Aircraft For Sale - Page 10 Aviation Articles

Beechcraft King Air 250 to feature Hartzell 4-blade ASC-II composite prop


From Hawker Beechcraft

During the 2010 NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention last month, we came across too many updated aircraft with too few days to discuss them on here. This week we will look back on some of the developments announced during the business aviation event that were not discussed here last month.

Today we look at the Beechcraft King Air 250, unveiled on the day before the convention officially kicked off. Aviation International News reported last week that the King Air 250 will be the first turboprop aircraft to feature the composite Hartzell 4-blade ASC-II.

Hartzell says the propeller, also unveiled at the convention, reduces aircraft weight without taking away from strength or durability.

The 93-inch diameter blade is being considered for other aircraft, AIN reports, though Hartzell has yet to announce any of these formally. The blade also will fit late-model King Air 200s.

[more]The King Air 250, according to a statement from Hawker Beechcraft, also includes BLR Aerospace winglets and engine induction modifications to boost performance. It is modified from a King Air B200 GT.

The company says the aircraft will outperform all other King Air B200s on takeoff by 400 feet or more. (Sea level takeoff over a 50-foot obstacle at max gross weight is 2,111 feet, according to the statement.)

“The shorter runway capability found in the King Air 250 provides our customers access to more than 1,100 airports that were previously unavailable to them, allowing them to spend less travel time door-to-door by flying closer to their final destinations,” said Shawn Vick, an executive vice president with the company.

The King Air 250 should see its first deliveries during the second quarter of 2011, the company said.

The scourge of the off-market aircraft; often referred to as 'fools gold'

Business and other segments of General Aviation are by nature fairly exclusive realms. What I mean by saying this, is that seeing that there are 6,880,000,000 people on this planet, while there are almost 32,000 business jet and turbo-prop aircraft that are in operation around the world. This equates to 215,000 people to every business aircraft, which in reality is not a true figure because there are really only approximately 200,000 actual business aircraft owners, therefore there is less than 0.003% of the world’s population that can actually be classified as a business aircraft owner. You really have to try hard to be more exclusive than that.

Unfortunately there are many who believe that when an aircraft is put up for sale, it should be marketed and sold in a stealthy and even more exclusive way than befits the actual marketplace. What do I mean by this? I shall explain:

The potential market for any given business aircraft is about a quarter of a million people. Of course it can be argued that this market is much larger than this, but the total market has historically only grown by about 900 aircraft per year since 1990. The numbers are as follows:

Heavy Jets Added to the Fleet Every Year (Average Since 1990)

160 Average

Medium Jets Added to the Fleet Every Year (Average Since 1990)

219 Average

Light Jets Added to the Fleet Every Year (Average Since 1990)

210 Average

Turbo-Props  Jets Added to the Fleet Every Year (Average Since 1990)

329 Average

Total Business Aircraft Added to the Fleet Every Year (Average Since 1990)

918 Average

 

In light of the numbers above, it is evident that the business aviation fleet (marketplace) is growing at a pace of just under 3% of the total fleet, per annum.

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There are currently 2,641 Dealers, Brokers and Trading FBO’s that are listed in the AMSTAT database. This total consists of every corporate entity that has been involved in at least one aircraft sales transaction. Out of this number, it is fair to suggest that half of these entities are merely a shell company that was formed for one-single aircraft transaction, thus this number changes to 1,321. Lastly it is realistic to say that the rest are either bankrupt, or they have not bought or sold an aircraft in over a year, and therefore in my opinion, is not therefore active. Our number of Dealers, Brokers and Trading FBO’s now drops to 925 in-total.

In 2007 between January 1st and December 31st, there were 2,681 Retail-to-Retail transactions worldwide. In 2009 between the same period, 1,604 Retail-to-Retail transactions took place, again worldwide. Since January of this year; to-date (September 28th) there have been 1,212 Transactions. What is very revealing about these numbers is the fact that only 20 Dealer, Broker and Trading FBO companies transacted 6 or more aircraft during the whole of 2009, while the rest were sporadic sales.

So after looking at the numbers I would like to return back to both the title and the premise of this article, which is my firm belief that selling a business aircraft ‘off-market’ is a very bad plan. Please allow me to explain:

The true market of potential buyers active within today’s Resale Business Aircraft Market is minute (<0.003% of the world’s population.)

