AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 26

July 11, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
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.

» Visit Bose Corporation in booths 173-176 at AirVenture
 

Epic Stakes Its Claim With Victory Flight

Epic has now announced that a copy of its (currently experimental) Victory jet is destined for certification sporting a Garmin G1000 panel. Epic CEO Rick Schrameck on Sunday evening told AVweb that his company's freshly minted all carbon-composite four-plus-one seat Williams FJ33-4A-powered single-engine Victory jet had logged more than seven hours since its first flight last Friday, extending its flight test envelope to 14,000 feet. The Victory is the product of a seven-month incubation from design to first flight and follows the first flight of the company's other jet -- the Elite Jet twin-engine VLJ -- by only a month. Performance targets for the Victory include a full fuel payload of more than 900 lbs, "easily accommodating four to five passengers and their luggage," according to Epic. The aircraft should get those passengers to FL280 in 10 minutes. Industry watchers may be surprised by the company's promise "to deliver at least six of the new jets to customers before the end of 2007, each with a price tag of less than one million dollars." Schrameck added that's "not a promotional price or a price in 2002 dollars like we’ve seen with other jets. This is the Victory price today." However, this price is for the experimental version; a certified copy is more likely to be priced at about $1.5 million. Epic test pilot Len Fox kept the gear down for the intial flight, but ultimately the Victory is aiming for a 28,000-foot ceiling with a 320-knot high-speed cruise and an economy cruise of 250 knots, with the latter speed yielding a range near 1,200 nm. Actual performance figures are being gathered, but following its maiden flight, the aircraft only ate up 1,500 feet upon landing, according to Schrameck. Epic plans to offer details on both experimental and certified versions at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wis., in two weeks.

 
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Per-Seat Air Taxi To Use Existing Bizjet Fleet

Critics of the planned per-seat air taxi operators have long complained that if the concept was viable then why not use existing business jets instead of an unproven very light jet for the service. Alfred Rapetti, a former investor in fractional provider Avantair, has listened and is taking on that challenge. Last Thursday he formally launched BusinessJetSEATS to offer "by-the-seat private charter service" from community airports using the existing 2,000-strong jet charter fleet in partnership with CharterX. In an interview with AVweb, Rapetti said his per-seat, air-taxi service -- which is available now in 215 markets in the U.S. -- costs half as much as whole airplane charter and has all-inclusive pricing and no membership fees. BusinessJetSEATS has a licensing agreement with start-up light jet air-taxi firm Earthjet to use its proprietary back-end scheduling and front-end flight-booking systems. Rapetti said his company's low price does not come from squeezing the charter operators; instead it allows charter operators to make more profit by aggregating seats offered at a discount compared with chartering the whole airplane to one customer. "We are committed to making the operator successful which is critical in today’s market where commoditization is happening and there’s a rush to the bottom regarding charter pricing, he concludes. "BJSI adds value by delivering customers and eliminating waste by filling empty seats. This is a true win-win."

Conklin & de Decker Software For Aircraft Comparisons

Conklin & de Decker is calling its latest rendition of the Aircraft Performance Comparator (version 2.5.0) "the most comprehensive and easy to use aircraft performance comparison tool available." What that means to users, is a software program that now allows them to compare side-by-side or overlay and compare aircraft interiors and exteriors of 268 aircraft, supplemented with flight performance data reaped from each manufacturer's own manuals. Prices for the software range from $450 for the piston database, up to $595 for the turboprop or helicopter database and $695 for the jets database. Newly added to the aircraft database are Citation XLS+, Grob SPn, Hawker 750, TBM 850, Eurocopter AS355NP, and Cessnas 172S, 182T, 206H, T182T, T206H models. Conklin & de Decker says it has added more performance criteria for the Citation Mustang, Citation Sovereign, Gulfstream G150, Piper Cheyenne series, Eurocopter EC225 and the Sikorsky S-92.

 
In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.

