AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 7, Number 40

October 14, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Trade Up Your Old Lightspeed Headset for a Zulu
If you haven't been quite ready to move up, this program is for you. Your older Lightspeed headset is worth up to $500 when you trade it in for a new Zulu. Different headsets have different trade-up values. (OEM and reconditioned headsets are not eligible.) Available to U.S. customers and only through Lightspeed direct. Find out how much yours is worth now!
 
Top News: Signs of Recovery back to top 
 

Business Aircraft Activity Steadily Rising

Figures released Monday by Aviation Research Group U.S. (ARGUS) indicates steady recovery of business aircraft activity. The most recent data compiled by the company shows a 2.7 percent overall increase in business aircraft activity that put the number of operations in September at slightly less than 200,000 and just a few more than during the same period last year. The tale of the tape, however, is where those increases come from.

It's probably no surprise that fuel-efficient and sort of non-jet turboprops earned the greatest increase in activity (11.7 percent) as gun-shy executives look for more politically correct means of convenient travel. The turboprops apparently got their gains from little jets, whose operations were off by 5.7 percent. Similarly, mid-sized jets probably got a boost from those abandoning the large-cabin aircraft. Activity for big bizjets was off by 12.7 percent while the mid-size class posted a modest gain of .4 percent.

 
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all. Visit CessnaRise.com.
 
Chinese C919 in the Spotlight back to top 
 

China's "Big Plane" Promoted

China has taken the wraps off its design for what it calls its "big plane," a twin-engine single-aisle airliner that will seat up to 190 people. A large-scale model of the C919 is on prominent display at the Beijing Expo airshow this week and seems as much a political statement as a business initiative. "To develop the large-scale airliner is a strategic decision of the Chinese government and one of the major programs for building up an innovation-oriented country," Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang told a Chinese publication last month. Whether it will, as hoped by the Chinese, represent serious competition for Boeing and Airbus in a segment of the market virtually owned by them is a matter of conjecture.

China says it can deliver a technologically superior aircraft that burns less fuel and costs less than either the Boeing 737 or the A320. Analysts who've studied the program are skeptical whether China can deliver on those claims but it likely won't have to in order to sell airplanes. China's now-substantial middle class has considerable wanderlust; the domestic airlines are expected to need up to 4,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years and will undoubtedly be encouraged to consider the C919. Even if they're shut out of the market for whole airplanes, Western manufacturers stand to profit, however. Many analysts believe the C919 will rely heavily on imported technology.

 
Big South Fork Airpark is located 50 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, and boasts an asphalt runway 5,500 feet in length, with four instrument approaches. The airpark grounds, totaling 450 acres, offer 1-to-3+ acre home sites starting at $89,000. Personal hangars are also available and start at $95,000. Each home has convenient runway access and is in the immediate vicinity of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. For more information, visit BSFAirpark.com.
 
NBAA, NATA Unite for 2010 Conferences back to top 
 

Industry Meetings Coordinated

NBAA and NATA are joining forces to hold two conferences in the same venue that will appeal to the same audience and shave costs for all concerned. For years, NBAA has held its annual Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference during the winter, while NATA has booked space for its annual FBO Leadership Conference. This coming January, attendees can take in both meetings in a single trip. The NBAA session will be held Jan. 25-26 in San Antonio and the NATA meetings will run from Jan. 27-29. The events are being run separately by their sponsors and participants must register for them independently, but the back-to-back format might make it affordable and efficient to attend both.

"In this turbulent economic climate, this plan will allow us to provide our associations' members the networking, marketing and educational opportunities they have come to expect, in one place, at one time," said NBAA President Ed Bolen. NATA President Jim Coyne said this kind of coordination makes sense for both organizations and will be pursued for future events. "NATA members know that the association has been pursuing alliances like this one, and we will continue to do so to fulfill our mission to help ensure the long-term economic success of our members," Coyne said.

 
Garmin Glass for the Diamond DA20!
Diamond Aircraft is celebrating the introduction of the lowest cost certified glass cockpit airplane with a time-limited spectacular introductory offer. Every purchaser of a new DA20 equipped with Garmin G500 will receive a no-charge avionics upgrade and free SVT (Synthetic Vision Technology), a $9,685 value!* Visit DiamondAircraft.com or call (888) 359-3220.

* Some terms and conditions apply.
 
Stratos Gets a Boost Heading into NBAA back to top 
 

Stratos Finds First Customer, Will Bring Cabin Mock-up To NBAA

Stratos Aircraft, of Bend, Ore., announced this week it has received the first deposit for a Stratos 714 Very Light Personal Jet. The company also said it will display its full-scale cabin mock-up at next week's NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Fla., for the first time at that event. "The need for speed, performance and value drew me to Stratos," said Verson Pandian, the first buyer to take advantage of the Stratos fully refundable deposit program. Pandian is the owner of Cascade Air Charter, in Bend, and plans to use the jet in his business. "Knowing that I am not at risk with my deposit made me feel like the Stratos team really understands my perspective," he said. The Stratos single-engine jet will fly 1,500 nm at 400 knots carrying four people plus baggage, the company says. "We are excited to bring the 714 mock-up to this year's NBAA convention, especially since there is a focus on the light business aircraft owner," said Stratos Chairman Michael Lemaire. "We look forward to a great show."

