Pilot Journal
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Mar-Apr 2005 On The Radar

on the radarAn unusual rash of activity has come out of Washington, D.C., this year that affects all pilots. Changes in regulations, aviation services, airspace and even outer space have, thus far, been the hallmark of 2005.
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ATG Javelin
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Beriev Be 103
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Quest Kodiak
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Liberty Belle B-17
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Global Flyer
The FAA has trained air traffic controllers all over the world, but recently signed on for a job no one saw coming—working with China to open Chinese airspace. Experts estimate the country will be the second largest aviation market within the next one to two decades.

Two years ago, all but three of China’s air routes were controlled by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, and the country boasted only a single privately owned jet. In January this year, China officially sanctioned the ownership of private aircraft. By 2008, when Beijing hosts the Olympics, hundreds of private aircraft are expected to dock and rest at a new VIP terminal, where the country hopes to have the world’s largest service facility for private aircraft.

A changing point of view from Chinese leadership now is welcoming general aviation as a means of opening up the country’s vast state interior, and U.S. companies have been quick to respond. Cirrus Design ferried an SR22 from Duluth, Minn., to Zhuhai to display and offer demo rides at Air Show China. “People were blown away,” says Cirrus’ vice president of marketing, Randy Bolinger. For more information, contact Cirrus Design at (218) 727-2737 or log on to www.cirrusdesign.com.

Diamond Aircraft recently announced the Chinese certification of both the DA40 four-place and DA20-C1 two-place, and company CEO Christian Dries says he expects China to potentially become a “significant portion of our future business.” Beijing PanAm is the first independent commercial flight-training facility to operate in China and already has placed firm orders for a total of 60 aircraft over three years, including 41 DA40 Diamond Stars and 19 DA42 TwinStars, all with Garmin G1000 all-glass cockpits. For more information, call Diamond at (519) 457-4000 or log on to www.diamondair.com.

The new year has been kind to Albuquerque, N.M.-based aviation. After an almost two-year time-out, the Eclipse 500 very light jet is flying again, this time with its long-awaited Pratt & Whitney 601F jet engines. The flight testing for certification is scheduled over the next 15 months and will ultimately include a total of seven airframes. Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn says the company is on track to certify the small jet by March of next year. For more info, contact Eclipse at (505) 245-7555 or log on to www.eclipseaviation.com.

Meanwhile, Colorado-based Aviation Technology Group (ATG) finally is under way building a demonstrator prototype of its Javelin Executive Jet. The company hired former Cessna president Charlie Johnson as the vice president overseeing engineering, manufacturing, supply-chain management and flight ops. The tandem seater expects its first test flight in the first half of this year, with certification coming in 2007. The Javelin projects a cruise speed of 528 KTAS with a ceiling of 45,000 feet. For more info, call ATG at (303) 799-4197 or log on to www.avtechgroup.com.

It’s a boat! It’s a plane! Yes, it is. The Russians are back, this time, with the Be103, a twin amphib designed for multi-tasking. Two 210-hp Continental IO-360ES4 sit on the aft fuselage behind a pilot and five passengers, but the aluminum-alloyed floater can easily be rearranged for commercial applications, ranging from air ambulance to freight hauling. The airplane comes standard with a Bendix/King navcom package and is IFR-capable. The Be103 has a max cruise of about 150 knots and a range of approxi-mately 600 miles. Contact (908) 996-4200 or log on to www.beriev-usa.com for more information.


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