AVwebBiz - Volume 9, Number 50

December 28, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Meet Embraer's Latest Legacy back to top 
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Embraer Legacy 500 Rolls Out

click for photos

Embraer's latest business jet, the Legacy 500, saw daylight on Dec. 23 and the Brazilian planemaker is pinning a lot of its future in the business jet market on the clean-sheet Legacy 500 and its follow-on, the Legacy 450. As we reported from EBACE 2008, the new aircraft fill the gap between its light and lighter Phenom 300 and 100 models and big-cabin 600 and 650 platforms. The rollout occurred at Embraer's headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, where the mid and super-midsize 450 and 500 will be built. First flight of this aircraft, the first of three test articles, is expected by the third quarter of 2012.

No. 1 will undergo ground and static tests before taking flight, and Embraer isn't predicting certification and delivery dates yet (first deliveries were originally planned for 2012), but given the economic climate the program seems to be on track. The Legacy 500 has a standup cabin for up to 12 people. With four people enjoying the fully flat reclining berths it will scoot along at Mach .82 for 3,000 nm.

Click for photos.

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... And Bid Farewell to the G200 back to top 

Gulfstream Ends G200 Production Run

The last G200 has rolled off the production line in Savannah, Ga., Gulfstream said last week. The business jet was among the first in the super-midsize category when it was certified in 1998, originally flying as the "Galaxy" before Galaxy Aerospace was acquired by Gulfstream in 2001. The last jet is the 250th in the line. The G200 will be replaced in the Gulfstream line by the all-new G280, which is scheduled to enter service next year.

"The G200 took the basic cabin dimensions of a large-cabin aircraft and made them available to a broader market," said Stan Dixon, of Gulfstream. The airplane has been certified in 18 countries, and helped to open new markets for Gulfstream in China and Brazil. Gulfstream said it will continue to provide the G200 fleet with parts, tooling, sustaining engineering and support staff. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli spoke with Gulfstream's Pres Henne about the G280 when it was introduced at NBAA in 2008; click here for that podcast. The G280 was originally introduced as the G250 but later re-branded; the company cited cultural sensitivities in the global market for the change.

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Light Attack Contract: Hawker Beech Wants Answers back to top 

Hawker Beechcraft Sues Over USAF Contract

Hawker Beechcraft says the U.S. Air Force hasn't given a fair shake to its bid to provide up to 55 airplanes for light air support, and on Tuesday, Hawker said it's taking the argument to federal court. The company said it has asked the Air Force -- twice -- to explain its choice, with no response, and late last week the Government Accountability Office declined Hawker's request to review the decision. The elimination of Hawker's AT-6 single-engine turboprop leaves only Embraer's Super Tocano in contention for the contract, which is worth nearly $1 billion.

"We were relying on [the GAO] investigation to provide transparency into what has been a bidding process of inconsistent, irregular and constantly changing requirements," said Bill Boisture, Hawker Beechcraft CEO. "We find ourselves still without answers, which is unacceptable, and continue to believe that our exclusion from this important contract was made without basis in process or fact." Hawker argues that the AT-6 has already been evaluated and proven capable during testing with the Air National Guard, and adds that the contract should go to a U.S. company, helping to preserve 1,400 domestic jobs. The company has posted an AT-6 website where supporters can send letters to congressional representatives and the Department of Defense asking them not to "outsource our jobs and our National Security to Brazil." Embraer has said it will do the final assembly of its Super Tucanos in Jacksonville, Fla., if it gets the contract, employing about 50 people.

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Living, Working, and Flying in the 21st Century back to top 

Pilot Hiring Made Easy?

An Austin, Texas, software firm says it has taken a lot of the work out of hiring pilots with an algorithm that sorts through the resumes of thousands of pilots to find those suited to specific jobs being offered. Pilot Credentials is now handling FedEx's and Southwest's candidate screening through a database of potential pilots that allows hiring managers get the information they need quickly. "It has saved our recruiters countless hours on the phone," Rocky Calkins, Southwest's hiring manager, told the Austin American-Statesman. "Being able to streamline the process has shaved a lot of time off a very time-consuming process." The company says it will now start marketing the system to other airlines.

Co-founder Richard Trocino said he started the company after doing a contract pilot hiring project for FedEx. He said he quickly came to appreciate the complexities of the process and huge amount of time spent by recruiters to find the right candidates. "Aircraft pilots are among the most difficult professions to hire for," Trocino said. "There is so much at stake and such strict oversight. The Pilot Records Improvement Act sets record-keeping guidelines that result in tons of time-consuming paperwork." In his system, the 10,000 registered pilots keep their profiles updated and the software does the rest for recruiters.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Airline Travel -- You Just Expect Too Much

Sure you do, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. He comments on a minor little incident in Kansas City last week that shows how people will screw themselves just to keep from helping the airline with an on-time departure. All because the airlines unbundle everything now, making customers feel like bait-and-switch victims.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Can Glamorizing a Criminal Help Aviation?

Colton Harris-Moore is an airplane thief and con artist. Is he the inspiration for a new generation of pilots? In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles explains how a big-budget Hollywood treatment of Harris-Moore's story could (sadly) overshadow AOPA's initiatives, the EAA's Eagles programs, the Sport Pilot Rule, and third-class medical reform when it comes to boosting pilot outreach.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Got an Oily Hangar Floor? This Stuff Can Spruce It Up

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

Many of us dream of a gleaming gray expoxy-coated hangar floor illuminated by the glare of bright lights. But most of us actually have oil-stained concrete, dingy from years of abuse. If your floor is stained badly, a product called ReKrete can help improve it. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli demonstrates the product in this brief video.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: F-106 Corn Field Bomber, Convair Delta Dart

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

This is an unusual story. The jet you're looking at is an F-106 Delta Dart. A storied interceptor in its day, it was built to exceed an Air Force requirement for 1.9 mach and continuous flight at 57,000 feet. It did both. And in December 1959, it set a speed record, of 1,525 mph, or about 2.3 mach, while flying at 40,000 feet. Its pilot at the time, Major Joseph Rogers, claimed the record might not be accurate. He was still accelerating, he said, at the time.

But this particular jet is famous for a different reason.

As the story goes, the aircraft you see here on February 2, 1970 flew itself into the ground -- a snowy field in Montana, where its engine continued to run for another hour and 45 minutes. Grounded, pilotless and still under power, with its radar still sweeping, the jet sometimes crept forward foot by foot through the snow as a small collection of onlookers watched. Its pilot, 1st Lieutenant Gary Foust, had ejected roughly two hours before that show was over. Foust's trip was just as interesting. He'd lost control of the jet while flying a mock engagement that led his and two other jets into harsh maneuvers in the thin, unforgiving air at 38,000 feet. Attempting to match a high-g reversal by another pilot, Foust's jet bucked. He entered a flat spin, and the jet fell, spinning slowly like a model on a turntable. The flight's two other pilots came to his aid, calling out recovery procedures. But by 15,000 feet the result seemed certain, and an instructor in one of the other jets ordered Foust to eject. Foust obeyed.

But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and it could be it's that law that saved the jet. As Foust shot up, the jet's condition changed -- just enough for it to recover on its own and head off for the horizon. Legend has it that one of the observing pilots said on frequency, "Gary, you better get back in."

In the end, the jet was recovered, rebuilt and put back to work as tail number 80787. But it was forever known as the Corn Field bomber. Delta Darts were phased out in the 1980s.

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Who's Where back to top 

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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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.

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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 world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Advertising Director, Associate Publisher
Tom Bliss

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