Volume 3, Number 10 June 15, 2005

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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.

GROB ANNOUNCES NEW JET
German airframer Grob, well-known throughout general aviation for its sailplanes and light aircraft, this week at the Paris Air Show announced plans to market a new light business jet, the Grob SPn Utility Jet. Billed as "combining the performance and passenger comfort of a light business jet with the operational versatility of a turboprop," Grob's new offering will be derived from an all-composite airframe powered by two rear-mounted, FADEC-controlled Williams FJ44-3A turbofan engines. According to the company, it will be designed specifically to regularly operate from unimproved runways, including gravel, soil and turf. Among the features making unimproved runways a viable option for the planned jet are large wheels with low-pressure tires and carbon brakes. Grob says, "No competing aircraft is as capable of operating on a regular basis in such harsh environments," and they're probably right. The Grob SPn Utility Jet is reminiscent of Raytheon's Premier I, also an all-composite fuselage light jet. It will be a low-wing, conventional-tail design certified for single-pilot operation and seating up to nine passengers, or two pilots and eight pax. It will have a maximum gross takeoff weight of 13,889 lbs., a maximum payload of 2,491 lbs. and a maximum ceiling of FL410. More...

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.

AERION SSBJ UPDATE
Also at Paris, Aerion -- the people working to bring a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) to market -- updated the industry on its efforts, which were first announced in October 2004. According to the company, Aerion's SSBJ could enter service as early as 2011, if its "detailed design and flight-test effort" continues without delay. "There are no impediments to the development of this aircraft from a technical standpoint," remarked Aerion Chief Operating Officer Mike Henderson. "From the business case standpoint, new research has validated a market of sufficient size to proceed." The company says it is in the process of "briefing original equipment manufacturers and first-tier suppliers" it would like to help share the develop risk leading to certification and production of the aircraft. Said Aerion in a press release, "The timing of alliances and the launch of development would determine the potential service entry date." 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

RECORD, RECORD, WHO'S GOT THE RECORD?
With Aerion seemingly taking its time bringing an SSBJ to market, traditional bizjet makers aren't standing still, even though they're still mired in the subsonic world. Within the last month, both Gulfstream and Bombardier announced new speed records for their larger, longer-range aircraft while being flown across the Atlantic Ocean en route to one air show or another. In Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream's case, it was a G450 on May 17, 2005 -- just a week after entering service -- that established a new city-pair speed record between the DuPage, Ill., airport in the Chicago area and London. The G450 covered the 3,550 nm in 0719, for an average speed of Mach .85. The company said en route winds were nil and the aircraft landed with 3,500 lb of fuel remaining. Meanwhile, Bombardier's Global 5000, which the company bills as the fastest transcontinental civil aircraft since the Concorde, on June 11 set a new speed record, flying slightly further than the G450 (3,510 nm) in slightly less time (0715). The Global's flight, also from the Chicago area -- Palwaukee, Ill., this time -- to Le Bourget Airport in Paris carried a production interior, a four-person crew, and a payload of 1,600 lbs. 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.

DASSAULT CELEBRATES LIT COMPLETION CENTER'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY
June 1 saw Dassault Falcon Jet celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Little Rock, Ark., completion center, which has seen projects as varied as configuring Falcon 200s for a then-fledgling all-cargo carrier known as Federal Express and will soon see brand-new Falcon 7Xs rolling out. According to Dassault, the facility is the main completion center for Falcon business jets worldwide, employing 1,500 personnel. All of the company's Falcon business jets are built in Bordeaux, France, and flown to the U.S. "green" for installation of interiors, options and paint. "For 30 years, Little Rock has been giving each Falcon its individual personality with care, precision and passion," said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon. 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.

BOMBARDIER NOT NEGLIGENT IN PAYNE STEWART CRASH
On June 8, a Florida jury decided that Bombardier's Learjet unit was not liable for the Oct. 25, 1999, crash of a Learjet 35 that killed professional golfer Payne Stewart, three other passengers and both crewmembers. The golfer's family had brought suit against the manufacturer in an Orlando, Fla. court -- the jet's departure point -- asking $200 million in damages. The six-woman jury deliberated for more than six hours before returning the verdict. According to the NTSB's probable-cause determination, the jet crashed because of "incapacitation of the flight crewmembers as a result of their failure to receive supplemental oxygen following a loss of cabin pressurization, for undetermined reasons." More...

HONEYWELL DEVELOPS SECURE AIRCRAFT COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) has been around for some time, becoming almost ubiquitous in airline cockpits and aboard high-end business jets, especially those with intercontinental range. But, "Currently, individuals with inexpensive radio scanners and freeware available through the Internet are able to monitor unsecure ACARS message transmissions," said Frank Daly, president of Honeywell Commercial Electronic Systems. Honeywell, recognizing there's a market for a more secure ACARS, recently conducted successful tests of just that system. 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.

HONEYWELL'S RAAS GAINS EUROPEAN APPROVALS
Also at Paris this week, Honeywell announced the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and France's Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) have given initial approvals to the company's Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS) in Europe. EASA issued a Supplemental Type Certificate covering RAAS installation on Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60 series aircraft while the French regulatory authorities approved it for the Boeing 777. The FAA certified RAAS last year and it has since been approved aboard a diverse set of business jet and air transport aircraft. More...

NEW "PER-SEAT" CHARTER TO SERVE ASPEN
With the idea of using business jets for loosely scheduled, per-seat charter transportation heating up, passengers wanting to travel to and from Aspen, Colo., will soon have even more options when Dallas, Texas-based Perfect Jet begins operations on June 30. More...

A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR CELL PHONES
Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'net, and it's chock full of new features.  A simpler, more powerful menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone has available.  Put NexRad maps centered on every U.S. airport, satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide, METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation weather that's ready when you need it — on the tarmac, in the run-up area, or at unattended grass strips.  AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/biz.

WATCH YOUR INBOX...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on June 29. 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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