Press release – John Travolta’s Boeing 707 Aircraft

It gives me great pleasure to make this exciting historical announcement that my beloved Boeing 707 aircraft has been donated to the Historical Aircraft Restoration society (HARS) based in the town of Albion Park, approximately 90 miles (140 km) south of the city of Sydney in Australia.

As many of you will know, flying is a passion of mine and I am just so grateful to be fortunate enough to count many hours flying such a beautiful aircraft.

The aircraft was originally delivered to Qantas Airways in 1964 and was converted for private use after it finished its life with “The Flying Kangaroo”.

I was honoured to have the 707 repainted in the original Qantas colours when I became the ambassador for the airline, and it’s so fitting that many of the volunteers at HARS are retired Qantas employees.

The aircraft currently requires a lot of work to be restored to a safe flying state and having seen first hand the dedication and passion of people at HARS, I have no doubt this beautiful and historical aircraft will be flying again.

HARS have an impressive track record of restoring historical aircraft and I have personally flown in a Super Constellation that they restored to flying condition from almost nothing.

I am hoping to be part of the crew to fly the aircraft to Australia, supported by well qualified and experienced pilots and engineers.

In making this announcement, I would like to mention the significant support given by the Bendigo Bank Oak Flats and Shellharbour Community Bank Branches who as a local organization, have been very supportive of HARS’ efforts in aircraft restoration.

Thanks must also go to QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited Services for their significant support as well.

I am truly excited by this project and am just so pleased that this beautiful aircraft, for which I obviously have very fond memories, will continue to fly well into the future.

Thank you

Airflite Named Newest Piper Dealer

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2017 – May 23, 2017

Piper Aircraft and Airflite Pty Ltd announced today that they have signed an agreement for Airflite to become the exclusive Piper Dealer for Australia and New Zealand.

Airflite currently owns 18 Piper Seminoles and Senecas. As a lessor, owner, operator, maintainer and parts supplier, Airflite is uniquely positioned to guide and support current and future Piper customers through the selection, purchasing and operating phases of Piper Aircraft ownership.

“For many years Airflite has been a proud and highly satisfied owner of Piper products. Piper’s value proposition and desire to engage with Airflite and the Customers in the region is exciting and promising for our future relationship and for aircraft owners and operators in the region. This Agreement represents another important step in building a diverse and robust Aircraft and Helicopter Sales and Brokerage capability at Airflite”, said Airflite’s General Manager, Kristian Constantinides.

Mr Nick Jones, Airflite’s Vice President of Aircraft Sales, added “This Agreement provides Airflite with the opportunity to communicate the benefits Piper’s wide range of products directly to our aircraft owners in Australia and New Zealand. As an example, we are looking forward to introducing the Piper M600 to the market through demonstration tours later in the year.”

“Airflite has the experience, presence and passion throughout Australia and New Zealand to become a dominant player in the sales of new Piper aircraft,” said Piper Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support Ron Gunnarson. “We are delighted to add Airflite to our global network of Dealers. The company’s reputation, knowledgeable personnel and strategic locations at Perth, Moorabbin, and Jandakot provide an ideal foundation for growing sales of new Piper airplanes in this important region.”

About Airflite PTY, LTD 

Airflite is an Australian Company, founded in 1981. It capabilities include Aircraft Sales and Brokerage, Aircraft Leasing, Maintenance, Product and Spares Sales, Pilot Training and a host of specialised Component Maintenance capabilities. This applies to both fixed and rotary wing platforms. The Company provides these services across Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and the Subcontinent to clients in Government, Business Aviation, General Aviation, and Defence sectors. Airflite is an approved organisation under the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA – Australia), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA – USA), among others.

About Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla., offers aviators throughout the world efficient and reliable single- and twin-engine aircraft. The single-engine M-Class series – the M600, Meridian M500, M350, and Matrix – offers businesses and individuals elegant performance and value. The Twin Class Seneca and Seminole balance proven performance, efficiency, and simplicity in twin-engine aircraft. The Trainer Class Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow, Seminole, and Seneca aircraft form the most complete technically-advanced line of pilot training aircraft in the world. Unparalleled service and support is offered through a network of 38 dealers and nearly 100 service centers worldwide. All Piper airplanes feature advanced Garmin avionics in the cockpit. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Piper M600 Achieves Australian Certification

VERO BEACH, Florida, October 31, 2016

Piper Aircraft, Inc. was granted a type certification for its top-of-the-line, single-engine M600 by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on September 20, 2016, paving the way for the launch of flights by owner operators in the region.

“This is a significant milestone for the Piper M600,” said Piper Aircraft CEO Simon Caldecott. “Australian owner/operators have shown great interest in the range and safety proposition offered by the M600 equipped with the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, the most sophisticated in the class. Operators tell us they are very keen on the greater range and enhanced safety features they say makes the 600 the best value in the class.”

Full details of the M600 here.

Why do Boeing aircraft start and end with the number 7 ?

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

There’s the classic 747, the smaller 737 and recently, the all new 787 Dreamliner. And don’t forget the 757, 767 and 777.

So have you ever wondered just what’s with all the numbers 7s when it comes to Boeing aircraft models? Is there a method to all this numbering “madness”?

Well, it turns out, yes. And according to Boeing, this is actually one of the most common questions they’re asked to this day.

Despite what you may have suspected, it’s not because they had an affinity for the lucky number 7. Another common myth is that they drew the name from the angle of the aircraft’s wing. Incorrect on both counts.

The truth actually lies in what could have been one of the greatest marketing suggestions of all time.

Boeing didn’t always use the 7–7 numbers, in fact it’s earlier aircraft had names like Model 40, Model 80, Model 247 etc. Not nearly as catchy.

After World War II, the company was restructured and each department was given a three-digit number. That’s when things got interesting.

Boeing historian Michael Lombard says: “To support this diversification strategy, the engineering department divided the model numbers into blocks of 100 for each of the new product areas: 300s and 400s continued to represent aircraft, 500s would be used on turbine engines, 600s for rockets and missiles and 700s were set aside for jet transport aircraft.”

Realising the name Model 700 didn’t exactly roll off the tongue, Boeing’s marketing department suggested the name 707 instead. And the pattern began — 727, 737 etc. It continues to this day with the latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner


The Australian Defence Force Chooses the PC-21

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is delighted to announce that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has signed a contract for the purchase of 49 PC-21 training aircraft. Under the new contract, “Team 21” – a partnership between Lockheed Martin, Hawker Pacific and Pilatus – will deliver aircraft, simulators, other training equipment and a comprehensive long-term support package. The Australian Defence Force competitively tendered for a new Pilot Training System under “Project Air 5428”, from which the PC-21 emerged as the winner after a thorough evaluation and contract negotiations. This package will harmonise training across all three services with the PC-21 providing a modern, cost-effective Training System for basic and advanced pilot training.

Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus, commented:
“We are delighted that after 28 years of Pilatus PC-9 operations the Commonwealth of Australia has chosen to endorse our reputation for providing world class Training Systems with this new contract. I am equally happy that Team 21 won the deal against all international competitors and that, in the final round, the Australian Defence Force has chosen the Pilatus PC-21 over all other aircraft – once Pilatus, always Pilatus!
Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, added:
“We are truly happy that the Commonwealth of Australia, a valued long-standing customer, has shown their continued trust in Pilatus training systems by signing this new contract. This decision is further proof of the quality and flexibility offered by Pilatus, a world class provider of Training Systems.”
The PC-21 is a proven and efficient Training System which is already operating in Australia. The PC-21 has been in service with the Republic of Singapore Air Force at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia since 2008 and is also operated by the Air Forces of Switzerland, the UAE, Saudi-Arabia and Qatar. With this latest order 180 aircraft have been sold and Australia is now the sixth country to revolutionize their pilot training with the PC-21.
The PC-21’s for Australia will be delivered commencing June 2017 and will form the backbone of future pilot training for the Australian Defence Force for the next 25 years. Pilatus will continue to provide the ADF with premium Swiss quality and work with our partners to provide a world class training system – the Pilatus PC-21.

