AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 20

May 30, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the sixth consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2006 Headset Preference Survey. Learn more and order.
 

Gulfstream Rising ... And Expanding

Gulfstream Aerospace is following on the heels of a nearly one million square foot expansion, which included the addition of sales, service, manufacturing facilities, plus roughly 1,100 new jobs, with another expansion. "We now expect the total investment and job creation to be far in excess of what was originally promised," Gulfstream senior vice president and general counsel Ira Berman announced at the Savannah (Ga.) Economic Development Authority's annual luncheon. Gulfstream's current order backlog is nearly $8 billion and its Savannah plant is rolling out an airplane every four days. Reflecting the ups and downs of the business aviation market, the announcement comes some four years after a month-long work stoppage that furloughed 1,000 workers after a company announcement that Gulfstream would lay off 1,000 employees companywide. Now the company has opened a new sales and design center with the first phase of a new service center to be opened next month. Soon after that, construction begins on a new manufacturing facility. Gulfstream currently employs about 7,900 people, with the majority based at its headquarters in Savannah. Some forecasters see no signs of a coming economic downturn in the w orldwide market for Gulfstream's large business jets. Paul Nisbet, presedent of JSA Research Inc., a Rhode Island-based firm specializing in independent aerospace equity research told Savannahnow.com that Gulfstream business jets are the most profitable in the industry.

 
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Bombardier's Uplifting Q1 Results

Bombardier posted a $79 million profit in the first quarter, up from $24 million last year with corresponding revenues up from $3.5 billion to $4 billion. Aircraft orders clocked in at 174 versus 52 for the same period one year ago. Bombardier Aerospace's backlog now stands at $15.4 billion and earnings have jumped from a pre-interest, pre-tax figure of $55 million to $112 million. Laurent Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bombardier Inc., said the company's aircraft division is performing well. "At aerospace, business aircraft continue to attract a substantial level of new orders," he noted. "We're now also seeing the U.S. airline industry rebounding, as demonstrated by a higher level of regional aircraft orders compared to last year." The rise in business corresponds to a year-over-year rebound in the U.S. airline industry's regional aircraft orders.

Hawker Beechcraft/L-3 Communications Lawsuit

Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft is suing L-3 Communications in a lawsuit that arguably might directly involve neither company. Hawker Beechcraft alleges its predecessor, Raytheon Aircraft, mistakenly credited former Raytheon-owned Vertex Aerospace, which is now part of L-3, some $4.79 million, according to the Wichita Eagle. Vertex then used that credit in 2005 and 2006 to buy $2.76 million in parts from former sister company and then ignored demands by Raytheon Aircraft and its predecessor, Hawker Beechcraft, to pay for those parts, according to the lawsuit. Hawker Beechcraft is now suing for that $2.76 million, which it claims was lost to Vertex due to a bookkeeping error. Vertex was a sister company of Raytheon Aircraft until 20 01 and offers maintenance, repair and training services, but is now owned by L-3 Communications. The lawsuit states that Raytheon and Vertex maintained as part of typical operations a relationship that offered Vertex credit for services and debits for purchased parts.

 
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FAA Approves Swearingen SJ30 Part 141 Pilot Training

Sino Swearingen has received FAA approval of its CFR Part 141 Pilot School Certificate for the seven-seat SJ30 business jet. The company believes factory flight training at San Antonio, Texas, provides better access "to Engineering, Production and Customer Support personnel with the hands-on knowledge to keep the training curriculum up-to-date, practical, and accurate." The company's pilot training center was previously approved under a Part 61 syllabus and it believes the new 141 status will enable a more structured environment and "not only help to make the SJ30 and its crews the best performing in this class, but also the safest.” The SJ30 is a twinjet with "the highest cruise speed in the light jet industry of Mach 0.83 (486 ktas)" and a range of 2,500 nm. Classes are currently being schedule d for this summer.

