AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 36

September 19, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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User Fees Not the Answer, Says U.S. House back to top 

House Committee Says 'No' to User Fees

The House Ways and Means Committee has passed, essentially intact, a tax bill that supports the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's version of FAA reauthorization and does not include user fees. In a unanimous voice vote Tuesday, the Ways and Means Committee voted in favor of increasing the tax on avgas from 19.3¢ a gallon to 21.4¢ a gallon and the tax on jet fuel from 21.8¢ to 35.9¢ a gallon and the extra money will only be used for airspace modernization. The committee also declined to adopt any of the measures proposed by the airline lobby, which GA groups have been saying would result in a tax break for the airlines. "We applaud the Committee for rejecting user fees and instead building upon a proven, stable, reliable and ultra-efficient system of fuel taxes that clearly reflect aviation system use," said NBAA President Ed Bolen.

With both key committees backing the bill, it would be unusual for the full House not to support the measures as they stand and that vote could happen within days, according to AOPA. What will happen in the Senate is another story, however. The Senate's version of the bill contains a $25 per flight fee that GA groups say will open a Pandora's box of future user fees. There's no word on when the Senate will get its version moving, but it could be as early as this week. The House Ways and Means Committee version includes an extension of the existing funding formula until the end of the year to allow all those discussions to take place.

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Gearing Up for NBAA: Adam Aircraft back to top 

Adam to Introduce Training Partner at NBAA

Adam Aircraft announced today that it will announce its training partner for its A700 very light jet and A500 push/pull twin at a news conference in advance of the opening of the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta next week. Although Adam isn't telling who that partner is just yet, it says it has hooked up with "the new training partner that is revolutionizing the way VLJ and high performance aircraft training will be conducted in the future." The news conference is on Monday.

The Colorado planemaker is also introducing a new interior for the A700 on opening day at the convention. The convention takes place Sept.25-27 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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Business Aviation on the Other Side of the Globe back to top 

Jet Expo Focuses Russia on Business Jets

As the business aviation community gets ready for the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta next week, the Russians are having a show of their own, and it's attracting some attention. Jet Expo starts today in the Crocus City Exhibition Center near Moscow and it appears most of the major business aircraft manufacturers and suppliers will be there. Embraer took a Legacy 600 to the show and says it's a significant mark on its calendar. "Russia, as well as all of Eastern Europe, is an important business aviation market, which makes Jet Expo – the first Russian trade show exclusively for this segment – a good opportunity for expanding our business in the region," said Embraer spokesman Colin Steven.

The convention, a first for Russia, is being held at a state-of-the-art business exhibition center that hosts a variety of events each year. It's been running since 2004.

Fly Single-Pilot IFR with Confidence!
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Breaking Records back to top 

Piaggio Sets Indy-Atlanta Record

They may be worlds apart in some ways, but Indianapolis and Atlanta have only an hour and nine minutes separating them in a Piaggio Avanti II. Piaggio Chief Pilot Arthur St. Clair exercised the new Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6-66B engines on the latest model of the pusher twin and he wasn't disappointed. "Had it not been for some speed restrictions and vectors for traffic during the arrival phase in Atlanta, we would have made the trip in less than an hour," he added. "Even with five years of flying this aircraft, I'm still amazed at its fantastic performance," he said.

The plane covered 397 miles at an average ground speed of 345 knots. Even with some levelling off at 23,000 and 27,000 feet, time to climb to 31,000 feet was 16 minutes. St. Clair said true airspeed at cruise was 400 knots. Piaggio says that's 18 records the distinctive aircraft has set. It says maximum speed is 402 KTAS.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
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Gearing Up for NBAA: Astro-Med Cockpit Printer back to top 

Business Jet Cockpit Printer to Be Unveiled at NBAA

They're a common feature in the flight data mix in commercial airliners and military aircraft and now Astro-Med has developed a cockpit printer designed for business jets. "The business jet printer is an exciting new addition to the ToughWriter 4 family of printers. These printers have gained wide acceptance in the commercial and military aircraft markets, and this new printer will allow us to directly target the growing business jet market." spokesman Tom Carll said in a news release. The equipment will be unveiled at NBAA's annual convention next week.

Astro-Med currently makes cockpit printers for the Airbus A380 and A400M, the Boeing C-17, B-787, B-777, B-747, B-767, and the Lockheed C-130. "We timed this product release to coincide with NBAA 2007, as we felt it was the perfect venue for reaching this important market. This is our first year exhibiting at this convention and we have high hopes for a successful show," Carll said.

