Growing up, James Bond movies were my favorites, and high among them was The Man With the Golden Gun. I don’t remember when I first saw it, but what stuck most in my impressionable young mind was a car. No, not one of Bond’s tricked-out sports cars with ejection seats or retractable machine guns, but a rather unlikely object of male desire, an AMC Matador.
General Motors used charter aircraft for its initial public offering (IPO) roadshow last month, marking the first time the company has used private aircraft since Dec. 31, 2008, when the automaker sought U.S. government assistance. GM’s $13 billion public offering took place on November 17.
Terrafugia is planning to build its new aircraft/auto hybrid, the Transition, in a new facility in Woburn, Mass. The company has said it is setting up for low-volume production of the roadable light sport aircraft as early as late 2011. Earlier this year, the company got approval from the FAA to increase the vehicle’s maximum takeoff weight by 110 pounds over the 1,320-pound maximum takeoff weight for light sport aircraft.
Piaggio Aero Industries tapped John Bingham to serve as president and CEO of Piaggio America, as well as a member of Piaggio Aero’s board. Bingham’s career spans the high-end luxury automobile industry, where he served as vice president of Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars, and most recently in general aviation as Cirrus Design’s executive vice president. Former Piaggio America president and CEO
In U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 18, General Motors won approval to end the leases on its fleet of jets, which includes two Gulfstream Vs and five Gulfstream IVs. The court also voided the automaker’s lease on a hangar at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. No one contested the court’s decisions; in fact, a lawyer for GM’s unsecured creditors supported them.
Rodney Hamilton, the director and chief pilot of Ford’s now-defunct flight department, summed up the state of the industry yesterday in two words: “difficult times.” In the past week, General Motors and Ford Motor Company announced they were shutting their respective flight departments, and investors learned that Citigroup has put two of its jets–worth $30 million each–on the block.
The highest overall rating for jets again goes to Gulfstream. Mitsubishi takes the top spot among turboprops and Bell leads in the helicopter category.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, which had been on the block for several months, has been acquired from the German-based automaker by Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II. As a result of the sale, the facility has been given back its former name–Pentastar Aviation.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, which has been on the sales block for several months, is believed to be in acquisition negotiations with Edsel Ford II, according to industry sources. A DaimlerChrysler Aviation spokesman declined to comment, but a purchase agreement was described as “near” by a person close to the negotiations. Ford is a member of the board of Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich.
An ad that carmaker Audi began running on radio stations in select cities last month proclaims that the German company’s automobiles “now feature the same technology as jet aircraft.” While that claim may straddle the border between fact and embellishment, later this decade Audi cars and jets may indeed share the same electronics.
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