AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 19

May 7, 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.
Top News: Layoffs at DayJet back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

DayJet Cuts Jets And Staff

DayJet has cut its fleet by more than half and its staff by more than a third as it scales back operations in the absence of capital to fund expansion. DayJet founder and CEO Ed Iacobucci told AVweb on Tuesday the company needs about $50 million to essentially triple its current size to achieve the "critical mass" necessary to be profitable. DayJet operates out of 11 "Dayport" hubs and flies to more than 30 destinations. Iacobucci said they need 20 to 30 hubs and up to 50 aircraft to start making money and they've been unable to find investors because of the tight market. As a result, staff has been trimmed by 100 to 160 and the company is selling or leasing 16 of its 28 Eclipse 500s "to minimize the loss." But Iacobucci said he predicts the company will find the money it needs and the expansion will take place within a year. "Keep watching us because you're going to see a lot of development," he said. "The model works." Iacobucci also downplayed the impact of the decision on Eclipse, which lists DayJet as its largest customer, with more than 1,400 aircraft reserved.

Iacobucci said Dayjet has "made no changes to our order book" and the delay in its overall plan should have little impact on Eclipse in the short term. "Our orders were not cancelled, they were deferred," he said. He said Eclipse has "plenty of customers" who will be happy to get their aircraft earlier because of the deferral. Eclipse declined comment on the DayJet decision. In its first six months, DayJet's "proof of concept phase," Iacobucci said the company proved there was a market for the modified point-to-point service. More than 1,500 people paid to sign up as "members" of DayJet and more than 500 actually used the service. About 50 had flown more than 10 times. He said customers generally liked the service and the airplane and, after initial technical bugs were ironed out, the company was generally satisfied with its performance. Iacobucci said he's looking forward to the aircraft being fully equipped with all the navigation and systems it's supposed to have so that it has even more utility. "The airplane is not a problem," he said.

Related Content:
There Are Glimmers Of Hope in This Air Taxi Thing (AVweb Insider blog)

JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
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FAA Reauthorization Bill Still in the Senate back to top 

No Early Resolution To FAA Bill

The Senate has defeated a "cloture" motion that would have limited debate on its FAA Reauthorization bill. A successful cloture motion would have significantly speeded up the discussion on the debate but with all the controversy surrounding the FAA these days, that was probably unrealistic. Members on both sides of the aisle were lining up to offer their amendments, ranging from airspace restructuring to the availability of peanuts on airliners, and enough of them insisted on being heard that the hurry-up motion was defeated. Aviation leaders were particularly anxious to see the current version of the bill passed quickly because it does not contain user fees as a method to fund air traffic control modernization.

A compromise between the Senate finance committee and the aviation subcommittee last week eliminated the $25-per-leg user fee that was proposed for turbine- powered general aviation aircraft in favor of a 65 percent tax increase on jet fuel (the tax on 100 LL would have remained the same). National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen said discussion of the bill has been "suspended after a procedural vote unrelated to FAA reauthorization and funding" but he's hopeful the funding compromise will survive whatever discussions ensue in the future. "Given the importance of air transportation to our nation's economy and citizens' quality of life, we hope the Senate will recommit itself to passing an FAA reauthorization bill this year," he said. The FAA is operating on a temporary financing measure that lasts another two months.

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from Daniel Webster College

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Jeppesen eBooks Now on AVwebBooks.com back to top 

Jeppesen Manuals Now Available Electronically Through AVweb Bookstore

The hundreds of titles of technical and training manuals produced by industry leader Jeppesen are now available for download into your computer from AVweb Bookstore. The AVweb Bookstore is among the retail aviation book catalogs operated by the Aircraft Technical Book Company. President Andy Gold told AVweb in a podcast interview that e-books are a burgeoning segment of the market now that copyright and duplication issues have been resolved and he expects the PDF downloads to be available for most of his titles by the end of the year.

Gold said that while there will always be those who prefer the printed word (like him), there are significant advantages to e-books, most of them cost related. In some cases, because of transportation and taxes, the cost of shipping a book can be much higher than the cost of the book itself, particularly for international customers. E-books are also fully searchable, employ the zoom and other features on computers and are weightless. "For students and for on-the-job reference, there is no longer a need to carry around 40-50 pounds of manuals," he said. The books are faithful to the printed originals in every respect and include all the pictures and diagrams in PDF format. With standard high speed connections, the downloads take from a few minutes to longer than 10 minutes, depending on the size of the tome and the number of graphics.

Mach 1 Headset by Lightspeed: Redefining In-the-Ear (ITE) Headset Boundaries
Utilizing advancements in ear plug attenuation and ultra-comfort, the Mach 1 series continues to set the ITE headset curve with its artisan-crafted custom ear molds, ultra-compact speakers, and noise-cancelling microphones that deliver crystal-clear audio communications. Feather-light at less than an ounce, the Mach 1 continues to be an industry favorite! For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
Cessna CJ4 First Flight back to top 

Cessna Flies CJ4 Prototype

Cessna flew its CJ4 prototype for the first time on Monday and by all accounts it went well. It was an outstanding first flight," said test pilot Dan Morris, who flew the aircraft with engineering flight test manager Dave Bonifield as co-pilot. "We tested quite a number of the systems on the aircraft, including the autopilot, and all performed very well." The flight lasted two hours and 22 minutes and onboard telemetry sent systems data to Cessna's engineering facility. Two more test articles are under construction at the company's Pawnee Advanced Engineering facility in Wichita. The CJ4 is a beefier and technologically advanced progression of the CJ3.

