Goodies and Gadgets - March 2012

The Third Rail Portable Charging System

The Third Rail System is the world’s thinnest battery-enabled protective case that allows you to add extra power when you need it, and remove it when you don’t. The extra Smart Batteries can also be used to charge 100s devices.
 Initially for the iPhone 4/4S, the Third Rail System is comprised of a protective case (Slim Case) and a universal, removable battery (Smart Battery). The Smart Battery can be connected to the Slim Case when power is needed, and removed when it isn’t. It can also serve as a stand-alone universal charger for other devices.
Functioning as a protective case, a power case, a portable external charger and a power hub for charging multiple devices at one time, this universal power system replaces all existing charging accessories.  
Available at Airport Wireless, Techshowcase, select Inmotion store, and 855/3RD-RAIL.


Rain B Gon

Rain B Gon is a rain repellent, which will dramatically improve your wet weather flying, riding or driving visibility, whether in rain, sleet or snow. Rain B Gon rain repellent is a hydrophobic coating technology that forms a chemical bond and causes the raindrops to bead up and blow away from the windshield.
This new innovative technology is designed especially for plastic Acrylic and Lexan windshields, and has no alcohol which can harm plastic. It is safe to use on glass windshields also, for cars, RV’s, boats and trucks. It can be applied on painted surfaces, and aids in easy removal of salt, ice, frost, insects and mud.
Rain B Gon is available through Aircraft Spruce and can be found at For more information, please contact Aircraft Spruce at 877/477-7823 and reference part number 09-03487.


Motorcycles Take Flight

MotoPOD LLC has developed a motorcycle loading system for personal airplanes. A patent-pending collection of ramps and fixtures allows the pilot to load and secure a street-legal motorcycle while a built-in winch system, powered by a cordless drill, does all the work. After landing, it takes just a few minutes to remove the motorcycle and ride away in James Bond-style.
 Why carry a motorcycle? Most of the country’s 5,400 small airports don’t have ground transportation services. That’s a really big problem for personal aviation… or at least it was. By carrying a motorcycle, pilots can enjoy convenient ground transportation at every stop. MotoPOD customers travel more freely, visit new places and explore their destinations.
MotoPOD LLC President, David Shelton, says, “We’re trying to support a paradigm shift and change the way in which people use airplanes. Integrated air plus ground transportation achieves more of the utility that we demand from our automobiles and provides more places to go and things to do. What percent of every-day destinations just happen to be fly-in destinations? To a motorcycle pilot, they are all “fly-in” destinations.”
Tool or toy? MotoPOD says both. Mike Thornton of Texas, flies his Cherokee 6 for business, landing at small airports to quote jobs. He currently keeps old cars at several airports that he visits frequently, soon to be replaced by his MotoLOAD system. Steve Reed of Wisconsin, is looking forward to “the freedom of flying wherever I wish, whenever I wish, without worrying about ground transportation.”
MotoLOAD is manufactured from welded aluminum tubing and the entire system may be inserted or removed from an airplane in seconds. After loading the motorcycle into a wheeled “sled,” it’s tipped onto one side, then winched into the aircraft cabin. Once inside, additional fixtures guide the motorcycle into position and the entire package is secured with seatbelts.
Products are currently available for the popular Piper PA-32/34 series airplanes and the company has hinted that other models are on the way. It’s designed to haul the MotoCYCLE, a custom aviation motorcycle with folding handlebars, no-spill plumbing and other features. MotoCYCLE is lightweight, street-legal and provides highway performance for two. Complete packages cost less than $15,000; around the average price for a Harley-Davidson. It’s a little quieter in the rumble department but it can do what other motorcycles can’t… fly.   
For more information contact David Shelton at 847/651-4373 or visit


Goodies and Gadgets - February 2012

Something New for the Flying Community

Aviation Supplies at the Palo Alto Airport will donate $2.25 from every Aviator’s Pilot Tote sold to help feed the hungry. Buy one today at the store or online at (Photo courtesy Aviation Supplies)Aviation Supplies, operating out of the City of Palo Alto, Calif., Airport is owned and operated by Bob Walls who has thought of a system whereby he, along with his customers, and aviators throughout this great nation can be of help in feeding malnourished people. Bob has invested in having made what he has called the “Aviator’s Pilot Tote.” It’s made of an extremely versatile vegetable fiber known for its strength and durability. Jute fiber is 100 percent bio-degradable, reusable, renewable, safe to dispose in landfill, recyclable and thus environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, the plastic totes that are given to us by the food industry are made of petroleum-based material and do not decompose. We find them flying around on our freeways, clinging to fences along America’s roadways and floating in our beautiful rivers and oceans. Jute is the answer in helping to clean our home – planet Earth!

The Aviator’s Pilot Tote measures 17-inches wide by 18-inches high, has twin handles and is printed on both sides (in green) with the words “Aviator’s Pilot Tote.” It can handle a 28-pound load.

