AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 8, Number 40a

October 19, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Another Trade Show, Another Score for Embraer back to top 

NetJets Buys Up To 125 Phenom 300s

Any doubts that Embraer will be a major player in the business aircraft market likely evaporated Monday as NetJets announced it intends to buy 125 Phenom 300 light business jets from the Brazilian planemaker. The sale may also signal some welcome stirring in the market that will lead to the first steps to recovery of the bizjet market. NetJets placed a firm order for 50 Phenoms and optioned 75. "We expect to buy all the aircraft," NetJets CEO David Sokol told a jammed news conference at Monday's NBAA press day. Sokol said the choice of the Phenom 300 was based on input from customers and the features and performance they want.

Sokol said the billion dollar deal will be a fundamental part of its fleet refreshment plan and older Citations and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft will be retired as the Phenoms come on line starting in 2012. The NetJets Phenom 300s will be unique in Embraer's product line and the feature package in the so-called Platinum Edition will not be available to other customers.

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It's Not the Citation X, and It's Not the Citation XI back to top 

Cessna Introduces Citation Ten

In keeping with the large-cabin theme of this year's National Business Aviation Association convention, Cessna's major announcement of the show is an extensive upgrade of its flagship bizjet. In fact, Cessna says the makeover of the Citation X is so complete that it considers the new model, called the Citation Ten to be a new airplane. "The launch of the Citation Ten is an example of our commitment, repeated throughout the recent downturn, to new product development, and it's a signal that we intend to do what we need to do to maintain a general aviation industry leadership position," CEO Jack Pelton said. The Ten is about 15 inches longer than the existing model, has a new cockpit, cabin and engines and is projected to be about 19 knots faster than the X, which may allow Cessna to hang on to its claim to have the "fastest certified business jet" with a maximum cruise of just under .92 Mach.

In an advance interview with AVweb, Cessna officials declined to speculate on the maximum operating speed of the new plane but Pelton has said that the company intends to defend the speed title and the extra 19 knots (at 49,000 feet) might be enough to nudge past the .925 Mach projected for the Gulfstream G650. Revamped Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 high-flow-fan turbines will provide the push and also provide direct climb to 45,000 feet. The Ten is the launch airplane for Garmin's new G5000 system, which is its first foray into the Part 25 market. It features three 14-inch screens with synthetic vision standard. A new cabin management system includes touch-screen controllers at each seat, new galley designs and lavatories and different seating geometry to enhance comfort.

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Aerion Still Breaking the Sound Barrier back to top 

Aerion Completes Supersonic Flight Test Series

Aerion Corp. is continuing to work on the design of its supersonic business jet, the company said at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. A series of flight tests this summer using a NASA F-15B at speeds up to Mach 2.0 provided data that is now being incorporated into the design of a test article for the next flight series. "Future tests will evaluate supersonic boundary layer transition properties as they relate to manufacturing standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances," said Richard Tracy, the company's chief technology officer. "Both [are] crucial to future production of Aerion's supersonic business jet." Aerion worked with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in July and August, completing five flights to collect data on static pressure for comparison with computer models.

Aerion plans to build a supersonic jet that can carry 8 to 12 passengers at speeds up to Mach 1.6 with a range of 4,000 nm and a ceiling of 51,000 feet. The jet, almost 150 feet long, would be powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 engines. Targets include an approach speed of 120 knots and a minimum landing distance under 3,500 feet. The company said this week it has about 50 deposits for the $80 million airplane, and the order book has remained "relatively constant, despite recent economic volatility." The company is engaged in ongoing talks with possible manufacturing partners; aircraft deliveries would begin five to six years from the formation of a joint venture to cover development, production, certification, sales and support of the jet.

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Checking In on the HondaJet back to top 

HondaJet Updates Program At NBAA

HondaJet has updated and finalized the production design for the cockpit and cabin of its light jet, the company said at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. The new design incorporates the results of Honda's human-factors engineering efforts and flight-test evaluations and reflects the quality of materials, colors and finishes that will be available in delivery aircraft, the company said. HondaJet now has two conforming aircraft in its flight-test program and has started to assemble a third at its facility in Greensboro, N.C. The first conforming aircraft has been used to ground-test electrical and hydraulic systems in preparation for its first flight. The second airplane will be used for static structural stress testing.

"In addition to the more than 500 flight hours we have accumulated on the proof-of-concept HondaJet, the successful completion of this robust range of static structural stress tests on the conforming aircraft significantly reinforces the advantages of the HondaJet's advanced design," said HondaJet CEO Michimasa Fujino. All static structural stress tests are conducted with a structural test fixture designed exclusively for the HondaJet, using 61 hydraulic actuators and a 2,600-channel data acquisition system. The entire aircraft can be tested simultaneously to prove static and fatigue strength under various flight- and ground-load conditions. Testing will continue on static test aircraft as the HondaJet program moves through the certification process. The fourth conforming aircraft will be used for fatigue testing scheduled for 2012. HondaJet also said it is almost finished with construction of a 250,000 square foot production facility at its Greensboro campus. The facility is scheduled to open early next year. The new facility will also house Flight Safety International Level-D full-motion flight simulators for training all HondaJet pilots and crew.