The CJ4 has a maximum payload of 2,100 lbs., about 300 lbs. more than the CJ3 and the wing has been changed to a moderately swept design that incorporates three upper speed brake panels that help it achieve its short-field performance (3,300 minimum takeoff runway and 2,665 for landing). But the biggest changes are technological. It sports two Williams International FJ44-4A FADEC-equipped engines that put out 3,400 lbs. of thrust compared to 2,820 on the CJ3. There's also a Collins Pro Line 21 panel up front and a Rockwell Collins cabin management system that features a high definition media center. The electronics were also wrung out on the test flight. "The FADECs operated just as we expected, and along with the four displays of the Pro Line 21, this is a very pilot-friendly aircraft," said test pilot Morris.

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.
Another Phenom 100 Benchmark back to top 

Embraer Phenom 100 Passes Cold Test

The Phenom 100 got a frosty reception on its first trip to the U.S. but that was the whole idea. The fourth prototype of the very light jet underwent the critical cold soak test at Florida's Elgin Air Force Base's climate laboratory last month and the company says it came through just fine. In the test, the aircraft is put in the cold chamber at -40 degrees for 12 hours and then engineers start the engines, light up the panel, open and close the door and a myriad of other tests to make sure it will function in extreme cold. The cold soak is part of the aircraft's "maturity campaign" which essentially gives the jet a real-life going over. Embraer says the jet's development remains on schedule.

Certification is slated for the second half of this year and the first delivery is expected shortly after. The first customer aircraft is almost on the assembly line. The other three prototypes have been put through extensive certification flight testing.

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... And They Make Financial Sense, Too back to top 

Bizjets Tools, Not Toys Says Flexjet

Flexjet, the fractional arm of Bombardier Aerospace, says its appealing to the penny-pinching side of today's noveau riche by pitching private jet travel as a productivity tool. The company has started a new ad campaign aimed at the recently rich, most of whom grew up with meat and potatoes on the table and a Chevy (or Toyota) in the driveway. "Veering from the standard course of industry marketing, Flexjet's new multi-million dollar advertising campaign identifies private jets as tools that enhance productivity and quality of life, not glamorous toys for the rich," the company said in a news release.

The ad campaign was created as a result of a study that shows 80 percent of the wealthy grew up in middle or lower income homes and most have had their money less than 15 years. Flexjet says "straight talk from plane people" replaces romantic sunsets, opulent cabins and "privileged jet setters" in the ads. It also notes that it has added the new Challenger 605 to the fleet.

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Now Available for Retrofit Installation in Cessna 400-Series Aircraft!
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New on AVweb back to top 

Tired of Hauling Those Jepp Manuals Around? Switch to eBooks!

File Size 8.1 MB / Running Time 8:50

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

We've all been there, lugging bags full of heavy books and manuals to ground school or out to the hangar, but computer technology has reached the point where none of that's necessary anymore. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Aviation Technical Books President Andy Gold about the trend toward e-books and the introduction of the full line of Jeppesen manuals to the AVweb Bookstore catalog.

Click here to listen. (8.1 MB, 8:50)

Exclusive Video: Patty Wagstaff Interview and Flight

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

Ride along with Patty Wagstaff as she flies her airshow routine at Sun 'n Fun 2008, courtesy of AVweb's Glenn Pew. Or, if you're easily queasy, just close your eyes and listen to our post-flight interview with Patty about how it feels to fly the maneuvers and what it's like to perform. Special thanks to our friends at Bose Corporation and Aircraft Spruce & Supply Co., whose good people stepped up when we needed them and helped make this video happen. And very special thanks to Patty's main sponsor, Cirrus Design, maker of the airplanes that changed the industry.

If you're interested in access to higher-resolution versions, contact Glenn.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

AVweb Insider Blog: There Are Glimmers Of Hope In This Air Taxi Thing

Today in the AVweb Insider, Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles reminds us that it would be easy to pat ourselves on the back for "predicting" DayJet's scaling back of operations — but it may serve everyone better in the long run if we look at what's still viable about the air taxi business (even if it isn't setting the world on fire as fast as some proponents would have hoped).

Read more.

Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
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Who's Where back to top 

Michael Brosler New PlaneSmart CEO

Michael A. Brosler has become the President and CEO of PlaneSmart Aviation. Brosler was the company's former Marketing and Communications Director and replaces Jeffrey A. Cullen, who is pursuing other interests.

Preston Aviation Tailwheel Flight School Moves North to Georgia

Preston Aviation

Preston Aviation has relocated its Tailwheel flight school from Leesburg International Airport in Leesburg, Fla. to Peach State Airport in Williamson, Ga. The company offers instruction and rides in a restored Stearman and Cub.

JA Air Center Names Fank New Manager of FBO Ops

Randy Fank

Randy Fank has been named Manager of FBO operations at JA Air Center's new Aurora Municipal Airport location and the existing FBO at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. Fank was previously director of DuPage Flight Center.

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 

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.

Got a Thielert Diesel? We Would Like To Hear From You

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a follow-up story on user experience with Thielert diesel engines. If you'd like to participate, drop an e-mail to avconsumer@comcast.net.

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

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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