Pilot Briefing

February 1, 1997

Toyota too
NASA, TCM, Williams team up for GA engines

NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Teledyne Continental Motors, and Williams International signed an agreement on December 16 that would fund the development and testing of two new engines to power future GA aircraft.

Williams' FJX-2 is a small, lightweight, high-bypass turbofan with 700 pounds of thrust to power four-place singles and six-place twins. TCM's design is a horizontally opposed, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, supercharged diesel engine that will produce 200 horsepower at a low (and quiet) 2,200 rpm. These engines are to power a new generation of airplanes that, through large-volume production, are intended to cost as much as a luxury car, yet be four times as fast, said NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. The reliability of the engines and avionics is hoped to improve by a factor of 10, bringing the maintenance of the light airplane more in line with that of an automobile, said Goldin at a Washington, D.C., signing ceremony.

Williams hopes to have its FJX-2 flying in the fourth year of the program and hopes to have a mockup of the new aircraft on display at EAA's Fly-In and Convention at Oshkosh this August. TCM's Brian Lewis said that his company's engine could be running in 18 months.

Williams has no plans for retrofitting its FJX-2 to any existing airframes, but TCM is looking at the potential of retrofitting its diesel engine to some existing airframes.

Meanwhile, Toyota, carrying its own torch, seems to be on a more realistic track toward the aircraft of the future, with its already-certified 4-liter V-8 aircraft engine derived from its Lexus line of automobiles. Maintaining much secrecy about the projects in the last few years, the company has received a production certificate to build a four-place airplane around the engine and is rumored to be looking for a place to roost a new aviation subsidiary.

According to a source, Toyota has invested $1 billion in the venture and hopes to increase the company's nonautomotive offerings to 10 percent by early next century.

In cooperation with the Hamilton-Standard division of United Technologies, Toyota certified the liquid-cooled 360-hp V-8 in December 1995 (see "Pilot Briefing," March 1996 Pilot). The engine, tested on the right side of a Cessna 340 and on a Piper Malibu, features full-authority digital engine control (FADEC).

Windecker Eagle to fly again in Canada

The aircraft that started the composite revolution and got the Air Force interested in stealth technologies, the Windecker Eagle, will fly again if production plans by a Canadian group are successful.

Dentists Leo J. Windecker and F.M. Windecker developed the aircraft under license from Dow Chemical Company and got it certified by the FAA on December 18, 1969. In 1973 the Air Force flew an Eagle 1 to evaluate low-observable technologies - research that later led to the F-117 fighter and the Stealth bomber.

Now the Canadian Aerospace Group, consisting of R3 Aerospace, Can Aero Leasing, Windeagle Aircraft Corporation, and Monitor Jet Corporation, plans to resurrect the aircraft as the Windeagle. The company hopes to build the Windeagle E-285, powered by a Continental IO-520 285-horsepower engine, and the E-750T, powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop and capable of a top speed of 260 knots.

Shown in the photo is the original Allison turbine-powered model, which is still in existence. Windeagle Aircraft bought the tooling, type certificates, and original prototype aircraft from Composite Aircraft Corporation in Midland, Texas. The materials and engineering drawings, which have been stored in a barn since the early 1980s, were to be moved to Canada in January. For information, call Windeagle Aircraft at 905/573-3031 or write to Windeagle Aircraft Corporation, 42 Keefer Court, Suite 1, Hamilton, Ontario L8E 4V4.

Aviat to build modified Swift

After 45 years, the Globe/Tempo Swift is poised to reenter production at Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyoming. Aviat currently builds the Pitts, Husky, and Eagle models.

Aviat President Stuart Horn said that he reached a licensing agreement with the Swift Museum Foundation, which has owned the type certificate and tooling since 1980. He hopes to begin parts production by midyear, but aircraft production is not expected for two years.

The delay in aircraft production is needed to incorporate modifications where possible. These could include an engine of at least 180 horsepower, as well as modifications to the cowling and flight controls.

Aviat will not include any of the LoPresti Swift Fury or Swift Fire modifications. Before choosing the Swift, Aviat considered the Siai-Marchetti S.F. 260 but decided that the Swift best fits the market niche the company serves. "It's a terrific airplane, and it's easy to see why so many people love it," Horn said.

A giant, 88-inch-diameter propeller was made for C.S. Industries of Viola, Kansas, by McCauley Propeller Systems. C.S. Industries has an STC to mount the propeller on the Cessna 185 and 180. The company promises that the Bigfoot propeller will improve takeoff, climb, and cruise performance. For information, call 800/835-1033 or 316/545-7158.

