Sky-High Industry Billings In 2007
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced that the 2007 year-end shipment figures for the general aviation industry have led to another record high in industry billings. At the organization’s Annual Industry Review and Market Outlook Briefing, GAMA Chairman and Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier reported that a strong worldwide market, especially outside of North America, was a driving factor for general aviation in 2007. “As these economies continue to expand, we expect general aviation to play an ever-increasing role in these regions,” Klapmeier stated. “Manufacturer backlogs are strong and we think this bodes well for 2008 and the years beyond.”
Record industry billings totaled $21.9 billion, up by 16.5% from last year. Year-end, worldwide shipments of general aviation airplanes totaled 4,272 units, up 5.4% over the previous year’s total of 4,053 units. The industry also experienced an all-time high in business jet shipments, delivering more than 1,000 units for the first time in history.
The piston airplane segment was down 2.9% in 2007, but still posted the second-best year in more than two decades. Total units decreased from 2,755 in 2006 to 2,675 in 2007. Shipments of turboprops increased 11.4%, up from 412 units in 2006 to 459 units in 2007. Business jet shipments reached an all-time high of 1,138 units, up 28.4% over last year’s figure of 886 airplanes. For additional details, visit www.gama.aero.
Adam Aircraft: Bankrupt
On February 15, Adam Aircraft filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. The start-up piston twin and VLJ manufacturer had ceased operations four days prior at its facilities in Englewood, Colo. A statement on Adam’s website read, “This measure was required due to the inability of the company to come to terms with their lender for funding necessary to maintain business operations.” In the filing, Adam Aircraft lists more than 200 creditors, $50 million to $100 million in liabilities, and between $1 million and $10 million in assets that include the type certificate for the A500 piston twin, several A500s in various stages of production and three flying A700 VLJs.
New Sport-Pilot Training Program
U.S. Flight Academy has launched a program for those who have passed the written exam for a sport-pilot license. Priced at $3,783, the course includes 21 hours of flight training in a Remos LSA and 28 hours of ground school. This can be completed in as little as 10 days. “Our intent is to make it easy for anyone to earn their license quickly and go home as a sport pilot,” said President Mike Sykes. The Academy also has programs to upgrade sport pilots to private pilot status. For more information, visit www.usflightacademy.com.
This spring, Hopscotch Air plans to debut its new “air limo” service in the Northeast. The company will fly customers to hundreds of airports within 500 miles of the New York metropolitan area, including Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. Service will be on-demand, in the technologically advanced Cirrus SR22. Book your flight at www.flyhopscotch.com.
Mooney Acclaim Record
On January 26, 2008, Alex Coley and his flight instructor Tim Wadsworth flew Alex’s Mooney Acclaim from Lindbergh Field in San Diego, Calif., to Craig Field in Jacksonville, Fla., in just 6 hours and 59 minutes. This set a transcontinental flight record, as well as a record over a recognized course between the two cities. Coley and Wadsworth averaged more than 305 mph and achieved a top speed of 412 mph during the flight, which included a quick 12-minute fuel stop at Mooney’s home airport, Louis Schreiner Field in Kerrville, Texas. Learn more at www.mooney.com.
F-22 At Oshkosh
The Lockheed F-22 “Raptor,” one of the world’s most advanced military jets, will return and fly during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. Two of the airplanes will arrive at Wittman Regional Airport with an aerial performance on July 31, and at least one aircraft will fly an aerial demonstration each afternoon on Friday through Sunday, August 1 to 3. Plan your trip at www.airventure.org.
Robinson & Mid-Continent
Robinson Helicopter Company selected Mid-Continent Instruments as the primary supplier for flight-instrument technology, and upgraded to the 4300 Electric Attitude Indicator. “We’re proud to be a key partner with our friends at Robinson,” said Mid-Continent Western Region Manager Matt Fowle. “The 4300 and 3300 are vastly improved indicators that are perfect for mission-critical helicopters like the R22 and R44. Both the 4300 and 3300 can be used as aftermarket replacements for the original legacy gyros shipped from the Robinson factory.” Learn more at www.robinsonheli.com and www.midcontinentinstruments.com.
Cessna In India
Cessna Aircraft Company announced an order from Chimes Aviation of Madhya Pradesh, India, for 20 Cessna 172 Skyhawks, which will be used for flight training. The order includes 11 C-172Rs for immediate delivery and nine turbodiesel models for delivery later this year. Visit www.cessna.com.
King Schools Sweepstakes
Dale North of Madison, Tenn., was the lucky winner of a Cessna 172S Skyhawk with a G1000 panel in King Schools’ “The Future Is Now” airplane sweepstakes. “Wow! I bought a King Commercial Pilot Knowledge Test Course for my husband, Phillip, as a birthday present and won an airplane,” exclaimed Dale. “Now, I’m going to learn to fly.” The King’s next sweepstake prize will be a Cessna 172S with a G1000 panel plus a Garmin GFC 700 autopilot. Visit www.kingschools.com.
