New Stratomaster Engine Monitoring System From Sport Flying Shop

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Cabling from engine probes goes directly to the Stratomaster E2's RDAC (remote data acquisition computer, left). "The Stratomaster E2 EMS (engine monitoring system) interfaces to your engine via a single three-wire cable to the RDAC IV, which is mounted near your engine," explains Matt Liknaitzky of Sport Flying Shop. "All temperature, pressure and fuel probes connect directly into the RDAC IV, ensuring cable lengths are kept to a minimum, and reducing installation time."

Great Britain's MGL Avionics has released their latest instrument deck, the Stratomaster E2 EMS engine monitoring system. The Stratomaster E2 EMS joins the Stratomaster Flight Information System* as complete "all in one" instrument decks marketed for ultralights and light-sport aircraft by Sport Flying Shop (SFS), the accessories company of Aerotrike North American distributor Rainbow Aircraft.

"The Stratomaster E2 EMS is the answer to complete engine management in light aircraft," says Matt Liknaitzky of Sport Flying Shop. "The E2 provides a continuous display (both graphically and numerically) of all important engine parameters, allowing you to monitor and optimize engine performance at a glance."

The E2 can be customized to suit almost any engine, and fits in most sport aircraft instrument panels, SFS indicates. "The E2 interfaces to your engine via a three-wire cable from the separate RDAC IV (remote data acquisition computer), which is mounted near the engine," Liknaitzky explains. "All temperature, pressure and fuel probes connect directly into the RDAC IV, ensuring cable lengths are kept to a minimum and reducing installation time. No more pulling your cockpit apart to introduce a new temperature probe to your instrument cluster ­ simply connect the probe to the RDAC, and reconfigure the E2 to display it."

According to SFS, the problems with other digital engine information systems can be: (1) alphanumeric readouts are difficult to read and comprehend; (2) you may have to page through several screens of information to get to what you're looking for and need; and (3) installation involves a lot of wire between the display and your engine. "The Stratomaster E2 EMS solves all these problems," Liknaitzky says. "The display features graphical as well as alphanumeric readouts and can be customized to suit almost any engine. All information is displayed on one page. And the E2 uses the Stratomaster RDAC, mounted near the engine, which cuts down wiring troubles and makes installation a lot easier." Liknaitzky also notes the "usual benefits of high-quality digital avionics:"

* They are much lighter than traditional analog instruments.
* They fit in most sport aircraft panels.
* They are less expensive than the equivalent analog instruments.
* They offer excellent resistance to vibration and harsh operating conditions.

"The E2 provides a continuous display of all important engine parameters (both graphically and numerically)," Liknaitzky says, "allowing you to monitor and optimize your engine performance at a glance. The backlit display ensures the information is always clearly visible in both poorly lit and direct sunlight conditions. No matter what your engine, the Stratomaster E2 EMS can be configured to display and monitor the parameters you are interested in.

"The E2 lets you concentrate on flying by monitoring the engine, alerting you to any over/under limit conditions with an audible alarm and/or flashing alarm light. And all alarm conditions are under your control, allowing you to set them according to your specific needs."

Functions of the Stratomaster E2 EMS include: exhaust gas temperature (EGT), cylinder head temperature (CHT), water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, engine rpm (tachometer), engine hours, trip timer, maintenance countdown, fuel level, fuel flow, ambient temperature, voltmeter and flight data recorder.

The Stratomaster E2 EMS is "priced from $560 (including shipping)," SFS says. Senders are available separately, the company notes. "Engines supported range from small 2-strokes like a Rotax 447 or Rotax 503 to the more powerful Rotax 582, the Simonini and 2 Stroke International line of engines, and 4-stroke engines, such as HKS, Rotax, Geo Metro, VW, Jabiru, and many more," SFS says.

Sport Flying Shop "is now carrying all Stratomaster avionics systems," the company notes.

