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What’s Up in Aviation News

What’s Up in Aviation News What’s up in the world of aviation? Here are some of the latest headlines and news bites of particular interest to small aircraft and executive jet pilots, and FBOs.

Massachusetts aerospace company unveils flying car at New York Auto Show. The flying car is no longer science fiction, thanks to a Massachusetts aerospace company called Terrafugia, Inc. At the April New York International Auto Show, Terrafugia Inc. unveiled the Transition®, a two-seater "driving plane" with foldable wings. Apparently, you can fill the Transition with 91 octane at a gas station, drive it on the road to the nearest airport, unfold the wings, perform a preflight check and take off. The Transition is made of high-strength composite material and features GPS, air bags and a vehicle parachute system.
Terrafugia plans to sell the Transition by 2013 for $279,000. While the drivable aircraft is still pending regulatory approvals, about 100 people have placed $10,000 deposits to be the first buyers of the vehicle when available. Terrafugia, which means Latin for "escape the earth," is an aerospace company located in Woburn, Massachusetts and founded by pilots and engineers from MIT.

Garmin Expands European VFR Charts and SafeTaxi Database. In response to requests from European pilots, satellite navigation company Garmin International Inc. has announced that it will expand its electronic coverage of European Visual Flight Rules (VFR) terminal charts and SafeTaxi airport diagrams for specific Garmin products.

Garmin has partnered with Jeppesen® to integrate their European VFR terminal charts into the Garmin Aera 795/796 aviation portables. The database covers more than 2,200 airports in 29 European countries and contains colored visual approach, landing and area charts, as well as sections on general- and country-related regulations, communications, meteorology and more. Pilots with VFR terminal charts on their Garmin portables will now meet the requirement for carrying charts, without having to carry and use heavy paper flight manuals.

Garmin also launched a new European SafeTaxi database which offers pilots geo-referenced airport diagrams for nearly 500 European airports in 15 different countries. SafeTaxi automatically identify runways, taxiways, FBOs and hangars. European pilots will also increase their situational awareness by seeing their exact location on the airfield and their plane move along the taxiway on the navigation screen.

European SafeTaxi is now available as an update option for select Garmin portables, including the GTN 650/750 series and the G3X glass flight display. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is expected to soon approve European Safe Taxi for Garmin’s G500, G600, G500H, G1000, G1000H, G900X, G950, and GMX 200 platforms.

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