AVweb publisher Tom Bliss Thursday gathered representatives from major engine and avionics manufacturers, mod-shops and more to discuss a plan to modernize the general aviation fleet and offer like-new aircraft at lower-than-new cost. Bliss' concept would seek to create standardized programs for updating popular existing airframes with new engines, avionics, interiors and paint. The end result in Bliss' vision would be like-new aircraft offered with full warranty, insurable for their full value, and supported by lenders. The meeting served both as a formal introduction to the fundamentals behind the concept and as an open forum to discuss the ideas and concerns of attendees.
The group discussed potential pathways and barriers that could arise in the effort to supply the general aviation community with standardized like-new aircraft while meeting the key criteria of warranty, insurance, and lender support. Airframes would likely be selected by popularity, longevity and their support network, Bliss proposed. And reliable standards would need to be created for participating refurbishment or remanufacture facilities to help establish and maintain a stable market value for each renewed aircraft. Participants in the meeting were not asked to commit resources but to help develop a realistic cooperative approach that could be used to develop the program.