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Twelve Days of Avgeek Christmas: Day 12 Airplane

The Global Express has long been my favorite corporate jet.

The Global Express has long been my favorite corporate jet.

The last day has finally arrived, and like I said earlier, I have saved the best for last.  For the twelfth and last day of Avgeek Christmas, I strongly recommend you buy your favorite avgeek an airplane.

But it can’t just be any airplane.  If you really love them a lot then you should buy them a Bombardier Global 5000.  That’s right, for the incredibly reasonable price of only $30,500,000 the beautiful plane to the left can be yours.  I mean is there really any question here. Just buy it, and thank me later. (If anyone does buy this plane I expect a finder’s fee.)

Okay, so maybe a Global Express is not the right plane for everyone, or most people actually.  If however it is in your price range, please send me an email with your contact information, we need to become friends.  For the rest of us, there are still quite a few options believe it or not.

sd-1-minisport

The SD-1 minisport is one of many LSA’s that really opens up flying to more people.

One option if you are looking to buy a new plane at a comparatively reasonable price is a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).  Not only are they cheaper to buy, the training is simpler, and you don’t even need a special medical certificate.  There are quite a few out there now, but one that I found that looks like a lot of fun is the SD-1 Minisport by Skycraft Airplanes.

This LSA cruises at 120 knots with a range of just under 600 miles.  The engine is so efficient that it burns only 1.8 gallons per hour at cruise, and has an overall operating cost of only $12/hr.  It even has a glass display in the cockpit with GPS and wings that can be removed to transport it in a trailer if you want to.  All of this can be yours for the reasonable price of $55,000 and only a $2,000 deposit.

In the event that price is still a little to high for you might I suggest something in the used aircraft category.  As always there are tons of options depending on what you are looking for.  Sites like Browse the Ramp and Aviation Classifieds will give you plenty of fun stuff to browse through if you have a free afternoon.  Here are a couple I found recently.

The Piper CUB is an iconic aircraft that any avgeek would love to fly.

The Piper CUB is an iconic aircraft that any avgeek would love to fly.

Again in the LSA category, I found this Piper Cub for sale at only $33,000.  The Cub is one of those planes that just about every avgeek can admire.  Even people who are diehard followers of a certain company will often have a soft spot in the heart for the Cub.  I don’t even really know what it is, but they are just a fun little plane that hearkens back to the early days of aviation.

The second one I found is an experimental tail-dragger that you may run across at your local airshow because it is also fully aerobatic.  This Pitts S1S is simply stunning and according to aerial demonstrator Lauren Richardson, “They are the best fun you can have with your clothes on. Trust me!”  That right there is a pretty ringing endorsement if you ask me, and all of that fun can be yours for the rock bottom price of only $31,500.  If you think about it, I bet most people spent more on their last car, and I don’t think any car could be this much fun at that price.

Pitts

The Pitts S1S is a fully aerobatic plane that will take you for a trip every time you start it up.

I for one was surprised to find such nicely maintained planes at prices that low, but there is still no way I could buy a plane even at that price as I am sure most of you couldn’t either.  But that’s okay, there are still a few more options that I had never even really considered until just a couple of weeks ago.

If you read my blog very often, and I hope you will, then you probably saw my post titled, “Becoming a Pilot at a Discount”.  The post was mostly just my thoughts on how we could make flying cheaper, but the comments were what truly inspired me.  One person in particular, Jeff, left a string of comments about how restoring an older aircraft is possible for just about anyone who is willing to do the work.

The best advice that was given over and over was to find a mentor who can help you pick the right plane and get you through the process.  Another great resource is your local EAA chapter who is devoted to helping with experimental aircraft in particular, but any budding aircraft enthusiast.

A couple of other sites that were mentioned for finding aircraft were Barnstormers.com and eBayMotors.com.  In just a few minutes of searching on those sites I found dozens of aircraft for less than $20,000 and many below $10,000.  Obviously, the cheaper they are, the more work that may be involved, but that sounds like part of the fun to me.

One of my recent excitements that I hope to carry through the rest of my life is the desire to spread aviation to more people who have the interest but just don’t know where to start, or don’t think it is even possible for them.  I know those people are out there, it is just a matter of getting them involved.

I know I started this post with a ridiculous option that most of us couldn’t afford with our lifetime earnings, which is still fun to dream about.  However, I hope that I have shown you in some small way that owning your own plane is a very real possibility.  If I haven’t, go read through the comments from the post that I mentioned and maybe the great people who commented there can get you just as excited as I am.

My Christmas Day is coming to a close here on the other side of the world, and it has been a fine day with some good friends around some awesome aircraft.  I hope that you are able to enjoy this day doing something you love with the people that you love, because that is what these holidays are all about, people.

So whether it is Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, or whatever holiday you may celebrate.  My best wishes to you and your family, and lots of wonderful aviation adventures in the new year.

12 Days of Avgeek Christmas:

Day 1: Aircraft Models and RC Toys
Day 2: Aviation Books and Guides
Day 3: Aviation Apps and Flight Simulators
Day 4: Flight Lessons
Day 5: Headsets
Day 6: Bags and Kneeboards
Day 7: Sunglasses and Watches
Day 8: Handheld GPS
Day 9: Handheld Radio
Day 10: Cameras and Video Recorders
Day 11: Random Aviation Accessories
Day 12: Airplane

December 25, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Bombardier Signs Firm Order With Options for up to 16 CS300 Aircraft with Iraqi Airways

That is a nice looking livery on a beautifully designed aircraft.

