China Nicks Another GA Property

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I can recall almost to the day when I first became aware of the great breaking Chinese general aviation wave—or takeover, if you prefer. It was mid-June 2005 and I was riding with Michael Feinig, then Diamond Aircraft’s managing director, at breakneck speed down the autobahn to the company’s factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Diamond was involved in China much earlier than most of us realized and when I asked Feinig why, the answer was ominous: “We don’t think we have a choice.” I took that to have dual meaning. First, China would represent the next big market and second, the Chinese would become dominant in world GA no matter what happened. Better to have a friendly relationship than a hostile takeover. The first prediction hasn’t materialized, but with the sale of Diamond Aircraft to China’s Wenfeng Aviation Industry Co. Ltd, the second surely has.

At the risk of depressing you, I’ll run the major buys here, in no particular order. The country’s leading light aircraft manufacturer, Cirrus, is owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA); Continental Motors is owned by China’s AVIC International, which also snapped up the assets of the then-bankrupt Thielert Aircraft Engines; Mooney is owned by the Meijing Group, which made its fortune in China’s real-estate market; Superior Air Parts was acquired by Weifang Tianxiang Technology Group, a Beijing-based holding company; Engine Components International was bought by Continental under the AVIC flag; Glasair Aviation is owned by the Jilin Hanxing Group, a private investment company; Brantly International Limited, a light helicopter manufacturer, is owned by Qingdao Haili Helicopters; Enstrom Helicopter is owned by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Company; Icon’s largest investor is Shanghai Harbor City Development Co. There are a few others, but this gives you the lay of the land.

If, at this point, you feel the urge to twist your pearls and swoon in a global case of the vapors, I know the feeling. But bring yourself around because in the end, it’s just bidness. Western commerce has unloaded these properties on the Chinese for a multitude of reasons all boiled down to one: None of them make much money or at least the kind of money western investors hunger for, which is ROI in the teens and robust quarterlies, year after year. Run your cursor down the list and ask yourself of how many of those companies have actually been bankrupt or approached the precipice and peered over the edge. The answer is most.

So if you set aside your angst and romanticism and you’re painfully honest with yourself, you’ll soon realize that investment capital had to come from the Chinese ATM, because it sure as hell wasn’t coming from western investors. People who complain about the Chinese taking over may wish to consider investing themselves, but most of us prefer the dividends from balanced international funds and, once upon a time, securitized mortgages.    

So what does it all mean? Shortly after Continental was bought, I had a brief interview opportunity with the chairman of AVIC. Through a translator, I asked if Chinese investment in U.S. general aviation was part of larger plan or was it just opportunity buys. The translator’s eyes swelled to the size golf balls, which seemed to telegraph I’d asked a horribly prying question. She asked me to repeat it. I did. This was in Oshkosh, by the way, so I had no compunctions whatsoever about asking any questions related to aviation. If you come to OSH, bring your A game or stay home.

When the chairman heard the question, he seemed equally startled. The answer was a dissembling vagueness that led me to believe AVIC was simply marching along with the 12th Five Year Plan, which called for investment in aviation, and the Chinese were finding opportunity buys in the U.S. This made perfect sense to me.

Some have worried that China is picking up sensitive defense technology, which is a concern if you think cast-iron cylinders and half-century-old fuel injection systems are all that stand between the fall of the Republic and the continuance of the American Way. It’s true that Diamond has some pretty sophisticated autonomous aircraft technology so perhaps the Europeans may balk a little. (But I doubt it.)

Recently, the august think tankers at Rand Corp. took a run at analyzing the impact of China’s GA investments. You can read it here. One of the conclusions was: “China’s accelerating investments in the U.S. aviation industry notwithstanding, the significance of these activities is questionable. These deals were almost all small scale, each worth less than $500 million.” There were three exceptions, but those deals either fell through or didn’t represent meaningful impacts.

