October 9, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Piaggio Aero Industries , currently building a new factory for the Piaggio Avanti II twin-engine turboprop, discovered a World War II bomb in the ground where it is building a new factory at Villanova d’Albenga. The bomb was detonated Oct. 9, Piaggio officials said during a press conference in Las Vegas the same day.
The plant will open in 2013, but there is little to show except for the foundation at present. Sales of the unusual aircraft, with a canard in front and rear-facing engines, are strong. In 2010 Piaggio delivered 11 of the aircraft. This year the total will be 14. There are 99 flying in the United States.
Avantair operates 57 of the aircraft, flying each 100 hours a month. The company recently won certification for the Avanti in Brazil and has established a new dealer. The company is seeing a little growth but did not downplay the difficult world economy. The company has strong financial partners in Mubadala Aerospace and Tata.
Aircraft Power and Fuel
Shell announced Dec. 3 the development of an unleaded aviation fuel that will be submitted for certification as a "performance drop-in" avgas replacement.
An Indiana company has secured ASTM approval for a high-octane and unleaded formula that could replace 100 LL.
A small team is aiming to soar to the far reaches of the stratosphere in a specially designed glider that will transport its pilots to a desperately lonely place.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.