Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair closed on $2.8 million in new funding yesterday via the issuance of senior secured convertible notes. The notes have a three-year term and an interest rate of 2 percent. In addition, the company restructured its existing aircraft financing arrangements with Midsouth Services, reducing its monthly lease payments by more than $1.8 million during the next 15 months and extending the maturities on two aircraft.
Piaggio P.180 Avanti
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Montreal-based Advanced Aerospace Solutions (AdvAero) have announced a partnership using “rapid prototyping” to help prove the viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in U.S. civil airspace. Rapid prototyping is designed to more quickly deliver answers on the viability of research projects.
Piaggio today made its first Chinese delivery of the P180 Avanti II twin turboprop. On the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai the Italian manufacturer handed over one of two Avantis acquired by its exclusive Chinese distributor CAEA Aviation Investment Company.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University took a leap forward toward its commitment to become an entrepreneurial go-to resource for the aerospace industry this week when the university announced an agreement with Montreal-based Advanced Aerospace Solutions (AdvAero), a U.S. joint venture with Marinvent Corporation.
Fractional provider Avantair continues to stand down operations and has retained safety expert Nick Sabatini to help complete a thorough examination of its fleet of about 60 Piaggio Avantis, including a comprehensive review of records and supporting maintenance documentation. It has also furloughed all of its pilots and operations staff.
The voluntary fleet grounding at Avantair apparently is continuing into its sixth day. Avantair told AIN earlier this week that it stood down its entire fleet of about 60 Piaggio Avantis on Saturday to conduct safety checks. According to sources, the action was prompted by a July 28 incident in which an Avantair Avanti shed an elevator in flight.
On Saturday, fractional provider Avantair grounded its entire fleet of about 60 Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops to conduct “a comprehensive examination of all maintenance records and aircraft.”
Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments (ADASI) signed a contract with Piaggio Aero today at the Farnborough Airshow for the Piaggio Aero MPA (multi-role patrol aircraft), a new special-missions surveillance aircraft based on the P.180 Avanti II. The agreement calls for aircraft launch customer ADASI to provide financing for Piaggio to build two prototypes. First flight is scheduled for 2014.
Clearwater, Fla.-based Avantair announced on Tuesday that its entire fleet of fractional Piaggio Avantis will soon feature airborne high-speed Internet. The company is now installing Aircell ATG 5000 communications systems in its twin-turboprop fleet and expects to complete the work this summer. The ATG 5000 covers the continental U.S. above 10,000 feet and portions of Alaska, providing broadband connection via a nationwide network of ground stations.
Coming off its first two airplane sales in China, announced last month, Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aero is eager to prove here at the ABACE show that those two P.180 Avanti IIs represent just the opening of the door into the Chinese business aviation market.