American Affordable Aircraft is offering plans for the Vision homebuilt aircraft. Its major selling point is that it can be built for less than $20,000, including the Stratus Subaru engine and all instrumentation, company officials say. Early flight tests show a cruise speed of 130 knots, the company claims. While the experimental aircraft is designed for plus 6 and minus 4 Gs, it is not intended for aerobatic competition and has no inverted fuel or oil systems. Plans are $425. For a $10 information package, call 904/767-9691.

Der Zeppelin returns

The same company that once made giant German Zeppelins seen crossing the Atlantic in old newsreel films has started production again - this time on a smaller craft.

Soon tourists will take sightseeing tours over Europe in ships one third the size of the Hindenburg, which burst into flame after static electricity apparently ignited its hydrogen gas over a New Jersey airfield in 1937. The company, founded in 1908, never went out of existence and turned to other areas of manufacturing. Now its subsidiary, the Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik company in Friedrichshafen, Germany, has begun work on model LZ N07. It is slated to fly next summer with 42-year-old American Scott Danneker at the controls. Danneker worked for a blimp (non-rigid) company in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, until the company's main hangar was destroyed in a fire. Danneker admits that blimp flying is not for everybody. He got his start as a flight instructor and banner tower.

"There are pilots who want to go fast and pull Gs. The fastest blimp I have flown went 50 knots. It takes patience," Danneker said.

Tourism and scientific research companies have placed six orders for the $7.5 million Zeppelins. The airship's frame is made of aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. At 247 feet, it is longer than a Boeing 747. The gondola can carry two crew members and 12 passengers. The Zeppelin's skin is a multilayer laminate consisting of a material called Tedlar and a polyester fabric. There are three 200-horsepower engines around the hull - two on the side and one in the rear for directional control, especially at low speeds. Top speed is 75 knots. For information, call 011 49 7541 202553.

West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colorado, completed its 100th AlliedSignal TPE331-10 engine conversion for the Cessna Conquest II. The conversion offers a 5,000-hour time between overhauls and a claimed 20- to 25-knot increase in true airspeed. The company offers two options. One extends the life of the engines for $284,500, while the other is a full overhaul for $436,500. For information, call 800/255-4193 or 970/243-7500.

The 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight will be celebrated near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 2003. In preparation, the First Flight Centennial Foundation - formed to raise money for the celebration - will refurbish the 60-foot-tall granite monument erected atop a sand dune near the takeoff point. When finished, the monument's rotating beacon - hit by lightning before World War II and never turned on again - will shine again, and wind blast damage will be repaired. To learn more, see the Foundation's web site ( www.firstflight.org) or write to First Flight Centennial Foundation, Post Office Box 80337, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina 27623, or call 919/840-2003.

Santa made an early stop on Christmas Eve at the Brandywine Airport in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He arrived by helicopter to deliver a signed purchase agreement between the owner, William Wilson, and the prospective owners, a group of dedicated pilots who have been working for the past year to save the airport from industrial development. The pilots and airplane owners have developed a plan to run the airport as a nonprofit organization. Planned airport improvements include lengthening and widening the runway, the addition of an AWOS, a localizer approach, a visual glide slope indicator, and a restaurant facing the runway.

FAA blesses GPS, loran

GPS and loran may now be used on private and commercial practical tests to satisfy the navigation systems and radar services requirements. However, they must be properly installed by an FAA authorized individual or facility. Yes, that means that it must be a panel-mount unit. Handheld GPS receivers are not allowed as navigation equipment during the test.

Applicants taking the instrument practical test do not have to do an NDB approach if an ADF is not installed in the aircraft. The practical test standards have been revised to require one precision approach, and two nonprecision approaches utilizing two different systems - three systems in all. The nonprecision systems include VOR, LOC, NDB, LDA, SDF, GPS, or loran. The choice is, of course, up to the examiner.

Additionally, applicants no longer have to intercept and track NDB bearings if the aircraft is not ADF-equipped. If the aircraft has an ADF, the examiner may elect to require an NDB approach.

The National Council for Women in Aviation/Aerospace has joined with Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to sponsor a scholarship for women interested in aviation careers. For information, call Gayle Pollock in the Allegheny College admissions office at 800/521-5293 or contact the NCWA at 800/727-6292.

Maule Air of Moultrie, Georgia, has celebrated the production of its 2,000th aircraft, a crowning achievement for a family-owned business. Production began in 1962. The company was founded by B.D. Maule in the early 1940s. He died in 1995 (see " Pilot Briefing," October 1995 Pilot).

A Canadian company called Morningstar is setting up a last mission for veterans and World War II buffs. During a trip to Duxford, England, home of the soon-to-open American Air Museum, tour members will ride a war-era bomber over the English Channel and be "attacked" by a P-51 Mustang. The trip costs $4,650. For information, call 800/252-2218.

