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Volume 25, Number 5a
January 29, 2018
 
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Boeing Loses Case Against Bombardier
 
Russ Niles
 
 

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) unanimously rejected almost 300 percent duties against Bombardier's CSeries airliners in an unexpected ruling on Friday. The duties were imposed by the Department of Commerce late last year after Boeing launched a claim alleging the CSeries were being dumped on the U.S. market at below-market prices in a deal with Delta Air Lines for 75 aircraft. Boeing said the cut-rate airliners, made possible by government bailouts of Bombardier in Canada, unfairly harmed its business. The Commerce Department agreed and proposed duties of 292 percent on CSeries, essentially barring it from the U.S. But on Friday, the commission ruled that “100-to-150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada do not injure U.S. industry.”

Boeing said the CSeries threatened its business and cited poor sales of 737-7 MAX as proof of its claim but at least the four commissioners on the USITC disagreed. Boeing did not immediately say whether it would appeal the decision and would wait for the full text to be released in February. It did say that it wouldn't "stand idly by" while unfair competition crossed the border, however. Before the decision, Bombardier said it planned to go through with a partnership with Airbus to build CSeries at an assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, regardless of the commission decision. Airbus agreed to take over the CSeries program after the Commerce Department proposed the duties. Most observers, including Bombardier and the Canadian government, had expected Bombardier to lose its case.

AVweb Builds An Airplane (Part)
 
Paul Bertorelli
 
 

At the 2018 Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Zenith Aircraft invited AVweb to build a rudder for its new kit, the CH 750 Super Duty. Two hours later, we were done. Here's Paul Bertorelli's video report on the project. After pulling rivets, we flew the airplane.

Lycoming - Loyalty Program - More Discounts. Less Downtime.
BendixKing: AeroVue Flight Deck Certified
 
Larry Anglisano
 
 

After a long certification process, BendixKing has earned STC (supplemental type certificate) approval for the AeroVue integrated flight deck on Beech King Air B200 models. The AeroVue integrated avionics suite trickles down from the Honeywell Primus Epic/Apex used in various business jet applications. According to BendixKing, the Beech King Air B200 is the first STC in a planned series of aircraft models. Worth mentioning is the Apex, which shares close resemblance to the AeroVue, has been front and center in the Pilatus PC-12NG single-engine turboprop.

The meat and potatoes of the AeroVue suite are the three high-resolution 12-inch LCD displays, which include a pilot and copilot PFD (primary flight display) and a center MFD (multifunction display), which display Honeywell's SmartView synthetic vision software. This is an entirely digital flight deck, with primary flight data coming from dual ADAHRS (air data and heading reference system), plus a digital standby EFIS display for backup.

The AeroVue architecture primarily uses a drop-down menu structure, plus it has on-screen tuning for the software-based VHF radios and an integrated electronic engine instrumentation system that displays on the pilot and copilot PFD, in addition to the MFD. The suite includes dual Bluetooth audio control systems, dual WAAS GPS systems and a digital autopilot/flight control system with yaw damper. Some options include weather radar, an XM Weather receiver, radar altimeter, Jeppesen electronic charting and BendixKing's AeroWave in-flight Wi-Fi system. 

The AeroVue doesn't work through a touchscreen interface, but instead with a pedestal-mounted cursor control device (CCD)—a common interface in business-category flight decks. There's also a keypad for flight management system data entry, plus a wireless data interface for navigation data uploads, which is compatible with the Aspen Avionics Connected Panel Wi-Fi gateway. The system is fully ADS-B mandate compliant with dual Mode S transponders.

For King Air B200 owners looking to shave some weight from the airframe, the AeroVue system weighs 125 pound less than the typical vintage Collins avionics found in many existing KingAirs. The AeroVue was designed to interface with some legacy BendixKing safety systems, including TCAS/TAS traffic alerting systems, weather radars and EGPWS terrain alerting systems.

