Cirrus Design Names Brent Wouters To The Post Of Chief Executive Officer

Alan Klapmeier, Chairman of Cirrus Design Corporation, recently named Brent Wouters to the post of Chief Executive Officer effective February 1, 2009. continue to build upon Cirrus’ strong success to date in his new role.” Prior to Cirrus, Mr. Wouters was the Chief Financial Officer of International Payment Services, where he was instrumental in completing 11 acquisitions.

According to Cirrus Design, Mr. Wouters previously was an award‐winning equity analyst, an information technology consultant, and an aircraft engineer and flight simulator engineer. Mr. Wouters holds an M.B.A. from Georgia State University, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University, and a B.A. in Math and Physics from Iowa’s Graceland University.

Kevin Keough, Director ‐ Portfolio Management Group at Arcapita, Inc., Cirrus’ private equity partner based in Atlanta, noted, "As Cirrus’ ownership partner, we strongly support Alan’s appointment of Brent to CEO. Cirrus has seen its most rapid growth in the last decade as it has delivered over 4,000 new airplanes in more than 50 countries around the world.”

Keough concluded, “Cirrus stands poised to repeat its success in the emerging personal and light jet market with its “Vision Jet”. Cirrus enjoys strong and steady financial commitment and operational support from Arcapita and with such a positive outlook across all its aircraft programs, we are excited that Alan will continue to provide overall company direction as Brent takes the reins of day‐to‐day leadership

Source: Cirrus Design
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Japan Airlines Plans First Demonstration Flight Using Sustainable Biofuel

Japan Airlines (JAL) recently announced that it will be the first airline to conduct a demonstration flight using a sustainable biofuel refined from the energy crop, camelina. The airline also announced that the demo flight is planned for January 30, 2009 out of Haneda Airport, Tokyo.

According to Pratt & Whitney, a blend of 50% biofuel and 50% traditional Jet-A jet (kerosene) fuel will be tested in one of the four Pratt & Whitney JT9D (pictured above) engines of a JAL-owned Boeing 747-300 aircraft. The biofuel component to be used will be a mixture of three second-generation biofuel feedstocks: camelina (84%), jatropha (under 16%), and algae (under 1%).

Camelina (pictured left), also known as gold-of-pleasure or false flax, is an energy crop, given its high oil content and ability to grow in rotation with wheat and other cereal crops. The crop is mostly grown in more moderate climates such as the northern plains of the U.S, and originally hails from northern Europe and Central Asia.

It can be grown even in dry areas, poor soil and at high altitudes. It is classified as a 'traditional' crop, but is considered next-generation given that its primary use is as a biofuel feedstock. The camelina to be used in the JAL demo flight was sourced by Sustainable Oils, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of renewable, environmentally clean, and high-value camelina-based fuels. Terasol Energy sourced and provided the jatropha oil, and the algae oil was provided by Sapphire Energy.

JAL, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and Honeywell's UOP have committed to the use of second-generation biofuel feedstocks that are more efficient and sustainable energy than first-generation counterparts. Second-generation biofuel feedstocks, such as camelina, jatropha and algae, do not compete with natural food or water resources and do not contribute to deforestation practices.

Source: Pratt & Whitney     Image Sources: Pratt & Whitney and Wikipedia
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Cessna Announces Delivery Of First Retail Citation XLS+

Cessna Aircraft Company recently completed the first Citation XLS+ retail delivery to an undisclosed customer based on the East Coast of the United States.

According to Cessna, the Citation XLS+ was first announced in October 2006 and achieved Federal Aviation Administration certification on May 30; European Aviation Safety Agency certification is in process and expected to be complete in early 2009.

The order book exceeds 200 for the XLS+, an upgrade of the mid-size XLS. The original Citation Excel was delivered in July 1998, followed by the Citation XLS in July 2004. The series has accumulated a global fleet of nearly 680 planes and more than 1.5 million flight hours.

“With the XLS+, Cessna continues the tradition of the Excel and XLS as the most affordable stand-up cabin business jet,” said Roger Whyte, senior vice president of Sales & Marketing. “We’ve incorporated “Voice of The Customer” throughout the design of the XLS+, including increased serviceability. This aircraft has the most advanced diagnostic system on any Cessna Citation to date.”

