October 1, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
Breaking into the ever-saturated aviation headset market must be a challenge. It’s no surprise then that relatively new entrant Beyerdynamic went above and beyond with some new and compelling features when it introduced its new headset.
In the HS 600 DANR, the company takes a page from its long history of sound engineering to be on the forefront of digital noise attenuation. In an attempt to both save battery life and improve the quality of the active attenuation, the headset uses what Beyerdynamic calls digital adaptive noise reduction, a progressive ANR that is quite unusual. When you first put on the headset and turn on the DANR, it sounds like any other passive model. But as you apply power to go down the runway and the cockpit gets louder, it’s like someone takes the volume knob and cranks it back down—the headset senses the increase in volume and accounts for it.
As a standard feature, Beyerdynamic is also offering manufaktur, a complete personalization system for the headset. Buyers can pick a range of headband, ear seal, and accessory colors, as well as add two lines of etched text onto the side. There’s an easily navigable Web site that makes the entire process quick and painless, and appeals to the pilot ego.
But no matter how novel the features, a headset still has to perform, and the HS 600 DANR does what you expect in a headset. It’s a featherweight in this category at only 11 ounces without the cables, the clamping pressure is low, and the ear seals are comfy soft leather.
The new Beyerdynamic HS 600 DANR is definitely worth a look for value and features. Compare it to the Bose X and the Lightspeed Zulu.
Price: $749 Contact: www.beyerdynamic-usa.com; 800-293-4463
Although the worst heat of summer is behind us, some parts of the country are still suffering, and for the rest of us it’s never to early too start planning for next summer. Staying cool in the cockpit is always a challenge, but the folks from Cool Shirt think they have the answer. Like an air conditioner that you wear, Cool Shirt is a T-shirt with flexible tubing stitched all around it, and then hooked up to a cooler. Put ice in the cooler, plug it in, don’t wait long, and the cool water will run through the tubing to keep you nice and cool.
A number of systems are available, from the 24-quart cooler to the small portable bag. Each comes with eight feet of tubing, meaning the pack or cooler can easily sit in the front or back seats. For those looking to wear standard clothing, a vest with the tubing is also available. The system can be powered via the cigarette lighter or an optional battery pack. At more than six hours of cooling, the Cool Shirt is a good option for pilots in hot climates, flight instructors, and anyone else who appreciates a nice flight on a hot day.
Price: From $350 to $448, depending on options Contact: www.pilotcooling.com; 404-300-9054
Did you start dreaming about flying as a kid while building model airplane kits? Or maybe you’re looking for that perfect hangar ornament? B.C. Air Originals has the answer. The company has been selling plans for models made of aluminum cans for around 25 years, and recently sent two examples of its complete models to the office for review. Builders can make everything from a P–51 to a de Havilland Beaver. The beauty is that the look is completely up to the builder—use Coke cans, beer cans, or whatever else you like. The company offers 20 different types of aircraft in all, as well as a complete biplane for those who are less handy. It’s a fun project for a rainy day, and a big attention-getter.
Price: $10 for plans; $19.95 for a video how-to; $99.95 for complete model Contact: www.bcair.com; 406-443-3941
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
Or telephone 301-695-2350.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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