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FAA Issues License To Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne
The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation has issued the world’s first license for a sub-orbital manned rocket flight to Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites, Mojave, California. The license, issued on April 1, is for a sequence of sub-orbital flights spanning a one-year period for Scaled’s SpaceShipOne and White Knight, which is one of several aircraft in the running for the X-Prize competition, which will award $10 million to the first company or organization to launch a vehicle capable of carrying three people to a height of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles), return them safely to Earth, and repeat the flight with the same vehicle within two weeks.
Wasting No Time: SpaceShipOne Soars Over 100,00 Feet
Less that a week after receiving its FAA license for suborbital space flight, Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne team reinforced its position as frontrunner to capture the $10 million "X-Prize" after making what was described as a “perfect rocket-powered flight” on Thursday, April 8. Test pilot, Peter Siebold, was at the controls of the aircraft’s second successful powered flight in which the engine burned for 40 seconds, propelling SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 105,000 feet and a speed of approximately Mach 2. It is the first privately built space vehicle to accomplish this feat. An onlooker commented, "105,000 feet down, 223,000 feet to go!" as he watched the ship fly overhead, according to the X-Prize Newsletter e-mail service.
EAA: Class D Increase Not Needed at Michigan Air Base
EAA recently submitted a recommendation to FAA that it not approve a proposal to increase the Class D airspace at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in Michigan from the current radius of 4.3 miles to 6.6 miles. In response to FAA’s call for public input on the proposed change to support Category E aircraft using circling approach procedures, EAA noted that the requested increase is not required and for several reasons.
Harrier Jet To Appear At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004
The U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B “Harrier II” jump jet, the unique fighter aircraft that features vertical takeoff ability, will appear at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004, making demonstration flights during the EAA’s 52nd annual fly-in, scheduled for July 27-August 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The Harrier is scheduled to appear for several days during EAA AirVenture and fly its popular demonstrations during the afternoon air show Friday through Sunday, July 30-August 1.
New Sport Pilot Website Goes Live
EAA's redesigned Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (SP/LSA) website is now live at www.sportpilot.org. The site offers a fresh look patterned after recent redesigns of other EAA websites, including easier navigation through drop-down menus, and it is integrated with EAA's Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft magazine, which debuted this month.
First AB-DAR Performs First Inspection
EAA senior aviation information specialist and volunteer amateur-built designated airworthiness representative (AB-DAR) Joe Norris performed his first airworthiness inspection on Saturday, April 3, at Crystal Airport (KMIC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Norris was the first AB-DAR to become officially certificated to perform inspections under the new FAA program developed in cooperation with EAA. The airplane was a Pietenpol Aircamper built by Dick Navratil, Minneapolis. Upon successful completion of the inspection, Navratil was issued an airworthiness certificate for his newly completed airplane, N-2RN. Dave Smith, supervisor from the MSP Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO), observed the inspection.
EAA Completes First Canadian EAA SportAir Workshop
With a full class of twenty students and several more on a waiting list, EAA's first-ever Canadian SportAir Workshop this past weekend was a great success. The course-Sheet Metal Basics-was conducted April 3-4 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Based on the enthusiastic reaction, Canadian homebuilders can likely look forward to more offerings in the future, said EAA Director of Aviation Services Charlie Becker. "There is a very good chance we will add a full workshop, including sheet metal, composite construction and fabric covering, in Calgary within the next 12 months," he said. "We're very pleased with the turnout and the feedback we received."
SBA Urges FAA To Re-examine Air Tour NPRM
The United States Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) has come down firmly on the side of sightseeing operators with its official comments filed April 2 regarding the FAA's so-called air tours NPRM (notice of proposed rulemaking). In its comments, SBA's advocacy office recommends that the FAA withdraw the rule and obtain further data on the number of Part 91 and Part 135 operators who would be adversely affected and on the economic impact of the proposed rule on them.
On The Flight Line ---
Sonex ‘Floats’ New Option
Sonex Ltd. recently unveiled its prototype Sonex (N12SX) with a pair of Czech Aero Works Amphibious floats began flight-testing the new configuration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries and questions over the past six years since we introduced the airplane as to whether it could go on floats, and I guess this answers it,” said Sonex General Manager Jeremy Monnett. “It’s a $10,000 option, which means for overall cost you’re looking at getting into a floatplane for less than $45,000. We really think we have a market niche, and it’s just one more option for the sport pilot guys.” If the tests prove successful, Sonex will offer an installation package, Monnett added. For more information, visit www.sonex-ltd.com.
Sportsman 2 + 2 Adds Tricycle Gear Option
New GlaStar’s Sportsman 2 + 2 can now be configured with a tricycle gear, and in rapid fashion. Introduced last summer as a tail wheel aircraft, the transformation from tail to nose wheel took just over an hour, said New GlaStar President, Mikael Via. “Fly it now as a taildragger, convert it to a trike in one hour, and then change it over to floats or skis in just a few hours,” he said. “At the end of the day, you can fold the wings in five minutes and save thousands of dollars a year in hangar costs.”
