Business NewsWire Complete Issue

July 12, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

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


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David 1, Goliath 0

Each season, the FAA considers adopting a reservation system for IFR operations into such popular destinations as Nantucket, Mass., Aspen, Colo., and other airports with limited facilities and acceptance rates but with high demand. Those restrictions have rarely, if ever, been implemented to restrict or prohibit VFR-only flights. And it appears they won't again, even though the airport management at Sun Valley, Idaho, would like that. At issue is access to the airport serving an annual retreat for well-heeled businesspeople and their jets, all of whom want to use the community's Friedman Memorial Airport. That creates congestion, according to the airport managers, and is something they'd like to avoid. So, they asked the FAA to restrict operations at the airport to IFR aircraft only; the FAA said "no." Of course, they had some help: AOPA. "We felt this would be discriminating against a class of pilots, which is against FAA regulations," the association's Kathleen Roy told the Sun Valley Times. According to the association, investment banker Allen & Company attracts a large number of corporate aircraft to its annual bash each July. The FAA's decision infuriated airport manager Rick Baird, who told the newspaper, "It doesn't take a mathematician to understand we could be overwhelmed. The FAA had supported us in attempting to close to small fliers for a period of time so that we have control over what happens." Instead, the FAA will issue one of its more-or-less-standard traffic management programs requiring IFR aircraft to obtain a reservation for each takeoff or landing they want to make at the airport during the conference. "All aircraft should have equal and nondiscriminatory access to the airport during this time frame," AOPA said on its Web site.

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Swearingen SJ30 Nearing Certification?

If all continues to go as well as the company is saying, San Antonio, Texas-based Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp. (SSAC) may soon have an FAA-certified bizjet on its hands. The company announced last month that the FAA had issued two additional Type Inspection Authorizations (TIAs) for the company's SJ30-2 jet, which it hopes to finally certify before the end of 2005. The SSAC's certification flight test program for the new jet presently has three conforming aircraft in flight-test operation, "flying day and night missions virtually every day," according to the company. Of the three flying test articles, one aircraft is being used for testing systems development and certification, the second is for performance and aerodynamic certifications, while the third is testing the autopilot and avionics systems. The first of the two new TIAs for SJ30-2 twinjet addresses FAA certification flight tests to be performed on anti-ice, de-ice and bleed air system. The SJ30-2's design calls for bleed air to de-ice the engine nacelles and wing leading edges while the tail uses conventional boots. Both windshields, plus the pitot/static and angle of attack probes, are electrically heated. The second TIA covers the environmental systems. Dr. Carl Chen , CEO and president of Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp., said today, “This is excellent news and the entire company is excited as this milestone emphasizes our accelerated efforts to FAA certify the new SJ30-2 by the second half of this year.” The SJ30-2 is designed for single-pilot operations, a 2,875-sm range and a high-cruise speed of Mach .83. Plans include certification to FL490 and a pressurization system producing a sea-level cabin to FL410.

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Second Falcon 7X Joins Flight Test Program

Dassault Falcon Jet's 7X program last week also passed a major milestone as the second prototype made its first flight from the company's facility at Bordeaux-Merignac, France. Test pilots Philippe Deleume and Jean-Louis Dumas were at the controls for the maiden flight, which lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. Typical for a first flight, the crew cycled landing gear and performed airborne acceleration/deceleration tests. The fly-by-wire system was tested in all its modes, and flight systems were operated in both manual and automatic modes. The airplane, s/n 02, will be used primarily for systems certification; it was ferried to the company's flight-test center in Istres, France. "The second aircraft is responding and flying exactly as the first," said Deleume, Falcon's chief test pilot. To date, Dassault's Falcon 7X test program has logged 27 flights and 65 flight hours. The company says the airplanes' flight envelope has expanded to an Mmo of Mach .90 and Vmo of 370 KIAS. Dassault expects s/n 03 will join the flight-test program as early as September and will be used for long-range and endurance tests as well as interior sound level validation. Meanwhile, airframe s/n 04 is assembled, with systems and equipment installation underway. The company expects final certification by the FAA and the EASA in late 2006.

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

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Fourth Eclipse 500 Joins Test Fleet

Another milestone: Eclipse Aviation this week put its fourth certification prototype in the air, one the company is calling the first of two of its "beta test jets." The aircraft, N505EA, powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW610F turbofan engines, took off from the Albuquerque International Sunport for a 43-minute flight. While aloft, the latest example of the Eclipse 500 very light jet climbed to 15,000 feet and accelerated to 160 knots airspeed. This airframe and another beta aircraft will be "tested under accelerated usage conditions to ensure superior reliability and functionality prior to first customer deliveries," according to Eclipse. “We remain the only VLJ manufacturer with multiple FAA-conforming jets in flight testing,” said Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn. That may be, but Eclipse admitted in a press release that the aircraft only "completed a majority of [its] scheduled test points" on the maiden flight. Eclipse has had three other aircraft in flight testing since Dec. 31, 2004, but only has accumulated 150 hours of flight time across the fleet, according to the company. By contrast, Dassault's 7X flight-test program (see above article), which began on May 5, 2005, with the 7X's first flight and which just launched its second aircraft, has accumulated almost half as many hours with half the airframes and in only two months. Eclipse says it uses "progressive testing techniques and a sophisticated telemetry system" to generate its flight-test data, examining more than 4,500 aircraft parameters in real. So far, the airplane's envelope has been expanded to 230 knots and FL300. The test program continues, and Eclipse says the final flight-test aircraft and second beta test jet, N506EA, is in its final assembly position. The company's previous statements have targeted March 31, 2006, as its FAA certification target date.

