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"Thinking Small" in the World of Aviation

by John M. White |

The dawn of aviation at Kittyhawk saw the development of one and two place aircraft, and from that point forward aviation continued on to bigger and bigger aircraft. Today, the new Airbus A380 is being developed to carry 500+ passengers aloft in an aircraft pushing 1,000,000 pounds at takeoff! Under development since earlier in this century has encountered serious technical problems and is struggling to make it into the marketplace. Some ask where this will all end. On the other hand, some companies are "thinking small." Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, began as  a military aircraft manufacturer, but through diversification has now become the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jets under 120 seats. It has now taken aim squarely at the business jet market, and is either manufacturing or developing six models of aircraft for the bizjet marketplace. Ranging from its $ 3.0 million 4 passenger very light jet, the Phenom 100, to its 19 passenger Lineage 1000 business jet aircraft which is topped only by the Boeing Business Jet and the Airbus A318/A319 conversions to bizjet use. Why all this interest in business jets? Well, if you have traveled on the commercial airlines lately you can see the vast changes that have taken place since 9/11/2001. Our founding fathers never imagined government being in so many areas of our lives, and when it is, the results are always different than expected. Bureaucracy never seems to manage anything as well as competitive private industry, and the management of access to passenger aircraft at airports through Homeland Security certainly demonstrates that fact. We know are advised to arrive 2 to 3 hours before our two hour airline flight, followed by more time to collect our luggage (if it even arrives), making what used to be a very pleasant quick trip into a day trip! And businesses have taken notice! Using a private jet business men and women can arrive at the aircraft ten minutes before departure, fly to smaller airports closer to their destinations, avoid large terminal buildings and swiftly travel to their business meetings. In most cases they can conclude their business and return home that same day, improving their quality of life and creating happier employees for the company. How much is this worth?  Consider this - Embraer believes the market for executive business jet aircraft will grow to over $ 200 billion (that's right, billion with a "B") by 2010! With fewer airlines, crowded aircraft, cramped seating and incredible wastes of time the airlines are driving business travels from First Class to Business Class - that is Biz Jet Class with private executive jet aircraft. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

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