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.
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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.
Here we are, 41,000 feet in the air, sailing along at a little more than 476 knots and a little more than halfway from Morristown, N.J., to the Paris Air Show. We’ve got a biofuel blend of Honeywell’s finest and jet-A feeding engine one and straight jet-A in the other. The G450’s Rolls-Royce engines appear to be perfectly happy on a diet of either, and the flight is as smooth as a glass-top table.
A pink golf shirt. I understand companies want to curry the attention of journalists, but at some stage you reach the point of diminishing returns.
Later this morning I’ll hop on a train for my biennial pilgrimage to the Paris Air Show. Thanks to the tunnel beneath the Channel connecting the UK to the mainland of Europe, and the speedy Eurostar train, it is not a long or arduous journey–not least because it no longer involves having to endure one of London’s accursed airports.
One result of our Netflix subscription is that my wife and I are watching many films that we probably would have missed. Two such films are Michael Ferguson’s “Inside Job,” which won the Academy Award for best documentary last year, and Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gordon Gekko from 1987’s “Wall Street,” also directed by Stone.