AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 14

April 2, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Building Tomorrow's BizJets back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Embraer OKs Two New Bizjets

Embraer will bridge the gap between big and small in its business jet lineup with two new offerings, the MSJ (mid-size jet) and MLJ (mid-light jet) that are scheduled to go into service in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The MSJ will seat up to 12 passengers and offer New York-to-L.A. and Gander-to-London range. The MLJ has seating for seven. The aircraft will fit the Embraer lineup between the Phenom 100 and 300 very light jets and Legacy 600 super midsize. Embraer also makes a business jet based on its E190 passenger jet.

The Embraer board approved $750 million to fund the project and it’s tapping suppliers for additional investment. The company is predicting that the midlight and midsize categories will account for about 2,500 business jet orders over the next 10 years. The Embraer announcement comes on the heels of Cessna’s decision to proceed with a large intercontinental business jet called the Columbus and Gulfstream’s go-ahead for the 650, which will be the fastest civilian aircraft.

Cessna Asks For $25 Million In Incentives

Cessna’s heart may be in Kansas but its corporate wallet is on Wall Street and that’s what will determine where the new Columbus 650 will be built. The company, which claims to have $11 billion in backorders, wants $25 million in cash from the state to build the new plant, which will employ about 1,000 people. Municipal and county governments have already aproved incentives to keep the plant in Wichita and at least some state politicians are leaning that way. "We've got to take this very, very seriously," Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita told The Wichita Eagle. "How Cessna goes could be how the other aviation companies go." Cessna spokesman Jim Walters said the company has “all the bias of wanting to stay in Kansas,” but has to put the interests of its parent corporation, Textron, and its shareholders first.

Other states are lining up to lure the plant to their jurisdictions and most are offering far more than what Cessna is asking of Kansas. Wichita business and political leaders have started lobbying state officials to write the check. City Manager Ed Flentje told the Eagle the Columbus project “is an extraordinary opportunity and calls for an extraordinary effort.” Cessna is putting $800 million into developing the jet.

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Touching Down back to top 

FAA Challenges Santa Monica Jet Ban

Despite repeated warnings from the FAA that it has no intention of letting Santa Monica get away with it, the city council there has effectively shortened the single runway at Santa Monica Airport by declaring stretches of pavement at each end as runway safety areas (RSAs). That will effectively shorten the runway to the point where Category C (approach speed of greater than 120 knots) and larger aircraft won’t be able to use the runway. According to the city, that will cut 9,000 operations a year at the airport. Now, SMO doesn’t have RSAs and the FAA normally encourages and even mandates RSAs at other airports but there’s plenty of wiggle room in determining how much safety is practical.

In this case, the FAA says 275 feet of overrun area at the west end of the runway is enough while the city wants at least 435 feet on each end to safeguard neighboring residents. The FAA says the city’s plan will affect the utility of the airport, which it says is an important reliever for LAX and, besides, it says determining the safety of the airport is its job. The FAA has taken legal action against the city alleging it’s violating its agreement with the Feds on operating the airport by instituting the ban.

Open Skies Agreement In Effect

The Open Skies Agreement that allows airlines to fly to the U.S. from any EU airport (not just their home country) went into effect this weekend and is predicted to stimulate slot trading and alliances between carriers ... perhaps even some mergers and acquisitions. The idea behind the agreement is to broaden competition among airlines. Under the old rules, just four airlines could operate flights to the U.S. from Heathrow. Now prime slots could potentially change hands for very high prices, or alliances may be formed. But even more change is expected should current regulations on European investment in American airlines soften.

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.
News Briefs back to top 

Embraer's Billion Dollar Contract And Brazil's New JetBlue

A Brazilian airline is standing behind its native manufacturer, Embraer (the largest manufacturer of commercial jets with fewer than 120 seats), to the tune of $1.4 billion. Embraer signed a contract with the as-yet unnamed airline, headed by JetBlue founder and former president David Neeleman, for 36 118-seat fly-by-wire Embraer 195 jets with options for another 20 more, and purchase rights for yet another 20. If all of those options are fulfilled, the total value of the order could list as high as $3 billion. A marketing campaign to publicize the new airline's name and brand should begin "soon" according to a press release from Embraer, and the carrier will receive its first jet later this year. Embraer's 195 entered service in September 2006, cruises at Mach 0.82 at 41,000 feet, has a 2,200-nm range, and can fly nonstop between any two major cities in Brazil. The airline will fit the aircraft with two seats on either side of a center aisle and equip each seat with individual Live TV screens.

Embraer finished 2007 with a firm order backlog of $18.8 billion. The manufacturer was recently cited by the aviation consulting firm The Boyd Group as well-positioned to take advantage of current market trends toward high-efficiency mid-size jets.

Business Jet Pilot Hailed As Hero

The pilot of a Citation that crashed in Farnborough, England last week is being hailed as a hero for steering the doomed aircraft around a hospital, apartment buildings and a playing field full of children before it clipped two houses and exploded without hurting anyone on the ground. Mike Roberts and four others on board died shortly after takeoff from Biggin Hill Airport, south of London, on a flight to France, "You died a hero,” says one of the cards on a growing mound of flowers marking the accident site. "I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart as my daughter was playing on the field you avoided. Rest in peace."

Roberts declared a Mayday moments after takeoff reporting vibrations, according to news reports. The reports also claim the aircraft was low enough they could see the passengers inside. "The pilot was struggling to bank away from the houses,” Jason Murrell, 39, told the Daily Mirror Looking up, I could see the terror in the passengers' eyes as they shot past. One terrified woman was staring straight at me. I'll never forget it."

Attention, Operators, Avionics Shops, and FBOs
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Look to the Skies back to top 

FlightAware Art

Click to see the image at FlightAware

Thanks to modern avionics and FlightAware, a whole new art form is developing. A Cessna Citation X used the Midwest as its canvas and few hundred gallons of jet fuel as its palette to recreate the company logo on this March 7 flight. Duration was four hours and 15 minutes.

Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals: Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Galvin Flying Services, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, Utah State University, and many more have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

On the Front Lines of the Legal Battle Over Maine's Use Tax

File Size 8.1 MB / Running Time 8:49

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

They're called "use taxes," and Maine and Florida have adopted them as a new source of revenue. But are they legal? Maine tax lawyer Jon Block is defending eight aircraft owners against the levy in that state, and he told AVweb's Russ Niles he believes Maine's application of the tax violates the U.S. Constitution.

Click here to listen. (8.1 MB, 8:49)

Exclusive Video: Lockheed U-2S "Dragon Lady" Cockpit Tour

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

The Lockheed U-2 has been in service for over 50 years. It has been at the center of some of the most tense moments in America's history. AVweb's Glenn Pew takes you inside the cockpit on a guided tour with an active U-2 pilot.

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Who's Where back to top 

Patenaude Joins XOJet

Mario Patenaude

Mario Patenaude has joined XOJet as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field.

Mayer Goes to Hawker Beechcraft

Charles Mayer

Charles Mayer has been appointed the vice president of marketing at Hawker Beechcraft. Mayer went to Hawker Beechcraft after overseeing the successful re-introduction of Maserati into the U.S., and he worked for Jaguar before that.

Virgin Charter Hired Hofer

Former Travelocity executive Eric Hofer has joined Virgin Charter as the senior vice president of sales and customer service. Hofer was at Travelocity for four years and has a long career in the travel business.

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.

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

Got Cylinders? Tell Us About Your Service History

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on aircraft engine cylinder products. If you've done an overhaul during the past several years, the magazine's editors would like to hear from you on how the cylinders have performed.

Just click on this link to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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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