Manufacturers

Evolution Aircraft - Future Powerhouse or The Next Columbia?

There is no arguing that the Lancair Evolution is a gorgeous, impressive aircraft. It's fast, has long legs, and has more useful load than just about any other 4-place out there. It's an experimental meaning it gives its owner access to the best of cutting-edge technology at the best possible prices, much of which isn't even an option for certified aircraft. Knowing all that, it makes some sense that Lancair has decided to split the Evolution off from all other Lancair models and form a separate company around just that model.

B-Model Sonex Excites, Reminds Me of Heroes

"Never fly the 'A' model of anything."

If you're been involved with aviation for very long, you're probably familiar with these famous words attributed to Ed Thompson. While we like to joke about how wise they are, the truth is that most of us are probably so desperate to get into the air that we'll fly whatever we can get our hands on.

Rimowa/Junkers F-13: Useless and I Don't Even Care

When someone asks: "What makes airplanes fly," the running joke is to answer: "Money." While a lot of people and companies are able to earn a living in aviation, there's no doubt that it's expensive. We're doing a lot to try to reduce the costs of flying because we're worried that the pilot population is shrinking too much. We're using new regulations and new technology to make aircraft more efficient and it's absolutely paying off.

However, everyone once in a while someone decides to throw economy and advancement out the window and do something wild with aviation. The example I just ran across is the luggage company, Rimowa. They're going to resume production of the Junkers F-13. In this day and age, that airplane is almost completely useless...and I'm thrilled by what they're doing!

Awesome Out of Nowhere: Cobalt CO50 Valkyrie

A few days ago I came across an article announcing an awesome new aircraft that I expect will be selling like hotcakes in the very near future. Strangely, I found out about it in an article on Wired, and I'd never heard any mention of this plane before.

The Cobalt CO50 Valkyrie had me drooling the moment I saw it.

More Big Turboprop News

About a week after Diamond announced their new 7-place turboprop, a couple other aircraft companies made splashes in the media with aircraft in or near the DA50-JP7s class.

Piper announced three new models, grouped together as the "M-Class." There aren't a lot of specifics yet, but the M350, M500 and M600 appear to be an update and rebranding of Piper's current 6-place cabin class aircraft, the Matrix, Mirage and Meridian. Using just basic info from their website, the only difference between the Meridian and M500 or the Mirage and M350 are about $50,000 in each case.

Garmin's new GTN Avionics - Will You Upgrade?

Garmin has been very busy telling the world about their new GTN series avionics, intended to replace the GNS 430/530 series panel-mount IFR GPS systems. The new GTN 650 and 750 truly are impressive. They take everything that was good about the 430/530, all the good features of Garmin's handheld touchscreen Aera series GPS units, and many of the features available in the G1000 suite...then combine them all into a neat little package.

Cirrus Now Owned by Chinese Investors - So What?

As mentioned in a Cirrus Press Release and on AVweb, a Chinese company called China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA) purchased Cirrus Industries Inc. at the end of February. There have been some mixed feelings about this deal, and we're still waiting to see if it's going to cause any major changes in the company.

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