AVwebBiz - Volume 6, Number 27

July 2, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: PiperJet Taxis Out Into the World back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

PiperJet Starts Taxi Tests

The proof-of-concept PiperJet has started low-speed taxi tests and the jet is performing as expected, the company said this week. "Piper test pilots reported light rudder pedal forces and excellent response as the PiperJet POC was maneuvered with confidence in the tight confines of the Vero Beach factory test ramp for the first time," according to a company update released on Tuesday. The Williams FJ-443A jet engine with FADEC is a breeze to operate, the company says. The pilot simply presses a starter button, then brings the thrust lever forward when the engine monitors show that the proper speed has been reached. The FADEC system automatically corrects for heat, humidity, and altitude. The next major milestone for the POC jet will be high-speed taxi tests, the company said.

In those tests, pilots will accelerate to just below liftoff speed, to check runway handling characteristics and elevator control authority. Next after that -- first flight. Click here for a Piper video of the first taxi tests. Click here for a recent podcast of a Russ Niles interview about the jet project, with Piper's Bob Kromer.

Related Content:
View pics of the PiperJet under construction here.

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VistaJet Closes Deal with Bombardier Skyjet back to top 

VistaJet Completes Skyjet Takeover

VistaJet became the second-largest business jet company outside of North America on Tuesday with the completion of the blockbuster deal that was among the highlights of the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in May in Geneva. For an undisclosed amount, VistaJet acquired Bombardier Skyjet International. The EBACE announcement included a deal for 35 new Bombardier business jets, worth $1.2 billion and, in addition to the merger, will push VistaJet's fleet to 94 aircraft by 2012. The Skyjet brand name will be retained.

VistaJet CEO Bing Chen said customers of both companies will barely notice the change. "VistaJet remains committed to a seamless integration of operations and services for the benefit of our customers. Skyjet International's jet membership program perfectly complements our innovative Flight Solutions Program," he said. VistaJet is expecting a 50-percent increase in revenues this year and will fly about 80,000 hours a year by 2012.

Mach 1 Headset by Lightspeed: Feather-Light at Less than an Ounce!
The "born to be worn" Mach 1 packs a lot for its size. Pilots have weighed in, and all agree the Mach 1 packs a lot of features into its feather-light design. A high-performance in-the-ear (ITE) headset, the Mach 1 allows easy connection to cell phone and music interfaces. Enjoy supreme comfort with unbelievable noise attenuation. For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
Epics to Migrate North for Certification back to top 

Epic Still Intends Canadian Certification

Epic Aircraft will certify its factory-model turboprops and jets in Canada, even though a deal to build a "certification center" specializing in composite aircraft in Calgary has fallen through. Calgary is the center of Canada's oil boom and that's increased construction prices dramatically so the center, proposed for Springbank Airport, was shelved. But that doesn't mean the company is giving up on Canada. "The Canadian deal is not dead, in fact, it's not even wounded," said Epic CEO Rick Schrameck. He would not say where in Canada the certification work will be done.

Epic also confirmed that the Elite very light jet will likely be build by TAM in Georgia, something the company says has been in the works for several years. "The Elite was announced in 2004 as a joint venture with TAM, and we are now executing the established business plan," Epic spokeswoman Alice Meyers told AVweb. TAM will more than likely move forward with the Russian certification process in order to sell and deliver aircraft in their region.

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.
jetAviva at the Fore of the VLJ Boom back to top 

VLJ Acceptance Firm Marks 75th Delivery

Van Nuys-based jetAviva recently united Marty Sprinzen and his new Citation Mustang in a bonding of pilot and airplane that may be unique in the industry. jetAviva is capitalizing on the new accessibility of the airways by private pilots through relatively inexpensive entry-level or very light jets. Sprinzen's was the 75th "acceptance" for jetAviva, which acts on behalf of its clients to ensure the aircraft is everything they paid their $1.5 million to $3 million for. In a podcast interview with AVweb, CEO Cyrus Sigari said his staff inspects every square inch of the aircraft and tests every system to make sure it's fully functional.

Sigari said most clients are not technical experts on the airplanes they're buying and they rely on jetAviva to discover any shortcomings that they might not notice on delivery. In addition to the physical inspection and systems checks, the aircraft is test-flown by pilots with plenty of experience in the type. jetAviva also tries to ensure that the pilots are as ready to fly as the airplanes and offers familiarization training in the Eclipse 500 and will soon offer it in the Citation Mustang. The company says the pre-type-rating program helps owner-pilots get comfortable in the left seat before going for their rating.

