AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 16

May 2, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Turboprop, Jet Deliveries Climb In GAMA 1Q Report

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association on Friday released its first-quarter shipment report, showing continued growth in deliveries of business turboprops and jets. While general aviation piston airplane shipments fell, year-over-year numbers for turboprops grew by 30.5 percent (an increase of 59 units) and 12.2 percent for business jets (up 23 aircraft). The numbers show a current shift that favors business aircraft and account for a mild drop in overall general aviation shipments (from 847 to 842, year-over-year), while billings rose 11.3 percent to $4.5 billion. "Markets outside North America continue to account for nearly half of total business jet shipments," said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce, who predicts that the GA “industry will continue to enjoy robust shipments throughout 2007" as a result of strong economic growth in markets outside of North America. The numbers confirm sustained delivery rates that maintain announced production schedules, according to Bunce. Shipments by geographic region of origin showed 665 aircraft for North America, five for South America, 156 for Europe and 16 for the rest of the world.

 
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Falcon 7X Wins FAA, EASA Certification

Dassault's 5,950-nm, fly-by-wire Falcon 7X is expected to enter service before July, having received type certification from both the EASA and FAA on Friday at a ceremony in Bordeaux-Merignac, France. More than 160 of the trijets have been sold, representing four years of production and marking the 7X as "the most popular launch of a business jet ever in terms of sales dollar value," according to the company. "When we look back on this event in the future, it will be remembered as a day that brought the design, manufacturing and efficiency of business aircraft to a new level," said Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Charles Edelsteene. As the first traditional business jet to be flown with fly-by-wire technology and "numerous new technologies never before used in business aviation," Alain Picard, director of certification for Dassault, complimented cooperation from both the EASA and FAA during the joint certification process. Twenty aircraft are already in various stages of production in Bordeaux-Merignac, with seven more at a completion facility at Little Rock, Ark. Dassault expects to expand the Little Rock facility -- already its largest in the world, with nearly 1,800 employees and 700,000 square feet of work area -- by more than 200 employees over the coming years "to accomodate the high market demand this aircraft enjoys."

 
Garmin nuvi™ 350 (Auto GPS/Travel Assistant/MP3 Player)
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The nuvi™ 350 is a portable GPS navigator, traveler's reference, and digital entertainment system (MP3/Audio Books), all in one. Combined with preloaded detailed maps of the U.S. & Canada, the nuvi 350 provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and finger-touch screen control — making it easy to find your way anywhere. The unique "text-to-speech" feature calls out turns by street name. Call (800) 906-6600, or order securely 24/7 online.
 

First Citation Encore+ Delivered To Customer

Cessna Aircraft announced Tuesday that it delivered the first Citation Encore+ to an undisclosed customer. The latest Citation V derivative is powered by two FADEC-equipped, 3,400-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535B engines that offer "high durability and reliability," and "surpasses the most stringent environmental standards for emissions, set by the International Civil Aviation Organization." Besides the upgraded powerplants, the $8.273 million Encore+ has an increased gross weight that allows for a full-fuel payload of 1,170 pounds, 340 pounds more than the original Encore. According to Cessna, this weight increase also extends the airplane's range with higher passenger loads. In the flight deck, the Encore+ sports a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics suite, which marks a significant change from its predecessor's Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics. "This is a terrific milestone for both Cessna and Pratt & Whitney Canada, and is the culmination of outstanding teamwork between our two companies," said Claude Lachapelle, Vice President, Business Aviation, P&WC. Meanwhile, Cessna confirmed that the Citation Bravo is now out of production, with the market preferring the newer, and similarly capable, Citation CJ3.

 
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EPA Recognizes Eclipse's PhostrEx

Eclipse Aviation on Tuesday said the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the company with a 2007 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for the development of its PhostrEx fire-suppression system. “PhostrEx will transform how our industry protects against engine fires while simultaneously guarding against the depletion of the ozone,” said Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn. PhostrEx was patented by Eclipse and is the first new commercially viable aircraft engine fire-suppression system in 50 years, the company said. Aircraft fire-suppression systems are currently exempt from the Montreal Treaty and are allowed to use Halon, an ozone-depleting substance, until a workable substitute is found. PhostrEx could very well be that substitute, but the EPA has yet to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking t o ban Halon for aviation applications.

