Flying August 2020


The sharp wit and experienced judgment of Flying’s experts cover all the challenges and rewards that aviation offers to all flying enthusiasts. From industry news updates, regulations, trends, air shows and events to carefully researched reports on all categories of airplanes, helicopters, avionics, products, technology, accessories and equipment to pilot technique, flight training, safety, weather, operations and maintenance.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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real innovation

Real innovation. They say it’s some magical combination of inspiration and perspiration. But it’s also a little bit of luck, a little bit of good timing—oh, and yes, a lot of sweat equity. Just ask the folks at Epic Aircraft. All along, the dream was to create and certify a high-performance turboprop using the talents and skills of a select group of pilots, engineers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs. It’s been two decades since the originators of Epic began making that first kit-built Epic LT in Bend, Oregon. Along the way, they evolved into helping owners bring LTs to life, then testing, tweaking, scrapping and scraping together funds—and going back to the drawing board on various elements more than once to get them just right. The team at Epic can be honestly and deeply…


747 Flashback In February 1970, while on final approach to Roswell Industrial Air Center [in New Mexico] for my private pilot check ride, I felt nothing could be more exciting. Indeed, having passed, I was overcome with excitement during my return trip’s preflight. Suddenly, I heard a rare roar of jet engines—Walker Air Force Base closed long ago—and I immediately turned to see this hangar-size airliner lumbering past. Yet, to my surprise, it easily and beautifully slipped the surly bonds of Earth. The lineman shouted: “New 747… Pan Am is training pilots here.” My excitement grew as I watched this gentle giant enter the overcast while huge amounts of air filled inside my chest. Today, I learned that Qantas Airlines, one of the last to end Boeing 747 passenger service, has…

beyond ipad nav

With a rugged housing and a display easily readable in bright sunlight, Garmin’s new Aera 760 touchscreen navigator aspires to be the single device pilots can take anywhere they fly. It’s been tested to meet strict temperature and vibration requirements, which should leave the 760 more resistant to environmental fluctuations than an iPad. We flew with the Aera 760 in a tough environment for glass—a canopied warbird—and found the display was bright enough to hold its own, though it still presented similar reflection issues to that of an iPad or Android device. The difference? It didn’t get nearly as hot in that full sun, and the thickness of the unit made it feel a lot less fragile than tablet cockpit setups. If you’ve ever bent or cracked an iPad in your…

bigger & bolder

Bearhawk Aircraft unveiled the six-seat Model 5, adding to its line of two- and four-seat airplanes—with a difference. It will be powered by a series of engines, including a spec-built 315 hp Lycoming IO-580 engine. The new airplane is Bearhawk’s largest to date. The Model 5 made its first flight on May 3, and the company reports that the prototype had five hours on it at the time of the announcement. Bearhawk test pilot Rollie van Dorn pronounced its flight characteristics as “excellent,” and further testing will establish the aircraft’s max gross weight at 3,000 pounds. The smallest engine to be used in the Model 5 will be the six-cylinder 250 or 260 hp Lycoming O-540. The Model 5 can also use the heavier angle-valve cylinder Lycoming O-540 (300 hp) and…

continental steps up to 170 hp

Tecnam announced a new version of its P2010 four-seat, single-engine airplane, with a new Continental CD-170 diesel engine, ready for certification by the European Union Aviation and Space Agency. The 170 hp engine builds on the success Continental has had with the previous 135 and 155 hp models of its liquid-cooled, turbo charged, fadec-operated diesel-engine series. The type certificate is expected by July 2020. The P2010 came previously with the Lycoming IO-360 engine at 180 hp and its IO-390 engine at 215 hp. Tecnam CEO Paolo Pascale says the diesel engine enables the new P2010 to outlast its predecessors in range because of the reduction in fuel burn, which is up to 50 percent—with a top range of 1,050 nm possible. In a virtual news conference on May 27, Chris Kuehn,…

garmin’s game-changing system approved

Piper Aircraft and Garmin Aviation announced on May 18 that they were given the final FAA certification of the Halo-equipped Piper M600, which uses Garmin’s Autoland feature to land the airplane without human intervention in the event of a pilot-incapacitating emergency. The last push to finish flight tests on the innovative system consisted of validation and coordination with air traffic control, among other scenario-based events. Piper flew the final series of tests in the M600 in Vero Beach, Florida, and Garden City, Kansas. Garmin’s Autoland system forms the basis for Piper’s version of the automated system, which also incorporates several recent updates to the aircraft—including an autothrottle—and rounding out the Autonomi suite of safety protocols, alongside emergency descent management, and electronic stability and protection. Unique among those systems, however, Autoland takes the…