Reader Correspondence—June 2024

More on Deltahawk

I’ve been following your coverage of the DeltaHawk engine, including your recent overview video at Sun ‘n Fun, and have some questions.

In the video, there was a brief mention of liquid cooling. I’m wondering how that would integrate with the planned firewall-forward package, as well as the cowling and of course weight of the total package. Last, what props can absorb the diesel’s power pulses?

—Linc Turcotte, via email

DeltaHawk told us the DHK-series engines still require cooling for an intercooler, but the ducting and intercoolers can be placed strategically as to maintain the smallest cowl design. In other words, they can be positioned anywhere within the firewall-forward package.

As for propellers, the company said the Hartzell Raptor is the only prop vibration-tested and part of the engine’s type certificate. We suspect there will be others in the future.

Wingman Med Alternatives

Thank you for the Wingman Med coverage in the April 2024 Aviation Consumer. In future articles, you should include the availability of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Service, which helps pilots with both medical and aviation legal services as an add-on to the membership for less than $100 a year. I think it is the best deal in aviation.

—Brent Blue, Senior AME/HIMS

I enjoyed the Wingman Med video and report in your April 2024 issue. I heard that the Mayo Clinic’s aviation department offers similar services. Would you cover this in a future issue? I’m a Mayo Clinic advocate after it helped me with a health issue a number of years ago. I found the care to be second to none and can recommend the Clinic to anyone.

—Karl Elliott, via email

There are actually a couple of other services that offer FAA aeromedical assistance, and we plan to look at how they differ from Wingman Med in an upcoming report. We covered the Mayo Clinic’s programs in the February 2019 issue of Aviation Consumer, and it’s time for a refresh.

Headset Microphones

There is one key parameter on headsets that I have never seen reviewed, and that’s microphone noise pickup. Not all microphones are created equal and the performance of the audio system in the aircraft can be seriously degraded by noise pickup in one of the microphones. Noise-canceling phone circuitry is great, but if the microphone is feeding noise into the system and opening the squelch in the intercom, you have just negated all the advantage of ANR.

Oh, and just because the manufacturer says it’s designed for a high-noise environment doesn’t mean it is. There is a big difference between the cockpit of a Gulfstream and the cockpit of a Stearman or Tiger Moth.

—Brian Lloyd, Spring Branch, Texas

Good point. We pay attention to the microphone performance when we evaluate headsets, but generally don’t measure the amount of noise they pick up. We’ll take a listen as we continue with our flagship-headset shootout that’s currently in progress, though an audio lab might offer useful results.

Garmin GNS support

Thank you for the useful recent coverage on Garmin’s support issues for the GNS products. I have no fewer than five of these units spread out among several airplanes in a busy flight school. It would be a huge investment if I ditched them all for Garmin’s latest navigators.

My strategy is pretty much what you suggested as one option, and that’s scouting the used avionics market for decent ones to put on the shelf. As you noted, it’s surprising that even after Garmin’s announcement that displays aren’t available, values haven’t really changed on used units.

—Phil Levotte, via email

That’s a reasonable plan if you can source units that have recently been back to Garmin for repairs and refurbs.