Avidyne Extends Interface Capability for Tactical WX Detection System
Avidyne's TWX670 Tactical Weather Detection System has a Compatibility Mode providing a second output format for display of monochromatic lightning strike and storm cell information on a number of existing lightning detection-compatible displays. The TWX670's normal RS-232 output protocol supports the TWX670's TWxCell™ and Color Strike modes on compatible displays, including Avidyne's EX500, EX5000 and MHD300. With Compatibility Mode, the TWX670 provides an alternate protocol compatible with other manufacturers' displays. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
News Briefs back to top 

NTSB Probes Medevac Crash

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is calling for a "rolling safety stand down" of medevac aircraft operations after the tragic collision of two medical airlift helicopters near a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday. Initial reports indicated seven people had died but six people died and one woman, a nurse, survived the crash of two Bell 207 helicopters operated by Air Methods and Classic Helicopters as they tried to land on the same helipad at the Flagstaff hospital. "AAMS is recommending an industry 'rolling' safety stand down to focus the attention of the air medical crew on safety while continuing the ability to provide life saving services to their local communities," said an AAMS news release. The accident has also caught the attention of the NTSB, whose chairman, Mark Rosenker, says he's "very concerned" that this was the tenth accident involving medical airlift aircraft this year.

"We are going to try very hard to make sure we understand exactly what happened here, determine the probable cause and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again," Rosenker told The New York Times. Rosenker said the NTSB is worried about the safety record of medevac services and will take action. "We are very concerned about that," Mr. Rosenker said at a news conference here on Monday. "We are going to try very hard to make sure we understand exactly what happened here, determine the probable cause and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again."

U.S. And EU Aviation Industries Agree To Collaborate

Officials from U.S. and European aviation agencies and industry wrapped up a two-day meeting in Brussels on Tuesday with general agreement on business and safety issues. FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell and Antonio Tajani, head of transport for the European Union, signed an agreement to promote technical cooperation between the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The agreement addresses aircraft certification, environmental approvals, and maintenance, and aims to enhance safety while reducing regulatory costs for manufacturers, operators and aviation authorities. Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), welcomed the new agreement. "We view this strategic partnership between the U.S. and the European Community as a real milestone that will advance our shared safety visions," said Bunce.

"The relationship between the U.S. and Europe has proven its resilience and continued trans-Atlantic cooperation will increase efficiency and help bring new products to the global market more expeditiously. It's good for aviation safety and business, it's good for Europe, and it's good for the United States." Bunce added that he hopes the next step will be to update validation processes and EASA certification fees and charges. Those concerns had held up the agreement for several months.

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, plus access to aviation records and much more. To become an NAA member, sign up online or call (703) 416-4888 and press 4.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

JetAviva's Cyrus Sigari on the Rise of Very Light Jets

File Size 8.0 MB / Running Time 8:43

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Although it's been slower to take off than some had predicted, the very light jet movement is here, and it's putting more owner-pilots in the left seat of some pretty sophisticated hardware. JetAviva is a California company that specializes in helping new owners of VLJs ensure the transition is a smooth one. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with JetAViva CEO Cyrus Sigari about who's buying VLJs and how the little jets are performing.

Click here to listen. (8.0 MB, 8:43)

Exclusive Video: Inside Diamond's D-Jet Personal Jet Aircraft

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

With new personal jets popping up all the time, AVweb takes a look at what may very well be the next certified single-engine very light or personal jet to enter the market. Diamond's D-Jet is expected next year to earn its type certificate, and that's when the company hopes to make first deliveries. Diamond recently announced plans to upgrade the aircraft with Garmin's G1000 Synthetic Vision package and the Williams FJ33-19 powerplant — offering 20 percent more thrust and a 4,000-hour TBO. AVweb's Glenn Pew offers this look inside.

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Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
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Accolades back to top 

Ken Dono Socata's Sales MVP

Ken Dono

EADS Socata named Ken Dono, a sales rep at Columbia Air Services in Groton, Conn., as its "Most Valuable Player" for his sales success in the last year.

Bombardier Flexjet "Best of the Best"

Bombardier Flexjet

Bombardier Flexjet has been named the Best of the Best private aviation providers in the 20th anniversary edition of Robb Report.

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 Bookstore Features Downloadable Jeppesen Training Manuals
AVweb Bookstore offers Jeppesen (and other) maintenance and pilot training manuals in e-book and book format, letting customers choose how to receive content. E-book advantages including complete search ability, no-cost and instant delivery, and storing hundreds of volumes on a laptop or mobile device. Attention, international customers — no import taxes or fees! For a complete list, call (800) 780-4115 or go online.

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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