The larger worry is that Chinese industry will challenge the West in the large commercial aircraft field. I’m not even mildly worried about that. For one thing, the Chinese are far short of building commercially competitive airliners and, anyway, Boeing has enough lawyers to bury them in paper for at least the next century.

On the other hand, the net positive is easy to see. Continental is building a new factory in Mobile, Cirrus got its jet done and it’s selling well and Diamond will have money to fund what has been one of the most creative runs of new aircraft in GA history.

You know what? I’ll take it.  

Comments (37)

My concern is that the Chinese lack of consistent quality will eventually creep into their aircraft holdings. I am hearing anecdotal evidence that the quality of parts and even engines from Continental is decreasing. That said, CMI engines are rather famous for eating cylinders at mid life; they have been doing it for long before the Chinese ownership.

As I write, this I also realize that some Chinese companies do consistently build quality products. My flight bag has an iPad mini and an iPhone X in it so I can't get too torqued out of shape. I imagine that the Garmins that I fly behind have many parts produced in China.

As much as it hurts, I have to agree with Paul that Chinese ownership is better than loss of the manufacturers. This is just another example of capitalism at work. Money, product and ideas have come together. I imagine that the end game is that the Chinese will use the next 10 years or so to learn how to build aircraft and components and as they gain expertise, slowly move the manufacturing home.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | December 24, 2017 7:48 PM    Report this comment

No worries.. keep selling out to the Chinese guys. Just think, YOU will be rich, and your great grand kids? Well, they can always sell trinkets to the planeloads of wealthy Chinese tourists who come to the US to look over all their new property.

Anyway, I'm certain your ancestors (the Greatest Generation) would be very proud of what you've done with the treasure they fought for and died to give to you, their children. Yes, very proud indeed.

Posted by: Ken Keen | December 24, 2017 9:27 PM    Report this comment

For anyone who thinks that Chinese capital in aviation is a bad thing, ask any Mooney owner what it was like trying to get parts from the factory during 2008-2012. Months of lead time, pay-in-advance for any part you weren't lucky enough to have on the shelf.

At least they answered the phones, which is more than you can say for the rest of the manufacturers that disappeared after the mortgage and credit crisis.

If China has ulterior motives in buying American aviation companies, we're just going to have to accept them, unless "no airframes, parts, or engines" is an acceptable alternative.

Posted by: Joshua Levinson | December 24, 2017 10:01 PM    Report this comment

The Chinese buying out of American industries continues with some accepting it all with their hands stretched out. Then there are some that believe that surrendering America's GA manufacturing industry to the Chinese is tantamount to an act of treachery. In my opinion, encouraging takeovers by the Chinese for the sake of "a 1000 pieces of gold", is shameful.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 24, 2017 11:51 PM    Report this comment

We all complain about how expensive everything in Aviation is. But when is the last time you complained about something you bought that is dramatically cheaper since China began manufacturing it? Western businesses are all for making money - and shouldn't they be? If they are not for making money than they are a charity. So, if a company makes more money by selling out to the Chinese than they make slugging it out with unions, paying unbelievable amounts for health care premiums, and spending dramatic amounts of money in the pursuit of F.A.A. certification followed by unbelievable amounts of money on law suit defense, is there really any question why they are selling?

One other thing I suggest is the following: Before you knock China, go there! Before you criticize them for paying low wages to their employees, go see how those employees are not consumed with wanting giant houses, multiple (if any) cars, or other dramatically expensive things that so many people here in the U.S. demand to have - no matter what their job or education level is. Also - explain to someone in China why self-storage places in the U.S. do such a huge business because so many people have so much stuff they have no where to put it. They will have trouble understanding this. And will probably start buying up self-storage places here.

