In a milestone development, Cirrus announced that Cirrus Aircraft will be sold to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA). The decision to merge with, and then be acquired by the Chinese aerospace firm, is partially motivated by Cirrus’ need for more funding to further develop their single-engine personal “Vision” jet, a project that Cirrus CEO and president, Brent Wouters, says will cost a total of about $140 million dollars. Cirrus has spent about $60 million on the jet at this point. Discussions between Cirrus and CAIGA began in 2009, and the deal will be finalized in mid-2011, once regulatory approvals have been secured. Despite concerns about lost jobs and quality control issues if the company were to move its manufacturing facilities out of its current location in Duluth, Minn., Wouters says Cirrus is committed to keeping everything status quo. “Jobs and job growth are going to be here. Secondly, it will expedite our product development efforts,” Wouters assured. Visit www.cirrusaircraft.com.
Signs Of Recovery
At GAMA’s annual “State of the Industry” conference, Chairman John Rosanvallon, CEO of Dassault Falcon, reported that the global economic downturn continued to negatively impact general aviation manufacturers in 2010, but that signs of a recovery have started to emerge. “Our industry experienced another challenging year that required many manufacturers to continue to make careful decisions about production schedules, employment and product development,” said Rosanvallon. “However, despite the pain caused by the downturn, we are now seeing strong GDP growth on a global level, and corporate profits are up. This bodes well for general aviation’s future, as shipments have traditionally lagged an economic recovery by one to two years.” The piston-airplane segment shipped a total of 889 units in 2010, compared to 963 units in 2009, a 7.7% decline. The turboprop sector was down 17.7%, shipping 363 units in 2010, compared to 441 units the previous year. The business-jet sector declined 12.3% with 763 airplanes shipped, compared to 870 airplanes in 2009. Visit www.gama.aero.
Sterling Flight Training, based at Craig Airport in Jacksonville, Fla., has taken delivery of a new Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter. The R44 will be used for primary and advanced helicopter flight training, including instrument training. The school is offering half-hour introductory helicopter lessons for $195. Visit www.sterlingflight.com
Oregon-based Lightspeed Aviation was the first to sponsor the upcoming Pilot Training Reform Symposium, being held in Atlanta, Ga., by the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. As a Diamond Level sponsor, Lightspeed pledged more than $10,000 to help offset the operating costs associated with the symposium. The invitation-only event is expected to draw up to 300 top aviation professionals who will work together to secure a healthy future for general aviation. Visit www.lightspeedaviationfoundation.org, www.pilottrainingreform.org and www.safepilots.org.
Caravans At Van Bortel
Cessna has expanded its affiliation with Van Bortel Aircraft, a longtime Cessna sales and service representative, to include sales of its Caravan line of turboprop aircraft. Van Bortel Aircraft has sold Cessna aircraft exclusively since its founding by Howard G. Van Bortel in 1985, and became formally affiliated with Cessna in 1990. Based at Arlington Municipal Airport (GKY) in Arlington, Texas, the company will serve as a Caravan Authorized Sales Representative for Texas and New Mexico. Visit www.vanbortel.com.
New ADS-B Display
SkyVision Xtreme announced its new ADS-B traffic and weather display, with 3D traffic, subscription-free weather and control inputs for the Universal Access Transceiver. The “Xtreme Vision” display system can collect and display all information provided by the ADS-B system. This includes highly accurate traffic, allowing it to be displayed in 3D (patent pending), in addition to the 2D top view that traditional traffic displays use. If the traffic is ADS-B equipped, it will also display the traffic type: large or small aircraft, an airship, a rotorcraft, ground vehicle, etc. Human-voice audio alerts notify pilots of traffic threats with distance, direction and altitude callouts. The Xtreme Vision display can be used to control the transmitted data of the ADS-B transceiver, which is an FAA requirement. For any pilot to receive the full benefit of ADS-B, they must transmit an acceptable ADS-B signal back to ATC, which includes an appropriate squawk code. This transmission not only increases air safety by helping ATC and other aircraft know a pilot’s position, it also triggers ADS-B ground stations to broadcast traffic data to them. Visit www.skyvisionxtreme.com and www.navworx.com.
