Friday, August 19, 2011

AirVenture 2011

Well, Sunday will be three weeks since AirVenture ended.  However, that's still a short turnaround by my posting history, so I figured I would see which of you bloggers went (and are willing to post about it) and what you liked.

On the Eclipse front, the jets are back at FL410, they are still planning a return to production, and according to aviation news sources, they are in hiring mode.  The current panel even includes the little pull out keyboards that were on the original mockup years ago.  I got a panel demo at Eclipse's AirVenture booth and liked it a lot more than I thought I would.  I flew the jet last year at the Cirrus Migration in Dayton and felt somewhat lost with the panel.  Not with basic flying, but with various modes and options.  I hadn't spent any time getting familiar with it, though, so that's not surprising.  After a thorough Oshkosh overview, it seemed like a pretty easy panel to use with a lot of capability. I figured I would mention all this as there's a bit of Eclipse history on the blog. ;-)

A plane I fell in love with was the RS Warbirds Shorts Tucano:
Looks like a heck of a lot of fun complete with ejection seats!

As a result of reading about the Pipistrel Panthera (see previous post), I was formally introduced to their two-seat lineup.  Those airplanes look like a lot of fun, as well, and at less than 1/10 the cost of the Tucano (not that you can really compare the two).  The Pipistrel Virus looks like an RC plane here (take a look at the 360):

Aside from airplanes, I have been really happy to see how the food situation has developed at AirVenture.  A lot more options than there used to be.  Not that it's important, but I love food so it's on my list.  On another infrastructure note, EAA made some good improvements to drainage this year after the so-called "Sloshkosh" of 2010.

How about you guys?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Future of General Aviation?

Edit 12 hours after original post: I was going on about two hours of sleep and a little slap-happy when I made the post below, and now that I've researched this a bit more, my pragmatic side is ramping up again.  There's been some confusion across the articles I've read regarding price-point, production certified vs. kit, performance, etc...  The idea still excites me, though, as it moves the technology/efficiency ball forward in GA (again, assuming it can hit it's marks, which I mentioned in my post below rarely ever happens).

My last thread post contains comments by me responding to your posts from two threads back (7 comments as of this writing).  For the first time, a new thread comes hot on the heels of an old one.  Since this blog is about us aviation enthusiasts, I figured I would post about something that enthused me very much yesterday. :-)

For purposes of this post, GA means personal light non-turbine aircraft.  Let's say 2-6 seats.  One of the email newsletters I subscribe to is AVwebFlash.  Yesterday, I saw a fascinating article about the coming Pipistrel Panthera.  The company's website can be found here.  A PDF of the Panthera program can be found here.

We know that small aircraft manufacturers hardly ever hit their performance predictions, but even if Pipistrel comes close, the Panthera promises to be an extremely exciting aircraft (to me anyway).  Aside from great performance with current engine technology, Pipistrel is working on hybrid and full electric versions.  I know that's a pipe-dream to many here, but look at how far battery technology has come in recent times.  Who's to say that technology won't make major leaps over the next decade.  Even if it doesn't, the Panthera promises to be an amazingly fast and efficient aircraft with the aforementioned current engine technology.  If the thing cost $800K, it wouldn't be very exciting.  However, according to AVweb, they are shooting for a price of around $300K--for 200+ knots on 10 GPH.

What do you guys think (other than of the company's name ;-))?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Aviation Commentary for the Week of May 23

The elusive single-engine (or otherwise) "personal" jet doesn't seem to be getting any closer to reality with news that Canada has denied much needed funding to Diamond.

Diamond D-JET Funding Problems

As of Oshkosh AirVenture last year, salespeople were saying don't expect certification in the next year, so even if funding does come through somehow, it looks like the D-JET won't be gracing owner's hangars anytime soon (probably a couple of years on the short side).

Most of you that read this blog already know this, but just in case anybody missed it I figured I'd mention the topic.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aviation Commentary for the Week of April 25

Sorry for being AWOL for a number of weeks.  It's as simple as not enough hours in the day (well, including some sleep anyway ;-)) for work and the fun stuff.  Things have calmed down again, though, for now.  As a lot of you know, you can reach me via andygroth21 on Gmail and Facebook if I need a kick in the butt. :-)  I really do love the fact that many of the EAC and subsequent "crew" are still here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aviation Commentary for the Week of February 7

As Baron mentioned at the end of the last thread, there are some signs of life out there for GA.  Hope that trend continues!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Aviation Commentary for the Week of January 17

These months sure do fly by fast.  It's nice to see the regulars still checking in.  Anybody see Flying Magazine's Eclipse article this month?