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 ( at

Gulfstream G350 Enters Service

Gulfstream Aerospace late last month delivered the first example of its G350 bizjet to an unnamed owner. “Just two months ago, we delivered the first large-cabin, long-range G450 and now we’re delivering its sister ship, the G350,” said Bryan Moss, president of Gulfstream. The G350 and the G450 share the same size cabin and baggage compartment, electrical and environmental control systems, engines, aerodynamic enhancements to the exterior, new thrust reversers and the PlaneView cockpit. The G350 business jet was first announced on Feb. 23, 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, it was certified by the FAA and, on March 30, 2005, it received validation from the European Aviation Safety Agency. Standard equipment on the G350 includes Gulfstream's PlaneView cockpit consisting of four large flight displays driven by Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics system. Two Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8C engines provide the motion, enabling cruise altitudes up to FL450 and speeds up to Mach .88. The G350 typically seats 12 to 16 passengers in a cabin pressurized to 6,000 feet when flying at its maximum altitude. Optional equipment includes the Gulfstream Enhanced Vision System (EVS) and the Broadband Multilink system, enabling high-speed Internet access. The G350, G450, G500 and G550 jets all have the same pilot type rating as that of the Gulfstream V (GV), with minimal differences in training.

Taxing Matters

It's summer in Washington, D.C., and, with the steamy, dreamy days of August fast approaching, both houses of Congress are looking forward to bailing out and heading off into the wild blue yonder. In addition to all the nasty, time-consuming tasks they will probably leave behind -- like Supreme Court nominees, for instance -- the business aviation industry is hoping two tax-related provisions in the huge, expensive highway-funding bill will fall onto the taxiway like so much blue ice. According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), an existing limitation on the deductibility of business expenses for entertainment use of employer-provided aircraft enacted last fall would be expanded by the Senate's version of the highway bill. Another provision would change procedures for paying the fuel tax on jet fuel. The association is fighting both provisions. According to NBAA, last fall's legislation limited a company’s ability to deduct aircraft operating costs attributable to flights provided to executives for entertainment purposes. The offending provision would extend this limitation to all employees. With respect to the jet fuel taxation change, NBAA says the IRS is concerned that substantial amounts of jet fuel are being diverted to highway use -- the IRS obviously hasn't checked the price of Jet A lately. To address the IRS concern, the Senate version of the highway bill would put into place a cumbersome provision basically requiring FBOs to pay the jet fuel tax up front and then apply for a refund. The association notes that the House version of the bill does not contain either provision and is opposing both of them.

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UAE Operator Gets ETOPS-120 Papers For BBJs

While the 737-derived Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) isn't the best choice for every operator, one thing it does offer, in large quantities, is reliability. So it should come as no surprise that Royal Jet, the United Arab Emirates-based charter operator, announced last week it had obtained ETOPS-120 certification of its two BBJs. The extended-range twin-engine operation performance standard references International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules permitting newer twin-engine aircraft to operate over water, desert and remote polar routes that place them more than an hour from a suitable emergency or diversion airport. The UAE's rules allow charter operators to use ETOPS-60 standards upon placing a new type into service, with an "upgrade to ETOPS-90 only possible after one year of trouble-free experience." The ETOPS-120 can usually be applied for after another year but, according to the company, Royal Jet's safety record helped convince UAE authorities to grant the ETOPS-120 certification. "With the ETOPS-120 certificate, Royal Jet can offer a more direct and unique service to our clients who will be using the BBJ for isolated and Cross Atlantic destinations," said Ammar Balkar, vice president of sales & marketing of Royal Jet. Royal Jet was launched in May 2003 and is a 100% UAE-owned private charter aircraft company.

Shuttle Facility For Rent?

Psst, buddy; want to borrow NASA's shuttle landing facility? Get in line -- the agency says it is considering adopting a policy and developing the plans and procedures appropriate to allow access to and use of the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at John F. Kennedy Space Center by other government agencies and their contractors, university research and technology programs, and commercial users. NASA wants to know if uses such as research and technology demonstration flights, flights supporting microgravity experiments and commercial space flight research would be of interest. Of course, what the large print giveth, the small print taketh away: NASA says that it's not interested in proposals involving corporate aircraft flights, commercial charter flights, general aviation uses and ordnance testing, among others. And, of course, shuttle operations would have priority at all times. The announcement dryly notes, "NASA has not determined pricing for cost recovery, including appropriate charges to apply to SLF operations and maintenance services."


The hottest (and only) new television series about general aviation, Wings to Adventure goes off-road this week, featuring bush planes. The Maul and the famous DeHaviland Beaver strut their aerial stuff in Texas and in the Pacific Northwest. There's also a tour of aviation museums in the Dallas area and a visit to the hangar of aviation raconteur Reb Stimson. Shot in incredible high definition video, "WTA" airs Sunday at 2:30pm Eastern on the Outdoor Channel. Dish and DirecTV subscribers can add the Outdoor Channel for $1.99 a month. Ask for it "a la carte." For more information, go to

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...AVweb's BizAVflash will be making the pilgrimage to Oshkosh, Wis., for this year's AirVenture extravaganza. Since we can't be in two places at the same time, the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on August 17. See you then...

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Do you have something you've been dying to say to our editors, contributors, or staff?  Many of them will be on hand at AirVenture 2005 — plus a few expert consultants from our sister publications like Aviation Consumer and Aviation Safety.  To make our staffers easy to find, we're locking them down to one-hour booth shifts.  So if there's someone you've been dying to talk to, just print out this schedule and bring it with you to the show:
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