GA Aircraft

Quick Kit

AOPA reports that Lancair has debuted it's new Evolution kitplane. For a $250k price tag this thing screams... Max cruise of 338 KTAS with a 4,000 fpm climb rate puts this aircraft in the same league as a Piper Meridian, albeit with a few less seats. A turbine kit is definitely a step up in price range but why not? $1.8 Million is a lot to pay when you can build it yourself... right? Now you've just got to get the training to be able to handle one of these beasts.

Cessna 350's and 400's Meet the Sales Force

Cessna has a press release out this week announcing that they've just about finished integrating Columbia into their product line. The 350 and 400 series aircraft are the airplanes formerly known as the Columbia 350 and 400. These airplanes round out Cessna's already formidable single engine line up, and pits Cessna against Cirrus, another low wing composite manufacturer. Should be interesting to see who gains or loses market share once Cessna is up to full production capacity. Personally I like both airplanes, and a little competition can't hurt prices right?

MD Helicopters: rent hikes, moving...and VLJs?

Late last year, the city of Mesa told MD Helicopters that it intended to increase the rent for their facilities at Falcon Field by $130,000. MD Helicopters protested, but when they got stonewalled they started looking at other locations. When the city of Mesa realized they might lose a lot of important jobs and business, they worked up a plan to offer a new, larger site at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The Perfect Off Field Landing!

Well it happened and was finally reported in the Wausau Daily Hearld. A pilot and instructor just outside of Stevens Point, WI had to perform an emergency landing on a county highway. According to the report the pilot and instructor were going to perform emergency landing maneuvers when their engine started running rough after take off. The pilots found the highway nearby and managed to land safely on the road. The Highway Patrol helped the pilot's of the CAP airplane tow the plane to a driveway where it was waiting for a mechanic to come and look it over.

New Aircraft Owner Warning: Stay Out of Florida!

I thought that Maine was the only state in the Union with lawmakers ridiculous enough to charge taxes on aircraft that visit their state. I was wrong; Florida is even worse! In Maine, if an aircraft has been owned for less than one year and spends more than 20 days in the state, Maine sends the owner a bill for 5% of the aircraft's value. If you think that's bad, Florida will send you a bill for 6% 'use tax' if the aircraft is in the state for just one night.

If you bought your aircraft in the last six months, don't fly it to Florida (or Maine)!

Cessna to Use Fly By Wire Technology

Cessna recently announced that the new Cessna Columbus will be utilizing a fly-by-wire control system. The flight control system will be manufactured by Parker Aerospace. The flight control system is a hybrid system that will use fly-by-wire controls. The system works with conventional hydraulic actuation to enhance safety and performance capabilities of the Columbus.

Just How General is General Aviation?

A new Cessna 172 costs roughly $234,500 and that's without some of the really cool bells and whistles. In 1956 that same type airplane cost you $8,995 which is even more of a bargain after you do some math. I took a trip to the handy inflation calculator provided by the bureau of labor and statistics and discovered that accounting for inflation the price of the 1956 Cessna today is $70,000. Ok, so I really didn't expect it to scale with inflation, and one can definitely argue that technology and safety are adding a great deal of cost to the airplane but that still seems a little crazy to me.

Why 51% Should Matter to You

Scott Spangler over at JetWhine has got a great article out today covering some of the ins and outs of the 51% rule. For those who aren't familiar with it, the rule governs just how much of an experimental aircraft must be built by the owner, in order to qualify as homebuilt by the FAA. So, why should you care right?

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