AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 8, Number 41

October 27, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Details on Cessna's New Turboprop back to top 
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PT6 Powers Cessna Test Turboprop

A few more details have emerged about Cessna's experimental single-engine turboprop. According to airworthiness (PDF) and registration (PDF) records provided by Plane Fax, the presumed N-number of the aircraft, N350CE, is indeed an experimental aircraft intended for research and development and banned from flying over developed areas except for during takeoff and landing. The R&D plane has only two seats and, as is customary with test planes, only those who have business being there are allowed on board. The documents also put to rest speculation on the engine choice for the test article. It's a PT6.

Although Pratt and Whitney Canada says the PT6A-135A puts out 750 horsepower, Cessna is saying it has 500 horsepower in its FAA filings. The engine is 62 inches long and is the same series used in twins like the old Cessna Conquest and the King Air C90. It's also used in the Vazar single Otter turbine conversion, which is a pretty big single. . It might fit in a modified Corvalis but a six-place design is also a possibility. Cessna got the paperwork approval for the aircraft in early April and asked for it to be valid for a year. Fresh speculation is that Cessna will announce the program at AOPA Summit in Long Beach in early November.

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The Slow Climb Back to "Normal" back to top 

Financing Logjam Hits Used Market

A financial Catch-22 is at the root of the market logjam stalling new business jet sales, according to analyst Brian Foley. Manufacturers keep saying they won't start selling healthy numbers of new aircraft until the glut of used planes is cleared. And while there are plenty of customers anxious to snap up the many bargains on the used market, those low prices are at least partly responsible for their not selling. Foley says that while banks are starting to lend again, they are being a lot more careful and don't like lending for items that are undervalued. "Residual values have plummeted, so today's loans are based more on the borrower's balance sheet and less on the [repossessed] asset value of the aircraft, although that continues to play some role," Foley said.

Another factor deterring buyers is that banks are no longer approving loans that include extra money for upgrades on used aircraft. In fact, they're demanding up to 20 percent down, meaning the prospective buyer might have to come up with a third or more of the total cost of a used aircraft if, as is common, he wants to upgrade the avionics or redo the interior. Only those with impeccable credit need apply and they should be looking for newer planes. Some institutions won't look at lending on aircraft older than 10 years, he said.

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Charter Jet Model Evolves — Again back to top 

Budget Charter Offers Discount Rates

JetSuite Air, a new charter company headed by former JetBlue exec and staffed with ex-JetBlue pilots, is trying to apply some of the lessons they learned with the budget carrier to the bizjet charter market. The company, which began flying last year (it started life as Magnum Jet four years ago and had planned to use Eclipse 500s), now has nine Embraer Phenom 100s and recently started offering what amounts to seat sales on shorter routes. For instance, a one-way trip from Van Nuys to Las Vegas is being offered at $999 for the four-seat aircraft, less than four full-fare airline tickets. But as with airlines, the bargain fare is subject to advance booking, blackouts and is non-refundable. JetBlue founder David Neeleman is one of the main investors and he said the strategy suits the times.

"People are focused on value now and I think they'll turn to an operator that gains brand recognition and one they know they can trust for safety," Neeleman told The Wall Street Journal. In exchange for the airline-like fare provisions, JetSuite customers are not asked for monthly fees or up-front payments. The discount seats will be available on JetSuite's frequently traveled routes in the Southwest, but typical charter operations to specific locales outside those areas will run at full fare.

Critical Aspects of Aerospace Governance Workshop 
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SJ30 Faces Another Setback back to top 

Emivest Files For Chapter 11

Emivest Aerospace, manufacturer of the SJ30 light jet, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The economic slump has led many customers to cancel or delay their orders, CEO Anthony Power said in court papers. The company, based in Dubai, was formed about two years ago when Emirates Investment and Development Corp. bought an 80-percent stake in Sino Swearingen, the Texas-based company that had developed the jet. Emivest is seeking to continue operations while under bankruptcy protection. At least three of the SJ30 jets are flying, including one that belongs to actor Morgan Freeman. The jet is certified for a single pilot and typically seats five in the cabin. About 200 orders are on the books for the $7.2 million jet, according to the company.

