AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 39

September 24, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Strange Times for Eclipse back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Eclipse's Russian Factory Gets Financing, Approvals

Russian officials have given their OK to allow the construction of a factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, where copies of the Eclipse 500 jet will be assembled, Eclipse Aviation announced on Tuesday. The Russian State Bank, chaired by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will finance the project in full, providing $205 million in return for a share of the enterprise. "Obtaining this approval and financing is an enormous step forward in our efforts to globalize the Eclipse 500 and create a highly competitive worldwide business model for Eclipse Aviation," Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper said in a news release. Components of the jet will be manufactured elsewhere and shipped to Russia for assembly. The factory will be built in Ulyanovsk, and is expected to be ready to start production in 2010. Workers will build up to 800 jets a year. The factory in Albuquerque will continue to work at full capacity, the company said.

The new facility will be operated by European Technology and Investment Research Center (ETIRC) Aviation, which is the exclusive provider of sales, customer service, maintenance support and flight training for the Eclipse 500 in Europe, the Russian Federation, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Republic of Turkey. Eclipse CEO Pieper is also the chairman of ETIRC Aviation.

Air Taxi Operators Aim To Fill DayJet's Slots

For those passengers who had grown to enjoy DayJet's air-taxi service and find themselves missing on-demand air transportation since the operator suspended its services last week, other air-taxi companies are offering to fill the gap. SATSair, ImagineAir, and North American Jet, all members of the Air Taxi Association (ATXA), provide service to all 60 of the communities in the Southeastern U.S. where DayJet formerly served more than 2,400 members. The carriers operate a combined fleet of over 30 Cirrus SR-22 and Eclipse 500 aircraft. "DayJet shined a bright light upon the emerging next-generation air-taxi industry and it is our duty to help affected passengers and communities," said ATXA President Joe Leader. The companies are offering discounts and price matches to DayJet customers.

SATSair and ImagineAir operate SR-22s, and North American Jet operates E500 jets. Meanwhile, much of DayJet's fleet is on the ramp outside Eclipse's Gainseville, Fla. facility.

JA Air Center Announces First Installation of a Dual Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD Display
JA Air Center has installed the first Dual Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD display in a certified aircraft, an A36 Bonanza. The aircraft is also equipped with dual GNS530Ws, GDL69A XM Weather, GWX68 Radar, L-3 Skywatch, and WX500 Stormscope. The Garmin G600 combination PFD/MFD is designed to take the space of the basic six-pack and fully integrates all primary flight, navigation, terrain, traffic, and weather. For more information, go online.

Call JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 to speak with a Garmin expert about the G600.
Not All Jets Are "Very Light" back to top 

Turbine Baron Touted As VLJ Substitute

If your Baron could climb at 4,500 fpm and cruise at 300 knots, why would you need a jet? That's the thought process Rocket Engineering is promoting as it celebrates first flight of its fourth turbine conversion. The company, which already has turbine STCs on the Bonanza, Duke and Piper Mirage, has fitted the 500-shp Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-21 to a Baron in hopes of having a retrofit package STC'd by late 2009. "The combination of speed, performance and economy of the new P-Baron PT6A turbo-prop are very realistic, and will serve as a viable and compelling alternative to the yet unproven VLJ market," said Rocket Engineering's president, Darwin Conrad.

Rocket Engineering is calling the souped-up Baron the Cougar and is predicting it will be as efficient as it is speedy. The company is predicting an average fuel burn of 52 gph. Structural analysis, flutter testing and flight characteristics will all be tested over the next year prior to submission to the FAA for an STC.

Fly With Bose Aviation Headset X®
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
The Latest on Lear back to top 

Bombardier Drops Grob In Lear 85

Bombardier says it will go it alone in development of its composite Learjet 85. The company had a deal with Grob Aerospace, of Switzerland, to develop the main composite structure, but Grob was thrown into insolvency when a lead investor pulled out in August. At the time, Bombardier officials said they were sticking with Grob but pulled the pin on the deal late last week. "Given the uncertainty surrounding Grob's insolvency, Learjet has decided to terminate its agreement with Grob Aerospace," effective Sept. 17, 2008, said Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Bombardier Aerospace is taking decisive action and this decision reflects our strong commitment to both the Learjet 85 aircraft program...."

Despite the suddenly steepened learning curve (Bombardier has never built a composite airframe), the company says it intends to maintain the development schedule. Grob says it understands Bombardier's need to keep the project moving and will help move all the Lear 85 tooling and structures out of its German plant. Grob is continuing to promote its own SPn composite bizjet and will have a mockup at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando next month.

Jet Republic Buys 110 Learjet 60XRs

A start-up European fractional and charter operation hopes to challenge the likes of NetJets by, among other things, pouring a perfect cup of espresso. Jet Republic, which will be based in Portugal but held its launch in Farnborough on Tuesday, announcing a plan to buy 110 Learjet 60XRs for $1.5 billion and pay attention to details, like making sure the coffee is up to snuff. As for the economic turmoil that has gripped most of the industrialized world in recent weeks, Jet Republic CEO Jonathan Breeze insists the timing couldn't be better. "This is a sensible, profitable, logical business," he told The Times Online. "I think the challenge in the financial markets simply changes the metrics ... . If anything it probably strengthens the proposition."

And while the coffee reference might sound frivolous, company officials, some of whom came from NetJets, insist it's those details that matter to the three million or so "ultra rich" Europeans who are the target market. Hourly rates will be about $7,500 Euros an hour and there will be card programs. The lead investor is Euram Bank, of Austria.

