One of the most eagerly anticipated demonstrations at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show is the first publicly planned flight of the Terrafugia Transition flying car. “This is the first public display of the Transition doing its thing,” said Richard Gersh, vice president of business development for Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia, although the company did host an invitation-only flight demo at Lawrence Airport near Boston last October.
Growing up, James Bond movies were my favorites, and high among them was The Man With the Golden Gun. I don’t remember when I first saw it, but what stuck most in my impressionable young mind was a car. No, not one of Bond’s tricked-out sports cars with ejection seats or retractable machine guns, but a rather unlikely object of male desire, an AMC Matador.
Terrafugia is planning to build its new aircraft/auto hybrid, the Transition, in a new facility in Woburn, Mass. The company has said it is setting up for low-volume production of the roadable light sport aircraft as early as late 2011. Earlier this year, the company got approval from the FAA to increase the vehicle’s maximum takeoff weight by 110 pounds over the 1,320-pound maximum takeoff weight for light sport aircraft.
Garmin (Booth No. 2853) yesterday introduced an integrated avionics system for light turbine-powered airplanes called G3000 that sets itself apart by using menu-driven touchscreens for accessing nearly all of the functions that pilots normally control with a myriad of buttons and dials.
Any safety expert who wants to improve accident statistics could learn a lot by observing the Mitsubishi MU-2 situation. Since the issuance of the final rule outlining special training regulations for MU-2 pilots, there has been only one accident, and that was nonfatal. This contrasts markedly with the MU-2’s accident history before the enactment of the special FAR (SFAR).
There were more than a few moments during my three-and-a-half hours flying the Socata TBM 850 when it was easy to imagine the conversation I’d soon have with a couple of friends who own piston twins. The TBM is a suitable replacement for their aircraft–a Cessna 421 and a B55 Baron.
Flight Options, the Cleveland-based provider of fractional-ownership shares in pre-owned business jets, has started to explore the possibility of developing common cockpit layouts across most of its fleet.
No doubt many pilots have been asking themselves lately how Garmin has possibly managed to develop an integrated glass cockpit for the Cessna Citation Mustang business jet that will also fly aboard a variety of light piston singles. Can the avionics in a $2.3 million twinjet really be the cousin of an integrated avionics package that costs the same as the equipment it replaces in a Cessna Skylane?
John and Martha King this month plan to take the wraps off a new online training course developed for pilots transitioning from traditional instruments to the Garmin G1000 integrated cockpit. The course will include about four hours of video with interactive quizzes at the end of each training session.
The amateur-built market has been a crucible for avionics development for decades. The word “experimental” on the airframe often also applies to the panel. It was, after all, a homebuilder who first tried out a loran receiver from a bass boat in his airplane and adapted it for aerial navigation.