Volume 3, Number 8 May 11, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's Business AVflash is brought to you by …
Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT

Whether you're looking for that "envy of many pilots" single (such as a Bonanza) or a workhorse turboprop or multi-mission jet, Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales does it all — and has done so for over 65 years — boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in new and pre-owned aircraft with more than 100 years of sales, support, and consulting expertise — Turnkey assistance from acquisition, financing, or sales consulting to award-winning service and avionics centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive network of 36 FBOs — Always looking to purchase quality turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft.  One call to (800) 259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/biz.

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

NEW STUDY TWEAKS NASA RESEARCH PLANS
Stating the U.S. industry is "under attack from a variety of directions, both internal and external," a lengthy study on aerospace research released earlier this month highlights what its authors think the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) should be doing in basic aviation research. The $5 million study -- dubbed “Responding to the Call: Aviation Plan for American Leadership” and conducted by the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), along with the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee -- is the result of a 2003 mandate from Congress to develop an "integrated approach to regain world leadership in the aviation industry." According to the NIA, the study's authors focused on six key national needs: U.S. economic competitiveness, freedom of air travel, flight safety, securing and defending the nation, protecting the environment, and educating the future workforce. The full 1000-plus page report provides detailed investment plans, budgets and needs assessments for seven aeronautics-industry sectors, including airspace systems, aviation safety and security, subsonic aircraft, supersonic aircraft, hypersonic technologies, rotorcraft, and workforce and education. More...

JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS LOOKING
TO PURCHASE USED GPS UNITS, AVIONICS, AND AIRCRAFT

Current inventory levels allow JA to offer top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft. Call (800) 323-5966 for your current value, with no purchase required. JA Air Center, Garmin's largest avionics dealer, stocks all the new Garmin aviation GPS units including the GPSMap 296 (new low price of $1,495), iQue 3600A PDA/GPS, GPSMap 196, GPSMap 96C, and GPSMap 96. We also stock Garmin accessories; software; and outdoor, mobile, and marine GPS units. JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Also, we offer FBO services and fuel at Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) in Dekalb, IL. Please call (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/biz.

ECLIPSE, DAYJET COMBINE ON LATEST PER-SEAT CHARTER SCHEME
When is a scheduled airline not a scheduled airline? When it's operating as an on-demand carrier along pre-determined routes and selling its transportation services on a per-seat basis, that's when. That basic idea, known as a "public charter" at the Department of Transportation, is what's behind DayJet, a per-seat charter operation announced last month in conjunction with airframe supplier Eclipse. DayJet president and CEO Edward Iacobucci, a prominent high-tech entrepreneur, teamed up with Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, to make the April 25 announcement. Under a long-term agreement with Eclipse Aviation, DayJet will acquire a fleet of 239 Eclipse 500 very light jets (VLJs), with options for 70 additional aircraft. Deliveries will begin shortly after the Eclipse 500 receives FAA certification, which is on track to occur in March 2006. Profitable per-seat charter operations are the dream of many, but the reality has yet to prove itself. One carrier, Chicago-based Indigo, suspended operations along its route between O'Hare International Airport and Teterboro, N.J., in May 2003. More...

ECLIPSE MARKS SUCCESSFUL MAIDEN FLIGHT OF THIRD ECLIPSE 500 JET
Meanwhile, Eclipse is not letting any grass grow under its feet. The company last month announced the first flight of its third Eclipse 500 VLJ. The aircraft, N504EA, is the second to join the company's flight-test fleet in the same month. With three VLJs now in active flight testing, Eclipse says it "continues to demonstrate rapid progress toward FAA certification," presently scheduled for the first calendar quarter of 2006. During its first flight, N504EA reached an altitude of 16,800 feet and 170 knots. The airframe is being used for testing of the Eclipse 5000's electrical system, displays, communication and navigation system, autopilot system, the radar and the datalink systems. More...

THE BOSE® AVIATION HEADSET X DELIVERS AN UNMATCHED COMBINATION
of comfortable fit, noise reduction, and clearer audio to your aircraft. Professional Pilot says, "Bose is Pro Pilot's [2004] Headset Preference Survey winner for the 4th straight year." Hear for yourself with our 30-day risk-free test flight. New: Low monthly payments. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bose/biz

DASSAULT'S FALCON 7X TAKES FLIGHT
Another first flight in recent weeks took place in France. No, not the Airbus A380. Instead, Dassault Aviation's facility in Bordeaux Mérignac, France, was the site when Falcon 7X s/n 01 took off for the first time. Test pilots Yves "Bill" Kerherve and Philippe Deleume were aboard for the 01:36 flight. "The first flight of the Falcon 7X was a success," said Kerherve, who is the senior test pilot for Dassault Aviation. "The aircraft performed beautifully and we're on track to start the rigorous 15 months of flight testing that lay ahead." After takeoff, the first Falcon 7X climbed to 10,000 feet, where its crew performed various systems checks. More...

