The aviation news all seems to be bad these days. For instance Narco is in liquidation, there was a tornado that wrecked 40 aircraft at Sun 'n Fun, Diamond Aircraft is not doing well and then there is the price of avgas hovering at $1.50 per litre here in Ottawa and definitely looking to be on the way up.
But there are some good news story in aviation this week. First off the Chinese government buy-out of Cirrus is proceeding and that is a good thing because the company was heading towards bankruptcy and no one in North America seemed interested in buying it. A Chinese-owned Cirrus is better than no Cirrus at all.
At Sun 'n Fun 2011 Cessna launched its new update to the Cessna 400 (Formerly the Columbia 400 and Lancair Certified LC41-550FG before that) which includes a whole new avionics package including IR touchscreens, an updated interior and even snazzy new paint. The TTX model is now the only one in the stable and the older Cessna 350 has been discontinued. The really good news is that the TTX got lots of attention at SNF and picked up 16 orders. That may not sound like many, but Cessna only sold seven of them in all of 2010, so that is a good sign. Cessna also sold 13 high-wing piston singles and one Cessna 208 Caravan and SNF, so they had a good trip there from Wichita.
Also at SNF LoPresti Speed Merchants introduced seven new speed mods and business was brisk for them. Evektor sold seven SportStar light sport aircraft and the WACO Classic sold six brand new Great Lakes biplanes. It seems that at least some people are buying in the aviation world here in 2011.
As far as Ottawa goes the last of the snow has just melted and the next week or two promise temperatures close to 20C or so. It sounds like spring is here and the skies beckon to do some flying.
Some uplifting reading:
* Sun 'n Fun 2011: Green Shoots by Paul Bertorelli
* Cessna Sells 30 Airplanes At Sun 'n Fun By Russ Niles