Fire in the Hole

Were all used to the standard red canister fire extinguisher, often encased behind glass, that we've grown up with at school, work and at home. But the need to put out flames in racecars has brought about a new generation of extinguishers, suitable for aircraft, which offers effective protection in a small and attractive package.

Dan’s World

Columnist Dan Checkoway appreciates the flexibility of owning a homebuilt rather than a certified aircraft. On a recent condition inspection of his RV-7, he detected small cracks in the front spar of the horizontal stabilizer. A week later he was working on replacing it, without any intervention from the FAA.

Light Stuff

Dave Martin introduces us to the Gobosh factory-built Light Sport Aircraft (SLSA) from Poland. Positioned at the luxury end of the LSA spectrum, there are two models: the all-metal G700S and the composite G800 XP, each of which includes standard six-pack instrumentation and leather seats.

Around the Patch

Have you checked your fuel system for leaks lately? Turns out there's a good reason to periodically conduct a thorough investigation. Incipient leaks may go undetected. Worse, when the O-ring on the fuel-selector valve goes bad, it could allow air into the system, which means your engine could misbehave at a most inconvenient time. Often, this malady is difficult to diagnose and the assumption is that the fuel selector is OK when it is not.

What’s New

The new Lancair Evolution flies, and the Aircraft Electronics Association speaks out on ADS-B implementation. The Arlington Fly-In and EAA sign new agreement, and Garmin introduces the GPSMAP 495. Aircrafters LLC is the distributor for a new overhead lighting console.

Designing Minds

You've invested thousands of hours building your airplane, and now its time to pick a paint design that will show off all that hard work to best effect. But how do you go about selecting one of innumerable designs? Susan Brunner offers some tips on not only how to narrow the field, but also how to make sure you get the paint job you envisioned.

Down to Earth

When it came to choosing a kit aircraft to build, columnist Amy Laboda and her husband opted for a metal design, in part because it would be resistant to destruction by lightning strike and also because fatigue is easier to detect in metal than it is in a composite plane. However, new nanotube technology, if integrated into composite construction material, could not only help identify wear problems, but also potentially heal them.

Light Stuff

Heres one instance where the sound of silence (as in no engine noise) wont signal the need to start scoping out a place to set down. The Urban Air motorglider offers a compromise that makes the best of both worlds: fuel-efficient powered cruising and exciting powered-off soaring.

Dan’s World

Sometimes its surprising to see homebuilt aircraft kits languishing in garages or hangars or workshops. Especially the quickbuilds, which raises the question of whether there's something about buying a QB kit that leads to procrastination. Columnist Dan Checkoway ponders the question, looking to his own experience for an answer.

Light Stuff

Now in its fourth year, the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, aka Sebring Expo, continues to grow, and presents a golden opportunity for Light Sport aircraft enthusiasts to see the latest and greatest additions to the category. Jim Lauerman of Avemco Insurance was also on hand to present a forum about insurance for LSAs.

In Case You Missed it

Modern Exterior Aircraft Lighting

It’s your best way of letting other making your presence known to other pilots, so your exterior lighting system deserves careful thought and planning early on in the build process. Fortunately, there are choices for every plane and budget.

All About Avionics

Electrical components ahead of the firewall are crucial to the operation of the engine and aircraft systems. Stein Bruch presents a primer on wiring these vital elements of your electrical system.

Home Shop Machinist

Basic mold making.

Aircraft Wiring

Understanding alternators and voltage regulators. By Marc Ausman.