The Citation XLS+ features the fully integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and electronically controlled (FADEC) engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada. Exterior and interior restyling is also integrated into the new model, most prominently the extended contour of the nose and expanded seat widths, both introduced to more closely resemble Cessna’s Citation X and Citation Sovereign models.

The Citation XLS+ travels as fast as 441 knots (817 kilometers per hour) with a range of more than 1,858 nautical miles (3,441 kilometers). At maximum takeoff weight it will depart from runways as short as 3,560 feet (1,085 meters) at standard, sea-level conditions. It will land on runways as short as 2,700 feet (823 meters) at its typical landing weight.

Source: Cessna
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What Determines The Fuel Efficiency Of Aircraft?

Flying Magazine features a story on the fuel efficiency of airplanes and what factors affect how much pilots pay for fuel.

What is the most efficient aircraft? According to the article, there is no one single answer. It depends on the aircraft you are flying and what your mission is.

The aviation industry uses a metric called specific range to determine how fuel efficiency. The skill of a pilot can make a difference. Advances in technology in both engines and aerodynamics are helplng as well.

Source: Flying Magazine
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Diamond Aircraft Offers Special Deal On The DA40 XLS or DA40 CS

According to Diamond Aircraft, there has never been a better time to buy a Diamond DA40 XLS or DA40 CS, especially with a new offer from good through year-end 2008.

Customers who buy and take delivery of a new DA40 between now and December 31, 2008, receive free maintenance, free insurance, free fuel and free flight training, for the first year of operation – a $13,250 value.

The offer includes a free fuel card worth $5,000 and free flight training via a $2,000 training credit, which customers can use for transition training or toward any rating – private or more advanced, in their new airplane.

Source: Diamond Aircraft
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Embraer Presents Forecast For Business Aviation

Embraer recently presented its 20-year forecast of the world demand for 30- to 120-seat commercial jets, and its ten-year forecast for the business aviation market.

According to the report, Embraer forecasts a global demand of 11,880 business jets for 2009-2018, which could generate approximately US$ 204 billion in new aircraft deliveries. The new air taxi and branded charter market may add yet another 1,800 to 2,800 jets to the personal and entry level segments for the same period.

Embraer is investing over US$ 100 million in the infrastructure and organization for customer support and services. In 2008, three new Company-owned service centers were inaugurated in the States of Connecticut, Arizona and Florida, in the United States. The service network will be comprised of 45 centers, including seven wholly owned facilities.

Source: Embraer
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Garmin GPS/EFB Devices Help Pilots See Their Altitude Between Aircraft And Terrain

The Official Garmin blog reports on the GPSMAP 696 and 695 large displayed GPS / EFB hybrids.

The 696 and 695 were displayed at the AOPA Expo convention and generated buzz thanks to new features.

One of the capabilities of the 696 is an added view for pilots to see the upcoming terrain and differences between the aircraft’s altitude and altitude of the terrain, allowing pilots to visualize how much space they will need to clear the ground more safely.

Source: Garmin
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Cessna On Track To Deliver 105 Caravans This Year

Cessna Aircraft Company recently reported it is on track to deliver 105 Caravans this year and increase to an expected 120 deliveries in 2009.

“The Caravan is the leader in a unique market segment. Because of its utility, reliability and multiple functionalities, we continue to see increased interest and stable sales for the Caravan in the military, government and special missions segments,” said John Doman, Cessna vice president of worldwide propeller aircraft sales.

“We currently have a record backlog for the Caravan and expect to sustain the 120 delivery rate for the next several years. An added benefit for our customers is the Caravan continues to be known for its ability to retain its value well,” Doman said.

Source: Cessna
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Diamond Aircraft Selected For CAE schools

According to the Diamond Aircraft homepage, the CAE has selected Diamond Aircraft as its provider of choice for flight training airplanes and Diamond-specific flight training devices in order to support the deployment of the CAE Global Academy.

CAE will operate DA40 and DA42 aircraft for their ab-initio flight training schools. As a first order, CAE has purchased 22 aircraft and four type-specific flight training devices, which will be deployed in India.

The CAE Global Academy is a network of flight schools providing ab-initio training, in strategic locations around the world, to meet the growing need for professional pilots.

