Go negative…or work together?

It is true that a pilot of one type aircraft may not know much about nor (therefore) care much about another type aircraft. Ultralight pilots and turbine pilots may not seem to have much in common. Sailplane pilots and crop dusters, likewise. Powered parachute enthusiasts seem on the opposite side of the spectrum from airline pilots.

Yet, regardless of our interests — or even the country in which we live — pilots as a whole are more alike than different in one critical way: [Read more...]

Wills Wing celebrates turning 40

willwing

At the lightest end of flying, one company in the USA excels like no other. For hang glider and paraglider enthusiasts the brand name Wills Wing is as good as it gets.

I have long known and admired the owners of this well-run California company so I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to Wills Wing on its 40th anniversary.

[Read more...]

Sebring Expo: A real game-changer

It used to be that January was one of the slowest months of the year. Freezing cold in the northern states combined with short days across the northern hemisphere to produce a sluggish month for all but transport or working aircraft. Recreational flying slowed to the pace of thick syrup pouring from a chilled bottle.

[Read more...]

First CTLSi with ADS-B

Flight Design CTLS

Aviators love abbreviations and one that has invaded light aviation recently is ADS-B. FAA’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast service brings two major benefits for aircraft that install new equipment: Free weather and traffic. LSA market leader Flight Design recently completed the first installation of this in one of its brand-new CTLSi models.

[Read more...]

Stick wigglers vs. glass panel geeks

Flight Design CTLS

After flying more than 350 different aircraft models, I’ve become reasonably adept at what some pilots call “stick wiggling.” The reference is for all the actions you take to physically fly the plane. This is about what’s required on very basically-equipped ultralight aircraft that I still love to fly. Modern LSA, however, typically offer loaded instrument panels and, while I check out stalls, flight qualities and landings of a LSA, I rarely get any time to play with the panel goodies.

Fortunately, a recent experience in a brand-new Flight Design CTLSi provided a three-hour window to wiggle the stick, plus a whole lot more. [Read more...]

General aviation in China

China_Airshow-Mermaid

In late November the southern China city of Zhuhai hosted a large collection of aircraft at Airshow China. We’ve been hearing about this once-closed country in matters of aviation so often, readers might be interested to see some photos taken by LAMA Europe’s Jan Fridrich.

[Read more...]

The effects of political wrangling on LSA

The new year is here and with it the effects of Congressional wrangling over the so-called fiscal cliff. Maybe the political leadership have found some temporary resolve, but eventually cuts appear inevitable.

Some aviation groups have gloomily predicted as much as $80 billion in GDP losses [Read more...]