GA Aircraft

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.

Diamond Turboprop: Balancing Innovation and Risk

I'm pretty impressed overall with Diamond Aircraft. They've very quietly been making innovative, high-quality aircraft for years. They have a firm foothold in the training market with their economical DA20, and the DA40 is well-regarded in the 4-place piston market by those who fly it. Their DA42 Twin Star is probably the first meaningful piston twin developed in decades. With its diesel motors, FADEC and advanced aerodynamic design it's a really cool airplane.

Flight Report: Cessna 400 Corvalis TT

On a warm Florida summer morning a couple weeks ago I stepped into AMS Aviation at my current home station of 2R4 in Milton and announced that I was there to get a ride in a Cessna 400 Corvalis TT. I think even the building itself went green with envy and those present helped me wait so that they could get a look at the plane when it arrived. I found out very quickly that they were right to be jealous!

Why was I getting a demo...was I thinking of buying? I wish, but I sure can't afford it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I write for AviationBull.com. I don't know. Cessna invited me. It wasn't long before Matt Tutton of Air Orlando touched down in N1198Z, a gorgeous white and blue airplane that appeared to have so little drag I was worried it wouldn't be able to stop on Milton's little runway.

Cirrus Vision Jet Prospects Remain Optimistic

The Duluth News Tribune reports that orders for the Cirrus Vision Jet are increasing, even with the unsteady economy. Cirrus needs to keep the orders coming to finance the conforming prototypes they will build next year. AIN points out that 106 orders have been placed in the past six months, however, there were also somewhere around 50 cancellations making that number just a little less optimistic.

Volcanoes + Europe = Good Times for GA!

If you ask a major news source, like the BBC, you'll get the picture that the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano and subsequent ban of airline flights over Europe has been devastating to all of European aviation. Though the effects to the airlines are certainly tragic and threatening, it is not accurate to say that the volcanic ash cloud prevented all flying. With the decrease in European airline traffic, GA has been thriving.

GA Recognized for Haitian Relief Efforts

Sen. Begich from the very GA friendly state of Alaska released this message today heralding some of the amazing relief work accomplished by GA pilots and aircraft in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. Some 4,500 flights were taken and 1 million pounds of cargo were hauled in support of the relief effort. That's pretty impressive when you figure that most GA aircraft don't exactly have the useful load of your average cargo bird. For all those that made the trip, you've got our respect!!

The Ultimate Type Club?

If you want to know something about a specific type of aircraft, the best place to start is probably a type club. As a Cessna 170 owner, I'm a member of the International Cessna 170 Association. It has a catalog of useful and affordable STCs, a ton of corporate knowledge and a great community of owner/enthusiasts. There is a type club for pretty much every kind of plane in the sky, though some are more active than others. I think I've found what sounds like the club with the coolest opportunity out there.

LoPresti Aircraft has an amazing event for Fury owners.

Lindbergh Family Sponsoring Electric Aircraft Prize

Erik Lindbergh (yes, the grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow) believes that electric aircraft are the future of aviation. He's been involved in promoting aviation for a long time and now he's established a new set of prizes for electric aviation. Called LEAP, the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize, is a set of four awards that will be given out every year for advances in electric aviation.

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