Briefing: April 2019


uAvionix Expands Installation Network

ADS-B innovator uAvionix is offering an online instruction program to qualify A&Ps to install its recently certified skyBeacon ADS-B Out device and its soon-to-be certified tailBeacon product. The skyBeacon adds the ADS-B transmitter to wingtip navigation or nav/strobe lights and requires no panel work or antenna installation. The tailBeacon replaces the position light on the tail. The simple system satisfies the FAA’s Jan. 1, 2020 mandate requiring ADS-B Out on aircraft operating in almost all controlled airspace. The devices cost less than $2,000 and installation time is about an hour. The program is in response to demand from shops and independents across the country. uAvionix said it hopes to alleviate the building backlog of conventional ADS-B installations, which can take up to 25 hours of shop time.

Airbus Ends A380 Program

Airbus announced in February that it will no longer take orders for its flagship A380 aircraft and production will end with the last of the existing orders in 2021. The order book for A380s has never matched its public fascination as cost-conscious airlines instead moved to new twinjets that have the same or greater range as the Super Jumbo but much lower operating costs. The fate of the double-decker aircraft was sealed with order cancellations from Qantas and Emirates, both of which will be buying A350, Boeing 787 or the new Boeing 777X for their long-range routes.

LSA Program Grooms Future ATPs

The Sling Pilot Academy has accepted its first students in its Accelerated Airline Pilot Program and might help ease the shortage of instructors that is compounding the pilot shortage. The school, based in Torrance, California, uses Sling 2 LSAs for most of the in-air training to take ab initio or private pilot students through to full multi-engine and single-engine instructor ratings. From there, the candidates will be able to build the additional 1200 hours of flight time needed to take the Airline Transport (ATP) course. For those with a private pilot certificate, the course is six months of full-time instruction at Torrance for a total cost of $45,595. Those starting from scratch will pay an additional $17,000. The school says graduates of its program can realistically expect to be interviewing for airline jobs within about 30 months. The school also says it will help graduates find their first airline job when they’re ready.

eVTOL Racing Aircraft Eyed

A Polish company says it hopes to develop a personal eVTOL that will inspire a new breed of air racing. Jetson Aero says it’s grooming its development program to create speedy and nimble aircraft that would become the manned equivalent of the increasingly popular sport of POV drone racing. The prototype is an aluminum H with a carbon fiber seat and eight 18-horsepower motors. The final iteration will have a top speed of about 50 knots and a 15-20 minute endurance. It will weigh about 166 pounds empty, making it an ultralight that doesn’t require a pilot certificate.

ForeFlight Offers 3D Airport View

ForeFlight has merged its mapping and synthetic vision platforms to allow pilots to take a virtual tour of airports to familiarize themselves with the layout and ground operations. Users can pan and zoom with 360-degree views as they move through the airport on the ground or fly overhead. The system can be set to offer the cockpit view of a one-mile final on the correct glideslope for example. “In the past, aircraft operators used static pictures of airport environments to get familiar with an airport area,” said ForeFlight CEO Tyson Weihs. “Airport 3D View changes the paradigm and delivers an immersive, next-generation familiarization capability that works worldwide and will help customers more efficiently prepare for flights and ultimately improve safety.”


Collier Trophy has 11 candidates for 2018…Bombardier has introduced a three-class 50-seat regional jet…Southwest will serve Hawaii with ETOPs-certified Boeing 737s…Some F-35B Marine Corps aircraft will only fly 2100 hours…Breaking news in general aviation can be found


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