AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 46

December 1, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Au Revoir, Recession? (Part I) back to top 
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Dassault Moving Ahead With SMS?

A Canadian landing-gear manufacturer may have spilled the beans that Dassault is moving forward with a new business jet design. Montreal-based Heroux-Devtek announced to the Canadian Press last week that it had won a contract to design, build and help certify gear for the as-yet unannounced bizjet. "It's a recognition by another world leader that Heroux-Devtek can design, develop and build aircraft landing gear so it's a great win for us," company CEO Gilles Labbe told CP. Dassault has not yet confirmed the project but it's likely a revival of the super midsize SMS project that was announced in 2007 and shelved in 2009.

The SMS would compete in the $20 million to $30 million bracket and is a replacement for the out-of-production Falcon 50. Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, of the Teal Group, said the announcement is another indication that a long-awaited recovery is coming and called the contract a "nice win" for Heroux-Devtek, which has earned several prestigious deals recently. It will build the gear for the Learjet 85, Embraer Legacy 450 and 550 as well as Sikorsky's CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.

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Au Revoir, Recession? (Part II) back to top 

Bombardier To Boost Bizjet Production

Bombardier says sales are so good at the top of the market it's going to increase production of its Global series of business jets. "Our backlog is growing and we're actually increasing our production rates in March of next year, and we're also looking at further increases in the following year," Simon Roberts, VP and manager of the company's Toronto plant, told Reuters. The company announced two new aircraft in the Global series just prior to the National Business Aviation Association convention in October and will spend up to $1.8 billion to develop the ultra-long-range 7000 and 8000 jets. Bombardier also took the time to gently refute a Middle Eastern airline owner's harsh assessment of its CSeries airliner program.

Last week, Qatar Airlines CEO Akbar Al Bakar slammed Boeing and Bombardier for program delays. While Boeing's troubles with the 787 have been well-documented, it was the first suggestion that Bombardier might be falling behind with the CSeries (Al Baker said the new Pratt and Whitney engines were to blame) and it's an allegation the company has politely deflected. Philippe Poutissou, Bombardier's vice-president of marketing, commercial aircraft, told Reuters the first conforming copy of the new geared turbofan from Pratt is being tested in Florida. "We are quite pleased with the progress the engine's making," Poutissou said. "Of course it's critical that we have an engine available when we're ready with the airframe."

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Who's Where back to top 

Lobbyist Named To Top Post At ATA

Nicholas Calio was named this week as the next CEO of the Air Transport Association, the trade organization that represents most U.S. airlines. Calio holds a long Washington pedigree both as a lobbyist and as a White House staffer. "Nick has a record of success in managing complex issues and working collaboratively with people at the highest levels, both in the private and public sectors," said Glenn Tilton, ATA chairman. "His leadership skills and reputation for integrity on both sides of the aisle make him uniquely suited to head ATA." Calio said he will focus on easing taxes and regulations for the industry, improving infrastructure and increasing access to international markets.

Calio, 57, currently works for Citigroup as executive vice president of global government affairs, a position he's held since 2003. Before that, he was assistant to the president for legislative affairs and served as chief liaison to the U.S. Congress for President George W. Bush, the same position he held under President George H.W. Bush. Calio will take over on Jan. 1 from James May, who served as head of the ATA for eight years. The change gives the group a "name-brand Republican known for working well with Democrats," according to Politico. AOPA President Craig Fuller said he has known Calio for many years. "His high integrity and experience combined with his ability will ensure that he makes many important contributions to the policy questions before us," Fuller said. "Most of all, I look forward to working together in the belief that there are far more issues on which we agree than disagree."

