April 1, 2007
Julie K. Boatman
Flying offers tremendous mobility to pilots and their passengers — in fact, for many pilots, once they get to a destination, mobility on the ground becomes a far greater challenge. Hardy Huber, a 50-year pilot, skydiver, and builder of a 1993 Wheeler Express, has designed and introduced the TravelScoot, a motorized, foldable scooter for pilots and passengers who have limited mobility.
Huber is an active pilot who severely injured his legs in a hang-gliding accident in 1975. In recent years, he found that to walk more than half a mile was painful at best. From this experience, he searched for a good foldable scooter, and he found none that suited a pilot's needs: one that was lightweight, easy to use, and able to fit into the baggage compartment of a light airplane. With the patented TravelScoot he's produced a three-wheel scooter he says is 50-percent lighter and four times less bulky than other models on the market.
His aviation roots show: The TravelScoot is factory constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum, and it can fit through most baggage doors (including those of Cessna 172s, for example). The TravelScoot stores in 2.5 cubic feet of space, opens and folds without tools, and weighs 49 pounds, including the battery (29 pounds without). Lighter high-performance batteries also are available, bringing the total weight down to 40 pounds. The TravelScoot comes with a heavy-duty duffel bag, battery pack, and fabric caddy. Huber offers a six-month warranty on the scooter. Price: $1,195 plus shipping Contact: 800/342-2214; www.travelscoot.com
Thank the folks at Sporty's Academy for the latest offering from Sporty's Pilot Shop. This flight school has developed its own maneuvers and procedures handbook, which is now Pilot Maneuvers Guide for Airplane Single-Engine Land.
This illustrated guide includes maneuvers for the recreational, private, and commercial certificates, and the instrument rating — airplane. Each entry follows a standardized format, with the objective, standards, and conditions relating to the maneuver, a description of the maneuver, an illustration (if appropriate), and a listing of common errors. A pre-maneuver checklist is also included to aid your basic airmanship development, and help you set up right for the maneuvers during practice, as well as during the practical test.
The guide is also quite valuable for budding flight instructors both preparing for the initial flight instructor practical test, and setting up their own curricula. The guide comes in a three-ring binder sized to fit in your flight bag along with approach plates and pilot operating handbooks, and it's printed on glossy paper that would be resistant to spills and tears. Price: $39.95 for all three guides in a single binder; $16.95 for a single guide Contact: 800/776-7897; www.sportys.com
Pilot Craig Draves of BCD Development, based in Clear Lake, Iowa, has developed a new hangar concept that purports to solve several problems for aircraft owners seeking both residential and business hangar solutions.
The Carousel Condos hangar design uses a computer-controlled carousel that rotates aircraft around for easier access — if you're accustomed to shuffling airplanes every time you go to fly from a shared hangar space, you know the drill. The carousel can accommodate airplanes or rotorcraft of varying sizes and hold up to eight aircraft.
The hangars provide auto parking and separately accessible office or residential space in a second-floor "apartment." Each living or working space is separately climate controlled, with its own utilities.
The concept hangar has been constructed at the Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa. Contact: 641/357-0742; www.carouselcondos.com
QC Avionix has designed a portable 12-volt battery charger weighing only 15 ounces and about the same size as a bar of soap (not including cables). The two-stage, automatic-float-type charger maintains a battery at full charge without overcharging. A 10-foot extension cord also is available. Price: $69.95 for charger; $24.95 for extension cable Contact: 978/897-3891; www.qcavionix.com
A new design in pressurization and air conditioning now has a supplemental type certificate (STC) and parts manufacturing approval on Twin Commander turbos. Peter Schiff Aero has developed the Cabin Comfort System, or CCS, which uses less bleed air, gains 30 to 75 horsepower, and saves 20 to 30 pounds of fuel per hour — while delivering only fresh outside air to the cabin, according to the manufacturer. Price: About $60,000 Contact: 931/537-6505; www.peterschiff.com
Unless otherwise stated, products listed have not been evaluated by AOPA Pilot editors. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors. However, members unable to get satisfaction regarding products listed should advise AOPA. To submit products for evaluation, contact: New Products Editor, AOPA Pilot, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701; telephone 301/695-2350. Links to all Web sites referenced in this issue can be found on AOPA Online.
Pilot Training and Certification,
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
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