Pilot Reports

Join AIN pilots/writers as they test fly business jets, turboprops, rotorcraft, and airliners featuring the latest technology from the world’s airframe, engine, and avionics manufacturers. From fly-by-wire flight controls to touchscreen flight decks and sophisticated satcoms, these are the aircraft that make the aerospace industry fly.

Kodiak amphib
Sep 9, 2017 - 7:44 AM
Brings solid feel and sure handling to utility role.

Quest Aircraft bills the Kodiak as the “next generation of STOL aircraft capable of bringing services and heavy supplies to the most remote regions on the planet,” and the Idaho-based manufacturer has built 222 since the sturdy turboprop single was certified in 2007.

Jan 10, 2017 - 3:09 AM
Dassault’s flagship is a long-range and comfortable traveling machine.

The Falcon 8X is not only Dassault’s largest business jet; it also propels the OEM into the popular ultra-long-range arena, the segment that has experienced the most activity in the past few years. The 8X isn’t just a 7X with fuselage plugs, and it isn’t replacing the 7X; the newest Falcon stands on its own as the flagship of the French manufacturer’s fleet.

Oct 4, 2016 - 2:52 PM
The Piper M600 expands Piper’s reach into the market for pressurized single-engine turboprops.

Piper’s new M600 single-engine turboprop, while not a clean-sheet design, is a logical addition to the Vero Beach, Fla. manufacturer’s product line and delivers a big boost in performance for a competitive price. Now the top of the line in Piper’s M-series, the $2.853 million M600 also expands the range of products offered by Piper and pushes it closer in performance and capability to competing airplanes while retaining the comfort and easy flying characteristics that are a Piper hallmark.

HondaJet in Hangar
Jul 4, 2016 - 8:00 AM
HondaJet production is ramping up, and more pilots are getting to see how the new jet flies.

Now that the HondaJet has received FAA and EASA certification and deliveries have begun ramping up, AIN traveled to Honda Aircraft headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., to fly the new jet. Our overall impression after flying both the full-flight simulator and the new jet is that the HondaJet is a strong performer with excellent handling characteristics and an intense focus on single-pilot ergonomics and safety.

Piper's diesel-powered Archer DX
Nov 12, 2015 - 9:00 AM
Piper introduces the option of the Continental diesel on its popular Archer,.


Piper Aircraft (C8509) began U.S. deliveries of the DX version of the single-engine Archer following FAA validation in April of the EASA-approved supplemental type certificate to replace the original avgas Lycoming engine with a compression ignition engine.

Piper PA-46 M500 on ramp
Oct 17, 2015 - 8:15 AM
Upgrades put the focus on safety.

The PA-46 M500 refines Piper’s pitch to well heeled, value-conscious general aviation pilots considering the transition from piston to turboprop, making its upsell not with increased power and performance but with enhanced safety. It’s the definitive answer to concerns safety experts, insurance companies and pilots raise about the challenges of stepping up to higher performance aircraft, questions the original PA-46 helped crystallize.

Citation M2 in flight
Oct 13, 2015 - 9:48 AM
This Citation is turning out to be a best-seller.

Since entering service in 2013, the $4.5 million Citation M2 has garnered a significant share of the light jet market and even of Textron Aviation’s own smaller jet series. The M2 is the newest member of the CitationJet (525) series, and 12 were delivered in 2013, even though certification was not awarded until late that year; during its first full year of production last year, 46 M2s were delivered.

Embraer Legacy 500 in flight
Jun 29, 2015 - 9:00 AM
Fly-by-wire comes to midsize aircraft, and it is a smooth transition.

Eight years ago, then-executive vice president of Embraer Executive Jets Luis Carlos Affonso surprised NBAA show attendees by unveiling concepts for two completely new jets, dubbed mid-light and mid-size; a year later these became the Legacy 450 and 500. The new jets not only signaled the company’s efforts to build a larger presence in the business jet market but also a commitment to fly-by-wire flight control technology that is not available in jets in that class.

Citation Latitude on ramp
Apr 19, 2015 - 12:25 PM
Textron Aviation’s new Citation Latitude adds a flat-floor cabin to the company’s midsize jet line.

A hallmark of the Citation brand has been the willingness of Cessna leadership to bring out new products that compete not only with other manufacturers’ airplanes but also with the prolific Citation lineup itself. After “building a career” on two cabin cross sections conceived in the 1970s, the company acknowledged the shifting landscape of the jet market and launched the Latitude, which introduces the first new Citation cabin cross section in more than four decades.

Cessna Citation X+
Nov 1, 2014 - 5:25 AM
Cessna’s re-do of the Citation X thoroughly updates the classic speedster with new avionics and cabin features and an even swifter top speed.

When it came time for a refresh of the Citation X, Cessna could have taken the existing airframe and updated the avionics, added winglets and redesigned the interior–as it did with other recent “plus” models such as the Sovereign+ and CJ3+–but engineers were able to unlock more performance when they created the X+.