BendixKing is setting up a network of authorized AeroVue installation centers, and the system pricing after installation will be competitive with other retrofit integrated avionics suites. Garmin has enjoyed sizable success with the sub-$500,000 G1000 (and now the G1000 NXi) avionics in King Air models, and Rockwell Collins has the touchscreen Pro Line Fusion suite for the King Air.

For more on the BendixKing AeroVue, visit www.bendixking.com  and look for a future video flight trial of the system here at AVweb, plus a full report in sister publication Aviation Consumer magazine.

PBS To Air Solar Impulse Special
 
Mary Grady
 
 

PBS will air a two-hour special about the round-the-world flight of Solar Impulse, premiering Wednesday, Jan. 31. The documentary, “The Impossible Flight,” will follow the quest undertaken by Bertrand Piccard and André’s Borschberg as they tackle huge challenges, both technical and personal, in their mission to build the solar-powered airplane and fly it around the world. After years of development, the flight launched from Abu Dhabi, then landed back there more than a year later. Along the way, the pilots and crew faced a multitude of challenges, from weather to complex repairs to pilot exhaustion to fundraising.

The goal of the project was to deliver a message: If renewable energy can work for a fragile airplane, it can help inspire humanity to develop new technologies that will avoid carbon pollution. AVweb chronicled this effort from the first announcement, in 2003, all the way through to the final landing at Abu Dhabi, 13 years later. The Solar Impulse Foundation now has launched the second phase of its action: selecting 1,000 solutions, by the end of this year, that can protect the environment in a profitable way. Solar Impulse will bring those ideas to decision-makers to encourage them to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies.

 

Electronics International 'Aviation Alert! Short video on how EI saved this pilot's life
‘Double Yak’ Coming To Oshkosh
 
Mary Grady
 
 

A one-of-a-kind modified double-hulled Yak-110 is coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for the first time this summer, and will perform in the afternoon airshows, EAA has announced. The aerobatic airplane was created by attaching two Yak-55 fuselages together and adding a jet engine in addition to the two radial engines. “I can’t think of a better place to bring this airplane in its first year,” said Dell Coller, the primary builder of the aircraft. “Everybody who attends the show is really into experimental airplanes … they’ll really enjoy seeing this airplane do its thing.”

Collier, who works as a crew chief for John Klatt Airshows, said he got started in airplane building through EAA, attending workshops and mastering the basic skills. Jeff Boerboon, who has previously flown the “Screamin’ Sasquatch” jet Waco at AirVenture, will fly the airplane.

Picture of the Week
 
 
Europeans know how to have fun with their airplanes and a motorglider on skis looks like a really good time. Thanks to Joerg Praefke for reminding us why we do this. Great shot.

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Podcast: Niloofar Rahmani, Afghan Woman Pilot Pioneer
 
Paul Bertorelli
 
 

The most improbable hands to ever handle the controls of an airplane belong to Niloofar Rahmani. She was born in Afghanistan just as the Soviet Union was departing her country as the repressive Taliban became dominant. A captain in the Afghan Air Force, she was the first woman in the country's history to become a pilot. Rahmani spoke at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring this week. AVweb recorded this exclusive podcast with her during the show.

Short Final
 

On Aug 22nd, 2017 while flying near Myrtle Beach, to Triple Tree Aerodrome, SC to watch the total solar eclipse, there was the following exchange.

Experimental: Florence Approach, Experimental NXXXX Request.

Florence Approach: NXXXX go ahead.

Experimental: N7XXXX requests vectors to where the sun doesn't shine.

Florence Approach: Now that's funny.


 

Martin Heller

Tax Cuts: What Do They Mean For Aviation?
 
Rick Durden
 
 

While the recently enacted tax cut legislation has economists and deficit-hawks scratching their heads because it came during a time of full employment, at the height of the longest economic growth period in our country’s history, is expected to bump the economy by 0.08 to 0.12 percent annually for the next few years and drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion in the next ten years, the really important question for most Americans is, of course, “What’s in it for me?”

