Business And Commercial Aviation News From April 1970
As a result of the golden years in general aviation from 1966 to mid-1969, new models of airplanes and equipment have been surfacing at record rates. (Aviation has probably progressed further in those years than in any 20 previous.) – BCA Staff
Never in the short history of aviation has so glowing a near-future been predicted. The way in which general aviation has been forecasted to grow in the '70s is analogous to the initial climb of an under-gross overpowered bizjet.
Marking Time: A 10,000-mi. delivery flight from Oakland, California, to Singapore has been completed by a 17-place Volpar Turboliner in 37 hr. 32 min. In so doing, the stretched and modified Beech 18 apparently has set speed records for all legs of the flight for this class of airplane. Block speeds of up to 269 mph were recorded.
Swearingen’s Merlin III and IV, the newest additions to corporate turboprop line, are due at dealers this summer. Eight-place Merlin III is basically a Merlin IIB with Metro wings, empennage and systems changes. The price of the Merlin III is $550,000 less avionics. Merlin IV is basically a Metro (commuter airliner) with corporate interior and systems. The aircraft will carry 10 passengers plus two crew. It’s powered by two Honeywell TPE331s rated at 840 shp each. The price of the IV is $615,000.
The year 1969, which had been predicted to see delivery of 15,900 airplanes from U.S. manufacturers, came up with only 12,471, nearly 10% lower than 1968’s total of 13,698 handovers. The bizjet category looks good with reports of 203 deliveries in 1969 but the view turns bleak when one looks for actual sales made during the last half of 1969 and the first part of 1970.
A Gulfstream II simulator has been installed at FlightSafety’s New York base. The simulator, made by Redifon Ltd. of England, cost $1.5 million and features full motion. Hourly rate of $230. Block of 100 hr. brings the rate down to $195.
Inventories of the Falcon and the Sabreliner are reportedly running high. Pan Am is negotiating with AiResearch to take over all sales of the Fan Jet Falcon.