Tag Archives: Pilatus

AirplaneGeeks 376 Van’s Aircraft Founder and CEO Dick VanGrunsven

Vans RV-14

Van’s Aircraft kitplanes, Boeing doesn’t plan to change the Dreamliner for Emirates, NASA is looking for astronauts, the first customer-built SubSonex jet flies, the Pilatus PC-12 business jet also has its first flight, and livestock pass gas.

Guest

Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

Dick VanGrunsven

Dick (“Van”) VanGrunsven is founder and CEO of kitplane maker Van’s Aircraft. Van has been flying since 1956 and has logged more than 15,000+ hours (the majority of it in airplanes of his own design) and holds CFI, multi-engine, and ATP ratings.

We talk with Van about the kitplane business in general and the Van’s Aircraft planes in particular. Van tells us what it is about the character of the planes that makes them so popular with kit builders and with the pilots who fly them. We also touch on personal jets, the decrease in numbers of amateur built planes, and how the availability of used experimental planes contributes to shrinking sales of new kits. Van also talks about getting good flight instruction in experimental aircraft.

Throughout high school and college Van flew a Cub and a Taylorcraft from the 670 foot grass strip on his parent’s farm. After finishing engineering school and a stint in the Air Force, he purchased a homebuilt 65 hp Stits Playboy, which he rebuilt with a 125 hp Lycoming engine, bubble canopy, Hoerner style wingtips, and an all new set of cantilever aluminum wings to replace the strut-braced wood and fabric originals. Renamed the RV-1, the Playboy flew like a new airplane.

Van flew the RV-1 from 1965 through 1968 but he felt something better was possible. He wanted an airplane that was able to fly in and out of any reasonable airstrip, with enough power and maneuverability to do good basic aerobatics, and cruise as fast as possible. He reluctantly sold the RV-1 and began design and construction of a completely original airplane.

The single-seat RV-3 flew for the first time in August 1971. Van quit his job at a forklift manufacturer and began supplying basic kits for the RV-3.

Over the next forty years, Van’s Aircraft became the acknowledged leader in the kit aircraft world.  New aircraft, from the RV-4 through the Light Sport RV-12 and now the “widebody” RV-14,  have been introduced and each has proven successful in the marketplace. For most of that time, Van was chief engineer, head designer, and CEO of the company.

For homebuilt resources, see the Van’s Aircraft homepage and Facebook page, the independent Van’s Air Force site, and the EAA homepage.

Guest Co-Host

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton is an Australian private pilot who started learning to fly in 1999, after a weather diversion as a passenger in a Grumman Traveller light aircraft wound-up as an unexpected overnight stay at a gliding field. Over the years Mark has flown 24 types of gliders, and he holds a glider instructor rating.

Gliders in Australia don’t require pilot licenses, so Mark didn’t start training for his PPL until 2008. He bought a well-built RV-6 in 2011, and enjoys using it for traveling to distant parts of the country, aerobatics, the odd “$100 hamburger,” and installing “RV-grins” on new aviators as part of their first taste of flight, including several who have gone on to gain pilot licenses of their own.

News

Boeing says will not make changes to Dreamliner stretch for Emirates

Emirates has said they will decide in 2016 if they will order almost 100 planes, either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus for A350-900. Emirates needs long-range planes that can operate in hot climates. Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth says, “The plan is not to change the aircraft, we really like what we have.”

Wanted: Astronauts. Got the right stuff?

NASA announced that by summer 2017 they will begin recruiting a new astronaut class of 8 to 14 people. This is an item that Yong-Lim Foo should pay attention to, our listener from Singapore. There are some basic requirements: You have to be between 62 and 75 inches tall and have a military, science, or technical background. You could end up on the International Space Station, traveling to the moon, or maybe even going to Mars. For more information, see http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts.

First Customer-Built SubSonex Personal Jet Flies

Redge Greenberg, of Durango, Colorado, received the first SubSonex kit (S/N JSX0003) in February and is now the first customer to build and fly the SubSonex Personal Jet. The SubSonex is sold as a Quick Build Kit only. Greenberg has 4,500-plus hours in numerous aircraft and says, “…I never got the chance to fly a jet. I first saw the prototype of the SubSonex at Oshkosh, and followed the development for over a year. When Sonex offered the jet as a kit, I was first in line. Like my RV8, the SubSonex is aerobatic, but the Sonex company also included a ballistic parachute for extra safety.”

Swiss-built business jet to compete against Cessna Citations

Pilatus Aircraft is entering the business jet market with its six-passenger PC-24, which had its first flight in May. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017, the second half of that year for U.S. deliveries. This will compete with the Cessna Citation business jets.

No Evidence Farting Livestock Caused Emergency Landing, Airline Says

The Aviation Herald reported that a Singapore Airlines plane with 2,186 sheep onboard diverted to Bali after “exhaust gasses and manure produced by the sheep” caused the smoke detector to go off. The airline says there is no evidence the livestock were responsible.

The Australia News Desk

Across the Pond

Pieter visits the Science Museum in London to show what visitors can see from an aviation perspective in the center of London. He gives a quick review of the aviation, aerospace and space exhibits on display and talks about other potential aviation sites to visit in the capital and elsewhere in the UK. The Science Museum is free and has a couple of hours worth of aviation exhibits if you want to slowly browse. If you want to speed around you can do them in less than an hour. However, the reset of the Museum will attract some attention as well and worthy of a whole day if you can spare it. Pieter also suggests making contact with him, if you are visiting and he (and his network) will help point you in the direction of aviation sites to visit in both London as well as the rest of the UK.

