AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 25

June 29, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! What's Next for the New Cirrus? back to top 
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Cirrus Finalizes China Deal

Cirrus Aircraft and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA) announced on Tuesday that the two companies have completed their merger. "This partnership will benefit our business and our customers," said Brent Wouters, Cirrus CEO. "We share with CAIGA a vision of worldwide growth. CAIGA has the resources that will allow us to expedite our aircraft development programs and accelerate our global expansion." He said he expects the merger will make it possible for Cirrus to expand its facilities and staff in Minnesota and North Dakota. Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus co-founder, said the completion of the merger was an important milestone in the company's history, and will make it possible for the company to "continue to lead the industry in bringing increased safety, performance, and comfort to the general aviation community."

The deal caused considerable angst in the aviation community when it was announced in the spring, raising fears that the company would close down its U.S. operations and move to China. "Not gonna happen," Klapmeier said in April. A Minnesota congressman, Chip Cravaack, raised questions about the deal, citing national-security concerns. "His concerns are unfounded," Klapmeier said in April, and apparently regulators have agreed. Klapmeier also said in April that moving forward with the Vision jet project is the top priority both for Cirrus and CAIGA. In Tuesday's announcement, CIAGA President Meng Xiangkai said, "We are very impressed with Cirrus' performance in the global general aviation industry. It has a very strong record of consistent product excellence, comprehensive safety features, an outstanding management team and a highly skilled workforce who operate from advanced production facilities. We look forward to working with Cirrus' management team to build upon its success and to expand production volume to further cement Cirrus' leadership position in the global general aviation industry."

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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.
More Chinese Investments? No, Says Bombardier back to top 

Bombardier Execs Dispel Learjet China Rumor

Top executives with Bombardier are actively dispelling predictions the company will hive off its struggling Learjet division to Chinese interests and concentrate on its highly profitable line of large-cabin business jets. In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, the newspaper says Bombardier Aerospace President Guy Hachey and Steve Ridolfi, president of the business jet division, both "swatted away" what it called the "recurring rumor" that the Wichita operations were on the block. In fact, Ridolfi said he expected expansion at the Wichita plant as the composite Learjet 85 goes into production. "The 85 is the largest and most capable Learjet ever built and it will change the face of Learjet just on that basis," Ridolfi said. There are about 2,000 employees in Wichita. Meanwhile, fresh from more than $1 billion in bizjet orders from the Paris Air Show, Bombardier remains bullish on the future of its most expensive products.

The company sold a total of 16 Global 7000 and Global 8000 large-cabin, long-range bizjets that are an evolution of its already popular Global series. The first of the new aircraft, which were announced last October in the face of challenges from Gulfstream and Embraer in particular, won't be delivered until 2017 but continue to be among the company's most attractive products. "We expect the large-cabin segment to stay red hot," he said.

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LightSquared Presses Forward Amid GPS Concerns back to top 

LightSquared Lining Up Customers, Coalition Attracting Support

Although the issue of interference with GPS seems to be far from resolved, LightSquared is busy lining up customers for its new broadband network. The company issued a news release Tuesday saying that voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) firm netTALK has entered into a "multi-year wholesale agreement" to buy bandwidth from LightSquared. "We are extremely excited to provide netTALK with access to the wireless broadband capabilities of the LightSquared network," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. "This agreement reaffirms LightSquared's commitment to enable new and innovative companies such as netTALK to compete in the U.S. wireless market." Of course, the availability of that signal is the subject of an increasingly contentious battle with the GPS industry, which claims LightSquared's network of 40,000 towers blasting high-powered signals in a frequency band close to the minute satellite signals used by GPS receivers will effectively destroy GPS. The lobby group formed to fight LightSquared's plans, the Coalition to Save Our GPS, announced more members as it gears for a fight that will be kicked off Friday with the release of a report on the interference issues.

It's already been reported by some of the groups involved in the testing that LightSquared's plan will cause unacceptable GPS service disruptions and LightSquared has countered that GPS devices can effectively be hardened against the interference at minimal cost for newly manufactured devices. Retrofitting is another matter and aviation would be among the sectors hardest hit by those expenses because of the tens of thousands of pricey panel-mounted GPS-dependent avionics already in use. After the report is issued on Friday, the FCC will issue a determination on LightSquared's plan and there will be a comment period.