Related to the quality of Chinese products: Anyone who likes to work with tools and has visited a Harbor Freight store has experienced joys he or she never thought possible based on the prices. People may complain about the quality of the goods and then say: "China has terrible quality control". Well the fact is that they are delivering the level of quality that Harbor Freight or any other seller has contracted for. It's worth it to the store to allow for more products with problems because they will still make money and would make less charging higher prices for higher-quality goods. So I know that a share of tools I get at Harbor Freight will break or not be as high a quality or last as long as a Snap-On or Craftsman tool. For that reason, I buy Torque Wrenches and tools that I use extensively on airplanes from Craftsman or a high-end supplier. And when I need to shave down a wrench on a grinder in order to make it thin enough to squeeze into a place on the airframe where no ordinary wrench can go - I grind down one from Harbor Freight.

China will be a solution to helping to lower the cost of flying. Let anyone who does not want aviation to be more affordable say so. Let anyone who sees anything else that is realistic and has real potential to make flying significantly more affordable offer it up.

Posted by: Richard Rickles | December 25, 2017 4:11 AM    Report this comment

If it were JUST that China is buying up poorly capitalized fringe GA Jim Bede look alike companies teetering on the brink of failure -- as you opine -- maybe I could somehow accept it as capitalism at its finest. We here are -- after all -- focused on aviation and want to see it somehow survive, if not prosper. That's the micro-viewpoint. You allude to the "12th five year plan" and THAT is the problem.

Unlike us, the Chinese are very patient ... and sly. They'll hunt and peck and make us think there's nothing to worry about when -- in fact -- there is. It's NOT just that they're awash in dollars they want to exchange for tangible assets. They ARE learning how 'we' do things. It's just like the adage "EEFI," I learned in the USAF. Essential Elements of Friendly Information can be summed to gain strategic information. That's the macro-viewpoint ... and problem. It's like the NoKo issue, too. They pretend to be our friend and helping us but aren't. Smiling ain't enough.

Elsewhere in AvWeb this morning, I see they've now flown some gigantic amphibian ... and Russ writes that it has "military applications ... in the contested shipping lanes of the south China sea." We're teaching them to build cars, Boeing is teaching them to build airplane parts and suddenly a people who WE had to defend prior to WWII from the Japanese (Flying Tigers), are building the world's largest amphib. THAT is the problem, here. What's next.

Beyond that, quality control IS an issue, as Leo says. As I've said before, I bought three small vehicles for us on my airport up north and all three are JUNQUE after less than 10 years and parts are nonexistent. I wasted my money on what seemed OK ... but wasn't. Problem is, when they want to build something well ... they can ... and do.

I'm with Ken Keen and Raf ... we're gonna all live to regret what's going on. "We" should be doing the same thing the Brazilians are saying to Boeing (in another of today's feature articles). Capitalism isn't just about allowing anyone to buy anything if they have the bucks. It's also about defending and protecting technologies. And -- sometimes -- it's also about letting entities die because they didn't manage things right. In MY mind, Icon is a perfect example of a Company that ought to be allowed to go the way of the dodo bird. Maybe -- just maybe -- the problem with GA is that we're propping up companies that ought to just go away so that the really bright among us CAN come up with the better idea and let the marketplace provide the capital to let them flourish?

Posted by: Larry Stencel | December 25, 2017 4:12 AM    Report this comment

Richard ... you bring up a seemingly valid alternative view point ... but you answer the issue du jour with your position.

"We" have too much stuff because the Chinese are shipping boatloads of Harbor Freight tools and everything else under the sun to WalMart and Amazon who sell it at unrealistically low prices. You're right ... who can resist ... or complain. This artificially stimulates the economy and makes us all think we're doing much better than we really are. It's a lot like the insane bank interest rates these days. If it were allowed to freely float v being Fed controlled, they'd be a lot higher. We SAY we like capitalism but then enjoy the benefits that artificial controls on systems offer. We want it both ways.

