AVwebBiz - Volume 6, Number 41b

October 7, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Inflight. Every Flight.
XM WX Satellite Weather has quickly become the leading way to fly for pilots across the country. And now, with Aviator Pro, the brand-new weather data package from XM WX, pilots have an even better reason to fly with the datalink weather leader — inflight and every flight. See the new suite of weather data at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show (booth #962), or click here to learn more about XM WX and Aviator Pro.

» XM WX Satellite Weather, the top provider of pilot wx data,
is an official sponsor of AVweb's NBAA 2008 coverage
Please visit them at booth #962 to learn more.
User Fees Back in the News as NBAA Gets Underway back to top 

NBAA's Bolen: User Fee Clock Is Reset

On the eve of the next general election, concern over aviation user fees has only temporarily abated and is likely to resurface when the 111th congress convenes in January, says NBAA's Ed Bolen. The FAA's current funding authorization expired on September 30th and the agency is operating in a funding grace period until the end of next March. Bolen told assembled reporters this week that aviation trade groups made good progress toward a fuel-based, rather than a user-fee-based funding basis before Congress recessed last week.

The House passed a fuel-tax-based funding bill earlier this year, but the proposal stalled in the Senate. When the new Congress convenes, "we'll be starting from scratch," Bolen says. Democrats are expected to make some if not substantial gains in seats in both chambers, but how this will impact the user fee debate is unknown.

Fly With Bose Aviation Headset X®
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.

» Bose Corporation is an official sponsor of
AVweb's NBAA 2008 coverage. Please visit them
at booth #4918 to see the Bose Aviation Headset X® in action!
NBAA 2008: Today's Big Reveals back to top 

Socata Confirms Twin: Is It A Turboprop?

First it was a rumor, then it was a confirmed rumor and now it has a name. Socata announced at the National Business Aviation Association Convention that it will build a twin-engine aircraft and has given the project the code name NTx. "As business aviation is a small community where it's difficult to keep a secret for a long time, I am pleased to confirm that our engineering team is actively working on a new aircraft project," Socata CEO Jean-Michel Leonard told a Monday news conference. He said the twin will be bigger, with more useful load than the turboprop single TBM 850, but stops short of confirming that the new aircraft will have propellers. "Powerplant applications for the NTx are still under discussion," the company news release says.

The company is apparently fairly advanced in its plans and is hoping to formally launch the program in 2009. Few details on performance and other specs are being released, and there is no image of the proposed aircraft.

Satcom Direct and Honeywell Join to Offer Cabin Systems

Satcom Direct announced here at the NBAA Expo that it has signed an agreement to work with Honeywell International to provide flight support and cabin communications services in a single package. Some of the in-flight service features include flight planning information, reliable e-mail and data communications connectivity, and satellite television. "This joint effort offers aircraft operators increased flexibility in choosing services to meet their specific business requirements," the company said.

In addition, by purchasing flight support and cabin communications services as a comprehensive package, the companies say they will save time and money for the operators. "Working with Honeywell on this package allows us to combine Satcom Direct's strength in delivering satellite-based service solutions with the integrity and recognition of the Honeywell name," said Jim Jensen, founder and owner of Satcom Direct. "Our focus at Satcom Direct is to deliver unparalleled technology and customer support that ensures private aviation travelers and all of our customers receive the connectivity they need, when and where they need it." Satcom Direct will now handle support and account management of Honeywell's existing cabin services, including OneLink, OneView, and JetMapII.

AAI: Adam 700 Scheduled for 2010 Certification

When AAI Acquisitions bought the assets of Adam Aircraft at fire sale prices in March, the industry wasn't quite sure what to make of the sale. But AAI CEO Jack Braly told NBAA reporters this week that the company is "picking up where Adam left off" with certification of the unique twin-boom jet claimed for the third quarter of 2010, with deliveries shortly thereafter. About half of the airplane's 1,300-hour flight test program has been flown off, and test work is continuing. As for funding, Braly told reporters it's in place from a consortium of Russian investors. He estimates AAI will need $200 million to certify the airplane and procure a production certificate. When asked if all the money is available, Braly said, "If you're asking if the investors gave us a sack of gold as big as the program, the answer is no."

Along with the A700 jet, test equipment and some production jigging, AAI Acquisitions also inherited the already certified A500 piston twin, of which about five were built. But it won't be part of the new program. "This was never tooled up for production, and the market for piston twins is dead for now," Braly said. As for the A700, Braly says he's not ready to put a price on it -- or take orders, for that matter -- but it will be competitive, probably in the sub-$3 million range.

