450 persons from at least 10 countries attended Flight Safety Foundation’s 52nd annual Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in Tucson, Ariz. May 9 and 10. FSF President and CEO William R. Voss said discussions covered included corporate safety management systems, new maintenance issues, medical topics and data mining and monitoring. Richard Santulli CEO and founder of NetJets received a Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award for innovating and implementing the concept of fractional ownership. The foundation also issued five Presidential Citations and two Professionalism Awards.
Marty Grier, maintenance manager for Home Depot, Bill Grimes, director of safety and security for TAG Aviation, Brad Johnson, safety and loss control consultant for AIG and Bill McBride, senior director of operations for Home Depot received Presidential Citations for their involvement in FSF’s ground accident prevention program. Jeff Sands, director of flight operations for Altria Corporate Services also received a Presidential Citation for his pioneering work on a Corporate Flight Operations Quality Assurance (C-FOQA) demonstration program.
FSF Professionalism Awards went to Capt. Annette Saunders and FO Mitchell Merchant of NetJets for their "outstanding" response and safe landing after collision with a glider at 16,000 feet. The glider’s wing spar sliced across their aircraft’s nose, opening the cockpit to the outside environment and demolishing the left instrument panel and numerous systems controls as well as damaging the hydraulic system. Saunders received facial cuts from flying debris, but she and Merchant located the nearest suitable airport and finally coped with a gear collapse during rollout. The crew secured the aircraft and their passengers exited uninjured.
Over 300 people, including leaders from local government, business and aviation, turned out for the Westchester Aviation Association's third annual Business & Aviation Community Luncheon, April 26 at the newly upgraded Avitat facility at Westchester County Airport (KHPN).
The luncheon honored organizations involved with the WAA Aviation Career Fair, as well as two charitable organizations: Corporate Angel Network and Angel Flight Northeast. Guest speaker, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, emphasized the need for aviation professionals to become involved in the many issues facing business aviation. The keynote speaker, Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn, outlined his take on the future of general aviation with the impending certification and delivery of many new entry-level jet aircraft into the marketplace. Westchester Aviation Association President Jeff Lee, an NBAA Board Member, emphasized the economic value of the Westchester County Airport to the region and the outstanding citizenship of the local aviation community in the areas of safety, security, the environment and community service. An aircraft display included a Cessna Mustang, the Eclipse 500 and the Embraer Legacy, the TBM 700 and the Gulfstream IV.
Community service awards were presented to two local organizations for their service in providing support to cancer and other medical patients: Angel Flight Northeast, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has flown nearly 30,000 flights to support those in need. Corporate Angel Network, is celebrating its 25th year and 25,000 flights.
One aviation firm with some good news on the environmental front is Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) of Seattle, Wash., which designs blended winglets for a variety of business jets and airliners, including the Hawker 800 Series, the Gulfstream II and the Boeing 737. API says installation of its winglets reduce an aircraft's fuel usage by approximately seven percent.
The company's Web site has a "Millions of gallons of fuel saved" section that claims the blended winglet fleet "is saving fuel at the rate of nearly five gallons per second." As of last week, a real-time calculator on that Web site said use of API winglets has saved more than 645 million gallons of fuel since coming to market.
EBACE, the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, has certainly come of age this year, with more than 10,000 registered attendees and sold-out static display and exhibit space. The program opened Tuesday and closes tomorrow in Geneva, Switzerland.
Just tracking the news gusher from the event is like trying to drink from a fire hose, and the volume would certainly overwhelm this Bulletin. But you can get a comprehensive and contemporaneous view of the proceedings from B&CA and Show News through AviationWeek.com.
Through this free Web site you can get a global industry overview. Next, focus in on the AviationWeek.com Business Aviation Channel. Finally, go to the show by clicking to the EBACE Show News Ezine - a graphic and fun to read Web publication in a lively magazine format that adds new material each day. It's online now and waiting for you
Hawker Beechcraft executive Brad Hatt talks with Business & Commercial Aviation's Bill Garvey about product announcements at EBACE 2007 in Geneva, including a $700-million order for 32 Hawker 4000s inked yesterday by NetJets. Hatt, the company's president-commercial aircraft, says the order calls for 4-5 deliveries a year with the first set for the fourth quarter, 2008. The NetJets segment starts around the 6 minute/33-second mark in this mp3 file, but don't skip the rest.