The Air Force Thunderbirds will be featured on a stamp to be issued on September 18, the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. The stamp features a photo by Philip Handleman, a photographer, author, historian, and pilot. Also in conjunction with the anniversary, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is displaying a North American F-86A Sabre jet. This year Is the ninetieth anniversary of military aviation.

AIR Inc. buys FAPA

Aviation Information Resources (AIR) Inc., an Atlanta-based aviation career information company, has purchased its rival, the Future Aviation Professionals of America (FAPA).

FAPA was closed by the Internal Revenue Service in September, despite the fact that the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. AIR Inc. has acquired much of FAPA's assets, including a membership of some 8,500 pilots, numerous copyrights, and toll-free telephone numbers. Both organizations were sources of information, counseling, seminars, and résumé preparation for those interested in an airline career.

FAPA members will be contacted by AIR Inc. in early 1997. For more information, call 800/247-2777.

Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation of Charlotte, North Carolina, will be the original equipment supplier for all commercial Raytheon aircraft manufactured in the United States.

The Pritzker family of Chicago, which owns Hyatt Hotels and other companies, has joined with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) to form a joint venture company to manufacture, market, and support a line of business jet aircraft. Final approval of the firm, to be called Galaxy Aerospace Corporation, is expected early this year. Astra Jet Corporation, IAI's business jet marketing subsidiary, will be absorbed by the new company, which will set up temporary headquarters in the current Astra Jet offices in Princeton, New Jersey. Once a permanent headquarters is selected somewhere in the United States, the company will develop a completion center and factory service center at that site. Brian E. Barents, 52, former president and CEO of Learjet, will head the new company and is also one of its investors.

Phillips 66 Aviation has launched a Web page where you'll find a list of aviation fuel dealers and the history of Phillips' aeronautical activities. For example, you'll learn that Billy Parker, founder of the Phillips aviation department in 1926, invented the first practical controllable pitch propeller. See the Web site at www.phillips66.com.

Work has begun on a $250,000 addition to the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro Airport. The building, to be completed by late spring, will include eight new galleries, an auditorium, an interactive hands-on room, a gift shop, and a great hall. The museum is on the east side of the airport, next to the control tower.

The Falcon 50EX was certified by the FAA on December 20, 1996. It had previously won certification in France. The 50EX replaces the Falcon 50 but has more powerful engines and modernized avionics. It claims an average cruise speed of Mach 0.80.

Eight of the top Advanced category aerobatic pilots in the nation will represent the United States in the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships from July 4 to 12 in Lawrence, Kansas. The Advanced category is one level of difficulty below the top category, Unlimited, in which a world championship took place last year in Oklahoma City. Making the team are Damon Wack, John Morrissey (the team trainer for last year's Unlimited team), Matt Morrissey, Chris Panzl, Gerry Molidor, Ray Gill, Gary Henry, and Glenn Frick.

Students of the International Civil Aviation University, registered in Switzerland and based in Melbourne, Australia, will get an advanced degree in aviation by using the Internet. Courses will also be available on CD-ROM or hard copy. Named to the academic board are Peggy Baty of the International Women's Air & Space Museum and Tony Broderick, formerly with the FAA. For information, call 61 3 9867 4228, or E-mail [email protected]. Write Derry Pearce, ICAU Operations Center, 14 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia.

Squawk Sheet

The FAA is expected to issue an airworthiness directive that would require the revision of flight manuals for many turboprop airplanes. Those turboprops not certificated for inflight operation with the power levers below the flight-idle stop will include specific limitations and warnings of the catastrophic results of operation in the beta range.

Owners of Lycoming 320, 360, and 540-series engines that have high-pressure fuel pumps (mostly fuel injected models) should have received airworthiness directive 96-23-03, which requires a check to determine if the high-pressure pump has a suspect date code. This inspection is required within the next 5 hours time in service and can be performed by the owner/operator, provided that he or she has at least a private pilot certificate. The date codes that are under suspicion are 154739506, 154739507, and 154739510. These were installed on engines shipped from Lycoming between July 18, 1995, and August 14, 1996.

A revision to AD 95-CE-89, affecting Beech model 58P airplanes, adds to existing requirements an inspection for cracks in the right lower longeron area of the cabin adjacent to and aft of the second right cabin window. Any cracks must be repaired and reinforced.

Raytheon Aircraft issued a safety communiqué to owners of Beech aircraft with detachable single shoulder harnesses. Raytheon urges an immediate inspection of the elastic grommet that is installed over the attachment post. The grommet acts as a friction lock to hold the belt in place.