JA Air Center Moving to Chicagolands Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
Opening December 1st, the four-building campus will feature a 20,000-sq.-ft. arrival/departure canopy, 90,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, 60,000 sq. ft. of offices, and a separate VIP arrival terminal. The FBO will feature an impressive list of amenities and Conoco Phillips aviation products. Rental space for corporate flight departments will be available. For more information, go online. (PDF)

» JA Air Center is at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show.
Stop by booth #2069 for future look at their new facility.
Times Are Tough, But BizAv Growth Continues back to top 

Cessna Aggressively Expands Service Centers

As the business of business aircraft increasingly becomes global, aircraft manufacturers are finding that customers demand longer-range airplanes capable of transoceanic flight to and from shorter runways. And that means aircraft embark on longer trips and are away from home base for longer periods. As a result, airplane makers are aggressively expanding remote service networks. Cessna said this week that it's substantially expanding its service capabilities in Europe, for example, where it has almost 900 Citations operating. At the NBAA convention in Orlando, Mark Paolucci, Cessna's VP for customer service, said the company has just approved a plan to build a new service center in Spain, with completion planned for 2010.

Meanwhile, it's also expanding service centers in the U.S., India and the United Kingdom, and it reports good customer response to its innovative mobile service unit introduced a year ago. The mobile service unit consists of a large straight truck specially fitted with parts, tools and jigs for conducting major maintenance away from an airplane's home base. The truck has diagnostic equipment aboard and even an onboard crane for replacing engines in the field. There are currently four MSUs operating in the U.S., and four more are planned for 2009, Cessna said this week.

Dassault Sees Slowdown But Still Plans Expansion

With the evolving credit crisis hanging over the aviation economy, Dassault joined Cessna this week in conceding that order uptake has slowed. But, like Cessna, Dassault has an impressive backlog -- about 500 aircraft -- which it hopes will see it through the credit crisis. Dassault CEO John Rosanvallon told reporters this week at the NBAA convention in Orlando that the first six months of 2008 "have been more than good" for Dassault, but he reports the company already sees a definite slowdown in its U.S. and Western European business.

Demand from China, India and the Middle East, he said, has remained resilient, with relatively few order cancellations. Rosanvallon said demand from Russia appears vulnerable due to the retraction of the Russian stock market. Nonetheless, Dassault is proceeding apace to expand production capabilities, nearly doubling its assembly capacity, and, like Cessna and other manufacturers, it's expanding its technical and service facilities worldwide. It has just launched a new support depot in San Jose, California with $34 million in parts and same-day or next-day delivery service for most areas of the U.S.

Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
As a Cirrus owner, you join a lifestyle that takes safety very seriously. Whether flying for pleasure or business, you always fly smart and safe. Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is designed to help by giving you more time and information to make better decisions, reduce workload, and improve your overall flying experience. Cirrus Perspective adds more ability to experience the Cirrus lifestyle fully and leave anxiety out of your flight plan. For complete features, go online.

» Cirrus Design is at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show.
For complete features of Cirrus Perspective, visit booth #4245.
Cabin Tours back to top 

Bombardier Gears For Learjet 85 Production

Bombardier says the first 400 Learjet 85s will be built at a new plant in Mexico, but finishing and delivery preparation will be done in Wichita, necessitating expansion of the already-jammed Kansas facilities. Learjet President David Coleal told a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando that up to 1,200 people will work at the Mexican facility. On Monday, the company unveiled a full-scale mockup of the aircraft, built by Grob Aerospace, which features a state-of-the-art cockpit and cabin that AVweb toured for an AVweb Exclusive Video.

The mockup was the last thing Grob built for the Learjet 85 project after Bombardier had to sever ties with the Swiss-based company, which was forced into insolvency in late August. Coleal said that while none of the tools and parts built by Grob have been moved, the company expects to maintain its development schedule, which calls for first deliveries in 2012.

The Learjet 85 is 42 percent larger than the next largest Lear, the 60, and Coleal said it will actually be faster.

Related Content:
Video tour of the Learjet 85 interior at NBAA Convention 2008

Cessna Customers Craft Columbus

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

If you're going on a 4,000 nm trip, what do you need? (Besides a state-of-the-art airframe, engines and avionics.) According to Cessna Columbus customers, it's storage and leg room. Cindy Halsey, Cessna's vice president of interiors, told AVweb in an AVweb Exclusive Video that plenty of places to put the amenities you need on a long trip (including a flight attendant) have been included in the revamped Columbus thanks to two years of market research and a proof-of-concept mockup. She said the redesigned cabin, unveiled Monday at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, has met with overwhelming approval from the people who offered comments on the first attempt. "They're saying, 'You nailed it,'" she said.

