Garmin 7-Inch Display Now ShippingGarmin now has a 7-inch G3X Touch display option available for experimental amateur-built and light sport aircraft, the company said this week. The high-resolution touchscreen display provides an option for owners of aircraft with smaller panels who may be looking for upgrades. The new screen also can be paired with a 10.6-inch display to serve as a back-up or to provide a second screen with traffic, moving maps, charts, or engine data.
Report: China To Start Electric Airplane ProductionTwo copies of the Rui Xiang RX1E two-seat electric-powered airplane flew at the China Airshow, held last week in Zhuhai, and this week, it was reported that construction has begun on a manufacturing plant in Shenyang. Certification of the aircraft is expected later this year, and production is expected to begin in the first half of 2015, according to China Daily. The plant will be capable of producing up to 100 airplanes per year.
GA Advocates Seek FAA ReformThe FAA should support the general aviation community in three key areas -- third-class medical reform, aircraft certification, and the ADS-B Out mandate -- AOPA President Mark Baker told a congressional committee on Tuesday. "We need the FAA to embrace a system that can keep up with rapidly changing technology; that is comfortable with timely, economical, and incremental safety improvements; and that will actually work to reduce risk today for hundreds of thousands of GA pilots," Baker said.
The Weekender: History, Gumbo, GlidingWith holidays and winter looming, activities in the northern half of the country are more scarce than usual this week, but SocialFlight still can help adventure-seeking pilots find plenty of places to go.
Successful Test For Firefighting Helo-DroneLockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace successfully tested an unmanned K-Max helicopter in simulated firefighting exercises, the companies said this week. During the demonstration, a small VTOL Indago quad-rotor drone effectively identified hot spots, and provided data to an operator who directed the unmanned helicopter to autonomously extinguish the flames. In one hour, the helicopter lifted and dropped more than 24,000 pounds of water onto a fire.
Boeing Test-Flies Eco-technologiesBoeing launched its ecoDemonstrator 787 in Seattle this week, to start flight-testing more than 25 new technologies aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing noise. The new round of testing, using 787 Dreamliner ZA004, will evaluate software and connectivity technologies related to operational efficiency; remote sensors to reduce wiring; aerodynamic and flight control improvements for greater fuel efficiency, and icephobic wing coatings to reduce ice accumulation.
New This WeekAVweb's weekly search of the news in the world of aviation turned up new leadership roles at Honeywell Aerospace, Key Air, the board of Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
Plane Crashes Into House Near MidwayAn Aero Commander 500 crashed into a house about a quarter-mile from Midway International Airport in Chicago at 2:42 this morning, coming within eight inches of an elderly couple asleep in bed, who were unhurt, according to local news media reports. The pilot did not survive. The airplane was carrying cargo and had departed from Midway about 2:30 a.m.
NTSB Upholds FAA Drone AuthorityThe FAA does have the authority to apply its rule prohibiting careless and reckless flight to the operators of unmanned aircraft, the NTSB said on Tuesday. The safety board offered the opinion in its review of the case of Raphael Pirker, who was fined $10,000 by the FAA for allegedly operating an unmanned aircraft in a "careless or reckless manner" in 2011.
Airbus To Expand Beluga FleetAirbus will build five new Beluga transport aircraft, the company announced this week. Only five of the large-transport airplanes exist, all of them operated by Airbus to transport large aircraft components between production sites in Europe. The original fleet was based on the A300, but the new airplane will be based on the A330 widebody, with "a large re-use of existing components and equipment," Airbus said. The first of the five new Belugas will enter service in mid-2019.
Avionics Sales Dip In Third QuarterAvionics sales dipped slightly in the third quarter of 2014 with total sales more than $614 million, according to statistics released by the Aircraft Electronics Association Tuesday. That's a 5-percent drop compared to the same period of 2013, which saw $646 million in sales.
New President At BendixKingHoneywell has appointed a former naval aviator to lead BendixKing and continue "its legacy of delivering innovative, reliable and intuitive avionics to the light aircraft and pilot community." Justin Ryan will assume the post after Kevin Gould was quietly let go a few months ago.
Zulu Flight Training Launches In EuropeThe first Zulu Flight Training office in Europe is now up and running in Geneva, Switzerland, Continental Motors Group announced this week. Like the original site for the project, in Spanish Fort, Alabama, the new office offers a simulator-based curriculum based in a convenient, urban location. The goal is to retain students who might otherwise abandon their training due to busy schedules and lack of proximity to the airfield.
Short FinalI was on my way back to Chicago Midway after delivering some freight out east. "It was a dark and stormy night" with scattered thunderstorms and few airplanes. I was with Cleveland approach when this call came through. ... Something Something Yankee: "Cleveland, this is Something Something Yankee. How do you hear?" ... Cleveland: "Loud and clear. How me?" ... Something Something Yankee: "Loud and clear, sir." ... After a bit of time, this communication was repeated. There seemed to be no other traffic in the area, and certainly radio chatter was absent. ... After Something Something Yankee had made his fourth request, this came over the frequency from an unknown transmitter: "Something Something Yankee, too loud and too often." ... There was quiet at that point. -- Linda D. Pendleton
MH17 Recovery Begins, Russian Image DebunkedAmateur video of the immediate aftermath of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 surfaced over the weekend as Dutch authorities were finally able to start removing the thoroughly disturbed wreckage.