P&WC Offers European Eclipse 500 Engine Program

The PW610F powerplant, currently flown on Eclipse 500 very light jets, will now enjoy extended support in Europe, according to engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada. The company has announced it will offer its Eagle Service Plan (ESP) to European operators and is initiating the program's rollout with a "10 percent discount on the hourly rate for the first 1,000 hours of operation," which is eligible for operators who enroll before acquiring 200 hours total time. The plan allows operators to "virtually eliminate the risk of high-cost sur prises" and more effectively manage routine maintenance expenses. Participating operators may select from four levels of coverage paid on a monthly basis and based on operating hours of covered aircraft. Coverage ranges from complete coverage of scheduled overhauls, hot-sections and "basic unscheduled engine and accessory maintenance" to coverage of life-cycle-limited parts, removal and installation costs and freight if an engine or parts need to be shipped.

 
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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.
 

Boeing 747-8 VIP: When Your Biggest Bizjet Isn't Big Enough

Boeing Business Jets has grander plans for your business dollars -- 5,667 square feet of cabin space with options for vaulted ceilings, video wall displays, and spiral staircases all with a range of 9,260 nm. This "fastest large-cabin business jet," according to Boeing, is capable of cruising at Mach 0.86. The VIP version of the 747-8 offers a new "SkyLoft area" located "above the main cabin between the upper deck and tail," adding up to 881 square feet of interior space for "unique personal suites, private offices and recreational spaces." Without making reference to any other extremely large aircraft, Boeing noted in a release that the aircraft "is the only large airplane in its class that fits today's airport infrastructure" and can therefore "fly into most airports throughout the world." Customers have so far ordered four 747-8 VIP aircraft. Commercial versions are scheduled to enter service in 2010.

 
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L-3 Infrared STC'd for King Air C90

L-3 has earned STC and PMA approvals for its IRIS infrared imaging enhanced vision system aboard King Air C90 twin turboprops. "The King Air C90 STC is just the beginning," said L-3 Avionics president Adrienne Stevens. The company is currently working toward installation and certification for many different platforms. According to L-3, the current STC applies to the KMD 850 disp lay/IRIS pairing, but the company says it is actively seeking to expand display options. The IRIS enhanced vision sensor is able to display real-time grayscale imaging and enhances visibility "of almost any object, day or night," according to L-3, to the tune of 320 x 240 pixel resolution. The IRIS' technology is immune to solar radiation and provides continuously calibrated imaging, without interruption, according to L-3. The camera is priced at $15,000.

Rolls-Royce AE Engines Pass 25 Million Hours

Roll-Royce's family of AE engines has exceeded 25 million hours in operation on corporate and regional aircraft. "There have been nearly 2,800 AE engines produced to date for all applications," according to the company, sharing 70% parts commonality. The AE 3007A, designed and built by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, powers the Embraer ERJ-135/145 regional jet, the Embraer Legacy 600 and Cessna Citation X, while the AE2100 so far accounts only 2 million of the line's hours and powers the named Saab 2000 twin turboprop. "There are more than 1,200 AE3007-powered regional and corporate aircraft and more than 50 AE2100-powered aircraft in service today," according to Rolls-Royce. The company calls its AE line one the most successful programs in Rolls-Royce history and a reflection of "the performance, reliability and efficiency of not only the engine itself but also the engineering, manufacturing and services teams dedicated to the program."

 
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FAA: Beechjet Cowlings Potentially Unsafe

Reports of loose attachment fasteners found on engine cowling panels and the result of loose panels either peeling back or separating from aircraft during flight has led the FAA to propose a new Airworthiness Directive for Beech (Raytheon) Model 400, 400A and 400T series aircraft. The idea is to prevent failure of the fasteners and avert potentially destructive damage to the aircraft and it's downstream components and endanger property or people on the ground. [more] Compliance with the proposed AD would require action within 200 flight hours to modify the cowlings' attachment fasteners in accordance with Ratytheon Service Bulletin SB 5403788 dated December 2006.

 
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.
 
Attention, Operators, Avionics Shops, and FBOs
Stay within budgets with Bennett Avionics. Bennett Avionics provides quality avionics to meet the needs of business and commercial aircraft operators and those who service their equipment. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
 
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.
 
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No other aviation publication can keep you updated on safety issues like Aviation Safety! This unique publication will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 

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 Business Aviation Editor Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside (bio).

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