*See "Industry Watch: Aerial Adventure Introduces Stratomaster Flight Information System," December '01 Ultralight Flying! magazine; and "Flightlines: Lucian Bartosik Supplies Stratomaster Instrumentation to Sonex," July '02 UF! magazine

­ Buzz Chalmers

Info: Sport Flying Shop, 1302 Ocean Park Blvd., Dept. UF, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Phone: (310) 251-7560 * Fax: (310) 396-1044 * e-mail: sales@sportflying .

Ultralight Wing-Walking Act Goes Overseas

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12th Year on Airshow Circuit

Quicksilver MXL II Sport pilot Bob Essell and wing walker Jon Faulkner have been wowing airshow crowds for 12 years with their aerial act. Flying a modified Sport II registered in the Experimental category-Exhibition, Essell says that allows them to use the Sport II for compensation and hire.

On November 1-3, the duo planned to end their twelfth season on the airshow circuit by participating in the Santo Domingo airshow in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. "We had to build a special crate to send our plane by FedEx," says Essell, "The Sport II is already down there, so we'll see how good a packing job we did. We'll perform once a day during the 3-day airshow, which marks the end of our twelfth year of wing walking."


First-Ever "Save" in a Certified Aircraft

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Cirrus Pilot Deploys BRS

BRS marked another milestone on October 3, 2003, when pilot Lionel Morrison, 53, of Dallas, Texas walked away from his Cirrus Design SR22 aircraft following a "severe" loss of control and subsequent deployment of his BRS parachute system. The aircraft touched down in a wooded area near The Gold Club at Castle Hills, a golf course near the Dallas suburb of Lewisville.

While BRS has been "saving" ultralights and Experimental aircraft for years, what makes this event worth noting is that it's the first-ever "save" of a certified aircraft. Made by BRS of South St. Paul, Minnesota, the system was designed for Cirrus Design Corporation of Duluth, Minnesota, who refers to it as CAPS (Cirrus Airframe Parachute System). Cirrus manufactures the SR22 model and also produces the SR20 model and reports more than 500 of their aircraft are flying.

The SR22 and SR20 aircraft are claimed to be highly innovative in a number of ways, including installation of the emergency parachute system. Cirrus is currently the only certified aircraft manufacturer that has chosen to make the parachute standard equipment in all their airplanes, according to BRS.

"This is a very exciting day for BRS," says BRS president and CEO Mark Thomas. "This is why we do what we do (the company has now logged 156 saves), and it confirms the foresight Cirrus had in equipping their planes with our emergency parachute system. That decision has averted a catastrophe and Cirrus is to be applauded for their vision."

The densely packed 55-foot diameter parachute is extracted from the SR22 fuselage by a 1,000 Newton/second solid-fuel rocket motor after the pilot pulls a handle mounted overhead between the pilot and a right seat passenger. The parachute is mounted aft of the baggage area and blasts out a specially prepared opening in the fuselage when launched. Three Kevlar® webbing straps connect the parachute to the airframe and allow it to descend in a flight-level attitude ­ just like it sits when on the ground. The action of deployment is extremely fast and can potentially save the aircraft from as low as 300 to 500 feet (under ideal circumstances), says BRS.

Morrison's deployment occurred at 1,500 to 2,000 feet and the aircraft appears to have fairly limited damage, according to BRS. "The parachute appears to have performed as designed," says Thomas. "The canopy could be seen laid out perfectly on the trees near the downed aircraft, and the airframe attachments were stripped from the fuselage just as engineers planned."

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident and is expected to issue a report.



Questions Raised About Nebulusİ Flotation System

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Answers Given

In the October '02 issue of Ultralight Flying! magazine in "Industry Watch," news about the Nebulus ­ an emergency flotation system for powered parachutes ­ was released.*

Since then, discussions about the best way to "crash-land" into water have circulated in the ultralight community with some resulting possible bad advice. Nebulus manufacturer JTW Associates has released the following info.

"There has been some discussion in the ultralight community regarding water crash landings of powered parachutes," says JTW Associates contact John Weinel. "Recently it was written that a pilot should unbuckle prior to hitting the water so that he or she could dive forward into the water upon impact. In our ongoing crash-testing of the Nebulus flotation device, we found that in each case the powered parachute flipped over immediately upon impact in a spectacular crash. Any pilot not harnessed would have been thrown into the front of the craft and injured or killed.