When the PhostrEx agent is released from its hermetically-sealed canister, it works in less than one-tenth of a second, then, after extinguishing the fire it combines with moisture in the air and quickly becomes inert. Because of this rapid reaction with moist air and surfaces, the agent cannot be transported to the stratosphere where ozone depletion could occur, Eclipse notes. In a fire, PhostrEx decomposes 1,000 times more rapidly than Halon and undergoes three sequential losses of bromine atoms, which are the power behind this agent. These atoms then catalyze suppression of the fire, according to Eclipse.

 
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Bullish Bombardier Releases Annual Bizjet Forecast

Bombardier shipped 56 business jets in the first quarter of 2007 with total billings of almost $1.3 billion, according to GAMA's quarterly report, and Bombardier expects its market to remain strong. The company's "10-year baseline Corporate Aircraft Market Forecast predicts 9,950 deliveries" in sum total from 2007 through 2016, representing $227 billion in market-wide revenues and an average 995 aircraft each year. (Note: those figures exclude the VLJ segment.) The forecast is a jump from the average of 572 business jet deliveries for years 1997 through 2006. Echoing a market-wide sentiment, Bombardier expects a shift toward international markets and aircraft that are more efficient to operate. The company expects to see continued growth in the market extending forward from today through the next four years and building annually upon the record deliveries mark set in 2006. The following six years are expected to remain strong following a plateau that Bombardier predicts will now arrive two years later than it had previously forecast.

 
XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.
 

Eclipse Receives Production Certificate, Moves On To Training

Multiple announcements from Eclipse last week publicized the company's new training partners, delivery from the FAA of Eclipse's production certificate (the company may now issue standard airworthiness certificates for its production aircraft) and questions regarding earlier issuance of its type certificate. In February, Eclipse announced that aerodynamic refinements (larger tip tanks and aerodynamic refinements) made to the aircraft would be standard on aircraft delivered in mid-April and beyond. (We'll soon find out if all aircraft produced now will adhere to the "B model" configuration with which Eclipse says all its aircraft will ultimately conform.) With its production certificate awarded in the last week of April, Eclipse can begin delivering toward a goal of about 400 aircraft this year. As for training, United Airlines and Eclipse last month parted ways, which would have seen United training Eclipse 500 pilots. Now, Flight Simulation Company (FSC) of The Netherlands and Higher Power Aviation (HPA) of Dallas-Fort Worth have joined with Eclipse in working with simulator manufacturer OPINICUS Corporation of Lutz, Fla. FSC will provide Eclipse's FAA-approved course content and HPA's flight instructors will conduct FAA-approved flight training. "Collectively, this team will work closely with Eclipse to deliver the comprehensive and rigorous Eclipse curriculum that was approved by the [FAA] earlier this year," Eclipse said. Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn added, "We look forward to joining forces with these respected organizations to create an entirely new generation of safe and highly-proficient jet pilots." According to Eclipse, "The Eclipse 500 training program is comprised of a multi-phase curriculum, including an initial flight skills assessment and supplemental training if required, self-paced computer-based study, emergency situation training, a type rating transition course, post-certification mentoring as well as recurrent training. The training curriculum was developed using Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) and Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) principles."

 
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.
 

