19 April 2016

Book Review - World Directory of Light Aviation

  • World Directory of Light Aviation
  • by Willi Tacke (Publisher), et al
  • Published by Flying-Pages Europe SARL, Flying Pages GmbH
  • 210 X 297 mm, A4 magazine format, perfect binding
  • 282 pages, including an index
  • US$16.99

The World Directory of Light Aviation (WDLA) is more of a magazine format directory than a true book, but if you are shopping for a new aircraft, engine or avionics, or are just interested in what is new in aviation, then, regardless of format, this publication is essential.

The WDLA has been an annual publication for some years now and was originally called the World Directory of Leisure Aviation, but it grew too big and was split into two separate publications, the World Directory of Light Aviation, which covers mostly powered aviation and the World Directory of Free Flight (WDFF), which covers paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders, powered parachutes and other forms of foot-launched and related flight.

The WDLA is published by a large team of writers and researchers working in conjunction with the publisher, Flying Pages Europe. There are four separate editions published in English, French, German and Chinese.

The publication has listings for over 1000 aircraft, a quite remarkable number, illustrating the global scope of the publication. The WDLA is advertiser-supported and the pages feature aviation ads from many of the leading manufacturers. I didn't see any ads from non-aviation advertisers.

The WDLA is divided into a number of chapters, each with their own tab colour for quick flipping:

  • Red tab - Fixed Wings/LSA, edited by Marino Boric, covers European microlights, light-sport aircraft and advanced ultralights
  • Orange tab - Homebuilts, edited by Roy Besswenger and Marino Boric, covers homebuilts including plans-built and kit-builts
  • Mauve tab - Certified aircraft, edited by Dave Unwin and Marino Boric, covers certified production aircraft
  • Light blue tab - UL Motorgliders, edited by Marino Boric, covers ultralight gliders and powered gliders
  • Light blue tab - Certified motorgliders, edited by Xin Gou, covers powered and unpowered gliders
  • Dark purple tab - Gyroplanes, edited by Werner Pfaendler, covers manufactured and kit gyroplanes
  • Light Purple tab - Helicopters, edited by Werner Pfaendler, covers kit and certified helicopters
  • Dark blue tab - Trikes, edited by Dimitri Delemarle, covers hang glider-winged ultralight trikes
  • Green tab - Instruments, edited by Robby Bayerl, covers aircraft instruments of all kinds
  • Periwinkle tab - Motors, covers all the aircraft powerplants available, in table format for quick comparisons, with a special section for electric powerplants
  • Sky blue tab - Suppliers and Services, listing manufacturers of everything for aviation from floats, helmets, propellers, radios, rescue parachutes, wheels and tires, plus a list of importers for each brand. Finally there is an index of manufacturers, aircraft and advertisers

There are introductory articles to the publication overall, describing current trends in aviation, plus also introductions for each aircraft section, with more detail on what is new in the world of LSAs, gyroplanes, helicopters, etc.

The aircraft sections feature five entries per page in a standardized "box" format. Each entry provides a photo, a text description of the aircraft and its manufacturer, its regulatory category, the manufacturer's contact information and website, basic specifications, such as empty weight, gross weight, wing span, fuel tank size, engine, horsepower, seats, maximum speed, cruising speed, stall speed, climb rate, certification and prices. Since this is a European publication, the specifications are in metric. The prices are for the country of origin and thus may be in US dollars, pounds sterling or Euros.

The WDLA is affiliated with and carries the logos of Flying China, Vol Moteur, Flugel das magazin, Powered Sport Flying, The British Microlight Aircraft Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Paramoteur+ and Parapente+.

New editions of the WDLA and its sister publication, WDFF, come out each year, in updated form. They can be found on the shelves of some Canadian aviation booksellers and magazine stands, but they can also be ordered directly from the publisher's website.

Overall the WDLA is a great publication that will appeal to the the aircraft shopper, but also to anyone who wants to keep up with what is happening in the world of general and recreational aviation. It will also appeal to aviation enthusiasts, both young and older, just the thing to curl up with in a quiet chair on a low-IFR day!

External link

No comments: