AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 10

March 9, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Asia Needs Helicopters back to top 
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Big Announcements At Hong Kong Show

It sounded like one of the announcements that normally come out of Farnborough and Paris, but the $8 billion deal was made in Hong Kong at an aviation trade show that could rival the European shows for importance in coming years. HNA Group, which operates Hong Kong Airlines and Hainan Airlines, signed a preliminary deal for 30 Boeing 787-9s, six 777 freighters, and two 787-8 VIP jets at Asian Aerospace Expo and Congress 2011. Air China also announced a deal for five 747-8 airliners worth $1.6 billion retail (airlines usually get discounts on big orders). A couple of business jet OEMs also announced major orders.

HNA also operates a bizjet business and bought five G450 and G550s from Gulfstream and five Dassault Falcon 7Xs. Jean-Michel Jacob, Dassault's VP on international sales, told The Associated Press that "it's uncommon to sell five aircraft in one contract." Airbus didn't have any sales to announce at our deadline, but the show goes until Thursday.

Cessna Aircraft || Makers of the Cessna Citation
There's Nothing Light About This Jet
Meet the latest and greatest member of the world's most successful family of light jets, the Citation CJ4. It delivers more speed and greater range while retaining the pilot-friendly — and single-pilot-certified — operations of the CJ family. The CJ4's cabin is larger, more comfortable, and outfitted with new entertainment and communication systems. All this equals an aircraft that is flexible enough to meet the requirements of many mid-sized aircraft at light jet costs, plus the service reputation of Cessna to back up your decision. It's what every light jet aspires to be. Visit Cessna.com.
... And Maybe a Helicopter Convention, Too back to top 

China Embracing Civilian Helicopters

China continues the expansion of its involvement in aviation with its first helicopter convention next September. Officials of the China Helicopter Exposition held a news conference at HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando on Monday to outline plans for the meeting, which will run from Sept. 15-18 in Tianjin. The first show will be a modest one, with about 200 exhibitors (half of them Chinese) and about 2,000 attendees expected, but major Western manufacturers have been signed up and the show is expected to grow as the Chinese market grows.

Civilian helicopter operations have been virtually absent in China until recently because of tight airspace rules that all but banned the types of operations that helicopters perform best. With the recent relaxation of low-level airspace rules in some areas of the country, the market is expected to open up and AVIC, the Chinese government-owned aviation company, is going to be a player. Its new helicopter subsidiary AVICOPTER has poured $800 million into a development center in Tianjin and is hosting the exposition.

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Spidertracks tracks you in real-time and automatically sends SOS alerts within minutes of an accident. Your flights are displayed on the Aviator web site, and your online logbook automatically fills in flight time and distance. You can upload photos, share your flights, "follow" other pilots, and talk flying with other aviators who love flying as much as you do. Get Aviator today — call 1 (800) 491‑2895 or visit Spidertracks.com.
"Is This Going to Be on the Exam?" back to top 

Failures Follow FAA Test Changes

The FAA recently changed its bank of test questions without notice, causing a spike of up to four times the usual rate of failures in recent weeks, according to the National Association of Flight Instructors. The content of test questions was significantly altered, NAFI said, for at least three tests -- the fundamentals of instruction test, which is required for all flight and ground instructors, and the ATP and flight engineer tests. "We fully support the FAA's efforts to improve the quality of the knowledge tests," said NAFI executive director Jason Blair. "However, we're concerned that the test changes were made without any notification to the industry." As a result, he said, the applicants who failed have wasted their time and money -- up to $150 -- and must re-take the tests.

Last week, NAFI and AOPA wrote to the FAA (PDF) and asked the agency to change the test banks back to the way they were until a new process is in place to inform the flight-training industry of content changes. They also said applicants who failed the tests after the changes were made should be allowed to re-take the test for free and have the failure expunged from their record. "We support the FAA's efforts to improve the rigor of the testing process, and we're sincerely interested in promoting the process," said Blair. However, "to do this effectively, we would like the FAA to include industry partners such as NAFI, AOPA, and other flight-training stakeholders in efforts to spread the message about upcoming changes." That would allow training providers and students to adapt learning processes and avoid surprising applicants with unexpected test material, Blair said.

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Cessna on Final Approach for Sun 'n Fun back to top 

Cessna To Introduce "Next Generation" Corvalis

The next generation of the Corvalis single-engine piston airplane will be introduced later this month at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., Cessna said on Tuesday. The turbocharged Corvalis TT currently in production was originally developed by Lancair as the Columbia 400, and taken over by Cessna a few years ago. It can fly at speeds up to 235 knots, which makes it the world's fastest fixed-gear single-engine piston aircraft. Cessna sold 110 copies of the Corvalis TT in 2008, which fell to 41 in 2009 and just 7 last year, as the general aviation market slowed overall. Details about the new version of the airplane will be announced on March 29, Cessna said, and a mock-up will be on display.

