Volume 3, Number 9 May 25, 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

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

FALCON 900DX TAKES FLIGHT...
Dassault Aviation's facility in Bordeaux Merignac, France, was once again the site -- on May 13, 2005 -- of a first flight, this time of the company's new Falcon 900DX trijet. Test pilots Etienne Faurdessus and Philippe Narbey were at the controls for the flight, which lasted more than three hours. The -DX, the latest derivative of Dassault's venerable flagship bizjet, climbed to FL410 and reached a maximum speed of 370 knots. Low-speed handling qualities down to 130 knots in the clean configuration were checked as well as performance down to 100 knots with the landing gear lowered. "All systems performed flawlessly," explained Faurdessus. "We verified aircraft and navigation systems. The new fuel system was tested with several fuel transfers to check correct pump operation and to make sure the newly designed fuel tanks properly fed the engines." The Falcon 900DX fills an important niche between the 3,800-nm Falcon 2000EX and 4,500-nm Falcon 900EX. The 4,100 nm range of the new 900DX enables nonstop flights across the globe, matching city pairs like Geneva and Detroit or New York and Athens. 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.

...WHILE FALCON 7X FLIGHT-TEST PROGRAM PROGRESSES
Meanwhile, Dassault's Falcon 7X, which first flew on May 5, 2005, has been airborne almost daily, accumulating almost 15 hours of flight time as of mid-May. The design, which features what the company calls the first "fly-by-wire" bizjet, is yet another refinement of the Dassault's three-engine philosophy and incorporates levels of technology similar to other Falcon offerings. According to the company, testing for all of the modes of the fly-by-wire controls including reversionary modes has been accomplished. The airplane was also landed using fly-by-wire backup modes. "Real time flight data analysis and excellent reliability have allowed us to move forward faster than expected," said Yves "Bill" Kerherve, senior chief test pilot for Dassault Aviation. The first five flights have been dedicated to progressive flight-envelope expansion. "So far, we have opened up the flight envelope to 41,000 feet, Mach 0.82 and 280 knots Indicated Air Speed," said Philippe Deleume, Falcon chief test pilot. More...

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ADAM AIRCRAFT RECEIVES A500 TYPE CERTIFICATE
It's been a long time in coming -- more than seven years, to be exact -- but May 11, 2005, saw the FAA issue a Type Certificate (TC) to Adam Aircraft for its A500 Centerline Twin. “We are very pleased for our team who worked so hard for this TC,” said Adam Aircraft Chairman and CEO Rick Adam. “I am also very happy for our customers who will be able to pilot their A500s soon. Working with the FAA, we have produced a next-generation twin that meets or exceeds the highest safety and regulatory standards.” The A500 is constructed of high-performance Toray carbon fiber material and powered by two Teledyne Continental TSIO-550 turbocharged piston engines in a centerline configuration. Inside the cabin are 26-G seats, side-stick controls, airbags at the crew stations and a glass flight deck with displays from Avidyne with Garmin radios. An air-stair door, club seating and, according to the company, "the largest cabin in its class" round out the A500's top features. Final performance numbers will include a 230-knot cruise speed, more than a 1,000-nm NBAA IFR range at 75% power, and a cabin altitude of 8,000 feet at the aircraft's maximum operating altitude of FL250. 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.

HONEYWELL ENGINE DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES
With all the new airframes being developed, certificated and delivered, one might wonder about powerplant development. Almost on cue, Honeywell this month updated the industry on its development of two new engines, the HTS900 turboshaft designed for helicopters and the TFE731-50 turbofan, for jets. Both updates occurred in conjunction with the EBACE bizjet show in Geneva, Switzerland. According to the company, the HTS900 is a dual-channel, full authority digital engine control (FADEC) powerplant of 925 shp, achieving all designed power specifications. The engine is expected to deliver specific fuel consumption levels of .54 lb per shaft horsepower or a 5-percent decrease from earlier Honeywell helicopter engines. Customers will have their choice of two engine output shaft speeds, a 6,317 rpm version or a 9,598 rpm version, for either single- or twin-engine applications. Official certification is expected by mid-2006. The company said a second copy of the model has joined the certification-testing program. Meanwhile, the new TFE 731-50 turbofan engine has begun flight tests on Honeywell’s Falcon 20 test-bed aircraft. The engine has accumulated 26 flight hours and nearly 100 hours of cumulative run time as of mid-May; the company says its program is on schedule to meet a 2006 certification and that engine testing will continue through a series of flight tests to verify and validate altitude performance and operability. The engine is designed to deliver up to 5,000 pounds of takeoff thrust and will be offered with integrated nacelle and thrust reverser systems. 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.

RAYTHEON INTRODUCES THE HAWKER 800XPI...
Also in Geneva, the Raytheon Aircraft Company announced an upgraded version of the company's well-known Hawker 800 bizjet, dubbed the Hawker 800XPi. Raytheon says the new Hawker 800XPi will feature the latest Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, and a new interior and cabin management system. Raytheon said the Hawker 800XPi will include the Rockwell Collins Integrated Flight Information Systems (IFIS) and Pro Line 21 Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) suite as a standard feature from mid-2005. The company added that the avionics suite's upgrades will provide operators with more reliable communication and navigation capabilities with less weight and volume, while also supplying the necessary architecture for future digital ATC communications. The Hawker 800XPi will also include electronic charts and enhanced map overlays as a standard feature of the IFIS system. More...

