AVwebBiz - Volume 6, Number 11

March 12, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
FAA's Latest Safety-Through-Technology Rule back to top 

Flight/Voice Recorder Rule Enacted

The FAA has issued a final rule that will require aircraft and helicopters built after Mar. 7, 2010, with 10 or more seats to be equipped with enhanced voice and flight data recorders. Under the rule, voice recorders will have an audio loop at least two hours long instead of the current 15 to 30 minutes and there will have to be an independent power source to keep the recorder running for 9 to 11 minutes after all aircraft power is lost or interrupted. Magnetic tape is also banned and all recorders must use digital storage. Flight data recorders will have to sample more data (including pilot inputs and control-surface movements) more often and retain 25 hours of data.

Ironically, it’s the relative safety of air travel that’s being used to justify the equipment upgrade. “Because this is the safest period in aviation history, we now have to be able to analyze each accident in greater detail,” said FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. “These enhancements will give us more information about the causes of accidents and find ways to avoid them in the future.” While the rule affects all new aircraft made after March 7, 2010, fixed-wing aircraft of this size operated commercially (Parts 121, 125 and 135) will have to be retrofitted with some new equipment by March 7, 2012.

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New Details on Cessna Columbus back to top 

Columbus To Be Fly-By-Wire

Cessna has announced that Parker Aerospace will supply the “hybrid fly-by-wire” control system in its new intercontinental Columbus 850 business jet. Cessna developed the system, which uses hydraulic actuators to move control surfaces based on electrical commands generated by pilot and avionics inputs. The system will work on the roll, pitch and yaw axes as well as secondary control systems including high lift, stabilizer rim and speed brakes. “This technology supports enhanced aircraft performance by allowing improved pilot handling and ride quality,” Parker Aerospace said in a news release.

Parker says the system will save weight, cut maintenance and improve reliability in the big jet, which is Cessna’s first foray into the ultra-long-range luxury market. Washington State electric-power-generation equipment manufacturer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories recently ordered two Columbuses. Cessna says it has “a number” of orders for the jet but hasn’t confirmed any figures.

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Q400s Far from Finished at SAS Europe back to top 

SAS, Bombardier Seal Jet, Turboprop Deal

A few months ago, SAS, one of Europe’s major airlines, announced it was grounding its fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops because it said its customers had safety concerns following three landing-gear emergencies. Tuesday, the airline announced it was buying 27 (with options for more) new Bombardier aircraft, including 14 new model Q400s and 13 CRJ900s. The change of heart has something to do with a deal reached between the planemaker, the airline and Goodrich Corp., which builds the landing gear. SAS said the “compensation” package was worth $167 million against the aircraft deal, which, if all options are exercised, will be worth $1.75 billion.

The three landing-gear incidents occurred over a period of seven weeks late last year. The first one prompted emergency inspections of gear parts for corrosion but investigators suggested maintenance issues were at least partly to blame for the other two. In the final incident in Copenhagen, which drew a lot of attention because of widely publicized video of the landing, Danish authorities determined a rubber ring got stuck in the works and prevented the gear from deploying. While Bombardier and Goodrich defended the design, SAS insisted maintenance was done properly.

Cessna Aircraft Company, the World's Largest General Aviation Manufacturer
Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2007, Cessna delivered 1,272 aircraft, including 387 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5 billion. Cessna has a current backlog of $12.6 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,100 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
Adam Aircraft Going to Market back to top 

Adam Aircraft: From Bankruptcy To Auction Block

Interested buyers must deposit $250,000 and a minimum bid of $10 million to win the assets of Chapter 7 bankruptcy victim Adam Aircraft. The company's belongings will be on the auction block April 4, but bids are due one day earlier. Adam filed Chapter 7, the day after Valentine's Day, laying off 800 employees and granting former company president Duncan Koerbel $300,000 in severance pay. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company has less than $1300 cash on hand and $173,000 in financial accounts. Founder Rick Adam first brought the Adam A500 and A700 designs to the public but left his position at the company in 2007 and is now one of many who have filed suits against Adam Aircraft. Rick Adam's suit is based on the company's "failure to materially complete the terms of a contract for a manufacturing facility in Pueblo."

