The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month issued a report that examined the effect that rising fuel prices have had on civil aviation in the U.S. The government’s interest lies in the excise taxes imposed on the sale of aviation fuel and their contribution to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was created in 1970 as a dedicated source of funding for the nation’s aviation system including the FAA’s capital improvement programs and a sizable portion of the agency’s operating budget.
The FAA selected four unleaded aviation fuels yesterday for the first phase of testing at the agency’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel ready for general aviation use by 2018. Shell and Total, with one fuel each, and Swift Fuels, with two fuels, will now work with the FAA on phase-one testing, which will begin this fall and conclude later next year.
One-hundred octane low-lead avgas (100LL) is on its way out. Despite the fact that studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to demonstrate a clearly higher risk attributable to lead emissions by piston-engine 100LL-burning aircraft, lead is poisonous in any concentration.
“We’re excited about our expanding customer base,” said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors, commenting about the growing number of aircraft manufacturers that have committed to jet-A-powered diesel engines. The newest customer for Continental’s CD-155 engine is Cessna, which selected the 155-hp diesel to power its Turbo Skyhawk JT-A.
At this year’s EAA AirVenture, Shell Aviation is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the AeroShell Aerobatic team, with the opportunity to meet the team members every day at the company’s booth (Hangar C, Booth No. 3072) between 11 a.m. and noon for autographs to collect the free annual AeroShell Oshkosh poster and relax in the shaded AeroShell park. The company is running a contest for one lucky winner to fly with the Shell-sponsored team, with that winner to be announced on the main stage at Boeing Plaza on Thursday night, before the concert by Boogie and the Yo-Yoz.
Textron Aviation’s Cessna subsidiary announced yesterday that it is adding to its investments in diesel engine technology, with the new diesel-powered Turbo Skyhawk JT-A joining the single-engine product line. The Skyhawk JT-A is on display at the Textron pavilion this week at EAA AirVenture 2014.
On the eve of EAA AirVenture 2014, aviation analyst Brian Foley released summaries of two key areas affecting the general aviation industry: investment capital and engine technology.
On the capital front, Foley said that there is no shortage of investors who are willing to put money into general aviation companies. However, there is a shortage of what these investors are seeking–entities that actually make money, that is, “a good $20 million in annual revenues and $5 million in profits known as Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].
Kubick Aviation has purchased its larger competitor, Superior Aviation, at Ford Airport in Northern Michigan, to become the sole aviation services provider on the field, which sees approximately 20 operations a day. Kubick moved from its 4,700-sq-ft facility (which was since sold to an aeromedical provider) to the former Superior location, which has a 3,000-sq-ft terminal and 22,000 sq ft of hangar space capable of sheltering aircraft up to the size of a Citation Sovereign.
The plan announced last year by The Aviation Alliance to remanufacture Cessna 421Cs and Gulfstream IIIs is moving forward, according to company founder and managing director Geoff Miller, despite setbacks that have caused some delays. The California-based company is currently focusing on the Excalibur 421 turboprop conversion and hopes to have one completed in time for this year’s NBAA show in Orlando in October.
Kubick Aviation has purchased Superior Aviation, its larger competitor at Ford Airport in Northern Michigan, making it the sole aviation services provider on the field, which sees approximately 20 operations a day. Kubick moved from its 4,700-sq-ft facility (which was since sold to an aeromedical provider) to the former Superior location. The facility offers an FAA certified repair station with an avionics shop, aircraft charter and management services, aircraft rental, 24-hour pilot lounge with refreshments, a conference room, private work spaces, crew car and free Wi-Fi.
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