Volume 2, Number 19 -- October 13, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's Business AVflash is brought to you by … JA Air Center

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

COMING UP SEVENS: NBAA OPENS 2004 CONVENTION...
It is the best of times for most in the business aviation industry. Despite slow economic indicators in many sectors, business travel is trending up, most aircraft manufacturers and support organizations are doing well and crowded ramps are the norm at most FBOs, not the exception. And the near future looks good, especially if you believe Rolls-Royce, which Monday released its latest market projection for the business aviation industry, showing "virtually all of the key market driver indicators have turned positive and are trending up." To demonstrate their optimism, more than 30,000 industry participants, wanna-bes and hangers-on are expected to attend the 57th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention, which kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas, Nev. Once there, they'll network with almost 1,100 exhibitors -- a record for an NBAA convention -- as they tire-kick new and used aircraft, including some that haven't yet made it off the factory floor. More...

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...AMID SOME GAMBLES...
Yet, some rocky weather may loom on the industry's horizon. On the convention's opening day, NBAA saw fit to release the results of a study it funded that concluded the business aviation community pays more than 100 percent of its share of the costs it imposes on the federal air traffic system. The study, by consulting firm HLB Decision Economics Inc. [PDF], shows that the business aviation community paid $188 million in federal excise taxes as its share of federal aviation costs in fiscal year 2001. That amount is 102 percent, or $4 million, more than the cost identified by the FAA in fiscal year 2001, the last for which data is available. While the study's results are good news, NBAA's own press release notes "the debate about cost responsibility [in the U.S.] has dragged on for decades." More...

...AND OTHER CHALLENGES
Meanwhile, many other challenges still confront the business aviation industry. Perhaps foremost among them is that over-the-top security concerns designed to win the last battle with terrorism will return and further restrict non-scheduled flight operations at certain places or times. While the appearance this week of the TSA's Stone at Las Vegas is, at least in part, designed to help "educate" him and his agency on what the industry is doing to ensure its security, neither the general media nor elected officials seem willing to focus on other potential security issues. Meanwhile, oil prices hit all-time highs just hours before this year's NBAA convention got underway, highlighting the rising costs of operating a personal or business aircraft. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU’RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
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WHILE CESSNA UPSIZES...
Each year at NBAA, much of the buzz focuses on the new airframes being announced and which company looks like it has the upper hand in the market's various tiers. A perennial contender in each convention's sweepstakes for the most sweeping new-aircraft announcement, Cessna this year announced it will be plus-sizing two of its best-selling jets. Instead of the Citation CJ1 and CJ2, look for the CJ1+ and CJ2+. According to the company, the Citation CJ1+ will offer greater performance, a new integrated avionics suite, enhanced cabin features and expanded standard equipment when compared to its predecessor. Meanwhile, Cessna says the Citation CJ2+ will provide "the most advanced avionics suite ever seen on this class of aircraft" and be powered by the Williams FJ44-3A-24 dual-channel FADEC engine, which is similar to the Citation CJ3’s FJ44-3A engine but derated to 2,400 pounds of thrust. Separately, Cessna announced it will be hiring some 600 new workers to help it meet the coming demand. More...

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...AERION SPEEDS THINGS UP...
As AVweb reported last month, a new group this week announced its plans for a supersonic business jet, or SSBJ. Aerion Corporation, a Reno, Nev.,-based company styling itself as an "advanced engineering group formed to reintroduce commercial supersonic flight," this week made good on its promise to bring it high-speed plans to NBAA with a business jet design it says could enter service as soon as 2011. The company was formed in 2002 to acquire, advance and commercialize the supersonic technology of ASSET Group. Aerion's Chief Technology Officer, Richard R. Tracy, headed that company. In addition to Tracy, Aerion’s board includes Brian E. Barents, former president of Galaxy Aerospace and Learjet. "The Concorde may have been relegated to museums, but the world has not slowed down. Indeed the reverse is true," said Barents. "The world’s major businesses and governments have a clear need for faster travel. Aerion’s engineers have been at work for many years developing the fundamental technologies to make this possible." More...

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...HONDA HUMS RIGHT ALONG...
Ending years of speculation and increasing signs it will enter the business aviation market, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. yesterday formally announced a joint venture with the General Electric Co. to bring the Japan-based manufacturer's turbofan engine to market. Dubbed GE Honda Aero Engines LLC, the company was formed to pursue "the launch of Honda's HF118 turbofan engine in the light business jet market," according to a press release. The agreement creating the company was signed yesterday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas after announcing a "strategic alliance" last February. According to the press release, GE Honda Aero Engines is "fully engaged" in discussions with airframe manufacturers as potential launch customers, in engine certification, and in establishing a manufacturing infrastructure. More...

AVIDYNE CERTIFIES XM DATALINK WEATHER SOLUTION
Avidyne has announced they have received a Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval for the XM WX Satellite Weather and Heads Up Technologies XM receiver interface for their FlightMax® Entegra display systems.  Avidyne is the first company to certify XM satellite weather interface for the piston-single through very-light-jet market.  For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/biz.

...BOEING BRINGS BBJ, EFB TOGETHER...
Also yesterday at NBAA, Boeing said it will make its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) available for retrofit to in-service Boeing Business Jets. A neat tool, the EFB includes the documentation and forms necessary for legal operation as well as current Jeppesen charts, manuals for fault reporting and operations, minimum equipment lists and logbooks, all in a digital format. Additionally, the EFB includes an on-board performance tool that allows the pilot to instantly calculate the ideal speed and engine setting for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway or any runway section with any payload. More...

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...ADAM ROLLS OUT...
Adam Aircraft reached a long-awaited milestone this week as it rolled out its first production aircraft -- an A500 piston-powered tandem twin -- from the its assembly facility at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo. With its Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) received from the FAA Sept. 30 firmly in hand, the company said it is beginning full-scale production of the A500 aircraft and expects to deliver two aircraft by the end of 2004 and ramp up production to 40 aircraft in 2005. More...

INNOVATION — IT'S THE KEY BEHIND NARCO'S NEW DIGITAL TRANSPONDER AT165
Narco Avionics, building on the tradition of the AT150 — the industry's workhorse ATC transponder — has introduced the all-new AT165, with some very exciting and innovative features.  Narco's AT165 is competitively priced with some of the current popular manual transponders.  Coming soon: Plug and Play KT76A Replacement.  Seeing is believing at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/biz.

...AND GULFSTREAM PHONES HOME
Gulfstream Aerospace announced that the FAA has issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installing the company's Broad Band Multi-Link (BBML) telecommunications system on a GIV bizjet enabling an "ultra-high-speed Internet connection" during flight. The system uses an ARINC-developed "backbone" with data speeds of up to 3.5 megabytes per second. Gulfstream said the dedicated satellite-based system can also tie directly into an existing Voice-Over Internet Protocol telephone network. More...

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TSA WATCH: DELAY ALIEN FLIGHT TRAINING RULE?
This just in: Is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) getting ready to delay implementing its controversial rule requiring pilots to prove their U.S. citizenship? That's exactly what sources tell AVweb, although we were unable to confirm any details by our deadline Tuesday night. For those of you just joining us, the TSA's new rule on flight training created a mini-storm of protest when it was released last month. More...

WATCH YOUR INBOX...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on October 27. Until then! More...

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Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation
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Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
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