“The CAE Global Academy leverages CAE’s unique experience in professional pilot training, as well as our partners’ in-depth local expertise, to offer aspiring professional pilots high quality and efficient ab-initio training,” said Jeff Roberts, CAE's Group President, Innovation and Training and Services. “Diamond has demonstrated its capability and clear dedication to providing a full range of modern fuel-efficient aircraft and complementary training devices for professional flight training.”

Source: Diamond Aircraft
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Gulfstream Jet Completes Future Air Navigation System Data Link Flight Across The Atlantic Ocean

Gulfstream recently completed a full Future Air Navigation System (FANS) flight across the Atlantic Ocean using Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication with Automatic Dependent Surveillance (CPDLC/ADS).

According to Gulfstream The flight was the first of its kind for a purpose-built business jet. The CPDLC/ADS data link provides flight crews with direct communication to oceanic and remote-area Air Traffic Controllers. It enhances safety because it automatically reports when an aircraft deviates from its cleared altitude and route. It also provides meteorological data from the aircraft’s sensors.

Source: Gulfstream
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Piper Luxury Aircraft Deliveries Continue At Record-Breaking Levels

Piper Aircraft has announced that its piston aircraft deliveries are up 24 percent for the 3rd Quarter of 2008. The company also announced that overall deliveries for the first nine months of 2008 are up 18 percent over the same period last year and that its PA-46, luxury aircraft models are registering record deliveries.

This news from Piper Aircraft comes at a time when General Aviation’s overall piston-aircraft deliveries are down. “In the last three years, Piper has moved forward on virtually every front – from new product introductions to strong sales, from strategic alliances to breaking into an entirely new segment with our all-new PiperJet,” said Piper President & CEO James K. Bass. “We are a modern-day, American success story: a company that relies on American workers to provide the next generation aircraft for the world.”

Piper’s current piston increases are driven by the unparalleled success of its all new Piper Matrix, a cabin-class, six-seat aircraft based on the world-renowned Malibu Mirage and operating with the economy of an unpressurized aircraft. That success accounted in part for deliveries of 195 aircraft in the first nine months of 2008 against 166 aircraft for the same period last year.

Of that total, 76 were from deliveries of the Piper Matrix, which the company began delivering this year. Moreover, deliveries of Piper PA-46 models combined (Meridian, Mirage and Matrix) are at record levels.

“We have orders for 101 Matrix models this year,” Bass said. “The Piper Matrix fills a niche in the market that hasn’t been truly addressed until now. To date, our entire first year of production is sold out and market demand continues to be very strong. At the same time, deliveries of our flagship turboprop, the Piper Meridian, continue unabated, with 33 aircraft for the first nine of this year and an expected 53 deliveries in total for 2008. These deliveries have continued at the same strong levels as those in 2007.”

In all, Piper delivered 195 aircraft with $150.5 million in billings in the first nine months of 2008, compared with 166 aircraft and $125 million in billings for the same period in 2007.

Source: Piper Aircraft
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Gulfstream Demonstrates Fly-By-Wireless Aircraft Control System

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has successfully demonstrated aircraft control using “Fly-By-Wireless” technology. This historic flight, which took place on Sept. 18, is the first known application of wireless signaling for a primary flight-control surface in a civilian or military aircraft.

During a two-hour flight over Savannah, four distinct signal types transferred input from the pilot to the lateral controls on the Gulfstream GV test aircraft. A mechanical system controlled the ailerons; a Fly-By-Wire system manipulated the outboard spoilers; the Fly-By-Wireless system handled the mid-spoilers; and a fiber-optic Fly-By-Light system moved the inboard spoilers.

“After developing the Fly-By-Wire system, the next goal for Gulfstream was to reduce the complexity and weight of that system without sacrificing safety or reliability,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “This Fly-By-Wireless flight proved we achieved that goal. There was no difference in signal quality or strength among Fly-By-Wireless, Fly-By-Light or Fly-By-Wire. That benefit, combined with the streamlined profile of Fly-By-Wireless, makes it a potential backup for other flight-control systems.”

The Fly-By-Wireless control system was developed by Gulfstream and Invocon, a system-engineering firm near Houston. It offers an additional channel of communication for redundancy, which increases system safety. Gulfstream is reviewing the benefits of wireless technology for applications beyond backup flight control.

Source: Gulfstream
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University of North Dakota EERC Creates First 100% Renewable Jet Fuel

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at The University of North Dakota recently announced they have achieved a major technical milestone in creating a 100% renewable domestic fuel that meets the JP-8 aviation fuel screening criteria, proving a pathway to providing energy security to the U.S. military and the entire nation.

EERC fuel samples created from multiple renewable feedstocks were tested at a U.S. government facility to evaluate key specification parameters for JP-8, a petroleum-based fuel widely used by the U.S. military. JP-8 specifications include parameters such as freeze point, density, flash point, energy content, and others; all of which were met by the EERC fuel samples.

The EERC fuel was produced under a $4.7 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of petroleum in America, and securing a domestic fuel source is a key operational challenge for the military. Production is now under way to produce a large fuel sample for engine testing this fall.

"This builds on a solid foundation of expertise at the EERC in the area of alternative fuel production," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "The EERC is now uniquely positioned to provide drop-in-compatible JP-8 fuel from both fossil and renewable feedstocks, providing critical strategic opportunities for the U.S. military as well as commercial aviation."

The technology takes advantage of feedstock chemistry to reduce capital and operating expenses. The feedstock-flexible process can use various crop oils and waste greases. The process can be tailored to produce combinations of propane, gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel that are identical to petroleum-derived fuels, enabling direct substitution with existing fuels and providing renewable options across the spectrum of fuel needs.

The EERC is actively exploring partnerships with the private sector to move into full-scale production of the fuel. Preliminary negotiations are under way with feedstock suppliers and oil refineries. Talks of building a large-scale Advanced Tactical Fuels Production Complex are ongoing.

Source: The University of North Dakota
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More Private Jet Owners Put Their Planes Up For Sale

Image: Wikipeida

Private jet ownership is one of the perks taking a hit due to the slowing economy.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report blog, new September numbers show that private jet owners are putting their planes up for sale, creating more inventory of once hard to find private aircraft.

The story tracks the sales and prices for a popular brand of aircraft: Gulstream’s GIV model. GIVs were tough to find for sale a year ago, now the number of GIV’s for sale has hit a 22 year high.

Private aircraft are also taking longer to sell.What has not decreased are the prices for used aircraft, which remain high. One source in the story says that could change as increasing numbers of aircraft for sale put pressure on sellers to lower prices.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Cessna Delivers 100th Citation Mustang

Cessna Aircraft Company recently delivered Citation Mustang unit 100 during a ceremony at the company's manufacturing facility in southeast Kansas. The commemorative Mustang is owned and operated by long-time customer Supap Puranitee, a businessman based in Thailand.

Puranitee put a deposit down on the Mustang on the same day the entry level jet program was unveiled at the 2002 National Business Aviation Association meeting and convention. "After seeing this fantastic looking airplane unveiled, I immediately placed a deposit. That same year I had the opportunity to take delivery of the 1,000th Grand Caravan, so I requested that I receive the 100th Mustang," Supap Puranitee said. "I enjoy a wonderful relationship with Cessna employees, and I consider them to be extended family. Already in 2008, I have received two new Cessna 172s that I am going to use to give private flying lessons."

The first retail Citation Mustang entered service in April 2007, and Cessna delivered 45 Mustangs in 2007. The company expects to deliver a total of 100 Mustangs by the end of 2008, and next year Cessna plans to reach a full production rate of about 150 aircraft per year. Source: Cessna
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BendixKing Introduces The AV8OR - The GPS That Works On The Road Or In The Air

BendixKing recently introduced a new handheld GPS that works on the road or on the air. According to BendixKing, the AV8OR Handheld Multi-Function Display (MFD) is described as "designed by pilots, for pilots."

The AV8OR Handheld is ideal for any pilot that requires GPS navigation in the air or in the car, real-time weather, and navigator graphical moving map, with built-in entertainment system,” says Dan Barks, Director, General Aviation Aftermarket Avionics. “In addition to pilot-specific features, the AV8OR Handheld includes an all-in-one multimedia player with the ability to view or play music, movies, pictures and electronic books.

The AV8OR Handheld is much more than an aviation GPS unit – it’s a handheld Multi-Function Display that pilots will want to keep with them from the car to plane, and even at their destination, for entertainment.

