From the September 2015 Issue

Carbon Cub Amphib: Quick Off the Water

For people who fish, hunt and camp, and who also fly, float flying is an inevitable career checkpoint. If such pilots don’t eventually own floatplanes, they’re likely to hire pilots who do. That’s why Beavers and 185s keep busy in Alaska and why a portion of light sport sales include floats. Now, one of the most popular float rigs, CubCrafters’ hot rod Carbon Cub, is re-entering the market.


Current Issue

Data Upkeep For Glass: Some Cost Relief

You aren’t finished writing checks for an account-draining avionics upgrade when you fly it home from the shop. Now it’s time to buy database subscriptions. If you’re fat, dumb and happy updating your $180-per-year tablet app, get ready for sticker shock now that you have to feed electronic data into a Garmin or Avidyne suite. It’s a real operating cost that isn’t always considered during the buying decision.

AirVenture Diary: Engines, Refurbs, EFIS

We generally don’t know what to expect going into AirVenture at Oshkosh, and with several ho-hum years of late, we don’t expect a lot. But with near-perfect weather, 550,000 attendees, 10,000-plus local-area arrivals, over 800 vendors (up 140 from last year) and only one major non-fatal wreck, this year’s AirVenture impressed. Plus, there was no shortage of new product announcements.

Carbon Cub Amphib: Quick Off the Water

For people who fish, hunt and camp, and who also fly, float flying is an inevitable career checkpoint. If such pilots don’t eventually own floatplanes, they’re likely to hire pilots who do. That’s why Beavers and 185s keep busy in Alaska and why a portion of light sport sales include floats. Now, one of the most popular float rigs, CubCrafters’ hot rod Carbon Cub, is re-entering the market.

Garmin GMA350c: Wireless, Voice Command

Garmin’s first stab at cabin audio control was the GMA340, an audio panel that wasn’t packed with fancy features, yet it did what a modern audio panel was supposed to do: Provide high-quality intercom and radio audio. Moreover, it had a feature set that didn’t require a PhD to operate. But the GMA340 replacement—the $2295 GMA350c—takes the user experience to a much higher level. So high, perhaps, that it might be intimidating for users who can barely operate a smartphone.

Personal Flotation Devices: Wide Market Choice

If you fly one of the vast majority of general aviation aircraft, you can legally operate over any of the waters in and around the U.S. without any sort of flotation device aboard. The requirement to carry survival equipment for operations over water more than 50 miles from land set out in FAR 91.509 only applies to airplanes weighing over 12,500 pounds and turbojets. We bugsmasher operators don’t have to carry so much as a set of water wings.

Intercoolers: Turbo Enhancement

The idea of stuffing more air into an engine to increase its power output is anything but new. Mechanically driven superchargers have been compressing ambient air and feeding it to engines since at least 1885, with their exhaust gas-driven offspring, turbosuperchargers (often shortened to turbocharger or turbo), since 1905. The first turbos were installed in combat airplanes in World War I to increase their performance at altitude.

Stratus 1S and 2S: More Features, Reliability

We’ve reported favorably on the Stratus portable ADS-B receiver series that provides inflight weather, traffic and GPS position to the ForeFlight app on iOS devices. ForeFlight is one of the more popular navigation apps on the market and the Stratus WiFi units drive it well. The only shortcoming has been an issue of hardware reliability, particularly of the power plug. I’ve dealt with that problem first hand as three Stratus units have failed due to power plug issues in the airplane in which I’m a co-owner.

Cessna Skymaster:

The idea of the push-pull twin makes such fundamental sense that it has been applied to aircraft designs in one form or another for nearly 100 years and in literally dozens of models you’ve never even heard of. Back in 2005, Adam Aircraft tried the idea again with the A500 push-pull piston twin. Like many before it, it failed more by market reality than by a fundamental flaw in the idea.

Letters: September 2015

We are looking at having some military aircraft painted by a company out here in California. They have all the Mil Specs for the color we selected, however, I started receiving phone calls from the various paint manufacturers wanting us to select their brand of paint. As a military aviator, I never thought about who supplied the paint on the aircraft I fly, as long as it looked good and wasn’t peeling and fading. Can Aviation Consumer provide me with some counsel on the pros and cons inherent in the different paint manufacturers, including PPG, Sherwin-Williams and Dupont? Do you guys have a preference?

Lockheed’s UTM: Stepping Up UAS Awareness

A reader flagged me down in the UAS-dominant Innovations building at AirVenture last month and asked when Aviation Consumer was going to take the lead in protesting the operation of recreational and commercial drones that were on display. This guy was convinced that a midair with that drone over in the corner with the flashing lights and integrated GoPro (pointing to a DJI Phantom quadcopter on display) was going to take him and his Comanche down in the rural Iowa skies. After offering a polite “deal with it, dude—these things aren’t going away,” I pointed him to Mike Glasgow, who was manning the Lockheed Martin Flight Services booth strategically colocated in the UAS exhibition area.

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