Making its surprise debut at last month’s MAKS airshow just outside Moscow, Kazan Helicopters’ Aktai is a roomy three-seat trainer with an aft cargo cabin similar to Western pickup trucks’ so-called “crew cabs.” Powered by a single 270-shp VAZ 4256 turboshaft, the Aktai has a mtow of 2,530 pounds, 97-knot max speed and a 13,000-foot ceiling.
They say that turnabout is fair play, and that’s evidently what a proactive North Carolina tobacco grower thought he was doing when he sued a local high school over its use of a helicopter to place an air conditioner on its rooftop. This, after he had been refused permission to operate a helicopter from his own land without a permit.
A scale model of the six-seat Safire S-26 ultralight twinjet is undergoing wind-tunnel testing with the goal of verifying the aerodynamic design before preliminary design reviews of the airplane’s cost, performance and features. Following the completion of these reviews and an anticipated design freeze this July, the detailed design and production documentation phase will begin.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STCs for installing Universal flat-panel integrated displays (FPIDs), Universal TAWS and Collins AHRS in Citation 550/560s. The Universal FPID STC replaces the standard Citation electromechanical or EFIS ADI and HSI flight instruments with Universal EFI-550 five-inch LCD FPIDs. Two-, three- or five-tube installation options are available.
Wilson Air Center of Memphis, Tenn. has installed a new 32-inch, high-definition monitor interfaced with the WSI Pilotbrief Pro Weather System, a new flight decision support system that combines weather, airspace and flight plan information into a single integrated display.
At nearly the halfway point, this year continues to build on what has been an 18-month-long trend of lower pre-owned inventory and stabilizing prices among most models, especially late-model and current-production aircraft. In late 2002, pre-owned inventory rose above 2,050 units and has since backed off to 1,814, roughly a 12-percent decline.
For most pilots, the attention-grabbing feature of the newest entries in the small-aircraft general aviation market, such as the Cirrus SR22, is probably their large-format cockpit displays. They’re colorful, bold and big, and they offer capabilities undreamed of in this class of aircraft even two or three years ago.
Bringing datalink weather information into the cockpit has never been easier or more affordable. A variety of newly available low-cost terrestrial and satellite uplink services are allowing buyers of relatively inexpensive cockpit multifunction displays to add special receivers and antennas and gain access to continuously updated terminal reports, forecasts, winds aloft, sigmets, airmets and Nexrad radar images.
These are just a few of the prizes being given away in monthly drawings sponsored by aviation services provider Jet Aviation. The West Palm Beach, Fla. company announced the program last month as a means of promoting use of its online pre-arrival system.
Flight services giant Jeppesen is integrating SBS International, a leading company in the field of crew planning and scheduling, into its commercial aviation division. The move will add SBS’s Maestro suite of products, a complete line of crew scheduling and management applications, to the Jeppesen portfolio.