AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 39a

October 10, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Cessna Dominates Day One of NBAA back to top 

Restructured Cessna Stays Course

Cessna's new CEO is promising a "renewed focus on our propeller [aircraft] business" following a major restructuring of senior management. In his first public outing as CEO since taking over four months ago following the sudden retirement of Jack Pelton, Scott Ernest gave a generally upbeat overview of the company operations and future. In an exclusive podcast interview with AVweb, Ernest said the company will focus on its existing product line and gauge future investments according customer demand and feedback. "We're going to continue to invest in our product," Ernest said. Among the targets for that investment could be alternative fuels aircraft in the piston line.

Ernest said the company has "heard a lot of feedback from customers" regarding alternative power for aircraft and promised action on that, although he did not go into details. The company unveiled the mockup of its Citation M2 light jet and Ernest said the Citation Ten, announced a year ago at NBAA in Atlanta, will fly before the end of the year. He gave no encouragement for the continuation of the Columbus large-cabin business jet program. Cessna is also taking advantage of the global reach of sister company Bell Helicopters and is setting up storefronts and service centers as shared facilities in countries all over the world.

Podcast: Cessna CEO Scott Ernest Meets the Press

File Size 5.7 MB / Running Time 6:15

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For the first time since taking over Cessna four months ago, CEO Scott Ernest started making the press rounds at NBAA in Las Vegas. AVweb's Russ Niles was among the first to interview him.

This podcast is brought to you by Lightspeed Aviation and XM WX Satellite Weather.

Click here to listen. (5.7 MB, 6:15)

Video: Cessna M2 Unveiling

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

Cessna Aircraft Company unveiled a new business jet, the Cessna M2, at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Las Vegas, October 9, 2011.

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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.
Setting the Tone for BizAv in Las Vegas back to top 

Big Bizjet Market Booms

Despite the general economic malaise, it's good to be Gulfstream these days. Speaking to reporters at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas on Sunday, the company's new President Larry Flynn said that the good times continue to roll in the big-cabin bizjet market and the future looks strong. "Businesses that were once regional are now global," Flynn said. "And their leaders need long-range transportation. They recognize Gulfstream as the leader in technology, performance and product support; and that has translated into strong sales." He said the order book is at $18 billion, including $400 million added in the second quarter of this year and production backlog is in the "sweet spot" of 18-24 months for most models. The flagship G650 is nearing certification and will have a market niche virtually to itself for several years until Bombardier's new Global 7000 and 8000 models become available. Meanwhile, Honeywell has issued its 20th annual bizjet forecast and it's showing a little more optimism from its 2010 crystal balling.

The company has increased its 10-year forecast by two percent to about $230 billion over the next 10 years but there is some short term pain to endure to get to that long term gain. Honeywell says 2011 deliveries will barely top 600 units and 2012 will be only marginally better. Things look better after that. Meanwhile, Embraer, which also puts out an industry forecast has taken the unusual step of issuing a "what if" adjustment. At NBAA, Ernest Edwards, Embraer's VP for business jets said the possibility of economic failures of European countries and a resulting double-dip recession will cut the market and production of business aircraft. Edwards also said that in the absence of the potential crisis, the bizjet market is on track to recover.

Podcast: New Products, Weighty Discussions at NBAA 2011

File Size 4.7 MB / Running Time 5:10

Phillips 66 Aviation || Aviation's Number One Fuel Provider

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Contrasting the typically sunny skies of Las Vegas, the gloomy economic forecast continues to cloud business aviation's mood, but the atmosphere is upbeat in the desert this week as NBAA 2011 gets going. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with NBAA president Ed Bolen on the eve of the big show.

This podcast is brought to you by Phillips 66 Aviation.

Click here to listen. (4.7 MB, 5:10)

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Networking and Partnership Announcements back to top 

Sukhoi BizJet Lands Launch Customer, Comlux

SuperJet Worldwide announced Sunday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas that Comlux will be the launch customer for the $50 million Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ), a version of the 100-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100. Comlux has ordered two of the fly-by-wire jets to be delivered in 2014, with options for two more. The SBJ can be built as an eight-passenger VIP transport with a 4,250 nm range. It is powered two SaM146 engines produced by Powerjet, a joint venture between Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn. Comlux believes the jet will fill a niche between the Boeing Business Jet and Embraer Lineage 1000, a variant of the Embraer 190 regional jet. Comlux is also projecting a bullish sales outlook for the jet.