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Now Available for Retrofit Installation in Cessna 400-Series Aircraft!
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Eager Eyes Still Watching for Toyota's Jet Entry ... back to top 

Toyota To Follow Honda Into Jet Development?

Where Honda goes, Toyota may soon follow. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. has extended Toyota an invitation to fund a company that would design an advanced, fuel-efficient passenger jet. Toyota announced Wednesday it is considering the big leap into the aircraft industry, following a report in the Asahi Shimbun that Toyota has plans to invest $97 million into the project, starting in April. Toyota denied to the AFP that a decision has yet been made. As for Toyota's prior airborne excursions, the company declined comment on progress of a four-seat "one-piece co-cured (single-molded)" carbon-fiber single-engine piston it successfully flew in June of 2002. Mitsubishi has sought numerous investors to help carry the burden of the projected 150 billion yen development costs related to a high-efficiency passenger jet project.

Mitsubishi told the AFP that it is developing two jets with 70 or 90 seats that would incorporate carbon fiber for weight savings and hopes to launch the jets in 2013. Toyota's mostly terrestrial competitor, Honda, announced this week that it has taken over 100 orders for its $3.9 million HondaJet and is now taking Canadian and Mexican orders for the planes.

NAA Spring Awards & Collier Winner Announcement in AVweb's Audio News
AVweb's Managing Editor, Meredith Saini, was on-hand for this year's National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Spring Awards Luncheon. Meredith spoke with NAA chairman Walter J. Boyne about the 2007 Collier Trophy winner he announced. Listen online.

Join NAA and be an aviation record setter and part of the Collier Trophy. Aviation enthusiasts can join for $39 a year and receive Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, aviation records, fee discounts, and much more. Join now online, or call NAA at (800) 644-9777.
BizJets Funding Tourism in Florida? back to top 

Landing Fee Targets Business Jets

Palm Beach County commissioners have determined that the best way to boost tourism in the tiny community of West Palm Beach is to charge landing fees on the numerous private aircraft that use the local airport. The attitude of the commissioners is illustrated by the comment of one that the as-yet-undetermined fee “shouldn't be much more than the price of a bottle of champagne,” according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel. But what may be more puzzling is that the board won’t be plowing the money into tourism promotion or marketing to entice the uninitiated to its genteel environs. They’ll be giving it to the airlines that serve the airport.

Airlines already pay landing fees and the thinking among commissioners is that if general aviation fees are used to reduce the charges against the airlines they’ll pass the savings along to their customers. "Palm Beach County needs tourism," said Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who supported the fee proposal. "If we can bring more planes and lower rates for commercial carriers, we can become more competitive." Commissioner Bob Kanjian, a pilot, voted against the measure, saying it would net airlines about 17 cents per passenger.

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Who's Where back to top 

Woolstenhulme Leads Two Companies

Stephen Woolstenhulme

Stephen Woolstenhulme has been appointed president of both Lake Texoma Jet Center, LLC and Red River Turbines, both located in Denison, Tex. The FBO is a strategically-placed refueling stop, and the engine shop specializes in GE CJ610 and CF700 service. (The Jackson Group web site)

Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Aircraft Electronics Association's Ric Peri Gets Real About ADS-B

File Size 9.1 MB / Running Time 9:57

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

ADS-B has been in the news a lot lately, with the comment period for the FAA's requirements for the system passing last week and the National Aeronautic Association picking the technology as the winner of the prestigious Collier Trophy. Naturally, the Aircraft Electronics Association has had plenty to say about the way the FAA is going about implementing ADS-B. Ric Peri, AEA's government affairs expert, told AVweb's Russ Niles that while ADS-B is excellent technology, it's not being handled as well as it could by the FAA.

Click here to listen. (9.1 MB, 9:57)

Exclusive Video: Dassault Falcon 7X Fly-by-Wire Business Jet

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Dassault has introduced a jet that changes the playing field for business jet manufacturers, operators and pilots. That jet is the $40 million Falcon 7X. In this exclusive video, AVweb video editor Glenn Pew takes us inside the Falcon 7X.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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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