AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 11, Number 4

January 23, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! One More Prototype for Terrafugia? back to top 

Third Version Of Terrafugia Transition?

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Roadable aircraft developer Terrafugia has released more video of its Transition vehicle being put through its paces but it's suggesting production and delivery of the device may come later rather than sooner. In a carefully worded news release on Tuesday, the Massachusetts company said it might have to build a third prototype based on the testing it has done so far on the second machine. "Once the engineering team is satisfied that the majority of the field issues have been identified from this prototype, we will evaluate if the number and magnitude of potential modifications warrant the construction of another prototype prior to final compliance testing for certification," the company said. The video, shot in late October, shows an aircraft that appears to have significantly better handling characteristics than the first prototype (we think it looks better, too) and Terrafugia says they continue to make improvements, hence the possibility of a third prototype.

Meanwhile, the company says it's wringing out the current test article, "actively flight testing and drive testing to evaluate the durability of the Transition airframe in real-world environments." Terrafugia also has a seat at the FAA's review of Part 23 certification rules and says it may have something to say about that soon. "These new developments have led Terrafugia to initiate a new internal program which we look forward to announcing at the appropriate time," says the carrot left dangling in the news release. The current program is geared to a Light Sport designation for the folding-wing aircraft.

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Seeking the Cause of 787 Battery Fires back to top 

Investigators Probe 787 Battery Maker

Aviation safety officials from the U.S. and Japan on Monday visited the GS Yuasa Corp., in Kyoto, which manufactured the lithium-ion batteries for the 787 that led to the fleet's grounding last week. The investigators toured the plant and were briefed by company officials about the design, production and quality, according to Reuters. The U.S. investigators said they have ruled out excess voltage as a cause of the battery fire in Boston on Jan. 7, and will expand their probe to look at the battery charger and the 787's auxiliary power unit. Meanwhile, the NTSB plans to continue tests of the batteries this week in Arizona.

In Washington, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the 787 won't fly again until regulators are "1,000 percent sure" that it's safe. Lithium batteries are used on other aircraft, according to Reuters, including some Airbus and Embraer models, but they are not from the same manufacturer used by Boeing.

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Dummy Bomb Goes MIA back to top 

Police Leave Explosive On Airplane

Transit police who were using explosives to train bomb-sniffing dogs left one of the bombs aboard an Air Canada 767 that later carried passengers, a taxpayers group reported this week. The incident happened about two years ago, in January 2011, and was only confirmed after the group filed a Freedom of Information request. The dog handler noticed the device was missing two days after the training session, and reported it. Air Canada inspected the airplane 14 times, but the bomb was never found. It was believed to have been tossed out with the trash. The material was inert without the aid of an explosive booster, "i.e., blasting cap," according to the police report.

"Why on earth were Transit Police -- responsible for SkyTrain lines -- planting explosives on a commercial airplane as a dog training exercise?" asked Jordan Bateman, an official with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. "How inept do you have to be to not account for every explosive you put on a plane? This incident is a chilling reminder of what happens when police agencies push past their level of expertise and jurisdiction." The taxpayers group has long been critical of the Transit Police, saying its officers are overpaid and ineffective.

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News Briefs back to top 

Bombardier Certifies Global 6000 In Brazil

Canada's Bombardier has landed firmly in rival Embraer's backyard with Brazilian certification of its latest business jet model, the Global 6000. The companies, both of which accuse each other of being unfairly supported by their respective governments, are involved in a bare-knuckle scrap for dominance in the small airliner market and Embraer's ambitious business jet development program has not gone unnoticed by Bombardier. "This is an important milestone in our Global 6000 jet's history of leadership in Brazil, and we expect it to help generate even more interest in the world's leading long-range, large cabin business jet," said Fabio Rebello, Bombardier's VP for Latin American sales, in a news release. "With this new certification the entire families of Learjet, Challenger and Global jets now have Brazilian certification."

Last week Embraer announced it was picking the same engines for its updated version of the E-series airliners as Bombardier is planning for its CSeries, which is a direct challenge to the E-Jets. In fact, Bombardier is helping Pratt & Whitney develop the PurePower geared turbofans at facilities near Montreal. The companies are predicting a significant efficiency increase with the new engines. Bombardier hopes to fly the first CSeries proof-of-concept aircraft later this year but Embraer's re-engined E-jets are four years away.

Nigeria Attracts Bizjet Makers

Cessna is the latest business jet builder to make a sales call on Nigeria in the last couple of months and the country's business leaders expect more. A report in Ventures Magazine says the Wichita planemaker had a CJ3 and Sovereign on the ramp at Murtala Muhammed Airport and Abuja Airport last week trying to take a piece of the oil-rich country's bizjet market. A couple of months earlier Dassault did a similar tour. The magazine quoted unspecified reports as claiming that Nigeria is the second-fastest expanding market for bizjets next to China.

The magazine says there were only 20 private aircraft in the country five years ago. Now there are about 130 and it has prompted a building boom at some airports. Maintenance and repair capacity is expanding, too. Bombardier was among the early entrants to the Nigerian market and has about a third of the business. Ventures said the company considered Nigeria its biggest market in Africa in 2012.

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E-Volo's New Copter — A Whole New Category? back to top 

Volocopter Two-Seater In Development

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E-Volo, a German company that successfully flew an innovative electric-powered vertical-takeoff aircraft in 2011, now says it is ready to build a two-person design. Germany's transport ministry will have to create a new category and develop new regulations to allow the aircraft to fly, and E-Volo says that process is under way. The company said they hope to achieve extensive endurance testing of the passenger cabin, the landing framework and the rotor array by this summer, so they can start test flights this year.

The company said it plans to exhibit a full-size mock-up of its Volocopter at Aero 2013, in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in April. Germany's federal ministry of economics and technology has granted the company a subsidy of about $2.6 million to help cover the costs of the project.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Glider Incident No Threat to Freedom to Fly

An incident involving a glider and a nuclear power plant raised questions about the conduct of some local sheriffs — but, as Russ Niles notes on the AVweb Insider blog, it won't have an impact on aviation in general.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Herrera at Bloom Business Jets

Darrell Herrera

Darrell Herrera has been hired by Bloom Business Jets to lead its charter aircraft business. Herrera was previously at Motorola, where he ran its flight operations.

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.

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

Video: Sebring Sport Expo 2013

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

AVweb was at opening day of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo show in Sebring on Thursday and filed this video report.

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Video: Levil Technology's New ADS-B/AHRS

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

The competition in the iPad remote ADS-B and AHRS market is getting white-hot, and now comes Levil Technology with a new device called the iLevil. AVweb took a took at it at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo show in Sebring.

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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.

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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