The mockup was unveiled at a splashy event for media and customers, and there was a steady stream of people touring the cabin. Halsey said designers took comments that the space inside was used inefficiently to heart, and most people who had seen the old mockup thought the fuselage had been enlarged. New touches -- like felt-lined cubbyholes for personal items like wallets, purses, cameras, etc. and just about every place not needed for people or equipment turned into storage -- have met with overwhelming approval, according to Halsey.

Related Content:
Tour the interior with us at NBAA Convention 2008

Want to join us on our cabin tours?
You can in today's videos (a little further down in this issue)!

Introducing AV8OR™ from Bendix/King by Honeywell
The AV8OR is the portable and affordable GPS built specifically for pilots, by a company that knows pilots. With navigation routing, planning and weather information for the aircraft and the automobile, the AV8OR uses aviation software and symbology pilots understand. Its 4.3-inch touch screen is larger and easier to read than competing GPS systems, with an intuitive interface derived from the pilot-friendly, panel-mounted Bendix/King multi-function display systems. For more information, go online.

» Bendix-King (Honeywell) is at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show.
Stop by booth #2000 for a demonstration of the AV8OR™.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

AVweb's NBAA 2008 Podcast #3: Nextant — State-of-the-Art Beech 400s

File Size 7.3 MB / Running Time 8:00

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The 400-series Beechjet has been a successful model, but as it ages, its fuel economy and performance are dated against newer jets. Nextant Aerospace says it can address that with an aggressive STC program to re-engine the airplane with the new Williams FJ44-3AP and Collins Proline 21 avionics. Learn the details from Nextant's Ed McDonald and Mark O'Donnell in this podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather

Click here to listen. (7.3 MB, 8:00)

AVweb's NBAA 2008 Podcast #4: Managing Your Resources with Century CRM's Carl Carmichael

File Size 5.8 MB / Running Time 6:21

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

If you're familiar with crew resource management, you may be interested to learn that a company called Century CRM is bringing many of the concepts into the single-pilot arena under the aegis of "cockpit resource management." Century's Carl Carmichael explains how the company's innovative training can teach you to make the best use of your cockpit, in all sorts of different conditions.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation

Click here to listen. (5.8 MB, 6:21)

Go Green with Diamond: $1.99 Fuel
Buy a DA40 XLS between October 1 and November 30, 2008 and take delivery of your plane by December 31, and the Diamond team will buy down your fuel cost to $1.99 per gallon for the first 200 hours or 18 months, whichever comes first. The DA40 XLS is the savvy and responsible choice in this day and age of high fuel prices. For complete details, go online.

» Diamond Aircraft is at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show.
Visit them at booth #4704 to learn more about DA40 ownership.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

AVweb's NBAA 2008 Video #3: Bombardier Learjet 85 Cabin Tour

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

The Learjet 85 is due from Bombardier in 2012 and offers an eight-seat luxury cabin plus expansive galley and lavatory to accommodate passengers in comfort for a range of up to 3,000 nautical miles. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles and Video Editor Glenn Pew take you on an exclusive tour of the interior.

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.

This video is brought to you by Bose Corporation ... .

AVweb's NBAA 2008 Video #4: Cessna Citation Columbus 850 Interior Tour

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

Cessna's latest interior configuration for its Columbus business jet, due in 2014, maximizes storage space and comfort for eight cabin occupants. AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles and Video Editor Glenn Pew take you inside.

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.

This video is brought to you by WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather ... .

Avidyne Delivers Worldwide Datalink Graphical Weather and Two-Way Messaging
Avidyne's new MLX770 Iridium®-based two-way datalink transceiver brings strategic datalink weather services to Entegra- and EX500-equipped aircraft operating worldwide. The MLX770 allows pilots to more easily make go/no-go decisions on the ground and fly more strategically while en route. Additionally, the MLX770 provides convenient two-way SMS text messaging from an airborne MFD to any ground-based SMS-capable mobile phone or e-mail address, allowing pilots to communicate in-flight. Click here for more information.

» Avidyne is at the NBAA Convention & Trade Show.
See the MLX770 and other products at booth #1772.
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.

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.
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

Jeff van West

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