Business NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
This issue of AVweb's Business AVflash is brought to you by
Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales
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Cessna hit another milestone last week in the development of its newest entry-level business jet, the Citation Mustang. The
Wichita, Kan.-based company completed a successful first run of the Mustang's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engines, which is another step leading toward a hoped-for first flight this summer. Cessna
is more than ready for things to happen. It has 230 firm, non-refundable orders for the $2.4 million, 340-knot, 41,000-foot jet. Cessna installed the engines and the Full Authority Digital Engine
Controls (FADECs) to the prototype airframe in February. And the engine, which is the first P&WC 600 series delivered to any manufacturer, hasnt been sitting idle. It has accumulated more than
210 hours of flight time on the test bed since April of 2004. The engines, each controlled by a dual-channel FADEC, are rated at 1,350 pounds of takeoff thrust at sea level. Engine certification is
expected by the fourth quarter of ' 05.
West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., has been named the latest -- and only the sixth non-factory-owned --
Authorized Citation Service Center. West Star has the factory's blessing to perform warranty work and scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on all Citation model 500 aircraft. West Star Aviation was
purchased by Premier Air Center in December 2004. Premier is also an authorized service center at the St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Ill.
FROM PORTABLE TO PANEL MOUNT JA AIR CENTER IS THE PLACE TO BUY GARMIN
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Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp.'s (SSAC's) new SJ30-2
twinjet has overcome yet another of the FAA's testing hurdles. The aircraft is one step closer to FAA certification after the first
flight of the third and final conformed flight-test aircraft. Afterward, SJ30-2 serial number 0005 joined S/N 0004 and 0003 in the company history. SSAC sources say the aircraft are flying
aggressively as often as seven days per week. One of the planes is being used for systems testing, one for aerodynamics and performance, the third for function and reliability. Some days all three
airplanes are in the sky together. SSAC has completed all the critical high-speed FAA flight testing and is predicting FAA certification in the second half of this year. S/N 0005 was the first SJ30-2
built using major production tooling and the same personnel who worked on her will be producing future aircraft. The jet is touted as having one of the fastest cruise speeds in the industry, 560 mph,
and can operate at altitudes up to FL490.
An expansion being discussed for months is now final. Adam
Aircraft, headquartered at Centennial Airport outside Denver, Colo., is putting their A500 and A700 manufacturing facility at the Kemp Ogden (Utah) Gateway Center. "We believe Utah will be an
excellent location for adding to our existing capacity in Colorado. The quality of the workforce in Utah, the capabilities of the airport facility, and the superior design of the Kemp development were
key motivators in our decision process," said Adam CEO Rick Adam. That Utah offered up to 30-percent rebates on income, employee and sales taxes -- possibly worth $10 million -- was no small
motivator, either. In fact, one of the stated reasons why the facility was not built at Adam's existing facility at Centennial was that Colorado had no economic development money to invest. Adam has already begun manufacturing customer aircraft in anticipation of FAA
certification. Customer deliveries of the A700 are scheduled to begin in 2006.
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO FL250
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put to full
effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000 feet. With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia 400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before. Set the throttle to 80%
power and cruise at 235 knots that's faster than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease the power back and increase range to standard-setting levels. A company official
recently flew an unmodified Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts. Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/biz.
101 Gulfstream bizjets have been retrofitted with
technology once in the realm of fiction writers. Several of Gulfstream's models can now be purchased with an Enhanced Vision System
(EVS) that allows the pilot to "see" down to an altitude of just 100 feet above a runway's touchdown zone. The FAA-certified equipment includes a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera that
projects an infrared real-world image onto the pilot's Honeywell Head-Up Display. A cryogenically cooled detector (James T. Kirk, eat your heart out) helps identify runway lights during an approach.
In addition to allowing flight crews to see what could not be seen before, it will help crews prevent the FAA bugaboo, runway incursions. The EVS system can be retrofitted or ordered as an option on
several of the Gulfstream jets but will come standard on the G550 and Gulfstream G450, the company's latest entry in the bizjet derby. The G450 is due out the second quarter of this year. Installed
price of the EVS is $500,000.
