October 19, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Two companies with aircraft in development separately told reporters at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Fla., that they are continuing development plans. Stratos Aircraft and the Dornier Seaplane Company both hope to bring aircraft to market soon.
Stratos Aircraft appointed a new CEO, Alexander Craig, and said it has its first deposit for the Stratos 714 very light personal jet to be built at its Bend, Ore., plant. The company displayed a full-scale cabin mockup at the NBAA convention. The first deposit was placed by Cascade Air Charter located in Bend. It is a Part 135 charter business. The aircraft is a carbon-composite design and promises a cruise speed of 400 knots and a claimed range of 1,500 nautical miles. It carries four people.
Dornier Seaplane said it continues to build momentum in production, sales, and product “configuration definition” for its twin-engine turboprop amphibious aircraft. Dornier Seaplane officials say they have more than 25 letters of intent from commercial and private buyers worldwide that they are converting to firm orders. The company said it has narrowed the final assembly site to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, near Montreal, or North Bay, Ontario. Winter flight operations will be based in Punta Gorda, Fla. The FAA and EASA-certified demonstrator Seastar aircraft has been upgraded to a 10-seat luxury interior.
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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