Powered by a 180 hp Lycoming 0-360, the tricycle Sportsman has a very short take-off roll of 400 feet, a top speed of 167 mph, solo climb rate of 1,950 fpm. Cruise (65% power) at 8,000 feet is 154 mph, while burning 8 gph. With the standard 50-gallon fuel capacity, the Sportsman has a range of 886 statute miles (with VFR reserve). Weighing in empty at 1,300 pounds, Sportsman’s gross weight on wheels is 2,300 pounds and on floats it is 2,450 pounds for a useful load between 900-950 pounds. New GlaStar offers standard and Jump-Start kits, both featuring pre-drilled, matched-hole parts. For more information, visit www.newglastar.com or phone the factory at 360/435-8533.
FAA Certification For Lancair Columbia 400 Set For Sun ’n Fun
The Lancair Company announced it would receive FAA certification of its new Lancair Columbia 400 during a special ceremony at the Sun ’n Fun EAA Fly-In on Friday, April 16, 10:30 a.m. at its booth (MD 20-B). The aircraft, powered by a turbocharged, full authority digital engine control FADEC Continental TSIO-550-N1B, features an all-electric, dual-bus-dual battery system. With a maximum 230 knots (265 mph) cruise speed at 18,000 feet, Lancair calls the 400 the world’s fastest certified piston single. For more about the airplane, visit www.lancair.com/certified.
Fly the Flyer at Embry Riddle This Weekend
Aviation enthusiasts in Daytona Beach, Florida, area can try out one of EAA’s 1903 Wright Flyer simulators this weekend at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The simulator, which was immensely popular at EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk touring pavilion last year, require the user to lie face down in a cradle, controlling the wings with hip action and the elevators with hand movements while viewing a large computer screen. People can walk up and try it out from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 9, in the first-floor atrium of the Aviation Building Reservations are needed Saturday and Sunday and can be made by calling 386-226-6849. The touring exhibit, free and open to the public, is an EAA AirVenture Museum project.
NASA Proves Scramjets Work
NASA’s X-43A hypersonic research aircraft set a new speed record for an aircraft powered by an air-breathing engine—eclipsing Mach 7—during a successful flight of the scramjet-powered aircraft on March 27. The previous speed record was 2,193.167 mph (mach 3-plus), set in 1976 by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The March 27 flight from DFRC began with NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft carrying the X-43A to the test range over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. A modified Pegasus rocket boosted the X-43A to its test altitude of about 95,000 feet. It separated from the booster and flew freely under its own power. The vehicle landed in the Pacific Ocean at the end of the test. Planning is underway for the next flight this fall at Mach 10, approximately 7,500 mph.
Adam Aircraft Achieves FITS Approval For A500
FAA has accepted Adam Aircraft’s A500 Transition Training Syllabus as a FITS program (FAA Industry Training Standard). FITS is a joint project of the FAA’s Safer Skies Initiative, leading aeronautical universities, and participating aircraft manufacturers designed to significantly reduce general aviation accidents through the use of mission-specific training. Unlike maneuver-based training methods, FITS enhances the critical thinking, flight management, and decision-making skills necessary to safely operate technically advanced aircraft like the A500. "We believe this new approach to general aviation flight training will help produce the most competent pilots general aviation has ever seen,” said David Thompson, Adam Aircraft Flight Training Manager. Frank Ayers, FITS lead investigator, adds “FITS-trained A500 pilots will experience a level of comfort, utility, and safety that will set the standard for General Aviation." Visit FAA's FITS website for more information on the program.
Mistral Rotary Engine Makes First Flight
Mistral Engines, LLCs’ Piper Turbo Arrow III test aircraft, powered by the company’s G-230TS-B1A rotary piston engine flew for the first time on April 4 at Daytona Beach International Airport. Mistral will display the airplane and engines at next week’s Sun ’n Fun EAA Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida at the Rotary Engine Tent next to the Forum tents. The liquid-cooled, 230 hp engine is turbo-supercharged and intercooled and is the first to reach the flight-testing stage. Present models run on 100LL as well as on unleaded gasoline (90 octane or higher). Jet-fuelled models are in development. For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mistral Engines LLC, is the US subsidiary of Mistral Engines SA, a Geneva, Switzerland-based company.
Redesigned Four Winds Makes Test Flight
Four Winds Aircraft flew its new, redesigned production demonstrator on February 27 at New Smyrna Beach Airport (EVB) in Florida. Company President Jeff Rahm made the 20-minute flight, saying the airplane “exceeded expectations, delivering performance and a solid, smooth feel in the flight controls.” For more information, contact Rahm at 386/426-7795, ext. 230 or email@example.com.
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