Cessna also recently announced that it has made the first international delivery of a Model 162 Skycatcher LSA, to a customer in Australia. The airplane was delivered to Aeromil Pacific, based at Sunshine Coast Airport, in Queensland. It will be on display at the Australian International Airshow - Avalon 2011 - in early March, and will be flown for sales demos throughout 2011. Cessna has delivered more than 30 Skycatchers so far and plans to deliver 150 of the airplanes in 2011. More international deliveries are slated for later this year.

WingX Pro 7 || Moving Map for the iPad || Hilton Software
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The $99 Moving MapWingX Pro7 Moving Map for iPad is now available for your iPad. See your location on the approach chart; Approach Charts and Airport Diagrams are now geo-referenced*, and all are stored right on the iPad! WingX Pro7's interactive moving map displays Class B, C, and D airspaces; animated weather images; A/FD; AOPA Directory with Yelp integration; route planning, FARs, METARS, TAFS, winds, and temperatures aloft; TFRs' text and graphics; an E6B; and more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android. Click here for more information.
Work, Work, Work, Play, Work, Work ... back to top 

Flexjet Partners With Travel Company

Those who work hard often play hard too and Flexjet is now offering a new way to combine business jets with pleasure. Flexjet, the fractional and jet card arm of Bombardier, has formed an alliance with Abercrombie and Kent, a world leader in luxury travel. Flexjet fractional customers will get a free three-year membership in Abercrombie and Kent's Marco Polo Club, which arranges individualized or luxury group itineraries of vacations in more than 100 countries. Marco Polo Club members get discounts on Flexjet programs.

Among the benefits for Flexjet customers is access to Abercrombie and Kent travel consultants so they can create the kinds of vacations that lend themselves to private air travel. "Flexjet's dedication to providing exceptional travel opportunities for our customers is what attracted us to Abercrombie & Kent," said Fred Reid, president of Flexjet.

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
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Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

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Heli-Expo 2011 back to top 

Heli-Expo 2001: Photo Gallery

click for more photos

As Heli-Expo 2011 draws to a close, AVweb's Russ Niles brings us gallery of photos from the HAI show in Orlando, Florida.

Click for photos.

Upgrade Aircraft and Save Taxes

File Size 3.9 MB / Running Time 4:15

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

With bonus depreciation extended for this year, companies thinking about boosting efficiency can save on taxes and upgrade at the same time. One example is Soloy Aviation Solutions' engine conversion kits for certain Eurocopter models, which save fuel and reduce maintenance costs. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Soloy CEO Dave Stauffer at HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando.

Click here to listen. (3.9 MB, 4:15)

Video: Bell 407AH Helicopter Unveiled

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

Bell Helicopters bypassed the usual military procurement procedure and adapted a 407 for "law enforcement and paramilitary" use. With a 3,000-round-per-minute machine gun, a rocket launcher and FLIR, it's a potent adaptation of a proven airframe that's already attracting attention.

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

'Flying High Performance Singles and Twins' by 
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Flying High Performance Singles & Twins
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Visiting Cessna's Independence, Kansas Factory back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: As Goes Cirrus, Cessna Too?

Cirrus' sale to Chinese interests wasn't especially shocking — but after visiting the Cessna plant in Kansas, Paul Bertorelli wonders if Cessna might go the same way. Anything is possible in the global economy, says Paul in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

Cub Marion: Direct from the Cessna Factory Floor

File Size 4.0 MB / Running Time 4:19

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Paul Bertorelli recently stopped in at the Cessna factory in Independence, Kansas. While there, he put the question to Cessna's Cub Marion, who works on Citation CJ4 production: Whatever happened to those green planes we used to see making test flights?

Click here to listen. (4.0 MB, 4:19)

Video: A Look Inside the Cessna Factory

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

Facing ever-growing global competition, Cessna has to find way to make airplanes more efficiently. In this video, Terry Clark explains how the company has done that at the company's Independence, Kansas plant.

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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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Who's Where back to top 

Promotions at Bergstrom Aircraft

Joe PedalinoAmber Martin

Joe Pedalino, a 25-year veteran of Bergstrom Aircraft, was recently named Line Service Manager and Amber Martin, who has five years in customer service, is the new general manager. Bergrstrom Aircraft, in Pasco, WA, was named an AVweb "FBO of the Week" in 2007.

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.

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 255,000 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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