First it was fast rising fuel costs, and now it is the economy stupid! It seems to me that aviation is now looking more and more like a yo yo with no end in sight. Very light jet manufacturers are putting their product development plans on hold while others like Embraer are delivering their new Phenom aircraft.
I spoke with a friend of mine that flies for an operator in Grand Rapids, MI who told me they are taking delivery of the first Phenom 100 shortly, and that they have just added a Falcon 2000 while they continue to take delivery of Lears. Other operators are selling aircraft and scaling back.
Cessna and Beechcraft Hawker are laying off employees and China is bailing out it's own airlines. What in the world is going on? Now Nepalese students have built the countries first aircraft, an ultra light powered with a 65 hp Rotax 582 engine. After two years of research and development the aircraft finally flew last week. With no Nepalese pilots a Russian pilot was brought in for the test flight which lasted a little more than a minute.
Who knows where aviation is going? The only thing that seems certain is change, and the challenge is what kind of change. GM and Ford abandon aviation flight departments to please Congressional leaders who can not even locate the 1,400 aircraft owned and operated by the government!
Stay tuned, it is sure to get even more interesting!
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
When the weight of the paper equals the weight of the airplane, only then you can go flying.
— attributed to Donald Douglas (Mr. DC-n).