Have you ever seen a Classic Waco like this? No, you haven’t. It’s the first one newly manufactured by Waco Classic Aircraft in Battle Creek, Michigan, to have a Garmin G600 glass-cockpit system.
Owner George Schreyer of California wanted to mingle the best of the past with the best of the present. Waco Classic Aircraft President Peter F. Bowers said the avionics suite includes a traffic collision avoidance system, weather datalink, an autopilot, and—get this—four GPS receivers. No need to get lost up there.
“This customer’s aircraft will have more avionics than your average Gulfstream,” Bowers said.
Tricked-out aircraft are nothing new at Waco Classic Aircraft. There have been previous aircraft sold with autopilots, GPS units capable of following the flightplan and even an instrument approach if necessary, and CD players. For more on Waco Classic Aircraft, see our report on the company in the October 2002 issue of AOPA Pilot.
There are now more precision GPS approaches availaable than category one ILS approaches in the nation, a turning point as satellites take a greater role in air navigation.It is the first delivery on one of the original promises of GPS; to give even runways at small airports a precision approach. The FAA has published 1,333 Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures based on the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), a space-based navigation system commissioned in 2003. Some airports have multiple LPV approaches. For the past 60 years, Category-I ILS has been used at airports throughout the National Airspace System (NAS) to guide aircraft to as low as 200 feet above the runway surface. WAAS now provides this same capability but at more runway ends. Today, WAAS LPVs can currently be found at 833 airports. The number of WAAS LPVs will continue to grow. The FAA’s goal is to produce 500 new WAAS procedures each year until every qualified runway in the NAS has one.
The car Bonnie and Clyde Ford were driving when ambushed by law enforcement is now on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Also new to the display area is a newly constructed Gee Bee racer, one of only two on display worldwide. A similar Gee Bee carried Jimmy Doolittle to victory in the 1932 Thompson Trophy Race at the National Air Races in Cleveland at an average speed of 396 mph.
Shipments of turbine aircraft continued to be strong in the third quarter of 2008, but that strength is expected to erode as a result of the global economic downturn, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
During the first nine months of the year, 2,977 aircraft valued at $18.2 billion were delivered, compared to 2,918 aircraft worth $15.1 billion for the same period in 2007. The growth was driven by jet shipments, which were up 30 percent over last year to 990 units shipped in the first three quarters. Turboprops also saw a nearly 14 percent increase to 341 units shipped.
The news was less bright for piston aircraft manufacturers, which saw their shipments drop more than 11 percent to 1,647 units for the first three quarters of 2008 compared to 1,857 the previous year.
A new Web site now caters to women pilots.
“Only 6 percent of pilots are women, so the vast majority of pilot gear is designed for men,” said founder Sue Hughes, a flight instructor and aircraft owner based at Front Range Airport outside of Denver. “Nevertheless, there are almost 40,000 of us, and our numbers are growing every day.”
Hughes expects the bulk of her sales via the Web, she is also placing merchandise with FBOs. “I’m going to bookstores at colleges that offer aviation courses,” adds Hughes. “That’s where the next generation of pilots is coming from.”
Hughes founded the company after an 8-year-old girl asked if logbooks came in pink. “It made me think ‘why not pink? Why can’t pilot gear be fun for women?’” In cooperation with LifeVest Publishing, Hughes designed a pink logbook for women sprinkled throughout with quotes from pioneering women aviators.
The British firm Swift Technology Group has purchased Europa Aircraft, located in York, England, and plans major investments in research and development. Europa has delivered 700 kit aircraft.
The firm builds a tri-gear model and one with a center landing wheel and outriggers to support the wings.
Development has already started on further enhancements to the design of the Europa XS models, including modifications for the light sport aircraft market and finalization of the Motor-glider. This will be followed by the design and manufacture of a brand new composite plane available in a self-build kit or certified to Europe’s very light aircraft standards.
CarolAnn Garratt of Ocala, Florida, and Carol Foy of Spicewood, Texas, planned to fly a Mooney around the world to raise money for fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. At press time they hoped for a December departure, depending on weather.
The two have established a Web site. Garratt’s mother died from the disease. A previous world flight Garratt made, along with speaking engagements and other efforts, have so far raised $80,000.
Both pilots own Mooney aircraft. Foy learned to fly after her husband bought a Mooney and is now a flight instructor, instrument flight instructor, and multiengine pilot.
Universal Weather and Aviation, one of their sponsors, will help the team get around the world. The two will stop only for fuel, essentially living in the Mooney.
When a fellow Powder Puff Derby pilot got into trouble during the race in the 1970s, Betty Hadden Moseley abandoned her own chances to win and came to the rescue. That began her career as a national leader promoting safety and women in aviation and is one of the reasons she has been inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame at Lexington, Kentucky.
The FAA, noting her dedication to safety in that race, appointed her as an accident prevention counselor and a member of the women’s advisory committee on aviation.
AOPA previously recognized Moseley in 2005 for her leadership role in aviation. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Gen. Jesse Hocker, Gen. Stewart Byrne, and former astronaut Terry Wilcutt.