Number 14 — August 31, 2005|
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Business AVflash is brought to you by
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded
Business News Coverage At AVweb's
EVALUATING HURRICANE KATRINA'S IMPACT ON NEW ORLEANS
News reports coming from New Orleans, La., yesterday describing the
damage wreaked by Hurricane Katrina are painting a grim, bleak picture
for one of America's most dynamic cities and -- most importantly --
for her residents. Sadly, those same reports indicate the worst of the
storm's horrific damage is not yet known; it may be months before an
accurate assessment of Katrina's impact on the region is fully
understood. And Katrina could affect the business aviation industry as
well: The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) plans to hold
its 2005 Annual Meeting and Convention in New Orleans, Nov. 15 through
17. In a statement released yesterday, the association said it
"intends to make every effort to try to move forward and assist in the
economic recovery of the region" while it assesses the storm's impact.
UPDATE: SPN JET COMPLETES FIRST FLIGHT...
Germany-based GROB Aerospace continues to develop its SPn Utility Jet
after its public unveiling at this summer's Paris Air Show and
recently announced the prototype's first flight, a 66-minute affair in
which initial handling tests and system checks were performed. Capt.
Gerard Guillaumaud and co-test pilot Tore Reimers commanded the
aircraft, which now enters into the flight-test stage of its
development program after a test airframe successfully passed a
program of full strength testing on the fuselage and wing required for
certification. According to Guillaumaud, the aircraft performed
satisfactorily and he added, During the flight, all systems and
controls performed as expected. The aircraft was easy to handle and
was a pleasure to fly. The flight was the first of many; the
companys flight-test program is planned so that the aircraft's
operating envelope is fully expanded by the fourth quarter of 2005.
LONG-RANGE, HIGH-ALTITUDE VERSION CONSIDERED...
Even before GROB's SPn Utility Jet is certified, the company says it
is considering a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) version, for
government and military surveillance applications. GROB, which has
significant experience designing and building aerodynamically
efficient sailplanes and motorgliders, has dubbed the proposed variant
of the SPn as the "G 600." The company considers the G 600 a "next
logical step," combining GROB´s experience with building
high-altitude surveillance aircraft with the new SPn Utility Jet.
According to GROB, the jet's design features, including a composite
fuselage and existing titanium wing attachments, make adapting the
aircraft for high-altitude missions "both feasible and practical."
COLUMBIA 350 & COLUMBIA 400 HAVE A NEW CORPORATE
The Lancair Company has re-branded itself as
Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The manufacturers
of the Columbia 350 and Columbia 400, the world's fastest certified
piston aircraft, made the change as part of an ongoing campaign to
develop a unique identity for these premium aircraft. The Fly Columbia
Tour, an interactive Columbia experience, will be at the Reno Air
Races. If you miss them in Reno, check the web site for a complete
schedule at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/columbia/biz.
RANGER G 160 DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES
GROB is also putting the finishing touches on a new single-engine
turboprop, the G 160. First announced at 2003's Paris Air Show, the
all-composite, seven-seat G 160 made is first flight on March 29,
2004, and has progressed through flight testing -- including a series
of more than 180 spins in 13 different configurations. As of April
2005, the GROB Ranger G 160 had logged some 60 flight hours in 105
test missions and accumulated 165 takeoffs and landings. A lone Pratt
& Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine, flat-rated to 850 shp, powers this
growth version of the company's G 120 and four-seat G 140TP singles.
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
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
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ECLIPSE TEST AIRCRAFT FLYING NOW...
Eclipse Aviation last week announced the first flight of its fifth and
final flight-test aircraft, N506EA. The aircraft is the company's
fifth conforming flight-test aircraft and the second of its two beta
test jets under the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) development
program, which the company says is still on track for certification
next March, followed closely by customer deliveries. Eclipse says
N506EA will be used extensively for function and reliability testing
under accelerated usage conditions. We now have all five of our
FAA-conforming flight test aircraft in various stages of flight
testing and will be building flight hours at an unprecedented rate
over the coming months, said Eclipse Aviation President and CEO
Vern Raburn. More...
ECLIPSE RAMPS UP MANUFACTURING CAPACITY
With all signs pointing to the company achieving its goal of obtaining
FAA certification by March 2006, Eclipse Aviation is also starting to
put the finishing touches on its manufacturing logistics. Earlier this
month, the company announced a training partnership with Eastern New
Mexico University-Roswell (ENMU-Roswell) and Albuquerque Technical
Vocational Institute (TVI) designed to prepare a potential workforce
for entry-level aviation manufacturing positions. Classes at the two
facilities include assembly and installation techniques, tool usage,
blueprint reading and theory of flight and safety. We are on
track to start delivering Eclipse 500s to customers early in 2006 and
will need to increase our team with many qualified manufacturing
employees over the coming years, said Eclipse Aviation President
and CEO Vern Raburn. More...
