Aviation enthusiasts attending EAA AirVenture experienced more than pleasant weather, crowds of like-minded people, and exciting airshow performances at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. A host of accomplishments, innovations, and updates inundated attendees during a week celebrating general aviation. AOPA Pilot and AOPA ePilot editors bring you the latest news and information as "The World's Busiest Control Tower" calls it a wrap for 2018.
ThrustFlight.com had three announcements on July 25: a name change from U.S. Sport Aircraft, a Zero Time to Airline program that chief flight instructor Liz Brassaw explained as “year one learning, year two earning,” and a partnership with Dynon Avionics, announced by company president Patrick Arnzen.
Alpha Eta Rho aviation fraternity national president Toni Mensching announced five 2018 scholarship winners on July 25. They are Madchen Petry of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, James Floyd of Texas State Technical College, Elena Fornara of Eastern Michigan University, Kenneth Kressin of Western Michigan University, and Emily Tobler of Saint Louis University. The Greek letters in the fraternity's name stand for the word “air.”
Terrafugia announced July 24 it is accepting deposits on the Transition street-legal light sport aircraft. The company was demonstrating the Transition’s foldable wings all week at EAA AirVenture. Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran said the $50,000 deposit is fully refundable. The company announced July 17 that deliveries of the Transition will begin in 2019.
Jet Shades now has removable tinted window panels for the Cessna 182, Jet Shades President Kevin Duggan announced July 23. Jet Shades were designed to protect pilots and passengers from ultraviolet rays and keep the cockpit cool. They also can stay in the airplane while it’s on the ramp to protect the aircraft from sun exposure. They do not harm aircraft windows, the company said. Jet Shades are available for the Beech Baron and Bonanza, Cessna 182, Cirrus SR22, Piper PA–32 and PA–46 Matrix and Mirage, as well as certain jets and turboprops. Duggan said screens for the Cessna 172 and Piper PA–28 aircraft are in the works. Prices range from $599 to $1,250 for piston aircraft; $799 to $1,499 for jets; and $999 to $1,499 for turboprops.
Piper Aircraft Inc. announced July 23 that the Vero Beach, Florida-based aircraft manufacturer expected to complete its 2018 deliveries to the University of North Dakota by August. The latest order of 26 aircraft includes 22 Archer TXs and four Seminoles. The aviation school’s modernization effort is “part of an eight-year fleet replacement contract that was signed in April of 2016 for a total of 80 Archer TXs and 20 Piper Seminoles,” the manufacturer noted.
The anticipated U.S. debut of the four-person, three-door, high-wing, Vulcanair V1.0 training single, which looks a lot like a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, passed by when it came up missing in action during a July 23 news event. In its place was a triangle of grass and officials who explained the growing pains of bringing European-certified aircraft into the U.S. market. Sales and marketing vice president Mike McMann was optimistic that the $278,000 aircraft—freshly uncrated in Miami after a transatlantic journey from its Italian birthplace—would soon be available for demo flights. The price tag undercuts by $100,000 a handful of popular trainers from Cessna, Piper, and Diamond, although he explained the Vulcanair’s cost rose $18,000 due to emergency locator transmitter and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)-In and ADS-B-Out data requirements for the U.S. market. McMann added that owners would pay the same price for either a constant-speed or a fixed-pitch propeller driving a 180-horsepower Lycoming IO-360-M1A powerplant. The aircraft will have a full Garmin G500 digital avionics suite but no autopilot. McMann predicted the robust aircraft designed by Partenavia's Luigi Pascale would be attractive to flight schools because of its lower cost and its proven reliability on unimproved landing strips, often chosen by overseas pilots to avoid landing fees at paved airports.
Alsim Flight Training Solutions announced July 18 that the France-based flight simulator specialist was adding a manufacturing hub to its existing Austin, Texas, sales facility by “mid-2019.” The company began in 1994, and its advanced training models present experiential flight training solutions to students and to career pilots. The lineup includes the AL172, based on a Cessna 172; the AL42 takes its cues from a Diamond DA42; the reconfigurable AL250 was introduced in 2017; and the multi-faceted ALX rolls four classes of aircraft and 10 flight modes into one training device. For career pilots, the Airliner sim mimics a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 commercial jet. The company counts “more than 300 devices installed and certified in over 48 countries, with over 220 clients,” including Cirrus Aviation, Kent State University, and others.
A current or aspiring flight instructor can apply for the 2019 NAFI and King Schools Scholarship valued at $18,000. The scholarship includes $5,000 cash to apply toward CFI education and free lifetime access to King Schools’ online courses. The Kings and the National Association of Flight Instructors are seeking applicants who will make a profound impact on the general aviation community. The application deadline is Jan. 3, 2019.
California Aeronautical University is still accepting applications for its Dreams Take Flight Scholarship, worth about $150,000, said CAU President Matt Johnston. The scholarship would enable a student to complete a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, earning certificates and ratings through the CFII and multiengine. The school trains year-round so students can finish in three years. “We’re affordable, we’re fast, we’re a partner with several airlines,” Johnston said.