GA Aircraft

Tailwheel Resurgence?

Always wanted to try tailwheel flying? Well now you've got an incentive, CubCrafters is offering to reimburse you for the cost of your tailwheel endorsement. When you purchase a new Sport Cub or Top Cub from the company they'll credit your endorsement on the invoice. While this may be a drop in the bucket compared to the $100K or so price tag associated with their Sport Cub, the idea is a good one.

Building Airplanes in Mexico

The Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) announced plans to build a sheet metal assembly plant in Chihuahua, Mexico today. This isn't HBC's first interest in Mexico, and they aren't alone there either. HBC has a facility that makes some parts in Labinal, Hawker Beechcraft represents 22% of the turbine business aircraft in Mexico, and Aerolíneas Ejecutivas is HBC's Mexican dealer. Other aviation companies such as Cessna, Bombardier and Gulfstream also have manufacturing activities in Mexico.

Columbia bidding war anyone?

We pointed out last week that Cessna was showing more than a little interest in the bankrupt Columbia aircraft, and that it would mark a departure from the familiar Cessna design. It does appear now that Cessna rival Cirrus Design Corp. is beginning to wade into the fray, if for no other reason than to keep Cessna honest. The complaint from the parties apposed to Cessna's approach is that the bidding process offers them an unfair advantage. The other interested parties have filed suit in Oregon, hoping to earn their place in the bidding set to take place on November 21st.

Piper Expands Lineup With an Unpressurized Piston Single

Piper Aircraft has announced a new addition to their PA-46 line of single-engine aircraft, the Matrix. This new aircraft is the least sophisticated in a family three including the Mirage and Meridian. The Matrix sports a turbocharged 350hp piston engine, a top of the line avionics suite by Avidyne, a cruise speed over 200 knots, good range and useful load, and all the fancy trim you'd expect from a Piper aircraft in this class. The only thing it's missing: pressurization.

Diesel Engines Go Mainstream...Finally

Cessna and Thielert officially announced at the annual AOPA Expo last week that the C-172S Skyhawk will now be offered equipped with a Thielert Centurion 2.0 turbodiesel engine as the C-172TD.

Will Tiger Ever Make a Comeback?

As reported on, a company called True Flight Holdings LLC has purchased the tooling and rights to produce the AG-5B Tiger. The Tiger and its relatives are popular aircraft, but in spite of attempts to re-introduce it as a new production aircraft, the Tiger just can't seem to get a foothold in the aircraft market. The previous producer, Tiger Aircraft Company, went bankrupt during its fifth year of operations.

Extreme Cessna Makeover... Maybe

Perhaps the steadfast image of the "ole reliable" Cessna series aircraft is about to get a facelift. AOPA online reports that Columbia Aircraft has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that Cessna Aircraft may be interested in acquiring parts of the company. This marks an interesting transition for the metal-clad Cessna into the composite market that is home to companies like Cirrus and Diamond.

It would also appear to be a bit of a structural change for Cessna as well, making us wonder if a sleek low-wing Cessna might be in the future.

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