrel’s exotic Panthera appeared as a prototype two years ago, it was mobbed at the Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen and none of the people waiting in line to see it were heard debating its sleek good looks.

FlightPro For Android: Intuitive, Data-Rich

In a flight planning app market that’s been dominated by Apple iOS, it’s easy to overlook apps designed specifically for the Android platform, but we think that’s changing. Tablets from Samsung, Google and others are proving to be just as capable as Apple’s offerings for less money.

ADS-B Update: Stabilizing Prices

judging by the letters and calls we get on a regular basis, ADS-B continues to create head-scratching confusion. While shops report an increased interest in ADS-B retrofits, owners aren’t flocking to them in large numbers to have the work done.

Letters: July 2014

In 2010 we had our Cessna twin painted. I started with the Aviation Consumer paint shop survey from November 2006. Then I followed up with other magazine articles and looked at airplanes on airport ramps over several years. I thought that I did everything right.

First Word: July 2014

As with most things the government requires us to spend money on, many pilots that I talk with aren’t thrilled with the idea of force-fed ADS-B upgrades. Buying a non-compliant, $800 portable ADS-B receiver to get free weather is one thing. Investing thousands on a major installation is another. As we explain in the ADS-B equipment article on page 4, a full-up ADS-B-compliant upgrade, including a WAAS GPS navigator, could easily top 10 grand. If you’re lucky, you might get by with a $2000 investment, give or take, for a basic ADS-B output transponder. That’s a best-case scenario.

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