In 1969 -- while stationed at Little Rock AFB, AR -- I saw an ad for a 1/4" electric drill at an unbelievable price of $9.99. To get it, I had to drive 35 miles to Searcy, AR to a store I had never heard of before ... Wal-Mart ... newly incorporated that year and beginning its climb to infamy. That drill was US made in St Louis and made of metal with a real rubber electric cord. I still have and use it. Meanwhile, the plethora of Harbor Freight tools I have die or break faster than I can buy more. These days, even large companies have their stuff built 'over there.' At what point do we become a third world Nation of people working in service jobs so that we can buy 'stuff' from China?

Say ... it's 0600 and I think I heard some footsteps on the roof ... I need to go put the java on and see what 'stuff' from China Santa has for me under our plastic Hecho en China tree! Flight Aware shows an anonymous UAT target in my neighborhood. I was good this year ... I don't think PB scolded me even once? Maybe -- now that I'm an ADS-B hockey puck activator- I got that Garmin ADS-B 'in' box I've been wanting? A very Merry Christmas to all.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | December 25, 2017 5:08 AM    Report this comment

"No we can't" isn't a sustainable business credo. The Chinese have the deeper pockets and they are refusing to be afraid of what tomorrow holds, instead they invest in buying concepts. Most don't know that beloved "Partner of Aviation" Breitling has been in Chinese/ US hands for a while. Many others will follow, small and large. The announcements will come and often I wonder which beautiful deals are currently being negotiated.

Tomorrow would have been what we could have made of it, if we had any selfrespect and pride left and didn't leave our conflicts to lawyers to settle and solve. Proof: I run a uninsurable Consulting Business in Germany these days. Uninsurable because my more than 25% of my customers are in the U.S. The Chinese show us how its done... [Insert Mandarin Greeting]

Posted by: Jason Baker | December 25, 2017 5:35 AM    Report this comment

In this world, there's:
As good as it can be
As good as it should be
Good Enough
and No F-N good at all.

It's always been this way; the Chinese didn't invent this.

So why are we on the horns of a discovered dilemna? Technology has made it possible to scale ALL FOUR of those levels of "good." Clearly, some of us rue that development. But here's the thing: "Good Enough" is the rueful but overwhelming popular choice of consumers.

To forsee the future, we have to analyze THAT. While doing that, we should keep in mind that famous engineering addage: "don't allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good." Its corollary always is: "how good is 'Good Enough'?"

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | December 25, 2017 7:52 AM    Report this comment

Merry Christmas everyone.

Posted by: jay Manor | December 25, 2017 10:09 AM    Report this comment

For the nonbelievers.

DOD ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS

Military and Security Developments
Involving the People's Republic of China 2016

Executive Summary

Read all about it.

www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2015_China_Military_Power_Report.pdf

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 24, 2016 9:24 AM

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 25, 2017 10:33 AM    Report this comment

Considering the commonplace "Airing of Grievances" on these hallowed threads, among other practices, Happy Festivas everyone! Keep yer pole polished!

Posted by: Dave Miller | December 25, 2017 10:51 AM    Report this comment

Wikipedia:
The Franklin Engine Company was an American manufacturer of aircraft engines.... purchased by the Government of Poland.

I'm sure the Chinese will never get into a mud slinging battle with one of our politicians and cut off TCM parts...?

Posted by: Klaus Marx | December 25, 2017 12:50 PM    Report this comment

I am not so sure that the Chinese will pass the savings on to aviation consumers. I will buy a HF tool knowing that it is of ? quality. I pay a good price for something that will usually get the job done. What really chaps my hide is paying top dollar only to get Chinese crap. Are you listening NAPA?

the die is cast, so we will have to live with the results. Near term, it will be good for GA, long term, who knows?

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | December 25, 2017 3:59 PM    Report this comment

Read Rand Corp's "Chinese Investments in U.S. Aviation". Yep, we toast!

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 25, 2017 11:55 PM    Report this comment

I have a one word, simple answer to all this:

TARIFFS.

