Dornier Seaplane exhibited its all-composite Seastar amphibian at the Canadian Business Aviation Association show in Montreal in late May, showing off fresh paint and an upgraded interior. The Seastar program “is gaining momentum,” according to Joe Walker, CEO of the Punta Gorda, Fla.-based company, which has taken orders for 25 of the twin-turboprop amphibians.
Beriev Aircraft, of Taganrog, Russia, received FAA Part 23 type certification for its Be-103 twin-piston amphibian at EAA AirVenture directly from FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. It is the first Russian amphibious airplane to achieve this status.
Last week at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., Plastek CEO Gus Ordonez announced a version of the company’s military window repair and restoration kit for the civil market. Signal Hill, Calif.,-based Plastek’s aviation-grade polish comes in 12 different strengths, depending on the type of window plastic.
Competition for panel space and pilot eyeballs continues to intensify, with avionics manufacturers announcing more new products at EAA AirVenture this week in Oshkosh, Wis. Avidyne introduced the eight-inch PFD4000, a replacement for the “six-pack” instrument cluster with a high-resolution screen and remote sensors, keeping unit thickness to 3.5 inches. Shipments of the PFD4000 are slated to begin next year.
EADS Socata celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first flight of its TBM 700 with a new and larger display at the 56th EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., held July 28 to August 3. Two 2008 TBM 850s, equipped with Garmin G1000 integrated avionics and outfitted with a new-style cabin interior, are the centerpiece of Socata’s 10,000-sq-ft display. These aircraft will also carry the TBM 850’s new paint scheme.
Almost a year after first unveiling the deal, GE Aviation last month announced the completion of its acquisition of Prague, Czech Republic-based turboprop engine maker Walter Engines. The new GE division will operate as Walter Aircraft Engines.
Last year at EAA AirVenture Embraer announced the first flight of its Phenom 100 very light jet. While it wasn’t able to announce type certification at this year’s show in Oshkosh, Wis., the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer did say yesterday that the twinjet is nearing the finish line. So far, four flight-test Phenom 100s have logged more than 1,000 flight hours in the certification and maturity campaigns.
Merritt Island, Fla.-based Comp Air is preparing its CA-9 prototype for first flight, three months after unveiling the all-composite turboprop single at the Sun 'n' Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. It plans to fly the new aircraft to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. The $1.6 million CA-9–a six-place, high-wing airplane with fixed gear–is expected to cruise at 250 knots and have a range of 2,200 nm.
Cirrus chairman and CEO Alan Klapmeier says he would like to have the company’s new single-engine (and yet-to-be-named) jet appear at this year’s EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., late this month, but he wouldn’t predict when the first flight will take place. Cirrus has placed an Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer into service as a chase plane for the flight, which will occur at Cirrus’s headquarters in Duluth, Minn.
There may be some pilots who fly airplanes solely because it’s a soft ride to a bloated paycheck, and they may think EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., is only about little airplanes that “aren’t serious.” But most pilots don’t.