From the June 2015 Issue

Inside Rotax: Leveraged Technology

While companies are defined by what they make, what they decide not to make can be just as distinguishing as the product catalog. And that would be the case with Rotax, the Austrian engine giant that all but owns the light-sport engine market. But a decade ago, flush with success, Rotax drew back from an expensive project to take on Lycoming and Continental with its own six-cylinder engine.


Current Issue

Wanted: The Next Generation of Mooniacs

That’s what Mooney is looking for with its proof of concept M10T, which was on display for the first time at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, this past April. If you’re a hard-core Mooney enthusiast, you get it. Mooniacs are a manically enthusiastic bunch and if it weren’t for the demand to support the speedsters they fly, the company might not be here today. Mooney was established in 1929 and cranked out over 11,000 M-series aircraft.

Letters: June 2015

I read the HID article in your May 2015 issue and thought your readers might be interested in my real-world experience with HID lamps. I wanted to purchase HID landing lights back in 2006 for my Mooney M20K, but there wasn’t an available STC. The lights

The Big Engine That Didn't

At Lycoming, executives roll their eyes when they hear “Lycosaurus” used to describe the lack of innovation in aircraft power plants. That suggests that the market hungers for engine innovation, but the reality is something different, as Rotax discovered in 2006.

Inside Rotax: Leveraged Technology

While companies are defined by what they make, what they decide not to make can be just as distinguishing as the product catalog. And that would be the case with Rotax, the Austrian engine giant that all but owns the light-sport engine market. But a decade ago, flush with success, Rotax drew back from an expensive project to take on Lycoming and Continental with its own six-cylinder engine.

Vacuum Pump-411: Continually Improving

While glamorous glass cockpits are probably the wave of the future, in the real world the vast majority of airplanes still sport round-dial panels with gyros spun by air pumps that either suck or blow. We tend to collectively call them vacuum pumps, although on most Beech aircraft they are pressure pumps. No matter the appellation, they are turned by the accessory drive of the engine.

More ADS-B Solutions: Stratus, Sandia, FreeFlight

Just when we thought we could lay off the ADS-B coverage for a month, along comes no fewer than three new ADS-B product announcements—two in the same day. These product introductions come as the ink still dries on last month’s issue of Aviation Consumer, which contains an ADS-B buyer’s guide. Stay tuned. We’ll update the product guide in our June 2015 issue.\nClearly, the ADS-B market is busting at the seams, and the latest product announcements from Appareo, Sandia and FreeFlight offer overwhelmed buyers even more choices. Here’s a look at each one.\n

SkyVision Salus-3: Portable ADS-B Out, In

Let’s play regulatory devil’s advocate, shall we? The SkyVision Xtreme Salus-3 portable ADS-B transceiver is nearly the perfect solution for the most basic aircraft. It’s packaged in a durable portable housing, it has internal WAAS GPS, it can work with popular tablet apps, can run off its own battery, it doesn’t require a pricey installation and it can be carried from one aircraft to the other. Best of all—at $1099—it’s priced less than a high-end ANR headset. But without TSO 154C approval, it’s still considered another piece of glareshield candy.

Fire Extinguishers: Halon, Not Dry Chem

The idea of an inflight fire rightfully scares the bejabbers out of pilots. Uncontrolled combustion in a confined space is ugly enough—adding altitude and speed to the mix can make a fire lethal in short order. It’s no wonder that pilots dealing with an inflight fire have jumped out of their aircraft even though they had no parachute. While inflight fires are rare, we think that every aircraft should have an effective fire extinguisher in the cabin where the pilot can reach it quickly and easily.

Garmin G600/500: Upgraded for ADS-B

In avionics life, nine years is a long time. That’s how long Garmin’s G600 retrofit primary flight display has been on the market. While that’s long enough for a product to lose its tech edge, Garmin generally doesn’t let that happen. Luckily, periodic software upgrades can give an otherwise aging product a new lease on life, although FAA certification can limit major changes without requiring a time-consuming and costly recertification process.

ForeFlight For Desktop: Cloud-Based Planner

For a while it seemed that desktop flight planning was headed for extinction, replaced by do-it-all tablet computers running apps that capably serve double duty as flight planners and cockpit navigators. At Sun ‘n Fun 2015, navigation app developer ForeFlight introduced a new web planner that automatically interacts with its iOS Mobile navigation app. Additionally, ForeFlight released version 7.0 software for the app, a major update which adds a new procedure advisor function, cabin pressure altitude alerting, faster nav data downloads and an interface for the Apple Watch. Here’s a rundown.

Taylorcraft: Affordable, Simple

Post World War II, the state-of- the-art for a personal airplane was a basic, two-seat taildragger of modest horsepower and tube-and-rag construction. Wood, as often as not, was a major airframe constituent and IFR flight was something not even all the airlines practiced.

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