Posted by: Phil DeRosier | December 26, 2017 2:48 AM    Report this comment

Phil:
How would tariffs address the issue of Chinese ownership of U.S.-based companies?

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | December 26, 2017 8:00 AM    Report this comment

Waiting for North Korea to buy what's left. You know what? I wonder if you'll "take it".

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 26, 2017 9:13 AM    Report this comment

Famous last words.
First place: "Watch this, y'all!"
Second place: "The larger worry is that Chinese industry will challenge the West in the large commercial aircraft field. I'm not even mildly worried about that."
Happy new year!

Posted by: Jerry Fraser | December 26, 2017 9:25 AM    Report this comment

Aviation thrives when government supports it and lawsuits against manufacturers are zero.
So yea, it dies here but thrives in China. Go figure.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | December 26, 2017 11:18 AM    Report this comment

What is going on in the aviation business is just a small part of a much larger global buisiness environment. Most of the Chinese buy-outs Paul mentioned would barely amount to round-off error in the scale of mergers and aquisitions for major companies. They probably represent an opportunity for the Chinese companies to check off a box on the 5-year plan; Invest in aviation related businesses - check. The fact that they are mostly picking up companies left to die by the side of the American road simply makes the process that much easier. For us to suspect evil intent in the process may be a bit of a stretch. We are pretty much along for the ride on a bigger world stage. China has massive cash reserves and needs a place to invest the money. If they are patient enough to tolerate the low ROI in aviation, that works to our advantage.

Mr. Rickles suggests that we go there and see China up close. I have done so and it was quite enlightening. WIth regard to quality control issues, China today is similar to Japan in the 1950's. Many of us can remember the transistor radios and other cheap trinkets imported from Japan back then. Their imported cars were pretty much a joke. Then, they turned quality control into both a science and a religion and now arguably produce the best built cars on the road. In the 1980's we fretted that the Japanese would take over America. Didn't happen. What did happen is that most Japanese cars sold here today are built in America. Yes, China is much bigger and is not a friend and ally like Japan, but America still holds the high ground and China has the rest of the world to contend with as well. It is not simply us versus them; there is the whole world to consider.

In business today, it is almost impossible to define a true American business. Most industries are so widely spread across the world that national lines are severely blurred. General Motors sells more Buick automobiles in China than here at home. General Electric makes and sells more heavy machinery abroad than here. Siemens (a German company) bought out Westinghouse and is a major player in domestic power generation and no one seems to care. Technology transfer at those levels is far more significant that the tiny niche GA companies have to offer. Like it or not, we live in a new world of global commerce where America is no longer the sole 500 pound gorilla. The Europeans and the Chinese are not far behind. Wringing our hands about other people's intentions is a waste of time. If we want to stay ahead, education and innovation is the way to do so. That is pretty much how we got here in the first place.

Posted by: John McNamee | December 26, 2017 12:58 PM    Report this comment

It is a free market, except China is Communist, never forget that fact. They are technology shopping, learning like the Borg to assimilate what they don't have. Maybe some cash rich American Companies should invest in American Companies rather than buying all their stock back and granting mega-million bonuses to the CEO's...

Posted by: bruce postlethwait | December 26, 2017 5:39 PM    Report this comment

Honestly, I get tired of this heads-they-win-tails-we-lose nationalism infesting the western world. People think we "lose" when the Chinese sell us stuff, and they think we "lose" when we sell stuff to the Chinese! You know what? When both sides trade voluntarily, both sides win!

Want to see more American airplane companies? Start some! There's never been a better time - Chinese investors are standing by, and this is still the world's biggest airplane market!

And, if you wouldn't do it, because you think it's a bad investment, then don't begrudge those Chinese investors who disagree with you, and want to try. Those of us who love to fly should thank them.

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | December 26, 2017 7:09 PM    Report this comment

Honestly, I get tired of this heads-they-win-tails-we-lose nationalism infesting the western world. People think we "lose" when the Chinese sell us stuff, and they think we "lose" when we sell stuff to the Chinese! You know what? When both sides trade voluntarily, both sides win!