Embraer Delivers The First Legacy 500 To China Launch Customer Jackie Chan

Jacki Chan

Embraer announced today that Jackie Chan, a world-renowned movie star, has become the first customer in China to take delivery of a Legacy 500.

“The Legacy 500 features our best-to-date technologies and it incorporates designs that maximize passenger comfort and fuel efficiency,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. ibm cloud “This new aircraft, along with the Legacy 650 that we already delivered to Mr. Chan, will further facilitate his business development, as well as his humanitarian activities.”

Jackie Chan’s connection with Embraer Executive Jets dates to 2012, when he received an Embraer Legacy 650 as China’s launch customer and became Embraer’s brand ambassador.

Guan Dongyuan, Senior Vice President of Embraer and President of Embraer China, said: “We feel privileged to deliver the Legacy 500 to Jackie Chan, who is not only a world-renowned star, business elite and philanthropist, but also Embraer’s old partner, loyal customer and brand ambassador. I believe Jackie Chan’s choice reflects the changing mindset among Chinese customers that midsize executive jets can fulfill most of their business missions with higher efficiency and greater flexibility.”

“I’m so thrilled to receive this Legacy 500, a state-of-art executive jet,” said Jackie Chan. “In the past few years, my Legacy 650 has brought me fantastic traveling experiences and great convenience, allowing me to do more acting and philanthropic works around the world. I’m sure that the performance of the new Legacy 500 will again exceed my expectations, and become a comfortable mobile home and office for me.”

The Legacy 500 was granted Validation of Type Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in July 2015.

New aviation rules to slash weather delays

Bad WeatherAirlines and airports are set to slash flight delays caused by foggy and rainy weather as the aviation regulator introduces new rules to allow planes to land in low-visibility conditions.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has introduced the new rules as the use of technologies such as heads-up displays and automatic landing systems that allow aerodromes and pilots to cut through low-visibility conditions become more widespread.

From March 3, CASA will introduce two new “special” categories of landing rules that will allow aircraft to land safely in deteriorating and foggy weather conditions.

The new rules will apply to aircraft that possess advanced visual and landing technology systems typically found in larger modern jets such as Boeing’s 737s and Airbus’s A320s.

Runways with Category 2, Category 3 or SA Category 2 precision approach procedures will also be automatically eligible for the new operations.

CASA said the new rules would allow safety standards to be maintained during low visibility landings without the requirement for aerodromes to install additional runway and approach lighting normally required when landing aircraft in fog and heavy rain.

Under current regulations, ­pilots are only permitted to land on Category 1 airstrips if they can see the runway from a height of no less than 200ft and a distance of no less than 800m.

If conditions are too poor to get a visual confirmation at those distances, pilots are required to abort the landing, try again or go to another airport. Pilots can also gain landing clearance for a better lit runway if airports possess them.

The new rules will introduce a halfway point between the landing requirements for Category 1 and Category 2 runways and allow pilots to land in poor weather when they can spot landing strips from a height of 150 feet and at a visible range of 450m.

The new rules will also mean airports will not have to spend the millions of dollars required to upgrade runways with new lighting systems to ensure they meet the higher visibility standards needed for landing in poor weather conditions.

Sydney airport, Melbourne airport and the nation’s top two carriers, Qantas and Virgin, welcomed the new standards, saying the rules represented best practice without compromising safety standards.

“Melbourne airport is already certified for low visibility operations for one of our runways and we look forward to implementing the new regulations on our second runway to make Melbourne airport more efficient for airlines and passengers.“ said Melbourne airport spokeswoman Anna ­Gillett.

Qantas chief technical pilot Alex Passerini said the airline was delighted with the introduction of the new regulations.

“For customers, it means less chance of diversions due to bad weather and more on time arrivals,” Captain Passerini said.

“And from a business perspective, it increases the efficiency of our aircraft and ensures our schedules stay on track as it will reduce aircraft holding in the air or other delays.”

