From the July 2014 Issue
It may not be the fastest airplane to sport a big Lycoming, but on pure style points, it has no equal.
It takes a while for otherwise common technologies to filter down to aircraft applications. And so it went with LED lighting, with welcomed advantages.
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.
Every summer we look back at the editorial year for products and services that stand out for value, innovation and credibility. While this wasnt a bad year, we werent overwhelmed with products that we consider game changers. Still, there were a select dozen that were worthy of our editors choice award.
How about this for an overused cliché? It looks fast standing still. Its been applied to everything from cars, to boats and the occasional airplane, with arguable truth. But when Pipistrels 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.
In a flight planning app market thats been dominated by Apple iOS, its easy to overlook apps designed specifically for the Android platform, but we think thats changing. Tablets from Samsung, Google and others are proving to be just as capable as Apples offerings for less money.
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 arent flocking to them in large numbers to have the work done.
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.
As with most things the government requires us to spend money on, many pilots that I talk with arent 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 youre lucky, you might get by with a $2000 investment, give or take, for a basic ADS-B output transponder. Thats a best-case scenario.