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AND SIKORSKY JOIN FORCES
Sikorsky Aircraft has completed a
minority equity investment agreement with Eclipse Aerospace that was
first announced at NBAA 2010 in October. The deal provides Eclipse with
"some extra investment dollars to work with," Eclipse CEO Mason Holland
told AVweb on Wednesday, but he said the two companies agreed not
to release details of the amount. But even more important, Holland said,
the deal gives his young company access to Sikorsky's established supply
chain, parts-distribution system and engineering talent. The deal will
have "immediate impact" on current Eclipse owners, Holland said, in
enhancing the "strength and support of a global network," but it also
means an "accelerated time frame" for getting the E500 back into
production quickly "as soon as the market demand is there."
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AIRSHIP TO LAUNCH THIS YEAR
Northrop Grumman said this week
it will launch a remotely piloted airship designed for military use
sometime this summer. The airship will be more than 300 feet long and 70
feet tall, and capable of staying aloft for more than three weeks at a
time. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) is designed
for use by the Army as a surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Alan
Metzger, the leader of Northrop Grumman's airship team, said the ship
will be ready for hull inflation in the spring and first flight by
mid-to-late summer. Test flights should be complete by the end of the
year, and in 2012 the LEMV will participate in an Army Joint Military
Utility Assessment in an operational environment. "As you can imagine,
it's a very aggressive schedule to deliver from concept-to-combat in [an
18-month] period," Metzger said. More...
WEEKS TO TAXI" ADDS AMPHIB
Glasair has added an amphibious
version of the Sportsman 2+2 to its "Two Weeks to Taxi" program, which
provides builders with two weeks of support at the Arlington, Wash.,
factory. The company is offering an introductory price of $199,000. The
Sportsman is "a go-anywhere, do-anything airplane, and it's fun to fly,"
says company president Mikael Via. Two kids can ride in back, or the
seats can be quickly removed and provide a roomy space for camping gear,
golf clubs or fishing equipment. The amphibious version provides more
options for backcountry excursions. The amphib has a useful load of 950
pounds, a cruise speed of 110 knots, and a 600-mile range.
Corporate Aviation Is Landing
Explore the latest developments in the U.S. corporate aviation sector.
Debate the future of corporate aviation, discuss the latest developments
in light jets, explore the air taxi market in the U.S., and network with
leading experts as well as business aircraft operators. Meet operators,
manufacturers, consultants, bankers, lawyers, airport executives,
leasing and financing companies, and other senior professionals with an
interest in the development of corporate aviation in the U.S.
PALMER HANGS UP HIS WINGS
At age 81, Arnold Palmer, a pilot
since 1956, has logged nearly 20,000 flight hours and Monday took his
last flight as pilot in command, before voluntarily hanging up his
wings. Palmer has owned 10 aircraft, from an Aero Commander 500 to the
Cessna Citation X he piloted for his final flight. Speaking with Golf
Digest, Palmer said he would continue flying, just not in the cockpit.
"Flying has been one of the great things in my life," Palmer said. "It's
taken me to the far corners of the world. I met thousands of people I
otherwise wouldn't have met. And I even got to play a little golf along
the way." In October, 2010, Palmer was chosen by the FAA in the company
of six others, including Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, to receive a
Wright Brothers Master Pilot Certificate. The certificate recognizes 50
or more consecutive years of safe flight operations and is not Palmer's
only distinct achievement in aviation. More...
H. KAMAN DIES AT 91
Charles Kaman is credited with
introducing the first turbine-powered helicopter in 1951, and the first
remote-controlled helicopter in 1957; he died Monday at age 91, leaving
a much longer list for his lifetime of achievements. To build
helicopters, Kaman founded a corporation that shared his name. Its H-43
Husky earned the distinction during the Korean conflict and Vietnam war
of flying more rescue missions than all other aircraft combined,
according to the Air Mobility Command museum. The company's SH-2
Seasprite amassed roughly 1.5 million hours in service with the Navy.
Kaman's work earned him the National Aeronautical Society's Wright
Brothers Award Trophy and the U.S Department of Defense Distinguished
Public Service Medal. He has been inducted into the National Museum of
Naval Aviation's Hall of Honor, among other distinctions. Kaman's work
wasn't limited to aviation. More...
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FIGHTER, OR "TOP GUN" CLIP?
A news video produced by CCTV, China's state broadcaster,
purports to show a missile shot by a Chinese J-10 destroying another jet
during an air force drill, but in fact the clip appears to be from the
movie "Top Gun," according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's side-by-side
comparison of the clips shows them to be virtually identical. A Web user
named Liu Yi first posted the questionable clips, which were later
compiled by the WSJ. The video has been taken down by the Chinese news
site, but CCTV has not commented on the incident, according to the Toronto Star. More...
OF THE BIZJET MARKET HEALTHY
In case there was any doubt that
the upper end of the bizjet market is healthy, Airbus announced Tuesday
that it delivered 15 corporate aircraft last year and took orders for
eight more. Granted, 13 of the 15 delivered were low-end A318s and
A320s, but a couple of widebody A330 and A340 aircraft also went out the
door. The total value was more than $1.5 billion. "Like our airliner
business, the market for our corporate jets is worldwide and growing, as
more and more customers recognise the greater capability, benefits and
value that we offer, when compared with traditional business jets," said
COO John Leahy. Bombardier recently inked a deal for eight of its
largest corporate airplanes and Boeing reported healthy numbers in that
league, too. Embraer and Gulfstream are also riding a surge in high-end
business. The uptick at the top of the market also figures in the
business of suppliers that cater to it and True North Avionics is just
one example. More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
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AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry
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OF THE WEEK: TACAIR (KAMA, AMARILLO, TX)
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to TacAir at
Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (KAMA) in Amarillo,
AVweb reader Kenneth Oden tells us what
happened when a short fuel stop turned into a potentially disastrous
Our passengers were
flying back from a Christmas holiday with a new two-month-old baby boy
and didn't want to subject him to an 18-hour drive to Grandma's house.
Our stop turned into an overnight stay when weather at the destination
went far below our jet's minimums. The good folks at TacAir found us a
nice hotel in town and arranged for transportation. The following
morning, our cold, soaked Eclipse would not accept the local GPU and did
not have enough battery power to start on its own. The linemen at TacAir
towed us across the field to another hangar with a different GPU. Long
story short: we would still be stuck if it weren't for Mike Ryan's team.
Our hats are off to this professional team that worked on our problem
for over an hour when there were several other flights leaving at the
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
OF THE WEEK: SOMETHING NEW FOR THE NEW YEAR
week, we're making some changes to our regular "Picture of the Week"
feature and we think you'll like them. For starters, the
slideshow on AVweb's home page is retiring. Over the last four
years, the slideshow has brought you over 2,500 bonus pics that wouldn't
fit into our five-pics-a-week story format but, going forward,
we'll be cramming all of those bonus pics into the reformatted "POTW"
column each week. That means the next 2,500 bonus pics won't disappear
beneath the waves of time but will remain archived on AVweb.com,
available via our site search just like everything else in our massive
15-year-old collection of news and feature stories. We'll also be
sharing more of the comments from our submitters including the
camera specs and airplane details that sometimes got left out in our old
"POTW" presentation. What you won't get is as much editorial yapping; ye
olde "POTW" editor will be keeping his trap shut and spending more time
picking out great photos to share with you in each week's gallery.
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a weekly
summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events
featured on AVweb, the
internet's aviation magazine and news service.
AVwebFlash team is:
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
Comments or questions
about the news should be sent
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...