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2012: ABACE, Biz Boom (If the World Doesn't End) back to top 

Honeywell Predicts Bizav Rebound In 2012

Business aviation should begin its next period of expansion in 2012, according to the 19th annual business aviation outlook issued by Honeywell Aerospace at NBAA's Annual Convention this week. About 11,000 new business jets, valued at over $225 billion, will be delivered from this year through 2020, according to the company's analysis. "Despite a torpid recovery, there have been relatively few program cancellations and delays," said Rob Wilson, president of business and general aviation for Honeywell. "The pipeline of new high-value models supporting long-term growth remains strong.  Our survey indicates that international demand will still remain significant and contribute to longer-term growth." But in the short term, 2011 will likely be no better than this year, with an estimated 675 to 700 new business jet deliveries, Honeywell said.

"This year, operators outside North America have become more cautious about the strength and pace of the recovery," Wilson said. "While they are still looking beyond the current economic climate and anticipating a return to improved business conditions, they have tempered near-term expectations and buying decisions, as reflected in the current delivery forecast." Honeywell's forecast is based on responses to an industry survey and factors in economic growth forecasts. The full news release features more details about expectations for the various regions of the world as well as the various segments of the market, such as fractionals, used aircraft, and personal jets.

ABACE Returns In 2012

The Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition will return in 2012 after a three-year hiatus forced by the economic downturn. At a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta on Monday, NBAA and the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) jointly announced the resurrection of the event. The first one was held in 2004 and the 2009 meeting was cancelled because of the economic turmoil that ensued in 2008. ABACE 2012 has been scheduled for Feb. 28-March 1 at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Center at Hongqiao Airport. Although business aviation in general has suffered in the last couple of years, Asia has been one of the bright spots.

NBAA President Ed Bolen said that in 2004 there were questions about the potential for business aviation in Asia but the early shows helped to raise awareness and the industry has grown in the region. "We are returning to Shanghai far ahead of where we started but with still much to accomplish," Bolen said. "Nevertheless it is now now clear to everyone that there is tremendous potential for business aviation in Asia." Bolen said manufacturers are welcoming the return of the show.

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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Used Aircraft Prices Continue to Stunt New Sales: Cessna's Jack Pelton

File Size 4.9 MB / Running Time 4:48

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Even as he was announcing the new Citation Ten, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton told AVweb Monday that "staggeringly low" prices on late model aircraft across the size and type spectrum continue to make for a dismal market for new aircraft. In a podcast recorded at the National Business Aircraft Association meeting in Atlanta, Pelton said Cessna had expected a stronger market recovery in 2010 but now accepts the recovery won't be the V-shaped snapback it had hoped for.

Cessna has continued to downsize in recent months, eliminating redundancies in finance and administration programs. The company continues its commitment to a product for every segment of the market and to deliver on that promise: It's now shipping the 162 Skycatcher in larger volumes from its Chinese manufacturing facility. Pelton said Cessna now believes that delays in the Skycatcher program are behind it and a production ramp-up can proceed apace.

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Click here to listen. (4.9 MB, 4:48)

South America Rising

File Size 7.0 MB / Running Time 6:49

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As traditional markets have flattened, one of the regions generating the most interest in business aviation has been Latin America. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Piaggio Aero's John Bingham about the prospects to the south and the market in general as NBAA gets underway in Atlanta.

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Click here to listen. (7.0 MB, 6:49)

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

Video: Cessna's Citation Ten (That's 'T-E-N')

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

At NBAA 2010 in Atlanta, Cessna announced a new model, the Citation Ten — not to be confused with the Citation X. In this video, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton gives us the details.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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Video: Garmin's G5000 EFIS at NBAA

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Garmin unveiled its new G5000 EFIS for Part 25 users at the NBAA convention in Atlanta. Carl Wolf gave AVweb's Paul Bertorelli the lowdown.

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Meanwhile, Outside of NBAA ... back to top 

Canada's High Court Asserts Control Of Airports

In two decisions handed down last week, Canada's Supreme Court confirmed that airports fall under federal jurisdiction exclusively, a decision heralded by aviation supporters. "This is a great day for Canadian aviation," said Kevin Psutka, president of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. "This issue has been debated for decades." The two court decisions cited attempts by municipal and provincial governments to restrict aviation activities. Such conflicts have become "unrelenting" in recent years, Psutka said. In one case, Quebec land owners were operating a landing strip and hangar on protected agricultural land, and provincial authorities told them to remove the hangar and the runway. The other case involved a seaplane operation based at a floating dock, which municipal authorities said conflicted with regulations protecting the lake.

In its decision the Court said that Canada's Federal Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Air Regulations are permissive and allow Canadians to construct private aerodromes without applying for prior permission. The Court said there is no essential difference between smaller aerodromes and larger national or international airports. The Court then concluded: "This view reflects the reality that Canada's airports and aerodromes constitute a network of landing places that together facilitate air transportation and ensure safety."

Balloon, Paraglider Collide, Four Hurt

Click for larger version

A hot-air balloon and a paraglider collided as they flew above an airport open house in Cottonwood, Ariz., on Saturday morning. The balloon envelope tore but did not completely collapse, and photos from the scene appear to show the paraglider's canopy entangled in the envelope structure. The two aircraft fell about 500 feet to the ground. The three people in the balloon and the paraglider pilot were hurt, but reportedly with non-life-threatening injuries. The landing may have been softened somewhat by a broken chain link fence in an empty parking lot, according to the Associated Press.

About 10 balloons and two paragliders had launched for a morning flight from the Airfest 2010 event. The collision occurred about 7:30 a.m. Eric Wadleigh, 53, was flying the balloon, with passengers Susan Evans and Jon Bidolf on board. The paraglider pilot, Kenneth Ritchie, 53, reportedly suffered head and spinal injuries.

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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

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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