The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded
Business News Coverage At AVweb's
AIRCRAFT SCORES COUP WITH $150 MILLION ORDER...
It doesn't get much better than this, especially for a small company
that has yet to deliver its first aircraft, or even receive FAA
certification, for that matter. Still, the word "deliver" looms large in
the background. In this case, however, Adam Aircraft's entire sales
department should be on a well-deserved junket to somewhere featuring
rum drinks as it basks in the glow of a $150 million order for its
to-be-certificated A700 AdamJet. The order for the company's light-light
bizjet comes from a start-up air taxi company called iFly Air Taxi,
headed by People Express Airlines (remember them?) founder Donald Burr
and someone named Robert Crandall. You may remember Crandall as the
longtime head of American Airlines. The Stratford, Conn.-based iFly is
slated to start operations sometime in 2005; with what aircraft -- since
the AdamJet is not yet certificated -- it hasn't been announced. The
$150 million will buy iFly 75 copies of the new $2 million jet.
DEVIL'S DETAILS WAITING IN THE WINGS
The A700 AdamJet made its inaugural flight in July 2003 and joined an
increasingly crowded field of manufacturers in the light-light jet
category. Adam says that the A700 AdamJet "is to date the only flying
aircraft in the next-generation jet category," yet the flying example is
far from a production prototype. Put it another way -- Adam Aircraft has
built at least three copies of its A500 push-me/pull-you piston twin,
with two flying in regular certification tests. The A500 prototypes have
accumulated around 500 hours, but the type isn't certificated yet. The
A700 has accumulated over 150 hours of flight time, according to the
company, yet FAA certification and first delivery of the A700 is planned
for the first quarter of 2005. This is in sharp contrast to the
certification and delivery schedules put forth by competitors Cessna --
which has the art of bringing new aircraft types to certification
on-schedule down to a well-defined science -- and Eclipse, to name but
two. The punch line? Don't hold your breath waiting for iFly to begin
operations with the A700 AdamJet by early next year. More...
LAUNCHES FALCON 900DX...
Attempting to fill a niche between its Falcon 2000EX and 900 EX models,
Dassault Aviation this week announced the Falcon 900DX, a large cabin
tri-jet powered by three Honeywell TFE-731-60 turbofan engines. The
engines, rated at 5,000 pounds of thrust at sea level, will give Falcon
900DX operators 1,120 pounds of cruise thrust at 40,000 feet at Mach
0.8. According to Dassault, the Falcon 900DX is based on the wide-body
design of its long-range Falcon 900EX EASy but with a lower purchase
price. The Falcon 900DX will be equipped with Dassault's EASy flight
deck, using avionics technologies developed jointly with Honeywell. EASy
is based on Honeywell's new Primus Epic integrated avionics architecture
and features four 14-inch Primus Epic screens in a T arrangement for
optimum crew coordination. The first EASy flight deck was certificated
in late 2003 on the longer-range 4500-nautical-mile Falcon 900EX.
Additionally, its operating costs are projected to be 5% lower than the
Falcon 900C it replaces. Certification and first deliveries of the new
aircraft are scheduled for December 2005. More...
PUSHES THE 7X
Meanwhile, Dassault Aviation says its forthcoming Falcon 7X model is the
first aircraft in industry history to be entirely developed in a virtual
environment, from design to manufacturing to maintenance. The jet's
development is revolving around an automation suite that enables
Dassault Aviation and its 27 partners in seven countries to work on a
common platform. One result, according to the company, is that the time
required to assemble its new Falcon 7X business jet has been cut in
half. Each of the jet's 30,000 parts was designed in a virtual
environment while a human modeling system enables analyzing and
optimizing the jet's design for crucially important aircraft maintenance
and repair procedures. One byproduct of this design method is that
aircraft parts are a perfect fit the first time. Additionally, Dassault
Aviation will also not produce a physical prototype of the Falcon 7X:
The first jet, scheduled for delivery in March 2005, will immediately be
used for certification. More...