» Visit Trade-A-Plane in booths 1121-1124 at AirVenture
 

Liquid Jets Sells Second-Hand Jet Cards, Shares

Liquid Jets is offering a "bid and offer exchange" format for a wide range of fractional shares and jet cards that allows buyers and sellers a liquid market. For jet shareowners looking to sell their fractional shares, the program offers a marketplace alternative to simply turning the shares back to their management company for whatever price is offered. The benefits include potential discounts and flexibility for buyers and liquidity for sellers that extends beyond accepting whatever aircraft write-downs and penalties imposed by a management company. "You may even be allowed to lease your share to someone else for any portion or all of your contract term," according to the company. "The secondary market is larger because it includes buyers and sellers," says LeRoy Young, founder of Liquid Jets, in describing the company's move to offer "a secondary exchange" of jet membership cards and aircraft fractional shares.

AmSafe Could Expand BizJet Seat Capacity

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute has tested safety for occupants seated in side-facing seats using AmSafe inflatable shoulder restraints with relatively positive results. Using a new test dummy, conclusions found significant reductions in the degree of injury inflicted on "occupants" and might support FAA efforts to create new regulations for side-facing seats. Translation: the day may be drawing closer when side-facing sofas (i.e. divans) on business jets will be certified for full occupancy during takeoff and landing. Currently, side-facing seats certification is performed on a case-by-case basis. According to CAMI's report, "the tests simulated three typical seating configurations: occupant in the middle seat, occupant seated next to a rigid wall and occupant seated next to an armrest end closure." The report recommends, "This study has demonstrated that the injury criterion contained in the current FAA policy, proposed motor vehicle safety standards, and preliminary neck-injury criteria can be effectively met with a combination of seat design features and advanced restraint systems."

 
Garmin GPSMap 496 Is Now $2,395 from JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
Find Garmin — Find JA Air Center at EAA AirVenture 2007
Update the Jeppesen database for your Garmin portable GPS or purchase the hot GPSMap 496 with XM weather — JA Air Center is Your Garmin Source. We buy used portable GPS units. For Exceptional Customer Service, visit us at the show, call (800) 323-5966, or order online.

Flying to the show? PITSTOP for fuel at our Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) FBO location in Dekalb, IL (123 nm to OSH).

» Sell your used portable GPS to JA Air Center in booths 2088-2089 at AirVenture
 

NATA: FAA Eyes Bizjet "Scheduled Service"

Operators that post alerts through brokers or any other method regarding empty-leg flights may find their operations deemed as "scheduled" by the FAA, according to NATA's interpretation of words spoken by Joe Conte, manager of the operations law branch within the FAA Chief Counsel’s office. Conte spoke at NATA's Air Charter Summit and warned that posting such notices might lead the FAA to redefine an operation as a scheduled flight that must be conducted under Part 121, as opposed to Part 135. According to NATA, there are two key elements affecting the FAA's determination. First, setting a timeframe within which the aircraft must leave satisfies the "departure time" element. And second, the shorter that timeframe, the more it will look to the FAA like it is a scheduled operation. According to NATA's reporting of Conte's comments, if an operator states a location where an aircraft must arrive and then offers use of that "idle aircraft" within a brief departure window, the FAA "will consider the operator to have 'held out' and operated on a scheduled basis." NATA will be working up guidance for operators concerned about the legal status of empty-leg flight offerings.

Exclusive Video: An Inside Look at Cessna's Citation Mustang

Take a quick tour of Cessna's introductory jet with AVweb Video Editor Glenn Pew. Some may refer to the Citation Mustang as a very light jet or "VLJ," but others are calling it a whole new breed of personal jet.


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.


