AVwebBiz - Volume 10, Number 19

May 16, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! More New Aircraft from EBACE back to top 

Bombardier Introduces Learjet 70 and 75 At EBACE

Bombardier introduced two new aircraft, the Learjet 70 and 75, at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva on Monday morning. The jets will be based on the fuselage of the Learjet 40 and 45, but with new Honeywell engines and winglets added to boost performance and efficiency. In the cockpit, the new Garmin G5000 Vision Flight Deck will provide widescreen displays and touchscreen controls. The cabin interior will be based on the Learjet 85, with upgraded seats and a new cabin management system. The company already has orders for more than 50 of the airplanes, Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said at EBACE.

The specifications for the two airplanes are still "in the development phase," the company said, but they currently expect the six-passenger Learjet 70 will have a range greater than 2,000 nm, with a cruise speed of Mach 0.75, and sell for $11.5 million. The Learjet 75 will have about the same performance, with seats for up to eight passengers, at a price of $13 million. The winglets should produce a fuel savings of up to 4 percent and the new engines will boost short-field performance. First deliveries are expected next year. Among the first customers will be Bombardier's fractional arm, Flexjet. "The addition of these new aircraft means Flexjet owners will continue to have access to some of the most technologically advanced aircraft available, and the youngest business jets in the industry (averaging approximately five years of age)," a Flexjet spokeswoman told AVweb.

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Rules for Robots back to top 

FAA Tweaks Drone Rules

The FAA on Monday released some revisions to its rules governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems in the National Airspace System. The changes increase the allowable weight for UAS operated by law enforcement agencies from 4.4 pounds to 25 pounds, and also establish a procedure for those agencies to obtain a waiver to fly UAS. The applicant will first get a waiver for training and performance evaluation, then "when the organization has shown proficiency in flying its UAS," it will receive an operational waiver. The FAA said it has already streamlined its procedures for obtaining waivers and lengthened the duration of operational waivers from 12 months to 24 months.

The FAA requires that UAS must be flown within the line of sight of the operator, less than 400 feet above the ground, during daylight conditions, inside Class G (uncontrolled) airspace, and more than five miles from any airport or other location with aviation activities. Expedited procedures are already in place to grant one-time waivers for time-sensitive emergency missions such as disaster relief and humanitarian efforts, the FAA said. Later this year, the FAA will publish a proposed rule that will establish policies, procedures and standards for a wide spectrum of users in the small UAS community. Six UAS test sites will be selected in December, which will provide data to safely integrate UAS into the nation's airspace by 2015, the FAA said.

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Speaking of Rules: Privacy vs. Transparency back to top 

New 'BARR' Rules Open For Comment

The FAA will accept comments until June 8, 2012, on revised rules (PDF) for what used to be called the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, which allows aircraft owners to prevent public access to information tied to their aircraft N-number. The FAA wanted to all but scrap that ability last year but was blocked by Congress by an amendment in an appropriations bill. At the time, the FAA said it would present new rules for participation in the program; the Notice of Proposed Process appeared in the Federal Register May 9. Aircraft already on the list will be automatically included under the new rules but the rulemaking sets out some specific criteria for new applicants.

Only owners or those responsible for aircraft will be able to submit the requests and they must certify their direct interest in the aircraft and provide contact information. "The FAA does not view associations on behalf of their members to be agents for this purpose," the document says. There will be two levels of blocking. If the owner wants no one, including him or herself, to be able to track their aircraft, the registration will be blocked at the "FAA level." Those who want to be able to track their aircraft or have others do it for them will block the registration at the "industry level" and designated contractors will be able obtain and disseminate the information to the selected recipients. The unfiltered information will be available other government agencies through the FAA, however.

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Eclipse: Bringing the Long-Anticipated Jet to Life back to top 

Eclipse, Sikorsky Sign Airframe Deal

Eclipse Aerospace and Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec have signed a deal that will see the major airframe components of the new Eclipse 550 built at the PZL plant in Poland. PZL, which now builds the international version of the Blackhawk helicopter and the M-28 fixed-wing aircraft, will build the fuselage, empennage and wings for the 550, which is the same airframe as the original Eclipse 500 with updated and enhanced electronics. The parts will be shipped from Poland to Eclipse's plant in Albuquerque for final assembly.

The announcement comes two weeks after Eclipse obtained the production certificate for the 550. The airframe is built with a process called friction stir welding and that equipment and technology will presumably be sent to Poland to build the parts. The 550 will have auto throttles, synthetic vision and enhanced vision and will sell for $2.695 million. In a recent podcast interview, Eclipse CEO Mason Holland explained the relationship with Sikorsky and said the order book for the new aircraft extends to 2014.

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Who's Where back to top 

Horne Promoted at Cirrus

Graham Horne

Graham Horne has been named Cirrus's regional director for Southeast Asia and Australia. Horne was previously the company's U.K. sales director.

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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Dawn of the Diesel? back to top 

Video: How Austro Engines Are Made

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

Daimler-Benz makes about 1,500 OM640 diesel engines a day, and Austro diverts about 15 minutes worth of production to its factory in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, where it forms the core of the AE300 aerodiesel. In this video, Austro's Peter Lietz takes us through how the company turns a car engine into an airplane engine.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Doing the Numbers -- Diesel vs. Mogas

And avgas need not apply. Although they're heavy and expensive, diesel engine economics bear up to at least short-term scrutiny because of their efficiency, which adds up over the life an engine. But if the mogas/Jet A fuel price spread gets to be around $3, mogas engines hold their own. Long-term, diesels' longer TBOs may tip the balance.

Read more and join the conversation.

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New Degrees of Cessna back to top 

Video: Cessna's Largest Jet Yet, the Longitude

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

On the first day of the European Business Aviation Convention and Expo in Geneva, Switzerland, Cessna Aircraft announced its largest jet yet — a new version of the Citation dubbed "Longitude."

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: The F-22 Debacle

Ya gotta give the two Air Force officers who went on record dissing the F-22's oxygen system credit. It took a set of stones to do that. The larger question is what will the Air Force do about this flawed super fighter, the most expensive fighter aircraft in U.S. history by orders of magnitude? In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli asks, "Are they really holding Lockheed Martin's feet to the fire to fix this thing?"

Read more and join the conversation.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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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:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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