CitationShares says it is taking a leap in going where no
fractional aircraft business has gone before. The company, co-owned by Cessna Aircraft and TAG Aviation, is offering private jet accessibility in the form of a 20-hour jet card instead of the
industry-standard 25. What that means is that customers can purchase just 20 hours of flight time at a beginning price of $75,995 (roughly $3,800 per hour) with no other costs. No fuel surcharges,
positioning, international or landing fees will apply. CitationShares will accept payment by credit card. The company will also take a check or wire transfer. S&H Green Stamps are not encouraged.
"Since its inception, our Vector JetCard program has been the most competitively priced on the market," said Steve O'Neill, chief executive officer of CitationShares. "But with the introduction of our
exclusive 20-hour version, we are pleased to be making the luxury of private travel even more affordable. Quite simply, this new product reduces the barriers to entry and enables consumers to fly
private with less commitment -- in terms of both flight time and expense." Under the program, members can have a private jet waiting for them in the continental U.S. with as little as eight hours'
The next frontier ... the brave, new land for bizjet makers could soon be opening up in a big way. Business jet
manufacturers are readying for China's first international business aviation conference in August, wanting to get in on the ground floor of a predicted aviation boom. There are fewer than 500
commercial aircraft licensed in China, but industry experts believe the as-yet vastly untapped market could be worth many billions of dollars. Gulfstream, Raytheon and Bombardier are just three of the
U.S. companies boning up on their Chinese for a trip over the pond. According to The Standard, the Civil Aviation Authority of China says air traffic controllers must be ready to cope with at least
10,000 helicopters and hundreds of private jets as China opens up to general aviation. As good as it sounds, quite a number of things will have to change before bizjet ownership makes sense in China.
Currently, private flights into China, even from Hong Kong, officially require 14 days' advance notice to the Chinese aviation authority, vast sections of the country are off-limits to aircraft, and
fees charged to fly into the country are steep.
If flying in 2004 "felt" safer to you, there was a reason, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Just-released NTSB figures show that fewer accidents in air taxi, general aviation and scheduled airliner categories helped lower
the number of fatalities, which fell from 695 in 2003 to 635 in 2004. Overall good news, yes, but the majority of the fatalities still occurred in general aviation and air taxi operations. In fact,
though air taxi operators reported a decrease in accidents from 75 to 68, they saw an increase in fatalities from 42 in 2003 to 65 in 2004. On the GA side, the accident rate dropped, as did the number
of fatalities. One accident in Kirksville, Mo., was responsible for all the fatalities involving Part 121 airline service. An American Connection Jetstream 32 crashed on an instrument approach into
the Kirksville Regional Airport, killing 13 on board.
|CHICAGO BIZAV AIRPORT RFP|
Chicago Palwaukee Municipal Airport, the region's premier
business-aviation facility, is seeking industry proposals that require hangars (36,000 sq. ft. approx.) and adjacent offices and shops (14,000 sq. ft. approx.). The airport will consider a variety of
business possibilities to complement the airport's predicted growth, including aircraft charter, maintenance, flight training, aircraft sales, or aviation manufacturing. Contact Airport Manager
Dennis G. Rouleau, C.M., at (847) 537-2580 ext. 114 for complete proposal materials. An Executive Summary is available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/rfp/biz.
On Feb. 2 of this year, a Bombardier Challenger CL-600 ran off Runway 6 while attempting to take off from the
Teterboro, N.J., airport. The ensuing crash involved a fence, two cars, a warehouse and a fire ... but though four people were seriously hurt, no one, amazingly, was killed. Speculation immediately
afterward focused on what role icing might have played in the plane's inability to become airborne. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, it appears the answer is none. According to
the NTSB, when the plane attempted to depart at approximately 7:17 a.m., VFR conditions prevailed and those conditions known to cause icing were practically nonexistent. Videos obtained from the New
Jersey Port Authority corresponded with witness reports that said the plane, though traveling at a high speed, did not pitch up during takeoff. Upper wing icing typically does not impede pitch up, but
prevents the plane from flying after it DOES pitch up.