The AV8OR Handheld is designed with an external interface to WxWorx XM Satellite Weather receiver available separately, and enables graphical NEXRAD, METARs, Storm Cell Tracks, AIRMETs/SIGMETs, Text METARs/TAFs, and more. The built-in multimedia system allows pilots to create library of music, movies, photos and electronic books on the included 4GB SD Card. The unit also includes a Bluetooth interface for wireless weather, an interface to an alternate GPS receiver and even an interface to cellular phones.

Source: BendixKing
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Brazil Is Among The Top Markets For Cessna Aircraft

According to Cessna Aircraft Company, Brazil is now among the top business jet markets for Cessna Aircraft Company, trailing only the United States and Europe.

Cessna is in Brazil through August 16th to participate in the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition. Among the aircraft in the company’s static display are three Citation business jets: the Citation Sovereign, Citation CJ3 and Citation Mustang(pictured above); the Grand Caravan turboprop and two single-engine pistons: the Turbo Stationair and Cessna 400

“Business aviation in Brazil is benefiting from a strong economy; Cessna will deliver more Citation business jets to Brazil this year than any other international market,” said Trevor Esling, vice president, International Sales for Cessna. “A growing number of companies and individuals throughout the region are embracing the concept of an aircraft as a business tool.

Cessna’s broad product range offers a solution for various mission types and gives customers efficient transportation, convenience, flexibility and accessibility to remote areas.” Cessna is scheduled to deliver 48 new business jets to customers in Latin America by the end of 2008, and the company’s backlog there tops more than 175 Citations. Orders span the entire Citation line, from the entry-level Mustang to the all-new, large cabin, intercontinental Columbus.

“Brazil is our largest single international market for the Mustang, outside the European Union,” Esling said.

Source: Cessna
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The Matrix Gives Piper Aircraft A Boost In A Tough Economy

No one is truly immune when the economy is sluggish, even the wealthy are cutting back on spending due to higher fuel costs and tight credit.

Despite the rough times, one aircraft company is enjoying success thanks in part to a new model.  TCPalm.com reports that the new Piper Matrix boosted sales for Piper Aircraft Inc. during the second quarter.

The Piper Matrix, a cabin-class six seat aircraft and the latest addition to Piper’s PA-46 family of aircraft, was introduced in 2007. According to the story, The General Aviation Manufacturers Association reports that Piper Aircraft sold 75 units during the second quarter, beating the 43 units sold in the first quarter.

Worldwide demand for aircraft is thriving the market despite economic woes with the United States economy.  The General Aviation Manufacturers Association also reported that aircraft sales for the aviation industry were $12.1 billion, a 24.1 percent increase in the first half of 2008.

Source: TCPalm.com
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Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company, LLC Reports its Second Quarter 2008 Results

The Hawker Beechcraft homepage features a news release on Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company, LLC second Quarter 2008 Results. 

According to the release, Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company, LLC (HBAC) reported increased orders, improved sales and higher earnings during the three months ending June 29, 2008 as compared to the same period in 2007. Net bookings for the three months ending June 29, 2008 totaled $1.7 billion.

The continued strength in new order activity resulted in a new record backlog of $7.4 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2008. Net sales for the three months ending June 29, 2008 were $1,028.7 million. During the quarter, the Company delivered 129 business and general aviation aircraft consisting of 50 jet, 50 turbo-prop and 29 piston aircraft.

On June 18, 2008, HBAC delivered the first Hawker 4000, its flagship aircraft; a super-midsize business jet utilizing advanced composite construction. Second quarter 2008 sales increased by $327.6 million, compared to the second quarter of 2007, primarily due to the increase in aircraft deliveries. 

Source: Hawker Beechcraft
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Hawker Beechcraft to Install Universal Avionics

Universal Avionics Systems Corporation has announced an agreement with Hawker Beechcraft Limited (HBL) to provide digital flat panel glass displays and flight management systems for a fleet of Hawker 125-700B series aircraft.

The upgrade package will replace existing flight and engine analog instruments with Universal’s SBAS-capable UNS-1Fw FMSs, EFI-890R flat panel instrument displays, and Application Server Unit (ASU) with UCDT-III displays. A 22-week initial installation program began at the end of June at Hawker Beechcraft’s Chester, UK facility. 

