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2006 WAS VERY GOOD TO GENERAL AVIATION
Earlier this week,
general aviation industry movers and shakers met in Washington, D.C.,
for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Annual
Industry Review and Market Outlook Briefing. And everyone was smiling:
2006, it turns out, saw the all-time high for general aviation aircraft
billings: $18.8 billion, a 24.1 percent increase over 2005. All that
money was spent on 4,042 units shipped -- err, flown to buyers --
worldwide. That figure, too, is up by 12.9 percent over 2005s
total of 3,580 units, but is nowhere close to the record number of
airframes built by U.S. manufacturers in one year. That record --
17,811, in 1978 -- likely will stand for a very, very long time. Of
those totals, piston airplanes experienced an 11.6-percent rise over
2005; from 2,465 to 2,750 in 2006. Turboprop shipments increased by a
similar percentage, 11.5 percent, up from 365 units in 2005 to 407 units
in 2006. New business jets shipments also climbed in 2006 to a total of
885 airplanes, up 18 percent over last years figure of 750 units.
GAMA Chairman Dr. John J. Grisik noted, Worldwide economic growth,
a strong export market, and increased use of general aviation for both
business and personal use all played a part in this outstanding year for
general aviation. He added, As our manufacturers continue to
fill their order books, GAMA anticipates another robust year for general
aviation in 2007 and beyond. More...
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MEET THE NEW BOSS
In a surprise move, General Dynamics late
last week announced Joseph T. Lombardo will take over as the new
president of its Gulfstream Aerospace division, replacing Bryan Moss.
Lombardo, 58, was chief operating officer of the luxury bizjet maker.
Moss, 66, will remain active with the company as president emeritus.
"Joe Lombardo is a proven manager who has a strong work ethic, and who
has earned the respect of his coworkers, customers and suppliers,"
General Dynamics CEO Nicholas D. Chabraja said in a statement last week.
"Joe has been responsible for ensuring that Gulfstream's products meet
or exceed expectations in their performance and quality."
INVESTIGATED IN LOSS OF GROB SPN UTILITY JET
crash of a Grob SPn Utility Jet prototype may have
involved aerodynamic flutter in the aircraft's horizontal tail.
Germany's Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU) is
looking at that scenario as a likely cause of the Nov. 29 crash of the
company's second light-jet prototype. Grob chief test pilot Gerard
Guillaumaud, 45, a former French air force pilot and a graduate of the
National Test Pilot School in Mojave, Calif., died in the crash. He was
the airplane's sole occupant. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff,
as Guillaumaud reportedly brought the jet around for a high-speed pass
as a demonstration to potential customers. Reports indicate the BFU's
investigation located parts from the tail as much as 400 meters from the
main wreckage. More...
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POWER AND ASSOCIATES: BIZJET OWNERS MOSTLY SATISFIED
to happen sooner or later: J.D. Power and Associates, the customer
satisfaction and consumer ratings firm has branched out into the
business aviation market, last week publishing results from its
first-ever survey of aircraft owners and operators. The company's
inaugural study examined owners' and operators' overall satisfaction
with fixed-wing, turbine-powered and pressurized-cabin aircraft produced
within the past 20 years and focused on airframes, avionics and
powerplants. Overall -- and unsurprisingly -- J.D. Power said its study
found that airframe and avionics are "critical in providing business
aircraft owners and operators with a positive ownership experience."
When considering airframes, the study found overall satisfaction is
based on maintenance; flight performance; warranty; flight deck;
exterior; interior; and major systems. According to the research
company, "Overall satisfaction with the aircraft ownership experience is
primarily driven by the airframe, which represents 52 percent of the
satisfaction index." More...
AIRCRAFT ADDS TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT, BOARD
Adam Aircraft this
week announced appointing Duncan "Dunc" B. Koerbel as its new president
while naming industry veteran John Wolf to its board of directors.
Koerbel replaces Joe Walker, who will remain at the company in a
consulting role. In his new position, Koerbel will report to company
Founder, Chairman and CEO Rick Adam through Wolf, who was also named
lead director and board liaison. Koerbel comes to Adam Aircraft from
Bombardier Aerospace, where he led the Global Express program, and from
Lockheed Martin, among others. "This is great news for Adam Aircraft as
we continue to make the transition from a development to a production
company. Dunc adds extensive aircraft manufacturing experience to our
team and will help accelerate our A700 certification and ramp up our
manufacturing operation in moving the company forward," noted Rick Adam.
