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EAA AirVenture Technology

Posted Monday, August 1, 2016 by Jim Ruttler

This past week I flew to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to discover new general aviation technology. While glass panel avionics, noise canceling headsets, and new personal jet designs drew large crowds, there were three innovations that were particularly interesting to me.

The first was the Wing Board. Think wake boarding for the sky where the boat is substituted with a plane. Just strap yourself to the board and grab a tow rope and follow a plane into the sky where you can carve out with absolute freedom. When you are done, just hit the release button and parachute down to the ground. The device has undergone wind tunnel testing, and robotic in-flight testing. The founders are looking for funding to begin in-flight person tests. A video of this intriguing new product can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgXwdz9yZxY.

The second was controllable Instrument Flight Training goggles from Icarus. These goggles are worn and shift from opaque to transparent to simulate moving in and out of the clouds. These replace the permanently opaque glasses that IFR students are accustomed to, which more closely simulates what it is actually like to fly in and out of the clouds. The company is in initial development phase and will be moving soon to production.

The last were augmented reality glasses that provided enhanced flight information called Aero Glass. I wore these glasses while viewing a simulated flight experience. The glasses provided information on buildings we were passing as well as course guidance information. The company hopes to continue development and bring the glasses to market soon. More information can be found at http://glass.aero/.

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