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SCORES BIG WITH FAA, IBIS AEROSPACE AND GULFSTREAM
This was a good week for Honeywell. In no particular order: The company
announced that it received FAA certification for its TFE731-20BR engine
and will be part of the standard avionics package for the new Ibis
Aerospace Ae270 "Spirit" aircraft. It also said Gulfstream selected its
AIS-1000 and AIS-2000 satellite television systems as the preferred
television installations for completed aircraft. The announcements came
during the EBACE business aviation exposition in Geneva. Honeywell's
TFE731-20BR delivers 3,650 pounds of thrust at takeoff and will power
Bombardier's new Learjet 45 XR super-light business aircraft. Meanwhile,
the company's KFC 325 Digital Flight Control System and its APEX®
integrated cockpit have been selected as the standard avionics package
for the new Ibis Aerospace Ae270 "Spirit" business aircraft when
deliveries start early in 2005. Finally, Gulfstream's decision means
Honeywell's in-cabin television systems will handle much more than just
FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE
Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 provides the
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trainer which allows you to "fly" user-defined flight plans and retrieve
"datalinked" graphical weather and TFRs all along the route and
randomly access virtually all pages and functions of the EX500, just as
you would on the real product. Download your no-cost EX500 Training
Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/biz.
UPDATE: LANDING GEAR DELIVERED
Eclipse Aviation announced this week it had received the landing-gear
assembly from Italy's Mecaer for its first certification flight test
aircraft. That aircraft, N502EA, will feature Pratt & Whitney Canada
(P&WC) PW610F engines and is on schedule to make its first flight in Q4
2004, the company said. Of the engines, Eclipse also announced this week
that Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW610F turbofan has run for more than 25
hours in their test cell. Eclipse says the PW610F is on track to undergo
flight trials on P&WC's flying test bed in August 2004, and deliveries
of the first prototype engines to Eclipse are expected to begin in
MODELS GET SAME TYPE RATING
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation announced this week that the FAA will
allow its two newest aircraft -- the long-range G450 and mid-range G350
-- to share the same pilot type rating with the company's
ultra-long-range models, the G550 and G500. Since the G550 and GV
already share the same type rating, the GV pilot rating will apply to
the four new aircraft as well. GV pilots will be authorized to fly the
G500 and G350 aircraft upon completion of a five-day "differences"
course that highlights the PlaneView flight deck. GV pilots who
are not already qualified on the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS)
will also be required to complete 14 hours of training on the Head-Up
Display (HUD) and the EVS to fly the G550 and G450, both of which
include EVS as standard equipment. All pilot training is offered at
FlightSafety International in Savannah, Gulfstream's preferred provider
of crew-training services. More...
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HOME FOR MAINTENANCE?
Kansas, and specifically Wichita, are well-known for manufacturing a
huge number of general and business aviation aircraft over the years.
Once they've flown the coop, so to speak, they don't often come back for
routine maintenance or modifications, however, unless there's no other
facility that can do the work. That might change in the near future,
however, thanks to legislation enacted earlier this month that gives
sales-tax exemptions for aircraft maintenance and modification.
According to the published reports, the new legislation was pushed by
the Salina (Kan.) Airport Authority, Bombardier, Cessna and Raytheon.
Other states have such an exemption in place; Kansas is just trying to
level the playing field. Or is it? Signs are that -- at least Cessna --
is expecting some substantial growth in the near term.
FLEXJET EUROPE ANNOUNCES "TRANSATLANTIC EXPRESS"
Bombardier Aerospace this week announced its Bombardier Transatlantic
Express, which it bills as the world's first fixed-price business jet
charter service between Western Europe and North America. The new
service -- to be flown with Bombardier's Global Express business jet --
offers return trips between any city in Western Europe and the U.S.
Eastern coast for a fixed price. The service is scheduled to begin
operations in summer 2004 and will be operated through Bombardier
Flexjet Europe, headquartered in London. According to Bombardier, the
service will establish a new speed standard by connecting North America
and Europe faster than any other civil aircraft since the Concorde.
WATCH: LONG-AWAITED GA SECURITY GUIDELINES PUBLISHED
For weeks, AVweb told you about the Transportation Security Administration's forthcoming
Security Guidelines For General Aviation Airports. They've been
released; what's it mean for you? Right now, not much, at least at the
federal level. More...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you
on June 16. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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GENERAL AVIATION WELCOMES
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HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION
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