Sporty's Product PIREPs

Oxygen connectors in general aviation aircraft

Some aircraft were manufactured with built-in oxygen systems. These are commonly found in high performance aircraft with turbocharged engines. When these aircraft were made, each manufacturer could pick which connector to use in their system. Portable manufacturers entered the fray and used different connectors. What we are left with is a whole lot of connectors without much consistency. You might think it will take a special decoder ring to figure out what connector you need for your 1972 Cessna T210 (PB-2 for the record), but it doesn’t have to be that hard. There are six main connectors to consider.  

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Ultimate pilot gear guide—Aztec to Florida

Earlier this summer my wife and I flew to the Santa Rosa Beach area along the scenic 30A highway, which is east of Destin, Florida, in a 1963 Piper Aztec. As with any flight, no matter how long or complex, one of the keys to success (and comfort) is preparation. This preparation paid off immensely, as it was one of the more challenging single-pilot IFR flights I’ve flown in recent years, thanks to the need to cross three different weather systems churning between Ohio and Florida. I wanted the best for this flight so I went out on a search for what I considered the ultimate pilot gear, looking for the best combination of quality, convenience and safety features.

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Episode 31: New product successes and failures, with Sporty's Doug Ranly

What are the most revolutionary aviation products of the last 25 years? If you immediately thought of a glass panel or a new airplane, Doug Ranly wants you to think again. As the director of new products at Sporty's Pilot Shop, he's seen a lot of technology come and go, and he believes portable products have the biggest impact because they affect the most pilots. In this gear-focused episode, he names his top four products, shares some less successful inventions, and describes his process for evaluating a new gadget. Doug also talks about his first experience with active noise reduction headsets (in Iraq, not in an airplane), what products he'd like to see invented, and what product he wishes companies would stop inventing. In the Ready to Copy segment, you'll hear why Doug loves the RV-12, his pet peeve about flashlights, and what he learned as a carny.

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Episode 30: Flight sim's early days and modern cross-country flying, with Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams had a front row seat to some exciting developments in flight simulators, working at Microsoft as their program grew from a simple DOS program to a visually stunning virtual world. He offers some practical tips for using a sim for home training (have a plan, don't stress about the controls) and weighs in on the "game vs. simulator" debate. Bruce is also a longtime flight instructor, so he shares his tips for flying long cross-country flights, how to master glass cockpits, and learning aerobatics. In the ready to copy segment, Bruce tells us his favorite preflight weather tools, why pilots should use the autopilot more, and his favorite author.

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Honeycomb Bravo configuration for X-Plane 11

The Honeycomb Bravo throttle is an amazingly capable hardware piece that, once configured correctly, leads the pack in flight sim throttle options. The downside of all these options is that it can be intimidating to program all the commands and levers to operate as we would like. For that reason, the flight simulation department at Sporty’s put together a configuration map for running the Honeycomb Bravo with X-Plane 11. We cover how to configure the throttle for single engine GA, single engine GA complex, multi-engine GA, two-engine jet, and four-engine jet aircraft.

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Episode 29: Oshkosh tips and the experimental aircraft boom, with EAA's Jack Pelton

People come to Oshkosh for the airplanes, but they stay for the people. That's according to EAA Chairman Jack Pelton, who explains why the culture at AirVenture is so unique, why America needs more of this spirit in everyday life, and his favorite place to visit at the big show. He also shares the organization's big plans for the 30th year of the Young Eagles program, why experimental airplanes are so popular right now, and what his top priorities are for the FAA. In the Ready to Copy segment, Jack explains why you can't build a new Cessna 172 for $100,000, shares his favorite vintage airplane, and identifies some underrated aviation museums.

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Sporty's Fly July Celebration: specials, webinars, and new products

During the month of July, Sporty’s will be hosting a celebration of general aviation across our website, social media, at Oshkosh, and at our store in Batavia, Ohio—what we're calling Fly July. The goal is to get out and fly this summer, whether it's to start flight training, get current, or take that big cross country you've been dreaming of. Sporty's has the gear and tools to help you achieve your goals and have fun.

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Visit Sporty's at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022

The world's largest airshow starts July 25, 2022, and as usual Sporty's will be there in a big way. Our main tent is located in Outdoor Space #260, just outside of Exhibit Hangar B, and Sporty's Wright Bros. Collection will be exhibiting inside Hangar B at booth #2109. We'll also be presenting three seminars throughout the week.

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How to log and debrief flights with Sentry Plus

How well did you fly your last traffic pattern or instrument approach? Most pilots will respond with something vague: “pretty good” or “the outcome was never in doubt.” That might be enough for a quick logbook entry, but with some new tools it is now possible to be much more data-driven in your post-flight debriefing sessions. The result is improved pilot skills and safer flights. 

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