Best of the Web

Podcast: Cirrus CEO Interview. Dale Klapmeier, the new CEO of Cirrus, recently gave an interview to AVweb where he said that the company’s recent acquisition by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) will free the company to fulfill its original mandate to “introduce people to and to keep people in general aviation.” You can listen to the interview’s podcast here.

Cirrus Celebrates Its 5,000th Delivery. General Aviation News has reported on the opening day of the AOPA Aviation Summit, Cirrus Aircraft celebrated the delivery of its 5,000th aircraft to real estate developer Joe Whisenhunt of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Cessna Skycatcher Deliveries Surpass 100. In addition, Cessna officials have reported that at the AOPA Aviation Summit, it had surpassed 100 deliveries of the Model 162 Skycatcher Light-Sport Aircraft. Cessna began making deliveries of the Skycatcher in December 2009 and has already received orders for more than 1,000 of the aircraft.

FAA May Fine Cessna. However, General Aviation News has also reported that the FAA is proposing a $2.4 million penalty against Cessna after carbon composite parts of the wing on its Cessna Corvalis came apart during a flight. Specifically and on December 6, 2010, an FAA test pilot was performing a production audit test flight of the aircraft and was forced to make an emergency landing after experiencing a failure of approximately 7 feet of the skin on the left wing (which also damaged the aircraft’s fuel tank).

Green Aircraft Makes Its First Flight. On a green aviation note, a team of students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has demonstrated a first in aviation history when they transitioned their Eco Eagle, a hybrid propulsion aircraft they designed, from gas power to full-electric power. The team had combined a gas motor with an electric propulsion system powered by batteries so that the aircraft to climb on the more powerful 100-horsepower gas motor. Once the aircraft reaches a cruising altitude, it transitions to a full-electric mode with 40 horsepower for the remainder of the flight.

A Ready-to-fly Aircraft for Under $15,000. Finally, General Aviation News has mentioned what could be one of the world’s most affordable aircraft: The Aerolite 103 which sells for only $14,995. Of course its worth pointing out that legally (in the USA), the Aerolite 103 can’t fly 120 knots like an LSA as its classified as a Part 103 ultralight aircraft which are limited to 63 mph and five gallons of fuel for a couple hours of flying. Hence, don’t plan on flying cross-country in one!

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