It Is Not All About The Boys

Heard near AeroShell square on the grounds of EAA AirVenture 2008: "This must be the largest gathering of men in bad hats anywhere in the world." Perhaps that is true, but there are plenty of women at this year's air show who are out to make sure that the world knows that guys are not the only people who work and play at aviation.

This year EAA is out to see just how many women really come to the show. They've created a WomenVenture initiative in conjunction with Women in Aviation, International, a non-profit organization that encourages women and girls to fly and pursue careers in aviation. The WomenVenture events include a presentation by FLYING magazine columnist and author Lane Wallace at Theater in the Woods that took place Monday night, several forums on topics that range from "Homebuilding and the Family" to "Women Who Build" and a gathering, first for breakfast Friday morning, and then for a group photo on AeroShell Square.

"The hope is that Friday will be the largest gathering of women pilots ever assembled in one place," says Elissa Lines, EAA vice-president of development, who planned the event with the assistance of Women in Aviation, International. "We hope to inspire girls and women to follow their dreams, just like we have," added Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President of Women in Aviation, International.

For more information about the Friday morning breakfast or the photo opportunity, stop by the Women in Aviation, International booth, 2041-2042, in Hangar B.

Garmin Announces New Audio Panel/Enhanced Web Site

Garmin International announced new products today, highlighting a non-certified audio panel specifically for Experimental and Light Sport aircraft. The GMA 240 is a redesigned version of the GMA 340, and includes a four-place stereo intercom system and support for two stereo music inputs selected with a 1-2 switch. A 2.5mm front jack allows the user to override one of the sources at any time by plugging in items such as a cell phone (with a full duplex telephone interface) or an MP3 player. The phone interface feature allows the pilot to make private telephone calls or multi-party calls with the crew or passengers. Music volume is controlled by an intercom volume/squelch knob.

When connecting a GPSMAP 396/496 to the GMA 240, the pilot can adjust XM music volume directly from the audio panel.

The MSRP is $895. For more information, visit Garmin.

Garmin also announced that its web site has been improved, for easier management and loading of aviation databases for handhelds and panel-mounted units. A three-step process, with no unlock codes, allows for downloading of the latest Jeppesen nav data, terrain/obstacle updates, and current AOPA directory information. Garmin said the company hopes to bundle services in the future for one-button updates.

Aertronics Builds Garmin G900X Panel for Velocity

Aerotronics has been selected to build a prototype panel for Velocity's XL aircraft. According to Velocity's Scott Baker, “We are very excited about having the ability to modernize our aircraft, for now, the G900 will be available for the XL but expansion to other models is being considered.”

“We are happy to see Garmin expanding the capabilities list for the G900 and we are eager to begin working with the Velocity factory to create a design and manufacture their new panel. With all of the innovative avionics available, it is an exhilarating time to be a part of the experimental aviation community.” said Gary Wirrell, Vice President of Aerotronics, Inc.

For more information, contact Aerotronics.

Jeppesen Releases New VFR+GPS Charts

Jeppesen, Inc., the company that brings you instrument charts, announced today the release of a VFR+GPS chart series for navigation in North America.

“The new charts were designed by pilots for pilots,” said Christopher Dean, product manager at Jeppesen. Customer feedback, he explains, drove the company's desire to design a series of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts that are easier to use than NOAA Sectional Charts, because the Jeppesen charts are built around actual flight paths used most by VFR pilots. The new Jeppesen VFR charts aggregate aviation data with the latest cultural and terrain data in a way that uses color and contrast to make a VFR chart easier to read and interpret. Terrain data from the Space Shuttle radar missions provides a realistic depiction of the earth below.

The new VFR+GPS chart coverage areas will initially include en route and area charts stretching from Miami to Atlanta with expansion to other areas across the U.S. in 2009. The latest en route chart offered for July includes Wisconsin and Illinois, and is featured as a Special Oshkosh Commemorative Chart during EAA's 2008 AirVenture show. Get yours at the Jeppesen exhibit booth just west of the new Wittman Field tower during the show. For additional information visit Jeppesen or call 800/621-5377.

Lycoming Introduces New Engine Models, Electronic Engine Controls

Lycoming's 10 a.m. press conference today centered on several new projects for the manufacturer. Of note for Experimental fans are two things: Fully electronic engine controls—a FADEC—that includes a knock sensor for detonation control that will be certified but launched into the Experimental market, and the Thunderbolt Signature turbonormalized version of the IO-360 engine.

The new TIO-360 is a turbonormalized, intercooled version of the parallel-valve, 180-horsepower 360 packaged to fit as closely as possible into the footprint of the non-turbo version. According to Lycoming, the TIO-360 will be approved to run on 100LL as well as "aviation grade" 91/96UL fuel.

The electronic engine control system, dubbed iE2, uses electronic fuel injection and ignition, an integrated electronic knock sensor and a "holistic" approach to engine management, which implies individual control of each cylinder. A single-lever power control will be part of the deal.

Lycoming did not provide images at the 10 a.m. press conference, but we'll heading to the Lycoming booth shortly to grab a few shots of the new engines.

In other Lycoming news, the IO-390, a large-bore variant of the longstanding IO-360, 200-hp engine, will be cerfified this year and offered through a new program called Eschelon to develop Supplemental Type Certificate approval for installation of the 390 in certified aircraft currently carrying the angle-valve IO-360. The first candidate is a Cessna Cardinal RG; the Piper Arrow and Mooney 201 are other logical recipients of the engine.

For Light Sport fans comes news of the IO-233, a version of the O-235 that's been put on an aggressive diet. It features an electronic throttle-body injection system, and will be rated from 100 to 116 hp when it is certified this year. First steps are to meet the ASTM specifications for Light Sport in 2008, followed by FAA FAR Part 33 certification in 2009 if the market demands it. Lycoming has not had a dog in the LSA fight because the O-235 is considerably heavier than the Rotax 912 and the Continental O-200, the leading engines in the field. Weight for the 233 was not announced at the press conference, but we'll hound a few PR people for some numbers today.

Products: Bendix/King Introduces New Handhelds

In a strong suggestion that Honeywell is serious about Bendix/King's return to form in general aviation, the company introduced three new handhelds at a press function last night. In addition to reminding us that its KSN 770, a WAAS-LPV-capable GPS/nav/com panel-mount in the general format of the Garmin GPS 530, will be available in the first quarter of 2009, Honeywell execs trotted out a new line of product called AV8OR.

Two of these are aimed at the high end: The AV8OR Horizon 3D and the Vision 3D, are large, tabled-based cockpit-information systems that act as backup flight instruments in addition to electronic flight bag products. The Horizon starts at $4995, with the top-line version of the Vision running $7999.

But the product to wow the crowd was the base AV8OR, which is a touch-screen portable GPS, designed for the car and airplane, selling for just $749. It features extensive Bluetooth compatibility; it can receive WX Worx XM weather through the Bluetooth connection, and it can be set up with a GPS antenna repeater in the cockpit—in case you want to use the AV8OR where it cannot get a good view of the sky—also through Bluetooth.

The AV8OR has a 4.3-inch-diagonal LCD screen, a full navigational and land-based points-of-interest database, and can play movies, audio books and MP3 music files. Supposedly, Bendix/King will have the units for sale through retailers today at the show, but it's early yet and we haven't confirmed that promise.

For more information, visit Bendix/King.