The average number of business aircraft sold, per Dealer, Broker and Trading FBO companies is about 1.7 aircraft 2009 figures: 1,604 transactions between 925 companies), but in truth almost half of the resale transactions (>40%) are being conducted by slightly over 2% of all of these companies put together (JetBrokers, Inc. is one of the companies that is firmly placed within this 2% grouping.)

There are approximately 25 websites where business aircraft are advertised for sale. There are 2 subscriptions only, multiple listing services that specialize in the tracking of business aircraft sales. There are 4 print magazines (in English) that are dedicated entirely to advertising business aircraft for sale; with 25 plus that advertise (in English) both small/light/general aviation craft as well as business aircraft.

The average days on market (the number of days from listing agreement signing to transaction closing) is currently running at about 350 days. Most professionally brokered aircraft sell within between 60 to 180 days if they are correctly priced.

A professionally business represented aircraft will have its entire collection of records audited and the aircraft will be evaluated for condition, value and proper placement (the list of ‘like’ aircraft next to sell), with appropriate pricing. An ‘off market’ aircraft will not have these advantages.

A professionally business represented aircraft will have accurate and industry standardized written specifications along with descriptive and effective advertising copy. An ‘off market’ aircraft probably will not.

A professionally business represented aircraft will be advertised in places that have proven time and time again, to be seen and read by qualified buyers. An ‘off market’ aircraft probably will be offered either ‘under the table’, or worse in an unidentifiable condition, i.e. with no serial number and generalized and probably inaccurate specifications. This instantly makes the ‘off market’ aircraft of no tangible interest to real buyers.

It is human nature that every human has at least one person in their lives that they tell all of their secrets to. If a business aircraft owner is motivated to sell ‘off market’ because they do not want to attract attention to either themselves or their company, within a day or two the top 2% of all of the Dealer, Broker and Trading FBO companies will know about it, and within a month, everyone will know about it, all 925+ companies. By this time the aircraft will have become damaged goods if it has not been snapped up by a bargain hunter. Why? There will be so many companies and individuals that have an attempt at vending the aircraft to potential buyers, so much so that facts, prices and layers of middlemen will become so confused and mismanaged that the ultimate selling price shall reflect a loss to the owner that closely mimics how a damage history affects aircraft value. This is where the term ‘fool’s gold’ is appropriate.

The seller ultimately shall unknowingly leave so much money on the table, instead of it being yielded to him/her through a formal brokerage agreement, just to satisfy the now in-built strata of middlemen.

‘Bedroom brokers’, meaning individuals that have no formal place of business, or corporate structure to transact an aircraft transaction, and yet they are actively trolling the marketplace for unsuspecting buyers and sellers alike. Well the ‘off market’ aircraft is their meat and potatoes so to speak. This is because they are either unwilling or unable to secure formal exclusive listings of aircraft inventory to represent, market and sell, and therefore the ‘off market’ aircraft is a gift horse that they cannot resist getting involved with. Well now both a seller and a buyer have set themselves up as prey for these individuals who care only for their commission, and not about the arrangement, handling and successful conclusion of an equitable sales transaction. Professional brokerage companies will only work for one commission. I have known of bedroom brokers that have accepted as many as three commissions, all resulting from the same transaction.

With all of these factors weighed in, hopefully now you can see how an ‘off market’ aircraft is really a scourge, rather than the jewel that it could be, if you chose the formal path of representation instead of the nefarious approach.

Eurocopter X3 begins testing; company calls it a turboprop-helicopter hybrid

Eurocopter raised the curtain today and gave the aviation world a look at its X3, a high-speed hybrid helicopter that the company calls “a new milestone in (its) innovation roadmap.”

The X3 will combine VTOL capabilities with a cruise speed of more than 220 knots, according to the company’s engineers.

The design includes a trio of rotors, with a five-blade main system on top and twin-prop short-span fixed wings on either side of the cockpit.

“This creates an advanced transportation system offering the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter,” says a statement on the company’s web site.

Read more about testing plans for the Eurocopter X3 after the jump. [more]

The company expects buyers to use the helicopter in long-range search and rescue missions, as well as coastal and border patrols, in addition to medical and military roles. The first X3 flight took place two weeks ago in France.

