AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 24

June 11, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original (and only) place to look for parts to repair an airplane. It's still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services. Call (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource — Trade-A-Plane.
Coming (Back) to an Airport Near You — Sino Bizjet back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

SJ30 Making A Comeback

The surprise appearance of one of two production Sino Swearingen SJ30 aircraft at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month prompted plenty of speculation on the future of the speedy bizjet, and the plans to resume production were confirmed earlier this week. Action Aviation took over the development of the aircraft a couple of years ago and announced on Monday that it now has a deal with Dubai-based Emirates Investment and Development PSC to buy 80 percent of the company and get the plane back in production.

The SJ30 development program lasted almost a decade and was funded by the Taiwanese government to the tune of $700 million. Political changes in Taiwan prompted the country to stop the money flow, just as the San Antonio-based company was gearing up for production. Taiwan retains the remaining 20-percent share. The company says it has about 300 orders for the aircraft, which cruises as high as 49,000 feet at 486 knots and will maintain sea-level cabin pressure at 41,000 feet.

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Israel Set to Deliver New Gulfstreams back to top 

Gulfstream Boosts G150/200 Production

Gulfstream has announced a deal with Israeli Aircraft Industries to boost production of its smaller G200 and G150 aircraft. Gulfstream President Joe Lombardo told a news conference in Israel last week that the Israeli company will make at least 70 jets this year, up from 58 in 2007 and almost three times the production in 2006. "Rising fuel prices don't seem to be impacting our sales," Lombardo told reporters at IAI's headquarters at Ben-Gurion Airport. "Demand remains high. Furthermore, the dollar's decline signifies higher sales to our international customers."

IAI is a state-owned company that also builds weapons and electronics. The joint venture with Gulfstream began seven years ago and Lombardo made the trip to celebrate the rollout of the 200th G200 at the plant. The Gulfstream venture was aimed at diversifying IAI to the civilian market, possibly with a plan to privatize part of it. The Israeli government is reportedly thinking of selling 30 percent of IAI on the stock market.

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CAE Continues Training Expansion back to top 

CAE Buys Sabena Flight Academy

CAE is expanding its ab initio training capability with the acquisition of Sabena Flight Academy. In a news release, the company said the acquisition will also add new type-rating training programs in Europe. "This strategic bolt-on acquisition is another step towards developing our training network in order to better address the global pilot shortage," said Jeff Roberts, who's in charge of CAE's civil training operations. The company already operates CAE Global Academy and combining the operation will enable it to graduate 1,400 cadets annually.

Sabena has an ab initio facility in Mesa, Ariz., with 40 aircraft and a six-simulator facility in Brussels. Key management in Sabena will be retained and will continue to run the Arizona and Belgium operations.

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
AirFleet Capital offers a competitive and experienced approach to each and every loan program by focusing exclusively on aircraft financing. AirFleet Capital provides exceptional terms coupled with personal service and a long-term commitment to support the business and shared passion of aviation. From Light Sport Aircraft to VLJs and Business Jets, AirFleet Capital has a loan program to fit your needs. Call an AirFleet Capital financing specialist at (800) 390-4324, or request a quote online.
Demand for Supersonics Unabated back to top 

EBACE Orders Buoy Aerion

Aerion says it took $1 billion in orders for its supersonic business jet at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) last month in Geneva. Since the aircraft sells for about $80 million, that means the company took $250,000 refundable deposits for at least a dozen of the Mach 1.6 aircraft and the total order book stands at more than 50, or about $4 billion. "There is no question at this point that a strong market for this aircraft exists," Vice Chairman Brian Barents said in a news release.

Aerion began taking orders late last year and is in the research and development phase. The concept is built around a "natural laminar flow" wing the company predicts will allow supersonic operation (up to Mach 1.2) without an audible "boom" reaching the ground. The U.S. currently bans supersonic operation by civilian aircraft in its airspace. Barents said the interest and the work done by Dr. Richard Tracy, who pioneered the supersonic natural laminar wing concept and is now Aerion's chief technology officer, bodes well for the future of the aircraft. "It gives us a great deal of confidence that by the middle of next decade business leaders will be flying supersonically, and they will be doing so in the Aerion jet," Barents said.

