It’s scheduled to be FAA-certified by the time you read this, so to get the story in time we sent Editor at Large Tom Horne to Austria to fly Diamond’s new DA42 NG. “The new Austro engines seem to run quieter and smoother than the Thielerts that used to power Diamond’s earlier DA42s,” says Horne, who flew the new twin from Diamond’s factory just outside Vienna to an airport west of Munich, Germany. “At 10,000 feet we saw true airspeeds in the high-170-knot range,” he says. “And like all Diamonds it has excellent visibility and forgiving manners when it comes time to land.” All during the visit, Horne picked up on unmistakable vibes: Diamond was glad to have finally ditched the Thielerts, and proud to have control over a new engine built to its own design goals and specifications. Will the DA42 NG fly in the American market? See “Diamond DA42: DA42 Do-Over” and judge for yourself.
A few hours after they shook hands for the first time, Remos demo pilot Korby Paulsen and Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman were off on the first leg of a 700-nm trip in the 2010 Fun to Fly Remos (“Fun to Fly Sweepstakes: Jewel in the Crown”). “I tend to stay away from large airports,” says Tallman, “but a demo pilot like Korby gravitates toward them because they have the services—a crew car, a nearby motel—that a transient pilot needs.” So that’s how the Fun to Fly Remos overnighted at Raleigh-Durham International. “The next morning we taxied out to the active runway just ahead of a Southwest 737. It was a bit of a contrast, to say the least.” Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who will manage the 2010 sweepstakes project through to its giveaway at AOPA Aviation Summit in November 2010 in Long Beach, California.
“When Roger Stradley told me he had logged more than 62,000 hours of flight time, I thought he was pulling my leg,” says freelance writer Tom LeCompte. “The sprightly septuagenarian likes to joke around. Then he pulled out his logbooks—dozens of them. Single engine time, multiengine time, helicopter, flight instructing, charter work, gliders, wildlife spotting, and licensed mechanic, there doesn’t seem much that Stradley hasn’t done in an airplane.” (See “GA Serves America: Aerial Animal Tracking”) “There are pilots who fly for fun. There are pilots who fly for a living. Then there are pilots who fly as a way of life. Flying is Stradley’s life. Yet, after more than a half-century of flying, piling up three careers worth of flying time, Stradley never gets bored or blasé about his job. Not bad work, if you can get it.”
Why would anyone go to Alaska in the winter? For Senior Editor Alton Marsh and photographer Chris Rose (warming their hands on the aircraft preheater), the reason was to do a story on one of America’s most unusual airports at a native village in northern Alaska, but that also meant spending a day or two in Fairbanks ( “Postcards: Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska”). In temperatures below zero Marsh and Rose found a pre-wedding party where guests were pulled around a course by dogs. After a promise to send photos to the couple, Marsh and Rose joined the party for some unusual pictures. They ran into other tourists while there, so it isn’t just magazine reporters who have found that life can be interesting in Fairbanks in the winter. They visited a first-class museum at the University of Alaska that is the only way to learn about village life, unless of course you take a tour to one. Many such tours by air are available year-round. For those, Marsh and Rose suggest going in the summer.