Initial testing will continue through the end of the year before speed testing starts in March 2011, the company said.

Read more about the today's development on the Eurocopter X3 from Aviation Week, Plane News, FlightGlobal and Business Jet Traveler.

General Aviation news briefs: Flying Wisconsin, Connecting Pilots and Prairie Aircraft

How many airports do you have in your backyard? Ever counted them all, and then flown there?

Wisconsin pilot and aviation advocate Rose Dorcey set out this summer, along with her pilot husband John, to do just that.

With 45 runways already checked off on their trip, they have 15 more to go. They then can say they visited 60 public airports in the Badger State’s 72 counties over the course of four flights.

Dorcey, who took her first flight lesson at in Wisconsin Rapids at South Wood County Airport (ISW) on her 30th birthday “a few years ago,” says she still has not lost the passion of being up in the air. The image at the top of this post, taken from her blog, shows the next trip she envisions — flying a set of waypoints that allows her to trace out the state boundaries of Wisconsin. Or perhaps her flying IFR into the 17 general aviation airports in the state that support it.

We think her current endeavor is just as neat and as future one may be. Plus, it is something many of us could do if we possess as much creativity. What better mode can connect you to your statewide neighbors and, at the same time, allow you to take in the scope of countryside that surrounds you? Read about the voyage and see tons of aerial pictures of the beautiful lake-filled American countryside on her blog, Flying Wisconsin. [more]

Want to plot a similar journey for yourself? Make sure to begin with our Airport Resource Center. With it, you can look up airport listings by state, and then check each individual airport for current weather conditions, approach information and FBO prices.

Print out a kneeboard summary and find places to golf, to eat or to sleep along your trip, all from the same web page.

Speaking of useful tools, ConnectingPilots.com is another new web site that aviators will find useful for social networking. Dubbing itself the “Aviation Compass for Aviation 2.0,” it harbors links and contacts for flight schools, fellow pilots, aviation blogs and other handy resources we can use, whether in the air or on the ground dreaming of the next flight.

Started by PlasticPilot.net blogger Vincent Lambercy, the project continues to seek companies, individuals and resources to feature on the site. Visit it and check it out.

Also today, we would like to recognize Prairie Aircraft Sales. The dealership announced this week that it acquired certification to be the exclusive Cessna Piston Dealership for the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“We continue to represent Cessna for the full Caravan line for all of western and northern Canada, as well as all makes and models of pre-owned aircraft from singles to jets,” the company said in a statement. Check out Prairie Aircraft Sale’s inventory in our Aircraft Exchange by clicking here.

NBAA gives pointers on how to use your aircraft for business

Caught up in the hoopla surrounding Airventure (and deservedly so) we slightly delayed posting this news from the NBAA, which recently placed a feature on its web site giving tips on how an aircraft owner can better use a plane for business.

A couple of weeks ago, the NBAA issued a press release highlighting some of the aspects on the page:

Owner-flown aircraft can provide companies with all of the efficiency, productivity and financial benefits that can be realized with business aviation. To best serve company employees who are considering whether an airplane can help them in the conduct of businesses, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today released a new primer, titled How to Use Your Airplane for Business, which provides practical guidance on how and why companies should consider allowing the use of personal, employee-flown aircraft for business purposes.

“NBAA has always promoted the use of aircraft in the conduct of business, but companies sometimes overlook the idea of putting an employee’s aircraft to work to make business travel efficient and productive,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA vice president of operations, education & economics. “How to Use Your Airplane for Business provides companies and employee-pilots with the guidance they need to formulate a policy that will encourage use of personally operated aircraft in the course of their business.”

The resource outlines key advantages for both employees and employers when utilizing owner-flown aircraft for their business, and offers advice for employees seeking to convince their employers of the benefits of using owner-flown aircraft.

The primer also provides guidance on how to proceed even after the decision to make use of owner-flown aircraft has been made. Specifically, this includes direction on how to create a company policy covering the use of the owner-flown aircraft, and ideas on how to determine policy goals.

The topics covered in this new NBAA resource will also be the subject of several education sessions at the upcoming Light Business Airplane Conference, produced in conjunction with the NBAA 63rd Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2010), to be held in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 19-21, and again later in the year, in conjunction with the AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11-13.

View the complete feature on the NBAA web site here.

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