Wings Magazine

News
On the Fly-Sept/Oct 06

Industry News.


September 27, 2007
By Fred Petrie






CBAA Safety Awards

The
Canadian Business Aviation Association handed out its annual National
Safety Awards at its June convention in Montreal. These awards
recognize outstanding achievements in maintaining a high standard of
professionalism and safety, demonstrated by accident-free records of
operation.

In the past, these awards went to pilots, flight
departments or their maintenance teams. This year the award was
broadened to include industry and supplier participants who support or
enhance flight operations and aid/promote the development and
maintenance of a safe operational environment.

The CBAA selected
KAAV (Kitchener Aero) and sister company MC2 (Mid-Canada Mod Center) to
be two among the very first three recipients of the new Industry
Support Safety Awards. The awards went to Kitchener Aero and Barry
Aylward, “in recognition of 25 years of support to general, business,
and commercial aviation, and the safety enhancements achieved through
the repair, installation service and systems design, integration, and
specialization in avionics;” and to Mid-Canada Mod Center and Bill
Arsenault, “in recognition of support to business and commercial
aviation, and the safety enhancements achieved through the upgrade,
installation, service and systems design, integration, and
specialization in avionics.”

Barry Aylward, president of KAAV,
received the awards on behalf of both firms from Nick Stoss of
Transport Canada. “I am pleased and honoured that our two companies are
being credited for a long-standing and continuing contribution towards
safe flight operations,” Aylward said. “We take seriously the trust
that is placed upon us. Our teams are proud of this recognition for
their efforts and expertise.”

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John Marris, president of
Marinvent Corp., was the recipient of the third Industry Support Safety
Award in recognition of Marivent’s safety and enhancement technology,
as well as its software and flight testing achievements. Marinvent is a
privatelyheld Ontario corporation conducting aerospace research and
development. It specializes in human factors consulting, systems
engineering, and flight test services.

Diamond D-Jet Expands the Envelope
Following
the initial flight test series in late April, Diamond’s D-Jet resumed
flight testing after installation of its data acquisition system and
minor planned modifications to the inlet engine fairings.

In a
series of flight tests conducted from June 26 through June 30, the
speed and altitude envelope was progressively expanded from the
previously flown 170 kts and 12,000 feet. The latest flight, flown by
pilots Christian Dries and Anthony Brown on June 30, expanded the
cruise speed to 280+ ktas and altitude to the design certification
limit of 25,000 feet.

“We are very pleased to have expanded the
envelope in such a short time. The aircraft is a joy to fly, smooth,
very stable and with all systems functioning perfectly,” said CEO
Christian Dries. “The aircraft is doing everything we are expecting of
it. The more time I spend in it, the more I am convinced that the
aircraft will be an absolute sensation. The blend of exceptional
comfort with real-world performance is sure to appeal to many current
piston pilots, as well as established turboprop and light jet owners.”

The Diamond D-Jet made a brief public appearance at Oshkosh this past July.

Construction of Bombardier Mexican Facility Begins this Fall
Bombardier
Aerospace has announced that the construction of its permanent
manufacturing site to be located in the Querétaro Aerospace Park
Project will begin this fall. Manufacturing operations at this new site
are scheduled to start during the second half of 2007.

Bombardier
employees at the temporary Querétaro facility (185 km northwest of
Mexico City) are currently producing electrical harnesses and have
already started manufacturing structural aircraft components.

These
components include the Bombardier 850 fuselage transferred from
Bombardier’s Belfast facility and the Q400 aircraft flight control work
package (rudder, elevator and horizontal stabilizer) transferred from a
supplier.

Bombardier Aerospace’s temporary facility, located in
the El Marques Industrial Park, began operations in May 2006.
Currently, 100 trained employees and 100 students completing a fourweek
training program are producing electrical harnesses and structural
aircraft components. By the end of 2007, employment is expected to
reach 600.

“We are confident in our investment because of the
strong commitment to the development of the aerospace industry in
Mexico shown by both the federal and State of Querétaro governments,”
said Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief operating officer, Bombardier
Aerospace. “Equally important is the professionalism and the dedication
of our Mexican employees and their eagerness to meet new challenges.

“We
take great pride in our partnership with the Mexican government in
developing an industry that will attract investment, highly qualified
labour, technology and new expertise in many business sectors in
addition to aerospace,” he added.

Oshkosh
While
AirVenture attendance was down 10 per cent from the hoopla of 2005 that
featured the Global Express and SpaceShipOne, 625,000 attendance is
still a big show in this little Wisconsin burg, and is still aviation’s
biggest show in the world. There were still 10,000 visiting aircraft,
2300 showplanes, and 800 commercial exhibitors. Oshkosh has been a
pretty exciting place to be the past few years for the last week of
July, from the 2003 Centennial of (powered) flight, the 2004 release of
the Sport Pilot and Sport Aircraft Rules, and 2005 celebrating
homebuilders flying around the world and going into space.

The
certification of the Eclipse 500, officially launching the era of the
Very Light Jet was pretty exciting for 2006, but there were some
additional highlights to share. The opposite end of the personal
aviation spectrum is the Light Sport Aircraft. In just two years since
the rule was announced, twenty new aircraft were on display at the LSA
Mall, all certified by the new LSA ASTM standards. But just like
receiving type certification gave VLJs a whole new level of
credibility, LSAs received such a boost when Cessna unveiled its LSA
prototype. Looking a lot like a modernized C150, it is six inches wider
and incorporates modern technology like the Rotax 912 engine. Cessna
Aircraft Company delivered 1157 aircraft in 2005, with revenues of
US$3.5 billion and is part of Textron Inc., a US$10 billion
multi-national. Since 1927, 187,000 aircraft have been delivered and
its 4500 strong worldwide Citation fleet is the largest in the world.
So when Cessna starts building an LSA, they are no longer toys – the
LSA has arrived, credibility-wise. Cessna’s only challenge now is
figuring out how to produce it for under US $100,000 a copy.

When
we looked at “Airlift for DND” in our March/April Issue, we proposed
that DND consider a PPP (privatepublic- partnership) approach to
securing strategic airlift. There was an assumption that the federal
government would not commit to buying both a new tactical fleet to
replace aging Hercs and dedicated strategic airlifters. We were wrong.
The Harper government has promised to meet both halves of DND airlift
needs. Our new airlifter was featured at Oshkosh 2006 – say hello to
the Boeing C17.

WINGS correspondent Fred Petrie