Chinese entities already have bought several well-known U.S. general aviation companies including Cirrus and Teledyne Continental Motors. Here at AirVenture this year, Chinese companies are looking to expand two-way trade with U.S.-based GA companies and have set up several tents and pavilions aimed at showcasing the potential of China’s growing, albeit slowly, GA market.
General Aviation » General Aviation Aircraft
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft).
Safran’s SMA unit announced a new and larger jet-A fuel-powered piston engine at AirVenture on Tuesday. The turbocharged SR460 six-cylinder engine will have applications in the 330 to 400 horsepower range, will be available in 2015 and will have a target 2,400-hour time between overhaul (TBO) interval.
Although the company still needs capital to begin full-scale production, Canadian light plane manufacturer SAM Aircraft has reason to celebrate this week at EAA AirVenture 2013. Transport Canada granted approval earlier this month of the SAM LS light sport aircraft in the Advanced Ultralight class.
“We worked very hard to be sure that everything was done in conformance with both the [American] LSA and Transport Canada rules and quality standards,” said SAM Aircraft president Thierry Zibi. “We are happy to see that the SAM LS flies to our expectations.”
Cessna Aircraft’s single-engine line is likely to experience price hikes as the company seeks to improve profit margins on all of its aircraft, even as sales of some models slump. That was the word from Cessna vice president Jodi Noah here at EAA AirVenture Monday. “We will be pursuing price increases on a few of the different products primarily because we want to be able to offer the different products in our line-up.
Icon Aircraft, manufacturer of the in-development amphibious A5 Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh today that the FAA has granted an exemption for a gross weight increase for the A5 to accommodate added safety features, including a spin resistant airframe (SRA). Under Exemption Number 10829, the A5’s allowable takeoff weight will increase up to 1,680 pounds, though the initial production A5 will weigh 1,510 pounds, according to the Los Angeles-based company.
“Crowdsourcing,” or making a direct appeal to fans and enthusiasts for contributions to a project, has become a popular method for attracting ideas, capital and attention to a range of causes. MakerPlane (Innovation Pavilion, Booth 23) hopes to take the practice into the skies, and chose EAA AirVenture 2013 as the ideal spotlight for its campaign to raise funds for a prototype of an easy-to-build experimental light sport aircraft (E-LSA).
Agricultural aircraft manufacturer Thrush received full type certification from Brazil’s civil aviation authority (ANAC) for its new GE H80-powered 510G turboprop single. The airframer hails the approval as a major milestone, since the need for agricultural aircraft in the South American country is expected to escalate rapidly over the next decade as operators replace their aging fleets. Thrush is not a newcomer to Brazil, as its Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered 510P has been in operation in the country for many years.
From Henri Mignet’s tiny ‘Pou-de-Ciel’ to the latest composite designs, France has a long history of innovative light aircraft. One chapter of that story is being celebrated here at the Paris Air Show with the display of the Moynet Jupiter 360, a tandem-engine light twin that first appeared at the Paris show in 1965. The airplane is undergoing restoration with the aim of having it back in the air in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of its first flight and its debut appearance at Le Bourget.
Yesterday at an EBACE press conference, Cessna CEO Scott Ernest provided progress reports on current production in its jet, turboprops and piston lines as well as on the research-and-development status of its mid-range and super-mid-range cabin jets.
“The Garmin 3000-equipped Citation M2 is right on track and, best of all, we’ve sold out production completely for the next two years,” he said. “The [new] Cessna Citation X is expected in quarter-four 2013, while the G5000-equipped Latitude should be flying by January 2014, and I expect that to be in service in 2015.”
Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 190) announced here at ABACE 2013 yesterday that sales are up 50 percent in China from 2011 through 2012, and up in Asia Pacific overall. Meanwhile, the company is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) in Shijiazhuang and Zhuhai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs (Shijiazhuang) and Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets (Zhuhai) for the Chinese market.