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VLJ Marketwatch back to top 

VLJ Market Looking Brighter, According to Analyst

A European company that has studied the emerging very light jet market says it's painting a rosier outlook for the sector than it has in the past but there are more caveats than a law library in his assessment. Phillip Butterworth-Hayes, of PMI Media, told AVweb Sunday in a podcast interview to be released on Friday that interest in VLJs seems to be sustained and new market possibilities are opening up but (and there are several of them) the next 12 months will likely be the harbinger of things to come, especially in the air taxi business." A lot will depend on just how robust the aircraft are," Butterworth-Hayes, author of the report, said. He said they're going to be called upon to fly far more hours in more rugged conditions than business jets are normally flown and many are far less expensive than the low-end business jets.

He said the other significant factor will be the world economy. Traditionally, companies buy jets when times are good. He said all indicators point to a downturn and that will likely mean the red-hot market for jets will soften. Butterworth-Hayes maintains that the models most likely to fly out of the uncertainty and market saturation that's looming will come from companies that already build, certify and support fleets of jets.

Avidyne's New MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver Really Delivers!
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Flying Environmentalism back to top 

Bombardier Goes Green

The whole notion of carbon offsets is scoffed at in some circles, but when companies like Bombardier start embracing the concept, maybe there's something to it. The Canadian aerospace giant is joining a growing list of aircraft companies in offering a program by which operators can theoretically neutralize the impact of their flying activities by investing in technologies and programs that create clean energy or suck up carbon. Bombardier has hooked up with U.K.-based Climate Care and will be offering carbon offset programs with the purchase of its business aircraft. And it's putting its money where its mouth is.

Bombardier says it will pay about $250,000 in carbon offsets for the operation of its fleet of demonstration and parts delivery aircraft. "Bombardier Business Aircraft wants to address the impact of our products on the environment and carbon offsetting allows us to take immediate, positive action," said Pierre Gabriel Cote, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. Climate Care says the money will go into green technologies that will remove an equivalent amount of carbon produced by the jets from the ecosystem. "It is great that Bombardier is pricing the impact of carbon into their business jets, and the funds will allow us to continue to make sizeable investments in developing low-carbon technologies around the world," said Mike Mason, chairman of Climate Care.

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Building the BizJets ... back to top 

Diamond Intends to Build D-Jet in London

Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer told his hometown newspaper in London, Ontario that the company intends to build its single-engine D-Jet in London. Although Diamond is being wooed by various communities in the U.S. and Canada, since it began negotiations for government incentives, Maurer told the London Free Press that a move isn't in the cards. "Our intention is to build it here," he said. That's welcome news to local officials but the paperwork on those incentives hasn't been signed. Diamond could be in line for up to $30 million from the Canadian federal government, on top of the $11 million its already been offered by the province of Ontario. The D-Jet plant is expected to cost $100 million and employ about 500 people. Meanwhile, the D-Jet program reached a milestone last Friday with the first flight of the type-conforming certification test aircraft.

The aircraft went to 11,000 feet and basic aerodynamic and systems checks were made. The aircraft performed as expected. The single-engine D-Jet is the first "personal" jet to enter certification testing and the 1,500-hour program begins soon. Maurer said there are more than 300 orders for the jet.

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... And Their Components back to top 

GE Honda Aero Engines Begin Full Test Program

Complete GE Honda Aero HF120 engines are now undergoing testing at Honda's research center in Japan, according to a news release. Core testing was done in the spring and the next step is certification testing in 2008 with an eye to certification in 2009. The turbofan is an evolution of the HF118 engine that powers the HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft. The HF120 has about 2095 lbs. of thrust and, in addition to the HondaJet, has been chosen to power the Spectrum Aeronautical Freedom.

Although GE Honda announced a new plant to build engines in Burlington, N.C. with some fanfare earlier this year, the first HF120s off the line in 2009 will be built at GE's aviation engine plant in Lynn, Mass. The Burlington plant will be ready in 2010.

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Send Us Your News Tips back to top 

AVweb Has NBAA Covered

As we make our coverage plans for the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention in Atlanta at the end of the month, we're trying to make sure we don't miss anything new, innovative or just plain newsworthy. If your company or organization has a story to tell, make sure that the uniquely qualified audience that AVwebBiz and AVwebFlash serves gets your message. Please email your advance press releases and news conference times, along with contact information to Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles at rniles@avweb.com.

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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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Names Behind the News back to top 

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.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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