AVwebBiz - Volume 7, Number 5

February 4, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Lancair's Military Kitplane Sale back to top 

Lancair Sells 25 Military Trainer Kits

Lancair announced on Tuesday that it will provide 25 modified Legacy FG kits to be assembled in Colombia and used for primary flight training by the Colombian Air Force. The aircraft, known as the Synergy, has a 15% bigger wing, leading edge cuffs, and ventral fin than the standard model. The company says mods make the aircraft "quite docile," but adds it still has plenty of get-up-and-go. Lancair, through its Colombian partner SudAir Corporation, will provide the kits to Colombian Aviation Industry Corp. (CIAC), which will build them for the air force. "This initial agreement is a result of over two years of negotiations ...," said Lancair President Joe Bartels. "We will provide molds, fixtures, jigs, materials, technical support and composite training to CIAC for purposes of its construction of the initial 25 aircraft."

The aircraft will have certified Lycoming IO-390 engines. Construction of the aircraft will begin in August at the rate of one a month, and CIAC should be building two a month by the end of the year.

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Tweaking the Fractional Model back to top 

Flexjet Offers Round-Trip Discounts

Every air traveler knows it pays to book in advance, and Flexjet is rewarding customers who make efficient use of their fractionally-owned aircraft with a 15% reduction in the cost of qualifying round trips. Flexjet says it's the first to offer this kind of incentive to customers making quick-turnaround trips, and the company expects it to be popular. "We expect this not to be a limited time offer," said Sylvain Levesque, Flexjet's vice president of marketing.

Customers who buy at least 100 hours a year from Flexjet can use the discount two ways. They can book a day trip, which occupies the airplane for no more than 12 hours in a single-day round trip, or they can overnight at their destination, as long as the layover is 12-20 hours. "Round-trip pricing provides our owners with an enhanced benefit that saves them money through the efficiencies we can build into our operation on their behalf," said Levesque.

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Latest Job Cuts: Hawker Beechcraft back to top 

Hawker Beechcraft Cuts 2,300 Jobs

Adding to the thousands of jobs already lost over the last few weeks to aviation businesses in Wichita, Kan., Hawker Beechcraft CEO Jim Schuster announced on Tuesday that at least 2,300 jobs will be cut at his company. In a letter to employees published at the local KSN.com news site, Schuster said, "We are undoubtedly facing one of the most severe tests in our company's history." He cited global economic decline as the cause of declining orders and deliveries. In addition, he said, the government's stimulus package has failed to loosen up credit markets and orders from fractional markets have declined "considerably." He also blamed "the media and some politicians" for characterizing general aviation as "a wasteful extravagance instead of a critical business tool and the source of millions of American jobs." He added that with no end in sight to global market volatility, he could offer no assurance that there won't be further reductions. Hawker is the third-largest employer in Wichita, with about 7,500 employees. The company also employs 2,000 others worldwide, to build a range of aircraft from business jets to piston singles and the T-6 military trainer.

Cessna also has recently announced layoffs of about 4,000 employees, and Boeing said last week it will cut 10,000 jobs.

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 2008, Cessna delivered 1,301 aircraft, including 467 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5.662 billion. Cessna has a backlog of $14.5 billion as of December 31, 2008. Since the company was originally established in 1927, some 192,000 Cessna airplanes have been delivered around the world, including more than 5,700 Citations, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
"World's Most Efficient IFR Trainer" back to top 

Liberty XL2 Most Efficient IFR Aircraft?

Liberty Aerospace, of Melbourne, Fla., this week threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the aviation world, claiming that its XL2 is the world's most efficient IFR trainer and touring aircraft, after a flight test conducted last month achieved an efficiency of 21.208 nm per gallon over a 165-nm course. "With standard equipment and no special pre-planning for weather or winds, we showed what can be done in real-world everyday conditions," said Paul Everitt, business development manager for Liberty. The flight followed a loop from Spruce Creek to Hernando County Airport in Central Florida, at a cruising altitude of 7,500 feet, with power set at 50 percent and an RPM of 2350. Maximum power was used in the climb and 30 to 40 percent power for the descent, the company said. Average fuel burn per hour was 4.686 gallons with an average speed of 106 knots. "For the GA industry to grow, light aircraft manufacturers must produce efficient, fully-certified two-place aircraft that allow flight schools and individuals to continue flying while remaining profitable," said Everitt. "We challenge the aviation industry to beat our record of being the most fuel-efficient and environmentally acceptable Part 23 IFR certified aircraft available today."