Attention, Flight Schools! Stop Student Drop-Outs Due to Motion Sickness!
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NextGen Tech Starts in Florida back to top 

NextGen Comes To Florida Via DayJet

DayJet, which operates an on-demand charter fleet of Eclipse VLJs, said on Tuesday that it has signed an agreement to work with the FAA and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to deploy NextGen technologies throughout the state of Florida over the next five years. The project will serve as a proving ground for the technology, to develop procedures and wring out any problems, and it will help smooth the way for nationwide deployment over the next 15 years. The FAA's Hank Krakowski, the head of the Air Traffic Organization, said at AOPA's fly-in last weekend that as a pilot himself, he will keep the needs of GA pilots in mind as the NextGen system evolves. NextGen will create more access to airspace, more options for pilots, and increased efficiency, he said: "That's the promise of the new technologies."

AOPA President Phil Boyer said at the fly-in that his staff will keep a close watch on the evolution of NextGen to ensure that GA pilots benefit from the changes, and are not saddled with too many costs for new equipment. DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci said on Tuesday, "We are proud to leverage our technology and expertise to help the nation enter the new age of digital aviation."

Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator Sale
For a limited time only, while quantities last, Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator models are available at a special price of $299,950. The aircraft also qualify for special 2008 tax incentives. You can enjoy owning a Diamond DA40 and write off up to 93% of the purchase price. Visit Diamond Aircraft now for more information.
Mergers & Acquisitions back to top 

AirShares Elite Acquires iFly

A couple of pioneers in the piston fractional market have merged and the winner appears to be Cirrus Design. AirShares Elite, which runs a fleet of "professionally managed" Cirrus SR22 G3 Turbos, has taken over iFly, "the world's first exclusive aero club," in a deal that will result in iFly members, presumably including spokesman Erik Lindbergh, making the transition from the Cessna 350s they now fly to the Cirrus.

"AirShares and iFly have been the innovators and market leaders in our respective markets; now, we can move forward together," iFly Chairman Andrew DeMond said in a joint news release with AirShares Elite CEO David Lee. "For iFly's California members, the combination with AirShares lets them move up to a turbo-normalized aircraft ideally suited to the West Coast market." For his part, Lee said iFly clients will not only get a more capable airplane, they'll get more geography to cover in it. "AirShares is the largest national shared ownership program and iFly runs the biggest program in the Los Angeles / San Diego market. Together, we will offer our customers an even greater range of flying experiences – more planes in more locations, with a larger, more experienced and more capable organization. The new organization will be a plus for all of our owners." iFly members will get some free stick time to make the shift to the Cirrus. The fate of the iFly fleet of Cessna 350s was not mentioned in the news release.

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Who's Where back to top 

Virgin Charter Promotes Brian Pope

Brian Pope

Virgin Charter has announced that Brian Pope has been promoted to chief operating officer from chief marketing officer. Prior to joining Virgin Charter, Pope was with IMG Consulting and Universal Studios.

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.

Aviation Consumer, the Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell the Truth
Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Crash Technical Report

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

The crash on takeoff of a 509th Air Wing, Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, February 23 operating at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was caused by water in the aircraft's sensors, according to an Air Combat report issued Thursday. Specifically, moisture in three port transducer units "distorted data introduced by a B-2 Spirit's air data system" which led to flawed information entering the bomber's flight control computers. The aircraft was reacting to inaccurate airspeed and a "perceived" negative angle of attack. This resulted in an "uncommanded 30 degree nose-high pitch-up on takeoff," according to the Air Force.

The video has more detail, but you can also click here for the full story.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

AVweb Insider Blog: Recalling the Big One (Not WW II, The Great Leaning War)

As the editor of Aviation Consumer, Paul Bertorelli gets to handle a lot of top-notch kit — some of it so good that he has a hard time imagining why the rest of the world hasn't embraced it. Case in point: With avgas more than $5 a gallon for most, why aren't more people running lean of peak? "If you could run your car the same way you run your airplane lean, you could increase fuel economy by about 20 percent. Who wouldn't do that?" wonders Paul on our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more.

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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