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 $16 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,200 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 

Trainees In The Tower In Airliner "Swerve"

An incident that thankfully ended with some fairly rattled pilots and passengers but no more than a little lost tire rubber begs the question of who is training whom at some of the nation's air traffic control towers. The National Air Traffic Controllers Union says two trainee controllers were in on duty by themselves in the Lehigh International Airport tower when a Mesa Airlines CRJ700 had to swerve (as in the sudden deviation from a straight path) to avoid a just-landed Cessna 172 while taking off from the Allentown, Pa., airport. The widely accepted estimate is the RJ, with 60 passengers aboard, missed the 172 by about 10 feet while decelerating from 120 knots. According to the NTSB, the Cessna was told to take an early taxiway exit but missed and the pilot reported he or she was heading for the next taxiway. The trainees missed that and, thinking the 172 had left the runway, cleared the RJ for takeoff.

The Mesa crew apparently heard the 172 pilot's report that the controllers missed but started the takeoff. They were almost at rotation speed when they spotted the Cessna and swerved to miss it. While no one is so disputing the facts of the incident, NATCA is suggesting a shortage of qualified controllers played a role and it's sure to come up at a meeting of the House Aviation Subcommittee on Thursday to discuss--runway safety. "The FAA is so desperate to staff its towers they are forced to work trainees by themselves without adequate numbers of experienced controllers there to work with them," said NATCA President Patrick Forrey. "This has exposed the inexperience of our new workforce. It's unfair to these trainees and should be unacceptable to the flying public." The Mesa flight (operating for United) was cancelled.

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

How to Test a Jet: Piper's Chief Test Pilot Tells How

File Size 8.4 MB / Running Time 9:08

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Continuing our coverage of Piper's press debut of its new jet on September 18, 2008, the company's chief test pilot, Dave Schwartz, tells AVweb's Paul Bertorelli how the aircraft is performing in the early stages of the test program. (Find photos of the PiperJet here.)

Click here to listen. (8.4 MB, 9:08)

PiperJet Press Demo Photo Gallery

Piper rolled out the red carpet for members of the press wanting an inside look at their single-engine very light jet entry, the PiperJet, and AVweb's Paul Bertorelli was on hand to snap a few photos of the demo model in action. Piper VP of Sales Bob Kromer told us in a podcast interview that we can expect the first deliveries in 2011. (For more on Piper's press event, click here.)

Click here to view photos.

Piper Matrix — Piper Compelling
Click here for more information on the new Matrix, Piper's next generation of cabin-class sophistication. Compellingly priced at $757,000.
New on AVweb: Commentary & Opinion back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: FSS Under Lockmart — Stop Whining and Lobby for Some Better Tools

Don't like the brave new world of Lockheed-Martin's Flight Service? Too bad. It's here to stay and after three years of working at it they've clawed their way back up to the level of adequate. Some of what we once had with locally knowledgeable briefers is gone forever, but at least one gem of bygone days could be brought back with the right software and some willing users, according to IFR magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff van West, who takes the new FSS system to task in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider Blog.

Read more.

Attention, Turboprop Operators! Reserve October 28-30 on Your Calendars
Turboprop Expo 2008, October 28-30 in Scottsdale, AZ, will offer specialized programs including seminar tracks for airframe and turboprop engine topics as well as operational and ownership information. Dr. David Strahle will present his informative and acclaimed seminar: Understanding Nexrad Imagery. Enjoy the relaxing surroundings of a classic resort and network with industry leaders at Turboprop Expo 2008. For more information and to register, visit online.
Who's Where back to top 

Crawley Joins Aircraft Sales Corp.

Jared Crawley

Jared Crawley has joined Aircraft Sales Corp. as manager of technical operations. Crawley has been in the aviation business for 10 years and is an ATP rated jet pilot.

Hazelwood At QuinetiQ

Donald Hazelwood

Donald Hazelwood has joined QuinetiQ North America as vice president of unmanned systems. Hazelwood was previously a colonel in the Army and project manager of the Army's unmanned aerial systems program.

Purcella New Jet Air Works Sales Director

Rick Purcella

Rick Purcella is the new director of sales and marketing at Jet Air Works Center. He was previously the company's director of avionics and worked at Rockwell Collins before that.

Krogman GM At West Star Aviation

Dave Krogman

Dave Krogman has been promoted to general manager of West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo. He joined the company in 1996 and was most recently the director of hangar operations.

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.

Diamond Aircraft Distributors Offer Tax Advantage Program
September 30th is the deadline to take advantage of up to $300,000 in depreciation opportunities on a new Diamond DA40 XLS. Diamond Aircraft distributors are also offering a $3,000 cash back incentive, to pay for the tax and legal services needed to take advantage of this tax savings opportunity. Go online for full details!
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Help AVwebBiz Spread Your NBAA News

The world's most important business aviation event, the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention, is coming up Oct. 6-8 in Orlando and there will be hundreds of product announcements and updates. AVweb will be there with daily coverage of the events, news conferences and announcements that make this show so important but if your company has something more than 100,000 business aviation decision-makers need to know about, we're encouraging you to let us know in advance. That way we can give your news the full attention it deserves and make sure it's released in a timely fashion during our coverage. Don't worry. We'll strictly observe all embargos. Send your advance material to rniles@avweb.com and thanks for your help in making our coverage the most comprehensive available.

Which Deicing System Do You Prefer?

With winter weather coming, now's a good time to think about the three main deicing systems out there: pneumatic boots, TKS and electro-thermal. Sister publication Aviation Consumer is conducting a survey on what pilots think about them. Even if you have experience with only two of the three, we'd like to hear from you.

Send a note to aviation_safety@hotmail.com to share your experiences.

(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.

Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
A Minimum Equipment List is not complete without a subscription to Aviation Safety. Discover this informative, instructive monthly publication that sharpens your air readiness. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
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

Scott Simmons

Mariano Rosales
Jeff van West

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