CASA has estimated the changes could lead to savings of more than $10 million a year for the aviation industry and community as fewer flights are ­delayed.

RAAF to convert Gulfstream G550 jets into military spy planes

G550The Royal Australian Air Force is spending more than $90 million to convert luxury corporate jets into state-of-the-art spy planes.  A brief statement posted on the US Defense Department website confirms the project.

“L-3 Communications Mission Integration, Greenville, Texas, has been awarded a $93,632,287 firm-fixed price undefinitised contract action task order (1648) for Australia Government G550 aircraft procurement and maintenance,” it said. “Work will be performed at Greenville, Texas, and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2017.

“This contract is 100-per cent foreign military sales to Australia.”

Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said he is not surprised the RAAF has chosen the option.

“Turning this aircraft from a business jet into something that can potentially be used for surveillance and electronic information gathering and I suspect that’s the major intent behind this,” he said.

The G550 is a luxury corporate jet boasting the ability to fly more than 12 hours nonstop, and over 12,000 kilometres.

It is powered by two Rolls Royce engines, can carry up to 18 passengers and operates out of short-field, high-altitude airports, meaning it could spy on remote and difficult locations such as Afghanistan.

Australia’s current P3 maritime surveillance aircraft are due to retire in 2018, and will be eventually be replaced by the P8 Poseidon and Triton.

“The Gulfstream is smaller, faster, takes fewer crew so it’s cheaper to operate,” Mr Jennings told the ABC’s PM program.

Already several militaries across the globe are using G550s for intelligence gathering but full details of Australia’s contract are not expected to be known until the release of this year’s long-awaited defence white paper.

Boeing Debuts First 737 MAX 8

The new Boeing 737 Max

All the details hereThe new Boeing 737 Max

RENTON, Wash., Dec. 8, 2015 – Today, thousands of Boeing (NYSE: BA) employees in Renton, Wash., celebrated the completion of final assembly of the first 737 MAX 8.

“Today marks another in a long series of milestones that our team has achieved on time, per plan, together,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the rollout of the new 737 MAX – the first new airplane of Boeing’s second century – our team is upholding an incredible legacy while taking the 737 to the next level of performance.”

The production-complete airplane rolled out of the Renton factory and into the paint hangar on Nov. 30, the precise date determined when the MAX development schedule was defined more than four years ago. Today the freshly painted 737 MAX 8, named the Spirit of Renton, was revealed to employees in a special teal version of the Boeing livery. After celebrations are complete, the airplane will undergo pre-flight preparation in the factory before departing for Renton Field to continue flight test readiness. The airplane is on track for first flight in early 2016.

With the second and third 737 MAX 8 flight test airplanes currently in final assembly and the fourth (and final) in sub-assembly, the 737 MAX remains on track for first delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.

The new single-aisle airplane will deliver 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and the lowest operating costs: 8 percent per seat less than the A320neo.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Boeing-designed Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 is the first member in Boeing’s new family of single-aisle airplanes – the 737 MAX 7, MAX 8, MAX 200 and MAX 9 – to begin production. The 737 MAX family has nearly 3,000 orders from 60 customers worldwide.

Cessna TTx earns Australian certification

WICHITA, Kan. (Nov. 9, 2015) – Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, today announced that its Cessna TTx, the fastest aircraft in its class, has received certification by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, paving the way for deliveries in Australia.

“With Australia’s active general aviation population, we see great potential for the high performance TTx,” said Doug May, vice president, Piston Aircraft. “Whether it’s being used for personal travel or as an entry level business tool, the speed and precision of the TTx make it a natural fit for a country as large and economically dynamic as Australia.”


The TTx delivers 235 knots at high speed cruise along with the confident feel of Direct Control technology that hands-on pilots love. With a cockpit designed around the pilot, the TTx integrates technology and ergonomics to create a powerful yet comfortable flight experience. Featuring Garmin G2000 avionics, the all-glass touchscreen cockpit is the most advanced flight deck in its category and gives pilots the intuitive command they desire. Crafted with a lighter, stronger, all-composite body and wing, the aircraft provides unparalleled strength, stability and durability.