Hawker Beechcraft’s integration of the WAAS/SBAS-FMS and EFI-890R in Hawker 125-700 series aircraft will provide HBL operators new capabilities in flight operations, and enhanced safety for aircrew and passengers.

Additionally, the flat panel upgrade will provide HBL the opportunity to market a robust and proven solution to civilian operators of the Hawker 125-700 and 800 series of aircraft who wish to modernize their aircraft.

Source: Universal Avionics 
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Cessna Unveils The First Production Model 162 SkyCatcher At AirVenture 2008

Cessna Aircraft Company has unveiled to the public the first production Model 162 SkyCatcher complete with a production interior at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2008.

The unveiling comes exactly one year from the date and at the same venue where Cessna officially launched the light sport aircraft program.

Since the launch, Cessna has taken orders for more than 1,000 SkyCatchers and completed three airframes for the program’s development. The 162 prototype and the first production aircraft have accumulated more than 90 hours for ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) flight testing, which will be completed later this year.

Source: Cessna Aircraft Company
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The 2008 General Aviation Technology Challenge Seeks Greener And Quieter Aircraft

The CAFE Foundation's homepage reports on the 2008 General Aviation Technology Challenge to be conducted at CAFE's Flight Test Center in Santa Rosa, California from August 2-10, 2008.

According to the CAFE Foundation, NASA and CAFE have partnered to create a new challenge for 2008 to advance five vital General Aviation Technologies: noise reduction, fuel efficiency, speed, safety and ease of use.

The first-ever "Green Prize" for transportation will test true "Environmental Efficiency". Aircraft competing for the Green Prize will advance all of the valuable measures of energy use; MPG as well as speed and payload.

Reducing vehicle noise emissions is vitally important to general aviation. The new GAT Community Noise Prize Challenge places a major priority on the reduction of noise emitted into the community.

Making personal aircraft safer and easier to fly is a primary goal of the new Aviation Safety Prize Challenge. This $50,000 prize will recognize achievement in implementing electronic pilot assistance (eCFI) along with rewarding outstanding handling qualities.

The $25,000 CAFE 400 Prize is a 400 mile cross-country air race over Northern California. However, each aircraft's speed result is tempered by its takeoff distance capability as well as by its fuel efficiency. Burn too much fuel in the CAFE 400 and you are disqualified.

Source: The CAFE Foundation
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Green Flight - Is Algae The Aviation Fuel Of The Future?

Pratt & Whitney Canada is conducting research into a new source for aircraft fuel that is green…literally. The source is algae.

According to a press release, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is leading a groundbreaking aerospace industry-university research effort to investigate the potential use of biofuels for small and medium size engine applications.

The most recognized biofuel is Ethanol, most commonly derived from corn. While corn is a renewable resource, it is also food. Critics of Ethanol charge that using corn for fuel will drive up food prices. P&WC is evaluating the feasibility of using "second generation" biofuels that originate from sources that do not compete with human food sources.

These could include jatropha and algae derived biofuels, as well as biobutanol to power aircraft engines. "Already a leader in green technologies for small aviation engines, we aim to have a fuel-flexible engine and to develop technologies that will allow us to offer aircraft manufacturers innovative and green power solutions," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, vice president - Engineering, P&WC.

The objectives for the four-year project include identifying and assessing appropriate biofuels, studying their effect on engine components such as combustors and fuel systems, developing appropriate technologies and design changes to accommodate them, and conducting tests comparing current jet fuels with first generation ethanol, as well as second generation biofuels.

According to US News and World Report, Airbus, Honeywell, Boeing, and Virgin Atlantic have announced they are exploring the possibility of algae-based fuels. The story also reports that algae fuels could power a third of commercial aircraft by 2030.

Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada and US News and World Report
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Harrison Ford Narrates "Oshkosh: The Spirit Of Aviation"

The official site for the EAA's AirVenture Oshkosh features a 18 minute video called Oshkosh: The Spirit Of Aviation, narrated by Harrison Ford.

The video highlights the events and history of the Oshkosh gathering and offers a glimpse of what this year's gathering will offer. The 56th annual EAA fly-in convention takes place July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Harrison Ford will be attending Oshkosh to introduce the classic "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" on Wednesday evening, July 30, as part of Fly-In Theater.

