Briefing: June 2017


Mooney’s Two New Models Now FAA-Certified

Mooney Aircraft’s updates of its two classic single-engine models now are FAA-certified, the company announced in April. The M20U Ovation Ultra and the twin-turbocharged M20V Acclaim Ultra both come with an all-new interior and a Garmin G1000 NXi panel. The once all-metal airplane now has a composite-wrapped cabin, which the company says produces a quieter ride. The original Mooneys had a single door, but the new versions come with two wide doors for easier access to the cabin. The company has started to take orders for the first batch of 50 airplanes planned for this year’s production.

Collier Trophy Goes To Blue Origin

Blue Origin took home the 2016 Collier Trophy, bestowed by the National Aeronautic Association in March, “for successfully demonstrating rocket booster reusability with the New Shepard human spaceflight vehicle.” The Blue Origin team completed five successful test flights of a single booster and engine. “Blue Origin’s New Shepard program is remarkable,” said Jim Albaugh, chairman of NAA. “Developing the first new large liquid-hydrogen rocket engine in almost 20 years and demonstrating repeatable vertical takeoffs and landings makes the long-sought-after goal of low-cost reusable rockets and access to space a reality.” The Collier Trophy is awarded annually “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America…the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use.”

Sun ‘n Fun, Aero Report Robust Attendance

Sun ‘n Fun’s annual fly-in and expo in April “was the highest-attended show we’ve ever had,” spokesperson Jackie Jenkins reported. The 25th Aero show, in Friedrichshafen, Germany, held during the same week, also was a success, the organizers said. “The show set two new records: 34,200 trade visitors from Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and around the world set a new attendance record,” said spokesman Wolfgang Khle. “707 exhibitors was also a new record for the show, surpassing the previous high of 606 set in 2016.” This year, the two shows overlapped during the same week; next year, the shows will run just three days apart. The 2018 Sun ‘n Fun is set for April 10 to 15, and Aero will take place April 18 to 21.

Diamond Intros Diesel Singles, Plus Rotorcraft

Diamond Aircraft introduced a new diesel-powered single at Germany’s Aero Friedrichshafen general-aviation show in April. The Austrian company said it will produce the airplane in three variants — the four-place DA50-IV, five-place DA50-V, and seven-place DA50-VII. All three models will be powered by Safran/SMA diesel engines. The VII will also be available with a Lycoming gas engine or as a turboprop with retractable gear. The company also unveiled a design for a composite four-seat light-single piston helicopter, the Dart 280. The easy-to-fly trainer would be the first in a family of rotorcraft, which will include a hybrid-electric tilt rotor, the company said. First flight is expected around October next year, with certification about a year later.

Electric Fly-In Set For Switzerland

Electric-powered aircraft will gather for a fly-in at the Grenchen airport in Switzerland, September 9-10, the first event of its kind in Europe. The organizers of the SmartFlyer Challenge said they expect a range of aircraft to attend, including the Hamilton aEro Twister single-seat aerobatic composite airplane, an Antares electric self-launching glider by Lange Aviation, the Siemens E-Fusion two-seater, a Pipistrel Alpha Electro, and Ruppert Composite’s new Archaeopteryx W/N-3 single-seat motor glider. The aircraft will be on static display and also perform flight demonstrations. More aircraft are expected to join the lineup by September.


Stemme, best known for its high-end motor gliders, said it will merge with Remos, maker of the GX light sport aircraft…CAFE is moving its electric-aircraft symposium to Oshkosh…Restored B-29 ‘Doc’ set to debut at EAA AirVenture…Quest’s Kodiak turboprop is now EASA-certified…Breaking news in general aviation can be found at


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