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Narco's Notice to Customers back to top 

Narco Bankruptcy Wraps Up

Bankruptcy proceedings involving Narco Avionics appear to be complete but those hoping to get their radios and nav equipment back are being advised to get those arrangements made sooner rather than later. It appears the landlord of the building that housed Narco in Fort Washington, Penn, and secured creditors who now control what's left of the company will try to reunite customers with their equipment but the owners, whose gear was in for repair or servicing, will have to ensure the process moves along. "We are fearful that if you do not act quickly, your property could be erroneously disposed of by the landlord or secured creditors of Narco," a notice posted on the company website says.

As we reported in April, the company shut down suddenly and entered bankruptcy. Once one of the heavyweights in the industry it virtually founded, the company apparently went quickly and quietly into oblivion. According to the Narco site, the federally appointed trustee determined there were no assets to distribute and closed the bankruptcy case. All that remains is the building full of other people's radios, which the landlord and a representative of the secured creditors told AOPA they will try to facilitate getting back to their rightful owners.

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An SJ30 by Any Other Name Is Just as Fast back to top 

SJ30 Owner Now SyberJet

The convoluted journey of the SJ30 business jet continues, with the design's latest owners, MT LLC, now announcing they will operate as SyberJet Aircraft. In a brief news release issued earlier this month, the company said it has moved the assembly line that was operated by Emivest Aerospace, the SJ30's previous owner, from Martinsburg, W.Va., to Cedar City, Utah. "SyberJet has a solid operating plan to deliver new SJ30s to the world marketplace," said Mark Fairchild, SyberJet's general manager, in San Antonio, Texas. "As a pilot, the SJ30 is an exhilarating jet to fly. I look forward to providing more people the unique opportunity to experience the high-performance capability that SJ30 affords its owners and operators."

The SJ30 was developed by Sino Swearingen, in Texas, and later was owned by Emivest Aerospace, based in Dubai. Emivest filed for bankruptcy protection last October, and in April, MT bought up the project for $5.2 million. The SJ30 is certified for a single pilot and typically seats five in the cabin. It cruises at up to .83 Mach at 49,000 feet, and the cabin maintains sea-level pressure up to 41,000 feet. Emivest said last year that at one point it had about 200 orders on the books for the $7.2 million jet, but many customers had canceled or delayed their orders when the economic slump set in. At least three of the SJ30 jets are flying, including one that belongs to actor Morgan Freeman.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: The Power of Paris

Even in Paris, the most romantic city on Earth, romance seems scarce in this harsh and angry age — and yet, the wildly impractical Solar Impulse gave our editor Mary Grady a little hope that passion (and yes, even romance) can be rekindled in the aviation world. Mary explains in her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Loose Lips Ruin Trips

That's the best way to describe that Southwest Airlines pilot's adolescent rant with a stuck mic catching every embarrassing word. Hey, it happens. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli observes that the lesson to be drawn is that what's said in the cockpit doesn't necessarily stay in the cockpit.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Lu to Hong Kong for Gulfstream

Paul Lu

Paul Lu has been appointed Gulfstream's director of product support for Asia, based in Hong Kong. He was previously on-site program manager in California for the G650 development program.

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

Video: Aviation Consumer's Tiedown Shootout

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

If that tornado at Sun 'n Fun in April didn't get your attention, it should have. With EAA AirVenture looming and storms hammering the midwest, it's time to think about portable tiedown systems for the show. In this brief video, AVweb and Aviation Consumer wring out three systems, and the walkaway winner is a product you've never heard of.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Survey: Aircraft Batteries

How's that aircraft battery holding up for you? Aviation Consumer wants to hear how well your battery has served you season after season. Please take a moment to rave -- or rant -- about it in Aviation Consumer's battery survey. The results will be part of an upcoming article in the magazine that might be just what you need to know before your next battery purchase.

Click here to take the survey.

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 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

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.

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