The company's fully refundable Assurance Deposit Program aims to reassure skittish buyers that their deposits will be held in escrow, and can be refunded at any time. Lemaire says the 714 will fill a market need that right now is going unmet. "There are many piston and turboprop owners that have the need for more speed and range but also want a more efficient jet option with low acquisition and operating costs in these challenging economic conditions," says Lemaire. "The 714 matches this need and is the only aircraft that will give these pilots business-jet performance in a very light jet." The full-scale mock-up was first displayed at Oshkosh AirVenture this summer. The company said it will release further details and updates about the program at next week's NBAA event.

 
WingX GPS-Enabled Terrain-Aware Moving Map for iPhone!
Just released — Moving Map for your iPhone! Also: File flight plans and obtain and view legal weather briefings. View any NACO chart or airport diagram — entire USA stored right on your phone. A/FD, AOPA Directory, Route Planning, FARs, Animated RADAR, METARs, TAFs, winds and temperatures aloft, TFRs text and graphics, an E6B, and much more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Click here for more information.
 
"Recovery" May Not Be Painless for Aviation City back to top 
 

Can Wichita Weather The Storm?

Wichita, Kan., has been the hub of the U.S. aircraft manufacturing industry since the 1920s, when the companies that would become Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, and Boeing all had their roots there. But the current downturn has hit the city hard, with about a quarter of the aviation workforce laid off. According to a story in Monday's Wall Street Journal, the city may never recover those jobs. Many manufacturers had started work on new production facilities in China, Mexico, and elsewhere to increase capacity during the boom times, and when orders do start to pick up again, the work might go there, rather than back to Kansas. Company officials told the WSJ it's unlikely that they would expand their Wichita operations beyond today's level. Any future growth would probably happen abroad. "We're going out and trying to recruit new businesses here to diversify what we have," Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer told the WSJ. But some of those new businesses might still be in the aviation sector, he added.

Meanwhile, Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, has been asking President Barack Obama to visit Wichita to see the job losses that have resulted from negative characterizations of business jet use and the recession. Buffenbarger, who was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, was in the news last year for angry remarks he made about then-Senator Obama and his supporters, in which he characterized Mr. Obama as two-faced and cowardly.

 
If You Own a Cirrus, Or If You Are Considering Purchasing a New or Used Aircraft, Consider This:
Avidyne and leading Cirrus sales and maintenance facilities have launched the G3-R9 program combining the purchase of a late-model, low-time Cirrus and the Avidyne Entegra Release 9 avionics suite for much less than purchasing a new aircraft. G3-R9 — combining the best airframe, best engine, and best avionics for the best value. Click here for more information.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: Flying the Zeppelin NT with Airship Ventures

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

Pilots who signed up for sightseeing flights over San Francisco in the new Zeppelin NT kept asking the crew if they could take a turn in the front seat. Tired of having to say no, the company created a special day-long program just for pilots. AVweb's Mary Grady tried it out during a session in Long Beach last month, and here is her report.

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.

Related Content:
Click here for photos and more details on Mary's flight.

 
The IMC Rating — CBT Course
Your personal flight instructor from Oxford Aviation Academy on CD. A self-study interactive course covers instrument ground school and the flight training based on the JAA syllabus. The scope of the course is vast, enabling you to prepare for the ground examination and practical flying test for the IMC Rating more thoroughly, effectively, and enjoyably than is possible using traditional study methods.

CBT/CD $128.95

For more information, call (800) 780-4115 or click this link for an online demo (and to check out other items at AVwebBooks.com).
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Exclusive Video: Garmin's New Traffic Products

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

At Oshkosh this year, Garmin announced the new GT-series traffic awareness and collision avoidance products. These devices are priced according to capability and aircraft mission. In this video, we take a quick look at all three systems.

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.


Video Marketplace Spotlight

Classic Cockpits DVDs
Rick Searle Productions takes you behind the stick of some of the world's most incredible classic airplanes — the Douglas DC-3, the PBY Catalina, the de Havilland Vampire, and the Avro Lancaster — in a series of Classic Cockpits DVDs.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.

 
Ho, Ho Holiday Gift Guide Offer
It's time to promote your gift items and stocking stuffers to AVweb's 255,000 readers worldwide. Display your items starting now for one low price to generate instant orders until 12/31. We'll promote the Holiday Marketplace in every newsletter. Click here to visit the Gift Guide and have your product featured on AVweb.
 
Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: More Thoughts on VLJ Price Fantasies

With its 600-series small turbofan, Pratt & Whitney probably made the technological breakthrough on cost that it said it would. So why didn't it break open the market? In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that it's probably because the airframes themselves remain complex and expensive to certify. Cheap engines don't equate to cheap airplanes.

Read more on the AVweb Insider blog.

 
No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

Aviation Consumer's Flight-Planning Software Survey

Do you use software for flight planning? Aviation Consumer magazine wants to know what computer tool you prefer, be it a package you paid for, downloaded for free, or just use on the web. Even if you just glance at the METARs on ADDS and figure you'll stop for gas somewhere on the way, we'd appreciate you taking a couple of minutes to answer at least some of these questions. Hey, you might even discover flight-planning options in the survey questions you never knew existed. Click here to participate.

(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.

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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebBiz. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.