Want to see more American airplane companies? Start some! There's never been a better time - Chinese investors are standing by, and this is still the world's biggest airplane market!

And, if you wouldn't do it, because you think it's a bad investment, then don't begrudge those Chinese investors who disagree with you, and want to try. Those of us who love to fly should thank them.

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | December 26, 2017 7:10 PM    Report this comment

P.S. Why is it that, no matter how long I wait, my comment doesn't post until I give up and post it a second time - and then both appear?

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | December 26, 2017 7:11 PM    Report this comment

The Chinese will learn the truth to the old adage: To make a small fortune in aviation, you need to start with a very large fortune.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | December 26, 2017 9:05 PM    Report this comment

Welcome to the United States of China?

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 27, 2017 10:33 AM    Report this comment

Ken, Larry, Rafael,

For all your concerns about China buying up aviation businesses, the core of which I understand, **what do you propose as an alternative?**

American investors won't buy them. The ROI is too low, the risk too high, the window too short.

Would you rather these companies go out of business or limp along, starved for capital? Or would you rather see them continue to operate under Chinese ownership?

I, for one, prefer airplanes that are capable of flight, so if Chinese ownership is what's required to get parts and engines produced, I'll take it.

Posted by: Joshua Levinson | December 27, 2017 1:40 PM    Report this comment

Joshua, let the chips fall as they may. Let the U.S. find out what it's like to be without GA or a severely depleted GA. I'll bet money things change real quick once the consequences are realized. Ingenuity and creativity will fill the vacuum with product we may not even have dreamt of yet. You're not going to realize progress until you let it happen. China is just prolonging the inevitable.

Posted by: Thomas Cooke | December 27, 2017 2:59 PM    Report this comment

Joshua, good that you asked. I, being grateful for having had an opportunity to be part our wonderful world of aviation AND being aware that there is General Aviation decline, I have organized GA revivals for over 30 years. I have contributed with my expertise, time and money to augment new starts in aviation WITH THE STRONG BELIEF THAT more pilots convert into more airframes, more engines, more propellers, more services. More demand. Go to CVYAEP.com

What is your contribution to this wonderful American world of aviation?

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 27, 2017 5:13 PM    Report this comment

(Continued); The revitalization of GA needs contributions from all sectors in the industry. We need more pilots, let the airlines, flight schools and independent CFIs contribute. We need more airframes, consider state and federal government led restructuring as in the automotive industry. Let's get our war face on and get to work. Do not bend over!

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 27, 2017 5:22 PM    Report this comment

Rafael,

I didn't realize one needed to be a Qualified Aviation Philanthropist in order to engage in dialogue and have a conversation here. My sincerest apologies. Hopefully you'll allow me one more post before raising the admission fee. You didn't answer my question. What's the alternative to Chinese investment, if American companies won't pay up?

You want more airframes. More airframes means more capital. American investors aren't willing to front the cash. Either the ROI is too low, the liability risk too high, or the time-to-breakeven too long. Chinese investors, at least for now, are.

You think more pilots will mean more airframes? I don't see any evidence for that. Sure, the number of active pilots has declined, but it hasn't declined *that* much, at least not anywhere near the order of magnitude of the decline in production of airframes. Cirrus remains the dominant manufacturer, and they're selling $1M+ piston singles. Every LSA manufacturer that goes anywhere seems to end up closer to $300k than $50k in selling price, despite any early promises.

Tecnam already won't keep any competed planes and parts in the USA because they need to be as judgement proof as possible.

So I just don't see it. Hobby aviation's problems go beyond "number of pilots". Right now, I don't see any reasonable alternative to keeping the legacy fleet flying, and that means parts and engines. And that means periodic recapitalization.

So again. If Chinese money is unacceptable to keep parts and engines flowing, and American money has no interest, what's the alternative?

