New Product: Audio Panel Solutions

Vx Aviation of Vancouver, British Columbia, has announced three products for non-certified aircraft that add capability, reduce cost and potentially simplify audio system installation. They are the AMX-2A 10-channel audio mixer, the ASX-2A stereo headphone music amplifier and the AL-1A tone annunciator.

The AMX-2A ($145) manages all voice communications, tone annunciators, alarms and miscellaneous audio. It allows connection to intercoms, audio panels and radios even if they don’t have auxiliary inputs, which allows for simple retrofitting and upgrades. Four of the 10 inputs have volume controls to allow adjustment of fixed-level sources.

The ASX-2A ($95) allows for insertion of high-fidelity stereo music into monophonic audio systems. Auto-muting is included so that com and alarms have priority. The unit is powered by the main electric bus, and provides about double the power available from a battery-powered amplifier, the company says. A kit for portable applications allows connection to existing aircraft jacks, power and music sources.

The Al-1A ($55) augments or replaces electromechanical buzzers or horns and generates tones for aircraft audio systems. Because it’s part of the audio system, it triggers auto-mute circuits so that alarms can be heard over music. High-level and low-level sense inputs offer frequency and repetition rates that are adjustable for multiple device installations.

For more information, visit VxAviation.

Legend Cub Offers New Prop Option

American Legend Aircraft and Texas Sport Aircraft, manufacturers of the certified Legend Cub LSA and the Texas Sport kit aircraft, announced that the company has recently certified and approved a new 72-inch Sensenich prop for the airplanes that will increase cruise performance by as much as 10 mph; during testing, the Sensenich allowed for a 108-mph cruise. The ground-adjustable prop allows operators to tune their aircraft for the particular type of flying they do.

In addition to this new prop, customers may still choose from a variety of options including fixed-pitch aluminum and classic wood props.

For more information, visit American Legend Aircraft or Texas Sport Aircraft.

Rick & Ace's GlaStar: Finding Face Time with the Project

When we last visited Rick Lindstrom and Len (Ace) Rodriguez, they had just trucked their new (used) fast-track GlaStar project to its new home in Livermore, California. Admittedly, it took awhile for them to roll up their collective sleeves and fully contemplate just what they had done, but they eventually carved out a bit of time to assess the damage. Here's Rick's report.

The first order of business was to take inventory and organize the parts. This is harder than it looks, as some of the parts, such as the fuselage assembly (which ended up sitting on a pad on the floor), the wings, tail, rudder and horizontal stabilizer (which ended up occupying a couple levels of pallet rack), are quite large.

I personally want to thank whoever invented the forklift.

The smaller parts ended up neatly on several shelves, and the Glasair folks do a pretty good job of labeling everything with parts numbers and descriptions. There are a good number of compartmentalized containers for all of the small parts, and it takes some time to become familiar with exactly where everything lives in the small plastic boxes. The only things we couldn't find after purchasing the kit from the original owner were the tires. Of course, it was only after I bought a replacement set for $300 that she called to report that she discovered them neatly tucked away in a cupboard, and when could I come pick them up?

Before setting upon the GlaStar construction in earnest, we took some time to build a large, flat melamine surface 4 feet wide by 16 feet long to accommodate the larger airframe structures. It was a good warm-up for working on the airplane itself, as our workmanship was definitely on the rusty side. Not quite Three Stooges in nature, but it did take longer than we thought to get the oversized table to quit rocking fore and aft whenever it was touched. A few braces fixed this nicely, but they uglied up the structure significantly.

When it's really quiet, I can hear a faint tick, tick, tick, relentlessly urging me to get back to the shop to make some real progress. I think that's the only real cure.

New Product: Pro Pilot Autopilot

Trio Avionics will introduce its new Pro Pilot autopilot at AirVenture Oshkosh next month. The Pro Pilot, which is compatible with Trio’s Gold Standard intelligent servos, makes all of the company’s current systems available in a single, panel-mounted instrument that offers precise horizontal navigation capability, vertical navigation functions including altitude hold, and altitude pre-select. Climb/descent on airspeed can also be set by the pilot. The company says upgrades soon to come are GPSS, GPSV and fuel management. The unit features backlit buttons and illuminated faceplate nomenclature. It fits into a 3.125-inch instrument hole.

Standard features include automatic servo disconnect on takeoff, track offset, G force limiting and Trio’s “automatic 180° turn” feature for VFR pilots who fly into IMC. Planned is a backup battery that will allow the autopilot system and an independent GPS to operate for an hour if the aircraft’s power is interrupted. The price is $3995, and deliveries are expected to begin in September.

For more information, visit Trio Avionics.

Three Bearhawks Make Maiden Flights on the Same Day

We're not sure what it is about Bearhawks, but they seem to arrive in clumps. Back in 2007, five new Bearhawks flew in a 30-day period. Now, says kit seller AviPro, three Bearhawks have made their first flights on the same day.

Says AviPro's Budd Davisson:

In the desert north of Los Angeles, Russ Erb of Rosemead took off in his scratchbuilt Bearhawk, powered by a 250-hp Lycoming 0-540, signaling the end of a 12-year project. He dubbed his airplane "Three Sigma," meaning it’s three standard deviations out past the usual build time. An aerodynamics instructor at the USAF flight test center at Edwards, Erb is widely known for the information-rich CD he publishes about scratch-building the Bearhawk.

In another desert location, in Aquilla, Arizona, John Sample flew his 250-hp Bearhawk, and reported no problems and amazing performance. His airplane is an AviPro quickbuild kit that, because he spends a large portion of each year at his place in Alaska, took him four years of part-time building. His airplane will soon be headed for Alaska.

Another scratch-built Bearhawk emerged from Eric Newton’s hangar in Mississippi, proudly wearing the name "Mississippi Mudbug" on the cowl of its 180 Lycoming. Newton publishes a series of manuals for the Bearhawk scratch-builder and had a lot of cleaning up to do after Hurricane Katrina came to visit, but it slowed him down only temporarily.

The Bearhawk is a 150-mph, four-place utility and touring aircraft that can be built either strictly from plans or from quickbuild kits or components supplied by AviPro Aircraft, Ltd. The company says more than 100 kits have been delivered, and approximately 30 are flying.

For more information, contact AviPro Aircraft, 602/971-3768.

Take Aviation Consumer's Headset Survey, Win Valuable Prizes

Do you like the headset you own? KITPLANES sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know. It is conducting an extensive customer survey on headset quality, performance and comfort. They would love to hear from readers everywhere about their headset experiences. The survey takes just a few minutes. Click here to take part.

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