ABOUT TIME YOU CHOSE SOMETHING EXTRA?|
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difference in Extra Aircraft's EA-500. Extra's certified, Rolls
Royce-powered, 6-seat turboprop EA-500 is in a class all by
itself. The only new-technology cabin-class airplane, the EA-500
averages 220 kts, gets 11 mpg, and costs less than $200/hr to operate.
Find out more about Extra's EA-500 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/extra/biz.
OURPLANE ANNOUNCE FRACTIONAL ORDER
All of which is a good thing, if the anticipated demand for Eclipse
500s materializes. Already, Eclipse boasts more than 2,200 orders,
secured with non-refundable deposits. Most recently, OurPLANE Inc., a
leading player in fractional ownership of general aviation aircraft --
as opposed to business jets and turboprops -- announced an order for
as many as 20 Eclipse 500s. The agreement, which is the operator's
largest since OurPLANE launched service in 1999, marks the only
fractional fleet customer for Eclipse Aviation, according to the
company. OurPLANE says it will offer the Eclipse 500 to both qualified
individual pilots and to small/medium-sized businesses. OurPLANE,
which operates 22 aircraft from 15 locations in both Canada and the
United States, says its customers can buy a fractional share on a
brand-new, fully loaded Eclipse 500 for a fraction of the whole
aircraft ownership costs. More...
WATTERS JOINS ADAM AIRCRAFT
Bill Watters, a veteran chief pilot and senior international captain
at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, this month joined Adam Aircraft
as the airframer's vice president, flight operations. In his new
position, Watters will handle all engineering flight test, all
production flight test, customer flight training, demonstration flight
department, and corporate air transportation. Colorado-based Adam
Aircraft continues to develop two aircraft, the piston twin-engined
A500 -- which received a limited type certificate in May -- and the
jet A700, which continues in flight-testing. The two twin-boom
aircraft share numerous components. Bill Watters brings both
intellect and experience to Adam Aircraft, and he will create superior
flight operations programs for us and our customers, stated Joe
Walker, Adam Aircraft president and COO. More...
|ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
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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
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AIRCRAFT SERVICES OFFERS CABIN ENTERTAINMENT UPGRADES
Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) last week announced its "MAX
Entertainment System" program, a factory-approved and pre-engineered
package of solutions designed to make it easier for customers to
upgrade their aircrafts entertainment system. According to RAS,
the program covers Beechcraft King Air, Beechcraft Premier I,Beechjet,
Diamond and all legacy and current Hawker series aircraft and involves
tiered options that can be installed alongside routine maintenance and
inspection work at a RAS facility. Operators can choose from among
components such as XM Satellite Radio, JetMap II, Honeywell DVD
player(s), flat-panel color monitor(s), Sennheiser wireless
headset(s), wireless remote control and an optional speaker package
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AGAINST LIFE'S UNCERTAINTIES &
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GULFSTREAM'S G150 COCKPIT GOES HIGHER-TECH
Gulfstream Aerospace announced yesterday it will add to the cockpit of
its forthcoming G150 mid-size bizjet as standard equipment a cursor
control device (CCD) for both pilots taken from its larger aircraft.
Gulfstream says it designed and developed the CCD while developing its
PlaneView flight deck aboard the ultra-long-range G550. Now, the CCD
is standard equipment on all of Gulfstreams large-cabin
aircraft, including the G550, G500, G450 and G350. Gulfstream and
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) are developing the wide-cabin,
high-speed G150. It is being built through its Certificate of
Airworthiness at IAIs facility in Tel Aviv, and then flown to
Gulfstreams Dallas completions facility for its final phase of
manufacturing. The Gulfstream G150 is scheduled to enter service in
the third quarter of 2006. More...
G550 SETS NEWARK-TO-TEL AVIV RECORD
Meanwhile, Gulfstream this week continued its "mine-is-bigger"
sparring with other manufacturers, including Bombardier, by announcing
that a Gulfstream G550 set another city-pair speed record: between
Newark, N.J., and Tel Aviv, Israel. According to Gulfstream, the G550
flew the 5,031-nm route in 9 hours and 52 minutes, for an average
cruise speed of Mach 0.86. Gulfstream says it is awaiting official
recognition of this city-pair speed record by the National Aeronautic
Association (NAA). If recognized, it would be the 15th city-pair speed
record for the G550 since it first entered service nearly two years
ago. The G550 took off from Newark International Airport at 8:16 p.m.
local time on Aug. 28. It landed 09:52 later at 1:08 p.m. local time
on Aug. 29 at Ben Gurion Airport. More...
In our Aug. 17 issue of AVweb's BizAVflash, in an article about
Bombardier's plans to open a service center in Moscow, Russia, we
wrote, "NetJets operates a number of Bombardier's Global, Challenger
and Learjet aircraft in its fleet." In fact, NetJets does not operate
any Bombardier aircraft; its fleet consists of offerings from Cessna,
Raytheon, Gulfstream, Dassault and Boeing. AVweb regrets the
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you
on Sept. 14. More...
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DIGITAL REPLACEMENT TRANSPONDERS!|
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Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business
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