That is a nice looking livery on a beautifully designed aircraft.

Bombardier has signed their second firm order of the week after the order earlier this week with China Express Airlines for 16 CRJ900 NextGen Aircraft.  This order by Iraqi Airways was not much of a surprise as it follows a letter of intent signed during the Dubai Airshow last month.

This agreement includes firm orders for five CS300 mainline jetliners as well as options for up to 11 more aircraft that would total approximately $1.26 billion if all of the options are exercised according to the press release below.  While these orders may pale in comparison to the ones announced by the big boys at Dubai, they fill an essential niche in these growing markets, that are arguably more important to these smaller nations.

What should also be noted is that Iraqi Airways is a repeat customer having purchased six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft a few years back.  The growth of aviation in the Middle East is impressive to the say the least so it is vital that all aircraft manufacturers are able to get their piece of the pie.  The ability to gain repeat customers speaks well for Bombardier and their future success in the region.

Press Release

Iraqi Airways Signs Firm Purchase Agreement with Options for up to 16 Bombardier CS300 Aircraft

December 4, 2013 Toronto Aerospace

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that Iraqi Airways, the national carrier of Iraq, has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire five CS300 mainline jetliners. The agreement, which also includes options on 11 CS300 aircraft, follows a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the aircraft that was announced by Bombardier on November 19 during the Dubai Airshow.

As previously announced, based on the list price for the CS300 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $387 million US and could increase to $1.26 billion US if the 11 options are converted to firm orders.

“Following the successful utilization of our six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft over the past few years, the acquisition of the CS300 aircraft will complement our network operations and allow us to expand into new markets,” said Captain Saad Al-Khafaji, Chief Executive Officer and Director General, Iraqi Airways. “The CS300 aircraft’s range, fuel efficiency and comfortable, widebody-like cabin will permit us to respond to growing passenger demand and reach destinations across the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe.”

“The CS300 aircraft is ideally suited to Iraqi Airways’ expanding operations, providing the right mix of performance, operational flexibility and passenger comfort to support the airline’s ongoing success in its increasingly competitive markets,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are delighted to be participating in Iraq’s reconstruction by delivering the best aircraft to support Iraqi Airways’ growth and development.”

CSeries aircraft
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15* per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20* per cent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft’s productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four* per cent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat.

The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 NM (5,463 km)*. The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg)* lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.

As of today, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 419 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 182 CSeries airliners. Some 16 customers and lessees have joined the CSeries aircraft program.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier

December 4, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Bombardier and China Express Airlines Sign Agreement for 16 CRJ900 NextGen Aircraft

CRJ900 NextGenIt might not seem like a big deal that an airline bought 16 regional jets, but considering that China Express Airlines is the only specialized regional airline in the rapidly growing country, I think it is a pretty big deal.  According to the press release below, the airline expects to triple the number of their routes in the next two years.  That is some pretty serious growth in a region that is booming.

It is interesting to see how some of these countries are developing their airlines by learning from what has happened in the US.  They have learned the value of regional airlines, and the important niche that they fill.

It is also fun to see the regional aircraft developing parallel to the much larger aircraft.  It will be interesting to see how they will develop in the future, especially with the development of aircraft like the C-series.

Press Release

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that China’s sole specialized regional airline, China Express Airlines, has placed a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGen airliners, as well as entered into conditional purchase agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen aircraft with options on an additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. China Express, based in Guiyang, Guizhou provides regional passenger services with its fleet of five CRJ200 aircraft and six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The airline made history last year by being the first to operate the CRJ900 aircraft in the country.

Based on the list price for the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $134 million US. Should the conditional agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen and options on the additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft be converted to firm orders, the value of the contract would increase to $733 million US.

“By 2016, we anticipate that the total number of China Express’ routes will reach approximately 90, three times as many as the number of existing routes, and will cover 60 per cent of China’s regional cities,” said Wu Longjiang, President, China Express. “We are confident that our fleet of Bombardier aircraft will be a very efficient and reliable asset in achieving these objectives.”

“With China’s growing economy, improved support infrastructure and expanding middle-class, regional air travel will be more accessible to Chinese citizens in more regions,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “As demonstrated by China Express, the outstanding economics of Bombardier’s CRJ NextGen aircraft will allow airlines to profitably enter smaller tier-two and tier-three markets, providing efficient service to a growing demand from business and leisure travelers. We are delighted that China Express has once again put its trust in Bombardier.”

More than 140 Bombardier-produced aircraft, including CRJ Series and Q-Series commercial aircraft, as well as Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets are currently operating in Greater China.

As of September 30, 2013, Bombardier had recorded firm orders for 1,779 CRJ Series aircraft, including 306 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft. The aircraft are operating in over 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings.

CRJ900 NextGen aircraft
Like other members of the CRJ Series family of aircraft, the light weight and advanced aerodynamics of the CRJ900 NextGen regional jet combine to deliver improved efficiency and reduced operating costs compared to other aircraft in its class. The combination of a larger winglet and other optimizations since the launch of the CRJ900 aircraft, give the CRJ900 NextGen regional jet excellent airfield and en-route fuel consumption. All CRJ NextGen aircraft feature new interiors with larger overhead luggage bins, larger windows, improved lighting and redesigned ceiling panels and sidewalls.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

December 2, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.