Christopher Fotos, Web Managing Editor for Aviation Week
Bill Garvey, editor-in-chief at Business & Commercial Aviation, interviewed Ken Goldsmith Jr., managing director of Yankee Pacific Aerospace, at this week's EBACE show in Geneva. "The name Yankee Pacific Aerospace means that," Goldsmith told Garvey, detailing his company's far-flung interests. Goldsmith also brings us up to date on the company's re-engine package for the Falcon 50 since it was covered by Business & Commercial aviation.
--Christopher Fotos, Web Managing Editor for Aviation Week
TAG Aviation is best known for handling heavy airplanes. When it branched into Asia, for example, its initial managed fleet consisted of Falcon, Global Express and Challenger aircraft. That's true in the U.S. too. But TAG is also managing a new VLJ Flying Club, the brainstorm of a retired Northern California entrepreneur who has bought 10 Eclipse 500 jets in which he's selling shares. Rolf Illsley's goal is to bring private jet flying not exactly to the masses, but to make it available at a far lower price than fractional ownership, replete with two professional pilots in the cockpit. Pricing is targeted at less than $500,000 for a quarter share, less than $100,000 in annual fees and about $600 per operational hour. TAG is awaiting delivery of the VLJ Flying Club's first Eclipse and is planning a publicity push for Oshkosh this summer. --Rich Piellisch at EBACE 2007, Geneva
There’s no apparent let-up in sight for the companies adding winglets to the aircraft, whose “cool factor” may have as much to do with driving upgrades as performance.
Dassault, having embraced them for the Falcon 7X, now also using them on the Falcon 2000 twin-jet. The company has just launched the Falcon 2000LX, an upgrade to the EX model, that adds 200 naut. mi. to range and boosts it to 4,000 naut. mi., says Charles Edelstenne, CEO of Dassault Aviation. The upgrade will be available starting next year, and can also be retrofitted.
Aviation Partners worked with Dassault on the new winglets, which are 66-inches high and add 6 ft. 9 inches toe the wingspan. The cost for the retrofit, or to modify in-production 2000EXs is $550,000 – the cost when factored into the list price of the Falcon 2000LX, when the winglets are installed from the get-go, will be somewhat less.
Dassault also is investigating whether the upgrade would make sense for the Falcon 900. It isn’t ready to commit for several months, so stay tuned for some further winglet words out of Dassault at NBAA, Similarly, Cessna plans to flight test winglets on its Citation X soon. The company will not say what performance improvement it expects, but Roger Whyte, Cessna’s senior vice president for sales and marketing promises to have numbers and a price tag at the ready at NBAA.
--Robert Wall, at EBACE 2007, Geneva
Hungary’s Peter Besenyei, piloting a Team Red Bull Edge 540, beat 11 other air racers around a nine-gate airborne slalom course set up at Monument Valley, UT on Saturday, May 12, 2007, with a time of 59.87 seconds to win the third in the series of 2007 Red Bull Air Races. Besenyei, a former aerobatics world champion, attacked the race course by accelerating from a high perch position to the east in order to pass through the entry gate at 185+ KTAS. Passing through the second air gate, he had to pull 9.8Gs to reach the third air gate in minimum time.
However, such tight turns wash off airspeed and thus climb performance needed later during the run, thus energy conservation is a key to winning such events.
Besenyei then had to weave through a three-pylon air slalom and a four-pylon “quaddro” gate through which pilots must fly twice at right angles. This was followed by a half Cuban eight course reversal needed to enter the first of two final air gates.
“You have to find the ideal turn radius. If it’s too tight, you can make the gates, but you lose speed. If you have a bigger radius, then you lose time,” Besenyei explained to Aviation Week after his win. Each air gate is color coded to indicate whether pilots must pass through with wings level, in near knife edge position or in slalom attitude. Racers compete against the clock in several elimination heats to determine the final winner of the event. Penalty seconds are assessed for improper aircraft attitude passing through the air gates, flying too low, incorrect maneuvering or grazing an air pylon. Serious infractions result in disqualification. “The whole course is challenging. You have a chance to make a mistake on each part of the course, and that can cost you the race,” Besenyei said.
Steve Jones of Team Matador, for instance, overshot the third air gate on the course and flew directly through an air pylon during the quarter finals. The pylons, though, feature a frangible structure that’s designed to shred upon impact, thus there was virtually no damage to Jone’s Edge 540. After hitting the air pylon, he pulled up and out of the race and returned to the Monument Valley for post-flight inspection. Meanwhile course workers replaced the deflated pylon with a new one in just over four minutes, so there was very little delay in the race action....