Since we’re as self-centered as the next American, we took a look at the question from the perspective of aviation. And, the answer is: At least in the short run, with one exception largely mitigated by another benefit, it ain’t bad.

Like-Kind Exchanges

We’ll get the negative news out of the way first. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code (The Code) has long allowed deferring the gain on the sale of an aircraft if that aircraft is held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment and it is exchanged solely for another aircraft of a like kind that is also held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.

For aircraft, that method of tax deferral vanished as of Dec. 31, 2017 (there is a transition rule in the legislation). Like-kind exchanges will only apply to real property. An owner will pay income tax at “ordinary income” rates on any gain realized on the sale of an aircraft, even if she or he replaces it.

Bonus Depreciation

On the very good side of the equation, the new legislation provides for 100 percent expensing (bonus depreciation) of new or used aircraft (if used, it must be the buyer’s first use of that aircraft) in the first year of use. It allows immediate write-off of the entire cost of property placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2023. The big news is the amount of the purchase that can be depreciated and the fact that it applies to used, as well as new, aircraft.  

To offset the revenue loss from bonus depreciation, the legislation phases down the percentage that may be expensed in the first year starting on Jan. 1, 2023. Through Dec. 31, 2026, the level of bonus depreciation that may be taken drops in increments of 20 percent each year, although for certain properties with longer production periods, including certain aircraft, the last day is Dec. 31, 2027.

Ticket Tax

Section 4261 of the Code was amended to provide that owner flights on managed aircraft are not subject to the Federal Transportation Excise Tax (FET) imposed by Section 4261 and Section 4271. Instead, they are subject to the non-commercial fuel tax. This change confirms that the law is now consistent with the common understanding in the business aviation industry.

Payments by the aircraft owner (or lessee of a qualified lease) for aircraft management services related to maintenance, support or flights on the aircraft are not subject to the FET. The owner or lessee does not need to be on the flight as long as the owner (or lessee of a qualified lease) pays for the aircraft management services. The term “aircraft management services” is defined broadly. However, lessees who lease an aircraft from a management company or person providing aircraft management services for a term of 31 days or fewer do not qualify as “lessee” for purpose of the FET exception.  

The FET exception only applies for flights paid by the owner or lessee. If an owner leases the aircraft to a management company and an affiliate of the owner pays for the flight, the exception may not apply.

Disallowance of All Entertainment Expenditures

For those in the business of selling aircraft, the legislation disallows deduction of all entertainment expenses, regardless of their connection to the tax payer’s business activities. We can’t help but think of the movie The Aviator and the scenes depicting the lavish parties thrown by Howard Hughes for those who were in the decision-making loop to buy his incredible H-4 Hercules and shed a tear for times gone by.

No Deduction for Transportation and Commuting Benefits

While not commonly applicable in the aviation world, the legislation eliminated deductions for any expenses incurred for providing any transportation, or any payment or reimbursement to an employee in connection with travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment, unless it is necessary to ensure employee safety. 

It Looks Good

In our conversations with those in the aircraft sales world over the last week we heard a lot of optimism about the new and used aircraft market. It's been steadily improving over the last few years and those we spoke with said they thought the new tax legislation would add to the growth. We’re certainly going to be watching to see what happens next.

Rick Durden has an undergraduate degree in economics, is a CFII, holds an ATP with type ratings in the Douglas DC-3 and Cessna Citation and is the author of The Thinking Pilot’s Flight Manual or, How to Survive Flying Little Airplanes and Have a Ball Doing it, Vols. 1 & 2.

Meet the AVweb Team
 

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Editor-at-Large
Paul Bertorelli

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Geoff Rapoport

Contributors
Rick Durden
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge
Larry Anglisano

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Executive Vice President, Editorial Director
Timothy Cole

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