AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 26

July 6, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease 
Agreements || September 14, 2011 || Dubai, UAE || Register Now
Legal Aviation Workshop About Aircraft Lease
Contracts Is Moving to Dubai

Following the success of the previous Legal Aviation Workshops in Washington, DC and London, UK, Aeropodium is honoured to present the Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease Agreements in Dubai, UAE. This event will cover an Introduction to Aircraft Lease Agreements and Types of Lease Agreements; Aircraft Lease Agreements and Contract Law; Operating Leases ("Dry"); and Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance & Insurance ("Wet") Leases. It will conclude with a Practical Exercise. Click here to learn more and register.
AVflash! Good Summer for Jets Continues ... back to top 
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Gulfstream Sells 50 Bizjets To China

A Chinese leasing company has confirmed it intends to order 50 high-end Gulfstream business jets in a deal worth more than $2 billion. The deal with the China Minsheng Banking Corp.'s leasing arm involves an unspecified number of G650, G550 and G450 jets, the most modern in Gulfstream's line. Order confirmations and deliveries will take three to five years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The leasing company expects to have more than 100 business aircraft under its control by the end of the year, making it the biggest player in Chinese business aviation. Gulfstream was an early participant in the Chinese bizjet market and another of its big customers there, Deer Jet, is advancing its business plan.

Deer Jet recently opened China's largest business jet hangar at Beijing Airport. The 61,000-square-foot facility will hold up to six aircraft and will provide FBO services. "It will be China's biggest and best-equipped hangar for business jets," said Mou Jian, manager of the Deer Jet Beijing Corporate Aircraft Hangar. Although it just opened last week, Deer Jet has already outgrown the hangar and will build another one in 2012.

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... Especially for Those Servicing China ... back to top 

China Poised For Explosive Bizjet Growth

The U.S. still operates about 80 percent of the world's business jets but if recent trends continue, that dominance will end. At a conference in Shannon, Ireland, last week, delegates to the Financial Solutions for Business Aircraft event were told that the business jet market has shifted considerably in the last five years, with 72 percent of business jets going to U.S. customers in 2006 and just 42 percent in 2010. The so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are taking up much of the slack and European sales have also been strong. But like virtually every other economic forecaster, guest speaker Oliver Stone, of Colibri Aircraft, said China is the country to watch in terms of business aviation expansion.

"We have definitely seen a significant shift in terms of market dominance," Stone said. " The U.S. has been the dominant force for 50 years but it is anticipated that demand in China will grow by 50 percent annually and there will be around 500 business jets there by 2014." Latin America is also showing remarkable gains and India is also on the move. "This change means that the private jet sector is definitely globalizing," Stone said. "It is a huge change and opportunity for the industry globally and the challenge is to streamline legislation so that the emerging nations can have more freedom of flight than they have at present."

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... So Get Ready for Shifts in the Market back to top 

Bizjet Inventory Declining With Prices

It continues to be a buyer's market for used business aircraft but it may not last much longer. According to JetNet's latest report the used business jet inventory dropped 1.2 percent in May to 14.2 percent, moving ever closer to the healthy rate of about 12 percent. However, the good news of the declining inventory comes with consequences and in this case it's a continuing decrease in used jet prices.

According to JetNet's survey, used business jet prices are off a whopping 26.7 percent. Turboprops are holding their value a lot better and are down 4.7 percent. Turbine helicopter prices are off by 12.6 percent. The only sector to show positive numbers was the piston helicopter market, which is dominated by Robinson. Prices are up 7.1 percent for those.

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Remembering Robert Widmer back to top 

Robert Widmer, Supersonics Pioneer, Dead At 95

Aeronautical engineer Robert Widmer, a pioneer in the development of supersonic aircraft and fly-by-wire computerized flight control, died on June 20 in Fort Worth, Texas, The New York Times reported on Sunday. Inspired by Chuck Yeager's supersonic flight in 1947, Widmer was determined to design the first supersonic bomber. His bosses at Convair weren't interested, according to the Times, so Widmer spent two years working on his own time. When the Air Force asked for proposals, Widmer was ready, and Convair won the contract. Widmer later took lead roles in creating the designs for the B-36, a six-engine nuclear bomber; the F-111, a versatile jet fighter with variable-geometry wings; the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" jet fighter; the Tomahawk cruise missile; and more.

Widmer worked secretly on the F-16 project, according to the Times, in defiance of his bosses at General Dynamics, who said there was no market for the airplane. He hid prototypes in hangars, and when the Pentagon finally decided to seek out a lightweight fighter, his team had a head start and won the contract. Armand Chaput, a former colleague at General Dynamics, told the Times that besides his pioneering designs, Widmer was known for his salty personality. "He swore like a sailor," Chaput said. "People were afraid of him, but they really respected him." Widmer retired from General Dynamics in 1981, after 42 years with the company, and worked as a consultant for another 15 years.

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Another Big Order to Report back to top 

USAF Cadets To Train In Cirruses

Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs soon will be training in the Cirrus SR20. The Air Force has ordered 25 of the airplanes, branded as the T-53A, Cirrus announced on Tuesday. "The T-53A meets or exceeds all of our performance and operational criteria and is very well-suited to our mission," said Lt. Col. Brad Oliver, spokesman for the academy's 557th Flying Training Squadron. "And, while we hope never to have need of it, our cadets and instructors will now have the option of pulling the chute if it's needed." The value of the purchase is about $6.1 million, Cirrus said. Deliveries started in June and will continue through next year. The Cirri will replace the current fleet of leased Diamond Aircraft DA40s. Diamond President Peter Maurer told AVweb he thinks the Air Force made a bad choice, for several reasons.

"I think that using 'lowest cost technically acceptable' as the selection criterion ... without even a flight test evaluation, is simply not a good way to select an airplane," Maurer said. He added that it's a "waste of money" for the government to spend over $6 million to buy new airplanes, when it already has a fleet of two-year-old DA40s "that are technically better suited to the mission and have a perfect safety history to date." Jon Dauplaise, Cirrus vice president of domestic sales, told The Grand Forks Herald the main attraction to the Air Force seemed to be the SR20's sophisticated cockpit technology. "The reason we're well-suited in the training market is because this will teach them to fly modern airplanes at a very early stage," Dauplaise said.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: FAA — Still No Sleep Breaks

Last week, the FAA announced its policy to address controllers dozing off while on duty. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, politics trumped science. The agency refuses to recognize that nap breaks are the best, most enlightened way to restore flagging awareness. Instead, the agency says mid-shift controllers can listen to the radio and read to stay awake. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli predicts the inevitable result: The next sleeping controller will be found with the radio blaring classic rock and a not-that-stimulating book open to page three.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Aviation Summer Camp

In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has a brainstorm. Aviation summer camps for kids encourage burgeoning pilots to spread their wings — and immerse them in more aspects of aviation that a single introductory flight. So why not try it for adults?

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Warren to Sierra Industries

John Warren

John Warren is the new Operations Manager at Sierra Industries in Uvalde, TX. He oversees the modification and maintenance operations of the company.

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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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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