NEW GULFSTREAM G150 TAKES FLIGHT
It's that time of year: Gulfstream Aerospace earlier this month announced the first flight of its G150, a mid-sized, wide-cabin offering designed and built in collaboration with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Flown by IAI chief test pilot Ronen Shapira and G150 project test pilot Yoram Geva, the G150 took off from Ben Gurion International Airport for a 04:13 flight. Initial checks included all aircraft systems and handling characteristics as well as the landing gear and flap/slat system. The airplane was flown to FL200 and achieved a maximum speed of 250 knots. Chief Test Pilot Shapira commented that the flight went “very smoothly with no issues noted.” More...

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.

GULFSTREAM G450 ENTERS SERVICE
Gulfstream Aerospace this month also announced delivery of the first G450. The G450 is an updated version of the GIV-SP, sharing many of the features of the company's top-of-the-line G550. Both aircraft feature the exclusive PlaneView cockpit, which includes four large flight displays and Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics and Visual Guidance System (VGS). The G450 and G550 also feature as standard equipment the award-winning Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS), which was developed to improve safety of flight by enhancing pilot situational awareness while reducing pilot workload. The Gulfstream EVS is the first system of its type certified by the FAA. More...

EMBRAER COMMITS TO SMALLER, LIGHTER BIZJET MARKET
Embraer earlier this month announced it plans to enter the market for jets both lighter and smaller than its large-cabin Legacy offering with models designed for the "very light" and "light" categories. “Embraer is committed to making long-term investments in this business to offer revolutionary products and completely integrated solutions to a sophisticated customer base. Our goal is to build a robust business aviation unit and a global infrastructure to support it,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, senior vice-president for the corporate aviation market. Few details were made available in the company's announcement but Embraer, which also markets the highly successful EMB-135/145/170 regional jets and small airliner, said both aircraft will be designed for "single-pilot operation and an easy transition for less experienced pilots." More...

ONLY AT AUCTION! LAKE AIRCRAFT WILL BE SOLD AT AIRVENTURE!
The owners of the Lake Aircraft line of amphibious airplanes have chosen the auction method of marketing to select a new owner for their Lake Amphibian production line. This comprehensive sale will include the FAA Type Certificate and associated STCs, engineering data, all documentation, historical information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity. The inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity. The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For additional information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed, call Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their web site (Higgenbotham.com) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hig/biz.

CITATION MUSTANG’S FIRST FLIGHT IS A SUCCESS
Not too be left out of the foregoing list of initial test flights and customer deliveries, Cessna last month celebrated its own first: the first flight of the Citation Mustang, the company's entry in the upcoming very light jet (VLJ) sweepstakes. Piloted by Scotty Jergenson and Dave Bonifield, the Citation Mustang prototype made a 141-minute flight during which various stability and control tests were performed, including cycling of the landing gear, flaps and speed brakes. The flight departed from McConnell AFB and concluded at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport. The Citation Mustang was announced in 2002 and will be certified as an FAR Part 23 aircraft, with an anticipated cruise speed of 340 knots and a maximum altitude of FL410. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F dual-channel FADEC engines, each providing 1350 pounds of thrust, and features a fully integrated, all-glass Garmin International G1000 avionics suite. More...

SENTIENT EXPANDS INTERNATIONAL REACH
Sentient Jet, a leading membership-based charter broker, last month announced forming a strategic alliance with UK-based Air Partner, one of the largest private-jet services companies in the world. According to U.S.-based Sentient, Air Partner and Sentient will now cooperate to provide all of their customers a range of private-jet membership and charter options, depending on their global and regional travel needs. The companies will also provide private-jet solutions for resorts and destination clubs requiring an increasingly global solution to meet the needs of their customers. The alliance gives customers of both companies "enhanced access to the flexibility, convenience and value of a globally integrated private jet network," Sentient said. More...

ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS — NEWS FROM McCAULEY!
A new STC has been approved to McCauley Propeller Systems for installation of a new three-bladed propeller.  Replace your old threaded propellers with the new Blackmac propeller.  The Blackmac provides operators with an average weight savings of 10 pounds, longer TBOs, and fewer ADs than other propellers available today.  The Blackmac also comes with a standard three-year warranty.  For more information and an authorized service center near you, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mccauley/biz.

FIRST BOMBARDIER GLOBAL 5000 ENTERS SERVICE
Bombardier Aerospace last month announced the entry into service of the first completed Bombardier Global 5000 business jet. The aircraft departed Montreal on Monday, April 18, 2005, and is now in service with a corporate operator based in the Middle East. Launched in February 2002, the Bombardier Global 5000 can, under certain conditions, feature a top cruise speed of Mach 0.89 and a 4,800-nautical-mile (8,889-km) range at Mach 0.85. More...

CHINA'S FIRST PISTON SINGLE COMPLETES FLIGHT TESTING
Chinese media last month reported that the country's first homegrown private aircraft has completed its final test flights and will soon go into mass production. According to published reports, the Xiaoying, or "Eaglet," 500 made some 339 flights over the past nine months as part of its flight-test program, which was conducted in Xi’an. Some 24 examples of the new type are expected too be manufactured by the end of 2005. The general-purpose piston single is comparable in performance to similar western aircraft. More...

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WATCH YOUR INBOX...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on May 25. 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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