 
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» Visit LightSPEED Aviation in booths 2010, 2019, & 2023 at AirVenture
 

Linear Air To Launch Eclipse Jet Air-Taxi Service

Linear Air of Bedford, Mass., has been proving for several years that its air-taxi concept is viable, flying a fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans while it waited for delivery of its Eclipse 500 very light jets. The wait is over, as the company's first Eclipse jet is scheduled to arrive later this week and enter service soon after. Linear Air said it will be the first company to operate an Eclipse 500 jet in an air-taxi service, though DayJet plans to start air-taxi service in Florida with the small jets this month, too. "The revolutionary nature of the Eclipse 500 clearly captures the imagination," said Linear President and CEO Air William Herp. "Our team couldn’t be more excited to be first to offer the Eclipse to the traveling public." The company has ordered 30 of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-powered twinjets, which are scheduled for delivery over the next two years. Linear Air currently operates the largest fleet of executive Cessna Grand Caravans in the U.S., with aircraft based at Boston Hanscom Field; Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y.; Manassas (Va.) Regional Airport; and seasonally in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The company provides on-demand air-taxi service to more than 500 cities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Canada and Caribbean. On summer weekends, the company offers per-seat scheduled charter service to Nantucket from Hanscom Field and from Manassas to the Carolina Outer Banks.

Heli Downed By Turbine Blade Failure

A Eurocopter AS3450BA that autorotated onto a canopy of trees in Maui lost power due to failure of a turbine blade, according to probable cause and factual reports released by the NTSB. All five aboard escaped serious injury, except the pilot, who broke his ankle. The NTSB reported that its investigation revealed "that the second stage turbine (T2) blade tips all exhibited fractures, and a single blade had separated at the blade platform flush with the disk circumference." Further, "a material laboratory analysis determined that the turbine blade failure was a result of a fatigue fracture that was initiated at a corrosion/oxidation pit." The engine involved was a Turbomeca Arriel 1B that had "operated for 9,593 hours since new, and 1,764 hours since the last overhaul." Turbomeca issued Service Letter No. 2436/06/ARL/182, dated April 12, 2006, notifying operators that Turbomeca was reducing the service life of the Arriel 1B second stage turbine blades from 6,000 hours to 3,000 hours. The company also issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. A292 72 0807, and the FAA issued Airworthiness Directive 2006-02-08R1 and 2006-06-17.

 
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.
 

Tipton Airport Wants Your Jets

Central Maryland's Tipton Airport resides within the Washington, D.C. ADIZ, but the former military field nevertheless hopes to seduce coporate jet business through a proposal that would expand its 3,000-foot runway, add terminal space and improve ground transportation options. The airport hopes to serve the Fort Meade and Odenton area's expected economic expansion that could come if the airport sees favor from the base realignment and expansion process. Looking forward, supporters see Tipton as a reliever for BWI, with rail and bus service to satisfy the needs of the areas military workers and defense contractors. The program's opponents cite that Tipton's flight path rests within a mile of NSA headquarters, and that additional noise will upset residents of nearby communities. Any plans for expansion of the facility must first pass the litmus test of environmental review, meaning that projects that would expand the runway and increase terminal space are still years away.

 
FLITELite™ Reinvents Light ... Once Again
FLITELite, aviation's LED innovator, introduces the next step in headset technology — a new intercom-powered, hands-free LED flashlight built into the headset microphone without loss of audio system quality, factory installed by AVCOMM Communications. Never lose your flashlight again.  And the FLITELite never requires batteries. FLITELite controls are hands-free; just a gentle touch with your lip to turn it on — give it a kiss, and conquer the night.  More details online.
 
Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
Turboprop or piston, your choice in pressurized comfort.
Meridian: 500 hp turboprop; maximum cruise speed - 260 ktas; range - 1,000 nm; useful load - 1,720 pounds; maximum altitude - 30,000 feet.
Mirage: Turbocharged 350 hp piston engine; maximum cruise speed - 213 ktas; range - 1,345 nm; useful load - 1,245 pounds; maximum altitude - 25,000 feet.
Excitement Level: Off the charts!
Up to $150,000 in factory incentives on your way to PiperJet ownership. Call Piper at (866) FLY-PIPER for a dealer near you, or go online.

» Visit Piper Aircraft in booths 72-75 & 79-82 at AirVenture
 
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Click here.

Lockheed Martin
 
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.
 
Got Safety?
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.

» Are you a fan of Aviation Safety?
Ask us about it (or any of our sister publications)
when you visit
AVweb in booths 1005-1008 at AirVenture
 

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 Editor in Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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