A new program that opens up co-ownership opportunities for the TBM 850 has been launched by Daher-Socata. F.A.S.T.
(Fly and Share Your TBM) is ideally suited for two shareholders on a one-third/two-thirds co-ownership basis, but the program can accommodate up to three shareholders per aircraft.
A minimum 100 days of exclusive use is provided yearly on an unlimited flight-hour basis, which differs from traditional fractional programs requiring the purchase of annual flight hours that are either used or lost.
In addition, Garmin’s Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) has been certified for the TBM 850’s all-glass cockpit and is available for all new 2009 TBM 850s. Previously delivered 2008 TBM 850s can also be equipped with SVT.
All TBM-series aircraft now come equipped with a toilet option: The TBM’s intermediate left seat can be swapped for a potty seat, which can be installed and removed within minutes. This option is priced at $9,990. Visit www.socata.com.
Premier IA Speed Record
The Beechcraft Premier IA set a new speed record on May 10, leading into this year’s European Business Aviation Conference and Expo (EBACE). With astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson at the controls, the Premier IA completed a 627-statute-mile trip from Hawker Beechcraft’s international headquarters in Chester, U.K., to Geneva, Switzerland, in one hour, 13 minutes and 30 seconds, with an average speed of 511.9 mph.
“As was proven again this week, there’s no competition for the speed of the Premier IA,” said Brad Hatt, the senior vice president of sales at Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. “Time is money, and the Premier fulfills both through its speed and efficiency.” Hawker Beechcraft has submitted the trip statistics to the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the national authority for certifying aviation records. Visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
MAF Gets Its First Kodiak 100
MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) took delivery of a Kodiak 100, the first of the next-generation bush planes to be produced under an agreement between MAF and Quest Aircraft Company. MAF, a nonprofit ministry, serves isolated people around the world with aviation, communications and learning technologies. The development of the Kodiak 100 grew from the need for an aircraft to better serve agencies working in remote areas, such as humanitarian groups and backcountry commercial flight operators. MAF’s aircraft will go into service in Papua, Indonesia. Visit www.maf.org and www.questaircraft.com.
Citation Mustang Fleet Reaches 200
Cessna has delivered the 200th Citation Mustang: The aircraft went to Maritime Air Charters, and the event was marked with a brief ceremony at Cessna’s Independence, Kans., facility. “The Mustang has become a game-changer, starting with its certification as the first aircraft in a new line of entry-level business jets and its first delivery two years ago,” said Roger Whyte, Cessna’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “This milestone is the visible evidence of the success of the Mustang’s entry into service.” Though based in Honolulu, Maritime Air Charters will operate the new Mustang as a charter aircraft from its facility in Newnan, Ga., outside Atlanta. Visit www.cessna.com and www.maritimeaircharters.com.
Stay In A 727!
Hotel Costa Verde in Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos, Costa Rica, now offers a two-bedroom suite in a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727 fuselage, which previously shuttled passengers on South African Airways and Avianca Airlines. Salvaged from the San José airport, the airframe has been resurrected into a unique jumbo suite that’s perched on a 50-foot pedestal for scenic ocean and jungle views. Featuring Costa Rican teak paneling from the cockpit to the tail, the 727 features, among other things, a kitchenette, dining area foyer, a private entrance up a river rock and a spiral staircase. Visit www.costaverde.com.
Hi-Def Radar On Weather Underground
Weather Underground’s high-definition radar product now provides interactive, animated radar maps for all of the 45 major U.S. airports where Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) has been installed by the FAA. Weather Underground users will be able to view greater detail within storms and even pick out the detailed structure of tornadoes and other important weather features. The TDWR data can also be plotted as a layer on Weather Underground’s WunderMap, an interactive weather map. Visit www.wunderground.com.
Avtrak & Piaggio
Avtrak LLC and Piaggio Aero Industries have signed an agreement recognizing Avtrak GlobalNet as one of the preferred factory-authorized maintenance tracking services for the P-180 Avanti. Customers taking delivery of new P-180s will receive Avtrak GlobalNet services free for the first year. Visit www.piaggioaero.com and www.avtrak.com.
Blackhawk Engine Upgrade, Partnership & EASA Approval
Blackhawk Modifications has launched a new XP engine upgrade, the 850 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A, for the Cessna 208 Caravan series. Certification is expected in the fourth quarter of 2009. “Caravan operators fly in remote and sometimes dangerous situations,” said Blackhawk President and CEO Jim Allmon. “They need the extra power that our XP42A brings them to get in and out of the most challenging places.
At EBACE, Germany-based Air Alliance, a leading Cessna service center in Europe, signed on as a Blackhawk distributor and installation center. It will purchase three new PT6A-42As for the Grand Caravan 208B series.
Additionally, Blackhawk Modifications has received European (EASA) approval of the P&W PT6A-135A engines for the Conquest I. Having upgraded 16% of the Conquest I fleet, demand for the factory-new PT6A-135A engines led Blackhawk to pursue worldwide certification. Visit www.blackhawk.aero and www.air-alliance.de.
Garmin In The Vision
Cirrus Aircraft has chosen Garmin as its avionics provider for production models of the Vision SF50 personal jet. The current Vision flying test aircraft, V1, has the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics system—the same as is currently available on the SR-series of piston aircraft—and will continue its rigorous flight-test schedule.
“Cirrus and Garmin are both recognized as leaders in their respective fields and share a common vision to bring innovative technologies and continuous product improvement into the GA cockpit,” said Cirrus President and CEO Brent Wouters. Visit www.garmin.com and www.cirrusaircraft.com.
Firefighters Get Twin Commander
The 38th Grand Renaissance Twin Commander has been delivered to its owner, the Kern County, Calif., Fire Department. Kern County’s mission for its Grand Renaissance will be to direct personnel and equipment in battling wildfires in the 8,000-square-mile county.
It will also be made available to other U.S. government agencies for fire-suppression duty. “We circle a fire and control everything that goes on in the air and on the ground,” explained Scott Beck, the county’s air operations pilot. “It’s the command and control ship for fighting a fire.” Eagle Creek Aviation Services in Indianapolis built the TPE-331-10T-powered Grand Renaissance for the county, devoting more than 8,000 hours to the project. Visit www.twincommander.com.
SJ30 Production Moves Forward
Emivest Aerospace Corporation announced that SJ30, serial number 008, took to the skies during its production flight checks over Texas. This marks a significant step in moving forward with production and establishing a regular delivery schedule. John Siemens, chief test pilot, and Bryan Dennison, production test pilot, flew the aircraft on its first production flight. Serial number 008 is the first customer aircraft to be flown since Emirate Investment Development Corporation’s acquisition last year. Emivest COO Joe Gullion looks forward to delivering the aircraft: “Our customer is very excited about receiving his aircraft. We’re happy that all of the hard work and planning is finally paying off, resulting in the flight of serial number 008.” The aircraft should be delivered sometime this summer. Visit www.emivestaerospace.com.