July 2010 - Page 2 Aviation Articles

Garmin's new ESP feature to give pilots a 'sixth sense'

No, not that Sixth Sense

Garmin says a new upgrade for its G1000 and G3000 avionics suites will give pilots a “sixth sense” in the cockpit.

The Electronic Stability and Protection system (ESP) aides a crew by ensuring stability and preventing stalls, spins or spirals if a pilot becomes distracted, disoriented or incapacitated while in flight. The system monitors airspeed, pitch and roll when a pilot hand flies an aircraft, adjusting the aircraft to stable levels whenever it approaches its limits.


The Garmin G1000 in a King Air 200.

A statement from Garmin says the option will appear on select aircraft, depending on manufacturers. The King Air 200 will be the first to offer it laster this year at an expected list price of $17,995.

“Until today, this type of stability augmentation system has only been available on fly-by-wire aircraft that cost millions of dollars,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing, in a company statement. “We’re thrilled to be the first to make this safety enhancing technology available to business and general aviation pilots.”

Read the complete release here.

McCauley's composite props: What the Cessna Skycatcher approval could mean for your aircraft

Cessna 162 Skycatcher with a 2-blade McCauley 1L100 composite prop 

We spoke with Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver today about the recent approval of a composite propeller for the 162 Skycatcher, as well as what the future of composite props from McCauley could mean for other aircraft.

Last week the American Society for Testing and Materials, an international standards board, approved production of the 2=-blade 1L100 McCauley prop for the LSA Skycatcher.

Since Cessna designers initially expected the composite prop to be approved for the Skycatcher, many of the weights and measures for the aircraft stay the same as first advertised on the Cessna site. The switch from the aluminum prop will shed about 12 pounds from the airplane’s current production weight, Oliver said.   

With the ASTM certification in tow, the company expects to add the component props to 162s that ship out late this year, while existing owners will receive one at no additional cost.

Earlier this month, parent company Cessna streamlined its McCauley efforts in order to invest in additional projects of a similar nature. Oliver said this will likely lead to retrofitted composite props for planes such as the Skyhawk and Skylane, among other aircraft and engines.  

The bottom line for pilots and aircraft owners is lightweight blades that can allow more fuel in the bladder and longer max leg distances, in addition to other improvements generally found when using composite materials. 

Until then, are you in the market for a Cessna piston with a conventional propeller? Support our advertisers and check out our complete listings of Cessnas for sale here.

An engine modification that may change your aircraft's fuel usage

Above: A 250 hp, 6-cylinder engine modified by Sonex 

A tip of the hat today to AvWeb, who interviews Dr. Andrew Pouring of a company called Sonex. He and his staff developed a process called Sonex Controlled Auto Ignition.

By tweaking the pressure in piston cycles, one can modify an engine to burn most any type of fuel. AvWeb gives the example of burning Jet A in a piston aircraft, but it also could be used for other forms of diesel or even palm oil.

Listen to a podcast on the AvWeb site here. Read more from Sonex web site here.

According to the company, it wants to commercialize the process and is actively seeking investors to further the process to be used in UAVs and other military craft, in addition to private uses.

Mustang's SR-71 Blackbird at Airventure

It may not have wings, but we bet this blackbird will sing in the dead of night alright, sing right off the asphalt.

Combine the two largest names behind powerful Mustang designs and you come up with the Shelby-Roush SR-71 Blackbird Mustang.


Built to resemble the fast-as-lightning surveillance aircraft of the same designation and nickname, this one-off build will be displayed before being auctioned off at Airventure to raise money for the EAA Young Eagles program.

Based on a 2011 GT aluminum 32-valve 5.0 V8 with a glass roof, an additional 100 hp comes from a supercharger and exhaust tuning and tips. A racing handling pack lowers it an inch and lets it grip the road like a glove.

Back and gray matte exterior paint set off the SR-71 themed graphics. In some ways, the partnership has been more than 45 years in the making. The first Mustang was produced the same year as the first SR-71 flight, 1964.

The two-seater cabin includes a roll-cage, racing seats and fire extinguisher.  The signatures of Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby are embroidered into the seats, and special gauges and instrument-cluster graphics have been added.

It will be on display at the Ford Hangar at Oshkosh until the auction on July 29. Thinking of placing a bid? Ford offerings at Oshkosh in the past have fetched around a half-million dollars. Check out the full specs see more photos here.

A new feature for buying and selling aircraft

Here is a copy of a press release we issued earlier today about our new aircraft comparison feature. Check it out by using this example here of a Gulfstream G550.

GlobalAir.com revamped its Aircraft Exchange site in early 2010 to include a treasure trove of new features. Yet the company refused to stop there.

This month it added another new tool that will make life much easier for those in the market to purchase an aircraft.

Programmers at GlobalAir.com, with the help of several aircraft brokers, developed an in-depth aircraft comparison tool launched this week. Prospective buyers can use it to contrast an unlimited number of a type of aircraft to seek certain features such as interior layout, an avionics suite or maintenance updates.

Other comparison aspects include when and what particular paint job looks like, engine specifications, propeller / APU times, and a section for options and features.

“This is a technology-driven achievement,” said Jeff Carrithers, president of GlobalAir.com. “Now it will be so much easier for aircraft brokers and end users to have a research tool to compare an unlimited number of aircraft at the click of a button.”

GlobalAir.com representatives will show off the new feature, along with other site upgrades, later this month at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisc., July 26 - Aug. 1. They encourage you to visit them at Hangar D, Booth 4028.

“It is informative, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye,” Carrithers said. “The aircraft broker/dealer community is going to thank us. We’re helping buyers perform research that normally is burdensome to the sales process because of the lack of information. The more details you can give a buyer, especially on a large-ticket item like an aircraft, the more readily they can make a decision. After visiting our site, all they have to do is call, email or text a seller. Then the deal process is one step closer to being done.”

Earlier this year, GlobalAir.com performed a major overhaul to its Aircraft Exchange.

Among the many updates added, the new features allow an advertiser to post an unlimited number of aircraft images into a click-and-drag photo-flow tool, options for a seller to receive ad inquiries via text message, a feature invented by GlobalAir.com developers. A buyer also can post an aircraft to a Facebook page and has the ability to download complete specs of an aircraft, along with images and any other details a seller wants to make available.

“We’ve went all out on this new page,” Carrithers said. “Seeing an ad on our site is the next best thing to looking at an actual aircraft in person. Now that we have included this comparison feature, the sky truly is the limit for dealers displaying an aircraft on our site.”

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