Adam's New Management Vows to Make Its Targets »

In a press conference Monday at Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center in preparation for this year's National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Annual Meeting and Convention, Adam Aircraft's new management team vowed "we'll make our numbers" as its members touted to-be-certified Adam A700 very light jet as the price/performance leader in the VLJ market. Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John D. Wolf echoed a theme heard in Adam's tent this summer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh: His task his to transition Adam from a "world-class" development company to a same-level production concern. The company even has a new slogan recognizing the new situation in which it finds itself: "Make Production Fly." Meanwhile, Adam President Duncan (Dunc) B. Koerbel stressed he and his team were "on track for certification and delivery of the A700 by the end of 2008," even as he declined to be pinned down on exactly when next year all that would occur. Their optimism and confidence in the company's future was buttressed by the signing of a 10-year training agreement with Ross Perot-backed SAFERjett, a Colorado-headquartered aviation training and education company planning to base its Adam training facilities at the Fort Worth (Texas) Alliance Airport beginning in late 2008. More

Avidyne Retrofit for Cessna 210 »

Although sales of piston singles have been brisk for the last three years, older aircraft still dominate the fleet, leaving many owners lusting for state-of-the-art EFIS systems that just havenít been available for retrofit. But this week, Avidyne is addressing that in announcing that the Envison systemóbasically a second-generation Entegra EFIS suiteówill be available for retrofit in the Cessna 210 series. Avidyne is developing the STC for the Centurion line jointly with Crownair Aviation, a San Diego-based mod and maintenance shop at Montgomery Field. More

Cessna-Columbia Deal Confirmed; Cirrus Says That's a Good Thing »

Columbia Aircraft confirmed on Monday that it is entertaining an offer from Cessna for the company, but few details are being released. Columbia issued news releases late Monday confirming the deal and also announcing that Columbia has applied for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. Cessna CEO Jack Pelton declined to confirm the rampant rumors of the deal in front of the world aviation media at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta earlier on Monday. "We try not to confirm or speculate on rumors that might be out in the press regarding [the] potential acquisitions," he said. Columbia issued news releases in the evening that confirmed the deal and also announced that the company was seeking bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. "We have explored many options over the past months," said Columbia Chief Restructuring Officer Carl Young. "This path enables the Company to manage its present cash flow and liabilities while pursuing a plan that enables us to continue operating until a final sale can be completed." Cirrus Design co-founder Dale Klapmeier told AVweb Monday that Cessna's planned acquisition of Columbia Aircraft "is going to help our industry." In an exclusive interview with AVweb , Klapmeier said the move by Cessna not only validates the effort of Cirrus and Columbia in modernizing general aviation aircraft, it adds significant clout to get that message to potential aircraft owners. "It opens up the market to more people," Klapmeier said. "It validates what we've been saying for a decade now." More

Eclipse 'Greenest' Airplane? »

Eclipse Aviation says it's setting the standard for environmental impact with its Eclipse 500. CEO Vern Raburn told a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association convention that on (his) scale of 30, his company's jet is a perfect 30 in environmental impact. He said he invites comparisons on key indicators of environmental responsibility and he's confident the 500 will prevail. Raburn said that in terms of fuel consumption, emissions, hazardous materials and recyclability, the 500 is "already green." Raburn's also defended his product against critics. More

Embraer Proposing Two New Jets »

Embraer announced two new jets (and possibly a new jet category) in its pre-NBAA news conference Monday. The Brazilian company said it is considering building a mid-sized jet (MSJ) and a "mid-light jet" (MLJ). It's unveiling a mockup of the MSJ today on the convention floor. Embraer has launched aggressively into the business jet market recently and the two new offerings will give it representation across all market sectors. More

Next-Gen Glass Cockpit from Rockwell Collins »

In case you havenít noticed, the glass cockpit concept is now into its third decade and although progress has been steady, itís also been slow. The basic displays havenít changed much and the human interfaceóthe buttonologyóis long overdue for an overhaul. And thatís exactly what Rockwell Collins is doing with its latest EFIS product, which itís calling Pro Line Fusion, a clean sheet design thatís the next generation from the industry standard Pro Line 21. Says Denny Helgeson, Rockwell Collins VP for business and regional aviation systems, Fusionís architecture will concentrate on flexibility to easily integrate with external sensors and products of all kinds. Rather than the usual soft keys and knobs, it will have a graphic user interface more in tune with desktop computing logic than traditional avionics. Voice recognition and context sensitive logic are also planned as prominent features. The system will display on high-resolution LCDs and will integrate both GPS-derived synthetic and real-time enhanced vision capability, a first for the industry. The system will also have heads-up display capability. More

Cessna Caravan Gets Garmin Glass »

While light aircraft makers Cirrus and Columbia can be credited with launching the glass cockpit revolution for piston singles, Cessna took its time dropping steam gauges. As of this week, with the announcement that the turboprop Caravan will now have the G1000, everything in the Cessna line now features state-of-the-art EFIS. The G1000, along with Garmin digital GFC 700 flight control system, will be standard equipment in all three variants of the Caravan, the 675, the Grand Caravan and Super Cargomaster. More

Honeywell, Jeppesen Develop RNP for Business Aircraft »

Honeywell and Jeppesen recently completed a Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach for Morristown, N.J. to show how such procedures can be developed for the use of business arircraft. RNP uses GPS and ground stations to provide precision guidance for aircraft flying into airports with congested airspace, difficult terrain and bad weather. Some airlines use the approaches, but Honeywell and Jeppesen believe business aircraft operators represent a major market for the technology. "RNP allows pilots flying the approach to use a more controlled continuous descent technique versus the traditional "dive and drive" method and offers lower minimums than the current GPS procedure," said a joint press release. Jeppesen is also part of an FAA experiment that could lead to more rapid RNP deployment. More

Honeywell Predicts 14,000 Bizjet Deliveries in Next 10 Years »

Honeywell has significantly increased the number of business jets it predicts will be sold in the next 10 years to 14,000 and Embraer says it, too, is revising its projections upward. The Brazilian planemaker last year predicted that about 11,600 business aircraft would be sold between 2006 and 2016 but says that's too low. The new Embraer report will be prepared soon but the Honeywell report, which came out on the eve of the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta, has already caused a buzz on the convention floor. The 14,000 deliveries add up to $233 billion in sales and represent a 16 percent increase in the number of aircraft sold and a 20 percent increase in revenue for manufacturers. More

Business Jet Sales Continue to Soar »

Cessna will deliver almost as many business jets next year as the entire industry did a few years ago, and CEO Jack Pelton says there's no end in sight to the jet boom. "Last year, we delivered 307 business jets. This year we expect to deliver 380. Next year, we plan to deliver 470," said Pelton, "This extraordinary rate of growth is being driven by strong economies and corporate profits and a rapidly-emerging global marketplace." In 2003, the total number of business jets shipped was 518. Cessna's backlog is at $11 billion, a record high, and it has more than 2,700 aircraft on order, half of them jets. More