NBAA 2008 Wrap-Up: Attendance Numbers Slip Slightly »

Click for images from the show Attendance at the National Business Aviation Association's 61st convention in Orlando this week was down marginally according to early attendance figures released Wednesday. NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard said 30,164 people attended the show, down about 600 from last year. "It's 2 percent," NBAA President Ed Bolen told AVweb. "This was a solid show." More

NBAA Proposes Changes In VLJ Pilot Training »

While the crowds at this week's NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., are busy out on the convention floor and on the flight line checking out all the latest and greatest technology, a lot is also going on in the meeting rooms, as movers and shakers get together to discuss issues of importance to the industry. One of the groups that met in Orlando was NBAA's Safety Committee , and this week the committee said it will revise its guidelines for training pilots of very light jets. Changes will attempt to address the basic instrument proficiency lacking in some prospective VLJ pilots, the committee said. Also, efforts will be made to better define training outcomes, to explain the concept of "personal minimums" and to address the unique challenges of operating into airports with short runways and inhospitable nearby terrain. The committee said it will work with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and others to produce a rewrite of the training guidelines by the end of this year. More

Hawker Beechcraft Lands $200 Million Order »

NBAA is one of the shows where major sales announcements are made, but there haven't been that many at this year's show. Hawker Beechcraft stepped out of that mold today with a $200 million announcement. Brazilian-based Líder Signatures S.A. has ordered 23 aircraft, covering the cross-section of jet products from the Wichita company. More

A New Twin Otter »

In its element (and that's pretty varied) there is no more highly-respected aircraft than the deHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter. Made famous by the Antarctic rescue of a sick scientist in -75° temperatures, the high-wing twin has toiled for almost 40 years in some of the harshest (and most idyllic) environments on Earth. But the fleet is getting old, and there is really nothing to replace it, except a new Twin Otter. Viking Air, of Sidney (near Victoria), British Columbia, has brought the irreplaceable design into the 21st Century and, as we profile in an AVweb Exclusive Video , it's an idea whose time has come. More

Aftermarket HUD With Enhanced Vision »

It's a window on the world when the world isn't cooperating and now it's available as an after market enhancement for business, commercial and military aircraft. Elbit Kollsman has developed an add-on HUD that displays flight instrument information against an infrared image of the world outside when darkness and weather obscure that. Several customers are using the already-certified system and Elbit is marketing the system as an aftermarket device until original equipment manufacturers incorporate them into their designs. As our AVweb Exclusive Video shows, the visibility enhancement, set up to deliver a normal field of vision for the pilots, is striking. More

Diamond, ATP Ink Training Agreement »

One of Diamond Aircraft's biggest customers for its D-Jet single-engine jet has been named its training partner for customers of the new jet. ATP (Air Transport Professionals), which has ordered 20 of the five-passenger aircraft, will do the transition training and type ratings for D-Jet customers. "The D-Jet is designed primarily for the owner/pilot market and, as such, the type rating training needs to be different than conventional business jet type training," said Peter Maurer, President of Diamond Aircraft. "ATP has a well-proven track record of transitioning piston pilots to jet aircraft ... ." More

Bombardier Predicts Continued Growth »

Bombardier executives have joined the chorus of optimism that seems to defy the headlines outside the confines of the Orange County Convention Center. In a briefing for the media and financial analysts Tuesday, Bombardier corner suite executives said that while some softening of the business aviation market will occur in the next year or two, the long-term prospects call for expansion and fleet replacement totaling 13,200 business jets, worth $300 billion over the next 10 years and the company expects to maintain or grow its 33 percent share of that revenue. More

Sino Swearingen Is Now Emivest »

It seems likely that Ed Swearingen's dream will come true as the SJ30 that he's devoted much of his life to has caught the eye of some folks with practically bottomless pockets. Officials of Emivest, the United Arab Emirates company that bought 80 percent of Sino Swearingen in a deal that closed two months ago, declined to discuss the financial details of the rescue but left little doubt that mere money wasn't going to get in the way of bringing the speedy little jet to market. "The most important thing to discuss is fulfilling the potential of this aircraft," Ali Rashid Al Mazrouei, chairman of the board of directors of Emivest, told a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando. He said the company is still digesting its acquisition but insisted the aircraft will be put into production and could be the foundation for a family of aircraft. More

Cessna Customers Craft Columbus »

If you're going on a 4,000 nm trip, what do you need? (Besides a state-of-the-art airframe, engines and avionics.) According to Cessna Columbus customers, it's storage and leg room. Cindy Halsey, Cessna's vice president of interiors, told AVweb in an AVweb Exclusive Video that plenty of places to put the amenities you need on a long trip (including a flight attendant) have been included in the revamped Columbus thanks to two years of market research and a proof-of-concept mockup. She said the redesigned cabin, unveiled Monday at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, has met with overwhelming approval from the people who offered comments on the first attempt. "They're saying, 'You nailed it,'" she said. More

AAI: Adam 700 Scheduled for 2010 Certification »

When AAI Acquisitions bought the assets of Adam Aircraft at fire sale prices in March, the industry wasn't quite sure what to make of the sale. But AAI CEO Jack Braly told NBAA reporters this week that the company is "picking up where Adam left off" with certification of the unique twin-boom jet claimed for the third quarter of 2010, with deliveries shortly thereafter. About half of the airplane's 1,300-hour flight test program has been flown off, and test work is continuing. As for funding, Braly told reporters it's in place from a consortium of Russian investors. He estimates AAI will need $200 million to certify the airplane and procure a production certificate. When asked if all the money is available, Braly said, "If you're asking if the investors gave us a sack of gold as big as the program, the answer is no." More