The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
OVER, IT'S REALLY OVER
You expect the companies, associations and dignitaries attending
something like the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
convention to be upbeat and positive but there seems to be more
substance behind that sentiment this time around. On the eve of the
big show in Las Vegas, Honeywell released its 2004 Business Aviation Outlook and, in Honeywell's
view, the light at the end of the tunnel should get positively
blinding in the coming year. "Next year, virtually all (bizjet
manufacturers) are increasing production," Honeywell spokesman Jim
Potts told The Wichita Eagle. The NBAA's newly minted president, Ed
Bolen, was a little more circumspect but he clearly agreed with
Honeywell's assessment. More...
SUPERSONIC PLANS ARE UNVEILED...
Although all the major companies have shiny new hardware to show off
and projects to announce, likely the biggest buzz surrounds the plan
by a Reno company to build a supersonic bizjet. As AVweb
reported a few weeks ago, rumors of Aerion Corp.'s ambitious
initiative have been circulating for some time but the official
announcement came Monday in Las Vegas. Fundamental to the development
of the Mach 1.6 aircraft is the acquisition of the rights to "natural
laminar flow" wing design. The wing was developed during the 1990s by
a company called Affordable Supersonic Executive Transport Group
(Asset Group) and tested by NASA and the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA). More...
PARKING PROBLEMS BRING US DOWN TO EARTH
And while those attending NBAA are filled with breathless optimism
about the future of business aviation, there are more than a few
would-be attendees who couldn't make the show because of some problems
with the here and now. Quite simply, Las Vegas' three local
bizjet-capable airports are full. Anyone who hoped to use the
flexibility and versatility that are the hallmarks of business
aviation and fly to the show on the spur of the moment is out of luck.
"There is nothing more useless than a plane and pilot with no airport
access at the other end," said AVweb reader and Citation pilot
Patric Barry, who tried, and failed, to get to the show earlier this
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BOOSTS (FUTURE) PRODUCTION
They're more than a year away from delivering their first airplane but
Eclipse Aviation is already making plans to boost production. The
Albuquerque company announced earlier this week that it plans to hit
the ground running and build 260 planes in its first year of
production (2006) and 880 in its second year, up from 140 and 500,
respectively. Not only will it make quicker work of the 2,100-order
backlog, it also means that if you order an Eclipse today, you'll get
it in February of 2008, instead of September of that year. The company
also announced that it has selected all of its 65 suppliers and is 25
percent through the FAA certification process. More...
ADAM ROLLS OUT FIRST CUSTOMER A500
Meanwhile, Adam Aircraft is also getting ready for full-scale
production of its push/pull piston twin. The first revenue-producing
version of the A500 rolled out of the factory in Englewood, Colo.,
Oct. 10. "Although this is our sixth rollout, it is really special
because it's the first customer airplane," said CEO Rick Adam. The
unidentified buyer can't fly his new plane away just yet, however.
Adam is still awaiting full type certification for the A500, but
that's expected within weeks. Once the FAA stamp of approval is
received, the company intends to shift its 300-member workforce into
high gear and make 40 airplanes in 2005. More...
DIGS INTO PORK BARREL
The horse-trading that characterizes the political game in Washington
has trotted out hundreds of millions in financial perks for GA. In
order to coax senators and representatives into voting for an
unpopular bill aimed at ending export subsidies deemed illegal by the
World Trade Organization, proponents of the legislation offered $137
billion in tax breaks and other concessions for everything from the
tobacco industry to the makers of bows and arrows. GA's political
backers had their hands out, too. Perhaps most notable was the
inclusion of $247 million, over five years, to help out the producers
of business jets and small planes. More...
TO REHIRE 600
Cessna is hiring about 600 workers over the next year as it gets ready
for a return to business as usual. The Wichita-based plane-maker has
laid off thousands of people in the last couple of years but renewed
optimism and a fattened order book have it looking for staff. The
company has so far this year already hired 400 people. In fact,
company marketing VP Roger Whyte is calling the downturn over. He told
The Wichita Eagle that sales have been good for more than a year and
the order backlog is growing. The company is also updating a couple of
its older-model aircraft. More...
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CESSNA KILLS MECHANIC
Authorities are investigating how an airplane mechanic was killed
after an unoccupied Cessna 172 "started on its own" and crashed into
another aircraft at the airport in Grand Junction, Colo. Dana Brewer,
manager of Monument Aircraft Services, said the mechanic, who he
declined to identify, was struck in the chest by the 172's propeller,
which broke off when it hit the other plane. Although the FAA and NTSB
have been notified, airport spokesman Charlie Novinskie said the
incident is being treated as an industrial accident.
STUDENT'S-EYE VIEW OF MEIGS
It's not often that GA topics rate an editorial in the mainstream
press, let alone in a college newspaper, but even the editor of the
Columbia Chronicle, the student newspaper at Chicago's Columbia
College, was moved enough by the ongoing saga of Meigs
Field to put fingers to keyboard. Now, Managing Editor Kristen Menke
doesn't say much that hasn't already been said about the destruction
of Meigs and the FAA's intention to fine the city as much as $4.5
million but she does use it as a launching point for, shall we say, a
broader and more entertaining discussion of Mayor Richard Daley's
management style. More...
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STICK TOGETHER IN CRASH
Two Cessnas became a biplane near Cincinnati on Sunday, but the
results could have been a lot worse. In fact, all three occupants of
the two planes, a 172 and a 152, survived the ensuing crash-landing
with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. Both planes
were reportedly doing touch-and-goes at Cincinnati West Airport when
the landing gear of one of the planes hit the top of the wing of the
other. "They seemed to lock up and flat-spin down to the ground,"
flight instructor Tim Bayne, who witnessed the accident, told the
Cincinnati Inquirer. More...
PILOTS IN ARLINGTON BRACE FOR NASCAR INVASION
Pilots who frequent a Washington State airport known as an incubator
of grass-roots aviation say it's on the verge of losing its innocence.
Arlington Airport (among the first to have
dedicated facilities for ultralights and sure to be a Sport Pilot
hotbed) could soon be filled periodically with the Gulfstreams,
Challengers, Citations and Hawkers of the rich and famous as they
converge on a new NASCAR track planned next door. "Arlington is a
rural, recreational, general aviation airport and that's gonna change
and that's too bad," pilot Bruce Angell told The Seattle Times. In
fact, the proximity of the airport is a key factor in International
Speedway Corp.'s preference for the Arlington site. More...
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F-16 launched flares to get the attention of errant pilot over
Road moved after Maule's aborted
Arrival procedures have been released for AOPA Expo,
Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 in Long Beach. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #42: The Mysterious
The D-side isn't the song on the back of the C-side
record ... it's an air traffic controller who uses brains rather than
eyes to keep track of planes. A data controller can be the best friend
a radar controller (and a pilot) ever had, but due to policy and
personnel changes, D-sides are becoming rare birds. AVweb's Don Brown
explains in this month's "Say Again?" column. More...
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NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want
to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest
someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Would you rather go to a large aviation event, like EAA AirVenture,
the NBAA convention, or AOPA Expo, or read about it online? Plus, see
the (exceptionally large) results of last week's question on
controllers and the impending controller shortage. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Lots of good "POTW" submissions this week, so we're going to keep the
chatter short and get straight to the gawking. Congratulations to Eric
Cobb, who takes home a spiffy new AVweb baseball cap for this week's
winning photo. More...
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