Fly in or drive in to Aviation Supplies, or visit to purchase an Aviator’s Pilot Tote for $4.95 and Aviation Supplies will donate $2.25 of the purchase toward feeding malnourished people.

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Goodies and Gadgets - December 2011

EI Commander Ignition Controllers

EICommander is the leader in ignition monitoring and tuning for experimental aircraft.

The EIectronic Ignition Commander provides a pilot flying with the P-mag electronic ignition from Emag Electronic Ignitions the ability to monitor the condition of their ignition, adjust the ignition in flight to suit fuel and flight requirements, and minimize fuel consumption while reducing emissions.

With the ability to notify the pilot of a failed ignition component, such as a broken spark plug wire, miss-timed ignition, or worn magneto gear, the EICommander is to your ignition system what an EMS is to your engine.  Since the EICommander has been in use, it has alerted users to anomalous ignition conditions - which could have led to problems if left undetected and uncorrected.

The EICommander comes in two formats, both with sunlight readable organic LED displays; a round 2-1/4 inch (5.715 cm) bezel which fits a standard instrument hole and a 3-inch (75 cm) wide by 1-9/16 inch (4 cm) rectangular EFIS display format this is more common in today’s modern instrument panel.  At less than three ounces installed, the EICommander is a weight penalty that any safety conscious pilot will accept. 

The ElCommander is available through Aircraft Spruce and can be found on their website at For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 1-877/477-7823 and reference part number 11-10041 for the 2 -1/4 inch Standard Instrument Display or part number 11-10042 for the Rectangular EFIS Display.

The Shure-Step

The Shure-Step II is a 10-inch-high step stool that will not tip or slip during use for aircraft maintenance.  The top surface of the Shure-Step II is very rough, to keep mechanics safe during aircraft maintenance.  This step stool is rated for 500 pounds yet only weighs 10 pounds. Six large rubber pads on the bottom of the Shure-Step II prevent the step from scratching the paint on an aircraft, and ice cleats keep the step from sliding during icy winter conditions. 

The Shure-Step II is available through Aircraft Spruce and can be found on their website at For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 1-877/477-7823 and reference part number 13-11219.



Goodies and Gadgets - October 2011

Get  iPAD Freedom with MyClip

More and more pilots are incorporating the versatile iPad in with their flying. The only problem is, where do you put the iPad during a cross country flight? MyClip has come up with a practical solution that turns the computer into a kneeboard. This allows hands-free operation while airborne while making it easier to type or change screens. It also secures the iPad when working on tables or other slippery surfaces.

The unit is also designed to work with the HP Slate, the Galaxy Tab, the XOOM and the Acer Tablet. When introduced this past summer at AirVenture, more than 400 pilots purchased copies of the MyClip accessory.

Wicks Aircraft Supply has the units in stock and is selling them for $39.95. To order a MyClip, visit or call 800/221-9425.


PropPastie Spinner Cover

 PropPastie is a new style spinner cover, designed to minimize snow, ice, and water from lying on your propeller hub and bearings and freezing inside your spinner. It fits all light aircraft.

The proper way to position a propeller in the winter is to have a blade vertical on the bottom to allow water to drain.  However, this will allow water, snow and ice to sit on your propeller hub and bearings. This could have disastrous effects should any water leak into your propeller hub.  Without PropPastie, blowing snow also could end up inside your spinner and cause a detrimental imbalance. 

PropPastie will protect your controllable pitch propeller hub and bearings from water and ice and protect your engine and airframe from vibration caused by snow and ice in the spinner.

Made in the USA with the highest quality UV-stabilized materials, it is designed to withstand all but the most extreme temperatures and has remained in position in testing, in up to 51 mph. gusts.  The material selected stiffens in cold temperatures.  This in combination with Velcro holds PropPastie in place. 

PropPastie can be purchased at Aircraft Spruce. For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-477-7823 and reference part number 13-10282, or visit


Garmin Unveils the aera 796 and 795 Portable Touchscreen Aviation Navigators with 3D Vision

Garmin International Inc., has announced the aera 796 and aera 795, a new series of portable aviation navigation devices. As Garmin’s new flagship portable aviation product, the aera 796 incorporates the popular features of the GPSMAP 696, while also adding new capabilities such as a touchscreen user interface, pilot-selectable screen orientation and 3D Vision. The aera 796 also takes the pilot one step closer to a paperless cockpit with a digital document viewer, scratch pad and pre-loaded geo-referenced AeroNav IFR and VFR enroute charts. The aera 796 and 795 was on display and available for purchase at the AOPA Aviation Summit.

“Pilots continue to embrace touchscreen in the cockpit because they see how much faster and easier it is to access information while in flight,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. “Not only does the aera 796 have the increasingly popular touchscreen user interface, but it is so robust with features and capabilities that only a dedicated aviation device can offer. With everything from 3D Vision to electronic charts and weather data, it’s almost like having a glass cockpit that you can fit in your flight bag.”