Aviation related films are shown during Fly-In Theater at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, presented by Ford Motor Company and Eclipse Aviation, featuring movies nightly on July 27 through August 2.

Source : EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
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Sluggish Economy Could Slow Demand For Private Aicraft

Is the softening United States economy slowing down the demand for private aircraft?

According to the International Herald Tribune, avionics manufacturer Honeywell reports the American market for business jets has fallen below 50 percent of global sales in recently.  Aircraft sales are growing in Russia, South Asia and the Middle East thanks to increased demand for air travel in those countries.

One culprit for the softening sales to the United States could be the cost of jet fuel. Security hassles and service issues are still driving business travelers to choose private jets over commercial airlines.

An uncertain economy has some businesses choosing fractional aircraft ownership companies or charter aircraft businesses instead of buying a plane.

Source: International Herald Tribune
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Mooney Aircraft Company To Display The Acclaim Type S At Parade of Pistons In Denver

Mooney Airplane Company will be displaying and demonstrating the world’s fastest piston single, the Mooney Acclaim Type S, at an upcoming aviation event, the Parade of Pistons, sponsored by FLYING magazine and AMPT Associates at Denver’s Centennial Airport (KAPA) from Thursday July 17 through Saturday, July 19.

The piston aircraft expo will be open to the public from 10 AM until 5 PM each day. Mooney will have an aircraft on static display, and will be scheduling demonstration flights for qualified prospects according to Bob Shank, Mooney’s Regional Sales Manager for the Northwestern United States. “FLYING magazine and AMPT Associates have created outstanding opportunities for us to interact with prospects and we’ve had some success at similar events in California and Texas,” said Shank.  Mooney recorded a pair of sales at the most recent Parade of Pistons event at Addison, Texas.  

Parade of Pistons is an aircraft expo designed to build momentum in the new piston engine aircraft marketplace.   Participants include manufacturers offering airplanes ranging in price from $50,000 Light Sport Aircraft (LSAs) to $650,000 high performance singles and twins.  It will include information and representatives from aero clubs, insurance and finance companies, as well as one of the country’s top aircraft brokers.

Source: Mooney Aircraft Company
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Cessna Asks Business Travelers "Are You Ready To Get Your Life Back?"

Cessna Aircraft Company has launched a website called gethomeontime.com, featuring a video of two business travelers flying from Chattanooga to the same destination in New York City.

Showing both travelers in side-by-side video, one flies by the most direct commercial flight available, the other flies on a private Cessna Citation CJ2+.  The message featured on the website and in the video asks viewers "In the end, you just have to ask yourself: are you ready to get your life back?"

Business travelers, frazzled by rising fare costs and flight delays, will probably empathize with the commercial air flyer having to sit for a spell in the airport lounge.  Meanwhile, the private air traveler is at home with the kids.

According to bizjournals.com, Cessna is taking the "get your life back" message to the jumbo video screens of New York City's Times Square over the next two months.

Source: Bizjournals.com and Cessna

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Cessna Announces Program Offering Free Fuel

Cessna Aircraft Company recently announced a program that offers free fuel for up to 18 months and a free Garmin synthetic vision upgrade for new buyers of Cessna 182 Skylanes or Turbo Skylanes through September 30, 2008.

Under the program, Cessna will pay for fuel for the new Skylane up to $15,000 between now and the end of 2009, based on average usage and power settings.1 Cessna will also upgrade at no charge the Garmin G1000 avionics package standard on the 182 with Garmin’s Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) currently in the final stages of certification by Cessna and Garmin.

“When you couple this with the U.S. government’s bonus depreciation program for new business aircraft passed earlier this year, we have a package that offers unparalleled value for the popular 182,” said John Doman, Cessna’s vice president for propeller aircraft sales. “This will prove to be a very popular program as it provides unique ownership opportunities.”

Bonus depreciation is part of the U.S. government’s economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year and, if aircraft use and other factors meet qualifications standards, may provide substantial tax savings for new aircraft ordered in 2008 and delivering in 2008 or 2009.

Source: Cessna
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"The Jet" By Cirrus Design Makes Its First Flight

Cirrus Design Corporation reports that the most highly anticipatedaircraft in the company’s history, currently called ‘The-Jet’, made its first flight on July 3rd, 2008.

