“LAST BIG PLUM” REVISITED–Burt Rutan and the Voyager team in 1986 described their quest to fly around the world nonstop and unrefueled as “the last big plum” in the orchard of aviation records. In 1999 Messrs. Piccard and Jones, similarly, characterized their ultimately successful circumnavigation of the world in the Breitling Orbiter balloon as “the last great aeronautical adventure.”
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Customers of Jeppesen World Fuel Services can now go online to view fuel prices and place orders at more than 1,500 locations worldwide. A new Web site provides price quotes, including taxes and fees, as well as pricing based on different uplift volumes. Users can store frequented destinations, search past fuel quotes and obtain the name of the into-plane provider.
While Congress has acted on several recommendations from the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, the group is still concerned about the lack of coordination and communication between executive branch departments having jurisdiction over the air-transportation system.
Bend, Ore.-based Air Investor Resources (AIR)–the parent company of Epic Aircraft, which is currently flight-testing its Epic LT turboprop single–is now teaming with Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, to produce a $1.9 million very light jet (VLJ), dubbed the Tam-Air Epic Jet. The six-seat jet, which shares about 80-percent commonality with its composite turboprop-single
The general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
A relaxed regulatory environment and increasing development in the fledgling space tourism industry may lead to opportunities for privately owned passenger-carrying space vehicles by the end of the decade, suggested government and industry officials at space-related hearings and conferences in February.
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
“What gets me through an airshow is trust,” Michael George Goulian, Air BP’s Castrol Aviator and champion aerobatics pilot, said in his keynote address at the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Awards Breakfast.
The panel discussion on brokers addressed the concern that anyone with a laptop computer and a cellphone could “broker” travel on chartered business jets. Fred Gevalt, founder of The Air Charter Guide, said a good start would be to register charter brokers with the U.S. Department of Transportation, a safeguard that he asserted would eliminate 60 percent of the Internet dabblers.