The company currently has three jets in production at its assembly facility in Martinsburg, W. Va. The SJ30 cruises at up to .83 Mach at 49,000 feet, and it can maintain sea-level pressure in the cabin while flying up to 41,000 feet.

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Hawker Gets Leaner, Hopes Meaner Will Follow back to top 

More Job Losses At Hawker

Hawker Beechcraft gave notice to the next 350 workers to be laid off on Friday, and set a timeline for at least 800 more to follow by next August. Also, top executives have collectively invested $6 million in the company and have agreed to take a 10 percent pay cut, according to the Associated Press. "We are doing these things because we have a vision of a smaller, more agile company that delivers incredible quality, the first time -- faster," CEO Bill Boisture wrote in a letter to employees. "These characteristics, when we achieve them, will sustain us in the global, competitive marketplace of tomorrow." The job losses this week were cut from nonunion, salaried jobs. The next 800 jobs at the Wichita company will be cut from union members on the King Air line, according to the AP. That work will be transferred to third-party suppliers and to the company's Mexico operations.

Boisture said last month the "worldwide recession" has caused the downturn in orders that led to layoffs. "While there are pockets of growth in the global economy, the market for new production aircraft has stagnated at a very low level," Boisture said. "Readily available, high quality, used aircraft and the lack of financing have combined to depress the prices on private and business aircraft." No upturn is in sight for at least the next year or maybe longer, he said.

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NBAA 2010 Convention: Final Thoughts back to top 

NBAA 2010 Convention: News Coverage Round-Up

Where to find AVweb podcasts, videos, photos, and news reports from the 2010 NBAA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

You'll find our media coverage summarized here, and you can read all our news coverage from 2010 (and previous years) here.

AVweb Insider Blog: NBAA — Trying to Know the Unknowable

The NBAA show in Atlanta was noticeably more robust than last year, but most of the talk centered on recovery and why it's taking so long. Almost no one is asking if the industry has reached an inflection point similar to that of 1978, when GA sales went over a cliff. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says there's at least one good reason to believe that isn't the case: A global market for biz aircraft that didn't exist in 1980.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Cessna's High Performance Turboprop Single Has A Niche

The dream of creating instant jet pilots with VLJs is mostly over. So what's next, in the post-light jet, post-sport pilot world of aviation outreach? On the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles explains why Cessna's response may be a single-engine turboprop to groom Mustang owner-pilots.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Movement at Cessna

Mark PaolucciBrad Thress

Roger Whyte, Cessna's senior vice president of sales and marketing, is retiring at the end of the year and will be replaced by Mark Paolucci, who is currently senior vice president of customer service. In turn, Brad Thress will assume Paolucci's duties.

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.

'Handbook of Aeronautical Inspection & 
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If you are a prospective aircraft owner or broker, here is information about airworthiness, maintenance, inspections, and rules. Denny Pollard, an FAA Safety Inspector and A&P instructor, will walk you through a pre-purchase inspection step by step without worrying if you are buying a hangar queen. Know where to find the tools to research the aircraft history, specifications, and changes made through the years, including Type-Certificate Date Sheets, ADs, STCs, and Maintenance Alerts for any make and model aircraft.

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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.

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

Video: IFR Magazine's Two-Part Tour of the FAA's AeroNav Web Site

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

This is the place to go if you want to see what's new, changed or in the works with FAA approach plates. Jeff Van West shares some of the highlights in this two-part video for our sister magazine, IFR.

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.
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.

Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win 100,000 Air BP Bravo Rewards Points

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Now's your chance to win 100,000 Air BP Bravo Rewards Points — there are more than 45 million reward options available through the Bravo program — as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, November 5.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

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

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

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