AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 31

August 17, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Gulfstream Closes In on Deadline back to top 
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G650 Deliveries By Year's End

Gulfstream says it is maintaining its test schedule for the flagship G650 despite the crash of a test airplane that killed four people in April and the resulting two-month suspension of flight testing. The company says it is on track for certification "later this year" and will deliver 10 to 12 of the $65 million planes by the end of the year. "We're on track and moving steadily toward certification later this year," Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice president for programs, engineering and test, told the Savannah Morning News. "We've accomplished a great deal in the past two months. The aircraft continue to perform extremely well."

The four test aircraft have flown 1760 of 2200 hours in the test program and have ticked off most of the significant items on the test schedule. The aircraft will be in a league of its own for at least a couple of years with its combination of long legs (7,000 nm) and high speed (Mach 9.25 max). Bombardier has answered the challenge with two new models that will be available starting in 2016 for the Global 7000 and 2017 for the Global 8000.

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Biz Booms in Brazil back to top 

LABACE Grew In 2011

By all accounts the Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (LABACE) was a major success with more exhibitors, more static aircraft and more delegates than the 2010 edition. Officials said up to 160 exhibitors and more than 60 aircraft were on view to a crowd that may have reached 16,000. Certainly, all the major players were in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from Aug. 10-13 in force, selling their wares in the backyard of Embraer, the emerging giant in the bizjet industry. Gulfstream took its G150, G450 and G550 to the show while Cessna focused on its new CJ4 and announced the delivery of its 32nd Caravan to the Brazilian air force. Perhaps signaling a return to production of the Eclipse 500, Eclipse Aerospace announced it was pursuing type certification in Brazil for its Total Eclipse, the fully developed version of the very light jet that dominated the business aviation news for much of the last decade before the predecessor company, Eclipse Aviation, went into bankruptcy.

Of course, Embraer was there and announced it planned to begin flight testing of the Legacy 500 mid-sized business jet by the end of the year. The first aircraft is nearing completion at the Embraer plant and the company had a mockup of the fly-by-wire jet at Sao Paulo. It also had Phenom 100 and 300 aircraft on display and a Legacy 650. Airbus touted its A318 business jet variant and Hawker Beechcraft showed seven aircraft.

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LightSquared Unmoved by GPS Safety Pleas back to top 

GA Advocates Cite Safety In GPS Dispute

LightSquared said last week the GPS industry's demands that it should not interfere with their signals are "irrational," but AOPA and GAMA responded on Monday that LightSquared has failed to address safety of flight concerns. In a statement filed on Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, the advocacy groups ask the agency to terminate LightSquared's authorization to broadcast. "With not only millions of lives but billions of dollars in cargo transport riding on the safety of air flights annually, LightSquared's and its allies' silence in the face of this substantial evidence of aviation harm is baffling and unacceptable," the associations said. LightSquared made clear in its filing last week that it is not interested in the problems of GPS users.

LightSquared said that if GPS manufacturers had complied with Department of Defense filtering standards, there would be no conflict with its proposed broadband wireless network. The GPS industry's demands for a large "guard band" in the frequency spectrum "would set back the United States' competitiveness by decades," the company said. The FCC has said it must be assured that "harmful interference concerns" have been resolved before it will allow LightSquared to begin commercial operations.

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Overhauling Pilot Training back to top 

Experts Urge "Sweeping" Changes In Pilot Training

Training for airline pilots should utilize more-realistic simulators and focus more on manual flying skills, according to a new report by a panel of experts, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. The 54-page report, which was requested by Congress, has been presented to the FAA but has not yet been publicly released. It includes 24 recommendations that would create "sweeping changes in initial and recurring training for airline pilots," according to the Journal. Among the report's conclusions: New hires should spend time in the jumpseat to learn cockpit procedures before they take the controls, special leadership courses for captains should be developed, training for instructors should be standardized, and training for coping with stalls should be improved.

The report is expected to influence new rules and legislation, according to the Journal. The experts who wrote the report will help to implement their findings over the next year or so. Airlines may balk at the cost of enacting some of the recommendations, but some of the suggestions already are standard practice, such as voluntary reporting of safety incidents and data-sharing among airlines.

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The World Outside the Window back to top 

BizAv Weathering Latest Financial Storm

The current economic turmoil likely won't be felt much by the general aviation industry but that's because things couldn't really get much worse for GA manufacturers. Most analysts believe the roller coaster stock market will stabilize without affecting the bottom lines of most companies. Still, it's another reason for those thinking of buying an airplane to pause in the process and that could have some impact on the manufacturers. Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia was interviewed by several publications over the past few days and he's sticking to his basic prediction that meaningful recovery won't be felt by GA companies until next year and even then it's not clear what it will look like. Meanwhile, bizjet specialist Brian Foley says the recovery, once it does take hold, will be the very best kind of uptick.

Foley issued a release this week saying that the market for business jets looks nothing like the boom years that led to the collapse in 2008. "Today's order books are of a much higher caliber, made up of those with the financial wherewithal to buy their own aircraft or by borrowers who have been heavily scrutinized by lenders and made meaningful down-payments," the release says. "The possibility of large scale fleet cancellations is also greatly diminished in the present environment." He noted there are no shaky air taxi or speculative charter ventures in the wings waiting to cancel huge orders that will gut company order books as happened in 2008.

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Who's Where back to top 

Stangarone Leaves Cessna

Bob Stangarone

Bob Stangarone, Cessna's VP of Corporate Communications, left the company abruptly last week. He said in an e-mail to colleagues that it was "time to move on" and said his immediate plans were to relocate to be nearer his family on the east coast.

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: Lycoming on Automotive Gas

A significant subtext in the quest to replace 100LL with an unleaded equivalent is the use of automobile fuel or mogas in engines that are approved to burn it. The two major engine makers, Lycoming and Continental, have traditionally avoided the approvals required to do this. But Lycoming sees a place for automotive-type fuels in the supply chain, and beginning this week, in a series of three guest posts to the AVweb Insider blog, Lycoming GM Michael Kraft explains the company's views on how automobile fuels can be integrated into aviation. The blogs will run on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Read the first here, then share your own comments.

AVweb Insider Blog: Lycoming Explains Why Pump Gas Isn't Mogas

In the second of three guest posts to the AVweb Insider blog on aviation fuels, Lycoming GM Michael Kraft expands on his explanation of why Lycoming approved some of its engines for automobile type gas. But not just any car gas. Lycoming favors and has specified an aviation-spec automotive gasoline whose parameters are more tightly controlled and guaranteed than are those at the corner filling station.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Lycoming's View -- Airworthiness by Design, Not Luck

In Part 3 of his guests posts to the AVweb Insider blog, Lycoming's Michael Kraft explains how the company arrived at its decision to approve some of its engines for an aviation-spec automotive-type gasoline.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Aviation Consumer's Remos NXT Flight Trial

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

Remos has a successful line of light sport aircraft, and now they've introduced a new and improved model, the NXT. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli flew the airplane recently, and here's his video report.

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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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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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