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Volume 12, Number 42
Special NBAA Coverage Issue 1 of 2

October 17, 2006
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An Introduction to the NBAA Convention ...back to top 


click for a list of
AVweb sponsors at the show

The annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention is many things to many people. Depending on your interests and industry involvement, it can be the best venue at which to renew old acquaintances and start fresh ones. It can be a place for writing large checks or engaging in "one of these days" tire kicking. It can also be the place to learn more about what makes business aviation tick, for peering over the next product-development horizon or learning from the experts on how to get into and thrive (or at least not drown) in this industry. Regardless of your reason for being at NBAA -- or your excuse for missing it -- year after year, the show delivers and demonstrates why it has no substitute. More...

The 20th annual forecast from avionics and engine manufacturer Honeywell points toward upbeat purchase expectations for business jets over the next 10 years, especially from international customers. While demand from North America will continue to be robust, demand is growing fastest in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. According to the forecast, record deliveries are projected for 2006 and 2007, and the crystal ball shows a strong long-term outlook with an expected 12,000 bizjets worth $195 billion to be delivered by 2016. More...

Adam Aircraft Designs & Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston Twin
Adam Aircraft's A700 features twin Williams FJ-33 engines, state-of-the-art avionics, and comfortable seating for eight (or seven with an aft lavatory). The A700 is currently undergoing flight test and development. Adam Aircraft's A500 centerline piston twin has been Type Certified by the FAA and offers superior safety, range, and performance, along with the pressurized comfort of a roomy six-seat interior. For complete details on both aircraft, go online.
VLJ News the Top Order of Business This Yearback to top 

Cessna once again brought its machine-like product development to NBAA. The company is announcing two completely new jets, detailing significant upgrades to an existing one and tantalizing attendees with talk -- and a mockup -- of a to-be-determined large cabin concept aircraft. All of which, of course, follows last week's first (official) flight of the company's light sport offering and this summer's Oshkosh flyby of its next-generation piston single. Building on its wildly successful CJ series, Cessna this week said it would field the CJ4, an eight-passenger, Williams International FJ44-4A-powered bizjet supported by a moderately swept wing. First flight is expected in the first half of 2008, with service entry two years later.

Meanwhile, Cessna also debuted the Citation XLS+, further refining the original Citation Excel and its successor, the Citation XLS. This latest version includes a Collins Pro Line 21 panel with satellite-based XM weather, FADEC-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545C engines and a host of interior and exterior refinements. More...

If any one word could sum up where Eclipse Aviation finds itself at this year's show, it might be "reinvention." In a few years, the company transformed itself from a start-up investing heavily in research into a product-development firm, achieving its goal of an FAA-certified very light jet (VLJ) on Sept. 30. Even before that milestone, however, Eclipse was working to shift its focus into mass production. Now, even though some certification hurdles of the fine-tuning kind remain, the challenge is to actually make the things. And, since president and CEO Vern Raburn expects his company to have built a whopping 525 copies of the Eclipse 500 by the end of 2007, the company is hard at work not only cutting metal but ensuring its customers are well cared-for. Evidence includes the addition of Kenneth McNamara to Eclipse's executive team as the new vice president of customer and products support, naming a service center location in Southern California and breaking ground in Albany, N.Y., for its Northeast customer outreach facility. More...

Despite the crash of its Spectrum 33 prototype in late July, Spectrum Aeronautical has not only vowed to continue the aircraft program but yesterday revealed it also is developing a new midsize business twinjet called the Freedom S-40. The 2,050-pound-thrust GE Honda HF120, a derivative of the HondaJet’s HF118 engine, will power the all-composite midsize jet. The Freedom is Spectrum’s second model and is considerably larger than the $3.65 million Spectrum 33, which has been rebranded as the Independence S-33. More...

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What's New in the Cabinback to top 

Avidyne yesterday introduced the Envision integrated flight deck series for retrofit installation in most general aviation aircraft. Envision, which integrates an Avidyne EXP5000 primary flight display (PFD) and an Avidyne EX5000 multifunction display (MFD), interfaces to many existing autopilot, GPS, traffic, terrain, lightning, radar and other systems. Owners can opt for one or two PFDs or MFDs, depending on the aircraft, budget and/or mission. The first installation of the Envision integrated flight deck is the Alliant system for King Air 200s. Produced in cooperation with S-TEC, the Alliant system features dual PFDs, an EX500 MFD and the S-TEC IntelliFlight 2100 digital autopilot. The King Air Alliant system costs about $170,000 (not including installation), with the S-TEC flight control system accounting for about $70,000 of that total. More...

Raytheon Aircraft yesterday announced that it is broadening its Hawker product line by launching two derivatives of the Hawker 850XP: the Hawker 750 and Hawker 900XP. Both models retain their predecessor’s Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system and will supercede the Hawker 850XP when they enter service in the fourth quarter next year. The Wichita aircraft manufacturer said the light-midsize, $11.95 million Hawker 750 will compete with the $11 to $12 million Citation XLS+ and Learjet 45XR. The 750 is a Hawker 850XP minus winglets and the ventral fuel tank, reducing range to 2,100 nm but adding more aft-fuselage baggage space. To make the under-$12 million price point, Raytheon said the 750’s cabin will have Hawker 400XP interior styling and come with limited customer options. The manufacturer expects the airplane to appeal most to European operators. More...

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More Jet Newsback to top 

Like Eclipse, Adam Aircraft comes to Orlando with a mostly certified aircraft and big plans for the future. The company's A500 push-me/pull-you piston twin earned its full certification on Sept. 29, but with an asterisk involving operational altitudes. Soon that remaining hurdle will have been leapt and it, too, can concentrate fully on manufacturing. Unlike Eclipse -- at least for the time being -- Adam is also throttles-to-the-stops on developing its A700 AdamJet, a twin-boom VLJ. With two examples of the AdamJet pulling duty in certification test flying and a third undergoing final assembly, the company is clearly hard at work. As a reward for all its efforts, Adam's order backlog now stands at $855 million and this week formally signed a sales agreement with Magnum Jet for up to 101 airframes. More...

Aerion Corp. is continuing work on its supersonic business jet (SSBJ), but the pace is not quite as fast as the Mach 1.6 its twinjet is expected to achieve. The company spent the earlier part of this year validating its performance projections for its SSBJ and refining its business case. Brian Barents, Aerion’s vice chairman, said he is “very encouraged” by the progress made over the past year and still expects to sign up consortium partners by the middle of next year. This year Aerion has optimized the SSBJ design, begun to validate the natural laminar-flow wing via rocket sled tests, defined the aircraft’s systems and engaged the FAA about certification issues. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by AVwebBiz and AVwebFlash editors Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside (bio) and Chad Trautvetter.

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