Gone West: Frank N. Piasecki, 88
Frank Nicolas Piasecki, the holder of numerous aviation patents, including the twin-rotor technology, died at the age of 88. His work led to the development of the Chinook helicopters, used by the military in Vietnam and commercially for logging and construction. He’s survived by his wife, Vivian, seven children and 13 grandchildren.
Watches For Women
With Abingdon Watches, Chelsea “Juice” Welch, a Santa Monica, Calif.–based pilot, has launched the first company dedicated to developing top-quality, realistically priced watches to meet the needs of female pilots, mechanics and adventurers all over the world. Abingdon offers two watch models: the Amelia and the Jackie. With a stainless-steel band and mother-of-pearl face, the Jackie watch also features a chronograph, date window and E6B function. The Amelia has similar features and a leather band. For more information, contact Abingdon Watches at (310) 736-5673 or visit www.abingdonwatches.com.
A Full-Sized Bike That Folds
Montague SwissBike’s new line of full-sized, high-performance bikes feature patented technology that allows them to fold in half for easy storage and transport. Originally developed to allow military paratroopers to airdrop with a mountain bike, the bikes are ideal for cyclists who need a full-sized mountain bike but also have storage, commute or travel constraints. The flagship SwissBike XO is suited for all terrains and demands. The LX and TX models are for less-intense uses and are for riders on a budget. For more information, contact Montague Bikes at (800) 736-5348 or www.swissbike.com.
For pilots who can’t hangar their airplanes, any inclement weather presents an opportunity for a damaged aircraft. AeroSpoiler is a lift-reduction system used to protect aircraft parked outside in high-wind conditions, including thunderstorms, tornadoes and even hurricanes. PVC sheets in the shape of Venetian blind slats are held in place on the aircraft wing via commercial-grade suction cups, which can withstand winds above 200 mph. Each AeroSpoiler Kit has 10 suction cup/receiver assemblies and eight 30x3-inch blades. The complete kit provides 20 feet of wing coverage and can reduce the lift-producing capability of an aircraft wing by as much as 96%. Installation takes just minutes. Constructed of injection-molded ABS and thick PVC sheets with marine-grade stainless-steel hardware, AeroSpoilers will last for years, even in harsh, coastal environments. For more information, contact Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS or visit www.sportys.com.
Ground-Isolated Battery Eliminator
The QC Avionix 2 AA cell floating battery eliminator was designed for contemporary noise-canceling headsets, such as the Lightspeed Zulu, and other devices where isolation from vehicle ground is required or where excessive ground noise may be an issue. It’s powered directly from a 12-14 volt or 24-28 volt accessory jack. It’s the only battery eliminator that will work with the Lightspeed Zulu headsets. It comes with an active/powered cell and one dummy cell that plug directly into the battery slots. The power cable is routed out of the battery receptacle to the regulator box. An emery board, supplied, can be used to file a small slot in the battery cover to accommodate the power cable. Plug the battery eliminator into your cigar/accessory jack, and you’re all set to go without fear that the battery will go dead at a critical moment when aviating, navigating and communicating are your highest priorities. For more, contact QC Avionix at (978) 897-3891 or www.qcavionix.com.
Conquer The Night
FLITELite Generation II is a hands-free pilot light that’s 30% smaller than its previous incarnations. It includes two completely sealed sensors that link to a microprocessor to offer a pilot ultimate lighting control. The LiteSelect memory feature allows for fully controllable dimming and brightening. Multiple colors are available. FLITELite custom fits to match your headset or helmet microphone for a perfect fit; there’s now a custom adapter to fit the wire on your aviation helmet that positions the on/off sensor exactly where you need it. No tie wrap is required; just snap the FLITELite into the adapter, then attach the adapter to your mic boom. For more information, contact FLITELite at (877) 579-8853 or visit www.flitelite.com.
Protect Your Floor
The Ribbed Aircraft Drip Mat is an inexpensive, customizable drip mat that blends durability and portability. Dirty engine fluids can wreak havoc and turn a spotless hangar into an eyesore. This drip mat will protect your hangar floor by collecting any fluids that drip from your airplane. The 3x5-foot drip mat can easily be trimmed to fit any size nosewheel. The ribbed design prevents fluids from pooling, and the 100% polyvinyl construction material withstands all aviation-grade fluids. It can be washed and used again and again. It also rolls up for easy storage. For more information, contact Sporty’s at (800) SPORTYS or visit www.sportys.com.