New CEO At Diamond Aircraft

After 20 years at the helm of Diamond Aircraft, Christian Dries is stepping down as CEO, and this week he named Gerd Berchtold as his successor. Dries will retain ownership of the Austria-based company, and will maintain an active management role. Departments responsible for marketing, distribution and aircraft finance will continue to report to him. Berchtold will take charge of design, production and customer support, and also will report directly to Dries. "Mr. Berchtold is a highly experienced and respected aeronautical engineer," Dries told the Financial Times Deutschland. "I need a CEO who takes care 100 percent of the aircraft." Dries said although the company is still feeling the effect of the economic downturn, it has benefited from its special-mission aircraft, such as those used for surveillance missions. The company employs 1,200 workers and has customers in 28 countries. Berchtold, an active pilot, formerly was employed by EADS, where he held several positions developing commercial and military aircraft.

"The Diamond Group has grown and diversified significantly in the last several years," Dries said. "Dr. Berchtold brings not only a wealth of aviation experience and expertise to our organization, but also a passion for general aviation. With his 100 percent focus on operations and customer support, our customers will be better served, now and in the future ... This organizational change will allow me to delegate detail operations management and focus more on strategy and specific programs." In the last few years, Diamond has certified three new variants of the DA40 and DA42, established Austro Engines to produce diesel powerplants, and modified the DA42 to fly as a UAV. "We are also continuing to focus a large part of our efforts on emerging and high-growth markets, including Russia and China," said Dries. "With the traditional retail markets having shrunk over the last several years, we want to continue to shift more of our attention to aircraft that have commercial applications, such as the flight training and aerial sensor markets."

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News Briefs back to top 

Legacy From Brazil Collision Back Flying

Not many business jets that collide with airliners at 37,000 feet are repaired and returned to service but that appears to be the outcome for the Embraer Legacy 600 that contacted a GOL Boeing 737 over Brazil on Sept. 29, 2006. The collision resulted in the loss of the 737 and the deaths of all 154 on board but the Legacy pilots, who were on a delivery flight from the Embraer factory to New York, managed to land the damaged bizjet safely at a military airfield in the jungle. The tragedy resulted in a protracted legal and diplomatic squabble that might not be over yet. The Legacy, however, lives on. It was flown to Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 19, minus the winglet it lost in the collision, where it will undergo extensive repairs.

The aircraft has been re-registered N965LL from N600XL and is owned by a Delaware company called Cloudscape, Inc. The aircraft was flown to the U.S. in the livery of its former owner Excelaire, of Long Island, N.Y. Unconfirmed reports say the otherwise brand-new Legacy will get a new wing and a thorough check before returning to service. In the collision, the Legacy's left winglet hit the leading edge of the left wing of the 737, resulting in the failure of the wing and loss of control, followed by in-flight breakup.

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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.

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.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Friends of the Earth — The Upside

This environmental group is seen as the main heavy in the struggle to find a replacement for 100LL, but it is in fact just one of many players. On the plus side, the Friends' petition — and maybe a lawsuit — against the EPA may finally push the lead issue in one direction or another, ending the uncertainty over future fuels. That, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog, is not a bad thing.

Read more and join the conversation.

Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources on AVweb.com
Fantastic Pricing and Tax Incentives make 2010 an ideal time to buy or upgrade an aircraft. We've compiled special offers on new or used planes, avionics, engines and more on the resource page. The pricing, rebates or incentives are available to everyone. Consult your tax advisor regarding the potential bonus depreciation benefits, and check our resources page for stories, podcasts, and videos related to bonus depreciation.
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

The Final Grand Giveaway Celebrating AVweb's 15-Year Anniversary: Win a Garmin Aera 510 Handheld GPS

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Where has the time gone? Our 15th anniversary year is almost over, and that means we've come to our 15th (and final) "Grand Giveaway." If you haven't already, register for one final chance to win — as we give away a Garmin aera 510 handheld GPS. All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You must be a registered AVweb user; if you've entered any of our previous 15 Grand Giveaways drawings, you'll automatically be considered for the aera — no need to enter again.)

Remember: We won't rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can enter this final 15 Grand Giveaways drawing. (We won't spam them, either — but do we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Sunday, December 19.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

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

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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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