Posted by: Joshua Levinson | December 27, 2017 8:20 PM    Report this comment

We have too much stuff because of incessant advertising, high disposable income, easy credit and poor money management skills or some combination of these. Drive around some older suburbs and see where a lot of families were raised in 1,200 sq ft homes 50 years ago. Two income families have raised the average wealth of Americans. And there were twice as many airplanes in the sky.

We've sent this disposable income to China and now they're looking for a place to park it. Investing in China just raises the price and the risk. Our current stock market's inflated pricing is due in part to the 401k and hedge fund money that has no other place to go for a return. Sure the hedge funds could invest long-term in recreational aviation companies, but why? Perhaps they don't teach that at HBS.

The Chinese are investing heavily in Africa and creating a labor resource and future market for their goods. China has money to spend and long term goals. We have money to spend and we spend it on chevy trucks and big houses.

Maybe Musk will use his money to get into electric planes next and thoroughly disrupt the market. Is that better or worse than the Chinese?

Posted by: Roy Forsstrom | December 27, 2017 10:22 PM    Report this comment

It must be pretty cool to be PB? He reappears, tosses in a controversial topic into the blog -- kinda like a hand grenade -- and then must surely sit back and wait for the raucous retorts ... all the while smiling while he sips his beverage of choice. :-) You can almost tell that's happened by the number of comments alone. Cool.

If you buy into the aviation maxim that the best way to make a million $ in aviation is to start with two million $, then it surely follows that the Chinese ain't buying all these companies because they're nice guys trying to save GA or have too much cash seeking a viable investment vehicle. They're doing it to gain technological advantage ... one teenie crumb at a time. And IF -- in the process -- they happen to make a profit ... so much the better. "We" are making a gigantic mistake no matter the alternatives. Elon and Jeff ARE getting into aviation ... just not the kind that 'everyman' can afford or might ever use.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | December 28, 2017 5:50 AM    Report this comment

Larry, you are correct, we are making a mistake. And a hand-grenade it is. This argument is not new as it has been on AVweb Insider's blog for several years. What's different? Well, CAIGA takeovers appear to have gained support. What's the same? The Chinese keep a-going and we keep a-facilitating. CAIGA's buy-outs are definitely planned and timed properly. As the worm turns, America's GA manufacturing will surrender to them by 2035.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | December 28, 2017 8:20 AM    Report this comment

Just read a story about how the Chinese have bought up Hollywood. Maybe they'll make Aviation movies that encourage people to fly again. That would help with ROI for both movies and aircraft.

Posted by: Klaus Marx | December 28, 2017 2:53 PM    Report this comment

Yup, RAF. ... and on the subject of Chinese "nice guys" ... I see now that 'they' told the U.S. they'd help us deal with NoKo and now we've caught them transferring oil at sea between Chinese and NoKo tankers against UN rulings ... maybe they were just pumping sewage? Tell me again how it's OK to let him buy anything they want and it doesn't matter because we now live in a world market and we have to like it. Yeeeaaahhhh . Can you spiel ostrich ?

When gasoline costs peaked out ~$4, it was because the sheiks -- quite literally -- had us over the proverbial "barrel." Now that the U.S. has become mostly energy independent, the price is half and the sheiks are in the BOHICA position. In like manner, one of these days we'll wake up and the Chinese will be building most of the world's airplanes because they'll be able to sell 'em at cheaper prices, with good quality and deliver 'em faster because they have hoardes of workers willing to work for peanuts ... or is it Yuan ? How will they get to this point ... by learning our technology. OR ... worse ... they'll have the military advantage and tell US where BOHICA is. Hint ... it won't be anyplace good.

Off topic, just found out what happens to old BizJets. Interesting read:
ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2017-12-26/end-line-bizjets-beer-cans
Maybe I could buy one of those fuselages for my ManCave?

Posted by: Larry Stencel | December 29, 2017 12:53 PM    Report this comment

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