LAKE AIRCRAFT IS LOOKING FOR A NEW OWNER DURING AIRVENTURE!
The Lake Aircraft series is the only FAA-certified single-engine amphibious airplane being produced in the world today.  The complete line of Lake Aircraft inventory and tooling — with FAA Type Certificate, STCs, engineering data, documentation, historical information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity — will be sold at auction during AirVenture 2005.  The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity. 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.

...AND THE BEECHCRAFT PREMIER IA
In addition to the Hawker 800Xpi, Raytheon announced last week another set of upgrades to one of its bizjets; this time it's the Premier I getting the makeover treatment to become the Premier IA. The company says the Premier IA will feature a totally redesigned interior, avionics enhancements and several systems improvements, all of which are part of the Premier I's planned evolution. “We continually listen to our customers’ needs, and their feedback is critical to our product improvement strategy for all Beechcraft products,” said President and General Manager of Beechcraft Randy Groom. “With more than 100 Premier I’s now flying around the world, the new Beechcraft Premier IA is a perfect example of the evolution of a tremendous aircraft, based on customer input,” he added. The company said the Premier I is the largest and fastest single-pilot jet in the world. More...

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BOMBARDIER LAUNCHES CORPORATE SHUTTLES
The so-called "corporate shuttle" concept -- aircraft dedicated solely to moving employees between a firm's various facilities -- has been around for decades, but no airframer has ever marketed an airplane specifically for that market. Until now. Bombardier last week said the growing market for corporate shuttles has led it to introduce what it calls Bombardier Corporate Shuttle Solutions, which it bills as a "complete family of Bombardier Challenger corporate shuttle jets, backed by a full engineering, program, sales and customer support team." The three new Bombardier Challenger corporate shuttle models -- the Bombardier Challenger 850, 870 and 890, derived from the Bombardier CRJ200, CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jet platforms, respectively -- are being launched as the company's research shows that a sizeable portion of corporate shuttle aircraft are due for replacement in the near future. "There has never been a better time to offer our Bombardier Corporate Shuttle Solutions to the market," stated James Hoblyn, vice-president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. More...

BOEING SOON TO REACH 100 BBJ ORDERS
Boeing's Business Jets operation last week said the company is advancing toward a major program milestone -- selling 100 business jets. According to the company, no other ultra-large-cabin, long-range business jet manufacturer has accomplished that feat and the BBJ and BBJ2 continue to lead that market by outselling its nearest competitor by a factor of 4 to 1. Boeing says that, since its inception in 1996, Boeing Business Jets has won orders and commitments for 97 airplanes, winning six within the past six months. The BBJ and BBJ2 are high-performance derivatives of the commercially popular Next-Generation 737-700 and 737-800, respectively. "The interest and orders for the BBJ continues to grow. We're confident that the record sales pace will continue and that we will achieve 100 orders before the end of this year," BBJ President Steven Hill said during a media briefing at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. More...

CESSNA CITATION MUSTANG UPDATE
Since Cessna's Citation Mustang prototype took its first flight on April 23, 2005, the new very light jet (VLJ) has logged more than 36 hours in 19 flights and thorough testing of all systems is well underway, the company said earlier this month. In addition to the systems testing -- including the Garmin G1000 avionics suite and the Pratt & Whitney PW615F engines and FADECs -- the Mustang's initial flight-envelope expansion was completed on May 2, 2005, with the Mustang demonstrating its interim flight envelope limits of 200 KIAS (0.63 Mach) and FL410. Cessna anticipates further expansion to Vmo and Mmo over the summer. Meanwhile, ground testing on the Citation Mustang cyclic fatigue test article begins in July at Cessna’s 74,000-square-foot structural test facility in Wichita. The test article will fly over five lifetimes (75,000 hours) prior to Citation Mustang certification, Cessna said. In addition, 20 other ground test articles will be used for development and certification. Ground tests completed to date include safety of flight proof load conditions on the static article airframe, development drop testing for both the main and nose landing gear, and proof testing of all flight control systems. More...

HONEYWELL OFFERS WEB-BASED FLIGHT-PLANNING SERVICES
Honeywell announced last week it will be offering a new Web-based flight planning service tailored to business aircraft operators that allows them to create and file flight plans using any personal computer connected to the Internet without special software. Pilots can choose to have the system automatically create a flight plan optimized for best fuel efficiency or the shortest flight, based on the most current wind information. Other options include using historical winds, user-defined step climbs and random routing. Honeywell says the system includes performance data for some 240 business aircraft and has a wide variety of international routes from which to choose. For oceanic contingency planning, Honeywell's Web Flight Planning uses the most current wind information to automatically calculate Equal Time Points between diversionary airports, simplifying the choice of a landing site in the event of a loss of cabin pressurization or an engine-out emergency. More...

JET AVIATION ADDS TO FLEET
Since 2005 began, Jet Aviation's U.S. and European aircraft management and flight support divisions have signed 17 new long-term agreements that added a variety of business jets to its worldwide fleet of now more than 160 aircraft, the company said this month. Jet Aviation's European division added 10 aircraft to its management fleet, including a Learjet 31A and Learjet 60, an Embraer Legacy, a Challenger 604, one Gulfstream V, two Gulfstream 550s, two BBJ2s and, for the first time, an Airbus 319 Corporate Jetliner. In the U.S., contracts were signed for three Beechjet 400s, a Hawker 800XP, a Dassault Falcon 50, a Challenger 601 and a Gulfstream IVSP. More...

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Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
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