September 19, 2008
By Thomas A. Horne
Bombardier has canceled its agreement with bankrupt Grob Aerospace to build composite fuselage assemblies for its upcoming Learjet 85 business jet. This follows Grob’s suspension of its own plans to build its new SPn business jet.
At this time, it appears that Bombardier will now either build the Learjet 85 composite components itself or seek another contractor.
According to Grob, tooling and other assembly materials will soon be removed from the company’s German manufacturing site at the Tussenhausen-Mattsies in Bavaria. While a blow to Grob’s standing in aviation (it has been a manufacturer of high-performance sailplanes and motorgliders), the company still retains its strong ties to the automotive industry. Grob makes body parts and transmissions for both Volkswagen and Porsche.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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