The XL2 is built with carbon-fiber fuselage and its engine is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

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High Hopes Abound in LSA Sector back to top 

The LSA Bright Spot

Click for more videos from Sebring 2009

Amid all the news of job cuts and downturns, the light sport aircraft sector just keeps on cranking. Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, estimates that about 11,500 people attended the Sebring Sport Aviation Expo just over a week ago in Florida, a new record for the show, and about 20 airplanes, worth about $2.5 million, were sold over the four-day event. "Every exhibitor I spoke to will return for Sebring No. 6 in 2010," Johnson wrote at his blog. In addition, he announced that two new regional LSA shows will be held this year -- the HOT (Heart of Texas) LSA Show will be held in March in Bryan, Texas, and the Midwest LSA Show will follow in October, in Mount Vernon, Ill. Johnson also noted that two new U.S.-built LSAs made their debuts at the show: M-Squared's Breese 2 and RANS's S-6 Coyote. The Breese, built in Alabama, sells for just $34,995, fully built from the factory. The Coyote is a ready-to-fly version of an airplane that has been one of the top-selling homebuilts, with almost 2,000 copies in the air. Other new aircraft introduced at the show were the Flaeming Air FA-04 Peregrin, built in Germany and imported by Hansen Air Group in Georgia, and the Skyteton K-10, built in the Ukraine.

If you missed any of AVweb's exclusive coverage of the Sebring event, you can still catch up at our video coverage and at our AVweb Insider blog.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: BizAv, Meet Darwin

Business aviation isn't just coping with the suddenly rotten economy, argues AVweb contributing editor Mary Grady. It's also fighting the perception that bizav is irrelevant and wasteful in the current circumstances. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Mary argues that those who adapt to the new realities will survive, even thrive.

Read more.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Aviation Consumer Survey: Cross-Country LSA Flying

Do you fly a light sport aircraft (LSA) for real, cross-country travel? Are you exploring the possibility? Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, has been researching this topic and wants to hear your thoughts with a quick survey. It will take no more than five minutes of your time to complete.

If you own or rent an aircraft that qualifies as an LSA, click here to complete our owner survey.

If you are just thinking about using an LSA for travel, click here to share your opinion in our non-owner survey.

(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.

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

Exclusive Video from U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009: Chairman Bob Wood on This Year's Expo

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

As the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009 gets underway in Sebring, Florida, Chairman Bob Wood talks with Aviation Safety Editor-in-Chief Jeb Burnside. A quick preview of this year's show tells attendees what to expect and what they don't want to miss at the nation's premier sport pilot gathering.

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Exclusive Video from U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009: Flight Design's Tom Peghiny

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

The nation's showcase for light sport aircraft and the Sport Pilot program (U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009) kicks off in Sebring, Florida today. Tom Peghiny from Flight Design joins Aviation Consumer Editor-in-Chief Paul Bertorelli to discuss the company's presence at the show and the state of LSA.

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

Exclusive Video from U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009: Cessna Skycatcher's Journey to Market

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

Kitplanes Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook talks with Neal Willford, Cessna Aircraft's project engineer on the 162 SkyCatcher. Neal was kind enough to share the inside scoop on the SkyCatcher's journey to market.

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Exclusive Video from U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009: LSA Engine Overview

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

New to the world of LSA? One of the things you'll discover is that your engine choice makes a big difference, in terms of both weight and performance. For an overview of the three top choices in the light sport segment, Marc Cook, Editor-in-Chief of Kitplanes magazine, visits Rotax, Jabiru, and Continental on the grounds of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida.

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

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!
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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