Letters 06/99

JeppView Views
With regard to your article about plates from Jeppesen on CD-ROM, I strongly prefer Jeppesen over NOS approach charts. But I hate doing the updates every two weeks, especially when I never use 80 percent of the approach plates in the subscription.

So with JeppView, I have found a good solution that works for me: At home, I print only the charts that I need on Jeppesens pre-punched paper. Contrary to the article, I have found them easy and fast to print with my ink-jet printer.

I also subscribe to the NOS approach plates. I just toss the appropriate ones into my briefcase for use in an emergency. For most of my trips, everything I need fits into one Jeppesen binder and a couple of NOS booklets.

I can use my favorite approach charts, I don’t need to waste time updating charts Ill never need anyway and I have a good back-up plan for emergencies.

-Dirk H. Brom
via e-mail

And you have to subscribe to both services, which doesnt strike us as a particularly good deal.

I have been wrestling with problems of paper versus CD-ROM for a while and would like to comment on your article. I subscribe to the Jeppesen eastern states CD-ROM and use it to print out full-page plates before each trip. But concern for the unexpected forces me to buy the printed Jepp pack for the states Im visiting, too. So whats the benefit of the CD-ROM? Here are my thoughts:

First, I always have an up-to-date chart for the destination airport. Second, filing plates drove me crazy; either the revisions came faster than I could put them in or I forgot to refile the plate I had used and spent an hour before takeoff trying to find it. I can print a chart big enough to read without glasses and for us older fellas, thats important. When I leave the airplane after a trip, I just throw everything away, then assemble fresh plates from the resources I know I have.

-Les Jones
York, Pennsylvania

Rocket Oversight
I just read the Used Aircraft Guide on the M20K in the April, 1999 issue. I read it with much interest since I have owned three M20Ks over the last five years.

I found the article to be quite informative and accurate, albeit familiar, but I was disappointed that there was no mention at all of the Rocket conversion in the modifications portion of the article.

The Rocket conversion is the most popular and highly acclaimed (by owners and the aviation press) conversion/mod to the M20K. About 12 to 14 percent of the M20K fleet has been converted to a Rocket, an extraordinary number.

Even some Mod Works 262 Trophy owners (a conversion which was mentioned in the article) have discarded the 262 and converted their M20Ks to a Rocket.

The Mooney Rocket is the fastest certified single-engine piston airplane in the sky today, capable of 235 KTAS cruise speeds.

-Bob Mann
Boca Raton, Florida

Omitting the Rocket conversion was an oversight on our part. Rocket can be reached at East 6427 Rutter Road, Spokane, WA 99212, 509-535-440 www.rocketengineering.com.

Archangel Notes
Your articles TCAD Goes Graphic, Moving Maps in the Real World and The Dawn of Datalink, all published recently in The Aviation Consumer, prompt me to write you, as Archangel wasnt mentioned. I am a subscriber who also represents a company which has developed and sells advanced graphical cockpit systems for GA use.

That company, Archangel Systems, has sold glass cockpit display systems into the experimental market for the past three years and last year obtained FAA certification for its situational awareness display which it calls a Cockpit Display System (CDS). The company recently announced a new version with updated software and uploaded radar, as we’ll as traffic.

The Archangel CDS is a full-size (10.4-inch diagonal screen) sunlight-readable, touch-operated AMLCD display which provides an interactive, GPS-driven moving map, with overlayed lightning, precip, metars and traffic derived from remoted sensors supplied by other companies, including BF Goodrich (WX-500), ARNAV (DR-100) and Ryan (9900B).

TSOd as a weather display, its certified for use under VFR and IFR, but not for navigation. What is unique is that all the information is presented simultaneously and updated automatically. There’s no need to manipulate the unit to get at different products and all the information is readable because there’s enough screen real estate to make it so, even to middle-aged eyes.

As the product develops it will continue to assimilate the presentation or control over other functions which normally demand their own panel space. Installation is eased with various STCs. See www.archangel.com for specifications, pricing and some example panels.

-Don Heimark
Vice President
Archangel Systems, Inc.

Kennon Kudos
I learned about aircraft covers via your articles in Aviation Consumer and subsequently purchased a Kennon cabin cover. A year later, I bought an insulated engine cover for my Cessna 206. The workmanship and fit are outstanding. I want to compliment both Kennon and Aviation Consumer.

The Kennon people were extremely friendly and helpful in customizing the engine cover with flap openings and attach points at no extra charge.

However, the biggest surprise was a year after the purchase of the engine cover. I wanted another flap opening for the oil fill door and sent the cover back to Kennon with a credit card number to pay for the work.

The cover was returned two weeks later, work completed with no charge, just a note of appreciation for choosing Kennon. Unbelievable!

-Jim Weckenbrock
Wyoming, Ohio

FliteStar Mac Pro…
With respect to the anonymous pilot who wrote complaining about the demise of the Mac version of FliteStar, he mentioned that running the PC version in emulation mode would make it slow as molasses. He is either running an old Mac or hasnt seen what the latest emulation software can do. VirtualPC on a fairly new Mac has been shown to run even complex PC programs faster than it does on PCs. The new PowerBooks, running as high as 300 Mhz, will run the socks off any PC laptop out there.

Times change and we have to change with them. And if Jeppesen is losing money by supporting Macs, they have little choice but to drop it. To do anything else would be cheating their investors. I, for one, would grab thatfree software and get on with flying.

-Eric Barnes
via e-mail

…And Con
I would like to also voice my disappointment as one of the original users of the Mac FliteStar program. It is true that both FliteStar and JeppView run quite we’ll on the Power PC Macintosh (especially the G3) using Virtual PC.

The only bottleneck seems to be the printing. Unfortunately, the program just seems better on the Mac than it does on the PC, as is often the case. For a Mac user, running it on a PC is a definite step backwards.

Jeppesen has advised me that they are receiving many complaints from Mac users and I would urge your readers who prefer the Mac format to voice their concerns to Jeppesen.

While Mac may only represent three percent of their market, its growing and obviously many users like me are reluctantly running the program in the PC format.

-Howard A. Tobin
via e-mail

Best Hood Contact
In Januarys issue, we reviewed IFR hoods and found that for $5, the Best Hood is a great value. The new contact number for Best Hood is 888-644-0591.