After 56 years spent training 25,000 U.S. military pilots and 600 international military pilots, Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, Texas, will close on September 30. To give the base a sendoff, a reunion of trainees is planned for March 31 to April 2 at the base. For information, call 806/885-3410.

The Gulfstream V long-range business jet has been certified by the FAA following a 13-month flight test program. The aircraft is expected to enter service this spring.

Anderson Aviation has begun flight school operations at Honolulu International Airport and received FAR Part 141 certification late last year. The school was formed by Billie Anderson when another flight school on the airport turned to charter work and ceased training activities. The school operates a Piper Cherokee 140, a Beech C23 Sundowner, a Beech D95 Travel Air, and a Cessna 177 Cardinal. It offers private through commercial and flight instructor courses and has applied to begin offering ATP training. For information, call 808/833-5899.

International Airmotive Holding Company, parent corporation of Dallas Airmotive and International Turbine Service, says that BBA Group of London will acquire the company for $289 million. Both companies are based in Dallas.

The Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, has completed restoration of a Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber. The aircraft, restored to flying condition, participated in all five naval engagements fought exclusively between aircraft carriers, museum spokesmen said. Museum officials believe that it is one of only three airworthy examples in existence. For information, call 409/740-7722.

AOPA Members in the news

Veteran air racer Marion Jayne, AOPA 263128, died of cancer on December 14, 1996, at the age of 70. Jayne, a CFII and ATP, won 26 cross-country air races, most of which were in her Piper Twin Comanche. Jayne also founded Tailwinds, an aviation-oriented mail-order catalog that she operated out of her home. Tailwinds is now run by her daughter, Nancy Palozola. In 1995, Jayne established the U.S. Air Race, which for 1997 has been renamed the Marion Jayne U.S. Air Race. Before her death, Jayne requested that memorial donations be made to the nonprofit U.S. Air Race, 123 Fairway Village Drive, Trophy Club, Texas 76262.

Senator John H. Glenn (D-OH), AOPA 640064, believes that he set a speed record on a recent flight from Dayton, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., in his Beech Baron 58P. Glenn made the trip in one hour and 36 minutes, for an average speed of 245 mph. The record has not yet been confirmed by the National Aeronautic Association; however, no records have been claimed for the leg in that horsepower class.

Louise Sacchi, AOPA 058702, of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the FAA for her more than 50 years of contributions to aviation. A pilot since 1939, Sacchi is best known for her accomplishments as a ferry pilot. She delivered 333 airplanes to destinations all over the globe between 1962 and 1977. Sacchi has also written Ocean Flying - A Pilot's Guide and The Happy Commuter.

P. Bayard DuPont, AOPA 952405, of Oxford, Pennsylvania, received the Eastern Region Maintenance Technician of the Year Award from the FAA. Bayard works for New Garden Aviation and enjoys rebuilding and restoring aircraft.

Don Bundick, AOPA 1010536, of Seguin, Texas, has won the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Excellence Award and the Secretary of Defense Productivity Excellence Award.

Brad Huelsman, AOPA 987581, completed his Aviat Christen Eagle last November after working on it for 8 years. The build time was 2,700 hours. The aircraft is powered by a Lycoming AEIO-360 with, not surprisingly, a Hartzell composite propeller. Huelsman is a marketing rep for Hartzell, which is also a sponsor of airshow pilot Patty Wagstaff.

Jeanna Yeager, AOPA 745893, and Dick Rutan, AOPA 976839, who circled the Earth in Voyager on one tank of gas during a nine-day flight, celebrated the flight's tenth anniversary in December. The aircraft now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum, where part of the anniversary celebration took place.

Jared Gowlis, AOPA 1161407, of Waterbury, Connecticut, has been designated chief flight instructor and coordinator of the Aviation Horizons Program at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire. The program gives underprivileged high school students the opportunity to partake in flight instruction.

Jane Johnson, AOPA 978611, died on December 13, 1996. Johnson served on many Angel Flight missions in Northern California and dedicated much of her time to the restoration of the Confederate Air Force B-17 Sentimental Journey.

Paul Poberezny, AOPA 117957, founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association 44 years ago; his son, Tom Poberezny, AOPA 1115831, president of the 165,000-member EAA; and the late Lawrence Sperry, whose contributions to aviation included true flight instruments, the autopilot, and retractable landing gear, were inducted into the First Flight Shrine near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17. The shrine honors those who have accomplished significant firsts in aviation, following in the legacy of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who made the first powered flight at the site on December 17, 1903. More than 50 other aviation legends, such as Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, and Neil Armstrong, have been inducted into the shrine.