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Volume 4, Number 3
February 8, 2006

LightSPEED's LightFlight Mach 1 Headset New Mach 1 Headset by LightSPEED: Smaller Can Be Better
The "born to be worn" Mach 1 packs a lot for its size. After years of pilot input, LightSPEED has introduced the Mach 1, a high-performance in-the-ear (ITE) headset. Connect to cell phone and music interfaces. Get supreme comfort with unbelievable noise attenuation. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST business hours). View the 60-second Mach 1 video here.
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

Adam Aircraft this week took its first production version of its planned A700 twin-engine candidate in the coming very light jet (VLJ) sweepstakes for a spin. The airframe's first fight was conducted from the company's facility at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo., and was crewed by Bill Watters, vice president of flight operations, and Ken Sasine, senior turbine test pilot. The new A700, formally dubbed the "AdamJet," is serial number 002 and constitutes the first of three aircraft the company is building for tests leading to FAA certification. The jet's first flight lasted a planned 34 minutes. The new airframe joins the original A700 prototype, which has racked up some 400 flight hours since it first flew in July 2003. That aircraft, s/n 001, was used for aerodynamic and systems test data, creating a baseline for upcoming certification flight testing. According to Adam, s/n 001 will be used as a marketing and flight-test aircraft, visiting cities, airports, and aviation events across the United States. "The aircraft handled very well, stability was excellent, and the flight controls were very responsive and predictable," commented Sasine. "The throttle response was smooth and strong, and the climb performance was strong and steady. The airplane handled just as we expected." More...

Jan. 23 saw EADS Socata become the recipient of FAA paperwork granting the agency's type certification to its newest aircraft -- the single-engine turboprop TBM 850 -- only six weeks following its European approval. That same day saw the TBM 850's first production example take to the skies on its maiden flight, an 02:50 affair flown by Christian Briand, chief pilot of EADS Socata, and Alain Arnaud, flight test engineer. Built on the success of the company's TBM 700, the TBM 850 features a maximum cruising speed of 320 KTAS at FL260, edging ever closer to light-jet speeds and blowing the doors off many twin turboprops. The 850 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D, delivering 1,825 eshp, and which is flat-rated to 850 shp for the airframe. One of the -66's innovations, according to Socata, is its single-crystal compressor blades, which enable higher turbine temperatures. The Jan. 23 flight of the first production 850 was used to verify production conformity and included tests across the type’s flight envelope, including climbs to its maximum certified altitude of FL310, operation at its maximum cruise speed and descents at its maximum operating speed. More...

Sino Swearingen's 
SJ30-2 Business Jet The SJ30-2 Is the World's Fastest Light Business Jet
Not only is it fast; it has intercontinental range -- 560 mph and over 2800 sm range. The SJ30-2 is the most advanced light business jet in the sky today -- the perfect package of speed, range, and good looks. For details, visit Sino Swearingen online.

Spectrum Aeronautical’s new Spectrum 33 light twinjet made two more test hops last week, following its early-January maiden flight. The two most recent flights together totaled less than an hour but the weather wasn't cooperating: The day began with steady rain, 500-foot ceilings and a dropping barometer. Still, Bill Davies, Spectrum’s veteran chief test pilot, and Ian Hollingsworth, serving as second-in-command, waited it out long enough to accomplish their mission. The two test flights were used, in part, to verify "improvements and adjustments" to the Sepectrum 33's systems made after its first flight on Jan. 7, according to the company. The Spectrum 33 is a new light business jet built using a new carbon-graphite construction technique. That technique, in part, helps the new jet fly with the same size cabin as popular eight-to-nine-seat light bizjets, but with less than two-thirds the weight. More...

No one is saying the purchase price -- both sides have agreed to keep those details confidential -- but sometime this spring, Zurich-based Jet Aviation Group will complete its just-announced acquisition of Midcoast Aviation. Midcoast, presently owned by the Sabreliner Corporation, is one of the largest FBO, maintenance and refurbishment organizations in the Midwest. Jet Aviation, which itself was acquired late last year by the Permira Funds, believes the acquisition will complement its growing worldwide operations. “Midcoast Aviation has a similar business philosophy as Jet Aviation. The addition of one of the leading completions and maintenance service companies into Jet Aviation’s U.S. organization will not only increase our U.S. presence but strengthen our position as a full business aviation service provider in North America,” said Theo Staub, president and COO of Jet Aviation North America. To no one's surprise, that thought was echoed by one of Jet Aviation's newest employees: Kurt F. Sutterer, president of Midcoast Aviation added, “We consider Jet Aviation a perfect fit. Like Jet Aviation, we make substantial investments in resources and people to provide exceptional service to the benefit of our customers. We are happy to become part of the Jet Aviation Group.” More...

Zuluworks Zuluworks Is New and Improved!
Zuluworks has not only treated themselves to a little digital makeover, but have re-tooled their product line as well. The new Gazelle is the ultimate flight bag with 3,200 cubic inches of versatility and style. Zuluworks has also added the super-popular Mini-Z kneeboard at 50% smaller than the original Zuluboard, but still packing the same punch. And the original Zuluboard has never looked so good, with new styling and sixteen new color choices. Click on the web site and take a look.

Bombardier late last month flew the sole example of its Challenger 605 bizjet to the company's flight-test facility at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, where it will begin a 200-hour flight test and certification program. The ferry fight from Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, where it made its first flight just a few days earlier, required only 03:08. Among major changes from the Challenger 604, which the 605 will eventually replace, is the flight deck. The 605 features the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system, which features four 10" x 12" LCD displays. More...

