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Volume 5, Number 8
March 7, 2007
Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the sixth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine's Headset Preference Survey, 12/06. Learn more and order

"We're building the next plane same as the last," Sport-Jet founder Bob Bornhofen told AVweb Tuesday. With the fuselage currently in construction, that aircraft should be in the air "in 10 or 11 months." The project to produce a $1 million certified four-seat single-engine jet that would cruise at 340 knots at 25,000 feet suffered a major setback when the original proof-of-concept aircraft on June 22, 2006, crashed after 25 hours of otherwise "virtually flawless" flight testing. Test pilot James Stewart survived the crash without injury and has stayed on with the project. "We had to convince some financial types that it wasn't the airplane," Bornhofen said, but while the program could always use more money, funding has been secured to see the build of the second aircraft through to completion. The new aircraft will incorporate the design's originally intended aluminum wings and further optimize cabin space. (The original proof-of-concept aircraft flew with composite wings due to a problem with a supplier, according to Bornhofen.) "We haven't found anything that would prohibit the plane from gaining certification," said Bornhofen, who aims to reach that goal in two to three years. More...

JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for current value, with no purchase required. JA is your source for Garmin GPS and Avionics, including the popular GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Auto GPS.

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. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.

Eclipse Aviation and Avidyne decided last week to terminate their relationship, leaving the company's 500 jet's Avio avionics system to the newly appointed hands of Chelton Flight Systems, Innovative Solutions & Support, Garmin, Honeywell and PS Engineering. While working with Avidyne, Eclipse had concurrently "been working closely with this group behind-the-scenes for a number of months, and has already made significant progress" and "this change has no effect on Eclipse 500 production or delivery," said Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom. Any aircraft delivered with Avidyne Avio systems will be retrofitted with the now fast-tracked Avio NG (next generation) package before year-end, according to Eclipse. Retrofits should consume less than ten days downtime to install and functionality look and feel should remain consistent to provide ease of transition for original Avio users. Meanwhile, Eclipse is still working on obtaining a production certificate to deliver aircraft en masse. CEO Vern Raburn said he plans to announce more news on this front in a couple of weeks. More...

The sale of Wichita-based Raytheon Aircraft Company to GS Capital Partners and Onex Partners is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, but that company's pending purchase has already given rise to a new company. Soon-to-be Hawker Beechcraft Corporation will apparently be starting life through the help of Hawker Beechcraft Inc. (HBI) and its subsidiary Hawker Beechcraft Notes Company. HBI "intends to commence a private placement offering to eligible purchasers of $1,200.0 million of a new issue of senior fixed rate notes due 2015." More...

The Best Choice for the Small Business Owner
In addition to Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)'s exclusive life insurance rates for pilots, they also offer excellent insurance & pension solutions to small business owners. American National's 401(k) Retirement Plan Solution offers low administration fees and expense charges, a large variety of investment options, and total ongoing service for the life of the plan direct from American National, not a third-party administrator. Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) specializes in providing pilots and their families with insurance products. Call (800) 380-8376, or visit online.

It's a bright new day at Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary NetJets, which offers fractional shares in a variety of business jets. "NetJets generated pre-tax earnings of $143 million in 2006 as compared to a pre-tax loss of $80 million in 2005," according to a Berkshire Hathaway release. And the turnaround might not be so much about a marked increase in business as it is about management of that marked increase in business. Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett attributes NetJets' 2005 deficit to the company's struggles to cope with increasing demand. In 2005, increases in owner demand caused a shortfall of aircraft availability that NetJets addressed by subcontracting additional aircraft through charter services. Costs associated with subcontracted flights were not recovered in full from clients and led to $85 million in associated costs. More...

Honeywell is developing Integrated Primary Flight Display (IPFD) synthetic vision technology for helicopters to enhance flight safety by improving situational awareness and reducing pilot workload. IPFD uses advanced computing power to provide easy-to-understand, three-dimensional graphic displays of surrounding terrain and obstacles, regardless of outside conditions. "Poor visibility, loss of horizon, uncontrolled drift and windy conditions are just a few of the factors that contribute to helicopter accidents," said Honeywell Vice President of Commercial and Military Helicopters Vicki Panhuise. “Our ambient, natural and continuous synthetic vision technology is going to reduce the need for pilots to frequently scan and cross-check indicators on instrument panels, allowing them to focus on safely flying the aircraft.” More...

Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and the full-size Thirty 3G just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.

Raytheon suggests we can all just get along -- on the same frequency. The key to lowering ADS-B equipment costs and improving safety lies in "adopting a single international standard for locating aircraft," according to a release distributed by Raytheon's ADS-B team. What that translates to, according to the team, is mandating a single frequency for all ADS-B operations worldwide -- that means maintaining both commercial and general aviation aircraft on the same frequency. A current proposal suggests the two should operate separately. How it all translates through business is that a handful of huge corporations will be burdened with the task, and reap any potential rewards. More...

Comparing the region to the airspace over metropolitan New York, an Israeli Air Force officer told the Jerusalem Post that private and chartered aircraft sometimes fly recklessly and are the main source of aerial dangers in Israel. A booming aviation economy has its bonuses, but the officer involved in coordinating joint military/civilian use of airspace says that while flight operations there have doubled in the past two years, the expansion has not come without consequence. Two incidents within the past month -- one involving an F-16 and an Arkia airliner, another involving a private airplane and an Arkia aircraft -- have pushed midair safety to the headlines in the public eye. More...

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, 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.

Cessna Citation X production is on the rise...
Gulfstream bullish on bizjet business...
Dassault Falcon 7X has gone YouTube with testing.

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.

AVweb.com, the world’s best Web site for general aviation news and information, is now even better thanks to a redesigned home page. The revamped home page has more content, easier navigation, a more user-friendly podcast interface and better graphics to complement AVweb's real-time general aviation news, incisive commentary and unparalleled feature reporting. More...

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, click here.


AVwebBiz is a weekly 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 Contributing Editor Glenn Pew (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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