AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 34

September 12, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! User Fees Return back to top 

House Committee Looks At GA User Fees

The House Committee on Small Business will examine the potential impact of the proposed $100-per-leg user fee on turbine-powered aircraft at a hearing in Washington Sept. 12. The committee is headed up by Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., who is a well-known GA advocate and the testimony that is scheduled is likely to present a particular point of view. "The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the financial and regulatory impact of additional user fees on the aviation industry," the committee said in its notice.

Among the presenters are Martha King, who owns King Schools with her husband John; Marian Epps, CFO of Epps Aviation; and Kenneth Button, director of the Center for Transportation, Policy, Operations and Logistics and director of the Aerospace Policy Research Center; along with representatives from companies that use turbine aircraft for business and most of the pertinent aviation groups. "The hearing will examine the potential effect of a user-fee proposal on private sector job creation," the notice said.

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Back to the Future back to top 

60-Year-Old Design Pitched As F-35 Replacement

The Canadian government has rejected a proposal to resurrect a 60-year-old design for a fighter-interceptor instead of pursuing its controversial procurement of 65 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Bourdeau Industries, which has offices in the U.K. and Canada, first proposed building an updated version of the CF-105 Avro Arrow as a faster and all-around better alternative to the F-35. The idea has gained the support of some prominent Canadian military figures and is now being debated informally among the political hierarchy. Officially, however, the Conservative government has flatly rejected the idea, citing, among other things, the historic nature of the design and monumental task of creating the industry to build it. That industry was in place until Feb. 20, 1959, still referred to as "Black Friday" in the Canadian aviation industry. Sixty years later, the Arrow is still considered a pinnacle of aerospace achievement in Canada. It used a fly-by-wire system decades before similar systems were used in fighters and offered a computer-controlled navigation and flight management system that didn't become common until the F-16 and F-15 era.

Faced with crushing development costs and the appealing alternative of a relatively inexpensive ramjet nuclear anti-aircraft missile known as the Bomarc, the government of the time canceled the program and ordered five test aircraft cut apart for scrap. More than 14,000 workers were terminated and many of the leading engineers went to work for NASA. One intact cockpit survives at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. Rumors persist that one of the test aircraft escaped the cutting torches and is hidden somewhere, a theory that was revived in 2011 with the discovery of an Arrow ejection seat in England.

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Piper Goes Global back to top 

Piper Expands Marketing Efforts

Piper says it's amping up its marketing activities in the final quarter to "emphasize our commitment to globalizing the company," according to Drew McEwen, who heads up global sales and business development at the company. Piper execs have already racked up the air miles so far this year with appearances at all the major shows, plus some relatively obscure venues. In August alone, they were at events in Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, China and Canada and they'll be at the Reno Air Races, which get under way Sept. 12.

McEwen said Piper is leveraging the involvement with the company's extensive dealer network to ensure worldwide coverage for marketing activities. He said Piper is "working cooperatively with our dealer partners, we are showing off our products around the world, which reinforces our product quality and capabilities and will help enhance our sales efforts." One highlight on the calendar will be the 75th anniversary fly-in at Piper headquarters in Vero Beach, Fla., Nov. 9-10.

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... While Embraer Digs Deeper into U.S. Market back to top 

Embraer Expands U.S. Production Line

Embraer now will assemble the Phenom 300 light jet in Melbourne, Fla., the company said this week, in addition to the Phenom 100, which has been produced at the Florida plant since last year. Both aircraft are on the same assembly line, the company said, with an ultimate capacity of eight aircraft per month. Twelve Phenom 300 jets are scheduled for production at the plant next year, with the first delivery in March. The production certificate recently granted by the FAA for the Phenom 100 will be expanded to include production of the 300, the company said.

The Melbourne assembly facility has hired and trained more staff for the expanded production line, bringing the total employment for both the assembly and customer centers to 233. Embraer is also developing an engineering and technology center at the Melbourne site. The center will be completed next year and will provide another 200 jobs over the next five years. The high-tech Florida plant has been delivering Phenom 100s in Melbourne since last December.

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This special 10th anniversary edition is a consumer's directory containing buyer's guides, educational articles and timely information about the avionics industry, its products and its people. The publication helps pilots make better buying decisions and locate more than 1,300 AEA member companies, including government-certified repair stations around the world.
More Goodness from Brazil back to top 

U.S. Investors Buy 200 Of New Brazil GA Design

Ledyard Capital Management, an investment firm that in the past has specialized in transport aircraft and the marine industry, announced this week that it is buying 200 copies of a new four-seat general aviation carbon-fiber aircraft from Novaer, in Brazil. Douglas Brennan, a partner in the company who is also a GA pilot, told AVweb on Tuesday that his firm plans to partner up with an existing distributor network to market the airplanes in the U.S., Europe, and China. "We plan to do the final assembly here in the U.S., just like Embraer does," he said. He added that the airplanes will be eligible for financing from the Brazilian government, which he believes will give them an edge in the U.S. market. The airplane, which is all carbon-fiber and derived from a military-trainer design, should be certified around mid-2013, Brennan said. A prototype has already flown. A price has not yet been set.

The purchase of 200 aircraft is essentially the first two years of production, Brennan said. In a news release, his firm said the TXC aircraft "represents the leading edge of aeronautical design and manufacturing technologies that deliver a level of safety and performance previously unattainable." The original military version was designed by Joszef Kovacs, former chief designer of Embraer's Tucano trainer. Brennan told AVweb the aircraft performance makes it possible to fill all four seats, add full fuel, and fly. "Every aspect of the airplane is brilliant," he said. A ballistic parachute will be available as an option, but the aircraft "can recover from spins without the need of a parachute," the news release said. The TXC will have retractable landing gear, air conditioning, and an optional pressurized cabin. A Lycoming AEIO-540 powerplant will drive the airplane to a maximum cruise speed of about 202 knots. The aircraft company is fully backed by the Brazilian government, Brennan said, "so it's different from a start-up company … all the financing is together."

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Time Flies

In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, editor Mary Grady polishes off her crystal ball for a quick look into the future — and then packs it away to make room for the real thing.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Doty Joins Strat Fuel Consortium

Jon Anne Doty

Jon Anne Doty is the new Vice President of Operations at Strat Fuel Consortium. She has 20 years of experience in the industry and was most recently at Renaissance Jet.

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 

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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

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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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