JA Air Center 
— Your Garmin Source JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 396 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
JA offers top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft. Call (800) 323-5966 for your current value, with no purchase required. One of Garmin's largest aviation dealers, JA stocks the new GPSMap 396 with terrain, XM Weather, and music with same-day shipping (before 3pm CT). 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, JA provides FBO services and fuel at Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) in Dekalb, IL. Please call (800) 323-5966, or order online.

Cessna's machine-like ability to design, announce, fly, certify and deliver a new version of its wildly popular Citation series will likely remain on track with Pratt & Whitney Canada's announcement last month that it received Transport Canada type certification for its new PW615F engine. Cessna will use two of the engines to power its forthcoming Citation Mustang very light jet (VLJ). Canadian type certification of the PW615F comes less than a month after Cessna received Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the FAA for the Mustang. With the recently announced delay in Eclipse Aviation's efforts to certify its Eclipse 500 VLJ, will a race-to-market between these two market-leader wannabes brighten up our summer? More...

Sikorsky Aircraft last month reached a major milestone when it delivered the 600th example of its venerable S-76 helicopter. Now available as model C++ -- with a new version, the D, slated to enter service in 2008 -- more than 220 operators in 59 countries are currently flying S-76 helicopters. According to the company, the fleet has accumulated more than four million flight hours since the first S-76 was placed in service in 1979. "The success of the S-76 has been built by meeting the needs of our customers throughout the product's long and distinguished tenure. Delivering our 600th helicopter attests to the S-76's status as the preferred choice for hundreds of commercial operators around the world," said Jeff Pino, Sikorsky's senior vice president for strategy, marketing and commercial programs. More...

The Columbia 350 & Columbia 400 Have a New Corporate Name
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 schedule for the Fly Columbia Tour, an interactive Columbia experience, is posted online.

Raytheon this month announced its fleet of TC90 twin turboprops based on its King Air C90 platform has reached a major milestone: 500,000 accident-free flight hours. The TC90 aircraft, operated by Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Tokushima Air Training Group (ATG), have been used for multiengine and instrument training since 1973; some 34 aircraft have been used or are on order in the training program since it began. Raytheon Aircraft Company’s authorized dealer in Japan, Itochu Aviation, sells and delivers the aircraft to JMSDF; JAMCO Corporation, Raytheon Aircraft Company’s authorized service center in Japan, supports the aircraft. “Raytheon Aircraft Company is proud that the extremely proficient pilots/instructors of the Tokushima Air Training Group have continued to select the TC90 for their very important training mission,” said Beechcraft President and General Manager Randy Groom. More...

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) late last month named the six individuals selected by the association's Corporate Aviation Management Committee (CAMC) to receive its 2006 Corporate Aviation Management Scholarship. Each scholarship includes up to $875 to cover expenses associated with recipients' attendance at NBAA's Annual Leadership Conference, scheduled for Feb. 22 and 23, in Dallas, Texas. The Corporate Aviation Management Scholarship, now in its second year, is sponsored by Eastern Aviation Fuels, Pentastar Aviation, SIG Aviation LLC and The VanAllen Group. Representatives from each of these entities will be present at the Leadership Conference. More...

Isn't It About Time You Choose Something Extra?
Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, and internationally renowned — that's the 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. To find out more about Extra's EA-500, click here.

Even as it obtained Canadian certification of its offering to power the Cessna Citation Mustang, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (P&WC) marked a major milestone last month with the production of its 60,000th engine. The achievement was worthy of a special ceremony held in the company's Mississauga, Ontario, plant. And, since the company offers one of the broadest product lines in the industry, the next 60,000 might not take as long. In fact, the last 10 years has seen the company certify more than 50 engines, including variants of its PT6, PW100, PW200, PW300, PW500, JT15D and PW900 series of turbine powerplants. The company says its offerings will once again expand in the first quarter of 2006 when it hopes to win certification for its PW610F. More...



In a Group Plan & Think You're Getting the Best Deal on Life Insurance?
The Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) finds many people believe this is the case. Unfortunately, in some group plans you're only as good as your weakest link. Meaning, while you may be in excellent health, you may be paying a higher premium due to those in the group that aren't as healthy. From airline pilots to weekend warriors, PIC has saved pilots 30-60% on coverage through A+ rated carriers or better. Find out if you are getting the best deal. Call PIC today at (800) 380-8376, or visit online.

The Best Aviation Weather Service for Cell Phones
Version 6 of WxServer is chock-full of new features. A simpler, more powerful menu structure makes WxServer easier to use.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are zoomable. And WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever phone screen size 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 is ready when you need it. AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate when they click here.

Subscribe to Aviation Consumer and Save, Plus Get No-Cost Access to AviationConsumer.com. This subscribers-only web site is packed with ratings and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, aviation products, and accessories. Enjoy greater confidence when you buy and when you fly with your Aviation Consumer subscription. Order online.

Hassle-Free Auto Buying from CrewCar & Consumer Guides
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a vehicle; look to CrewCar.  CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value nationwide.  The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards.  For information, click here to request a quote.

Your Aircraft-Buying Helper — Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide
Dreaming about your next plane? Ready for a closer look at that plane in the ad? Need to know what your plane is worth? Don't consider buying or selling without the Aviation Consumer's 10th edition Used Aircraft Guide. Now available for the first time on CD, for just $29.95 with NO-COST shipping and handling — over 38% off the retail price. Click here to order.


...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on Feb. 22. More...


AVwebBiz is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

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

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Shiny side up, okay?