Piper Market Share
Piper Aircraft significantly increased its new-aircraft market share, billings and deliveries during 2010, highlighted by the company’s performance in the pilot-training sector. For the year 2010, Piper delivered 160 new aircraft, up more than 75% from 90 aircraft in 2009. The new deliveries contributed more than $120 million in billings, up nearly 38% from $86 million in the previous year. Within the combined turboprop and piston markets where it currently competes, Piper’s overall market share for new aircraft deliveries grew from 10.5% in new aircraft unit volume in 2009 to 20.1% during 2010. Leading Piper’s resurgence in 2010 were worldwide deliveries of 47 training aircraft to pilot-training institutions in Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Qatar and the U.S. Visit www.piperaircraft.com.
Lower Insurance For CFIs
Daniel Insurance announced that it has secured an A+-rated carrier that will no longer charge the extra premium on life insurance if you’re a flight instructor and, if you qualify medically, will offer its best rate class at Preferred Plus. This equates to a 60% or more savings. Visit www.danielagency.com.
Lindbergh Foundation Awards
Dean Kamen, inventor, educator and pilot, has been selected to receive the prestigious Lindbergh Award for 2011. In addition, the Lindbergh Foundation will recognize GE Aviation as the recipient of its Corporate Award for Balance, and Milbry Polk, Founder and Director Emeritus of Wings WorldQuest, of the Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award. These awardees will be honored at the 34th annual Lindbergh Award Celebration and Dinner during the 2011 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In & Expo. “Dean Kamen is probably best known as the inventor of the Segway, but he is also a talented single-pilot jet jockey and flies all over in his Beechcraft Premier,” said Linden Blue, Lindbergh Foundation Board member. “However, our entire board of directors was extremely impressed by Dean Kamen’s lifelong dedication to helping people lead better lives through breakthrough medical innovations, such as the insulin pump.” Visit www.lindberghfoundation.com.
The new DRE-205e from DRE Communications is a complete redesign of the previous model, and can be used as a portable intercom or permanently installed in a panel. Accessory inputs allow the unit to be connected to a suite of other devices, including engine monitors, collision avoidance equipment and other instruments with auditory alarms such as stall warnings and altimeter alerts. It can be configured for 2-, 4- or 6-place applications, with individual squelch circuits and push-to-talk jacks for pilots and passengers. There’s a stuck-mic warning, and the unit automatically mutes any cockpit entertainment to allow communication with ATC. The unit can run on aircraft power or two 9V batteries. Contact: www.drecommunications.com.
Oxygen Times Two
The Mountain High EDS-O2D2 Pulse Demand Oxygen Delivery System is a single-unit, portable, two-place oxygen system that allows the pilot to customize a system to his or her specific needs. It’s designed and calibrated to be used with one of their regulators, but will also work with a previously built-in system. Various configurations are available: The full O2D2 kit comes with three AA batteries, two cannulas and two face masks in a carry bag. Various configurations of our complete O2D2 systems are listed below. Contact: www.mhoxygen.com.
Online LSA School
Gleim is offering an FAA-approved ground school available in Part 61 and Part 141 versions. The online course consists of an introductory overview with audiovisuals, a printable Knowledge Transfer Outline, a multiple-choice study quiz and a multiple-choice test at the end of each study unit. In addition, there are several stage tests throughout the course, and an end-of-course test that assesses overall knowledge. The course also includes practice tests, which emulate both CATS and LaserGrade testing centers. After taking and passing this course, Gleim provides an endorsement for users to take their knowledge test. Contact: www.gleim.com.
iPad & Organizer
The iPad Flight Desk from Sporty’s holds your iPad in place, and features an organizer section with pocketsto store charts, flight plan forms, a notepad and more. It also features an adjustable viewing angle for flexibility, and a built-in leg strap for stability. A zipper closes the Flight Deck completely to protect your iPad, and an external handle enables easy carrying. It measures 18.5x12 inches open and 9x12x2 inches closed. Contact: www.sportys.com.
World War II Memories
Contact! Britain! by Nancy Miller
Livingston Stratford is an engaging look at what it was like to be a female ferry pilot in Britain during the height of World War II. Nancy Miller was a 450-hour pilot and turning 23 years old when she was recruited by Jackie Cochran to fly for the Air Transport Auxiliary. For three years, she flew 50 different types of fighters and bombers without radios or a copilot. Her warm writing style brings the joy of flight to life.
Sport Pilot Test Prep
Gleim’s new Sport Pilot Knowledge Test Prep software is designed to help LSA student pilots pass their knowledge test. It provides study outlines for review, all FAA charts and figures, and every known FAA question. Users can create customized study and test sessions using the actual FAA airmen knowledge test questions. A Performance Analysis Browser allows students to track their progress and focus attention on areas needing improvement. Contact: www.gleim.com.