AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 50

December 26, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
Winter Wonderland Woes back to top 

Small Operators Get Ice Relief

The FAA has amended its controversial rule requiring pre-takeoff ice inspections to allow Part 135/125 operators the same flexibility as larger carriers when there is threat of ground contamination by ice and snow. Last year, the FAA enacted a rule that required a visual or tactile inspection of wings and control surfaces within five minutes of takeoff in ground icing conditions. The rule has been amended to allow pilots of aircraft that have been de-iced by an air carrier or approved contractor to apply the same holdover times (the time allowed before the de-icing needs repeating) as larger air carriers. Under the old rule, the five-minute rule applied even if the aircraft was de-iced.

The amendment will reduce the requirement for a sometimes-onerous chore from flight crews, particularly those flying Cessna Caravans and other high-wing aircraft as the only way to fulfill the requirement was to unstrap, climb up and check the top of the wing. The FAA amendment was cheered by the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association, which praised the agency's new manager of Part 135 operations Dennis Pratte for stickhandling the amendment. "His support and enthusiasm for the adoption of a an approved Part 135/125 Ground Deicing/Anti-icing program is greatly appreciated," RACCA said in a statement.

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2008 Promises Flight of the Phenoms back to top 

Phenom Factory Finished

Embraer has completed a 200,000 sq. ft. hangar at Gaviao Peixoto, near Sao Paulo, for final assembly and interior installation on its Phenom 100 and 300 light jets. The state-of-the-art facilities will turn out 120 to 150 Phenoms a year. It will start working on the backlog of 700 Phenoms in 2009. "I am absolutely certain that here, in this hangar, we will write a new and very successful page in the Company’s story," Embraer CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said at the dedication of the building. "This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the executive aviation market."

The first aircraft to come out of the building was the third type-conforming Phenom 100. It flew for the first time Friday. It has the new BMW-designed interior and will be used to test interior functionality and durability. The fourth Phenom 100 is under construction in the same building.

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Chinese ARJ21 Debut back to top 

Chinese Regional Jet Rolled Out

The Shenyang Aircraft Manufacturing company (the same firm that will build Cessna's Light Sport Aircraft) rolled out the first ARJ21 "Flying Phoenix" regional jet on Friday. According to United Press International, the aircraft is the first-ever clean sheet airliner design by the Chinese. A 20-seat business variant is planned but the up and down world of regional airline life is where most of the aircraft will end up. The 90-seat aircraft will fly in March and is expected to eventually take 60 percent of the domestic airline market share from Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier after first deliveries start in 2009. A total of 171 orders are claimed by the manufacturer. But while the Chinese claim it as their own, the Flying Phoenix is more like the rising of a defunct American design.

Shenyang used much of the tooling left over from McDonnell-Douglas's aborted attempt to build MD-90s in China and the "new" airplane has the same cabin cross section and nose as the DC-9 family. The last of the line, the Boeing 717, was built at the original Douglas Long Beach factory in May of 2006. Although the sheet metal may be Chinese, much of what makes it fly is from other countries, including the GE engines and Rockwell avionics. The Russians designed the wing. The plane has a range of about 2,000 nm and cruises at about 500 knots.

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
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More Eclipse 500s = Lower Air Charter Rates? back to top 

Charter, Taxi Rates To Drop?

An online reservation service for people looking for charters and air taxi flights predicts the cost of flying in style will drop in the coming year. Taxijet.com says the announcement that Eclipse Aviation has achieved certification of its Avio NG avionics system should spark the boom the market has been straining to hear. "That means there will be more of the speedy little jets finding their way into air taxi companies all across the country," the company said in a news release. "As more taxijets are placed into service you can expect the prices you pay for aircraft charter to decrease."

The certification of the Avio NG came as Eclipse position holders advanced the company more than $30 million in the form of advanced deposits that were exchanged for guaranteed prices for their aircraft. Eclipse still need flight into known icing certification before the aircraft is fully certified but Taxijet.com remains bullish on the impending flood of little jets to the market. "As the air taxi infrastructure is established over coming months the price of on demand air travel in all aircraft types should come down as well," the company contends. "Private jet charter is not just for the ultra-wealthy anymore."

