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  • SAS: Wright Plans For "Electric 737"
    Wright Electric, a San Los Obispo-based startup, aims to make every short commercial flight electric within 20 years by building what co-founder Jeff Engler calls their "electric 737." Wright's vision is a 150-seat, short-haul aircraft capable of serving routes under 300 miles. Engler told attendees at the Sustainable Aviation Symposium that Wright was inspired to reject energy density arguments by looking at data on the length of commercial flights around the world.

  • SAS: Fresno Hopes To Train In Electric Aircraft
    Subsidized by local funds from Fresno County, a fleet of four Pipistrel Alpha Electro trainers will be made available for primary training in California's Central Valley late this year, program organizers hope. Fresno County will be installing chargers for the aircraft at four local airports: Mendota, Reedley, Fresno Chandler and a fourth airport to be determined.

  • Electric Aircraft: Enabled, Still Struggling For Market
    While electric aircraft have gained press notice, they've lagged in market penetration, partly because buyers don't fully understand the potential for electric aircraft. "I think it all comes down to people's expectations. The most straightforward form of an electric airplane is one powered by batteries and batteries will always be a factor on the airplane, which is hindering endurance and performance, " says Tine Tomažic, a developmental engineer for the Slovenian Pipistrel Aircraft. Pipistrel is a leading developer of light, efficient aircraft and has two electric models in its line. Tomažic presented at the Sustainable Aviation Symposium this week in Redwood City, California, and we spoke with him for this recorded podcast.

  • Sustainable Flight Center Stage In Silicon Valley
    The Sustainable Aviation Symposium (SAS) opened Friday morning in Redwood City, California, for two days of seminars and discussions about the future of efficient flight. The event has drawn the attention of A-list attendees, including representatives from NASA, FAA, Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company, Icon Aircraft, Epic Aircraft, General Atomics and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Dr. Brien Seely, chair of SAS, celebrating the event's success, told AVweb, "finally, the industry is awakening" to the market opportunities available in sustainable aviation.

  • BasicMed Course Imminent Says FAA
    An online course that will satisfy the aeromedical education requirements of the BasicMed regulations should be approved sometime next week, FAA representatives told AVweb Thursday. BasicMed regulations will become effective on May 1, but one requirement to use BasicMed in lieu of a Third Class Medical is that pilots must take an approved online course about aeromedical risks.

  • Continental Working With FAA On Cam Gear AD
    Continental Motors is working with the FAA to dispel what they see as confusion and unnecessary concern about a mandatory service bulletin (MSB) issued by Continental Motors in early 2017 for a camshaft gear found mostly in older IO-520 and IO-550 engines. Several GA groups, including AOPA, the American Bonanza Society, COPA, Twin Cessna Flyer and Savvy Aviation were sufficiently exercised about MSB05-08B that they requested an audience with the FAA without inviting anyone from Continental.

  • CAFE Symposium Moves To Oshkosh
    The CAFE Foundation, which has held annual symposia in California since 2007 to explore new technologies for aviation, this year will host its event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the group announced this week. The Electric Aircraft Symposium will be held at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, July 22 and 23, the weekend before AirVenture. The group plans to continue holding the event in Oshkosh for the foreseeable future, executive director Yolanka Wulff told AVweb.

  • New GA Show Arrives In Tucson
    The inaugural U.S. Flight Expo kicks off early next month at Marana Regional Airport (KAVQ) near Tucson, Arizona. Show organizers say the event will focus on the markets other than certified aircraft--particularly light sport and experimental. Their goal is to put on a show where aircraft buyers have easy access to manufacturers to get questions answers and, for the serious shoppers, to take demo flights.

  • Malaysian First In Space-Based Aircraft Tracking
    The first airline customer for Aireon's space-based ADS-B tracking services will be Malaysian Airlines, Aireon reported in a press release issued this week. Aireon is placing ADS-B receivers on Iridium NEXT low earth orbit communications satellites, which will receive location reports from ADS-B Out equipped aircraft and relay that position to end users through Aireon partner SITAONAIR's AIRCOM service.

  • Pilot Killed In Blackhawk Crash
    A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was on a routine training flight with three crew on board when it crashed on a golf course in Maryland Monday afternoon, killing one pilot, CNN has reported. One survivor was in critical condition, and the other was in serious condition, according to the U.S. Army. The flight had launched from Davison Airfield at Fort Belvoir, in Virginia.

  • Southwest Pilot Caught Carrying Gun On Board
    A Southwest Airlines pilot was arrested in Albany, New York, on Monday for trying to board his plane with a loaded handgun in one of his carry-on bags. TSA officers spotted the .380 caliber gun during a routine X-ray scan, the agency said in a news release. The gun was loaded with six bullets. The pilot said he was unaware the weapon was in the bag, a Southwest spokesperson said. He was taken into custody by the local sheriff and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

  • ADS-B Rebate Requests Stall
    In an April 5 report on its ADS-B rebate program for general aviation, the FAA says it has processed 5,008 reservations for the rebates, and 14,910 rebates remain to be claimed by the end of the program on Sept. 18. That's much slower than the FAA's planned rate for reaching its goal, which projected 12,000 reservations by April. Also, the report states that 35 rebate applicants who originally planned to install NavWorx systems have switched to install an "eligible avionic unit."

  • Hydrogen VTOL In The Works
    Metro Skyways said on Monday they plan to develop a four-passenger, hydrogen-powered, autonomous VTOL flying car, the CityHawk. The vehicle will initially use jet fuel, but eventually will be converted to liquid hydrogen and then to compressed hydrogen, the company said. Development is expected to take about five years.

  • NTSB Report: Pilots, ATC Need To Improve Pirep System
    The NTSB has released a special report based on its investigation last year into the effectiveness of pilot weather reports. The report concludes that pilots need better training and procedures, and air traffic controllers need to do more to be sure the pilot weather reporting system enhances aviation safety. One key to a safer system is better handling of the reports when they are received by ATC, says NTSB Acting Chairman Robert Sumwalt.

  • Indian Pilots Union Wants Ex-Pat Ban
    The union representing Jet Airways pilots has ordered its Indian pilots to refuse to work with non-Indian pilots and has demanded the airline fire all non-native cockpit crew. Jet has about 100 non-Indian captains (who are presumably also in the union) and the National Aviators' Guild is demanding they be purged from the airline.

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