Over a 20-year span starting in 2015, Comlux believes the market may seek between 150 and 200 SBJ's. The aircraft's cabin is 3.24 meters wide, 2.12 meters high, and 20.42 meters long, making it significantly larger than the Lineage 1000, but close to the Boeing Business Jet. The entire market for business jets of similar size has generally held below 20 per year. Comlux CEO Richard Goana said his company is working as a partner with SuperJet and he believed that 200 aircraft over 20 years was "feasible." Goana said Comlux plans to charter, demo and market the aircraft, and may eventually order to 10 of the jets. Support infrastructure for the jet will be managed by SuperJet including facilities in Moscow and Venice. Company representative Carlo Logli said SuperJet may establish a U.S. hub at Ft. Lauderdale to cater to U.S. customers.

Zulu.2 || More Quiet, More Comfort, More 
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Rugged on the Outside, Posh on the Inside back to top 

Video: Quest Kodiak Executive Interior

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

Executive style and comfort come to the rugged Quest Kodiak. The tuboprop Kodiak can carry more than 3,500 pounds of useful load into and out of 1,200-foot unimproved airfields. (No paved runway or airport required.) The airplane can cruise at 170 knots over 1,000 nautical miles. And it can now do all that with air conditioning, weather radar, synthetic vision GPS, TKS flight into known icing protection, and leather-clad executive seating for six.

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This video is brought to you by Phillips 66 Aviation.

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Meanwhile, Outside of NBAA ... (I) back to top 

Boeing Settles Toxic Cabin Air Case

Former flight attendant Terry Williams has won a settlement of an undisclosed amount after suing Boeing, alleging that the manufacturer employs faulty engineering, which allows toxic fumes into the cabin that harm people inside. Williams' lawsuit claimed that fumes in engine bleed air pumped into aircraft cabins can cause tremors, severe headaches and memory loss. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA believes that the bleed air can contain carbon monoxide, tricresyl phosphates and other contaminants. Settlement aside, Boeing contends that cabin air is safe and that independent research shows that it meets applicable health and safety standards. The FAA has also chimed in on the subject.

FAA funds were used to produce a guide for health-care providers treating airline workers exposed to aircraft bleed-air contaminants. According to the document itself, the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine sponsored the project, and "it neither endorses nor rejects the findings of this research." The research states that bleed air "may sometimes be contaminated with pyrolyzed engine oil and/or hydraulic fluid." It also says "airline workers and passengers may develop acute and/or chronic health effects and seek attention from health care providers." The document (PDF) cites mechanical failures, maintenance irregularities and faulty designs as potential sources for bleed-air contamination. According to the guide, health effects due to exposure to contaminated bleed air "are difficult to document." In a statement to CNN, the FAA said "the concerns are reasonable and are being investigated."

Drone Computers Hit By Virus

Wired is reporting that the computer systems used to control military drones have been infected by a key logging virus that has so far defied attempts to eliminate it. The tech website says it has heard from three independent but unidentified sources that the virus was first detected about two weeks ago in the computers at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and the military has continued to operate drones in Afghanistan and other trouble spots even though it would appear that every keyboard operation involved in the missions is being logged. The military has not confirmed Wired's story. According to the Wired story, the people it talked to couldn't say whether the virus was deliberately targeted at their hardware or whether it is just part of the normal stream of malware that computers try to fend off every day. What is known, however, is this bug is persistent. "We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," one of Wired's sources said. "We think it's benign. But we just don't know."

Of course, the big question is whether all those keystrokes are being transmitted outside the military system and what data they might reveal. Wired's sources say the virus is in computers that hold sensitive secret military information. For all their high-tech abilities, U.S. drone systems have notoriously porous security. Early in their operational history it was discovered that real-time video from drones was being transmitted via publicly available satellite transponders and in 2009 U.S. forces discovered reams of drone downloads on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents, allegedly obtained with readily available hacking software. Wired says it's believed that the virus was introduced from a removable drive that drone system techs use to update maps and databases. The systems are supposed to be isolated entirely from the public Internet.

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Meanwhile, Outside of NBAA ... (II) back to top 

Private Rocket To 121,000 Feet (Plus Video)

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A team self-identified as Qu8k (spoken "quake") claims to, on Sept. 30, have launched an unmanned 26-foot rocket at 2,185 mph to more than 100,000 feet over Black Rock Desert, Nev., and possibly earned a monetary prize for the effort. The team's effort addressed the Carmack Challenge, which, among other things, required the rocket to record a GPS altitude of over 100,000 feet to win a prize of $5,000. Qu8k says that none of four independent GPS systems onboard its vehicle maintained positional lock through the trip and suspects some simple reasons for that. According to Qu8k, that launch included a roughly 15G acceleration and pushed the rocket through 17,000 feet in less than 11 seconds. GPS notwithstanding, the team's rocket returned intact and Qu8k believes it has data that confirms they bested the goal. They also have video.