Rumormill Roils Over FAA's Eclipse 500 Type Certificate

The FAA issued a type certificate for the Eclipse 500 last Sept. 30, but a grievance filed Oct. 20 by National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) aircraft certification representative Tomaso DiPaolo hit the spotlight this week suggesting the gesture may have been rushed. DiPaolo suggests that the pay-for-performance structure within the FAA may have held undue influence in the process. DiPaolo's grievance, posted late last week to a blog, alleges that "several outstanding safety/regulatory issues" noted by certification engineers and test pilots would have precluded issuance of the TC, were it not rushed through channels on the last calendar day of the government's fiscal year. The allegations are not intended to implicate Eclipse (and Eclipse denies any attempt to involve political influence in the certification process) but rather target the FAA's operating structure. The Eclipse 500's journey through the late certification process did not end when the aircraft originally received a "provisional" certification on the ramp at Oshkosh in late July. That certificate did not allow the company to start deliveries. Full certification came on Sept. 30, but deliveries were held up while problems with wing fasteners and windscreens were addressed. That was followed by a parting of ways with key avionics supplier Avidyne, which is being resolved with a new avionics system dubbed Avio NG.

 
Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable. Visit Avidyne online.
 

Alpha Flying Expands PC-12 Bases

As new Cirrus-based air taxis (SatsAir and ImagineAir, to name two) and Eclipse-based air taxi hopeful DayJet populate the Southeast, Alpha Flying – better known under its fractional program name PlaneSense -- is stretching its wings to the south. The 11-year-old fractional and largest operator of the Pilatus PC-12 is expanding. It currently operates 28 tried and true (and top-selling turbine) Pilatus PC-12s and manages the virtual palindrome of 82 pilots who fly them from one single pilot base in Manchester, N.H.. That base will move in the fall to an 84,000-sq-ft facility in Portsmouth, N.H., with the addition of two new bases -- one at Atlanta Peachtree/DeKalb and another at Fort Lauderdale Executive. Last year, Alpha Flying added 35 pilots, 12 mechanics and 12 schedulers. Growth is expected to continue, supplemented by its new Southeastern haunts. The company serves the U.S. east of the Mississippi, as well as Canada and the Bahamas, and is accepting resumes for pilots.

 
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.
 

EBACE Targets Record Year

The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), to be held later this month in Geneva, Switzerland, is on target to set new records for static display, booth spaces and overall number of exhibitors. The event, co-produced by the European Business Aviation Association and the National Business Aviation Association is scheduled for May 22 to 24 and has sold 1,410 booth spaces, with more than 340 exhibitors contracted for space, and 56 aircraft confirmed for the display grounds. Dr. Bertrand Piccard -- a key influence behind the Solar Impulse sustained solar flight project -- will deliver the keynote address with EBAA CEO Brian Humphries and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen moderating a forum highlighting "how business aviation helps fuel the European entrepreneurial spirit."

 
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On The Fly

"Unfortunately, in a number of significant ways the [New Orleans] Lakefront Airport that would be the site of NBAA's [2008 Convention] static display does not appear to be coming back as fast as other parts of the city," NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said last week. Thenew dates for NBAA's 2008 annual convention will be Monday, Oct. 6 through Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008, in Orlando, Fla.

At NBAA's business aviation regional forum last Thursday, Westchester County Executive Andy Spano was recognized for his continued support and 25 years of donating office space to the Corporate Angel Network. "The support of Westchester County over the past 25 years has been instrumental in our ability to transport patients free of charge. The generosity of Andy Spano, Westchester County and the airport embody the nature of CAN and we greatly appreciate everything they do," said CAN Executive Director Peter Fleiss.

Embraer's Board of Directors has elected Frederico Fleury Curado to succeed Mauricio Botelho, who retired last week from Embraer's president and CEO post. Botelho will retain his position as chairman of Embraer's board of directors, and Mauro Kern Jr. will step into Curado's old position as executive vice-president of the airline market. As a result of the changes, Edson Carlos Mallaco will report directly to the president and CEO. Curado, 45, has a history with Embraer dating back to 1984...

Dassault will within two weeks announce an engine for its "Future Falcon" jet, an aircraft slated to replace the company's 50EX model at the entry level of its product range. Dassault Chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, speaking after the 7X's certification ceremony last Friday, said "active discussions" were continuing with Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Snecma. The new midsize business jet is expected to enter service in 2012.

 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

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).

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