Aviation Technology - Page 21 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.

GPS-based communication system helps helicopters in oil spill rescue effort

Aviation plays a big role in the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as fixed wings and rotors carry workers and supplies throughout the region.

EMS Aviation promoted through a statement released last week its FLEET tracking system, now being used by a private contractor for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Florida-based Heli-works Inc. uses the system between biologists in Bell 206Ls outfitted with the equipment and rescuers on the ground to locate and recover oiled birds.

The system is backed by a web-based Automated Flight Following (AFF) map that shows a helicopter’s location, speed, heading, altitude and flight history.

The FLEET system also offers text and phone capabilities to crew, in addition to automated tracking. The FLEET system is composed of an iridium antenna and transceiver with integrated GPS.

Read more about the technology here. 

A new trend in glass panel avionics suites: Using your iPad?

An iPad-mounted avionics panel? There’s an app for that. Or, rather, make that several apps.

SportairUSA, based in Little Rock, Ark., recently unveiled its iCub, a light-sport aircraft that will set you back $92,000 for the standard iCub, while an optional Bush iCub with stronger axles and larger wheels costs $99,000.

The model evolved from the company’s Cruiser-model taildragger.

 It’s most original feature is a panel-mounted iPad that runs a WingXpro7 GPS-enabled terrain-aware moving map, ForeFlight Mobile HD, ForeFlight Charts,  an iHUD (EFIS) and MotionX GPS HD. Other software includes a Knot-tying guide, an Army First Aid manual, an SAS survival guide, and FAR reference guide among several others. Check out a complete list of programs here.

A 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS motor, along with a 2-blade wooden prop, gives the LSA power for its 18-gallon tank. The interior features leather seating and a baggage area / cargo net.

“Light, tough and powerful, the iCub delivers 565 lbs of useful load along with short take-offs and landings in an affordable light sport aircraft,” the company’s web site says. See more features here.

Get a glimpse of the Bush iCub at AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh, Wisc., July 26 – Aug. 1. The SportairUSA exhibit will be located in space 62, across from the LSA Mall.


Retractable floats for your amphibian aircraft


Australian company Tigerfish Aviation has developed a way to get your amphibian plane from lake to lake while increasing the distance and decreasing the fuel cost when you and Crocodile Dundee fly from barbie to barbie.

The company says its retractable floats reduce fuel consumption, while increasing range, payload, speed and operating cost.

Tigerfish says the design, which pulls the floats into a belly beneath the fuselage, can be retrofitted to regional airliners, utility aircraft, executive aircraft, UAVs and military transports.

Of course, if you are looking for a new toy to go from lake to air, you can check out our complete list of amphibian aircraft for sale here.

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