July 23, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Chinese industrialist Fang Tieji, chairman of Jilin Hanxing Group located in Jilin City, China, has purchased Glasair Aviation, the Arlington, Wash.-based kit aircraft company with 3,000 aircraft in the fleet. Jilin Hanxing Group includes 11 companies, none of them related to aviation.
The purchase price was not published. As has become common in deals involving Chinese purchases in the United States, the new owner said he plans no staff changes, will not move the company to China, and will invest in future products. Similar language is included in the pending purchase of Hawker Beechcraft by another Chinese industrialist. He also promises to certify the Sportsman line of Glasair aircraft.
Glasair offers the Glasair, Glastar, and Sportsman lines, and promises new owners that their aircraft can be completed in mere weeks, instead of years as is the case with many home-built aircraft.
Jilin Hanxing Group includes companies in the fields of real estate, hotels, energy development, construction and interior design, trade, advertising, property management, a driving school that promises to teach motorists to “drive happily” (something needed in the United States), and industrial investment.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
While private pilots may share certain costs with passengers under certain circumstances, they cross the line when spreading the word.
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