At this year’s Paris Air Show, some big players bellied up to the biojet bar. Boeing flew one of its new 747-8s from the U.S. to the show fueled by a mix of 85-percent jet-A and 15-percent camelina plant oil derivative; Honeywell–the jet-engine and avionics manufacturer–made the trip using a 50-50 mix in a Gulfstream G450.
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The electrically powered Solar Impulse (HB-SIA) is an amazing airplane and I was anxious to see it fly during the Paris Air Show. Unfortunately for me and probably many others who attended the biennial event, the weather did not cooperate until the last day of the show, June 26.
I was rearranging the contents of one of my bookshelves to make room for a stack of books that had been read but had no permanent residence. As I rapidly made space reassignment or discarded decisions about the flotsam and jetsam of 20 years of life in the same house, I came across my pilot log book from the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Just days after commending President Obama for his June 28 visit to an Alcoa plant in Davenport, Iowa, Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Marion Blakey found his next day broadside against business aviation “baffling and disturbing.”
Some days I feel like Richard Clarke the fateful summer before the tragedy of 9/11, when his hair was all on fire as his warnings about the mounting threats by Al Qaeda against the U.S. fell on deaf ears. We all know how that turned out.
Here at Business Jet Traveler magazine, we know that it’s officially summer because our 2011 Buyers’ Guide has shipped.
At 11:29 this morning, the final space shuttle flight got under way as Atlantis rose from the launch pad on a column of fire from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The threat of thunderstorms had remained at bay, and, some 2.5 minutes later than planned, STS-135 headed skyward to punch through an overcast on its way to spending 12 days in the void above.
Now that Caiga has finalized its purchase of Cirrus Aircraft, it is more than abundantly clear that Chinese companies (most owned by the government) are making huge investments in general aviation (GA) infrastructure. But the Chinese government is making a gigantic mistake that will make it difficult for these investments ever to pay off.
President Obama had barely concluded his June 29 press conference when my e-mail box began filling up with responses from the general-aviation industry. The NBAA expressed “dismay” and announced that it was sending a “strongly worded” letter to the President about his remarks, which it said “reflect a total lack of understanding” of the field.
As part of an industry still struggling to recover from a recession and continuing attacks by the media and politicians alike, I was appalled by President Obama’s press conference Wednesday in which he used his bully pulpit to vilify corporate-jet owners. Not surprised. But appalled.