AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 9, Number 44

November 16, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Diamond Finds Patrons in Dubai back to top 
 
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Takeover Secures D-JET

The CEO of Diamond Aircraft's Canadian operations in London, Ontario, says the takeover of the company is good news for the workers and will ensure the D-JET gets to market. It was announced Monday that a majority interest in Diamond was acquired by Medrar Financial Group, of Dubai, for an undisclosed sum. In an interview with the London Free Press on Tuesday, Peter Maurer said the company will benefit in several ways from the purchase. "This gives us the financial strength to complete the (D-JET) program," Maurer said. "We're getting expertise in business and the financial side." Diamond has 220 workers at the London plant and Maurer said another 200 could be added if the D-JET sells well. The deal also includes the piston products made by the company.

Diamond has had a rough time of it in the past few years. On top of the general malaise that has hit the small airplane market, Diamond spent a lot of money rescuing its diesel-engine aircraft business from the insolvency of engine supplier Thielert. The company developed its own engine, the Austro, and is still retrofitting the diesel fleet with the in-house engine. With piston sales at their lowest in decades late last year, the company applied for funding from the Canadian government to finish development and certification of the D-JET. After a protracted and testy controversy that got wrapped up in a Canadian election campaign, the loan was turned down. In June of 2011 it was announced that Diamond had found private financing for the D-JET but the investor was never identified and it's still not known if it was Medrar.

 
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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Eclipse's Big Splash at Dubai back to top 
 

Eclipse Nets Orders In Dubai (Corrected)

Eclipse Aerospace took commitments for five Total Eclipse light jets at the Dubai Air Show as the UAE certified the finished version of the Eclipse 500. Eclipse announced it would start taking orders for the updated version of the Eclipse 500 at NBAA in October and said resumption of production (subassemblies in Poland, final assembly in Albuquerque) would depend on sales. Eclipse's order came against a backdrop of blockbuster deals in which billions of dollars was committed for hundreds of airplanes.

Boeing took the largest order in its history when Emirates Air, one of its best customers, inked a deal for 50 777-300ERs. At book prices, that makes it an $18 billion order but Emirates likely won't pay that much. The UAE-based airline already had 138 777s flying or on order with Boeing when it announced the latest order. Boeing has also taken a stream of orders for its 787 Dreamliner and other models and Airbus tallied up more than 80 orders for its re-engined A320neo. A big chunk of that business almost went away during a public denunciation of Airbus by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Bakar, who ridiculed the planemaker for a six-month delay of its A350 wide-body airliner. "Unfortunately I feel Airbus is … still learning how to make airplanes," he told reporters. After a hastily arranged meeting, Al Bakar announced a $6.4 billion deal for 50 A320s and five A380s. Another small but significant order announced at Dubai will send 10 Bombardier CSeries 300 airliners to Turkey's Atlasjet in a deal worth almost $800 million. Bombardier has been struggling for orders for the ultra-efficient 100-130-seat aircraft, which will begin deliveries in 2013.

 
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There's Nothing Light About This Jet
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Top Tech Debuts at Air Show back to top 
 

New At Dubai: Sleek UAV; Twin-Rotor Helicopter

The 12th biennial Dubai Airshow is open this week, and it's the biggest ever for the venue, with about 1,000 exhibitors, 12 percent more than in 2009. Among the new designs that are getting attention are the United 40, a prototype UAV from Adcom with a sleek S-shaped fuselage and a tandem wing. "We like challenging aerodynamic concepts," said Adcom CEO Ali Al Dhaheri, in the Arabian Aerospace Online News. The hybrid-powered UAV has no elevators, but pitch is controlled by varying the incidence of the forward wing. It's designed to carry weapons. Also, Quest Helicopters, a new company based in Dubai, unveiled its design for a twin-rotor, fly-by-wire helicopter.

Quest plans to start production of its four-seat $2.95 million helicopter in the Ukraine next year. The helicopters will use an in-line counter-rotating dual rotor system, touch-screen avionics, and new FADEC turbine engines from Motor Sich Ukraine. The company's website also says the aircraft will feature an "ejectable safety capsule cabin" but provides no other details. The helicopter could be used for a variety of roles, including VIP transport, emergency medical services, and police operations, the company said.

