Airplane programs traditionally began in one of two ways: either as a conceptual design, such as the Eclipse 500, which the manufacturer used to drum up deposits for future sales; or as a proof-of-concept prototype (POC), which is basically a full-size flying model airplane designed to show off the design’s attributes, and whose would-be manufacturers are also seeking deposits.
Aviation International News » November 2007
A small percentage–about 20 percent–of the piston-powered fleet requires 100-octane fuel. Yet these aircraft burn about 70 percent of the total avgas volume, according to Allen Bretz, director of general aviation market at ConocoPhillips.
On the aircraft static display line at the NBAA Convention in September was Aero Toy Store’s Pininfarina Edition Learjet 60. Modern customers, said COO Ben Shirazi, want the “sexiness” associated with having an automobile or airplane interior designed by such auto and fashion icons as Pininfarina or Versace.
Although avgas is expensive, there is no shortage in the U.S., and oil companies continue to support its production and distribution. Nonetheless, Cessna Aircraft has decided to outfit its best-selling 172 Skyhawk with a diesel engine. Starting in the middle of next year, Cessna dealers will sell the Skyhawk TD powered by a 155-hp Thielert turbocharged diesel engine installed under an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC).
For some flight-department managers, the thought of the boss and his 150-pound Great Dane flying a brand-new, small jet around the world might be cause for concern, but not for Mark Dietrich, aviation manager of Chalk Hill Estate Winery Flight Department.
The bankruptcy of Columbia has attracted the attention of a number of companies, including Cirrus. According to chairman, CEO and Alan Klapmeier, “Naturally, Cirrus would express interest given some of the similar advanced technologies in the Columbia and how the line could complement the current Cirrus SR line. Cirrus has the ability to expand the business and at the same time further enhance the value of our business.
“From our point of view it’s not as big a jump from piston aircraft to a jet as you might think,” Alan Klapmeier, chairman, CEO and cofounder of Cirrus Designs, told AIN.
Adam Aircraft has chosen Colorado-based SaferJett to provide training for its aircraft programs. The 10-year agreement, announced at NBAA in Atlanta in September, taps SaferJett for pilot and maintenance training for the A500 centerline-thrust
piston twin and the new A700 VLJ twin. The curriculum will incorporate elements of the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) program, which is designed to enhance general aviation safety.
The Alaska Air Group and members of the Bruce Kennedy Memorial Fund announced last month that the two organizations have raised more than $870,000 toward the purchase of a Quest Kodiak, to be donated to Asas de Socorro (Wings of Mercy), a Brazilian aviation organization whose members fly to remote areas of the country’s jungles to provide care to isolated communities.
Cessna reached a new labor agreement with the union representing nearly 6,000 of its workers. The Textron subsidiary concluded the three-year contract settlement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers after a lengthy and often contentious bargaining process. “Cessna is the leader in the aviation industry and we certainly feel this was an industry-leading contract,” said Bob Wood, a union spokesman.