Sporty's Product PIREPs

Episode 37. Why eVTOLs are for real and flying the A-10 Warthog, with Beta's Chris Caputo

Chris Caputo spent over 30 years in the Air Force flying A-10s and F-16s, so he might not be the first person you think of when you hear "electric vertical takeoff and landing advocate." But he's a believer, and in this episode he explains why. He also talks about what it's like to fly the Beta Technologies Alia aircraft, why the company is different from other electric aircraft startups, and why cargo may be a better business model than passenger flights. Chris also talks about his Air Force days, including the differences between the A-10 and the F-16, why military training is so valuable for an airline career, and what sound the A-10 gun really makes. In the Ready to Copy segment, he answers whether the last fighter pilot has been born, whether the Boeing 757 or 767 is more fun to fly, and what Air Force airplane he'd most like to fly.

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Sporty's Instrument Rating Flight Sim Training Guide

Complement your Instrument flight training or challenge yourself as a digital pilot with the Instrument Rating Flight Sim Training Guide from Sporty's Pilot Shop. This guide includes an introduction covering how best to use this guide with an at home simulator as well as keyboard shortcuts to help make you a Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 power user. It includes 22 lessons featuring clickable links directing the user to Sporty's Instrument Rating Course to view how a maneuver or approach is executed before digitally flying.

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Fly the ALIA eVTOL in X-Plane 12

Ever wanted to pilot an eVTOL aircraft that has the capability to transition to a pusher propeller? Well now you can with X-Plane 12 and the digital ALIA eVTOL from BETA Technologies. With the latest version of X-Plane 12 the ALIA is included in the fleet of digital aircraft bringin the total to 23. Rated for a 250 nautical mile range and the ability to take off and land on a helipad, you'll quickly find yourself touring areas of your hometown that wouldn't necessarily be approachable from an airplane.

Learn more at Flight Sim Update, our free website packed with tips, videos, and product reviews:

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How to install Sporty's Honeycomb Bravo Profiles with X-Plane 12

The Honeycomb Bravo is one of the most popular flight sim pieces on the market. The challenge is making sure that our hardware configuration is understood by X-Plane 12, which can be a tedious task each time we make a lever change. For that reason, Sporty’s provides preconfigured airplane profiles for X-Plane 12 that will make the transition between different aircraft seamless.

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Episode 36. Learning to fly while YouTube watches, with Kim and Kristoffer from Baron Pilot

Learning to fly is fun and rewarding, but it can also be frustrating and even scary at times—and that's exactly what Kim and Kristoffer from the Baron Pilot YouTube channel wanted to show in their new video series. They talk about the ups and downs of flight training, how much work goes into every YouTube episode, and why they were surprised by viewers' reactions. Kristoffer also explains how he uses his Baron to commute to work and what it's like to fly jets when the weather isn't great. In the Ready to Copy segment, you'll learn the difference between a Mooney and a Beechcraft, the biggest mistake pilots make during flight training, and what their final flights would be.

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Carbon monoxide - what pilots need to know

Cold weather can mean better airplane performance and some beautiful winter sunrises, but it can also mean potential danger from the airplane's heating system. Here's what pilots need to know about carbon monoxide: where it comes from, how to prevent it from entering the cockpit, and what tools are available for detecting it.


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New product recap: third quarter 2022

At the conclusion of every quarter, we like to reflect on some of the more notable products that joined Sporty’s offering. Here are the top ten new products we’re excited to offer to our customers from the third quarter of 2022, from charging accessories to a new training course.

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Episode 35. Understanding aerodynamics and checkride tips, with Catherine Cavagnaro

Catherine Cavagnaro learned aerobatics from legendary instructor Bill Kershner and is a math professor on the side, which gives her a unique perspective on key topics in flight training. She explains what "the back side of the power curve" really means, why takeoffs are an overlooked risk for most pilots, and when you should use flaps on a power-off 180. She also shares her tips as a pilot examiner, including how to handle nerves and whether it's OK to admit "I don't know" on a checkride. In the Ready to Copy segment, Catherine explains the right way to use a sick sack, whether spins should be required for the Private Pilot test, and what geometric topology is.

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Understanding battery maintainers and ground power units

The typical general aviation panel has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Whereas once the top of the line was vacuum-driven “steam gauges” and a couple of NAV/COM radios, today even 60-year old airplanes typically sport moving map GPSs and possibly even integrated glass cockpits. These new avionics make flying safer and easier, but they do add some new responsibilities for the pilot in command. That’s why a ground power unit (GPU) can be so valuable. These increasingly powerful devices make it easy to run your panel without starting the engine, depleting your battery, or running the Hobbs. Here’s how to find the right one for your airplane.



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What aircraft are included in the new X-Plane 12?

The team at Laminar Research has long been working on improving the X-Plane platform and just recently the newest version debuted, X-Plane 12. Everything from wake turbulence produced by wide body aircraft to supersonic flight has been critiqued and fiddled with until it was ready for the community. But what good is a flight simulator if you don’t have great aircraft to fly? Enjoy a quick review of the aircraft changes from X-Plane 11 to X-Plane 12.

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