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
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More Flights for Farnborough? back to top 

TAG Wants Farnborough Restrictions Eased

A week after it bought the airport, TAG is asking the British government to ease restrictions that cap flight operations, particularly on weekends and holidays. The airport is currently restricted to 2,500 weekend and holiday operations a year (the airport is closed on Christmas Day and Dec. 26, the Boxing Day holiday in Britain) but, with the boom in private jet travel, more people want to get away on their own aircraft than ever. "We have significant demand in excess of the 2,500 flights over weekends," TAG Farnborough Brandon O'Reilly told the Sunday Times. "It is an artificial constraint on our operations, and we feel 5,000 would be more appropriate."

The airport is also nearing the cap of 28,000 annual operations but it's willing to absorb the additional weekend business into that total. TAG is also dangling the carrot of increased investment. The company has already built a new terminal and is planning a hotel for next year. It would build more hangars if the weekend restrictions are eased. There are currently 46 aircraft based there. O'Reilly said Farnborough takes pressure off nearby commercial airports and loosening the restrictions will allow them to accept more airliners. The decision is expected soon and and O'Reilly said it would be "very frustrating" if the government said "No."

Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
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The Growing Diesel Engine Market back to top 

Thielert Expands Dealer, Service Networks

In case you're wonder whether this diesel aircraft engine thing is going anywhere, Thielert, which makes the market-leading Centurion 2.0 liter mill announced this week that it now has 250 authorized service centers worldwide. Of those, 58 are in the U.S. and the company is busily training its first "native speaking" U.S. technical representative to ensure customers in that make-or-break market have ready access to service help. He's describes as being well experienced in the industry and will be located in Dallas, where Thielert owns Superior Air Parts.

About 10 percent of the service centers are also Thielert dealers. Jasper Wollfson, who heads up sales and service for the company, says Thielert is closing in on its goal of providing timely and effective service for owners of the Jet A-sipping engines. "Now that we have already ensured local service to a great extent, we will now further reduce the response times of our technical support and also speed up spare parts deliveries by setting up warehouses and expanding production capacities," he said. "All in all, we are entering the new year with considerably improved service."

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Shaken, Not Stirred back to top 

In-Flight Medics Save James Bond

A Scottish company that specializes in providing in-flight medical advice for crew and passengers aboard private jets and airliners, will see its name up in lights again when the next James Bond movie is released. TheFirstCall at the International Centre for Emergency Medicine in Aberdeen has been selected again as advanced medical consultants to the world's most famous spy. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Eon Productions and the rest of the Bond team," said CEO Roderick MacDonald. TheFirstCall was responsible for one of the most dramatic scenes in the last James Bond film. In Casino Royale Bond drinks a poisoned martini during a tense poker game. He staggers to his car where he has an automatic external defibrillator (AED), along with a remote telemedicine connection to his backup team at MI6. He rams a needle in his arm, which indicates that he has been poisoned with digitalis. They instruct him to place defibrillator pads on his chest and inject an antidote into his neck. He is too weak to start up the defibrillator, but fortunately his love interest arrives in the nick of time. The scene resulted from some in-house navel gazing on the future of the leading edge medical technology.

"A couple of years ago we were looking at the future of telemedicine and discussing James Bond and said: 'Wouldn't it be great if he were poisoned and revived?' We sketched out a synopsis and loved the idea so much that we sent it off," Dr. James Ferguson, the leading clinician for TheFirstCall told AVweb.

If You Need a Tax Deduction, This is the Perfect Cause — IRS & FAA Approved!
Build A Plane (BAP) — the non-profit organization helping children learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics by building real airplanes — is in need of aircraft donations. Any aircraft, or aircraft component, is valuable to a high school program. For complete details, call Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321, or click here for the web site.
Help Us Make the News back to top 

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Aviation Consumer, the Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell the Truth
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Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

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

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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