 
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India's Perilous Airline Economy back to top 
 

Indian Airlines In Crisis

Depressing financial results from India's second largest airline Tuesday intensified debate about the future of the industry and the level of government involvement. Kingfisher Airlines, owned by liquor mogul Vijay Mallya, who flirted briefly with financing Epic Aircraft in 2007, is drowning in high-interest debt and losing money and Mallya says the answer is to ease government regulations, specifically those banning foreign airlines from investing in domestic airlines. The government is torn between bailing out Kingfisher and other airlines that are also in tough shape to save face or let the market determine the winners and losers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, only one Indian Airline, budget carrier IndiGo, is profitable. The others have fallen victim to high fuel prices, debt costs, currency exchange and a withering fare war that has slashed revenue. Mallya said he's cutting unprofitable routes and trimming costs where he can but he needs government help, such as a reduction in state taxes on aviation fuel. "It is a very challenging environment," he said. "The state governments are enjoying windfall profits directly at the cost of the aviation industry ... This is something that needs serious attention of our state governments and our central government."

 
AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
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Time for a Second Look at Those Fuel Lines back to top 
 

FAA Expands Skyhawk AD

The FAA wants to expand an airworthiness directive that affects the Cessna 172 fleet to include another 768 airplanes. A proposed AD published on Monday directs operators to inspect the fuel return line assembly for chafing and clearance, and if necessary to replace and adjust the line. The AD aims to prevent leaks that could lead to fuel vapors or fire in the cabin, and will cost operators up to $250 per aircraft. The original AD was issued in 2008. Since then, the FAA said, it has had a report of chafing found in an aircraft with a serial number that was not part of that AD.

The inspection must be completed within 100 hours time in service after the AD is made final, or within 12 months of that date, whichever comes first. The FAA is accepting comments on the proposal until Dec. 29. The chafing apparently occurs when the right rudder pedal is fully actuated, causing the steering tube assembly to rub against the fuel line, according to the FAA.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Ramp Delays — Educate Us

The DOT decided to get the airlines' attention by fining American Eagle $900,000 for ramp delays longer than three hours. It sure succeeded, but now the airlines may be canceling more flights as a result. If you're a passenger, you live in the Village of the Damned — and in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli asks though in the know to explain why the airlines are having such a hard time hitting the target on this new requirement.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: That Great Black Hole in the Panel

Having spent multiple thousands for new glass, some owners are shocked at how the database costs add up. And with the FAA poised to start charging for its heretofore free digital flight data, the needle may be going in the wrong direction. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli opines that this could eventually become a drag on sales and ownership, if it isn't already.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

Goodstein at Gulfstream Global Total Rewards

Nicole Goodstein

Nicole Goodstein is the new Director of Global Total Rewards for Gulfstream.


Wilson to AOPA

Benet Wilson

Benet Wilson is the new Media Relations Director at AOPA. She was previously at Aviation Week.


Stewart New SAFE Executive Director

Doug Stewart

Doug Stewart is the first executive director of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). He was a founder of SAFE and served as its Chairman since 2009.


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

Video: Premier Edition Diamond DA40 Flight Trial

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

Diamond's DA40 Star is a popular entry-level and midspeed cruiser, but it lacks air conditioning and other options. Fort Lauderdale's Premier Aircraft added a rich options list to the airplane, and in this report, Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli took a trial flight.

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

Video: Jeppesen's Mobile FliteDeck (Part 1)

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

Last summer, Jeppesen rolled out its iPad-based Mobile FliteDeck, a complete chart manager system for owners who already subscribe to Jeppesen's electronic charting products. In this video, AVweb launches the first of three Product Minutes to review the new app.

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Video: Jeppesen's Mobile FliteDeck (Part 2)

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

Jeppesen's new Mobile FliteDeck is a route-based app that compiles approach plates and procedures from Jeppesen's charting materials. In this video, part two of three, Paul Bertorelli takes a look at how its route functions work.

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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.

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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West

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