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CHALLENGER 605 ENTERS SERVICE
Bombardier last week announced
the first example of its next-generation Challenger 605 business jet has
entered service. The newest version of Bombardier's trademark widebody
bizjets was delivered to Russell Aviation Leasing Inc. in late January;
the company is leasing back the new jet to Bombardier during 2007 for
use as demonstrator. The 605 features several upgrades from its
venerable 604 predecessor, including a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21
avionics suite driving four 10-inch-by-12-inch LCD screens and an
Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS) as standard equipment. Also
aboard the 605 are a real-time weather data link, electronic charts and
a "state-of-the-art" Ethernet-based cabin entertainment and
communication system. The Challenger 605 jet is our fifth aircraft
purchase from Bombardier and we look forward to keep strengthening our
relationship with the manufacturer, said Jim Hausch, of Russell
Aviation Inc. The aircraft looks fantastic. The cabin is very
spacious and comfortable, and it flies like a dream. Were
convinced this jet is a winner. More...
ACQUIRES PRESIDENTIAL AVIATION
Berwyn, Pa.-based aircraft
management and aviation services firm JetDirect Aviation this week said
it had acquired Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Presidential Aviation, a
charter, maintenance and management company. The acquisition expands
JetDirect's operating locations in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis,
Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle to include Fort
Lauderdale. Nigel England, formerly director of operations for
Presidential Aviation, will assume responsibility for JetDirects
Southeast region. The addition of Presidential increases
JetDirects combined charter fleet to 81 aircraft, including light
jets to long range heavy jets. This diversified fleet ensures our
flexibility in meeting all of the travel needs of our clients,
said JetDirect Chairman and CEO Gregory Campbell. More...
Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias
have arrived. Fresh for this year are new,
dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350
as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning
aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia
will look with the
interactive online Paint Selector.
Just go online and click on the
"Paint Your Passion" icon
ATC SYMPOSIUM SET
The RTCA will host a two-day symposium on
the Next Generation Air Transportation System and how its evolution will
be integrated into everyday flight operations next month in Washington,
D.C. The symposium -- Operational Evolution Partnership (OEP): The
Bridge to NextGen, -- is scheduled for March 13 and 14 in the
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown D.C.
The event is designed to bring together officials from the FAA, DOD,
private industry, airlines, the European Air Traffic Alliance and other
members of the aviation community to examine the restructured Joint
Planning and Development Office (JPDO) and the OEPs
inter-relationship with the Next Generation Air Transportation System
(NextGen). The symposium will focus on operational concepts,
requirements, policies and procedures, not on labor and cost issues. The
RTCA, formerly the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, is a
private, not-for-profit corporation functioning as a Federal Advisory
Committee for the FAA. More...
SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS: MIDDLE EAST BIZAV SHOW WILL EXPAND IN
Dubai's Middle East Business Aviation trade show, a
two-day event convening for the first time late last month, will expand
to three days next year, its sponsors said this week. The decision by
the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) comes as the event
totaled some $907 million in on-site aircraft sales. Deal struck or
sealed at the show included $75 million worth of Cessna Citations, $580
million worth of Airbus aircraft, a deal for 20 Raytheon Hawker 750 jets
worth $250 million and $52 million of Learjet 60XRs from Bombardier.
Buyers were from countries throughout the Middle East.
Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association
), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year,
membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast!
Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space
magazines, plus access to aviation records, product
discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226
to become an NAA
sign up online
Two items from our January 30 edition of AVwebBiz
deserve clarification. First, the news that engine manufacturer Williams
International had released additional details of the engine it will use
to power the forthcoming PiperJet misstated the powerplant's model
designation.: Williams will mount its FJ44-3AP engine to the new Piper.
Second, a news item discussing Transportation Security Administration
Director Edmund S. "Kip" Hawley's appearance before the U.S. Senate in
January may have left readers with the impression his comments about
general aviation security came in the prepared text of his testimony. In
fact, his comments were made in response to questions from Senators
during the hearing. AVweb regrets the errors. More...
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