Home > Aspen installation > First flight (part 1)

First flight (part 1)


As the days passed my good friends at Santa Fe Aero finished up the installation and our first flight checkout quickly approached. Over the previous two or three days, I had been planning my checkout flights. Due to the nature of magnetometer technology I planned several steep turns in both directions, descents and climbs in turns and level to determine the performance. My installation has a Remote Sensor Module (RSM) on the fuselage just behind the passenger compartment and the other well out on the wing. I wondered whether this would cause some difference in the heading in steep turns. I also made preparations for activating my XM weather subscription.

The day before my trip up to Santa Fe Aero I made the call to XM to activate my weather subscription. They had to shuffle me between people to get the right information set up but we finally got it and Santa Fe Aero had what they needed to activate the XM weather. On a Thursday as scheduled Pat Horgan of Santa Fe Aero called me and said they were ready to go. Unfortunately our unusually wet winter in New Mexico did not cooperate and I had to wait until the following Wednesday for the weather to clear. I know this will sound corny but the anticipation was unbearable. I had just become an aircraft owner and I had already become attached to my airplane!

Wednesday morning came and our chief pilot Tom Gray and I took the New Mexico Railrunner train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. On our trip up to Santa Fe there was still snow on the ground from the previous week’s storms. Pat picked us up at the station in Santa Fe and we quickly arrived at Santa Fe Aero’s facility at the airport. After a quick and very good New Mexico lunch complete with the necessary green chile sauce we headed back to the airport. Tom did a quick ground check of the system and I worked out the final agreement on the charges and payment.

My Airplane - ready to fly!

Categories: Aspen installation
  1. March 21, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Hi John- I have followed your company via the internet. I would love to take flying lessons and used the Evolution displays!
    My son is doing a thesis on OLED technology for this Bachelor’s thesis. I am encouraging him to investigate practical and present uses for OLED’s. Is Aspen using them in any way?

  2. March 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for your comments, we look forward to you becoming a pilot and an Aspen Owner some day. I had always wanted to get my pilot’s license but never really got around to it until the last couple of years. I find flying the most challenging and invigorating thing I have done in my life. I would strongly recommend that you take the next step and take some flight lessons. You won’t regret it!

    As far as OLED technology goes, I am pretty familiar with the technology. Several Avionics manufacturers, most notably Rockwell Collins has experimented with this technology. We are not currently looking at it primarily because of the cost of bringing this technology to the market. Current LCD displays have come down so much in price and improved so much in quality that at least for us the timing is not right. We continue to look at this technology for future applications as it is a promising technology in terms of flexibility, and weight savings for aircraft.

    In addition, this technology will require more Research and Development as well as certification work to bring it to the General Aviation Market. I know a writer at Aviation International News, Steve Pope has done a fair amount of investigation of OLED and other display technologies that might be of help for your son. If you go to the following link it will give you a summary of the articles: http://www.ainonline.com/site-search/?cx=009591134958063155495%3Aauagucyqjso&cof=FORID%3A9&q=oled#918

    If that doesn’t work go to their website at http://www.ainonline and search for OLED. Let me know if I can be of any more help thanks

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