After weighing aircraft wreckage and contents, the NTSB has determined the Challenger's center of gravity was well forward of
the allowable limit. The NTSB took into account the interior cabin configuration combined with full or nearly full fuel tanks, a full or nearly full passenger load and minimal passenger baggage. The
horizontal stabilizer was set to a normal position. However, after plugging all of the data into a simulator, the aircraft would not rotate at the defined rotation speeds. No problems were found with
the pitch control system or autopilot, but both will be examined further. Assistance from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) will likely be minimal. The FDR operated for only 10 seconds during the
airplane's deceleration. The Cockpit Voice Recorder survived intact.
Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc. President Larry E. Williams sees a
bright future ahead for his company, and he is encouraging investors to share the vision. Williams told stockholders at a meeting Monday that BRS is profitable now, but not nearly as profitable as it
is going to be. Williams predicts that the airplane parachute company will double in value every five years. "Overall the outlook is very bright," he told stockholders. That's certainly so if his
prediction stands. During its 25 years in business, BRS has sold nearly 20,000 systems, including 1,900 to Cirrus Design. Williams says the company has been credited with saving 177 people who
deployed the chute system.
In a deal worth multiple millions (neither side is saying just how many yet), Wichita, Kan.-based Raytheon Aircraft
Company and NetJets have reached a tentative agreement on the sale of a number of Hawker Horizon bizjets. NetJets plans to purchase 50 of the $18.45 million jets for its ever-expanding fractional
fleet. $18.45 million is the list price for the jets, but it is safe to bet that NetJets will get a rather sizeable bulk-rate discount for its purchase. The agreement also includes a 10-year
maintenance program and should be finalized in 30 days. This follows on the heels of a NetJets purchase of 40 additional Raytheon Hawker jets in a deal worth more than $300 million.
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A distinctly American product appears to be making additional inroads in Europe. Boeing's new 777 freighter is being
mentioned as the heir apparent to the Boeing 747-200s currently in use by Air France. The 777 freighter is the load-hauling version -- 222,000 pounds up to 6,500 miles -- of the long-range 777-200LR
(long range) passenger jet, which is scheduled to enter service in early 2006. The freighter would be ready to fly about two years later. But it is said that timing is everything, and the timing in
this multinational couple's relationship may be off. Unless Boeing can land customers for the cargo hauler, there is no sense in building it (if they do, will they come?) and the French are being coy
on their status as the American company's launch customer. Air France was not willing to confirm it to The Associated Press, but the French newspaper La Tribune says Air France will indeed be the
launch customer, and plans to order seven of the new cargo planes. Boeing competitor Airbus SAS is waiting for the relationship to go sour. Its new bigger-than-jumbo A380 freighter will ALSO be flying
in 2008 and will be able to carry 50 percent more cargo than the 777 over the same distance. However, with four engines versus two, it will be a costlier plane to operate. UPS and FedEx have already
placed orders for the A380.
Boeing, meanwhile, has found a presence in the skies over the Gulf state of Dubai. Emirates Airline has begun taking
delivery of 30 new Boeing 777-3000ERs (extended range) aircraft, part of a $30 billion fleet expansion. Emirates has also ordered 45 Airbus A380 super jumbos, so from now through 2012 the airline will
be receiving, on average, one new aircraft per month. The keys to the newest Boeing product were handed over at a ceremony in Seattle, Wash., last week, and 14 hours after takeoff, the jet was in its
new home in the Middle East. Emirates plans to use the 777s for services to Manila, Bangkok, Sydney and Auckland. Those passengers traveling up front will have fully reclining sleeper seats and
personal mini-bars. Those in the cheap(er) seats will not, but will be able to access 500 channels of video, audio and games on demand.
... the next issue of AVweb's Business AVflash will be e-mailed to you on April 6. See you then!
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|MODERNIZING YOUR TRANSPONDER DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!|
Narco Avionics is proud to
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