On Saturday at Vero Beach (Fla.) Airport, Piper Aircraft celebrated its 75th anniversary with a fly-in. More than 60 Piper airplanes, ranging from J-3 Cubs to Meridian turboprop singles, flew in for the diamond anniversary event. During the fly-in, Piper announced a Garmin G1000 upgrade for its Seminole and Archer, as well as a launch order from the Florida Institute of Technology for eight G1000-equipped Archers and options for 16 more. Piper and FIT also announced a career alliance to provide enhanced vocational opportunities for FIT aviation program graduates.
Executive Air, the FBO at Yeager Airport in Charleston, W.Va., has reopened its terminal after completion of a major $750,000 renovation that saw the demolition and reconstruction of the facility’s ground-floor interior. Additions to the 4,000-sq-ft guest services lobby included a new airside vestibule and a new interior design featuring locally quarried stone, glass walls and furniture produced in the region.
Apple iPads continue to flood cockpits, from ultralights to airliners, and here at NBAA ’12, several companies are offering mounts for the popular electronic tablets.
Business aviation in-flight catering provider Air Chef Holdings has rebranded all of its divisions under one new name, Air Culinaire Worldwide (Booth No. 3024) and moved its headquarters earlier this month from Columbus, Ohio, to Tampa, Fla. Air Chef was founded in Columbus in 2000 by Paul Schweitzer, Air Culinaire’s current president, after he departed from NetJets as its vice president of vendor services. While at NetJets, he observed that the business aviation catering business was “fragmented,” so he formed Air Chef to help consolidate this segment.
International Drive is home to a polyglot of restaurants, presenting ideal choices for NBAA convention attendees, whether they seek a quick lunch or a convenient dinner stop. Pointe Orlando, just across form the Orange County Convention Center, has become home to a bevy of dining “establishments,” some that have been therefore a while, and some that are now roosting in renovated perches. Then, just a stone’s throw down the road is the Rosen Centre Hotel, home to even more.
Jumpjet, a start-up “luxury travel club” launched on Tuesday, aims to provide per-seat private jet travel at first-class airline prices. Under its program, customers pay a fixed monthly fee over a 12-month period that allows them to book a seat on 10 round-trip flights per year, without any extra per-flight-hour charges, on third-party charter aircraft flown by Wyvern- or Argus-audited operators.
The transonic speed spat between Cessna’s Citation Ten and Gulfstream’s G650 is likely to hit of the stops at Mach 0.95 when it encounters not “the sound barrier” but required safety margins. With the Ten’s top speed now pegged at Mach 0.935, Gulfstream’s G650 could thus leapfrog the Ten only slightly, if the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer even chooses to do so.
Fractional provider Avantair has released “owner portal” applications for iOS, Blackberry and Android devices, allowing customers to book and view scheduled flights via smartphones and tablets. “Our mobile application allows customers more flexibility when traveling. They can now book flights, view their scheduled flights, view peak travel days and even change profile settings online by using mobile devices,” said Avantair CIO David Fitzgerald. “This is essential for our customer base since our clients are constantly on the go.”
The Night Vision Advisory Council (NVAC) will hold its first formal meeting on September 19 on the eve of the annual Night Vision Conference (NightCon 2012) in Dallas. NVAC was formed at the request of the FAA to provide industry input into night vision recommendations and regulation. NVAC members include NVG manufacturers, trainers and operators. NightCon 2012 will be held at the Dallas DoubleTree hotel, September 20 and 21. For more information log onto www.nightcon.com.
The Aircraft Electronics Association has begun distributing its free updated Pilot’s Guide to Avionics, which helps avionics buyers understand new technology and find qualified avionics shops for installations and repairs. This year’s guide covers new avionics, training, combined vision systems, electronic engine instruments, the growing use of touchscreens in cockpit displays, ADS-B, electronic flight bags, tablet computers, Waas GPS and audio panels. Free copies of the guide can be picked up at tradeshows or are available by request at www.aeapilotsguide.net.