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Aviation News

How are Vioxx and Glass Cockpits alike?

In September the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled the prescription pain killer Vioxx off the shelves and last week its chief rival Celebrex was pulled from a clinical trial. It was learned that these two drugs may have dangerous side effects that were previously unknown. The FDA has now come under fire for allowing drugs on the market without completely testing their side effects. Will the FAA have the same problem with new glass cockpit technology in the near future?

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How <i>Does</i> GPS Really Work?

GPS receivers work because of something navigators have known about for hundreds of years, but what actually goes on inside those microprocessors and is it really just as simple as triangulation and ranging?

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Hot Stuff

At last, I was on my own in a retractable-gear airplane. What’s more, this Cessna’s numerical descriptor started with a two, and not just a one! However, I can still remember my apprehension that I’d be stranded in Chapel Hill the first time I flew the 210 to North Carolina from the Maryland suburbs to visit a friend one very warm Sunday, a number of years ago. I’d watched my flight instructor demonstrate the “hot start” procedure for the Centurion’s fuel-injected engine (several times), but I can well remember the feeling that either mechanical intuition or just plain dumb luck was going to be needed in ample quantity, if ever I took this airplane anywhere that was remote or isolated. Unfortunately, that day, the place looked pretty sleepy to me.

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