The aera 796 has a high-resolution, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display that can be viewed in portrait or landscape mode. The physical design has been optimized to fit on the yoke and is sized perfectly as a knee-mounted device. There are four touch keys on the bezel of the unit representing “Back,” “Menu,” “Direct-To,” and “Nearest” for quick navigation to frequently used functions. And because the aera 796 is customizable, the user can pick favorite features or pages to anchor as icons along the bottom of the screen for faster access. The display has large, finger-touchable icons with intuitive pictures and labels to indicate their function such as: map, terrain, 3D Vision, WPT info, FPL list, active FPL, numbers, doc viewer, charts, weather, SiriusXM and tools. Pilots can choose any of these functions by simply touching the appropriate icon. The touchscreen interface also allows the pilot to quickly pan across the map and pinch zoom.

The aera 796 features 3D Vision, a unique 3D view of database-generated terrain. 3D Vision uses GPS position and the terrain-alerting database to recreate a behind-the-aircraft perspective view of the topographic landscape.

 North American customers that do not require XM WX Satellite Weather and SiriusXM Radio, may be interested in the aera 795 Americas that has identical features to the aera 796 except that it is not XM capable.

The aera 796 and 795 are available immediately for an expected street price of $2,499 and $2,199, respectively.




Goodies and Gadgets - August 2011

Burt Rutan’s Race to Space

The Magician of Mojave and His Flying Innovations

Written by Dan Linehan

Years ago, Burt Rutan told a reporter for Popular Mechanics, “If we make a courageous decision like the goal and program we kicked off for Apollo in 1961, we will see our children or grandchildren in outposts on other planets.” Legendary science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clark would later recall Rutan’s quote in a piece he wrote about SpaceShipOne and comment, “Fortunately, we need not rely solely on governments for expanding humanity’s presence beyond the Earth.”

Burt Rutan’s Race to Space, written by Dan Linehan with a forward by Mike Melvill, showcases Rutan’s herculean efforts to do just that. Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum displays his most celebrated achievements, including SpaceShipOne, which won the coveted $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight; Voyager, which hangs with SpaceShipOne in the Milestones of Flight gallery; the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer; and the VariEze. His many aerospace innovations preceding his most recently conceived designs, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo, chronicle a progressive, step-by-step attempt to break barriers with engineering know-how and a wondrous imagination, all the while remaining on the forefront of the burgeoning private spaceflight industry. Rutan’s X Prize triumph and subsequent spacecraft designs are not a beginning, nor an end, but are steps in Burt Rutan’s continuing adventure to expand humanity’s presence beyond the Earth and into space.

This hardcover book’s 160 pages are filled with a combined 225 illustrations and photographs that add to the amazing story of one man’s vision. This new book is available for $30 at or

Sennheiser’s New S1 Headset

The Sennheiser S1 Digital aviation headset is designed to give you maximum control over noise levels in the cockpit, so you can focus on the joy of flying. At the push of a button, the S1’s exclusive NoiseGard digital technology accurately analyzes the cockpit’s noise levels to achieve superior noise cancellation during all phases of flight – from take-off to landing.  This headset comes with standard dual GA plugs for fixed wing aircraft.

The S1 has an introductory price of $995 (MSRP $1095), and Aircraft Spruce offers free shipping on this headset (normal free shipping rules apply). For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 877/477-7823 and reference part number 11-09919.

The New Beyerdynamic HS 800 Digital Headset

The HS 800 Digital is a closed-back aviation headset. The innovative DANR system (Digital Adaptive Noise Reduction) provides an extraordinary effective active ambient noise attenuation. The headphone features a very high reproduction precision and a balanced sound. Another special feature is the wide frequency response of 5 - 30,000 Hz. The soft, circumaural leather ear pads filled with viscoelastic foam and the adjustable padded headband provide a high level of comfort. The microphone with adjustable gain can be optimally positioned with the flexible gooseneck to ensure a high gain before feedback and noise cancellation. The rotating microphone holder allows positioning the microphone on the right or left hand side.

The connecting cable is single-sided. The connecting cable provides an audio box to adjust the volume of the headphone and to connect a mobile phone, music player (e.g. CD or MP3 player) or iPhone. If signals from the intercom occur, the volume of the mobile phone or music player can be reduced automatically. This auto mute function can be deactivated.  The HS 800 Digital includes three pairs of silicon ear pads in different sizes and a soft storage case. 

These earphones start at $799 and can be purchased at For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 877/477-7823.


New Tie-Down Kit

These spiral anchors are lightweight and versatile.  The folding ring reduces profile to minimize obstruction in high traffic areas. Bright orange color powder coating resists corrosion and helps provide added visibility. These tie-downs are manufactured from strong, durable cold rolled steel and they are powder coated for long life and weather resistance.  The spear end of the anchor allows for easy installation into all soil types and provides a high pull force performance of up to 500 pounds per anchor. 

 This kit includes three 16” corkscrew tie-down anchors, one 3/8” nylon tie-down rope, and one tie-down bag - complete with a manual including installation instructions all for $59.95.  For more information, contact Aircraft Spruce at 877/477-7823 and reference part number 13-09652 for the 16” kit.

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