"Some have also theorized that it is proper procedure to leave the lap belt buckled and undo the shoulder harness [prior to crashing]. We believe this would be equally dangerous, as the crash would propel the pilot's head forward.

"In our crash-testing the powered parachute traveled forward in the water only 5 feet after the rear wheels impacted, and the inertia of the crashing aircraft immediately flipped it over upside down in the water.

"The Nebulus device is designed to be inflated while the powered parachute is still in the air at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 feet. The device slowly inflates a lifting bag capable of supplying temporary emergency flotation for the submerged aircraft, which remains tethered to the lifting bag. The lifting bag holds 9 cubic feet of inflated CO2, and has little effect on flight."

*See "Industry Watch: Buckeye Powered Parachute Test-Crashed into Water," October '02 Ultralight Flying! magazine

Info: JTW Associates, 6950 West 146 St., Suite 110, Dept. UF, Apple Valley, MN 55124.
Phone: (952) 431-6878.

PHASST in Bond Film

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The PHASST ­ designed to carry a paratrooper or skydiver flying in a prone, head forward position ­ has been described as something you wear rather than something you ride. It is contoured to fit the pilot, with the pilot's arms and legs fitting into recesses in the fuselage.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's James Bond on a Kinetic Aerospace PHASST ­ the Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport. PHASST designer Jack McCornack, whose other design credits include the Pterodactyl line of ultralights and numerous powered parachutes, confirmed that the aircraft in the new James Bond movie advertisements and movie trailer were indeed PHASSTs.

"We've been sworn to secrecy since we landed the contract," says McCornack. "That's what we do at Kinetic Aerospace, we do secret stuff. However, with PHASSTs showing up on television, I'd say the cat's out of the bag. So yeah, they're ours."

A story on the PHASST appeared in the September '01 issue of Ultralight Flying! magazine,* but little has been leaked since then. "We even took the photos off the kineticaero Website," McCornack says, "but they'll go back up once the movie is out."

As this issue went to press, Die Another Day, the 20th James Bond film, was slated to be in theaters on November 22. McCornack, who pens the popular "Skywriter" column in Ultralight Flying!, assures us we will have the full story immediately after the release date.

*See "PHASST Makes First Flights," Sept. '01 Ultralight Flying! magazine.

New Internet Site Uses Video

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Flight Safety Information Dispensed

A new dot com company is on its way to the Internet. Called UFlySafe, this Website plans to distribute ultralight safety information in video and text format to the general public for free.

"If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then maybe video is worth 1,000 pictures," says Barbara Chambers, in charge of UFlySafe business operations and marketing. "We don't just write about flight safety, we actually show you."

UFlySafe was born from a perceived lack of free quality flight safety information for ultralight pilots. "There is a lot of great information out there, and we want to pull all that info together in one place," explains Chambers. "Websites are the best way to get all the flight safety issues in one place and out to the public for free." She notes that the UFlySafe staff includes an ultralight flight instructor and an ultralight mechanic. "That's a great combination of knowledge and experience. It's like having your very own flight instructor and mechanic looking over your shoulder, helping you along. You should be able to go back and forth, from your ultralight to the videos on your computer, or to the text files provided, and back to your ultralight."

It is recommended that users have high-speed Internet access such as cable or DSL when visiting the Website. "We recommend this so the user can view the video files in a reasonable length of time," explains Chambers. "Most people have cable TV or a telephone line in their homes already, and it's now very easy to add high-speed cable or DSL Internet access to their existing service. If you are using a regular telephone line connection, you can still print the text files, but the video files will take too long to download."

If you can download the files, you can build your own fight safety digital library consisting of downloaded video and printed text. "There would be HTML text files that accompany each video clip," says Chambers. "After the text files are printed, they could be placed in a 3-ring binder ­ a feature I really like. With all that information right at your fingertips, whenever pilots need information on a particular subject, they can go to their hard-copy resource quickly."

For those pilots who don't have computers, the company will be offering CD-ROMS or DVDs for sale.

Info: UFlySafe. Website: * e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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