Mentioned

Barrage balloon cuts power to Seattle and causes air raid scare on January 12, 1942

Benfica safety video with Emirates:

Do you know what this clock is? Can you explain the markings? Leave any information in the comments.

ClockFaceUAL

Flying 101 paint job:

flying 101 paint job

Garmin AOA indicator calibration, via listener Craig:

AOA 1AOA 2

Photos by Neil from San Francisco Fleet Week:

nrphotography L-27

nrphotography L-29-2

nrphotography L-27-2

Credit

Photo of RV-14 copyright Van jones photos.

Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

AirplaneGeeks 368 Membership Flights with Surf Air

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

We talk with CEO Jeff Potter about the Surf Air all-you-can-fly private membership air travel club. Also, an uncontained engine failure on a BA flight, low airline fares, management changes at United, American Airlines used the wrong plane, and remotely manned towers may be on the way.

Guest

Jeff Potter is the Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air, an all-you-can-fly private membership club for business and leisure travelers. Surf Air uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft on scheduled routes, currently from airports in California. However, the company looks to expand and provide service in other regions, even internationally.

Jeff S Potter

Jeff S Potter

Jeff has luxury product experience as Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Resorts. He also has an aviation background and worked his way up from airplane cleaner to President and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Airlines, as well as being a member of their Board of Directors. Jeff was also the CEO of Vanguard Airlines for a short period.

Jeff explains how the Surf Air fixed monthly fee makes the private aviation experience affordable. He characterizes it as a disruptive model that competes with commercial carriers.

Follow Surf Air on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

News

BA jet engine failure uncontained, pieces hit runway: investigators

NTSB Issues Update on the British Airways Engine Fire at Las Vegas

The NTSB reports that the engine fire on takeoff at McCarran International Airport (LAS) by British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777 with GE90-85B engines, was an uncontained engine failure.

$100 Airline Ticket Deals, as Carriers Increase Profits

JetBlue Airways can fly you from JFK to Chicago for $74. A holiday promotion at Delta can cost as little as $78. American Airlines has a $97 fare from Columbus to Washington Reagan. Is there an airline fare war? Jeff helps understand what’s going on.

Why Dump Smisek? United Wasn’t First Airline to Fly a Pol’s Route

United CEO Smisek and two other executives resigned as a federal investigation is underway about the propriety of United creating a route between Newark Airport and Columbia, S.C, near where then chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Samson had his weekend home.

American Airlines accidentally used the wrong plane to fly to Hawaii

An American Airlines A321 left LA for Hawaii, but it didn’t have the requisite ETOPS certification. American discovered the problem enroute and notified the FAA, but the plane continued to it’s destination.

Air traffic controllers for some airports are now miles away, watching the planes on camera

Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden has an unmanned tower. The controllers are 90 miles away at another airport watching by camera. The idea is being tested elsewhere, even at one airport in the United States.

The Aircraft of the Week

Guppy by NASA

David goes fishing this week for a History Segment.  He hopes to catch one of these in the wild at Joint Base Andrews for a whale of a tale.  This episode we talk about The Aero Spacelines Guppies, and the lure of the aircraft that put a man on the moon.

Guppy by NASA

Guppy photos courtesy NASA

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about customer service at United Airlines.

Mentioned

The Bristol Hercules engine startup courtesy Ian.

Listener Photos

Lamont sends this photo taken in a practice area West / slightly Northwest of San Jose, California. The photo shows the marine layer being held back by the Santa Cruz Mountain Range in the early afternoon.

Marine layer

Marine layer

Jodi Brommer sends this shot of the smallest 777. She was hanging out on the approach path of San Francisco, 2.5 miles off the touchdown markers.

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

AirplaneGeeks 310 – Max, Max, and David

Pilatus PC-12

Boeing’s ab initio pilot program, the airline industry sues the TSA over security fees, the Pilatus PC-12, an interview with AOPA President Mark Baker, and listener feedback.

The News

Boeing Announces Ab Initio Pilot Program … except it doesn’t work in the U.S.

Boeing announced a new airline pilot training program where graduates will be qualified to go directly into the right seat of airliners. But not in the U.S. which now requires more flight hours.

The first part of the program (from Boeing subsidiary Jeppeson) includes 12-18 months of flight training, giving an Airline Transport Pilot license. The second part of the program includes two months of training at a Boeing facility with a full-motion jet simulator, giving a Boeing type rating.

Airline Industry Takes Gloves Off, Sues TSA Over Security Fee Hike

The Transportation Security Administration increased the security fee that airline passengers pay. Previously, the fee was $2.50 per flight (“enplanement”) with a $10 maximum. As of July 21, 2014, there is a flat fee of $5.60 per one-way trip, with no limit on the number of enplanements. Except, a layover of more than 4 hours is another “trip” and subject to another $5.60.

U.S. airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), filed a petition over the fee increase in federal court.

Regional Airline Buzz Job

Making a low pass flyover of your home during a commercial flight is not looked upon favorably.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

The Pilatus PC-12.

Mark Baker Interview

Rob Mark talked to AOPA President Mark Baker at Oshkosh about his personal history, how he started in flying, and how he came to AOPA. Baker talks about injecting some fun into AOPA and the regional fly-ins, where participation has exceeded expectations. They also talk about the Rusty Pilots program to encourage lapsed pilots and the fantastic results achieved so far, and ideas for bringing in new pilots, including Reimagined Airplanes.

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant are in Sydney to shoot video for Airbus as the A350 XWB makes its first visit to Australia so where else should they record the OzDesk than beside the bizjet ramp?

TigerAir may be growing a little too quickly once again as they have had a couple of recent safety related incidents.

Growth is good for Brumby Aircraft, an Australian light sport manufacturer who have just signed a manufacturing deal with China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).

Mentioned

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.