According to Cirrus Design, the45-minute flight was conducted from company worldwide headquarters atthe Duluth International Airport, Duluth, MN and the aircraft performed flawlessly.

The-Jet is an all new personal aircraft that blends boththe high performance single-engine class and the very light jet (VLJ)category.

Single engine fuel efficiency,flexible seating options for a family of up to seven, state-of-the-artadvanced avionics and flight systems and the Cirrus Airframe ParachuteSystem (CAPS) are each hallmarks of the new design.

Source: Cirrus Design
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Business Jet Sales Continue To Grow In A Tight Economy

As major airlines are trying to cut costs to deal with high fuel prices, sales of business jets are booming.

The San Jose Mercury News reports a study indicates that the number of business jets being built will double in the next ten years.It is more than just the price of airline air travel making the difference to businesses that lease or buy jets. The choice is also a matter of convenience.

Business jets bypass the annoyances of lost baggage and intrusive security checks.

Fuel costs are hitting jet-charter companies just as hard as big airlines and raising rates, but customers are still willing to pay more for a business jet to avoid the unpleasantness of flying a big airline.

Source: The San Jose Mercury News
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“Liberty Belle” B-17 Flying Fortress Crosses Atlantic Ocean For July 4th

Photo by Alton K. Marsh
The APOA Pilot Blog reports on the the “Liberty Belle”, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress that is crossing the Atlantic Ocean and set to land on the Fourth of July in England.
According to the story, the Liberty Belle will arrive on the Fourth in Duxford, Englnad, performing a flyby above an cemetery where 300,000 Americans who died in World War II are buried.
You can track the flight on the Liberty Foundation's offical homepage.
There are more photos of the Liberty Belle on the Liberty Foundation's Flickr account and more photos of WWII aircraft.
Source: AOPA Pilot Blog and The Liberty Foundation

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Eclipse 500 Receives Flight Into Known Icing Certification

© Eclipse Aviation Corporation, 2008

Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), recently announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) certification for the Eclipse 500. With this certification, the Eclipse 500 can now operate in conditions in which ice is known to be present.

© Eclipse Aviation Corporation, 2008

"This certification process is one of the most difficult things to put a new model of aircraft through," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "We've worked through this process for some time, flying the Eclipse 500 in the precise natural icing conditions that the FAA requires. We tested the aircraft in some of the most severe weather conditions we could find, wherever we could find it. By receiving the FAA certification, we proved that the aircraft can withstand known icing conditions in a real-world operating environment with no structural changes required of the airframe," said Raburn.

Source: Eclipse Aviation

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Brazilian Aircraft Builder Embraer Achieves New Success In The Global Market

The Miami Herald reports on the rise of Brazilian aircraft builder Embraer and the opening of their new U.S. headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Embraer is now number three among commercial aircraft builders in the world, behind Boeing and Airbus, and recently announced plans to build a $50 million dollar assembly plant in Florida for light and executive jets.

After overcoming financial problems in the 1990s, business is booming for Embraer with over four years worth of orders for commercial and executive jets to fill. The Miami Herald article explores how Embraer managed to overcome obstacles to find succcess and what challenges the company faces from global competitors.

Source: The Miami Herald
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Cessna Seeks To Go Green By Establishing Environmental Strategy Council

Cessna's homepage reports on the announcement by Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton of the establishment of the Cessna Environmental Strategy Council.

According to Cessna, the council will assess the company’s impact on the environment and formalize initiatives to minimize that impact. The council is comprised of representatives from every part of the company.

“This is an important part of our long-term strategy,” Pelton said. “We are looking at boosting our efforts in recycling – both personal and industrial – conserving energy, aircraft operations and aircraft design,” he said.

The council is looking at how the company interfaces with the environment, with the goal of developing an action plan to lessen Cessna’s impact on the environment. The effort will also reach out to Cessna’s employees, encouraging them to embrace an environment-friendly approach to their everyday lives.

Pelton said Cessna is coordinating with industry and government groups, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Business Aviation Association.

Cessna already is thinking green in a number of ways: recycling materials such as aluminum and paper, designing lighter airplanes to complete the same mission and working with suppliers – especially engine makers – to develop more efficient systems.

Source: Cessna
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