Letters: 04/08


When I was researching the purchase of an airplane a few years ago, I was immediately drawn to the prospect of an airplane with FADEC. The benefits seem so obvious to anyone who has observed the advances in automotive technology over the past three decades. With the Continental IOF-240B in my Liberty XL2, I achieve truly modern powerplant management. Advantages, some of which you


covered in your article, include single-lever power control, automatic mixture and spark timing, perfectly calibrated fuel injection and storage of thousands of hours of data on a memory card, which is then easy to analyze.

I picked up my XL2 about 1 1/2 years ago and now have well over 300 hours on the Hobbs. TCM has stood solidly behind the product and Steve Smith of Aerosance has personally visited with me to iron out some early difficulties. TCM has changed the FADEC boxes twice-we are now on the third iteration of the software and I couldnt be happier.

As for the XL2, both my son and I did much of our primary training in the airplane and we were both certified on the same day last August. The airframe is great fun to fly, responsive and well balanced. The systems are designed for simplicity and ease of use. I have flown a large number of the legacy trainers as well as older injected and carbureted singles. Frankly, the ease of use and dependability of the FADEC, plus the pure joy of flight in the XL2, make for a great combination. Were it not for the FADEC system and the Liberty, I would have abandoned my dream of flight.

Daniel Spitzer
Suffern, New York

George for Cessna

Great report on autopilots in your March issue. I think Cessna 400B autopilots should not be mentioned without also including in the same sentence or at least paragraph reference to Kings Avionics in Salt Lake City. (Contact www.kingsavionics.com, 801-539-8412.) They are the experts on 400Bs. They repaired my T210 400B three years and its still working perfectly. The 400B is a great autopilot and Kings can help keep it in service.Of course, the Cessna Pilots Association has other sources of repair on the 400B as well. But my personal experience with Kings has been excellent.

Gene Dillahunty
Half Moon Bay, California

AoA Indicators

I was an early Beta tester for Elbie Mendenhalls Rite Angle angle-of-attack indicator, using our Glasair as a testbed. Nothing wrong with Elbies product, but readers should know that finding a suitable location for the vane might not be easy.

Specifically, I mounted the vane about 6 inches below the wing, attached to streamlined tubing from an inspection panel. The data proved this location was still in the bow wave of the Glasair wing (we surmised) when approaching stall. The vane needed to be further away or more forward from the leading edge, but I didnt pursue it.

An early Glasair builder wrote about drilling holes in the leading edge of the wing for AOA data, la Advanced Flight. While he claimed good success, it seems no one could duplicate his results. Some wings are very finicky and you may have to experiment with your installation to get valid readings.

Mike Palmer
Via e-mail

Your angle of attack article was great but several shops pointed out that the devices all sound like major installations to them, requiring a 337 and that without an STC, I would be advised to not install one in my Mooney. I did find that two of the manufacturers have letters from two different FSDOs deeming the basic device, without any wiring, to be a minor install-no 337 required-but that was only from two offices.

One manufacturer, Alpha Systems, feels your article made the 337 issue sound less daunting than it is. I suspect Im not the only reader running into this issue. Keep us informed what you might learn. Id love to install an AoA.

Paul Larsen
Via e-mail

Cessnas China Card

This country wasnt built on your economic ideas. Free enterprise makes the world go around and guess what, China is part of the world. Why do you think companies are leaving California for other states? Its less expensive to produce their goods.

When you buy gasoline, do you check where it came from? No, I bet youre the kind of a guy who drives a Mercedes, wears Italian shoes and smokes Cuban cigars. If you dont like the way Cessna is doing things, buy the company and do it your own way. In the meantime, keep your socialistic ideas out of their boardroom. You asked for input and this is mine.

D. M. Zivanich
Anchorage, Alaska

Regarding your Powerpoint Challenge in the February 2008 Aviation Consumer on why Cessna shouldnt send aerospace work to China, Ill bite. Here are bullets for the slide.

Chinese government is subsidizing their industry to take over market shares.

China has conducted industrial espionage against U.S. industry for over 20 years to include 28 defense contractors as late as August 2007.

China has conducted multiple cyber operations against U.S. government and DoD computer systems since 2000, some so extensive as to have even been assigned campaign names by DoD Information Operations personnel.


Despite the fact our accountants will love us, our patriotic-minded customers will scorn the idea and cause a PR backfire.

Our DoD and aerospace industry savvy customers will think were nuts.

Allying with a hostile foreign power could risk business with U.S. government and DoD

Randy Kelly
Via e-mail