Piper Expands Lineup With an Unpressurized Piston Single

Piper Aircraft has announced a new addition to their PA-46 line of single-engine aircraft, the Matrix. This new aircraft is the least sophisticated in a family three including the Mirage and Meridian. The Matrix sports a turbocharged 350hp piston engine, a top of the line avionics suite by Avidyne, a cruise speed over 200 knots, good range and useful load, and all the fancy trim you'd expect from a Piper aircraft in this class. The only thing it's missing: pressurization.

A380 Superjumbo delivered

The Superjumbo Airbus A380 marked it's debut with delivery of the first aircraft to Singapore Airlines. The 525 seat aircraft has been surrounded by delays causing its parent company some heartburn. Production for the jet is set to ramp up to 40 aircraft a year by 2010, with a total of 13 planes set to go out the door next year. The inaugural flight is going to take place on the 25th of October between Singapore and Sydney. This marks light at the end of a long tunnel for Airbus who won't break even on the aircraft until they've sold 420 airplanes, a long way from the 189 orders already taken.

ATC forced to use cellphones as a backup

In a rather large hiccup for the plans to upgrade an aging Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, a major telecommunication line failure in Memphis forced controllers to use their cell phones to manage traffic. The line failure affected all communication systems leaving the controller's with no other means to contact centers to re-route traffic. The failure caused backups and delays in an already delay ridden system, drawing the attention of not only the FAA but Congress as well.

Diesel Engines Go Mainstream...Finally

Cessna and Thielert officially announced at the annual AOPA Expo last week that the C-172S Skyhawk will now be offered equipped with a Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbodiesel engine as the C-172TD.

FAA pulls charter certificate, grounds 79 aircraft

In what appears to be a crackdown on a sometimes confusing charter operation system, the FAA issued an emergency suspension of AMI Jet's charter certificate. This move by the FAA comes after increasing concern over jet charter business practices and safety records. In this case the FAA is citing concern over AMI Jet Charter's ability to produce pilot training records along with crew rest documentation.

And on your right... a giant billboard?

So it seems that just when you thought you were safe from advertisements while cruising along in your aircraft of choice, think again. AVweb points us towards an article in the International Herald Tribune about a company calling itself Ad-Air that intends to display large billboard's on the approach path's to major airports in the U.S. and abroad.

VLJ Widget

Need help picking that new VLJ for your stable? Well, Conde Nast magazine's online presence at Portfolio has developed an online flash widget allowing you to browse through eleven of the latest VLJ offerings from Eclipse through Honda and a few in between. While this is by no means a technically specific research tool it is definitely fun to toy around with so enjoy!!

The Osprey stumbles into Iraq

The V-22 Osprey has been surrounded by controversy for a number of years, and now on it's debut arrival into the war it stumbles again drawing the attention of the national press.

The maintenance issue requiring one of the ten Osprey's bound for Iraq to return to Jordan twice is probably routine. It just seems that this airframe can't get it right when it needs to, that is to say when everyone is watching. It will be interesting to see how it performs in the theatre and what the folks using it have to say about it's performance.

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