Qu8k says accelerometer data and time to apogee available from onboard video footage allow them to mathematically deduce "with high certainty" that the rocket reached 121,000 feet. It will be up to former computer game developer John Carmack, who in February announced his "Carmack Challenge," to determine if Qu8k can earn the $5,000 prize based on that. Qu8k has images they say were recorded by onboard cameras during the rocket's journey and those images (and the video) clearly show a black midday sky and the curvature of the earth below the rocket at apogee. The team says the rocket reached its highest point 90 seconds into the flight where it deployed its chute. The rocket then returned to earth over the next seven minutes and landed just three miles from its launch tower. According to Qu8k, all parts of the vehicle were recovered and could be easily prepared to fly again. Watch the video at right, or click this link for a picture gallery.

FAA Warns Turkey Drop Pilots

Thanks to the FAA, there might be a little less hooting and hollering at Yellville, Arkansas's annual Turkey Trot celebrations on the long weekend. The FAA confirmed to The Associated Press that it was sending agents to the Ozark community of 1,300 to sanction any pilots who take part in the annual Turkey Drop. The event involves live wild turkeys being dropped from aircraft onto the town square and, contrary to the horror expressed by animal-rights groups, local officials insist the birds are perfectly capable of gliding to a safe landing on the square. The FAA is staying out of that aspect of the controversy and focusing on the FAR that prohibits dropping anything, winged or not, from an airplane that might harm something or someone below. Turkeys, gliding or not, apparently don't make the grade for that approval so the guys in the sunglasses and polo shirts on the town square are there to try to make sure no one is hurt. "Our concern is always with public safety," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunford told the AP. " We could be talking about turkeys or boxes of paper. It doesn't matter. If you throw something out of an aircraft it can cause damage to people or property on the ground." As for the turkeys, the greatest peril unquestionably awaits them after the drop.

In almost 70 years of Turkey Drops (before airplanes were available, the birds were launched from the roof of the town's courthouse) the object has been for those in the square to chase the turkeys down and make a meal out of them. It's not clear whether the absence of the drop part will make much difference to their final fate. Among other Turkey Trot festivities are a beauty pageant and a turkey-calling contest. The event was parodied in a WKRP in Cincinnati episode in which the radio station mistakenly dropped flightless domestic turkeys onto a mall parking lot as a promotion.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

Forty-Seven Years in Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 6: Basic Flight Training, Part 2

Jumping straight from T-6s to the B-25, Richard Taylor gets to experience not only a huge airplane but one that requires two crew (giving new meaning to the term "solo"), and also experiences the joys of winter in Oklahoma.

Click here to read the sixth chapter.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Garmin's New aera 796 Isn't an iPad Killer -- And Vice Versa

Garmin's new mega GPS, the aera 796, is a tour de force. But an iPad killer? Not quite. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli analyzes why there's likely to be a market for both of these devices (or ones like them) for a long time.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Henriksen Jet Center (KEDC, Pflugerville, TX)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Henriksen Jet Center at Austin Executive Airport (KEDC) in Pflugerville, Texas.

AVweb reader William Mills visited KEDC on a trip with his his daughter this summer and had a great experience:

Austin Executive Airport ... was nearly as conveniently located to where we needed to go as any other airport, and the brand-new facilities looked very nice and offered the services we would need. When we arrived (on a day that was already quite warm and promised to get much hotter), we were met on the taxiway by a "follow me" cart and led to parking underneath their large covered awning, just like the big boys. We were marshalled in by several linemen, and when we shut down and got out, our rental car was beside the airplane, running and air conditioning fired up. [Their] facilities are amazing, with a genuine Rolls Royce Olympus turbojet engine (from a Concorde) in the lobby. When we arrived back for departure, they took an air-conditioning cart out to the airplane and had it cooling down the inside -- definitely much appreciated. [The] entire staff was extremely friendly and couldn't do enough to make our stay as pleasant and comfortable as they could. Definitely will revisit [when] going back to Austin.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

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.

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 Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Last fall, while I was in the circuit to land at Toronto Buttonville (CYKZ) airport, I was listening to the tower controller who was giving a running commentary and warning to pilots on final to watch for Canada geese that were flying back and forth over the threshold of the active runway, creating a very nasty bird strike hazard. After the controller had made the warning for the fourth time in a very short period of time, she again repeated it to me as I was short final -- in a very frustrated tone. I decided to try and lighten the frustration to her day.

Cessna Amphibian 1234:
"Can't you just give those geese a transponder code?"

Buttonville Tower:
"They won't comply!"

Paul Armstrong
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

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.)

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